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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 6:21 pm
Post subject: Progressive PoliticsReply with quote

According to Tony Blair, Progressive Politics is heading for extinction and it's all the fault of the out of touch with reality far left.

https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/progressive-politics-is-facing-extinction-tony-blair-20210512-p57rek.html

Some selected extracts:

Quote:
Progressive politics is facing extinction, former British prime minister Tony Blair has warned in a stinging critique of the far-left and its “voter-repellent” approach to culture, gender, race and identity.

Blair, one of just three Labour leaders to ever win general elections in the United Kingdom, also said his crisis-plagued party needed “total deconstruction and reconstruction”


Fair call on all counts there I'd say.

Quote:
Blair cautioned against reading too much into US President Joe Biden’s election victory, which he said was more a political aberration than a sign the left understood the policy formula required to win big contests.


Yep.

Quote:
Outlining the principles of how to arrest the left’s electoral woes, Blair warned against “keeping your head down”.

“There is a big culture battle going on. Progressive folk tend to wince at terms such as ‘woke’ and ‘political correctness’, but the normal public knows exactly what they mean,” he said.

“And the battle is being fought on ground defined by the right because sensible progressives don’t want to be on the field at all. The consequence of this is that the radical progressives, who are quite happy to fight on that ground, carry the progressive standard.

“The fact that it ensures continued right-wing victory doesn’t deter them at all. On the contrary, it gives them a heightened sense of righteousness, like political kamikaze.”


Guy is talking far too much sense.

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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 7:39 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Blair would know a fair bit about being out of touch with reality given how sure he was about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. But never mind, I'm sure his finger is really on the pulse of the needs of the average British voter while he's having lavish dinners with all those Central Asian dictators he does consulting work for. Rolling Eyes

As Rundle wrote the other day, in reality it's the Blairite centrists (who currently run the major "left" parties in the UK, here, France and the US) who are bringing non-conservative politics to the brink of irrelevancy and proving themselves incapable of beating even the most bumbling, out-of-touch right-wing ideologues on the other side. If fringe boneheads like Abbott, Johnson and Trump can win while constantly screwing up and struggling to keep their own parties on the same page, imagine how easy it would be for actually competent conservatives to beat these guys.

https://www.crikey.com.au/2021/05/12/social-democratic-parties-losing-world-over-again-uk/

Quote:
It won’t matter to the narrative of course that Starmer lost a red wall seat after the Brexit issue was out of the way. It won’t matter that Labour’s campaign was so small-target that MPs on TV explicitly refused to say what their program was. Or that one of the few bright spots was Preston Council, which Labour retook with an explicitly left program. In Hartlepool, Labour lost to a farmer, Jill Mortimer, who lives in Yorkshire (Hartlepool’s in Durham) and can’t explain the years she spent living in the Cayman Islands.

The vacating Labour member had quit as soon as sexual harassment complainants threatened with going to the police, and the candidate the party centre dropped in, Dr Paul Williams, was a medical consultant who had advised closing down half the city’s hospital — which was what Labour was attacking the Tories over. He was not only a Remainer, he led the campaign for a second referendum. Williams recorded a 16% swing against him.

What came next was equally shambolic. Starmer, praised as a cool pair of hands, professional back in charge, etc, responded by sacking his deputy, Angela Rayner, one of the few working-class people in the leadership. This craven buck-passing met with open revolt, even from non-left MPs, and Starmer had to make it look like he was merely reshuffling her into multiple key roles — her job title now stretches to 24 words.

Never mind. There were honest party grandees ready to give the unflinching truth. Mandelson said that Starmer had come “unstuck”, and that the fault was … left-wing unions who should be separated from the party. Lord Adonis (Andrew Adonis, a British-Cypriot, not a Marvel character) said Hartlepool raised the question of whether Labour was finished. Andrew Rawnsley, a sort of British Peter Hartcher-Peter van Onselen mash-up, said it still had to make distance between itself and Corbyn who had “never looked prime ministerial”. Except of course to the 40% of those who voted for him in 2017, the largest Labour vote since 1997.

That vote was sabotaged in 2019 by the pro-remain parliamentary right, who said it would split and campaign against if Labour went to the people with a “respect the [leave] result” message. That would have preserved at least some, perhaps most, of the red wall.

But that doesn’t matter at all to these people. Labor here at least has the excuse of compulsory voting; you have to persuade the centre across. But the UK is a first-past-the-post voluntary constituency; you can win on turnout. Corbyn rebuilt that in 2017, and the right just lost it again. That is simply ignored.

It’s not about political difference any more, or firm conviction over strategy, or any of that. It’s that left-wing politics represents an existential challenge to the “centre” who have staked not only their careers but their lives on the notion that nothing ever really changes, and if it did, the elite would lose power and prestige, and that is a greater disaster than electoral loss.

Across the world, this disease is killing social democratic parties stone dead. Many of them are nearly there.


One thing Blair and Rundle (and, for that matter, I) might be able to agree on is that the current identity politics craze is a one-way track to marginalisation for left parties. But the answer decisively isn't the third-wayism of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, in which you try to achieve power by abandoning most principles and sucking up to the big end of town. Rather, it's to reconnect with the material interests of the working class and simply cater to people's basic needs through an aggressive, unapologetic socialist agenda that isn't about trying to make friends with big business or getting distracted by the marginal issues that professional middle-class people obsess over. It needs to be about the interests of the many outnumbering and overpowering those of the wealthy elite who run the system for their own benefit: a recognition that there is an us that doesn't just include the left-leaning, university-educated, politically obsessed, politically correct clique you hang out with, but includes everybody who is struggling in the current system, whether they be left, right, centre or uninterested. And, perhaps most importantly, a recognition that power isn't begged for, but taken.

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Pies4shaw Leo

pies4shaw


Joined: 08 Oct 2007


PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 8:03 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony Blair - the Numpty view of a 'grotesque mediocrity'.
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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 12:25 am
Post subject: Reply with quote

Grandiose narcissist Blair helped kill them off with Iraq, but as you know I'm no friend of the far left, either. You can't be under the delusion that you have anything to contribute except niche insight if you don't understand and embrace business and commerce.

But, my views would only make the left less popular for now (see Lib Dem parties), but at least they'd be less popular for trying to manage the whole of the socioeconomy, not just the parts they bothered to understand at university or were told were important by grandad.

The right 'wins' because it's a vile purveyor of the lowest human instincts imaginable. Claiming any victory in the piss easy task of inciting violence against weaker targets, running errands for robber barons, and inducing stress in people by flooding their minds with hatred, contempt, conspiracy and paranoia, stimulating recklessness and blind rage to make it easier to rob them blind, is the moral equivalent of claiming slavery as a victory.

Neither, thanks very much. Let's use our brains to understand more of the whole, including both our commercial and competitive instincts, and our smarter human selves which recognise in the light of day that the only serious wins worth a pinch of anything are long-term mutual wins.

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Tannin Capricorn

Can't remember


Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Location: Huon Valley Tasmania

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 12:02 pm
Post subject: Re: Progressive PoliticsReply with quote

Quote:
Progressive politics is facing extinction, former British prime minister Tony Blair has warned in a stinging critique of the far-left and its “voter-repellent” approach to culture, gender, race and identity.


1: Tony Blair is and always was a centre-right politician, never a left-winger in the first place.

2: Culture, gender, race and identity are not and never have been left-right issues.

3: The "voter-repellent obsession" with non-core issues he identifies does indeed exist, and it has come about largely by way of reaction to the effective castration of former left-leaning parties by business-captured right-wing econocrats such as Tony Blair. (In Australia, Hawke was rather similar. In the short-term Hawke did well, but long-term his government crippled Australia with idiotic policies like the privatisation of education and the sell-out to business interests.)

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5 from the wing on debut 



Joined: 27 May 2016


PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 12:49 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

On the bright side though, at least no Australian child has lived in poverty since 1990.
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swoop42 Virgo

Whatcha gonna do when he comes for you?


Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Location: The 22

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 4:35 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a sad sad view of the society we've created if it's the left that's viewed as the one out of touch with reality when the likes of Trump rode to victory on the back of the far right and their bat shit lot of conspiracy theorists, religious zealots and white supremacists.
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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 5:57 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

So far responses as predictable as night following Day.

The left, or at least the far left, is absolutely out of touch with reality. Equally as much as the far right but in different ways.

Trump didn't get elected because of far right nutjobs, he channeled a protest vote against the establishment buy the ordinary person who felt, deservedly so, let down by both parties and a self serving establishment. The blue collar working class that Clinton labelled deplorables.

The right wing nutjobs were the ones clinging on when the others were walking back.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 8:35 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

^Trump cobbled together a few obvious winners, though.

One was stimulating already existing culture war rage, mentioning successful black man Obama's name in every second sentence, and sanctioning the public sinking of the boot into genuinely powerless groups and dirty foreigners. He's not even close to winning without that.

Another essential was of course promising massive tax cuts and interfering in markets to give the wealthy a giant capital payout in return for their support. He's not even close to winning without that openly third-world exchange, either.

Another was telling backward cultural groups being left behind by the world, science and technology that instead of backward losers, they're really the righteous who don't need to change because everyone else is wrong (straight from the religion playbook — it's not you who's the weirdo, it's the evil world).

Another was telling those very groups the law no longer applies to them, such was their superior right, and being willing to break custom and law through the executive to demonstrate it.

But none of those are unique, even if essential. The unique aspect was he was an infotaining, tweeting malignant narcissist which when combined with something serious like politics makes a mockery of the very process of trying to think and reason. Having a whack job being taken seriously basically collapsed the task of serious political thought on a daily basis, neutering opposition and exciting the mob.

Just like his promise of saving coal jobs, everything he said to backward America was a combination of outrage stimulant and comforting lie. The financial, social and reputational wreckage will take two decades to clear, if ever now.

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 8:55 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear oh lord you have a distorted view of reality
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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 9:16 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

^Those susceptible to that sort of messaging won't like to hear it, no. The gun issue is probably the simplest example to use to show that you're dealing with a weirdo culture removed from Western civilisational norms. Anti-vaxxer lunacy is another clear exhibit, as obviously is the religious devotion to completely dangerous whack job Trump. It's like a giant, overgrown sect removed from time. Elements of this naturally happen everywhere, but not at that sort of normalised scale.

Sometimes reality is uncomfortable, but it's still reality. Backward, behind, unfit for the contemporary era, unable to compete in the 21st century. There's no mincing words about it because all that does is drag the problem out. These folks have been held back to be controlled and robbed silly by the church, the deranged GOP, robber barons and shonky used car salesmen like Trump. That's where their anger needs to be directed because they've been sold a lie as the world has moved on without them and now they lack the tools and wherewithal to cope and compete. Until that reality is grasped, ongoing decline in their wellbeing is inevitable.

But, as I say, the only novel aspect of Trump was the collapsing and abandonment of serious political discourse around him, which was a result of the peculiarly deviant malignant narcissist psychopathology/reality TV/social media combination he brought to the table.

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 6:43 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Some can see, some cannot.

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/labor-mps-divided-on-tony-blair-s-suggestion-to-use-right-wing-methods-20210514-p57rwx.html

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 7:15 pm
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Ignoring Blair's catastrophic and deadly failures and corrupt relationship with fossil fuels (not easy when those very words I just said about him are entirely factual), he got some of the economics right, as did Brown after him. It was just framed incorrectly because he was a grandiose narcissist with leftist cringe seeking the very same corporate and elite glory given others but surely also owed to him as a superior human specimen, hence justifying the wreckage that ultimately followed. (He is clearly a textbook grandiose narcissist, like Trump, but a more clever and refined institutional version).

So, it's very difficult to get past flaws that heinous and vile, that killed so many people and set off such a chain of human catastrophe in the process, to isolate what he got right. Not to mention the impact of the GFC on the UK due to the bias towards the financial system created by him (partly good in terms of national specialisation, but as was shown with the GFC and later Brexit very high risk and entirely London-centric).

Given his two lost wars and corrupt self-dealing as a fossil fuels consultant are well beyond rehabilitation, and in respect for the millions dead through his narcissistic decisions alone, Hawke-Keating or perhaps Gordon Brown alone (someone I know less about), are a much better examples to consider.

What do you think Blair got right?

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 8:30 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What do you think Blair got right?


Simple. You don't win friends with salad, you don't win elections pushing fringe views that penalise or disenfranchise the majority.

Let fringe parties fight that fight and adopt the policies only when/if popular support reaches high enough numbers.

Understand what motivates people, and don't assume that everyone shares your values because they don't.

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David Libra

Speak about destruction


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: in a time zone

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 11:30 pm
Post subject: Reply with quote

stui magpie wrote:
Some can see, some cannot.

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/labor-mps-divided-on-tony-blair-s-suggestion-to-use-right-wing-methods-20210514-p57rwx.html


There’s so much wrong here it’s hard to know where to start.

Firstly, this supposed centrist desire to be above the culture wars is a total sham, because an article like Blair’s is 100% a culture war manoeuvre to begin with. "Maybe we should go a bit easier on the trans stuff" or "maybe unions are a bit old hat now and we need to embrace the gig economy", for instance, is just a more insidious, cowardly and dog-whistly way of saying what those more explicitly on the right are already saying. And that’s why right-wingers and "sensible" centrists are likely to nod approvingly at a piece like this; it flatters their own ideology, and chides leftists for not being more like them. It’s like some ridiculous good cop bad cop routine.

The Western left may indeed need to go back to the drawing-board right now, but the very last thing it needs is advice from people who are fundamentally opposed to everything they’re fighting for. And the fact that this kind of bad-faith contribution to the debate – from a political figure whose credibility as a labour movement representative or even just a person of good judgement is dead and buried – is considered an interesting one to mull over within the ALP just shows how utterly moribund and pointless that party has become. Wind it up already and give us something, anything better.

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