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The Politics Thread 2020

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16 hours ago, DennisNedry said:

On the NHS pay rise thing (not sure whether to put this in the unpopular opinions thread):

 

1) NHS staff already got an inflation busting pay rise starting from 2018. https://fullfact.org/health/nhs-pay-whats-deal/

2) The 2018 deal, and this proposed 1%, is likely to be the best public sector increase this year. I work in Local Government, and my wage has been frozen. (Not complaining, just using as a comparison).

3) An awful lot of people have lost their jobs or been furloughed on 80% pay. Be grateful for a steady, guaranteed (sick pay) wage and a great pension.

4) Yes, A&E nurses etc have had a ****ing hard year, and I commend them for that. But:

a) Lots of nurses in non-emergency wards have had an easier than average year. I only know one nurse but the department she works in has had capacity reduced so much in the past year, she spends a lot of time cleaning or sitting around chatting. Not her fault, of course, but hardly deserving a huge pay rise. And, of course, we've all seen them dancing in the corridors. Hardly looks back-breaking for a lot of them.

b) It's literally your job. Sorry!

Permanent discounts everywhere as well 

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25 minutes ago, UpTheLeagueFox said:

Not gloating...more concerned that the opposition is a mess which isn't good for democracy.

 

The "gloating" dig was directed more at @BlueSi13

After all, you were fair enough to post the important good news from Fortissat, North Lanarkshire.:D

 

I'd have shared your concern about the opposition being a mess under Corbyn, but agree with @Voll Blau that this is too early to judge the opposition under Starmer.

This may be as good as it gets for the Tories and as bad as it gets for Starmer, who has a difficult job opposing a govt handling a national crisis, overseeing a successful vaccination programme (albeit after a disastrous record on prevention) and giving folks loads of cash (short-term).....

 

Though I'd never rule out the potential for Labour to shoot itself in the foot! :D

 

 

Edited by Alf Bentley
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38 minutes ago, Alf Bentley said:

 

Clear proof of an SNP collapse and Labour resurgence in Scotland. :ph34r:

 

More seriously, as someone who doesn't want to see the UK break up, I'm cheered by little things like this and the first Scottish independence poll for ages without a pro-Indy majority.

Bit confused by this result. It seems SNP vote went up, but Labour gained the seat from SNP?! 

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25 minutes ago, Nuneatonfox in Manchester said:

Permanent discounts everywhere as well 

To be fair yeah, I reckon the 10% off at Domino's or whatever makes it all worthwhile when you spend months risking your own life at work every day. :rolleyes:

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1 minute ago, BlueSi13 said:

Can't imagine shit like this helps Labour or Starmer one little bit.

 

https://www.itv.com/news/wales/2021-03-05/the-united-kingdom-is-over-drakeford-says

 

The United Kingdom 'is over', Drakeford says

Boris was right to call devolution a disaster.  

Hardly. He's effectively calling for greater devolution, which is one of Starmer's pet projects too.

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8 minutes ago, bovril said:

Bit confused by this result. It seems SNP vote went up, but Labour gained the seat from SNP?! 

 

As well as what Voll Blau said....

 

It seems the outgoing councillor was originally elected as SNP but was then re-elected as an Independent.....which would explain how the SNP vote could rise, yet it be seen as a Labour gain from SNP.

 

Further proof that it's always wise not to set too much store by individual council results.

A result may not be meaningful re. party politics if the incumbent is viewed locally as useless/corrupt, the challenger runs an exceptionally good campaign etc..

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1 minute ago, Voll Blau said:

Hardly. He's effectively calling for greater devolution, which is one of Starmer's pet projects too.

Yes wanting more power to accelerate the break-up of the UK.  Very dangerous ground for Labour to be standing on.  

 

Again feeds the appeasement narrative that they aren't willing to defend the very idea of the United Kingdom.  Not as some "voluntary association of four nations" but rather as a single unified country and people. 

 

Total gift to the Conservatives who are increasingly looking like the only party to vote for if you're pro-Union in Wales and Scotland.

 

 

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I’ve said it before but Labours issue is that there was a large minority of people in the country who loved Corbyn and his policies (at least 20-30%). They are among Labours most loyal voters. Since the last general election they’ve completely disregarded that core group of voters and then wonder why they are polling lower. 

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1 hour ago, UpTheLeagueFox said:

Not gloating...more concerned that the opposition is a mess which isn't good for democracy.

I don’t think they are in a mess and I don’t think you can take Starmer lightly because of these polls.

A move to the Centre was always going to lose the extreme loonies and it will take time for the moderates to trust again. It might take more than 5 years but for me he is on the right path.

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4 minutes ago, Strokes said:

I don’t think they are in a mess and I don’t think you can take Starmer lightly because of these polls.

A move to the Centre was always going to lose the extreme loonies and it will take time for the moderates to trust again. It might take more than 5 years but for me he is on the right path.

The issue is the ‘extreme loonies’ (interesting choice of words) I don’t think have ever abandoned the Labour Party like they are now. I’m not sure there is enough moderate swing voters to make up that void. This might genuinely be the end of the Labour Party.

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33 minutes ago, peach0000 said:

The issue is the ‘extreme loonies’ (interesting choice of words) I don’t think have ever abandoned the Labour Party like they are now. I’m not sure there is enough moderate swing voters to make up that void. This might genuinely be the end of the Labour Party.

They're abandoning the Labour Party for what though? Gobbing off on the internet and threatening to spoil their vote so we end up with five more years of Tory Government. Brilliant, that'll show 'em...

Edited by Voll Blau
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3 minutes ago, Voll Blau said:

They're abandoning the Labour Party for what though? Gobbing off on the internet and threatening to spoil their vote so we end up with five more years of Tory Government. Brilliant, that'll show 'em...

Well just from people I talk to who are that way inclined they seem very determined to vote Labour. Most seem to be suggesting Green. My point is even losing 5-10% of their supporters will make it so hard for them to ever gain power again. They are already wounded by losing so many seats in Scotland, I struggle to see how they can take many more blows.

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45 minutes ago, Strokes said:

I don’t think they are in a mess and I don’t think you can take Starmer lightly because of these polls.

A move to the Centre was always going to lose the extreme loonies and it will take time for the moderates to trust again. It might take more than 5 years but for me he is on the right path.


This is about right, this is also the most successful period of Johnson’s premiership since he won the election. I’d be concerned if Johnson wasn’t pulling a few points ahead at this stage.

 

I don’t think an opposition regardless of effectiveness could really do much in the current circumstance. Really it’s a case of damage limitation and then regaining some ground as the economic realities of Covid become more apparent, I imagine they’ll be pushing for a full enquiry into the pandemic handling once they feel the Vaccine surge has settled down.

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2 minutes ago, peach0000 said:

Well just from people I talk to who are that way inclined they seem very determined to vote Labour. Most seem to be suggesting Green. My point is even losing 5-10% of their supporters will make it so hard for them to ever gain power again. They are already wounded by losing so many seats in Scotland, I struggle to see how they can take many more blows.

 

Labour lost a shedload of usually loyal voters to the Tories last time out and sadly, because of the shit way our electoral system works, those votes matter infinitely more than any who might defect to the Greens. I'm not saying I like it, but it's the way it is.

 

If people want to flounce off because Corbyn's not in charge now then that's their prerogrative, but every time a Tory Government gets re-elected the kind of country they claim to want to see gets further and further from their grasp. But if ideological purity and a few likes on social media are more important to them than Labour actually being in a position to help people, then that's their call...

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3 minutes ago, Voll Blau said:

 

Labour lost a shedload of usually loyal voters to the Tories last time out and sadly, because of the shit way our electoral system works, those votes matter infinitely more than any who might defect to the Greens. I'm not saying I like it, but it's the way it is.

 

If people want to flounce off because Corbyn's not in charge now then that's their prerogrative, but every time a Tory Government gets re-elected the kind of country they claim to want to see gets further and further from their grasp. But if ideological purity and a few likes on social media are more important to them than Labour actually being in a position to help people, then that's their call...

While on the whole I agree I do get the almost sense of betrayal some on the left of the Labour Party are feeling. It almost seems as though the Labour Party leadership don’t even want to entertain them as part of the conversation anymore. So why would they stay loyal? I think they need to be more inclusive as a party and try and be a more broad party that will entertain some left wing fields of thought while keeping it sensible. There just seems no place for those on the left at the minute. 

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Just now, peach0000 said:

While on the whole I agree I do get the almost sense of betrayal some on the left of the Labour Party are feeling. It almost seems as though the Labour Party leadership don’t even want to entertain them as part of the conversation anymore. So why would they stay loyal? I think they need to be more inclusive as a party and try and be a more broad party that will entertain some left wing fields of thought while keeping it sensible. There just seems no place for those on the left at the minute. 

Because if they don't vote Labour, the Tories stay in - it's that simple. These people need to realise that sometimes you have to play the long game. Labour can't do anything in terms of policy unless it's actually in Government.

 

Besides I think Labour is pretty inclusive on the whole, it's just its members on extreme wings of the party that are the gobbiest and seem to prioritise giving each other grief over giving the Tories grief. I equally have no time for the types who love Blair and want Starmer to be a reincarnation of him, by the way. The guy is still pretty toxic among most voters and with good reason.

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I've seen some Corbyn supporters actually state that they want Kier Starmer to get trounced at the next general election, thus enabling another five years of Tory government. The mind boggles. 

Edited by BenTheFox
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2 minutes ago, Voll Blau said:

Because if they don't vote Labour, the Tories stay in - it's that simple. These people need to realise that sometimes you have to play the long game. Labour can't do anything in terms of policy unless it's actually in Government.

 

Besides I think Labour is pretty inclusive on the whole, it's just its members on extreme wings of the party that are the gobbiest and seem to prioritise giving each other grief over giving the Tories grief. I equally have no time for the types who love Blair and want Starmer to be a reincarnation of him, by the way. The guy is still pretty toxic among most voters and with good reason.

I totally agree that they should vote Labour but decisions like this are often done with the heart rather than the head. I was just trying to explain why I think Labour are polling so poorly as it’s pretty unusual at this stage of the parliamentary cycle for the opposition party to be that far behind.

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2 minutes ago, peach0000 said:

I totally agree that they should vote Labour but decisions like this are often done with the heart rather than the head. I was just trying to explain why I think Labour are polling so poorly as it’s pretty unusual at this stage of the parliamentary cycle for the opposition party to be that far behind.

Fair enough, but this is no ordinary parliamentary cycle. Time will tell I guess...

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6 minutes ago, peach0000 said:

I totally agree that they should vote Labour but decisions like this are often done with the heart rather than the head. I was just trying to explain why I think Labour are polling so poorly as it’s pretty unusual at this stage of the parliamentary cycle for the opposition party to be that far behind.

I think Keir Starmer coming in after Corbyn was always going to alienate a section of the Labour support. Corbyn's policies and intentions differed considerably from those of Blair, Brown and Miliband before him. Had Starmer become Labour leader pre-Corbyn then he wouldn't have had these teething problems. 

Edited by BenTheFox
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2 hours ago, Alf Bentley said:

This. 

 

Plus the outcome of the next election will also depend significantly on how Tory post-Covid policies are viewed - especially those that affect voters' lives and finances.

 

That's all electorally positive for the Tories just now - continued (and sometimes increased) Covid financial support measures, no immediate tax rises etc.

But the IFS has questioned post-Covid spending plans: extra health burden from Covid & the big catch-up on postponed treatment for other health problems, yet no increase in health spending; big catch-up on lost education, yet no extra education spending; continued austerity cuts in other spending areas like local councils despite increased inequality, aging population needing social care etc.

 

Other Tory elements less keen on austerity & debt reduction may force Sunak to loosen the purse strings - but that could cause conflict within Tory ranks.

 

Plus a lot will depend on how the economy recovers post-Covid. I'm sure there'll be a short-term upturn in growth, but what will growth and employment look like in 2-3 years. Might be OK, but might not....though if things are bad economically, it's not inevitable that voters will blame the Govt for that.


But all of this is just ‘what’s the downside risk for the government’ and absolutely zero of what Labour can actually offer.

 

What the Labour Party was a master at under Miliband was pointing and going look at them they’re bad, we’ll be less bad. Under Corbyn it was look at them, they’re awful awful people, have some free stuff but at least there was some sort of vision even if credibility was questionable. Under Starmer, its back to look at them they’re bad, we’ll be less bad. Idc what crisis is happening, what lame excuses people want to make about not doing politics in a national crisis, he has been in the job nearly a year and offered no vision or point of difference. He could have spent last summer laying out a plan for social care, he could be spending now laying out a plan for social care, or just some sort of policy suggestion would be a start
And it’s not like Starmer offered anything in his previous 5 years as a politician beyond being at the head of getting Brexit so wrong.

 

 And that’s reflects in the way you talk about the matter, it’s not what Labour can do, it’s not about Labour’s upside risk, it’s all the government’s downside risk

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25 minutes ago, Kopfkino said:


But all of this is just ‘what’s the downside risk for the government’ and absolutely zero of what Labour can actually offer.

 

What the Labour Party was a master at under Miliband was pointing and going look at them they’re bad, we’ll be less bad. Under Corbyn it was look at them, they’re awful awful people, have some free stuff but at least there was some sort of vision even if credibility was questionable. Under Starmer, its back to look at them they’re bad, we’ll be less bad. Idc what crisis is happening, what lame excuses people want to make about not doing politics in a national crisis, he has been in the job nearly a year and offered no vision or point of difference. He could have spent last summer laying out a plan for social care, he could be spending now laying out a plan for social care, or just some sort of policy suggestion would be a start
And it’s not like Starmer offered anything in his previous 5 years as a politician beyond being at the head of getting Brexit so wrong.

 

 And that’s reflects in the way you talk about the matter, it’s not what Labour can do, it’s not about Labour’s upside risk, it’s all the government’s downside risk

 

I agree that relying on economic circumstances or govt policies making the Tories unpopular is not enough for Labour. I agree that Labour also needs to offer some vision and distinctive policies - and hasn't done so yet.

 

I disagree that 4 years before the election, in the midst of a national crisis is the right time to present that vision, announce an exciting new policy for social care or whatever. I think it would have got little media or public attention due to the dominance of Covid coverage. If it had surprisingly cut through, the public might have been bemused at why Labour wasn't focusing on the crisis at hand. In the unlikely event that Labour had announced some great new popular idea for social care, the Tories would probably have taken it, made a few adaptations, given it a new name and announced it as their new policy in 1-2 years.

 

Now that the core health aspect of the Covid crisis is hopefully winding down, it should be better timing for Labour to start to present more of an economic and social vision of the future - not least as the public focus is likely to switch from the health crisis to the economy and what sort of society we want post-Covid. I assume that the recent policy announcement on recovery bonds for investment was a small start in this. Likewise, I assume that Starmer's budget focus on Sunak's lack of extra provision for the recovery of our health and education systems presages a focus on the need for extra investment in public services v. Tory austerity. That's hardly new policy for Labour but might have new relevance given post-Covid strains on public services (e.g. delayed NHS operations). I'd hope to see further elements of that vision - and new policies - over the next 1-2 years. Some of those might be amended versions of Corbyn-era policies: McDonnell's National Investment Bank, Green New Deal, better care provision & integration of health and care services etc.

 

I'll be massively disappointed if Labour doesn't offer more vision in the next 1-2 years. But I don't think they should have done so 4-5 years out from the election, mid-pandemic.

 

A comparison: at this stage of the 1992-97 parliament, Blair hadn't even become Labour leader, never mind laid out all his New Labour project.

 

Admittedly, Labour was already well ahead in the polls under John Smith in 1993, due to Black Wednesday. But that's part of the point I'm making, too: govt performance/events are often decisive in elections. There are grounds for the old cliché that "governments lose elections, oppositions don't win them". I'm sure you're not suggesting that 1979 was due only to Thatcher's vision, not the Winter of Discontent, that 1997 was all about New Labour, not Black Wednesday or that 2010 was due to Cameron's genius and nothing to do with the Global Financial Crash. I agree that oppositions have to have an alternative, winning vision - at the right time (not too early) - and look a credible alternative govt. Starmer has concentrated on the latter so far, but will hopefully shift to more vision in the next couple of years.

 

The way I talked about the matter was in response to people assuming that, because Labour's current polling is poor, it is doomed for 2024. I disagree. Most of the race is yet to be run - and the Tories face a difficult few years.

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