On the cannabis stuff: Starmer’s pitch was always identikit robo-politics led by focus groups. This was overt.

People who endorsed him should recognise that - and that he will not replicate the manner in which the previous leadership tried to shape the debate. On anything.
Quite bizarre seeing people knock him who went after the last leadership like no tomorrow. This is the Labour Party as it’s been for my entire life, except 2015-19. Whoever succeeds him will be the same.
It was boring & worthy before 2015, with no answers to big problems of the 21st century. And we’re back there again now. Anyone who offered something different would be attacked by very people criticising Starmer now.

What he’s saying is his politics. Surely you knew that?
Did the ‘soft left’ think Starmer would ever call for a senior minister to resign, or endorse the decriminalisation of cannabis?

What on Earth gave them that idea?

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More from @AaronBastani

18 Feb
Why is the licence-fee payer paying for the World Service broadcasting in 42 languages when 58% of the country doesn't have a regional newspaper?

Strengthening the BBC means more resources for public interest journalism, not extending 'soft power'.

This is NOT an argument against the BBC, simply that the FCO should fund the World Service, not baristas or care workers who just want to watch the telly. Why should they subsidise our elite’s infatuation with global influence?

Is there any other country where local news gathering is dying but it is seen as vital that, at the same time, news is provided in Pashto, Uzbek and Icelandic?

Says a lot about how Britain sees itself, and how this feeds neglect of major, long-term issues.novaramedia.com/2021/02/18/why…
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
Looking at how Tory members were able to hold local MPs to account, and in certain instances effectively de-select them over Brexit, and comparing it to goings-on with Labour in Bristol last night, it becomes pretty obvious which party has a greater belief in democracy.
The centre & centre-left have an in-built assumption that they are the good guys, and frequently this manifests itself in a gleeful desire to override democracy because they are right (in a number of instances this powered the 2nd referendum stuff).

It's so unlikeable!
Same elements of centre complain about Tory cronyism & disregard for democracy but to be frank I can't see much difference. It's just highlighted more frequently with Tories because they are better at getting power.

They are the same, just the centre think they are virtuous.
Read 4 tweets
10 Feb
‘Labour Has One Route to Power – And It Can’t Take ‘Generation Left’ for Granted’

Me for ⁦@novaramedia⁩ on 2 poor polls for Labour and how the only path to government is an alliance built on PR & a Green New Deal.

Blue Labour isn’t cutting it. novaramedia.com/2021/02/10/lab…
Surprisingly little has changed for Labour under Starmer. In Scotland & Wales it’s standing still while it’s making no inroads with 2019 Tory voters. Importantly, voter preference by age remains hugely polarised.

It’s absorbed a lot of LDs, but that’s it. novaramedia.com/2021/02/10/lab…
Voter preference by age remains as polarised as 2019. Yougov found Greens and Tories are level among 18-24 year olds.

Read 7 tweets
9 Feb
Can capitalism solve its crises?

Is innovation possible without the public sector?

Why can’t politicians solve basic problems?

And what’s wrong with shareholder value?

Was great to speak to @MazzucatoM about her new book ‘Mission Economy’.

Some great facts and stats from the book:

1) In the UK 10% of all UK bank lending helps non-financial firms, the rest supports real estate and financial assets.

Not good!
2) In 2019 fossil fuel companies in the US received a subsidy of around $20 billion.

In the EU that figure was 55 billion Euros!
Read 16 tweets
8 Feb
Quote tweets of this from various sinophobes strike me as deranged nonsense.

Richard Horton makes a clear argument for extricating Chinese scientists from the state apparatus.

Few of the responses to it appear to engage with what he’s said.
Full interview here. I found Horton a really informed, accessible guest on the whole topic of Covid.

Horton’s point here a straightforward one. Had Covid 19 emerged in India or much of sub-Saharan Africa the effects would have been much worse. That it happened it China, and East Asia more generally, slowed down spread and allowed a scientifically advanced country to sequence >
Read 4 tweets
7 Feb
Covid-19 has 10 times the fatality rate of influenza, imagine if it was a 100 times?

An age of climate change will also be one of pandemics. That is why helping the poorest countries provide free, universal healthcare is in the interest of the wealthiest. novaramedia.com/2021/02/07/cov…
White-nose syndrome is crashing bat populations around the world, while chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus, is doing something similar to a number of amphibian species.

There is nothing unique about Homo sapiens.

The threat of climate change & future pandemics should not be viewed in isolation from one another: a world of rising temperatures, and further deforestation, also means more pandemics. These threats should be viewed as additive rather than distinct. 

Read 4 tweets

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