The mother of all downturns?

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by chilango, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. emanymton

    emanymton A cat politely sat on the flaming gardener.

    Sorry to hear that Danny. My grandmother died last Wednesday as well. Sadly it seems to be that time of year.
  2. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Never mind omitting slogans, what if the differentiator is a lack of any such overt messages at all? Bear with me on this, and it's probably total naive shit...

    You take existing local issues - filter out the lost cats and here is a good example: SalfordOnline - plenty of unaffiliated small-p politics on there, people with housing issues, commentary on local planning, etcetera. Taking this and similar as the feed, you develop something, I don't want to try to name or describe it yet, that provides support to people whose only other route is the failing establishment.

    The causes you pick are based on little more than need, and the support it provides is whatever practical aid you can provide - mentoring, direction, legal knowledge, pressure on authority, how to run a good campaign, pro bono professional inputs, etc, exactly the sorts of thing that we would do well at if someone asked for help on here.

    From this inherently flows the things you are talking about, without ever being called out and without an explicit ideological basis. You haven't had to read chapter & verse to anyone on class struggle or solidarity because it's part and parcel of what you're doing - you're never being asked to do anything contrary to these things. You haven't had to set up monolithic campaigns or meetings in the first instance because you're doing direct legwork. The only fundamental aim is to make it snowball and solidify into something cooperative that can find or attract people in need, and can attract more loosely political people who can help that would otherwise have trouble finding anywhere to direct their efforts.

    It's full of challenges - building the initial network, hijacking, egos, lack of focus, not remaining forever piecemeal, ending up being top-down Momentum etc - but it attempts to avoid a highly partisan and dogmatic core that often destroys itself before doing anything. You can't be blamed for the historic failings of whatever affiliation it would have normally had, because nominally there isn't one - can't slag people off for just helping each other. The risk of it being subverted is much lower than the risk of it achieving nothing, and in its worst outcome it probably still helps a few individuals, like a shit version of Helpfulpeeps. In a way it is a covert, unlabelled version of whatever you might have tried to achieve anyway.

    Something to dissect anyway?
    chilango likes this.
  3. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    If you'd asked me a few years ago I'd have agreed with all of that. i might still do. But I have doubts now.

    Doubts stemming from seeing very similar looking stuff being done by the Greens, by charities, by religious missionaries, by the far-right, by middle-class liberals and wannabe community leaders.

    Doubts stemming from these groups, who have infrastructure, organisation and agenda that isn't the same as ours, taking this space and dominating these kinda initiatives.

    Doubts stemming from how in these times of austerity government (both local and national) uses this kind of thing.

    I still think in terms of what action we should take that this kinda thing has to be central.

    But i also think plunging into this as isolated and "depoliticised" individuals isn't the answer...
  4. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Thanks. Sorry to hear that. Yes, the undertaker was very busy.
  5. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    It's not proposed as the answer, but as the priming for it. Of course, it may ultimately not even be good for that.

    I don't have your experiences in this regard, I don't see anyone dominating it, instead I see an absence of most of it. I have the experience that it's hard to find somewhere to direct time and effort towards, for all kinds of reasons. It's a bit Little Red Hen, and I'm also lazy especially of late, but I don't really want to lead. I do want to contribute, and even actively seeking opportunities, it's hard to marry up things I can do with people that need it. I have the experience that party politics is probably the most obvious outlet to turn to but it's also (obviously) lethargic, self-interested and dogmatic. I have the experience that I'm not allowed to volunteer under the biggest scheme in my nearest city centre because I pay council tax in the arbitrarily wrong place! Then we run into charities and for example the stuff we're seeing on another thread about St. Mungos. Overall there are a shitload of barriers to action.

    I'm wary of the trap of projection - how many people are the same and how much should it ever be centred around this anyway? - but I would love to do something constructive, love to give certain people & their ideas a kicking, but I could easily go through life without ever finding a means to do it.
  6. dialectician

    dialectician The Main Enemy is at home.

    yes i think there was a mutual misunderstanding.

    agree with most of what you said in the rest of your post. see the identity politics thread in T&P for my take.
  7. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    ...and I now I find myself doubting my earlier posts. Wondering whether they're merely traces of a vestigal Bolshevism and that, perhaps, I should trust my spontaneist inclinations more.
  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    No, they were very good.

    Also the spontaneist stuff presumably requires no input from any of us, so that is already sorted. :thumbs:
  9. 19force8

    19force8 For the avoidance of faith

    Yep, as with #103 above, I think I was rehearsing an argument with someone else...
  10. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I'm not great at writing this sort of stuff but could we add something about internationalism?
  11. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Probably getting too specific but this would be where to thrash out Brexit and the EU. I'd say that there is common ground in recognising that the EU is a neoliberal project which is becoming more so. But also recognising that Brexit/Remain is complex - something that has come about because of conflict within the ruling class and therefore is something which has not happened on our terms?

    (I told you I wasn't great at writing this stuff!)
  12. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    Yes. I'd say so.

    But to do so distancing from both pro-EU, open borders positions and from the "British Jobs for British Workers" close the borders type positions.

    Its tricky but important as it has become a real fracture.
    danny la rouge and Fozzie Bear like this.
  13. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    I'm no better.

    i've got as far as "Neither Westminster nor Brussels!"
    HoratioCuthbert and Fozzie Bear like this.
  14. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    All that said, I'm not sure it's the best place to start. I think basic principles and big ideas - what do we want - should come first and then inform positions on stuff like this.

    However, in the current climate it's unavoidable and will come up sooner rather than later anyway....
  15. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Yes I agree. I think what you have set out is great but it invites a bunch of other questions and there is a risk of running before we can walk. I'd be interested to know what other people think.
    chilango likes this.
  16. sihhi

    sihhi John 3:30

    This has been my experience over the past 15 years - immigration, <too many immigrants too quickly> also comes up (including London and people of immigrant heritage, before the usual comments)
  17. Nice one

    Nice one Well-Known Member

    Don't know if anybody knows about this, or is going to it, but it seems culturally at least what people on here seem to be reaching out for:

    first ever The Great British Class Conference - Sat 24th March, london

    organised by Britain Has Class
    Platforming working class experiences, campaigning for real representation and creating a network of activists
  18. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    It does seem to include a tendency to place class in the IDPol arena though, especially given its origins. The Class Officer Campaign. But early days I guess. Things can take on a life of their own.
    Nice one likes this.
  19. Nice one

    Nice one Well-Known Member

    From what i can tell BHC is basing its activity on getting more working class people actively involved in media/the arts/education.

    The conference itself looks like its actual working class people talking to and with other working class people rather than about them. It's a start.

    Will it work, does it gave legs, who ultimately benefits? Maybe those questions will get asked and answered on the day.

    Plus you're not likely to get a mob of anarchohipsters shoulders tensed prowling the front entrance waiting for helen steel to turn up.

    And if articulate chav puts in an appearence, everybody wins.
    seventh bullet and chilango like this.
  20. Kate Sharpley

    Kate Sharpley Well-Known Member

    Class, Politics, and the Return of Roseanne
    Stuff on the internet about TV.


    "Some Roseanne detractors admit the show is funny. The African-American critic and memoirist, Roxane Gay, found herself laughing at some of the jokes. But she couldn’t accept that the Connors had voted for Trump, as Roseanne Barr claimed to have done also, in real life.

    >I could not set aside what I know of Roseanne Barr and how toxic and dangerous her current public persona is. >I could not overlook how the Conner family came together to support Mark as he was bullied at school for his >gender presentation, after voting for a president who actively works against the transgender community. They >voted for a president who doesn’t think the black life of their granddaughter matters. They act as if love can >protect the most vulnerable members of their family from the repercussions of their political choices. It >cannot.

    Gay’s argument is entirely logical, but political ideologies are not. In my own extended family I know dozens of Trump voters who have black, brown, and gay children and grandchildren whom they love as fiercely as they support Donald Trump—whose policies and racist/homophobic hate mongering threaten the very lives of these same children and grandchildren."

    "My final thought after watching Roseanne concerns the Democrats, rather than the Republicans. As long as the Democratic Party gets its money and its policies from the 1%, it will never be a party of the working-class, immigrant, black, brown, and other marginalized peoples represented, at least partially, by the Connors. The Democrats need a heartland strategy, or, at the very least, a heart, to radically change the laws, tax codes and policies that have created the greatest levels of inequality and poverty in American history. Now that’s a program I would definitely watch."

    [And no, I'm not qualified to comment on 'what the democrats need']
    frogwoman, MrSpikey and J Ed like this.
  21. cantsin

    cantsin Well-Known Member

    there's obviously a fair chance that Momentum is, to some degree or another, playing a fireblanket role in all this, dampening and channeling energy /anger into a parliamentary cul de sac ( time will tell ) - but in the meantime, there's an unprecedented ammount of that energy flowing about for now - can imagine it could look bleak if you were completely cutting yourself off from it all, as Trot / anarcho 'organisations fade, and this place ( for all it's upsides) / the interweb maybe becomes yr main focus
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
    frogwoman likes this.
  22. cantsin

    cantsin Well-Known Member

    huh ? you serious ? there'll be little change post Brexit, Remainers and Brexiters ( and Lexiters ) will quickly work that out, youngsters will still be facing the same jobs / housing crisis, AI is still coming, NHS still crumbling etc .... do you think the people are too blind to work that out or something ?
  23. HoratioCuthbert

    HoratioCuthbert I have no choice, so I'll rejoice

    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  24. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Heh. This place has been the same for 15 years or more, nothing new there. It's just smaller now and barely has the critical mass to sustain itself in the old way, and there can't be much more in it, in those terms at least. That's more to do with changes in how people use the Internet and failure to engage new people though than it is anything broader politically.

    Edit: this post makes no sense now the one above is gone, but whatever
  25. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    What absolute and utter ahistoric cobblers. Compare today with the 70s, how many days lost to industrial action? Compare it to the 80s with the miners strike and anti-poll tax campaigns. Even 15 years ago you had the anti-war movement.

    And that's just for starters, we can talk about the periods which really where there was real activity - the 30s, the 10s etc.
  26. cantsin

    cantsin Well-Known Member

    "but in the meantime, there's an unprecedented ammount of that energy flowing about( MISSING : "WITHIN MOMENTUM" ) for now -

    which i why i preceded it with the admission it may be a cul de sac / fireblanket.
    Last edited: May 4, 2018

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