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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next UK General Election thread on: August 20, 2017, 03:16:42 pm
And that brings us to the main point really: British voting patterns are anchored firmly in the material. Class, money, status, property; exactly how they all interact and impact varies and many of them have becoming increasingly complex as we've moved to a service-dominated economy, but that's the core of it all. Sure there are other factors - in particular people tend to forget odd results have a curious tendency to correlate with notably strong and/or weak candidates! - but the overall picture is what it is.* This is really only something you see reliably in Canada in provincial elections in the West.

*And many of these other factors link in anyway; anyone pretending that there's no link between ethnicity and social status has got their head stuck very firmly in the sand...
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next UK General Election thread on: August 20, 2017, 03:05:43 pm
An important thing to bear in mind - and to anchor this discussion perhaps a little more - when discussing London is the not exactly small issue of housing...



In particular you should never forget that great ring of council estates in the inner city; one of the largest concentrations of public housing in Europe and something that immediately makes it very hard to draw hasty parallels with Canadian cities with their total lack of any serious tradition of municipal socialism. Battersea has been mentioned in this discussion and is a good example, as whatever the ups and downs of local swings there, Labour would not be competitive without the council estates in the north of the former borough. The increasingly low status of private renting - a return to what had historically been the norm after a few decades - is also now very important.
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1998 Illinois gubernatorial election on: August 19, 2017, 10:33:38 am
Although I drew some flack in this thread, I ponder if I would have drawn the same flack had Ryan not gone to prison. I was, of course, giving my opinion as if I did not have hindsight. I don't think many would hold their Ryan votes with the hindsight that he went to prison.

You talk is if it were a minor detail, the consequence of a trifling peccadillo, barely worth bothering about. Which is really not the case at all.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Next UK General Election thread on: August 14, 2017, 06:35:22 pm
On the flipside Walsall North does represent a particular type of Working Class/leave area that has been trending away from Labour for a long time now.

Ah, no, nowhere in Walsall is representative of anywhere else.* Seat would probably have been held with a different candidate; Winnick was an excellent parliamentarian but not exactly what voters these days are looking for in terms of a constituency MP...

Culture war nonsense does go down like catnip in parts of the seat though. Bloxwich used to elect fascist councillors - they ran as independents - on occasion before it was cool.

*Crossposting this from elsewhere...

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As it happens I can give you a partial explanation, at least as far as the deprivation statistics go. The Walsall town part of the constituency is very deprived (as o/c is the part in Walsall South; the town is very depressed) and that's where the high deprivation totals are run up. This is also the most Labour part of the constituency and about the only part of it to be at all politically stable. But the majority of the constituency is made up of Willenhall* and Bloxwich. Willenhall has only one SOA in the lowest ten per cent; Bloxwich has a few more but these are balanced out by a couple (new build areas of course) in the highest ten per cent. These two towns have extremely volatile politics; e.g. it's not even odd to see a Bloxwich ward vote like two thirds Tory one year and Labour the next.

*Er... strictly speaking most of what I'm referring to as Willenhall would not exactly-or-entirely be regarded as Willenhall by everyone in the area, but let us not overcomplicate things with the full Byzantine weirdness of Midlands parochialism.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Has Europe "Americanized" throughout the 00s and 2010s? on: July 26, 2017, 03:13:19 am
You're talking absolute rubbish.
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Why do more educated people tend toward centrism? on: July 21, 2017, 04:31:28 pm
Of course what this thread really demonstrates is the deficiency in the education of many people who presumably describe themselves as educated. For instance, what does 'educated' in this context actually mean? You cannot take a term as vague as that as given. Or, rather, if you do don't be surprised if others take you for an idiot.
7  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Britons, or anyone for that matter, should the British Monarchy be abolished? on: July 21, 2017, 04:18:33 pm
We? What ethnic background are you pretending to have this month then?
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you support Irish Reunification? on: July 18, 2017, 04:42:30 pm
Firstly, I am firmly opposed to civil wars and think that if they can be averted they should be. Secondly... reunification? That is... er... not the correct word to use as Northern Ireland has never been part of the Republic.
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Margaret Thatcher on: July 17, 2017, 07:58:52 pm
I think my views on this matter are reasonably well known.

My favorite quote of hers was when she said, "Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides." I love it because I have the bruises to prove she was right.

Actually it was Aneurin Bevan (who had, I think it is fair to say, rather different politics) who said that.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: July 16, 2017, 01:57:33 pm
Are the conservative parts of Berlin...

Such things don't really exist.
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who on: July 16, 2017, 11:30:43 am
A fine actor who has been very good in a lot of tricky parts. Most notable TV role to date was in Broadchurch.
12  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban 'heatcharger' on: July 16, 2017, 10:41:07 am
The GOAT just won the final. This is A Sign.

I'll admit I used the term quite loosely and it's not nearly the same thing that McEnroe and Sampras did,

By 'quite loosely' you mean, of course, 'entirely incorrectly'. The funniest part is that many serve-and-volleyers didn't even have particularly good serves...

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and I'm just annoyed at how players without a well-developed game all-around can defeat players who seemingly are almost purely because the surface they're playing on favors the server much more than anywhere else.

If your serve is no good then you don't actually have a well developed all-around game (as the otherwise near perfect Elena Dementieva could tell you). Like, the serve is the most technically difficult and physically demanding thing that you do in a match. And leaving that aside, a really good fast serve is a profoundly beautiful thing to watch.

Different surfaces favour different styles of play. Given that diversity is one of the greatest charms of tennis this is such an odd thing to whine about. So you don't like aggressive play? A lot of other people - all decent people really - hate pushers. Others loathe baseline returners. And so on. One of the weirdest things about discussing tennis online are all these strange people who seem to think that the only valid form of the game is when it takes on the form of a long distance boxing match, acting as if a style of play that is only about forty years old is the eternal and pure form of tennis and that all other approaches are Heresy.

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And yes, while structural changes to the racket have changed how the game is played on grass in particular, it's still much faster than clay or hard court. But hey, even the folks at Wimby might be artificially slowing down their courts to create more sustained rallies to provide the action and intrigue people are clamoring for. They know it makes for better theater.

They started slowing down the courts because a lot of clay court specialists whinged and refused to even turn up (undignified, sad, etc) not because of pressure from fans. Probably there has never been a more popular outcome to a men's Wimbledon than 2001 ffs. And in general there's a lot of nostalgia for the serve-and-volley era, largely because it meant there was more play at the net then you see these days.
13  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban 'heatcharger' on: July 15, 2017, 08:36:01 pm
You see all I'm getting from this is that you don't actually know what serve-and-volley is or the reasons for its decline (possibly you never actually saw it; no idea how old you are). Not the same as being a servebot (and not everyone with a big serve is a servebot anyway, Jesus). Changes to rackets were the big thing, opening up new ways of play - suddenly you could be properly aggressive from all over the court, which just wasn't possible with the old wooden rackets - with the slower playing surfaces of recent decades really dealing the death blow. There's no one these days who plays like GORAN did, for instance.
14  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban 'heatcharger' on: July 15, 2017, 07:10:49 pm
Disgusting that there are people out there who enjoy watching serve-and-volley tennis on grass...

Hahaha, what? Is this post from the 1990s? For better or worse serve-and-volley as a style of play in singles (rather than as the odd trick) is RIP, at least for the moment. Mischa Zverev excepted, naturally.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: More Conservative Country on: July 15, 2017, 05:09:45 pm
You might want to check out what social policy is like in most of Canada - Saskatchewan in particular is an honourable exception - before you fall for the Nice Guy FF Smiley propaganda of the Liberal Party of Canada. I'm not sure if 'more conservative country' is a useful concept, but there's no doubt that the general tone of domestic policy is more right wing in Canada than Australia and always has been. Notably when the power of the State is wheeled out (in this province or that province) it is rarely with overtly redistributive goals in mind.

Mind you, part of the issue also is a profound ignorance of Australia I guess. It's not the United States in the South Seas or anything like that.
16  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: can you just UNBAN LIBERTAS on: July 15, 2017, 04:56:23 pm
Yes, this is an excellent idea.
17  About this Site / The Atlas / Petition to ban 'heatcharger' on: July 15, 2017, 04:55:29 pm
This is the worst post in the history of the forum, and I should know as I've been here since the glaciers retreated:

Federer unfortunately. Grass is a junk surface, and Wimbledon should switch to clay as soon as possible.

Just awful. Everything about it. Awful. Gross. Grotesque. Appalling.
18  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: David Owen vs David Steel on: July 15, 2017, 03:08:06 pm
Much can be said about David Owen that perhaps isn't massively complementary, but he did not consciously and actively cover up child abuse. So...
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Hosni Mubarak on: July 14, 2017, 09:51:49 am
He's been dying of terminal hypochondria for twenty years now, very sad.
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Why do more educated people tend toward centrism? on: July 14, 2017, 09:49:12 am
Centrism isn't really a thing. The political centre depends entirely on context and, as it happens, in most contexts is vast enough to include a lot of perspectives with absolutely nothing in common with each other.
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the IRA on: July 11, 2017, 06:54:43 pm
Anyway, if we're talking about the Provisional IRA then they were an unpleasant bunch of extremists who killed quite a lot of people, most of whom had done nothing wrong. Unfortunately that was Northern Ireland at the time, so such behavior was widespread. Civil Wars are very nasty, even low-key ones. They've since seen that peace is the better way, and that is good.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of the IRA on: July 11, 2017, 06:50:53 pm
If I were Irish, I would have voted FF though, because man,  the English.

This is a pretty disgusting sentiment.

Of course most of their victims were Irish anyway.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: EU and Japan complete free trade deal on: July 08, 2017, 09:18:45 am
I hope all the Honda and Toyota plant workers in Britain who probably voted Leave are happy.

Those firms are active here, but the the main Japanese industrial concern in the UK is Nissan. Anyway, such an american_democratic_party.txt reaction there...
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Tokyo prefectural election, July 2 2017 on: July 02, 2017, 12:03:26 pm
If you've got ward figures or something I might be able to make some maps...
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: 2017 and onwards, Mayhem on: July 02, 2017, 11:33:05 am
But its an error to conflate 'the Labour Left' with 'the political Left in general' and arguments like this start heading into No True Socialist territory pretty much immediately. Labour fought the 1997 election on a radical programme and implemented almost all of it in power; that it was not as radical as the programmes previous Labour governments had come to power on (which is true) does not mean it was not radical. E.g. although no attempt was made to renationalise the privatised utilities (on cost grounds mostly) a windfall tax on profits made during the privatisation process was imposed and was used to fund public services. The 1997 landslide was a backlash against the policies of the Thatcher/Major years more than it was anything else; really the whole point of New Labour was to make that happening as likely as possible by making Labour as fundamentally unthreatening as possible.

I think this all gets a bit confusing in part because the New Labour government was in power for a long time and was thoroughly captured by Whitehall managerialist mentalities (before then it was strongly influenced by Outside Experts, which was hilariously Wilsonian in retrospect), especially from the start of the second term onwards. Of course it serves the political agendas of both the harder Left and the soggiest parts of the political Centre to remember things differently. But e.g it is telling that Mr Tony - who has moved quite firmly rightwards in his politics in recent years - now disapproves of much of what his government did in its first term...
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