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In fairness, "Labour losing the plot" is as much a consequence of a transformation in the economy in the post Thatcher years as it is a result of political incompetence.

Junior hotel managers may be badly paid, but they think of themselves as having a posh job with prospects. Care assistants may be at the bottom of the status hierarchy,  but they tend to regard themselves as caring people, working for individual clients, often in their homes, and don't really identify themselves as part of a cohesive occupational grouping.

Union membership in these and similar service orientated occupational groups has always been low, but their numbers have grown hugely, with the result that union membership as a proportion of the working population has declined precipitously.

Unions work best where there are large groups of people performing similar work in the same location or company. This sort of factory production environment has been decimated by out-sourcing, automation and de-industrialisation.

In Ireland, and I suspect in the UK, union membership is now largely confined to the public service, and to a few larger companies employing larger numbers. US companies often pay better but do not recognise unions at all.

This has led to a perception that Unions now largely work for better paid workers in more secure employments who have better benefits to begin with - and don't represent the unemployed or more precariously employed majority.

Although the working class rhetoric and accents often remain, the reality is that it is the middle class professions which are often the most militant and well organised and unions are seen by many outside these groups as entrenching the privileges of the few in sheltered employments.

Rapidly changing work environments do not lend themselves to the staples of union organisation:- stable job descriptions, comparative job grading schemes, structured pay and benefit scales, and rigid negotiating categories. Everything is being individualised to prevent worker solidarity creating a threat to management bargaining power.

Individual workers are bought off by management if they are seen as having better than average ability and work ethic. Companies deliberately automate or outsource work which has been a focus of union activity. Militants are ostracised and marginalised.

It's every man for themselves now, and even the women are betraying their sisters... Politics in this environment, becomes less about class solidarity and more about looking after yourself: Precisely the sort of individual "meritocracy" that conservative parties say they promote. Merit being defined as playing the game within the rules set by others and not any objective measure of contribution or effort.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 01:35:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fairness, "Labour losing the plot" is as much a consequence of a transformation in the economy in the post Thatcher years as it is a result of political incompetence.

Political competence would have been understanding the transformation in the economy and its social consequences, which you rightly describe, and finding non-Blairite language and policies to address them.

The base problem is the destruction of the organized industrial working class, partly by bare-fanged Thatcherian class hatred, but mostly by the fact that global capital found itself a new, cheaper unorganized body of industrial workers in Asia, and threw the Western lot on the tip. With the resulting poverty, social dislocation, atomisation, uberisation, that we can observe.

Labour, like other parties on the left (Dems, French PS, for example) have spent decades split between pro-capitalist lite "centrists" (Clinton Schroeder Blair) and a dug-in left wing that still seems to be dreaming of half-a-century ago. These "parties of government" currently have no clearly discernible line that addresses problems and speaks to voters. Which is what I mean by "losing the plot".

All the more in that the billionaire's lackeys on the other side have an extremely efficient plot taken from Bannon's playbook.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 09:15:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And partly by managing to conflate and blur the interests of the middle class and the working class.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 12:15:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a telling description of Blur-ite politics.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 12:40:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who else will defend "the middle-class"?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 12:58:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm more concerned with who will defend the poor, shattered remnants of the working class.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 01:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are only three plots for all the stories ever created by people: death, birth, union. I might have mentioned more than once.

Corbyn's not a very good story teller. Then again, he has neither an particularly attentive audience nor fresh material. HRM BoJo is not a good story teller. Neither is any other "leader" pro temp selected by "elites" of "nations", formerly known as the one's with the nu-klear capability, formerly known as the one's with the guns, formerly known as "gods".

See how I reveal recurring "narratives" of death delivered from on high? Compelling, no? by comparison to the manifest reality of union: Nadie es libre.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 01:19:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are only three plots for all the stories ever created by people: death, birth, union

No wonder that progressive politicians, activists do not get it. They are nicely quick to offer solutions to apparent problems, but... the masses want really something else. They would not like to tell exactly what.

The kumbaya mythology of some social-economic perpetum mobile is not deeply believable in this limited world. Too bad if only terrible reactionary populists perform for relatable monomyths. Beliefs in transformative heroes, transcendent trials, magic helpers, ultimate boons may be not rational, but they are perhaps archetypally wise.

by das monde on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 03:07:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's muh sheila na gig MEMEEEEEEEE

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 04:59:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Read how confused Anglo-mericans are. I can easily spot the US Americans. The first clue is ascribing ethnic homogeneity to industrial solidarity. The second is they've no idea what Finland produces except Nokia phones, maybe. For them a brand "boycott" and a 24-hr "general strike" are identical acts of, oh, inconveniences--they wouldn't know Taft-Hartley if you beat a Google "engineer" about the head with a rolled up copy, and the last, most devastating demo was (1872) past out of mind generations ago.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Dec 4th, 2019 at 03:31:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anglo-mericans are not married to a welfare state - have no clue.
by das monde on Wed Dec 4th, 2019 at 10:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin | Paris police arrest scores amid strike over pension reform
"I had no idea about the strike happening, and I was waiting for two hours in the airport for the train to arrive, and it didn't arrive," said vacationer Ian Crossen, from New York. "I feel a little bit frustrated. And I've spent a lot of money. I've spent money I didn't need to, apparently."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Dec 5th, 2019 at 11:43:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We got a winner here.
by Bernard on Fri Dec 6th, 2019 at 08:48:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France pension reform strikes: Transport chaos on day 2, D3 plans for gridlock
"'Everybody in the street on Tuesday, December 10, for a new day... of strikes, actions and protests,' said Catherine Perret, senior member of the hardline CGT union, the nation's biggest public sector union."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Dec 7th, 2019 at 12:04:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Preface: Over the weekend perusing English language twitterverse, I learned that the Socialist Party in France is in its death throw.

APsplainin the new Mr. Normal | French strikes going strong on Day 4; government huddles

Macron, a centrist former investment banker, argues that the retirement overhaul will make a convoluted, out-dated system more fair and financially sustainable.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Dec 8th, 2019 at 06:27:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macron, a centrist

This is the part where you're supposed to keep a straight face.

by Bernard on Sun Dec 8th, 2019 at 07:31:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All depends where your centre is - does left of Le Pen mean you are a centrist?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 9th, 2019 at 02:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn lurching back into lane, gets a twitterassist.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 08:25:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
more rational self-interested actors who eventually satisfy their unique preferences, which is Nash's kind of "quantum" theorem more or less applied to human beans in a barrel with one slot, possibly two.

Assume barrel, because measurement. Assume measurement, because objectivity. Assume objectivity, because x.

archived
DeRp

Our country needs us to be more ambitious right now, and we are rising to that challenge. This choice is about the future of our country for GENERATIONS to come. It is not about the red team or the blue team, because on this issue they merge into one.
< wipes tears >


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 12:55:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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