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CaptainSwing

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  1. This thread is so funny! Imagine the furore if it had been Mr Corbyn proposing an amnesty for illegal immigrants. Or, indeed, the massive debt-fuelled public spending binge that Mr Johnson has also promised.
  2. They'll also have to deal with the very real accusations of supporting austerity/neoliberalism/globalisation/Universal Credit/etc. Will Hutton reckons the LibDems are "beginning to recognise that their Keynesian tradition offers better policies for the times than soft Thatcherism", but I don't see any evidence for this myself.
  3. Universal Credit is "the biggest and most positive development in the welfare system for years", according to the LibDems.
  4. It's the same YouGov who show that Corbynite Labour policies are hugely popular with the public, provided that the words "Corbyn" and "Labour" are not mentioned when the question is asked. The reason why that makes a difference is given at post #407.
  5. Well, that's the payoff for all those years of dumb-ass, but highly effective, "Corbyn Is Bad" propaganda, isn't it? Gove knows that he only has to say the magic word "Corbyn" in order to set off a mass Pavlovian slobbering in a large section of the populace. God knows we see this often enough on the Forum. “[W]hen the example of the leader is not at hand and the herd must think for itself, it does so by means of clichés, pat words or images which stand for a whole group of ideas or experiences. Not many years ago, it was only necessary to tag a political candidate with the word [Socialist] to stampede millions of people into voting against him … Recently the word [Corbyn] has performed a similar service for persons who wished to frighten the public away from a line of action.” Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928) [The two words were different in the original of course - respectively interests and Bolshevik. I assume you know who Bernays was.]
  6. Apologies if this has already been posted, which is quite likely, but here are some excerpts from a testimonial for Mr Johnson that was provided by his former boss at the Telegraph, Max Hastings, back in 2012: "Why should he not be prime minister? ... My own answer is that if the mayor of London is the answer, there is something desperately wrong with the question. If the day ever comes that Boris Johnson becomes tenant of Downing Street, I shall be among those packing my bags for a new life in Buenos Aires ... Most politicians are ambitious and ruthless, but Boris is a gold medal egomaniac. I would not trust him with my wife nor – from painful experience – my wallet. His chaotic public persona is not an act – he is, indeed, manically disorganised about everything except his own image management. He is also a far more ruthless, and frankly nastier, figure than the public appreciates ... I would not take Boris's word about whether it is Monday or Tuesday ... He is not a man to believe in, to trust or respect ... He is bereft of judgment, loyalty and discretion. Only in the star-crazed, frivolous Britain of the 21st century could such a man have risen so high, and he is utterly unfit to go higher still." Folks, I give you our next prime minister. Poor old England.
  7. … a motion which was defeated, apparently because Tory remainers think that them "appearing to side with Corbyn" is worse than allowing the next PM to shut down Parliament in order to push through the no-deal Brexit that they think will be a disaster. As you say, you just can't fix stupid. [It was a cross-party motion, by the way, even if it was moved by Mr Corbyn - supported by all parties apart from the Tories and the DUP.] I think that no-deal is now the most likely outcome. M. Macron gives us to believe that he's ready to pull the plug, and if the next PM isn't even going to ask for an extension ...
  8. Yes, well put. We're rapidly gravitating towards a pure capitalist system where a small minority of people own everything, and everybody else is forced to rent it off them. Office 365 is another example that springs to mind.
  9. Sorry, I genuinely thought that you'd have heard of that. I was just making the point that populations of some species are limited by their being outcompeted or eaten by other species, not by expanding to the limit of what their habitat could support in the absence of competition or predation. In the jargon, these are (or used to be) known as r-selected species, as against K-selected species that are limited by carrying capacity (or by competition with other members of the same species). The r/K terminology comes from symbols that are often used in a particular governing equation. It's an oversimplification, and a bit outdated, but it's still a useful conceptual shortcut, I think. Not that it's particularly relevant here, as humans would definitely be K-selected. Plus, compared to other animals, they have a much greater capacity for deliberately changing their environment to suit themselves, which is why Malthus's predictions haven't come true … yet. As well as, of course, a capacity for non-deliberately changing their environment in ways that do them harm.
  10. Thanks! I dug your union cartoon too.
  11. The Rowntree Foundation have various different measures for poverty at different levels, as introduced here. The one you're probably talking about is "material deprivation" as defined here. "Materially deprived" means being unable to afford at least three of the 9 things listed, which include holidays (not foreign holidays). The definition of poverty used in the research that the "14 million people in poverty" headlines referred to is discussed at length here and (a bit) more succinctly here. Just in case anybody wants to find out about how "poverty" is actually defined by people who work in the area. Update: In the most recent definition of the Rowntree Foundation's "minimum income standard" (which is well above the "material deprivation" level) that I've been able to find, they explicitly refer to being able to afford a "one-week annual holiday in the UK", and explicitly exclude foreign holidays. See the "full report" linked to from here.
  12. The Greens also increased both their vote and their vote share, though admittedly not by as much as the LibDems.
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