Brexit and the waning days of the United Kingdom

Started by Josquius, February 20, 2016, 07:46:34 AM

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How would you vote on Britain remaining in the EU?

British- Remain
12 (12%)
British - Leave
7 (7%)
Other European - Remain
21 (21%)
Other European - Leave
6 (6%)
ROTW - Remain
34 (34%)
ROTW - Leave
20 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 98

Josquius

#27345
Quote from: Tamas on February 12, 2024, 08:00:08 AM
Quote from: Josquius on February 12, 2024, 05:20:12 AMDidn't he just say Israel let the attack happen?
Ignorant and offensive to Israelis I get. I hope he just misspoke and didn't mean quite that.
But anti semitic? We really need to stop this conflation.

So are we saying that not all anti-Israel conspiration theorists are anti-semites? Ok but surely it's safe to assume that all anti-semites are anti-Israel conspiration theorists, so I don't think it is an entirely unfounded theory that somebody whose first reaction to the terror attack was to blame it on the victims in a pattern very reminiscent of anti-semite lines of thinking, might, just, be an anti-semite. But sure I concede there's a theoretical chance he is not.

Sure. Guess that he's anti-semitic if you want. But that statement doesn't show it.

It really seems to me to be obvious mis-speaking.
That Israeli intelligence knew something was up and did nothing is a perfectly reasonable accusation. Either they're completely and utterly incompetent or they absolutely had to have known something. The reports about Egyptian intelligence warning them are pretty damning.
And absolutely the attacks have paid off in Netanyahu's favour. Going a bit away from "Yes thats probably true" and into more abstract guess work, but still not into conspiracy territory; that Bibi could have been fine with letting Hamas take the first shot to give him a pretext to crush them?
Considering the signs of Israeli over confidence and likely belief Hamas would accomplish nothing and smash themselves against the walls then I'm not going to discount the theory.

From here its not that much of a leap to screw up your words and say Israel let the attacks happen, with the implication being every single detail had government sign-off.

Especially given quite how on guard Labour is about anti semitism these days, it seems far more likely to me that the guy misspoke and was hinting towards the first than he literally believes the stupid second thing and is anti-semitic.
If Labour have allowed an anti-semite to stand as a candidate then that would be a fuck up of epic proportions. Which again given how on top of that issue they've been and the prominence of the position, doesn't strike me as likely.
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Tamas

The problem is that whenever you see somebody in Labour make a gaffe you feel obliged to show tribal loyalty and defend them. The only reason that's better than what the Tories do is that Labour is almost always on the right side of issues, but I still feel like you shouldn't be doing it.

Sheilbh

#27347
Quote from: Tamas on February 12, 2024, 08:00:08 AMSo are we saying that not all anti-Israel conspiration theorists are anti-semites? Ok but surely it's safe to assume that all anti-semites are anti-Israel conspiration theorists, so I don't think it is an entirely unfounded theory that somebody whose first reaction to the terror attack was to blame it on the victims in a pattern very reminiscent of anti-semite lines of thinking, might, just, be an anti-semite. But sure I concede there's a theoretical chance he is not.
As with Labour anti-semitism, I don't know if he's anti-semitic or not - and he has had prominent Jewish Labour MPs say that he was a very strong ally and supporter of theirs, who actively reached out to help Jewish Labour during the Corbyn years. I don't know that that matters.

I think implying that Israel let over 1,000 of their own people die in order to attack Gaza is likely to be felt as anti-semitic by British Jews. It's wrong and I think it's unacceptable. Especially in the context of the particular sensitivity of that relationship which Starmer has, rightly, made a key of his leadership so far.

I'm really not sure. I think on an objective level of this being a normal by-election at this point in the election cycle with the polling as it is, I'd say Labour should replace him as candidate - a donkey with a red rosette would win. The story of Labour chaos etc would not matter. In the context of Starmer's leadership and re-building relations with British Jews after the Corbyn years, I think it's really damaging and that makes the case for replacing him even stronger. On the other hand this isn't a normal by-election because of Galloway and Labour replacing their candidate right now will strengthen him. I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of Labour in any way writing off a seat to Galloway (in the way the Tories have written off Wellingborough) because I think he's that toxic that they need to do whatever is best to beat him.

Also having said all that - he has apologised. I often think about Naz Shah who's a Labour MP - who won her seat off Galloway in an incredibly nasty campaign when he accused her lying about having been forced into a violent and abusive marriage at the age of 15. He claimed to have her nikah (Islamic marriage certificate) and having made it up for the British press in order to slander and play into stereotypes of British Pakistanis. Needless to say nothing Galloway said was true. But she early in her time as an MP had made some anti-semitic remarks about Israel - she apologised, she then engaged with the Jewish community and I think is a model of what a real apology and learning from your mistake looks like. So I think Ali should be allowed to do that. (But I have a very Catholic view to this and other identity issues - the rules should be strict strict but you can repent and be absolved :lol:).

Edit: One challenge I think is that Labour have withdrawn the whip and kicked people out of the party for less recently. I don't know if it's be an option, but one of the challenges infighting the far left in the 80s was their willingness (and skill)  in using legal challenges on Labour not applying their own rules - I wonder if something similar could happen here if there's a sense of a double standard, with people challenging their suspension if he isn't?
Let's bomb Russia!

crazy canuck

Quote from: Sheilbh on February 12, 2024, 07:12:24 AM
Quote from: Tamas on February 12, 2024, 03:34:21 AMBut as a general point, a rigorous regulatory environment is not a guarantee. In Hungary Orban barely loosened the strict rules around tendering etc, yet they don't for a moment prevent the breathtaking amounts of corruption and channeling of EU money to cronies and human wallets. You just work around it e.g. if a council must have several tender offers in to choose from and must define rigorous rules by which they can be awarded, they just have cronies apply as "competitors" and they make sure the very rigorous requirements are so rigorous that only a very particular company could adhere to them.
So again I think there is corruption at the local government level - partly because there's less press attention, but also because I think they're lower value there's also less challenge in the courts. Plus in the case of Liverpool the big corruption scandal was even called the New Chinatown Project which sounds like it would be a big corruption scandal in a movie :lol:

It's a few years ago but within procurement it was almost seen as inevitable that a tender decision would be challenged by at least some of the competitors. Speaking from IT/tech perspective government contracts for even relatively low level work are massive (and the government always pays its bills on time, so they're great from a cash flow perspective too) - so if your bid loses and you have an arguable case it is worth challenging. I remember the case a few years ago on the tender for nuclear de-commissioning which was, I think, worth £9 billion over several years. The losing bidder sued and won resulting in a £100 million settlement in their favour, early termination of the contract and a re-run of the procurement process and a public inquiry (as well as at least two parliamentary inquiries). That's the worst case scenario in the back of everyone's minds and why there is so much ass-covering and so much process and so many layers of process and review etc. My understanding is that in basically every procurement legal challenge by other bidders is always the number one risk even over project failure :lol:

I'd add that the public inquiry actually said that in many respects it was a well-run procurement process that really should have gone well: they had a model that was well used and known by the market, they had "multi-level governance" with good stakeholder management, good market engagement, appropriate policies, were appropriately resourced team, regular reporting etc. But they got the strategy wrong and fucked up on the scoring of tenders - basically I think they allowed too much to be "fixed" after the tender had been won which amounted to a significantly different enough contract than that which was tendered to be unfair on other bidders.

As I say, unless the corruption is a structural one of lawyers and consultants (which I don't rule out), I don't think all of that is explicable by corruption. I'd also add that ministers are often not involved in a lot of this - obviously it varies by department so I think procurement is a bigger deal for the MoD or Transport say. But even then a lot of the work and decisions will be taken by an arms' length body of one sort or other (that was definitely the case in the nuclear decommissioning example). After Fujitsu and people laughing about the fact that our procurement rules mean government can't consider a supplier's past performance as a factor in a tender, there was a minister who came out and said they asked for this information and the civil service refused to provide it because it would risk making the procurment unlawful. I believe that story, that sounds true to me - but the consequence is the civil service will then report up a recommendation with a tender score for the minister to sign off and if it all goes wrong (because Serial Failure Ltd yet again fails to deliver) the minister will get the blame.

I think it is really difficult because there's a huge risk of corruption, but I think we are too far the other way (whcih is also expensive just in a different way). Obviously any reform will be met with howls of it allowing corruption and creating a risk of jobs for the boys, but I suspect that will mainly come from, say, lawyers and consultants who currently benefit from the system and are also a vested interest. I particularly think there's probably a need for a simplifed process which I think should be available for anything to do with energy transition/net zero given that I think that needs to be more of a priority than the risk of an unfair procurement process (but I do believe in the climate emergency stuff).

It is common for people to realize after the fact that the original request for proposal did not adequately anticipate everything that needed to be done on the job.

Change orders are ubiquitous.

That is what makes litigation challenging the fairness of the bidding process also ubiquitous.

It's not corruption. Rather I would argue it's the reverse.  Governments, go so far out of their way to create a process which will be perceived to be devoid of corruption that they end up with such an inefficient and costly process that only few big players can actually bid and they end up with the perception that it's a corrupt system.  so all kinds of expense for nothing.

I want you to panic

https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2019/jan/25/i-want-you-to-panic-16-year-old-greta-thunberg-issues-climate-warning-at-davos-video

"Woke" is now almost exclusively used by those who seek to deride it, those who chafe at the activism from which it sprang. Opponents to the idea are seeking to render it toxic. They use it to stand in for change itself, for evolution, for an accurate assessment of history and society that makes them uncomfortable and deflates their hagiographic view of American history.

Josquius

Quote from: Tamas on February 12, 2024, 08:18:31 AMThe problem is that whenever you see somebody in Labour make a gaffe you feel obliged to show tribal loyalty and defend them. The only reason that's better than what the Tories do is that Labour is almost always on the right side of issues, but I still feel like you shouldn't be doing it.

I'm fine with valid criticism of Labour. Though when the wrong attack is being made I do feel need to correct it.

e.g. Corbyn wasn't some evil terrorist loving dictator in waiting as the media portrays him... he was a naiive idiot who was way too honest (yes, sounds like an attempt to praise him whilst actually criticising him, but not what I'm doing here, I mean it) and just not fit for a position as a leading national politician.
Diane Abbot isn't an idiot who can't count to 10. She's obviously a clever woman. I'm not a fan of her at all but in the endlessly repeated and wanked over by righties footage she clearly just misspoke.

With anti semitism this is a particular issue as there are certain people in the world way too keen to label any criticism of Israel as motivated by anti semitism and given Labour's recent history there things are very messy.
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Sheilbh

Yes. I'd add in that case which was very front of people's mind because it was a lot of money, something really important (nuclear decommissioning) - they kind of did everything right from a process perspective. In the public inquiry basically though it found the structures and process were already "good practice", their recommendations to avoid this risk again were all about more process and structures.

I'd also add that to the extent we think of corruption as a political phenomenon, from my understanding (and I could be wrong) that £9 billion contract never touched a minister's desk. It was entirely run by an arm's length quango, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, with support from the civil service and external legal advisors etc. Ministers might have decided to tender the decommissioning of nuclear plants, but after that it was out of their hands.

This is somethig I worry about - and there's a book coming up that looks interesting on this - which is I think there is a growing accountability gap. Where power and decision making is separate from responsibility and accountability (I think this will only increase with AI, but on a computer level you already see it with Horizon or the Dutch child benefit scandal). I think on average in general process in a procurement, policies, algorithms should produce better results that are less infected by bias, less vulnerable to corruption etc. On the other hand they mean there is no individual who is responsible - which means there's no individual who can meaningfully apologise for example, or a minister resigning won't make a difference. And I think it's very important that we work out how to address and explain that to the public - because I think it's a little problematic for democratic societies that accountability is so diffuse.
Let's bomb Russia!

HVC

There's only so many times you can walk like a duck and sound like a duck before someone calls you a duck. It's a lot more believable than being a naive but honest moose.
Being lazy is bad; unless you still get what you want, then it's called "patience".
Hubris must be punished. Severely.

crazy canuck

Quote from: Sheilbh on February 12, 2024, 10:30:40 AMYes. I'd add in that case which was very front of people's mind because it was a lot of money, something really important (nuclear decommissioning) - they kind of did everything right from a process perspective. In the public inquiry basically though it found the structures and process were already "good practice", their recommendations to avoid this risk again were all about more process and structures.

I'd also add that to the extent we think of corruption as a political phenomenon, from my understanding (and I could be wrong) that £9 billion contract never touched a minister's desk. It was entirely run by an arm's length quango, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, with support from the civil service and external legal advisors etc. Ministers might have decided to tender the decommissioning of nuclear plants, but after that it was out of their hands.

This is somethig I worry about - and there's a book coming up that looks interesting on this - which is I think there is a growing accountability gap. Where power and decision making is separate from responsibility and accountability (I think this will only increase with AI, but on a computer level you already see it with Horizon or the Dutch child benefit scandal). I think on average in general process in a procurement, policies, algorithms should produce better results that are less infected by bias, less vulnerable to corruption etc. On the other hand they mean there is no individual who is responsible - which means there's no individual who can meaningfully apologise for example, or a minister resigning won't make a difference. And I think it's very important that we work out how to address and explain that to the public - because I think it's a little problematic for democratic societies that accountability is so diffuse.

And the most dangerous thing will be the assumption that you've made that it will result in better results.  People will simply not question the brilliance of the AI because they don't understand that it's not actually doing what they think it's doing.

Politicians and senior bureaucrats will, however love it because it means they don't actually have to do their job. If something goes wrong, and by the way, who will know that something has gone wrong, the politicians and senior bureaucrats can simply say that they relied on the AI and as we all know the AI is infallible.

I want you to panic

https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2019/jan/25/i-want-you-to-panic-16-year-old-greta-thunberg-issues-climate-warning-at-davos-video

"Woke" is now almost exclusively used by those who seek to deride it, those who chafe at the activism from which it sprang. Opponents to the idea are seeking to render it toxic. They use it to stand in for change itself, for evolution, for an accurate assessment of history and society that makes them uncomfortable and deflates their hagiographic view of American history.

Tamas

Quote from: HVC on February 12, 2024, 10:32:17 AMThere's only so many times you can walk like a duck and sound like a duck before someone calls you a duck. It's a lot more believable than being a naive but honest moose.

Fake naivety I find very annoying. "yeah sure they communicate in fascist soundbites but they are actually are just conservatives and/or are doing it for the lulz, not serious" and "yes sure they communicate in anti-semitic soundbites but they really   just have universal humanitarian views for all mankind"

Sheilbh

#27354
Yeah although I think on this there's a bit of what is AI philosophy too.

Where I'm coming from on this is that in Europe generally speaking individuals have a right to not be subject to "wholly automated decision-making" that has a siginificant effect, and they have a right for human appeal. My question on that has always been - from an individual's perspective what is the difference between a decision made by a machine following the parameters that have been set and a decision made by a human with little to no discretion following policy (e.g. 99% of customer service reps on help desks)?

Generative AI may change things, but the oldest AI is the Cabinet, or the Board of Directors. It is the animating intelligence of the state or the corporation, expressed and implemented through policies applied by people to whatever situation they're facing. As I say, in general, I think that limitation of human discretion - which we already do quite significantly (and are doing more and more) - probably on average, aggregated etc produces fairer, better outcomes. As an individual human experience it's incredibly disempowering and can be monumentally unjust - it's not for nothing that mercy is always discretionary. As I say, generative AI may transform this, but at the minute I'm not sure that AI is necessarily different than what we currently do but more and faster and by machines without discretion v people without discretion.

And I do absolutely think people will question it in the same way as I think one of the great challenges in our politics is that I think people sense that there is this growing gap between power and (democratic) accountability. I think it's part of what fuels the "populist moment" that the levers of politics do not seem to be connected to anything (incidentally - having written that I feel like I've heard a similar line from a few ministers post-retirement that they felt unable to do things because their decision didn't seem connected to the actual machine). I think it's got multiple sides growing multinational corporate power, more technocracy (quangos, independent arms lenghth bodies, expert advisory groups etc) and perhaps more machines that the human bit (in a democracy) of electoral politics is a fair bit removed.

Quotee.g. Corbyn wasn't some evil terrorist loving dictator in waiting as the media portrays him... he was a naiive idiot who was way too honest (yes, sounds like an attempt to praise him whilst actually criticising him, but not what I'm doing here, I mean it) and just not fit for a position as a leading national politician.
I think Corbyn's IRA sympathies are pretty problematic on terrorist sympathising - as is laying a wreath at a Black September memorial. And I think there is a double standard from the left on this. If a Tory leadership candidate had a history of hosting and going to events sponsored by Loyalist paramilitaries, or laying a wreath at, I don't know, a memorial to Rabin's assassin that would have been shrugged off in the way that Corbyn's issues were for four years. Sadly I think if it wasn't for Labour's worst election result in 80+ years, Labour might have carried on with a more Corbyn-adjacent leader.

On dictator I get your point - but I think he has a fanbase (and it is a fanbase) that is pretty Trumpy. Just look at the comments below any Twitter post of a moderate Labour MP. And like Trump they struggle to accept any possible criticism of Corbyn - and like Trump there's a significant faction of mainstream left commentators (Owen Jones) and alternative media (like Novara) who are mainly interested in proving that there is no alternative that anything but a re-run of 2015-19 is betrayal or Toryism/Zionism/American imperialism by another name.

Edit: And on Trumpiness I also remember the people on the left who were very, very storngly critical of Corbyn on good principled grounds and thought he was a disaster from 2015-17 and then went very quiet after the 2017 election either because he'd done better than expected or because of their circles. It's why I also think the argument that he was bad because he'd lose was the wrong one  - even if that meant agreeing with the Daily Mail and saying actually the issue with Corbyn was Corbyn: his beliefs, his foibles, his associates not just that he might tactically harm the Labour Party.

QuoteDiane Abbot isn't an idiot who can't count to 10. She's obviously a clever woman. I'm not a fan of her at all but in the endlessly repeated and wanked over by righties footage she clearly just misspoke.
:lol: So I actually quite like Diane Abbott and I totally agree. Same also for the attacks on Rayner.

But I think Abbott's politics are problematic. She is of the same hard left tradition as Corbyn, I remember the on balance Mao did more good than bad (citing foot-binding :bleeding:) but I think the amount of vitriol she gets is horrifying and very much motivated by her race and gender.

I think the contrast with John McDonnell who gets a much softer run from public opinion than he deserves. His comments have been pretty horrendous over the years but he gets away with it in a way that Abbott isn't allowed to - for his joining in a chant to "lynch" a government minister, or giving a speech to Irish Republicans saying it was the IRA's "bombs and bullets" which forced the Good Friday Agreement.
Let's bomb Russia!

Sheilbh

#27355
And Labour have withdrawn support for their candidate in Rochdale and won't be actively campaigning for him:
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/feb/12/labour-withdraws-support-for-rochdale-candidate-after-israel-gaza-remarks

I was not aware that Simon Danczuk (former Labour MP for Rochdale who was kicked out of the party for a sexting scandal) was running for Reform UK (the post-UKIP party) - and is now claiming he's the best hope to stop Galloway :bleeding:

Still quite something to have two by-elections and for different reasons in each one one of the two main parties have basically disowned their candidate.

My one thought on this is that it feels like one of a few examples where Starmer's quite slow to respond to somoething. Which feels like something to watch if he wins.

Edit: In particular it reminds me of Johnson (which burned his credibility/support among backbenchers) - hold a line on a clearly unsustainable situation, get loads of loyalists out defending that line, then reverse. Not great.
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

I wonder what those other comments were.
Weird they'd defend him so rigorously but it's in the exact same internal meeting that the less bad and easy to fix comments came out.
Factional games?

Sounds like a total cluster fuck of a bi election. Galloway might well take this one.
The damage is already done so he might as well win to show how reasonable and great labour are? :/
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Gups


HVC

Houthi attacks are threatening uk tea supply. There goes all British support for Palestine :P
Being lazy is bad; unless you still get what you want, then it's called "patience".
Hubris must be punished. Severely.

Josquius

Quote from: HVC on February 13, 2024, 06:07:54 AMHouthi attacks are threatening uk tea supply. There goes all British support for Palestine :P
Do they want the empire back?
As this is how you get the empire back.
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