Friday, 1 May 2020

Keir Sturmer: cautious or cowardly? (May 2, 2020)

14 comments on “Open mike 02/05/2020”

  1. Dennis Frank1
    "Labour leftwingers have been frustrated at the party’s refusal to seize on the crisis as a moment to propose a radical overhaul of the economy and society. Jon Trickett, now relegated to the backbenches from his position of shadow cabinet office minister, says: “The country’s crying out for a longer-term vision. We need to map out a great vision for the kind of new normal that can exist after this pandemic.""
    I agree with the UK leftists.  Which hardly ever happens.  I get that the new Labour leader prefers a cautious approach, and it is indeed understandable that in these fraught times Sir Keir would rather not hit the ground running.  Problem is, the opposition is there to provide a viable alternative to the govt.  There's a real danger the public will get irritated by the lack thereof.  Timidity is a prescription for failure.
    "These meetings, and polling seen by Labour strategists, are telling them the public don’t want to hear knee-jerk criticism of the government. “The approach we’re getting from the public is, ‘All of us need to be together, getting through this,’” said a party source."
    Yeah, folks hate partisans.  Being reasonable is the right way to go, but there are better ways to do that.  You can actually be respectful and helpful while signalling the path to the future.  I'm puzzled UK Labour is failing to comprehend this.  Seems elementary.
    • Morrissey1.1
      I get that the new Labour leader prefers a cautious approach….
      ???? Caving in to ceaseless bullying by the most brutal and implacable pressure group on earth is not "cautious". There are other "c" words to describe such a person: careerist, cynical, compromised….
      • Dennis Frank1.1.1
        So he's a zionist, eh?  Well, that does change my view of him for the worse.  A lot. But I presume Trump will thump the table with glee when he discovers it, and acclaim him as a sensible leftist.
        The idea that the Israel lobby slaughtered Corbyn is a joke.  He got done by the electorate in the usual Shakespearean fashion (character flaws).  His own worst enemy.  Like Sanders, his inner narcissist prevailed over his political acumen.  How many times did I express my wish here that they would realise socialism will only fly with younger generations if it is reframed to suit the new millennium?  I lost count.  Their intellectual laziness doomed them.
        • Morrissey1.1.1.1
          So he's a zionist, eh?  
          No, he's a supporter—however reluctantly, under a horrendous amount of pressure—of the state of Israel. The distinction is important. 
          The idea that the Israel lobby slaughtered Corbyn is a joke.
          ???? Your assessment is at odds with the facts. The initial attempts to ridicule and marginalize Corbyn—"Traingate", the sneering at his riding a bicycle, the scoffing his dress sense, and the attempts to portray him as a "traitor"—all failed to gain any traction.
          Then the fantastical denunciations really started. Jamie Stern-Weiner sums it up:
          Throughout the “Labour antisemitism” controversy, mainstream Jewish organizations demanded deference on issues of antisemitism, on the basis that they represented the affected constituency. These bodies in fact lack substantial democratic legitimacy: the JLC is unelected; BOD elections are largely uncontested, and do not engage either ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews or most Jews who do not attend synagogue. But even if they did speak for a majority of British Jews in what they said about Corbyn, Labour, and antisemitism, that did not change the fact that it was wrong — just as British Hindu groups were also wrong to ascribe Labour’s support for human rights in Kashmir to anti-Hindu racism.
          One of the ugliest aspects of this entire affair has been the scorn and contempt heaped by Britain’s Jewish establishment on Jewish Labour supporters, who have been marginalized and dismissed as “fake Jews” or collaborators. Corbyn’s association with left-wing Jews has itself been cited as evidence of his malice, while the BOD’s pledges includes the demand that Labour “engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organizations.”
          No ground should be given to such authoritarian blackmail. ….
          … The main objective of the “Labour antisemitism” campaign was never to reduce antisemitism, but rather to bog Labour down in a time-consuming, soul-destroying internecine conflict. It succeeded because, for honorable as well as cynical reasons, Labour leaders allowed it to. 
          • Dennis Frank1.
            Yeah, I did read Finkelstein's analysis a while back and found no reason to dispute it.  However while the Israel lobby played the divide within Labour effectively, I don't agree that they defeated Corbyn in the public mind.  I do agree he was not sufficiently adept to control the narrative.  I just see it as a side-issue in the minds of most voters.
            • Morrissey1.
              It wasn't a side issue, it was a non-issue. The charges were ludicrous, fantastical from the beginning. I agree with you about Corbyn's ineptness: would you or anyone else here try to placate people accusing you of imaginary crimes the way Corbyn tried to placate his accusers? His passivity in the face of those mobs astonished Max Blumenthal when he visited Britain in 2015.

  2. Tricledrown2
    Australias mobile tracing app doesn't work on Australias largest network plus other problems especially with I phones.
  3. Dennis Frank3
    "Behavioural economics looks at how people make decisions in the real world – warts, irrational biases and all – and applies this to public policy. Its signature policy is set out in the 2008 book Nudge, by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. The central insight is that changing the way choices are presented to people can have a huge impact."
    Haven't read it but I suspect nudges work via framing.  The frame you create can focus the attention of others on whatever you want.
    "Coming just as the financial crisis hit, Nudge was perfectly timed to achieve maximum traction by offering politicians the chance to reap savings through low-cost policy. Sunstein was quickly appointed to a senior job in the Obama administration, while David Cameron set up the behavioural insights team, dubbed the “nudge unit”, led by psychologist turned policy wonk David Halpern."
    "The nudge unit has since had a mixed track record: there have been some real successes on pensions and tax payments but in other areas it’s been a bit of a damp squib. So I was surprised when Halpern popped up to talk about the government’s pandemic strategy in the press in early March. It was he who first publicly mentioned the idea of “herd immunity” as part of an effective response to Covid-19 (the government has since denied this was ever the strategy)."
    "Halpern is reportedly on Sage, the government’s scientific advisory committee for emergencies, and he is also the government’s What Works national adviser, responsible for helping it apply evidence to public policy. So one might expect there to be something substantial behind the idea of behavioural fatigue."
    Well, yes.  Obviously the hundreds of breaches of the lockdown here, and consequent prosecutions, suggest there's behavioural fatigue out there in Aotearoa.  "Goddam, I've been doing this isolation shit too long already, I'm tired of it."
    "But evidence presented to government by the Sage behavioural subcommittee on 4 March, representing the views of a wider group of experts, was non-committal on the behavioural impact of a lockdown, noting that the empirical evidence on behavioural interventions in a pandemic is limited. Shortly after Halpern’s interviews, more than 600 behavioural economists wrote a letter questioning the evidence base for behavioural fatigue."
    Clever buggers.  The evidence is out there, but if nobody collects & collates it, then you can dismiss it as anecdotal.  Social science 1.01 – and who wants to pay for the research?  No govt would do that while mired in lockdown admin.
    "“Behavioural fatigue is a nebulous concept,” the review’s authors later concluded in theIrish Times."  Ah, smart move.  Nobody does nebulous better than the Irish.  Readers would resonate with the critique big-time.
    The writer suggests "you understand that the Behavioural Insights Team is a multimillion-pound profitable company, which pays Halpern, who owns 7.5% of its shares, a bigger salary than the prime minister."  You should.  Psychologists with that much leverage in commerce and politics are extremely rare.
  4. pat4
    Global reserve currency?
    "The Washington Post, citing two people with knowledge of internal discussions, reported on Thursday that some officials had discussed the idea of canceling some of the massive U.S. debt held by China as a way to strike at Beijing for perceived shortfalls in its candidness on the COVID-19 pandemic."
    the criminally insane running the asylum have stopped taking their medication.
  5. Ed5
    It would appear that Boris Johnson and his motley crew are tinkering with the numbers again.
    First, they did not count COVID deaths in rest homes and at home. Now they are creating magical figures for testing.
    Donald Trump's U.S is the pits.
    And Boris Johnson's U.K. is chasing it hard as a rogue nation.

    • Muttonbird5.1
      Is self-testing even legitimate? If it's the same test used here I can't imagine people are going to do that to themselves with any degree of accuracy.
  6. Morrissey6
    Justin Trudeau: "There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada."
    He was talking, slowly and solemnly and not in blackface on this occasion, about assault weapons. The place to use them is, of course, Venezuela. 
  7. I Feel Love7
    I love that Stuff headline, "Simon Bridges wants lockdown to end now.", he comes across as an unreasonable toddler. 
  8. Morrissey
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. 
    Israel lobbyist funded Labour’s new leader
    by ASA WINSTANLEY, 22 April 2020
    A multi-millionaire pro-Israel lobbyist donated $62,000 to help Keir Starmer win the UK Labour Party’s leadership election, it was revealed last week.
    The official register of lawmakers’ financial interests shows that Trevor Chinn donated the sum as part of Starmer’s leadership campaign.
    During the campaign Starmer said “I support Zionism without qualification.” Since his election he hastilted the party sharply towards Israel.
    Starmer came under criticism for not disclosing all his donors during the campaign itself, when Labour members were deciding who should replace Jeremy Corbyn.
    The donation from Chinn was not registered until five days after Starmer won the election, although it was received in February.
    Although there is no suggestion of illegality, Labour members may consider this a violation of their trust.
    Trevor Chinn
    He also plays a leading role in the Israel lobby groups BICOM and the Jewish Leadership Council.
    In 2018, Chinn co-hosted a high-profile celebration of the life of late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, attended by Israeli ambassador Mark Regev. Published photos show that Tony Blair also attended.
    Read more….
    Click to Edit – 9 minutes and 12 seconds

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