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peterms last won the day on October 5 2016

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About peterms

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  1. U.S. Politics

    Each one will be explained away as the work of one lone individual with mental health issues. There will be no connection drawn, at least in the mainstream media, between tbe batshit crazy racist shite spouted by the orangeman, and real deaths. Although the connection is there for all to see.
  2. No, she didnt as far as I know. Both protocol and self-preservation would prevent it. Obviously the press know of her previous criticisms of Corbyn and are happy to relate them: whether she says these things before or during an election campaign doesn't affect the exposure they get, as you will appreciate. I'm not at all surprised you didn't know of her right wing links. Neither did I, and I'm also interested in this stuff. Though I, and I guess you, don't read the Cumbian local press nor the right wing shite where this will be reported.
  3. Because other laws against violence have generally proved adequate to deal with violence against men, but violence "in the home" plays to an old idea that men are allowed to beat up women who are in a relationship with them. And so often the police have failed to act, and courts have failed to convict, and people have felt constrained in bringing charges. Passing legislation is a way of pushing social norms along, rather than waiting for evolution to do its work.
  4. U.S. Politics

    Didn't happen. Fake Noos! Bad!
  5. May has made a big deal of her support for tackling assaults on women. She will be judged on how she deals with this undermining of her professed concern. Slap him down? Or look the other way?
  6. Just on that point, I suppose the decision of the local party to select a former ambulance driver as the candidate, and the forthcoming closure of the hospital, were related, and reflected an assessment of what to fight on. It doesn't seem like an obviously wrong decision. Choosing a supporter of Owen Smith and critic of Corbyn however seems not to have delivered any of the presumed benefits. Still, I'm sure that won't be seen as a factor.
  7. I suspect it's more a case of traditional supporters staying at home. Some will have voted for the tories or the crazed kippers, but my guess would be the larger number of former Labour supporters just didn't vote. Perhaps we'll see some analysis in weeks to come.
  8. I'm not sure how similar the previous constituency was, but I gather the boundaries changed. 1997 was the high point. The thing that some voters have been saying, and that the voting figures demonstrate, is that they have lost confidence in the LP to safeguard their interests. In Copeland, Sellafield is a big issue because a lot of other employment has been lost. If there were less dependence on it, and plenty of other work, perhaps it wouldn't be quite as big an issue. There's a similarity there with the US mid-west feeling that industrial decline was allowed to proceed unchecked, against an expectation that the party identifying with the interests of workers should have defended them better. That was very often remarked upon during the referendum campaign, all over the place. It's not news that the Blair government seemed to have more interest in sucking up to the City than developing an industrial strategy. I know the Blairites want to pretend that everything was fine until Corbyn, but it's simply untrue. They are very keen to dominate the airwaves and create the narrative that suits their agenda, but the figures tell another story, in my view. Which is not to say that Corbyn is wonderful, just that the simplistic and loaded story we are being given is both wrong, and wilfully misleading.
  9. I agree. Oppositions don't however normally have a former leader actively working to undermine them, and a senior figure (Mandelson) admitting in so many words that he is working every single day to bring down the party's leadership. They wanted him to lose both by-elections, so they could blame him. And the post-Brexit landscape is pretty far from the normal state of affairs, I think everyone would agree. These things are also part of the picture. As is the trend of supporters drifting away from Labour in Copeland for the last twenty years.
  10. U.S. Politics

    Is it some kind of metaphor for the behaviour of the voting public in electing Trump?
  11. A lot of the commentary on the Copeland result is along the lines that it's a safe Labour seat, and losing it is down to Corbyn. The neighbouring MP, a right-winger, has jumped in to say that no blame can attach to the previous Labour government. Looking at the results from 1997 onwards, we see a steady and pretty consistent decline in the share of the vote. It's very plain to see that there has been a gradual attrition of the vote share, not the sudden loss of support from a constant base. I'm not seeing much discussion of that, or even recognition that it's a fact, in the rush to pin it all on Corbyn. Doesn't fit the narrative, I suppose.
  12. I agree with most of your post, and also welcome your increasing tendency towards the politics of yogurt-knitting, but I think that bit is wrong. There's certainly a growing sense of unease about how global elites are overriding nation states, but that is not yet nearly strong enough to generate a widespread opposition to things like TTIP, beyond the ranks of the usual suspects. There is also quite a bit of internal opposition to nation-states in some places, both in the direction of secessionist movements and also towards federalism, combined with pushback against that in many parts of the EU. So I think it's a pretty mixed picture that isn't well reflected by what you say about nation states making a strong comeback. Where there is support for nation states, it is also a combination of the internationalist but anti-globalisation people, and the more narrowly nationalist people; these two groups don't sit well together.
  13. I don't know, but I imagine they are trying to assess when and under what conditions they could do this. Just saying they disagree with the referendum result and will oppose it would be pretty damaging. Accepting it as a fait accompli that can't be questioned however bad the results for the country would also be damaging, but there isn't the necessary climate of political support for that right now. They can't make that climate come about by directly opposing Brexit, so the aim would need to be to demand more and better information on the consequences, and then assess at what point enough people think it looks pretty bad so that they can oppose not the principle of Brexit, but the practical arrangements and consequences. While that is in part a sensible and pragmatic approach, it is also open to accusations of indecision and vacillation. I think that accounts for at least part of the difficulty they find themselves in.
  14. Ladbrokes were giving odds of 1-3 on a tory win, and it was hardly an unexpected result. If the canvass returns were saying something different to the bookies and the polls and then turned out to be right, that might say something. I would think the people most likely to get an accurate view from voters would be people with no stated affiliation. The very fact of stating that you're calling on behalf of a particular party will colour the responses given. Not for everyone, but for lots.
  15. Seriously though, do you think canvass returns are a good way of parties assessing the prospects of other parties? They are good for judging whether support for the party itself is changing over time, but quite broad brush. I gather the Labour Party locally weren't optimistic, based on their own canvass information about how their usual supporters were responding. That's quite different from getting accurate views of the degree of support for other parties. The polling organisations spend a great deal of time and money trying to get accurate assessments of voting intention, but are sometimes embarrassed by having called it wrong. The parties are making big efforts to get better information - the Lib Dems are using a system that Obama used, and see it as an improvement on what they had before - but there are all sorts of limitations. Problems include having the phoning round done by lots of volunteers (so you introduce a lot of variation in how answers are assessed, because very often it's a judgement call about how you categorise an answer), the "honesty" problem when people are talking to an identified party member rather than an independent pollster, the possibility that respondents answer honestly but then do something different (some discussion of that in this piece about inaccurate polling at the last election - "Scientifically selected people, representing the population as a whole, said they were going to behave in a certain way. But the population as a whole behaved in a slightly different way"). I exaggerate in comparing canvass returns with chicken entrails. But I do think they are likely to be less accurate than professional polls, especially when it comes to predicting the support for other parties than the one the canvassers are mainly asking about and on behalf of. Useful in assessing mood music, useful in testing the likelihood of previous supporters to stick with the party and to come out to vote, but often overstated. Also, a party commenting about their canvass returns is normally a political act rather than an objective report, something designed to sway opinion or influence the agenda rather than communicate entirely factual information. And the chickens say 2-1.