Do Not Despair of This Election 630


I have had moments in the last few days which led me to feel pretty hopeless. Perhaps the worst was in the ITV debate when Corbyn was roundly jeered by a substantial section of the audience for stating that climate change impacted hardest on the poorest people in the poorest countries. That encapsulated for me the current far right political climate in England, dominated by boorish, selfish stupidity. I do not come from a left wing political background and I have never subscribed to the romanticisation of “the people”. Years living in the UKIP heartland of Ramsgate made me realise that “the people” en masse can be very unpleasant and racist indeed. I have always for that reason eschewed direct democracy and subscribed to a very Burkean view. That however falls down when, as now, you have a political class who are becoming even more base and vicious than the most unpleasant mob. But the growl of that studio audience, infuriated that Corbyn cared about the foreign poor, is a warning klaxon of the state of English society.

A close second despair-inducing moment was Jo Swinson’s interview following the debate when, asked if she would press the nuclear button, she replied without a millisecond of hesitation: “yes”. As I reported last week, when asked at the Lib Dem campaign launch why she would not put Corbyn into Downing St in any circumstances, she had instantly replied that he would not be prepared to instruct submarine commanders to fire nuclear weapons.

The woman is deranged.

I come from a Liberal tradition. Probably the two books which most influence my thinking are On Liberty by John Stuart Mill and Imperialism, A Study by J A Hobson. The line of British liberal thinking that comes down through writers including Hazlitt, Shelley, Byron, Carlyle, Mill, Hobson, Russell and Keynes is a tradition which looks set to disappear from British political thought. That makes me horribly sad. One thing I am sure of is that Swinson has read none of them. That the Lib Dems had moved economically so far to the right was already worrying me. Their completely illiberal opposition to Scottish Independence upset me still further. But that the party to which I belonged for 30 years and which was once led by my friend, the gentle and wise Charlie Kennedy, could now be led by an arm whirling, narcissistic, female version of Dr Strangelove, is beyond my wildest nightmares.

Let me go back to that ITV Debate. It was enormously dispiriting that of a 50 minute debate, 25 minutes were devoted to the subject of Brexit, compared to just one minute on the question of climate change. The Brexit discussion was completely unenlightening, with Johnson booming out “Get Brexit Done” at every opportunity, and even when there was no rational opportunity after the discussion had finally been moved on to other subjects.

I thought Jeremy was slightly under par. There was one point where I think he made a definite mistake. When Johnson claimed the last Labour government bankrupted the country’s finances, Corbyn failed to come back and say that it was the bankers who bankrupted the country’s finances. He could have gone on to add that banking deregulation had been the cause of a decade of global misery and Boris Johnson’s plans for Singapore on Thames would be banking deregulation on steroids.

It is not the first time this election that Labour have failed to point out it was the bankers who crashed the economy. I am not sure why. It may be a desire to seem City-friendly. Corbyn may be held back because, like me, he believes Brown was completely wrong to bail out the bankers with taxpayers’ money, and Corbyn therefore thinks it best to avoid the whole topic for the sake of party unity. Either way, to let Johnson say that Labour spending ruined the economy is to miss an open goal – the bankers are still massively unpopular.

The other point is one where Jeremy actually annoyed me. I cannot tell you how infuriating it was, as a Scot, to see Johnson repeatedly stating that Scotland would not be allowed an Independence referendum, and Corbyn making no effort at all to stand up for the Scottish right of self-determination. Given SNP exclusion from the debate, it was demeaning to see our masters discussing our future with no pretence of giving a hearing to the Scottish point of view.

Corbyn has to tackle this. The Johnson “Labour will give you two referendums” attack line is not being sufficiently countered. For Corbyn to ask Johnson whether he accepts that the Scottish people have the right of self-determination would be a killer question, and Jeremy could ask it quietly and effectively. A large majority of English people are actually perfectly happy for Scotland to have an Independence referendum.

Corbyn has tied himself in knots to accommodate the bitter cabal of Blairites and Orangemen that constitute the majority of the rump Scottish Labour Party, while its membership and voters have defected en masse to the SNP. 40% of the remaining Labour voters support Independence anyway. Rather than put himself in a false position for the sake of hopeless colleagues who have crashed Scottish Labour from domination to 12% of the vote, Corbyn should state his support for the right of the Scottish people to decide – something which I have no doubt he personally believes in, deeply.

The good news is that Johnson made an ass of himself in the debate, constantly repeating “Get Brexit Done”, and Corbyn’s insistence on discussing more important issues than Brexit cut through. You Gov’s verdict of a 51 to 49 victory for Johnson was very dubious indeed. But even that would be a major advance for Corbyn given the constant barrage of unfair media demonisation to which he has been subjected in the last five years. Almost seven million people watched the event live, a significant audience. Parity with that audience is a very good start for Labour. I suspect it really went better than that. YouGove have a long and dishonourable history as Tory push pollsters.

There are similarities here to the 2017 election. The chance for both Corbyn and Sturgeon to be seen in election coverage directly by viewers, each arguing their own case, will improve the standing of both with the electors, compared to the unmitigated vilification of normal media. (Sturgeon is being unfairly excluded from key debates but her Dundee speech today was extensively covered).

The Tory campaign of closed workplace addresses, artificial set-up encounters and a constant simple soundbite slogan is repeating the formula that failed so spectacularly in 2017. “Get Brexit Done” is going to annoy voters as much as “Strong and Stable” did, especially if Johnson continues to deploy it whatever the question asked.

I strongly expect we will see the first signs of the opinion polls starting to tighten shortly. I am half-English myself and have no desire to see Johnson inflicted on the population of Newcastle or Liverpool. But I confess I am also comfortable in the certainty that should Johnson win the election, it will precipitate Scottish Independence very soon. Nobody should despair yet. But it is certainly more comfortable to watch this from Edinburgh than from Manchester.

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630 thoughts on “Do Not Despair of This Election

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  • Toby

    A gruesome election, as most sensible commentators expected.

    As for Johnson, given his weak character, there are two possibilities: implosion before the election or implosion afterwards. Even if he wins a 100 seat majority, I would not be in the least surprised if he were gone in 12 months.

    And what do I mean by weak character? Simply the fact that no one in his right mind would want this man as an employee, colleague or boss. Think about it!

  • Gavin C Barrie

    Concerning climate change I do not know – cited in Rhys Jagger’s post – what the abbreviations PDO and AMO stand for however I am inclined to accept that solar influence is greater than the pollution that mankind generates, on the Earth’s climate. Reducing and controlling mankind’s pollution has merit on it’s own, whatever the scale of its influence.

    Another subject, in which I do not know the facts, the detail, – is the Deal, the deal of exitting the EU. May spoke of it, Johnson speaks of his better Deal in comparison to what Deal?

    Can anyone provide details for me on just what comprises the Deal?

  • Goodwin

    “A large majority of English people are actually perfectly happy for Scotland to have an Independence referendum.”
    Indeed, I suspect that “a large majority of English people” would be glat to be shot of the Scots and their endless whining as soon as possible.

  • AKAaka

    don’t let the bastards get you down. That’s their game plan. If they’re successful enough, you won’t even bother to vote. Where Jeremy goes people gather in support, so much so that he will stop what he’s doing to give an impromptu speech. If you manage to glimpse Boris in public he is booed away and rushed off with security. Personally I half think it’s a rigged system, but I’m not sure they can rig it completely. If they can convince you it’s hopeless, then you open the doors for them to get away with more and you will believe the rigged result. But believe it less, and they can get away with less manipulation of the result.

    Sounds to me like they are winning the manipulation of people’s mood. As I feared would happen more so this time round, with weaponised media and social media now far more advanced than even a year ago. So don’t despair, take it as a positive they’re having to sink to such depths and corruption of democracy. Fight harder, shout positive, it’s time to take out the Tory scum and their masters.

    • J

      “If they can convince you it’s hopeless, then you open the doors for them to get away with more and you will believe the rigged result.”

      ^This.

  • Elaine Precious

    I read today that the YouGov poll was published 70 minutes before the debate started. Not sure of the source but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it is true!

  • Alan Rouse

    I agree, they both looked ill at ease in my opinion and JC certainly missed a few open goals, but to listen to Johnson blathering on about Brexit was very disturbing

    • Swearengen

      Modern politicians always appear ‘over-briefed’ for debates.

      On the other hand, Napoleon’s old maxim comes to mind. “Never interrupt your opponent when he’s making a mistake.” If BoJoke wanted to irritate people by repeating the same mindless and inaccurate Brexit slogan to the point of inflicting nausea, who was Corbyn to try to stop him. 🙂

  • Doghouse

    As an indicator how far we have fallen and pertinent to this thread and the fiasco that is both parliament and election, and the last Assange thread and the system stacked against him, words of the great Nelson Mandela 1964 –

    “I have great respect for British political institutions, and for the country’s system of justice. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world, and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fails to arouse my admiration.”

    Sigh. Just 65 years ago. Thanks to Rhys for the heads up…..

    • Hatuey

      Pretty selective quote that. Let me know if you want me to find some others from him, on Britain and the harmful impact of Britain on his country, British Imperialism, and racism generally.

      • Doghouse

        I’m aware it was a selective quote, perhaps the point fell through your hole, donutt.

        The effect of Britain, it’s racism, elitism, and general sense of entitlement on not simply South Africa but most of the Commonwealth and beyond is for me both a given and a disgrace. The point was to illustrate that the great man on top of all that still found some things he respected. Things that today, are a shambles.

  • giyane

    The Labour manifesto , with Heat Pumps regurgitated from 2009, and promises for electric cars, fails to explain where all this electricity is going to come from. If from gas power stations, why not just continue to have gas boilers and help insulate our homes? The media keep saying there’s a skills shortage in the construction industry. No, construction sites are run like prison camps with absolutely no respect for the workers. Why would anybody choose to work in a hire/fire daily contract where there is zero respect for experienced tradesmen and women?

    Labour is part of the political establishment and totally fails to understand the problems. It is a British class disease , not unconnected to Brexit, in which managerial responsibility requires dishonesty and good practice is banned. The route to success in the construction industry is to be mean and nasty. That;s not a skills problem. It’s a social problem . The social problem starts at the top with the politicians who think that they have answers, when they are totally disconnected from the problems.

    I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn has any technical understanding of the economics of the 2007 financial crash.
    Probably the gamblers themselves know what went wrong , which is why they’ve switched to hedge-funding, gambling of failure, instead of gambling on investment. So I agree with you Craig, it’s very depressing.
    As to Jo Swinson, I suppose she thought Liberal meant it doesn’t matter if you left or Right. You can decide that when you’ve arrived at your destination.

    • Goodwin

      “where all this electricity is going to come from.”
      And where are all the highly toxic limited life batteries going to go?

      • michael norton

        If you vote Labour and live in a council tower block
        1) how will you afford the sixty thousand quid for a Tesla?
        2) if someone gave you sixty thousand quid and you purchased a Tesla, where would you plug it in?
        3) If you lived in a council tower block and somebody gave you sixty thousand quid and you bought a Tesla and if you had somewhere to plug it in, it would not be where you left it in the morning, somebody else would think it should not be your property but theirs.

        It is mostly baloney, there is never going to be enough owners of battery cars to make any difference to our climate, it is just another scam to get people to buy stuff they did not know they wanted.

        • John Pillager

          And they are only going to get cheaper and cheaper…
          1. Renault Twizy – £6,690 + battery lease
          2. Citroen C-Zero – £17,020 inc grant
          3. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive – £17,695 inc grant
          4. Renault Zoe – £17,720 + battery lease inc grant
          5. Smart ForFour Electric Drive – £18,190 inc grant
          6. Hyundai Ioniq electric – £27,250 inc grant
          7. Hyundai Kona EV – £27,250 inc grant
          8. Nissan Leaf – £27,995 inc grant
          9. Nissan e-NV200 Combi – £29,225 inc grant
          10. Kia e-Niro – £32,995 inc grant

          • CasualObserver

            The Twizy is the only vehicle that makes sense in terms of EV’s. Superlight instead of trying to emulate IC vehicles by dragging around a couple of tons of ‘Comfort’.

            Its killed by Ranault’s rent the battery idea, and the fact that unlike the inefficient behemoth competitors, it does not qualify for any taxpayer funded grant.

      • Mighty Drunken

        Lithium Ion batteries are not highly toxic, in fact they are much less toxic than lead acid batteries. Where do these myths come from?

        In regard to electric cars in general. There price will go down as they become more of a mass produced item and more money is spent on battery R&D. In 20 years charging points will become ubiquitous, there will be in many houses and most car parks. It will just be normal.
        The hard part is supplying the extra electricity as it may increase peak demand by 30%. However if EVs were only charged when supply was plentiful (usually night time) then you don’t need much new generation at all as it is not run at full power all the time anyway. With intelligent charging EVs could become part of the solution acting as backup for the grid by using a small portion of the battery.
        There are challenges but they are fixable. In the end you get a quieter, more powerful, less polluting car which should have a lower total cost of ownership.

        • Antonym

          Lead acid batteries are easily and cheaply recyclable. You’ll get money for the old ones.
          Lithium???

          • Bayard

            It’s got to be easier getting lithium out of scrap batteries than extracting it from the ground. Lithium has a much lower melting point than lead, so should take less energy to recycle.

          • Deb O'Nair

            Boliva has huge reserves of lithium, although I’m sure this has nothing to do with the Washington backed coup.

    • Hatuey

      “The Labour manifesto , with Heat Pumps regurgitated from 2009, and promises for electric cars, fails to explain where all this electricity is going to come from.”

      Same place you stole the oil from — Scotland.

      • giyane

        Hatuey

        But we don’t pay for that. It just fills the National Grid to ease the pressure on Scottish green generation.
        One of the worst things and most likely to shut down a Wind turbine farm is too much electricity. .
        We provide the free collection service , a bit like the AI man . The skill is knowing exactly where to insert and push the thingy.

        • Hatuey

          I have no idea who you mean by “we”. If you consider the billions taken from Scottish oil fields, “we” didn’t pay for that either. Just as “we” didn’t pay for the resources we stole during the empire years.

          If think it’s fair to say that “we” are up.

          • giyane

            Hatuey

            Sigh.. just being cheeky.
            You are in a gloom.
            ” Into thir dark and driblie days
            When sabill all the skies arrays. ”

            Cheer up . It’s 48 degrees in Australia.

          • Loony

            With regard to electricity generation in Scotland the only thing that has been stolen is English money. This money has been used to construct 400kV lines to evacuate power from the North of Scotland to demand centers. Oddly the demand centers are nowhere near the North of Scotland.

            As they say in the ghetto don’t give me no crap about the Strathclyde valley – far too small. This power mostly goes to England. None of it is economic and it all requires huge government subsidies (UK government subsidies – not Scottish government subsidies).

            Ah but you need all this expensive power in remote locations to combat global warming. Maybe you do, but the power is intermittent and the only way to keep the system running is by way of gas oil fired stand by generation. This is located in England, adds to emissions and adds to cost. All so Scotland can claim that it is environmentally friendly.

            No-one wants to know how much copper has been used in constructing new 400kV lines out of the Highlands. The best pace to get copper is Chile, where you get about 2% copper per tonne of rock. Chile is a long way from Scotland. But hey you can bet your life that no-one in Scotland gives a flying fuck about emissions in Chile or marine emissions in transporting the copper.

            Scotland – exporting environmental genocide around the world. You must be so proud.

          • glenn_uk

            L: “Oddly the demand centers are nowhere near the North of Scotland.

            “Oddly”? You think it’s “odd” that the location of power requirements are not next to the place the power is produced?

            Your thinking is odd, with all due respect. It is quite rare for major power production to be sited in the same location it is used. Think of off-shore windfarms, for example. 🙂

            There are not that many large power stations in city centres either. But perhaps you can come up with some examples?

            Do try to drop the condescending attitude when coming out with rubbish like you do so often.

          • Hatuey

            Loony, there’s an easy solution to all these complexities. It’s called independence. Your English politicians won’t even discuss it. They know what you don’t; England has been sponging off this country for years and would struggle without free access to our resources.

            If it’s 50/50 now, can you imagine what public opinion would be like if we had more than one newspaper that supported independence or was even impartial on the question? Can you imagine what it’d be like if the whole broadcast media wasn’t totally and uniformly opposed to independence, including the BBC?

            We don’t need a referendum. We just need a few people to see things for what they are.

          • Bruce H

            There has just been referendum and until the question of an independent Scotland’s admission into the EU has been adequately discussed, let alone solved, would another referendum so soon not be a little risky?

            Wouldn’t it be better to take a little time in order to turn around the previous referendum result convincingly and come up with a detailed view of the future being asked for? What about the choice of currency, defense policy, head of state (not the same old monarchy, surely?), EU, etc etc.? The brexit fiasco should have opened everyone’s eyes to the dangers of a simplistic and unclear referendum on a major question such as this.

          • giyane

            Looney

            Do you think Labour give a FF about the carbon footprint of the copper to make thousands of new heat Pumps to replace existing gas boilers? If Corbyn’s audience booed his concern for foreigners abroad that’s probably because they were ingeniously selected by algorithms for their stupidity by ITV. The BBC gets about 30 voters a day to say they’re going to switch from Labour to Tory or Lib Dem. If you subscribe to their brain chipping service. all they have to do is crunch the data to get you in their studios.
            Maybe that’s why they haven’t selected you or me. Imho, specially you, but I might be biassed. Mods would probably say me. So how did CM manage to get this awkward crew on his blog . His algorythms must be cool.

          • giyane

            Loony

            Please don’t tell people the power lines are made of copper. Some people are completely tat crazy.

          • pete

            Re giyani at 11.50
            Power lines: “The bare wire conductors on the line are generally made of aluminum (either plain or reinforced with steel or composite materials such as carbon and glass fiber), though some copper wires are used in medium-voltage distribution and low-voltage connections to customer premises”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overhead_power_line

          • Magic Robot

            Loony November 21, 2019 at 23:48
            “No-one wants to know how much copper has been used in constructing new 400kV lines out of the Highlands”

            SEE:
            ‘Replacement of overhead conductors on 400 kV ZX High Voltage transmission lines from Harker (Carlisle) to Penwortham (South Ribble.)
            The aluminium conductor cables, glass insulators, line spacers and vibration dampers are renewed periodically’
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-1rW5bGnAo

  • remember kronstadt

    and those Anglo Ramsgate racists who qualify for a tarbrush so unlike Glasgow Scot Swinson… selective nationalist lense?

  • Harry Tick

    I found Swinson’s stated preparedness to end all life on earth reassuring. She reminded us all of Jeremy Thorpe’s hit-man and Norman Scott’s Great Dane, Nick Clegg’s promise to students regarding their fees and the installation by David Steel of Baron de Coubertain, the party’s would-be multi-millionaire donor, into a grand office in the Liberal Club just before his Lordship scarpered in a van with all their priceless Persian carpets.

    looks like business as usual. All is well with world.

    Well … no worse than usual

  • Harry Tick

    This video contains no hard analysis of data. It is just the usual propaganda. He could be right in part. He might be completely wrong. The point is people on either side can choose data to support their argument.
    One thing that is obvious to me is that the current “Climate Crisis/ER emergency” is a top-down operation, the objectives of which are economic and political rather than environmental. This is the new ‘Communism’, an instrument for economic regeneration in the west and the facilitation of the installation of global governance. The other obvious thing is that whatever is taking place is definitely not primarily driven by CO2 levels. Again, this bull**** creates a pretext for Orwellian control over societies.

    There was no ‘Climate Crisis’ during the Medieval warm period nor during the mini-ice-age of the 1700s.

    Here is just one comment (made by an expert reviewer for the IPCC) picked at random from a climate forum:

    neilperth at 14:02 PM on 7 October, 2009
    In an interview with Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner (head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project – he has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years) by EIR (Argentine Foundation for a Scientific Ecology) [http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen7/MornerEng.html] he talked about the IPCC misrepresentation of sea level data: “Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC’s] publications,… was a straight line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge… It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” … I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it’s not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don’t say what really happened. And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend! That is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data set. … So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modeling, not from observations. The observations don’t find it! I have been the expert reviewer for the IPCC, both in 2000 and last year. The first time I read it, I was exceptionally surprised.

    • pretzelattack

      this is all horsecrap. one side has the support of science, the other the support of the fossil fuel industry.

      • glenn_uk

        A fossil fuel industry, incidentally, that receives _trillions_ of dollars in government subsidies annually. Now what that industry possibly be afraid of, by losing public support? What would they stand to gain, by feeding a misinformation campaign that useful idiots would then parrot about climate change denial? Hmm. Tough one that.

    • glenn_uk

      Come on, it’s a six minute video covering 13 points – you expected lots of hard data there? Be serious for a moment. Go to the IPCC yourself and get their primary source data if you actually want to look at the real evidence.

  • Hatuey

    “But climate change, the disaster we actually do face”

    I’ll assume you mean climate changed caused by mankind.

    But when should we expect this disaster? And if you can’t tell us, how do we falsify the theory?

    • glenn_uk

      Let’s see, Hatuey. A bus is steaming towards you. I say you’d better get out of the way of that bus, because when it hits you, it’s going to be pretty bad. Would your answer be, “Oh – oh – and you can’t say exactly when? So how do we falsify this theory of yours then?”

    • pretzelattack

      why don’t you check the science, hatuey. if you think it is bad science, tell the royal society. or find one publishing scientist presently that agrees with you. and btw, we are experiencing it now. it’s going to get worse (at this point, inevitably) but we can mitigate the disaster.

    • Ken Kenn

      No where near an expert on climate change but we can have all the plans we want but if it is true and I think it is every meglomaniac and doubter will no longer exist to doubt it.

      Is it worth the risk?

      If it turns out to be wrong we have wasted a lot of money but the Bail Out for the Financial Crash cost 22 Trillion so contarsted and compared I’ll side with the Climate Defenders.

      If I’m wrong we can have a laugh about down the pub.

      Lesson: don’t be scared of being wrong.

      That attitude has led the world to deadly point we are at now.

      That’s what makes Swinson answer instantly “Yes!” to pressing the nuke button.

      She is not alone.

      No plans with no planet..

  • NP

    I think it’s generally accepted now that the Crash was caused by runaway private debt (borrowing by households and businesses), in both the UK and US and some other countries.

    A simple graph shows the dramatic explosion, starting when Thatcher took office and deregulated the financial sector and continuing under her blue and red tory successors. (This comment system won’t let me post a graph). Same in the US.

    Bankers obviously took full advantage of their new powers (while also committing fraud and other crimes), effectively aided and abetted by regulators, auditors, politicians, the media and others, who all failed to do their jobs.

    When the crash came, the banks were insolvent. They should have been completely nationalized, wiping out their shareholders and bondholders, and their senior officials should have been prosecuted, where appropriate. Radical reforms to the banking system should have followed.

    Having said all that, the great Hyman Minsky – who predicted these events before his death in 1996 – maintained that crashes and depressions are simply features of modern capitalism.

    He said the “fundamental proposition” of his theory (set out in great detail in several books and many articles) was “that the capitalist market mechanism is flawed…(and) the basis of the flaw resides in the financial system”.

      • giyane

        The flaw is interest, which continues to increase debt exponentially so that borrowers are unable to pay.
        A theory which dates from 7th century B.C. and remains true to this day.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          If all the money is created in the form of an interest bearing loan then the amount of debt will always be bigger than the amount of money in circulation.

    • James Charles

      ‘The Crash’ was the due to the incompetence of the US banks?
      “As Axel Weber remarked, afterwards:
      I asked the typical macro question: who are the twenty biggest suppliers of securitization products, and who are the twenty biggest buyers. I got a paper, and they were both the same set of institutions…. The industry was not aware at the time that while its treasury department was reporting that it bought all these products its credit department was reporting that it had sold off all the risk because they had securitized them…”
      http://www.lse.ac.uk/lse-player?id=1856

      “The root problem of 2008 was a failure to recognize that the highly leveraged money center banks had used derivatives not to distribute subprime mortgage risk to the broad risk bearing capacity of the market as a whole but, rather, to concentrate it in themselves.”
      https://equitablegrowth.org/misdiagnosis-of-2008-and-the-fed-inflation-targeting-was-not-the-problem-an-unwillingness-to-vaporize-asset-values-was-not-the-problem/

      • Alyson

        Bailing out the banks wasn’t the problem. Labour had policies to deal with the outcome if they had been reflected. The Tories however saw an opportunity to fool people into thinking QE would lead to inflation, if we didn’t all tighten our belts and cut public services. It was a terrible lie, which still gets rolled out. Debt, hardship, cuts to infrastructure and services, are all simply designed to migrate the country’s wealth from the workers, or those who are relying on services, to the pockets of the global 1% and the hidden stash in Britain’s offshore banks. Labour never saw this coming. They thought it was real. But subsequent tax cuts for the wealthy, and destitution for low paid workers, and sick and elderly people has been hidden by the media, very well. Housing benefit goes into the pockets of rentier landlords who no longer even need to make housing fit for habitation. What kind of a nation have we become? The Magic Money Tree is never short of cash for weapons and wars. QE has shown that sovereign currencies can spend on whatever they have the resources to back up, or even when those notional resources have magically disappeared, and the threat to steal all the contents of our bank accounts has to be averted. Government is for whoever those in power represent. And that has not been the voters for the last 20 years (Largely copied and pasted from the previous page – hope this is okay)

  • Humbaba

    Leftist Brexitters who think that Brexit will be a good thing for the UK are like the Centrists politicians of the Weimar Republic who thought they control Hitler when they invited him into government. You cannot control the beast. The far-left has lived in its anti-EU ideological prison for decades and now has no means of defending the country from a far-right Brexit coup. Corbyn will sit on the fence until history has made him and the left redundant.

    • giyane

      Humbaba

      The EU is part of the neocon swamp which never expected to be drained. I can’t prove that Brexit has divided the West and allowed Russia to take back control of Syria, and it may be happenstance . They don’t like it up ’em.
      They think they should be the ones doing the dividing and ruling but British oiks have beaten them at their own game.

      We might get a few years of peace while the neocons digest just how much the American and British public hate them. It must be sooo annoying that the demos is wiser than the elites. Pretty off putting even for Burkeans like Craig.

  • Goose

    I fear Labour have blown it with this manifesto. It’s too left-wing to sell, certainly in this country, with this vicious right-wing press and anti-Labour media. It reads like a left-wing bucket list, There too much renationalisation. Not arguing the merits of that, as the arguments these are basically private monopolies and should never have been privatised does have much merit. But they should have concentrated only on rail – which has broad support, proved competency with that first. the free broadband plan is also silly, a public/private partnership could’ve sufficed. The changes to inheritance tax will also be damaging to Labour’s middle-class support. Theresa May learnt you mess around with savings and houses that at your peril with the dementia tax they U-turned on.

    I consider myself leftish/libertarian btw.

    • Hatuey

      For a leftish/libertarian you have very centrist/rightist views.

      The Labour manifesto is much smarter than it appears. I’m no fan of Labour but what they’ve done is very clever. Instead of talking about Brexit, we are talking about society and the disadvantaged. If it was less radical, we’d be talking about Brexit.

      At the same time, their manifesto creates a stark contrast between what they stand for and what the Tories stand for. Brexiteers like to paint themselves as anti-establishment, but this Labour manifesto forces people to think about that. Now we are talking about taxing the super rich, big business, tax avoiders, etc., and we can see who the establishment really is and who is really anti-establishment.

      The more big business and the media attack Labour on this manifesto, the more they emphasise Labour’s anti-establishment position and by extension the truth that the Tories are the establishment and the party of the rich and those who have been really shafting us all.

      It’s smart. The question is whether or not the people it’s aimed at are smart enough to get it. We are talking primarily about the north of England here, and everything hinges on those traditional labour heartlands in this election.

      • Goose

        @Hatuey

        Well, I didn’t mean it as an attack on the manifesto per se. My criticism is more nuanced than that. I criticised it in the context of the political environment and confines in which Labour are operating right now.

        Trust in them and their leadership is low, I know that’s unfair , but it ‘s a fact – due to years of smears and lies I know. But they seem to have handed those people the ammunition they wanted with this overly ambitious manifesto.

        • Hatuey

          Corbyn has been getting written off and given the last rites every two months since he became leader. He’s been massively attacked from every conceivable angle. The one that stuck in my craw most, and I’m not even a Labour supporter, was the Angela Eagle effort…

          But he’s still there.

    • Goose

      To add…

      I agree on Johnson looking far from Prime Ministerial in that TV debate.

      The guy enjoys being the class clown, he can be very funny too, as he was on HIGNY. That image of him stranded on that zip line at the London Olympics is very much still the public image. Serious doesn’t really suit him and many Tories clearly know and worry about that. Even if he wins the election with a comfortable majority It’s unlikely he’d serve five years as PM, and you can bet scandal is never far away. From Scotland’s perspective, a Tory victory would likely strengthen SNP support and Scottish resolve for independence.

    • Brian c

      The economic turn to the left is to win back working class support, which Labour has been haemhorraging since the millennium. It will be easy to sell to them.

      • Michael

        Corbyn’s detractors say his plans are unaffordable but they’re applying his figures to neo-liberalism which can’t pay workers proper wages nor feed the poor. It can’t even treat the sick. But neo-liberalism isn’t the only economic model around, and Corbyn plans to bin it and introduce a socio-economic model to serve us all…including the rich…and which can provide what he promises.

        Neo-liberal is a cruel heartless system whose proponents deserve being lynched. What they have done to our poor and disabled are atrocities. The Work Capability Assessments aren’t that dissimilar from the death camps where to go one side means work and life and to the other side means death. The cause of death is not the same but with sanctions leading to death for many thousands the end result is the same. Corbyn needs to set up a Public Inquiry into these atrocities to make sure those responsible in government, the Civil Service and business are held responsible for what they’ve done, so it never happens again.

    • Bayard

      “But they should have concentrated only on rail”

      Possibly unlike you, I am old enough to remember the nationalised railway system and it was pretty crap, with far too many tiers of managements and not enough people doing the actual work. More importantly, it was the incredible shrinking network – every year it got a bit smaller. Privatisation put a stop to that and since then, lines long-closed have been reopened, trains are faster, more frequent and more reliable. Yes, it is far more expensive, but more people are travelling by train.
      I suspect that much of the support for nationalisation is from people who want the price of their season ticket to go down, not realising that the money saved will just be transferred to higher rents or house prices withing a few years and we will be back to where we were, except with less money going into the rail system and more into inflated land values.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “I am old enough to remember the nationalised railway system and it was pretty crap…More importantly, it was the incredible shrinking network – every year it got a bit smaller.”

        The Railways were targeted for privitisation by the Tories and they sold it to the public by saying it was costing too much public money and the services would be better run in private hands. Since then more public money is given in subsidies every year to private rail companies than British Rail ever received, the fares are huge in comparison to British Rail and the service on many lines is arguably worse.

        “lines long-closed have been reopened”

        Yes, because private rail firms were given public money in the form of government subsidies.

  • Dungroanin

    So where do we stand tonight?

    The manifesto is a killer – professional.

    The impeachment hangs in the balance – gun fight at the ok coral.

    This is unprecedented?

    History repeats and for the anglo imperialist point of view the revered Roman Empire is the revered exampler. How did they do it?

  • Antonym

    The other point is one where Jeremy actually annoyed me. I cannot tell you how infuriating it was, as a Scot, to see Johnson repeatedly stating that Scotland would not be allowed an Independence referendum, and Corbyn making no effort at all to stand up for the Scottish right of self-determination. Given SNP exclusion from the debate, it was demeaning to see our masters discussing our future with no pretence of giving a hearing to the Scottish point of view.

    My conclusion: vote for the Brexit party. Sturgeon is a UK mole.

  • James Charles

    “Corbyn may be held back because, like me, he believes Brown was completely wrong to bail out the bankers with taxpayers’ money . . . ”

    According to A. Kaletsky.

    “Guarantees would have been the easiest form of intervention to present politically because they would have emphasised the true purpose of government assistance to the banking system: to prevent the savings of depositors – especially wholesale depositors such as corporations, foundations, savings institutions, and local governments. These depositors would have seen trillions of dollars in payrolls, pensions, and working capital evaporate if the banks were allowed to fail. Guarantees would have underlined the fact that the main beneficiaries of all bank rescues were not greedy bankers or shareholders but wholesale depositors whose money is not covered by retail guarantees.”
    A. Kaletsky: Capitalism 4.0. P150.

    • Hatuey

      Kaletsky is a very odd sort of capitalist cheerleader, as I’m sure you’re aware.

      As for the substance of his or your point, the government could have refused to bail out the banks but given guarantees to depositors. As I recall that is actually what they did with northern rock.

      Nobody anywhere was suggesting that we let the banks collapse and do nothing towards covering losses to depositors which seems to be implied in what kaletsky is saying.

      At the time, many of us argued that’s what we should do. Let them collapse, buy them for free out of administration, in effect nationalise them, and cover deposits..

      There’s a massive and important difference between that approach and simply bailing them out which sends out all the wrong messages, encourages them to think they are too big to fail, and primes the system for another crisis which is probably imminent.

      • Michael

        A few years ago a commenter on another site (I think she worked in finance) said the too big to fail banks will soon be too big to save. There just isn’t that kind of money in the world with the derivative markets in the quintillions (fifteen zeros). Corbyn and Sanders should be allowed to save it, because if that goes it’s the end of the west as a world power. It will be the end of an epoch.

  • Ian Richmond

    Like you, I despair at the collapse of Liberalism in this country and in the UK. But what can we do about it?

  • Marmite

    Yes, why should anyone despair?

    We already know that the murderous, perjuring, half-witted Liberals and Conservatives stand no chance of winning anywhere up and down the counties.

    This is for the simple reason that the British public is way too intelligent not to realise that the leaders of those parties are morally degenerate in the extreme, and would make haste in worsening life in this country (which is quite a feat, since it would be hard to make it any worse after the last decade).

    It’s as clear as water.

    Or is it?

    • giyane

      Marmite

      Not only that but Johnson cannot deliver Brexit because he is unable to compromise, even with his own MPs.
      The electorate will punish him severely for that in the same way that they punished May. I think Johnson is a dead duck. Or he and prince Andrew can take it in turns at being live ducks and shooting eachother in their Cotswold retreats. May , Blair and Cameron could tour the country terrorising people in the gipsy caravan like a ghost train of zombie war criminals. Replacing their mascaraed eyeballs as they go.

    • michael norton

      I will be surprized if the LibDem lot even get nine M.P.’s at the forthcoming General Election, why would anybody want to vote for an undemocratic loony woman who would vapourize the World in a heart-beat?

    • Ian Richmond

      Because individual freedom is important. Freedom from prejudice, freedom from fear, freedom of opportunity, freedom from poverty. Freedom of information to hold others to account. You misappropriate liberalism to the Lib Dems. While there are still some liberals in the Lib Dem party it is not in itself liberal.

    • nevermind

      More opportunity for the bbc to ask acidic questions which denigrate Labour and which marks out the others as good nuclear button pushers.

      I would stop at three televised meetings if I was busy with campaigning. What would be the point in being mauled with unsubstantiated slurs and lies? Which would only turn off the public some more.

      I repeat, I think the medias whipped up hatred of immigrants and of politicians they dont like, is tantamount to endangering candidates and the public alike. This is what the Nazis did in whipping up false fear of jews, homosexuals and gypsies.

    • N_

      I’m told a Zionazi hasbaranik in the BBC’s audience this evening suggested Jeremy Corbyn was “racist” for being shown on a hasbara video talking to a person who said something negative about a Jewish woman who is known for her involvement with the thugs of the Zionazi organisation’s “Community Security Trust”. It’s easy to say “You Could Not Make This Up”, but this is typical nowadays. Never mind that the said Jewish woman is a Nazi. She’s a Jewish woman, so anyone who criticises her or wants her to shut her gob must be a “racist”. The use of a word such as “racist” by Nazis is totally hypocritical. This fascist attack on Jeremy Corbyn is the same as saying that a friend of a person who once shouted something critical at Nick Griffin must have it in for the white race. No Labour leader would tolerate that crap, and in fact neither would the BBC. Yet if the word “Jews” is substituted for “white race”, the position is afforded credence and respect. How about throwing the JLM out of the party the day after the election and expelling all LFOI members at the same time? You would have thought that no time for fascist scum would be something that all sensible leftwing people could agree about. The Labour government recognises Palestine on 13 December, and anybody who doesn’t like it can GTF out.

  • SA

    I wonder whether there no antisemirism or indeed any racists at all in the Brexit party or its predecessor UKIP, or have certain people not found this not important enough to highlight daily?

    • glenn_uk

      I don’t know why nobody mentions the last Labour leader happened to be of a Jewish persuasion himself. Odd behaviour for a party filled with anti-Semites.

      • N_

        In their recent big attack on Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, one of the people the Jewish Chronicle libel as an “anti-Semite” with whom according to them Corbyn so evilly allies himself is also Jewish – Paul Eisen.

        Win or lose this election, the Labour movement has to start some straight talking about the Zionazi problem very soon, and take decisive action. No place for racists in the party? Good policy. So kick every Zionist out.

  • SA

    So to help the Tories win this election Sky news has labelled this the Brexit Elections.
    But let us not forget the following facts about the Brexit debacle:
    1. It was the Tories who called the referrendum in the first place.
    2. It was under the Tories that no agreement could be reached with the EU because of May’s red lines and the wrecking actions of the ERG.
    3. It was the Tories that called for a general election when they had a majority, hoping to crush Labour and this led to a hung parliament of the worst type.
    4.it was the Tories that stumbled on for two years with the help of the coalition of chaos with the DUP to then change leaders.
    5. It was the Tories who spent six valuable weeks to renegotiation with the EU in order to perform a beauty contest (in reverse) to choose a new leader. The conclusions were foregone that it will be Johnson but the spinning out was a deliberate tactic.
    6. It was the Tories who prorogued parliament illegally in an attempt to stifle further debate.
    7. It was the Tories that after fooling around , produced a withdrawal agreement, worse than that voted down by the same Tories, and earlier negotiated by May.
    8. It was the Tories who have effectively produced a border in the Irish Sea whilst denying they have done so.
    9. It is the Tories who inspire of the bad deal been voted for acceptance but also for further scrutiny by parliament, pulled the deal, thereby effectively precipitating a general election.

    • Dungroanin

      Yes 2017 was the second Brexit election, 2015 the first, and the referendum the shit in that sandwich.

      Sky resorting to repeats – no wonder netflix is booming.

      The other dreary repeat is the likes of Lipman/ Baddiel – the professional chirpy Jewish entertainers – being sent out by the Never failing to make us Bored of Deputies to screech AS – when they actuall mean Israel.

      ’28/10/2014
      “I have always been a socialist and I believe in the principles of socialism.
      I’m an actress, Ed, and I am often commended for my timing.
      ..a Blair luvvie.. am Alan Johnson’s number one fan …admire Frank Field. I rather liked David Miliband …
      For the first time in five decades, I shall not be voting Labour…Israel…..in steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel….”
      https://standpointmag.co.uk/issues/november-2014/with-prejudice-november-14-labour-lost-me-maureen-lipman-ed-miliband/

      Embarrassingly, She is going to do it again – for the third time – not happy with the gazillions she got for stuffing BT down our throats she is getting repeat performance fees from 2014/2015/2017…

      Fortunately this time alternate Jewish opinion is making a minor dent in the orchestrated Wolf crying.

      ‘I’m Jewish and I’m voting Labour in the general election. Here’s why
      Jonathan Lis’ in the Groaniad today.

    • giyane

      SA

      The Oaf has achieved his only life ambition, to be PM. He has no interest in any other event and is probably hoping to lose the election. HMS Tory rats jumped ship with May when they realised that they would get the blame for No Deal. Better to starve on a piece of driftwood as an independent than follow the pied piper and drown.

      I’m going to have to take out an insurance policy against HMRC being instructed to make life hard for micro companies when the old red streaks of Old Labour wreak their envy of the self-employed on small businessmen. I’m old enough to remember the good old days when if you were self-employed and had children , you got nothing. All those youngsters who got fat on Brown’s Family Credit are going to get skinny on Old Labour envy of small businessmen and women.

      Water water everywhere , nor any drop to drink. Why is there no middle ground? You either get state ownership of the internet Communism or chlorinated rainbow of rotting chicken.
      ‘Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea. About, about, in reel and rout The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch’s oils, Burnt green, and blue and white. And some in dreams assur’ed were Of the Spirit that plagued us so; Nine fathom deep …’

  • Tom Welsh

    ‘A close second despair-inducing moment was Jo Swinson’s interview following the debate when, asked if she would press the nuclear button, she replied without a millisecond of hesitation: “yes”’.

    I am always surprised when intelligent people – especially those with some experience of politics – get upset about what politicians say.

    Surely we all understood, years ago, that politicians always say what they think will be most advantageous for them – without the slightest regard for objective truth?

    This is a classic case; indeed a perfect example. Rightly or wrongly, various nations have invested hundreds of billions in their thermonuclear deterrents. Apart from providing employment (for scientists, technicians, workers, civil servants and politicians) a thermonuclear deterrent rests on one proposition: “if you bomb us, we will bomb you”. Carried to its logical conclusion, this includes the “dead man’s hand” or Doomsday option (such as Russia’s Perimeter system) which guarantees retaliation even if all decision makers have been killed by a first strike.

    What is the point of all that, if you are going to pledge never to use the bloody thing? Indeed, the whole point of a Doomsday option is to guarantee that there will be retaliation.

    If a political leader is going to promise never to use thermonuclear weapons, it would be far better not to have them. After all, they can accomplish nothing if they don’t deter. Worst of all, if the promise of retaliation is not believed, possession of nuclear weapons guarantees obliteration in any nuclear exchange.

    Notice that this is a purely technical issue. It has nothing to do with the ethical and political questions of whether to have thermonuclear weapons. Personally, I believe that the UK would be wise to get rid of every hint of a nuclear weapon from its entire territory – including American and NATO ones. We would never use them except in the event of a thermonuclear exchange between the USA and Russia – in which case everyone in the world would die anyway.

    • Tom Welsh

      Just to clarify my previous comment, no one is going to believe what any politicians says, no matter in what sense. The Russians, Chinese, and others will make thier plans – and most certainly have, long ago – without the slightest regard to what any Western politician (or indeed, anyone) says.

      Military policies are based on a potential enemy’s capability – absolutely not on what may be believed about their disposition, friendly or otherwise. If someone in the room has a knife, it is prudent to assume they may use it to attack at any moment – even if they are smiling broadly and declaring undying love.

      • SA

        Tom
        The fact that there are now nuclear weapons cannot be undone. But who should have them and for what purpose and how many are needed for this if it was only for deterrence are the questions to be asked.
        The point here as you say is that the nuclear deterrantb that U.K. possesses is meaningless. U.K. is not going to be attacked by anybody unless there is a general war involving the three big powers and we would be part of I guess the US and NATO umbrella. To continue the charade that we have an independent deterrent is the deception here.

      • S

        I think this is a very good point. Putin is not going to say “let’s nuke the UK because Corbyn hesitated to say whether he would retaliate on newsnight in 2017”.

        • glenn_uk

          Indeed. And I can tell you from personal experience, there is very little concern in the Netherlands that we’re about to be nuked because we don’t have such weapons here. The same is true for Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Spain and so on.

          Why the UK is supposed to be a special case, in such imminent danger because – despite having nuclear weapons – a new leader isn’t positively gleeful about launching them has never quite been explained.

          • N_

            There are nuclear weapons in the Netherlands, and in Belgium and Germany. (Source.)

            The Netherlands hosts Mossad’s European HQ too.

          • glenn_uk

            The point being, which you apparently missed, is that nobody is shaking in their boots because Mark Rutte does not express positive eagerness to hit the red button. Never mind the fact these are weapons he doesn’t even control.

  • Mary

    Vote for Corbyn/Labour and obtain justice for the Chagos Islanders. They won’t get any from Raab or Johnson.

    Labour would return Chagos Islands, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to renounce British sovereignty of the remote Chagos Islands and respect a UN vote calling for the archipelago to be handed back to Mauritius. …
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/22/uk-set-to-defy-un-deadline-to-return-chagos-islands

    UK defies UN deadline to return Chagos Islands to Mauritius
    3 hours ago
    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/uk-defies-un-deadline-to-return-chagos-islands-to-mauritius-a4293521.html

    • Kempe

      Labour’s manifesto says only that the islanders would have the right to return home. That is meaningless and a long way from them actually returning.

      • Mary

        The actual words from the Labour manifesto fyi.

        ‘Effective Diplomacy
        Internationalism is at the core of the Labour movement. We recognise our responsibility to confront injustices we see today and to correct the injustices of the past.
        We will:

        Establish a judge-led inquiry into our country’s alleged complicity in rendition and torture, and the operation of secret courts.

        Issue a formal apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and hold a public review into Britain’s role in the Amritsar massacre.

        Allow the people of the Chagos Islands and their descendants the right to return to the lands from which they should never have been removed.

        Uphold the human rights of the people of West Papua and recognise the rights of the people of Western Sahara.

        We have a duty to stand up for the security and sovereignty of our overseas territories, including the Falklands, and for the rights of our citizens and dual-nationals abroad, and will continue fighting for justice on behalf of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other British nationals wrongly imprisoned or suffering mistreatment in captivity abroad.’

        https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/

        OK Kempe?

        • Kempe

          Yes I’ve read it; “right to return” is what it says.

          Incidentally Jallianwala Bagh and Amritsar are different names for the same event!

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