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What you want to say – 20 November 2019 November 20, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.


1. Dermot M O Connor - November 20, 2019

The billionaire’s son Monbiot gives milquetoast approval to Corbyn.


In this paragraph he indulges in some astonishing victim-blaming:

Of course the first test is not the only test. Another is the ability to lead, and here Labour often fails. First, some context. Several hundred Labour members, out of 485,000, have been accused of antisemitism. That is several hundred too many: every instance is an outrage. However, as a fraction of 1%, it’s a far cry from public perceptions of the issue. According to a new book about the media’s treatment of the Labour party, Bad News for Labour, the average estimate by people surveyed is that 34% of Labour members have succumbed to this evil.

So he admits that the anti-semitism ‘crisis’ is only a few hundred outliers, but (thanks to rags like the one that pays his wages) many people think that 34% of labour members, or an astonishing 164,000 are anti-semites. The fact that this fable was injected into the public mind – and is largely responsible for the current tory lead, seems beyond the powers of his liberal mind.

“Why didn’t you do something about all the lies we were telling about you?”

Guardian/Indo/BBC libels Labour party members en masse, then blames them for not “doing something about it”. Monbiot refers to “public perception” as though he and his organ had nothing to do with the management of that perception in the first place.


Liked by 1 person

2. CL - November 22, 2019

“Two recently published studies… show that the cost of the so-called war on terror conducted by the United States has exceeded $6.4 trillion and at least 800,000 lives in the 18 years that it has been going on.”


Starkadder - November 24, 2019

A colossal waste of money and lives.


3. roddy - November 22, 2019

After much speculation ,SF have released the deputy leadership result.O’Neill 67%, O’Dowd 33%.


Joe - November 22, 2019

How are things in the base Roddy? There were riots and a coup in Bolivia when they delayed their count for a day.


4. roddy - November 22, 2019

Most people I know say the media should have been told to go and feck themselves and the contest was an internal matter.As an SDLP member said on another site”why should SF divulge internal party business to those who despise them?”


Joe - November 22, 2019

Ah yeah. That’s fair enough.
When the contest was announced I said it was an interesting development in SF. Am I right in saying that there wasn’t much, if any, precedent for these kind of internal contests for positions like President and VicePresident before?
But then, as I think you said on here, the contest seemed to die a death. Certainly, from the outside it seemed to. Whether there was much of a contest inside SF only SF insiders could tell us.

Anyway good luck to Michelle in doing the Acht na Gaeilge deal with the DUP – it will be done – and getting Stormont back up and running in the New Year.


5. roddy - November 22, 2019

Joe,I don’t want to start another provo /sticky slanging match but I don’t think the WP would have had elections for top positions either and would have held the same opinion about a media campaign to use it as a distraction during a general election..


Joe - November 23, 2019

No. Honestly Roddy, I wasn’t having a go at SF there. You are right. When I was in the WP in the late eighties, early nineties I only remember one election for a top position – De Rossa vs Sherlock for President after MacGiolla had stepped down.


WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2019

Can you remember Joe, wasn’t there kind of slates in the WP?


Fergal - November 23, 2019

Peace breaks out between Sticks and Provies!
Both sides agree to work together in order to boost Jez’s chances of winning in December…


WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2019



Joe - November 23, 2019

Can you remember Joe, wasn’t there kind of slates in the WP?

I’m sure there were. But I was an innocent gobshite who didn’t realize it! Just an ordinary member who didn’t want to waste time speculating on who was in what faction in the leadership.

Liked by 1 person

pettyburgess - November 23, 2019

That’s an interesting question. It’s almost certain that the WP has some kind of slate system. All Official Communist / Stalinist / Marxist-Leninist parties did from the early 1930s at the latest. At least from when the WP started seeing itself as a party in that tradition it would have adopted that kind of trapping. But I wonder if its remnants still use that system? I also wonder what system it used in its earlier days before the communist turn. Unlike most CPs it had origins in a different tradition, militarist republicanism, also not exactly known for democratic structures.


Joe - November 23, 2019

Actually no. I’m pretty clear on this now. There were no slates. Elections at Ard Fheis were to the Ard Chomhairle. There’d be a single list of candidates and delegates could vote for whatever number of candidates. Can’t remember if you had x votes for x number of places on the Ard Chomhairle. I think you did.
I recall our branch (sometimes!) agreeing beforehand who the delegates would be mandated to vote for. But it wasn’t taken too seriously.
It was a big party so you wouldn’t know, unless you wanted to or felt you needed to, what particular politics any candidate had or what ill-defined faction they might adhere to. So I’d say people voted in all kinds of ways – geographical factors, who you knew, how long they and you had been around. And so on.
But definitely, no open slates. That would have been deemed as factionalism. And that wasn’t allowed under democratic centralism which was the party’s organisational mode.


WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2019

That makes sense. I seem to recall in 88 there was something at the AF about an unspoken slate? So that suggests they were always frowned upon.


6. Starkadder - November 23, 2019

Ta-Nehisi Coates says “Cancel Culture” is a good thing:

…any sober assessment of this history must conclude that the present objections to cancel culture are not so much concerned with the weapon, as the kind of people who now seek to wield it.

….The new cancel culture is the product of a generation born into a world without obscuring myth, where the great abuses, once only hinted at, suspected or uttered on street corners, are now tweeted out in full color. Nothing is sacred anymore, and, more important, nothing is legitimate — least of all those institutions charged with dispensing justice. And so, justice is seized by the crowd.

But what is “Cancel Culture”? The Macmillan Dictionary has a provisional definition of it as:

“the practice of no longer supporting people, especially celebrities, or products that are regarded as unacceptable or problematic”.


Given Mr. Coates is a historian of Black Americans, I’m surprised he can’t see…well, problematic implications about the idea of “justice is seized by the crowd”.


WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2019

Yeah, I’d be a bit sceptical about cancel culture. But I think there’s even a deeper problem, it is the idea that stuff only is real or has validity if it happens on social media (at least on some level). That strikes me as waaaaay off beam.


Dermot M O Connor - November 23, 2019

They really haven’t thought this through.

Purity politics means that nobody can pass the tests required. Even if they can, wait three or four years and something now considered harmless will be ‘transgressive’, some old comment or tweet that uses a word now harmless but which then will be indicative of fascism or hegemony or something something something.

I’d suggest they take the opposite POV and regard all their members as cancelled until they pass a test. Project this backwards in time of course, so we have to get rid of MLK (he’d be #me’too’d today in a heartbeat). There wouldn’t be one leader left.

OK, the kids are doing it the other way around, but they’ll purge everyone sooner or later.

Who’d benefit from such an absurd process? Hmm, maybe I can think of a few hundred billionaires who are having a good laugh.

Next time some politician starts threatening the system, it won’t take much to find some major or minor transgression, and ‘cancel’ him. Well, certainly more genteel than using a bullet, but still pretty dire.



Got the book BTW!!! Thanks!


WorldbyStorm - November 23, 2019

Perfect and very welcome! There’s a person who would have looked askance at that sort of stuff!


7. roddy - November 23, 2019

The number of leading political figures who have transgressed is massive.Even Dev was said to have “jumped the fence”(a rural term for infidelity!) and was barely on speaking terms with his wife.Haughey was notorious and several leading british politicians- Major,Ashdown,etc.Having a “mistress” was almost compulsory for French leaders.However revolutionary and left wing leaders were not amiss either with Fidel,Che and Gadaffi all known to spread their affections! If all our heros were judged by today’s standards , they would be written out of approved history!


8. Starkadder - November 24, 2019

“Purity politics means that nobody can pass the tests required. Even if they can, wait three or four years and something now considered harmless will be ‘transgressive’, some old comment or tweet that uses a word now harmless but which then will be indicative of fascism or hegemony or something something something.”

Yeah, it cultivates a “police informer” mentality. I said stupid things when I was a teenager (fortunately there was no social media then) – we all did. Nobody has clean hands.

I don’t buy Coates’ suggestion that people are only complaining about “cancel culture” now young people are performing the practice. There were always people on the political Left who protested against efforts to ostracize people who were nonconformist, like Eric Fromm and Herbert Read.

BTW, what is the book? It sounds interesting!


9. Alibaba - November 24, 2019

I once did not understand ‘Scouse not English’. Now I’m beginning to know why.



10. CL - November 24, 2019

And then there were 19…or 20. or 25, whatever….

“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially entered the 2020 race Sunday, ending several weeks of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation about a late entry”

“”I’m Disgusted”: Sanders Says Bloomberg’s $30 Million Ad Purchase Just Latest Example of Billionaire Trying to Buy an Election
“If you can’t build grassroots support for your candidacy, you have no business running for president. The American people are sick and tired of the power of billionaires.”

Bloomberg will be the favoured candidate for president of some capitalists who are made nervous by Trump’s stupidity.


11. CL - November 24, 2019

There has been a huge turnout in the Hong Kong district elections.

“While Hong Kong enjoys civil rights such as freedom of assembly and the press, its residents do not choose their leader, or all members of its mini-parliament, the legislative council. The district council poll is the only direct election….
Deep pockets, a powerful electoral machine, lack of voter interest and a fractured opposition have meant pro-Beijing parties control all but one of the city’s 18 district councils.”

With initial results coming in it looks like a landslide for the pro-democracy forces and a massive defeat for the pro-Beijing faction.
What happens next is unclear, but definitely a problem for the CCP.


CL - November 25, 2019

“The anti-establishment reverberations from almost six months of street protests swept through polling stations across Hong Kong on Sunday, as voters in record numbers roundly rejected pro-Beijing candidates in favour of pan-democrats.
The tsunami of disaffection among voters was clear across the board, as pan-democrats rode the wave to win big in poor and rich neighbourhoods, in both protest-prone and non protest-afflicted districts and, in downtown areas as well as the suburbs….
By 7am, the pro-democracy camp had gained a majority in at least 12 of the 18 district councils, taking 278 seats.
All councils were previously under pro-establishment control from the 2015 elections.”


12. ar scáth a chéile - November 24, 2019

Mark Weisbrot on OAS in Bolivia

“…It is difficult, almost impossible, to believe that this OAS mission, or those above them in the OAS Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, felt “deep concern and surprise” and yet were too incompetent to even look at this data. That is why I would say that they lied at least three times: in the first press release, the preliminary report, and the preliminary audit. And that is why I would regard with great skepticism the allegations presented in their preliminary audit, and further publications — unless these can be verified by independent investigators from publicly available data.”

Full article here:



13. CL - November 25, 2019

“This poll was a referendum on the protest movement. 

The crisis facing the Hong Kong government and its Beijing masters has now deepened. An emboldened protest movement will press its demands even harder, including those for universal suffrage in the election of Hong Kong’s leader and an independent inquiry into allegations of police brutality. …

The most likely result, however, is that the Communist party will continue to crack down. The past months will have convinced Mr Xi that Hong Kong cannot be trusted with the autonomy it already enjoys, let alone any more….
Hong Kong’s days of tear gas and rubber bullets are not over.”

“In the weeks running up to yesterday’s (Nov. 24) district council elections in Hong Kong—largely seen as a referendum on the public’s views toward the protests that have wracked the city—the local government and Beijing seemed convinced that a “silent majority,” tired of blocked roads and school suspensions, would cast their votes decisively against “violent rioters.”…
The landslide win by the pro-democracy camp, however—which took control of all but one of the city’s 18 local councils—has thrown China’s propaganda machine into confusion, to say the least….
in a political system that has grown to be intolerant of any dissent, it’s hard to imagine how the Chinese Communist Party could avoid receiving bad intelligence on Hong Kong—or any other issue, for that matter. Trapped in an echo chamber of its own making, Beijing has, at every juncture, doubled down on its hardline rhetoric that the protesters represent an independence movement committing acts of terrorism, with the support of overseas governments and Western media.”


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