Dan Hind Profile picture
21 Jul, 6 tweets, 1 min read
Listening to the DC/LK interview for the BBC, it's striking how important a factor the possibility of a Corbyn government was in Cummings' thinking, and how uninterested Kuenssberg is in discussing that.
It's fun hearing Kuenssberg's shock outrage at the idea that a couple of dozen people from with Vote Leave were deciding who should be Prime Minister. Like, does she not know that that's how things are supposed to work in this system, and that was why Corbyn was such a threat?
The scandal of Corbyn was that he did everything by the book - he was fairly elected by Labour Party members, presented a social democratic programme to the country and reversed his party's decline.
When Corbyn's own MPs and bureaucrats failed to stop him in 2016-17, the rightwing establishment installed an incompetent chancer as PM and ran an election campaign built around insulting lies, while the media loudly insisted that Corbyn was a racist.
We are now supposed to believe that Corbyn was a ludicrously unpopular aberration from grown up politics. But Cummings is honest enough to admit that, no, he was the most serious threat to the Thatcherite settlement in decades and we had to trash the place to stop him.
h/t @Simon_Vessey, who figured all this out yesterday.

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More from @danhind

26 Apr
I have always been reluctant to talk about Brexit and between 2016 and 2019 I just hoped that it wouldn't derail the left's attempt to revive Labour as an institution capable of governing. 1/
FWIW, it seems the correct approach from the point of view of the electoral arithmetic in 2019 would have been to respect the referendum. It would have been a clear message to convey to people who aren't easily reached by whatever communicative assets the left could create. 2/
"Labour respects democracy - and wants you to have more power and control over your lives. Besides, the Tories can't get Brexit done. We can." But there were deeper problems. First, we had no communicative means to explain that position to left-remain. 3/
Read 9 tweets
27 Feb
For forty years Labour have been relying on a voting bloc built through unionised workplaces and the broader institutional apparatus of organised labour. Thatcher tore this world apart and Labour never bothered to repair it.
The younger voters who were drawn to Labour as a radical and transformative project in 2015-19 do not identify with the party in anything like the same ways as those formed pre-1979 did. As Labour moves right they might defect far more rapidly than older voters did after 1997.
"They have nowhere else to go" said noted political genius Mandelson about working class voters. It wasn't true then and it is much less true now. Nationalist, municipalist, secessionist and environmentalist parties will make inroads everywhere, would be my guess.
Read 4 tweets
21 Feb
Adam Curtis take! The BBC has a £3.6 bn budget but we are only allow one solitary archivist-auteur, as a treat. Why aren't they commissioning far more in the way of efforts to make sense of the present? And not just by solitary white men of a certain age.
It is telling after 2008 that the BBC made no effort to explain to people what the hell had happened through a landmark documentary series. Doing so would have made austerity a much harder sell, given that cutting to grow was always, as Curtis would say, a fantasy.
It would have been exhilarating to see someone who had predicted the financial collapse set out their reasoning, and present their proposals for reform. Instead we were stuck with the same old mystifications between 2010 and 2015.
Read 7 tweets
26 Jan
Wendy Hoy's letter to the British Medical Journal @bmj_latest calls on the authorities in the UK and US to explain publicly what more data they need before they start using ivermectin, given the "impressive evidence of benefit" and "broad safety record." bmj.com/content/372/bm…
Again, I urge journalists who hate-follow this account to take this up with politicians and their scientific advisors. The evidence base for ivermectin is much stronger than for other treatments already approved. What principles, if any, are informing policy?
Every time I wonder whether I should be sounding off about science policy in a pandemic, I remember that Matt Hancock is the health secretary and think, fuck it, why not.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jan
Today the Times and the Mail have both run stories on #ivermectin based on "leaked slides" from a WHO researcher that found their way onto Youtube. One is paywalled, and the other is ... well, the Mail. thetimes.co.uk/article/iverme…
The UK media needs to up its game, and start looking at the peer-reviewed papers on which these slides were based, and start speaking with clinicians and researchers about what they mean.
And the rest of us need to think about whether we are well served by this highly centralised and hierarchical system of knowledge production in both science and the media, in which most of us are reduced to the status of tweeting bystanders.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jan
I enjoyed listening to this talk about how we might reinvigorate UK democracy. I was very particularly pleased to hear the presenter call for an opening up of scientific decision-making in a much more open process of democratic deliberation.
I have long been interested in how we give democratic bite and purchase on the conduct of public business. I am particularly interested in the use of political juries to oversee elites, and to develop knowledge that stands outside, and in some senses above ...
... the shared understandings and accommodations of those elites. The life sciences, like finance and many other aspects of public policy, are intensely vulnerable to capture by privileged insiders.
Read 4 tweets

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