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Gus Mears

General Erection 2019

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@MPDTT What do you know about Rebecca Long-Bailey that makes you so sure she'd be an awful leader? From what I've seen of her, she's competent and highly likeable, she performed well covering at PMQs and on one of the debates during the campaign. She's female(Labour need a female leader soon), Northern and from a "working class" background. She started her working life in a pawn shop before getting herself a law degree, working as a solicitor and ending up as an MP for her local constituency. She embodies opportunity, aspiration and meritocratic values,  everything the Leader of the Labour Party should. 

While I believe the two main factors in Labour's defeat was Brexit and the media's treatment of Corbyn (I full accept he didn't help himself with either of those), it's idealistic to suggest there weren't issues with their manifesto, they can claim they won the policy argument all they like but it was simply too much, too soon. Whether it's fair or not Labour are seen, my many, to be an economic basketcase and the party of shirkers and giveaways. Policies such as increased spending in education and health and nationalisation of key public services are absolutely popular but you raise eyebrows when you start talking about a 4 day week, free broadband for all and seizing 10% of companies for employee ownership. These might be progressive policies that make sense but it was unbelievably naive to think they wouldn't be pounced on by the media and the Tories. Get in to Government, prove your economic competence and keep your more radical stuff for the next election. This country will never be up for revolution, so evolution is all that's left. Labour undoubtedly need to take a more pragmatic approach to the next election but in no terms does that mean there should be a paradigm shift to the centre.

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6 minutes ago, Lion_of_the_Midlands said:

It won't be key for 65 year old plus white people, it isn't them who are getting stabbed. 

For an awful lot of people not getting stabbed, knife crime is an obsessive concern, because it allows them license to demonise the young black and immigrant youths they imagine are solely responsible for it, and it allows them to paint London under Sadiq Khan as a '70s New York style lawless hell hole (when it's not also a haven of latte drinking champagne socialists, obvs). 

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Just now, BomberPat said:

For an awful lot of people not getting stabbed, knife crime is an obsessive concern, because it allows them license to demonise the young black and immigrant youths they imagine are solely responsible for it, and it allows them to paint London under Sadiq Khan as a '70s New York style lawless hell hole (when it's not also a haven of latte drinking champagne socialists, obvs). 

Whenever there are stabbings or terrorist incidents here, you never hear it being “Andy Burnhams Manchester”. No idea why Khan gets the blame, no idea at all. 

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13 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

Whenever there are stabbings or terrorist incidents here, you never hear it being “Andy Burnhams Manchester”. No idea why Khan gets the blame, no idea at all. 

Because he’s a Muslim Keith. I thought you were smart enough to get that.

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5 minutes ago, SuperBacon said:

Because he’s a Muslim Keith. I thought you were smart enough to get that.

Is he? I thought Khan was but didn’t know Burnham was. The clue is in the name isn’t it, burn ham, as in I despise porcine foodstuffs. 

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21 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

For an awful lot of people not getting stabbed, knife crime is an obsessive concern, because it allows them license to demonise the young black and immigrant youths they imagine are solely responsible for it, and it allows them to paint London under Sadiq Khan as a '70s New York style lawless hell hole (when it's not also a haven of latte drinking champagne socialists, obvs). 

I think this is also behind a lot of references to Corbyn's Labour being 'London-centric'. While there are certainly issues around the UK being London-centric, it surprised me as a complaint about Corbyn's Labour - until I realised that some of it was likely tied into the high profile of people like Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan and David Lammy. But it's the kind of messaging that can fly under the radar, as so much of politics have been London-centric over the years.

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I think there's a lot behind the "London-centric" criticism - some of it is valid, some of it is perception, particularly when in an area where an awful lot of people don't feel that the Labour Party stand up for them enough. But, yes, a lot of it is a bit of a byword for ethnics, Jews and gays. 

As I mentioned before, there's a lot of people saying that Labour got too fixated on "diversity" - the "Blue Labour" group in particular - and I really want someone to hold them to account and say, "what exactly do you mean by diversity?", and then for them explain why that's a bad thing.

 

There's also a conversation that's honestly too broad-reaching for much of how our politics functions, that needs to be had, about the language we use and what it means. When we talk about Labour losing working class support - are the voters of Bethnal Green not working class? Are the young people, the second-generation immigrants, and the black and asian people statistically far more likely to fall into the lowest income brackets not working class? 

Along similar lines, talking up areas of the north as "Labour heartlands" is meaningless if we can't define what Labour means to them. It was frustrating - and again, I would argue London-centric - to hear so many key seats referred to as "former mining towns". In some of these towns we're three generations away from when the mines were closed. There are people of voting age who have never seen a working mine. We shouldn't be taking their support for granted for something that happened a literal lifetime ago for some people. We shouldn't be talking about "former mining towns" so much as about current towns propped up by zero hour contracts, warehouse work and call centre shift jobs. 

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37 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

Is he? I thought Khan was but didn’t know Burnham was. The clue is in the name isn’t it, burn ham, as in I despise porcine foodstuffs. 

I remember when I got quote tweeted by Tommeh and the replies were all just “Bacon! 😂 but Muslims hate bacon!!! 😂😂😂” 

More gentle times.

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1 hour ago, stumobir said:

While I believe the two main factors in Labour's defeat was Brexit and the media's treatment of Corbyn (I full accept he didn't help himself with either of those), it's idealistic to suggest there weren't issues with their manifesto, they can claim they won the policy argument all they like but it was simply too much, too soon. Whether it's fair or not Labour are seen, my many, to be an economic basketcase and the party of shirkers and giveaways. Policies such as increased spending in education and health and nationalisation of key public services are absolutely popular but you raise eyebrows when you start talking about a 4 day week, free broadband for all and seizing 10% of companies for employee ownership. These might be progressive policies that make sense but it was unbelievably naive to think they wouldn't be pounced on by the media and the Tories. Get in to Government, prove your economic competence and keep your more radical stuff for the next election. This country will never be up for revolution, so evolution is all that's left. Labour undoubtedly need to take a more pragmatic approach to the next election but in no terms does that mean there should be a paradigm shift to the centre.

This was it, for me. They went way too far - not that it was unachievable, but it was asking too much of the electorate - still nowhere near enough had been done to challenge the narrative that the Tories are better at managing the economy and Labour are profligate. They should've just kept the 2017 manifesto, and really had a go at challenging the Tories on their economy record, which isn't difficult to do, if you actually do the research. Most of their claims are just lying through omission, cherry-picking, misleading figures, or goalpost-shifting.

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6 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

This was it, for me. They went way too far - not that it was unachievable, but it was asking too much of the electorate - still nowhere near enough had been done to challenge the narrative that the Tories are better at managing the economy and Labour are profligate. They should've just kept the 2017 manifesto, and really had a go at challenging the Tories on their economy record, which isn't difficult to do, if you actually do the research. Most of their claims are just lying through omission, cherry-picking, misleading figures, or goalpost-shifting.

I've been talking about this on twitter (at far too much length), but I think the biggest issue they had around this was their timing. It needed time to settle, and for people to believe that it was achievable. Instead, it all felt rather last-minute, and asking too much in too short a time. The same with Corbyn's 'honest broker' status. While it was all good stuff, it needed a good six months of them talking about it for it to sink in and feel like their position. Instead, while it didn't contradict their position, it did all feel a bit sudden.

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Agreed, the suddenness of a lot of it was definitely an issue, it reinforced the amateur narrative and made them look to be a tad desperate. There was a hint of Partridge around the free broadband for all policy. “Monkey Tennis!”

I was thinking about the similarities and differences between Corbyn and Sanders, who also gets his fair share of it from the press. The similarities in their ideology and grassroots base is obvious but what I find interesting is the difference in their approach to a hostile media. Sanders gives as good as he gets and doesn’t pull his punches, Corbyn on the other is placate, placate and placate - completely futile, of course. How often do you hear the parroted line “terrorist sympathiser” but more importantly how often does it go unchallenged? I can’t once remember him addressing this and calling it out to bullshit. If you won’t, at least, defend yourself then you’re all but saying it’s free rein. 

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5 minutes ago, stumobir said:

Agreed, the suddenness of a lot of it was definitely an issue, it reinforced the amateur narrative and made them look to be a tad desperate. There was a hint of Partridge around the free broadband for all policy. “Monkey Tennis!”

I was thinking about the similarities and differences between Corbyn and Sanders, who also gets his fair share of it from the press. The similarities in their ideology and grassroots base is obvious but what I find interesting is the difference in their approach to a hostile media. Sanders gives as good as he gets and doesn’t pull his punches, Corbyn on the other is placate, placate and placate - completely futile, of course. How often do you hear the parroted line “terrorist sympathiser” but more importantly how often does it go unchallenged? I can’t once remember him addressing this and calling it out to bullshit. If you won’t, at least, defend yourself then you’re all but saying it’s free rein. 

I have heard him challenge this quite a few times - he always made the case that, in order to make peace, you need to get both sides to the table, and that requires working with people you object to; at least, that was his argument as regards Hamas. He also made the argument that he used the term "friends" because he was trying to use inclusive language to make them feel like they weren't going into this as adversaries, but I personally think that was a step too far on his part. I've no doubt he believes that, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere; the past three years have thrown into stark relief exactly what stepping over that line will cost you.

EDIT: For me, his personal policy of "I don't do personal" is very admirable, and I think in any other era that would've been quite effective, but we're living in the era of post-truth, where lies and dirty tricks are rewarded, and the supposed custodians of the truth don't do the job they claim to do. He should've gone on the attack a lot more than he did.

Edited by Carbomb

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You’re right, I do remember the Hamas “friends” thing now. Hamas and Hezbollah seemed to be last election, it was the IRA I was seeing and hearing more of this time round. They tried to avoid talking about it in the same vain they avoided talking about Brexit. If it’s all over social media, the news and “on the doorsteps” then deal with it head on. Someone mentioned it earlier in this thread (probably Pat), that the right are very much in control of the narrative, Labour and Corbyn thought they could creat their own conversation but the only people listening were those who were always going to vote Labour anyway. 

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Yeah, aside from Brexit, I'd argue that was the biggest thing to lose Labour this election - Corbyn's complete failure to control the narrative, and he has always struggled with that. How many times have we seen PMQs and been pulling our hair out that he's not taking the government to task over their latest gaffe or ghoulish policy, instead choosing to plough on with important, but less urgent headline-grabbing, issues? 

I'm saying this with the benefit of hindsight - ahead of time, I thought he was doing the right thing in not fighting a Brexit election. But it terms out that a broad, ambitious manifesto wasn't the right choice in what was still, for many people, a single issue election. That he wasn't able to control the narrative on Brexit, on the NHS, on "terrorist sympathiser", on antisemitism or anything else is what leads to a position where people could basically project whatever vision of him they wanted on to him - if they wanted to look to him as an ineffectual doddering old man, they'd find evidence, but if they wanted to see him as a power-hungry control freak Stalinist palling around with terrorists, they'd find support for that too, but what they'd never find was him, or the machinery of the Labour Party, rebuking any of those views in strong enough terms. He was always, admirably, trying to put those issues to bed and use his time to talk about something more genuinely important. But it meant he never managed to shake the stink of any of those headlines or allegations the way he might have done. Ultimately Labour were trying to play clean in an election that could only be won by playing dirty.

What's worrying is that for all the spending on social media, all the disinformation campaigns from the Tories and all the memes and videos from Labour, none of it seems to have meant a single fucking thing. Which is another thing I'd have been spectacularly wrong about without hindsight. Any future Labour Party leader will need to contest with media hostility and bias - without the alternative of reaching people through social media, what hope do they have? Or is social media still the answer, but we've not been using it properly?

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The thing about the social media advertising I saw Pat, was that the Labour message seemed to be aimed at people who already agreed with them, whereas the Tory ads went after Labour voters who voted to Leave, but had never voted Tory before. 

The Tories were just better switched on in the campaign overall and their social media marketing in particular. As much as the Left laugh at Cummings this is his area and he obliterated them. 

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