Author Topic: UK politics 2019  (Read 3227 times)

Jubal

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #60 on: November 26, 2019, 08:24:12 AM »
Yeah, I think there's something to be said for "embark on the most ambitious programme you think you can get away with" from a political perspective. We're probably not avoiding big climate change problems, but any amelioration is likely worth having.

It's basically the issue the Lib Dems are talking about most in my constituency - parts of which are below sea level and vulnerable to flooding if sea level rises nad weather extremes worsen.
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Jubal

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2019, 12:19:57 AM »
This campaign is really taking a psychological toll on me. Hearing about people I know, or friends of friends, getting death threats a lot in this campaign, I think even more than last time. And I'm just sick of the constant screwing with the truth that makes it impossible to even talk about things because people have a label on you and a bullarmadillo caricature of your views ready before you open your mouth. I'm so tired and I just feel like I'm being psychologically seal-clubbed, mainly by the nominally "left wing" parts of my acquaintance circles.
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dubsartur

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2019, 08:17:12 AM »
Are you talking about face-to-face or antisocial media?

Because of the collapse of first the media, and then blogging, ever-stupider ideas seem to to circulate.  I am worried that my friends 5-10 years younger than me seem far less politically aware (although sometimes ignorance is deliberate, for the reason Upton Sinclair described: I remember when a New Zealand friend (and former infantryman) had to bite his tongue and explain to an outraged gaming forum in the mid-oughties why someone's players were fighting to the death rather than let their characters be captured by bandits pretending to be US marines in postapocalyptic Australia.  Gamers hate their characters being captured in the best of circumstances, and American security forces this century are not scrupulously correct in their treatment of prisoners even in a world which is not going all shiny and chrome).
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 09:56:37 AM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2019, 08:30:19 AM »
In my personal case I mainly get it via social media but it happens as much in person - one of the candidates I work with got a threat of being shot in person recently. And there's a big extent to which I have to conceal the extent of my outrage at some things when around friends or family who have bought into certain world views that I think are fundamentally at odds with the truth and/or cover for deeply immoral actions on the part of those they support.
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dubsartur

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2019, 12:49:14 PM »
I am certainly confused at all the Americans on social media passing around suggestions that what the world needs is for the US government to take charge of censoring the big social media platforms ... because the people in the eastern USA in charge of such a program would totally be more in agreement with the complainers' values than the similar people in California ::)  Doesn't anyone remember what it was like trying to share information on contraception in North America in the middle of the last century?  Let alone the situation in the Soviet bloc or China?  This is not ancient history this is their own and their parents' and their friends' lived experience!

Do the British media have a lot to say about misinformation and foreign interference this election?

dubsartur

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #65 on: November 30, 2019, 09:31:42 PM »
Other than the horrors like death threats against candidates and all this nastyness against people in the UK born outside it, and the Br****-word, what are people talking about this election?

I see there is a university strike in the UK and Labour released a dossier where the Conservatives indicate that they might be willing to privatize parts of the NHS as part of trade negotiations after Brexit.

Hearing of UK Labour as a left-wing party is strange to me, because we associate them with Tony Blair, authoritarian 'anti-terrorist' policies and mass surveillance, and the invasion of Iraq.  Obviously the current leader sees some things differently than Blair did!

Jubal

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2019, 12:31:58 AM »
Yeah, Labour has tacked significantly economically leftwards - which they were always better at than socially liberal ideas. So Labour is promising eye-wateringly large increases in the size of the state, largely reversing the 1980s privatisations of utilities under Thatcher as well as significantly bigger centralised education and social care services in particular, as well as big pledges on free childcare, free university tuition, and so on - whatever it is, Labour is probably pledging to spend a lot of money on it. Labour has moved socially somewhat more liberal since Blair too, but that's a much harder point for the party - a few weeks ago it looked like Labour might be fighting the election as a soft-Remain people's vote type party, but had to row back under pressure from more socially conservative union leaders and now are claiming to be "neutral" on Brexit. Similarly, their party conference endorsed retaining free movement of people, which got scrapped for the manifesto. Corbyn is basically running as a big-state, centralising, soft-isolationist democratic socialist, which is in and of itself fair enough albeit not really my flavour of politics. In some ways that's very different to Blair, who was much more generally seen as centrist and more internationally interventionist, but Labour still often rolls out bits of Blair era rhetoric, and the Labour offer of big public service spending in a very centralised way along with a pretty mixed position on social issues is still if framed that way not so dissimilar to where it was under Blair and Brown.

As to what people are talking about in the media/nationally:
  • Hating all the party leaders, who all have atrocious approval ratings.
  • Labour's messaging is mostly "you have to vote for us to stop the Tories, Lib Dem and Green votes will let the Tories in, Lib Dems and Greens are all Tory enablers and all kill babies". I'm seeing a lot of that.
  • Labour's major antisemitism crisis, which keeps hanging around them like an albatross, not least because Corbyn clearly thinks he's done nothing wrong and doesn't want to apologise for it so journalists have worked out that they can make him look terrible by just hitting him with that question repeatedly.
  • Johnson vs the Press. He's basically bullied the BBC into giving him the interviewer he wanted, not the one they wanted to interview him, and he's been threatening Channel 4 after they empty chaired him when he didn't turn up to a climate change debate and instead sat a melting ice sculpture on his podium.
  • Security, because we just had people get stabbed in a terror attack. So the Tories are playing the tough on crime card very heavily and Labour are pointing out that they've been in No 10 for nine years now and things that go wrong are probable their fault.
  • Tactical voting and whether it can remove the Conservatives, who still hold a solid but not entirely robust polling lead.

Interestingly this is completely different from the list of things people seem to want to know about locally: my local candidate's campaign has recieved maybe three or four communications on the subject of Brexit, none on tactical voting - what people seem to be most willing to write to us about is animal welfare standards, climate change action, and many different aspects of the NHS and social care.
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dubsartur

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2019, 08:09:47 AM »
That is fascinating!  I find that what journalists do well is investigating things, providing context, and stating facts that not everyone knows, helping to build a consensus about the state of the world in other words, but instead the old professional havers-of-opinions in national capitals and one or two other cities are holding out (and often getting even more provocative and off-the-cuff and less considered and evidence-based) while the first three activities have collapsed, especially locally.  And people notice that the world the talking heads are talking about is not the world they live in or hear at the local cafe, and they stop subscribing, so the journalists have even less resources for reporting (back in the 2000s, that was "the blogs I read have way more thoughtful comments than the opinion columns of the national paper I read, maybe I will cancel my subscription when I sign up for Netflix").

I don't understand how people last more than two elections without noticing that they are always told that this election is the most important of a lifetime and they have to vote for big party X to stop big party Y from Zing.  Do you think those messages are aimed at people who don't really follow politics but might vote this year?

If the Labour party is officially neutral on Brexit, are individual campaigns different depending on the position of the local Labour candidate?

Pentagathus

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #68 on: December 02, 2019, 08:00:03 AM »
I'm not sure if it's even worth registering to vote this year since I'm living in a very safe conservative seat. If I did I guess Labour would be the most tactical use of my vote, I suppose it's possible that enough people will either vote brexit party or just not turn up cos of the old brexit shizzle. Ehh.

Glaurung

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #69 on: December 02, 2019, 11:57:43 PM »
I'm not sure if it's even worth registering to vote this year since I'm living in a very safe conservative seat. If I did I guess Labour would be the most tactical use of my vote, I suppose it's possible that enough people will either vote brexit party or just not turn up cos of the old brexit shizzle. Ehh.
It's now too late to register to vote for this general election :(

If you have already registered, then please vote. Assuming your politics is somewhere to the left of Genghis Khan, I recommend you vote tactically for whoever's most likely to get the Tory out. Alternatively, every vote for a party that doesn't form part of the government ensures that they get a certain amount of so-called "Short money" to help cover the costs of being the opposition, so you could choose which party you wanted to support in that way.

Jubal

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #70 on: December 03, 2019, 12:11:06 AM »
Quote
I don't understand how people last more than two elections without noticing that they are always told that this election is the most important of a lifetime and they have to vote for big party X to stop big party Y from Zing.  Do you think those messages are aimed at people who don't really follow politics but might vote this year?

I think those statements have a whole range of functions:
  • For people who don't follow politics, especially a lot of younger voters, it gives Labour's framing as the initial one for the election and starts the most important process for Labour's survival, namely the delegitimisation of the Greens and Liberal Democrats.
  • For people in Labour circles, it's a reaffirmation of creed: building Labour group identity by getting them to reproduce "you have to vote Labour", then any negative reactions they get often just serve to reinforce their belief that the other parties and their voters are All Bad. Reproducing group absolutism helps press people to buy into it and conflate it with moral absolutism.
  • To people who are on the left and in the relative minority who are outside Labour circles, it's psychological bombardment. By having it hammered repeatedly and loudly at LD, SNP, or Green activists that Labour is the only moral choice, it makes those people feel isolated, less willing to express their own position, and in some cases just fully retreat and back Labour under social pressure.
  • For Conservative-leaning voters, it frames the election as a binary and makes them less likely to switch to voting Lib Dem, Green, or Brexit Party. This actually doesn't work in Labour's favour much in terms of actually winning elections, but helps kill off smaller parties and therefore perpetuates Labour's dominance of the centre-left.


Quote
If the Labour party is officially neutral on Brexit, are individual campaigns different depending on the position of the local Labour candidate?

Yes, wildly so. Our Labour opponent in SW Norfolk is going for "this election isn't really about Brexit", some northern Labour candidates and figures, notably the elected mayor of Greater Manchester, have said they'll back Leave whatever happens, while in Cambridge Labour are touting themselves as the best pro-EU choice. It's amazingly incoherent.


Quote
I'm not sure if it's even worth registering to vote this year since I'm living in a very safe conservative seat. If I did I guess Labour would be the most tactical use of my vote, I suppose it's possible that enough people will either vote brexit party or just not turn up cos of the old brexit shizzle. Ehh.

As Glaurung said, deadline is passed. Also, incidentally, why you shouldn't bother about tactical voting in safe Tory seats (or at least why it's way, way more complex than tactical voting in marginals) is something I'm going to try writing a blog on soon, so vote for whoever you think should get that sweet sweet short money.


Quote
somewhere to the left of Genghis Khan

I'm also sure there must be a "how far right actually was Genghis Khan" blogpost to be written at some point...
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Pentagathus

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2019, 08:45:30 PM »
Ah, no voting for me then.

dubsartur

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2019, 09:16:03 PM »
It still does not make sense though, say that stuff about "this is a uniquely important election and if you care about X you have to vote for big party Y to stop big party Z" in public, your audience points and laughs, and you lose all credibility with anyone who can think forever.

I'm also sure there must be a "how far right actually was Genghis Khan" blogpost to be written at some point...
"Hi, I am Khagan of the Mongols, Ruler of the Four Corners.  I understand that your queen or assembly or whatever you have has spent three years debating whether to leave their overking or federation or something like that.  Remote mountainous and boggy regions are threatening to secede from you.  Have you considered the Mongol Empire?  I get things done: in three years one of my generals could conquer the Kharwazam Shah, finish off Persia, and raid Baghdad while I was ravaging China.  Corruption vanished after the first public executions.  We have freedom of movement: with one of my special golden passes, not even the fleas will dare to bite you.  Freedom of religion is our specialty, as long as you pay your taxes and provide your conscripts you can worship any Powers you like, and if you are especially lucky I might visit this place called 'Oxbridge' to question your local savants.  And lands which freely submit get a one-time-only, no pillars of skulls guarantee!"
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 07:45:02 PM by dubsartur »

Pentagathus

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #73 on: December 06, 2019, 07:03:39 PM »
Sorry if I'm being dense, but what is your first paragraph referring to?

dubsartur

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Re: UK politics 2019
« Reply #74 on: December 07, 2019, 10:26:34 PM »
Sorry, I edited my post to be clearer.  I am in a difficult personal situation so not the most friendly and articulate.