26 comments posted · 40 followers · following 0

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Tory optimism about th... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, as working-class and minority youth overwhelmingly supported Labour at the last election, I do quite fancy my chances, thanks. Also, if you think that these last seven years of destroying public services, escalating a housing crisis and increasing the debt-load on aspirational young people have done anything to help them 'earn money and succeed in life', then, you are in even more trouble than I thought. The Tories have kicked the foot-ladder from beneath most working-class young and minority people. Also - how, exactly, does dribble-mouthed homophobia help your cause?

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Tory optimism about th... · 4 replies · +1 points

Since many of 'the Corbyn youth' were just under 50 (Labour won with every demographic under the age of 49), then I sincerely doubt this. The truth is that the Tories have stained their reputation with my generation (millennials) and the one above mine (Gen X), with nearly 8 years of austerity, right-wing culture wars and now the isolationism and xenophobia of Brexit. The Tories represent pretty much the antithesis, qualitatively, of the two generations I mention. The Tory base is Baby Boomer - those shaped by decades of right-wing media hegemony and very successful propaganda valorising selfish individualism, deregulation and eurosceptic nationalism. As I say, those things are antithetical to me and my friends. The result of the next election, whenever it comes, should clarify this for you sharply.

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The private sector wou... · 3 replies · +1 points

One reason you're losing the argument with those of us who vote Labour is the maddening obtuseness of your criticisms. Nobody, but nobody, believes Labour will render the state in the shape of North Korea. As soon as you begin to wave around the names of these autocratic regimes you lose many people's attention and sympathy. It's just wild, hysterical and bears resemblance to the tabloids that support your party. Corbyn and McDonnell are democratic socialists. Their plans are far more closely correlated to the German Social Democrat's investment boom of the 1990s (when much of the infrastructure that powers Germany to this day was built, rather than during Merkel's tenure) than they are with the autocratic regimes you note. They're post-Keynesian, rather than Marxist - which rather makes sense when you consider that Labour have been advised, early in Corbyn's leadership, by an Economic Advisory Board that consisted of the Nobel-winning Joseph Stiglitz, Mariana Mazzucato, Ann Pettifor (who was at Labour conference this year) and Thomas Piketty. You also forget that John McDonnell is a meticulous bureaucrat and organizer - he has been his whole life. The very last thing he'd want to do, after all of these years on the margins, is seriously screw up the economy. Policy will be enacted tentatively, tested in certain areas, rather than rolled out in one go. Also, I notice you often mention Momentum with the same hysterical note that colours everything else you say regarding the Labour Party. Momentum are an organizing tool - a means for those of us on the Left to gather canvassers, to make campaign videos and, occasionally, to make sure that, in internal elections, our policy ideas aren't diluted by the Blairites. I've met Momentum organizers - as well as lots of idealistic young people, they've been careworkers, teachers, grandparents and, in one case, a retired security guard. They're not the violent lynch-mob you envision in fidget dreams. They're also not "in control". Labour members - who are enthused by the Party's direction - are. Is that such a bad thing? Wouldn't many of you like a more democratic Conservative Party? Anyhow. Once we've got all of this straight, we might debate with more acuity, moderation, and find - perhaps - that we might not disagree on *everything* regarding politics and life. Imagine that!

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Robert Halfon: A new p... · 0 replies · +1 points

If that's going to be your approach to Unions, then you need to extend that to corporate donations, too. Otherwise it simply looks like a ploy to divest the Labour Party of funds and realign Unions to a political cause you believe in.

I think your argument, however, is fundamentally flawed. The Labour and Union movement are inextricable, one emerging, very naturally, from the other. Their history and their struggle is united by the concessions they've wrought from the bosses, and the bosses' parliamentary representation, the Tories.

All of this nonsense about the Tories being the 'True Workers Party' is very transparent. It's an attempt to reconcile two opposing forces: workers' hard-fought agency and capital, and the patrician classes who mostly look to deprive them of both.

Stay in your lane, guys. It just looks silly to everyone watching.

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The hollow hall · 1 reply · +1 points

"Social media revolutions" tend to be organic, driven by interest and connectivity. You can't simulate that. You can't achieve virality if the audience doesn't associate themselves with the content. And believe me, the biggest, most active demographics online do not want to associate themselves with CCHQ's content.

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The hollow hall · 12 replies · +1 points

"There are very few ways in which Conservative Party Conference is really a conference at all. It’s many things – a reunion, a tribal gathering, a four-day party, a convention – but it is not meaningfully a conference [...]"

Well, quite. And the "Conservative Party" is not really a political party in any meaningful sense, either - but a lobbying group for elite interests. That's why it resembles a convention - a corporate convention. It is closer to an event held for the fossil fuel, tobacco or agri-business lobby than any democratic gathering. This also reflects the deep emptiness at the heart of the party: its overriding interest is in sustaining power, but power for power's sake, power for big private interests, while being absent of any solutions to this nation's decline. A managed decline that keeps the worst of it from hurting the wealthiest among us...

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Hammond warns of the p... · 2 replies · +1 points

If the lesson you took from the 70s was that "socialism" doesn't work (when, in numerous countries - for instance, Sweden, Denmark and the UK throughout the postwar period - it worked just fine) then I'm afraid you weren't paying quite enough attention. The 70s were a period of international instability - the collapse of the monolithic Bretton Woods system and the readjustment to a new volatility, and the oil crisis, were the key events. It is a very parochial analysis that locates Britain's strife in solely this or that domestic government - remember, the three-day week occurred under the Tories.

I also wonder if some commenting here fully comprehend what a Corbyn government will entail. It will not be isolationist, autocratic statism - not Zimbabwe, as some have decided in their hysteria. There'll be a free market. We'll still trade with the world. Environmental and safety regulations will be respected and tightened. Taxes will rise, but to lower-than-continental levels. There'll be investment, indeed, to facilitate a new wave of Green Tech, software development, AI, and online entrepreneurs. As Yanis Varoufakis has pointed out, riffing on Harold Wilson, Labour will seek to harness the 'cool breeze of green technologies'. There will be some direction from the state, as is the case with *nearly every other* European country taking a strategic, long-view of their economy. Germany does it. It works.

Let us talk clearly and honestly about each party's objectives and not fall into tabloid alarmism.

6 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Freeman's definitely n... · 1 reply · +1 points

The reason there isn't a 'Conservative stall at the many and varied festivals of music' is because no (popular) music festival organiser in their right mind would invite the Conservative party. It would deeply toxify the festival. No one invested in counter-culture wants the Tories anywhere near, for good reason. You might get a stall at a bathroom tile & kitchen warehouse reception, where you can mix with other like-minded individuals.

In this vein, I saw a Tory commentator ask recently, 'Why aren't we trying to connect with the youth, through outlets like Vice magazine?' Yes, I could well imagine Vice giving generous coverage to the Tories... that is, I could, if I had just landed from one of the outer moons of Jupiter.

7 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Exclusive: Yet another... · 0 replies · +1 points

Why does it bother Tories so much what so-called 'moderate' Labour MPs do with their careers? Do you see Labour supporters demanding that Ken Clarke, Heidi Allen or Anna Soubry do the 'rational thing' and leave the party over a number of profound differences?

Also, I think the role of Momentum is being heavily over-egged by Conservatives. Speaking as a campaigner for the Labour party, the truth is that the vast majority of the membership share the same policy objectives as Momentum - which is to have a fully-democratized, progressive party that opposes austerity, supports some nationalization and more conscientious environmental and foreign policies. Much of the organisational work was just carried out by regular members - not Momentum. You might be far more worried that we have a genuinely energized, growing base far *beyond* Momentum. Momentum is simply a (locally influential) node.

7 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Mohammed Abdel-Haq: To... · 49 replies · +1 points

The Conservative party, in itself, is the parliamentary arm of a British establishment committed to tax avoidance in its offshore territories, arms-dealing, that is regressive with regard to climate-change, that has taken an adversarial, parochial approach with our European friends, that has the weight of powerful lobbyists and corporations behind it, that is endorsed by a febrile, xenophobic tabloid press. Quite how you expect to appeal to a demographic that is broadly aware of all of this is beyond me. I'm afraid the age has caught up with you - journalists, bloggers and activists will continually and mercilessly reveal these outlooks, allegiances and biases. Once, when the political narrative was controlled by a number of press barons (who, in their time, were once disruptive upstarts, too) these uncomfortable points were easy to obfuscate. But that time is over.