The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Britain’s Election Today

Jeremy Corbyn

(Update: polls show a likely strong Conservate majority. If correct, that’s going to cause a lot of suffering and, likely, the end of the remains of the British welfare state. So be it, this is what Brits voted for. A pity, but you can’t save people from themselves.)

So, it’s Britain’s general election. This is probably the most important British election since Thatcher was first elected. Both Johnson and Corbyn, if they win, will change the nature of Britain. Corbyn will increase human welfare massively, prepare for climate change, nationalize various natural monopolies and so on. Johnson will continue the privatization of the NHS, will drive down wages, will be cruel to anyone who needs assistance.

Johnson will Brexit in a way designed to allow Britain to drive down environmental, labour and human rights standards as well as to allow Britain to sell off large parts of what remains of its patrimony to foreign interests (primarily American.) Corbyn’s Brexit will be designed with the opposite goals: to make it possible to be better than the EU, not worse.

None of this is hyperbole, and this is not something I will be wrong about, whoever wins.

The campaign has been a complete disgrace, with the UK media, including the BBC, pushing Johnson and the Conservatives hard, and smearing Corbyn as an anti-semite, when his entire life has been devoted to causes like anti-racism. But standing up for Palestinians, as if they are human, is verboeten, because anti-semitism has come to mean “opposes Israel’s evil actions.”

Polls are all over the place, but show a Conservative lead. On the other hand, there has been a vast swell of first time voting registrations, and how they vote and if the youth vote comes out will matter.

This is a two way race (minus the SNP in Scotland). If you want a mean, cruel Britain you should vote for Johnson. If you’re not scum, you should vote for Corbyn. There are a few ridings where tactical voting may help, but do your research. In most cases it’s the Conservatives or Labour.

This election is perhaps the clearest I have seen in my entire adult life. Corbyn is, whatever his flaws, as close to a Saint as will ever have a chance of being in charge of a major country. Johnson is a serial liar and nearly completely callous.

If Corbyn does win, Labour needs to restructure the media as one of its first orders of business. If Johnson wins, well, it’ll be good for rich people and their senior lackeys. If you’re poor, sick, or handicapped, brace yourself for a lot more misery. If you’re middle class, understand your odds of staying the middle class just dropped.

Watching the election has been very instructive, because the sheer scale of the establishment’s hatred of Corbyn and willingness to lie nonstop indicates just how terrified of him they are, and thus indicates he’s actually worthy of support. They’re doing this because they know he will change the very nature of how Britain runs in ways that mean they will have less power and less wealth. He’s the first person in a position to be Prime Minister of Britain since Thatcher who actually wants to change Britain from Thatcher’s consensus (Blair didn’t, he embraced it.)

It’ll be interesting, and revealing, to see what the British voters choose. Corbyn hasn’t run a perfect campaign, and he clearly mishandled the politics of Brexit, but at the end of the day, he’s the better choice, and voters have responsibilities as well. (Plus Boris is comically awful.)

If you’re British, you know who I think you should vote for. I’ll go further, anyone who votes for Johnson and the Conservatives is a bad person. I admit no exceptions. This isn’t an election between evils, it’s an election where the choice is good or evil.


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Jews to Be a Nationality


TINA trauma


  1. Tom

    Corbyn loses, its because he didn’t fight back and wallow in the mud. When someone slings mud at you, you sling it back. Someone tries to keep their skeletons in the closet, parade yours without shame. And finally, keep it simple phrases the electorate will stick with, long winded explanations turn most people off.

  2. I Hate Giving My Email

    I’m not expecting much. There is so much dumb in the UK and the US. People keep turning to the wrong places to get the truth. My own mother has eaten the Russiagate sideshow hook, line, and sinker, and nothing I say to her can shake her out of her torpor.

  3. I Hate Giving My Email

    Also Ian, your tag says “British 2016 National Election”. Is that intentional?

  4. Ian Welsh

    Woops, fixed, thanks.


    And finally, keep it simple phrases the electorate will stick with, long winded explanations turn most people off.

    In otherwords, Corbyn should be Trump from the left and cater to and exploit ignorance rather than inspiring, and promulgating and enabling, intelligent, critical thought. Got it. Count me out. I will not support least common denominatorism.

    Ian, how is it you attract this element? I don’t get it. The only thing I can figure is that this element understands that your intelligent, objective, independent, non-partisan opinion has merit and you have some modicum of influence. Therefore it is incumbent upon them to neutralize what they consider to be your powerful poison and usurp it and transform it into their poison.

  6. Jeff Martin

    I expect that either Corbyn and Labour will lose, or that they will come close enough to the Tories to be able to form a coalition government, in which case the Blairite fifth column will conspire with the SNP, the LibDumbs, and Satan knows who else, in order to cobble together such a government, on condition that Corbyn be expelled as leader.

    The first of two main reasons for the failure of Corbyn and Labour is the temporizing on the antisemitism issue, namely, the adoption of the flawed and overly broad IHRA definition, when they ought to have fought fang and claw against both the slander and the transparent political motivations behind it.

    The second reason is the failure of Corbyn’s team to recognize that the class and cultural interests of the Blairite/Neocon/Remoaner faction are utterly at variance with the economic – and to a lesser extent, the foreign policy interests – interests of the base that made him leader, and that inclines towards Brexit. The former faction has little to no interest in the deep economic reforms Corbyn seeks, nor in the substantive foreign policy shift he promises; they may be willing to compromise slightly, at the margins, but their interests and aspirations dictate that they will obstruct any fundamental reform, of the sort that is required to address, well, the magnitude of the problems the UK faces. And if you want to succeed politically, you don’t compromise on a cardinal issue with those who oppose you on most planks of your policy platform; you campaign against them, using that campaign to unseat them and to build your own base.

    In a (a href=””>recent discussion of the PMC debate, the discussants offered the following observations about the PMC in the Brexit debate:

    PC: AJ is right—what has split apart the prospect of any sustainable proto-PMC / working class alliance here in the UK is Brexit.

    The PMC have poured an astonishing degree of scorn on the principle of majoritarianism, and they simply cannot countenance the notion that they might be overruled by those they see as their social inferiors in a democratic vote. Their cosmopolitanism / anti-nationalism is the disguise for their hatred of mass democracy. I think they cling to the EU not only for crappy pay-offs like research grants, Erasmus schemes and such like, but also for cultural reasons—cultural superiority over their uncultured inferiors at home, and a sense of cross-border depth, so that they are not politically marooned in the confines of the nation with their own working classes.

    AR: AJ and PC, I definitely take the point that there’s something not immediately material going on in what you describe as the PMC’s general response to Brexit. There’s been a similar, if less dramatic, tendency among PMC liberals here, perhaps since Clinton if not longer. Part of what has kept them voting Democratic is the comfort it affords them in feeling more cosmopolitan and moral than their right-wing neighbors, co-workers, and family members. To the extent that the psychological gratification they receive from cultivating that self-perception contributes to the liberal element of the class’s cohesion, it functions like religion, professional codes, or other such ideologies, and, in that sense, it’s an element in the class’s reproduction as a class. This tendency no doubt undergirds their affinity for producing and consuming notions like “cultural capital.”

    The more fundamental issue is that they aspire to create solidarity between themselves and anyone that they see to be in a position of authority. When they come into contact with elites, or anyone in a position of authority, they understand conflicts as disagreements; however, when they talk about working class people (they never interact with them) they see themselves as up against irrational brutes. This is clearly a product of socialization, but it runs so deep into the way that PMCs think about politics that, in the absence of any organized politics that could force them to accept working class leadership, it is hard to imagine the voluntary submission to the interests of the working class that AJ was suggesting. The contempt for working class people—and I think this is an issue that is more extreme within racial groups where the idea of racial homogeneity masks PMC disgusts—is apparent in the way that PMCs represent and discuss the working class.

    This seems to carry over to Brexit where the political norms of sections of the PMC are incompatible with the concept of majority rule. I agree with PC here that PMC opposition to majority rule can’t be cleanly reduced to their material interests. I’d only add that one of the motivations for anti-Brexit sentiment is a dogmatic insistence that if the UK were to disentangle itself from the EU then they would be left alone with racist animals. Even if you tell them that their own material conditions will improve, say, through rail nationalizations, they aren’t moved. They would rather live in a political community run by their betters.

    These people would no more support Corbyn’s programme than Clintonoids and Obamanauts would support that of Sanders. There never was a case for conciliating them, never a point to kowtowing to them. They. Are. Class. Enemies.

  7. realitychecker

    I guess we’ll have to mark Ian down as “Undecided” lololol.

    More seriously, is it really going to be the case that, since Ian supports Corbyn, and Corbyn has a political problem re his stance toward Israel, that no comments are going to be permitted in opposition to the rampant, one-sided Israel-bashing currently being unleashed without any reasonable restraint or nuance on this blog? (I only ask because, having had a Jewish mother, and growing up in the imm ediate aftermath of WWII I feel I might have a legitimate POV to express re Jew Hatred and anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, unlike the many here who are clearly NOT Jewish as they run down Israel and pretend their disdain does not extend to all things Jewish?)

    OK, if that is the case, for how long are such comments to be so disfavored? Will they become OK after the election results are reported?

    And let me add, just for context, that all the rabid anti-Zionists expressing themselves so virulently here, should have enough of a sense of shame to at least stop trying to make political hay out of the “huddled masses” language from the Statue of Liberty, as those words were written by a woman who was one of the earliest proponents of Zionism, as well as Manifest Destiny.

    Or is that one of the “facts” that don’t matter anymore? Like having to live surrounded by openly genocidal wannabe neighbors for 75 years?

    Got Jewish best friends? (eye roll)

  8. It is unfortunate, five-oh, and I can’t believe I’m still harping on this after all these years, but the only way we are going to overcome this is by stepping off the curb and into the gutter, and bloodying a few noses. We have to stop doing what we’re doing, it isn’t working. Inspiring, intelligent, critical thought isn’t working. Mud-slinging works (ergo: trolls), outing skeletons works and yes, sadly, keep it simple stupid phrases work. Our noses are bloodied, standing on the curb thoughtfully, critically shouting inspiringly at clouds, and they’re kicking at our balls. We no longer have the luxury of being nice guys. We have to turn it back in their faces, we have to beat them at their game. Common refrain around is how the system is rigged. Be-that-as-it-may, short of an asteroid it is the system we have to beat. We have to do this by their rules.

    Though I agree, some of the people that show up here are at times worthy of wonder.

  9. steeleweed

    Seen reports of very long lines at the polls. Hope it means younger generation is stepping up.
    And Ten Bears is right – nice guys finish last and it’s time to take the gloves off.

  10. It’s looking bad.

    Yes, Corbyn faced a terrible headwind. But his errors were much more than the Brexit strategy alone. It’s what I said in a post a few months ago: the entire “change the channel” attitude of a certain kind of left-wing campaigner. Corbyn Labour tried to change the channel to trivial things like people starving etc. It wasn’t what the election was about. Don’t try to change the channel when you’re not holding the remote.

  11. Well, maybe the exit poll is really off.

    I tried to warn y’all, though, that this style of politics was not going to work. In the USA, the lesson will be to make Biden or Buttigieg the candidate.

  12. Hugh

    I agree with Jeff Martin that you go strong and stay strong. Corbyn should have made this about class, that the Tories want to hurt you, they want a Brexit that hurts you, we want a people’s Brexit.

    I see much the same dynamic going on in the US over impeachment. Instead of going strong and staying strong, they have done their typical pre-emptive self-negotiating downward. Trump could have been hit with a telephone book of impeachment charges, so what do the Democrats do? They “narrow” the focus to essentially the Zelensky call and its aftermath. Then they drop the bribery part, the one clear, stated in the Constitution, charge. Instead of clubbing Republicans as a party of political whores and beating them with “If this had been a Democrat…,” they keep giving Republicans cover and soundbites to minimize and/or dismiss the proceedings. Starting soft and going mushier from there is a self-defeating hell of a way to fight a political battle. You do not let your opponents off the hook, you do not reference “history will judge” . You get them on the run and keep them on the run. You run over them. You do not give them time to breathe.

    What Corbyn in the UK and Democrats in the US need to understand is that your positions can be as good, fair, and reasoned as you want, but your tactics need to be street.

  13. Stirling S Newberry

    Corbyn made his bed. It is his fault.

  14. NR

    This is sad, but unsurprising.

    Brexit was a huge mistake sold to the voters on false promises and lies, but it’s really the ONLY thing the election was about. The Tories had a clear position on it: “Get Brexit done.” And there was no clear “Run a second referendum supporting Remain” Labour to counter them.

    This should be a lesson to politicians everywhere–you cannot avoid taking a position on the most important issue of an election. Corbyn tried to appease both Leavers and Remainers by trying to be neutral about Brexit, and it backfired spectacularly.

  15. Mallam

    Jumping on to Mandos point, and excusing Jeremy a little bit: no one in Labour was capable of winning. It was not possible and it was supremely stupid to agree to call an election rather than fighting it out on the turf of a referendum. FPTP can’t produce a left wing government in this environment. It’s a racist environment shaped by hatred of immigration and loss of Empire limited by geography. At least on a national vote you can coalesce your potential would-be supporters.

    Where Corbyn failed was after the surprising good show in 2017, he needed to either step down and name a successor (John McDonald?), or he needed to unite the left and liberals on the key issue of the day which was Brexit. You can’t triangulate on this. I understand why he did it, and hell, it made sense for a while. But there was no pivoting, even after an election. Malpractice of the highest order. I’m not even saying he would have pulled it out had they went this direction. Fascism and the far right are winning everywhere and beating everyone no matter the strategy.

    The far right are driven by identity, xenophobia, racism, and antagonism toward the outsider. You can’t win at this game by playing pattycake with it. Until enough people feel you’re fighting for them on their issues that they’re telling you they care about, you’re gonna lose.

    Or he could have went in on a hard Brexit against his own party. Probably would have done better on that platform than the “on the fence who knows what they’ll do but they’ll stop austerity” platform tbf.

  16. Yes to both Stirling and to NR. Some people wanted this to be about austerity and tried to fit everything into that conceptual straightjacket. But it wasn’t about austerity.

  17. NR

    Mallam – The far right isn’t winning everywhere. Liberal-left coalitions have won recent elections and now govern in Denmark, Portugal, and Spain. We should be studying them to understand how and why.

  18. Mallam

    NR – Spain and Portugal are bright spots, that’s true. But Vox has shot up in the polls, November was worse than April (the left lost seats). Luckily that loss forced them to coaliton like they should have done initially. But it’s not a good trend. And look at their voters shift: wealthier suburban/urban voters are moving left and rural and exurban moving hard right.

    Denmark was able to form a left coalition because the socialist party went hard right on immigration which allowed them to win ~10% of the far right voters. But this led them to lose ~12% of their voters to farther left parties, resulting in overall leftward gain. So the racists ended up voting for a left coalition but they won’t be getting their hard right immigration policy since the left parties demanded expanding immigration for their votes in coalition.

    Portugal I’m not as up to date on what’s happening there or why, but they did vote for a left government opposing austerity before this wave of right wing resentment came to being. Mandos might know more than me here.


    I tried to warn y’all, though, that this style of politics was not going to work. In the USA, the lesson will be to make Biden or Buttigieg the candidate.


    This is amazing to me. Actually, no it’s not. Yeah, right, sure, as Australia burns and Sydney suffocates from the effects of climate change, the lesson is we should make Biden or Buttigieg the candidate. Jesus H. Christ, where the hell are we?


    Mandos, I have a better idea. Let’s make Hillary the candidate again. How about that? Surely she’ll win this time around, right?

    Please, somebody save me. I think I’m going mad.

    The darkness is here and its unfolding as we speak. It’s just the beginning and it’s going to be so much worse we’ll wish for these heady days we could discuss the calamity to come over the intertubes.

  21. Ian Welsh

    “Corbyn’s fault?”

    Maybe. But voters have responsibilities too. A ton of people are going to suffer here. Saying it’s all Corbyn’s fault is a great way of saying “oh, it’s not the fault of the actual decision makers.”

    People need to grow up, and stop blaming leaders for their own decisions.

    Britain is now going to go full neoliberal in the worst way. This is a decision made by voters.

    (Labour did not want an election and only “agreed” to one after the other parties made it clear they had enough votes to have one even if Labour opposed it.)

  22. Mallam

    Ian: agreed with you here that voters need to take some responsibility. But this was all foreseeable before the election even took place. Leaders need to take responsibility the same as voters, and Corbyn shit the bed. Jo Swinson is just as responsible for this result as Corbyn, however. They led their party and values like pigs to their own slaughter. Fools.

  23. Ian Welsh

    I’m tired of authority worshippers. Take responsibility for who you vote for and elect.

  24. Stirling S Newberry

    Let me break this down into grunts:

    Corbyn wants Brexit.
    The Socialist left wanted Corbyn.
    Therefore a hard Brexit won because at least that is clear.

    Ian, you write that people will vote for you even if they do not like what the stand for.

    I wrote earlier this year about game theory.

    They both point the same way: a Conservative election win.

    If people want a really Tory Victory, the will pick the real thing most of the time.

  25. NR

    I think the real lesson here is that leftists, liberals, and centrists should ALL exercise some humility and realize that none of us have all the answers.

  26. *facepalm* 450, you misunderstand me. That is the lesson many Democrats are likely to learn from this, whether it is a good one or not.

  27. I’m tired of authority worshippers. Take responsibility for who you vote for and elect.

    With all due respect, yes, of course, it’s true that voters have responsibility. But that is not a reason to say that activists/leaders/candidates don’t have responsibility too, or to cut off discussion about what they’re doing wrong and what they could do better.

    Beyond propaganda, I know several old-school Labout-voting social democrats who basically spoiled their ballots voting for the Lib Dems. Beyond the anti-semitism accusations, which they’re smart enough to see around, they don’t see Corbyn in anything like the light you see him. Fairly or unfairly, they see an incompetent Stalinist leading a bunch of misguided kids in a campaign to ignore the central issues of the day. From their perspective, a Corbyn win would have turned into a disaster and discredited Labour for yet more generations. They don’t like Johnson but from their perspective, social democracy might live to fight another day.

  28. Or, what Stirling said, after I approved his comment 🙂

  29. Herman


    You mention that “wealthier suburban/urban voters are moving left and rural and exurban moving hard right.” This is the key to politics in the West. The old left vs right distinction between workers and the wealthy is no longer very useful. This is really about core vs periphery. Michael Lind has written a number of articles about it. This one is from 2016 but it still rings true and I recommend giving it a read.

    The problem for the left is that it is an hourglass coalition of affluent liberals and working-class and poor people, especially minorities. Fundamentally their interests are not the same. You could say the same thing about the right with their coalition of the country club set and middle-class/working-class people but what binds them together is shared identity, something the more diverse left-wing coalition doesn’t have.

    As for the United Kingdom, it seems to me that Corbyn waffled too much on Brexit. He should have either come out with a strong Remain position or a strong left-wing version of Brexit. But this seems to be a symptom of what I was discussing. Like other center-left parties UK Labour suffers from a fundamental divide between their traditional working-class constituency and their rising coalition of affluent, well-educated professionals and ethnic minorities.

  30. Tom R

    Labour got smashed. The campaign for social issues with a complex answer to Brexit didn’t work, at all. It was a huge English (sic) victory for the Tories.

    I worry a great deal that Sanders or Warren would suffer the same fate in the US. They have wonderful, detailed plans for societal transformation, even if there is no consensus for their adoption in the Congress, or by a majority of American voters.

    Another four years of Trump, and a Republican Senate, and the Supreme Court could go 6-3 or even 7-2 conservative. The Arctic will definitely get drilled. Hate crimes will increase. Health care costs and drug prices will skyrocket. US diplomacy will further erode if not collapse.

    Where’s the path to beating Trump? Biden/Harris? Watching Corbyn, I just don’t see the votes for Warren or Sanders in the general election, and that really dooms America.

  31. Mark Pontin

    Leader – Corbyn
    Manifesto – radical, socialist
    Referendum – respect result

    Leader – Corbyn
    Manifesto – radical, socialist
    Referendum – have another one

    What Stirling said.

  32. Mallam

    Tom R: the comparisons between Warren/Sanders and Corbyn are not the same, but there are clear warning signs. I think Warren could suffer for her gender because many of these Electoral College Necessary voters are wary of women presidents for sexist reasons. Not much, but potentially enough to matter (figure 1-3 points). Sanders’ policies aren’t popular, but his own personal favorables are down from their record highs and he’s moved left since 2016. While the policies might be popular, being known as the more “extremist” candidate is harmful (Trump was viewed as more moderate than Hillary).

    However, I think either of them have what it takes to win and can do so for their own strengths. Bernie appeals to younger voters by wide margins and would keep third party voting lower even if he sacrificed some strength in the suburbs. Warren similarly can be what Hillary could not: the suburban people can get behind her in a way they might not for Sanders. Both will be smeared by the media. Trump will direct Barr to interfere and work with Russia and who knows who else. But he’s beatable. There was no hope of a Labour majority. Geography won’t allow it.

  33. Anon

    If Warren or Sanders wins the nomination, I think a younger “niche” Democratic candidate should be chosen as VP to bring in Independents and Libertarians. I see Andrew Yang or Tulsi Gabbard as being good choices for VP.

  34. Peter

    A great day for the UK, except for the Corbynites who only get coal in their stockings this Christmas.
    To the rest of the good people of the UK I’ll channel my English ancestor named Dickens and wish them a Merry Merry Christmas!


    The lesson is, we’re fucked.

  36. Hugh

    Wow! Mandos’ Blairite neoliberal friends didn’t vote Labour. Didn’t see that one coming. LOL

  37. bruce wilder

    Labour’s electoral base has long been a ghost, an increasingly vaporous shape fitted to working class interests in the age of coal and steel, an era long gone.

    Corbyn could appeal to a lot of young people because they are getting shafted, but the young naturally are not enthusiastic about Brexit.

    If the Tories have swept away the ghost of Labour Past, this will be a major realignment for Britain, probably resulting in major devolution. Boris’s Brexit unites Ireland inside the EU — there is shocker for a Tory! Did not seem to bother many of the new Tories though. So more evidence for realignment.

  38. Hugh

    The British public was sold a bill of goods on joining the EU. They were promised that their lives would get better in the EU and for a great many of them the opposite happened. Austerity was very much a part of what was happening to them and it was a policy very much pushed by the EU. The Tories did not so much plan as stumble into Brexit. They continue to stumble and bumble. Those who voted for Brexit and the Tories will not get the better lives they are seeking. There are ways of doing things and the Tories have already shown multiple times that they haven’t got a clue how to manage a Brexit. The result will be some neoliberal boondoggle that will screw over those who got screwed over when the UK entered the EU. And a major element of this will again be austerity, that is screwing over the many, the disadvantaged.

    The election was about Brexit, as others have noted. Corbyn should have made Brexit the centerpiece of his platform, but he could have woven into it anti-austerian policies.

    Changing subjects, as for Sanders, he appeals to many of the groups that Trump does plus a lot of others that Trump turns off and he does it in a positive way as Trump very obviously does not. Sanders’ problem has more to do with the Democratic Establishment that would rather lose with anybody else than to win with him.

  39. anon

    The NYT comments are sickening. Lots of people who are anti-Corbyn warning Americans not to nominate Sanders or Warren. The NYT writers and their readership are not as liberal as Americans think. Lots of people who are pro-Israel and anti-Sanders on that website.

  40. bruce wilder

    I am struck by the extent to which Britain has ceased to exist: Labour & Conservatives are English Parties.

    The EU, if it was not structured so insanely, could have been the framework for devolution into better sized “national” units. To my mind, Slovenia is just about perfect. Catalonia and Bavaria would be sensible European polities, provided war was not an option. Scotland? Absolutely fine. Ireland? One island, one state.

    Tory Brexit will be a shambles, of course. But, if it brings the UK to an end, it cannot be all bad.

  41. Mark Pontin

    Re. the EU:

    A telling statistic that’s not at all noted is the amount of homelessness in Germany.

    After all, as everyone knows, Germany is the winner in the current Eurozone setup. Right?

    It’s able to run trade surpluses of approx. 8 percent in large measure because German exports to the rest of the globe are substantially undervalued because they’re priced in Euros (the international value of which is determined by the lesser GDP of the EU taken as a whole). Simultaneously, it imposes on the rest of the Eurozone the ordoliberal diktats of the Bundebank that no nation do deficit spending of over 3 percent of GDP — this despite the fact that youth unemployment is around 40 percent in some of the Southern European nations.

    And this isn’t even to get into the TARGET2 system, which among other things both enables the continuance of German financial dominance in Europe and is a potential disaster — 0n the scale of the 2008 GFC and bailout — in the making.

    Long story short: Germany essentially gets to have its cake and eat it in the current EU setup. (Sorry!) So German homelessness should be radically lower than under, say, the neoliberal austerian Tory administration of the UK in the last few years.

    So here are some statistics. Germany has a population of 82.79 million people. Its homeless population?

    “Around 650,000 people in Germany are without a permanent home, according to figures released by the Federal Association for Assistance to Homeless People (BAGW) on Tuesday …
    The figures are based on estimates from 2017 and revealed that: –
    (1) Most homeless people live in emergency shelters, but around 48,000 people live on the streets.
    (2) Migrants from EU nations in eastern Europe account for most rough sleepers.
    (3) Three in four of the homeless across Germany are men, who are mostly single.
    (4) Some 22,000 children are homeless in Germany.
    (5) Around 375,000 asylum seekers and refugees in temporary accommodation are included in the total number.

    You can read the rest here —

    What does homelessness in the UK under the Tories look like, by comparison. The UK has a population of 66.44 million.

    “An estimated 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, according to the latest research by Shelter … Between 4,000 and 5,000 people bed down on the streets on any given night, a figure that has almost doubled since 2010 … As of March 2019, 84,740 households are stuck in temporary accommodation.”

    And Germans are the winners in the EU?

  42. Hugh

    The German rich and elites definitely won the EU sweepstakes by replacing the pricey mark with the euro. Ordinary Germans not so much. The Hartz labor reforms decreased unemployment compensation and put more conditions on it. And they instituted a minimum wage that encourages employers to create more minimum wage and low paying jobs. German infrastructure is being updated. Germany going green and reducing and/or eliminating its carbon footprint has gone bust. Solar is being shelved as they rely more on Russian natural gas. German engineering took a hit when German automakers’ solution to reducing emissions was to fake the tests and lie about them. They followed this up by being way behind everyone else in the shift to electric vehicles.

    At the beginning of the GFC of 2008, European leaders sniffed at how poorly run and regulated American banks were, that is until we got a little further into that crisis and then the Greek debt crisis, and it became clear that German banks in particular were even more highly geared and exposed than their American counterparts. And talk about bad actors, as criminal an organization as JPMorgan is, it is bush league compared to the likes of Deutsche Bank.

    The Greek debt crisis, the financial crises in the whole Southern Tier of the EU, the rise of authoritarianism in the EU’s Eastern Tier, and finally Brexit, the move by the EU’s second largest economy to reduce its ties to/leave the EU illustrate that German leadership of the EU has been both self-serving and wildly negative.

  43. bob mcmanus

    Last one, I need to try for sleep. Tory landslide was catastrophic.

    I have been following Richard Seymour since he was in college, ten years, 15? Very smart and well-read and active and doesn’t show up in Naked Capitalism links. He also writes at Salvage along with China Mieville, whose “Silence in Debris: Towards an Apophatic Marxism” is one of the best things I’ve read in years. Seymour will have a take on the Brit election, he canvassed for Labour

    I disagree with him that the “Left” doesn’t use twitter or social media (although the right is better at it, and I will read his book). It is just not a Left that I really understand, the identity left.

  44. Hugh

    My typos proliferate: should read “German infrastructure isn’t being updated” above.

  45. Effem

    This is pretty simple if you ask me: 1) identity politics simply does not work, 2) the global Left needs to unite the “have-nots” not around social programs, entitlements, etc. but around an actual economic model that allows them to prosper. It’s very hard to unite such groups when you call half of them “racist.”

  46. bob mcmanus

    identity politics simply does not work

    It works gangbusters for some. Also depends on goals.

    Ya know, as one, I have long known that Marxism/Communism is one of the hardest core identity political theories, so extreme that not only do you have to be a Marxist to understand Marxism, you have to be an activist engaged in an ongoing revolutionary class struggle. The mother and father of all identity movements and standpoint theories. Georg Lukacs.

  47. Stirling S Newberry

    It is going to be ugly or to quote the great sage:

    “Democracy says that the people know what they want, and should get it, good and hard.”

    EU has slightly less than no incentive to be kind.

  48. S Brennan

    Worth Repeating;

    “[The] Left needs to unite the “have-nots” not around social programs, entitlements, etc. but around an actual economic model that allows them to prosper. It’s very hard to unite such groups when you call half of them “racist.”


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