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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Links - 18th January 2020 (2)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, WAGs row - "It is a headline writers dream. A WAG row is how many papers described the bust up between two footballers wives... Coleen Rooney turned detective in an effort to track down which of her friends were leaking personal information about her to the press. That earned her the title - wait for it - Wagatha Christie. She placed false stories on her private Instagram account, blocked each of her friends in turn and watched to see which story made it into print"
BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, The Prosecutor General - "‘It's a long, long way to Vanuatu. Even if you're starting in Northern Australia, this small group of Pacific Islands with a population of little more than a quarter of a million is a three hour flight. But the population is swelling, thanks to a cunning wheeze to raise revenue, now employed by nearly two dozen countries by selling passports. It's not clear though, as Sarah Treanor has found that many of its new citizens will ever actually breathe the Pacific Air.’...
‘The Indian businessman, Amarendra Nath Ghosh, who fled to Vanuatu to escape fraud charges in his home country, and promised the Vanuatu government a giant ruby in return. Mr. Sope granted him a diplomatic passport. The ruby? That never materialized... he's here to make a moral argument against the current government scheme, selling passports to foreigners for around 150,000 US dollars. Citizenship sales account for over 30% of state revenue. That's more than VAT. The government has argued it needs funds for rebuilding after the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam in 2015. But who wants Vanuatu citizenship and why?... in Hong Kong, we met a citizenship agent who brokers passports for mainland Chinese clients, Vanuatu’s biggest market… his Chinese clients seek alternative passports to access the EU, making it easier to buy property, start businesses and set up bank accounts. It's a remarkably pragmatic approach to identity, but Vanuatu passports offer visa free travel to over 120 countries. Vanuatu’s official partner in Hong Kong even runs catchy TV ads aimed at mainland Chinese. One, modeled on a quiz show, asks a father and son to try and locate Vanuatu on a map. They do, and they win a passport...
‘The Chinese have much more money than us. It's like colonialism we are doing to ourselves.’"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, From Our Home Correspondent 22/10/2019 - "[On sending kids to university] You would think it gets easier as each child leaves. But for me, it doesn't. There's one less bed not slept in. One less toothbrush in the bathroom and one less voice around the house. I've heard other parents talk about parallels between the first day of school and taking children to university. In the first instance they cry and sob not to be left and you feel bad. Roll forward to age 18 and they can't wait to get away but somehow you still feel bad. You don't even get to pick them up in the afternoon or kiss them good night at the end of the day. It feels awful. I looked at the dining table through weepy eyes, and think about preparing dinner with my new normal of once again setting one place less. Then my phone rings. It’s son number three. Hi, mom. Can you help me? How do I cook chicken?"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, A Modern Day Evita - "Is the Catholic Church about to end the centuries old priestly celibacy rule which incidentally, was only introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages, in order to avoid property inheritance disputes. The Catholic Church already allows married priests in Eastern rite churches, and in cases where married Anglican priests have converted. There's no doubt though about the winds of change blowing through the Vatican now...
Han Chinese Buddhism as distinct from the Dalai Lama's Tibetan Buddhism, is thriving in China, with the tacit recognition of the government. From the ruling party’s point of view, it counteracts the spread of Christianity and Islam so it serves a purpose. Although if you are a party member, you cannot be a practicing follower of any religion. The party remains paramount"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Trump in Trouble? - "It's clear Donald Trump does ask President Zielinski to investigate his Democratic Party rival Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, who was a director of a Ukrainian gas company. But this is where it all gets a bit complicated. One of Donald Trump's key campaign slogans was drain the swamp. And there are an awful lot of Americans who think it's an entirely legitimate question to ask how it was that the son of the former Vice President Joe Biden, came to be put on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Hunter Biden trousered $50,000 a month, despite the fact that he'd never set foot in Ukraine, and had no expertise in the gas industry...
Sihanoukville could perhaps most kindly be described as a work in progress. Even before we arrived after the excruciating eight hour bus ride from the capital Phnom Penh, our guide, Mr. Lim had already warned me that if I was hoping to see something exotic, I might be disappointed. ‘It's full of Chinese people in Sihanoukville nowadays’. His eyes scan our group as if he were looking for a real Chinese person to get his message. And then, ‘they took our port, they destroy our environment and they look down on us’. Mr. Lim, whose ancestors in fact also came from China several generations ago, eventually turned to me with a friendly nod. But a look in his eyes suggested he really might think I was personally responsible. Being ethnic Chinese is somewhat unwelcome in many parts of Southeast Asia these days... Driving downtown, it almost felt like a third tier Chinese city. The billboards were primarily written in Mandarin, and then Google translated into the local Khmer language, with results that often amuse the locals. Chinese restaurants were everywhere too, with mind boggling names such as cockroach BBQ and wolf warrior fried fish. There was even a fertility clinic for Chinese men"
Presumably China shills will blame the CIA for why Cambodians are upset at the Chinese

Bizarre video of Nobel physics laureate Gérard Mourou surfaces - "Mourou and a colleague, Jean-Paul Chambaret, are seen dancing in the laser lab, apparently surrounded by a troupe of female students. Two of the women fling off their semi-transparent lab coats to reveal white underwear underneath, in an unexpected striptease. The men, wearing reflective laser googles, strike macho poses."
It's quite a cool video, the "controversial" bit was 35 seconds (out of 4 minutes) at most, they are not showing off their underwear and it defies logic to call it a striptease. The video also features more female than male characters - which one would normally claim to be a good thing

American robots lose jobs to Asian robots as Adidas shifts manufacturing - "Adidas plans to close high-tech “robot” factories in Germany and the United States that it launched to bring production closer to customers, saying Monday that deploying some of the technology in Asia would be “more economic and flexible.”"

The Daily Northwestern Apologizes to Students for Reporting News That Triggered Them - "The Daily Northwestern is the student newspaper of Northwestern University, which is home to the Medill School of Journalism, one of the best regarded journalism schools in the country. Many Medill students work at the paper, reporting on the news.At least that's what they used to do. If a recent editorial co-signed by the paper's top editors is to be believed, The Daily Northwestern will no longer fully report on campus events if the reporting runs the risk of making marginalized students feel unsafe or upset... The incident that generated this sniveling, embarrassing apology was a recent visit to campus by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions... Some of the activists were apparently dissatisfied with the way The Daily Northwestern covered the event. This is not such a surprise: Activists are often dissatisfied when student papers maintain any objectivity whatsoever, as they believe that good journalism must itself be aligned with activist goals. At Harvard University, for example, student activists—as well as the student government—have demanded that the The Harvard Crimson stop quoting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in articles about pro-immigration rallies. To its great shame, The Daily Northwestern has apparently decided to cave to completely unreasonable demands... The piece must be read in its entirety to be believed. It sounds like parody—something The Babylon Bee would make up for a fake article mocking progressive deference to the hypersensitive... Absent from the piece is any attempt to explain how covering the event, and taking pictures of it, undermined the physical safety of students. Reading between the lines, I gather that consuming news or seeing pictures relating to the event was deemed psychologically scarring by some activists in the marginalized community, and this is the harm the paper's editors wish to avoid in the future. If so, reporters would be unable to cover any event that involves even the slightest public controversy.  Is this what students at the country's most prestigious journalism school are learning these days? That self-censorship is the paper's best practice if someone is offended by what's happening in the world?  The Washington Post's motto is "democracy dies in darkness." I hope the newspaper doesn't hire too many recent graduates of Northwestern's journalism program: They sound way too eager to turn off the lights."

Japan’s cheapest hotel charges just 130 yen (US$1.20) for a room, with a huge, no-privacy catch - "Located in Fukuoka City, Business Ryokan Asahi is about a 15-minute walk from the Tenjin neighborhood, the town’s primary shopping and entertainment area. What’s more, the unbelievably cheap 130-yen rate isn’t some middle-of-the-week special, but available on Fridays and weekends too. OK, so there’s got to be some sort of catch, right? Yes, there is, and it’s big one…or maybe we should call it a weird one? In any case, to stay in the 130-yen room, you have to agree to let the hotel live-stream your stay on its YouTube channel... the one thing we haven’t addressed is why Asahi offers such an odd package. The management told us that Room 8 is the least-often booked room in the hotel, and they thought this would be a good way to convince people to stay in it. Granted, they’re only making 130 yen each time, but that’s 130 yen more revenue than they’d be getting if it sat empty, plus helping spread the word about an otherwise ordinary ryokan that most people would never have heard of."

Outrage as Syrian refugee with FOUR WIVES and 23 KIDS 'claims £320,000 in benefits every year' - "The man named only as Ghazia A fled Syria with his huge family last year and has since settled in Germany. He doesn't work and instead lives off the huge benefit bung, according to a financial manager who worked out what the state is liable to fork out.  There is no official confirmation of the £320,000 figure.  Under Islamic law a man can marry up to four wives as long as he is able to give them financial support.  However, German law does not recognise polygamous marriages.  But instead of the marriages being ignored, the refugee was given special leeway to choose his "main wife".  The other three women were then categorised as "friends" in an arrangement a local official described as an "exemption""

Florida white man allegedly spits in face of black girlfriend because he didn’t want to play ‘slave and slaver’ - "A white man got angry with his black girlfriend who reportedly wanted to role play “slave and slaver,” which resulted in the pair getting into a spat that brought Tampa-area cops into the mix."

Ranking Rise May Intimidate Opponents - Scientific American - "Opponents seeing the newbies’ names climb in the rankings might have been somewhat psyched out. It’s a phenomenon that Duke University researcher Hemant Kakkar calls “status momentum”:“If that person is gaining momentum, you tend to feel more threatened or intimidated by their momentum. And as a result, your performance is impaired.”Kakkar and his colleagues analyzed more than 100,000 matchups between tennis pros and millions of amateur chess games. They found that players fared worse when facing opponents who were rising in rank. And it’s not just that the rise in rank reflected higher skills... people expect that a competitor’s future rank will actually mirror physical laws of momentum—that is, an object in motion will continue to stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force."

Science News Briefs from around the Globe - Scientific American - "Hong Kong’s government revealed plans to build an artificial island to alleviate the nation’s housing crisis, triggering concerns from activists and residents about nearby marine ecosystems."
Presumably marine life is more important than bringing down the world's highest housing prices

Is surge pricing the fairest way to manage demand? - "consider a dilemma faced by the Coca-Cola company. A Coke had cost a nickel - five cents - for decades.Coca-Cola would have liked to increase the price by a cent or two but it couldn't.Why? Its 400,000 vending machines took only nickels and redesigning them to take two different denominations of coin would be a logistical nightmare. In 1953, Coca-Cola tried instead to persuade President Eisenhower - in all seriousness - to introduce a 7.5 cent coin. That attempt failed - and Coca-Cola's price remained five cents until 1959.  But Vickrey wasn't daunted and described a contraption that would solve the problem... Consumers can feel exploited by some forms of dynamic pricing - especially when, as with Uber, prices can double or halve in a matter of minutes.  A 1986 study by behavioural scientists Daniel Kahneman, Jack Knetsch and Richard Thaler indicated people found price surges infuriating.  Having once despaired over the lack of a 7.5 cent coin, Coca-Cola unsuccessfully attempted another technological solution in 1999, when it flirted with a vending machine that on sweltering days would raise the price of an ice-cold Coke. It was so unpopular, the company had to backtrack. But peak-load pricing is likely to play an increasing role in the economy of the future.  Consider a smart electricity grid fed by intermittent power sources such as wind and solar power. When a cloud covers the Sun, your laptop might decide to stop charging, your freezer might switch itself off for a minute, or your electric car might even start pumping energy into the grid rather than sucking it out.  But all that would require those devices to respond to second-by-second price changes."
Another example of how renewable energy makes life worse

ABC's of HIV Prevention : Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive - "‘I do a lot of research on cheating. So in some sense, if you find a lot of zeros and ones you probably find a lot of cheaters.’
‘Yeah. And I think we did actually here... men who respond, the number of men who were found to be HIV infected and reporting abstinence for their entire life, the proportion was about 4% of those who came in.’...
‘That's very hard to do, to get HIV if they if they are abstinent’
‘it's pretty hard to do. You had to be 18 to be in this survey. So it's unlikely that anyone would have acquired HIV at birth and survived age 18 frankly. A few people perhaps could have gotten it through a blood transfusion. I think this tells you that there may be some baseline bit of lying about sex... the proportion of women who were HIV infected and reported abstinence was around 1.67%. So pretty low, right in the same ballpark as the men.’
‘Okay, so what about the ones? Once a month’
‘And this is really where we get at the crux of the paper. So for men who reported that they only had one sexual partner their entire lifetime, zero [Ed: HIV?] prevalence didn't change at all. It was right around the same, three and a half percent. For women who reported that they'd had only one sexual partner in their entire lifetime, the zero prevalence was 19%.’
‘Okay, so one possibility is that women are lying… they're okay to admit that they had one partner but they have a very hard time admitting they had more. The other possibility of course, is they are telling the truth, is that their mens have been not beast [sp?]’...
‘We fully acknowledge that there may be people that are lying about sex here, I think it's probably not the case. Because if you look at the magnitude of increase, there's a very nice linear line… you see a very nice line here. A trend line among the number of sexual partners for women and for men suggesting that there is an incremental increase there.’
‘Yeah. So let me kind of summarize. The point is that women who have fewer partners have much more prevalence of AIDS. And your take of this is that what's happening is that they might have low prevalence, but it's the men who they’re sleeping with who actually are, a bit more playful, let's call it’"

Exploration: Too much of a colonial thing?

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Exploration: Too much of a colonial thing?

"'It is one of the things that you have expressed criticism of, that the coverage is promoting raw colonial era ideology'...

'I do think that, and I think it's really important in this discussion, and I've actually engaged with Ben on this before, because we don't agree. This isn't about the individual motives of people who go off to seek contact with hitherto uncontactable people. This is about a system and a context, and I think it's a bit unfortunate that Ben compared this to Blue Planet or wildlife series for example, because that is essentially the problem.

I think for centuries, if you look at the history of explorers and the genre of explorer writing and adventure telling, it is often to find black and other non white ethnic groups, cultures and people, and treat them in the same way as they would treat an exotic species of plant or wild life. And it's this gaze that regards the European as the civilized person who travels around exposing the exotic and other parts of the world that I think is troubling and it's historic.

And if you look back at some of the adventure writing from the 15th and 16th century that described savages and the word that was often used, I see a real continuity with some of the language and the press coverage around explorers today and now that's not to say that individual explorers are trying to be racist in any way, but it's, when you see a photo like the one of Alan with the Yahta [sp?] people in Papua New Guinea, to me, it's an unbroken legacy of the same images we saw during the colonial era of missionaries and explorers standing with so called primitive people and showing their readers back home that-'

'But isn't that in the eye of the beholder? I mean if you look at that was a photograph of what, where they were and who they were with?'

'No, it's a context. It's a framing. I think there's two things. There is the image itself, which very much centres these people as Other. You have these explorers in the centre, they're people we recognize wearing clothes we recognize, and then around them, they have other people dressed up in the most exotic and unfamiliar dress that no doubt they have available to them.

And secondly, there is the way we portray it and it is about the eye of the beholder, but I am also the beholder. There are British people for whom these are being written, who will relate more to the ethnic group that's being written about than the explorer, and it's very problematic and often offensive for people like us'...

'*motherhood statements about being a white male* For me, I've never seen anything like this exploitative. To be clear as well, the idea of getting in contact with uncontacted tribes is wrong. I've never done that. I've been off to meet the beautiful Masai people. I've been off to meet Maori people, and it's more in my mind about sharing with people. And that's probably the context I gave to Blue Planet.

It's not about a sort of a domineering European perspective. It's more about a beautiful insight into people who are under threat. Many of these tribes are under threat from exploitation, mineral exploitation. And actually when I went to Papua New Guinea, we were embraced, we were with a community that had met white people before, but they said to us, you could save us economically. If you shine a spotlight on us and you bring tourism to us, you could change our fortunes. They had tears in their eyes when they said, and I'm not saying that's across the board, but I'm saying that there is another side to this'...

'That photograph that you criticized, what else would you have them? That's what they wear, and that's what they look like'

'Ben just delivered a kind of pristine example of a white savior narrative, which is that white people, Europeans have this somehow predestined role to go around civilizing and saving people around the world. That is exactly the ideology on which the empire was built. There were many people in the empire who had excellent intentions. The reality is it ended up drawing on pseudoscience, scientific racism and propagating this idea that there was this inherent superiority in the European race to go and save people around the world.

Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't be interested in groups who are under threat. Of course I think that's an essential project. I welcome the idea that people are interested in the cultures that they haven't previously experienced, but it's who's telling the story and what their perspective is. And I think that many people... are not conscious of the extent to which they have themselves absorbed this imperial narrative, and it's not necessarily something they're doing consciously, but it's something I see very much in the narrative and the images that are being disseminated'"

Apparently exploration should not be about seeing new things and people who are different from us. I thought appreciating diversity was supposed to be a virtue

Post-colonial perspectives are superior to the voices of the people concerned, apparently

Of course, if the natives were photographed wearing Western clothing, this would be erasure of traditional culture. So once again, the white man is evil

Links - 18th January 2020 (1)

Experts Worry Active Shooter Drills In Schools Could Be Traumatic For Students - "Close to all public schools in the U.S. conducted some kind of lockdown drill in 2015-2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.Last year, 57% of teens told researchers they worry about a shooting happening at their school. A slightly higher percentage of parents of teenagers, 63%, fear a shooting at their child's school... Despite high-profile media coverage, school shootings with multiple victims are still rare. The overall number of students killed in shootings at schools is down from the early 1990s to about 0.15 per million in 2014-2015, according to researchers at Northeastern University. One Harvard instructor estimated the likelihood of a public school student being killed by a gun in school at about 1 in 614 million... the analogy that I use is we don't light a fire in the hallway to practice fire drills. When we're teaching stranger danger, we don't put a child on a street corner and have someone grab them and scare them. We are able to teach these things through ways where we talk them through it and then we walk them through it and they respond accordingly."
Once again, the fetish for "protecting" children harms them

Poll: Under HALF of UK students support freedom of speech - "Concerns have been raised over a 'culture of conformity' on Britain's university campuses after a poll found up to half of students fail to support free speech.There are mounting worries among many in academia that universities are turning into 'echo chambers', with students retreating to 'safe spaces' and 'no platforming' lecturers and commentators they disagree with.A new survey by think tank The Policy Exchange shows youngsters whose views don't conform with the majority of students, such as those who support Brexit, feel silenced... In the British poll published today, just four in 10 Brexit supporters said they would feel comfortable saying so in class, while nine out of ten Remainers said they were happy giving their views.Students also seemed to approve of bans of speakers those views differ from their own.In 2015, students at Cardiff University campaigned to stop Germaine Greer, the celebrated feminist thinker and author of the bestselling The Female Eunuch, from speaking there due to her perceived 'misogynistic views towards trans women'. The new study found that the greatest number of students, 44% of those poll, said Cardiff should have banned Greer from speaking. Only 35% disagreed that she should have been allowed to speak.Students had similar views on Cambridge University's decision to withdraw their offer of a fellowship for the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.He has been castigated by left-wing students after challenging rules over trans people's preferred pronouns and hitting out at political correctness.Of the British students surveyed, 41% agreed with Cambridge University's decision, while only 31% disagreed... a poll from College Pulse found that some 55 per cent of the students surveyed felt that their classmates 'should be punished' for wearing offensive costumes. The study, conducted by the Campaign for Free Speech, also found that some 51 percent of people in the US believe that the amendment - first adopted in 1791 - 'should be updated to reflect the cultural norms of today.' British students were less concerned about the possible offensiveness of costumes, with 54% disagreeing with the idea that 'universities should regulate which kinds of attire people can wear to parties in order to protect people from cultural appropriation'... 'more Leave-supporting students reported that they would not be comfortable expressing that view than Remain-supporting students estimated.'As so often, it is those who are actually in the minority who feel excluded, while those in the majority are less aware of the challenges faced. 'This supports the diagnosis that political discrimination is a danger in the UK’s universities, and that more research is required to understand how serious the problem is.'"
As always, liberals who champion "diversity" hate ideological diversity

Students turn against free speech amid ‘culture of conformity’ | News | The Times - "A higher number of women were in favour of censorship and men were more likely to support academic freedom, polling found. Gender differences had a bigger impact on attitudes than whether respondents had backed Leave or Remain in the EU referendum."

NEW SURVEY: Majority of college students self-censor, support disinvitations, don’t know hate speech is protected by First Amendment - "A new report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education finds a majority of students on college campuses self-censor in class, support disinviting some guest speakers with whom they disagree, and don’t know that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment...
Most students (56 percent) support disinviting some guest speakers. Democratic students are 19 percentage points more likely than their Republican peers to agree that there are times a speaker should be disinvited.
58 percent of college students think it’s important to be part of a campus community where they are not exposed to intolerant or offensive ideas...
In class, 30 percent of students have self-censored because they thought their words would be offensive to others. A majority of students (54 percent) report self-censoring in the classroom at some point since the beginning of college...
Very liberal students are 14 percentage points more likely than their very conservative peers to feel comfortable expressing their opinions in the classroom. Additionally, 60 percent of Republican students think they should not have to walk past a protest on campus, while only 28 percent of Democratic students think the same...
a majority of students want their schools to invite a variety of guest speakers to campus (93 percent), and 64 percent report changing an attitude or opinion after listening to a guest speaker."

We Owe Our Pumpkins to Pooping Megafauna - Scientific American - "“Turns out there’s this absolutely beautiful correlation between body size and the ability to taste bitter compounds. So what we think is going on is that these are really plants adapted to a landscape with large herbivores. They evolved this bitter toxicity in order to deter small mammals who would destroy the seeds, but they’ve evolved it at just the right level where large mammals are not put off by the bitterness, and they can disperse the seeds.”... Along with dispersing seeds, mastodons, like modern elephants, probably stomped around a lot and vacuumed up vegetation—creating the sort of disturbed environments where squash plants thrive. So it was a beneficial match."

There's a Word for Today - Scientific American - "Iktsuarpok. If you’ve ever called in a pizza order and then stepped out the door a couple of times to see if the delivery guy was there yet, well, you’ve experienced iktsuarpok. It’s an Inuit word that “refers to the anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, whereby one keeps going outside to check if they have arrived.”... Other examples include the Georgian word shemomedjamo, meaning to be full but to keep eating because the food is so good; Bantu’s mbuki-mvuki, whipping off your clothes to dance; and Waldeinsamkeit—that’s a German word for the mysterious, and possibly slightly creepy, solitude you may feel when you’re in the woods by yourself... Jayus. It’s Indonesian, and it means “a joke so unfunny (or told so badly) that you just have to laugh.”"

Bonobo Mothers Supervise Their Sons' Monkey Business - Scientific American - "Some parents get overly involved in their kids’ personal lives, but bonobo mothers take this tendency to the extreme. They fix up their adult sons with a female of their choosing, and they even keep other males from getting near their future daughter-in-law. The behavior may seem overbearing, but it boosts the odds they’ll be surrounded by grandkids... “We found that males have about three times higher likelihood to sire offspring while their mom was still alive in the community.”In contrast, mothers of the closely related chimpanzees don’t chaperone their sons. In fact, male chimps are less likely to sire offspring when their moms are around. Seems that chimps prefer privacy for their monkey business."

Bonobos show their dark side - "Unlike their chimpanzee relatives, bonobos enjoy a make-love-not-war image. But a new study in Current Biology offers the first direct evidence of wild bonobos hunting and eating the young of other primate species. “These findings are particularly relevant for the discussion about male dominance and bonding, aggression and hunting – a domain that was thought to separate chimpanzees and bonobos”...
'unlike groups of chimps, in bonobo populations females enjoy a higher social status than males. “In chimpanzees, male-dominance is associated with physical violence, hunting, and meat consumption. By inference, the lack of male dominance and physical violence is often used to explain the relative absence of hunting and meat eating in bonobos. Our observations suggest that, in contrast to previous assumptions, these behaviors may persist in societies with different social relations”'"
Looks like even in animals, 'patriarchy' is a red herring

Female Bonobos Publicize Homosexual Interactions For Social Distinction - "Female bonobos, often referred to as the pygmy chimpanzees, will often publicize their homosexual interactions to other females, particularly if an “alpha female” was nearby.The latest research showed that females of this particular species will advertise their successes during sex by making copulation calls which are similar in acoustic structure as those made when mating with males, to tell other group members about the bond, especially if the sex was with a higher-ranking female."

Composers Datebook: Friday, September 13 - "On today's date in 1993, the first gala preview screening of a new film, "The Age of Innocence," based on the novel by Edith Wharton, took place at the Ziegfield Theater in Manhattan, as a benefit for the New York Historical Society. That was only appropriate, since Wharton's historical novel describes upper-class New York society of the 1870s — an age, if the film is to be believed, so emotionally repressed that the unbuttoning of a woman's glove can be a breathtakingly sensual moment."

Composers Datebook: Wednesday, April 11 - "Tate had written a poem that compared the deposed Catholic King James II to Aeneas, and constructed an allegory implying that James had been led astray by witches, the result being that he abandoned the British people, just as the legendary Trojan Prince Aeneas had abandoned Queen Dido of Carthage in order to found a new empire in Rome. Since the Catholic King James II had also fled to Rome, some have speculated that Purcell’s opera was a political allegory, commissioned by Mr. Priest’s School for Young Ladies to celebrate either the coronation or birthday of the new Protestant Queen."

Composers Datebook: Thursday, August 23 - "In 1913, the young Sergei Prokofiev traveled to Pavlovsk to appear as the soloist in the first performance of his Piano Concerto No. 2. The premiere occurred on today’s date that year, and the music of young firebrand composer-performer proved to be far from the standard light classical fare normally offered in Pavlovsk.  One reviewer wrote: “Prokofiev’s music left listeners frozen with fright, their hair standing on end.” Another critic wrote: “One couple stood up and ran for the exit, commenting, ‘Such music is enough to drive you crazy! What is he doing, making fun of us? We came here to enjoy ourselves. The cats at home can make music like this!’”"

Composers Datebook: Sunday, October 15 - "Britten himself preferred the "Young Person's Guide" as its official title, and regularly complained whenever the BBC tried to "upgrade" to the more scholarly "Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell" when announcing the piece over the radio."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dharshini David - "‘Labour wants to increase the [minimum] wage to 10 pounds immediately. No one knows do they because this is relatively high for a minimum wage, what the impact on jobs could be’...
‘What we do know from the evidence in the UK so far, which has already had a big increase in the last few years with no effect, you know, we have the highest minimum wage in history. And we also have record employment levels. So we don't, we do know that it doesn't have the damaging effects some people say. But could there be effects at some point? Certainly, that's why we have the low pay commission, and they should carry on monitoring it’"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Russia: 30 years since the Soviet Empire - "‘Political commentator Lilia Shiftsova [sp?] believes that 30 years on Russia is trying to build a new kind of Empire.’
‘This people in the Kremlin do understand that idea of restoration of the former superpower is impossible. But they have other idea. And the idea is, to be a blackmailer, to be producer of mischief, to be the grand spoiler. To be the nightmare for the neighbors and for the outside countries. So this is the new idea of superpower and Empire’...
'This website is called Baltnews. It's aimed at ethnic Russians across the Baltic, but it's part of a news organization, which is bankrolled by the Kremlin. And what kind of stories does it put out? Well, here's one, listen to this. Among Latvians, it says, Adolf Hitler is more popular than Harry Potter. Hitler's Mein Kampf tops the readers’ book choice in Latvia. So the impression you get when you read this is that in Latvia, in an EU country, Nazi ideology is thriving. But is it really true? I'm off to investigate. My first stop is Latvia's largest bookseller where I talked to the director *name*.
‘How many copies of Mein Kampf were sold in your shop, say in 2018?’
‘Not a single copy?
‘Not a single copy’
‘Is it not available then in the bookshops?’
‘No, it’s not available’
‘What do you think about this claim then that in Latvia Adolf Hitler is more popular than Harry Potter?’
‘It's nonsense. It's absolute fake.’
‘At Latvia’s National Library, I discover that Hitler’s book has been requested 139 times in three years. Compare that to 25,000 requests for Harry Potter books.’...
‘I tracked down a key witness. Rita runs a secondhand book website in Latvia. Baltnews had based its report on data from her online forum. Mein Kampf is available through her site, but who exactly has been clicking on it?’
‘So it's interesting that for this Mein Kampf about 70% of all the clicks are anonymous clicks… They can be fake users or internet trolls or whatever, how we call them’
‘Fake views to make fake news’"

Friday, January 17, 2020

Links - 17th January 2020 (2) (UK 2019 Election)

Gad Saad - Posts - "I’m already seeing people proclaiming that the huge victory of @BorisJohnson’s party will usher the end of the world. Is there no end to the faux-hysteria? In a democracy, your camp sometimes loses and it’s not because of bruh racism, nativism, & low-info voters. Accept defeat.Many of the hysterics and Collective Munchausen clowns are supposed sophisticated thinkers. I was not pleased with @JustinTrudeau’s victory (twice) but I accept it and move on. Be decent. Accept democratic outcomes."

Mike on Twitter - "After producing the largest majority in parliament in 30 years, a BBC commentator just called Johnson “such a divisive and controversial figure.” Those words have been robbed of their meaning. They now mean “he’s not acceptable to us, the chattering classes, represented by MSM.""

How Jeremy Corbyn's predicted defeat would be worst since the 1935 election - "The scale of Labour’s defeat predicted by the shock exit poll would leave the party with the fewest number of seats since the 1935 election.It would also be the first time since the inter-war years that Labour has won fewer than 200 seats."

Former Labour member reveals it took just five minutes for delegates to decide Jews were 'subhuman' and should be forced to eat bacon - "two total strangers took just five minutes to decide that Jews are “subhuman” and should be “forced to eat bacon” when they met at party conference. Colin Appleby... who is Jewish and resigned his membership and position as LGBT Officer in the Cities of London and Westminster Labour Party in in October 2018, said he was “shocked” to hear that two strangers could express anti-Semitism so openly... Later that day, Mr Appleby said delegates hissed at him and called him “disgusting” for voting against a Palestine solidarity motion.  While flags are banned on the conference floor, hundreds of delegates waved Palestinian flags with apparent impunity... He told the Commission of 22 comments he had been subjected to at party meetings, including that he was a "child killer", "Zio scum" and "good with money"."

Marlon Solomon on Twitter - "Who'd have guessed that Mendoza - one of the people most responsible for toxifying the British left with racially charged conspiracy theories about Jews - would blame a Jew before anyone else. Whoever takes control of Labour, from whatever faction, please fuck these people off."

Jeremy Corbyn will stand down 'early next year' but declines to take blame for election disaster - "“I have pride in our manifesto that we put forward….this election was taken over ultimately by Brexit.”On his future, he said: “The National Executive [Committee] will have to meet, of course, in the very near future and it is up to them. It will be in the early part of next year.”The comment suggests Mr Corbyn plans to stay on until a successor is in place, rather than facilitate the appointment of an interim leader... Some drew a sharp contrast with Ed Miliband, who resigned immediately after losing in 2015, saying: “I take absolute and total responsibility for our defeat."

Alex Clark on Twitter - "Perhaps telling everyone who disagreed with you to fuck off and vote Tory wasn’t such a great plan, you condescending bunch of pricks."
"& the people saying "if you're a Tory just delete me". Like ok great let's pretend nobody's voting Tory and we'll just win! Ahahaha oh wow."
"yes, well when you block anyone on social media who disagrees with you, national election results are going to come as a shock."

Francis Foster on Twitter - "That silence you can hear, is Labour Party activists realising that those people they were screaming “gammon” at, were in fact traditional Labour voters. #LabourParty #GeneralElection2019 #GeneralElection #Labour"

Christmasoteric on Twitter - "Blyth Valley will be the first UK constituency to report its vote. It's voted Labour by overwhelming numbers literally since the day it was created in 1950. If the Tories win, it's an earthquake. If they come even close, it's still a sign of a massive night for the Conservatives.
(the closest it ever came to flipping from Labour was a 2% victory during the Thatcher blowout in 1987, the most overwhelming Conservative nationwide victory in the post-war era...if it's anywhere close to that, oof.)
the Tories have won Blyth Valley, the first constituency to declare in tonight's elections...which has NEVER voted anything but Labour as long as it existed. And this wasn't even on the UK exit poll's "Tory pickup" list...
In 2017 -- TWO YEARS AGO -- Labour won Blyth Valley over the Conseratives by nearly 20%."

Jo Swinson LOSES her own seat after Lib Dems' anti-Brexit campaign flops - "The Liberal Democrats turned on their leader Jo Swinson today after she was ousted from her own seat in Scotland following a disastrous General Election campaign.The party's former deputy leader Simon Hughes launched a scathing attack on her as he said 'every strategic decision' taken since she took over had been wrong... 'Every strategic decision. They decided to go for revoking Article 50, having ignored the referendum. They decided that they could argue that that was because we might be a majority government. Incredible, incredible - nobody believed it.'Jo led the campaign on the basis that she could be the prime minister - incredible. Nobody believed it. She was almost unknown.'... the Lib Dem push for power - built on a headline pledge to cancel Brexit - flopped as Ms Swinson's plan to unite every Remain voter behind one party failed. Instead, the Lib Dems have been left treading water, with a forecast suggesting the party will finish the election with just 11 MPs.   Such a tally would be one seat lower than its 2017 haul and significantly worse than the 21 MPs the Lib Dems had when the election was called after a series of high profile defections... The former coalition government minister had initially positioned herself as a potential candidate for prime minister but was forced to backtrack when polls put the party on just 12 per cent.  Ms Swinson has also struggled to win over voters on a personal level, with opinion polls suggesting members of the public liked her less the more they saw her.  A recent poll by Ipsos Mori found that the leader had a net favourability rating of minus 31 - making her less popular than Mr Corbyn. At the start of the campaign, Ms Swinson had a rating of minus 20, indicating that she became less popular as the campaign went on."
So much for Remoaners claiming the majority of the UK was against Brexit

Francis Foster on Twitter - "Turns out demonising working class people and calling them racist doesn’t get you elected.... Who would’ve thought it? #GE2019 #GeneralElection #LabourParty"

Jeremy Corbyn’s success is a model for American progressives - The Washington Post
From 2017. This aged well.

American Leftists Saw Corbyn’s Inevitable Victory As a Model - "That theory holds that Corbyn’s populist left-wing platform is both necessary and sufficient in order to defeat the rising nationalist right... Proceeding from the erroneous Marxist view that capitalism is growing more oppressive, and a working-class backlash is therefore inevitable, they glommed onto bits of data and ignored and large and growing array of evidence to the contrary.  In the U.K., this delusion created a bitter argument between the left and center-left... As early as 2016, a writer for the progressive New Statesman was lamenting “The sheer intensity of [Corbyn’s support], combined with some of his supporters’ glassy-eyed denial of reality and desire to ‘purge’ the party unfaithful,” and compared it to “a cult or a religious movement.” Corbyn’s victory became a matter of faith, and its adherents continued to tout wisps of evidence for it even in the face of dismal polling... Whether a more moderate Labour leader would have defeated Johnson  – who is highly unpopular, yet still far less unpopular than Corbyn – is unknowable. What is certain is that his delirious backers assumed his success, and built around it a self-serving theory from which they refused to deviate in the face of mounting indications of doom."
The leftist echo chamber

Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter - "Boris Johnson's victory is Britain's rejection of leftist politics. It's a rejection of anti-Semitism. It's a rejection of gender wokeness and cringe pronouns. It's a rejection of open borders immigration. It's a rejection of socialism. It's about putting Britain first."

U.K. election: How could Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party lose so badly? - "Leigh, the constituency in Northwest England where I grew up, was one of the bricks that shattered Labour’s fabled “red wall.” What had previously been a safe Labour seat elected a Conservative for the first time in its 134-year history. According to the local paper, in his victory speech, newly elected Member of Parliament James Grundy declared that “his ‘Get Brexit Done’ message was key to the campaign.” I’m sure he’s right. After all, 63.29 percent of Leigh voters supported the Leave side in the EU referendum in 2016, and there’s undoubtedly a deep sense of resentment that local sentiment has been ignored. Labour MP Lisa Nandy, who held her seat in neighboring Wigan, said in an interview with the BBC that working-class Labour supporters who voted to leave had been insulted by middle-class Southerners, who dismissed them as “stupid” and “racist.” When visiting the area, it’s impossible not to encounter expressions of exasperation that Brexit still hasn’t happened. People, including some who voted to remain in the European Union, are so sick of the tune that’s been playing for the past 3½ years that they’re ready for the music to stop... [Corbyn] was a huge liability. Although Labour maintained its strength in London, gaining one seat there, it was in spite of rather than because of Corbyn. He was unable to resolve internal party crises, including repeated allegations of anti-Semitism. During a high-profile TV interview during the campaign, Corbyn refused four times to apologize to the Jewish community on the day that Britain’s chief rabbi declared that “a new poison—sanctioned from the very top—had taken root” in the party. (A week later, he did apologize.)  Corbyn’s attempt to take a middle-of-the-road stance on Brexit, when he wasn’t avoiding the country’s dominant political issue entirely, alienated both the working-class Leave supporters in the North and Midlands and liberal Southerners who voted Remain. The party was also unable to win over new supporters. Its manifesto, which promises to provide free broadband service, to institute a four-day workweek, and abolish college tuition fees—reliably described as “radical” in the Tory-dominated press—failed to “cut through”... Tony Blair is the only Labour leader since 1974 to have led his party to election victory—and there isn’t another Third Way compromiser in sight."
I like how Labour's really controversial proposals got ignored by Slate, since they wouldn't be able that only the "Tory-dominated press" would say they were radical

Titania McGrath on Twitter - "Following tonight’s devastating election results, it’s time for the left to reflect. We have clearly failed to win over the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. The obvious conclusion is... we didn’t call them racist often enough."

Britain's Labour Party Got Woke—And Now It's Broke - "“Most people I know who used to be staunch Labour are now saying no way Jeremy Corbyn,” said Steve Hurt, an engineer. “It’s not our party any more. Same label, different bottle.”According to the activist I was with, that had been the reaction wherever he went. He had knocked on 100 doors in a council estate earlier that day and all but three people he’d spoken to told him they intended to vote Conservative—and this in a city where 26 per cent of the population are among the most deprived in England. I asked why, if these electors hated Corbyn so much, they didn’t simply abstain? Why were they planning to brave the elements on a cold day in December to vote for a party led by an old Etonian toff?“Because they hate Corbyn that much,” he said. “The biggest message they can send to him is to elect a Tory government.” It’s the same story across England—working class electors deserting Labour en masse... a Deltapoll survey for the Mail on Sunday last month showed the Conservatives outpolling Labour by 49 per cent to 23 per cent in the C2DE social grades—the bottom half of the National Readership Survey classification system that ranks people according to occupation. That is to say, people in the bottom half of the NRS distribution—skilled manual workers, semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers, state pensioners and people on benefits—were intending to vote Conservative rather than Labour by a ratio of more than 2:1... the higher the concentration of graduates in an area, the more likely it was to skew Left... the desertion of Labour by its working class supporters—and its increasing popularity with more affluent, better educated voters—is a long-term trend, not an aberration [related to Brexit]. The disappearance of Labour’s traditional base isn’t just the story of this election, but one of the main themes of Britain’s post-war political history... Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have talked a good deal about winning back these working class voters, but his policy positions haven’t been designed to appeal to them. I’m not just talking about his ambivalence on Brexit—there’s a widespread feeling among voters who value flag, faith and family that Corbyn isn’t one of them. Before he became Labour leader in 2015, he was an energetic protestor against nearly every armed conflict Britain has been involved in since Suez, including the Falklands War. He’s also called for the abandonment of Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, the withdrawal of the UK from NATO and the dismantling of our security services—not to mention declining to sing the National Anthem at a Battle of Britain service in 2015. From the point of view of many working class voters, for whom love of country is still a deeply felt emotion, Corbyn seems to side with the country’s enemies more often than he does with Britain. Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership election was followed by a surge in party membership— from 193,754 at the end of 2014 to 388,103 by the end of 2015. But the activists he appeals to are predominantly middle class... A careful analysis of the policies set out in Labour’s latest manifesto reveals that the main beneficiaries of the party’s proposed increase in public expenditure—which the Conservatives costed at an eye-watering £1.2 trillion—would be its middle class supporters. For instance, the party pledged to cut rail fares by 33 per cent and pay for it by slashing the money spent on roads. But only 11 per cent of Britain’s commuters travel by train compared to 68 per cent who drive—and the former tend to be more affluent than the latter. Corbyn also promised to abolish university tuition fees at a cost of £7.2 billion per annum, a deeply regressive policy which, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, would benefit middle- and high-earning graduates with “very little” upside for those on low incomes... these “topsy turvey” politics are hardly unique to Britain. Left-of-center parties in most parts of the Anglosphere, as well as other Western democracies, have seen the equivalent of their own ‘Red Walls’ collapsing... left-wing parties in the US, Britain and France used to rely on ‘nativist’ voters to win elections—low education, low income—but since the 1970s have begun to attract more and more ‘globalist’ voters—high education, high income (with the exception of the top 10 per cent of income earners). The nativists, meanwhile, have drifted to the Right, forming a coalition with the business elite. He crunches the data to show that in the US, from the 1940s to the 1960s, the more educated people were, the more likely they were to vote Republican. Now, the opposite is true, with 70% of voters with masters degrees voting for Hilary in 2016. “The trend is virtually identical in all three countries”... left-wing parties now have little to offer indigenous, working class people outside the big cities—and their activists often add insult to injury by describing these left-behind voters as “privileged” because they’re white or cis-gendered or whatever. So long as parties like Labour pander to their middle-class, identitarian activists and ignore the interests of the genuinely disadvantaged, they’ll continue to rack up loss after loss. Get woke, go broke. Will the Democrats learn from Labour’s mistake and make Jo Biden the candidate—or even Pete Buttigieg? I wouldn’t bet on it. The zealots of the post-modern Left have a limitless capacity to ignore reality even when it’s staring them in the face. As I said to a friend last night after the election results starting rolling in, fighting political opponents like Jeremy Corbyn is a bit like competing in a round-the-world yacht race against a team that thinks the earth is flat. It can be kind of fun, even exhilarating. But until they acquire a compass and learn how to read a map, it’s not really a fair fight."
One leftist response is to blame Tory voters for being stupid. Yet these 'stupid' voters reliably voted Labour for so long. Maybe what really made them stupid was continuing to vote Labour for so long.
One leftist response is to say only uneducated people vote Tory. Elitism and contempt for the working class is good when it comes from the left

JOHN GRAY: Why the working class is deserting Labour - "Growing numbers are coming to prefer a party that in the past they viewed as the voice of wealth and privilege to a Labour Party that has become the mouthpiece of a fashionably Leftish section of the middle classes.These voters are repelled by the party Labour has become – a ragbag of sectarian ideologues fighting among themselves, with no concern for the values that move the masses Labour once led... In 1945, when the great reforming Labour government of Clement Attlee came to power, around a third of Labour MPs came from working-class backgrounds. Today only around four per cent do... many Labour MPs came from the communities they were in Parliament to represent.They knew from first-hand experience how working people lived, and had an instinctive understanding of their values.They were unapologetic patriots, who loved their country even while they condemned injustice in it. They supported our Armed Forces, and did not make excuses for Britain's enemies... [Corbyn]  grew up in a Georgian country manor house and attended an independent prep school and then a centuries-old grammar school.Corbyn's scruffy anorak and cap shows him trying to shed his rather posh origins and assimilate to what he imagines to be proletarian costume as it may have appeared to him in the 1970s.Apart from Corbyn, who seems genuinely to believe the image he has fashioned of himself, no one is taken in. The millions of working-class Labour voters who mistrust and despise him are not fooled. Middle-class Leftists, on the other hand, recognise him as one of their own – a man for whom patriotism is vulgar, and who thinks of terrorists as his friends. Here, a second factor comes into play. The massive expansion of higher education in Britain over the past decades has created a sizable population of graduates with ultra-progressive attitudes, heavy loads of debt and decidedly uncertain career prospects. Labour's unexpectedly strong performance in the General Election of 2017 was partly a result of its manifesto promise to abolish student tuition fees, which would have cost public finances as much as £12 billion.At the same time, Labour refused to unfreeze welfare benefits, a policy it considered to be unaffordable. Plainly, Labour was targeting the middle-class youth vote at the expense of those who really needed help... For these graduates, the values that continue to shape working-class life are relics of the past. Nation states are anachronisms, and immigration controls implicitly racist. The future can only be a borderless world in which people move freely and live and work wherever they want.Of course this is fantasy. With enormous disparities in economic development, living standards and welfare provision in different countries, people would move rapidly from poor to rich societies in large numbers.There would be a massive backlash from voters, moderate parties would be overwhelmed and the beneficiaries would be the dangerous forces of the far Right. Yet a version of this fantasy was proposed last week by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, when – in direct violation of Labour policy at the last Election – she committed her party to maintaining and extending freedom of movement. A world without borders is an idea that appeals to middle-class graduates who think of themselves as global citizens rather than as belonging in any particular country... Labour's sneering Leftists, who regard working people as fit only for Soviet-style re-education in politically correct attitudes, are deeply resented.Could it be that Johnson is popular among working-class voters because he encourages them to be patriotic about our country – and to feel positive about themselves?Most important of all, Johnson's Conservatives realise how important it is to move on from the ghastly Groundhog Day of an unfinished Brexit."

‘Austerity was not the way forward’: An interview with Boris Johnson | The Spectator - "Only once in the post-war era has a British political party won a fourth term in office, but that is what the Conservative party are attempting to do in this election. It’s a tall order, but Boris Johnson has a plan: to make it clear that his is a new government — offering change, not simply more of the same... When he was running for the party leadership, he told us that his ‘true selling point’ was his ability to win elections"
Doesn't stop leftists from claiming the Tories will push austerity till everyone dies

President Trump & Brexit -- Votes Demonstrate Deepening Political Divides - "Two months after the Brexit vote, a 40-year-old Polish man was murdered in Essex. The press and pro–European Union politicians pounced on it. The Guardian claimed that the killing “exposes the reality of post-referendum racism.” Even the conservative Telegraph asserted that the killing raised fears that “migrants are being targeted in post-Brexit hate-crimes.” The head of the EU Commission blamed the murder on “galloping populism.”By the time that the man’s 16-year-old killer was convicted of his murder one year later, the story had fallen out of the news. Before the trial it had become clear that the killing was the result of nothing more than a pointless, late-night street row, awful, terrible, and with lessons of its own to impart. But the victim’s race had nothing to do with it. Neither did the British public’s decision to vote Leave.Still, the narrative continued... The narrative of “racist vote leads to upsurge in racism” was too useful to be dispensed with. Precisely the same claim was pumped into the American system after the election of Donald Trump. A collection of offhand, occasionally off-color quotations were characterized as flagrant “dog whistles.” One joke about Mexicans — unwise though it was for a candidate — was declared to be a racist assault on all Mexicans. And once that link was made, it was the smallest of steps to pronounce the vote for Trump “racist” and some sort of green light for real racists. Politicians and pundits tied a spate of bomb threats made against Jewish community centers in the U.S. and abroad in January 2017 to the inauguration of President Trump. A congressman blamed Trump supporters for the threats, and commentators issued dark warnings that these forces would come for everyone next. Two months later arrests were made of two men — one a journalist formerly with the far-left website The Intercept, the other an Israeli-American man with mental-health problems. Few people were detained by such details... The Guardian (again) claimed that “homophobic attacks in UK rose 147% in three months after Brexit vote.” Why? It made no sense whatsoever. Why would the British people vote to leave the European Union and celebrate by attacking gays? Unless the European Union could be said to be the only restraining force on an otherwise unalloyedly bigoted populace (a theme that was convenient for certain campaigners to claim). In fact the data on which the Guardian and others based their reports did not concern criminal convictions or even hate-crime reports but came from a single online survey carried out by an LGBT charity and voluntarily replied to by a few hundred people who may or may not have been gay... the “rise in hate” narrative has not been the only one to span the Atlantic since 2016. Another — it only grows with time — is that the results of the Brexit and Trump elections were illegitimate because they were “stolen” or “influenced” from abroad. This idea, which has had multiple manifestations, motivates a deep and ongoing effort to claim that the two results are in this way not merely illegitimate but linked... Researchers at Oxford University last year looked into the claims of Russian interference in the Brexit vote. They found a grand total of 105 Russian-linked Twitter accounts that had been tweeting ahead of the vote. Twitter itself said that only one Russian-linked account had spent any money ahead of the vote (buying just six advertisements), and a number of the Russian-linked accounts turned out to be tweeting in favor of Remain. To believe that the Brexit vote was swayed by a small number of Russian bots rather than decades of British disillusionment with the EU’s mission creep is a delusion of the highest order.And yet it goes on. After the Twitter-bots claims fizzled, we had the saga of Cambridge Analytica, this even though the official Leave campaign at no stage hired the firm to do any work for it. For the past 18 months the claim that one data company (again, in the words of the Guardian) “hijacked” British democracy and then hacked the American election has been pumped remorselessly into our bodies politic.Yet the Cambridge Analytica story was never about one firm. It was about an attempt to draw the dots that could be connected to prove that Russia had swayed the vote. And if it could be proved that Russia directed, hacked, or otherwise stole either of the 2016 votes, then obviously they not only would be illegitimate but ought rightly to be rerun.A suggestion that the facts may not be on the side of the people making these claims can be partially demonstrated by the retreat of the claims themselves. Both in America and in Britain, the claims started with allegations of vote-rigging, including actual hacking of the vote. Then they moved on to social-media influencing. Now the search is for evidence that anyone connected with either the Trump or the Brexit campaign was in some way influenced or compromised by Russian money... it is now clear that the Brexit vote and the Trump election are hugely important milestones in both democracies, not because of what has or has not been achieved but because both constitute the first democratic mandate in either country that an elite in each country has refused to accept... The second observation is what an unbelievably unwise and wasted opportunity this already looks to have been. If you were an anti-Trump strategist or a pro-EU campaigner, you might have taken all sorts of things from the results of 2016... Even now almost none of this reflection seems to have occurred, on either side of the Atlantic. And if there is one reason, it is that, even after all this time, instead of accepting the votes and trying to learn from them, elites have expended almost all their available energies trying to pretend that the voters in 2016 were bad or duped. The past two years could have been spent trying to learn something or build something. Instead, the best minds of Left and Right have spent their time making claims of “racism,” “Russia,” and “Cambridge Analytica.” The final observation I would make is that all of this has gone to create a phenomenon that I have come to think of as snowplow politics... any time that anybody attempts to inhabit what would be the middle of the road, this great snowplow is driven straight at them. For the time being, the snowplow continues to operate on the gasoline provided by allegations such as those listed above. If you praise a particular policy of Donald Trump’s, you are not praising that policy but legitimizing racism, or misogyny, or Russian influence, or a hundred other things. If you are among the many people who voted Remain but decided to spend the period since 2016 accepting the vote and seeing the advantages that could come from it, you were not being pragmatic. You were encouraging hate crime, homophobia, and the hacking of your elections by foreign powers. Instead of just inhabiting what should be the normal terrain of political acceptance, you have become an accessory to a crime... People often talk about the increasing divide in our politics. But they do not recognize the cause. The cause is that even after all this time the process of acceptance, healing, and mending has not even started. Instead our societies are stuck, and seem intent on staying stuck, in this period of denial and rage... a precedent has been set that will not end in this electoral cycle or any other in the coming years: a situation in which accepting the results of a vote becomes a matter of choice and the idea that the public’s decision is final moves from being a convention to a quirk."

Jeremy Corbyn could do more damage to UK in 'few short weeks' as caretaker PM than Cambridge 5 spy ring did over decades, critics warn - "JEREMY Corbyn could do more damage to the UK in a “few short weeks” as a caretaker PM than the Cambridge spy ring did over decades, critics have warned. One former Labour MP claimed moving Mr Corbyn into No10 could be disastrous because he has “sided with Britain’s enemies his whole life”.... Jeremy Corbyn could do more damage to UK in 'few short weeks' as caretaker PM than Cambridge 5 spy ring did over decades, critics warn - "JEREMY Corbyn could do more damage to the UK in a “few short weeks” as a caretaker PM than the Cambridge spy ring did over decades, critics have warned.  One former Labour MP claimed moving Mr Corbyn into No10 could be disastrous because he has “sided with Britain’s enemies his whole life”... he was slammed in June as "pathetic" by then Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt after calling on the government to provide “credible evidence” that Tehran was behind attacks on British oil tankers.  Mr Corbyn had claimed: "Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf. Without credible evidence about the attacks, the Government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.”  At the time of the poisoning of ex-KGB spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, the Islington North MP was accused of “weaselly” words for still refusing to lay direct blame on the Russian state.  He doubted British intelligence that the Skripals were targeted by the Kremlin - with his spokesman suggesting that because of past faulty documents over the Iraq War, sources could not be trusted. A former military chief has warned Mr Corbyn in Downing Street could lead to Britain's nuclear deterrent being compromised... he planned to ask the “wider community” before deploying our nuclear arsenal in the wake of an attack.  Lord West of Spithead, a Labour peer and former First Sea Lord, said this could have serious consequences for Britain’s security and accused Mr Corbyn of not knowing what “deterrent” means. He said:"It is an extraordinary position to have that you will keep building the deterrent, but say 'of course if all the British people are annihilated I would not dream of responding at all.'""

Jeremy Corbyn refuses SIX times to say whether he would authorise troops to kill terror chiefs - "The Labour leader last night refused six times to say whether he would order special forces to kill a terror chief.Jeremy Corbyn was asked repeatedly if he would sanction an operation if British intelligence identified the new leader of Islamic State.He said if it was possible they should be captured, but if not then he would have to 'take the appropriate decisions at that time'.Mr Corbyn was then challenged about what he would order British troops to do if the terrorist was wearing a suicide vest – but again could not say that he would sanction lethal force... Mr Neil pushed him: 'How do you arrest somebody in hostile territory, surrounded by armed killers wearing a suicide vest?''I said if it is possible. But let's look at it in a serious way also'... Mr Neil also hammered the Labour leader over his record on national security issues.  He said: 'I mean people look at you and your record and what you've stood for and they think, why does he always give Britain's enemies the benefit of the doubt? Galtieri in the Falklands, to Mr Putin when the Kremlin was trying to kill people in Salisbury. 'You rarely have a good word to say for our allies. You've no time for Nato, the alliance that's kept us safe. Why would you – why should people trust you to defend our national interest?'"
Trump has bad things to say about NATO, so he's dangerous. Corbyn has bad things to say about NATO, but he's good

Are the West's Secrets Safe in the Hands of Britain's Politicians? - "Seamus Milne, the Labour leader’s director of strategy and his closest adviser, has been an outspoken critic of Western policies throughout a long career as a columnist at the Guardian newspaper. He has argued Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea was “clearly defensive” and the consequence of a NATO manipulated breakup of the Soviet Union... One former top level CIA official told VOA: “If we have doubts or fears, we will avoid uploading especially sensitive data — some officers will just take it upon themselves to do it, whether there is an order from on high or not.”"

Broken Record: Left Continues to Smear Voters as Racist Bigots After Election Loss - "Prominent leftist political figures in the UK reacted to the Labour Party’s massive election loss by once again smearing voters as racist bigots, which is one of the reasons why they lost the election in the first place... instead of using the defeat to take a moment of reflection and re-assess their messaging, many leftists angrily lashed out and insulted the very people who they should be trying to reach... Once again the left is smearing the very people they claim to represent as racist, uneducated, thick bigots."

Andrew Doyle on Twitter - "If you smear the working class & elderly as racist & stupid, you’re a bigot. If you see fascism everywhere in one of the most tolerant countries, you’re a fantasist. If you have contempt for democracy, you’re an elitist. Above all, you’re the reason the left continues to lose."

David Baddiel on Twitter - "This is unbelievably patronising. The No. 1 thing the Crank Left need to understand is that them losing does not mean the people, the very people they claim to champion, are stupid, or brainwashed, or perverse. *They* need to change, not the people."
Apparently democracy means the elites dictate to the people what they should believe and what they should do

Antifa protests in London following Conservative landslide win - "“Tory scum off our streets, Nazi scum off our streets!” shouted left-wing protesters in central London... The British capital descended into chaos as the Met Police struggled to contain protesters connected to antifa, socialist and communist groups. They had shut down the streets in and around Westminster. They demanded a “revolution” and the ousting of the Conservatives.  Protesters disobeyed police orders and shoved officers who attempted to block them from certain routes... The on-going chaotic protest echoes left-wing demonstrations-turned-riots in the U.S. after Donald Trump’s electoral win in November 2016."
Since antifa don't believe in democracy, it's no surprise they can't accept election results they dislike
Sadly, US culture gets exported worldwide

Andy Ngo on Twitter - "Antifa are rioting in London in response to the election results giving Conservatives a huge electoral win. It’s like what I saw in Portland in November 2016."

WATCH: Chaos Erupts in London as Leftists Clash with Cops After Election - "Socialists, Antifa, and anti-Brexiteers took to the streets to show their disapproval of the British people’s democratic will while chanting “this is what democracy looks like”... “Fuck Boris, fuck racism, fuck homophobia, fuck all you pigs.”  “[Boris Johnson] is a pig and I’m so ashamed that he’s the prime minister of my country, it’s disgusting and I wish him the worst, I wish him a horrible death”... Holding placards with Socialist Worker slogans like ‘Defy Tory Rule’ and ‘Open the Borders, No Deportations’ and banners reading ‘Queer Resistance’, hundreds of protestors outside Number 10 Downing Street broke through barricades, blocking traffic and violently clashing with police.  At least two protestors were arrested during last night’s protest, one for assaulting a police officer and another for brawling... At one point, someone can be heard possibly goading the protesters, yelling “You’re not in sociology class anymore” as they jostle with police... Speaking in May, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage warned against the increasing violence of the left after getting “milkshaked” on the campaign trail.  “For a civilised democracy to work you need the losers’ consent,” he said. “Politicians not accepting the referendum result have led to this.” “Physical assault is now considered acceptable — they have a view, they are right… they feel entitled to behave like this. Something has gone very badly wrong”"
Apparently democracy is mob rule

Jeremy Corbyn: where is Jeremy Corbyn? Labour leader goes into HIDING as party in chaos - "It is understood Mr Corbyn is yet to apologies to staff in Labour HQ for his failure to win the general election.One insider was reported to have said: “Three days later and Labour staff still haven’t heard a peep from Jeremy.“Disgusting contempt for the people who did all the work.”... Mr Corbyn has put much of the blame for his election failure on the mainstream media for its criticism of Labour under his leadership and says the party must do more “to meet this billionaire-owned and influenced hostility head-on”."
Amused that the people alleging media bias led to the Tory victory are the same ones who allege American Liberal media bias is imaginary, and who say it's dangerous and fascist to criticise the media (when it's their political enemies doing it). At least no one is making noise about a second referendum anymore. Though the excuses, hatred and recrimination are going to get tiresome too.

Top MP accuses BBC of 'consciously playing a part' in Labour's election defeat - "Andy McDonald descended into a furious clash with presenter Justin Webb as he appeared to allege a deliberate attempt to hurt Labour on the part of the state broadcaster."

I saw for myself just how hostile many voters were to Jeremy Corbyn - "A man answered the door and told Coyle bluntly not to bother leaving a leaflet because he regarded his leader as a terrorist sympathiser and wanted nothing to do with him, or anyone associated with Labour.On another occasion, Coyle was confronted by a father on the school run who turned the air blue in front of his own child, using a four-letter word to sum up his view of Jeremy Corbyn. “There were people who said they knew Boris Johnson was a liar and a cheat but they still preferred him over our leader,” Coyle said.He and his team talked to 10,000 people during the campaign and kept a record of what each of them said. The two reasons most often given by those who decided against Labour were its policy on Brexit and dislike of the leader. “Dislike of Corbyn came top”... Up and down the country, Labour candidates were all too aware what their biggest problem was. But they had to keep quiet about it while campaigning. One Labour MP told me on Friday morning, after details of Labour’s catastrophic defeat were known: “We all knew what was coming, just not quite how bad it would be. We didn’t want to allow the Corbynistas and Momentum to blame us and point the finger at us afterwards, so there had to be an unspoken agreement to deny it.”Many Labour MPs had been observing this same vow of silence about Corbyn for more than three years, since they mounted a failed coup to oust him in 2016. They thought there was nothing for it but to allow him to fail on his own.When shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth was caught on tape, in the last few days of campaigning, telling a Conservative friend that it was looking “dire for Labour” because of a “combination of Corbyn and Brexit”, he was only saying what fellow candidates had known all along.The Observer’s pollsters Opinium have revealed their own analysis of the reasons people rejected Labour: 43% cited the leadership, 17% its policy on Brexit, and 12% its economic policies. Among Labour defectors – those who voted Labour in 2017 but didn’t this time – 37% mentioned the leadership, 21% Brexit and 6% its economic policies. Despite the overwhelming evidence, team Corbyn denies completely that it was the leader who repelled voters. Corbyn, when acknowledging Labour’s defeat in the early hours of Friday, refused to accept any personal responsibility for his second general election loss... He, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and party chairman Ian Lavery all insisted Brexit had drowned out Labour’s popular policy agenda, and that the leader had not been the problem. This has infuriated MPs and defeated candidates, who see it as evidence of the Corbynistas’ determination to hold on to the levers of power in order to install a successor in exactly the same mould as Corbyn who will deliver more of the same."
Of course, leftists just keep on telling themselves it was only about Brexit. So they're probably going to lose again next time

Lily Allen deletes Twitter account after saying Brits voted for ‘kids to die with no healthcare’ in election meltdown - "SINGER Lilly Allen has deleted her Twitter account after claiming Brits voted for "kids to die with no healthcare and less brown people"... Earlier, even as the exit poll predicted a crushing loss for the party, she tweeted: "Still holding out for a Labour majority"... Allen also echoed comments made later by Corbyn, claiming right-wing media were responsible for Labour's loss. "Unchecked targeted bespoke propaganda. We need to start taking this seriously"... Allen - whose estimated worth is £15million - previously grabbed headlines after posting a video of herself apparently overcome at the content of Labour's manifesto.  Her eyes streaming with tears, she was filmed saying: "Guys I've just watched the Labour manifesto. I think it's the best manifesto I've ever seen.""

Benny on Twitter - "Want to know why the Labour Party was savagely, historically humiliated in the UK election?
They spent the last three years:
- Fighting the will of the people
- trying to undo a national election
- embracing radical anti Semitism
- sabotaging government
Good luck in 2020 Dems"

Labour ‘pretty sure’ they lost because they didn’t call enough people racist

Why working-class people vote conservative - "Why on Earth would a working-class person ever vote for a conservative candidate? This question has obsessed the American left since Ronald Reagan first captured the votes of so many union members, farmers, urban Catholics and other relatively powerless people – the so-called "Reagan Democrats". Isn't the Republican party the party of big business? Don't the Democrats stand up for the little guy, and try to redistribute the wealth downwards?Many commentators on the left have embraced some version of the duping hypothesis: the Republican party dupes people into voting against their economic interests by triggering outrage on cultural issues... One of the most robust findings in social psychology is that people find ways to believe whatever they want to believe. And the left really want to believe the duping hypothesis. It absolves them from blame and protects them from the need to look in the mirror or figure out what they stand for in the 21st century. Here's a more painful but ultimately constructive diagnosis, from the point of view of moral psychology: politics at the national level is more like religion than it is like shopping. It's more about a moral vision that unifies a nation and calls it to greatness than it is about self-interest or specific policies. In most countries, the right tends to see that more clearly than the left... The Democrats, in contrast, have tried to win voters' hearts by promising to protect or expand programmes for elderly people, young people, students, poor people and the middle class. Vote for us and we'll use government to take care of everyone! But most Americans don't want to live in a nation based primarily on caring. That's what families are for. One reason the left has such difficulty forging a lasting connection with voters is that the right has a built-in advantage – conservatives have a broader moral palate than the liberals (as we call leftists in the US). Think about it this way: our tongues have taste buds that are responsive to five classes of chemicals, which we perceive as sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savoury. Sweetness is generally the most appealing of the five tastes, but when it comes to a serious meal, most people want more than that... are voters really voting against their self-interest when they vote for candidates who share their values? Loyalty, respect for authority and some degree of sanctification create a more binding social order that places some limits on individualism and egoism. As marriage rates plummet, and globalisation and rising diversity erodes the sense of common heritage within each nation, a lot of voters in many western nations find themselves hungering for conservative moral cuisine. Despite being in the wake of a financial crisis that – if the duping theorists were correct – should have buried the cultural issues and pulled most voters to the left, we are finding in America and many European nations a stronger shift to the right. When people fear the collapse of their society, they want order and national greatness, not a more nurturing government. Even on the two moral taste buds that both sides claim – fairness and liberty – the right can often outcook the left. The left typically thinks of equality as being central to fairness, and leftists are extremely sensitive about gross inequalities of outcome – particularly when they correspond along racial or ethnic lines. But the broader meaning of fairness is really proportionality – are people getting rewarded in proportion to the work they put into a common project? Equality of outcomes is only seen as fair by most people in the special case in which everyone has made equal contributions. The conservative media (such as the Daily Mail, or Fox News in the US) is much more sensitive to the presence of slackers and benefit cheats. They are very effective at stirring up outrage at the government for condoning cheating."
Prescient, from 2012
Ironically, in other contexts the left would approve of foregoing self-interest for moral ideals. Related: liberals don't pour scorn on rich liberals for being stupid and voting against their self-interests by voting for candidates who'll raise taxes

The polling that shows Corbyn is to blame for Labour’s decline | Coffee House - "Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition did not win a majority and could never win a majority because millions could not vote for the incompetent and indecent Jeremy Corbyn. It’s that simple.I am not just repeating anecdotal evidence from Labour MPs and canvassers. A vast poll of 12,000 voters, released tonight, showed Jeremy Corbyn was by far the single biggest reason voters gave for deserting Labour. Of those who voted Labour in 2017 but were less than 50 per cent less likely to vote Labour now, Deltapoll found the overwhelming reason people gave was they ‘don’t like Jeremy Corbyn’ with 46 per cent agreeing with that blunt statement... The Conservatives could be in power for most of the 2020s because a bunch of student politicians and narcissist performance artists destroyed a once viable party... I have friends and colleagues I once considered good people, and politicians and celebrities I once admired, who I can never look at the same way again after they endorsed Labour.  Not reluctantly, not as a grim but necessary compromise, but joyously with the absurd conviction that the collection of creepy and half-witted conspiracy theorists they sold their souls to could end poverty and restore the shattered public realm. To support Labour with a smile on your face was to say anti-Jewish racism doesn’t matter... Inevitably, given European history, this generation of British Jews are thinking that this is what it is like when they come for you. Respectable people, your friends, your neighbours, look away. They don’t listen or want to listen. When they come for you, you find you are dispensable.  ‘The ease with which you turned on us, may it be a stain on you for the rest of your miserable lives,’ cried the Labour activist, Dan Fox to Labour members... I am pleased to report that the despairing idea that Jews are on their own is not true. The Jewish Leadership Council commissioned the poll and, naturally, asked about Labour racism.  Among 2017 Labour voters who were uncertain about voting Labour in 2019, anti-Semitism was almost as big a reason as Brexit for people turning away from the party. 16 per cent gave anti-Semitism as a reason while 19 per cent named Brexit. Over a quarter of the entire voting population – 28 per cent – said they would have been more likely to vote Labour if Corbyn had handled accusations of anti-Semitism better... The rest of us can find a little cheer at this miserable time. It turns out that, despite everything, the British aren’t such a bad lot after all."
If you tell yourself that this was a fluke because of Brexit, you can continue to refuse to face reality
Maybe many Labour supporters will tell themselves that voters don't like a "good and decent man"
"Corbyn" is probably also code for "the far left policies Labour wanted to implement"

How Culture Killed the Labour Party - The Atlantic - "On paper, the conditions were ripe for a Labour victory. The Conservative Party has been in power for nine years. Johnson is controversial; according to most polls, his popularity ratings are significantly underwater. Although he promised to lead the country out of the European Union by October 31, alienating the half of the country that would like to remain in the EU, he failed to do so, disappointing the half of the country that wants to leave... Rother Valley, a mining community in South Yorkshire, had been in the party’s hands since 1918; in 1966, the Labour candidate won it with a staggering 77 percent of the vote. Sedgefield, a proletarian town in England’s northeast, had been held by Labour since 1935; in 1997, Tony Blair won this constituency with 71 percent of the vote. Both are now in the hands of the Tories, who had long been known, simply, as the “nasty party” in those parts of the country. Labour has been reduced to such a pitiful state for two main reasons. A structural transformation is making it difficult to sustain the electoral coalition that has propelled left-of-center movements to victory in the past. And the response to this structural shift that Corbyn pursued has proved to be toxic. Back when Labour was capable of commanding convincing electoral majorities, it held together a broad class coalition. It was the natural party of working people, with overwhelming support among the less affluent and less well educated. At the same time, it enjoyed strong support among large sections of the middle class, attracting many university students, schoolteachers, and civil servants.Although these two sides of the bourgeois-proletarian coalition have always differed in their cultural attitudes, they had significant economic commonalities. Both had an interest in high wages and strong unions. And both relied on the welfare state for the schooling of their children, for access to good doctors, and for the knowledge that they would be able to retire in dignity. So long as the main focus of electoral politics was on economic questions, the leaders of the Labour Party could therefore hold this broad coalition together. Many Labour policies, such as generous spending on the welfare state, appealed to both.But in the past decades, partisan alignment has shifted away from matters of economic policy toward what one might call questions of culture, such as immigration and, of course, Brexit... Labour is now being pulled in two opposite directions. Many of its middle-class voters feel that the party is not sufficiently liberal on cultural issues; as a result, they are tempted to opt for more consistently progressive alternatives such as the Green Party. Meanwhile, many of its erstwhile working-class voters feel that the party’s leaders have come to look down on their cultural views; as a result, they are tempted to vote for the Tories, or even for more extreme alternatives such as the Brexit Party. The rise of culture as the main cleavage of Western politics helps explain the slow death of social-democratic parties in many countries across the West. In Germany and France, and from Italy to Sweden, left-of-center parties have failed to find a political message that can reassemble the old bourgeois-proletarian coalition. Corbyn claimed to have found the recipe for reversing the left’s decline: Move far to the left. His economic program was often touted as the most radical in generations. And as his boosters pointed out, some of its individual components polled very well. But judging from yesterday’s results, working-class voters, in particular, were not persuaded by his rhetoric about the evils of capitalism and the attractions of socialism. In a poll of British voters, the second-biggest reason people worried about a potential Labour government was that it would “spend too much and get Britain into more debt.”The biggest reason? “Jeremy Corbyn being Prime Minister.”... Corbyn has consistently portrayed Britain as a country defined by deep injustice and iniquity, while expressing his sympathy for violent and extremist movements from the Irish Republican Army to the Iranian regime. While he has always found the time to stand in solidarity with dictators such as Hugo Chávez, he has been unable or unwilling to purge his party of anti-Semites, or to convince voters that he would take energetic action to punish criminals and terrorists. After the recent terror attack in London, he identified the culprit in … British foreign policy... For the past years, some of the most influential progressive politicians and commentators in the United States have portrayed Corbyn as the model they seek to follow... Corbyn’s defeat should put these arguments to rest. In the end, his far-left vision proved to be no match for Johnson’s shrewd brand of populism, which wedded the promise of a cultural revolution on Brexit to a moderate economic program with renewed investment in schools and police officers.
So much for claiming that Labour's policies were popular
Strange how the people who hate the Conservatives keep ranting about austerity, even though BJ said it was ending (not to mention the peculiar obsession with claiming he'll sell off the NHS to the US and UK healthcare will become like the US). It looks like their FUD doesn't work, after all

Boris Johnson is more trusted than Jeremy Corbyn, new poll of voters reveals - "Boris Johnson is more trusted to care for the NHS than Jeremy Corbyn... Asked which leader had the best health policies, 36 per cent of voters said Mr Johnson while 34 per cent opted for Mr Corbyn. In another blow to the Labour leader, nearly one in six supporters of his party are terrified at the thought of him becoming prime minister. And four in ten would be more likely to stick with Labour in the December 12 General Election if Mr Corbyn stood down.Even Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson was seen as stronger, more statesmanlike and smarter than Mr Corbyn in the Survation poll of 1,010 voters. The Labour leader yesterday used his last Commons clash with the Prime Minister before the election to accuse him of putting the NHS 'up for grabs' to secure a trade deal with the United States... Nor were voters convinced by Mr Corbyn's excuses for initially holding out against a December election.  Nearly half say he did so because he was scared of losing... A total of 44 per cent blame Parliament for forcing the Prime Minister to break his 'die in a ditch' pledge to leave the EU by today; 32 per cent point the finger at Mr Johnson himself; 11 per cent blame Brussels."
I guess most people don't believe leftist claims that Boris will sell off the NHS after all. To hardcore Labour supporters, if Corbyn says it it must be true
Contrary to leftist claims that Labour's policies were popular, on the NHS, the Economy, Defence, Jobs, Foreign Relations and Trade, BJ polled more favorably than Corbyn (Welfare was the exception). And Swinson polled even worse than Corbyn. Interestingly, all 3 were judged poor statesmen, but Johnson was the least bad. He was also rated stronger, more intelligent and more charismatic than the other two, though less caring
Doubtless to leftists, since this is reported in the Daily Mail it must be wrong. Which is consistent with their view that the election results were warped by the "right wing media". Since obviously the People are dumb and not good enough for the Labour Party

We won the argument, but I regret we didn’t convert that into a majority for change | Jeremy Corbyn | Politics | The Guardian
“Despite losing we won”

Eoin Madsen on Twitter - "Britain is not a democracy. Even if you refuse to see the massive propaganda and socioeconomic coercion at play, you can't ignore the basic lack of proportional representation. Under FPTP, the number of votes doesn't even vaguely correspond to the number of seats."
Imagine not knowing how FPTP works in democracy

Kurt Hackbarth on Twitter - "Feeling so bad for Jeremy Corbyn right now. An honest, decent man, lifelong anti-racist campaigner and fighter for justice around the world, denigrated, demeaned and slandered to the point of being reduced to practically a subhuman caricature. This is on you, media."
I guess shutting up and listening to minorities doesn't apply when they're Jews

Womp Womp - Posts - "can someone fucking explain this? how the support for labour is overwhelming and yet exit polls predict a huge tory majority. smells like a fixed election if im honest."

Razor on Twitter - "Stop me if you heard this one before: overconfident liberals have a tantrum after losing a national election because they put up a bad candidate and stayed home, electing a brash braggart with bad hair Next up: a bad-faith investigation into the winner and zero self-reflection."

Labour has built up a world of alternative facts – but we can see Britain is no Dickensian slum - "A PM who took the Kremlin line during the Cold War? A grimly unfunny Citizen Smith bent on expropriating private pensions, private schools and private companies? A leader who has never backed his own country in a quarrel with others? We are surely a more level-headed nation than that. Aren’t we?... The revelation that a politician worked with diplomats from Warsaw Pact states during the Cold War should rule him out of contention. The fact that the former head of MI6 is moved to describe him as a “present danger to our country” ought to put his unfitness for office beyond doubt. Corbyn’s repeated and open dalliance with Britain’s enemies would until very recently have been considered a disqualification, and not only by the Right. Even The Guardian used to deplore Corbyn’s “romantic attachment to the IRA”... One after another, his MPs walk away, warning that Corbynism means the end of the non-Marxist Labour Party Britain has known for the past 100 years. Yet Corbyn gains support... no one, not even the most committed Momentum fanatic, truly thinks that Britain can pull off a budget increase equivalent to creating an entire new NHS each year simply by taxing the top five per cent. But, again, Corbyn gains support... The explanation may owe something to the sheer profusion of media outlets. Never before has it been so easy to find facts, or purported facts, that sustain your prejudices.Talking to Corbynistas, especially first-time voters, I am struck by how many of them march to drums inaudible to the rest of us. In their milieu, the story is of a principled leader who stands up for the poor against a government of billionaires. Their online timelines are filled with near-deranged reports about rising poverty, tax cuts for the rich and Americans buying the NHS. These narratives don’t intersect with reality. Poverty is falling in both relative and absolute terms. According to the IFS, the number of people suffering from severe deprivation has dropped by a fifth since 2010. Unemployment keeps dropping, and Boris Johnson proposes to take low-paid workers out of National Insurance while raising the minimum wage. There are more doctors and nurses in the NHS than ever before. But, if you don’t like these facts, you can now shop around for alternative ones... this election is being fought on outdated boundaries... it takes more ballots, on average, to elect a Conservative MP than a Labour MP... there is an unusually high rate of voter registration. Some 3.9 million people have joined the electoral roll in the past year, two thirds of them in the under-35 age group that is Labour’s most dependable base. There have been reports from university towns around the country of students being enrolled en masse without being asked... an alarming number of people seem to have lost their moral bearings as a consequence of the 2016 referendum, moving from “Brexit is racist!” to “Vote for the racist to stop Brexit!”... Labour is repeating the mistake it made during the referendum, treating voters as thickos. Its insistence that we are living in Dickensian conditions doesn’t match most people’s experience. More people are in work than ever. Wages are rising. The deficit is back to pre-Gordon Brown levels. Our schools are shooting up the international league tables. Worse than assuming that voters lack brains is assuming that they lack empathy – specifically, that they are not concerned about the welfare of their Jewish neighbours. Earlier this week a Brighton rabbi reported: “I was forced to light Chanukah candles under police protection, Corbynista militants were discovered organising a march against my synagogue.”"
Alternative facts are good when they support the left

There is only one message to the British people: you are wise, undaunted and quite magnificent - "The people of Britain have spoken - the real people. Not the social media trolls or the Twitter addicts or that whole parallel universe of ghosts... And because Boris Johnson insisted that this was a Brexit election - with that endlessly repeated mantra about “getting Brexit done”  - this was more than an election: it was a second referendum too.So that’s the end of that. What this must mean is that the Red Wall has well and truly collapsed. Labour has lost its birthright to the working class vote. But the size of the majority must also mean that many, many Remainers did the gracious thing and admitted that in a democracy, the minority must honour the will of the majority."

A big majority is a victory for Boris Johnson, Brexit and everyone slandered by the far-Left - "the Left poured a bucket of bile over the Tories in this election. They portrayed them as heartless monsters from the black lagoon, hell-bent on selling off the NHS to Donald Trump. And, if these figures I'm looking at are real, then it hasn't worked.On the contrary, it's possible that all the negativity has backfired. Not only did social media and the celebrity mafia get this election horribly wrong but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't cost Labour a lot of votes. Steve Coogan: this one's on you. A-ha... this is a vindication for Boris Johnson. Again, he is not the man the Left says he is. He is perfectly moderate and really quite popular - as footage from the campaign trail almost consistently showed. He had a great campaign, displaying the discipline he allegedly lacked, and even when it wrong it was oddly wonderful (hiding in a fridge: love it). Never has the gulf between London opinion and the rest of the country been so stark. I'm not claiming BoJo is our Churchill or is universally loved. But what he's not is universally hated just because Channel 4 doesn't care for him. He has rescued his party from Theresa May and - this is the big thing - maybe saved Brexit."

It’s curtains for the Corbyn clown show... and on TV the pundits are reeling - "On TV, everyone looked stunned. Not just Labour. Everyone. From every party. On every channel. Motionless, pallid, blank. Like shocked shop dummies. Such was the Tory onslaught, even the swingometer was struggling to cope. “They’ve virtually broken it,” whimpered Jeremy Vine.Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, however, had to snap out of their stupor. Quickly they agreed the line to take. Simply: that Labour’s crushing defeat was all down to Brexit. Not anything else. Or anyone else. Just to make that clear... Alan Johnson – a Labour centrist who served under Tony Blair – took a slightly different view. In his eyes, there was possibly another reason for Labour’s catastrophe. In extraordinary scenes on ITV, he tore into Jon Lansman, co-founder of Momentum – the official Jeremy Corbyn fan club (join today and get a free signed poster and badge).“Everybody knew [Mr Corbyn] couldn’t lead the working class out of a paper bag,” snarled Mr Johnson. “Go back to your student politics.” “I don’t think we should rush into these things,” protested Mr Lansman, feebly. He added that Mr Corbyn “had achieved a great deal”. Well, quite. Mr Corbyn promised “real change”, and he delivered it. Burnley, Redcar and Wrexham turning Tory. That’s change more radical than even he could have dreamt... Jeremy Corbyn, for his part, gave a narked and graceless speech, scrupulously void of humility or self-criticism, but thick with mutterings about “the way the media behaved towards me”. He did at least promise to resign, but not immediately – first he would lead the party in “a process of reflection”. Which he and his followers will presumably use to work out who else to blame... a dazed Boris Johnson thanked his constituents, his fellow candidates, and the public in general. Disappointingly, however, he forgot to thank the people who made his great triumph possible.The membership of the Labour party."

This massive Tory victory spells the death of the disgraceful People's Vote movement - "The battle to prevent Brexit is over. It failed. It was the most scandalous, anti-democratic, reactionary movement since the opposition to the Great Reform Bill of the 1830s.It trampled on our constitutional traditions. It broke the Conservative Party into pieces. It left over 17 million people with the Establishment openly declaring them mentally and morally deficient, incapable and unworthy of making democratic decisions. It was a disgrace and shamed Britain before the world... [Boris] is the hero we needed, to defeat the scandalous, shameful Labour party, which has sold its soul to Marxist anti-Semites who ran one of the most xenophobic (yes, Corbynistas – anti-Americanism is xenophobic) and shamelessly mendacious campaigns of the past century. British voters didn’t buy it. They didn’t want quasi-Communism. They didn’t want anti-Semitic anti-Americans representing us before the world. And they didn’t want Corbyn’s policy of making Brexit go on and on and on."

Boris Johnson has crushed the Remainers. If only they would lose with grace - "Other Remainers preferred just to stick their head in the sand, no matter how ridiculous they looked, as former People's Vote chief Tom Baldwin explained to BBC viewers that Mr Johnson "may have a majority in Parliament" to deliver Brexit but not a "majority in the country" – even though the country has just delivered the Conservatives a thumping majority to do just that. Andrew Neil put it best in warning that people would conclude he was in "cloud cuckoo land": "You lose and lose and lose and you still say they don't have a mandate". Such ridiculous excuses are clearly a sign of the shock Remainers are feeling about the result, as the scale of Mr Johnson's victory sinks in. He is set to end up with a majority bigger than anything John Major and David Cameron were able to boast of, rivaling that of Margaret Thatcher. His rivals have bombed so badly that they – namely Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson – have had to announce their resignations"

City cheers Brexit certainty after crushing Conservative victory - "The City has cheered Boris Johnson's crushing election victory, urging him to rebuild confidence in the UK's ailing economy and break the uncertainty that has stifled business for the last three years.   Business leaders from across Britain welcomed the result, saying they hope it will release pent-up investment and boost consumer confidence in the coming months... "We were stuck in this terrible place with nothing going on. We've now got certainty."... The pound enjoyed one of its biggest surges overnight before settling around $1.3322, while the FTSE 100 closed 1.1pc higher. It had risen close to 2pc earlier in the day as traders breathed a sigh of relief that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's radical agenda had been avoided.  A number of City tycoons had threatened to relocate if Mr Corbyn won the election. Tory donor Sir Henry Angest, the chairman of private bank Arbuthnot Latham who had said he would seriously consider moving back to Switzerland if Labour won, called it a “fantastic result” and said his plans to move were off... "The problem was that Corbyn offered such an appalling manifesto that for business it’s just a sense of relief. It’s more that than anything else - what a ridiculous manifesto."... Unlike previous Conservative leaders, Mr Johnson did not place business and the economy at the forefront of his election campaign. He abandoned plans for a £6bn corporation tax cut and instead focused his manifesto on Brexit and pumping cash into public services... due to Labour's extreme plans such as renationalising key industries and a stealth tax that would have seized 10pc of shares in every sizeable company, the Tories were still viewed as the favourite party in the City... The Tories have suggested a points-based immigration system that would prioritise highly skilled overseas workers and treat EU migrants the same as people from elsewhere... The party also set out plans to borrow £100bn over five years to fund longer-term infrastructure projects."
Strange how markets are optimistic about Brexit, even though it will, we are told, lead to the UK's ruin
Strange how the Tories are supposed to be about slashing taxes and letting ordinary people starve, but the corporate tax cut was abandoned and cash is to be pumped into public services

For the sake of liberalism, disastrous and deluded Jo Swinson had to go - "Having been put through the wringer as a result of its pivoting on tuition fees in the coalition government with David Cameron, it’s remarkable the Lib Dems came into this election with a lifeline at all. By all rights, they ought to have been finished long ago. Brexit, and the dithering of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, offered them a lifeline to return to prominence.   But in truth, Swinson’s bold approach, to initially call for the revocation of Article 50, and to unilaterally decide to remain in the EU, without even a second referendum, failed to reap the rewards she no doubt hoped it would.  Why that happened comes down to a number of factors. A great deal of the public, despite being Remainers, were not keen on the idea of a party threatening to overturn the result of the largest democratic vote in their nation’s history... Many more were prepared to back Labour instead, because at least the party made an effort, no matter how ludicrous, to make their own desire to remain appear democratic... aside from revoking and remaining, what, exactly, the Lib Dems stood for, was largely unknown. Their leader made a song and dance about her gender, and how she felt she was being treated differently as a result. That wasn’t a policy, but it set the tone, that she was someone who would look to seek excuses for things beyond her control. She also caused a stir when she told the Today Programme that she believed "sex and gender" weren’t always as binary as they were made out to be — which raised the odd eyebrow, not only from among those who remembered her wielding them as a weapon, but also among those voters who, frankly, didn’t agree with the stance. It was not a seismic moment, but in many a mind, it served to confirm that here was a leader perhaps not quite as straight shooting as she had tried to sell herself as being."

Nick Brown on Twitter - "Quite enjoying watching all the psychologists posting on social media about how they don't understand why so many British people voted Conservative yesterday. Maybe they could run some experiments with a small number of undergraduates to find out."

Conservative voters 'vermin' jibe by lecturer sparks outrage - "A Cardiff University lecturer has been criticised by a Welsh Tory for branding Conservative voters "vermin".In a post-election tweet, Dr Andy Williams said: "British men & boomers [are] statistically more likely to be vermin than women & the young."... "If this was about race, religion or sexual orientation there would be outrage," Mr Davies said.  "What's alarming is he's a lecturer in one of our premier universities and he's in a position of trust.  "You're meant to look after students from every background. It shows a bias that's dangerous." Dr Williams, who previously spent a short period as a researcher for Plaid Cymru assembly member Leanne Wood, responded to critical tweets by defending his choice of words.  In one response he said: "I was quoting Nye Bevan, a political hero of mine. I stand by my view of Tories as vermin.  "Those who support, whether wittingly or not, the human devastation doled out by the Conservative Party are not worthy of respect." In another response, Dr Williams said "the only problem with the vermin metaphor is that I've known quite a few decent rats".  During a speech marking the creation of the NHS in 1948, the then Labour health minister Aneurin Bevan spoke of his "deep burning hatred" for the Conservative party, saying that "so far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin"."
I guess dehumanisation is good when it's against "the right"

Corbynism lost, but its cultists are still blaming the Jews - "One thing I have learnt this election: British people are a lot more anti-Semitic than I thought... If you don’t support Labour, you hate the NHS. If you oppose Corbyn, you hate disabled people. If you’re Jewish as well, then you’re part of an organised smear campaign to malign Corbyn, the world’s bravest campaigner for Palestinian rights. And probably rich and greedy, too. All the greats were rolled out to show the Jews that other Jews were telling them they were wrong, they were victims of false consciousness, right-wing shills and undeclared agents of the Israeli state - Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and Haaretz’s own Gideon Levy... The Jewish conspiracy was alive and well and living in the mind of otherwise woke and well-meaning progressives.  For most British Jews, social media has been - at its kindest - a barrage of Jewsplaining posts from Corbyn fans who seem to think that posting a picture of two guys from an extremist ultra-orthodox Jewish sect holding a “We heart Corbyn” sign would convince us of the error of our ways. At worst, it’s been abuse, bullying and death threats to prominent Jewish Labour parliamentarians, like Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth... I’ve been challenged over and over again to give a single example of Labour anti-Semitism, usually after giving multiple examples of Labour anti-Semitism. I seem to be expected to present my own credentials as “the right kind of Jew” – left-wing, hyper-critical of Israel – while explaining patiently that no, there is no “right kind of Jew.”... It seems that the Jew-hatred did at least feed into Corbyn’s overall aura of untrustworthiness, along with the incompetent economic madness that promised free everything, with high-speed broadband on top. And Corbyn’s Labour was no less morally defective when it came to the IRA, or Syria, or seeing Russia and Iran as brave anti-imperialist forces... There won’t be any healing time either now, not least when Corbyn boosters still cling to the delusion that they were robbed of their rightful victory. Labour’s policies were “popular.” The hostile oligarch far right and centrist media conspired against them. Sinister lobbies were brought into play. “The Jewish vote was not very helpful,” said Ken Livingstone, with rather notable restraint from a man who doesn’t usually let a spurious Hitler analogy pass him by."

Kerry-Anne Mendoza on Twitter - "“Boris is finished when Brexit fails”. No. When it fails, he blames us: The Left People of colour The mythical “benefit cheat”, Immigrants Jews Sick and disabled people And his fans will believe him. That’s how fascism works. You can’t wait it out. You have to fight it."
Sargon of Akkad - Posts - "Labour supporters think that "when Brexit fails", Boris is going to blame "Jews". This is the most hilarious projection I've seen yet"

YouGov on Twitter - "The age at which a person becomes more likely to vote Conservative than Labour is 39 - down from 47 at the last election"
So much for leftists crowing that they are the future since young people are more likely to vote left
It is significant that a majority of 2017 Labour Leave voters voted Labour this time - putting paid to Labour supporters' self-serving claim that it was all the fault of Brexit

Tories won more working class votes than Labour amid stark generation gap at general election, poll suggests - "Tories out-polled Labour by double-digit figures among both manual workers and households with incomes below £20,000... Tories outperformed Labour in every social class"
So the answer is for the Party of the People to blame the People for being dumb/dumb enough to be so easily mislead/bigoted

Safiyyah on Twitter - ""We've survived a Conservative government before" No. You've survived. Poor people haven't. People with disabilities haven't. Trans people haven't. 130,000 people haven't because of austerity. Just because you'll be fine bc you're privileged, doesn't mean everyone else will be."
Since the Conservatives have been in power since 2010, I assume this means there're no more poor people, people with disabilities and trans people left in the UK

One of Boris Johnson’s newly-elected Tories has become first openly gay Muslim elected MP in the world - "Equality campaigners hailed Imrad Ahmad Khan as a breakthrough moment for gay Muslims across the world after winning Wakefield from Labour last week. He is one of 24 openly gay or bisexual Tories now in the Commons - more than any other party. Labour has at least 18 - taking the total to more than 50 LGBT MPs, making Westminster officially the "gayest Parliament in the world"."
Clear proof of Tory Islamophobia! And, presumably, homophobia too

Ex-Cabinet minister: 'Labour activists believe English people are knuckle-dragging Neo-Nazis' - "one of the biggest problems in the election was Labour's inability to connect with voters who feel English.'There has always been a strand on the Left that disparages national identity and disparages patriotism,' he said.'Labour doesn't mention England. Most Labour activists think that all English people are knuckle dragging Neo-Nazis.'There is a basic inability to frame progressive politics in terms of the nation, the people of the nation and the national interest.' Mr Denham said previous Labour leaders such as Clement Attlee had no such problem.   'In the past, under Attlee for example... politics was expressed as national patriotism and it was progressive., We have completely lost the ability to do that,' he said.  'Parts of the Left just say the only thing you need to know about Britain or about England is that you were slavers and imperialists.   'That is part of the history. But there is also the history of England that is the struggle for the vote, the struggle for democratic votes...   'We have lost the ability to say there are things that we can be proud of about what we have done.   'The issue is not so much Britain, the issue in this last election was England and the people who feel English.' Tony Blair today delivered a lacerating verdict on Mr Corbyn's 'comical' leadership and branded Labour a 'cult' - as he finally admitted defeat on Brexit.  The former PM, who won three elections, tore into his successor for turning the party into a 'glorified protest movement'. He said the astonishing rout at the hands of the Tories last week - the worst performance since 1935 - was a source of 'shame', warning that Labour faces total destruction if it does not evict the hard-Left.

Sargon of Akkad - Posts - "Boris Johnson to enshrine £34bn NHS spending pledge into law"
Diane Abbott: "I thought we said he was going to sell the NHS"
Jeremy Corbyn: "Fuck off Diane"

Corbyn humiliated as joke Queen’s opening of Parliament looked like PANTOMIME falls flat
It's good to be a sore loser if you're on the left

Rebecca Long Bailey hires man who wore a badge joking about Trotsky's assassination - "Labour will never again win power if Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Stalinist-backed’ favourite Rebecca Long Bailey becomes the next leader, party moderates warned... the Shadow Business Secretary appeared to confirm her status as the darling of hard-Left activists by picking ‘self-proclaimed’ Stalinist Alex Halligan to help run her campaign.  The Momentum organiser is credited with a key role in getting Mr Corbyn elected as party leader in 2015. Two years ago Mr Halligan was pictured wearing a badge with the slogan ‘Good Night Trotskyite’ and a silhouette of a man attacking another with an ice pick – a reference to the assassination in 1940 of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky on the orders of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin."

Boris Johnson poses with his 109 new Conservative MPs - "This new breed of Conservative is more working class than toff and will leave behind jobs in the NHS, schools and some more exotic professions such as training dolphins or running a microbrewery."

British Jews Are Worried by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party - The Atlantic - "It is an astonishing statistic: Some 87 percent of British Jews believe that Jeremy Corbyn—one of two men who could be prime minister in a few days’ time—is anti-Semitic... The litany of alarming incidents is well rehearsed: Corbyn’s support for an artist who drew a mural depicting hook-nosed bankers getting rich on the backs of the poor. (He said he had not looked properly at the mural.) His assertion in 2013 that British Zionists “don’t understand English irony.” (He said he would now be more careful about using the word Zionist, because it had been “hijacked by antisemites as code for Jews.”) Labour’s refusal to adopt in full an internationally recognized description of anti-Semitism. Each of these individual incidents was made more toxic by the party’s slow handling of complaints filed by Jewish members. During the campaign, Corbyn refused four times to apologize for the distress caused to the Jewish community... The party is currently being investigated over allegations of institutional anti-Semitism by Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission... Jewish voters I spoke with over the past several weeks told me of feeling as though the entire community had been “gaslit”—that the reality of anti-Semitism was being minimized by the party leadership—and that denying this reality had become a way to demonstrate loyalty to Corbyn and his radical anti-austerity agenda. This feeling is aggravated by persistent suggestions from the hard left that anti-Semitism is merely the pretext for a “smear campaign” against Corbyn and the left in general... 39 percent of Britons overall believe Corbyn is anti-Semitic... Disproportionate hatred of Israel is one strand of left-wing anti-Semitism. The other is the conspiracist turn, turbocharged by social media, which gains succor from attacks on “the elite,” “the 1 percent,” “the mainstream media,” and “billionaires.” Corbyn has made such attacks a key part of Labour’s appeal, adopting the slogan “For the many, not the few.” The trouble is that while all of these are superficially innocent phrases—as well as useful ways of describing a world in which wealth and opportunities are unequally distributed—it is clear that some supporters hear them as a dog whistle. Jews have long been accused of running shadowy cabals: References to the Bilderberg Group, the Rothschilds, and George Soros are staples of online conspiracy theories. This tendency intersects with the anti-colonialist view of Israel, Mike Katz, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, which represents Jewish socialists, told me. “In the way people talk about ‘who’s bankrolling Zionists?’ Jews have always been accused of having divided loyalty,” he said. “Prior to Israel, it was some shadowy world government.”... Shinwell’s great-niece, Luciana Berger, herself a Labour MP since 2010, left the party. She said she could no longer tolerate the hatred and threats she had received for being Jewish, and the lack of support she felt she had gotten from her local party and the leadership... their concerns are dismissed as driven by a right-wing or anti-Corbyn agenda. “We have been treated by many as an irritant, as opposed to a minority community with genuine concerns”... “I consider myself to be left-wing,” Peter Mason, secretary of the Jewish Labour Movement, told me. “There’s not much in the manifesto I disagree with. But because I talk about anti-Semitism and I’m Jewish, I’m pigeonholed as being more right-wing than Genghis Khan.”"
Of course, we all know that only the Right is capable of dog whistling
Listen when minorities raise concerns. Unless they're Jewish

Labour’s lost working-class voters have gone for good - "Ideologically, Corbynism was a break from New Labour centrism but sociologically, it was more Blairite than Tony Blair. As the Labour MP Jon Cruddas has argued, the Corbyn revolution in the Labour party has narrowed its social base even further, making it the party of young, middle-class southerners, popular in London and some prosperous university towns... After three years of leave supporters being dismissed as racist and stupid, and seeing Labour eventually get off the fence and back the People’s Vote campaign, how on earth did the party expect its leave supporters to react?... For leavers, Brexit has always been about more than just policies. Membership of the EU denoted a fundamental change in society – a movement from being a nation state to being a member state. Governments increasingly seemed to be getting their legitimacy and sense of purpose not from their voters but from their association with other governments across Europe. Over time, a gap opened up between politicians and voters. Many people felt as if it didn’t matter who they put in Downing Street – they still had little say over the country’s governing structures or the most important decisions that shape society. The current Labour leadership was often portrayed as dogmatic Marxists but on Brexit they demonstrated an incredible willingness to compromise on the question of rule by democratic consent... As an indication of what may lie ahead for Labour, it is worth looking across the Channel. On the Rue Solférino, a stone’s throw from the River Seine, stands the historic headquarters of the French Socialist party. It was recently sold off and converted into luxury flats."

Boris Johnson announces extra money to tackle homelessness - "The government has set up a £63m grant scheme to help homeless households in England into accommodation.The prime minister has also restated his commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024 and an extra £3m to aid rough sleepers during the cold winter months."
Oh, the humanity! How awful! Boris is literally killing the homeless

The Blundering Brilliance of Prime Minister Boris Johnson - "he has been lambasted for a number of passages from his long journalistic career that suggest racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia — and that he viewed as satirical excesses. Trump deploys the same defense, but outside of Boris’s purple prose — “tank-topped bum-boys,” burka-wearing women looking like “letter boxes” — the evidence of his bigotry is a little thin. A bigot would be unlikely to win two elections as mayor of London, a vast multiracial, multicultural metropolis. And his Cabinet is the most ethnically diverse in British history. Or take gay rights. Back in 2003, Johnson was one of a handful of Tories who rebelled against Conservative Party policy, voting for an end to the Thatcherite ban on teaching about homosexuality in state schools... As London mayor, he marched in several Pride parades, and as foreign secretary, he reversed a ban on rainbow flags at British embassies. On a trip to Russia, he defended gay rights, saying at a press conference with Sergei Lavrov that “we speak up for the LGBT community in Chechnya and elsewhere.”  Islamophobia? Johnson had previously favored the entry of Turkey, with 81 million Muslims, into the E.U. He is hostile to the illiberalism in contemporary Islam but has defended the religion as a whole: “Everything that most shocks us about Islam now — the sexism, the intolerance of dissent, the persecution of heresy and blasphemy, the droning about hell and shaitan, the destruction of works of art, the ferocious punishments — all of them have been characteristics of Christian Europe. It wasn’t so long ago that we were burning books and heretics ourselves.” Boris also appreciated the moderation of Barack Obama: “He is patently not the Marxist subversive loony lefty that some of his detractors allege.” And, of course, he has shown a deep contempt for Donald Trump... The truth is Johnson has a record as a liberal Tory: a conservative who can celebrate “our fantastic National Health Service” and has no interest in politicians’ preaching about morality. And it was this conservatism that enabled him to become mayor of London, a largely Labour city, where he thrived. He brought back the double-decker bus; launched a successful, if unprofitable, bike-sharing scheme, “Boris Bikes”; backed an amnesty for illegal immigrants; banned booze on the tube; raised the recommended living wage in London; and presided over an Olympics that became a public-relations coup for the entire country. Crime declined — as it did everywhere. And Boris became one of the most famous cyclists in the city, careening back and forth, often on his mobile phone. By the end of his term, a YouGov poll found that almost twice as many Londoners thought he did a good job as mayor as those who didn’t. As always, Johnson’s ideological flexibility was key — so much so that it led him to resist the more doctrinaire forces in his own party. As mayor, Johnson complained about the austerity measures of the Tory Cameron government... He seems most emotionally comfortable in front of an audience, cracking jokes. On television, even as he was a journalist and an MP, he became something of a star in his own right. He regularly went on a satirical quiz show on current events called Have I Got News for You? and was as funny as the professional comedians who were permanent guests. In turn, he was invited back to guest host. He began cracking people up on various interview shows and became a very rare politician with true pop-cultural appeal. He was the kind of celebrity figure who could advise the readers of GQ that under a Conservative government, “your wife will get bigger breasts and your chances of driving a BMW M3 will increase.”... “I am a European. I lived many years in Brussels. I rather love the old place,” he wrote in the first paragraph of his pro-Brexit column. “And so I resent the way we continually confuse Europe — the home of the greatest and richest culture in the world, to which Britain is and will be an eternal contributor — with the political project of the European Union. It is, therefore, vital to stress that there is nothing necessarily anti-European or xenophobic in wanting to vote Leave on June 23.”... In a campaign he didn’t personally run, Boris can’t be faulted for things he didn’t say or do, but he didn’t protest or stop the lies coming. (It is also true that the “remain” campaign grossly overstated the immediate economic consequences of voting “leave.”)... on the one promise no one believed he could fulfill — a new deal with the E.U. — he succeeded. It turned out that a credible threat to leave without a deal (which May never made) concentrated minds considerably. And a burst of intense personal diplomacy with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar — when Boris deployed his maximal charm — delivered a solution to the core Irish problem: a customs pseudo-border in the Irish Sea... Emmanuel Macron congratulated the new prime minister: “He may be a colorful character sometimes, but we all are at times. He’s got a temper, but he’s a leader with a real strategic vision. Those who didn’t take him seriously were wrong.”... Far from confronting people with hard economic choices and threatening ever-deeper austerity amid soaring unemployment, as she did, Boris is promising much more public spending than his Tory predecessors, in an era of very low unemployment, while trimming tax for the working and middle classes. The cut in corporation tax, planned by Theresa May, was scrapped. He plans big increases in spending on the National Health Service and schools and doubling the government science budget... He’s gambling that Brexit is largely a symbolic issue — a new statement of British sovereignty and independence — and that the details of future trade don’t really matter. And he may be cynical about this but also right.  One sign of this possibility is the immigration issue. It was critical to the Brexit vote but disappeared as a major issue in the polls as soon as the referendum was over... the ability of most people to move on from difficult subjects once they feel they’ve been listened to should not be underestimated. It is this aspect of Boris’s politics that some of his close allies insist has been misunderstood. He has done what no other conservative leader in the West has done: He has co-opted and thereby neutered the far right. The reactionary Brexit Party has all but collapsed since Boris took over. Anti-immigration fervor has calmed. The Tories have also moved back to the economic and social center under Johnson’s leadership. And there is a strategy to this. What Cummings and Johnson believe is that the E.U., far from being an engine for liberal progress, has, through its overreach and hubris, actually become a major cause of the rise of the far right across the Continent. By forcing many very different countries into one increasingly powerful Eurocratic rubric, the E.U. has spawned a nationalist reaction... Consider, by contrast, Germany, where the center right is reeling and the extreme-right AfD has 91 seats in the Bundestag. Or, for that matter, France, where the mainstream right has collapsed and Marine Le Pen won 34 percent in the last presidential election. Compare it with the U.S., where the GOP has been overthrown by a far-right insurgency and turned into a disturbingly fascistic personality cult. Or Hungary and Poland, where reactionaries control the entire system... Yes, Boris has shifted and lied and betrayed on his path to this moment. But he will gladly point out that the same criticisms were made of Churchill, who switched parties, alienated almost everyone in the Establishment, and was regarded long into the 1930s as a crank and a joke with a funny way of speaking. But Churchill was right about the one thing that mattered, and Johnson not so subtly implies the same is true about him and Brexit."
Of course, according to leftists it doesn't matter that Boris opposed austerity (and has announced its end) - since he's a Tory it means he'll only increase it

Socialism declining in Europe as populism support grows - "Populism has tested the ability of mainstream parties to adapt and some on the centre-right are regaining their footing. That cannot be said of the traditional left. It gravitated towards the middle ground in the 1990s, and then paid a price for selling out. But a pendulum swing to 1970s-style radical ideology has been shown to be just as out of sync with the times.This year ends with the humiliation of the Labour Party in the UK’s 12 December election and Germany’s Social Democrats more unpopular than at any time in living memory. In Italy and Spain, the centre-left are in government only thanks to precarious alliances with the anti-establishment groups that grew from the 2008 financial crisis"
Brexit must be causing the decline of the left all across Europe, just like in the UK!

BBC World Service - The World This Week, NATO takes on China - and Trump - "The main opposition Labour Party used Mr. Trump's visit to highlight concerns that the UK’s very large and much loved government owned and run health care system, the NHS, would somehow be on the table in any post Brexit trade talks with the US"
The BBC notes that Labour's claim (uncritically taken up by all the Tory haters) about the NHS being sold off is totally unfounded

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, John McDonnell meets a billionaire - "‘Some of the labor rhetoric I accept, but the central ethos, when I hear phrases like, nobody deserves to be a billionaire, it frightens the living daylights out of me. You know and John, the thing is, if the Labour rhetoric was, we admire billionaires, and we'd like them to pay a bit more tax, be more charitable and admire their success. I would absolutely support that philosophy. But when I hear condemnation and divisiveness-’...
'It's about confidence. So what you're doing… as a Labour Party is destroying confidence. And if you destroy confidence, you are definitely destroying confidence. Nearly every wealthy person I know, is thinking of leaving the UK, including me if Labour get in.'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, John McDonnell: Labour promises won't mean more tax for most people - "‘You have promised double the amount of extra spending that you promised only two years ago in your general election manifesto. You're promising the biggest state that we will have seen since the 1970s. And yet, you're not saying, look, guys, we're all gonna have to pay for this. Your claim is that only the rich can pay. And I'll put it to you that the Institute of Fiscal Studies have described that as simply not credible’
‘I have a great respect for the IFS. Of course I do. I just think they've got it wrong on this one.’...
‘Do you think for example, trade unions on the railways should be allowed to go on strike in sympathy with trade unions running hospitals?’
‘I believe any worker should have the right to withdraw their labor but the reality is… We're creating a new climate in this country, which is based upon a stakeholder economy where we all recognize we've got a stake in this economy, where we actually recognize we all have responsibilities as well. We've got to change the atmosphere about how we go forward. And in that way, you know, we've been arguing this for about 30 years, we'll all share in the wealth we create more equally. We all have much more of a stake in our society.’
‘Understood. And one problem, and you’ve given this a lot of thought, I know you have, is that Britain is very, very dependent and has been for those 30 years on investment from abroad. Now, if you run a business, or if you're a shareholder, and you're listening to this interview, why would you invest here, when the next Chancellor for the Exchequer, the man who hopes to be, had said, I'm prepared to confiscate your business using the law, I will increase your business taxes to the highest level in the world and I will give control of your company to those who I say, will run it democratically, wouldn’t you be ever so slightly tempted to invest somewhere else instead?’...
'The most important economic decision facing this country is about Brexit. And you can't even tell us whether the Prime Minister that you want to put into Downing Street, Jeremy Corbyn will vote to leave or remain even if he gets the deal he wants. Now, you said something very interesting yesterday, you said your own vote in a future referendum will be determined by Labour's special party conference. Isn't that confirmation that even on this most important of decisions, you want to give control to a sort of cabal of Momentum activists, trade union supporters. That’s what you mean by democracy?'"
Labour's voodoo economics!
Brexit will ruin the UKs' economy so it's bad. Labour will ruin the UK's economy but that's good because it's a left wing policy
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