Starmer

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Millennie Al
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Re: Starmer

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:17 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:13 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:59 am
PR covers many different systems, so it's not necessarily possible to know if you prefer "PR" to our system until you know which alternative is being proposed.
Not really. The alternative is FPTP, which is shitter than every major form of PR.
Well, I'd probably personally vote for any PR other than PR, but party list systems (and especially closed lists) give a great deal of power to the small number of people who draw up the lists, so I could imagine some people objecting to them - there's no shortage of examples of people rejecting one option in favour of a worse one on the grounds that there is a better option not available.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Si_B » Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:09 pm

Haven't visited for a while so am catching up! Hello anyone who still understands what a reference to the sadly accidentally deleted Überthread means!

I'm concerned to still see Ken Loach being treated as if he is some sort of saintly Labour stalwart. Let us remember that he has supported a hotch-potch of unpleasant far-left organisations against Labour (such as affiliating with George Galloway's Respect and then Left Unity).

It appears that he has been given the boot because of being a member of Labour Against the Witchhunt (which he officially sponsored from the outset). This organisation exists solely to campaign for antisemites ejected from the Labour party. It would be hard to argue against that purpose being in itself antisemitic.

He also references the small and unpleasant grouping that calls itself Jewish Voice for Labour - a fine example of gaslighting if ever I saw one. The name implies that it is, in some way, a representative Jewish Voice and that it exists to support Labour. Neither appears true. Whereas there are a few Jewish people in JVL and I have no reason to doubt that they have genuinely held views (which is, of course, their right), it is entirely false to portray them as anything more than a minority Jewish opinion and certainly not representative of the community or even the opinion of the majority of Jewish Labour Members. Its purpose appears to be solely to be a fig leaf for people such as Corbyn and Livingstone and rarely proffers an opinion an anything else. If you look at what happened at the JVL Fringe meeting where expelled member and notorious antisemite (as confirmed by a High Court Judge) Tony Greenstein was allowed in (despite it supposedly requiring a conference pass) and then ended up assaulting LBC's political editor, then you'll see what sort of organisation they are.

By the way, if anyone doubts that Jewish people can themselves be antisemitic, I would recommend reading up the Nazi-supporting Verband nationaldeutscher Jude or the Communist-supporting Yevsektsiya in the Soviet Union. This phenomenon is, of course, not limited to Jewish people - look at Trump-supporting African-Americans who claim to represent the majority of their community if you want another example.

The most concerning thing about this is that although Starmer is trying to portray the vote on the rule changes as a triumph and a sign that Labour have closed the door on antisemitism, the fact is that the vote was whether to obey the law (as the changes were legally required after the EHRC findings) and that a quarter of delegates voted against it.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:01 am

Loach clearly has way more baggage than I was aware of (not that I ever thought he was "saintly"). And I've got to say that starting a group called "Labour against the Witchhunt" is a pretty counterproductive thing to do in the face of genuine problems with antisemitism in the party - a witch hunt is a good idea when there are actual witches. If there are also politically-motivated spurious accusations of witchcraft, you have to be extra careful to make it clear you know what a witch is, and that you denounce them entirely, which these groups seem to have failed on.


Jewish Voice for Labour, though, do describe themselves as "a network for Jewish members of the Labour Party" - I'm not sure where the idea comes from that they aren't Jewish enough. The founder was a Labour member since 1969, and also active in Jews for Justice for Palestinians (founded in 2002, with ~0.5% of British Jewish people as members), so there clearly is longstanding disagreement about Israeli policy within the Jewish community, even if concern for Palestinians is a minority view and therefore not representative.

The split with the Jewish Labour Movement appears to be over levels of support for Israeli policy, rather than levels of support for Corbyn. From where I sit, a constitutionally-declared ethnostate actively engaged in ethnic cleansing does seem a bit inconsistent with typical left-wing values like tolerance and plurality, but I know religion can drive people to hold inconsistent views.

(I don't think the comparison with Nazis makes any sense. JVL aren't supporting harm to Jewish people; they want Israel to stop harming Palestinian people.)


But that's a bit of an aside - Corbyn's response to antisemitism was poor, and his supporters' choice to dig their heels in over it isn't a great look. I hadn't realised that 3/4 of the banned groups were specifically set up to support previously-banned members - banning those groups does make sense. I can't find what Socialist Appeal did, but presumably some inflammatory statements downplaying antisemitism?

I can understand feeling aggrieved at being thrown out of a party you've supported and worked for for a long time if you feel the charges are bogus, and I can understand other members wanting to show solidarity with them. Last time I waded into the depressing morass of Labour's antisemitism problems, it did seem that amongst the genuinely problematic statements there were also people getting in trouble for legitimate criticism of Israel. If that's the case - though I accept I'm not super well versed in all the details by now - I think being pissed off is understandable, but claiming that e.g. Corbyn was "too apologetic" is a total nonsense when he was actually insufficiently apologetic.


Had I realised that Loach's article was just the latest installment of losers kicking up a fuss about antisemitism I wouldn't have bothered sharing it, and I'm a bit annoyed the Guardian didn't ensure there wasn't at least a mention of the groups. This really, really isn't the hill to die on.

That said, if 25% of members opposed that motion, Starmer's clearly got a long way to go to unite the party - in particular, the left-wing part of it seems very paranoid. He clearly needs to offer some olive branches to non-antisemitic left-wingers and endorse some progressive positions (but perhaps not on Israel).
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Re: Starmer

Post by plodder » Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:13 am

I think perhaps it might be helpful if you hung out with some of the proper hardline left-wingers before assuming they're cheerfully rational and open to listening. In my experience they are utterly immovable, often angry and weird, utterly disinterested in opposing views, able to trot out vast tracts of literature and anecdotes and garbled history to support their world view and determined to be as underhand as hell in order to get what they want.

This includes entryism, volunteering to sit on every committee going to force the agenda, forming or appropriating organisations (like JV4L) in order to leverage influence etc. They are not interested in being part of a broad church - they are wreckers and very skilled at it.

Sensible Labour leaders know that the best you can hope for from this lot is that they'll deliver leaflets, and that the best way to manage them is to marginalise their influence as much as possible. Corbyn let these genies out of the bottle and Starmer needs to get them back in.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Si_B » Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:24 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:01 am
Jewish Voice for Labour, though, do describe themselves as "a network for Jewish members of the Labour Party" - I'm not sure where the idea comes from that they aren't Jewish enough. The founder was a Labour member since 1969, and also active in Jews for Justice for Palestinians (founded in 2002, with ~0.5% of British Jewish people as members), so there clearly is longstanding disagreement about Israeli policy within the Jewish community, even if concern for Palestinians is a minority view and therefore not representative.

The split with the Jewish Labour Movement appears to be over levels of support for Israeli policy, rather than levels of support for Corbyn. From where I sit, a constitutionally-declared ethnostate actively engaged in ethnic cleansing does seem a bit inconsistent with typical left-wing values like tolerance and plurality, but I know religion can drive people to hold inconsistent views.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my previous post, for which I apologise. At no point was I intending to suggest that either they weren't Jewish enough or that there weren't long-term Labour members within their ranks. If you have followed this depressing saga closely enough (as I have), one of the abiding and dishonest tropes that comes up is JVL claiming that other Jewish people call them 'not the right kind of Jew' - however when challenged they are unable to produce anyone actually saying that. What most people in the community object to (and specifically the large majority of Labour members of Jewish background) is claiming that their voice is in any way representative of a significant proportion of Jewish opinion within the Labour movement as their name implies. Jewish tradition is based on robust argument and intense discussions and differences of opinion (hence the old saw "Two Jews, Three Opinions") and most people in the community would fully endorse their right to hold and express any opinion they care to have, regardless of how objectionable they personally find it.

JVL was set up specifically to provide cover for people such as Corbyn and Livingstone. In that, they are probably closer ideologically to the Yevsektsiya rather than the Verband nationaldeutscher Jude although perhaps they are two sides of the same coin. I would recommend reading "Jews Don't Count" by David Baddiel (which avoids mentioning Israel as much as possible as he personally has no view on it) or "The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism" by Dave Rich (for an engaging account of the whole sorry story).

I have strong views on your offensive statement about Israel being an ethnostate actively engaged in ethnic cleansing. This probably isn't the place for a proper dissection of this, but compared to all of the states around that area, Israel performs considerably better. I haven't noted you calling out Lebanon, for example, for its treatment of minorities (including its Palestinians) which is way worse. The PLO has repeatedly stated that no Jews will be allowed in any Palestinian State (and all Jews have been ethnically cleansed from Gaza - an area that had a continuous recorded Jewish presence for more than 3000 years). Before I get too carried away I will just leave these statistics and then you can decide who is being ethnically cleansed:

Jewish Populations in Arab Countries:
Morocco: 265,000 in 1948, 6,000 in 2000
Algeria: 140,000 in 1948, < 1,000 in 2000
Tunisia: 105,000 in 1948, < 2,000 in 2000
Libya: 38,000 in 1948, None known in 2000
Egypt: 75,000 in 1948, < 1,000 in 2000
Yemen: 63,000 in 1948, < 1,000 in 2000
Syria: 20,000 in 1948, <1,000 in 2000
Iraq: 150,000 in 1948, <1,000 in 2000

Most of these were thrown out and had all their money and possessions confiscated.

In contrast the current Arab population of Israel is about 20% and includes MPs, government members, judges, businesspeople etc.- so if the Israeli government is engaged in ethnic cleansing, they are pretty crap at it compared to their Arab neighbours (who JVL never call out).

I'll stop here with a quote from the dreaded IHRA definition of antisemitism "However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic." The whiners on the left (including JVL and others) can't accept this and continually want to go beyond this level to attack Israel in a way that they restrain from when looking at any other state. Israel is not perfect and there is plenty of legitimate criticism that can be (and is) levelled at it without it being antisemitic in any way whatsoever. However, where were the thousands of people marching and continual mass rallies against Myanmar for the reprehensible treatment of the Rohingya, the latest outrages in Afghanistan, the Syrian Civil War or what is going on in Yemen (all conflicts which have resulted in more casualties and more suffering). What is it about the world's only Jewish-majority state that they dislike so much that they will concentrate all their vitriol on it and ignore far greater abuses elsewhere?

I've gone on too long and a bit off-subject! If you want to continue, perhaps a new thread would be appropriate. Also, please note that I am back to travelling again and rather busy, so if I don't reply please don't be offended - I won't be on a flounce or ignoring you deliberately. I was a member of the Bad Science Forum for many years and in that whole time posted as much as some people posted in a month!
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Re: Starmer

Post by Si_B » Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:03 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:01 am

(I don't think the comparison with Nazis makes any sense. JVL aren't supporting harm to Jewish people; they want Israel to stop harming Palestinian people.)
Oh, I forgot to say that I think this is rather naive. As I understand it (and I'm happy to be corrected), the majority of Labour Members who identify as Jewish believe that a strong Israel is essential to avoid harm to the Jewish people as a whole. Jews have been subject to real genocide in Europe and real ethnic cleansing in the Middle East, and Israel is the one place where it is relatively safe to be Jewish and the one place with a continuous link to the Jewish people for millennia. Most Jewish people on the left believe in a strong two-state solution (with Israel living next to a strong and stable Palestinian state) and are happy to loudly criticise the Israeli government when it takes actions that undermine this. However, they are also exasperated at the continued failure of the Palestinian leadership to make meaningful moves in this direction and who continue to spend money not on educating or bettering the lives of their own citizens but on themselves and on missiles and tunnels under civilian facilities. This they see as an existential threat, and the position of the far-left they feel is basically to abandon a safe haven and ask Jews to open themselves up to what has inevitably happened when Jews have found themselves as a minority - ethnic cleansing and death. Therefore, many feel that JVL are supporting harm to the Jewish people and react accordingly.

No-one seems to bat an eyelid at the other states around there that are Arab majority. Pretty much every state in the world has one ethnicity that is a majority, so why must Israel be singled-out for something unexceptional? In pretty much every state in the world, minorities have problems, so if you call Israel out for this and also call out treatment of minorities everywhere else, this wouldn't be antisemitic. Every state could do better, but many have ethnic or religious laws that are far more demeaning to ethnic minorities than is the case in Israel so to focus on Israel in this regard is often antisemitic.

BTW the Verband nationaldeutscher Juden did not believe that they were supporting the Final Solution and total harm to the Jewish people, but that German Jews should fully assimilate into Germany as that would be the best way of avoiding harm. Like JVL, their viewpoint was hopelessly naive and betrayed a complete misunderstanding about who they were dealing with.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:19 pm

For the avoidance of doubt, ethnic cleansing and genocide are bad whoever does it.

Israel came up in this thread because there's a large schism within Labour that seems to be centred around what it is and isn't acceptable to say about Israel and "Zionism". I don't think criticism any of the other nasty governments you mention is anywhere near as controversial. But if it helps, I'm against all forms of religious extremism, all forms of ethnic cleansing, and all forms of racism.

If you mean more generally, I agree that some people seem to be more focused on abuses by Israel than by other middle eastern countries. I think that's because Israel is widely perceived as basically Western, rather than just another despotic desert theocracy, so people expect better.

I'm also way too busy right now, and this is definitely the wrong thread.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Si_B » Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:45 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:19 pm
If you mean more generally, I agree that some people seem to be more focused on abuses by Israel than by other middle eastern countries. I think that's because Israel is widely perceived as basically Western, rather than just another despotic desert theocracy, so people expect better.
There's a lot to unpick here about this very questionable statement. I would argue that that is actually somewhat racist - surely one should hold all ethnicities and countries to the same standards. If we differentiate depending on our view of them as "Western" or "despotic desert theocracy" then I would find that problematic in the extreme. I would rather concentrate first on the worst abusers where casualties and suffering is much higher and not focus on the world's only Jewish-majority state. I would definitely read Baddiel's insightful book (it's quite short, entertaining, and more of a polemic essay in the Orwellian tradition than a book). He introduces the concept of "Schrödinger's Whites" where Jews are either white or non-white depending on the politics of the observer.
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:19 pm
I'm also way too busy right now, and this is definitely the wrong thread.
Fair enough, I'll stop now - if you want to start another thread I'm game when I have time!

(Edited for a punctuation fail)
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:43 pm

Yes, I think I agree with all of that.

We did have a previous thread on Baddiel's book viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2416&p=80066, which might be a better place. It does sound a worthy read.

And I'm forgetting my manners, sorry! It's good to see you - I do remember you from the old place (and the megathread, which I made my first ever post on...)
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Re: Starmer

Post by Si_B » Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:12 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:43 pm
Yes, I think I agree with all of that.

We did have a previous thread on Baddiel's book viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2416&p=80066, which might be a better place. It does sound a worthy read.

And I'm forgetting my manners, sorry! It's good to see you - I do remember you from the old place (and the megathread, which I made my first ever post on...)
Cheers! I haven't dropped in for a while so I completely missed that thread. I would have jumped in for sure at the time, but it feels a bit late now. You might guess that I would vehemently disagree with you on one or two points regarding Israel. Maybe some day when we both have time we could re-start.

As usual (and as was the case in the old days) I am away for a long time, then I suddenly remember the forum with a warm feeling and drop in to see what's going on. So there would be odd and random rants from me on the last Scottish referendum (against), Brexit (very against), Doctor Who (generally favourable), the mad anti-vax pet owner from Australia (very against) and the odd other topics that piqued my interest (including, of course, the thread that shall not be named). I never did get to jam with Opti (even though he and ddb were living only a few miles away) and I never made any of the pub meetings which is sad. Maybe one day. All the Best!

And apologies for completely derailing this thread.
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Re: Starmer

Post by nekomatic » Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:17 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:19 pm
I think that's because Israel is widely perceived as basically Western, rather than just another despotic desert theocracy, so
I guess if one were trying to be generous one would complete the sentence with ‘people think protesting in a Western country about things Israel does might have some impact because it might embarrass them and/or our own government for having supportive relations with them, whereas protesting about other despotic desert theocracies will be futile’.

I don’t think that’s a very good reason though, especially when you look at the supportive relations our governments have with some of the most despotic desert theocracies.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:37 pm

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

I know I said "cosy up to Murdoch", but I didn't mean by writing for the Sun - that'd massively piss off the Scousers.

Apparently he said last year that he wouldn't do interviews with them, so by writing an article for them instead he's stuck to his word in a very lawyerly way. https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2021-1 ... un-article

The collective strength of feeling about the Sun in Liverpool is pretty impressive. I wish the whole country would boycott the entire Murdoch wing in the same way.

This is "needless gaffe" territory. I want slick!
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Re: Starmer

Post by plodder » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:35 pm

yes because scousers will vote tory and the millions of sun readers don’t count. or something.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:31 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:37 pm
Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

I know I said "cosy up to Murdoch", but I didn't mean by writing for the Sun - that'd massively piss off the Scousers.

Apparently he said last year that he wouldn't do interviews with them, so by writing an article for them instead he's stuck to his word in a very lawyerly way. https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2021-1 ... un-article

The collective strength of feeling about the Sun in Liverpool is pretty impressive. I wish the whole country would boycott the entire Murdoch wing in the same way.

This is "needless gaffe" territory. I want slick!
Yes, seems foolish to obviously go back on his word. If he thought it was the right thing to do he should explicitly explain why he changed his mind.

Blair wrote an article for The Sun, but that was part of a deal in which The Sun switched sides and supported Labour. If Starmer hasn’t got something in return he’s sold himself very cheaply.

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Re: Starmer

Post by nekomatic » Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:55 pm

I seem to be missing how taking the opportunity to get your words in front of a couple of million potential voters is ‘selling yourself’ to the medium (as distinct from selling yourself in the other sense, to the potential voters).
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:15 pm

Compromising on previously professed principles for a perceived reward is pretty textbook selling yourself, I think.
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Re: Starmer

Post by plodder » Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:23 pm

He needs to win an election you sixth form twit

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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:30 pm

Of course. And the Liverpool Sun boycott may well be incompatible with that.

All I'm saying is that he's pissed off his own MPs in doing so, and that "selling himself" seems a fair enough description. Selling himself might be an essential part of the process of getting elected, assuming he got a decent price.
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Re: Starmer

Post by shpalman » Mon Nov 29, 2021 12:34 pm

WHY IS HE DOING A RESHUFFLE NOW
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Re: Starmer

Post by headshot » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:10 pm

shpalman wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 12:34 pm
WHY IS HE DOING A RESHUFFLE NOW
Cat Smith resigned...and why not now? The Govt is in disarray and fighting amongst themselves. Get a reshuffle out of the way and hit the ground running in January.

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Re: Starmer

Post by shpalman » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:22 pm

headshot wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:10 pm
shpalman wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 12:34 pm
WHY IS HE DOING A RESHUFFLE NOW
Cat Smith resigned...and why not now? The Govt is in disarray and fighting amongst themselves. Get a reshuffle out of the way and hit the ground running in January.
Well fine it's not as if the last reshuffle didn't lead to the labour party fighting amongst themselves, good that he kept Angela in the loop this time to avoid the same sort of thing happening again.
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Re: Starmer

Post by shpalman » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:31 pm

molto tricky

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Re: Starmer

Post by headshot » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:34 pm

Oh FFS.

Well, looks like Ange is about to lose her job.

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Re: Starmer

Post by tom p » Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:52 pm

headshot wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:34 pm
Oh FFS.

Well, looks like Ange is about to lose her job.
She can't. Deputy leader is an elected position and not the gift of the leader. Do you think Corbyn would have kept Watson on? Or Blair Prezza?

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Re: Starmer

Post by monkey » Mon Nov 29, 2021 4:25 pm

tom p wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:52 pm
headshot wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:34 pm
Oh FFS.

Well, looks like Ange is about to lose her job.
She can't. Deputy leader is an elected position and not the gift of the leader. Do you think Corbyn would have kept Watson on? Or Blair Prezza?
True, but she doesn't have to be given anything to do either.

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