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Thread: Is there anything left of The Left?

  1. #181

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Yep, because context suddenly became a problem for you, since I argued straight against the most likely line of reasoning that you were going to use. Especially since you've resorted to ad hominem, showing the lack of real arguments.
    Just to show the complete and total idiocy of Sar1n's comments.
    Notice that Sar1n has switched from:
    "can only be interpreted as"
    to:
    "most likely line of reasoning"

    Alwyn's question was nothing more than response to your question, only phrased in a manner that subtly implies your ignorance about the topic. Thus you are left with no recourse but to either attempt to cast doubt to the link between communism and USSR-in short, the old "real communism" argument-or admit the ignorance. Thus you went for a question that will lead to the argument whether communism and USSR are really linked...so I skipped ahead.
    Or, I could be asking a question to get a direct clarification on assertions made, so I can respond with out making assumptions.
    Last edited by alhoon; December 02, 2019 at 02:41 AM. Reason: continuity \ personal comments

  2. #182
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    As previously mentioned in this thread warning, the academy rules require you to make your posts as impersonal as possible and debate in good faith. Please avoid inflammatory posts.
    If such posts that violate the Academy rules continue, the thread may be locked.
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  3. #183

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    I think I've found an inflammatory post addressing individual members of this board. It is the post #1 in this thread.
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  4. #184

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    That "real communism was never tried" BS argument again?

    Besides the fact that the "communist utopia" is, in fact, dystopic scenario, the damage was done by the attempted transition to communism through socialism. It's inherently unstable, self-defeating process that results in rise of the oppressive, oligarchic rule and economic detioration.
    Indeed, and Lenin and his mass-murdering pals Trotsky, Dzhugashvili and others presented themselves in the same way before they gained power as the modern-day western "democratic socialists" do.

  5. #185
    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    I think this thread is worth re-opening in light of Labour’s recent defeat in the UK. If you take away Blair and Brown, Labour has won 1 single election in 50 years. Is it time Labour abandons Socialism? It simply doesn’t work with UK voters.

    In addition, a new trend in the UK is historic Labour seats in working class areas flipping to the Conservatives. Why? Because Labour has become a progressive, Liberal and fundamentally bourgeois party which takes most of its voter base from the middle classes, not the workers it claims to represent.

    With Labour you’ve more or less got three groups. Working class C2DE voters most of whom can be described as ‘small c’ conservative, middle class liberal voters in urban and suburban areas, and students in Universities. Not apprentices or vocational students, University students. The last two groups can be held together in this coalition due to similar political and cultural values, which tend to be the ones that lead the Labour Party as they are currently.

    However, most C2DE workers and pensioners hold fundamentally different values both politically and culturally with social liberals, and given the Labour Party has drifted so astronomically far from its original voter base in terms of fundamental values such as worldview in relation to national security and the military, immigration and national identity, and as we’ve seen recently, in terms of attitudes towards sovereignty and the EU, it’s hard to see this coalition hold together in the face of such diversity.

    Finally, what is the Unions’ position if their membership don’t support Labour?
    Last edited by Aexodus; Yesterday at 02:04 PM.
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  6. #186

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    The early data seems to suggest that Labour's defeat can largely be explained by the leadership's toxicity and the Party's Brexit fudge. Unfortunately, the anti-capitalist, anti-western and anti-British attitudes which made Corbyn and McDonnell so unpopular won't evaporate with their departures. Many radical leftists genuinely believe in their own ideological infallibility: the problem is never that their proposals are unworkable, unrealistic or offensive, it's simply that working people don't have the capacity to appreciate the brilliance of socialism.

  7. #187

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    The left are trying to say remain lost rather than socialism but that is not really the case.

    Corbyn's manifesto only appealed to the choir, the majority of England do not want mass-nationalisation or a socilaist rebellion. We had years of Blairist government and as soon as Blair is replaced by the left the fail in every election.

    Something has to change.

  8. #188
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    I think this thread is worth re-opening in light of Labour’s recent defeat in the UK. If you take away Blair and Brown, Labour has won 1 single election in 50 years. Is it time Labour abandons Socialism? It simply doesn’t work with UK voters.

    In addition, a new trend in the UK is historic Labour seats in working class areas flipping to the Conservatives. Why? Because Labour has become a progressive, Liberal and fundamentally bourgeois party which takes most of its voter base from the middle classes, not the workers it claims to represent.
    The first two paragraphs are self-contradictory. You can not simultaneously be a socialist and bourgeois party. Not that the Labour party has ever really endorsed socialism. Adopting the hyperbolic and fear-mongering American terminology of defining the left-wing of the political spectrum really obfuscates matters. The entire platform of post-Thatcher Labour Party can be summarily described as a timid suggestion to somewhat moderate the neo-liberal reforms of the Tories. Corbyn's innovation was to simply dare to radicalise the party's manifesto (at least, verbally, we will never know how sincere he truly was), an initiative which was predictably distorted into a paranoid narrative of Red Menace by the usual tabloid suspects. The procedure is actually very similar to what happened to the Democrats in the United States. After a decisive right-wing turn in the '80s, only now some social-democratic points can gradually surface in mainstream political discourse, as a consequence of the 2008 crash and Bush' Jr. and Donald's comical presidencies. It's really absurd how adamant Blairites like Alan "fat-white-finger-jabbing-blokes-on-rostrums shouting-and-screaming" (so pro-working class) Johnson actually try to label Corbyn's sloppy return to the roots attempt as cultural betrayal.

    Therefore, the reasons for the Labours' dismal record in elections are found in their rapprochement with conservatism during the late 20th century. They heavily profited from it, when the economy was flourishing and future prospects looked exceptionally bright, but the harsh grip with reality in 2008 totally undermined this strategy. The Labour Party was also linked with elitist practices and pro-establishment attitude, as their privatisation and deregulation policies, from the Royal Mail to the Private Finance Initiative (which ironically enough Blaire used as the flagship of his campaign), demonstrated. Corbyn's tactic could actually contribute to reclaiming the old base of the Labour Party, but he essentially committed suicide by refusing to choose a side in Brexit and instead try to pander to both groups.

    The segments of the society who suffer the most from the growing income inequality and desperately believe that the exit from the European Union can miraculously improve their situation accurately perceived Corbyn's duplicity as a treason to his "revolutionary" credentials. Additionally, the increase in political immaturity, the decrease of social consciousness and the erosion of trade unions have rendered workers exceptionally vulnerable to reactionary demagogues, who are generally ruthless enough to sell their fandom for a barony. When you add all these factors and especially Corbyn's absolute embarrassment in front of the Brexit question, together with the internal opposition against him by the Blairite faction, it's not so difficult to understand the reasons for the Labour defeat. The fun is that I strongly doubt about the chances of Corbyn's successor in inspiring the masses, unless Boris manages to completely derail the rather fragile United Kingdom.

  9. #189
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    I think you’re forgettinf that considerably above Brexit, Corbyn himself was the main reason Labour lost. On the doorstep he was no.1 reason Labour voters were refusing to vote Labour.
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  10. #190

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    The first two paragraphs are self-contradictory. You can not simultaneously be a socialist and bourgeois party. Not that the Labour party has ever really endorsed socialism. Adopting the hyperbolic and fear-mongering American terminology of defining the left-wing of the political spectrum really obfuscates matters. The entire platform of post-Thatcher Labour Party can be summarily described as a timid suggestion to somewhat moderate the neo-liberal reforms of the Tories. Corbyn's innovation was to simply dare to radicalise the party's manifesto (at least, verbally, we will never know how sincere he truly was), an initiative which was predictably distorted into a paranoid narrative of Red Menace by the usual tabloid suspects. The procedure is actually very similar to what happened to the Democrats in the United States. After a decisive right-wing turn in the '80s, only now some social-democratic points can gradually surface in mainstream political discourse, as a consequence of the 2008 crash and Bush' Jr. and Donald's comical presidencies. It's really absurd how adamant Blairites like Alan "fat-white-finger-jabbing-blokes-on-rostrums shouting-and-screaming" (so pro-working class) Johnson actually try to label Corbyn's sloppy return to the roots attempt as cultural betrayal.

    Therefore, the reasons for the Labours' dismal record in elections are found in their rapprochement with conservatism during the late 20th century. They heavily profited from it, when the economy was flourishing and future prospects looked exceptionally bright, but the harsh grip with reality in 2008 totally undermined this strategy. The Labour Party was also linked with elitist practices and pro-establishment attitude, as their privatisation and deregulation policies, from the Royal Mail to the Private Finance Initiative (which ironically enough Blaire used as the flagship of his campaign), demonstrated. Corbyn's tactic could actually contribute to reclaiming the old base of the Labour Party, but he essentially committed suicide by refusing to choose a side in Brexit and instead try to pander to both groups.

    The segments of the society who suffer the most from the growing income inequality and desperately believe that the exit from the European Union can miraculously improve their situation accurately perceived Corbyn's duplicity as a treason to his "revolutionary" credentials. Additionally, the increase in political immaturity, the decrease of social consciousness and the erosion of trade unions have rendered workers exceptionally vulnerable to reactionary demagogues, who are generally ruthless enough to sell their fandom for a barony. When you add all these factors and especially Corbyn's absolute embarrassment in front of the Brexit question, together with the internal opposition against him by the Blairite faction, it's not so difficult to understand the reasons for the Labour defeat. The fun is that I strongly doubt about the chances of Corbyn's successor in inspiring the masses, unless Boris manages to completely derail the rather fragile United Kingdom.
    With respect to Brexit, the modern left wants to have it both ways: on the one hand it purports to reject the crisis economics of market capitalism, but on the other it viciously defends the neoliberal institutions of the European Union. Blairites and Corbyn loyalists alike will happily blame the rise of Euroscepticsm on the economic stagnation caused by the financial crisis but at the same time they'll champion the European Union's explicit association with the very corporatist economics which were responsible for the crisis in the first place. It continues to amaze me that the activist wing of the Labour Party seems to fetishize the policies of Merkel, Junker, Verhofstadt, Macron et al. but it wails and gnashes its teeth at the prospect of Boris Johnson and an Anglo-American trade deal.
    Last edited by ep1c_fail; Today at 08:41 AM.

  11. #191
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    I pretty much agree with the above interpretation. This is why I objected to Aexodus' claim that the oldest supporters of the Labour party abandoned Corbyn, because they were supposedly terrified of his alleged intention to establish socialism. Right-wing reactionarism has made some progress in these social strata, but they are not much influenced from Sun's rants about Bolsheviks capturing the Winter Palace. They only hope, quite naively, if you ask me, that Brexit will be a panacea to their problems, so they perceived Corbyn's ambiguous stance on the issue as an obstacle to their aspirations. In fact, I would argue that the demonisation of the European Union as the root of all evil is a symptom of political illiteracy among the poorest classes of the United Kingdom, while the idealisation of the same institutions on behalf of center-left groups is also an indication of their post-Soviet ideological confusion and their gradual abandonment of socialist principles.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    I think you’re forgettinf that considerably above Brexit, Corbyn himself was the main reason Labour lost. On the doorstep he was no.1 reason Labour voters were refusing to vote Labour.
    That however concerns the most conservative wing of the Labour Party, which never represented the working class of northern England that switched its support to Boris. Blairites like Alan Johnson, who approve of Blaire's and Brown's economic policies of moderate deregulation and privatisation, while also having an active vendetta against trade unions, are justifiably despised by blue-collar workers. They are pretty much viewed (correctly, in my opinion) as the diet-version of the Iron Lady. The crux of the matter is that Corbyn tried to appeal to both anti-establishment workers and pro-European liberals, but managed to alienate both. It's a typical example of pure populism backfiring badly.

  12. #192

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    I think we'll have to see what happens with Brexit and the labour leadership race.

    If you took Brexit out of the formula I think the result wouldn't be that different, we'll have to see what the next election reveals about things.

  13. #193

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    I pretty much agree with the above interpretation. This is why I objected to Aexodus' claim that the oldest supporters of the Labour party abandoned Corbyn, because they were supposedly terrified of his alleged intention to establish socialism. Right-wing reactionarism has made some progress in these social strata, but they are not much influenced from Sun's rants about Bolsheviks capturing the Winter Palace. They only hope, quite naively, if you ask me, that Brexit will be a panacea to their problems, so they perceived Corbyn's ambiguous stance on the issue as an obstacle to their aspirations. In fact, I would argue that the demonisation of the European Union as the root of all evil is a symptom of political illiteracy among the poorest classes of the United Kingdom, while the idealisation of the same institutions on behalf of center-left groups is also an indication of their post-Soviet ideological confusion and their gradual abandonment of socialist principles.
    Very few people believe that the European Union is the "root of all evil" or that leaving it will be a "panacea to their problems": these are leftist/neoliberal tropes specifically designed to chastise the people who voted against the EU.

    What the Labour Party and the Liberals cannot come to terms with is that the Brexit vote was driven primarily by a sense of national conservatism and constitutionalism, not economics. This is partially because liberals and socialists lack a proper understanding of the psychology of social conservatism and partially because it is nigh-on impossible to argue against deeply held cultural and political identities. When faced with concerns about self-governance and immigration (the two key issues for leave voters during the campaign), all the Europhiles could do was lie about the EU's federalist intentions, concoct unimpressive arguments about "pooled sovereignty" or sling accusations of racism against the very people they were trying to convince. Such tactics proved to be as futile as most proselytization efforts are, and in many cases they served only to harden beliefs.

    Corbyn's electoral toxicity follows a very similar formula. What people disliked about him wasn't his economic policies, it was his far left attitudes toward national customs, mores and security. As it turns out, people don't like prospective prime ministers who refuse to sing the national anthem, who are reluctant to honour fallen servicemen in the traditional manner, who've had suspicious meetings with terrorist groups like the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah, who oppose the renewal of the UK's nuclear deterrent, who won't support military actions against international terror groups like ISIS, who are prepared to give Russia and Iran the benefit of the doubt and who are largely indifferent to rise of antisemitism within their own parties. I could go on here, but you get the point.

  14. #194
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Foreign policy is notoriously irrelevant in domestic elections. Few care about the relationship with Kremlin or Tehran and I really doubt anything larger than a tiny portion of the British population are aware of Hezbollah's existence or even the reasons for which the Lebanese party is labelled as a terrorist group. By the way, Islamist extremists actually complained in twitter over Boris' softness towards the Syrian government and her allies. IRA or Corbyn's obsession with Israel may have played a more major role, but they should not be considered as the decisive factors. As for the claim about Brexit primarily being fueled by national conservatism and not economics, I would need a citation. In my opinion, there are pretty clear indications that income inequality contributed the most, as the regions that voted no were the ones most negatively affected by the cuts in social security and relative impoverishment, as a result of deindustrialisation.

    Even paranoia against immigrants has deeply financial roots, as certain segments of the society, like middle-class citizens or urban elites, benefit significantly from the offered cheap services, while others, like unskilled workers suddenly face unexpected competition. This is why rural areas excel in xenophobia, despite not many Caribbeans or Middle Easterners ever visiting the counties of Lincolnshire or Yorkshire. The role of the economy is accurately explained in Patrick Cockburn's article about Wales that I linked previously. Remain triumphed in Cardiff, where the city has evolved successfully into a tertiary sector-orientated economy. However, in what concerns the surrounding municipalities, Bremain failed miserably, because the local communities have long lost any means of productive work and essentially survive thanks to, rather ironically, funding provided by the European Union. Brexit, even if its supporters themselves paint it as a conservative and traditionalist initiative, was a desperate attempt for a change of the status-quo. Corbyn lost because his rosy rhetoric of popular reforms were contradicted by his constant refusal to endorse a referendum verdict, whose future prospects look much more tangible and promising to the average voter than the Labour Party's complicated, ambiguous and unreliable manifesto.
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; Today at 11:12 AM.

  15. #195
    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Caroline Flint, who lost her seat she held for 22 years in the Don Valley to a Conservative candidate, claims Emily Thornberry called her constituents ‘stupid’.

    Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday, ousted Labour MP Caroline Flint claimed Emily Thornberry once told a politician that she was "glad my constituents aren't as stupid as yours".

    True or not, this highlights a conflict in the party between the more progressive liberal types in the party and traditional ‘working man’ politics.

    In her words, Labour have lost 59 majority working class seats in exchange for relatively affluent areas like Putney and Canterbury.

    https://twitter.com/carolineflintmp/...833714688?s=21
    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline Flint
    Labour cannot simply be a party of big cities and university towns. Nor just a party of the young. Or a party of devoted Remainers. We must be a party of labour. A party close to working class people. People we haven’t listened to or respected enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul
    That however concerns the most conservative wing of the Labour Party, which never represented the working class of northern England that switched its support to Boris.
    Sorry but no. 45% of Labour voters said that the Labour leadership is why they didn’t vote Corbyn. Are you seriously telling me working class voters didn’t dislike Corbyn?!?

    Even paranoia against immigrants has deeply financial roots, as certain segments of the society, like middle-class citizens or urban elites, benefit significantly from the offered cheap services, while others, like unskilled workers suddenly face unexpected competition. This is why rural areas excel in xenophobia, despite not many Caribbeans or Middle Easterners ever visiting the counties of Lincolnshire or Yorkshire. The role of the economy is ac...
    You’ve lost the argument on immigration. You have to accept that.
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  16. #196

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Foreign policy is notoriously irrelevant in domestic elections. Few care about the relationship with Kremlin or Tehran and I really doubt anything larger than a tiny portion of the British population are aware of Hezbollah's existence or even the reasons for which the Lebanese party is labelled as a terrorist group. By the way, Islamist extremists actually complained in twitter over Boris' softness towards the Syrian government and her allies. IRA or Corbyn's obsession with Israel may have played a more major role, but they should not be considered as the decisive factors.
    Corbyn's dismal personal ratings aren't related to the specifics of his foreign policy: they're a result of his near endless list of behaviours/actions which mirror the anti-western/British attitudes of the hard-left. The numbers demonstrate the unique depths of his unpopularity among voters.

    As for the claim about Brexit primarily being fueled by national conservatism and not economics, I would need a citation. In my opinion, there are pretty clear indications that income inequality contributed the most, as the regions that voted no were the ones most negatively affected by the cuts in social security and relative impoverishment, as a result of deindustrialisation.
    The correlations between class (prosperity) and attitudes toward the European Union indicate the opposite of what you believe: economic concerns were a central factor for remain voters, not the other way round.

    Even paranoia against immigrants has deeply financial roots, as certain segments of the society, like middle-class citizens or urban elites, benefit significantly from the offered cheap services, while others, like unskilled workers suddenly face unexpected competition. This is why rural areas excel in xenophobia, despite not many Caribbeans or Middle Easterners ever visiting the counties of Lincolnshire or Yorkshire. The role of the economy is accurately explained in Patrick Cockburn's article about Wales that I linked previously. Remain triumphed in Cardiff, where the city has evolved successfully into a tertiary sector-orientated economy. However, in what concerns the surrounding municipalities, Bremain failed miserably, because the local communities have long lost any means of productive work and essentially survive thanks to, rather ironically, funding provided by the European Union. Brexit, even if its supporters themselves paint it as a conservative and traditionalist initiative, was a desperate attempt for a change of the status-quo. Corbyn lost because his rosy rhetoric of popular reforms were contradicted by his constant refusal to endorse a referendum verdict, whose future prospects look much more tangible and promising to the average voter than the Labour Party's complicated, ambiguous and unreliable manifesto.
    Without wanting to get into a protracted debate about evolutionary psychology, it seems to me that, assuming an individual's basic needs are met, nativism/tribalism has a deeper and more visceral impact on behaviour (particularly among men) than do economic concerns. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that there's a complex intersection between wealth and racial in-group bias, but it is telling that voting blocks are so often more starkly separated by race/ethnicity/religion than they are by class.
    Last edited by ep1c_fail; Today at 01:35 PM.

  17. #197
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The correlations between class (prosperity) and attitudes toward the European Union indicate the opposite of what you believe: economic concerns were a central factor for remain voters, not the other way round.
    Of course, the vast majority of the population votes along economic criteria. Similarly to blue-collar workers in the north, students and the middle-class support the European Union, as they have greatly benefited from it. So far, we have clearly established that the division is clearly social, between deindustrialised countryside and growing-service orientated cities, so I'm not sure how tribalism fits the picture. Even if former Labour voters identify issues like immigration as the main reason for abandoning their former allegiance, chances are that the deeper cause is still their precarious financial position. The United Kingdom is not a special case, as the popularity of the center-left erodes, in favour of right-wing populism, specifically because of a castrated social security system, economic stagnation and rising inequality, from France to Sweden.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Sorry but no. 45% of Labour voters said that the Labour leadership is why they didn’t vote Corbyn. Are you seriously telling me working class voters didn’t dislike Corbyn?!?
    You’ve lost the argument on immigration. You have to accept that.
    I actually said the opposite. Due to Corbyn's duplicitous neutrality vis-à-vis Brexit, the increasing reactionarism among formerly well-educated and politically mature workers and the hysterical propaganda of him being Lenin in disguise, many former Labour supporters voted for Boris. It's rather cute that they genuinely hope that Brexit will improve their living standards or that the Tories will seriously decrease the immigration flow, but unfortunately what matters in elections is wishful thinking, not reality. I sincerely have no clue about what you mean with the second sentence.

  18. #198
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    I actually said the opposite.
    Then what did you mean by this?

    That however concerns the most conservative wing of the Labour Party, which never represented the working class of northern England that switched its support to Boris.
    Due to Corbyn's duplicitous neutrality vis-à-vis Brexit, the increasing reactionarism among formerly well-educated and politically mature workers and the hysterical propaganda of him being Lenin in disguise, many former Labour supporters voted for Boris. It's rather cute that they genuinely hope that Brexit will improve their living standards or that the Tories will seriously decrease the immigration flow, but unfortunately what matters in elections is wishful thinking, not reality. I sincerely have no clue about what you mean with the second sentence.
    Reactionary voters and propaganda is not the reason Corbyn was disliked. It’s the huge gulf between him and large swathes of the country on fundamental issues and values such as national security, sovereignty, immigration, and other more politically cultural issues like nationalism vs internationalism.

    It's rather cute that they genuinely hope that Brexit will improve their living standards or that the Tories will seriously decrease the immigration flow
    This is exactly the kind of patronising snooty attitude that helped Labour lose this election.
    Last edited by Aexodus; Today at 03:30 PM.
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  19. #199

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    The reason why Labor lost was because Corbyn ditched pro-Brexit support base, essentially cutting the branch on which he was sitting, shrinking his base of support from working class to pseudo-educated and politically immature "woke" urbanite bourgeoisie. Labor is no longer the working class party, even if it prefers to label itself as such.

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