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Messages - Fionntamhnach

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1
General discussion / Re: 💩 DUP C*ntwatch
« on: December 15, 2019, 09:17:56 PM »
Waking this thread up back from the dead...






2
Tyrone / Re: Tyrone Club Football and Hurling
« on: December 15, 2019, 06:43:31 PM »
Not much to round up on this Sunday, as Tyrone95 has mentioned, Carrickmore won the Under 21 Grade 1 Championship in Newtownstewart yesterday, defeating Dungannon 2-9 to 0-7. Just to also mention, St. Ciaran's Ballygawley were in two Ulster schools "C" grade finals during the week both against Derry opposition, losing out on the McDevitt Cup (U14.5) to St. Conor's Kilrea/Clady, but making up for it by winning the Arthurs Cup (U16.5) against St. Colm's Draperstown.

So that's all on field club activity wrapped up for the year. Onwards to 2020...

3
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 15, 2019, 06:35:35 PM »
IIRC income tax only makes up about 1/3rd of UK Government revenue in a fiscal year and has done so for the last few decades, it has traditionally been more reliant on indirect taxation to make up for it compared to many of its European neighbours. It's one reason why simply judging taxation in countries simply through income tax rules is flawed.

4
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 15, 2019, 06:20:21 PM »
Labour's current problems started with  the election of Ed rather than David Milliband. David would have gotten a Blairite Labour Government back in power. Ed was elected momentum entryists. The gate was closed too late with the change of Leadership election rules. Labour are unelectable as a hard left party, if they don't return to the centre they will rot in opposition.

IIRC Ed Milliband was elected Labour leader under an AV system (i.e. a one seat STV election) where David had the most first preferences. It was only after the 2015 Westminster election defeat, after Ed Milliband resigned, that someone within the party thought it would be a good idea to allow the entire membership to vote for a new leader, requiring only £3 to join with no waiting period needed after joining to be allowed to vote. This allowed entrytism to happen to swell membership numbers of those whose ideology would be on the harder-left of Labour, and the result was Corbyn elected on a landslide to become leader, as well as surviving a leadership challenge a year later.

It's not talked about much, but the Conservatives more recently have been subject to a similar symptom of entrytism some time in late 2017 when UKIP's raison d'etre had gone. The difference here is that this form of entrytism already had significant figureheads in the Tory party, and because of that it was easier for them to push their agendas forward to the point of being able to "purge" those out of the party they believed to be holding them back - essentially many of those whom would have been regarded as "wets" and/or belonging to the more centrist "One Nation" end of the Conservative party, the climax being the expulsion of those MPs back in September. Ultimately they were more successful at the polls compared to Momentum, though why they did is certainly worthy of structured debate.

In both cases, the entrytism worked to a greater or lesser extent due to how small the main party memberships have become. Back in the 1980s the Conservatives had a membership of over one million, while at around the same time, Labour saw a drop from around 700k in the late 70s to around 300k by the mid 80s, recovering to a peak of 400k by the mid 90s but downhill ever since, dropping as low as 150k at one point in the early 2010's. Also, by the time of the result of the 2017 General Election, the Conservative membership was in danger of slipping below 100k.

Here's a graph of party membership from the middle of last year.




That figure for Labour is bigly 'yuge! It' s largest since the early 80s. However it was swelled by the effective entrytism backed by what was termed, usually not in a nice way, "three pound trots". The Tory membership was also boosted, but nowhere as dramatic. Instead, its entrytism focus was put in increasing membership in key constituencies so that Tory "remoaners" could get deselected to stand at the next election, and put subsequent pressure on replacing Theresa May with a Boris Johnson or someone similar - oddly enough, most of these new members had been UKIP supporters.

Anyway, that's enough on that. I'll just leave with a cartoon strip that was published back in May after the council elections in England, but just as relevant now...



5
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 14, 2019, 12:20:13 PM »

6
GAA Discussion / Re: New Jerseys?
« on: December 14, 2019, 02:29:19 AM »
Meath




That's similar to one in the 80s, 90s. Was it from the saga in 1991?

Certainly reminiscent of the jersey Meath wore in the late 80's including the 1990 All-Ireland final - below is the Meath Minor team that beat Kerry in the All-Ireland final...




...that jersey didn't seem to survive into the 1991 championship, the first two games against Dublin saw Meath wearing a jersey with gold sleeves, with O'Reily Transport as the sponsor, while the last two seen them revert back to green sleeves with gold trim, the sponsors being Kepak. Neither jersey appear to have the thin line squares on their front...







...if you have two hours to kill, there is a highlights show of the four game saga between Meath and Dublin on YouTube that was produced by RTE at the time with Michael Lyster hosting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g88MRtpZVU

I thought Azzurri were gone years ago!

They must be the only other one in the market - they had Sligo a few years ago but not any more.

Good to see the Déise sticking with a local company.

At one point Azzurri were the official kit suppliers to Waterford, Laois, Sligo & Donegal before all reverted back to O'Neills. The now defunct Gaelic Gear also at one time had Down, Fermanagh and Wexford.

7
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 14, 2019, 01:34:26 AM »
Good work, Fionn.

All this talk about SF's vote being down on before. Most of their losses were in uncompetitive seats where they were either guaranteed to win or guaranteed not to. Jamie Bwyson shouldn't read too much into it. Votes in PR elections are more relevant if you want to start making predictions about future border polls.
Aside from Fermanagh & South Tyrone and North Belfast, that pretty much covers the other 16 constituencies.

8
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 14, 2019, 01:14:33 AM »
Also, I'd like to make an additional observation in that the worst thing for Nigel Dodds won't be the fact that he is no longer an MP, but that since Brexit is now odds-on to happen at the end of January and that the UK's MEPs will be turfed out of the European Parliament, he'll have a lot more time now to listen to Diane! 😁

9
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 14, 2019, 01:07:21 AM »
Okay, since I haven't had much else better to do on a grim, dull, dark December day that coincidentally is Friday the 13th, here's my round up of the results in Northern Ireland/The North of Ireland/Occupied Six Counties/Ulster (is British)...

All figures for the seats are in percentages of vote share...


Overall

APNI: 16.8 (+8.9)
Aontu: 1.2 (+1.2)
ConNI: 0.7 (+0.2)
DUP: 30.6 (-5.4)
Green: 0.2 (-0.7)
SDLP: 14.9 (+3.2)
SinnF: 22.8 (-6.6)
UUP: 11.7 (+1.4)
Others: 1.2 (+0.6)

Observations: Questions were asked as to wherever Alliance could translate their council & EU election results back in May into an FPTP election - by and large, they did do so with their vote share going up from 7.0% to 16.8% and as a result are now the third largest party in the north. In South Belfast their vote share fell, and little progress was made in Foyle, but everywhere else they made notable strides even if it resulted in only getting Stephen Farry elected in North Down, which was a moderate surprise where the DUP were expected to capitalise on Sylvia Hermon standing down. The SDLP had a reasonably decent night - while the thumping majorities Eastwood & Hanna enjoyed helped plump up the vote share, outside of them they gained some modest share increases, especially in seats where Sinn Fein was the incumbent. The UUP had a modest vote share increase, but little to show for it otherwise as both F&ST and South Antrim, two possible shots at a seat, fell - probably the most positive result of the night being former leader's Robbie Swann's performance in North Antrim. The Greens vote looked to have collapsed, but this needs to take into account that they pulled out of standing in South Belfast and North Down which are two main strongholds of theirs to back Hanna (South Belfast) and Farry (North Down).

Otherwise it was a 'mare of a night for the DUP, and other than claiming a major scalp in North Belfast, it wasn't much better for Sinn Fein. The only constituency where the DUP share of the vote went up was in (of all places) West Belfast, by 0.1% - though their actual vote number fell. Everywhere else they stood, they took significant hits. As mentioned, while North Belfast was a significant win for them, it papers over the cracks in Sinn Fein's performance as they suffered an even bigger loss of vote share than the DUP, the bulk of which seemed to largely transfer to Alliance, then the SDLP, and to a lesser extent Aontu. They clung on to Fermanagh & South Tyrone, but all their other mainstays took a hit on their vote share, and the loss of Foyle to the SDLP was even worse than was expected.

--------

North Belfast

APNI: 9.8 (+4.4)
DUP: 43.1 (-3.1)
SinnF: 47.1 (+5.4)

This was the heavyweight fight and even with the DUP & associates throwing everything including the kitchen sink at this, Dodds not only failed to retain the seat, but he also lost vote share and obtained a marginally smaller amount of votes compared to 2017 (105 less)! Alliance managed to gain a reasonable share in their vote, going from 5.4% to 9.8% - a few weeks back I argued that Alliance standing in North Belfast wouldn't necessarily do Sinn Fein much harm as they could end up absorbing some disenchanted unionist votes from the DUP that would otherwise never have gone to Sinn Fein. I reckon that this came to be a partial factor in allowing disenchanted unionists to vote Alliance rather than the DUP if it was a straight fight. It also helped that Finucane is a very sympathetic individual whom can attract votes a fair few from those otherwise unlikely to vote for Sinn Fein, and semi-acknowledged it as such. As long as he can keep his nose clean then you'd expect him to be featured as one of the main figureheads for Sinn Fein sooner or later.

West Belfast

APNI: 4.9 (+3.1)
Aontu: 4.2 (+4.2)
DUP: 13.5 (+0.1)
PBP: 16.0 (+5.8)
SDLP: 7.7 (+0.7)
SinnF: 53.8 (-12.9)

There was never, ever going to be any doubt that Sinn Fein would lose West Belfast, but that result is the lowest vote share they have had in the constituency since 1992. Gerry Carroll (PBP) managed to somewhat make up for the dip in voter share in 2017 but still didn't hit the heights he got in 2015 when he secured a 19.2% share. Elsewhere, Aontu obtained a respectable share for a new entrant, Alliance increased their vote share pretty decently, even if they won't exactly trouble Sinn Fein for now, and the SDLP recorded slight vote share & vote numbers too.

South Belfast

APNI: 14.3 (-3.9)
Aontu: 1.2 (+1.2)
DUP: 24.7 (-5.8)
SDLP: 57.2 (+31.3)
UUP: 2.7 (-0.8)

Essentially, it was a mission here to get Little-Pengelly out 'da feck and rail behind someone that could do just that, and with some borrowed Sinn Fein and Green support behind her, Claire Hanna of the SDLP done just that. In fact such was the rout of her win, she probably would have secured a comfortable majority even if Sinn Fein and the Greens stood a candidate each. Interestingly, this was the only constituency where Alliance took a significant hit on their vote share from 2017, and the two unionist parties didn't fare well either.

East Belfast

APNI: 44.9 (+8.9)
DUP: 49.2 (-6.6)
UUP: 5.9 (+2.6)

There was a significant swing here from DUP to Alliance compared to 2017, but it wasn't enough to dethrone Gavin Robinson, making East Belfast to only Belfast seat to remain in Unionist hands with a reduced majority from 8474 to 1819. The UUP vote share is notable, bigger than the gap between the top two. Could the UUP having not stood here made a difference? Difficult to know, a Mike Nesbitt led UUP could have contemplated it. Despite finishing runner up, this was Naomi Long's best performance in the constituency to date - when she won the seat in 2010, she secured a vote share of 37.2% and a tally of 12,839. This time her share was 44.9% and tally was 19,055, and an increase of 3612 votes from 2017.

North Down

APNI: 45.2 (+35.9)
ConNI: 4.8 (+2.4)
DUP: 37.9 (-0.3)
UUP: 12.1 (+12.1)

Note: The vote share increases are somewhat skewered due to the independent incumbent not standing for reelection.

Those outside of the DUP were fearing the worst when Sylvia Hermon announced she was standing down, with Alex Easton of the DUP being favourites to take her place. That party was spoiled though with Stephen Farry of Alliance putting their nose out of joint, delivering a bigger majority than Hermon had over the DUP in 2017 (2968 to 1208). Looking at the results it looks like Farry took the lions share of Hermon's old voter base, with Alan Chambers of the UUP taking some as well, finishing in third place in no real disgrace. The NI Tories finished last, but managed to double their vote share in what has been historically their best performing constituency in the north.

Strangford

APNI: 28.4 (+13.7)
ConNI: 3.9 (+2.6)
DUP: 47.2 (-14.8)
Green: 2.1 (+0.5)
SDLP: 5.3 (-0.9)
SinnF: 1.5 (-1.3)
UKIP: 0.8 (+0.8)
UUP: 10.7 (-0.7)

No surprise that Jim Shannon of the DUP retained his seat, but that near 15% vote share loss and 6331 fewer votes cast for them compared to 2017 will sting, with Alliance being the clear beneficaries - Kellie Armstrong nearly doubling her vote share & tally from two years ago. Again, the NI Conservatives had a notable but fringe vote share increase, trebelling their vote. Otherwise for the rest, it was kind of "meh".

South Down

APNI: 13.9 (+10.3)
Aontu: 2.5 (+2.5)
DUP: 15.3 (-2.1)
SDLP: 29.2 (-6.0)
SinnF: 32.4 (-7.5)
UUP: 6.6 (+2.7)

With the SDLP fielding a candidate with a much less public profile than Margaret Ritchie, Sinn Fein wasn't expected to be seriously challenged. Still, despite both parties getting significant vote losses, Michael Savage of the SDLP managed to reduce the majority of Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard from 2446 to 1620. Once again, Alliance had a significant increase in their vote share in a constituency they haven't been strong in before, going from 3.6% in 2017 to 13.9%. The UUP would appear to have taken some votes off the DUP, while Aontu didn't achieve a big enough vote count to have scared Sinn Fein here.

Newry & Armagh

APNI: 8.3 (+5.9)
Aontu: 3.2 (+3.2)
DUP: 21.7 (-2.9)
SDLP: 18.6 (+1.7)
SinnF: 40.0 (-8.0)
UUP: 8.3 (0.0)

Another retainer for Sinn Fein and Mickey Brady, but that vote share loss of 8% will likely cause some concern, even with a majority of 9287 (down from 12,489) against the DUP - looks like Aontu, Alliance and to a lesser extent the SDLP hoovered up Sinn Fein's vote tally loss. Again, a good showing for Alliance in an outside-Greater Belfast seat, going from a share of 2.3% to 8.3%. Still, a comfortable win for Sinn Fein in Newry & Armagh.

Upper Bann

APNI: 12.9 (+8.3)
DUP: 41.0 (-2.6)
SDLP: 9.2 (+0.7)
SinnF: 24.6 (-3.4)
UUP: 12.4 (-3.0)

With David Simpson standing down, Carla Lockhart of the DUP managed to hold on to Upper Bann for the party. However, like across much of NI, Alliance managed to make notable vote share and tally gains (Eoin Tennyson standing for them), while the DUP and Sinn Fein suffered vote share & tally losses albeit not as bad as elsewhere. Dolores Kelly managed to get a small share & tally increase for the SDLP but it still didn't stop them finishing last. Kept their deposit though.

Lagan Valley

APNI: 28.8 (+17.7)
ConNI: 2.1 (+1.1)
DUP: 43.1 (-16.4)
SDLP: 3.9 (-3.7)
SinnF: 2.4 (-1.1)
UKIP: 0.7 (+0.7)
UUP: 19.0 (+2.2)

This is Jeffery Donaldson terrority (and won't you know it!) regardless what unionist party he belongs to. However he did end up bearing the brunt of the DUP backlash they received in this election. Oncer again, Alliance with Sorcha Eastwood was the big beneficary while Robbie Butler of the UUP also secured a modest increase. Both the SDLP and (to a lesser extent) Sinn Fein took something of a hit in a constituency where neither party have any realistic hope of winning. Lagan Valley is still Jeffery Donaldson land, but he's had his majority cut from 19,229 in 2017 to 6499 this time.

South Antrim

APNI: 19.1 (+11.6)
DUP: 35.3 (-3.0)
SDLP: 5.3 (-0.1)
SinnF: 11.4 (-6.7)
UUP: 29.0 (-1.8)

There was an outside chance that the UUP with Danny Kinahan could have claimed a scalp from the DUP here, having held the seat between 2015 and 2017. However, Paul Girvan and the DUP managed to fend them off albeit with a reduced majority from 3208 to 2689. Once again, Alliance made significant gains here to comfortably finish third. Of note is a notable drop in Sinn Fein's vote share - if translated into an Assembly election in the near future, the party & Declan Kearney could be in real trouble retaining a seat here.

North Antrim

APNI: 14.1 (+8.5)
DUP: 47.4 (-11.5)
SDLP: 6.7 (+1.4)
SinnF: 12.8 (-3.5)
UUP: 18.5 (+11.3)
Ind: 0.6 (+0.6)

Ah, North Antrim. Paisley country! But despite the TUV backing out in this election (3282 votes here in 2017), IPJ suffered a vote tally drop of 7661 and a vote share drop of 11.5%, with his majority down from 20,643 to 12,721. Still, that's pretty damn comfortable. As with nearly everywhere else, Alliance with Patricia O'Lynn put in a decent shift, raising the share from 5.6% to 14.1%, while Robin Swann scored a respectable second place with a similar increase to Alliance. On the nationalist/republican side, Sinn Fein are still well ahead of the SDLP, but the vote share loss of 3.5% could, like in South Antrim, leave them a little vulnerable in a future Assembly election against Alliance.

East Antrim

APNI: 27.3 (+11.7)
ConNI: 2.8 (+0.3)
DUP: 45.3 (-12.1)
Green: 1.8 (+1.8)
SDLP: 2.4 (-0.9)
SinnF: 5.7 (-3.6)
UUP: 14.7 (+2.8)

Similar to most of the DUP heartlands, Sammy Wilson had no real issues retaining the seat for the DUP but again had a significant voter share loss, most of it translating to gains for Danny Donnelly and Alliance with UUP leader Steve Aiken also picking up a few votes as well. Once again, Sinn Fein suffered a notable share drop from 9.3% to 5.7% - the move from six assembly seats to five per constituency in 2017 already hit a body blow to them, this trend would indicate that getting it back would be a big struggle.

East Derry

APNI: 15.1 (+8.9)
Aontu: 4.4 (+4.4)
DUP: 40.1 (-8.0)
SDLP: 15.7 (+4.9)
SinnF: 15.6 (-10.9)
UUP: 9.2 (+1.5)

Heading westwards now, and the quintessential c**t that is Flegory Campbell, like many of his colleagues, took a hit to his vote share (8% loss) and losing nearly 4000 votes in the process. However, due to the non-DUP vote fracturing fairly evenly he actually increased his majority from 8842 to 9607. Sinn Fein saw a big drop in their share, with Dermot Nicholl losing 4753 votes from 2017 and being nudged in third place behind the SDLP's Cara Hunter, whom secured a 4.9% vote share increase. Is there some local issue here that I'm not aware of? As you'd sort of expect by now, Chris McCaw of Alliance also made significant gains while Sean McNicholl of Aontu scored a respectable 4.4% share - not enough to save the deposit though.

Foyle

APNI: 2.7 (+0.8)
Aontu: 4.3 (+4.3)
DUP: 10.1 (-6.0)
PBP: 2.8 (-0.2)
SDLP: 57.0 (+17.7)
SinnF: 20.7 (-19.0)
UUP: 2.3 (+2.3)

The SDLP and their leader Colum Eastwood were quietly confident that they could retake Foyle from Elisha McCallion & Sinn Fein (whom won it in 2017 by 169 votes and ending a long SDLP hemogney there), but I very much doubt that they were dreaming of such an utter rout. Foyle was, outside of South Belfast, an exception for Alliance in that they only made a very small impact in the voting share though they did increase their tally by around 45%. Elsewhere, Aontu's only elected councillor in NI, Anne McCloskey, scored 2032 votes but failed to save her deposit, while contunuing with trends elsewhere in the North, the DUP (Gary Middleton) took a big hit to their own vote share - I guess its possible that some of them voted for Eastwood to ensure Sinn Fein lost, along with some drifting to the UUP who didn't stand in 2017.

West Tyrone

APNI: 9.7 (+7.4)
Aontu: 2.4 (+2.4)
DUP: 22.0 (-4.9)
Green: 1.3 (+0.3)
SDLP: 17.8 (+4.8)
SinnF: 40.2 (-10.6)
UUP: 6.7 (+1.6)

Note: the voter share changes are from 2017 and not the 2018 by-election.

Orfhlaith Begley and Sinn Fein were never in serious danger of losing here, but the 10.6% vote share loss will be of concern if there is an Assembly election in the near future, as that could see Sinn Fein knocked down from three seats to two. As expected, Buchanan and the DUP finished second with a few hundred more votes than obtained from the 2018 by-election, but 2652 less than in 2017. At the count, he claimed that some day he will secure the Westminster seat in West Tyrone - gawd bless him! Elsewhere, Stephen Donnelly has given Alliance a major shot in the arm with a very good share increase, not to mention he has nearly quadrupled his vote tally from 2017 (from 1000 to 3979). Daniel McCrossan and the SDLP will be reasonably satisfied with their performance, securing his best ever vote tally and a 4.8% vote share increase from 2017. Aontu will I'd say be somewhat a little disappointed in their performance.

Mid Ulster

APNI: 7.9 (+5.6)
DUP: 25.4 (-2.4)
SDLP: 14.3 (+4.5)
SinnF: 45.9 (-8.6)
UUP: 5.9 (-0.6)
Ind: 1.5 (+1.5)

Like in West Tyrone, the idea of Sinn Fein losing Mid-Ulster was never something that could be comtemplated and that Francie Molloy would returned without too much trouble, but again that vote share loss, as well as a near 5000 drop in the tally, will be a concern to party activists - which could have been worse again if Aontu had stood a candidate here. Like in West Tyrone, Alliance and the SDLP were the main beneficaries while both unionist parties recorded small losses.

Fermanagh & South Tyrone

APNI: 5.2 (+3.6)
SDLP: 6.8 (+2.0)
SinnF: 43.3 (-3.9)
UUP: 43.2 (-2.3)
Ind: 1.5 (+1.5)

D'north's most marginal seat, and because of this the trends elsewhere were unlikely to be amplified to the same extent here in Fermanagh & South Tyrone. As expected, it was very, very close - not the razor sharp knife edge closeness of 2010, but in the end Gildernew & Sinn Fein retained the seat from the UUP and Tom Elliott by just 57 votes, Sinn Fein's vote share having a notable drop (though not as bad as in some other constituencies) with a smaller drop for the UUP. In turn, both Alliance and the SDLP made some modest vote share & tally gains.

--------

So for the first time since partition, Northern Ireland has elected more Nationalist/Republican MPs than Unionist - also, of the eight remaining DUP MPs, none of them this time achieved a vote share greater than 50%.

11
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 13, 2019, 07:46:11 PM »
Spot on. If Labour doesn't learn from this they'll be in the wilderness until another Blair-like figure emerges.

"This is a repudiation of Corbynism. Labour needs to ditch the politics of the sect"

"A 1970s hard-left clique led the party into a dead end – and it’s the poor and vulnerable who will pay the price"

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/corbynism-labour-left-party

Quote
We can be angry at the Tories for winning this election, but we must feel an equal rage for the people who let them do it. I am speaking of those who led the main party of opposition down a blind alley that ended in Labour’s worst election performance since the 1930s – a performance that broke new records for failure. Look upon the scale of that calamity: to lose seats to a government in power for nine lean years, a government seeking a fourth term that is almost never granted, a cruel government so divided it purged two former chancellors and some of its best-known MPs, led by a documented liar and fraud. A half-functioning opposition party would have wiped the floor with this Tory party. Instead, Labour was crushed by it.

The leadership’s defenders wasted no time in blaming it all on Brexit. To be sure, Brexit has convulsed our politics and made Labour’s electoral coalition perilously hard to hold together. But pause before declaring that this was the Brexit election: in fact, the NHS overtook Brexit as voters’ top concern. The trouble was, voters trusted Johnson on the NHS more than they trusted Jeremy Corbyn. You read that right.

Quote
Labour knew it and Corbyn knew it. Those appalling numbers were not state secrets. His admirers always describe him as a selfless, almost saintly man, devoid of ego. So why didn’t he take one look at his own ratings and say, “I am clearly a drag on this party’s prospects. Those who need a Labour government have a better chance of getting one if I step aside.” Not a chance.

Corbyn’s own vanity was too great for him even to consider such an act of self-sacrifice. Instead he was encouraged by his own devoted legions of supporters, for whom the idea of a change of leader was heresy. In their mind, it was better to lose under Corbyn than to have a shot at winning with someone – anyone – else.

Perhaps it was too much to ask that he make way for a candidate less sure to repel the electorate. But he made this a presidential campaign, his face everywhere, other Labour heavyweights banished from the airwaves. In their place were factionally approved nodding dogs such as Richard Burgon. Never mind that they were bound to be useless, what mattered was that they were loyal to the ruling clique.

Of course, this relates not just to Corbyn but Corbynism. For the last four years, Labour has been in thrall to the notion that it’s better to have a manifesto you can feel proud of, a programme that calls itself radical, than to devise one that might have a chance of winning. Some even argued that, “win or lose”, Corbyn achieved much simply by offering a genuinely socialist plan – in contrast with Labour’s 1997 offer, which was so boringly modest and incremental.

Well, guess what. Labour’s “radical” manifesto of 2019 achieved precisely nothing. Not one proposal in it will be implemented, not one pound in it will be spent. It is worthless. And if judged not by the academic standard of “expanding the discourse”, but by the hard, practical measure of improving actual people’s actual lives, those hate figures of Corbynism – Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – achieved more in four hours than Corbyn achieved in four years. Why? Because they did what it took to win power.

That’s what a political party is for. It’s not a hobby; it’s not a pressure group that exists to open the Overton window a little wider; it’s not an association for making friends or hosting stimulating conversations and seminars; it’s not “a 30-year project”. Its purpose is to win and exercise power in the here and now. It is either a plausible vehicle for government or it is nothing.





12
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 13, 2019, 01:54:16 PM »


13
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 11, 2019, 01:59:32 AM »
...Do I believe they should reveal their sources?  It’s up to them...

For anyone whom remembers Charlie Brooker's Newswipe from 2010, here's a reminder of a clip from the show featuring Anglo-American journalist Heather Brooke on the issue of "sources"...

"The problems with the use of anonymous sources in the UK media"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3MnLSjyBLA

14
Tyrone / Re: Tyrone Club Football and Hurling
« on: December 11, 2019, 01:53:19 AM »
Some white smoke up in Garvaghy tonight...

Martin Sludden is the new Vice-Chairman (replaces Eunan Lindsay)
Eugene McConnell remains PRO (defeated Rory Cox)
Benny Hurl & Dermot McCaughey elected Ulster Council Reps

15
General discussion / Re: Westminster Election 12th December 2019
« on: December 10, 2019, 01:23:53 AM »
He replied: "You've got an anti-Semitism problem, you have lowered British politics." Mr Farage told the audience he planned to spoil his ballot in Thursday's election, and insisted he will never accept a seat in the House of Lords.

Considering past comments Farage has made which have touched on anti-Semitic tropes, not to mention whom he's been willing to associate with in the European Parliament (as well as some other indirect associations), the pot here is blacker than the kettle. And as for accusing others of having "...lowered British politics."  ::)

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