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  • Sir! Keir! Starmer!
  • Premier Icon greentricky
    Free Member

    …and yet governments never do that in the extreme way you think they should/could. Soo you’re saying there’s a magic way to make everything better and to please all those voters, and nobody does it… Is that not some kind of clue?

    This is literally what Biden is doing at unprecedented scale

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    But we keep coming back to the fact you’re saying there’s a way everything can get better with no drawback.

    No I never said that. I said we could afford things like free further education (and a whole load of other things). The controlling limit is resources and labour, not how much money we can create and spend.

    As to the reason world leaders don’t jump on it that’s obvious. Can you imagine what would happen if suddenly the veil was lifted and the population at large understood that they’d been lied to for the past 50 years? The myth of governments having no money and austerity being necessary supports the wealth and power of the elite. Being honest about how money and govt finances work would turn everything on it’s head, and that’s why they don’t do it.

    Premier Icon greentricky
    Free Member

    Can you imagine what would happen if suddenly the veil was lifted and the population at large understood that they’d been lied to for the past 50 years? The myth of governments having no money and austerity being necessary supports the wealth and power of the elite. Being honest about how money and govt finances work would turn everything on it’s head, and that’s why they don’t do it.

    Exactly, one of the common questions you hear asked when MMT is explained, is so why do homeless people exist and the answer it is a political choice is not one most like to stomach

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    The controlling limit is resources and labour, not how much money we can create and spend.

    Ah, good, we’re well into the 99% we agree on there.

    But…

    Being honest about how money and govt finances work would turn everything on it’s head, and that’s why they don’t do it.

    There’s also the small issue of people not understanding it. Yes, the model that has long been used to explain how these things work “is a lie”, as in it is an oversimplified model that does not really map onto the realities of how things work… but… that model is used because it is understandable by a great many people, and the complex reality would not be.

    I’ve been what re-reading Rachel Reeves has been saying, and I think people have been too quick to jump on it being a backwards move. She has not set out the rules that she would use to try and convince the public that the finances of state would be “safe” in her hands… just that there would be rules. Can they find a way of being trusted without overly restricting themselves, the government, and the country? I think we’re still at wait and see. It’s just signalling really, isn’t it? The stuff on “value for money” (simple term that hides a multitude of intentions) is something Labour can focus on between now and the next election though. Who gets the money, not just how much is made available, will be a big issue as we head towards the next election. Johnson and his fellow spivs have made that unavoidable.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    Starmer Labour Government would lower the threshold for repayment which hits lower earners hardest like the current Government are proposing?

    Since it was a Labour government who introduced fees in the first place, yes.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Well, there’s an issue where Labour can make it clear that they are not New Labour, even though they point to the good stuff that government did. Let’s hope they come good there. Just as they have to show they are not the same party that promised to take shares from all private companies in 2019. The next manifesto must borrow from both of those past platforms, while also being clearly “beyond” both, yet closer to more of the voting public. It won’t be easy. Obviously. I still think the 2017 manifesto and its reception can inform the next manifesto more than anything that happened why back when, and is definitely a better starting point than the 2019 one.

    Premier Icon outofbreath
    Free Member

    There’s also the small issue of people not understanding it.

    I think Rachel Reeves understands it:

    After sitting A-Levels in Politics, Economics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics, she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at New College, Oxford (MA), followed by graduating as MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.[5] She worked as an economist at the Bank of England and British Embassy

    …and I doubt she’s part of some ludicrous conspiracy to make everyone’s life worse at the expense of her own interests.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Yes she understands it. She still has to present policies in a way voters understand.

    Oh, I also think she’d make a good chancellor of exchequer. To get to do that job she has ro present herself as a safe pair of hands, which includes justifying each and every spend without it looking like she is going to just print money (even though of course everyone in the post does precisely that).

    Premier Icon ctk
    Full Member

    We don’t need MMT to end homelessness,just political will.

    Its not a conspiracy that politicians don’t end homelessness. It’s just what’s normal.

    Not a conspiracy but a sorry state of affairs.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Full Member

    Premier Icon ctk
    Full Member

    Could easily be turned around in a GE dazh. I really don’t trust these polls.

    Eg Reform UK 4%? WTF

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    The election is 3 years away, we’re in the dead spot for voting within the 5 year cycle, wait for the voting intentions in early 2024 after the tories spring a few of their policies aimed at winning votes.

    As has been said a million times though, labour need to go away and sort out what labour is going to be come the next election, do that and then work together to win the votes required.

    Premier Icon dannyh
    Full Member

    Awwww diddums….

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/30/breaking-promises-keir-starmer-power-new-labour-political-strategists

    A fiver says he doing his best for the party and the country by trying to whip up a rebellion on the sly.

    Fantasising little twerp.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    Fantasising little twerp.

    You could try playing the ball.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    kelvin
    Full Member

    Yes she understands it. She still has to present policies in a way voters understand.

    Yeees. But the big question- maybe overall the biggest question of all, for Labour- is whether this is the right way for them to do it.

    The whole “treasury as a current account” thing is as we know completely false, but has the advantage of being very simple and relatable. But the reason the Tories use it isn’t that it’s simple and relatable, it’s that it completely fits their goals.

    Ask yourself, if this easy way of misrepresenting public finances didn’t work for them, would they be using it? The answer imo is absolutely not. They wouldn’t hesitate to use a different, harder, message, if that were how they get what they want. It’s really just convenient for them that the simple lie is also good for their ambitions.

    On the other hand, just because it’s simple and relatable doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town. And key there is that you don’t have to get people to understand everything about how it works- you just have to get people to believe it’s a bit more complicated than balancing a chequebook. And that can be really simple- it’s not a hard sell, to convince people that countries are big and complicated.

    You can outright ridicule people for pretending it’s that simple- it’s a laughable concept really that only stands up because so many people pretend it’s not. You can say, these people talk to you like you’re stupid. They think you’ll believe a country is simple but you know it’s not. You can draw simple comparisons- look at America. You can say, simply and brutally, that the tories tell you this is how it is then act differently, don’t trust what they say, look at what they do.

    You can say, not spending can make you poorer- everyone involved with a small business understands that, everyone with a mortgage, most people renting. So you can say, austerity is renting forever so that someone else can own 5 houses, it’s going out of business rather than getting a new van.

    And you can say, the reason the tories use this bullshit is that they know they can never convince people to let them do what they do with the truth. You can say, sure, I could use a really simple lie too and that’d be easier I suppose but I don’t need to lie to you, like they do.

    (of course these are still all inaccurate ways of talking about public finance, but they’re a lot closer to the reality, and they’re still pretty simple and pretty intuitive, and they’re still compatible enough with the tory version to not just be an alternative but to refute theirs)

    So the question is, do Labour do it because they think it’s the only way to fight? The best way to fight? Do they do it because- like Labour just after they left power- they’re too scared and defeated to try and play by anything other than the Tories’ rules? Do they think that it’s the only option? Yes, they capitulated after Cameron became PM and that’s done horrible damage but do they think they can never do better?

    But most of all do they understand that the Tories have chosen this route not because of how it plays out to the public but because of what they can do with it.

    Premier Icon rone
    Free Member

    We don’t need MMT to end homelessness,just political will.

    Its not a conspiracy that politicians don’t end homelessness. It’s just what’s normal.

    Not a conspiracy but a sorry state of affairs.

    Yes, political will is the obstruction to making it happen but MMT is the framework that shows you can do it.

    You no longer need to hang on to the idea that the government is constrained financially.

    Let’s see what the USA does when they hit their self-imposed debt ceiling shortly.

    The telegraph talks about them actually running out of money. It’s the Fed paying the cheques FFS.

    It’s inaccurate to even refer to it as debt.

    The establishment hangs on to this tosh for dear life. Then exploits it when they want to spend – usually defence or by way of tax cuts.

    Current Labour are terrified of the establishment, and the finance sector – they just don’t have the balls to take these people on. So be stuck in a neoclassical lie then, and keep the poverty coming as the wealthy contribute very little and suck up all the resources.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    You can say, not spending can make you poorer- everyone involved with a small business understands that, everyone with a mortgage, most people renting. So you can say, austerity is renting forever so that someone else can own 5 houses, it’s going out of business rather than getting a new van.

    You tried. Better than I could do. But that still doesn’t explain it to people. They intend to pay off their mortgage eventually. They know that the size of it determines how much they have to spend servicing the debt. Every time you try a “in your lived experience” model to explain government finances it turns into inputs, outputs, debt, repayments… and you’re back to where you started. Yes you can use examples to explain borrowing to invest to improve lives, and to obtain growth, and governments of all colours have used that exact analogy, but that’s all the same model that leads people to worry about the repayments and about borrowing/spending what is unaffordable. Which for the government isn’t the case, but in the “lived experience” of voters is.

    Premier Icon rone
    Free Member

    As Binners is so frequently keen in saying that xxxx in the Guardian nails it. Here is Owen Jones in the Guardian nailing it.

    “But Starmer’s followers – who relished savaging Corbynism as a delusional cult – blindly cling to a leadership with no redeeming features. Why? First, because they invested everything in the idea that the “grownups were back in the room”, and that with a leader extolling competence, everything would fall into place. Instead everything fell apart, despite the easiest ride from both media and Labour MPs for any leader since Blair. Now they want someone, anyone, to blame: and here’s a clue – it isn’t them. ”

    Never has no-redeeming-features carried more weight.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    New statesman podcast from the conference this week, is a good listen, having spoken to MPs & delegates their take on the Mcdonald resignation for example is different from what’s been said on here.

    Starmer sees building back labours financial credibility as the main task, as such being heckled by corbyn fans and Owen Jones isn’t necessarily bad for that.

    At the same time his errors in leadership are alienating some, not just jones

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    argee
    Full Member
    The election is 3 years away, we’re in the dead spot for voting within the 5 year cycle, wait for the voting intentions in early 2024 after the tories spring a few of their policies aimed at winning votes.

    As has been said a million times though, labour need to go away and sort out what labour is going to be come the next election, do that and then work together to win the votes required.

    I 100% agree with argee

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    It is what people tend to do though isn’t it. Pick your winner and then stick to it whatever happens.
    How many people who were so into Brexit are really as strongly into it now they can see how its is panning out and how many of those would actually admit it. The silence from the Brexiters is deafening.
    You need to be able to be honest with yourself first and then others. I supported Corbyn in 2017 but in the 2 years after that it was clear he had had his day. I though Starmer was a good choice after Corbyn and to against Johnson but soon realised I was wrong on that.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    As Binners is so frequently keen in saying that xxxx in the Guardian nails it. Here is Owen Jones in the Guardian nailing it.

    Except he doesn’t really, Starmer’s problem isn’t “no redeeming features”, he has some, at conference it’s a pantomime of loyalists and the aggrieved on the left. What Jones misses is that people are sticking with Starmer because there are no natural successors who can unite the party.

    Premier Icon dannyh
    Full Member

    You could try playing the ball.

    Owen Jones

    It is worth playing the ball when the man in possession is credible, but you just happen to disagree with him. In Owen Jones’ case there really is no need.

    pantomime of loyalists and the aggrieved on the left

    This.

    Conferences are like the nomination stage of a US presidential race. The candidates often feel the need to pander to their extremes to win the nomination. They then spend the rest of the run-in hastily pulling back from those pronouncements to try to win over moderates and swing voters.

    Unless you’re Trump running against a rightists’ hate figure like Hillary Clinton.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    blindly cling to a leadership with no redeeming features. Why?

    Why have they? Well, they weren’t going to eject him before his first party conference, and an alternative leader hasn’t presented themselves. Now he’s had a conference… and the long process of setting out a position and policies for the next election has begun, he’s reassured some, and completely lost others. That was always going to happen, whoever is the leader. Labour don’t change leader on a whim, they let them settle in, and leave them to decide for themselves when their time is up. Despite a surprising good speech at conference, I still think he needs replacing, with a candidate that can connect with the voters in a way he is not able to, before the next election. But I’d be surprised if Labour prove to be that nimble. They need to be able to replace their leaders quicker, easier, and with less ranker. And they need to have a breadth of candidates ready to fill the post. And ambition to lead shouldn’t painted as a negative trait, as if anyone looking to do the job and become PM is “self serving” or “focussed on their own career” etc.

    Premier Icon outofbreath
    Free Member

    people are sticking with Starmer because there are no natural successors who can unite the party.

    This. I can’t think of anyone who wants the job and could do it this side of the next GE. Burnham won’t get a seat in time.

    I don’t really recognize “blindly cling to a leadership with no redeeming features”. I see no evidence anyone is clinging to Starmer. If he loses the next GE he’ll be gone. There is no “Starmerism”.

    I second the recommendation for the New Statesman podcast. Mainly stuff that’s already been said but contained the insight that there was *way* more heckling that we could pick up on the radio. …and that when people were cheering Labour’s past record they couldn’t actually hear what they were cheering. The implication of that is a bit worrying for Labour IMHO….

    MMT, it’s snake oil:
    https://www.cato.org/cato-journal/fall-2019/modern-monetary-theory-critique

    If it wasn’t snake oil everywhere would be doing it.

    The argument that almost every nation in the world can make itself limitlessly wealth but chooses not to due to a global conspiracy is farcical. And you can’t answer that by pointing at governments spending a bit and say “See, there’s no limit on how wealthy a state with it’s own currency can make itself!”

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    There is a limit. The limit is workers and resources (and ability to trade, and technology and…).

    Premier Icon outofbreath
    Free Member

    There is a limit.

    Yup! I know. Every sane economist in the world knows. Every government in the world knows.

    Rachel Reeves knows.

    There is no conspiracy.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    MMT is just an attempt to explain what was already known, and is already in use. Some of the claims made of what it can deliver are over blown. It is painted by some as if “adopting” it would be a step change, and earth shattering, and remove the need to make choices. That claim is snake oil, I agree.

    Premier Icon grum
    Full Member

    The argument that almost every nation in the world can make itself limitlessly wealth but chooses not to due to a global conspiracy is farcical.

    Lucky no one has said that then.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    MMT to me has at least the opportunity to speak to voters about how finances actually work on a governmental scale though. Two things need to happen for that to be successful.

    Firstly It has to be broadly true, I think the days of the simple “household” model are numbered (pandemic saw to that) but it needs to be explained simply enough that folks understand it at a basic level and secondly, the govt that sells that message have to be trusted enough that the message is believed and not rejected.

    Labour fail the second part of that test for most folks currently. Any attempt by Reeves to sell any message that can be described by the Tories as “Magic money tree” or “Financial hocus-pocus” will destroy any credibility she has (and that isn’t much right now*)  after all, Sunak is the man that made it possible to sit at home and watch the telly while still being paid. That’s a really powerful simple message for huge amounts of people, and it’s one they’ll happily vote for again.

    *mostly, it has to be said, because most folks couldn’t pick her out of line-up

    Premier Icon outofbreath
    Free Member

    MMT is just an attempt to explain what was already known, and is already in use. Some of the claims made of what it can deliver are over blown. It is painted by some as if “adopting” it would be a step change, and earth shattering, and remove the need to make choices. That claim is snake oil, I agree.

    This. Although when you say “presented by some” in my experience literally anyone who mentions is using it to make the later point.

    But yeah, your summary is spot on AFAICT.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    but it needs to be explained simply enough that folks understand it at a basic level

    Easier said than done. And which folks? Remember everyone gets a vote. That sounds condescending, but any economic concept that doesn’t map onto people’s own experiences is very hard for many people to understand, even at the “basic level”.

    I think the days of the simple “household” model are numbered

    Has Reeves fallen back on that? Or just made noises about being “responsible”, not wasting money, and promising not to allow limitless spending?

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Lucky no one has said that then.

    Can you imagine what would happen if suddenly the veil was lifted and the population at large understood that they’d been lied to for the past 50 years? The myth of governments having no money and austerity being necessary supports the wealth and power of the elite. Being honest about how money and govt finances work would turn everything on it’s head, and that’s why they don’t do it.

    If that’s not yer actual conspiracy theory, it’s at the very least; conspiracy adjacent, I mean it’s got shadowy elites, lies, wealth and power, veils being lifted,  powerful motivations to hide the truth…If Dan Brown wrote this, it’d be a best seller.

    Premier Icon ctk
    Full Member

    David Sirota (@davidsirota) Tweeted: The $16 trillion bailout of Wall Street executives was 4 times the size of the entire $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that’s designed to reduce poverty, expand health care and save the country from climate change. https://twitter.com/davidsirota/status/1443802819383808000?s=20

    Premier Icon grum
    Full Member

    Yeah I think daz was being a bit over dramatic. It’s more that it’s become much more orthodox economic thinking recently, and governments etc are inherently quite slow to change radically, if ever.

    I think the stuff about ‘balancing the books’ is a lie though, essentially. The biggest trick the Tories have pulled is making people think they are the ones that actually do it though.

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    I don’t really recognize “blindly cling to a leadership with no redeeming features”. I see no evidence anyone is clinging to Starmer. If he loses the next GE he’ll be gone. There is no “Starmerism”.

    There is, however, still ‘Blairism’. Of which Starmer is simply the current face. Noises I’m hearing in London (from people ‘in the know’, not in some shithole pub) are that many in the Labour elite are thoroughly fed up with how useless Starmer has actually turned out to be. Problem is, there is no suitable replacement from their ranks at least. And word has it that there is a growing feeling amongst some, that Mandelson’s continued involvement is poisonous. There may well be a schism within the elite, quite soon. You heard it here first…

    There is no “Starmerism”

    And herein lies a big part of the problem; he’s so devoid of any real substance, that no ‘cult of personality’ has formed round him, like it did with Thatcher, Blair and Corbyn. So there’s no strong ‘brand’ to try to sell to the electorate. Of course, politics shouldn’t be like this, but they are, so any party has to ensure its ‘brand’ is strong. This is why UKIP gained so much traction. My sources tell me that the adulation Corbyn still receives from many party members, is a source of utter frustration and anger amongst the party elite; ‘why haven’t we got our own messiah??’

    Starmer’s not the messiah; he’s just a very useless ****.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    Yes, I think most govts are the last place you find radical thinking, and yes, the “balanced book” model although really simple and attractive, is a lie and most folks have come to that conclusion.

    It doesn’t mean that Labour be that Reeves or Starmer can lay about it like St.George, the public won’t be convinced easily by folks who they still hold “responsible” for the 2008 crash

    Premier Icon outofbreath
    Free Member

    no ‘cult of personality’ has formed round him

    Indeed, so Owens is wrong.

    Premier Icon johnx2
    Free Member

    Noises I’m hearing in London (from people ‘in the know’

    Whoopee cushionesque farting sounds?

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    Whoopee cushionesque farting sounds?

    Mostly whining from ‘centrists’, actually. I think the less Blairite types are fed up with the Blairites, and there’s privately quite a bit of internal squabbling going on. There’s probably quite a bit of farting too; they do eat a lot of Quinoa. It’s very popular on the menu at Ottolenghis.

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