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Questions Of The Day (Politics)
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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I had assumed that when your lead story has to be racist tweets (because everybody else is going with it) but you're a telly news editor and showing tweets is neither visually nor, as may be, technically possible you have to be creative. The mural defacement came as manna from heaven. The AE point was that as soon as the telly didn't drool over the racism one could conclude it probably wasn't there.

Even more hilariously the picture editors segued the Rashford non-event into the fans-storming-the-stadium sequence and actually produced a voice over alluding to racism, hooligans, will England be allowed to host ever again, the full seventies monte. Never have some ticketless fans wishing to watch the match of the century and faced with twenty thousand empty seats and lax security have had so much to answer for. Or maybe it's TV news editors that should be in the dock. Bloody hooligans. And... action!
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Chad wrote:
Sorry Hats, don't know what you saw on twitter (probably a mock up) but there was definitely no hat (they would have needed a pretty longish ladder for that) or beard. There was a penis ejaculating in his face, "FUCK SANCHO" was easy to make out and (less clear) was what I think read "SHIT IN ARSE BASTARD". Not nice but not racist.

Just a couple of stupid Man City fans... No big deal.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/18pbTLlbKy6-f5UAhrLxi7Zv8Kwad1fQS/view?usp=sharing
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Chad wrote:
Just a couple of stupid Man City fans...

Yes, that sounds likely.
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Mick Harper
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A quite neat 'either-or' capped off the racist tweet campaign. A Newsnight analysis came to the conclusion that only five of the tweets directed at the Black Three came from inside the UK. This fazed the campaign not one whit

We can't rule out the possibility of hostile foreign state activity. For some time we've seen revisionist and authoritarian regimes looking to exploit social fault lines, racial tensions in western societies

Nor can we rule out they have the technical means to open five UK Twitter accounts. But I have to tell them this is not a path they should pursue with any great vigour. Once word gets around that mad dictators are stroking their white cats with one hand while typing out racist tweets with the other, the whole thing could take off in a riot of emulation. The one thing British racists have always lacked is style. And anyone taking them seriously. Two things.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Neither can we rule out the possibility of hostile domestic ethnic activity.

As in, one British ethnic group of colour really not liking another British ethnic group of colour.

But we're not likely to see that mentioned on Newsnight.

Cos' it's racist innit?
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Boreades


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Just remembered a case in point. The most blatantly racist comment I've heard uttered by anyone in the last 25 years was while I was working for a Government Department somewhere in London. (Harpo wasn't the only one). All of the inmates of this Government Department were normally meek & mild souls who would never ever dare to say anything remotely offensive, or even assertive.

Anyway, it was during a Cricket World Cup. India was playing Pakistan, but losing, even with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in their side. One day, I was working with a young lad of Indian origins. Discussing the cricket, he suddenly became "tired and emotional" and expressed some very emotive views on where "those f***ing Paki bastards" could insert the cricket stumps.

Maybe it's the sport that brings it out in people. Good thing we didn't have Twatter or FaecesBurg back then.

I have no reason to believe he was related to Priti Patel.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Boreades wrote:
One day, I was working with a young lad of Indian origins. Discussing the cricket, he suddenly became "tired and emotional" and expressed some very emotive views on where "those f***ing Paki bastards" could insert the cricket stumps.

I agree it's getting difficult, but was that racism? I mean no doubt some nasty things were said against the Gerry during and after the war. Both sides lost loved ones during the Indo-Pakistan war. The last big flare up over Kashmir was 1999 it is still unresolved.
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Mick Harper
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Aren't you missing the point? Indians and Pakistanis are the same race so their animus cannot be 'racist' exactly. But we have learned (quite correctly) to skirt round this issue by using formulations like different ethnicities, communities, traditions and so on. But even so, a price has to be paid for the imprecision. We have to start holding different templates in our head simultaneously but we sometimes refuse to extend the courtesy to people we might disapprove of.

Take Saka. (You try, he's under contract). I love him dearly as an Arsenal player, I quite like him as an England player but... when he misses a penalty he suddenly looks very black. Not West Indian black -- I would scarcely notice that -- but African black, alien black. I can't help this, I've got genes that dictate this kind of sub-cortical reaction. OK, just as quickly my lifelong liberal milieu cuts in and such thoughts are banished but if I was an Indian (or a Pakistani) with a lifelong subcontinental milieu, I don't think I'd have much of a chance of doing anything other than pretending civility.

British racists are entitled to be racists. That's the bit liberals forget. How they express their racism may be circumscribed by law (or by social platform operators) but we're not helping matters by constantly going down the Aunt Sally Preservation Society route. I know, I know, even I'm having difficulty making sense. It must be a lot worse for youse guys and a real nightmare for British racists. Don't worry, lads, I've got your backs. I don't discriminate between cretins and morons.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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The Guardian has a leaked document, spook splash in 2021, it's all about how, in 2016, Putin predicted and then plotted to back Trump for the presidency, as he was mentally unstable and his presidency would ultimately lead to great strife and social turmoil.

A good example of miraculous prophecy, after the event.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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This is yet another example of the basic (but not absolute) futility of interfering in other people's countries. Can anyone truly say whether Russia did or did not benefit from Trump's presidency? Can anyone truly say whether America did? Marx had it right, it's all substructure.
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Mick Harper
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As in, one British ethnic group of colour really not liking another British ethnic group of colour. But we're not likely to see that mentioned on Newsnight. Cos' it's racist innit?

You have to be careful about your racisms. Since racism is part of the human condition it follows that practically every ethnic group will dislike every other ethnic group. But only some of the dislike is relevant in terms of public policy. West Africans dislike West Indians with a passion but so what? We can leave them to it. If white British policemen dislike West Indians with a passion we can't leave them to it.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Don't do as I do, do as I say.

Or is it the other way round?

May 2021

Labour and TUC call for ‘fire and rehire’ ban as part of new work vision.

Labour’s deputy leader cited the example of fire and rehire, under which staff are forced to accept worse conditions in order to keep their jobs, as one area where ministers must do more, calling it an “appalling and bullying practice”.


https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/may/17/labour-and-tuc-call-for-ban-on-fire-and-rehire-as-part-of-new-vision-of-work

July 2021

Labour is quietly recruiting staff on insecure temporary contracts with worse employment conditions while it moves to make a third of its existing permanent employees redundant, The Independent can reveal.

The party is being accused of using underhand “fire and rehire” practices condemned by Keir Starmer himself in a speech just a few months ago.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-fire-and-rehire-keir-starmer-david-evans-b1889879.html

Eight weeks is a very long time in politics.

An advert posted on a recruitment website offers potential workers a six-month contract and says work is to be done from home.

All applicants need their own laptop, a “secure Wi-Fi connection” at home, and must bring their own “satisfactory firewall and virus protection”.

Successful applicants, who will be paid £19 an hour, are asked to have a “knowledge of data protection and equalities legislation” and the “ability to work effectively in a fast-paced and highly pressurised environment”, among other traits


Harpo, are you available?
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Mick Harper
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Yes, all right. This is part of a fatal sloppiness in confusing two things:
(1) That generally speaking supply and demand is the best way of allocating resources
(2) That generally speaking there is a desire to help the poorest in society.

The Left is particularly hamstrung by this because it is tied to trade unions whose general purpose is to avoid (1) irrespective of whether the poor are helped. This is justified by pointing out that they are always poorer than the employers. When the Left are the employers, the basic contradiction is exposed: employers are not ‘rich’ they are competing with other employers and will go out of business if they pay over the odds.

Hence why successful unions are now mainly in the public sector where employers can’t go out of business, so the citizens end up subsidising the workers. Whether the citizens are richer or poorer than the workers never bears on the argument. It is merely a question of 'strong wins'. You can see this in action every day, in the wee small hours, when cleaners on minimum wage are being taken in their thousands to and from work by night train drivers who have been paid a king's ransom to do it. Driving Miss Daisy it ain't.
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
When the Left are the employers, the basic contradiction is exposed: employers are not ‘rich’ they are competing with other employers and will go out of business if they pay over the odds.

Too true.

The Labour Party is in a parlous state and something needs to be done. On Monday, Labour general secretary David Evans told staff there would be mass redundancies, with approximately a third of Labour HQ staff having to leave.

But why?

The party’s poor financial state is a result of drastic membership decline and the settling of antisemitism cases.

It didn't have to be this way.

Back in 2018, The Guardian named Labour the “richest party in Britain”. Our coffers were full as hundreds of thousands of people joined the party, bringing numerous small donations with them. Not only did it put us in good financial stead, but it also meant the party didn’t have to rely on the donations of rich individuals with interests opposed to ours. We were the envy of social democratic parties across the continent as their memberships shrunk, while ours ballooned.

From Hero to Zero?

https://labourlist.org/2021/07/labour-is-being-reduced-to-a-husk-this-cant-be-allowed-to-carry-on/

I can't quite see the Labour Party (as a business) applying for a bank loan or a Covid Grant to keep it afloat, but who knows, these are strange times. Is it more likely they'll ask the Trade Unions for a bung? With what strings attached?
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Mick Harper
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Is it more likely they'll ask the Trade Unions for a bung?

The history of the 'political levy' is one of the more colourful threads in the national tapestry. Originally the deal was, "You join us, part of your sub goes to the Labour Party." When other parties protested at this 'forced levy', it was made entirely voluntary. Except you had to 'opt out' so hardly anyone did. Mrs Thatcher made it 'opt in' but, such is the ennui of the average British worker, hardly anyone did. As unions (and indeed the Labour Party and indeed Britain) moved away from their heavy industrial base, one found millions of Britons paying subs to the Labour Party while being lifelong supporters of quite other ones.

Now though, thoroughgoing reforms have been instituted so it is more a case of "Len, can we have a few hundred thou?" "Yeah, all right, but I want whineypants off the Exec, the enquiry into our stitch-ups of the Scottish constituencies nobbled and BA to give in to the cabin crews." "You got it, Len." (Aside: "What a nob-end, we'd have done all that for nothing.")
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