Starmer

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Re: Starmer

Post by AMS » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:37 pm

discovolante wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:36 pm
AMS wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:24 pm
If Starmer had agreed with defunding the police, you can bet that clip would get dragged up again and again at PMQs, as well as Tory Facebook ads etc, especially every time the Tories were on the ropes on a law and order matter.
If you're responding to the posts in this thread, then I don't think I have said that he should have agreed with defunding the police?
Sure, I'm not arguing on that point, but was wondering if he was focussed more on shutting down an easy attack line for Cummings/Johnson, rather than getting involved in a more detailed discussion that could easily be spun.

(I'm a bit confused about what Starmer has actually said, other than that he's not in favour of defunding the police - this was from a very brief clip, so what has he said beyond that?)

Also would he have really made David Lammy his shadow justice secretary if he wasn't in favour of implementing the recommendations of the Lammy report? I'm sure Starmer is very well aware of what's in it.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:55 pm

discovolante wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:48 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:04 am
discovolante wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:29 am
This isn't two weeks before a general election, he has time to build a case. His comments have put off other people who I would imagine don't read the right wing press. The right wing press have four years of finding things to leap on him about, it is going to happen regardless.
I disagree there. Party leaders can be defined early on and can find it very difficult to change initial perceptions.
If a journalist asks you a question you don't have to actually answer it. He could have chosen a few connected points: stretched services across the board, racial disparities in the criminal justice system including the police that need reform (and which have worsened up to the tories), failure of the Tories to implement the recommendations in the Lammy review. None of those need be presented in a way that remotely suggest the police should be defunded.

He's a barrister, his job is literally to present complex information succinctly in the face of hostile questioning. Assuming he did jury trials, that would involve persuading members of the public. He was the human rights advisor to the Policing Board in Northern Ireland, so I assume he has plenty of experience to draw on there as well even without referring directly to it in interviews.

It's a shame that the concern remains more about automatically trying to figure out how to keep the right wing press happy, rather than figuring out how to communicate a message that doesn't alienate an entire demographic.

Anyway here are a few recent headlines from the Sun:

TAKE YOUR TIME Axed Rebecca Long Bailey FINALLY deletes tweet to ‘anti-semitic’ article which got her sacked by Keir Starmer

LABOUR AT WAR Rebecca Long-Bailey says Sir Keir Starmer caused ‘avoidable mess’ by firing her over anti-Semitic conspiracy theory

CORBYN FURY Corbyn leads calls for Rebecca Long-Bailey to be reinstated as Labour civil war threatens to erupt

'SEXIST' LABOUR Sir Keir Starmer has taken over a Labour Party which ‘silences’ women, Lisa Nandy warned

KEIR SCHTUMMER Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer slammed for long silence on the re-opening of schools

DAN WOOTTON It’s rich for Labour to accuse the Tories of a culture war after they’ve belittled BAME women

HARD JUSTICE Sir Keir Starmer and the Jimmy Savile scandal – what was Labour leader’s involvement as head of Public Prosecutions?

A bit of a mixed bag, but already a fair bit of focus on Labour excluding women and ethnic minorities, and a nod towards failure to prosecute sexual predators, which has popped up here and there in other places as well. Whether that 'story' will last several more years or be revived in time for a GE is another matter I suppose.
I wasn't commenting on what Starmer said. I haven't seen the interview. I was just suggesting that in terms of public perceptions the first few months are an important period.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Grumble » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:12 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:31 pm
The UK argument doesn't even require expensive police retraining, just a diversion of funding from invasive policing and incarceration to social programs. It is quite surprising to see a Labour leader opposed to that
It’s not at all surprising to see a Labour leader opposed to cutting police spending. I like to imagine he’s in agreement with their general goals but fundamentally differs on diverting money from the police is a good way to get there.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:19 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:10 pm
From the interview he is strongly supportive of the police and fundamentally disagrees with the aims of BLM (UK) in this regard. Must admit I’m not familiar with what their aims are around defund the police. I would hope Starmer was familiar before he commented on them.
There isn’t one set of aims. Here’s a couple of summaries of what US activists have called for:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... inneapolis

https://www.vox.com/2020/6/3/21276824/d ... -explainer

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Re: Starmer

Post by Grumble » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:16 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:19 pm
Grumble wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:10 pm
From the interview he is strongly supportive of the police and fundamentally disagrees with the aims of BLM (UK) in this regard. Must admit I’m not familiar with what their aims are around defund the police. I would hope Starmer was familiar before he commented on them.
There isn’t one set of aims. Here’s a couple of summaries of what US activists have called for:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... inneapolis

https://www.vox.com/2020/6/3/21276824/d ... -explainer
Well I did specify UK for that reason.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:27 pm

Grumble wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:16 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:19 pm
Grumble wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:10 pm
From the interview he is strongly supportive of the police and fundamentally disagrees with the aims of BLM (UK) in this regard. Must admit I’m not familiar with what their aims are around defund the police. I would hope Starmer was familiar before he commented on them.
There isn’t one set of aims. Here’s a couple of summaries of what US activists have called for:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... inneapolis

https://www.vox.com/2020/6/3/21276824/d ... -explainer
Well I did specify UK for that reason.
Here's a tweet from a few days ago:
#BlackLivesMatterUK
@ukblm
When we say 'Defund the police' we mean 'Invest in programmes that actually keep us safe like youth services, mental health and social care, education, jobs and housing. Key services to support the most vulnerable before they come into contact with the criminal justice system'.

As a public prosecutor, Sir Kier Starmer was a cop in an expensive suit. While black people are now incarcerated at the same rate as African Americans, the prison population in Britain has almost doubled since the 1980s. This has affected all working class people in Britain.

The expansion of police and prison power has not made our communities safer.

We can no longer allow governments from any party to police or imprison away social problems. Neither can we allow former Prosecutors to tell us what our demands should be.
https://mobile.twitter.com/ukblm/status ... 8153315328

I'm sure there are more detailed, thorough documents setting out ideas in more detail, but that's a start. Opposition to overpolicing and mass incarceration, coupled with support for expanding social programs.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Gfamily » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:06 pm

But as Disco points out - the right wing media like the Scum aren't going to look at what people are actually asking for in that regard, but will adopt the most reductive position, and will take whatever Starmer says and project it in the way they want.

ETA
If BLM are equally reductive in response to what is reported, then the right wing media has done its job
Last edited by Gfamily on Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starmer

Post by AMS » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:08 pm

"Defund the police" is a terrible slogan for achieving those aims - it sounds more like something you'd see on a SWP placard, and will push away those who are not involved in the protests but sympathetic to the cause.

The things they call for (eg mental health services, better housing, jobs) are core Labour bread and butter stuff, but politically Labour cannot touch that slogan with a bargepole.

(Also, I think it's somewhat disingenuous about Starmer's previous job as DPP, as the CPS have a constitutional role rather than a policy-making one. That line makes me wonder if this is actually the Corbynites hitching themselves to the BLM movement.)

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Re: Starmer

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:27 pm

AMS wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:08 pm
"Defund the police" is a terrible slogan for achieving those aims - it sounds more like something you'd see on a SWP placard, and will push away those who are not involved in the protests but sympathetic to the cause.
UKBLM - as opposed to decentralised British support of Black Lives Matter - came to prominence after a bunch of largely white activists blocked a runway over climate stuff. While it doesn't seem clear who runs it - or who will be receiving the money they've raised or where it is going, given there's no registered charity by that name, as far as I can tell - their talking points are standard hard-left clique talking points, and it seems quite possible it is run by people in that clique. They've got form for astroturfing (eg several supposedly separate and supposedly Jewish anti-Israel groups all run by the same handful of people with a membership that seems to largely be not Jewish).

There can often be a disconnect between people who claim to be leading largely leaderless movements (and UKBLM appear to have had a grand total of f.ck all to do with establishing Black Lives Matter as a movement in the first place) and the majority of the people demonstrating, and this may be one of those times.
(Also, I think it's somewhat disingenuous about Starmer's previous job as DPP, as the CPS have a constitutional role rather than a policy-making one. That line makes me wonder if this is actually the Corbynites hitching themselves to the BLM movement.)
Ewa Jasciewicz seems to be involved, and she was also praised by Corbyn. She's fairly typical hard-left clique, also noted for defacing the f.cking Warsaw Ghetto ruins, so yeah, could well be.

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Re: Starmer

Post by Gfamily » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:47 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:27 pm
While it doesn't seem clear who runs it ...
...their talking points are standard hard-left clique talking points, and it seems quite possible it is run by people in that clique. They've got form for astroturfing (eg several supposedly separate and supposedly Jewish anti-Israel groups all run by the same handful of people with a membership that seems to largely be not Jewish).
I think it's dodgy to attribute what 'they' have done if you don't know who 'they' are.

OK to express scepticism about them but you might want to examine how certain you are.
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Re: Starmer

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:54 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:47 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:27 pm
While it doesn't seem clear who runs it ...
...their talking points are standard hard-left clique talking points, and it seems quite possible it is run by people in that clique. They've got form for astroturfing (eg several supposedly separate and supposedly Jewish anti-Israel groups all run by the same handful of people with a membership that seems to largely be not Jewish).
I think it's dodgy to attribute what 'they' have done if you don't know who 'they' are.

OK to express scepticism about them but you might want to examine how certain you are.
Ah, sorry. Could have been clearer.

First they refers to the peoplke running the UKBLM account

Second they refers to the UK's cliquey hard-left.

Although it's clearer as I wrote it, rather than as you quoted it - "and it seems quite possible it is run by people in that clique. They've got form for astroturfing"

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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:21 pm

That's more tenuous than what I thought you meant. "These people have form for astroturfing, therefore X could be their astroturf" is a bit circular, I think. Cops are known to run astroturf accounts, so UKBLM could be a false flag ;)

You are right that the UKBLM isn't necessarily representative of the majority of protestors or supporters of BLM, thanks for clarifying. I don't know that there's any particularly rigorous attempt to find out what most people saying "defund the police" mean. All we have are a selection of self-appointed spokespeople with a greater or lesser degree of community support. It's not even clear who a "BLM leader" would be - organising protests is a separate skill from tweeting politically, which is separate again from actually engaging policy makers, or voters.

In my experience of activists, they do tend to have opinions very far from the political mainstream. I would expect people who devote a lot of their time to campaigning or disseminating information to have strong opinions and be vocal about them. I'm not sure if that adds to their legitimacy.

(The rest of this post is not directed at EACL or his post, but kind of follows on from the above)

I'm really in two minds about the politicisation of the movement (the recent domination of debate by specific policy goals and candidates - obviously it's always been a political movement more generally).

It's obviously helpful if people from across the political spectrum feel comfortable acknowledging that black lives do indeed matter. On the other hand, it's very likely that any meaningful, sustainable attempt to defend black lives' mattering is going to involve some (probably most, given that we're all complicit in upholding these structures) people's position on the political spectrum having to change, or their position being overpowered in some way. How else does change happen? The loudest voices need to be the most radical and most ambitious, as change almost always involves compromise and we'll inevitably end up somewhere between the status quo and the movement's demands. Attention is the most precious resource in the internet age. And so on.

I'm confused and uncomfortable all the time at the moment. I don't know who I agree with. I do know I'm deeply suspicious of anyone who seems certain they know what we should or shouldn't do to fix society. There's this huge tangled knot of competing tensions and it's going to be a pain in the arse to untangle.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Gfamily » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:40 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:21 pm
I'm confused and uncomfortable all the time at the moment. I don't know who I agree with. I do know I'm deeply suspicious of anyone who seems certain they know what we should or shouldn't do to fix society.
I think that's a very valid position to take.
There are issues around which it is relatively easy to form a confident view.

There are other issues for which you might have an initial 'unconsidered, but basically accepted' view; but then you then find there are conflicting issues, and it's very hard to find a synthesis.

Don't worry about thinking you have to 'agree with' anyone - I think it's OK to say "I don't know what I think about that"; but then to listen to both sides of the argument and weigh it up yourself.
And if you're still not sure it's still OK to say nothing; or if pushed "I don't know what I think about that"
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Re: Starmer

Post by discovolante » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:34 pm

I've got a few things to do today so this reply might not be as coherent or detailed as I'd like (not that I set the bar particularly high with my other posts) but there are just a few things I'd like to comment on.

Firstly, for those who have commented but haven't seen the clip I'm talking about, here it is (linking to twitter because the BBC website clip cuts the last 20 seconds off).

One thing I didn't mention before was him referring to BLM as a 'moment', which was what caused a lot of the backlash - he has since said he regretted it but it was a pretty poor choice of words imo, if he genuinely wasn't trying to downplay it as a flash in the pan that we all now need to move on from.

I can't find the full interview so if he does talk about other things in more detail then I don't know, if anyone does manage to find it I'd really like to see if because it might be reassuring if he actually goes on to expand about some issues he thinks should be addressed.

I did wonder if he was trying to distance himself from the 'organisation' (as at the end of the clip) because of some things that have been said about Israel. But I don't think that justifies just completely distancing himself from the whole thing.

A few specific points:
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:55 pm
I wasn't commenting on what Starmer said. I haven't seen the interview. I was just suggesting that in terms of public perceptions the first few months are an important period.
My point was that he is already being criticised by the right wing press for discriminating against women/minorities within the Labour party. Perhaps not a particularly vicious attack but if that is the angle the press has taken to date then he's not doing himself loads of favours by dismissing it further.
AMS wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:37 pm
Sure, I'm not arguing on that point, but was wondering if he was focussed more on shutting down an easy attack line for Cummings/Johnson, rather than getting involved in a more detailed discussion that could easily be spun.
It is really disappointing that the automatic reaction to a challenging issue is that the best thing to do is to go on the defensive rather than work out how it can be used as an opportunity to improve the lives of the country's citizens and other people who live here, and from a political perspective, to point out the failings of the government in power.
AMS wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:37 pm
Also would he have really made David Lammy his shadow justice secretary if he wasn't in favour of implementing the recommendations of the Lammy report? I'm sure Starmer is very well aware of what's in it.
Yes he is. On 10 June David Lammy tweeted this (sorry twitter again, I just googled 'Keir Starmer Lammy Review' and that was the first meaningful result). That was nearly a month ago though. If he chose to appoint David Lammy as shadow justice secretary, knowing full well what his priorities and concerns are - and to be quite honest, knowing that a lot of people actively dislike (to put it mildly) Lammy for daring to speak out about racism in the UK - why didn't he use this as an opportunity to promote Lammy's objectives? If he's in support, why not help to keep the momentum going?
AMS wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:08 pm
The things they call for (eg mental health services, better housing, jobs) are core Labour bread and butter stuff, but politically Labour cannot touch that slogan with a bargepole.
Right! The crux of it does appear to be the perception of BLM as the organisation rather than the movement. So why not divert the discussion back to Labour's policy issues rather than just act completely dismissively? And not only dismiss it - which he could probably have done quite briefly - but perhaps more importantly, spend half the answer talking about how many people you've brought to court when the issue is precisely that the justice system is systematically racist?
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:21 pm
In my experience of activists, they do tend to have opinions very far from the political mainstream. I would expect people who devote a lot of their time to campaigning or disseminating information to have strong opinions and be vocal about them. I'm not sure if that adds to their legitimacy.
I was listening a podcast interview with some American 'progressive' poll analyst/campaigner person, who on the whole I didn't particularly warm to tbh but he made the point that shifting public perceptions is the job of activists and movements and it is then for politicians to work with that shift in perception to get elected, rather than the politicians to be the ones driving the change. I can see that argument but if it's valid then the question becomes at what point do politicians become involved. In that sense you could say it's too early for Starmer to be 'getting involved' while the situation is still in flux, but on the other hand - apart from him calling it a 'moment' - there is also seizing the opportunity while you have the chance, getting an issue on the agenda and then keeping it there, rather than waiting for the dust to settle.
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:21 pm
I'm really in two minds about the politicisation of the movement (the recent domination of debate by specific policy goals and candidates - obviously it's always been a political movement more generally).

It's obviously helpful if people from across the political spectrum feel comfortable acknowledging that black lives do indeed matter. On the other hand, it's very likely that any meaningful, sustainable attempt to defend black lives' mattering is going to involve some (probably most, given that we're all complicit in upholding these structures) people's position on the political spectrum having to change, or their position being overpowered in some way. How else does change happen? The loudest voices need to be the most radical and most ambitious, as change almost always involves compromise and we'll inevitably end up somewhere between the status quo and the movement's demands. Attention is the most precious resource in the internet age. And so on.

I'm confused and uncomfortable all the time at the moment. I don't know who I agree with. I do know I'm deeply suspicious of anyone who seems certain they know what we should or shouldn't do to fix society. There's this huge tangled knot of competing tensions and it's going to be a pain in the arse to untangle.
Yeah I pretty much agree with this too at the moment.

What I'm just a bit sad and disappointed about though, is the automatic reactions of 'well they have a bad slogan' 'we mustn't upset the right wing press' - they might be valid criticisms but it strikes me as a reactive decision to distance ourselves from what this is fundamentally about, i.e. racism. As if it's 'their' problem to sort out and rather than look at how we can contribute to this (which tom p started a thread about) we just go 'oh well, they need to communicate better and the leader of the opposition is quite right to avoid the issue until they do'. There are real people affected by this every day. I can't claim even for a second to be the authority on this issue or to really even understand it fully, or to claim that I haven't f.cked up repeatedly (in my last two jobs for example I certainly found myself in situations that in retrospect I really could have handled better, had I been properly switched on to what was going on from the outset rather than realising too late), but there just seems to be an underlying lack of compassion running through this discussion in that people don't seem to be that interested in ensuring senior political figures are held to account - even if there is some disagreement about how that can best be achieved - just because those politicians are generally seen to be on 'our' side.

OK that last para in particular is probably not expressed very well, I am trying not to be too combative in this post so if it's rubbed anyone up the wrong way then I am sorry, but it would be nice if people could respond in kind if they disagree. Or if you think I'm just talking out of my arse as well and have completely misunderstood everyone. It's quite possible.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Grumble » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:52 pm

I’m coming from a place of finding myself at work defending BLM in general to older middle aged white men saying “Black Lives Matter is racist, why can’t they say All Lives Matter?” So I know how negative the perception is of BLM amongst people that might traditionally have been Labour voters but voted for Brexit and might have voted Tory at the last election. I don’t think these are racist people either, they just haven’t got their heads wrapped around this topic. Like it or not these are the people you need to bring along to win power back for Labour in the future.
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Re: Starmer

Post by discovolante » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:57 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:52 pm
I’m coming from a place of finding myself at work defending BLM in general to older middle aged white men saying “Black Lives Matter is racist, why can’t they say All Lives Matter?” So I know how negative the perception is of BLM amongst people that might traditionally have been Labour voters but voted for Brexit and might have voted Tory at the last election. I don’t think these are racist people either, they just haven’t got their heads wrapped around this topic. Like it or not these are the people you need to bring along to win power back for Labour in the future.
So the issue should be dropped to keep these people happy, or worked on over the next 3 years, 9 months, and 28 days which at the moment is when the next GE is going to be? Why are their votes more important? Just because there presumably aren't many black people in swing seats?
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Re: Starmer

Post by Grumble » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:58 pm

discovolante wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:57 pm
Grumble wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:52 pm
I’m coming from a place of finding myself at work defending BLM in general to older middle aged white men saying “Black Lives Matter is racist, why can’t they say All Lives Matter?” So I know how negative the perception is of BLM amongst people that might traditionally have been Labour voters but voted for Brexit and might have voted Tory at the last election. I don’t think these are racist people either, they just haven’t got their heads wrapped around this topic. Like it or not these are the people you need to bring along to win power back for Labour in the future.
So the issue should be dropped to keep these people happy, or worked on over the next 3 years, 9 months, and 28 days which at the moment is when the next GE is going to be? Why are their votes more important? Just because there presumably aren't many black people in swing seats?
If Labour is to be a broad coalition it must find ways of bringing along people with very different views on some things.
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:27 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:58 pm
discovolante wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:57 pm
Grumble wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:52 pm
I’m coming from a place of finding myself at work defending BLM in general to older middle aged white men saying “Black Lives Matter is racist, why can’t they say All Lives Matter?” So I know how negative the perception is of BLM amongst people that might traditionally have been Labour voters but voted for Brexit and might have voted Tory at the last election. I don’t think these are racist people either, they just haven’t got their heads wrapped around this topic. Like it or not these are the people you need to bring along to win power back for Labour in the future.
So the issue should be dropped to keep these people happy, or worked on over the next 3 years, 9 months, and 28 days which at the moment is when the next GE is going to be? Why are their votes more important? Just because there presumably aren't many black people in swing seats?
If Labour is to be a broad coalition it must find ways of bringing along people with very different views on some things.
Yes, definitely. I don't think calling BLM a 'moment' and diverting funding to social programs 'nonsense' was a very good way of doing that. People from communities targetted by police racism are already suspicious of Starmer due to his previous role as a prosecutor.
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Re: Starmer

Post by discovolante » Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:32 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:58 pm
discovolante wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:57 pm
Grumble wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:52 pm
I’m coming from a place of finding myself at work defending BLM in general to older middle aged white men saying “Black Lives Matter is racist, why can’t they say All Lives Matter?” So I know how negative the perception is of BLM amongst people that might traditionally have been Labour voters but voted for Brexit and might have voted Tory at the last election. I don’t think these are racist people either, they just haven’t got their heads wrapped around this topic. Like it or not these are the people you need to bring along to win power back for Labour in the future.
So the issue should be dropped to keep these people happy, or worked on over the next 3 years, 9 months, and 28 days which at the moment is when the next GE is going to be? Why are their votes more important? Just because there presumably aren't many black people in swing seats?
If Labour is to be a broad coalition it must find ways of bringing along people with very different views on some things.
What BOAF said. But even if the only way for Labour to win a GE is to desperately avoid offending the sensibilities of slightly racist middle aged white men by demonstrating a modicum of concern for people who aren't them, when *do* Labour get to address this? Immediately after winning? Or should they ignore it until after they've got other policies in first? Should they only do it if they win a landslide so they can be sure it won't lose them too many votes at the next GE? Should they wait until winning a second GE so there is enough time for the policies they'd already started to implement to bed in properly if it did cost them a third GE? At what point do these people's needs and dignity matter enough to become enough of a priority for Labour to act on them?

Also, this tactic hasn't always worked for Labour before. Immigration policy is probably the closest approximation I can think of to this issue that tends to come up frequently in elections. I'm aware that immigration is also tangled up in lots of other issues, politically in general and party politically, so is a difficult example, but I'm working with what I can think of. I'd welcome a better example. But it didn't win them a GE in 2015 despite Ed Miliband's best efforts. That kind of approach isn't enough on its own and there are always going to be other factors affecting votes.
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discovolante
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Re: Starmer

Post by discovolante » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:03 pm

To be honest, regardless of Labour policy, if England votes Tory again in 2024 after all this I'm going to shoot myself off the planet from a cannon.
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Re: Starmer

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:46 pm

Frankie Boyle on Twitter wrote:Labour is going to spend four years chasing the approval of newspapers that wouldn't stop backing the Tories if they crop dusted the whole country in hot sh.t
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Re: Starmer

Post by AMS » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:39 pm

People are asking "when do Labour address this"? Please remember that they are only six months down the road from a historically awful election result, three months into a new leadership, and the country is mired in the immediate crisis of covid-19 plus the impending one of a possible no-deal Brexit. So while I can see why that interview got people's backs up, especially the "moment" comment, I do feel we need to give the new Labour leadership time to develop their position. The "defund" slogan is wrong for Labour, and anyway only makes sense in a US context I think, but I'd be confident that Lammy being given the brief does indicate the direction Starmer wants them to go.

On the point about avoiding "offending the sensibilities of slightly racist middle aged white men", I'm not sure that's the best way to look at it - I'd see it more as a question of regaining trust before they are listened too, and "smash the system" slogans are not going to help, as people will associate with the Corbynite politics that they rejected.

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Re: Starmer

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:07 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:27 pm
Yes, definitely. I don't think calling BLM a 'moment' and diverting funding to social programs 'nonsense' was a very good way of doing that. People from communities targetted by police racism are already suspicious of Starmer due to his previous role as a prosecutor.
He didn't say that diverting funding to social programs was nonsense. He said defunding the police was nonsense. The former may be the aim but the latter is an utterly godawful way to express it. It also makes no sense. We do not need to take funding away from the police to fund those social programs. Any major party leader suggesting we reduce the police budget is going to be on ice.

It's a slogan that comes from the US, where police budgets are so extravagant and social programs so woeful that it carries a lot of weight. There is nowhere near the same disparity here. The slogan doesn't work here. At all.

If people want to talk about more funding for good things then do that, but don't label it with a cartload of shite in the process.
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Re: Starmer

Post by snoozeofreason » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:15 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:07 pm
It's a slogan that comes from the US, where police budgets are so extravagant and social programs so woeful that it carries a lot of weight. There is nowhere near the same disparity here. The slogan doesn't work here. At all.
And also ignores the fact that, under the past 10 years of Conservative administration, central government funding for the police has been significantly reduced and, as the Institute for Government point out, the results have not been great.
When it comes to policing in England and Wales, there are a number of warning signs emerging. Victims are becoming less satisfied and fewer offences are resulting in charges. This is, perhaps, unsurprising given the fall in police spending, staff and officer numbers since 2009/10.

At the same time, complex crimes requiring more police resources – such as child exploitation and abuse – are on the rise. With reduced resources, the police have had to adapt to growing demand, and are increasingly prioritising responding to more violent or easier-to-solve crimes. They are also taking longer to investigate and charge crimes, but this could partly be due to the growth in the use of digital evidence.
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Re: Starmer

Post by discovolante » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:21 pm

AMS wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:39 pm
People are asking "when do Labour address this"? Please remember that they are only six months down the road from a historically awful election result, three months into a new leadership, and the country is mired in the immediate crisis of covid-19 plus the impending one of a possible no-deal Brexit. So while I can see why that interview got people's backs up, especially the "moment" comment, I do feel we need to give the new Labour leadership time to develop their position. The "defund" slogan is wrong for Labour, and anyway only makes sense in a US context I think, but I'd be confident that Lammy being given the brief does indicate the direction Starmer wants them to go.

On the point about avoiding "offending the sensibilities of slightly racist middle aged white men", I'm not sure that's the best way to look at it - I'd see it more as a question of regaining trust before they are listened too, and "smash the system" slogans are not going to help, as people will associate with the Corbynite politics that they rejected.
One thing I think this post is ignoring is that, in the context of this thread at least, nobody is arguing that Starmer should have agreed that the police should be defunded. EPD has picked up on some wording in BOAF's post that could be interpreted that way but based on previous posts by BOAF I am pretty sure that's not what he meant (and he can correct me if I'm wrong), and that's not how I interpreted it. I haven't said that Starmer should associate himself with 'Corbynite politics'. Sure he was asked questions specifically about defunding the police, but that's in part because the media just likes to ask provocative questions and politicians should be able to deal with that. Nicola Sturgeon seems to manage it, and one of the things people seem to like about Starmer is his ability to bring clarity to detail ('forensic' seems to be the word of the day at the moment).

It's not even like Labour doesn't have any ammunition against the Tories right now. The interview question was specifically about the criminal justice system, sure, but there is a general sense on the edge of the mainstream that they have gone too far. Windrush isn't over, and there was the lovely spectacle of the government refusing to publish the Public Health England report for fear it might make people angry about the inequalities it exposed.

You've also claimed the context of this to be purely the events of the last few months, but it isn't really. I'm going to conflate immigration of different kinds, immigration status and skin colour here because that's what tends to happen in general public discourse. But this just goes back and back and there is always a reason to avoid addressing it 'now': people's 'legitimate concerns' about immigration, EU skepticism (pre-Brexit referendum), the overstretched NHS, you name it, there's always a reason not to stand up for black and brown people (holy sh.t I am bad at figuring out exactly the right terms here) because somehow everyone is convinced it will lose too many votes.

Labour systematically detained children in immigration removal centres, with around 1,100 children being detained in 2009, now down to 73 in 2019 after a change in policy under the con/lib dem coalition.

Labour also built Yarl's Wood, which has a long history of problems relating to poor conditions and mistreatment by staff.

Labour had those lovely 'control immigration' mugs.

In 2010/2011 (not quite under Labour but close enough that there wouldn't have been a massive shift in that period) black people were about 6.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people (which is clearly getting worse as it is now 10 times as likely).

etc etc

So again when do we get to face up to these issues? There always seems to be some reason to avoid it. And now I'm going to really make myself cringe because over the last couple of posts a well known Toni Morrison quote kept springing to mind, and I wanted to avoid being that person but I dunno, it feels apt:
The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.
There she is talking specifically about racist attitudes but I think there are parallels in how that translates into policy and the way political debate is framed.

But aside from all that, is the rest of the UK really so fragile and racist that raising these issues publicly is going to cost Labour an election? Are most people really that bothered about it or are there a bunch of other factors? By the time of the last GE Jeremy Corbyn (and oh god I really do not want to get into a discussion about Corbynism please pretty please) may as well have been a fully paid up member of Hamas (and I don't want to get into a discussion about Hamas on this thread either, again please pretty please, I am just making a rhetorical point) and he was seen to be dithery about Brexit when a lot of people were just totally fed up of it and Boris Johnson did a good job of capitalising on that. He was also seen as just promising a load of free stuff without any real strategy or vision. None of that really helped. Do Starmer supporters have so little faith in him as a leader that they think he won't be capable of doing a better job than that while still having the backbone to address issues of racism head on when he's confronted with them, even if they are in the form of slightly irrelevant questions?
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