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Chaircat Meow

UK Politics: Spaffed up the wall while chuntering from a sedentary position

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Yup, Johnson has used openly racist language repeatedly and, like JRM, is a huge fan of the British Empire and colonialism, and has been borderline dismissive of the evils of colonialism (and baffled by the idea that Ireland might have historic grievances with the UK). He has also actively encouraged people on Twitter and social media to dogpile on anyone who contradicts him, encouraging statements like "traitors," "enemies of democracy," "enemies of the people" etc. He is also a bully who was fired by Max Hastings, one of the most relaxed newspaper editors in recent history, for threatening to beat up an opponent. He has also ignored and downplayed the findings of Islamaphobia in the Conservative Party, despite the fact it seems to dwarf the problem of anti-semitism in the Labour Party (which is real but also been exaggerated by both the right-wing and anti-Corbyn champagne socialist press).

There is absolutely no question that on the basis of personal morality and conduct, Johnson is a far more objectionable, blustering, racist and morally compromised human being than Jeremy Corbyn, and a belief otherwise is not compatible with the evidence.

Corbyn has been naive in some of his associations and simplistic in some of his pacifistic responses to threats, but his general principle seems to be avoiding situations which would get a lot of people killed for no immediately discernible reason. In the case of the Falklands British sovereign territory was attacked so a military response with legally justified, but from a moral standpoint the expenditure of lives on both sides for Britain to keep hold of a group of strategically dubious islands eight thousand miles away is open to question (not to mention the current huge expense of stationing British troops and some of our most advanced ships and planes to guard a population of 1,000 people and many tens of thousands of sheep, especially since oil exploitation of the region became much less attractive). From a geopolitical POV (especially during the Cold War when Britain had to show Russia it could stand up for itself), yes, the Falklands War was a necessary conflict, but from a strictly moral one it becomes murkier. Corbyn has no truck with realpolitik.

It should also be noted that Corbyn has been an unequivocal backer of several military campaigns, including WWII, the UN intervention in East Timor, and the peacekeeping operation in Cyprus. He also noted to being on the fence about Sierra Leone but noted that it had turned out to be a great success. He also believed that military intervention in Rwanda during the Genocide had been fully warranted and was actually angry it was opposed by the British government at the time. His opposition to Kosovo was more on the grounds that the military campaign was largely unfocused and slapdash with no clearly achievable military objective, just bombing the shit out of Serbia until it gave up, when it could have been better handled (it should also be noted that it was Russian political pressure which proved decisive in forcing Serbia to come to terms; the actual bombing was only intermittently effective since the Serbs successfully used a lot of dummy military equipment as decoys and NATO ran out of targets to attack so kept hitting targets that had already been hit, to no impact). He also opposed a military intervention in Bosnia, but seems to have had doubts about that after Srebenica (which put him in lockstep with the UK government at the time).

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After your post I googled "The Wealthy Establishment", because I'd never heard that exact phrase before. According the googles, it simply means Old Money. The only anti-semitic references I could find amongst my search results were newspaper reports about the offending blog post.

The term North London Metropolitan Liberal Elite has been a dogwhistle term by British racists to refer to London Jews (who traditionally live in North London) for many decades. However, given Patel's tongue is permanently attached to the Israeli government's backside and the term "metropolitan liberal elite" has become very common worldwide for use by the terminally moronic, it's more likely she didn't actually mean it in that context. The idea she wouldn't be aware of the context is a stretch, but not a totally unbelievable one.

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In addition to all of the above, I don't know in what kind of mental gymnastics you have to do to consider Johnson is seen as the 'least bad' of the lot. I suppose the answer to that is easy, let's ignore the plethora of stuff Johnson & his allies have said, but more importantly, let's ignore the policies they have enacted. Let's vote in a party & a PM that has pummeled the most vulnerable over the last 4-5 years, if not longer.

More like since 2010. Conservative policies have directly killed thousands of people and indirectly contributed to thousands more, both at home and abroad after ill-thought-out adventures like Libya. The LibDems also can't escape the taint of that, for allowing it to happen under their partial watch. New Labour are still ahead on this part due to their support for the Iraq War, but of the current party makeups, Labour, Green and the SNP's opposition to such misadventures and their support for the NHS and social programmes means they are the least tainted with blood.

Edited by Werthead

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4 hours ago, Raja said:

In addition to all of the above, I don't know in what kind of mental gymnastics you have to do to consider Johnson is seen as the 'least bad' of the lot. I suppose the answer to that is easy, let's ignore the plethora of stuff Johnson & his allies have said, but more importantly, let's ignore the policies they have enacted. Let's vote in a party & a PM that has pummeled the most vulnerable over the last 4-5 years, if not longer.

What a strange take.

If, like me, you're a right of centre, eurosceptic, he's the least bad. I wouldn't trust him as far as I can spit, however.

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4 hours ago, Raja said:

In addition to all of the above, I don't know in what kind of mental gymnastics you have to do to consider Johnson is seen as the 'least bad' of the lot. I suppose the answer to that is easy, let's ignore the plethora of stuff Johnson & his allies have said, but more importantly, let's ignore the policies they have enacted. Let's vote in a party & a PM that has pummeled the most vulnerable over the last 4-5 years, if not longer.

What a strange take.

We had 13 years of Labour until 2010 and unfortunately they did not fix the structural issues with the economy. We seemed to chug along as did everybody, benefiting from the 'Goldilocks' global economy of low inflation (from off-shoring manufacturing and some services) and steadily rising house and stock/share prices (all on borrowed money), and there was enough in the kitty to provide benefits to the ill-advantaged. Or maybe they're wasn't really enough in the kitty, but the government could borrow more to pay salaries to the state sector and to provide benefits and no one noticed. It was all going to be fine. No one even cared that this supposedly/originally slightly left-of-centre government was aligning itself with Bush's neo-cons on foreign policy adventures until Iraq went badly wrong.

So it all blew up spectacularly in 08-09 and you now had a Tory-LibDem coalition and from 2010 onwards high levels of government debt was suddenly a thing. Greece and all that. S&P even downgraded the US in 2011 over the first debt ceiling-government shut down shenanigans. (Remember how prudent Republicans were back then?). So it felt like some Austerity might be the price to pay, but obviously the Tories implemented  it to suit themselves (and enrich their friends), while the LibDems stood gaping by.

The LibDems were ditched by the electorate in 2015 to return the first Tory government since 97 and since then we've been busy with Brexit under three PMs, the last one in office for barely 3 months. So please don't interrupt with difficult questions while we're getting Brexit done ;)

And the solution to the problems on your side of the pond is to elect Tulsi Gabbard.

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3 hours ago, Spockydog said:

I didn't 'airily dismiss' anything. I asked for an explanation as to why an innocent looking (to my eyes at least) sentence was considered anti-semitic.

Fair enough. I certainly think your question was posed in a way that suggested you did not agree that it was anti-Semitic: and you had apparently not read, or were not bothered by, the much clearer example of coded language that accompanied it.

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It's telling that the reason you gave was different to the objections being raised in the anti-Corbyn press (holocaust reference). 

It's really not. There can be more than one reason.

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Question: If I make the OK hand sign, does that make me a white supremacist?

Depends on context, but if you are a politician and you do it in public then at the very least you have been pretty stupid.

3 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

As far as Patel is concerned, she is certainly a bit of a nutter, but I would be really, really surprised if she used anti-semitic dog whistle phrases, because it wouldn't make any political sense.

Again, though, that's the whole point of coded language. You get to say the thing and also to deny you said it: to get the benefit without paying the price.

2 hours ago, Werthead said:

He is also a bully who was fired by Max Hastings, one of the most relaxed newspaper editors in recent history, for threatening to beat up an opponent.

To be strictly accurate, for conspiring with a friend who wanted another journalist beaten up. Johnson is less of a physical coward than Trump but still isn't inclined to get into physical fights - at least, not with people his own size. Instead, when Darius Guppy called Johnson and asked for the address of another journalist so that Guppy could send some people over to assault him, Johnson happily gave him that address. Oh, but it's OK, because later Johnson explained the call was 'just a joke'.

He is a contemptible piece of shit on a personal level. It's gruesome watching his own family members trying not to say that, but being basically unable to deny it.

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2 hours ago, Ser Hedge said:

The LibDems were ditched by the electorate in 2015 to return the first Tory government since 97 and since then we've been busy with Brexit under three PMs, the last one in office for barely 3 months. So please don't interrupt with difficult questions while we're getting Brexit done ;)

And the solution to the problems on your side of the pond is to elect Tulsi Gabbard.

I already know all of that :) 

Lol - I don't live in the US. Neither can I vote in the US. And even if I could, Gabbard wouldn't be my choice. Then again, Gabbard is basically no one's choice given that she's polling at less than 3% and will likely not even make the later debates in the spring. 

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6 minutes ago, mormont said:

Fair enough. I certainly think your question was posed in a way that suggested you did not agree that it was anti-Semitic: and you had apparently not read, or were not bothered by, the much clearer example of coded language that accompanied it.

I was just baffled by the furore. I tried to read the original blog post, for context, but I couldn't find it anywhere. If you've got a link, please share.

 

Edited by Spockydog

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13 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

I was just baffled by the furore. I tried to read the original blog post, for context, but I couldn't find it anywhere. If you've got a link, please share.

 

It's worth noting that there is a real problem with antisemitism in British politics and in Labour, but there's also a real problem where the full-spectrum assault on Labour in this regard is being led by the editor of The Jewish Chronicle, a bitter, long-term opponent of Corbyn who didn't want him becoming Labour leader in 2015 and has spent every second of every day since slamming him and the party with everything he can (Stephen Pollard is a right-wing libertarian who believes in the privatisation of the NHS and schools, so clearly not a fan of Corbynism). The right-wing press has obviously been doing the same thing. One of the common attack vectors is the conflation of criticism of the policies of the state of Israel with antisemitism, a classic piece of deflection.

It's actually dangerous because the actual scale of the real amount of antisemitism in the Labour Party is almost impossible to judge, because of the sheer volume of vitriol being unleashed at the party for a political agenda (and the near-total-silence regarding Islamaphobia in the Conservative Party for much the same reason).

Edited by Werthead

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I'm at the in laws and they read the Mail (old people always do). Front page is them practically begging Farage to withdraw to stop them affecting the Tory vote. They must be shitting themselves if they are going down that route already. 

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Personally I think Farage doesn’t actually want us to leave, because then he loses his MEP salary and (more importantly) he won’t get invited onto Question Time and other such TV shows any more.

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3 hours ago, Maltaran said:

Personally I think Farage doesn’t actually want us to leave, because then he loses his MEP salary and (more importantly) he won’t get invited onto Question Time and other such TV shows any more.

Bingo.

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7 hours ago, Werthead said:

It's actually dangerous because the actual scale of the real amount of antisemitism in the Labour Party is almost impossible to judge, because of the sheer volume of vitriol being unleashed at the party for a political agenda (and the near-total-silence regarding Islamaphobia in the Conservative Party for much the same reason).

Here's what John Bercow, a Jewish Tory, had to say about Corbyn's anti-semitism:

 

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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/09/boris-johnson-jennifer-arcuri-iopc-delay-announcement-investigation?

 

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Fury as decision on police inquiry into PM shelved until after election

Labour ‘shocked’ as police watchdog freezes investigation into Jennifer Arcuri scandal

The scandal over Boris Johnson’s friendship with technology entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri was reignited on Saturday after the Observer revealed that the independent police watchdog has delayed its announcement on whether the PM should face an investigation into possible criminal misconduct until after the election.

The decision prompted fury from Westminster politicians and London assembly members who said it appeared that a ruling had been “suppressed” in order to protect Johnson from potentially damaging headlines at a crucial stage of the election campaign.

In a private meeting held before parliament was dissolved last week, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) officials agreed not to announce whether they were going to investigate “possible criminality” over allegations about a conflict of interest in Johnson’s dealings while mayor of London with US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri until after the election.

Sources close to the IOPC investigation said the watchdog was on the verge of announcing its decision on whether it was proceeding with a criminal investigation.

Article Continues...

 

 

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18 hours ago, Spockydog said:

I was just baffled by the furore. I tried to read the original blog post, for context, but I couldn't find it anywhere. If you've got a link, please share.

I believe it has been taken down, but the line is referenced in most reporting of the incident that I've seen

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/labour-election-candidate-for-gordon-quits-following-reports-of-antisemitic-online-posts-1-5041771

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-general-election-latest-kate-ramsden-resign-corbyn-israel-child-abuse-a9193926.html

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/political-parties/labour-party/news/107852/labour-candidate-compares-celebrating-tony-blairs

17 hours ago, Werthead said:

One of the common attack vectors is the conflation of criticism of the policies of the state of Israel with antisemitism, a classic piece of deflection.

Sure. But the other side of that problem is, this is also a classic tactic for anti-Semites, to pose anti-Semitism as 'criticism of the policies of the state of Israel'. It is difficult, but not impossible, to tell the difference.

I myself am a very strong critic of the policies of the state of Israel. Have been for decades. Yet I've never been accused of anti-Semitism. I've also known, for decades, people on the left of the Labour party who get so blinded by their passion on the issue of Israel that they can't see the wood for the trees, and start echoing anti-Semitic attacks and sharing platforms with people they should shun. It's always been a problem in that particular wing of the party. It's not as bad as the xenophobia and Islamophobia in the modern Conservative party, but it's a real problem, and it needs a stronger and more nuanced response than people indignantly complaining that they aren't allowed to criticise Israel (I know that's not what you're doing here, but it is a common response.)

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

I believe it has been taken down, but the line is referenced in most reporting of the incident that I've seen

I wanted more than a line. You see, I wanted context. Something that's lacking in so many of these Labour anti-semitism stories.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I will certainly be raising a metaphorical glass when genocidal maniacs Blair and Netenyahu pop their clogs. Evil bastards the pair of them.

I also happen to think the line about the state of Israel becoming an abuser is actually a pretty good analogy. Oh, wait, the State of Israel decrees that any comparison of the plight of the Palestinians to the Holocaust is anti-semitic. I guess genocide and ethnic cleansing is only bad when it's being perpetrated against Jews, eh?

 

Edited by Spockydog

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

I myself am a very strong critic of the policies of the state of Israel. Have been for decades. Yet I've never been accused of anti-Semitism.

That would probably change were you to run for office for the Labour Party. :mellow:

Edited by Spockydog

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35 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

I wanted more than a line. You see, I wanted context. Something that's lacking in so many of these Labour anti-semitism stories.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I will certainly be raising a metaphorical glass when genocidal maniacs Blair and Netenyahu pop their clogs. Evil bastards the pair of them.

I also happen to think the line about the state of Israel becoming an abuser is actually a pretty good analogy. Oh, wait, the State of Israel decrees that any comparison of the plight of the Palestinians to the Holocaust is anti-semitic. I guess genocide and ethnic cleansing is only bad when it's being perpetrated against Jews, eh?

 

There really is no comparison to be made between the plight of the Palestinians and the Holocaust.  

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9 minutes ago, SeanF said:

There really is no comparison to be made between the plight of the Palestinians and the Holocaust.  

Why not? Is genocide and ethnic cleansing only bad when it's being perpetrated against Jews?

 

Edited by Spockydog

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37 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

I also happen to think the line about the state of Israel becoming an abuser is actually a pretty good analogy. Oh, wait, the State of Israel decrees that any comparison of Israel to the Nazis is anti-semitic. I guess genocide and ethnic cleansing is only bad when it's being perpetrated against Jews, eh?

It’s a lazy analogy that’s prevalent only because there’s so many anti-semitic undertones in public discourse.

There’s a lot of nations and peoples that could be said to have been abused by western nations.  And they then abused their own people, or neighbouring peoples.  The same kind of comparisons aren’t drawn there because it usually turns out that it’s a more nuanced situation when you don’t have ancient prejudices to fall back on.

7 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

Why not? Is genocide and ethnic cleansing only bad when it's being perpetrated against Jews?

Well this is trolling pure and simple, you just abandoned any point you might have been trying to make.
 

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2 hours ago, john said:

Well this is trolling pure and simple, you just abandoned any point you might have been trying to make.
 

Why do you think I'm trolling? You think the Israelis are not engaged in an ongoing, systematic program of ethnic cleansing and genocide?

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007. That's nearly two-million people illegally imprisoned. And with an estimated 80% of the population reliant on humanitarian aid to keep them alive, the situation on the ground is extremely grim. Yet western society's othering of the Palestinians has been so successful that their general plight, not to mention atrocities such as the 2018 border massacre, go largely unnoticed. 

It is not okay. 

Edited by Spockydog

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

There really is no comparison to be made between the plight of the Palestinians and the Holocaust.  

So we need to wait until the Israeli government kills a few million more Palestinians before criticising their policies?

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You think the Israelis are not engaged in an ongoing, systematic program of ethnic cleansing and genocide?

 

Genocide is perhaps strong at this point in time. Ethnic cleansing, which can include making conditions so intolerable entire groups of people to have to flee, is a more accurate descriptor.

However, I don't think the Israeli government has a clear plan beyond expanding the settlements and the corridors between them, making a contiguous Palestinian state effectively non-viable. Once that is accomplished and the West Bank is divided into Palestinian enclaves effectively surrounded by Israeli forces, it will be unclear what will be done next.

The Israeli dilemma is that they could annex the West Bank outright, which clearly a lot of people want to do, but mass-displacing five million people by force of arms into Jordan would be beyond Israel's capabilities and also likely spark all-out war. The alternative is to accept those people as citizens of Israel, which would almost immediately imperil Israel's status as a Jewish state; the combination of the population of the occupied territories and Israel's own Arab population would risk returning a non-Jewish government of the entire country. Israel is therefore a rabbit in the headlights: it is refusing to simply withdraw beyond the 1967 borders and accept Palestinian independence, so it is on a crash course to becoming an apartheid and thus pariah state (with Palestinian and Muslim citizens relegated to second-class status behind Jews, perhaps not being allowed to vote).

This process will continue until a more moderate government is returned by Israel and immediately begins a much more serious peace process and is prepared to use the law to halt settlement expansion in the territory.

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