• Down The Rabbit Hole
    382
    In Britain, our law-breaking buffoon of a Prime Minister was elected on a landslide majority of 80 seats. His party, the Conservatives have been in power for 12 years, and before that we had a couple of Labour Party centrists running the country, which apart from going to war in the Middle East didn't do much different to the Conservatives. The United States of America doesn't look any better (Trump, private healthcare, mass poverty, mass homelessness).

    Britain has had opportunities for left-wing Prime Minister's with opposition leader Ed Miliband and then his successor Jeremy Corbyn twice - but they were rejected by the electorate. The opposition now have another centrist as leader (arguably rightly so if the left can't win). I understand that the party has or is changing the rules so that it is the MPs, picked by the leader, that picks the leader. A recipe for a succession of centrists. I can't think of any left-wing candidates in recent US history (my understanding is that Bernie Sanders wasn't presented to the electorate).

    Will the system allow for left-wing government? Would the people vote for a left-wing government? Do the left stand a chance in politics?
  • Banno
    17.4k
    An offer of hope from Dow Nunder, where after nearly a decade of incompetent, bumbling, fumbling conservative mishandling of government, a socialist party has been elected.

    But what might interest those on foreign parts is that both major political parties had their votes reduced, neither achieving much more than a third of the vote. The balance was taken in part by the Green Party, but mostly by what came to be called the "teal independents".

    The Teals won in comfortable middle class electorates.

    They are doctors and lawyers and small business owners who have been disenfranchised by the move towards a conservative agenda by what was once their natural political party. Here it is the Liberal Party, but don't let the name put you off. They have always had a conservative agenda, and are aligned most closely with the GOP and the Tories. The Liberals drift to idiocy reached such proportions that their own supporters turned against them in large enough numbers to throw them out of power.

    The Teals are not a political party as such but a loose aggregate of those sick of inaction on climate change, women, and other social issues.

    To our advantage we have compulsory voting and proportional representation, so our parliament is far more reflective of the views of the general population than in the UK or USA.

    Perhaps those failed democracies might yet be repaired by a sufficiently pissed-off middle class expecting a government to make decisions on the basis of reason rather than ideology.
  • god must be atheist
    4.4k
    Perhaps those failed democracies might yet be repaired by a sufficiently pissed-off middle class expecting a government to make decisions on the basis of reason rather than ideology.Banno

    In Canada, the motto of most ruling political parties is "We steal as much as we can possibly get away with." Is that reason, ideology, or is it decision making in the first place? :-)
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    In addition to what @Banno said, in the civilized part of the two Americas, the left are experiencing a golden age (everything pink is governed by a left party, the latest inclusion being Colombia, whose left party won just the other day):

    SA.jpg

    In the barbarian regions to the North, the rule of capital has largely dismembered worker power, and the place is devolving quickly into religious totalitarianism. When fascism properly takes hold in 2024, what dregs that exist of the left will likely be even more cowered, if they are not all rounded up and placed in camps. One hopes that the coming violence will be self-contained, but the US is not known for not inciting mass death and suffering on a global scale.

    The rail strike going on in England right now is a bright-spot, and the union leader Mick Lynch has been absolutely murdering the corporate media who have been trying to play 'gotcyha' games with him all day. In France, Macron has been newly strung-out between fascists who are more to the right than he already is, and humans to his left, so things can go either way. Mélenchon's left-coalition seems to be doing a decent job, even though they are being hamstung by centrists who predictably, given the choice between fascism and the left, choose fascism.
  • Isaac
    7.4k
    in the civilized part of the two Americas, the left are experiencing a golden age (everything pink is governed by a left party, the latest inclusion being Colombia, whose left party won just the other day):Streetlight

    Plus Lula, in Brazil - still ahead in the polls.

    The Teals are not a political party as such but a loose aggregate of those sick of inaction on climate change, women, and other social issues.Banno

    Odd because we have the opposite problem in the UK. The left's power-base has been lost because of a concentration on climate change, women, and other social issues at the expense of more traditional leftist values of worker's rights, employment, poverty reduction and progressive taxation. It will take years here to win back those workers lost to the conservatives because they felt they had to pick between a progressive social agenda they weren't comfortable with or a taxation and rights agenda they weren't comfortable with. For one reason and another they chose to lose the rights/pay rather than lose the culture. Crazy decision, in my opinion, but there it is. Doesn't excuse the left's failure to deal with it.

    The rail strike going on in England right now is a bright-spot, and the union leader Mick Lynch has been absolutely murdering the corporate media who have been trying to play 'gotcyha' games with him all day.Streetlight

    Yeah. Really hoping that his zeal might win back some of the support from the working class lost to the Tories from Labour's recent wet-blanket routine.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    I can't think of any left-wing candidates in recent US history (my understanding is that Bernie Sanders wasn't presented to the electorate).Down The Rabbit Hole

    What does "presented to the electorate" mean?
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    382


    The rail strike going on in England right now is a bright-spot, and the union leader Mick Lynch has been absolutely murdering the corporate media who have been trying to play 'gotcyha' games with him all day.Streetlight

    Yeah. Really hoping that his zeal might win back some of the support from the working class lost to the Tories from Labour's recent wet-blanket routine.Isaac

    I think the government and red-wall Tories would dread a General Election with Mick as leader of the opposition, but with the largely centrist Labour MPs as the gatekeeps, I don't have much hope for anything like that. Labour seem to think you can only win from the centre, and so offer no policies and sit on the fence on everything. Tony Blair is their prime example with his landslide wins after 18 years of Tory rule, and before 12 years of Tory rule (and counting).
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    382


    What does "presented to the electorate" mean?Jackson

    That they are an option for the country to vote on.

    I don't know a lot about American politics. Bernie may have been rejected as the candidate by a vote of his party.
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    That they are an option for the country to vote on.

    I don't know a lot about American politics. Bernie may have been rejected as the candidate by a vote of his party.
    Down The Rabbit Hole

    In the US we have primaries within the party. Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    382


    In the US we have primaries within the party. Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton.Jackson

    I've heard the word delegates used. The delegates vote on behalf of the ordinary members of the party?
  • Jackson
    1.6k
    I've heard the word delegates used. The delegates vote on behalf of the ordinary members of the party?Down The Rabbit Hole

    The final tally is comprised by the individual votes, the delegate votes, and superdelaegates (not a joke).
    One of the controversies is that the superdelegates were simply Hillary votes.
  • Isaac
    7.4k
    Labour seem to think you can only win from the centre, and so offer no policies and sit on the fence on everything.Down The Rabbit Hole

    I think actual policies are only of limited importance. A lot of people still vote on the basis of wider issues such as trust, tradition, ideology... Policies aside, a lot of the red wall don't see Labour as centrist at all on those issues which matter to them. The red wall has become older (as the young leave for London) and their concern for progressive social issues is not notoriously deep. Most own houses. Their issues are things like inflation, working practices (most still have a decade or more employment left), and local issues. Labour simply has to not just offer a better package to tackle these issues, but do so believably. Right now they're just playing the same stupid political games, jumping on whatever bandwagon is going making themselves seem utterly without either conviction or universality. The metropolitan centres are won already, yet Labour keep fighting as if they were the only seats available.
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    Good things coming!:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-61906236

    Hundreds of British Airways workers at Heathrow Airport have voted to go on strike over pay. Unite and GMB union members who are mostly check-in staff backed industrial action on Thursday. A total of 700 workers are set to strike during the summer holidays, when demand from travellers is expected to be near pre-pandemic levels. The unions said the action was due to a 10% pay cut imposed during the peak of the pandemic not being reinstated. Some 500 Unite members recorded a 94.7% vote in favour of industrial action, while 95% of GMB members backed the walkouts. The strike dates will be confirmed in the coming days.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-21/nsw-teachers-to-strike-over-pay-and-conditions-next-week/101171092

    Tens of thousands of NSW public and Catholic school teachers will walk off the job next week to demand reform. The Independent Education Union (IEU) and the NSW Teachers Federation agreed unanimously at a meeting on Tuesday to hold their first joint action in more than 20 years on June 30.
    More than 85,000 teachers and support staff from 2300 public schools in NSW and 560 Catholic schools across NSW and the ACT will be directed to take part in the unprecedented 24-hour strike. Teachers will rally in Sydney’s Macquarie St as well as in regional locations across NSW and the ACT. The unions say the strike is the result of the “manifest failure” of the NSW government and Catholic employers to address the crises in the education system.
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    Ah, Ecuador, one of the countries not in pink in the map above, is showing the rest of the world how it should be done:

    Since June 13, hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians have been mobilizing across the country as a part of an indefinite national strike against the right-wing government of President Guillermo Lasso and his anti-people economic policies. The strike was called for by various Indigenous, peasant and social organizations, with a set of ten demands that address the most urgent needs of the majority of Ecuador’s population.

    ...Their demands include: reduction and freeze of fuel prices; employment opportunities and labor guarantees; an end to privatization of public companies; price control policies for essential products; greater budget for public education and health sectors; an end to drug trafficking, kidnappings and violence; protection for people against banking and finance sectors; fair prices for their farm products; ban on mining and oil exploitation activities in Indigenous territories; and respect for the 21 collective rights of Indigenous peoples and nationalities.

  • Harry Hindu
    4.8k
    In addition to what Banno said, in the civilized part of the two Americas, the left are experiencing a golden ageStreetlight
    If it's so golden in the South then why are there millions migrating from the South to the North?
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    Because the North stole - and continues to steal - everyone's surplus capital and is where the spoils get distributed, even if in ever more unequal ways. It's usually a good idea to follow the trail of plunder.
  • Isaac
    7.4k
    By coincidence, a good, detailed breakdown of the issues in Germany, many of which I recognise in England.

    https://jacobin.com/2022/06/germany-die-linke-socialism-unions-class/
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    382


    Hopefully some of your optimism rubs off on me :grimace:

    Someone was telling me the other day that things would improve, as we have only had the internet for a few decades, and as more of the population have it, the more they will see how bad things are for a lot of people and vote for change. My response was that practically everyone in Britain already has access to the internet, they know what's going on, and they blame those in poverty for poor life choices.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    382


    Immigration has got to be the biggest issue for working class Brits.

    However, even if Labour takes a stand against immigration, losing much of their left wing vote, the Tories would just increase their stand. It's an issue that will always be to Labour's detriment?
  • Paulm12
    94
    I read Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind which makes a case for why conservatives may have an advantage over liberals when it comes to many peoples' moral thinking. Great book that I totally recommend, despite me having issues with some of the later parts. His argument is conservatives understand moral psychology better than liberals and, based on moral foundation theory, appeal to more moral principles than just harm and fairness (which include loyalty, authority, sanctity). As a result, his argument are conservatives have a much more inclusive "flavor" that naturally/evolutionarily appeals to more people.

    I think of politics in terms of Hagal's dialectic, so for every swing in one direction, we have opposing motion. So in that case, yes, I think the left does have a "chance" in politics, but it may have to adapt to appeal to people. In the US, I predict that many democrats are getting "fed up" with what they consider to be a hostile takeover by far-loeft progressives. This is why I think minorities will start voting more conservative (indeed something we are starting to see in Texas). The parties will have to change, as they have done before, to adapt and appeal to a changing voter base. For instance, the "right" is becoming less religiously monolithic in the US.
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    Compared to the US the UK had a left-wing government.

    Corbin was pretty unrealistic and useless. The only party leader of any worth I have seen in my lifetime was Paddy Ashdown.

    The public in the UK will go for labour again, or libs maybe, when there is someone who can stand out. I will give Corbin his dues … he did offer up a clear alternative but it seemed like too much infighting hurt his attempt. If others had supported him and bolstered his ideas with something more solid he may have done a lot better.

    At the end of the day people will go for the leader who not only hits home on the policies they care about but also show steely determination in the face of opposition. Boris is still there because he fights on where others with more … integrity … would have resigned.

    It is hard to judge with the pressures of social media due to politicians being forced to respond to a rather overly vocal minority on every matter. Paste on top of that the UK press … well, maybe the people who are right for the job are just smart enough not to do it because the risk to reputation and public opinion is too high.

    I have always believed that the right person to lead is most often the one who least wants to do it. Once things get desperate they usually have no choice but to stand up and be counted. Until a real crisis hits they will avoid the limelight as much as possible I reckon (whoever they are).
  • Isaac
    7.4k
    Immigration has got to be the biggest issue for working class Brits.

    However, even if Labour takes a stand against immigration, losing much of their left wing vote, the Tories would just increase their stand. It's an issue that will always be to Labour's detriment?
    Down The Rabbit Hole

    I don't think it's necessarily about policies, it's a bigger issue of trust. the Tories (and the right-wing in general) always have this automatic trustworthiness that's derived from a sense that "that's the way the word is". Nothing about the 'moderate' right-wing is idealistic (in the sense of wanting the best of all worlds), everything about them is "this is the way is has to be". even the religious right, they're not saying "Isn't it great that gay people can't marry", they're saying "unfortunately, we know how much you'd love to, but God says you can't. Bad luck!" The whole rhetoric is pragmatic - it sets up limits and then appears to reluctantly (but with great wisdom) recognise that no matter how much we might like to, we can't defy them.

    Of course, the limits are bullshit, it's a con... but a really good one.

    So left wing support is garnered either from ideology "things ought to be be this way...", or from desperation "things are going to have to be be this way, there's simply no hope otherwise". There's generally not enough of either in normal times to win a proper majority.

    To win in countries like the UK, the left has to also steal a little bit of the right's pragmatic rhetoric. There's no reason why they couldn't do this with immigration, minority rights, etc. They just don't, so they end up sounding completely away with the fairies (to highly traditional, older working class).

    It's possible the problem will just go away when the older working class die off and are replaced by a more socially progressive generation, but on the other side, generations do tend to become more socially conservative as they get older and no doubt by that time there'll be a new social cause that this newly older generation won't hold with.
  • NOS4A2
    5.9k


    The previous pandemic and the response of governments, left and right, proves there is little difference between the two in terms of their statism and their quickness to abuse power. Communists, liberals, conservatives, progressives—all of them seized control of their economies, restricted movement with police force, engaged in censorship, and violated other fundamental rights when the going got tough. We find that all State systems tend about equally towards the same end of state slavery.

    Of course “the left” stands a chance, and like all political careerists, they’ll leave us with the same mess they left the last time. As Paine said, “the trade of governing has always been a monopoly of the most ignorant and the most vicious of mankind”.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    382


    Pre-Corbyn I used to vote Labour unpassionately so that things could be slightly better. Corbyn gave me hope that things could be significantly better.

    You talk about Boris's determination in withstanding the storm, but it is nothing compared to what Corbyn went through. Almost half a decade of his own MPs shouting him down from the benches behind him, shouting him down in the party's meetings (saying they were trying to "break him as a man", launched legal challenges etc to stop him being on the ballot in the leadership challenge that they launched against him, going on the media trashing him, and all the "left wing" newspapers such as the Guardian and the Mirror attacking him and asking for him to resign. And he fought through all of this until the public overwhelmingly rejected him.
  • I like sushi
    3.7k
    It was nice to see Corbyn actually give another genuine option for the voters. No denying that.
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