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Neil G

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  1. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    There’s no equivalence between the two when it comes to public perceptions Sec, none whatsoever. The attacks on Starmer from the left have barely registered with the media, whereas Corbyn’s opponents on the right were guaranteed substantial and sympathetic coverage whether on or off the record. The Tory poll lead is down to overwhelming media support, Labour’s decision to tone down their criticism, and the enduring public belief that the Tories are better at managing the economy since the GFC, which none of Miliband, Corbyn or Starmer have seriously tried to rebut.
  2. Neil G


    I assume you’re talking specifically about masks here, as opposed to in general.
  3. Neil G

    Middle East Thread

    Yep, just as well no major accidents resulting from industrial negligence have ever occurred in countries that have nuclear weapons.
  4. Neil G

    Working in an office

    Only the piece of work Das Kapital wishes it had been.
  5. Neil G


    We’ve got a real opposition now, they’ll be all over it.
  6. Neil G

    Working in an office

    2019: The reason you youngsters can’t afford to buy your own home is that you spend too much money on pre-made sandwiches and takeaway coffees. 2020: We have to spend more money on pre-made sandwiches and takeaway coffees or the economy will collapse!!!
  7. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    I have noticed, it was obvious from Steve Reed’s case that speed of apology is a key factor in whether disciplinary action is taken. If it’s the only factor or even the main factor then I think Starmer has definitely drawn the line in the wrong place. The severity of the offence should be at least as important. What Starmer is implementing isn’t zero tolerance. Zero tolerance means you’re subjected to visible punishment if you transgress, with this creating a deterrent effect to dissuade others from repeating the transgressions, until the behaviour is stamped out. That’s clearly not what’s in operation with Labour. There is no deterrent effect, because people know that if they repeat antisemitic tropes at least up to the severity of Sheerman’s, they won’t be punished if they get their apology in quickly enough. And let’s face it, the apologies are usually forced on the offender via complaints as opposed to them having some kind of personal epiphany. I think Reed was very lucky to keep his shadow cabinet job even with his apology, and if he had been given the boot then maybe Sheerman would have thought twice before tweeting something which deeply offended a lot of the Jewish people that Labour are trying to build bridges with. Starmer said when he became leader that his success in tackling antisemitism would be judged by the number of Jews who had their trust in Labour restored. The effect of his inaction over Sheerman has been to persuade a lot of Jews that Labour hasn’t changed and is still a fundamentally antisemitic party. With this current approach he’s failing on his own terms.
  8. Neil G


    I was making the contrast between your “no worse than a bad flu season” prediction and “can’t be stopped” statement. If the virus can’t be stopped then even with a low mortality rate the death toll is clearly going to be a lot higher than the worst flu season, not just from Covid itself but also the additional preventable deaths resulting from the added burden placed on the NHS. Your individualistic worldview is showing through big time here. Any given individual might have a very low chance of dying from Covid, but at a societal level it was obvious from very early on that this was going to be a major national and international crisis with far-reaching repercussions.
  9. Neil G


    So we’ve gone from “it’s nothing to worry about” to “it’s unstoppable”?
  10. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    Ha, that must be a record for us getting to Agree to Disagree. Doesn’t look like there’ll be any wider discussion around this as there has been zero media coverage of it. Disappointing imo - there are clearly widely divergent views on how bad this stuff actually is, and it could have been helpful to explore and clarify it, as happened with the debate over RLB.
  11. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    Ok, fair dos and apologies for misinterpreting your post. Agree with a lot of what you’ve written here. On the bolded part, I did wonder whether Starmer chose not to make an issue of this because he thought the media furore would contribute to Jews feeling unwelcome in Labour. If he did then I think it’s a mistake - if he’s serious about rooting out antisemitism in the Labour Party then that isn’t achieved by sweeping stuff under the carpet.
  12. Neil G

    Things I have been completely wrong about

    I’ve been posting pretty regularly Rem, but it’s been almost exclusively in the politics threads, so corroded has my soul become.
  13. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    Don’t take my word for it that it was grossly antisemitic and that the apology didn’t cut it. Like I said, lots of Jewish people found it unforgivably offensive. The people I’ve seen calling for Sheerman to lose the whip aren’t Corbynites looking for a factional victory, they’re mostly centrist / soft left staunch Zionists who despise Corbyn and want him kicked out of the party. Starmer’s actions are only consistent if you think that an apology and deletion is sufficient to allow someone to face no consequences for antisemitism. I agree that failure to apologise should automatically incur punishment - I think it was the right decision to sack RLB and I’m disappointed she hasn’t apologised, even if her claim is true about Starmer’s office going back on an agreement with how to deal with it. Sheerman’s actions are on another level though. Even his apology came across as insincere and forced, and shouldn’t be enough to spare him. When he was elected leader and promised zero tolerance on antisemitism, Starmer pledged to “tear out this poison by its roots.” That was exactly the kind of uncompromising language and commitment that was needed from the leadership after Corbyn’s failure to tackle the problem effectively, and I welcomed it. But his complete inaction over Sheerman flies in the face of that commitment. Zero tolerance of a proscribed behaviour means “you will be punished and seen to be punished if you do this”, not “you’ll be ok if you apologise quickly enough and the media don’t run with it.” It’s genuinely the worst instance of overt antisemitism from a sitting Labour MP that I can remember, certainly since the issue exploded under Corbyn and going back long before that. Sheerman has been an MP for over 40 years, has had a front row seat through Labour’s battles over antisemitism, and publicly called in 2018 for antisemitism to result in expulsion from the party. If the rows in Labour weren’t enough to keep him on the straight and narrow, we only last week had a mass public boycott of Twitter to protest against antisemitism from high profile figures on the site. His conduct here has been shocking. In most other public facing walks of life a person would face professional repercussions if they came out with that level of antisemitism, even if they apologised. In most high profile media jobs it would have resulted in instant dismissal. I’m not even demanding that he lose the whip, although I think that would be a perfectly fitting punishment. At the very least I’d expect a suspension, a public rebuke from Starmer and a warning that any repeat would result in his expulsion from the party. The fact that Starmer has taken no visible action at all leads me to question his commitment to tackling antisemitism in Labour, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable now for people to suspect he’s applying it selectively based on factional affiliation. There’s only so long that you can keep labelling the left’s concerns as baseless paranoia. Mate, it’s way worse than what Peake said. The fact that you can even have a debate with AoT about the nuances of Peake’s statement shows that. Sheerman’s tweet by contrast was a balls out, unvarnished repetition of one of the oldest and most pernicious antisemitic slurs that exists. That trope has gained a lot more traction and caused a lot more damage throughout history than conspiracies like the one Peake alluded to (unwittingly moreover, she apologised for it shortly after as I recall). For centuries schoolchildren have learnt, internalised and propagated slurs about money-grabbing Jews long before they’re exposed to tropes about Jews controlling the world. P.S. I haven’t forgotten I still owe you another reply in this thread, it’s working it’s way up my to do list.
  14. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    Not sure if I misread your first post here Bruce. I assumed “what the fuck is wrong with people” was aimed at me for failing to grasp the difference between the responses to RLB and Sheerman, hence my reply. You think Sheerman should be kicked out, but given that he hasn’t had any action taken against him at all, can we take it you think Starmer has been inconsistent in his responses to the two cases? And if so, what do you think the reason for that inconsistency might be?
  15. Neil G

    Keir Starmer

    Worth noting for the likes of Bruce that a lot of people who were most scathing of Corbyn over antisemitism, people like Euan Phillips and his followers, are calling for Sheerman to have the whip withdrawn, and some are lambasting Starmer for not taking action. I haven’t seen any of them saying “it’s ok, he deleted it and said sorry so let’s leave him be.”