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The UK is F****d
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Waragainstsleep
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Sep 7, 2022, 04:57 PM
 
At this point, the British Conservative Party isn't a political party any more, its just an embezzlement scheme to steal taxpayers money for its rich donors. Our new PM is as bad as the last one without any character to hide behind. Continental leaders have already dubbed her "The Iron Weathercock" because she has a Margaret Thatcher fetish (she keeps copying her outfits and poses and recreating photos of Maggie) and will change direction entirely based on which way the wind is blowing. She was a staunch retainer and is now ultra conservative. She's not very bright and is a massive hypocrite. She "doesn't believe in handouts" but has claimed her Amazon Prime subscription on her Parliamentary expense account.

Our new health secretary is a fat, boozy, cigar-smoking, pro-life piece of shit who has spent recent years denying severely disabled people benefits they needed to live including making amputees prove their limbs hadn't spontaneously grown back, spinal cord injured paraplegics hadn't regained full feeling and function, and various others with debilitating chronic conditions hadn't miraculously regained the ability to go back to work. More than one committed suicide because of the actions of our Dept of Work and Pensions.

Our entire new cabinet are a bunch of amoral, incompetent comic book villains with hardly two brain cells to rub together between the lot of them.

They are refusing to help deal with our ludicrous energy bills in any meaningful way by implementing a windfall tax on the £170B of profits our energy providers are set to make over the next couple of years on the basis that "it would stifle investment". Presumably not the investment in infrastructure that none of them have been making for years. Actually, they have announced a scheme to help but its basically the bare minimum required to persuade us not to rise up and murder them which was starting to look pretty likely come October.
During summer, we produce near enough gas to be self sufficient and not require Russian gas but the Tory government forced one provider to close down the storage facility that made this possible, then "had to" pay them to reopen it again or rent it from them or some other nonsense.
All this on top of Johnson's government which did away with the tendering process for government contracts during Covid and ended up buying worthless PPE from Jewellery companies and every other Tom, DIck and Harry who asked for millions. As long as they were mates of a Tory MP. Or donors. Including one Tory peers wife (fresh from earning the largest corporate fine for incompetence in UK history) who then oversaw the disappearing of £37B of public money on a Test & Trace system that never materialised and that Apple & Google offered to do for nothing.

The UK is royally fucked and this shower of absolute c**ts aren't going anywhere for at least two years. Unless we drag them out of Westminster and set fire to them. Or threaten to.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Thorzdad
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Sep 7, 2022, 05:43 PM
 
Yeah, I feel for you. When I read she outright declared that tax cuts for the wealthy would be good for the economy, I knew you folks were utterly hosed. My condolences.
     
reader50
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Sep 7, 2022, 05:50 PM
 
Trickle-down economics. It's been four decades of failure. But if we just cut taxes on the wealthy even more, maybe they'll finally become generous on hiring and raises. Stay the course - get those taxes to zero on the wealthy. Eventually, it has to work.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Sep 7, 2022, 06:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Trickle-down economics. It's been four decades of failure. But if we just cut taxes on the wealthy even more, maybe they'll finally become generous on hiring and raises. Stay the course - get those taxes to zero on the wealthy. Eventually, it has to work.
Hah! We did one better: we reimbursed millionaires multiple times for taxes that they never even paid! (To the tune of more than 30 BILLION dollars in Germany alone)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CumEx-Files

And the guy who was best buddies with some of the bankers who devised the scheme and, er, can't remember whether he was at any of the crucial meetings or had, er, any knowledge of what now, exactly?

He's our Chancellor now.

(Still better than the last mess we had — Merkel got us through Covid "okay", but her fossil-fuel and automotive lobbyist politics, and the fact that she killed a thriving, world-leading German solar panel industry, are kinda REALLY coming home to roost, lately.)

But I cannot convey the utter dismay with which we've been watching the UK hurtle towards the drain over the past years. It's truly depressing. I am so, so sorry.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 7, 2022, 08:13 PM
 
If we don't get the Tories out and then lock them all up and throw away the keys, they will be back to do this same shit again. In a perfect world, we'll give them a simultaneous taste of their own medicine and greatest fears and pack them all off to a hard labour camp in Rwanda to break rocks until they drop dead while also repatriating every penny to their names.
No-one who matters is even hinting they might deserve more than to simply be voted out of office. The problem is they probably haven't broken any actual laws because they just change the laws to do what they want. I highly doubt Keir Starmer has the balls to backdate laws that would allow him to arrest and imprison the whole rotten bunch of them. Company directors can get massive sentences for negligence that results in death. Apparently there is no threshold for members of her majesty's government to receive similar punishments.
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MacNNFamous
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Sep 7, 2022, 10:06 PM
 
Come to America, it's so much better. Wait. Nope. Honestly I think this world is fucked. I just want Rona to mutate and kill like half the population, I don't even care if I'm in that half. Too many people, and shit is too fucked, too corrupt. We need a do over and earth needs a break.
     
Thorzdad
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Sep 7, 2022, 10:32 PM
 
I just keep waiting for either
A) The previously-undiscovered asteroid extinction event, or
B) Aliens

I mean, I really kind of would love to see how the world would react if aliens actually, publicly arrived. Peacefully arrived. None of that “world banding together to fight off evil aliens” crap. A peaceful arrival. Or, as peaceful as possible, given most governments’ first reaction will probably to attack.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 8, 2022, 01:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Hah! We did one better: we reimbursed millionaires multiple times for taxes that they never even paid! (To the tune of more than 30 BILLION dollars in Germany alone)
That's a big one. Fortunately for Scholz, there is a war going on.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
(Still better than the last mess we had — Merkel got us through Covid "okay", but her fossil-fuel and automotive lobbyist politics, and the fact that she killed a thriving, world-leading German solar panel industry, are kinda REALLY coming home to roost, lately.)
OMG this still makes me so mad: the Merkel government sold out our renewables sector in order to sell a few more cars to China — penny wise, pound foolish as our British friends would say. The barriers against erecting new wind mills have been so tall and massive that the expansion of renewables had pretty much stopped. Instead, there was insistence on opening the Nordstream 2 pipeline.

The sad thing is that Scholz seems to be trying to copy Merkel's demeanor. Sadly for him, it is not perceived as “stability”, but simply as being indecisive and only able of doing the right thing when all others have already gone ahead. But it seems Merkel didn't teach him the actual magic trick.

The current government is kinda sad, the SPD and Scholz are usually nowhere to be seen, the Green Party is trying to do its best (its cabinet members are the most visible) and Lindner from the Liberal Party (= the German libertarians) seems to always want to go in the other direction, emphasizing that his party has more overlap with the conservatives. :facepalm:

It is not that I am super happy with the compromises the Green Party agreed to, but currently, the SPD seems to have no ideas, the Green Party has the right ideas, but always falls short (typically to get something passed). And the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have the wrong ideas.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
But I cannot convey the utter dismay with which we've been watching the UK hurtle towards the drain over the past years. It's truly depressing. I am so, so sorry.
Same here. In my field (academia), Britain was an important job market, but I'm not sure I really want to apply anymore.
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Spheric Harlot
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Sep 8, 2022, 05:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The sad thing is that Scholz seems to be trying to copy Merkel's demeanor. Sadly for him, it is not perceived as “stability”, but simply as being indecisive and only able of doing the right thing when all others have already gone ahead. But it seems Merkel didn't teach him the actual magic trick.
The "magic trick" is staying power. Remember that Merkel spent a good decade (and longer) confronted with accusations of indecisiveness, at least domestically.

I remember her post-Fukushima decision on nuclear power as the first truly decisive moment — but it was made almost entirely on the terms of the energy industry lobbyists.

The next time she really came to the fore was when she forced the Bundestag vote on gay marriage, to keep the topic out of the electoral campaigns in 2017. (I still think that was a brilliant tactical move, btw. — knowing it was unavoidable and would cost her party massive losses in the election, selling it as following public opinion, while still clarifying that she personally, as a conservative, was opposed, and publicly voting against it. Genius.)

I hope she is remembered for the complete dismantling of our energy future, though. Her and the whole fucking CSU.
     
Thorzdad
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Sep 8, 2022, 10:26 AM
 
On top of all that, it appears you are about to lose your queen, possibly today.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 8, 2022, 08:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The "magic trick" is staying power. Remember that Merkel spent a good decade (and longer) confronted with accusations of indecisiveness, at least domestically.
I don't disagree at all with the characterization, she wasn't called Teflonkanzlerin for nothing. But when you talk to other people, a lot liked “her steady hand” and staying above “petty squabbles of everyday politics”. My point is that Scholz isn't being perceived in the same way. To be fair to him, shirt really hit the fan during his chancellorship and a lot of the bills that haven't been paid during the Merkel era now come due.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I remember her post-Fukushima decision on nuclear power as the first truly decisive moment — but it was made almost entirely on the terms of the energy industry lobbyists.
Arguably her second was her decision to accept as many refugees in 2015 and take a stand. Unlike the other decisions you quoted, killing the extension of the operating permits of nuclear power plants and force a vote on full marriage equality, this one did not have as high and consistent public support as the others. It was the first time I can remember that she took a stand and risked something.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The next time she really came to the fore was when she forced the Bundestag vote on gay marriage, to keep the topic out of the electoral campaigns in 2017. (I still think that was a brilliant tactical move, btw. — knowing it was unavoidable and would cost her party massive losses in the election, selling it as following public opinion, while still clarifying that she personally, as a conservative, was opposed, and publicly voting against it. Genius.)
Completely agree here: I'm really annoyed that the vote didn't happen earlier, but she stopped the bleeding right before an election and cauterized the wound. Even though I am quite at odds with Merkel politically, she is probably the most gifted politician of her generation. And she personally hasn't had any embezzlement scandals or some such. Many cabinet members under her did, and she did not fire them, but I don't even remember credible accusations of a scandal like Scholz has.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I hope she is remembered for the complete dismantling of our energy future, though. Her and the whole fucking CSU.
The CSU has a special place in my heart. Having lived in Bavaria for a decade-and-a-half (I'm originally from North Rhine Westfalia), I really had to laugh out loud when I heard him suggesting that Germany should really be aggressive and allow fracking … in the Northern states, far away from Bavaria. And that Bavaria is really behind when it comes to switching to renewables, they are the most dependent on nuclear energy and very dependent on gas. They have blocked the construction of the “energy highway” as well as the construction of new windmills due to their 10h rule. The CSU thinks they are super clever and are still high on their “laptops with Lederhosen” image. But just looking at how many friends are moving away from Bavaria, people with good jobs, it seems Bavaria has reached a tipping point. (To be fair, some are moving away from Munich to smaller cities and villages inside Bavaria, but others have left Bavaria outright. Many places in Bavaria are simply way too expensive.)
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OreoCookie
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Sep 8, 2022, 08:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
On top of all that, it appears you are about to lose your queen, possibly today.
Maybe this is an unpopular take at an inopportune time, but I think monarchies are a thing of the past and should simply be replaced with elected officials.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 8, 2022, 09:31 PM
 
The monarchy is just there for the tourists and the traditionalists. They don't have any real power any more. And they will continue to diminish as time passes. Still, it is the end of an era. It'll be weird having a king. New postbox ciphers. New stamps. New money I guess.

Meanwhile Truss has lifted the ban on fracking as part of her energy plans despite the fact it has never yielded any gas whatsoever here. She really sucks.
I'm glad Boris didn't get to revel in the stately duties that will now fall to Truss in the wake of QE2s passing, but she is already terrible at that too.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 9, 2022, 12:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The monarchy is just there for the tourists and the traditionalists. They don't have any real power any more. And they will continue to diminish as time passes. Still, it is the end of an era. It'll be weird having a king. New postbox ciphers. New stamps. New money I guess.
I am slightly more plugged into the Japanese Imperial family, and the sad state it is in. Basically, the laws that govern the Imperial family from the 19th century force that the Imperial family keeps on shrinking. When female members of the Imperial family marry a commoner, then they have to leave the Imperial family. Plus, there is the press. The Japanese tabloids can trade blows with the British tabloids when it comes to this subject. Recently, a princess did the exact same thing what Harry and Meghan did, former Princess Mako now lives in the US with her husband.

Edit: I take it back, The Daily Mail also complained about his pony tail and his shorts.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Meanwhile Truss has lifted the ban on fracking as part of her energy plans despite the fact it has never yielded any gas whatsoever here. She really sucks.
I'm glad Boris didn't get to revel in the stately duties that will now fall to Truss in the wake of QE2s passing, but she is already terrible at that too.
But there is a silver lining: unlike Trump, Johnson was eventually pushed out of power.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 9, 2022, 04:10 AM
 
There are still cultists who want Boris back. It has been speculated that when Truss inevitably crashes and burns, Boris will mount a comeback. Sadly I can see this working. Among Tories, he's still very popular. Among everyone else, not so much.
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subego
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Sep 9, 2022, 07:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
When female members of the Imperial family marry a commoner, then they have to leave the Imperial family
[Banjo playing intensifies]
     
subego
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Sep 9, 2022, 07:13 AM
 
I dug the Queen because of the movie The Queen.


Edit: also because of “cows”, and her resolute opposition to wearing a seatbelt.
( Last edited by subego; Sep 9, 2022 at 07:53 AM. )
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 10, 2022, 07:47 AM
 
I had a pleasant daydream once that the Queen invited Boris Johnson for a knighthood, then decapitated him instead of knighting him. The realist in me accepted she wouldn't have had the strength to do that. I doubt Charles would get a clean cut but I bet he could still cut deep enough to put an end to him.
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subego
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Sep 10, 2022, 08:52 AM
 
ProTip: decapitation is only for when you want it finished quickly.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 11, 2022, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
ProTip: decapitation is only for when you want it finished quickly.
A very fair point, but I rather thought the spectacle would be satisfying. That kind of extraordinary institutional rejection. Something like that.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 14, 2022, 07:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
There are still cultists who want Boris back. It has been speculated that when Truss inevitably crashes and burns, Boris will mount a comeback. Sadly I can see this working. Among Tories, he's still very popular. Among everyone else, not so much.
It is kinda funny that Boris survived this long. His shtick with the hair, demeanor and all is getting quite old. Ultimately, though, he struck me as a Frank Underwood-type character. I don’t mean to imply he has murdered journalists who have had sex with him, but that he was good at scheming to get into power, but then didn’t know what to do with it. That’s ultimately where I see a lot of people like him going.
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subego
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Sep 14, 2022, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
good at scheming to get into power, but then didn’t know what to do with it
This is how I feel about the Clintons.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 14, 2022, 09:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is how I feel about the Clintons.
That leaves me confused.
During Bill Clinton's presidency, a lot of shit got done. A lot of reforms were passed and the budget balanced. Then-President Clinton seemed very actively involved in all of it, at least until Gingrich came to power. And when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, I also did not get the impression that she was a bag of hot air, not knowing what to do with her power.

Compare that to Johnson: he avoided getting into power when it would have been his turn to negotiate with the EU (just like Nigel Farage), he withdrew from the leadership competition and left that job to Theresa May. And during his time in power he wanted to revisit the agreements with the EU and/or selectively enforce them, raisin picking whatever he liked best.

Why do you feel similarly about the Clintons? I don't claim you have to like them, but I just don't see a basis for that comparison.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 15, 2022, 04:10 AM
 
Johnson did absolutely nothing except procrastinate until the public (which in reality is mostly media) pressure to act made it impossible not to. The only exceptions being where he had opportunity to funnel public money into the hands of Tory donors, members and relatives. At this point the Conservative Party is just an embezzlement scheme to steal public money. Has been for the last few years.
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subego
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Sep 15, 2022, 06:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That leaves me confused.
During Bill Clinton's presidency, a lot of shit got done. A lot of reforms were passed and the budget balanced. Then-President Clinton seemed very actively involved in all of it, at least until Gingrich came to power. And when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, I also did not get the impression that she was a bag of hot air, not knowing what to do with her power.
Clinton was sitting in the chair when revenue from the dot-com bubble windfalled into his lap. That didn’t exactly take vision.

What else? There’s nothing on this list other than “they did stuff”.
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 15, 2022, 08:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Clinton was sitting in the chair when revenue from the dot-com bubble windfalled into his lap. That didn’t exactly take vision.
Look, I don't want to go through the entire Clinton Presidency here, but the argument isn't about whether you or I like or dislike the Clintons. It is whether the Clintons are similar to Johnson.

I just don't think “very good at getting into power, but then didn't know what to do with it” describes neither of the Clinton's very well, rather the opposite. Clinton passed the Crime Bill — which is highly controversial now, but was very popular at the time. The Balanced Budget Act from 1997 was passed two-and-a-half to three years before the Dot Com Bubble burst in the 2000s. Up until Newt Gingrich came into power, President Clinton was involved in bipartisan legislation. Arguably, Gingrich pulled the brakes on bipartisan efforts, because he was concerned that it'd make Clinton (and potential Democratic successors) too popular.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What else? There’s nothing on this list other than “they did stuff”.
But the point is that they did stuff they claimed they wanted and promised to do. And they had the political acumen to build coalitions to ensure laws pass, and necessary nerdiness to work out the details.

Johnson had/did neither, which is the point.
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subego
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Sep 15, 2022, 08:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The Balanced Budget Act from 1997 was passed two-and-a-half to three years before the Dot Com Bubble burst in the 2000s.
I’m singling this out because it’s an example of the type of thing which makes our discussions so frustrating for me.

I said “Clinton was sitting in the chair when revenue from the dot-com bubble windfalled into his lap”.

Windfall revenue occurs from a still intact bubble, not a burst one. I am self-evidently discussing a period from before the bubble burst, no?

Your reply does not address my point past using some of the same words. This happens a lot. I don’t know why it happens, but it always feels like you think comprehending me isn’t worth your time. When I used to lose my shit with you, this was a big reason why.

To be clear, if I believed you felt this way I would have rightfully kept losing my shit. I stopped because I don’t believe you feel this way. I’m not accusing you of thinking that about me, I just end up feeling that way all the time, and don’t really know how to fix it.
( Last edited by subego; Sep 15, 2022 at 09:38 AM. )
     
OreoCookie
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Sep 15, 2022, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’m singling this out because it’s an example of the type of thing which makes our discussions so frustrating for me.
That's true on this end as well.
I'm not ignoring your windfall comment at all, I'm saying that to me the important point is something else entirely: namely that the Clintons (and we mostly focus here on Bill Clinton's Presidency) did have clear policy goals. You are right that a positive economic outlook helps governments balance the budgets, but I was focussing on the political effort: Clinton reached across the political isle repeatedly to realize his policy goals. That requires forethought, planning and skill. He compromised in his Balanced Budget Acts by including cuts to social programs, for example.

You seem to be focussing on the outcome (the budget was really balanced, which you in part attribute to the Dot Com windfall), which is not my point at all.

I also included Gringrich's efforts to poison the bipartisan well to emphasize that the GOP thought President Clinton was too successful at building bridges and getting shirt done.

Like I wrote before, I am at a loss why you seem to think that the Clintons are an example of politicians who were good at getting into power, but then didn't know what to do with it. Nor should my post imply that I agree with some or all of the things he did. His crime bill, which had very wide popular support at the time, put hundreds of thousands of people behind bars, costing them their livelihoods, costing their families and costing the taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars per person per year. But I digress.
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subego
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Sep 16, 2022, 06:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You are right that a positive economic outlook helps governments balance the budgets
You should have said that. Instead, you said:

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The Balanced Budget Act from 1997 was passed two-and-a-half to three years before the Dot Com Bubble burst in the 2000s.
Respectfully, this doesn’t come off like you think I’m right.
( Last edited by subego; Sep 16, 2022 at 08:06 AM. )
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 16, 2022, 09:05 AM
 
The Clintons did some good. And were competent at doing both good and bad. Johnson is a worthless, spineless, incompetent muppet. He achieved nothing good, at least not on purpose.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Sep 16, 2022, 09:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Respectfully, this doesn’t come off like you think I’m right.
You are quoting me selectively and forgetting the context, both, the context of the rest of my post and the larger historical context. Why did I emphasize 1997? Because it was the first year of Clinton's second term, and arguably his signature legislation of his second term. Why did I include the time span between the passage of the act and when the Dot Com Bubble burst? To tell you that this effort started way before the Dot Com Boom was on anyone's radar.

It seems to me you got laser focussed on a random detail in my post, interpreted in a particular way and now insist on your interpretation. :shrug:
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subego
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Sep 16, 2022, 09:50 AM
 
My entire post was about how much credit Clinton deserves for balancing the budget. What you term a “random detail” was quite literally the only thing in your reply which directly responded to my argument. Of course I’m going to focus on it.

If when I address a point you can only spare it a “random detail” in your reply, again, respectfully, you have disincentivized me to address a dozen additional ones.
     
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Sep 16, 2022, 09:40 PM
 
In very broad terms, it appears to an outside observer that during my lifetime at least there is an undeniable pattern in the US of Republicans trashing the economy, then Democrats repairing it again. This is all even quite deliberate as the GOP acts by giving tax breaks to those neither need nor deserve them, with the occasional bone thrown to the middle class to get them onside and then the Dems have to do the hard thing and raise tax to fix things. Which of course makes them unpopular and is why they then lose power to the Republicans who then repeat the pattern.

The amazing part is that the Republicans have managed to convince so many that they are still the party to be trusted with the economy, even though they are the ones who keep fucking it up. It appears we have fallen into this same pattern in the UK now. If the Dems ever learned to convince the voters that those slight tax increases were what makes the economy work properly, the GOP would be doomed forever.
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Sep 17, 2022, 11:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The Clintons did some good. And were competent at doing both good and bad. Johnson is a worthless, spineless, incompetent muppet. He achieved nothing good, at least not on purpose.
Johnson wasn’t competent at scheming to get in power?

Honest question. I’m an American. It’s not like I really paid attention.
     
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Sep 17, 2022, 05:50 PM
 
Here. Let me rephrase my initial statement.

In terms of the methodology of accruing power, the Clintons are visionaries.

To contrast, when it comes to a vision of ideal governance, they have none. They’ll bend whichever way the wind blows, and for them it blows “generic democrat”. The only reason they even bother pretending they hold those principles is as a means to maintain power.

In other words, they’re really good at scheming to get into power, but then don’t know what to do with it.
     
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Sep 17, 2022, 09:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
In other words, they’re really good at scheming to get into power, but then don’t know what to do with it.
This doesn't seem so bad. A good schemer with a cause is scary. Better to have someone who gets in, but doesn't break anything. Just do the boring, daily business of keeping the country running.
     
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Sep 18, 2022, 04:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
This doesn't seem so bad. A good schemer with a cause is scary. Better to have someone who gets in, but doesn't break anything. Just do the boring, daily business of keeping the country running.
Except that it is: a good schemer with a cause can be great or scary, it just depends on whether you and the others agree with the cause or not. Merkel was great at getting the boring stuff of governance done. Personally, she was not corruptible, she had a good work ethic, a government nerd. Yet, a lot of shit went off the rails and in the wrong direction. The decline of Germany’s at one point in time world class solar industry, Nordstream 2, stopping the expansion of renewables, no vision to evolve the EU, etc.

I see similar sentiments of Americans: it sometimes verges onto paranoia and fear against a strong government. I’m not saying that this is where you are, reader, but I see it very often. It completely forgets that the job of government is of the people, i. e. it is us. And there are mechanisms to prevent and correct for abuse. Moreover, IMHO government needs to be strong enough to deal with the problems of its time. If you look at the sizes of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and the like, whose yearly revenue is comparable to that of small nation states, you need a state that can put them in check. Or to deal with climate change. (Of course, we could discuss philosophically whether they should have been broken up prior to becoming so big. We can have that academic debate, and I would probably seriously entertain the idea, but in the end that’s an academic debate.)
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To contrast, when it comes to a vision of ideal governance, they have none. They’ll bend whichever way the wind blows, and for them it blows “generic democrat”. The only reason they even bother pretending they hold those principles is as a means to maintain power.
But why do you think that? I don’t see much evidence. When Bill Clinton was President, the Clintons were centrists and when Hillary Clinton was in the Obama administration, she had been on the center-to-center-right. Of course, we could argue in circles whether they were centrists and thus, wanted to enact policies that were comparatively popular. Or whether they were in favor of popular policies, because they wanted to be popular. Or perhaps a mixture of the two?

As a politician doing things that are popular seems like a pretty good strategy in a democracy. (Although typically the issue is that unpopular, but necessary stuff doesn’t get done.) Yet that is very different from what we said about Johnson: that he had no vision of what to do when he was in power. And he did very little. He let Theresa May negotiate with the EU, let her drink the poisoned chalice only to be against the settlement yet not describing what he is for. “Not like that!” isn’t a good policy description
Originally Posted by subego View Post
In other words, they’re really good at scheming to get into power, but then don’t know what to do with it.
Honest question: how much do you know about how Johnson came to power in the UK and why we made the claim that when he was in power, he didn’t know what to do with it?
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Sep 18, 2022, 07:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Johnson wasn’t competent at scheming to get in power?

Honest question. I’m an American. It’s not like I really paid attention.
It really didn't take very much.
When he was an MP he went on a TV show called Have I Got News For You a few times. Its a comedy panel show that discusses the news and current events. He was mocked ceaselessly but it was entertaining and weirdly helped boost his appeal to people. All he really did after that was a 180 switch to support Brexit at a time when he was the Tory with the highest public profile. And it seems both here and there that being familiar to people is often enough to win an election.
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Sep 18, 2022, 07:06 AM
 
Truss has a reputation for going which way the wind is blowing (on the continent they call her The Iron Weathercock due also to her hero worship of Margaret Thatcher. I assume they use 'cock' instead of 'vane' deliberately too). Oddly Johnson was never tarred with this brush as he should have been. Media bias I suppose.

Oreo is exactly right about Johnson and Truss is the same. Their only priority is helping rich c***s steal and keep public money. Everything else is secondary to this.

In other news apparently Truss' chief of staff is being investigated by the FBI for interfering in one of your elections.
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Sep 18, 2022, 08:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
All he really did after that was a 180 switch to support Brexit at a time when he was the Tory with the highest public profile. And it seems both here and there that being familiar to people is often enough to win an election.
If we want to give subego some context, we should mention
I think that bears emphasis and a little more explanation in case subego hasn’t heard the details. Politicians making a 180 is nothing new, but I think Boris is in a class of his own here: Johnson literally penned a pro Brexit and a pro Remain speech/column and decided last moment he’d pivot and join the Brexiteer camp. And this was on probably the most important political decision in a generation, not just some priorities in a budget. Evidently, he was basing his decision on what would get him into power. And no matter what he is saying now, his positions (for or against) either aren’t deeply held or power is more important to him than that.

(The Torys at the time went through a phase like the GOP is now: there were quite a few Remainers in their ranks, including Liz Truss who is a pro-Brexit prime minister and beating out a competitor, Sunak, who really was a Brexiteer. What’s up with that, Waragainstsleep?)

Later when Johnson had the chance of fighting for premiership with Theresa May (also a former Remainer), he kindly gave her the first bite of the shirt sandwich by bowing out of the competition. During his premiership he made no attempt to make any hard decision to solve the problems the Brits have with Brexit (a complicated multi-pronged topic for another day, but basically, Britain’s asks were mutually logically exclusive). As far as I can tell, though, and Waragainstsleep, correct me if I am wrong, but nothing substantive was changed about the agreement with the EU during his premiership. I don’t think they even made headway putting the Brexit agreement into practice. (The agreement May had negotiated was pretty bare bones and a lot of the details needed to be negotiated further to clarify e. g. administrative procedures and the like.) I can just remember a few shenanigans where he wanted to circumvent agreements with the EU and an embarrassing government report of how much Britain’s economy had suffered due to Brexit. But I am sure I have missed a lot of the nuances.
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Sep 18, 2022, 08:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Truss has a reputation for going which way the wind is blowing (on the continent they call her The Iron Weathercock due also to her hero worship of Margaret Thatcher. I assume they use 'cock' instead of 'vane' deliberately too).
What really baffles me is how Sunak, who was a Brexiteer from the beginning, had to prove his Brexit bona fides to the Tory party against Truss, who used to be a Remainer.

(Among Torys Margaret Thatcher worship seems to be like Ronald Reagan worship in the US.)
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Oddly Johnson was never tarred with this brush as he should have been. Media bias I suppose.
100 % and you have more than a dash of misogyny mixed in there, too.

It isn’t just the press, though: the fact that Johnson had penned two op-eds, one pro-Remain, the other pro-Brexit wasn’t a secret and something he himself confirmed. Does the press help? Yes, but there seems to be more to it. Johnson is really a weird animal: he is known to carefully dishevel his hair to make himself look like an unkempt idiot. He does idiotic stunts and isn’t embarrassed of gaffes, but seems to invite them at times.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Oreo is exactly right about Johnson and Truss is the same. Their only priority is helping rich c***s steal and keep public money. Everything else is secondary to this.
What is worse is that principled policy stances seem few and far between. A lot I see reminds me of the US: a nostalgia for when the UK was a global superpower, resentment for “being forced” to deal with that fact and a lot of issues (like immigration) that are super important in the short term, but now don’t seem to matter at all.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
In other news apparently Truss' chief of staff is being investigated by the FBI for interfering in one of your elections.
I hadn’t heard of that! Are you serious?!?
(So this is why Biden is President now, did he find the 13,000 votes in Georgia before Trump did?!?)
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Sep 18, 2022, 09:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Johnson is really a weird animal: he is known to carefully dishevel his hair to make himself look like an unkempt idiot. He does idiotic stunts and isn’t embarrassed of gaffes, but seems to invite them at times.
It seems to have been his modus operandi since school days to let any obvious shenanigans and scams seem attributable to his buffoonish but pathetically likeable character.

Getting away with evil shit by not being taken seriously.
     
subego
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Sep 18, 2022, 04:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Honest question: how much do you know about how Johnson came to power in the UK and why we made the claim that when he was in power, he didn’t know what to do with it?
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’m an American. It’s not like I really paid attention.
Prank text
     
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Sep 18, 2022, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
What really baffles me is how Sunak, who was a Brexiteer from the beginning, had to prove his Brexit bona fides to the Tory party against Truss, who used to be a Remainer.
The main reason for Brexit was because the EU was planning to close all the tax loopholes used by Conservative donors. I suspect this is why Sunak was pro-Brexit. Possibly at the behest of his in-laws who own a multi-billion dollar Indian IT company. The only explanation as to why he didn't win, given he was more popular among British voters and more competent, credible and intelligent than Truss by a country mile is that he is the only leadership candidate who was not listed on Wikipedia as a member of the ERG.
Theres always good old fashioned racism of course.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
(Among Torys Margaret Thatcher worship seems to be like Ronald Reagan worship in the US.)
Unlike Reagan, who has enjoyed this kind of popularity among US conservatives for quite some time (I did enjoy the Reaganing episode of 30 Rock), Thatcher has been a dirty word among pretty much everyone until very recently. Such was her unpopularity at the end of her tenure. Now the Tories feel empowered to do whatever the hell they want they clearly feel they can get away with championing her again.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
100 % and you have more than a dash of misogyny mixed in there, too.
Won't argue with that, though as the Tories love to point out, they have three women PMs so far and Labour have never even had a woman in charge of the party.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
It isn’t just the press, though: the fact that Johnson had penned two op-eds, one pro-Remain, the other pro-Brexit wasn’t a secret and something he himself confirmed. Does the press help? Yes, but there seems to be more to it. Johnson is really a weird animal: he is known to carefully dishevel his hair to make himself look like an unkempt idiot. He does idiotic stunts and isn’t embarrassed of gaffes, but seems to invite them at times.
I came up with a theory for Johnson's popularity (sort of) but it may not mean much to you across the pond. It seems the people of the UK have an established fondness for large, wobbly, pink & yellow
idiots who make everything they touch considerably worse.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
What is worse is that principled policy stances seem few and far between. A lot I see reminds me of the US: a nostalgia for when the UK was a global superpower, resentment for “being forced” to deal with that fact and a lot of issues (like immigration) that are super important in the short term, but now don’t seem to matter at all.
Our conservatives are very much following the Trumpian GOP blueprint. Some of their strategists have even attended the school for right-wing cunts founded by Steve Bannon in some old Italian monastery, specifically intended to co-opt European politics for scumbags and bigots everywhere. Bannon really deserves to be treated as some kind of international war criminal. I hope NY locks him up for the rest of his life. Dick.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I hadn’t heard of that! Are you serious?!?
(So this is why Biden is President now, did he find the 13,000 votes in Georgia before Trump did?!?)
Turns out it was an election for governor of Puerto Rico. Some banker tried to fund a re-election campaign bribe the governor in return for the financial regulators being called off from looking at his bank. He also had ties to a UK bank or fund that donated £500k to our Conservative party.
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Sep 18, 2022, 07:18 PM
 
Its a great shame that Rick Mayall is no longer with us. The return of Alan B'stard MP would be most timely.
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Sep 18, 2022, 08:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Prank text
Not paying attention is relative, you are much more plugged in news-wise than the vast majority of the population. I paid a bit more attention to Johnson ever since the Brexit referendum got announced and he inserted himself into the discussion. Which means I don’t know much of his time as London’s mayor (which I am sure is very colorful, too).
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It seems to have been his modus operandi since school days to let any obvious shenanigans and scams seem attributable to his buffoonish but pathetically likeable character.

Getting away with evil shit by not being taken seriously.
Exactly, he is shameless and not afraid of making himself look like a buffoon, an idiot or a moron. His shtick about his hair cut is so well-known, yet, it still seems to work for him.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The main reason for Brexit was because the EU was planning to close all the tax loopholes used by Conservative donors. I suspect this is why Sunak was pro-Brexit. Possibly at the behest of his in-laws who own a multi-billion dollar Indian IT company. The only explanation as to why he didn't win, given he was more popular among British voters and more competent, credible and intelligent than Truss by a country mile is that he is the only leadership candidate who was not listed on Wikipedia as a member of the ERG.
Theres always good old fashioned racism of course.
Yeah, even not following it, it is clear racism was a factor. However, let me point out that the Torys (btw, how you do pluralize Torys, Tories or Torys?) seem to have gone way beyond where many conservative parties around the world are when it comes to attracting non-whites. I think this is something to be lauded, and should serve as a reminder to all parties when treating minorities.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Unlike Reagan, who has enjoyed this kind of popularity among US conservatives for quite some time (I did enjoy the Reaganing episode of 30 Rock), Thatcher has been a dirty word among pretty much everyone until very recently.
Yeah, 30 Rock was great, so many references. E. g. when Jack and his pregnant wife got stuck in Canada and they were deathly afraid of their kid becoming Canadian.

I was too young to have many contemporary memories of Thatcher’s time in power. My first real political memories stem from the 1988–1991 period where Germany was unified, and for the 2+4 negotiations she had already been replaced by John Major.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Such was her unpopularity at the end of her tenure. Now the Tories feel empowered to do whatever the hell they want they clearly feel they can get away with championing her again.
From the outside it seems a lot of her neoliberal initiatives have failed. If memory served, British railway was privatized during her tenure, and having traveled on British trains, the result isn’t great. (In many cases the connections are just slow and cumbersome, and I went to more popular places in the country such as Cambridge and Kent.)
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Won't argue with that, though as the Tories love to point out, they have three women PMs so far and Labour have never even had a woman in charge of the party.
I think it is a fair point to make, but one that shouldn’t be overextended.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I came up with a theory for Johnson's popularity (sort of) but it may not mean much to you across the pond. It seems the people of the UK have an established fondness for large, wobbly, pink & yellow
idiots who make everything they touch considerably worse.
I’m across a different pond, although you were right in suspecting that this analogy went over my head.


Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Our conservatives are very much following the Trumpian GOP blueprint. Some of their strategists have even attended the school for right-wing cunts founded by Steve Bannon in some old Italian monastery, specifically intended to co-opt European politics for scumbags and bigots everywhere. Bannon really deserves to be treated as some kind of international war criminal. I hope NY locks him up for the rest of his life. Dick.
The UK has always seemed quite receptive to trends from the US, adopting them earlier than other European countries. At least in Germany, Bannon-ites have not yet infiltrated conservatives too much, although they do have connection to the far-right extremist AfD (Alternative for Germany).

On the plus side, Johnson was eventually pushed out, which is something the GOP did not do with Trump. Especially after January 6th, there was a brief window where they could have simply moved on. It is really something to emphasize time and again: if Trump had been impeached and removed from power, he would have been replaced by left-wing idol Mike Pence. And likely someone like Ron DeSantis would likely be the presidential candidate for the GOP in 2024 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Turns out it was an election for governor of Puerto Rico. Some banker tried to fund a re-election campaign bribe the governor in return for the financial regulators being called off from looking at his bank. He also had ties to a UK bank or fund that donated £500k to our Conservative party.
I see, I hadn’t heard of that. Amazing to see all these connections amongst douchebags across the globe. Leaves me wondering whether there is a club these are members of.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Sep 19, 2022 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Fixed a quote tag.)
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subego
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Sep 18, 2022, 10:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
This doesn't seem so bad.
It’s not entirely without benefits.

I think it should be considered morally questionable to adopt a position based solely on how much political currency it will earn. However, in practical terms, being beholden to this strategy acts as a form of restraint, and whatever will earn the most political currency at any given moment isn’t inherently bad. Indeed, it can be exactly what should be done.

Of course, sometimes it’s not, like when it’s DADT, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, or the Flag Protection Act, to give a few examples. Further, foreign policy only grossly converts into political currency, which leaves them apathetic and rudderless. They let things fall to shit on their watch.

Lastly, if you get in their way, they’ll do everything in their power to destroy you, and they’re very skilled at it. It gets bad for those people.
     
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Sep 19, 2022, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Flag Protection Act
I figure this is something Oreo can confirm or deny.

I am told the law in Japan is it’s legal to burn the Japanese flag, but it’s illegal to burn the flag of other countries.
     
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Originally Posted by subego View Post
I figure this is something Oreo can confirm or deny.

I am told the law in Japan is it’s legal to burn the Japanese flag, but it’s illegal to burn the flag of other countries.
The first time I came across flag burning laws was in the US. It struck me as super weird from the very beginning, on the one hand you have a free speech culture that to my eyes can be excessive and then have a hair trigger when it comes to the flag. (And no problem to put the flag on e. g. bikinis and adorn all sorts of other stuff with it.)

I reckon it might be illegal in Germany because burning a flag is a fire hazard But I don’t know the actual legal situation, neither in Japan nor Germany. I haven’t felt to urge to burn any flags in my life.
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Sep 19, 2022, 08:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yeah, even not following it, it is clear racism was a factor. However, let me point out that the Torys (btw, how you do pluralize Torys, Tories or Torys?) seem to have gone way beyond where many conservative parties around the world are when it comes to attracting non-whites. I think this is something to be lauded, and should serve as a reminder to all parties when treating minorities.
Yeah its weird. Patel is one of the worst human beings in politics. A truly awful woman. Kwasi Kwarteng is also a piece of shit (just removed the cap on bankers bonuses while 15m people are living in actual poverty) and while Sunk is maybe the best of the bunch, he's still an out of touch twat who thinks milk is £300 a pint.
White supremacy is definitely at play here but its not a term anyone is using. We think of it more as an American or Nazi German thing somehow. Here its framed as British superiority or patriotism, but white superiority is what they always mean.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I was too young to have many contemporary memories of Thatcher’s time in power. My first real political memories stem from the 1988–1991 period where Germany was unified, and for the 2+4 negotiations she had already been replaced by John Major.
She was very popular for a long time. She won a war in some style and crushed the miners mercilessly which pleased the upper classes.
She effectively tried to build a wall around Liverpool so she could burn it down. They still haven't forgiven her. I doubt they ever will. But it was when she introduced the Poll Tax that people finally rose up and chose violence.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
From the outside it seems a lot of her neoliberal initiatives have failed. If memory served, British railway was privatized during her tenure, and having traveled on British trains, the result isn’t great. (In many cases the connections are just slow and cumbersome, and I went to more popular places in the country such as Cambridge and Kent.)
Yes. Our trains are shit. And preposterously expensive. If theres two of you travelling, its always cheaper to drive unless you have some sort of railcard that you've already paid for. Which aren't all that common outside London. Because the trains are shit.




Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The UK has always seemed quite receptive to trends from the US, adopting them earlier than other European countries. At least in Germany, Bannon-ites have not yet infiltrated conservatives too much, although they do have connection to the far-right extremist AfD (Alternative for Germany).
The problem we have unlike the US where the RW media is a laughable niche for the most part (CNNs recent random flip aside). In the UK most of our press (I have no idea why newspapers are still so influential but they are despite being so absolutely shit) belongs to RW billionaires who don't even live here but have been propping up the Tories for decades. They are completely co-ordinated with the current government and sadly the BBC has finally been nobbled by them as well so the onslaught of RW propaganda is just astonishing. BBC radio has had nothing but Queen related programming for the last week. I'm barely exaggerating. I flicked through four BBC channels the other day and only one wasn't talking about her or people's memories of her. And that on was playing terrible music because its aimed at young people. For all I know they would have talked about her after the song.
Labour can't even announce policies because th Tories will make up really transparently fake spin about them and then have their media lapdogs just mercilessly eviscerate them for the next two years. And it will work.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
On the plus side, Johnson was eventually pushed out, which is something the GOP did not do with Trump. Especially after January 6th, there was a brief window where they could have simply moved on. It is really something to emphasize time and again: if Trump had been impeached and removed from power, he would have been replaced by left-wing idol Mike Pence. And likely someone like Ron DeSantis would likely be the presidential candidate for the GOP in 2024.
I don't really credit them for torching Johnson. It was several years and countless scandals and unacceptable behaviours too late. In the 90s he'd have resigned 50 times during his time in office. Thats not even an exaggeration. He learned shamelessness from Trump. They only did because it served them. The only reason they do anything. They have no loyalty or integrity. Just a frothing mob constantly poised to eat each other.

DeSantis still looks like the most likely contender if Trump is locked up as he should be. Assuming DeSantis doesn't end up in th next cell. As he should.
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