The UK Prime Minister

1235729

Comments

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    What is likely to happen if Boris is elected?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited June 3
    Anselmina wrote: »
    I think it was always plain from his participation on the show that he was a completely specious, self-serving opportunist with no actual competence, and no real inclination to acquire any.

    I agree that this was the opinion of some, but I think this was hardly universal as his subsequent career has proved. As it stands he currently has a larger number of MPs pledging to support him than any of his rivals - clearly there is a constituency who believe in allowing a specious, self serving opportunist to grasp the reigns of power.
    And I think he was called on this many times when he guested on the show, especially by the team captains, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton.
    I would really wonder at the logic processes of anyone watching any of Boris Johnson's 'performances' on HIGNFY and concluding that he was a worthwhile politician, or anyone you would seriously want involved with the running of your city or country.

    I think that in general the effect of the satire on that show served to flatten the political class in the eyes of the viewers, and certainly at the point at which he was on that show Merton and Hislop had long since become parodies of themselves. A significant percentage of their audience seem to have concluded that all politicians were as bad as each other, but at least Johnson was a 'character'. Laughter ended up substituting for any serious analysis and Johnson was clever enough to realise this and play to it.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    What is likely to happen if Boris is elected?

    The collapse of the UK economy, privatisation of the health service, joining Trump in a shooting war (any war, doesn't matter where), getting into a trade war with the EU, civil unrest, the break up of the union. Then week 2.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Boris and Trump are two of a kind, as regards to their regard for truth (among other things). And Nigel F. makes three.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    I think Johnson would fire off some popular stuff, to make the medicine go down, e.g., money for NHS, education, etc. The medicine being hard Brexit, which would be popular with some, of course.
  • Anselmina wrote: »
    And I would also say that the larger proportion of the audience for a BBC satirical news programme of that kind would be unlikely to think well of politicians of Boris's ilk, to begin with.

    I don't agree with this at all. Comedy is quite friendly to populism I think. The laugh often comes from the assumption that "everyone" can see what the simple answer is, yet "they" won't see it. I dislike political comedy more and more for this reason.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Surely, please, McVey must be in the No Hoper box. Otherwise the Conservative Party is even more wrong and trivial than I thought it was.

    I'd definitely put Raab in the PGN box, more so possibly than Javid, who certainly belongs there too.

    Alas, though, being in the PGN box doesn't mean a person is any less likely to be chosen.


    Quite an interesting question IMHO, is whether having Trump rooting for you plays well or badly with the two Conservative electorates involved. It plays very badly with me, but then, I'm not a Conservative. I thought the last sentiments of national honour had been flushed out of me over the last three years, but the affront I feel at the Orange Cookie Monster butting into UK politics shows that I must still have some sense of national honour somewhere in my back passage.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    I thought the last sentiments of national honour had been flushed out of me over the last three years, but the affront I feel at the Orange Cookie Monster butting into UK politics shows that I must still have some sense of national honour somewhere in my back passage.

    I think you might be confusing national honour with "basic human decency". Or IBS (IANAD).
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate

    Maybe
    Michael Gove
    Matt Hancock
    Esther McVey
    Dominic Raab
    Rory Stewart

    I realise I'm asking you to put your head in the fire here, but how on earth does Esther McVey get into that list? I can understand how people would support most of the others if they started from a different political position from me, but Ms McVey just looks nasty and/or inept from any perspective.
  • And therefore ideal for The Job.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    If there were to be a general election tomorrow, I'd agree wholeheartedly, but remember that whoever wins is quite likely to be Prime Minister until 2021. A nasty incompetent could do a lot of damage in that time.

    Ms. McVey says she "won't allow" Parliament to stop a no-deal Brexit if she wins; I'd say that confirms her nasty/inept credentials fairly well.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    What is likely to happen if Boris is elected?

    Loud acclaim from a rapidly-dwindling band of Tory supporters, possible laughter from the rest of the community. An even less competent administration than Ms May has delivered, with repeats of that ferry-contract disaster across a wide band of government activity.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    To be fair to Boris he has been in
    Politics fit a long time so must have some nouse. However he is still not PM material in any way shape or form. As mayor of London he didn’t do too much damage but he did have a good team around him.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Some nouse??? Very well hidden if he has any. Perhaps the places of his education and a lot of front have got him where he is.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    As mayor of London he didn’t do too much damage but he did have a good team around him.
    Even someone who is personally not that good a candidate can achieve a lot if they surround themselves by good people, and listen to them. The problem is that there's not a great deal of choice for a good team in the Cabinet, unless he (or, whoever else wins the election) knows the back benches very well and is willing to promote good people ahead of the current front bench. Of course, the civil service has some very good people that can advise and there's scope for bringing in people from the Lords. But, the talent pool of Tory MPs is shallow.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Yes I agree Alan Cresswell.
    Much as I think Boris s bumbling idiot, he has been in politics a good while and gets people to vote for him. There must be something there. Well hidden but still.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    ... Much as I think Boris s bumbling idiot, he has been in politics a good while and gets people to vote for him. There must be something there. Well hidden but still.
    That's a non sequitur. Besides, look at Corbyn and Trump.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    As mayor of London he didn’t do too much damage but he did have a good team around him.
    He left London with a lot of expensive and useless vanity projects built by public private partnerships in which the public side picked up all the cost and the private side the few benefits.

  • Enoch wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    ... Much as I think Boris s bumbling idiot, he has been in politics a good while and gets people to vote for him. There must be something there. Well hidden but still.
    That's a non sequitur. Besides, look at Corbyn and Trump.

    Corbyn at least has the positives of sincerity, honesty, decency, and a sense of right and wrong. His political savvy and people management skills aren't the best but *shrug* that's why we have John McDonnell (who has a sense of right and wrong but you get the sense that he'd put it aside if he thought shivving you in the kidneys would achieve his political aims).
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Cleverly withdraws his name - Johnson would still seem to be leading with 40 MPs declared for him (Hunt and Gove on 28)
  • Perhaps, one day, we'll get an elected PM, rather than a knave or a dolt imposed on us by other knaves and dolts.
    :rage:
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Perhaps, one day, we'll get an elected PM, rather than a knave or a dolt imposed on us by other knaves and dolts.
    :rage:
    I'm really against that idea. It's treating the PM as a quasi-president rather than merely the leader of the governing party and of the Cabinet. I don't think it's compatible with our system of government.

    It's for that reason that I said on another thread that I think it should be contempt of Parliament and a serious constitutional abuse for anyone other than elected MPs and government peers to be involved in the selection process for the leader of a party that is in government. I don't really think it should be allowed even for parties not in government. Parliamentary party leaders should be chosen only by parliament and nobody else.

    Besides, direct election is no protection against knaves or dolts.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited June 4
    Fair points - I didn't express myself very well at all (I blame the trauma of Trump), and I'm not even sure what I was getting at.
    :confused:
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    And I would also say that the larger proportion of the audience for a BBC satirical news programme of that kind would be unlikely to think well of politicians of Boris's ilk, to begin with.

    I don't agree with this at all. Comedy is quite friendly to populism I think. The laugh often comes from the assumption that "everyone" can see what the simple answer is, yet "they" won't see it. I dislike political comedy more and more for this reason.

    Some kinds of comedy are friendly to populism. Left-wing, 'politically correct' comedy maybe not so. And I imagine few people who espouse populist views would think of Have I got news for you as anything but the brainwashed socialist lackey of the BBC.

    That would only work if, having watched Boris being mocked and derided on the programme by the establishment 'enemy', therefore he must be a great bloke and worth voting for. I shan't argue against that view being effective in making him popular!
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Perhaps, one day, we'll get an elected PM, rather than a knave or a dolt imposed on us by other knaves and dolts.
    :rage:
    I'm really against that idea. It's treating the PM as a quasi-president rather than merely the leader of the governing party and of the Cabinet. I don't think it's compatible with our system of government.

    It's for that reason that I said on another thread that I think it should be contempt of Parliament and a serious constitutional abuse for anyone other than elected MPs and government peers to be involved in the selection process for the leader of a party that is in government. I don't really think it should be allowed even for parties not in government. Parliamentary party leaders should be chosen only by parliament and nobody else.

    Besides, direct election is no protection against knaves or dolts.

    I'm not sure that 3-400 men and women selected on the basis of their ability to follow the previous leaders are a great means of selecting a new one, except in so far as they'll presumably select someone they're willing to follow. How are the public meant to force a chance in direction in a party if they can't join it and choose who leads it?
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    There is an eerie feeling of powerlessness, as one waits to see who will be crowned capo de tutti capi. I suppose there used to be the expectation that an election would follow, but not now?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    There is an eerie feeling of powerlessness, as one waits to see who will be crowned capo de tutti capi. I suppose there used to be the expectation that an election would follow, but not now?

    I have a vague hope of one, if a brextremist is elected.

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    Some kinds of comedy are friendly to populism. Left-wing, 'politically correct' comedy maybe not so. And I imagine few people who espouse populist views would think of Have I got news for you as anything but the brainwashed socialist lackey of the BBC.

    That would only work if, having watched Boris being mocked and derided on the programme by the establishment 'enemy', therefore he must be a great bloke and worth voting for. I shan't argue against that view being effective in making him popular!

    I suspect it depends on the stage of populism as to which tactics are most useful - I think Johnson's apparent ability to be self deprecating won him a lot of followers in an era where politicians seemed to take themselves too seriously (Blair et al). And it's easier to forget the menace posed by a figure that comes across as - otherwise - comic, which is why stories like the Guppy one don't stick.

    To put it another way; the appeal of Johnson - not least his popular mononym - rests largely on his image which has been carefully cultivated over the years in both broadcast media and the press, apart from that image he doesn't really exist in the public mind.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I'm not sure that 3-400 men and women selected on the basis of their ability to follow the previous leaders are a great means of selecting a new one, except in so far as they'll presumably select someone they're willing to follow. How are the public meant to force a chance in direction in a party if they can't join it and choose who leads it?
    But that's accepting the Führerprinzip as a part of Western democracy. The Prime Minister's role is to be the chief minister among the Cabinet, not to be the national Führer. Since Thatcher, we've had too many PMs who've thought it was, and too many among the public, media, opinion formers etc who have agreed with them.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    I'm not sure that 3-400 men and women selected on the basis of their ability to follow the previous leaders are a great means of selecting a new one, except in so far as they'll presumably select someone they're willing to follow. How are the public meant to force a chance in direction in a party if they can't join it and choose who leads it?
    But that's accepting the Führerprinzip as a part of Western democracy. The Prime Minister's role is to be the chief minister among the Cabinet, not to be the national Führer. Since Thatcher, we've had too many PMs who've thought it was, and too many among the public, media, opinion formers etc who have agreed with them.

    Ah, Mr Godwin, we meet again. Thatcher was elected by tory MPs. Major was elected by tory MPs. Blair had the backing of the majority of Labour MPs. Brown was elected by Labour MPs. May was elected by tory MPs. The only party leader to become PM who was elected on the basis of a party vote and who could arguably be considered not to have been backed by a majority of their MPs was Cameron, and I don't think his arrogance had a lot to do with his method of election.
  • There is an eerie feeling of powerlessness, as one waits to see who will be crowned capo de tutti capi. I suppose there used to be the expectation that an election would follow, but not now?

    I think this might be a better expression of what prompted my rather vague earlier post...
    :wink:

  • Enoch wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    ... Much as I think Boris s bumbling idiot, he has been in politics a good while and gets people to vote for him. There must be something there. Well hidden but still.
    That's a non sequitur. Besides, look at Corbyn and Trump.

    Corbyn at least has the positives of sincerity, honesty, decency, and a sense of right and wrong. His political savvy and people management skills aren't the best but *shrug* that's why we have John McDonnell (who has a sense of right and wrong but you get the sense that he'd put it aside if he thought shivving you in the kidneys would achieve his political aims).

    The thing is, being crap at dealing with people (to put it less charitably than “people management skills aren’t the best”) is a massive failing for someone in Corbyn’s position. Success in politics requires consensus-building.

    And if we can’t find a sensible individual prepared to build a consensus with people who don’t agree with him/her, then we’re heading straight off a hard Brexit cliff-edge. I don’t believe Jezza is that person.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    As mayor of London he didn’t do too much damage but he did have a good team around him.
    He left London with a lot of expensive and useless vanity projects built by public private partnerships in which the public side picked up all the cost and the private side the few benefits.

    Yes I know I live In London. Without his team it could have been even worse. F he had been given his way London would be I ruin:
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    But that's accepting the Führerprinzip as a part of Western democracy. The Prime Minister's role is to be the chief minister among the Cabinet, not to be the national Führer. Since Thatcher, we've had too many PMs who've thought it was, and too many among the public, media, opinion formers etc who have agreed with them.

    I suspect this is more to do with the strength of the Office of the PM and less to do with the selection method.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Meanwhile in the real world Boris the Bold has evaded a face-to-face meeting with Trump, instead having a 20-minute conversation with him by phone. Perhaps he fears that too close an embrace by Donald the Dementer might be the kiss of death?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    I'm not sure that 3-400 men and women selected on the basis of their ability to follow the previous leaders are a great means of selecting a new one, except in so far as they'll presumably select someone they're willing to follow. How are the public meant to force a chance in direction in a party if they can't join it and choose who leads it?
    But that's accepting the Führerprinzip as a part of Western democracy. The Prime Minister's role is to be the chief minister among the Cabinet, not to be the national Führer. Since Thatcher, we've had too many PMs who've thought it was, and too many among the public, media, opinion formers etc who have agreed with them.

    Ah, Mr Godwin, we meet again. Thatcher was elected by tory MPs. Major was elected by tory MPs. Blair had the backing of the majority of Labour MPs. Brown was elected by Labour MPs. May was elected by tory MPs. The only party leader to become PM who was elected on the basis of a party vote and who could arguably be considered not to have been backed by a majority of their MPs was Cameron, and I don't think his arrogance had a lot to do with his method of election.
    I wasn't citing the Führerprinzip against the bad practice of letting self-selected, non-elected, subscription-payers play a role in selecting for a job that incidentally happens to carry with it the senior role in the government.

    I was citing it because of the emphasis in your post on 'leader', 'lead' and 'follow'. IMHO government is there to form an administration and to govern, not to lead. And I don't see it as my duty to 'follow' even a government formed of people I voted for, yet alone one I didn't.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Maybe
    Michael Gove
    Matt Hancock
    Esther McVey
    Dominic Raab
    Rory Stewart
    I realise I'm asking you to put your head in the fire here, but how on earth does Esther McVey get into that list? I can understand how people would support most of the others if they started from a different political position from me, but Ms McVey just looks nasty and/or inept from any perspective.

    First, I think it is a given that there needs to be at least a token woman in any list.

    Second, she could score heavily with the membership because of her background - she started off her life as a Barnado's child.

    Third, she isn't a public school/ Oxbridge candidate.

    On the minus side, she could be viewed as a female Grayling... :grin:
    Corbyn at least has the positives of sincerity, honesty, decency, and a sense of right and wrong. His political savvy and people management skills aren't the best but *shrug* that's why we have John McDonnell (who has a sense of right and wrong but you get the sense that he'd put it aside if he thought shivving you in the kidneys would achieve his political aims).

    O. M. G.

    Have you met Corbyn? Have you had any dealing with him in any way, shape or form. I have and I would answer your points as follows:

    "Sincerity, honesty, decency" - No. He has been shown to be at the very least economical with the truth when it comes to how much influence he has had/ still has over suspensions and expulsions for things like anti-semitism. As for a sense of right and wrong, maybe or maybe not: the big thing is has (and it is massive) is an absolute and total belief in his own rightness about everything and everyone. It is telling that he has zero friends across the political divide - most people who have been an MP for as long as him have at least one or two but not Corbyn.

    The biggest problem is that Corbyn is still fighting the class war of the 1940s-1960s. The world has moved on but his thinking hasn't. He formed his political beliefs (right or wrong) in the 1960s which is fine, but he still thinks that the policies that would have worked then are appropriate and would work now: the world has changed but he and his ideas haven't.

    McDonnell is a wolf in wolf's clothing.

  • I have friends who've worked very closely with Corbyn over a number of years. That a pro-Israel tory doesn't like him is neither news nor a surprise.

    You don't need to be chummy with political opponents to be able to work across political divides. Corbyn has been attacked repeatedly for meeting with and talking to people others wouldn't so it can hardly be claimed he's not open to dialogue. It's notable that on Corbyn's visits to Brussels his plans and ideas for a possible deal have been considered far more credible than May's unicorn hunt. Plus, frankly, when people do the things that tories do it's hard to treat it all as a game and something you can have a laugh and a few drinks over.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    I'm not sure that 3-400 men and women selected on the basis of their ability to follow the previous leaders are a great means of selecting a new one, except in so far as they'll presumably select someone they're willing to follow. How are the public meant to force a chance in direction in a party if they can't join it and choose who leads it?
    But that's accepting the Führerprinzip as a part of Western democracy. The Prime Minister's role is to be the chief minister among the Cabinet, not to be the national Führer. Since Thatcher, we've had too many PMs who've thought it was, and too many among the public, media, opinion formers etc who have agreed with them.

    Ah, Mr Godwin, we meet again. Thatcher was elected by tory MPs. Major was elected by tory MPs. Blair had the backing of the majority of Labour MPs. Brown was elected by Labour MPs. May was elected by tory MPs. The only party leader to become PM who was elected on the basis of a party vote and who could arguably be considered not to have been backed by a majority of their MPs was Cameron, and I don't think his arrogance had a lot to do with his method of election.
    I wasn't citing the Führerprinzip against the bad practice of letting self-selected, non-elected, subscription-payers play a role in selecting for a job that incidentally happens to carry with it the senior role in the government.

    I was citing it because of the emphasis in your post on 'leader', 'lead' and 'follow'. IMHO government is there to form an administration and to govern, not to lead. And I don't see it as my duty to 'follow' even a government formed of people I voted for, yet alone one I didn't.

    If you elect a party leader then by definition you want someone to lead and that the party will follow. Now there are certainly different styles of leadership and degrees to which the leader is in charge of policy (Labour providing an ongoing exhibition of being trapped by the different factions in the party) but unless you do what the Greens do and have 2 leaders you're always going to have one.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Second, she could score heavily with the membership because of her background - she started off her life as a Barnado's child.

    Which I suppose proves that experiencing adversity doesn't lead to virtue, if nothing else.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited June 4
    You don't need to be chummy with political opponents to be able to work across political divides. Corbyn has been attacked repeatedly for meeting with and talking to people others wouldn't so it can hardly be claimed he's not open to dialogue.
    He has some standards. He draws the line at Chuka Umunna.

  • If you elect a party leader then by definition you want someone to lead and that the party will follow.
    I think there's a difference between the leader of a small group of people with a limited range of political opinions, and being Prime Minister of the government of a nation. If members of a party object to their leader sufficiently then they have the option to leave the party, very few people have the option of leaving a country.
    Now there are certainly different styles of leadership and degrees to which the leader is in charge of policy (Labour providing an ongoing exhibition of being trapped by the different factions in the party) but unless you do what the Greens do and have 2 leaders you're always going to have one.
    Technically, the Greens have (co-)convenors. Which is more of an administrative role than leadership, the agenda of the party, the policies supported are defined by the membership through Conference and other discussions.

  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    I have friends who've worked very closely with Corbyn over a number of years. That a pro-Israel tory doesn't like him is neither news nor a surprise.

    You don't need to be chummy with political opponents to be able to work across political divides. Corbyn has been attacked repeatedly for meeting with and talking to people others wouldn't so it can hardly be claimed he's not open to dialogue. It's notable that on Corbyn's visits to Brussels his plans and ideas for a possible deal have been considered far more credible than May's unicorn hunt. Plus, frankly, when people do the things that tories do it's hard to treat it all as a game and something you can have a laugh and a few drinks over.

    It's always difficult to argue with someone who has direct experience when you don't but you covered this nicely.

    I am not a natural Corbyn fan but the majority of criticism is either wrong or exaggerated. It's fascinating to watch.

    Moreover, apparently Trump doesn't like him, so that's a major plus.

    AFZ
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited June 4
    I notice ChangeUK have split, I imagine the 4 left under the leadership will vote for the government in a confidence motion. Not clear on the other six. But I wonder if the government would now lose a confidence motion if Boris Johnson or a nodeal brexiteer wins the leadership.
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    You don't need to be chummy with political opponents to be able to work across political divides. Corbyn has been attacked repeatedly for meeting with and talking to people others wouldn't so it can hardly be claimed he's not open to dialogue.
    He has some standards. He draws the line at Chuka Umunna.

    Well yes. I can think of names for the sort of people who are members of 3 parties in the space of 6 months, but they're all offensive to the hard working professionals of the sex industry.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Maybe
    Michael Gove
    Matt Hancock
    Esther McVey
    Dominic Raab
    Rory Stewart
    I realise I'm asking you to put your head in the fire here, but how on earth does Esther McVey get into that list? I can understand how people would support most of the others if they started from a different political position from me, but Ms McVey just looks nasty and/or inept from any perspective.

    First, I think it is a given that there needs to be at least a token woman in any list.

    Second, she could score heavily with the membership because of her background - she started off her life as a Barnado's child.

    Third, she isn't a public school/ Oxbridge candidate.

    On the minus side, she could be viewed as a female Grayling... :grin:

    I wouldn't quite put her in the Grayling category but she can't be far off. I don't think she's contributed anything to Conservative welfare reforms (i.e., if you think they're a good idea, that's not down to her), but she has succeeded in turning public opinion against them, which is quite an achievement given that in 2010 most people thought welfare was too soft.

    Regarding her background: she attended the Belvedere School in Liverpool at a time when it was fee-paying (it isn't any more), and where incidentally my mother was a teacher; it might not be Eton or even Winchester but 'working-class' is not the first word that comes to mind. If anything, the title of working-class grifter belongs to her father, who seems genuinely to have turned himself from a jobbing labourer to a company director by the sweat of his brow.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    ... Much as I think Boris s bumbling idiot, he has been in politics a good while and gets people to vote for him. There must be something there. Well hidden but still.
    That's a non sequitur. Besides, look at Corbyn and Trump.

    Corbyn at least has the positives of sincerity, honesty, decency, and a sense of right and wrong. His political savvy and people management skills aren't the best but *shrug* that's why we have John McDonnell (who has a sense of right and wrong but you get the sense that he'd put it aside if he thought shivving you in the kidneys would achieve his political aims).

    The thing is, being crap at dealing with people (to put it less charitably than “people management skills aren’t the best”) is a massive failing for someone in Corbyn’s position. Success in politics requires consensus-building.

    Indeed. As far as I understand the Labour party, that's pretty much his job description. Overall strategy is determined by conference. Detailed policies are (or should be) developed by the shadow minister responsible for that policy area. Funding (i.e. working out how to pay for it all) is for the shadow chancellor. Internal party governance is for the NEC. The leader's role should be to make sure everyone is working together for the same aim, and Mr Corbyn, whatever his other strengths, is not doing this.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    I have friends who've worked very closely with Corbyn over a number of years. That a pro-Israel tory doesn't like him is neither news nor a surprise.
    Who mentioned a pro-Israel tory? Not me!
    You don't need to be chummy with political opponents to be able to work across political divides.
    No indeed. And I wasn't suggesting that was the case.
    Corbyn has been attacked repeatedly for meeting with and talking to people others wouldn't so it can hardly be claimed he's not open to dialogue. It's notable that on Corbyn's visits to Brussels his plans and ideas for a possible deal have been considered far more credible than May's unicorn hunt. Plus, frankly, when people do the things that tories do it's hard to treat it all as a game and something you can have a laugh and a few drinks over.
    And nor was I suggesting the sort of close friendship where you have a laugh and a few drinks.

    But there are instances of parliamentarians from many parties who are on good terms with one or two people in other parties - frequently their "pair", if no one else. It isn't a bad thing and nor does it mean that either party treat politics and governance as a game.

  • alienfromzogalienfromzog Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    ... Much as I think Boris s bumbling idiot, he has been in politics a good while and gets people to vote for him. There must be something there. Well hidden but still.
    That's a non sequitur. Besides, look at Corbyn and Trump.

    Corbyn at least has the positives of sincerity, honesty, decency, and a sense of right and wrong. His political savvy and people management skills aren't the best but *shrug* that's why we have John McDonnell (who has a sense of right and wrong but you get the sense that he'd put it aside if he thought shivving you in the kidneys would achieve his political aims).

    The thing is, being crap at dealing with people (to put it less charitably than “people management skills aren’t the best”) is a massive failing for someone in Corbyn’s position. Success in politics requires consensus-building.

    Indeed. As far as I understand the Labour party, that's pretty much his job description. Overall strategy is determined by conference. Detailed policies are (or should be) developed by the shadow minister responsible for that policy area. Funding (i.e. working out how to pay for it all) is for the shadow chancellor. Internal party governance is for the NEC. The leader's role should be to make sure everyone is working together for the same aim, and Mr Corbyn, whatever his other strengths, is not doing this.

    This is one of the great fallacies of modern politics, I think.

    No doubt that being able to unify one's own party is a desirable quality in a leader. However the idea that it is critical quality or somehow the only measure of a leader is just silly. I would suggest that the unity of a political party owes far more to the proximity to power than it does to the leadership qualities of the contemporary leader. I would posit that Blair was able to unite the Labour party because after '92 they were desperate, desperate to win.* Intriguingly the disloyalty of the PLP dropped several notches after the 2017 election when it became clear that Corbyn wasn't quite the loser they thought he was. The ability of the Conservative party to manufacture unity in order to win elections is of course, legendary.

    Cameron is also a good example; he was able to maintain a more or less united party from 2010 to 2015, even in coalition with the LibDems. He did this because 13 years out of power was too many and by pandering to the Eurosceptics. I would argue robustly that Cameron lacked the basic qualities of a leader but he did generate party unity. And I would go further and say that the LibDems did him a huge favour because he could use them as a foil/excuse for not being able to do things that some in his party wanted. The I would if the LibDems would let me defence, which is very useful if you don't actually want to do it. There is a strong rumour that Cameron did not expect to have an EU referendum as he was expecting there to be a coalition partner that wouldn't allow him to do so; hence it cost him nothing to allow it in the manifesto. We are living out the cost of losing that (and subsequent) bet(s) on Europe.

    The idea that the unity of a party is a good measure of a party leader is a fallacy. YMMV.

    AFZ

    *Being desperate to win was not just about the party and wanting power. For many - if not most - they were / are true believers that there was so much in our country that only the Labour party would be able to fix. Whether you agree with them or not, is beside the point; many in the party - such as Prescott for example - supported Blair as they knew that they needed to win power in order to be able to do anything. Hence, in the early days, he didn't have to try to get party loyalty. 8-10 years later it was a different kettle of aquatic animals, of course.
Sign In or Register to comment.