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August 16, 2019

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georgesdelatour

Err - I think it was Mike Leigh who made the movie, not Ken Loach.

chris

Yes, it was. Sorry. Thanks. Correction made.

JJ

The only thing I find uncomfortable is Sibby in every blooming scene!

georgesdelatour

Chris

I think you’re probably reading too much into the Peterloo commemoration. It’s a one-off, occurring at a moment of maximum political polarisation, with signalling effects certain to distort things a lot. I don’t think the people who fail to get behind the commemorations all want to return the UK to the super-restricted electoral franchise of 1819. Twenty years ago, five million Brits bought Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind 1997”; that doesn’t mean the Britse who didn’t buy it all thought Diana was a stupid b*tch who got what she deserved.

A far better yardstick would be the annual commemoration of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, organised by the TUC. A stalwart of the commemorations, right up until he died, was Britain’s most Brexity Brexiteer - Tony Benn. I seem to remember many other very Brexity Brexiteers, such as Michael Foot and Arthur Scargill, were also often in attendance.

Blissex

«the forced labour that was national service»

That's ridiculous: citizenship of to a country and thus choosing to perform national service or to pay tax to that country's budget are purely voluntary actions. I know several people in countries where national service still runs who emigrated and changed their citizenship to avoid it, and the same for people as to taxes. What people cannot do is "have their cake and eat it", keep their citizenship but not the costs of its.

«Conservatives, and the ruling class in all its forms, have always been uncomfortable with this. As Corey Robin has said, the main consistent principle of conservatism has been a defence of hierarchy:»

C Robin's goal is to show that conservativism (not so much ruling classes) is all about identity, not interests, and so he invents the "defense of hierarchy" absurdity, in order to argue that clintonite/blairite "identity politics" is the main tool progressives must purse to oppose conservativism,

Conservatism and the ruling classes instead in general are about the defense of several types of *incumbency*, in our current time mostly the incumbency in ownership of financial (and secondarily productive) wealth. One pretty minor type nowadays can be incumbency in some position in a hierarchy, but that is not the big deal.

Consider the usual example, incumbent in high priced suburban properties near London: conservatives are all about furthering their interests in that incumbency, but what kind of hierarchby is involved in that incumbency? The landlord-tenant relationship could be viewed a hierarchical, but it is merely unequal (not all types of inequality steam from hierarchy), but even if regarded as hierarchical it is not a necessary relationship, still the interest of conservatives in further the interests of incumbents in those properties remains quite strong.

Ralph Musgrave

While I agree with much of the above article, there is a big exception to Chris's claim that it's the Tories who oppose freedom, and the left which promotes it: it's the political left which tends to oppose free speech.

A majority of Labour MPs backed the religious hatred bill which was debated in parliament around 15 years ago, while most Tory MPs (supported notably by Rowan Atkinson) backed the freedom to criticise and mock religion.

David

Blissex.
"That's ridiculous: citizenship of to a country and thus choosing to perform national service or to pay tax to that country's budget are purely voluntary actions."

Come on. Please explain your ludicrous statement.
Since when, ever, has been being born a "citizen" been a purely voluntary action.
Do you know how hard and expensive it is to renounce your citizenship?
The law is explicit.... you happened to be born in our country and you have no choice but to comply with our laws.
Voluntary?

mousepotato

@georgesdelatour

erm... Tony Benn, Michael Foot and Arthur Scargill may well have been a bit Brexity - but Tories?

Blissex

«Since when, ever, has been being born a "citizen" been a purely voluntary action.
Do you know how hard and expensive it is to renounce your citizenship?»

Until you reach adul age, it is your parents who take decisions on your behalf, including in which country you are born or which country you are a citizen of. They do so entirely voluntarily in most countries.
And in most countries renouncing citizenship is a simple and free business, and if your parents voluntarily decided to give on you a citizenship that is expensive and hard to renounce, blame them.

Citizenship is a bundle deal, like a cable TV subscription or a cellphone contract, and the membership fees are based on you taking the whole bundle. Changing that cable TV subscription or cellphone contract may also be expensive and hard, but as long as you have the right to do so, whining about not being able to cherry-pick just what are for you the advantages of the bundle is not that serious. But in current brexity times it is very popular indeed, at least that.

Blissex

«whining about not being able to cherry-pick just what are for you the advantages of the bundle is not that serious. But in current brexity times it is very popular indeed»

And there is another point about that: in memberships of a club the important thing, if leaving that club is a right, is not to have the ability to cherry-pick only the advantage of membership, but that the advantages and disadvantages be substantially the same for everybody, and cherry-picking obviously destroys that. Bundle deals should be substantially the same for everybody, they cannot become menus of options.

If the majority of a body politics decides that each of them should spend a period of time in military duty, it is then very important that that duty be substantially the same for everybody, independent of who they specifically are.

If you don't like that, pay the accrued cancellation fees for your current membership and buy membership of another body politic that offers a bundle of benefits and costs that suits you better, remembering that nobody is obliged to offer you just the bundle that you like most at the price that you want. Unless you are a brexiter :-).

David

France proposes reintroduction of National Service at age 16.
Voluntary? No. Birthright.
At age 18 most citizens have zero chance of obtaining citizenship of another country which is a condition of renunciation.
They will not meet the requirements for income, capital, health insurance, language etc.
Only those with one foreign parent or a very large trust fund will have the possibility.
Voluntary?
The UK gives an 18 year old the right to "apply" to renounce..... not the right to renounce.
Voluntary?

Blissex

«France proposes reintroduction of National Service at age 16.
Voluntary? No. Birthright.
At age 18 most citizens have zero chance of obtaining citizenship of another country which is a condition of renunciation.»

It is a voluntary choice of their parents which citizenship they gift their children with, and until the age of majority parents make life decisions for their children. Do you have problem with that?

Can you argue that the choice made by their parents was done under coercion? Are most french parents forced by jackbooted thugs of the Gendarmerie pointing a gun to their heads to gift french citizenship to their children?

«They will not meet the requirements for income, capital, health insurance»

Buying a citizenship is like buying anything else: you got the money or you make do without it.
Nobody should be entitled to get the benefits of citizenship without paying their share of the agreed costs of it.

People who can't afford to buy a citizenship other than that their parents voluntarily chose for them are making a voluntary choice just as much as those who can't afford the money to switch to a Ferrari when their parents gifted them a Golf are making a voluntary choice of which car to drive.

I think that confusing "voluntary" with "at whim and someone else pays" is stupid, but then it is a confusion beloved by brexiters, so popular today.

Alex

One explanation of this is that Peterloo was an important moment in the relationship between deep Tory society and the central government. The Manchester & Salford Yeomanry were a Militia unit, not an Army unit, a voluntary association that reported to the Lord Lieutenant and that was strongly politicised. You could say the same for the two special constables who were killed. The Regular Army showed up later in the day and there are witness accounts of clashes between the regulars and the militia. It was an important moment in the development of the modern police force and of the modern army (the semi-private militia and wholly private volunteer clubs were rolled up into the army with the foundation of the Territorial Force during the Cardwell reform some years later). Tellingly, this may be two versions of the same repressive state apparatus but if you had to pick...

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