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What you want to say – 4 December 2019 December 4, 2019

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

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1. Tomboktu - December 4, 2019

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2. Dermot M O Connor - December 4, 2019

stats for lefties (should be interesting to see how accurate his projection is in a week or so).

http://statsforlefties.blogspot.com/2019/12/polling-round-up-2019-general-election.html

QUOTE:

At this point in 2017, Labour was averaging 33%. The Tories’ average poll lead was 13pts, and their estimated majority was 76 seats. By comparison, the Tories’ average poll lead this week was 10pts, and their estimated majority was 46 seats.

Over the following two weeks, Labour support rose steadily until the party was averaging 37%, as shown in the chart below. Labour then outperformed these polls and won 41% within Great Britain in the 2017 election.

Whilst the 2017 campaign was 1 week longer than the 2019 campaign, the final week did not make any difference to the polls; in fact, Labour’s average vote share in the final week (36%) was 1pt lower than in Week 6 of the 2017 campaign (37%).

Thus far in 2019, Labour’s vote share week-to-week has exactly matched its vote share week-to-week in 2017, as shown in the graph below. If this trend continues, then we should be averaging 35% by the end of this week, and 37% by 12th December. Even if the Tory vote share does not change, this should put us within 6pts of the Conservatives by election day. This would almost certainly result in a hung parliament, with the possibility of Labour becoming the largest party if the polls are slightly wrong (as they were in 2015, 2016 and 2017).

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tafkaGW - December 4, 2019

Yep – still all to play for – the Tories have now absorbed as much of the Brexit Party vote as they can.

I keep thinking that the last week needs to be more negative with attacks on Johnson, his basic lie that Brexit will get done within the next decade, and on the Lib Dems as a wasted vote for remainers. But then this knee jerk reaction is almost certainly wrong.

The thing is – the whole Brexit idiocy has created a general mood of despair outside the highly politically motivated. Which is part of the right-wing playbook of course. And another reason why Brexshit is in it’s essence a right-wing project.

So to overcome it you have to keep putting forward the positive reasons to vote Labour. If the 99% can get beyond their disillusion they’ll see that what the BLP is proposing is in their favour.

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3. Paul Culloty - December 4, 2019

The New Statesman decides not to endorse any party for the GE, which effectively buries any left-wing credentials that might have lingered.

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Aonrud ⚘ - December 4, 2019

The New Statesmen (Incorporating Marxism Today!) is long past hope.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

That’s insane. What on earth was their reason?

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Aonrud ⚘ - December 4, 2019

No real surprises in there, I think. “We need to get the Tories out, and I would vote Labour, but Corbyn something something”. It’s not great.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/election-2019/2019/12/leader-britain-deserves-better

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Starkadder - December 4, 2019

This is disgusting and cowardly. If they backed the Greens instead, at least it would be principled-if-naive. This- no! The Tories are cutting Britain to pieces. the Lib Dems are spewing nonsense, and the Staggers plants its ample arse on the fence. Looks like those Trots who tried to warn you against reading the magazine were right after all.

Time to switch to Tribune or Chartist, methinks.

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Dermot M O Connor - December 5, 2019

http://averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-new-statesman-s-miserable-editorial.html

One of the benefits of holding centrist journalism in contempt is the hacks can never disappoint you. And so it came to pass the New Statesman editorial carried the line according to Jason Cowley: that faced with Boris Johnson’s Tory party and all it entails, from hard Brexit to hard misery for millions of people, versus Labour with its transformative programme for the better, we get some mealy-mouthed whingeing about Jeremy Corbyn being bad mmmkay, so bad in fact he’s indistinguishable from the Prime Minister.

In the grand scheme of things it shouldn’t matter. NS is a relatively low circulation magazine for people who prefer reading about over doing politics, but is a cornerstone of opinion formation for liberal establishment punditry. What it features does matter to a degree because it can catalyse talking points and headlines. And what do you know, 15 seconds with the search engine of your choice reveals how the right wing press have gleefully picked up on the story. The likes of the Express and Mail are all splashing on how this “left wing magazine” thinks Corbyn is unfit for office. And so, unfortunately, for as long as the dying networks of centrist hacks have reach, their rubbish must be rebutted.

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Dermot M O Connor - December 5, 2019

Yikes, avps attack on New Statesman concludes:

What truly damns this miserable screed is its bad faith. The New Statesman had no problem endorsing Tony Blair after Iraq, after detention without trial, and the stoking up of Islamophobia. Crimes, yes, crimes that led to the suffering and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. One cannot simply compare the records of Blair and Corbyn and come to the conclusion the former is infinitely preferable to the latter. Unless your priority is upholding the status quo. And so when we see their anti-endorsement caveated with warm words for Labour’s “transformative” programme, and the resurgence of the party under Corbyn’s leadership, they’re exercises in obfuscation. From the outset the editorial line has been opposed to what is happening in the Labour Party, and now it’s crunch election time its antipathy to the left and loyalty to their media mates and our rotten state of affairs trump the climate emergency, the housing emergency, the cost of living emergency. I would at least have a modicum of respect for Cowley if he was up front about his not-giving-a-shittery, but like all hypocrites he has to hide behind principles that show up when they’re convenient. Pathetic.

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4. Dermot M O Connor - December 4, 2019

Listening to this now (Graun podcast about Tory remainers and voting intentions):

https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2019/dec/04/election-2019-could-tory-remainers-deny-boris-johnson-a-majority-podcast

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Dermot M O Connor - December 4, 2019

Bloody hell. Some very politically illiterate voters out there! Worth listening to. One woman (a former SDP candidate) comes out with “Get Brexit Done”. FFS.

Lots of tories definitely looking at LibDem, and the guy at the end sounds like he’s going to hold his nose and vote Labour.

Don’t worry mate, you won’t burst into flames.

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5. Stan - December 4, 2019

Last day of the UCU strike and it ended for us with a march and a rally at the Town Hall steps. Listening to the head of the Leeds TUC and Labour candidate in Pudsey make her pitch, I was struck by how successful the Corbyn years have been in moving the dial – even if the tories win, socialism is back on the table. Abolishing tuition fees, renationalising the railways, a 4-day week: all now in the realm of the conceivable after a generation of TINA.

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Dermot M O Connor - December 4, 2019

If Corbyn loses (and has to resign) will be interesting to see the power struggle in Labour. So many of the Blairites have deselected themselves, wonder if the left wing can hold on post a GE defeat?

Worse than losing the GE outright would be losing the party to the triangulator / Clintonist gobshites.

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roddy - December 4, 2019

Unfortunately,if Corbyn resigns McDonnell says he will too.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

That moving the dial will be the key legacy. The thing is reading and listening to report after report the most striking reason why Labour is not moving in the polls that is given by voters, formerly LP ones in some instances, is Corbyn himself. It will be interesting to see who is next. I think it has to be someone from the broad left of the party.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

Said it here before. To me McDonnell is a stronger character than Corbyn – I hope he doesn’t resign. That would be an even more serious loss.

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tafkaGW - December 5, 2019

Indeed – and he’s able to do practical detail as well as principle. Whatever happens he has contributed is a whole body of work of concrete about how to transform a capitalist economy on the way to socialism, and a whole bunch of people who have worked on that.

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tafkaGW - December 5, 2019

concrete work I meant. ‘Man of concrete’ sounds altogether Soviet.

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tafkaGW - December 5, 2019

Hey – it hasn’t happened yet. Get the election done first.

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Dermot M O Connor - December 5, 2019

Indeed! Praying for

1. More of that movement from LibDem to Labour.
2. Tactical voting.
3. Movement from Green to Labour.
4. Jaded younglings to get off their apps and vote.
5. Some Tory vote stranded in FPTP deadzones.
6. Tory BBC & LibDem Guardian to be impartial for 7 days.

OK, six is a joke. haha.

There’s a new graph on the wiki page showing the opinion poll averages from 2017 overlaid with 2019, which offers hope for a replay of the 2017 result.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2019_United_Kingdom_general_election#National_poll_results

Similar to the stats for lefties post on the 2017 v. 2019 %

http://statsforlefties.blogspot.com/2019/12/polling-round-up-2019-general-election.html

Also wonder: if the tories do squeak back in on a Teresa May result, wonder what that’ll do to the second coming of Winston Churchill?

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Joe - December 5, 2019

7. Traditional working-class Labour voters who have swung to the Tories because they (these voters) are pro-Brexit to swing back home to Labour on polling day because they know it’s the right thing to do.

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6. Stan - December 4, 2019

This is my 6th (!) time voting this decade in England, but my first GE in the north, and it’s at least refreshing to be voting in a city where Labour hold all the urban seats: my previous MP was Steve Baker (20k majority in 2015, now a marginal!)
There is an IT/RTE view of the north of England that sees it as a terrible place populated entirely by leave voting racists, requiring urgent advice on what to do with their ballot papers from kindly readers and from Fintan himself. Strangely enough, the north doesn’t much look like D4 imagines it to be. My sense is that most people, leave or remain, have accepted that it will happen, but that ultimately an accommodation will be reached. The election, just like the last one, is not about that, much as the tories want it to be. It’s about the kind of country we want afterwards.
As an addendum, the LibDems may be fighting the election in the south on Brexit but up here, where Leeds NW is a marginal between them and Labour, the appeal is frankly a Stop Corbyn! one – addressed to tories

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Dermot M O Connor - December 4, 2019

After Brexit there was a video online of a woman driving through the North Brexit strongholds. She’d stop a person and ask them about why they voted Leave. After the usual stuff about ‘foreigners’ and anti-EU sentiment there’d be a pause, then “But there are other things as well” —– and out would tumble the years of economic abandonment, trauma of Thatcherism which still hadn’t healed and wasn’t going to, even people who had been in the miners’ strike and for whom it was still going on in their heads.

Bad things happen when you throw the working classes under the bus for 30+ years, who could have thought? Not the followers of St. Fintan of Tool, for sure.

Predictable the IT and Guardian chin-strokers would prefer to reduce the whole thing to “working class people are racist” and not think about their own high perch in the class pyramid.

Wish I’d bookmarked that video, no chance finding it now I think.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

“My sense is that most people, leave or remain, have accepted that it will happen, but that ultimately an accommodation will be reached. ‘
That’s a rational belief.

And I’ve no doubt that abandonment contributed hugely to Brexit.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

BTW, I was thinking I’ve never had the experience of voting for a left government that actually took power. Or a left party that actually took power as part of a government.

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Stan - December 4, 2019

Was talking to a chap from the Socialist Party here this week who was amazingly well informed about Irish left politics and we were discussing the paradox of how – relatively – easy it is for left candidates to get elected in Ireland, compared to Britain, but how distant the prospect of a left govt is. FPTP does impose a discipline – and keeps the left (mostly) inside the Labour party: and even SP guy was canvassing for Labour later that day.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

That’s a fair point. Some representation but… not a hint of state power in the ROI. A significant party with left elements but massive trouble getting elected. That’s quite an interesting contrast.

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7. Brian Hanley - December 4, 2019

I don’t think Fintan O’Toole is unaware that some of the Brexit vote was driven by disillusion at years of austerity and abandonment. And the Guardian’s John Harris has done little else other than vox pops from working class Leave voters, disillusioned former Labour voters and the angry and confused of forgotten Britain for the last four years.
I possess no special in depth knowledge of the situation on the ground, but I’ve worked and and off in the UK and know friends and colleagues who canvass for Labour/have been members of it. I spoke to a guy recently whose dad works on a building site in the north west. He is a Labour voter- the lads he works with hate Corbyn with a passion. I suspect their views are not informed by Polly Tonybee.
Talking to some people in the north east last summer their fear was Labour going the way of the Home Rule party. They have dominated for so long and had so little opposition that they are struggling to deal with populist Toryism, Lib Dem accusations of corruption and nepotism etc. The young activists brought in by Corbynism are instinctive remainers- many of the voters in the region leavers. In Scotland Labour has aligned itself with unionism (Scottish variety) and the attacks on the SNP strike me as ill-judged. I know people seem to have a ready list of excuses if Labour lose; the Guardian, anti-semitism accusations, Blairite treachery etc. All valid in their own way, but not the whole story.
The way I see it, John McDonnell strikes you as someone who can think on his feet and read a situation, Corbyn I suggest gently, does not have that particular talent.
Finally, and to add to my general tone of cynicism, people at Glastonbury chanting along to the Corbyn Seven Nation Army song is one thing- 60 something union officials doing it at Labour conferences is a bit embarrassing.

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Stan - December 4, 2019

“Talking to some people in the north east last summer their fear was Labour going the way of the Home Rule party[….], Lib Dem accusations of corruption and nepotism etc. ”

Chimes a bit with some things I’ve heard alright, particularly about Labour councillors in the NE and on Merseyside.

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tafkaGW - December 5, 2019

I think I commented earlier that it would have been ideal if the BLP had had a chance to elected a younger leader in the Corbynite/McDonnell tradition before the general election. But there was probably no time, even if it had been delayed till the spring.

So we are where we are. Certainly the could have focused on more alternatives from the front bench as spokespeople. Angela Rayner was a breath of fresh air.

To allow myself a little cynicism, it seems to me that parts of the BLP has already lapsed into the left comfort zone of planning the splits and infighting after the defeat.

The election can still be won however, if the turnout is right and sufficient people realise that the Lib Dems aren’t an option for tactical voting.

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8. alanmyler - December 4, 2019

You might have seen this before WBS but if not you might find it interesting, NASA’s website about the Artemis manned mission to the moon by 2024. I’m wondering if there’s a feline connection there…

https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis/

Apologies if you’ve already posted about this before.

Liked by 1 person

Dermot M O Connor - December 4, 2019

Which reminds me, I only recently found out that the Soviets sent two tortoises around the moon on the Zond 5 mission in the early 70s.

https://spacecentre.co.uk/blog-post/zond-5-tortoises-at-the-moon/

Given that tortoises are long-lived, they may still be alive. Would be interesting to know how they got on. Hopefully they were well cared for.

Artemis IIRC is an orbital mission, and could be doable if NASA doesn’t do their usual headless nail routine and delay forever. Landing on the moon though seems to be tied up in the usual US political clusterpork.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_program#Crewed_lander_concepts

As of 2018, work on crewed landers was intended to be supported under a new budget line called “Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities” included in the fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, which seeks $116.5 million for the program. As of November 2018, Congress had yet to pass a final fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for NASA.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

Hahah, very good Alan.

That I did not know Dermot. I kind of hope they’re not alive. That would be a very very long time.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2019

Sorry, didn’t read that last correctly. That’d be a long long time if they hadn’t been returned to Earth!

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Dermot M O Connor - December 4, 2019

They got them back safely – pics here:

https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/the-first-earthlings-around-the-moon-were-two-soviet-tortoises

Depends on the type I guess but tortoises could well still be alive!

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WorldbyStorm - December 5, 2019

Amazing, that really is amazing.

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9. Starkadder - December 5, 2019

Yesterday’s Statesmen? Jacobin weighs in:

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10. Joe - December 5, 2019
CL - December 5, 2019

“An ‘Irish Cuba’ – on Britain’s doorstep? This book studies perceptions of the Soviets’ influence over Irish revolutionaries during the Cold War. The Dublin authorities did not allow the Irish state’s non-aligned status to prevent them joining the West’s crusade against communism. Leading officials, such as Colonel Dan Bryan in G2, the Irish army intelligence directorate, argued that Ireland should assist the NATO powers. These officials believed Irish communists were directed by the British communist party, the CPGB.”
https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Ideology-Perceptions-Irish-Republican/dp/1789620643/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?keywords=john+fullqueen+alien+ideology&qid=1575547392&sr=8-2-fkmr0

Other ‘leading Officials’ include….

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Joe - December 5, 2019
CL - December 5, 2019

“The Official republican movement, increasingly under the influence of Eoghan Harris and Smullen, …saw state control as the answer to all economic ills; ‘we want the
state sector to expand until it has obliterated all private enterprise’. In the meantime,industrialisation would be progressive because it strengthened the working class, the
gravedigger of capitalism. This deterministic argument would be encapsulated in The Irish Industrial Revolution – mainly Harris’s creation, dismissing the ‘mythical’ national question…
The document widened the rift between the Officials and
the CPI, which criticised its ‘massive revision of republicanism’.’^*
The publication of The Irish Industrial Revolution represented a seminal moment for the Officials and marked the ideological U-tum mapped for them in From Civil Rights to Class Politics, three years earlier. (p. 218, Mulqueen’s thesis)….

Bizarrely, the Official republican movement – seeking to lead the gravediggers of capitalism – effectively aligned itself with the capitalist state consensus on republican ‘terrorism ’….
Abandoning republican demands did not do much damage to the Official movement in the South, but proved disastrous in the North.” (p. 221)…

The removal of ‘political status’ from paramilitary prisoners owed much to the assumption that ‘terrorism ’ constituted the security problem in Northern Ireland. As had happened in the past during the Troubles, this security decision served to make matters worse. (p.224)

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11. CL - December 5, 2019

“Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would refuse to negotiate with smaller parties in the event of a hung parliament and instead dare them to vote down a minority government formed by him, according to shadow chancellor John McDonnell…..

“We will implement our manifesto . . . no negotiation, no deal, no coalitions,” said the shadow chancellor in an interview with the Financial Times.

“We’ll roll out our programme and let’s see if the Lib Dems vote against the real living wage at £10 an hour, let’s see if the SNP vote against the proposals we brought forward for ending austerity.”

Mr McDonnell, the architect of Labour’s radical domestic programme, would be the dominant figure in any government formed by the party….
He said it was outrageous that six billionaires in the UK own the same wealth as the poorest 13m people. “Those two extremes are unacceptable.”…
“I’m meeting constituents on the doorsteps who are in severe poverty,” he said,”
https://www.ft.com/content/b75ec5f0-173a-11ea-8d73-6303645ac406

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12. Paddy Healy - December 5, 2019

Childrens’ Hospital Over-Run. Government Did Not Know and are not Responsible??? https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ey
“I would have been precluded and not only in breach of my obligations as a board member but also in breach of law if I were to report to the secretary-general of the Department or the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Paschal Donohoe),” Chief Government Procurement Officer told the Public Accounts Committee of the Dáil.
Now he has resigned from the Board. Now Government has even less knowledge or Responsibility for the Debacle Government Chief Procurement Officer Paul Quinn Claims he was Precluded by Law From Reporting to Government On Childrens’
Varadkar told the Dáil: He said: “He has not resigned from his day job of working as a civil servant, but he has resigned from his position on the board, and his decision on that is a matter for himself.
Irish Examine,Thursday, May 16, 2019 – 06:06 PM
The senior civil servant on the board of the National Children’s Hospital has told the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee that he did nothing wrong by not telling cabinet ministers about the cost overruns associated with the project.

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13. tafkaGW - December 5, 2019

I guess it’s ‘signs of hope’ territory but the sheer militancy of a widely supported general strike in France against the idea of a reduction in pension rights, (before Jupiter has even released his (certain to to regressive) plans as a bolt from on high) is impressive.

Just the ‘unreasonable’ resistance to neoliberal ‘reason’ that we need to see. There’s no hiding class struggle anymore.

It’s hardly reported here in the German media, with really vital things like the maneuvering around a purely formal impeachment of the Orange Blob taking precedence :-(. Arté isn’t bad, however. Taz good.

Currently pensioners in France average €1422 pcm. But the male average is around €1900. Because women have interrupted work histories and are more likely to work in lower-paid and part-time waged labour.

Macro wants to decrease the average and sharpen the division between men and women / long-term and precariously employed, apparently.

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14. tafkaGW - December 5, 2019

More up-to-date UK elections poll tracker from the Financial Times without paywall.

Tories flat-lining having absorbed nearly all Brexit party votes, BLP still climbing.

BLP still rising but needs to win back 4%+ of the Lib Dem vote (overwhelmingly remainers) on the day, as well as get out the newly registered young.

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Joe - December 5, 2019

“BLP still rising but needs to win back 4%+ of the Lib Dem vote (overwhelmingly remainers) on the day, as well as get out the newly registered young.”

Why the concentration on winning back that particular vote? What about winning back Labour voters who are lending their votes to the Tories because they are pro-Brexit?
Take 4%+ from anywhere and everywhere.

Deep, deep down underground I can feel a rumble. Building and building over the next week into a veritable landslide. It’ll be 1970s social democracy once again. And here’s it’s seasonal anthem.

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Dermot M O Connor - December 5, 2019

Taking back 1% from the tories is gold, because of a net difference of 2%. They’ve been playing this game the other way around for a while.

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tafkaGW - December 6, 2019

That’s true, I hadn’t looked at it like that.

Yea Tory or Lib Dem shifts, I’d be happy with either. I suspect that the Lib Dem vote is a lot softer. So half the effort for half the gain. Six of one… both need to be done.

But I’m sure local constituency calculations are most important in the their daft electoral system.

It’ll all come down to who turns out to vote I suspect.

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CL - December 6, 2019

“Sir John Major, the highly respected former Conservative prime minister, is refusing to back his own party….

Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled a leaked government document on the impact of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Northern Ireland,….
It states that there will definitely be customs checks on trade from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and vice versa – despite Mr Johnson’s previous claim to the contrary. It says these checks will be “highly disruptive” to the Northern Ireland economy and in particular for small traders…..
“This is cold, hard evidence that categorically shows the impact a damaging Brexit deal would have on large parts of our country.” said Corbyn.
https://www.ft.com/content/27fed46f-f5f0-3fb9-9456-5fc00d0931d7

“The Prime Minister has been accused of breaking his vow to the DUP that “there would never be a border down the Irish Sea”, as broadcasters lined up to accuse him of “running scared” from scrutiny.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/bbcs-andrew-neil-slams-boris-johnson-for-breaking-irish-sea-border-pledge-to-dup-38758343.html

“A Loyalist rally will be held in the Ulster Hall tonight in opposition to Boris Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal deal.
It is understood the event, billed as Stop the Betrayal Act: Preserve the Union, has been organised by a group from the Shankill area, which has chosen not to speak to the media ahead of the event.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/brexit/rally-in-ulster-hall-is-a-chance-to-resist-brexit-deal-jamie-bryson-38758530.html

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15. CL - December 6, 2019

“Newly elected Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward has moved his first piece of legislation in the Dáil today.
Teachta Ward co-sponsored the Waste Management Regulator Bill at first stage in the Dáil this afternoon.
He has described the bill as the first step in bringing waste collection services back under public control….
“The privatisation of domestic waste collection services has failed with poorer quality of service, increased costs for households, negative environmental impacts and increased illegal dumping….
The impact of the few is having a detrimental impact on the many.”
https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/55507

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Tomboktu - December 6, 2019

I saw that. A phrase you won’t see too often: I’m looking forward to reading that bill.

(I’m not taking bets on it getting a money message.)

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tafkaGW - December 6, 2019

Good work that TD.

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16. Tomboktu - December 6, 2019

An important development in Brussels yesterday. The EU counil presidency (Finland) and European Parliament reached agreement on the ‘taxonomy’ for sustainable finance.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/eu-reaches-milestone-by-agreeing-on-green-criteria-for-finance/

It’s woejously technical and buried in layers of EU legislation, but it will be the basis for classifying whether investments (by capitalists) contribute or not to the sustainability of the planet’s climate.

And it won’t be good enough, but it will be the foundation on which more can be built.

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17. Paddy Healy - December 6, 2019

Fine Gael Losing Out on Transfers from Lower Candidates
Warning signs for Fine Gael in byelection results-Stephen Collins, Irish Times https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh
Comparison of Vote in 4 same Constituencies Combined
Combined 4 Bye-Elections 2019 % FG 20.2 FF 24.1 SF13.7 Lab14.2 Gn 10.3 Others 17.5
General Election 2016 % FG 21.2 FF 23.7 SF 14.2 Lab 9.2 GN 2.3 Others 29.4
(Labour did well on transfers) “There is a very different message on transfers for Fine Gael. The party’s candidates in Wexford and Cork North Central were in second place on the first count but their lead over the third-placed candidate in each constituency was steadily eroded and they ended up being overtaken in the final stages of the count.”-Stephen Collins. (Fine Gael came second on first count in 3 of 4 constituencies but lost out on transfers. Fine Gael was also second in Dublin Mid-West on first count-PH)
Stephen Collins Friday, December 6, 2019,

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18. irishelectionliterature - December 6, 2019

The FAI Accounts far worse than expected. That KOSI report must be some read.

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Alibaba - December 6, 2019

The whiff of scandal about FAI accounts has been around for years. I wondered why it wasn’t challenged (or was it?) only to be told the Board was controlled and democratic procedures didn’t truly exist anyway. What’s more, the threat and removal of funding to clubs and personnel were powerful disincentives to take directors to task. Meanwhile Minister for Sport Shane Ross says FAI’s “massive” debt of over €55 million is “very, very worrying?”, ever the man to state the obvious. There’s a good argument to suggest that football fans have shown the power of protest in the past by raising banners saying ‘Delaney Go’. And hopefully they will continue to make their disgust known.

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19. CL - December 6, 2019

“A comet from another star will swing by our sun Dec. 8.
Known as 2I/Borisov, it is the first comet to ever be seen coming from interstellar space. But despite its alien origins, astronomers say it actually looks pretty familiar….
for something that’s traveled for potentially eons across the galaxy, this comet appears to have the same water ice and other chemical constituents of comets closer to home. “That means there’s something universal in the universe,”
https://www.npr.org/2019/12/05/784898213/a-comet-from-another-star-hints-that-our-solar-system-isnt-one-of-a-kind

“at any given moment more than a dozen interstellar visitors at least as large as ‘Oumuamua are passing through the Solar System….
in the future…large telescopes will be able to catch these visitors more often, perhaps two or three times a year.”
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/alien-comets-may-be-common-object-beyond-solar-system-suggests

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20. Starkadder - December 6, 2019

One Hundred and Sixty Years Ago this week, John Brown the Abolitionist was executed. Rest In Power, Friend.

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21. ar scáth a chéile - December 8, 2019

International journalists’ petition on Julian Assange

https://speak-up-for-assange.org/journalists-speak-up-for-julian-assange/

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22. Starkadder - December 8, 2019

Three more Tory candidates – Sally-Ann Hart , Lee Anderson and
Richard Short – have all been accused of alleged anti-Semitism :

https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/07/tory-candidate-sally-ann-hart-investigated-anti-semitism-day-vile-disabled-pay-comments-11406824/

That follows other claims of alleged anti-Semitic remarks by Tories Amjad Bashir and Ryan Houghton. So where are the scaremongering headlines about the “existential threat” the Tories pose for UK Jews?

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23. CL - December 10, 2019

“The National Health Service moved dramatically to the centre of the UK general election on Monday after a picture of a sick young boy sleeping on a hospital floor prompted the prime minister’s first significant mis-step of the campaign.
The row began when Boris Johnson refused to look at the photo of Jack Williment-Barr, who had been forced to lie on a pile of coats in a Leeds hospital last Tuesday because of a lack of beds. An oxygen mask lay beside the four-year-old boy….

The image served to highlight the state of the NHS, one of the few areas on which the opposition Labour party is seen as somewhat more trusted than the Conservatives. It also underscored the perils of fighting an election in winter when the service is under maximum pressure.”
https://www.ft.com/content/121eca30-1a97-11ea-9186-7348c2f183af

“Jeremy Corbyn brandished a copy of the Daily Mirror carrying Jack’s picture during a rally in Bristol.

“People ask questions about this, and I simply say this – Tories have had nine years to fund our NHS properly,” said the Labour leader.

“It is time to bring their regime to an end and elect a Labour government that is determined to fund our NHS properly.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-nhs-leeds-hospital-floor-jack-williment-phone-photo-a9239041.html

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24. Paddy Healy - December 10, 2019

Europe’s New Look Executive Eyes Geopolitical Actions

By Daniel Gros   ,Irish Examiner,  Tuesday, December 10, 2019  https://wp.me/pKzXa-QL

The EU’s policy toolkit is not well suited for exercising power abroad, writes Daniel Gros

Daniel Gros is director of the Centre for European Policy Studies

Many in Europe fear that by China providing cheap finance for infrastructure projects across a wide range of countries, including some EU member states, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is gradually encroaching on the continent’s periphery. But, again, one must ask whether this challenge justifies setting aside good-governance principles.

With former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen assuming the presidency of the European Commission, the EU now has a new executive. Von der Leyen has promised to lead a “geopolitical” commission,believing that Europe needs to be more assertive in its relations with other countries, and more hard-nosed in pursuing its own interests around the world, particularly vis-à-vis the other large powers.
(Author doesn’t mention drive towards creation of European Army)

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