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Johnson thinks a ‘culture war’ will win crucial working-class votes. He’s wrong | Lynsey Hanley | Opinion | The Guardian
Successful community life is not about who chats to whom on the doorstep or about mystical working-class values. It is about whether the essential needs of everyone in that community are met to the extent that they can look beyond that day’s survival and outwards towards others. In Lawrence’s wise words, “the task for politicians is to imagine the conditions which will enable people most fully to reconcile self and society in their daily lives”.

So when the Conservative party sends their representatives to court the working-class vote, they should be asked a few questions. Have they ever tried to apply for benefits to which they are entitled, or sought help from Citizens Advice? Have their local branch library and children’s centre been closed? Have they ever tried to get a bus on a Sunday, or after 8pm, outside London? Have they noticed that children no longer play out on the street? Have they ever peeled “Free Tommy Robinson” stickers off the bus shelter and the playground gates? What did they feel on visiting any city centre and seeing the lines of destitute people trying to keep their tents pegged to the pavement and their sleeping bags clean?

The very idea of a culture war, invoking supposed working-class values, is empty. What we are really talking about is quality of life. The problem of our times and our communities is that a full, rich life, free of avoidable stresses, in which the right to stay and the right to move are equally taken for granted, now feels so hard to achieve for so many people.
UK  politics  Brexit  workingClass  resentment  exclusion  Leave  community  culture  livingStandards  cultureWar  JohnsonBoris  dctagged  dc:creator=HanleyLynsey 
9 weeks ago by petej
Boris Johnson’s cash splurge is totally reckless. Yet it could win an election | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
The left can’t expect that pointing out Johnson’s racism or his past will sway voters – those tactics didn’t stop him grabbing City Hall. Remainers can’t carry on pointing out the madness of leaving the EU to turn this country into Singapore with jumpers – that didn’t work in 2016. We need to get much more serious and imaginative, show that staying in the EU is the best way to end austerity, and come up with policies to improve living standards here and now.
UK  politics  JohnsonBoris  publicSpending  infrastructure  LabourParty  TheLeft  austerity  livingStandards  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
july 2019 by petej
If Labour really wants to move on, it has to back a second referendum | Tom Kibasi | Opinion | The Guardian
How can a referendum be won? Remainers need to stop talking to themselves and instead think about how to persuade people who voted leave last time to vote remain next time. Rather than trying to sell the virtues of the European project or making the case for “remain and reform”, Labour should instead make and win the argument that Brexit simply isn’t worth it: that there are more pressing priorities, from wages to NHS waiting times. The country has already wasted three years arguing about trading arrangements and regulatory alignment rather than about jobs, living standards and public services
UK  EU  Brexit  softBrexit  customsUnion  EEA  Norway  referendum  PeoplesVote  Remain  NHS  livingStandards  campaigning  renewal  dctagged  dc:creator=KibasiTom 
may 2019 by petej
How to Be an Anticapitalist Today
Give up the fantasy of smashing capitalism. Capitalism is not smashable, at least if you really want to construct an emancipatory future. You may personally be able to escape capitalism by moving off the grid and minimizing your involvement with the money economy and the market, but this is hardly an attractive option for most people, especially those with children, and certainly has little potential to foster a broader process of social emancipation.

If you are concerned about the lives of others, in one way or another you have to deal with capitalist structures and institutions. Taming and eroding capitalism are the only viable options. You need to participate both in political movements for taming capitalism through public policies and in socioeconomic projects of eroding capitalism through the expansion of emancipatory forms of economic activity.

We must renew an energetic progressive social democracy that not only neutralizes the harms of capitalism but also facilitates initiatives to build real utopias with the potential to erode the dominance of capitalism.
anti-capitalism  capitalism  politics  livingStandards  inequality  poverty  growth  productivity  environment  crisis  revolution  socialDemocracy  reform  regulation  redistribution  globalisation  neoliberalism  anarchism  utopias  cooperatives  libraries  P2P  wikipedia  UniversalBasicIncome  dctagged  dc:creator=WrightErikOlin 
february 2019 by petej
A no-deal Brexit won’t result in a siege. The EU will be more clinical than that | Tom Kibasi | Opinion | The Guardian
Instead, the EU’s response to a no deal will be strategic: opening up advantage, sector by sector, calmly and patiently dismantling the UK’s leading industries over the course of a decade. They will eat the elephant one bite at a time. The problem with abandoning the rules of the international order is that you no longer enjoy their protection.

A no-deal Brexit would hand the EU enormous power: it would decide how and when to introduce new frictions between the UK and the single market, giving sufficient time for firms like Airbus, Nissan or AstraZeneca to relocate production. As recent decisions have demonstrated, even seemingly fixed capital investment is more mobile than many Brexiters imagine.

The EU would set out a timeline over which it would introduce compliance and rules of origin checks on the UK’s most competitive exporting sectors. It is not hard to imagine checks on automotive parts from 2021, pharmaceuticals from 2022 and aerospace from 2023, alongside constantly shifting sands of equivalence for financial services. This would allow firms an orderly departure from the UK to the single market. It will be a steady drift away from the UK, not an avalanche. Moreover, the absence of any agreement would mean lasting uncertainty that would deter future investment. The UK is particularly exposed in this regard: our serious lack of competitiveness is demonstrated by persistently large trade deficits. This means the UK is heavily reliant on foreign investment – the “kindness of strangers” – which would likely collapse. It is not hard to imagine a future government going cap in hand to the IMF for a bailout.
UK  EU  Brexit  noDeal  delay  shortage  food  prices  imports  livingStandards  competition  industry  trade  regulation  compliance  investment  Nissan  dctagged  dc:creator=KibasiTom 
february 2019 by petej

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