And I thought it was the UK

What’s the deal with Jeremy Corbyn? I’m impressed by how much establishment media hates him.

And why on earth are the Tories attack him about something he said about the IRA once? Do people in England still spend a lot of time thinking about the IRA?






120 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    To answer your question, here’s an excerpt from the post I just put up:
    http://www.independent.ie/iris.....84226.html

    A massive New IRA bomb plot was foiled after gardai seized a staggering 6kg (13.2lb) of explosives in Dublin’s north-inner city.

    Heavily armed detectives carrying sub-machine guns stopped a seven-seater taxi during a dramatic arrest in Ballybough shortly after 6pm yesterday.

    Gardai, aided by the army and the bomb disposal unit, arrested two men and seized the lethal explosives.

    Investigating gardaí now believe the material seized is TNT. It was initially believed to be semtex.

    The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation by the Special Detective Unit (SDU) into dissident republican activity.

    The Herald can reveal that:

    A massive 6kg of explosives, as well as detonators, were recovered.
    The new, military grade explosives were recently sourced and brought into the State.
    Two men were arrested at the scene, one with close links to the New IRA.
    It has also emerged that the second man arrested has no known connections to any criminal gang, leading to fears of a new recruitment drive by the dissident republican terror group.

    Armed gardai also raided the house of a politician’s relative, who has close ties to one of the men arrested.

    A senior source last night stated that the explosives recovered were “big enough to blow up a street”.

    Damage

    The explosives “would have caused serious damage if used. It is a major catch for gardai,” said the source.

  2. 2
    Another Scott says:

    Good questions.

    My impression (which could be wrong!!) is that the “(existing, Brown-Milliband-Blair-ite New) Labour Party Establishment” hates him because he was somehow responsible for a bunch of ruffians joining and swamping the vote so the LPE could no longer pick the party leader. And arranged for the party to swing “too far left” so they can’t win nationally any more.

    So the LPE mostly sits back tut-tutting and waiting for him to crash and burn so that they can regain control.

    Of course, Corbyn seems to be hated by much of the voting population as well, so that coupled with the party divisions means that regaining power is very much an uphill struggle.

    But Theresa May seems to be doing her best to destroy the huge lead she had (talking about cutting retirement benefits, etc., for their retired supporters seems especially bone-headed).

    Normally, one would think that a couple of terrorist attacks (clearly the case in Manchester, maybe the case in London tonight) would “help” the Conservative party in power. It would be nice if voters would see past jingoism and the like and pick people better able to set the best course for the country, but who knows….

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  3. 3
    Doug! says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But the attacks on Corbyn started before this bomb was found. And the bomb was in Dublin which isn’t even part of the UK. Has there been other IRA stuff going on recently too?

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    I haven’t followed the race that closely. Sounds like it could be interesting.

  5. 5
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: 13 pounds (maybe 24 sticks) is “massive” and “staggering”??

    Of course, it could do a lot of damage. I’m glad it was found.

    But come on.

    The recent bombing in Kabul was about 3000 pounds of explosives…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug!: Yes, the IRA has never gone away. And while it has been much less active since the Good Friday Accords, it is still operational. A lot of it is more like organized crime in Northern Ireland. But it hasn’t been that long since the IRA was a major threat throughout the United Kingdom as well as the Republic of Ireland. And the Troubles were often very, very bad. And memories are very, very long as a result. It will take several generations to move beyond the animosity and bad memories.

  7. 7
    mainmata says:

    Corbyn is an old Leftist but a real Labour Party leader (like him or not). May is weak tea Conservative. No, the IRA comment is not really relevant today. In fact, the polls show Labour improving (though UK polls aren’t very good). At best, we’re looking at a hung Parliament or an election outcome requiring May to enter into a coalition (with the LibDems). But this just complicates Brexit just as Dump’s Maladministration is totally screwing the GOP’s aim of destroying America. Hope lives if fragilely.

  8. 8

    Nobody likes Corbyn, including Corbyn voters. For many and varied reasons. There’s also the schisms within Labour which Scott summarized nicely that play out around him.

    But man, holding a “no way we can lose!” plebiscite that ends up (potentially) biting you in the ass is turning out to be something of a Tory tradition these days.

  9. 9
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Someone should ask Pete King what he thinks
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....06635.html

    King, then a local politician on Long Island, was one of the most zealous American defenders of the militant IRA and its campaign to drive the British out of Northern Ireland. He argued that IRA violence was an inevitable response to British repression and that the organization had to be understood in the context of a centuries-long struggle for independence.

  10. 10
    Doug! says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    A lot of it is more like organized crime in Northern Ireland.

    Yes, that is what I have heard as well.

    And The Troubles in Northern Ireland were essentially a civil war. Two thousand dead in a few years in a country of 1.8 million is war-like. I just didn’t know that people in Britain still thought about it as much (outside of places like Manchester which were especially heavily bombed by the IRA).

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: The difference between semtex and home made.

  12. 12
    Doug! says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    So you think Labour would be doing better with a different leader? Maybe have a real chance to win?

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug!: It is low intensity war, but still war. And it didn’t stay confined to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. It spilled over into the UK and onto the continent. There is still a lot of anger on both sides. We’re over 150 years past the Great Rebellion, now doing business as the Civil War, and we still haven’t worked the insanity out of our society.

  14. 14

    @Doug!: Part of Corbyn’s unpopularity is that he’s a walking metaphor for the problems Labour is having with itself right now. He’s also not particularly politically talented. It’s sort of like if you took every lazy pundit’s gloss on Hillary and the Dems in 2016 and moved it to England, but also it was true.

    ETA: Right, your actual question. I don’t see how it could hurt to have somebody else at the helm, but you’d need a big political talent to really unite the party right now.

  15. 15
    Doug! says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It’s interesting. I did a post about mocking Peter King for loving Gerry Adams (who is probably a murderer) so much and people showed up commenting “our day will come” in Gaelic. You aren’t kidding that anger still runs high!

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug!: I’ll send you my seminar slides on the Troubles once I figure out which folder I’ve saved them in from my religion and identity violence and extremism course from when I was at USAWC. This conflict crosses sect, denomination, kinship, and political ideology and affiliation.

  17. 17
    Another Scott says:

    @Doug!: I may be off-base here, but there seems to be a lot of mixing up of “IRA” with “New IRA” in this thread. They’re not the same.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  18. 18
    Doug! says:

    @Another Scott:

    I was wondering about that.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    satby says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Memories are so long in Ireland my people have carried grudges since the Battle of the Boyne.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @satby: Exactly. The Troubles were just the most recent, large scale flare up of a centuries old conflict.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: New IRA, Provos, or Officials? Or some splinter group? “Splitters!”

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @Adam L Silverman: and I’m 62, third generation Yank, and still grew up hearing “the stories”.

  24. 24
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Your link says it was TNT, not semtex, in the bomb just found.

    I can’t find any report on what specific explosives were believed to have been used in Kabul.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  25. 25
    NobodySpecial says:

    Corbyn is hated so much by everyone he’s won three elections and no Blairite will stick their head up to run against him again.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @satby: When I was a kid I was sent to a Jewish day school. A significant chunk of the Judaic Studies curriculum was learning every place Jews were killed for being Jews as far back as could be documented. Imagine what that does? Same kind of dynamic, just formalized instead of kept within the family.

  27. 27
    boatboy_srq says:

    Just a a bit of perspective:

    The US argued internally about the propriety of slavery for nearly a century. It fought a civil war over the question, which lasted four years. That was 150 years ago. Nobody seems ready to forget that.

    Ireland has been independent, English or British territory, half-and-half, united, divided, and at war with (at some point in time) everyone but usually England and/or Scotland. That history goes back farther than records; some of Britain’s earliest literature speaks of King Bendigeidfran and his war with Ireland. The IRA is just the latest anti-English group to arise of many, spanning centuries of friction.

  28. 28
    Doug! says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Just to be clear, I was wondering if people in England still cared much about the IRA. I know they still do in Ireland, especially Northern Ireland.

  29. 29
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The Real/New IRA seems to go back to 1997 or 2012. They’re a recent group.

    Their most notorious (IIRC) action was the 1998 Omagh Bombing.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who is no expert on this stuff.)

  30. 30
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Another Scott: 13 pounds of explosives in a country racked by factional fighting is one thing. 13 pounds of explosives in a country that isn’t supposed to have any explosives in private hands not allocated for mining or construction is something else again.

  31. 31
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Adam L Silverman: One of these days I’m going to get a t-shirt that says The Dunning School is fables for Traitors on the front & on the back it’ll say The Civil War was over Slavery (Or something like this.

  32. 32
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Doug!: They’re still quite the big deal, for exactly the reasons stated: that Emerald Isle just can’t be trusted because you never know when they’ll want to fight you again. The IRA has a lower profile these days than Da’esh and the handful of radical clerics in the East End and in Birmingham, but it definitely has a profile.

    Even if it weren’t, there is enough collective memory of what wankers the Irish have been over the ages to make relations between the countries more interesting than necessary.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: The actual answer wasn’t really germane to my point.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    Even if it weren’t, there is enough collective memory of what wankers the Irish have been over the ages to make relations between the countries more interesting than necessary.

    I have no Irish blood and a lot of English, but I have have read enough history to look at that statement and say, “Wow. WTF, dude?

  35. 35
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Just included it for completeness. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  36. 36
    Another Scott says:

    @boatboy_srq: Yeahbut…

    My point was the language in the original report. It wasn’t a “massive” “staggering” bomb.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: It wasn’t in a war zone. Perceptions differ.

    ETA: Or do you view all violence on an absolute scale?

  38. 38
    satby says:

    @boatboy_srq: @Omnes Omnibus: WTF indeed. The British were serious enough wankers they induced a famine that so thoroughly decimated the population that it’s still not recovered.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: I’ve not done explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), but my understanding is that 500 grams of Semtex will destroy a car. It has a higher net explosive weight, but not by much, than C4:
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/.....itions.htm

    Semtex
    Semtex is an explosive containing both RDX and PETN. Semtex, a Czech-made explosive, has been used in many terrorist bombings. Dynamite has been replaced by the more destructive and easily concealed Semtex. SEMTEX is a plastic explosive that is odorless. SEMTEX along with a detonating cap, can be inserted inside a 5″ x 6″ musical greeting card, undetected. Three pounds of Semtex plastique packs enough punch to raze a two-story building. Terrorists attack with no warning and no rationale. Their weapon of choice is a pliable, odorless substance that is twice as powerful as TNT and is virtually invisible to conventional security devices. It can be hidden in a brief case or a small cassette recorder.

  40. 40
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Again, the bomb in Ireland was TNT, not semtex.

    Investigating gardaí now believe the material seized is TNT. It was initially believed to be semtex.

    100 g of PETN can destroy a car – but it wasn’t the explosive found, either.

    :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  41. 41
    Mike J says:

    Don’t forget Corbyn visiting the grave of one of the terrorists responsible for the Munch Olympics attack.

    Breitbart talks about how much they hate Jews. Corbyn honors people who do something about it.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: That is a different story. I had not seen the update. And I can’t find it anywhere. Do you have a link? Because the most recent reporting I’ve seen still indicates Semtex.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: Again, would you find it to be a massive bomb if it was in your neighbor’s garage?

  44. 44
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No, I wouldn’t find it a “massive” bomb.

    Of course, I would be worried if I heard about such a thing.

    But not because it was a “massive” or “staggering” bomb – but because it was a bomb.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  45. 45
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s in the link you posted way up in the early comments. Apparently they updated the story after you read it.

    Robin Schiller
    June 3 2017 6:46 AM

    A massive New IRA bomb plot was foiled after gardai seized a staggering 6kg (13.2lb) of explosives in Dublin’s north-inner city.

    Heavily armed detectives carrying sub-machine guns stopped a seven-seater taxi during a dramatic arrest in Ballybough shortly after 6pm yesterday.

    Gardai, aided by the army and the bomb disposal unit, arrested two men and seized the lethal explosives.

    Investigating gardaí now believe the material seized is TNT. It was initially believed to be semtex.

    The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation by the Special Detective Unit (SDU) into dissident republican activity.

    (Emphasis added.)

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  46. 46
    msdc says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Corbyn is hated so much by everyone he’s won three elections

    Two elections for party leader, held under a new set of rules that didn’t exist prior to 2015. Meanwhile his party’s been losing seats in local council elections, and he badly bungled the Labour campaign against Brexit. (Not surprising, as Corbyn is a Euroskeptic.) Basically, imagine if Debbie Wasserman Schultz was not only the 2016 DNC chair but also the presidential nominee.

    and no Blairite will stick their head up to run against him again.

    When somebody loses a no-confidence vote by 172 to 40, it’s not just the Blairites who are lined up against him, and he had no shortage of opponents in the last leadership election. But your last comment reminds me of that old saying, “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

  47. 47
    kdaug says:

    The first game studio in Austin I worked for was called… SimTex (we so clever).

    Matter of Orion, Master of Magic, etc. We were bought by Spectrum Holobyte, who was then bought by Microprose, who then collapsed

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: Fine. At this point, the argument is semantic.

  49. 49
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: See #5 again. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: Tracking. This is interesting because every other report I’ve seen, including those after this update don’t include that update.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: What type of explosives were used in Kabul? Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

  52. 52
    Diane says:

    The press absolutely hates Jeremy Corbin, because the British press is essentially right/centre-right and Corbin is a traditional Labour leftist of the pre-Blairite variety. Ever since he was elected leader, he has been portrayed as the looney leftist who is unquestionably unelectable, including by his own Parliamentary Labour Party which is still full of holdovers from the Tony Blair New Labour era.

    What has changed in the last few weeks is that

    1. the UK has kind of a fairness in reporting rule that requires media during an election campaign to give parties equal coverage and let the leaders speak for themselves. This, coupled with the publication of the election manifestoes, means that for the first time since he became party leader the British electorate has actually heard Corbyn speak for himself, and it turns out he doesn’t sound like Joe Stalin at all – more like the old Labour Party before Maggie Thatcher convinced them there was no alternative to a deregulated, free market, everyone-for-themselves, trickle down, small government paradise, and rather like the social democracy they still have in Scandinavia. And after years of the centre right party skewing ever further right (as with the Tories, so with the GOP) and the so-called party of the centre left (as with Labour, so with the Democrats) shifting rightward to follow them, it’s quite revelatory to be reminded that government has a function other than shunting more and more of the national assets to the very rich, and should instead be using those assets to make life better for everyone, and people are responding to it.

    2. The Tories were so confident of victory that instead of doing their usual pretending to be compassionate conservatives who are reluctantly forced to impose austerity because there really is no alternative, they published a manifesto showing what a bunch of nasty buggers they really are, specifically promising that elderly people who have paid into the NHS all their working lives are now going to be asset stripped of their homes if they end up needing long-term social care (the “dementia tax”), thus pissing off the elderly who have always been the reliable core of the Tory vote.

    That’s why the polls have closed so much.

    I still don’t think Corbyn will win the election, because Labour has lost Scotland to the SNP, and there are an awful lot of Little Englanders in the UK who will always vote Tory because their primary issue in the privacy of the voting booth is the fear that someone not-white might move into their street. But the significance of this campaign is that it re-establishes that there actually is an alternative to the seemingly inexorable rightward drift into neoconservativism and neoliberalism that has been going on since Reagan/Thatcher, and that’s a bit of an earthquake. For the first time in the lifetime of many British voters there is a Labour Party that offers an alternative to Thatcherism, instead of working within Thatcherism’s parameters and just trying to mitigate its worst effects. Instead of dying out as it was supposed to, and seeing its working class voters go to demagogue nutters (like in the US) or new further left formations like Syriza and Podemos, the Labour Party actually seems to be re-establishing itself through this election campaign as a party of the broad left, and that’s a welcome reversal to the general collapse of the major left of center parties in so many western countries over the last few years.

    And no, there isn’t a credible alternative Labour leader, as Corbyn’s challengers are Blairites and that’s not something that elicits a lot of enthusiasm anymore in the British electorate, millions of whom would just like him to go away.

    And also no, most British people aren’t wetting the bed over Corbyn shaking hands with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, seeing as the fecking Queen and Prince Charlies did it too.

  53. 53
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: See #24. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Again, the point was the reporting. If 13 pounds is “massive” and “staggering”, what words do you use for 3000 pounds?)

  54. 54
    Morzer says:

    @mainmata:

    Corbyn had a long and sordid association with the IRA which extends far beyond one comment. Corbyn has lied persistently about that relationship and has claimed that he and his would-be chancellor, John McDonnell, were working for peace. This is, to be blunt, horseshit. Corbyn and McDonnell had no part in the peace process, other than encouraging the IRA not to make terms and praising them even as they murdered British citizens. Even the IRA were quite disconcerted by McDonnell’s fervor on this point, by all accounts. Neither Corbyn, nor McDonnell, nor for that matter their idiot sidekick, Diane Abbott, should be anywhere near public office. It’s one of the sadder ironies of British politics that the Tories are collapsing under the weight of their own incompetence, arrogance and corruption slightly after Labour made itself unthinkable by selecting an endlessly hypocritical and vacuous student politician to be its “leader”. Corbyn has managed to convince British Jews that the Labour party is anti-Semitic (and, looking at Corbyn’s long record of associations with very dodgy Islamist politicians and extremists, plus the utterly unconvincing mess of the Shami Chakrabarti “inquiry”, who can blame them?) Then, of course, we have Corbyn’s catalog of idiocies and moronic ideas, shared by McDonnell and Abbott. These include a belief that Venezuela was an example of economic management to follow, that Mao and Stalin were great leaders unfairly blamed by the West for a few unfortunate incidents and accidents caused by zealots etc etc. 20 million deaths just isn’t as meaningful as it once was, apparently.

  55. 55
    👩🏽‍🔬 Martin says:

    I’m sorry, but Corbyn is an idiot. He just has stupid ideas and says stupid things.

  56. 56
    Another Scott says:

    @Diane: Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: I am not an EOD guy, 3000 lbs of shitty explosive can be less than a few pounds of fancy stuff.

  58. 58
    Morzer says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    There is a significant difference between the “old” IRA, who signed on to the peace deal and have, by and large honored it, and the “new” IRA who are head-bangers and thugs and want nothing more than to wreck the joint.

  59. 59
    efgoldman says:

    @👩🏽‍🔬 Martin:

    Corbyn is an idiot. He just has stupid ideas and says stupid things.

    When did that ever stop someone from entering national politics?
    Just look at congress; or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: It was relative to the original estimation that this was semtex. The point OO is trying to make is that they type of explosive matters. The bomb last week in Kabul may have needed to be that big because it was homemade (I haven’t bothered to check, but the vast majority of IEDs, including the VBIEDs, are roll your own). Think Timothy McVeigh’s truck bomb. If you can accomplish something as, if not more lethal, with only 13 lbs or so of a proper explosive then yes it would be considered a massive bomb.

  61. 61
    Morzer says:

    @Diane:

    no, there isn’t a credible alternative Labour leader, as Corbyn’s challengers are Blairites and that’s not something that elicits a lot of enthusiasm anymore in the British electorate, millions of whom would just like him to go away.

    All the indications are that the British quite like Blairism, despite Corbyn’s endless string of lies and misrepresentations about it. They don’t trust Blair himself any more, but that’s a very different proposition to the one you have outlined. As for Corbyn himself, he’s object of a pernicious cult that endlessly excuses his lies, incompetence and utter inability to think beyond the very limited set of idiotic ideas that he acquired back in the 70s. The only reason he might not lose by a landslide is that Theresa May has managed to make a complete hash of an election against a Labour party that was losing seats and by-elections to the Tories at an unprecedented rate for a party in opposition. As for Corbyn’s own views – those have been carefully hidden under a manifesto that is mostly stolen from Ed Miliband, but contains an amusing amount of Blair’s own ideas with a slight coat of pink varnish. Once the Tories find a semi-competent leader, which I expect to be sooner rather than later, Corbyn is going resume normal service as a bumbling, dishonest crank.

  62. 62
    msdc says:

    @Diane: Owen Smith is a Blairite? Social democrat Owen Smith?

    I guess “Blairite” has become the across-the-pond version of “neoliberal” – a tribal attack that no longer says anything meaningful about the target.

    @Morzer: I knew about Corbyn’s fondness for Chavez and his ties to the Marxist-Leninist (i.e. Stalinist) wing of the old British left, but I didn’t know he’d opposed the peace process. Disappointing, but not surprising.

  63. 63
    Morzer says:

    @msdc:

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/jeremy-corbyn-should-not-be-allowed-to-rewrite-the-history-of-his-support-for-the-ira/

    You want a reasonably solid history of Corbyn and McDonnell on Northern Ireland – try the link above. Corbyn is endlessly dishonest on this subject, as on so many others.

  64. 64
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “can” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.

    The bomb in Kabul did massive and severe damage. FTFNYT has photos.

    It clearly wasn’t as massive as the Ryongchon NK disaster in 2004, but it was pretty massive.

    I’m no explosives expert, either.

    (I think I’m about done, too.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  65. 65
    Morzer says:

    @msdc:

    Basically the Corbynites want everyone to believe that we have always been at war with East Blairia.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: Have a nice evening. None of them compare with Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Next question?

  67. 67
    Morzer says:

    The infamous neo-liberal rag the Guardian has quite a useful article if you want to get a sense of Diane Abbott’s view of the world and indeed her supposedly changing view of it:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/28/diane-abbott-under-fire–afro-remark-questioned-about-ira

    Remember that this is the person Corbyn supposedly thinks would be an acceptable Home Secretary . (One of the 4 major offices of state in the UK.)

  68. 68
    efgoldman says:

    @Morzer:

    Then, of course, we have Corbyn’s catalog of idiocies and moronic ideas

    So, Corbyn is their left-side version of Apricot Asswipe, then?

  69. 69
    Morzer says:

    @efgoldman:

    Pretty much. I have seriously wondered whether Corbyn might just be Putin’s finest creation, but it’s hard to tell whether Corbyn is just another Putin investment paying out or whether it’s just Corbyn being the dishonest student politician he always has been. It’s interesting that his chosen media guru is Seumas Milne, who genuinely is a Stalin fan-boy. We are talking about someone who wants to argue that the number of Stalin’s victims is controversial. He’s basically the Stalinist equivalent of a Holocaust denier. He’s also got quite a cult of Putin going on.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/po.....umas-milne

  70. 70
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There are counter-examples, of course, especially in war zones.

    We don’t know (from public reports) what the Kabul bomb was. Other than it was estimated to be 1500kg of “explosives”. We do know, though, that the folks making these bombs have 15+ years of experience with them even if they’re “home made”. And we know that Iraq and Afghanistan have been over-run with high explosive shells and more for decades – materiel that isn’t always in the hands of the good guys….

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Again, I’m no expert either.)

  71. 71
    Sirkowski says:

    Because populism is as stupid on the left as on the right.
    Corbyn didn’t give a toss about Brexit because capitalism is teh evils.
    Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s strategy guy, is a Stalin apologist and a Putin supporter.
    I don’t know if Corbyn is still a Trotskyist, but that’s the sure mark of an imbecile.

  72. 72
    Morzer says:

    @Sirkowski:

    I think Corbyn’s always been a Stalinist, not a Trotskyite. It’s one reason why he’s willing to bring back into the Labour fold a variety of despicable groups who do nothing but repel decent people.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: Back to semantics.

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @Morzer:

    I think Corbyn’s always been a Stalinist, not a Trotskyite.

    And to think, in this country some people wanted to take Bill Clinton to task because he went to Moscow as a student.

  75. 75
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Heh.

    Bartleby

    Night all. :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  76. 76
    Brisket says:

    I don’t think the dislike for Corbyn has anything to do with his previous support for the IRA, regardless of how wrong he was.
    It’s because he’s successfully taken over the Labour Party, which was supposed to be the property of the technocratic centrists. He’s enticed thousands and thousands of new, mostly young voters to the party.

    Imagine this scenario:
    -Bernie Sanders wins the 2016 primary, surprising everyone in the media and professional arm of the Democratic Party.
    -Desperately unhappy with this outcome, they demand another vote.
    -Sanders wins again, thanks to the votes of thousands of new party members (mostly young and minorities).
    -About half the sitting Democratic senators and congressmen say they’ll refuse to work with him and that he must resign. Media call him a lame duck, etc. Democratic party plunges in the polls. The senators and congressmen blame Bernie.
    -Election time comes. Democrats are expected to lose massively. As the election draws closer, their share of the vote continues to rise unexpectedly, thanks to excellent performances by Sanders, who maintains a patient, focused demeanour despite the actions of his colleagues.
    -The Left is split between Sanders supporters and those who cannot vote for him because ‘he stole the party’ (by being popular) or ‘he loved the Soviets’ (equivalent of Corbyn/IRA-Palestine moans.)

    This is the Corbyn situation explained for Americans by analogy.

    (And Blairite should be an insult. The man is a war criminal. The same people who thought the Iraq war was a great idea are the ones opposing Corbyn now. Same BS as in the USA — the more consistently you’re wrong about everything, the better your chances of becoming a newspaper columnist or political representative…)

  77. 77
    Sirkowski says:

    @Morzer: I don’t know if he was an actual Trotskyist, but in 88 he wanted to rehabilitate Trotsky. Close enough for me.

  78. 78
    Morzer says:

    @efgoldman:

    Corbyn does associate with Stalinists and their fellow-travelers with remarkable consistency. People call him a Trotskyite because that’s the lazy man’s term of abuse for the extreme left, but his friendships and allegiances have almost always gone to the Stalinist side of things. If you look at the people and groups he’s rehabilitated (disastrously) into Labour, the common theme is that they are Stalinists or on good terms with them. I suspect that comradeship explains much of Corbyn’s apparent comfort with anti-Semitism, which has dropped support for Labour among Britain’s Jews to unprecedented levels.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: I’m aware. I’ve been through the basic IED/counter IED training prior to deployment, have sat through a lot of briefings in and out of theater where IEDs of various types were discussed, and have read far too many after action reviews of what happens when they go off – including when they take people with them. I’ve also spent significant time providing support to combat engineers and EOD and spent a fair amount of time providing support to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization’s Science Directorate.

  80. 80
    Morzer says:

    @Sirkowski:

    I think that in 1988 Corbyn was basically trying to bring the extreme left together against the real Labour people who wanted to disown any and all connections with them. In 2016, he was signaling to the same people that he was open for business and would let them back into the party so that they could vote for the Dear Leader and keep him in power. The extreme left in Britain has always been fragmented into small, squabbling groups, so had trouble getting and keeping any sort of power in Labour as a whole. They could embarrass the party, but that was as far as it went. Corbyn gave them the chance of taking power in the party from the people they had always hated and pursuing their dream of wrecking the British political system to the point at which revolution would occur. (You may have heard this story before!) They are, to borrow a phrase, intensely relaxed about lying, and perfectly happy to keep losing elections, provided the party is purified and ready for the inevitable day of glorious anarchy when the Tory party finally wrecks things beyond repair and they can lead the dictatorship of the proletariat. It’s a sick fantasy, but they’ve clung to it as their fundamental mythology for decades. You’ll understand many things about Corbyn much better once you know that he doesn’t actually want to win power. Actually, that would be a disaster for him. He wants the big smash-up and then a real leftist revolution. That’s the real prize for his gang.

  81. 81
    efgoldman says:

    @Morzer:

    the common theme is that they are Stalinists or on good terms with them.

    Dayumm. Old Joe has been dead for [counts on fingers and toes] 63 years and there are still “Stalinists”? What’s next? [Woodrow] Wilsonites? Disraeliists? Kaiser Wilhelmites?

  82. 82
    Morzer says:

    @efgoldman:

    That’s the extreme Left in Britain for you. Oddly enough, there was some talk of how Theresa May might be the next Disraeli, but that seems to have encountered a certain degree of turbulence.

    Impressive number of fingers and toes you’ve got there!

  83. 83
    efgoldman says:

    @Morzer:

    Impressive number of fingers and toes you’ve got there!

    I double counted

  84. 84
    Morzer says:

    @efgoldman:

    I won’t ask what other appendages you might have double counted.

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud: It is.

    Corbyn is essentially what Bernie Sanders was supposed to be, a actual progressive liberal who is authentic and apparently a nice person.

    He got the Hillary Clinton treatment HARD for the last two years since winning the labor leadership.

    The fuckups in the Labor PLP have been plotting against him since day one and essentially been fighting a civil war within the party trying to go back to Tony Blairism “moderate” shit.

    So Think of Labor as the Democrats here, only there the dirty lefties WON and took over.

    Then the sore losers became “Bernie-bros” trying to sabotage their own party.

    But due to how inept they were, Corbyn won AGAIN.

    And now the Tories made the same mistake.

    Declared an early election, weren’t ready for it, and Corbyn was.

    And here we are, looking at perhaps the biggest upset in UK history.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Morzer:

    Corbyn does associate with Stalinists and their fellow-travelers with remarkable consistency.

    Oh FFS, that’s the shit the Tories have been flinging on him and the gullible keep falling for.

    The man is by all accounts, (yes, even his fucking enemies concede this) a nice person. He actually thinks peace first, violent solutions last.

    Stop falling for the Clinton smears just because its a man this time.

    /Yes, folks, you’re acting like the same lemmings that fell for the Benghazi shit.

  87. 87
    Morzer says:

    @TenguPhule:

    It’s based on facts and it’s not a Tory smear. I’ve given you links that you can read, or you can go back to jerking off incoherently while fantasizing about a civil war.

    As far as I am concerned, halfwits like you do more to help the RWNJs than anything else.

  88. 88
    TenguPhule says:

    @Sirkowski: Replace everything you’ve thought or said about Corbyn, with Hillary Clinton.

    Take a long moment for it to sink in.

    You’re welcome.

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    @Morzer:

    It’s based on facts and it’s not a Tory smear.

    Sure, I’m sure that’s why you’re spouting a line of shit that Tories and their supporting media have been slinging for months. It’s exactly like how the Bernie-bros and Republicans were tarring Hillary Clinton for talking to shitty people. You’ve built up delusions in your head based on words on paper from sources that have been unquestionably worse then the FYNYT ever was on Clinton.

    So keep on fucking that chicken and keep supporting the Tory assholes. Because its Hillary vs Trump all over again in the UK and this time Hillary isn’t the woman.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    @Morzer:

    Corbyn and McDonnell had no part in the peace process, other than encouraging the IRA not to make terms and praising them even as they murdered British citizens.

    And that is complete horseshit. So I guess we all know how fucking reliable a source you are now.

    How is the weather in Moscow, comrade?

  91. 91
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Labour should have nominated Bernie instead of Corbyn.

    Bernie woulda won.

  92. 92
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Goes both ways, going back a long way. English governorship/occupation/whatever isn’t the whole story.

  93. 93
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    The flagship policy marks a gamble as it risks angering core older Tory supporters. David Cameron repeatedly pledged to maintain universal pensioner benefits, but Mrs May’s team believes that pensioners can no longer be fully protected from austerity.

    On Wednesday it was unclear whether the Prime Minister would also abandon the so-called triple-lock, which guarantees a rise in the state pension every year.

    Writing in Thursday’s Telegraph, Mrs May defends the welfare cuts by saying she is prepared to “take the big, difficult decisions that are right for our country in the long term”.

    The Torries are openly running on gutting social security to hard working whites and they’re still winning. Not even Trump did that.

    Maybe running Corbyn and losing a winnable election wasn’t a good idea, no?

  94. 94
    John Revolta says:

    @Morzer: Links my ass. The fact that you’d come around here and drop links to the fucking Spectator tells me all I need to know.

    Fuck off now, Tory scum.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    Maybe running Corbyn and losing a winnable election wasn’t a good idea, no?

    Corbyn was the only one ready for it.

    And if the fucking PLP Blairites hadn’t started a fucking Civil Revolt right after Brexit vote, Labor would be in a much better place.

    As it is, Corbyn STILL has managed to cut the Tory lead to single digits.

    Anyone that wants to blame Corbyn for this mess forfeits any right to complain about Bernie-bros or Purity Ponies in 2018. Because you’re condoning the EXACT SAME THING being done to Labor.

  96. 96
    mskitty says:

    Well why NOT have a Civil Revolt post-Brexit, Nigel Farage admitted on camera that he’d lied through his disgusting buckteeth about it …

  97. 97
    TenguPhule says:

    @mskitty: They started it within their own fucking party.

  98. 98
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @TenguPhule: I would vote for him if I was british because I always support the nominee.

    But as a pragmatist, my point is what’s the use in nominating someone you like who has baggage (even when it’s manufactured) that prevents a candidacy from taking off in favorable winds.

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch:

    But as a pragmatist, my point is what’s the use in nominating someone you like who has baggage (even when it’s manufactured) that prevents a candidacy from taking off in favorable winds.

    But that’s my point. He was actually getting things turned around after a lot of hard work last year

    And then the FUCKING PLP FUCKED LABOR HARD. That was not Corbyn’s fault, that was pure sabotage by the British Purity Ponies. Most of the drop in Labor’s polls occurred after that monumental fuckup, nobody was going to trust that party to be able to govern when the Blairites showed they were such complete fucking morons.

    As it is, its a miracle that Corbyn still managed to erase most of the Tory lead simply by being competent and authentic. He’s genuinely a nice person from all accounts, when even his enemies have to concede that point to him. He’s not charismatic, but he listens to people and is willing to learn. Why he gets so much flack for being peaceful, I have no idea. I mean FFS, *I* admire that he thinks force is a last resort.

  100. 100
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @TenguPhule: It’s easy to demagogue peace.

    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”

    — Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

    Sad!

  101. 101
    Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown) says:

    So you can kind of read the dynamics from this thread already, but here is my read:

    Labour has many camps (like the Dems) but in very rough terms, two of the biggest are the “Blairite” group who are essentially centrists – they basically want capitalism with softened edges. Obama would probably fall closest to this camp, for reference. They were very successful when run by a charismatic guy (Blair), who arguably did a lot of good things for people’s lives, but then utterly fucked up by climbing into bed with Shrub over Iraq.

    There’s also a harder left side of the party, which is itself a swirl of flavours, from loudly militant Union types, to pointy beard intellectual kinds like Corbyn. They controlled the labour party before Blair, in decades of gloriously failed bids for power. They had been nowhere for a long time before Blair took the party to the promised land. Years of Tory neo-liberal austerity and deregulation and degradation of safety nets lets these guys very effectively tap into a rich vein of popular anger right now.

    These 2 groups hate each other for the most part. The Blairites (for lack of a better term) see the lefties as hopelessly naive (to be fair, some of them are), and unlectable (to be fair, they have recent history on their side here). The Lefties (for lack of a better term) see the Blairites as hopeless sell outs, who just want to shill for big corp’s, and do little to solve the UK’s very real problems.

    None of the leaders who ran for head of the labour party in the last election were particularly charismatic or politically gifted. But the labour party changed its rules to let anyone pay a few bucks, join and vote, instead of having to be a long term member. That let Corbyn tap into the populist undercurrents that are flowing everywhere. He brought huge numbers of new members surging into the labour party, growing it enormously, and swamping all his competitors, who were various shades of uninspired Blairite.

    Unfortunately Corbyn himself is not made of charisma either. He’s got the intellectual principled purity thing rolling (which has historically gotten a bit carried away with affinity for people who perhaps shouldn’t), which appeals very strongly to a segment of the British population, but not at all to others whose image of a leader is the more alpha dominant puncher. He is a very genuine and sincere guy, which is finally starting to come across to the public now that they are seeing him directly, not just getting 10 second sound bites filtered through the media and its frames, and he is comfortable with intellectually consistent but unpopular ideas like unilateral nuclear disarmament that many (including in labour) see as naive to the point of craziness.

    The current election is starting to swing towards him, because the Tories have tried to talk a good game about swinging way to the left, but released policies that were genuinely nasty, and hurt a lot of their core supporters (the olds), and Theresa has almost less charisma than Jeremy. She sold her brand as competent, but has now done U-turns on policy announcement fuckups, and denied they were U-turns, which hit her core brand hard. And in the UK the media does actually cover policy a little bit, and has a culture of media giving very hostile interviews that push the interviewee very very hard (to US eyes they come off as spectacularly hostile interviews, to British eyes it’s just putting them through their paces). Corbyn has done ok on those, and May has… done ok, but not that great either.

    Bottom line is that the olds will still show up and vote Tory, and enough Brits will stay uneasy about Corbyn (who, yes, has received very hostile and contemptuous coverage from the media, who see him as not very credible), so our best case scenario is probably still a hung parliament…

  102. 102
    msdc says:

    @Brisket: Interesting analogy, except in this version

    – Candidate Sanders badly bungles a referendum campaign, resulting in the US withdrawal from NATO (or the Paris agreement if you prefer)
    – Then the party calls for new leadership
    – It’s more like 80% of Democratic senators and representatives who tell him to go
    – He ignores them
    – The party gets shellacked in local elections
    – He still hasn’t won anything yet
    – And all the Stalinist smears are actually based in fact.

    Other than that, it’s perfect.

  103. 103
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown): Thanks for the helpful explanation.

    I had one question: why do the olds vote Tory?

    As you know, in the US the olds vote republican out of racial, gender, and cultural resentment and bigotry, as well as religious issues (abortion, birth control, gays). What are the reasons in the UK?

  104. 104
    msdc says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Oh FFS, that’s the shit the Tories have been flinging on him and the gullible keep falling for.

    No, it’s fact. Corbyn has longstanding connections to the Marxist-Leninist wing of the British left (this is the self-selected name of the Stalinists). His communications director, Seumas Milne, is a Stalin apologist who has tried to minimize and deny the number of Stalin’s victims. He’s also, like so many figures on the extremist fringes of the right and left these days, a Putin apologist.

    You can listen to the facts and read the sources Morzer has provided (all of which are supported by plenty of reference to other sources, events, and historical facts) or you can deny them because you don’t want them to be true. Personally, I’m not inclined to trust any sudden expertise on British politics from someone who can’t even spell the Labour party correctly.

  105. 105
    msdc says:

    @John Revolta: And the New Statesman and the Guardian, but you forgot to mention them. This other New Statesman piece gives a good overview on Corbyn’s place in the British left.

    Or, since so many commenters here seem moved to call any Corbyn critic a Tory/Russian troll (you might want to check Corbyn’s political alignments on the latter point), how about this Buzzfeed piece on the growth of fake news on the British alt-left?

    I find it interesting that some commenters are trying to deploy the most stinging criticisms of the American fringe left – purity ponies, fake news bubble, trolls, Putin pawns, etc. – in the defense of a Labour leader who actually represents that faction and benefits from the same practices. But like we say about another political party around here, it’s always projection.

  106. 106
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    I am enjoying this thread quite a bit. FWIW I think those who oppose Corbyn by tying him to ultraleft individuals and organizations need to ask themselves if he REALLY intends to be a tyrant in the mold of Stalin.
    Considering that the UK in 2017 is a far different beast than WWII-era Russia, I’d say not only does he not intend to, but he cannot.

  107. 107
    Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown) says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: most of the same reasons TBH, except that the religious issues aren’t really a factor here. There’s not the same evangelical population, and things like birth control and abortion long since dropped off everyone’s radar. In fact, it was Cameron who legalized same sex marriage a couple of years ago, which was cause for a bit of consternation among some of the olds, but it didn’t cause any real consequences for them.

    The Tories here are basically the daddy party / business cons, these days. It’s mostly about making life lucrative for extremely rich people, with a gentle, coded, undercurrent of xenophobia and classism. UKIP made hay, in part, by picking up this turf that the Torries had left fallow. They do love a bit of saber rattling and flag waving though, but Britain isn’t a big enough power any more for that to crop up much

  108. 108
    Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown) says:

    @Big Picture Pathologist: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. He was interviewed recently on a BBC show called women’s hour, and got the usual punching that comes from Brit journalist quizing a candidate. He got pushed repeatedly, for instance, on whether he would use nuclear weapons, and his answer was that the agreed labour platform was to renew Trident (i.e., the Brit nuclear missile system that gets old and needs updating every so often). He was pushed if he personally wanted to do that (which he is long on record as opposing), and he basically said “this is our platform, this is what we have agreed to do. You lead as much with your eyes and ears as your mouth.”.

    I think they’ve essentially settled on a compromise platform within labour that takes things a bit left of where they were, but not as hard left as Corbyn would do on his own. And that’s pretty much what they are going to have to live with. In the unlikely event they win, a PM isn’t able to get big stuff done without their party, and if he tried making the labour party do full on marxist stuff, he wouldn’t succeed. They are essentially going to have to work as their own internal coalition.

  109. 109
    msdc says:

    @Big Picture Pathologist: I very much doubt Corbyn intends to be a tyrant in the mold of Stalin, much less that he can be, but that’s not really the criticism here. Corbyn’s willingness to turn a blind eye to the crimes of anti-western autocrats (and his willingness to associate with people who are even more explicit in their denials) does not speak well for his ability or inclination to deal with modern day tyrants. Elect an apologist for autocratic regimes and you’ll get… an apologist for autocratic regimes. That’s bad enough.

  110. 110
    Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown) says:

    @Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown): Just to further explain that last bit, let’s do comparative government with the US.

    Start with the American system and remove the president role. Then nerf the senate a whole bunch – it becomes the “house of lords” and is unelected, so has its powers reduced correspondingly. They can start bills off (but not spending ones), and they can advice and tweak other Bills as they ratify them (which is useful because they are less politicized and can listen to experts more openly). That leaves the house of representatives (renamed “house of commons”) as the the key powerful entity. The PM is basically the house majority leader. Each party chooses a leader, and if they have the biggest party in parliament, their leader is now the PM. They pick up some executive powers (so take some of the president’s powers and weld them onto the PM), but to carry out their agenda they have to persuade / cajole / coerce their reps (“MP’s”) into voting for their bills. They have some institutional leverage to get them to do that, but not endless amounts of it. If the government’s MP’s rebel over stuff they can block the PM

  111. 111
    Barney says:

    @Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown): An excellent couple of posts – thank you. As another Brit, I can say you have explained it well, without the partisan spin and sniping that has crept into some other exchanges here. I don’t think there’s much to add.

  112. 112
    Another Scott says:

    @Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown): Thanks.

    Over here in NoVA I only see things through a filter.

    I get nervous about the obvious parallels, though, between US coverage of left-of-center candidates (especially by the likes of Murdoch’s properties) and that that Corbyn has received. But my baseline is – who cares if he associates with Oooh Scary Stalinist-types if May and the Tories have explicitly stated they are going to decimate the social safety net even more? Folks in the UK aren’t voting for King or Tyrant, they’re voting for PM and which party will lead the Parliament. If Corbyn won and proposed to Collectivize the Means of Production and sell off the Royal Navy, then everyone can fight about that at the time. But in the mean time, you wouldn’t be pushing Granny out in the gutter to save a few pounds give the 0.01% a tax cut.

    And it seems like May is much more anxious to do a Brexit deal no matter what than Corbyn is. I still think Brexit is a huge mistake and I would be much happier if it never happened – but it’s not my country and those folks over there have to figure out what to do about it…

    Anyway, thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  113. 113
    Camembert says:

    @Brisket: As Democrats, I think we’re supposed to be pro-Iraq-War now, or else we’re sexist.

  114. 114
    Stan says:

    @Doug!:

    A lot of it is more like organized crime in Northern Ireland.

    It has been mostly organized crime for at least 30 years.

    Also too, count on the IRA to split into competing murderous factions at least every generation. There is never just “the IRA”….there are factions and more factions.

  115. 115
    Stan says:

    @satby:

    Memories are so long in Ireland my people have carried grudges since the Battle of the Boyne.

    Well, the definition of Irish Alzheimer’s is when you forget everything except your grudges.

  116. 116
    unknown known says:

    @Another Scott: oh corbyn’s treatment is nothing like Hillary’s. She was essentially treated as a credible candidate who they just didn’t like very much, and would throw a bit of shade at. Corbyn has been treated as pretty much “lol wut” from the get go. He hasn’t always helped himself there either. One of the big things the opposition has to do is grill the PM every week in parliamentary question time, which is basically a CNN crossfire type show, but with infinitely more expensive furniture, and with heads of parties instead of random pundits. Nobody really cares outside the Westminster bubble, but reading the reports from those, It’s taken Corbyn a very long time to get anything approaching competent at them. There have been repeated times when he should have had the Torries on the ropes and punished them, and he just asked an anodyne question or two and sat down.

    In many ways, it’s been good for him to have that as a learning crucible, and then to have had to negotiate an election platform with the rest of his party (particularly the Blairites). Those have shaped him into a far better candidate, and you are starting to see that pay off now that he’s able to put it into the election spotlight, and people start to see that he doesn’t look like the professorial ideological boogeyman that they had been lead to expect.

  117. 117
    unknown known says:

    @Another Scott: also agree on electoral preferences. I just got my “vote labour” sign put in the front yard. #1 priority is NOT Tories, and Labour seem a perfectly acceptable outcome. If they did get power, I think they’d struggle at first, with a serious learning curve. But that’s a whole lot better than premeditated evil (even the Tories kind, which is leavened with some random good ideas and intentions here and there – they haven’t achieved the Republican’s monolithic evil yet). They’d stand on their own dick quite a bit, but they do have some good ideas, and they’d start putting it together eventually. Might not do their long term electoral prospects a lot of good (voters tend not to forgive the initial stumbling), but given the real alternatives, and the impending hard Brexit shit show, I’m definitely on board.

  118. 118
    mainmata says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wow, my comment down thread was written without knowing about this Dublin incident. Still, I don’t think the IRA is targeting the UK anymore. (Not sure what this latest incident was about.) Lots of things that are confusing and I actually work on international affairs.

  119. 119
    unknown known says:

    @mainmata: Imagine that ISIL stopped targeting the USA, and then in 15 years we were pointing out that “person X used to say nice things about ISIL”, do you think everyone would shrug their shoulders and say “oh well, whatevs”.

    This is not remotely to equate ISIL and the IRA… the former is several orders of magnitude nastier and more barbaric and evil, and the fight between Britain’s security services and the IRA was dripping with moral black and grey on both sides. It’s just the only analogue the US currently has to a foreign agent that would target terrorist attacks at you – the point is that it leaves an impression that doesn’t fade quickly.

  120. 120
    Sourmash says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Any chaance you could post a link to those? Your analysis is always so strong, cogent and insightful, about anything, I’d be interested in what you have to say about this. Thanks!

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