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Sat Feb 17, 2018, 04:45 AM

On both the left and the right, I've never despaired more at British politicians

Excellent article that sums up many of my own feelings about how dreadful British politics is right now.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2018/02/both-left-and-right-i-ve-never-despaired-more-british-politicians

British politics reminds me of a Land Rover stuck in a field: the wheels are spinning, mud is flying everywhere, but there seems to be no possibility of moving forward. Theresa May somehow manages to be both reckless and cautious Ė which is almost impressive until you remember that she canít even get two dozen of her own party, sitting at the same cabinet table, to agree what the Brexit end-state should be. Instead, the Tory party indulges itself in therapeutic infighting and preparations for the next leadership race. It has learned absolutely nothing from the referendum campaign, which was seen through the psychodrama of Dave vs Boris, a rivalry dating back to their school days. (I suppose itís part of a grand British tradition that the EU referendum was lost on the playing fields of Eton.)

Not that Labour is any more inspirational. Its tactic seems to be, to borrow a phrase from Johnson, to wait for ďthe ball to come loose from the back of the scrumĒ. In other words: hang on for a Corbyn government. But that isnít good enough. There might be four years of this parliament left to run, and all the indications are that the economy will get worse, wages will stay stagnant, homelessness will continue to rise, prisons will remain dangerously overcrowded, the transport network will continue to crumble, the NHS will gasp desperately for more money and we still wonít build enough bloody houses. This is no time to tend to the allotment and wait for your turn to come.

With noble exceptions such as Anna Soubry, most Tory MPs are keeping quiet about the disaster they think is coming because they are afraid of their voters. The bulk of Labourís parliamentary party is keeping quiet about still thinking Jeremy Corbyn is hopeless because they are afraid of their activists. Corbyn himself talks relentlessly about a ďjobs-first BrexitĒ to disguise the fact heís fine with pretty much any kind of Brexit. (He knows that, unlike him, the majority of Labour members, as well as Labour voters, are pro-European.) May pretends that Liam Fox is the best choice for the job of trade secretary, when the truth is that his globe-trotting pointlessness represents nothing more than appeasement. And if Rees-Mogg enters the next Tory leadership race as the favourite, how many of his colleagues in parliament will have the courage to say to the swooning Conservative grassroots: weíve seen him up close and youíre making a big mistake?

Iíve been writing about politics for seven years now, and itís double that since I first became politically active thanks to the disastrous Iraq War. In that time, Iíve never felt so depressed about my country and the quality of the people who want to lead it. Previous governments in my adult lifetime have been variously wrong, and cruel, and misguided, and deluded, and complacent. But I canít remember a time when Britainís problems seemed so large and the politicians confronting them felt so small.

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Reply On both the left and the right, I've never despaired more at British politicians (Original post)
T_i_B Feb 2018 OP
Hortensis Feb 2018 #1
T_i_B Feb 2018 #2
Hortensis Feb 2018 #3
T_i_B Feb 2018 #4
Hortensis Feb 2018 #5
T_i_B Feb 2018 #6
agincourt Feb 2018 #7
Blue_Tires Feb 2018 #8
T_i_B Feb 2018 #9
Blue_Tires Feb 2018 #10
T_i_B Feb 2018 #11

Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:04 AM

1. Perhaps, instead of being "afraid," Labour pols are simply doing their

best to get elected/reelected. They can't help anyone if they're not in office.

All pols who put themselves out these days have bravery, especially on the left. On the right, bravery, like candidates, is created as needed by dark money.

This author should be talking about the poor quality of the electorate.

Many frightened American voters are also chastising all politicians because none is "brave" enough to somehow, through the magic of personality and charisma, lead 150 million voters who've allowed themselves to be corrupted by dishonest partisan manipulation to safety.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:10 AM

2. Poor quality of the electorate?

A lot of that is down to politicians on all sides over a number of years telling people comforting lies when what's really needed is the awkward truth.

That's something that predates Corbyn if I'm honest, although Corbyn and is certainly not improving matters. In my experience, his supporters are even more blinkered than the wider electorate, often displaying downright cultish behaviour.

What's really needed right now is an opposition with joined up thinking, that understands that you cannot have nice things like a well funded National Health Service if you collapse the economy by leaving the EU. Disaster socialism (doing nothing to prevent economic collapse then pretending that only you can clean up the mess you have contributed in a big way towards) is every bit as reprehensible as disaster capitalism.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:19 AM

3. Enough victim excuses for voters who soak up lies.

There has to be an appetite for and/or an ignorant hole to fill for lies to work.

Do you consider trumpsters who soaked up lies to be quality voters?

How about those who ignored truth and instead soaked up nasty lies about Democrats stealing primary elections and about Hillary murdering people to protect her evil secrets? The ones who prate about peace and healthcare for all but gave this nation over to the right? Do you consider them quality voters?

No excuses. If democracy dies, it will be taken down by voters who chose lies over truths.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 07:48 AM

4. Oh I'd love to see how you fare campaigning for anything with that attitude!

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 08:20 AM

5. Speaking of faring, how are people liking Trump and the libertarian

anti-regulation, anti-tax kleptocrats bad voters gave us?

I just noticed you're actually in UK. But for others, how're your power bills this winter? Hillary and the Democrats in congress planned to have half a billion solar panels on America's roofs by the end of her first term.

The national minimum wage was going to be doubled.

The next stage of expanding the ACA would also already be done, including lowering the age for qualifying for Medicare by a decade.

Tens of thousands of new jobs would have been created for building new roads, bridges, ports.

Hillary was going to turn the screws on Russia and specifically Putin to keep him weak and in check.

The electorates in both nations had excellent choices, and dreadful ones.

Think.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 09:36 AM

6. You've just noticed?

Clearly haven't bothered to read the OP before spouting off then!

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 09:59 PM

7. "problems so big, politicians confronting them were so small"

Yes mate, welcome to the US. Here in Nebraska the university has a nazi terrorist enrolled but they're afraid to expel him because the generation of swine legislature will make bigger budget cuts if they do. The drooling GOP knuckle draggers in the governator's mansion and statehouse would punish the university for not protecting "free speech". As bad as it is, I envy Britain, hope it turns around for ya's before it sinks to our level.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 01:22 PM

8. "jobs-first Brexit?" LOLOL Corbyn is such a tool...

Labour should have ditched his ass ages ago

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 03:19 PM

9. They tried to ditch him in 2016

After his terrible performance in the referendum. Corbyn won handily thanks to an influx of new members of the Labour party. Those new members are very strongly supportive of Corbyn no matter what he does. In fact at times they look more like cult members, such is their personal loyalty to the beardy one.

As you can no doubt tell, I became very disillusioned with Corbyn during the referendum campaign. And with the Labour party, which was more preoccupied with Blairite and Corbynite factions trying stick one over on each other than getting things done.

With such a weak, incompetent government leading us towards economic suicide we need a strong credible opposition. That is something that Labour is presently unable to provide.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 12:52 PM

10. Yeah, I've run in with some of his 'people' on twitter...

Last edited Tue Feb 20, 2018, 02:00 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 01:52 PM

11. I run into them in real life!

Quite something to have such unswerving, uncritical supporters. Although often, they are more about personal loyalty to Corbyn than loyalty to socialist policies.

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