Monday, 18 July 2016

Labour Crisis? What Crisis?

Well in case you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks you would have no doubt noticed that the Labour party are once again imploding on themselves. Brexit appeared like an opportune moment for the Parliamentary Labour Party to oust Jeremy Corbyn, their current leader. One by one his shadow cabinet resigned. It got so bad that an Englishman was appointed to a Scottish cabinet position. With well over three quarters of his MPs signalling a vote of no confidence most leaders would have walked. However this is the Labour party so Mr Corbyn obviously decided to solder on, with David Cameron's last appearance on Prime Ministers Questions comparing his staying put to the Monty Python Sketch of "its just a flesh wound", in reference to the fact he commands no confidence from his backbenchers.

Angela Eagle stepped forward as a potential leadership alternative. I personally would vote for Corbyn over Eagle and thats saying something as I pretty much disagree with most of what Corbyn has to say. I'm sorry but what does she stand for exactly as this video shows I'm not even sure she knows. Then we had Owen Smith. Straight away he has decided to alienate many core Labour supporters who voted leave in Brexit by saying we should have a second referendum, despite the fact that around 70% of Labour Constituencies voted for leave. He needs to win over marginal seats, in fact lets just give away our safe seats with statements like that. He also wants higher taxes, with the re-introduction of the 50% tax rate, despite this not raising more tax and is generally seen as an anti-wealth policy. Its like these people are actually trying to come forward as candidates that are even less electable than Corbyn. Then there was the drama of if Corbyn would appear on the ballot for a leadership election as he no longer had the support of 50 MPs, however by what appears as potential intimidation the Labour National Executive Committee had a public ballot and decided to include Corbyn on the list of candidates. Presumably they were concerned after Angela Eagle had a brick thrown through her office constituency so decided to go for the easy route and I don't blame them. Labour hasn't a chance of forming a Government in their current state, so for all I care for my own personal safety if I was on the National Executive Committee I would have put Pol Pot on the list if it meant avoiding acts of aggression.

Meanwhile we have the perfect storm for Labour in the form of the Conservatives and UKIP. First take a look at UKIP. With Nigel Farage gone, more moderate candidates are stepping up for leadership such as Steven Woolfe. Working class, mixed race, brought up in a council house, lived in moss side in Manchester a place I used to visit as my family had market stalls there. Has a calm, measured manner and takes on a party who has been consistent on immigration, a big issue for many in the Labour Northern heartlands.

If UKIP maintain themselves as an anti-establishment party representing the common person, have sensible polices then they are going to get Labour seats I can see that happening if Labour continue on their current course. Especially if Labour are toying with candidates like Owen Smith. Say what you like about northern people (I'm one) but they are decent people and if Owen Smith goes up there and says "second referendum" this will be a message of I don't care about democracy and what you people think. For years Labour have ignored their heartlands and statements like this is just showing a red rag to a bull. Its like they have learnt nothing from what happened in Scotland (which I'll come onto later). Labour is turning into a party that represents middle class Londoners and Guardian readers and that isn't going to win you elections.

Then we come to the Tories. Out go the Etonians, in come a predominate State School cabinet and Theresa May who is a women. You may think being a women doesn't matter but one of the reasons Thatcher stayed in so long was the fact she was a strong women in a predominately male dominated, privately educated profession. Women and men voted for Thatcher as they liked a grammar school educated women taking on the establishment. I think Theresa May will have the same sort of advantage despite not being my cup of tea. Then we come on to her recent pro-brexit appointments. David Davis was a great choice to head up Brexit, a long time euro-skeptic and someone who is a hardened politician. He's also someone who doesn't care about furthering his career for some short term personal gain over whats best for the country, therefore he has principle in order to carry out Brexit. Liam Fox will be enjoying his role drumming up trade deals around the world and they are all knocking on the door already. These are two people that firmly believe in the Brexit cause, even Nigel Farage said he was far more positive once these appointments were made. Then we had Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary an inspired appointment in my view, contrary to what others think. Sure Boris has insulted people all over the world but he will remedy that. People generally have short term memories and Boris has charm and a wit that will no doubt form relationships. He's also a very popular politician at home who can even swing Labour voters as evidenced when he was the mayor of London. To put him in such a prominent role will enable him to swing voters once an election comes. Along with David Davis and Liam Fox he also firmly believes in Brexit. All May's foreign appointments have been from the Brexit Camp, which in my opinion shows her commitments to Brexit. May has also gone after the middle ground of politics, demonising multi-national companies and going after the working mans vote. She looks likes she is determined to be hard on immigration, again a big concern of many in the Labour core vote, going straight for the oppositions jugular.

I believe the Tories want to get on with Brexit for a couple of reasons. One, it has been a thorn in the party for decades and now if we exit that rift will have gone, unifying the party once more when Labour are split. Two, despite many in the Tories being in favour of remain I don't think they really believed in it and I think they were just looking out for their future potential pensions or just sticking with the status quo. I think many did want to get out of it to heal the parties rift or were not that bothered or believed it to be a huge opportunity for them and for the country. They can now see the potential; making history which all politicians love to do. No one has ever left the EU before, therefore the opportunity to do something completely unique in a political sense is exciting a lot of Tory MPs.

There were suggestions that the Conservatives may call a general election to capitalise on the chaos in the Labour party but this won't happen as its in the Tories best interests not to call one. The chances are Jeremy Corbyn will win the latest leadership challenge as he has the largest support amongst the grass root supporters. This means he will carry on until the 2020 election. Now unless the world implodes then I don't think Labour has a chance of beating the Tories if that is the case. The Tories have so much election propaganda material on him from quotes saying Hamas were his friends, pictures with Sinn Fein and even his own party making damming public statements of him on facebook to name just a few of many. Just the sight of him campaigning will be enough to turn voters towards the Tories and UKIP. The Tories would rather have an easy election win in 2020 and potentially split the Labour party in the meantime or at the least cause divisions that may never heal. Then they will have until 2025, giving May and others 9 years in power. By then Labour may still not be able to recover the ground they have lost, meaning winning the 2025 election may still be a push. Also the Tories don't want an election until Article 50 has been triggered and we have fully pulled out of Europe otherwise the Tories risk losing voters to UKIP. If they make a good job of Brexit they can potentially pull back those ex-tory voters who went to UKIP. If the fears of Brexit never materialise then Tory members who did support remain will begin to see that life outside the EU is perhaps not all that bad, unifying the party even more. I believe all the reasons stated are why Teresa May is so keen to carry out Brexit and do the best that she can.

Before all of the above Labour were already facing a monumental mountain to climb. Remember that in the last election they were routed in Scotland, once their heartlands to third place behind the Tories. How it has changed when many left wing commentators said only a few years back that the Conservatives were "dead" in Scotland and they should give up. It seems they didn't bother to notice what was happening with their own parties issues. They need to win these seats back but how? None of the current candidates can do that. Then we have the boundary changes coming up in the next election whereby urban areas, Labour strongholds, are being unified more as they have lower constituent count then rural areas, thus potentially giving Labour less seats (assuming they can hold onto them). In the recent local elections Labour gained minimal seats, no where near what they need to gain in order to catch up with the Conservatives.

There is also the recent polls. We are well into the Governments term and Labour are polling in a disastrous way compared with the Tories. Even under Ed Miliband you had a bounce where Labour were in front at a similar period of the election cycle, however with Corbyn most polls show them trailing badly. Under every demographic Corbyn is loosing to May. Its amazing how delusional Labour supporters have become. I've seen in forums where they genuinely believe that because polls have been wrong recently that they may be underestimating Corbyns support. I think this is nuts for two reasons. One, the polls put Corbyn and Labour behind by several percentage points. With the recent Brexit vote it was tight by only a couple of percentage points so there was less margin for error. Two, polls in recent history have only been wrong in the favour of the Tory Party, like I mentioned the shy Tory factor back in a 2015 election post. People falsely tell pollsters they will vote Labour but then when they are in the polling booth they vote Conservative. The left don't help this by shouting "Tory scum" and "I wouldn't kiss a Tory" and all their other intolerant chants. Ironically in the same breath many then talk about a kinder politics, tolerance with all sorts of meaningless hashtags on twitter. The most intolerant voters I see are Labour ones. I never hear UKIP, the lib dems or the Conservatives shout "Labour Scum" and so on. Labour are more intolerant than all other parties. They label themselves as liberals yet are some of the most illiberal people out there. Even Angela Eagle has come out recently and said the Labour party is in danger of becoming the "nasty party", however I would argue its been like that for years. As Winston Churchill once said "The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists". They shut down free speech and are unable to see another persons point of view. But then history has always shown the left to be the least tolerant of political movements, responsible for millions of deaths over the past 100 years. They also show complete contempt for democracy. In the 2015 election where the Conservatives won, rather than accept the vote they said the people had been misled and that it was unfair, indeed they protested in London against the democratic vote. They went to the Conservative party conference where attendees were called all forms of intolerant names, subjected to foul language and had eggs thrown at them. Their crime was a difference of opinion the very principle of freedom, free speech. It was the same again with the recent Brexit vote, disagree with the "progressives" or "liberals" at your peril. People are beginning to have enough of all this and are starting to move away from Labour and look at the alternatives. People are getting sick of being told what to think.

Labour are facing the perfect storm. Will they be able to pull things together? Hopefully. Democracy works best when you have a decent opposition. Maybe they need a heavy defeat in order to pull themselves together once more and get serious as a major political force. Its always the same story with Labour, they only get in power once they move to a Center-Right political position and abandon their Socialist principles. Tony Blair and Harold Wilson won because they out tory'd the Tories. I remember seeing 1970 Election footage, an Election Ted Heaths Conservatives won, with a Labour supporter saying that he voted for the Tories as he felt Labour had gone too far to the right. It was the same with Blair. Until Labour move to the right then they have no chance of forming a Government. History says they will, we just don't know when.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Has the Left Lost its Way

This video is typical of how the left has lost its way over the years. There was a time when you could have a debate based on reason from both sides of the political spectrum however as this video illustrates those days are long gone. It concerns the recent march in London to protest on the recent Brexit vote, which people are quite entitled to do. We live in a free country and people should be able to express their views however they wish. Another women decides to bring a leave sign in protest presumably to make her voice heard, again we live in a free country so she is more than entitled to express her views.

I realise that the women below is not necessarily representative of everyone who voted for Remain in the recent referendum. Many who voted for both leave and remain had no real understanding of the issues but thats democracy we give everyone a say regardless of their views or their ability to form a rational opinion. She does however symbolise someone who is now known as a Social Justice Warrior or SJW. The typical traits are self righteousness, lack of arguments based on rational points and a seeking of self validation rather than any real conviction in their beliefs. The video is embedded below and then I deconstruct some of the dialog. As I know none of the peoples names I will refer to them based on their position in the video.

Crowd: "Shame on You"
People who believe we should remain in the EU are protesting under their own free will, however when someone does exactly the same thing for an opinion they don't agree with then suddenly this is considered a shameful thing to do.

Crowd: "You killed Jo Cox"
So before any form of debate has begun they politicise the death of an innocent women who was killed by a mentally ill man. I think the "Shame on You" should be directed in the other direction.

Crowd: "We are better than the leavers"
The above statement would seem to contradict this. Once again its tribal politics, us and them mentality, the politics of hate and envy.

Remain Woman: "You got to take that down"
So its a free country only when we agree with one another. The women with the leave sign is just making her view felt just like the thousands of people protesting who disagree with her. Neither set of people have the authority to stop anyone protesting.

Remain Women: "You people are destroying our lives"
Who starts a sentence with "You People". Its almost trying to dehumanise people who voted differently. I believe in liberty and markets and most people do not hold such a view much to my disappointment because I think we could all prosper far better than we currently do. Do I go around to everyone and say "You people are destroying our lives". No because I realise people have different opinions and perspectives. So I accept this and try to use reason and logic in debates with others to explain my point of view.

Remain Women: "These people are overriding us"
No. Its called democracy. Most people didn't vote for the current government but the Conservatives had the most votes therefore won the democratic contest. Most people who voted are decent enough to get on with it and accept democratic votes such as the 2015 General Election. If remain had won 52% then it would be business as usual in the EU.

Remain Women: "If you have respect for anyone you would leave"
I may have missed it but where was the disrespect? Shes holding a sign that says "leave" just like you are probably holding signs that say "remain".

Remain Women: "I got more information on buying a dishwasher"
Ah, this old chestnut. Just like the 2015 election when the Conservatives got in again it wasn't the fact that people made up their own mind. Nope they were brainwashed by the media, tricked, duped - Rupert Murdoch; he's a mind controller you know. 75% of politicians supported remain, all the major parties supported remain, remain had all the big businesses, big banks and it even had tax payers money spent on the campaign. NATO, the IMF, the EU, Celebrities and Foreign Politicians were also on the remain bandwagon. Plenty of news articles were pro-remain. People had all the information there in front of them to make an informed decision.

Remain Women: "Unite with the World"
The EU is not the world. It is a collection of 27 countries that all reside on one of the five continents on the planet. Its a trade bloc that excludes trade and co-operation with countries outside it through the use of tariffs.

Man Asking Question: "Why do you love the EU so much?"
Remain Women: "Its the way forward, its people, social things and unity"
So nothing specific on how the EU works, what good it has done or the advantages of membership. Nope its people apparently. Unity. Way Forward. All fluff with no actual reasons as to why we should remain. The Unity must be based on the fact that the Greeks called the Germans a bunch of Nazis when the EU recently enforced austerity against the Greek peoples will. Then Germans turned around and called the Greeks feckless. Thats the apparent unity that the EU creates. However can't argue with the people part. Most things have people including Britain. The way forward? Presumably this was in reference to its stagnant growth, high levels of youth unemployment with many of the nation states suffering chronic public debts. Or maybe its the fact that rather than respecting referendum results the EU instead disregards the initial vote and get the member states to hold another one until they get the desired result such as in Denmark on the Maastricht Treaty and Ireland again on the Lisbon Treaty. It's the way forward if you like autocratic leaders making decisions, not people (which actual contradicts the people part).

Remain Women: "We get the strengths of Europe"
Leave Women: "We are not coming out of Europe"
In the youtube comments there was someone again saying that the leave women is a coach driver that drives through Europe and this was apparently shooting herself in the foot. I can't say how many times I have seen this. The EU is not Europe. There are European countries outside the EU. The EU is a political union. We can trade perfectly well with them outside the EU and still be a part of Europe there to assist when required. The youtube comment was promptly put down as someone else that said actually our coach drivers will now be able to drive 5 hour sessions rather than 4 if they like as EU law overrode the original old British law, giving our workers a competitive advantage.

Remain Women: "We've insulted them. How do you feel when someone rejects you?"
Rather than present an argument the women instead uses baseless emotional feelings. So when the Conservative party or Labour party get rejected by the electorate are we supposed to feel that we insulted them? Or when we decide to get rid of a local MP who we feel has not done a good job? What about when people protested against the bank bailouts? Should we worry about if we insulted their executives feelings?

Some Remain Man: "Farage is a neo nazi"
Again with no evidence apparently Nigel Farage is a Nazi. Despite UKIP having no racial policies unlike the BNP who did or that whenever a UKIP member has made racist remarks they have been disciplined, just like the Tories or Labour have done in their respective parties. I see no evidence of a racist person. If you mean having policies on immigration controls then this is not being racist. Indeed all the political parties have policies on immigration control, our government has laws on it now in effect.

We currently have freedom of movement for 500 million people. For the other 6 and half billion we have immigration controls. I may be wrong but I haven't heard any remainers saying its imperative that we should extend the freedom of movement to the other people in the world yet by their own logic this would be classed as racist. Even before the referendum we must have been a deeply racist nation under such a premise. The very fact that we have favourable immigration policies for a continent of predominately white Europeans yet have strict immigration controls for the rest of the world which is more ethnically diverse is odd in my opinion. So in summary many leavers who voted to align immigration controls for 27 countries to the same laws we have for the rest of the world may have actually had a rational argument. At least then you are being consistent and actual can tip the balance to a more favourable ratio to people in the rest of the world.

Remain Women: "Racist Vote aswell"
Well it took 2 minutes but eventually the good old racist card comes out in an attempt to shut down the debate. Of course if faced with someone who dares to have a difference of opinion then its best to retreat into a safe space and into your echo chamber. Using her own logic, many racists would have voted for Labour in the last General Election and I imagine she voted Labour due to her general views. Does that imply that it would be rational for anyone to go around telling Labour voters "Racist Vote Aswell". Just because people who hold bigoted views and vote in a similar pattern to others does not imply that everyone who voted the same hold similar views.

Man Asking Question: "So can you tell me whose your MEP?"
Remain Woman: "You know what I don't know where your from but your not helping this at all"
Probably not aware what an MEP is. Rather than attempt to answer the question she's now proceeded to try and shut down the debate with the other person and has obviously detected he may actually have some factual knowledge.

Remain Women: "Where are you from"
Man Asking Questions: "I'm from England"
Remain Women: "Really?"
She pulled the racist card on the other woman and then proceeds to ask the man where he is from and sounds surprised when he says England. A few points. 1) Why does it matter where the person is from? 2) Where exactly was she going with that question? 3) So the only sign of slight mild racism has come from the women who was wildly accusing others of such an act.

Remain Women: "The Government are overriding us now"
Nope. 52% of the voters are. Again thats how democracy works. Those were the rules at the start of the vote.

So in sum we had not one piece of factual information on why we should remain in the EU, or even a debate of ideas instead we had vague phrases such as "Unity", "People" and we have "insulted them". She is not alone. Three people were asked what their favourite things about the EU was. There is this person who started strongly with "togetherness" but then struggled for a second reason. She proceeds to ask another friend to help her out, who is apparently the political one but appeared to panic in the face of such a tricky question. For this person it was free travel, freedom of education and another wild guess of an increased economy. When challenged on the increased economy that the EU has in fact the lowest growth in the world he then decided that he no longer believed in growth and made a quick dash. Then we had this person who said the EU was good to create love, relationships and work around the world. When asked who her MEP was, she had no idea, indeed she even admitted "Who really knows their MEPs". Well I would have thought the people who voted remain would, as they have been singing from the rooftops how good the EU is then surely they know who their MEPs are. In fact surely they could come up with three reasons why the EU was so good. To be honest they probably didn't bother to vote but couldn't resist a good old protest.

People seem to forget or not realise that the Labour Party was the original Euroskeptic party. It was veterans such as Tony Benn and Peter Shore who passionately argued that the EU was undemocratic and pushed power away from the people. The EU has come to symbolise everything the left once stood against. Jeremy Corbyn was a Euroskeptic for years and only just "supported" the remain side once the referendum was held. I'm sure he voted to leave when he went to the polling station. The left desperately needed him to stand up as the voice of Brexit alas he cowered at the last minute. Not like Tony Benn and Peter Shore. They stood against their own Government at the time during the 1975 referendum knowing full well it would damage their political careers but stood up on a matter of principle. Whats the point of Corbyn being against the EU for years then at the last minute, at the very point of when it actually counts, bottling it and just walking the easy path. Its sums him up. He's happy to be in an echo chamber with a megaphone but when it comes to dealing with others with different opinions and making hard decisions he shy's away from it. The same applies to many left wing figures. For years they were highly critical of the EU, stating we should leave and then when it came to the crunch they all bottled it.

The speech below from Peter Shore is a lesson in how to deliver an argument for our current generation of left leaning leaders. There were eerie similarities between 1975 and 2016. Tony Benn also superbly explains how power is lent to MPs and how they are always accountable to their local constituents in our current parliament despite its many flaws. The main point here is they use logic and reasoning to explain their point of view.

Whenever I see the left now I see no principle. This recent EU Referendum was a great opportunity to stand up for their principles, instead they blew it. Only around a dozen or so of their backbench MPs backed the leave (old labour MPs) campaign yet many of their public supporters voted against the official party remain message. The EU is anti-democratic, levies tariffs on poor third world countries to protect relatively wealthy EU farmers, is a corporate lobbying center that big banks use to gain favours and imposed austerity, the very thing lefties have been protesting about, against the will of the Greek citizens. There have been talks on TIPP which many believe would have split up the NHS and weakened Unions rights. Even all the establishment were for remain side, the very people who the left believe to foil their ideals. If leaving the EU was not a cause for the left then I don't know what is. Instead they have been belittling anyone who voted leave, which includes a lot of their core support as xenophobic, racist, little England'ers, common and a bit dim. They have been blaming democracy and wondering if the "plebs" should really have a say in their own affairs. You know what, maybe thats why they voted to leave to get a say in how politicians run things. They may have more sense then you think and have worked out the little gravy train you have created for yourselves.

Most of the low hanging fruit in social problems have all but vanished away. Women have the same rights as men, people of different races are no longer treated differently and the public have become far more tolerant to one another's sexual orientation. Now I'm not saying we have stopped all forms of bigotry and of course we can always do more however it will always exist in some form. Some people will always be bigoted however this is a minority and the main point is that rules in society are now equal for all and people are far more tolerant then they once were. Problem is SJWs create injustices that don't exist causing friction along the way. With the video below Ben Shapiro uses facts and logic to deconstruct the argument that racism is not a default state, it is now only a minority of society who now harbor such views, many of us don't want to live in a racist environment. However it is not constructive to think most people are racist when in fact they are not.

The lefts economic argument has always been Government ownership of the means of production. It has been tried in various countries and has always collapsed when implemented with full vigour. The Eastern Europe Communist experiment imploded, then India fell and abandoned Socialism turning instead to markets. China under Deng Xiaoping had long ago started to set up special economic zones ever moving towards markets and away from state planning. The rest of Asia in the form of numerous waves of "Asian Tigers" are now very pro capitalist, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore to name a few. Vietnam who succumbed to the follies of central planning, when polling its citizens now favour markets more then US citizens. Many African and South American countries still cling onto Marxist ideals hence the constant addition of new failed socialist states however there are glimpses that they are starting to see the light. The latest savior for the left was going to be Venezula. Until recently it was held up as a moral example to the West, with many progressives using that ill fated phrase "Look, here is a working example". That is until now of course when the country is in complete meltdown and the left once more begin their search for another false dawn in an attempt to prop up their failed ideology. The majority of people, or the "plebs" as progressives will label them, figured out a long time ago that economically socialism doesn't work. The world has moved on and trade once more is opening the eyes of many consumers to the benefits of free markets. Viewed under a moral light, Socialism is an even more tragic story.

So has the left lost its way? After the fall of Communism left leaning parties in the West have been moving more and more to the right on economic policies to meet the views of the public. As I have argued before Jeremy Corbyn may be seen as an ultra left candidate but in many respects he actually has similar policies to Thatchers early 1980's Government. They fight for injustices for women or minorities however societies laws no longer discriminate against such groups. Indeed markets have done more to solve such grievances by enabling globalised trade, movement of goods, services, people and ideas. I work in a team composed of many nationalities in my physical office and with remote people all over the world due to the advancement of global communications. We have all become dependent on one another and more importantly now see each other with similar aspirations to ourselves, people who want to get on with life in a peaceful manner. Quite simply the world has moved on and the left are struggling to find a niche. Tony Blair succeeded in the polls but at the expense of just becoming a mirror to the existing Conservative party. As the century moves on the left will struggle more and more to find a cause to rally against. Indeed the labour party of today has abandoned grandeur's of nationalisation and no longer clamour for more taxation. Their economic basis has been shattered and their social causes are drying up all the time.