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July 30, 2015, 03:21:21 pm
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1  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Provisional Parliament: Voting on Amendment on: Today at 01:30:45 pm
Quote
(b) In order to be appointed, a Prime Minister must demonstrate a majority in Parliament to the President.

This wording should be changed as in its current form it technically outlaws minority governments.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: Today at 12:03:10 pm
Well if it makes you feel better, if Corbyn is elected then there will be - one way or another - another leadership election in this parliament, and maybe some of those people will run then...
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Mullah Omar dead. on: Today at 11:28:26 am
Even by Taliban standards this is fantastically macabre.
4  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: Today at 11:24:16 am
Cranberry would make a fine first General Secretary I feel. He has the enthusiasm and drive required.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK MPs - 2015 Parliament on: Today at 11:20:33 am
Professional Yorkshireman to the point of stereotype and an interesting character, I think it's fair to say. He was an NUM activist and ally of Arthur Scargill - actually not just an ally but the man who ran his Presidential campaign in 1981 - and when first elected he was a member of the SCG. He was (quite famously) attacked by a police officer while on a picket line during the Miners Strike and won damages. He later became an ally of Kinnock's (and later a supporter of Blair's), a critic of Scargill and the head of the New Clause IV Campaign... and was eventually expelled from the NUM on political grounds. His later career has been less dramatic - much of it spent on Committee work: he has chaired the Standards and Privileges Committee since 2010 and chaired the Health committee 2005-10 - and has been characterised by endless campaigning on health issues especially against the tobacco industry.
6  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 29, 2015, 06:23:24 pm
In which case the time has come to elect a Leader. I wish to nominate comrade Crabcake.
7  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 29, 2015, 06:16:22 pm
We can perhaps use them in our first election manifesto? Such a document should be more detailed than a party platform.
8  General Discussion / History / Re: Adolf Hitler: left or right? on: July 29, 2015, 05:57:00 pm
Urgh, not this sh!t again. I can't be bothered to write anything new, so I'll just use a search function to find some old posts on the subject:

Given what happend to actual Socialists under the Nazi regime (here's a random example), I do find the interwebs-tendency to scream that Hitler-Was-A-Socialist to be in astonishingly bad taste.

Oh for God's sake. No.

This issue seems to be raised on the forum a couple of times every year and I'm now tired of bothering to refute it in any detail, so I'll just note a couple of points:

1. No credible historian of the twentieth century believes that the Nazi regime in general or Hitler in particular were 'left-wing' in any respect. This includes some rather right-wing economic historians who specialise in aspects of Nazi economic policy, so this is not an example of a notoriously lefty profession closing ranks.

2. Nazi economic policy was geared entirely towards rearmament (which was achieved via an extraordinarily complicated form of fraud) and not towards any remotely left-wing (however defined) objective. Contrary to what is frequently asserted, the standard of living for the working class in Germany actually declined during the pre-war Nazi period as wages were kept under tight control by means of... well... authoritarian rule.

3. German industrialists (most of them) did remarkably well out of the Nazi regime and this was intentional (more so, in some ways, than in contemporary economies). The examples of Krupp and IG Farben are well known, but they were merely extreme examples of a more general pattern. The close relationship between capital and the regime was good for both of them; as profits soared, so did corporate contributions to the Nazi Party (why, yes. This was a rather corrupt regime).

4. A Trade Union controlled by the government is not a Trade Union.

Fundamentally, you can only argue that 'Hitler was economically left wing' if you define 'economically left wing' as 'prepared to intervene in the economy in order to make it grow'. Which is absurd.

Nazi underlying ideology = virulent nationalism/militarism, an especially nasty take on popular racial theories, anti-semitism (part of the former but enough of an issue, obviously, to deserve a mention on its own) and anti-socialism, combined with weird fetishes regarding leaders, action, and so on. Everything else was window dressing or a cynical attempt to win support (both electorally and in terms of powerful individuals and interest groups). If you think Hitler or any other leading Nazi gave a sh!t about whatever drivel the party adopted as its platform in its early years, then you should probably avoid further comment on the issue. Because there is just a little bit of a consensus over this.

Arguing that state intervention in the economy = Socialism isn't very clever. It means that you have to (for example) count all mainstream political parties and institutions in Europe between about 1945 (1940 or so in the case of Britain) and about 1973 or so as Socialist. Even more absurdly, it means that you have to count all European states before the rise of laissez faire as Socialist. And I think that would be a step into lunacy too far even for you.

Now, the sad thing about the internets is that these arguments are so common that you can just...

And it's worth noting how pro-business the Nazi regime was in reality. Somewhere, deep within my pile of box files, I've a little chart comparing donations to the NSDAP from IG Farben (a company critical to the implementation of the Final Solution, as it happens) with IG Farben's profits. I will eventually find it and post it here - makes for interesting reading.

Because the Nazis = Socialist canard isn't worth wasting much time dismissing. No one (no one honest anyway) with a basic knowledge of early 20th century German history takes it seriously.

(for the record, IG Farben was a German chemical giant, the largest company in Europe (some of the time), a major financial donor to the Nazi regime (and as the companies profits went up, so did donations), a major user of slave labour and the manufacturer of Zyklon B. It was broken up (more or less) by the Allies at the end of the War. Krupp is another well-known example of a big company doing well out of the Nazis).

I mean, there's more but I can't be bothered to dig it up right now.

But I repeat my comment about bad taste.

Conclusion: fyck off and read a few books on the subject.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 29, 2015, 01:14:30 pm
The other thing to consider is that the Shadow Cabinet are still elected by the PLP right?

No. But the SCG still has that silly self-denying ordinance from the 1980s in place which automatically removes membership from the SCG to MPs who accept frontbench posts. Not that the SCG is all that there is on the Left in the PLP (far from it), but that fact does complicate things.

Mind you, I suspect that Corbyn is intelligent enough to know that going with a factional ShadCab would be bloody stupid even if he'd presumably appoint one with an overall left lean.

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The other intriguing thing is which of Corbyn's policies will have to be accepted by the PLP to satisfy the membership.

There would have to be considerable give and take on both sides. Firstly because Corbyn The Candidate is a little different to Corbyn The Backbencher (i.e. if he wins he could certainly claim an internal mandate for hard Left economic positions, but not for his other stances as he's barely mentioned them and when he has has played them down), and secondly because a serial rebel might find it hard to impose their will absolutely on the PLP.
10  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 29, 2015, 12:42:30 pm
Aye
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 29, 2015, 12:37:47 pm
So I wonder what will happen next? There seems to be seriously bad blood forming on all sides. This has a severe danger of turning into a toxic few years, whoever wins. We can argue all day about whether Labour are too right or too left; but I think the worse thing will for the party to become one of factional bickering.

Ben Pimlott - who understood Labour better than any other historian - pointed out that while losing an election doesn't always plunge the Party into a civil war it usually does. The one small mercy is that this is happening now and not five years ago.
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 29, 2015, 12:35:07 pm
Quite extraordinary that Corbyn could make it while Benn and Bevan didn't.

Not at all: Bevan never had a realistic chance as the leadership was decided by the PLP in those days (and also Gaitskell was one of the most formidable candidates in the history of the Labour Right), while Benn missed his window by losing his seat in 1983.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 29, 2015, 11:29:25 am
CLP nominations maps updated.

One thing to note: no matter the outcome (and anyone who is sure either way is a fool or is currently preparing to rig the contest) seriously left-wing economic positions have clearly returned to the Labour mainstream, like it or not.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK MPs - 2015 Parliament on: July 29, 2015, 11:08:39 am
A useless blowhard's useless blowhard.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 29, 2015, 10:59:47 am
Some more developments: Unison has endorsed Corbyn for first preference and Cooper for second, while Corbyn has stated that he now supports Britain staying in the EU.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Labour Party leadership election 2015 on: July 28, 2015, 12:34:35 pm
The Daily Mirror is running with a 'private poll' it has been shown (but who commissioned it? Is it real? The answer to the second question is unknowable, but as to the first... ah you'll see) which purports to show the following:

Corbyn 42, Cooper 23, Burnham 20, Kendall 14

And a Corbyn/Cooper off as 51/49 to Corbyn.

Which it then proclaims (with a charming journalistic ignorance of how numbers work) that this means that Corbyn is 'storming ahead' and that he has a 'massive lead' when actually it suggests a three way who the fyck even knows state of play. Oh but the matter of who's figures these are. Well...

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Some Labour MPs are now urging supporters of Mr Burnham and Ms Kendall to either back Ms Cooper or at least ensure she gets their second preference votes as the only way of stopping the Corbyn bandwagon.

...I mean I have my suspicions, don't you?
17  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 28, 2015, 11:03:04 am
We can just slot in something like 'amendments to the Party Constitution may only be made during Convention'  or something.
18  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 28, 2015, 10:14:47 am
The advantage also is that at an early stage of the game the party leadership does not develop into an exclusive clique.
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: New Left Watch on: July 28, 2015, 05:42:38 am
What I will say is that on this matter - as on so many other contentious issues of the 1970s - Network is spot on.
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: New Left Watch on: July 28, 2015, 05:34:09 am
I'm not sure if the Black Panthers can be considered representative of the 1970s New Left, let alone its modern incarnation.

Thing is, similar groups - by which I mean 'had an almost nihilist hard on for political violence' rather than in other respects - existed on the fringes in quite a few countries, and there was often a lot of (misguided) sympathy for such groups in the more 'mainstream' elements of the New Left.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: Cameron 2.0 on: July 27, 2015, 06:12:18 pm
Best thing is that this is literally the first time that most people will have ever heard of him.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Moderator changes: 2015 edition on: July 27, 2015, 12:22:33 pm
Any plans to change these two?

Town Hall
Moderator: Sibboleth


Survivor
Moderator: big bad fab  (long gone)

Ah, yes. Siberia.

Probably should happen, but I suppose it doesn't greatly matter if it doesn't: the one is a totally dead board (last post 2012) the other basically is. I dont have mod board access and presumably bbf doesn't either (if he does that might be an issue wrt security though).
23  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 27, 2015, 12:12:49 pm
But less democratic.
24  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 27, 2015, 11:19:07 am
Made a couple of modifications to PJ's (actually pretty good) draft:

Quote from: Socialist Party Constitution

Article I: Name
a. This organization shall be known as the 'Socialist Party of South America.'

Article II: Logo
a. The following will serve as the logo of the Socialist Party of South America:

*insert logo once we have one*

Article III: Party Leadership

a. The Party shall have two full time officials known as the Party Leader and as the General Secretary, and an elected sovereign body known as the National Executive.
b. The role of the Party Leader shall be to represent the party in Parliament and in the public sphere, and to lead its electoral campaigns. Unless otherwise decided by the National Executive, the Party Leader will automatically be the Party's candidate for Prime Minister.
c. The role of the General Secretary shall be to conduct party leadership elections, to manage the internal party structure, and to preside over the National Executive.
d. The National Executive shall be sovereign over all Party matters excepting those occasions on which a Convention takes place. The National Executive shall be comprised of five members: the Party Leader, the General Secretary, and three members elected by the entire Party membership.

Article IV: Elections

a. Elections for Party Leader shall be held if the post falls vacant for any reason, or if more than 1/3 of party membership calls for an election in the form of a petition, or if the incumbent is dismissed by a majority of more than three votes on the National Executive. The Party Leader shall be elected using Instant Runoff Voting.
b. Elections for General Secretary shall be held if the post falls vacant for any reason, or if more than 1/3 of party membership calls for an election in the form of a petition, or if the incumbent is dismissed by a majority of more than three votes on the National Executive. The General Secretary shall be elected using Instant Runoff Voting.
c. Elections for National Executive shall be held every three months and shall be conducted by Single Transferable Vote. Vacancies shall be filled upon the recommendation of the General Secretary.
d. Elections for Party List shall be held following the dissolution of parliament. The first slot shall be automatically reserved for the Party Leader. Other Party List candidates shall be elected using Single Transferable Vote.
e. Amendments to the Constitution can be proposed by any member of the party during Convention. A vote shall be held on a proposed amendment if more than 1/3 of the party membership calls for an election in the form of a petition.
f. The General Secretary shall conduct all party elections. In elections with candidates, 24 hours shall be allotted for members of the party to declare their candidacy. 24 hours shall be allotted for voting in every party election.

Article V: Platform
a. The platform of the Socialist Party of South America is as follows:

Quote
1. To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

2. To foster a society in which the divisions imposed by class, race, gender and orientation become as nothing, and in which the physical environment is accorded the respect and protection to which it is due.

Article VI: Membership
a. Any person agreeing to the Party platform shall be allowed to join the Socialist Party of South America.
b. Any member who brings the Party into disrepute or who engages in anti-Party activities is liable to have their membership suspended or canceled by the National Executive.
c. Any member who runs in an election against a duly nominated candidate of the Socialist Party of South America shall be automatically expelled from the Party pending appeal to the National Executive.

Article VII: Conventions
a. A convention shall be called once per year by the General Secretary at a time of his or her choosing.
b. All members of the party shall be allowed to participate in the proceedings of the convention.
c. Convention is absolutely sovereign over all Party matters when in session.
25  Forum Community / Mock Parliment / Re: Socialist Party on: July 27, 2015, 10:58:04 am
Anyway, I would like to announce the formation of a Party faction to be called Socialist Unity. We stand first and foremost for a strong Party structure.
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