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Neil G

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  1. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    If you can provide a precedent for a serving Labour leader ignoring their requests for a public apology and deletion, we’ll be able to judge won’t we.
  2. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    I don’t know, if they didn’t then they should have done. I’m sure that if he’d done it while he was leader, warmly endorsed the homophobes and then dragged his feet over publicly apologising, they’d have had something to say. In any event, your efforts to delegitimise them don’t detract from the criticism of Starmer. Unless senior Labour politicians failing to adequately distance themselves from extremist views isn’t a Bad Thing any more.
  3. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    It’s not hard to navigate a minefield if all the mines are marked with big red flags. All Labour has to do to avoid situations like this is to google the name of any organisation they’re considering visiting or working with, together with the words controversy, racism, homophobia, antisemitism and any other terms linked with kinds of discrimination and bigotry. It’s a few minutes extra work to add to all the hours of prep that should go into any partnership or PR event - not a big ask for a professional outfit. There are lots of areas where the Tory easy mode makes it an uphill struggle for Labour, but this needn’t be one of them.
  4. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    And to show I'm not being factional, I'm disappointed in Dawn Butler as well. I'm sure she could have suggested a different church in her constituency that does equally good community work without the anti-LGBT stance.
  5. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-worshipping-pastor-agu-irukwu-campaigned-against-gay-equality-jesus-house-a7763996.html https://twitter.com/bencsmoke/status/1379040593767194630 It's more than just bad advice. The delay in publicly acknowledging and apologising is on Starmer, the buck stops with him. I could just about forgive the rank incompetence from his team if they resolved to sharpen up their act, but the refusal to promptly hold hands up and say sorry without waiting to be forced is inexcusable, all the more so given that Corbyn and RLB got booted for the very same.
  6. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    Nonsense. The church’s homophobic views have been public knowledge since Theresa May visited it four years ago. Of course Starmer’s visit wasn’t going to go unnoticed. LGBT+ Labour network raised the issue privately with his office and received an apology in private, but they were asking for a public apology and for Starmer’s video to be deleted. Instead they got Rachel Reeves on Sky trying to downplay the visit. After that they went public and forced Starmer’s hand. We were promised a new era of competence and facing up to responsibility with Starmer at the helm. He and his team failed on both counts here, the latest in a series of instances. This shitshow is on them, not on the Twitter randos you’re determined to deflect blame onto at every opportunity.
  7. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    He said he’d do more than keep the values of Corbynism. He made ten specific, explicit pledges to the membership about policies and party management, most of which he’s either been silent on or broken since winning the leadership. https://keirstarmer.com/plans/10-pledges/ His leadership pitch was essentially the 2017 manifesto with more competence and less baggage, which most Corbyn supporting members would have been happy with if he’d stuck to it, and which could have been a winning offer to the electorate. Even if he didn’t really believe it as a matter of conviction, if he’d pitched it to the public with the same gusto that he sold it to the membership, he’d be in a much better place right now. Instead he’s thrown his lot in with the right of the party, for reasons best known to himself. Maybe he really thinks a left platform is a vote loser and was flat out lying during the leadership contest, or maybe he’s scared that the right will torpedo him if he sticks to it. Whatever the reason, because he’s ditched it he has no alternative narrative to fall back on apart from “I’m not Corbyn and I love Britain”, which is why he’s flailing and directionless. I don’t see it changing until the pandemic is over. Maybe then he’ll feel compelled to start articulating some kind of programme for government, instead of putting everything into critiquing the government’s Covid response, which just isn’t cutting through any more, if indeed it ever was.
  8. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    That’s my whole point: he doesn’t have a mandate to do whatever he wants. He has a mandate to do the things he said he’d do when he ran for the leadership. That’s how democratic elections are supposed to work. I was going to do a point by point reply to your post, but decided against it. The merits of each position he’s taken aren’t the issue here. The issue is that every one of them contradicts something he said to win members over during the leadership contest, whether it was the ten policy pledges, the promise to unite the party or the trumpeting of his human rights lawyer credentials. You might think it’s smart politics to junk his pledges to the members in pursuit of swing votes, but it’s not. The Tories will milk his U-turns and broken promises for all they’re worth, telling voters that he’s untrustworthy and indecisive, and it’ll cut through. His personal ratings are already falling on these counts. The potential for him to get the full John Kerry flip-flop treatment in the GE campaign is there for everyone to see. Plus he risks losing crucial progressive younger voters for no gain. Conventional centrist wisdom says Labour can afford to take these votes for granted as they’re concentrated in Labour’s metropolitan safe seats, but they’re present in marginal seats across the country. And even for those who’ll still hold their nose and vote Labour, they’re far less likely to get out and campaign for Labour come election time, which again could be crucial in marginal seats. The whole thing is a train wreck, an entirely avoidable one, and there’s more to come.
  9. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    I wouldn’t call them suckers, but it’s clear to me that many of them were seriously misled by Starmer’s leadership campaign. He won the leadership on the strength of two main commitments: to maintain a Corbynite policy platform via the ten pledges, and to end factional infighting and unify the party. Nobody can credibly claim he’s done either of those things, or even made a serious effort to do them. Would he still have won a landslide if during the campaign he’d pledged the following: Oppose an increase in corporation tax while supporting a freeze on income tax allowance for low paid workers (the latter reversed after a backlash) Ignore teaching unions’ calls for school closures at the height of the pandemic, against scientific advice Oppose EU free movement and not seek any major changes to the Tories’ Brexit deal Abstain on the overseas operations, Spycops and police bills (the political editor of the Mirror confirmed Labour were set to abstain on the latter until the Sarah Everard vigil turned nasty) Push for the appointment of a Blairite General Secretary who’d preside over a spate of spurious suspensions of left wing members and rigged CLP elections Parachute a centrist candidate in for the first Parliamentary by-election, after saying during the contest that this practice should stop Scrap an entire shortlist for the Liverpool mayor election to keep a Corbyn supporter off the ballot Agree to the Tories taking over Liverpool City Council Oppose calls for the resignation of a Tory minister for breaking the law Stay silent while police put the boot in to journalists and women protesters on camera. Whether he never intended to keep any of his promises, or whether he’s been bounced into his current course of action by the pandemic and by the advisors he’s chosen, I don’t know. But either way, the leader that Labour has now is not the leader that tens of thousands of Labour members thought they were voting for last year. I don’t think he’s a neoliberal plant, I think he’s his own man, but it’s obvious to me that the pro-establishment forces in Labour swung behind him because they surmised, correctly as it’s turned out, that he’d acquiesce in the marginalisation of the left.
  10. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    So not a word from the entire Labour front bench condemning the police’s actions at last night’s Kill the Bill protest in Bristol, where police were recorded on video assaulting a journalist from the Mirror, smacking seated protestors with their riot shields, and punching a woman in the face knocking her to the ground. Not even a statement of concern and a call for an investigation. Keir evidently has them under instruction to stay silent. Can we all now acknowledge that the human rights lawyer spiel he used to win the leadership was all a front? I recall it went down well with quite a few on here during and since the contest. He’s barely mentioned his human rights background since become leader, instead bigging up his record as DPP at every opportunity. Quite clear now what his orientation is.
  11. Neil G

    What hill are you willing to die on?

    Tell us your hill then sonshine. A man’s got to have something he’s willing to fight for.
  12. Neil G

    What hill are you willing to die on?

    The sentiments of Christmas - family, friendship, season of good will - feature far more heavily in IAWL than in Die Hard. Plus it has snow, lots of it. If you want to make Die Hard a Christmas film, set it in New York or Chicago in the snow, not somewhere where they spend Christmas Day on the beach.
  13. Neil G

    What hill are you willing to die on?

    Yes! Come and join me on this hill.
  14. Neil G

    What hill are you willing to die on?

    Die Hard isn’t a Christmas film. It’s an action film. One of the best ever made. A genuine Christmas film is one in which Christmas is central to the film’s premise. It can be centred around a Christmas-related character (Santa, Elf, Scrooge, the Grinch) and / or have as its main theme something related to the spirit and traditions of Christmas (magic, family, good will and charity, holiday customs and rituals). To remove the Christmas element would be to remove the whole soul from the film. The Christmas-specific component of Die Hard is so small and has such little bearing on either the plot or the feel of the film that it cannot possibly meet these criteria. I loved Die Hard for years as a pure action film before I even considered the idea of it being a Christmas film. It must have been literally twenty years after I first saw it that I came across the argument over whether it is or isn’t. That fact alone should be enough to settle the dispute.
  15. Neil G

    What hill are you willing to die on?

    Incidental. Family reunification is a heartwarming cinematic trope all year round. Die Hard would not be diminished in any way without the Christmas references.
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