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January 04, 2022

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Starmer is deeply cynical. He no doubt has a bright future in British politics.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/keir-starmer-labour-antisemitism-criticism-israel-kinnock


It seems like it [knighthood] is supposed to be from the Queen, so I'm not sure about convincing the Queen that he shouldn't get it.

As I understand it, it's a chief of state vs head of government thing. A knighthood is nominally from the Crown. But in fact the decision is made by the PM. The Queen could, in principle, refuse to knight someone the PM put forward. But it would create a constitutional crisis.

Just as it would if she decided to ignore Parliament when it passes a law. Or regarding the military. The troops (police, too, as I understand it), after all, take their oaths to the Crown, not to the government. I've spoken with a few who were quite vehement about where their loyalties lie. (Although I'm not so sure what they would do, once it is Charles, rather than Elizabeth on the throne.) Maybe those in the UK, or Canada Australia etc., can weigh in.

He no doubt has a bright future in British politics.

One can hope. He does not strike me as particularly cynical in the context of modern UK politics, only as having recognised that you need to be elected to get anything done, and that to get elected you need more support than, for example, Jeremy Corbyn managed to attract, one of the consequences of which was many more years of disastrous Tory rule.

Tony Blair was a bad prime minister, but the British tradition is to give all former prime ministers a peerage. Not giving it to Blair would be petty. It is not like his successors have been any better.

One word: Iraq.

That's why he shouldn't get it - there us no prime minister in living memory with such a stain on his resume.

And I have no idea what Starmer thinks he might gain by backing him. There's already a petition with more than 600.000 signatures calling for the honor to be retracted - people who care about politics have long memories.

But then Starmer apparently also thinks: "make Brexit work" is a winning message for recruiting Labour voters.

Or that expulsion of left-wing Jewish grannies from Barnet is a winning tactic.

Or wrapping himself in the Union Jack and playing the patriot will score with those on the fence about voting Labour (he forgets that there are two fences: left and right).

I kind of feel for him, he's in an impossible position, but he's also very clumsy at best and except for his ineffective but aggressive centrism I don't know what he stands for anymore.

I was on the "Corbyn was, sadly, a pipe dream, let the adults take over now" train for a while, but I don't like what I'm seeing and doubt it's going to work.

The monarchy will hopefully finish itself off through Prince Andrew or King Charles.

The monarchy will hopefully finish itself off through Prince Andrew or King Charles.

I'm guessing that the monarchy will muddle through. Things would have been rougher if Charles had succeeded a couple of decades back. But by now, his worst gaffes have faded from memory.

The thing is, announcing that you hope the monarchy will die off is not a winning formula in the UK. And the louder you proclaim that view, the more likely it is that people whose views you really, really hate will win elections in reaction.

Well,fortunately my opinion carries fairly little weight in the UK, so if the Tories win again it won't be due to my republican griping.

As I understand it, it's a chief of state vs head of government thing. A knighthood is nominally from the Crown. But in fact the decision is made by the PM.

That would be right for most things notionally decided by the British monarch, but not this one. Knights of the Garter really are chosen by the king or queen, and have been since 1946, when Clement Attlee decided he didn't want to get involved.

Thanks, PB. I learn something new every day.

...when Clement Attlee decided he didn't want to get involved...

Though that didn't prevent his accepting an hereditary peerage.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Attlee

...equating the average pro Brexiteer with the typical MAGAite, which I think is true...

I'm not convinced by that, as it's looking increasingly likely that support for Brexit will not be a determining factor in our next election - indeed polling indicates that a sizeable portion fo those who voted for it are disappointed with the outcome.
Whereas support for Trump seems to be if anything increasing rather than decreasing as a determinant of Republican identity.

I'm not convinced by that, as it's looking increasingly likely that support for Brexit will not be a determining factor in our next election

I might be trying to cling to my observation too tightly (it wouldn't be the first time), but what Brexit did was remove all the boogeymen of foreigners overrunning the country (Polish plumbers, Romanian baristas etc etc) and Johnson and his crew can't really magic them out of thin air. So it seems natural that Brexit is taken off the table. You also have Labour having to say what's done is done and having to deal with the current situation. I understand this, I don't think Starmer or anyone else is going to get far saying 'I told you so', especially when the possibility of another referendum for Scotland remains tantalizing and Irish cross border cooperation is increasing. I'd say that the reason Republicans are doubling down on Trump is that there are still minorities to keep down in the US. As Russell says, Trump is epiphenomenal.

Two discussions of the Brexit vote that might be worth a retrospective look

https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/personal-values-brexit-vote/

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