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>> No. 17177 Anonymous
3rd January 2019
Thursday 9:53 pm
17177 UK army recruitment ads target 'snowflake' millennials
> The British army is calling on “snowflakes, selfie addicts, class clowns, phone zombies, and me, me, millennials” to join its ranks in a recruitment drive targeting young people.

> The campaign, featuring posters and TV ads titled Your Army Needs You, suggests that what is seen as a weakness or a character flaw by the rest of society can be seen as a strength by the army. The campaign states that the army could use the “compassion” of “snowflakes”, the “self-belief” of millennials, the “confidence” of selfie takers, and the “focus” of phone zombies.

> The ad also shows a gamer up all night, which the army sees as showing stamina and dedication. In another scene, someone is shown slowly stowing supermarket shopping trolleys, to the annoyance of their workmates, but the army could instead read this as them being a slow and steady perfectionist with patience.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/03/uk-army-recruitment-ads-target-snowflake-millennials

I personally can't see any good coming from employing a snowflakes compassion in an army role, and also, that fucking leap from just putting trolleys away.
37 posts omitted. Last 50 posts shown. Expand all images.
>> No. 17279 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 1:28 pm
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>>17277

> an army recruitment historian like yourself

Wordfilter candidate of the year 2019 lads
>> No. 17281 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 4:24 pm
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>>17277

I've never seen someone so defensive over an informative post that doesn't actually criticise you in any real way.

No wonder they didn't let you in the army. The posters say nowt about them needing tearywhingers.
>> No. 17282 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 5:01 pm
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>>17281

Army Recruitment Historian, reporting for duty.

I might be massively over-thinking things, but I think that the backlash against these ads (and the previous This Is Belonging campaign) might really be about the fact that they humanise recruits. Portraying soldiers as rock-hard Rambo types is psychologically comfortable, because we don't have to think about the human cost of war. It's preferable to think about armed forces recruitment as a process of selecting natural born warriors who are somehow innately different from you and me.

These ads portray recruits for what they are - normal young people with normal fears and insecurities, who will be shaped into a cog in a war machine. They portray the real reasons why most young people join the forces - because they want to better themselves but don't have a lot of options, because they're lonely and want to feel a sense of camaraderie, because they're lost and want a sense of direction. The armed forces have a lot to offer these young people, but they sometimes demand the highest cost in return.

Those are painful things to think about when you see flag-draped coffins landing at Wootton Bassett. We'll salute the fallen soldier, but we don't want to think about the boy who signed up to get out of Burnley, fought for his mates and died for his country. We don't want to think about his mum and dad, the posters still up in his old bedroom, the box of his old school certificates in the loft. We don't want to think about his fear and pain and suffering.

As I said, maybe I'm over-thinking things.
>> No. 17283 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 5:11 pm
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>>17282
I think you're partly onto something, but there's also a sort of Americanish militarism where it's seen as disrespectful to humanise soldiers. If you insinuate that maybe they've got fears, you're saying they're cowards, that sort of thing. It's probably linked to the way many people conflate being pro-soldier (as human beings, not as a general concept) with being pro-war and vice versa.
>> No. 17284 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 6:00 pm
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>>17283

>the way many people conflate being pro-soldier with being pro-war and vice versa.

I was talking to Are Lass about this the other day, and she seemed to be having real trouble with that concept. She seemed not to even understand people joining the army out of lack of better prospects or sheer desperation. She'd rather be on the dole her whole life than anything in the armed forces, as though it's a fate akin to a prison sentence and you have to personally scalp a Shamanist to pass your basic training.

She's very much a Tu... You know where type of person herself, though, so I've come to expect that ironic lack of compassion for things she reckons are The Baddies. However, reading between the lines, I think for a lot of people these posters have struck a sore nerve; it's that defensiveness that kicks in when you know someone's criticism conceals a grain of truth you'd rather not face.
>> No. 17285 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 7:28 pm
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>>17284
> Tu... You know where
acrobat?
>> No. 17286 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 7:41 pm
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>>17283
>It's probably linked to the way many people conflate being pro-soldier (as human beings, not as a general concept) with being pro-war

I don't know if it's pro-war per se. I'd have said it's more to do with the increase in nationalism (and things perceived as nationalism) so it's part of the inevitable pushback against this; support soldiers and that means you're probably a dimwitted racist in the eyes of certain people. It probably also ties in with snobbery against the working class and any excuse to be snooty over people you feel are beneath you, particularly intellectually.
>> No. 17287 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 9:25 pm
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>>17286

>It probably also ties in with snobbery against the working class and any excuse to be snooty over people you feel are beneath you, particularly intellectually.

Nothing brings me more bitterness in this world that this has become a common feature of what we seem to regard as the left nowadays.
>> No. 17288 Anonymous
7th January 2019
Monday 10:30 pm
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>>17286>>17287
Everyone's a snob about the working class these days, even the working classes, especially the working classes. Where have you pair been for the last twenty years?
>> No. 17289 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 10:03 am
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>>17287
>Nothing brings me more bitterness in this world that this has become a common feature of what we seem to regard as the left nowadays.
Who do you mean by "we"? No one I know associates the Left with Remainer Twitter celebrities like you seem to.
>> No. 17290 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 12:40 pm
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>>17289
It's a common feature of the Right to regard the Left as a homogenous immutable monolith who all think and act the same way. Sad really.
>> No. 17291 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 12:41 pm
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I would support the British Army if it weren't, like pretty much all armies of the West and global North, a tool for enforcing the West's hegemony and predominance as part of its sometimes more, sometimes less covert scheme of 21st century colonialism.

You can't seriously claim that the wars that have been instigated and fought by the global elite in the countries of the Second and Third World in the last 20 years have improved things for humanity as a whole.

They say being in the Army builds character. It's just a shame that those who command our Western armies never have any. And as long as that doesn't change, I've got nothing against a soldier as a person and a human being, but I resent those in power that send young men and women to their graves, or make them come home as cripples with various limbs missing, all under the false pretense of some sort of misguided idealism which is really just a ruse to make them give up their lives so the rich get richer and don't have to fight over global resources themselves and risk their own arses.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_7FaWnlhS4
>> No. 17292 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 12:43 pm
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>>17289

The general public consensus, you prick, leave true Scotsmen out of this.
>> No. 17293 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 1:22 pm
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>>17289
This is applicable to the right as well, but most people who are vocally to the left are utter knobheads.

If I use people I know well as a sample then a lot of them are generally left-wing to some extent. However, the ones who are vocally left-wing can broadly be described as ignorant, incapable of critical thought and unambitious wasters who want everything handed on a plate to them.

If you based your opinion of the left on these bellends then it's no surprise you'd think they're a shower of bastards. If you based your opinion of the right on their bellends then it'd be no surprise if you thought they're a shower of bastards.
>> No. 17294 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 1:42 pm
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>>17290
And of course the left would never categorise the right as a bunch of Nazis. Right?
>> No. 17295 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 1:58 pm
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>>17293

This probably isn't an unreasonable stance for most politics spouted on social media, but I think it leads to a sipperary slope into assuming the 'silent majority' think just like you, and are reasonable, when they might very well believe all the same shit the twats do. They are smart enough to not open their mouths, it doesn't follow that they therefore have subtle and nuanced positions.
>> No. 17296 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 2:01 pm
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>>17294
Again, it depends what you mean by "the Left". I know the mainstream media and our new "public intellectuals" of the Twitterverse like to paint even vague social democrats as Communist daft militant wog sympathisers nowadays, but I'm not so disengenous or dense to class that as the "general public consensus" (as if there's such a fucking thing). And yes, there's poor, repressed racial supremacists who are equated with Nazis in similar quarters, too.

More generally: why do you talk with authority and certainty about things you clearly don't understand?
>> No. 17297 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 3:10 pm
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The modern left-right distinction is tedious and performative. It's all about social issues and tokenistic ideas, almost nobody sits down and thrashes out a proper framework for how things should be done. There's almost no "ideology" to it, just a sense of who's good and who's bad. The status quo is taken almost as given. Even the Bennite left have lost their serious economic edge and have come down to more public spending and a few state owned enterprises within a broadly neoliberal framework with the natural rate of unemployment and other such nonsense kept intact. To have any chance of a meaningful discussion you need to talk about specific ideologies. Peter Hitchens is "right wing" yet economically left of the average Labour MP.

Not that it matters. Very few people - and nearly all of them with grey hair - engage with the serious economic questions of how we should be doing things post-2008. Everyone wants to talk about who's made a fool of themselves on Twitter, nobody can quite grasp that within living memory the government targeted full employment with some success. Nobody cares about the balance of trade (Christ, arguably Trump is thinking at a higher level than us by that metric.), or what the value of the pound actually reflects. Why would you? Who cares about any of that. The bus was a lie! The left can't meme!

Even on the right, if you're of a liberal-Thatcherite persuasion the zealous anti-state position is much more muted, much more disappointing. There's a bland and lazy attempt to reduce the level of public expenditure, but little serious engagement with how to get the state out, out, out of our lives. Indeed in cack-handed attempts to create markets within public services instead of simply shuttering them, the state has arguably been bloated beyond belief, without even the token justifications of worker-comfort that you could give to any union-demanded bloat from the old high-spend social democrats.
If you're of socially conservative persuasion, there's nothing. The state has very little interest in preserving the traditional family grouping or getting society together. Your taxes stay the same but the local library, park and hospital have simply got to close. There's no money for them anymore, we've got to spend it propping up a foreign owned conglomerate who've buggered the latest government IT thing. Nobody would dare speak of rolling back the permissive society.

I could do the same with factionalising the left but they've got more factions. It's the same thing though. Nobody wants to do the boring (interesting) bit of real politics, deciding who should get what, why they should get it, when they should get it and how they should get it. Everyone wants to argue about identity, engage in language policing and shibboleth detecting and meme, meme, meme. All the while the world and the economy spiral the plughole.
Now, rather than do the very boring and serious work of re-drafting this mess i'm going to post it as-is.
>> No. 17299 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 5:51 pm
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>>17276
>If it was working, they'd still be doing it.

I think you're confusing defence administration with being grounded in reality. It's an easy mistake to make but if in doubt you can tell always by whether it's the British Armed Forces handling recruitment or...Capita.

>We've got enough Royal Marines. I don't know if you've noticed, but our recent military conflicts have been remarkably lacking in amphibious assaults. We've got plenty of paras and we're doing OK for infantry.

Actually, no. Even the Yanks have trouble. Hence all the bollocks about amalgamating regular and territorial so we have an army on paper. Fortunate that everyone else is in just as much if not more of a shambles.

>>17297
So what you're saying is the general public and our elected officials are incompetent?

And I think for the record, borrowing has gone down under this government which is what they promised and we're on schedule for a tax cut.
>> No. 17305 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 7:14 pm
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>>17297

I couldn't agree more.

I've said for a long while that we're slipping into this age of meaningless politics. Stuff like identity politics (the feminarchy, legbut rights, whether or not owning a white van makes you racist) serves only to dilute the quality of discourse and distract us from the frankly terrifying reality of it all. But people flock to it.

People say the average person is more connected to politics than ever before thanks to social media, but that's disingenuous at best and flat out untrue at worst. The truth of the matter is that politics itself has stooped to a level even the most vacuous pleb can understand, because it's barely above playground name calling.

It's easy for someone to share some sneering NewsThump article about Brexit and feel good because they think they're on the moral high ground, but rarely does anyone try to engage with the meat of what is often a complex topic with no easy right or wrong answers. We've all got someone on Facebook who shares those tedious Acrobatic text-only memes all day but wouldn't have the first clue if you asked them what they think can be done to help alleviate homelessness, for example.

They're just in it for self image, to make themselves feel good, and that's just fine with the people in charge. The more time people spend arguing about whether schoolchildren can be trans, the less time anyone is going to spend considering meaningful wealth redistribution or the issue of an ageing population. The longer they can kick that can down the road and win elections on PR alone.
>> No. 17306 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 7:17 pm
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>>17305
>We've all got someone on Facebook who shares those tedious Acrobatic text-only memes all day but wouldn't have the first clue if you asked them what they think can be done to help alleviate homelessness, for example.

"Vote the Tories out."
>> No. 17311 Anonymous
8th January 2019
Tuesday 10:35 pm
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>>17299
>So what you're saying is the general public and our elected officials are incompetent?
Not him, but that's a perfectly reasonable conclusion with abundant empirical evidence to support it.
>> No. 17312 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 12:34 am
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>>17305

>but wouldn't have the first clue if you asked them what they think can be done to help alleviate homelessness, for example.

Seldom do you see these people actually doing anything for the community either. Whether 'left' or 'right', they're happy to go on about how bad the other side is, but the idea that you might have to chip in and do something to make it better eludes.

I do understand what you mean, it seems quite evident a distraction. I think the internet has (or is starting to) exposed that.
>> No. 17313 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 12:48 am
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>>17312
>I think the internet has (or is starting to) exposed that.

I admire your optimism.

Definitely agree with your point; the average keyboard warrior/champagne socialist/Corbynista is happy to point out obvious problems, but rarely comes to the table with some kind of solution.
>> No. 17314 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 11:38 am
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>>17312
Helping people with my own hands runs into its own problems though. Doing so is rarely a systematic solution to serious issues, it's a "made a difference for that starfish" situation and I'm not the kind of person who feels good about doing that if the problem still remains. I'm more interested in the wellbeing of others than in my own personal salvation. In religious terms, I would prefer to be condemned to hell by personal guilt in a fair world than ascend to heaven as the kindest man in an unfair one. (I don't recommend this kind of thinking for a laugh, it's not very fun since we're definitely in the unfair world and apparently you can't just absorb evil like Pringles to resolve that.)

In my experience the internet takes hypocrisy more seriously than evil. The MP who passed anti-homelessness legislation hasn't given all their money to the homeless or volunteered at a shelter for a photo-op, why should they have the right to tell us to pay attention to the issue? Now that the hypocrisy has been pointed out, we can get on with our lives. Including the homeless, who will remain so.
(For what it's worth and in the interest of full disclosure: I don't have a direct solution to homelessness myself, only a series of indirect policy preferences that might help reduce it and a willingness to see money thrown at it. In social-policy terms I confess to being one of the outdated people more focused on cash-transfers than on services.)
>> No. 17315 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 11:48 am
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>>17314
>I don't have a direct solution to homelessness myself

That's okay, the solution already exists and was being enacted until 2010. Nothing needs to be devised, invented or solved. This is a political problem.
>> No. 17317 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 12:49 pm
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>>17314
>I'm more interested in the wellbeing of others than in my own personal salvation.

This. Is it just me or is it rare to find people like this? I know it can be unhealthy to think this way, but you can balance it out while caring for yourself too. Is it so ridiculous to ask for people to enter politics because they actually care about the people they're governing? I know there are politicians out there that do, but the ones in positions to make big changes seem to care much more for themselves and theirs, instead of everyone.

We seem to have created a system where the selfish, ignorant or uneducated are more likely to get into government where they could make some serious change I'm look at you, Rudd instead of the ones that actually know their shit and give a damn.
>> No. 17318 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 1:17 pm
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>>17317

I'd argue it's more that we have created a system where the selfish and unscrupulous are more likely to be successful in general.

A big problem with our current state of politics is that anyone who'd be reasonably competent as a governor is doing other, better things; while anyone who'd be truly compassionate about it is never even given a foot in the door, and forced to sell out if they do. Corbyn is a notable exception to that, and look how much they hate him for it.
>> No. 17319 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 2:29 pm
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>>17318
While I like Corbyn, I feel like he's more interested in being on the right side of everything than making necessary compromises. I don't mean "necessary" compromises like promising to continue austerity to show responsibility to the electorate, or committing to war, or really making any policy changes at all. It's more a matter of emphasis: Why does he (and the left in general) spend so much time on the Israel-Palestine issue? It's a contentious issue within the Labour party that leads to bouts of disunity, in an area where Britain has comparatively limited influence (because the US will always back Israel), which the British electorate doesn't really care about and which opens up avenues of political attack on him and the party. Why not put the time and political capital to better use on domestic issues, or fighting the cause of places where Britain has more influence? "Because it's the right thing to do" is definitely an answer, but it's not particularly efficient or cost effective.

I accept this has some nasty conclusions about ignoring some injustices, exchanging the suffering of distant foreigners for the comfort of people in Britain, generally getting your hands dirty, but it seems necessary to pick your battles if you want to affect change rather than just have the right answers. If you want a more positive outlook, you don't have to ignore those things as a party - it's a division of labour problem. Let the foreign secretary do all the thinking about Israel-Palestine, have the others focus on something else rather than trying to ensure everyone knows everything.
>> No. 17320 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 3:13 pm
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>>17319

That's partly my point really, Corbyn represents the far end of that scale where he's pretty much one of the most respectably ethical politicians we've ever had, but he has absolutely no pragmatism or judgement. He's the exact opposite of a slick centrist and deft management type like Cameron, but I don't think many people would disagree if you said that guy had all the ethical qualities of a norovirus outbreak.

I don't think you can really be both in today's age without compromising your integrity in some way or another.
>> No. 17321 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 4:06 pm
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>>17320

Well this is 'the lefts' problem atm. It wants to be uncompromising and dogmatic. Compromising is regularly seen as selling out, but compromising is necessary if you want to manage anything larger than yourself, because delegation rellies on trusting someone else's judgement on something, Corbyn is wholly uncompromising which is considered a virtue by his support but impractical if you actually want to achieve anything. And also means it his his job to dictate philosophy on every detail. A philosophy that isn't written down so everyone around him has to second guess if he is going to contradict them. And ends up on him focusing on the minor points rather than a grand vision.
>> No. 17322 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 4:15 pm
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It's only tangentially related to the current discussion, but I was in Card Factory the other day and it took me quite a while to realise a card with Obi-Wan Kenobi on it wasn't actually a picture of Jeremy Corbyn.
>> No. 17323 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 4:17 pm
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>>17320
> respectably ethical politicians we've ever had

This is so tired and boring. He's only just been honest about his policy on Brexit. There are countless examples of his double standards and not so 'kindler,gentler politics.'

I will never, ever, understand the hype around Corbyn, he's not even disagreeable but rousing, he's just a boring old man.
>> No. 17324 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 4:41 pm
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>>17323 I will never, ever, understand the hype around Corbyn

If you're of a left leaning persuasion, surely it's nice to have a left leaning leader after years of Blair and a few transient irrelevants?
The fact that he seems to be an inept leader is secondary.
>> No. 17325 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 4:45 pm
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>>17323

Well I was going to say something about the policies he talks about that people like. But really, I know deep down that it's more or less irrelevant what he (says he) stands for, even if he is well liked for a lot of that.

It's purely and simply the fact that you know he's not the sort of bloke who'd sell his own grandma into scientific testing if there was a cut of the profit in it, which 100% of all other politicians in office right now absolutely and unambiguously are.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs but there you have it.
>> No. 17326 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 5:04 pm
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>>17325

>which 100% of all other politicians in office right now absolutely and unambiguously are.


Ah I see, you're another person that likes him for being honest because he's useless and you get your politics from Facebook.
>> No. 17327 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 5:07 pm
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>>17323
You have to remember who Corbyn stood against in 2015 and 2016. It's not so much that he's a particularly good candidate - maybe he was the best one the far left could've fielded, but that's not exactly a high bar. What's hype about Corbyn is who he isn't. He's not Yvette Cooper, he's not Andy Burnham MP, he's not Liz Kendall and he's definitely, definitely not The Right Honourable "who?" for Pfizer Owen Smith.
I'd call myself old-Labour right, but I'm glad Corbyn won. His political patronage (Bennism) has always been silly but by becoming leader he's preserved the possibility of an alternative to the bland focus-group-obsessed politics-as-applied-management and 90s nostalgia that dominated the party 'establishment' before his victory. Even just discovering you had the ability to say no to the inevitable victory of one of the other Blandidates was exciting at the time. It's not one man, it's not even one ideology, it's keeping the possibility of a political alternative alive. It hasn't come about yet, but it's provided the kind of clean break with the past that was needed - and that's as true for any ideological successor to centrist Blairism as it is for any left project.
>> No. 17328 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 5:09 pm
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>>17326

I don't see you naming a counterexample of an MP who wouldn't sell their grandma into scientific testing.

You didn't even see the part of my post where I imply that he's not even honest, because you're a dense fuckwit who's more bothered about shitting on Corbyn than hearing answers to the question you posed.
>> No. 17329 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 5:11 pm
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>>17327

This is what I don't get. People used focus-groups because they work, people were bland and middling because most people are and it works. People appealed to the centre because that's what won it as The Sun might say.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being respectable, appealing and a bit bland if it's what works. I don't understand what people don't get.

Facebook mums complain about indistinguishable men in suits but they wear them because people who don't seldom get as many votes.

Labour have had their experiment and the man can't even poll ahead of a woman holding the country to ransom, who on earth is still inspired by this?

If this was a Tony Blair MK ii this drama would already be nearly over and not just beginning.
>> No. 17330 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 5:22 pm
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>>17329
Imagine living in a world where there's absolutely no hope of things getting better, only constant managed decline, because that's what the responsible people in charge think has to be done. Imagine if you knew certain parts of the country - the people who already have nice lives - were going to be pandered to because their votes matter (swing seat) but yours don't (safe Labour since 1931).

We had Tony Blair Mk II, the Right Honourable Heir to Blair MP. He was the future once. You may recall he triangulated an EU referendum on the basis that focus groups and polls said it was a good thing. I forget what happened after that, when the forgotten and unimportant people in the seats that don't matter were given a vote in a ballot that would be decided by popular vote rather than constituency. I assume it went the same as in 1975 though - everyone did the sensible thing and history continued according to plan.
>> No. 17331 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 5:28 pm
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>>17330
Okay but the man can't win, so there's literally 0 point dealing with.

I also resent the, again, Facebook politics that Blair did nothing.

>Minimum wage
>Crime falling by a third
>15k more police officers on our streets
>85k more nurses
>(Can't remember but tens of thousands more doctors)
>Winter fuel payments
>Sure start centres
>Free breast cancer screening
>Youth unemployment down massively
>600K chldren out of poverty
>Civil Partnerships.

These things all makes lives better, just because everybody on a low income isn't suddenly short of everything they've ever wanted doesn't mean things aren't making a difference.

You know why 10% of an increase in the quality of increase with Tony Blair and the like is better than 100% with Corbyn? Because Blair's could actually happen.

Politics is built on compromise and that's where Jeremy fails, because Blair compromised and realised you can't carry your ideals alone and need to sometimes meet in the middle.

Jeremy can't do that, and will forever be relegated to causing more damage than ever by being completely ineffectual. People voting for this should ask themselves how many more years they're giving poor children in these situations whilst they dream about Corbyn because he said 'Iraq war bad', which we've all since learnt in the case.
>> No. 17332 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 6:11 pm
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So here's what I don't like about Blairism - it's not the ideology. It's the absence of a sense of history. That's quite a normal thing in British politics and journalism, but still. Nobody can accurately tell you why we went to the IMF in 1976. Here's the problem: If your history begins with the winter of discontent, you're going to be blinded to the shifting sands of political consensus, which shifted before the winter of 1979. Everyone voted for full employment between 1945 and 1974. It worked between 1945 and 1972 or so. Unemployment was never above a million. It used to be believed that any party that let it get above a million would be unelectable. Since 1975 or so, it has never been below a million but we had two very long-lasting governments. Nobody promises full employment anymore - it hasn't been mentioned in a Lab/Con manifesto since 1987. This isn't just a British thing, it happened worldwide. It happened alongside a lot of more commonly used reference points for the change - privatisation and deregulation being the favourite examples. In Australia, most interestingly, the transition from the 1940s-70s consensus to the post-1980s consensus took place under a Labour administration. I don't doubt that the original Blairites were aware of this and looked to it as an example. There was a transition and parties had to adapt. They did so everywhere, here included. That's history.

Let's say that Labour's 1997-2005 manifestos were perfect. All people wanted is a "moderate" with "centrist" policies, of which the Blair government is the prime example. Are we seriously going to believe the world hasn't moved on since then? Why should the political rules that existed from Black Wednesday to the Global Financial Crisis be assumed to be eternal? If we can do that for then, why not for any other period? Are we really to adopt the historical arrogance of imagining that all the electorate really wanted from the Great Reform Act of 1832 onwards was New Labour, New Life for Britain? Are we really to believe that the postwar consensus period was just one mistake in a string of mistakes going back to "let there be light!", but finally between 1979 and 2001 we'd perfected everything and there will never be a consensus-shift again?

The real task ahead of Labour is to figure out where the wind is blowing and then sail towards it. It needs a real outlook on our system of doing things - to prepare for a change as radical as that from the postwar consensus to Thatcherism. What it doesn't need is to put the blinders on and assume that one bout of infighting in the 1980s represents the entirety of party history, or that the answers lie somewhere in Benn's diaries. For all the current crop of Blairites are willing to talk about radicalism, very few view it anything but the terms of the 1980s-90s. The modernisers are nostalgists: their enemy is the Labour left and their ally is the marketplace. That is a useless viewpoint in the world of Trump and Brexit. They are as lost and bewildered as the last few full-employment holdouts in 1987. Labour needs modernisers - be they of the left or of the right. Failing that, it couldn't do them any harm to give a few trivia fans a job. (hint hint lads.)
>> No. 17333 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 6:43 pm
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>>17331
I appreciate that I didn't make myself clear. I should've bolded "hope". It's really what I was getting at. Hope's emotional, not rational, but it's very important. Building a wall, nationalising the trains. They sound nice and you can point to them. You can hope they're done. You can't point to a 1/3 reduction in crime. Most people are bored by statistics and if you feel safer in the streets, you probably aren't going to credit the government for it. Stupid, ungrateful, but that's how politics works. Massive investment in the NHS is good, but not if it can slow down again. When you run off a list of permanent Labour achievements, there’s a noticeable decline in how easy they are to point at. The NHS, mass housing and the modern welfare state, The Open University, Legalised homosexuality, Equal pay for women... the minimum wage and civil partnerships which have now been supplanted by gay marriage. Oh, and parliaments for Scotland and Wales and peace in NI, but who cares about the regions? Take away hope and things get very miserable indeed. It becomes increasingly tempting to vote for anyone who'll promise you something new if the alternative is nothing changing.
(For what it's worth, I left out winter fuel payments, sure start centres, etc because Labour's own achievements list on their website doesn't include those. Maybe this ties in to the point below.)

Blair was also his own worst enemy when it came to making it known he was doing good, not just doing "competence". I’d argue he purposefully crafted the impression of not doing good, because if you're giving money to single mothers and the poor then you're going to look left wing - and we all know what the electorate thinks of left-wing Labour leaders. That exacerbates the tendency not to credit the government with the things they've done - even if they did present it, it was almost inevitably in a textbook, boring way with little emotional appeal. Most people don't give a toss about a 15% reduction in some statistic. You've gotta make the message hit home.

On Blair himself: Credit where it's never given to him personally, he pushed Brown (who now pretends he was some kind of heir to Corbynism ruined by 2008, which I love.) to actually give the NHS more money, yielding the best quote in British politics - "You've stolen my fucking budget!"
Also: It's common to defend Blair with the explanation that compromise is necessary in politics, but Blair didn't really compromise. He made the party compromise with him. It's not like he wants the same world Corbyn does but realises it isn't viable to have it all. He has-and-had a completely different vision, and he could be bloody stubborn in pushing that vision. He said it himself at one point: Even if the old left-wing policies were the route to victory, he wouldn't take that route, because he thinks it's the wrong route for the country to take. Those aren't the words of a serial compromiser.
>> No. 17334 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 7:54 pm
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>>17333

>He made the party compromise with him.

Interesting post, thanks for writing, but this is if you don't mind me saying an often overlooked point.

Blair made the party compromise with him so he could compromise with the country. Corbyn is doing it the other way around, unfortunately he just happens to be doing it at the height of Brexit.
>> No. 17335 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 8:06 pm
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>>17333

>I appreciate that I didn't make myself clear. I should've bolded "hope". It's really what I was getting at.

How much hope do you want m8? Because Blair had literally all of it. The '97 election campaign was like coming up on white doves.




>> No. 17336 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 8:10 pm
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>>17335

The first video is one of my favourite things ever.

I'm not sure why, maybe it's because it would be derided now, or maybe it's because I was a little young to properly appreciate it, or the fact that at the end his grinning face pops up.

It just speaks of a simpler time.
>> No. 17337 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 8:17 pm
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>>17336
It makes me want to do a flashmob where everyone in a road stands up and shakes the hand of some random guy then walks down the street smiling and laughing beside him while upbeat music plays.
>> No. 17338 Anonymous
9th January 2019
Wednesday 11:00 pm
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>>17335
I was looking on ebay for old election junk (Because of course I was, I'm a right saddo.) and this set of issues of The Economist is up. That headline in the bottom right: "Tories deserve to lose: Labour doesn't deserve to win." That fascinates me, it's one of those little things you dig up that goes against the flow. These instances of quiet unease and cynicism before 1997 fascinate me. There was another article I can never find - I'm sure it was in The Independent from about 1995 or 1996 - that basically said while Labour was polling great and certain to win, the party faithful were miserable because they had to explain some rather boring, incremental policies on the doorstep rather than gushing about the bigger ones that made them enthusiastic about Labour politics in the first place.
Obviously knowing the Conservatives were going to get their teeth kicked in for once was great, and that made up the overtone of the campaign. Even the grumpiest of old-Labour holdouts would've had to smile at the sight of them falling on election night, but that less-noticed undertone interests me more because it foreshadows the impending malaise. The "meh." election of 2001 and good old 35/55/2005. Heck, even the 1997 election had a very long campaign period for an election that was won before the campaign began.
>> No. 17339 Anonymous
10th January 2019
Thursday 12:16 am
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>>17338

It's not a huge leap to expect that The Economist would be somewhat sympathetic to Major and The Independent circa 1996 would be underwhelmed by Blairism. From the current vantage point, the most striking fact is the disparity between the relative competence of Major and the drubbing he took in '97. Subsequent Tory leaders have rather changed his legacy.

There was undoubtedly a malaise with regards to New Labour after the millennium, but there was also a sense of inevitability. Why bother turning out to vote for Blair in 2001, when Hague couldn't win a meat raffle? Much of Cameron's tenure had the same basic dynamic, albeit without the initial rush of optimism.

I suspect that disenchantment is an inevitable product of remaining in office. Reality can never measure up to expectation. If you actually improve the country, you'll eventually hit the point of diminishing returns and be criticised for losing your touch. If you're a competent caretaker, you'll be criticised for doing fuck all. It's really hard to run a country and people will always hate you for trying, even if you're actually doing a decent job of it.
>> No. 17340 Anonymous
10th January 2019
Thursday 6:33 pm
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>>17339
As Tucker puts it, Brown was "hounded out by the fucking press" and is now thought of a lot more fondly then Blair.

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