Starmer

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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Starmer

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:07 pm

However, for the sake of those to whom the invasion of Iraq seventeen and a half years ago by British forces is both incredibly current and vitally, viscerally important*, Keir Starmer denounced the invasion at the time, participated in the protests against it and questioned the legal basis for it in writing. One of his ten pledges commits to "no more illegal wars" and putting "human rights at the heart of foreign policy". When the vote on military intervention in Syria came about in December 2015 he voted against.

So I think one can assume he's not going to do a war unnecessarily if he gets to number 10.


*(though clearly not important enough to bother searching for these easily-findable things themselves)
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Re: Starmer

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:15 pm

I hadn't realized that Blair was running for senior office in the Labour Party.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:07 pm
However, for the sake of those to whom the invasion of Iraq seventeen and a half years ago by British forces is both incredibly current and vitally, viscerally important*, Keir Starmer denounced the invasion at the time, participated in the protests against it and questioned the legal basis for it in writing. One of his ten pledges commits to "no more illegal wars" and putting "human rights at the heart of foreign policy". When the vote on military intervention in Syria came about in December 2015 he voted against.

So I think one can assume he's not going to do a war unnecessarily if he gets to number 10.


*(though clearly not important enough to bother searching for these easily-findable things themselves)
Excellent, thanks EPD, and apologies for my laziness.

It does seem that Starmer is handling things quite fairly, to be honest, and it would clearly be wrong to lump him in with those "Blairite warmongers" you hear so much about. Hopefully his personal position is well known to Labour members/supporters - it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.

I also hope that the majority of people on the left can move on from Corbyn fandom, because he's going to keep being an albatross* otherwise. Starmer seems a better person to have in the role of leading Labour, certainly on the electability and competence axes but also so far we're pretty well aligned on right-wrong.

*one of the last remaining members of a vanishing breed, smells rather fishy
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Re: Starmer

Post by JQH » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:45 pm

secret squirrel wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:15 pm
Grumble wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:56 pm
Blair won an election after the Iraq war. It clearly wasn’t a big deal. Corbyn couldn’t win an election even without that albatross around his neck.
The Great British public doesn't care that much about dead Arabs and the like it's true. Do you?
True. But they do care about dead British soldiers. Especially if they died for a lie.
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Re: Starmer

Post by JQH » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:52 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm


I also hope that the majority of people on the left can move on from Corbyn fandom, because he's going to keep being an albatross* otherwise...
Judging by my Facebook page you hope in vain.

Here's my response to one such:
I don't pretend to know what is in Starmer's mind. What I do know is if Corbyn had held his peace the press would not be now banging on about "Labour splits". Get's Johnson nicely off the hook about his handling of the pandemic.

And if Starmer had done nothing, the press would have been banging on about anti-semitism in the Labour Party, again a win for Johnson.

The only way Labour wins is if Corbyn keeps quiet.
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Re: Starmer

Post by nezumi » Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:53 pm

Being as I am left of Corbyn, but a pragmatist, Corbyn really needs to shut up and go away.

Starmer is doing a good enough job right now as far as I can tell. He's not committed any atrocities that I'm aware of and mostly looks like the only grown-up in the room. Perhaps if we could get the power back we could start changing the conversation and start nudging the public back to the left. If we got power, we might even be able to do something to unseat the supremacy of the right-wing media. But we have to get power first, and that's where Corbyn went wrong - all the rest is window-dressing.

If I'd been in power and accused of anti-semitism, I would have done everything in my power to show otherwise, up to and including a big investigation and removal of culprits as well as pushing to update party rules to make it clear that any and all forms of racism are absolutely intolerable and will result in immediate explusion.

Corbyn was unsuitable because he was really bad at politics. And he really does need to go away cos all he's doing now is damaging the party.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Sciolus » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:02 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm
it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.
Is anyone doing that? Or are they saying that 17 years, five labour leaders, five prime ministers, and at least three oh-f.ck-it's-all-kicking-off-abroad-should-we-intervene decisions later, the decision to go to war in Iraq is simply not terribly relevant to the current state of British politics, and emphatically not a good reason to beat up the Labour Party and declare it unfit for office in perpetuity?

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Re: Starmer

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:13 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm
it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.
I don't believe it's no big deal (though honestly I personally really didn't care that much at the time, and my concern for it has only diminished over the years - regardless, I have to acknowledge its obvious power as a foreign policy issue), but I am thoroughly bored with several things related to it. First is the automatic equating of a centrist Labour position with support for the Iraq war and any future ilk, as if the only two possible positions for a Labour leader are Corbyn and Blair. Second is the way that it is used to dismiss anything that Tony Blair says, regardless of whether it's connected to that issue or not, and regardless of the wisdom of what he says. Third is what Sciolus said.
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Re: Starmer

Post by jimbob » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:30 pm

nezumi wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:53 pm
Being as I am left of Corbyn, but a pragmatist, Corbyn really needs to shut up and go away.

Starmer is doing a good enough job right now as far as I can tell. He's not committed any atrocities that I'm aware of and mostly looks like the only grown-up in the room. Perhaps if we could get the power back we could start changing the conversation and start nudging the public back to the left. If we got power, we might even be able to do something to unseat the supremacy of the right-wing media. But we have to get power first, and that's where Corbyn went wrong - all the rest is window-dressing.

If I'd been in power and accused of anti-semitism, I would have done everything in my power to show otherwise, up to and including a big investigation and removal of culprits as well as pushing to update party rules to make it clear that any and all forms of racism are absolutely intolerable and will result in immediate explusion.

Corbyn was unsuitable because he was really bad at politics. And he really does need to go away cos all he's doing now is damaging the party.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:57 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:02 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm
it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.
Is anyone doing that?
Yes, including on this thread. "Wasn't a big deal" is a direct quote.
Sciolus wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:02 pm
Or are they saying that 17 years, five labour leaders, five prime ministers, and at least three oh-f.ck-it's-all-kicking-off-abroad-should-we-intervene decisions later, the decision to go to war in Iraq is simply not terribly relevant to the current state of British politics, and emphatically not a good reason to beat up the Labour Party and declare it unfit for office in perpetuity?
I would love to agree, but I think it's clear that it's still a bit of an open wound in the party. There hasn't been much of an institutional response to draw a line under it, even if most party leaders since then have said they were against it. Associating with antisemites is rightly being criticized, but associating with (and even being) those responsible for illegal wars that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people isn't seen as equally toxic, when many people think it should be.

With the party still divided I worry that there's a risk choosing to crack down on one while trying to ignore the other looks a bit like political favouritism. I don't think it is that, but I'm also not sure the issue still just go away without some serious attempt at reconciliation.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:01 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:13 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm
it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.
I don't believe it's no big deal (though honestly I personally really didn't care that much at the time, and my concern for it has only diminished over the years - regardless, I have to acknowledge its obvious power as a foreign policy issue), but I am thoroughly bored with several things related to it. First is the automatic equating of a centrist Labour position with support for the Iraq war and any future ilk, as if the only two possible positions for a Labour leader are Corbyn and Blair. Second is the way that it is used to dismiss anything that Tony Blair says, regardless of whether it's connected to that issue or not, and regardless of the wisdom of what he says.
Yes, fair enough. I'm hoping Starmer isn't going to be much like either of Corbyn or Blair, with the exception of winning elections like Blair did.

I heard him speaking for the first time recently, and his voice is very reminiscent of Blair's, which is a bit unhelpful, but probably can't be helped.
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Re: Starmer

Post by discovolante » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:19 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:57 pm
Sciolus wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:02 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm
it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.
Is anyone doing that?
Yes, including on this thread. "Wasn't a big deal" is a direct quote.
Sciolus wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:02 pm
Or are they saying that 17 years, five labour leaders, five prime ministers, and at least three oh-f.ck-it's-all-kicking-off-abroad-should-we-intervene decisions later, the decision to go to war in Iraq is simply not terribly relevant to the current state of British politics, and emphatically not a good reason to beat up the Labour Party and declare it unfit for office in perpetuity?
I would love to agree, but I think it's clear that it's still a bit of an open wound in the party. There hasn't been much of an institutional response to draw a line under it, even if most party leaders since then have said they were against it. Associating with antisemites is rightly being criticized, but associating with (and even being) those responsible for illegal wars that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people isn't seen as equally toxic, when many people think it should be.

With the party still divided I worry that there's a risk choosing to crack down on one while trying to ignore the other looks a bit like political favouritism. I don't think it is that, but I'm also not sure the issue still just go away without some serious attempt at reconciliation.
It seems like most people struggle with the idea that what was the right thing to do at some point might not be the right thing to do now (not that that's necessarily correct either!). It's a bit late now to start making a big hoo-ha about Iraq (at least within the context of the machinations of the Labour party, if not in general), but it's probably fair to say there should have been more formal acknowledgement sooner and maybe more tangible action. But that requires some give on both 'sides' which doesn't really seem to be possible. Possibly partly because, practically speaking, most of the 'giving' would have to be done by the 'anti-Iraq' group (to label it very loosely and dangerously), because there probably isn't much that can be done now by those who hold some responsibility for what happened, whether that responsibility is held by virtue of their actions at the time or their present status in the party.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Sciolus » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:20 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:57 pm
Yes, including on this thread. "Wasn't a big deal" is a direct quote.
Grumble said it clearly wasn't a big deal to most voters because Blair went on to win the next election convincingly. This is a demonstrable fact*. No-one here is writing it off. I don't believe many of those voters wrote it off either, it was just one of many things that went into their decisions.

*Well, actually, since both main parties supported the war it could be the single most important issue in your opinion, but it still wouldn't actually change your vote at all. So maybe not.
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:57 pm
I would love to agree, but I think it's clear that it's still a bit of an open wound in the party. There hasn't been much of an institutional response to draw a line under it, even if most party leaders since then have said they were against it. Associating with antisemites is rightly being criticized, but associating with (and even being) those responsible for illegal wars that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people isn't seen as equally toxic, when many people think it should be.

With the party still divided I worry that there's a risk choosing to crack down on one while trying to ignore the other looks a bit like political favouritism. I don't think it is that, but I'm also not sure the issue still just go away without some serious attempt at reconciliation.
It was a political generation ago. None of the major players then are major players now. The current Labour leader was explicitly against it at the time. Debates around Ukraine, Syria and Libya show that the lessons have been learned. What else should they do to draw a line under it? It's only an issue because some Labour supporters keep making it an issue.

f.cking hell. Blair certainly had his faults, but he was the best PM in my lifetime.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Sciolus » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:27 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:20 pm
f.cking hell. Blair certainly had his faults, but he was the best PM in my lifetime.
I don't know much about Macmillan, Douglas-Home or post-war Churchill, except that they were massive toffs so probably pretty sh.t as PM, so that takes us back to Attlee. Has the Labour Party ever apologised for Attlee's decision to create a British nuclear weapons programme?

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Re: Starmer

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:41 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:13 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm
it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.
I don't believe it's no big deal (though honestly I personally really didn't care that much at the time, and my concern for it has only diminished over the years - regardless, I have to acknowledge its obvious power as a foreign policy issue), but I am thoroughly bored with several things related to it. First is the automatic equating of a centrist Labour position with support for the Iraq war and any future ilk, as if the only two possible positions for a Labour leader are Corbyn and Blair.
True, at the time only 33% of Labour supporters supported an invasion without prior proof of Iraqi WMD and without a UN Security Council resolution that authorized military action. Back then the centrist position was to oppose the war (in the circumstances under which it occurred).

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Re: Starmer

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:06 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:41 pm
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:13 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:38 pm
it is pretty grotesque seeing Iraq written off as 'no big deal' by supporters of the more compassionate end of UK politics, especially as its effects are being felt considerably more recently than 17 years ago.
I don't believe it's no big deal (though honestly I personally really didn't care that much at the time, and my concern for it has only diminished over the years - regardless, I have to acknowledge its obvious power as a foreign policy issue), but I am thoroughly bored with several things related to it. First is the automatic equating of a centrist Labour position with support for the Iraq war and any future ilk, as if the only two possible positions for a Labour leader are Corbyn and Blair.
True, at the time only 33% of Labour supporters supported an invasion without prior proof of Iraqi WMD and without a UN Security Council resolution that authorized military action. Back then the centrist position was to oppose the war (in the circumstances under which it occurred).
And in addition to EPD’s links above

In 2006 Starmer and others took a case to the Law Lords which argued that the legality of the invasion should be tried in court: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4743464.stm

And here’s what Starmer wrote four years ago:
The Chilcot report is damning. It exposes a litany of failures over a long period, including reliance on flawed intelligence assessments, lack of planning and insufficient foresight of obvious consequences. But the report also exposes a chilling lack of rigour and a political culture of deference.

[..]

A properly evidenced and robust legal basis should be a minimum requirement; as should a fully prepared, realistic and risk-assessed plan. The absence of the former is why I opposed the Iraq war in 2003; the absence of the latter why I voted against military action in Syria in 2015.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-36714717

Difficult to see Starmer as anything other than a consistent and active opponent of the invasion of Iraq.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Trinucleus » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:25 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:56 pm
Blair won an election after the Iraq war. It clearly wasn’t a big deal. Corbyn couldn’t win an election even without that albatross around his neck.
With Corbyn happy to stay in the party

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Re: Starmer

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:57 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:06 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:41 pm
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:13 pm


I don't believe it's no big deal (though honestly I personally really didn't care that much at the time, and my concern for it has only diminished over the years - regardless, I have to acknowledge its obvious power as a foreign policy issue), but I am thoroughly bored with several things related to it. First is the automatic equating of a centrist Labour position with support for the Iraq war and any future ilk, as if the only two possible positions for a Labour leader are Corbyn and Blair.
True, at the time only 33% of Labour supporters supported an invasion without prior proof of Iraqi WMD and without a UN Security Council resolution that authorized military action. Back then the centrist position was to oppose the war (in the circumstances under which it occurred).
And in addition to EPD’s links above

In 2006 Starmer and others took a case to the Law Lords which argued that the legality of the invasion should be tried in court: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4743464.stm

And here’s what Starmer wrote four years ago:
The Chilcot report is damning. It exposes a litany of failures over a long period, including reliance on flawed intelligence assessments, lack of planning and insufficient foresight of obvious consequences. But the report also exposes a chilling lack of rigour and a political culture of deference.

[..]

A properly evidenced and robust legal basis should be a minimum requirement; as should a fully prepared, realistic and risk-assessed plan. The absence of the former is why I opposed the Iraq war in 2003; the absence of the latter why I voted against military action in Syria in 2015.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-36714717

Difficult to see Starmer as anything other than a consistent and active opponent of the invasion of Iraq.
It come back the the purity of ideology. Starmer will never be good enough as he's not sufficiently left-wing. Too centrist. And so it doesn't matter that he opposed the Iraq war - he's centre left. Blair was centre left. Blair is was war criminal because of Iraq. Ergo Starmer's as bad as Blair. Nothing that Starmer does or says will be good enough.

Whereas on the other hand we haven't had a holocaust for ages... in comparison to the Iraq war, antisemitism isn't that bad... (PS, for the avoidance of confusion - that is sarcasm on my part, dark and poorly done, but still sarcasm).

And so we get to the point of some threatening splitting... and that'll go well. What do they expect? For Starmer to suddenly stand down in preference to someone favoured by the far left? Considering Corbyn's failure in two elections, even with the Tories mismanagement I can't see the country suddenly finding itself enamoured of the someone similar. And if not? If they split? That'll just give the Tories an unassailable majority for decades to come. Brilliant. Either way they can sit there in opposition resolutely proud of their purity.

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Re: Starmer

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:15 pm

As an aside - can someone tell Corbyn how to wear a mask? Every single photo he's got his nose hanging out.

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Re: Starmer

Post by headshot » Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:25 pm

Well...
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Re: Starmer

Post by monkey » Fri Oct 30, 2020 10:05 pm

headshot wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:25 pm
Well...
I was just coming here to post about that. Labour have been ahead 3 out 5 polls in the past week (from the selection in teh wiki page). All done before yesterday.

If you look into the tables of recent polls you find that it's not clear that Labour are gaining support, it looks more like the Tories are losing support to the don't knows. A fair proportion of Lib Dems seem to have gone Labour's way, but that was hardly a big pool. Still a long way for Starmer to go.

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Re: Starmer

Post by secret squirrel » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:29 am

Sciolus wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:20 pm

It was a political generation ago. None of the major players then are major players now. The current Labour leader was explicitly against it at the time. Debates around Ukraine, Syria and Libya show that the lessons have been learned. What else should they do to draw a line under it? It's only an issue because some Labour supporters keep making it an issue.

f.cking hell. Blair certainly had his faults, but he was the best PM in my lifetime.
The reason some Labour supporters keep making it an issue, is that other Labour supporters keep saying things like your last line. It is abundantly clear from this thread that a lot of people, you for example, who consider themselves progressive just reflexively do not assign much value to the lives of non-whites in the Middle East. As if the totally avoidable carnage in Iraq is just a policy misstep, to be weighed against and eclipsed by such things as increases in social services spending.

It's like talking to someone who's friends with someone who murdered loads of children, and she's saying, 'yes, but it was 15 years ago, and he's such a nice bloke. It's tedious that you keep bringing it up actually. Do you realize how much he was giving to charity at the time? You're being ridiculous to make it an issue'.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:54 am

I'd rank invading Iraq as worse than austerity, for example.
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Re: Starmer

Post by plodder » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:11 am

Christ on a bike, even Blair acknowledges that he’s toxic and has even apologised up to a point. Starmer is a completely different character, far less messianic, less charismatic, more methodical. Blair had a really tight team of like minded people around him, especially in the early days - with the expressed intention of taking over the party and seizing power - it was all planned out years in advance. There’s not much direct comparison between the two.

People will always look for shortcuts and easy ways to express complicated things, especially if it allows them to demonstrate how virtuous they are. For some people governments are all bad, unless they’re perfect. They are a potential source of votes for Labour (or UKIP, or whoever) but they aren’t the only group worth courting.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Grumble » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:12 am

secret squirrel wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:29 am
Sciolus wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:20 pm

It was a political generation ago. None of the major players then are major players now. The current Labour leader was explicitly against it at the time. Debates around Ukraine, Syria and Libya show that the lessons have been learned. What else should they do to draw a line under it? It's only an issue because some Labour supporters keep making it an issue.

f.cking hell. Blair certainly had his faults, but he was the best PM in my lifetime.
The reason some Labour supporters keep making it an issue, is that other Labour supporters keep saying things like your last line. It is abundantly clear from this thread that a lot of people, you for example, who consider themselves progressive just reflexively do not assign much value to the lives of non-whites in the Middle East. As if the totally avoidable carnage in Iraq is just a policy misstep, to be weighed against and eclipsed by such things as increases in social services spending.

It's like talking to someone who's friends with someone who murdered loads of children, and she's saying, 'yes, but it was 15 years ago, and he's such a nice bloke. It's tedious that you keep bringing it up actually. Do you realize how much he was giving to charity at the time? You're being ridiculous to make it an issue'.
If we were thinking of electing Blair then it would be relevant.
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