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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  • 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.

      • 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.

          • 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


        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


            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


            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


            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”:

          • 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”

            ‘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’

  • 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

  • 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…”

      “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.”

      • 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


      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


        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.

  • 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


      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. 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.

      “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… steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel….”

      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


      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

        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. …

    UK defies UN deadline to return Chagos Islands to Mauritius
    3 hours ago

    • 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.’

        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!

  • DiggerUK

    Labour need those Scottish constituencies to be in with a chance of getting elected.

    Anybody who is a supporter of Indyref2 knows a Labour government is the only government that could deliver a new referendum. SNP will never be a UK government, tories and liberals won’t countenance the idea of a referendum on independence.

    Scottish Nationalists need a Labour Government, it’s the only possible way to Indyref2,….and you get decent fast fibre broadband as part of the deal…_

    • Republicofscotland

      “Scottish Nationalists need a Labour Government, it’s the only possible way to Indyref2,….and you get decent fast fibre broadband as part of the deal…_”

      Second point first Corbyn said he wants free broadband for all by 2030, now I’m no mathematician but wouldn’t that mean he’d need to win at least another term in office?

      First point Labour can never be trusted 1979 proved that beyond doubt.

      • DiggerUK

        @ROS. 1979 was 40 years ago. A motion of no confidence meant an election was called. Thatchers Tories came to power. Does the phrase ‘Tartan Tory’ not get remembered? Revenge is best served when noses don’t get cut off faces.

        Wise people learn from history, fools repeat it.

        Now you have a decision, do you really want Indyref 2. If you do then only a Labour victory can deliver. As you say, Labour need two terms, don’t you think the SNP can force a deal off labour in that time.._

    • N_

      There’s no mandate for indyref2. If they want one, the SNP should call for an extraordinary Holyrood general election. Problem with that?

      As for fast broadband, most of the talk about it is c*ck. What proportion of the population would notice if their bandwidth halved or doubled?

  • Dungroanin

    LBC and Mair gratuitously shoving the Handy Andy ‘crisis’ down the ears of the listeners – completely ignoring the election manifesto’s including their Niges. Also pathetic about pushing the Trump impeachment with their correspondent whoclaims to be a personal friend of Fiona Hill ofthe NSC ‘proving’ that potus did what potus is entitled to do – no question of why SHE didn’t make a complaint, or NSC lawyer or the senior borgs like pompeo qnd bolton….

    On the anniversary of JFK’s public execution- they are lining up another outsider for messing with their self given right to do what they like.

  • Allan Howard

    Regarding the debate, the so-called Campaign Against Antisemitism posted this vile black propaganda piece on their website a couple of days ago, in which they condence TWO falsehoods into the headline:


    Needless to say, it is a lie – a falsehood – that Jeremy lied, and it is also a falsehood that the audience laughed (when Jeremy responded to the question about A/S), and anyone who watched the debate will be aware that THAT is the case. But then again, the CAA black propagandists probably realise that even of those who watched the debate – and I assume that most of the people who visit the CAA website are Jewish – they will believe the CAA that THAT is what happened. And the CAA propagandists realise, that even though they put a link to the debate (and at the end of the article mentioned where that particular part of the debate begins), the vast majority of people who DIDN’T watch it when it was aired, won’t bother to watch it.

    This is probably as good an example as any of the fact that the CAA blatantly lie to their readers about Jeremy Corbyn (and in the quotes they give to the MSM) and, as such, please share far and wide with anyone you know that has been duped by the whole smear campaign during the course of the past four years or so. And ask THEM to share it and so on.

    • Republicofscotland

      What is the point of providing a link to a firewalled article that you cannot read. I mean the FT is unreliable at the best of times when it comes to the EU without you linking to a paywalled article.

      I’d imagine most parties are promising to spend, spend, spend because they want to gain more MPs. Tell me why shouldn’t Lagarde urge governments or potential governments/coalitions to spend money on improving peoples lives?

    • Hatuey

      Any economist worth listening to, and there are only a few — economics is not scientific (despite what some would have you believe) — will tell you not only that capitalism basically implodes when there’s no money at the base of the triangle but that the only way to fix the economy when it does implode is to stimulate the base.

      Even right wing economists accept the above. Indeed, right wing economists believe you can stimulate the base by cutting taxation and public expenditure. With that they reveal the same understanding and goal. There’s very little evidence, though, that cutting taxation and public spending has ever stimulated any economy anywhere, ever.

      • Loony

        Capitalism has already imploded. We are living in a financial zombie apocalypse.

        Capitalism is about creative destruction – i.e. getting rid of companies or industries that have no value. That is why today there are no jobs for gas lighters. However banks spewing $trillions in bizarre and incomprehensible derivatives have been prevented from collapse by the power of the state

        By definition capitalism requires the assembly of capital – hard to see how you can assemble capital with positive inflation and zero interest rates. Inflating the value of property and stock prices is not capital creation.

        No-one has ever cut public spending – and no-one has any intention of doing so. The so called period of austerity was coincidental with massive and unprecedented increases in public expenditure – it was just that it was used to prop up insolvent banks and buy rockets and guns as opposed to being spent on things of public value.

        • Hatuey

          “No-one has ever cut public spending”

          Everything else you said was opinion of the sort we can get on infowars 24/7, but we can easily invalidate the above. Labour cut public revenue between 2008 and 2010.

    • michael norton

      This money forest ideology must be a group madness
      all trying to outvie each other rivals.
      It is palpable twaddle, again, they are taking the voting public ( if they believe these lies) as fools.

      • AKAaka

        Tory lies certainly. Tried and tested. With no change at all they suddenly have all this money that they plan to spend spend spend. Why now? How now and not before?? Because it’s an election and it’s all bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, they will spend spend spend. Straight into the pockets of big business, cushty back room deals setting themselves up for generations after politics. Business as usual. Meanwhile those businesses fuck off with all the cash leaving nothing to show for it. Labour on the other hand talk of real change. Ending this racket and instead investment in our own big business. The Tory lies are clear, whereas Labour have a very real radical and credible plan for change in black and white that you can see with your own eyes. For God’s sake get out and vote people, lets end them.

      • Mary

        I am just saying that another election just to suit Johnson’s agenda is a total waste of £141m (the cost is probably more now) We have stagnation and dissent. People are fed up to the teeth with ALL politicians.

        • Hatuey

          You don’t speak for “people”. You certainly don’t speak for me. I just watched a studio full of people discuss politics for two hours on live TV. Not one said they were “fed up to the teeth”. In actual fact, I don’t think I have ever seen the levels of interest and engagement on politics that we are seeing now. Not ever.

          You’re entitled to be wrong, of course. But here you are discussing politics.

          • giyane


            Politics is the art of being annoying. Wind somebody up and you have succeeded in destroying their intellectual energy.

            Melting thousands of tonnes of working gas boilers and burning coal to make new ones is stupid. It’s the Labour Party winding us up just like the Tories wind us up with Novichok and Chavos Islands.

            You have to give it to Corbyn, winding us all up by not taking a position on Brexit is both intellectually and anally retentive. Nil carborundum.

            When the purpose if politicians of all hues is psychological mind games there are two possible outcomes. Either people rise to the bait and get Fed up.
            Or people take no notice and politicians are ignored.
            Mary may not speak for anybody but herself but we are the losers if we allow the annoying turds to skid us down to the level of their stupid mindgames

  • Allan Howard

    For anyone thinking of putting a batch of leaflets together to stick through peoples doors, here’s some material (by Jewish Voice for Labour) that exposes the falsehoods regarding the main allegations of A/S made against Jeremy Corbyn:

    Briefing for canvassers: Challenging false allegations of antisemitism

    PS And don’t forget to say at the end of it to Please Copy and/or Scan and Circulate to Friends and Family and Neighbours Etc.

    • Loony

      Posting rubbish through peoples doors must have a negative environmental impact.

      If the planet is dying then surely then surely we need an immediate cessation of posting purposeless propaganda. Maybe someone should inform Extinction Rebellion about your urging people to contribute to the acceleration of planetary destruction by way of leafletting.

      • Allan Howard

        What a totally asinine comment. Loony even! I assume you’re a Tory shill. Now if you’d been saying to encourage them to use recycled paper, then I would of course have agreed. And needless to say, just about everyone these days puts their paper/leaflets that they discard in their recycle bin. And since when did exposing the propaganda lies and falsehoods that have been concocted about Corbyn and the left amount to propaganda!

        Anyway, for the REAL posters on here, and anyone reading through the comments, the following is an excellent article by Kitty Jones:

        Media misrepresentations of the Labour party are being used strategically to create left wing folk devils and moral panic

  • Tom74

    It is potentially quite a shrewd strategy from Labour – shore up the traditional Labour vote with the radical manifesto, while counting on Remain voters to choose Labour’s referendum over Johnson (and over the Lib Dems and the associated risks of either propping up Johnson’s government or helping Tory candidates). The radical manifesto also has the benefit of keeping everyone talking on domestic matters so that Johnson’s Brexit pitch gets muddied in other issues.
    Time will tell but I’m cautiously optimistic of at least a hung Parliament. Johnson doesn’t come across to me as a winner in either the Thatcher or a even the Cameron mould.

    • N_

      He could be one in the John Major 1992 mould. Or he could get a landslide. Remember the Tory voteshare went down in 1983 when Thatcher got her largest majority. Certainly the Tories have a lot of playing pieces on the table – including the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party, the Jewish Chronicle, and, according to what I’m hearing, the Catholic Herald.

      What Labour need is a Zinoviev letter with the boot on the other foot this time. Vengeance for 1924! Fight dirty and win it.

      • AKAaka

        That tactic only exists, and should only exist in the Tory play book. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tories use it now. They need it, we don’t. We need to get out and vote. It’s obvious when you see these leaders in public it should be a Corbyn landslide.

        Give lifts (whatever their voting intention, that’s just who we are) (especially to those who might be planning to use a postal vote), plan it, spread the word, get out and vote these corrupt bastards out. I’ve said before that I believe it is rigged, but I don’t believe they can rig it completely, so we ALL need to get out and vote these bastards out and I truly believe Labour under Corbyn would put a stop to this degradation of our democracy and our people.

  • Sue Jones

    Yes, Labour DO give a toss about climate change. Even Blair’s government came up with the first ever climate change act – drafted by Ed Miliband at the time. Corbyn has been consistently concerned about environmental damage and climate change

  • AKAaka

    Well… I knew the Tories were scared of Corbyn, but tonight it looks like Johnson has shit a kidney.

    Will be interesting to see what youGov think they can get away with on tonight’s poll on how the debate went. Corbyn smashed it. In his usual highly professional way of course (infuriating really, because while I want blood, he is able to straight talk factually and rationally). Everyone got a beating, though Sturgeon was very good too. For the record I am conscious of the very real logic in them actively helping a Tory win to promote their own case for independence with the people through misery, even though a ref under the Tories would be rigged (if it ever happened at all), it keeps the party, and its therefore false cause, alive. Actually she was good and I trust her more. Still, vote Labour if it will certainly not open a seat to the Tory scum 😉 The true cause, a fair indyRef2 would then be a very real prospect, even without a coalition.

    All this ON THE BBC of all places! Really dreaded watching what dirty tricks they would play. I avoid BBC like the plague. But I am amazed to say it seemed very fair!! Still, will take a few hundred years before I trust them again.

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