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October 19, 2023


Ben Philliskirk

The reason for Starmer's support for Israel, like his lack of proposals for domestic reform, ultimately has nothing to do with electioneering. It's not machiavellianism, but a staunch pro-establishment stance that underpins Labour's current trajectory. They merely aim to look more competent than the Tories, and are ultimately much more politically conservative than their rivals.

Jonathan da Silva

A lot could depend on Biden who has at least set Lina Khan on tech and given his party are Liberalismists actually done some good things despite a party that cannot admit the bill is due from Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama.

3 years ago Starmer echoed Biden's call for an end to trickle down economics whilst simultaneously proffering it, nonetheless where they go we follow from 'Blinton' onwards.

All the other US 'rats seem like gormless simpletons who might even lose to anyone. Kind of people who say Free Market like it means a damn thing anymore. Biden may not know today is Thursday but he has some positives.

The problem with 26 years of marginalisation and triangulation is at some point in these duopolies the nutbags will win - you end up cheering for the awful Tusk in Poland but next election when that brand ultimately fails what happens? For most people it's them or try them with no clear difference (hence these tedious culture wars).

I think Starmer will be poor rather than terrible as his rhetoric hits the wall of reality after 47 years of by and large Liberalism [IMF '76] - you can't keep making workers poorer and expect different results but they do.


Dear oh dear, talk about wishful thinking.

They aren't proposing a bit of fiscal caution until the inflation constraint passes. It's pure household budget populism as an "ironclad" first principle, to which "there will be no exceptions". The fiscal equivalent of Reeves' "tougher than the Tories" on benefits. And when it blows up in their faces, the Tories will be ready with even worse.

Dave Timoney

I think this is a perfectly cogent argument if you assume that Starmer's priority is the economy. But if his prime objective is to restore the authority of the state after the twin scares of Brexit and Corbyn, then what may matter most about the direction Labour is facing as it aproaches government is his authoritarianism, which could be seen in the belligerent tone of his comments on Gaza.


I supported Brexit and Corbyn (third scare is the charm?) but
Starmer is an authoritarian.


"On the contrary, Starmer’s crushing of internal Labour Party democracy — and his entirely fraudulent campaign for the party leadership in 2020 — has been widely hailed as savvy politics, cheered to the rafters by a centrist press still spooked by Corbynism and now scarcely less eager than the Tories to see socialist ideas permanently driven out of the political sphere."

He is work and a securicrat, what little we know of his program includes a race-equality act.



Harmonising with the EU on immigration policy. (He wanted a second referendum on Brexit).


His new towns overriding local objections and building on the Green Belt.

I disagree with Simon Jenkins on HS2 but he is right on new towns.

"In other words, levelling up must form the backbone of regional policy over time. Every ingenuity should go into the creative regeneration of Britain’s “second-tier” cities, of central Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle. Vast sums should not be wasted on costly, carbon-guzzling new towns in the rural south."

And yes Cumbernauld centre was that bad.


"And it digs deeper still, giving time and space to several activists to make the point that the only way most matters to do with the property market and social housing make sense is if you posit that the Conservative party (in particular) has no real interest in creating a level playing field, no desire to reverse the trend that allows very few people to become very rich at the expense of the taxpaying masses and no belief that it is the state’s job to provide housing at all."


And not a sheet of paper between Labour and the Tories on fiscal policies, and all the imagination of a blank sheet.


"In their respective, almost identical plans to achieve economic stability, Labour and the Tories want to do three things. Firstly, to outsource economic decisions to ‘expert’ bodies. Secondly, to be fiscally parsimonious. And thirdly, to support established businesses."

As a resident of the 'Red Wall' I find no reason to support New labour, past or present.




"This crosses a legal line where we are expected to not just be tolerant of people’s beliefs but share them. We don’t do this with religion, people have different religious beliefs and there is no expectation that protestants have to believe in Roman Catholic transubstantiation. Gender critical people will be forced to accept that transwomen with penises are women or got to jail. They will be committing a hate crime by “mis-gendering” even if they are correctly sexing a person. Madness."

"With Labour’s lead in the polls, misgendering people could soon see people dragged off to the gulag for up to two years…"

Human Rights Act - Article 9 and 10?

Not to mention definition of Scientific/Biological facts, and common usage something Keir Starmer apparently has a problem with.

Has Anneliese Dodds, has a problem with freedom of speech and the presumption of innocence or how the law should intrude into peoples lives?

I oppose decisive and oppressive authoritarian woke ideology.

Starmer and Co are beyond the pale.

Zoltan Jorovic

Chris, you are making the same mistake that has led us to the current predicament. It's a failure to recognise that 'growth' as we have known it was entirely predicated upon having a cheap, abundant, flexible source of energy. The industrial revolution was powered by coal, then oil, and the digital revolution by gas-generated electricity. There are now two problems. The first is that the extraction cost (in energy terms) of fossil fuels is rapidly rising. The second is that we cannot use what is left of these without creating seriously economically impactful climate breakdown. By which I mean, the result would be far worse than the short term gain. Growth is off the agenda and we have to adapt to a process of de-growth as the already guaranteed climate changes happen. Its adapt, and live within the planetary boundaries, or die, slowly or more quickly depending on how stupid we are. Economics is always trumped by physics.


«on the face of it the party seems to be willing the ends but not the means. Rachel Reeves promises faster growth, higher investment and the creation of good new jobs around the country, but without having a detailed plan to achieve any of these and apparently oblivious to the fact that the forces of capitalist stagnation militate against faster growth.»

Our blogger keeps discussing the public propaganda of lobby groups as if it were sincere "on the face of it", parliamentary style. Outside of parliament it is simply a waste of time, especially if it relates to someone boasting on the record of being a "pragmatist":

«Starmer on the Andrew Marr show. He was asked what had happened to the Ten Pledges. The answer, “Look, I’m a pragmatist, not an ideologue.”»


«evidence that Labour is thinking along radical lines for its third or fourth move is lacking, which is why the pro-capital, anti-welfare Anna Soubry feels comfortable supporting Labour.»

Instead of being naive and leaving Labour to join "Change UK" like Chuka Umunna, Starmer and Streeting turned Labour into "Change UK". Mandelson is not stupid.

Graham Jones

Zoltan Jorovic is right. Growth causes global warming. I'm old, and I don't have any children, so I'm doing what I can so as not to make the problem worse.


Zoltan Jorovic is ... wrong!

'Climate Change Science' has more in common with Excelgate (Economics) than it has to Physics.

Incomplete, missing and manipulated data (shame about the missing ice ages in the hockey stick curve).
(Make the sparse data fit the model).

You take a model that can predict the weather, a week ahead with lots of data, and run it forward over decades with no data. With missing functions, e.g. Clouds.

Politics, Excelgate was political, and nothing is more political than Climate Science.

Using Horizon (BBC Science, TV program) as an example, we have gone from Global Cooling, to Global Warming, to Climate Weirding in three programs.


"Now, carbon dioxide levels are over 400 parts per million and are likely to stay there for thousands of years, so the next ice age is postponed for a very long time. We will be living in a warmed and changed climate for many generations to come."

Where is that Time Machine when you need it...


Even if you buy the narrative of Climate Change, you wouldn't adapt to net zero in the current panic in the West.

Electric Cars, that burn so well (a Hybrid) not the approved approach to reducing car usage.

Fewer cars, would make better public transport a priority, not in the UK install those charging points, rip out the Gas network, redevelop housing.

If only we could get a carbon free source of energy, like the nice Mr Oppenheimer (Grove, Eisenstein etc) demonstrated, by splitting the atom.

This post is only partially tongue in cheek, as the issues are too large to unpack.

You can have as many mp3's as you like as the power needed for play mp3's is not significant, and the format is out of patent.

Energy need not be a limiting factor.


«'Climate Change Science' has more in common with Excelgate (Economics) than it has to Physics.

Incomplete, missing and manipulated data (shame about the missing ice ages in the hockey stick curve).
(Make the sparse data fit the model).»

I reckon that both sides on this debate are wrong:

* Climate change is *undeniable*. You don't need models to "predict" that the climate will change, just the enormous evidence that it has happened in vast amounts for billions of years. It has been pretty huge even just in the past few thousand years, and even over some hundred years. Note how the propaganda has largely switched from "global warming" (which is a very questionable claim) to "climate change" (which is undeniable).

* The big propaganda push is not about "global warming" or "climate change", but simply uses them for the real topic being pushed, which is neither of those but "carbon footprint". The political classes of "the west" after the legendary Carter debacle about "malaise" has been trying to find ways to get the mass servant classes to cut their standards of living to conserve fossil fuels (e.g. eat less meat, fewer foreign holidays, lower heating settings, use more public transport, more reuse of old products, ...), and "carbon footprint" is the line that got traction.

“Labour conference: Starmer ambition to get off fossil fuels by 2030”

Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels is actually a very good goal (from a "philosopher king" perspective) regardless of excuses like "global warming" or banalities like "climate change", but the current "carbon footprint" propaganda campaign is designed to have strong distributional impacts (lower fossil fuel consumption for the servants, cheaper fossil fuels for the masters and their trusties).


"Growth is off the agenda and we have to adapt to a process of de-growth as the already guaranteed climate changes happen."

This is an important assertion, but looking to China will show the assertion to be incorrect. China is rapidly building a clean energy base all through the country and assisting other countries in building clean energy bases. Also, China is investing in national protections against climate change, such as hundreds of billions of dollars invested in water conservancy through the country.

The UK sorely needs to be working with China on clean energy and climate change investment.

Zoltan Jorovic

@Aragon Oh dear...never mind, if you can't face reality then I guess its best you live in a fantasy world. But, even if you think we can burn all the fossil fuels we still have, the cost of extraction is still relentlessly going up as we have already used all the easily available sources.

@ltr. If only. What do you use to build the turbines, PV panels, and installation infrastructure? It takes a lot of oil and gas to make them. It will be a long time before enough renewable energy is available to produce the steel and concrete involved, and the glass and plastic.

Zoltan Jorovic

@Blissex This is a new one for me. Climate change is real, but also a conspiracy by the elite to hoard fossil fuels? Plus, climate change, although real, is a banality? And, also while real, is not based on any real science?

Welcome to the fantastical world of wish projection where anything can be true, and reality is whatever we want it to be.

Apologies to Chris as I didn't mean to hijack this debate into the twisted weirdness of conspiracy imaginaries. I was simply trying to point out that our civilisation is dependent on vast amounts of relatively cheap, easily available energy and that growth requires more energy, which is a problem when the sources we have been depending on are finite. Its also a basic fact that we have been using the most easily accessible sources, and that as time goes on, the energy cost of extraction rises, more and more steeply. How can growth continue?

Of course, we can also add the issue of planetary boundaries such as availability of clean water, loss of biodiversity, loss of non-renewable resources etc. All of which is summed up in the trite but true "you can't have infinite growth on a finite planet".

No doubt there are plenty who will believe that this is not a simple truth, and argue at length why not. But facing up to reality can be too much for some, and if they need to protect their sanity through wish projection, it's understandable.


@Zoltan Jorovic

I was suggesting an expansion of Nuclear Fission (Manhattan Project), and eventually fusion.

I have a website (now defunct) for you.


Leading to the more recent...


"This is particularly true if one accepts one of the criteria that Exxon used to justify their ongoing interest, namely that they project that world energy demand will be 40% higher in 2030 than today, with more than 80% of that energy still being supplied by fossil fuels. Exxon believes that the oil from oil shale will play a significant role in that supply."


"The United Kingdom is forecast to produce some 37.3 million metric tons of crude oil in 2022. By 2040, this figure is expected to fall to 12.6 million metric tons. According to the BEIS reference scenario, that year could see oil products' demand reach 59.9 million metric tons of oil equivalent, which would be nearly five times the projected output volume."


"The International Atomic Energy Agency’s conference on fusion last week was a festival of optimism following breakthroughs that shatter all assumptions about the future of energy. Some 65pc of specialists think commercial fusion at viable cost could be a reality by 2035, and 90pc by 2040.

The stakes are massive. Fusing two hydrogen nuclei into a larger helium atom replicates the process of the sun, releasing 20 million times more energy than burning fossil fuels. It is endlessly renewable. It promises baseload power around the clock."

Fission is available now, Fusion is no longer 50 years away, both are carbon free in operation.

With Energy you can desalinate water (97% of Earths water) etc.

I don't know where you got your, 'end of the world' sandwich board from, but the future is bright, the future is Nuclear.

Jan Wiklund

I think the less one wants "growth" the better. "Growth" is a bookkeeping term of little value. What is essential is the content of this growth.

For example, there was a tremendous growth up to the crash 2008. But most of it was air, and most of it consisted in redistribution from the poor to the rich.

What we need is a full labour market, and production of real things and services. But we can do very well without all the socalled services the rentier businesses do, and which is also counted within "growth".


《For example, there was a tremendous growth up to the crash 2008. But most of it was air, and most of it consisted in redistribution from the poor to the rich.》

What if the Fed had bailed out Lehman's, would a lot of poors been able to continue house-flipping?

Our blogger said: "But options, even out-of-the-money ones, have some value".

So why not sell spreads instead of destroying the environment with silly real things that require logging, mining, drilling, etc.?

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