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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  • Dungroanin

    So there we have it – a room mostly occupied by current mp’s and odds and sods outnumbered by the ‘colleagues in the media’!
    Thanks Laura, thanks Robert, thanks Sky, Telegraph & Mail.. and err thanks Rowena for making me waffle and that local kid who I promised a quick spaff!

    The room cleared in 5 mins.
    LBC lickspittle announces ‘bobo has won it’

    They think it’s all over and done – the COLLEAGUES IN THE MEDIA’!

    The ball hasn’t crossed the line and now we have referee review it never will!

    Lol – take care COLLEAGUES.

  • N_

    There doesn’t seem to be much in the Tory manifesto. (As I write, the actual document isn’t out, but key promises have been revealed.)

    NHS] They promise to make hospital car parking free for “protected groups”, i.e. not for most patients and visitors. (They also say it will be free for NHS staff. Gee, thanks. And nurses and hospital cleaners etc. won’t be charged for using the toilets either?) Which company operates most hospital car parks? Do they donate to the Tory party? What are the Tories going to say when they get asked “Why can’t everyone who needs to park in a hospital car park be allowed to without charge?” Will they seriously say “Because that would cost so much to implement” or “Because some people would abuse the right”?

    Dominic Cummings is not running this campaign, but doubtless he is still having a big influence on it. He may be reliving the 2016 referendum. The difference is that whereas in 2016 the Leave side could tell lies about how leaving the EU would help the NHS, and the Tories can now tell the same lies, and therefore Leave corresponds to Tory in that sense, the same is not true on the other side. Whereas Remain couldn’t (or at least didn’t) say much about the NHS, Labour can say a lot about it. Labour are the party of the NHS. It’s good for Labour that NHS policy is one of the battleground issues. Cummings may find he has boxed himself in.

    Young people] The Tories don’t seem to offer anything much to young people. Labour’s promise to abolish tuition fees is a votewinner, and not just with the young.

    Immigration] Unfortunately the “Australian points system” could win votes for the Torties because, like “Brexit”, it is code for “white power”.

    Boris Johnson] The Tories could be in difficulty with Boris Johnson. Bullingdon Club Boris the Adulterer who won’t say how many children he’s got has a lot more that could come out about him than Theresa May’s admission that she once ran through a cornfield. He’s a very vulnerable leader.

    Donald Trump] The Trump visit to Britain on 2-4 December could blow up in Johnson’s face. The (accurate) Labour line is that a Tory Brexit would mean handing over much of what is currently inside the NHS to US private companies. There could be a Trump event that makes this even clearer than it is already, that makes it clear that Labour are right.

    All the running is made by Labour. It’s Labour who’ve got a great reform programme. The Tories are on the defensive. Even those who want Brexit, why should they trust such a bunch of shysters? Labour’s promise on Brexit is far more responsible: the Tories and Liberal Democrats are whingeing about Jeremy Corbyn’s “neutrality” – in other words that he will negotiate a good deal and then let the people decide – because he is outplaying them.

    In the end this comes down to whether swing voters are going to be crazed with anti-immigrant hatred or whether they are going to be able to open their eyes a bit and choose more security, some actual social policy rather than a war of each against all, and what’s best for the future of their children – not a dream of living in a whites-only country but the achievement of decent aims such as getting educated and not being in huge debt for decades.

    Summary
    1) Tuition fees: good for Labour; Tories haven’t got anything to say other than “you gotta pay”.
    2) NHS: Tories think they can fight on this, but seriously!! Those carparks!
    3) Immigration: I like to think less than 42% of the British population are “Enoch was right” “race warrior” cowards and thickos, admirers of Tommy Robinson, but we’ll find out.
    4) Johnson: a weakness.

    • N_

      The Tory manifesto is now out: here. The front has a picture of Boris Johnson wearing a poppy. The back has a picture of a group of middle-aged male manual labourers in overalls displaying a sign saying “We Love Boris” – and guess what, they’re all white.

    • Mary

      Can you imagine the bureaucracy needed to manage the car parking at NHS hospitals under the terms of the Tory plans?

      ‘Hospital parking would become free for people with disabilities, frequent outpatients, parents of sick children staying overnight and NHS staff working night shifts. Parking is already free in Scotland and Wales.’

      At my local district general hospital the private car parking outfit who inherited the management and the revenue of the car park from the NHS Trust, charge as follows:

      1 Hour £3.40
      2 Hours £4.50
      3 Hours £5.00
      4 Hours £5.50
      6 Hours £6.50
      24 Hours £9.50
      Week £20.50
      Disabled – Mon-Sun – All day- Flat Rate £4.00- Week £10.00

      The company carry out no repairs nor maintain the parking ticket machines.

      I worked at the hospital and paid £300 for an annual permit. When attending for radiotherapy treatment in 2014, I had to pay £3 to park each day for six weeks.

    • Stephen Rhodes

      Since it goes to the deep corruption of the NATO institution then yes it is.

      But it has been known for quite a while since proper journalists chased down the White Helmets and the fake new they created for the spooks.

      Similarly, the Skripal affair is equally a fake incident, as debunked at length by the Blogmire, and one that implicates the Foreign Secretary in office at the time.

    • Geoffrey

      Perhaps The Daily Mail put it there today hoping noone would read it.
      The email casting doubt on the report is dated yesterday. So highly current.
      Thus looks like a very significant Mail scoop. Has any other paper mentioned it?

  • N_

    The Tory manifesto promises

    * more competitive sport in schools
    * more use of electronic tagging, including sobriety tags
    * 10000 more prison places
    * tighter curfews
    * sending in police to close down unauthorised traveller camps
    * making migrants pay before they can benefit from the NHS
    * “more homes (for) local families” (hint hint)

    * to support the construction of “the UK Holocaust Memorial” (commemorating the victims of what Germans did in Poland and elsewhere 80 years ago) – interestingly Labour too promises that the curriculum “continues to teach issues like the Holocaust”. Should Armenians f*** off then?

    • Yr Hen Gof

      “Should Armenians f*** off then?”
      And the estimated 20 million Chinese killed by the Japanese too.
      The Rape of Nanjing makes for a very uncomfortable read.

    • nevermind

      what does the Tory manifesto say about family values and morals , if they dare use this word at all? He sees nothing wrong in breaking the law, lying to all and sundry, usurping Parliament with the help of the queen, attacking Corbyn for having no morals when it comes to traditional values, which stink to high heaven, but keeping quiet about his moral obligation as a father, more interested in lying and false news that providing moral substance to his children and ex wife’s
      When did you last talk to your children about Christmas, Boris? what message can bring to other single parents like yourself? Do you really think you can get away with questioning the morals of others, whilst being stumm on your own floundering,. less than responsible personal life?

      Tell us something about family valu8es you don’t have Boris?

  • N_

    Some words from the architect of the NHS, the great Welsh socialist Aneurin Bevan:

    (N)o amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction (…) can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party (…) So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”

    (W)e were attacked on our housing policy by every spiv in the country – for what is Toryism, except organized spivvery?

    • N_

      Not forgetting this one too, also from Bevan:

      We enter this campaign at this general election, not merely to get rid of the Tory majority. We want the complete political extinction of the Tory Party

      • SA

        If only. One can hope that with a leader like Johnson the Tories have finally slid into terminal decay but sadly the press and the ill informed general public seem to like this decaying corpse.

  • SA

    I could cry. Corbyn, the archetypal nuclear disarmament supporter had his thunder stolen by Nicola Sturgeon who is now claiming to be the only one of the 4 major parties in favour of nuclear disarmament.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/24/nuclear-weapon-kill-millions-cold-war-mentality-nicola-sturgeon
    This is so calculating. Nicola knows what Corbyn’s position is but that he had to compromise because of the bloodthirsty Blairites. Of course the SNP can declare for unilateral disarmament because an indipendent Scotland has no need for nuclear arms. It is a kind of under the belt attack on Corbyn.

    • Brianfujisan

      SA

      Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just the SNP – that HAVE ALWAYS BEEN 100% against WMD’s on My river.. Most Scots across All Spectrum’s are against Trident WMD’s.

      Remember too..that Labour in Scotland refuse to stand in Seats that the SNP might win..Allowing the Tories to Gain.. Sickening.

      I Do hope Jeremy Somehow Beats the MSM machine to become PM.

      And I Fight for Independence for Scotland

      P.S Fuck the bbC.. And ITV.. And Sky

      PP.S RT Rule

      • SA

        Brian
        I am just pointing the luxury that Nicola has of being to be so fully and openly anti Bomb , a luxury denied to Corbyn because of political expediency. I can well understand that no sane Scot would want these weapons in their backyard to keep Britain pretending to be a world power.

          • Mary

            Thanks Brian. I will look at it. I had been checking her out including on Wikipedia. She must be tough to have withstood the amount of flak she has received from the Israel lobby and elsewhere.

            Pleased to see that David Cromwell @ Medialens has supported her.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abby_Martin

            There’s a link included to her new work on Gaza. I can’t see it ever coming to the local Odeon!

            ‘In May 2019, Martin briefly released her feature film documentary, The Empire Files: Gaza Fights for Freedom, about the Gaza–Israel conflict, through scheduled select cinema screenings. She plans to release it freely online before the end of August 2019.’

          • Redsheepothefamily96

            Brian, like Mary I applaud you for this very important link. We should all watch this interview and recoil at what the I****lies are doing to Palestinian civilians withe the aid and coercion of westernmedia and governments.

    • Laguerre

      The debate about whether x would or would not push the nuclear button is pointless, as Trident is rented from the US, and there is certainly a back-door which would prevent a launch undesired by the US, or, indeed, could launch without British approval. Do we have any other nuclear weapons? The bombs carried by the Vulcans used in the Falklands War must be obsolete by now.

    • Bramble

      It doesn’t matter what Ms Sturgeon and Mr Corbyn think, because the willingness to press the button is a quality admired by the people who count – the voters. It is the millions of English voters who will only vote for a psychopath who should worry us.

    • N_

      Jo Swinson shows her calibre – she smiles when she declares her willingness to murder hundreds of thousands of civilians (strategic nuclear weapons are designed to be used against cities) and follows it up by grinning in self-admiration when Nina Hossain congratulates her as having uttered a “brilliant” answer, namely “Yes”.

      What about chemical weapons? Or biological weapons? Or murdering similar numbers in extermination camps? Hossain would be signing on the dole now if she’d had the guts to put those questions to Swinson.

      The Tories keep saying a vote for Labour is a vote for a Labour-SNP agreement and for a second indyref. They may well now tie that notion to “defence”, often a word for attacking foreign countries for US business interests and Israel, and for Britain having nuclear weapons, neither of which has the slightest thing to do with defence.

      If Labour were to introduce a bill honouring their manifesto commitment to replace Trident, would SNP MPs vote against? I hope they would vote against rather than abstain.

    • Grouser

      Corbyn and Labour voted to renew Trident. Why are you castigating a leader who is saying they are obscene and should not be on our soil? It is not about undermining anyone’s position; it is standing up for sanity.

  • Dungroanin

    I have had to look deep into the interweb to find ANY indications of how the Friday debate was polled – remember the first debate of a significant number of polled (30k people) was unanimous for Corbyn – so hasn’t it been a surprise that 48 hours later the big pollsters have not pipped a squeak yet ?

    So seat back and grab some popcorn here is what Wales on Line has to report ( i have no underlying data or how many were involved). READY ?

    1. Rate the performance of the four leaders
    Jeremy Corbyn – you rated him nearly eight out of ten
    Nicola Sturgeon – you rated her six out of ten
    Boris Johnson – you rated him five out of ten
    Jo Swinson – you rated her nearly five out of ten

    2. Who won the debate?
    Jeremy Corbyn topped our poll with 60% of the vote.
    Boris Johnson came in with 22%, Nicola Sturgeon with 12% , Jo Swinson with 2% and 6% of you claiming you didn’t know.

    3. Has the debate changed your mind about who to vote for?
    A small 17% of you said yes , while 76% said no .
    Meanwhile, a 7% said they weren’t sure further said they weren’t sure.

    4. Who appeared to have the best ideas?
    Once again Jeremy Corbyn takes the lead of the vote with 61% .
    Boris Johnson came in at 20% , while Nicola Sturgeon had 9% of the vote and Jo Swinson had 4% .
    A further 6% said they didn’t know.

    5. Who would make the best leader?
    Jeremy Corbyn was deemed to be the best leader with 52% of the vote.
    Boris Johnson had 25% and Nicola Sturgeon had 15% .
    Jo Swinson had only 3% of the vote, while 5% claimed they weren’t sure.

    6. Who do you trust the most?
    Jeremy Corbyn came out on top with 55% of the vote, with Boris Johnson behind with 18% .
    Nicola Sturgeon had 15% , Jo Swinson had 4% and 7% claimed they didn’t know.

    7. Whose priorities best match what you think is important?
    More good news for Jeremy Corbyn as he came out with 62% of the vote.
    Boris Johnson was quite behind with 23% , and Nicola Sturgeon took 8% .
    Jo Swinson had 4% , with a further 3% claiming they weren’t sure

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/corbyn-johnson-question-time-leaders-17303868.amp

    Thankyou and goodnight!

    • Antonym

      So typical to keep on ignoring the Brexit party’s Nigel Farage: is he any less apt than the others? Who wants to hear the voice of the native manual workers, not the Right, center or Right. No wonder the UK is dooming itself.

    • Marmite

      Is it just me, or does anyone else feel a total sense of despair when they hear stupidities echoed over and again?

      Was just looking at this:
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/26/johnson-corbyn-sturgeon-vote-snp-leadership-scotland

      How often do these petty-minded mercenary journalists need to repeat the same utter rubbish? Do they have anything inside their head that allows them to think for themselves, and come up with anything other than ‘Sturgeon is grown-up’, ‘Corbyn is not a good statesman’, ‘Boris is a clown’, ‘Jeremy lacks public speaking skills’.

      I wouldn’t really care, but the problem is that in my daily interactions with others, what then happens is that these same cliches are repeated ad infinitum, and I just feel so bored and hopeless.

  • Mary

    Suggestion for a question to be asked of any prospective MP:

    ‘All past investigations have been dropped against Julian Assange and he has served his time in prison for skipping bail, yet on extradition charges at the behest of the US Government he is still being held in Belmarsh top security Prison, (often for long periods in solitary confinement which the UN rapporteur on human rights, states amounts to torture).

    This action by the current UK government crosses international law on asylum and raises serious concerns about sovereignty, torture, and freedom of speech.

    If voted in as our MP how would you address this gross injustice.

    Could you state if, under your watch, a person such as Julian Assange and other publishers and journalists who reveal the truth – including revelations of war crimes, would be viewed as criminals?’

    • Redsheepothefamily96

      Thank you, Mary, an excellent and extremely relevant post. Sadly this wil be overshadowed by those guffawing oafs: get Brexit Done.

      Yes, get the thing finalised, but not at the expense of so much else that should be of interest to us all.

  • N_

    Neat bit of propaganda, the “letter from Nicola” (not the SNP leader) that the Tory campaign put out today from the Boris Johnson Twitter account. Short, cheap, carrying the easy to understand message that “Boris has the respect of ordinary people with middle-of-the-road attitudes who aren’t political activists”.

    The spelling of “God” as “G-d” is an act of baiting against critics of how the Zionist lobby has involved itself in this election. Anyone who comments on it is liable to be labelled anti-Semitic.

    Labour need to run a few tricks like this. I mean before the Trump event and the anti-Zinoviev letter that win this election for Labour in the final 10 days!!

  • nevermind

    Tonights telling view of a South Yorkshire jogger, indicative of a switched off middle class ex Labour constituency. She said ‘ Boris is not trustworthy, but I like him’.
    Sounds almost like a song, made up bu a sixties group and revamped for a total media controlled election campaign, one were newspresenters point out the amazing feat of ‘shimmying’, when you make a comment that one other party’s manifesto is much more expensive as the Conservative party’s aspirational wishful thinking, what absolutely amazing support by a BBC 10pm newsmuppet.

    Almost every day we are told that the polls say that the Torys are miles ahead, with vox pops of ‘normal’ people despising Corbyn thrown in live.

    What a surprise, the ministries of truth, SCL, and those holed up in some godforsaken Scottish Mill, all involved to swing it for the man without children, the father that never was, not now, not at xmas, and not when some of the dull brains of Yorkshire have elected him.
    The BBC is partial to suit the international drang/ desire to keep a principled socialist put of power. Shame on all of them.

    • Hatuey

      If the Tories win a majority, i hardly think it’ll be down to those holed up in Scottish mills… the Tories haven’t won a majority of seats in Scotland in living memory. In England they’ve dominated for about 40 years. I assume everybody here accepts that Blair was a Tory.

      My expectation is that Labour will surprise everybody in this election. Boris is relying too heavily on the Brexit vote and there are hard limits on that vote somewhere in the region of 45% of vote share.

      The more ordinary people think about issues outside of Brexit, the better the chances of the Labour Party. And I think I believe Corbyn when he says he will honour the Brexit vote by giving people a final say on a deal. There’s probably quite a lot of Brexit supporters who believe that too and quite a lot who would be happy with a softer Brexit, negotiated and delivered by Corbyn.

      This election is as much about bread and butter issues for a lot of people as it is about Brexit. People might trust Boris to deliver Brexit but I doubt if many at the lower end of the income scale trust him on bread and butter.

      Nobody anywhere today really believes Brexit will make them better off, not for about 20 years anyway, and on that basis I think a good proportion of pro-Brexit working class types will be tempted to vote Labour; a soft Brexit with massive investment in welfare, jobs, nhs, etc., is a good option for them.

      • SA

        Hatuey
        Nevermind’s referral to the Scottish mills is I think the (lack of) integrity initiative.
        I agree with what you say and this is why Boris’s Gets Brexit done’ has now become an albatross rather than a vote winner.

    • Bayard

      “Almost every day we are told that the polls say that the Torys are miles ahead, with vox pops of ‘normal’ people despising Corbyn thrown in live.”

      They were saying that at the last election, right up to the morning of polling day, and look at the actual result.

  • N_

    The LibDems have suspended their candidate in the safe Labour seat of Hackney North (from their party, that is: they can’t from the ballot paper). It’s the 73014284th “offensive tweet” story. The amusing side is his hilarious response: “Some of my old tweets contain language I’m not proud of, but mostly they’re just the product of someone who talks a lot of sh*t“. Are we supposed to say, “You talk a lot of sh*t? You sound like the ideal person to represent us all in Parliament, mate! Never mind those sourfaced gits who criticise you just because you talk sh*t! You’ve got my vote!”?

  • Hatuey

    I’m personally in an horrible position with this election. The SNP candidate for my area makes me sick. He devotes most of his time to attacking Russia and the other day I noticed him criticising some top British army guy for not stationing enough troops in Scotland. You read all that correctly and I’m not making it up.

    I simply can’t vote for an idiot that thinks these things are priorities. Does he think it was Russia that flatted Iraq or Libya? Does he think it’s Russia that’s arming and supporting Israel and causing them to treat Palestinians like that? If it wasn’t for Russia, Syria and probably Iran would have been whacked by now too.

    I honestly can’t believe a guy like that is even in the SNP. Wtf?

    • SA

      Hatuey
      What is his position on Palestine. In fact what is the SNP position on this issue?
      I think it is now de rigueur to bash Russia. Ben Bradshaw is a specialist on this.
      Another question is will an Independent Scotland renounce nuclear weapons in Faslane but remain under NATO’s nuclear umbrella?

      • Hatuey

        It’s SNP policy to get rid of nuclear weapons. That I’m sure would be the policy whether NATO had an umbrella or not. Are you suggesting they’d be in favour of nukes if NATO didn’t provide an umbrella? No offence, but that’s the sort of stuff the Daily Mirror and Telegraph say…

        As for Palestine, I’m sure the SNP like everyone else claims to want a two state solution, and blah blah blah. Nobody except the US is in a position to do a thing so let’s not pretend anything that any of us says, including the SNP, is ever likely to matter.

    • SA

      Also I seem to have heard somewhere that in one of the discussions that Corbyn was criticised for his support for Morales but that seems to have died the death since it transpired that the coup in Bolivia is by fascists.

    • J Galt

      I take the greatest care to avoid knowing anything about my SNP MP for just these reasons.

      I will do my duty on the 12th and vote SNP but with without much enthusiasm, they are still the only road to independence that I can see.

      The upper SNP hierarchy are infected with this right wing foreign policy bullshit – totally out of step with the membership.

  • SA

    Talking of unilateral nuclear disarmament for U.K. is indeed meaningless without talking about continued membership of NATO and would also apply to an independent Scotland.
    In fact none of the ‘non-nuclear’ NATO members are really nuclear disarmed. When talking about nations with nuclear capabilities it is usual to include only the 5 permanent members of the UNSC plus 3 other Asian states but to this must be added the 26 non-nuclear NATO members which actually means that 34 countries are nuclear powers.
    I know that for labour to bring up membership of NATO now would be suicide, but what should be capitalised on is that at least the expense of maintaining and renewing the nuclear detterant for the benefit of NATO should at least be deducted from our contributions until such a time as we become truly indipendent and regain our sovereignty, not from the EU but from NATO.

    • Brianfujisan

      SA
      ” Talking of unilateral nuclear disarmament for U.K. is indeed meaningless without talking about continued membership of NATO and would also apply to an independent Scotland ”

      Maybe that is for an independent Scotland to Decide..

      • Hatuey

        I think he wants to hold Scotland to a standard that nobody else is held to. We’ve seen these “principled” arguments a million times, heralded by people who for some reason think hypocrisy is the moral high ground.

        • SA

          I think you have somewhat overreacted. I merely point out the inherent irrationality of the whole argument. Presumably Faslane is a cog in NATO’s nuclear policy and possibly an important one, and therefore it may not be possible to disengage the two.
          I do realise that nuclear disarmament has to start somewhere and Scotland’s position is clear and I pointed this out and that sadly this is a luxury denied Corbyn because of this being an unpopular thing to say in England and very popular in Scotland.
          Now as to your accusations of hypocrisy I had taken you to be mire mature than you seem to be. You may have gathered that I am neither a telegraph or mirror reader but choose to lump me with those. Don’t worry I forgive you.
          I am not holding Scotland to higher standards, I admire the ability of a newly independent Scotland to banish nuclear weapons not only by asking for Faslane to be dismantled but to set the argument so that European nations should begin to understand that this is the start of a process and only Scotland could renounce any form of nuclear defence.

    • nevermind

      SA
      ” Talking of unilateral nuclear disarmament for U.K. is indeed meaningless without talking about continued membership of NATO and would also apply to an independent Scotland.
      Nuclear disarmament would just be a first phase of de nuclearisation. It works best if this would be a Europe wide move, with France and UK leading it.
      But this would also mean taking control over foreign US bases that litter the continent, harbouring nukes, they would have to be shut as they are clearly primary targets in any aggression.
      Faslane is just such a place, it harbours nuclear subs with missiles that are under NATO/US control. As are Mildenhall and Lakenheath, all part of such a move in my view.
      We can be as unilateral as we like, but its not just about the actual nuclear weaponry alone, it is also about command centres, bases and nuclear arsenals such as the one near Brian Fujisan’s home round the corner from Faslane.
      Iraq was struck by Israeli jets just for making fissionable material, something to bear in mind.
      Nuclear disarmament can do with some unilateralism to start the ball rolling, but it is a fairly comprehensive set of negotiations which will only work if it is reciprocated by others who equally think that nuclear weapons are not the answer.

      • SA

        The American based in Europe are a sign of colonisation if Europe since WW2 and inability of Europe to form a policy independent of that of US.
        In fact although I am a staunch remainer I feel that there are two major factors that have put me off the EU. The first is that it instead of remaining an economic common market, it has mixed this membership of NATO, a political and military entity that is under direct control of the EU. This has also led to the second problem which is that of incorporating two tiers of nations with unequal development in order to incorporate the former Warsaw Pact countries into an aggressive and not a defensive organisation.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        Corbyn has said “(Assange) should not be extradited to the US”
        https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47904837

        Now the bogus allegations in Sweden are off the table, there is no reason to extradite Assange to any other country.

        In my opinion, the UK should also simply tear up the very unfair US-UK extradition treaty agreed by the two war criminals Bush and Blair.

    • Marmite

      But Patel has got to be one of the most disgusting persons on earth. Hearing her accent is enough to confirm that, without even having to pay attention to the garbage that comes out of that mouth.

      Shouldn’t we be writing to people that are interested in listening (rather than narcissistic Tories, who are typically only interested in listening to themselves speak)?

  • Billy Brexit !

    But there is hope in the results of the Hong Kong local elections. Carrie Lam is in a very difficult position now when the vast majority of the population disagree with her.

  • Mary

    The complete letter that a group of doctors has sent to Priti Patel, plus a list of the signatories.

    An open letter from doctors: Julian Assange “could die in prison”
    24 November 2019
    The following letter was authored by more than 65 eminent medical doctors from the UK and around the world, calling for urgent action to protect the life of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange.
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/25/open-n25.html

    Evidence from Craig and John Pilger is referred to within.

  • Jackie Jake

    The reason the audience laughed is likely because that’s what Corbyn and the left are known for: caring about the poor and only the poor. Corbyn could have made an effort to research what the public think about him and the left and re-framed the argument in a way that shows the danger of global warming to the West – i.e. that when people don’t have the ability to feed themselves and survive, it’s going to lead to chaos in those countries, and extremists may rise to power, who promote militarism and war as the solution – in short, it could all lead to WW3 and millions of deaths. Even without WW3, it will badly affect us as we rely on these countries for manufactured goods and various raw material & other imports. In a globalized world, we can’t ignore the “Third World”.

    Something to that effect – I haven’t fully researched the First-World-Third-World-Nexus and all its consequences!

    Sadly, Corbyn is clueless as a leader, which – and I’m being very charitable here! – may explain his silence regarding the UK violating international law in how it’s treating Julian Assange. But, then, over 200 Labour MPs abstained on, or directly voted for, the “Welfare Reform Bill”, which has led to so much suffering and so many deaths and suicides – what’s one more life?

    I will NOT be voting Labour – Corbyn has done NOTHING to reform this Tory party clone and even less to earn the huge sums he gets.

  • jmg

    Letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn, from a Rabbi of the United European Jews:

    26th November 2019

    Dear Mr Corbyn — Leader of the Labour Party

    I write to you on behalf of the Executive Board of the United European Jews organisation regarding an unusually disturbing declaration that was today reported in the media claiming that the overwhelming majority of British Jews are “gripped by anxiety” at the prospect of a Labour victory in the forthcoming general election.

    Please not that we totally reject and condemn in no uncertain terms these remarks, which does not represent the views of the mainstream chareidi Jews that live in the UK.

    We believe that such assertions are due to propaganda with a political and ideological agenda. An agenda which, I might add, is diametrically opposed to fundamental Jewish values as well as the opinions of tens of thousands of Jews in our community.

    At this time, we also relay our gratefulness for your numerous acts of solidarity with the Jewish community over many years and also welcome your assurances that Labour will do everything necessary to defend the Jewish way of life and protect our rights to practice our religion.

    For all this, we take this opportunity to say: Thank you! Mr. Corbyn.

    Yours sincerely,

    Rabbi Mayer Weinberger
    Director

    The letter from a rabbi that won’t make the front pages of most of the mainstream media | The Canary | 27th November 2019
    https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2019/11/27/the-letter-from-a-rabbi-that-wont-make-the-front-pages-of-most-of-the-mainstream-media/

      • Marmite

        Interesting to see that Haaretz, but I suppose it is one of the less fascist media companies propping up the Israeli state.

        Serious question here now, because my mind is blown by all this, and I no longer really know what is what:

        Does it make me racist toward Caucasian people if I opposed South African apartheid?

        Or does it make me racist toward ‘Aryans’ (is this term even used anymore except by historians) if I condemn the crimes that happened in places like Treblinka?

        Am I racist toward Chinese because I am outraged by what I see happening in that country’s western provinces?

        It seems we live at a time when the ability to reason and think logically has sunk so low that everything is unrecognisable.

        • jmg

          Marmite wrote:
          > Does it make me racist toward Caucasian people if I opposed South African apartheid?

          Apparently, because if you don’t agree with Netanyahu’s politics, then you are called an antisemite. Of course this smear means that half the Israeli population — which opposes Netanyahu — is comprised of antisemites.

          The Rabbi and Executive Board of the United European Jews, who wrote that supportive letter to Corbyn, have to be a bunch of antisemites too.

          • Marmite

            What is interesting, too, is that in its desperation to ‘appear’ as if it is ‘balanced’ (rather than decidedly biased), the mainstream media has to constantly push this antisemitism myth, whenver the more palpable racism of Tory meatheads is reported. This twisted kind of political correctness (at least in appearance, as a cover for plain wickedness) just produces massive distortion. I fear it is that kind of distortion, arising out of a semblance of so-called or self-proclaimed ‘balanced independent journalism’, that is causing so many to incline toward voting Liberal (or the equivalent: SNP).

  • michael norton

    just heard chuka umunna on radio four, he predicts the LibDem lot will will 140 seats.
    he is rather too optimistic, he did seem quite self assured.

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