It’s Mourning in Brexitania
Stop all the clocks, turn off your phones,
Prevent the plebs from snarking with tearful moans,
Silence the twitters and be mawkishly glum
Bring on the coverage, make the viewers come.
Let helicopters circle filming overhead
Streaming on Sky the message, She Is Dead,
Put black throws round the set like the punditry loves,
Let the well-armed policemen wear black combat gloves.
She was our landlord, owned the seabed, no jest,
Red carpets all week, loved her paedo son best,
From dawn, past midnight, breaking news, awful song;
This can’t go on forever: BBC – “You are wrong.”
The scandals are not wanted now: strike out all but one;
The Press don’t want Charlie, so they’ll big-up his son;
No room for the hungry, starving kids are no good,
For nothing else matters, “Now that One is wormfood”.
And that’s basically all I’ve got to say about that.
This United Kingdom (for really-reals now, down with that Woke appropriation) has had an absolutely stonking time of it, and I don’t just mean my whole holiday/birthday exhaustathon. Change is in the air, but unfortunately this is Tory Britain, so that air is thick and oily and has the stench of old eggs and fracking fumes about it.
On the plus side, Flobalob is, at long, long last, finally oozing his way towards the back benches of Parliament, but only after being allowed to spend two whole months basically rubbing his pig-arsed lazy refusal to do anything as plebian as work into the nation’s collective face by jetting around the world enjoying more millionaire funded jollies than Philomena Fivefanny, the double-jointed courtesan. One thing I will say in ungrudging praise of the Windsor Woman, though; she read the room and obdurately refused to die until Cartoon Churchill was officially out of office, something I’ll bet he’s utterly fucking livid about. No terribly moving speech from the steps of Downing Street to epilogue his biography, no glittering opportunity for his flibbery-flobbity take on the vomit worthy ‘Princess of Our Hearts’ speech Blair got to give about Saint Diana the Rugger Fucker back in 1997. Biggest set piece captive audience of the past 25 years and the bottleslurping slapdick missed it by a matter of days. What a thing, eh? So sad.
On the debit side, the BBC’s coverage of his farewell tour has been as monumentally garbage as you’d expect. In lockstep with the rest of the Tory Press they’ve taken the counterfactual line that Flobby, having successfully (where that word does not mean what we think it means) completed his triathlonic mission to ‘Get Brexit Done’, ‘Send Covid Packing’ and ‘Visit Ukraine Often’, is simply ‘stepping down’ from the role of Prime Minister. Nary a peep or a squeak from the nation’s premier news network to remind its viewers that this is actually a disgraced loser who was dragged kicking and screaming from the Big Chair by his own mutinous MPs barely three years after they selected him as leader, having in the process fallen approximately seventy gazillion miles short of anything even vaguely approaching the bare minimum standard for behaviour in high office.
Back in the real world he’s a criminal, venal little pisspocket who spent most of his reign getting drunk, lying like a bleached rug, and shoving cash, peerages and establishment sinecures into the already bulging pockets of his wealthy backers while drawing a veil over the increasingly intimate relationship the Conservative Party has enjoyed with Russian oligarchs and Saudi princes. The term colossal failure doesn’t even begin to mist the lower windows of his towering unsuitability for any role in public service, and by memory-holing his very real legacy of incompetent, vain avarice in service to some nakedly partisan campaign of reputational whitewashing, the BBC just underlines the degree to which it has been take over by nakedly pro-Tory executives and rendered wholly unfit for its intended purpose.
Which is funny, because the BBC was already having a shocking couple of weeks. Emily Maitlis, the recently departed host of the BBC’s flagship current affairs show Newsnight, used the occasion of the MacTaggert Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival to deliver a blistering fuck-you to her former employer, not-quite-naming but definitely shaming the Tory placemen at the top of the Corporation who have enforced a conflict averse (with the Right) and ‘let’s give room to all viewpoints’ (as long as they’re rightwing) policy that I’m sure most Jackals would find familiar. Now, I’m certainly not joining the choir of innocent binary dualists who were canonising Maitlis for her “courage” and “honesty” for saying all this out loud. Far from it. She was in a position to call the BBC out for its pro-Tory bias precisely because she’d been marinating in it for so long and been very well rewarded indeed for her part in promoting and defending it. This is, after all, the woman who in 2019 (the Annus Maximus Dolo where political gaslighting was concerned) labelled anyone accusing the BBC of bias as deranged conspiracy theorists, but that was before she’d taken a well-paid job with a rival network.
Put it this way, just as Joseph Valachi was a piece of shit mobster dirtbag who nevertheless told the truth about the Mafia, and Dominic Cummings was a morally abyssal agent of chaotic destruction who nevertheless told the truth about Flobalob Johnson, Maitlis’ self-serving and altogether hypocritical truth-bombing of the BBC’s Government-appointed Gauleiters nevertheless shone a bright light into the darkened corners of British Establishment collaboration and sent them into a panicked tizzy. Anyone who flings bricks at Robbie Gibb, the long-term Tory fixer whose greasy fingerprints are all over slanted coverage of everything from the EU Referendum to the antisemitism scam, gets an asterisk next to their name in the Great Red Book of National Debt Settling, but they sure as shit don’t get anything more than that.
This was followed up by the perfect distillation of ‘everything wrong with the BBC’s current affairs output and who is to blame for it’ when Laura Kuenssberg, the British version of Access Maggie who served the Tory cause loyally as BBC Chief Political Editor until her recent transfer to Big Sunday Morning Politics Show Person, made an elementary but hilarious mistake by booking comedian Joe Lycett (alongside female Tory and female Labour bookends) to sit on a couch and provide light banter after her ‘conversation, not confrontation’ tongue-bathing of soon-to-be-PM Liz Truss. Someone obviously didn’t do their homework because Lycett, despite his maturing status as The Nation’s Gay Best Friend On TV, is well-known as an absolutely merciless troll with zero patience and NFTG where full of themselves figures of petty authority are concerned.
Kuenssberg’s adoration (verging on the sexual) for Flobalob was always creepy as fuck, but with him gone she seems to have decided to treat Dizzy Lizzie’s iron-clad loyalty to her crush’s legacy as proof that she deserves the lightest of touches. Even then, with Kuenssberg tossing her the political equivalent of “What’s your favourite sandwich?” and “How do you come up with your brilliant song titles?” questions, Truss was as wooden and uncharismatic as ever, responding to more or less everything with pre-programmed wordspurts about how she planned to deliver. Deliver on what? Well, on her promises to deliver, apparently. Whatever the issue, however wide ranging and cataclysmic the problem, Liz Truss will deliver the solutions, through delivery!
The expression of glaring, snobbish irritation on Kuenssberg’s face when Lycett had the nerve, the audacity, the sheer unmitigated cheek to raise an eyebrow and clarify (for the benefit of the BBC’s commissioning editors, no doubt) that as a very (VERY) right-wing comedian, he absolutely loved everything Truss had said, was completely clear about her intentions, and was reassured (“I’m reassured! Are you reassured? She’s so reassuring!”) that the country was in very good hands was absolutely chef’s kiss. Tory agents like Kuenssberg have spent years turning the BBC’s news and current affairs output into a pantomime with stock figures and repeated memes, but they sure as hell don’t like it when a professional piss-taker treats their garbage product with the withering contempt it deserves.
But all that aside, yes, sadly, we’ve now got a new Prime Minister in Mary Elizabeth Truss. Who she, you ask? Good question, sez I.
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve found it very, almost too easy to launch broadsides of bile against Flobalob Johnson. For all of his toxic mélange of obvious personality flaws Flobby was an absolute gift for an amateur mocker. A wobbly pyramid-scheme of bolted on affectations and media-friendly quirks just begging for a kicking, a long-rotted onion of squishy layers at the core of which was a lonely and unloved child dreaming fire-edged dreams of absolute power under cold, starched boarding school bedsheets. I could call him out all day and not run out of invective, but Truss? What’s there to say about her that could fill more than a paragraph?
She’s a badly staged photo-op in search of a ‘moment’. She’s not so much the dregs of the Conservative Party as she’s the embarrassing little sister of the dregs, barging her way on stage at the end of the Community Talent Show in a too-large dress and shoes to screech out a version of “One Moment in Time” while her mortified parents weep tears of shame. Where Flobalob spent decades building the media image that would shield his inner nothingness, Truss is a cheap three-door car that’s been into the shop twice a month to have all the latest on-trend accessories bolted on, a shell of rusty bodywork with more layers of spray-paint than a Trump impersonator. Laudanum Liz, always affecting a dreamy, languid aura, like she’s propelled by a perfumed waft of dreams through a Fabio-themed Romance novel cover, when in fact she’s just mentally quite slow and habitually tracks bullshit wherever she blunders in.
More than anything she reminds me of that period during the late-Roman Empire when, in the face of existential threats and societal collapse, the State’s only solution was to offer up a clanking conveyor-belt of ever more insipid, graceless chancers whose only qualification for the Purple was the transactional loyalty of an armed gang and the funds of a wealthy backer. Be in the right place at the right time and anyone could be Emperor for a day, tin-crowned masters of three-square miles of chaos who were nevertheless lauded as the next Constantine, because while legions are expensive, choirs of eunuchs come cheap.
Truss is basically nothing. There’s no ‘Trussism’, no long-forming political manifesto to put into effect. She’s a Japanese rice-paper wall, painted but ephemeral. From her early days as an anti-monarchist Liberal-Democrat through her timely conversion to Thatcherite Tory, she’s whatever her handlers tell her to be. There’s no mystery to unearth where Diz-Liz is concerned, no secret door behind which lurks a shadowy, enigmatic Id with an urge to change the world. It’s all there on the surface with her, like a streak of Shell Oil across the top of a stagnant pond. Her backers are the Brextremists of the ERG and the Tufton Street gang, Libertarian ideologues and promoters of Pinochet-style authoritarianism who intend to strip-mine the UK of everything of financial value under cover of culture war and media propaganda, she’s just the malleable figurehead they needed to seal the deal with a few thousand xenophobic Tory Party members.
What we’ll get from her is cookie-cutter disaster capitalism and faux-populist Disneyfied patriotism. National Front style hatespeech on Immigration and ethnicity. Legally illiterate attacks on the independence of the Judiciary. Tax-cuts aimed at terrorising the very poor to enrich the 1% and legislation to cripple Unions, criminalise protest and torch half a century or more of consumer regulation. Everything you expect from a mediocre far-Right Government staffed with loyalist non-entities and goggle-eyed ideologues, that’s what you’ll get with Truss.
Fucked? You bet we are. The worst cost of living crisis in generations, energy price gouging like you wouldn’t believe, inflationary pressure, rolling strikes across most vital industries, Brexit corroding the infrastructure of, well, everything like the blood of a headshot xenomorph, and who do we have running the show? A 0.01% infusion of bacillus thatcherium who looks like an ivory-headed walking stick wearing the head from a Chucky doll.
Did I say fucked? Boy, was I optimistic.
Terrible thing to do to a great poem. Terrible thing to do to a country too, I guess.
But Tony, tell us how you really feel.
I’m sorry, Tony Jay. That’s all i’ve got.
@WaterGirl: Except total admiration for this:
So glad we finished our London vacation and got out of there a scant week and half before the Event. Especially after seeing TfL’s advisories about “transport during the period of mourning”.
The first time I visited London, I happened to fly in on Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s wedding day. The second time, we landed during a massive Tube strike. But those only disrupted things for a day.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
It’s sad to think the BBC was once a very respected global news service
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): Their overseas coverage is still pretty good. They have on the ground reporters in more places than most American media houses.
I am a American (by birth), Aussie (by naturalization) dual citizen and so have the dubious privilege of observing and voting for governments of both a presidential republic and a parliamentary constitution monarch. Visceral disgust is frequently a necessary prelude to giving the ruling party the heave-ho. Unfortunately for the UK. the Labour Party has a problem on its left flank with the legacy of Jeremy Corbyn and his fellow tankies, who are happy to throw UKR under Putin’s treads—who are now revealed as appeasing surrender monkeys. The utter awfulness of many in Labour has allowed the Tories to get away with larceny. One hopes that period with a vacuous tw*t instead of a putrid twit as PM may lead to better times.
Auden’s funeral poem, which Tony sacrifices to such great effect, was itself inspired by a poem of Emily Dickinson’s, #577, “If I may have it when it’s dead.”
Here’s a link to the Dickinson scholar’s blog where I first learned this: http://bloggingdickinson.blogspot.com/2013/03/if-i-may-have-it-when-its-dead.html
how about “borborygmic fonzaloon”?
@schrodingers_cat: Dunno. At least the evening (BBC World Service, midnight US ET on my NPR station) show seems to have really gone down hill.
In February or March one of the male anchors was interviewing a woman in Ukraine who was helping with the humanitarian relief. She was talking about the need, the horrors going on, including war crimes committed by VVP’s army. The BBC guy asked her, with all apparent sincerity, (roughly, but pretty closely) “if [she] felt sorry for the russian troops who were fighting in Ukraine”. There was a pause, then she replied, “No, I do not feel sorry for soldiers committing war crimes.” The interview ended shortly thereafter.
It’s not unusual, and it’s hard to listen to.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Since this a foreign affairs post, I figure I might as well bring up a subject I’ve seen often on places like Reddit where users, sometimes European sometimes American, bemoan the state of American politics and claim that most Democrats would be considered center-right conservatives and politicians like AOC would be boring centrists
Does anybody else find this a bit annoying? Is there any truth to it?
Tony Jay has a way with words and imagery. Infection with “bacillus thatcherium” does sound dire.
Watching Joe Lycett on that clip is delicious. He specializes in this kind of arch, “not at all sarcastic” send up. What was she thinking having him on there
@Another Scott: They still cover India pretty well. That’s my barometer. And they have local language coverage too, not just English and Hindi.
I find their coverage of American politics a mixed bag TBH.
The thing that gets me about Truss is that she has a very strange kind of stupidity. She has an astonishing inability to read the room, a lack of intellectual empathy/affect as it were. Combine that with the fact that she is genuinely dim and that what mental capacity she has flashes up tilt at any problem more complex than “what is the next number in the sequence 1,2,3…?” and you get an unerrring abilty to produce the wrong answer to the wrong question.
In interviews her default mode is deer trapped in headlights.
This is a person who has difficulty finding the way out of a room with only one door.
It’s quite extraordinary
She could get lost in an elevator
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Hmm, well that’s good to hear at least
@Omnes Omnibus: 5 is right out…
@Omnes Omnibus: You are not wrong!
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5,8, 13..
1+2 = 3
3+ 2 =5
5+3 = 8
and so on
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): It is true.
I find it tedious with repetition but it is actually pretty important to know.
The US also confuses people with the reversal of colours. Nearly everywhere on earth red = left wing & vice versa.
My only exposure to Truss was her remarks on the Queen’s passing, and my first thought was, that she is not a person made for this moment. Tony, as always, captures that moment perfectly with one sentence.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): They are wrong. Europe is pretty socially conservative. Their only yard stick seems to be Government funded health care.
It’s really not that important to know. The whole left/right scale has no real relevance to people’s lives. If people want to look to other countries to look at policies that work, that’s another thing entirely.
I think Europe is “leftier” on labor rights and other other social welfare besides health, like education.
@kalakal: Yeah, as an older type who lived through the end of the Cold War, it’s still surreal to see GOPers gleefully splashing red paint all over everything.
@Baud: Left in terms of economic policies but not social policies.They are kind to their kind. Their immigration laws are pretty harsh. Orange Error would have been a standard issue mainstream politician in the supposed socialist mecca of Sweden and Denmark when it came to immigration.
@Baud: Many of the things that make the US left look centrist are do to that fact that we are still trying to get universal healthcare, etc.
Man, Falcons blew their chance today. Good thing Atlanta has the Braves.
@Timill: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Funnily enough the witch scene actually sums her up perfectly. She somehow manages to combine the differing idiocies of every character.
Yes, they’re starting from a different base.
@Baud: Many of these countries are tiny and homogenous.
@mrmoshpotato: Basically they’re expecting some level of disruption from lots of people coming into London for ceremonial and commemorative events, paying their respects at local palaces, etc. Might be some road closures and such as well.
Sure. Lots of historical differences too.
Tony, take us back to the Faustian bargain Lloyd George made with Northcliffe in 1916 and trace down a century of propaganda rule in all the Anglophone countries. Tell us about Cecil King and Harold Wilson. Show us how Rupert Murdoch is in the Northcliffe tradition, not the second time as farce, not yet the third as gibberish, but the eighth or ninth as a sort of stuporous, drooling moan.
The bottom line is that the Press — yours and ours — see their mission as either to control or break the Government of the day, and your Tories and our Republicans are willing to play along with that, Labour and the Democrats not so much.
Tell these people, will you, because when I do, they don’t get it. Ta.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): I don’t know if they (US Dems) would be defined as center-right, I personally think that is going to far. I would say they are certainly more centrist than many of their leftist European counterparts. As others in the thread have noted, there exist structural differences between US and European politics that make this difficult to judge. Most European countries have overall ‘left’ healthcare system and labor laws, which the center right parties do not generally challenge. In that regard the center right parties and the US Democratic party have some overall level of overlap. Most center-right European parties are more socially conservative than the Democratic party, and are more to the right on immigration issues.
Of course, the European ‘center right’ parties are dissolving like sand-castles in an incoming tide due to the growing right wing movements in many European countries, so the comparison won’t be around much longer to consider.
Which European countries are currently controlled by lefties, as defined by the European scale?
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
I think a lot of these complaints are leftovers from 20 years ago, when the Democratic Party was much further to the right of its current state particularly on economic and foreign policy. “Americans are so dumb about politics, they have only two parties and they’re exactly the same” blah blah.
The Western/Northern European center is way to the left of the US on things like socialization of health care, welfare services, labor and public infrastructure. Otherwise, it’s all over the place. I think they’re actually way more ethno-nationalist than we are.
Laughing at this.
My dad used to say of dim politicos that they’d “screw up a one-car funeral.”
@Kristine: My grandfather used to say they’re too dim to replace a lightbulb.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Until Biden, our “Center Party”, the Liberals were well to the left of the US Democratic Party. Biden amongst others have shown them up. The NDP, (Dippers) are very left of even the Biden Democratic Party, but they will never win a National Election.
Here in BC, our “Liberals”, ( what’s in a name) are neocons racists. Our Dippers straddle the middle while the Green Party, (not like yours) is currently imploding.
@kalakal: It’s because the American party-color association is relatively recent, appearing more or less by accident in the aftermath of the 2000 Presidential election. Before that, there’s no way either US party and especially not the Democrats would have associated itself with the color red, because it would have been an open invitation to Commie-baiting which was a very powerful thing here.
The Moar You Know
@schrodingers_cat: I’d disagree with that take, or more precisely clarify it: Europe is socially liberal save when it comes to people who are darker than a paper bag, whereupon most of them become indistinguishable from any bigoted jackass from our fine southern states, albeit with a far more comprehensive and well spoken vocabulary.
Me in Europe: keeping people out of poverty by massive social services is amazing! You do such a good job of it!
Europe: aw yeah we’re pretty awesome.
Me: When you gonna let those darker immigrants out of of those camps and let them join up with that big European dream?
Europe: eh, they should go back to where they came from and deal with it. They’re kinda distasteful, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, we’re all white here, right? Har har har
Me: jesus do you guys even listen to yourselves?
Europe: What about Alabama?
Me: frankly Alabama’s nicer to nonwhites than you are
Europe: GTFO foreigner
Also, I think some of the “Democrats would be right-wingers in Europe” people are the type of Internet Marxists who think that issues having to do with race, sex and gender are bourgeois distractions from the class struggle. Democrats staking out prominent “left” positions on these issues is just proof of how neolib they are.
It’s also hard to compare because California Democrats are a much different donkey than Montana Democrats, for example.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Well, I’ve also seen the same folks claim America (and Canada, I guess) is pretty puritanical when it comes to nudity and sex compared to Europe. But your point is well taken when it comes to racism, immigration, etc
@schrodingers_cat: Or any number you want, if you’re allowed to use a cubic equation.
@Matt McIrvin: +1
I remember Jimmy Carter using green as his color in the 1976 campaign.
@Matt McIrvin: Ahh. Weird way to phrase it.
@schrodingers_cat: “Is europe xxx? ” is really too broad a question. There’s very wide variation between European countries, eg Hungary vs the Netherlands. An example would be same sex marriage, legal throughout nearly all Western Europe with civil unions in the exceptions ( Italy/Switzerland) whereas in the East forget it. I think the Czech Republic is the only Eastern European country where public opinion is in favour.
In terms of Western European politics until she left office Angela Merkel was probably the most right wing European leader, she certainly wouldn’t be seen as right wing here
You’re dead right about immigration
@Ken: Yeah, I hated “guess the next number” sequences like that because sometimes/usually there were several answers that weren’t even all that obscure.
What do kids who grew up with calculators do now? Do they still teach kids how to calculate square and cube roots and logarithms by hand??
I hope instructors realize that working scientists and engineers use Matlab and Mathematica and even things like Ansys and COMSOL and … and don’t do this stuff by hand any more.
Yeah, being exposed to the principles behind the math behind the simulators and calculating wizardry is important. But given the limited time and so much that needs to be known by functioning adults, I wonder if the math (and science) curriculum is keeping up.
(All respect to teachers in the trenches.)
@Matt McIrvin: Thanks for that explanation, it’s puzzled me for a while.
@schrodingers_cat: LGBT+ rights don’t count?
ethno-nationalism is not uncommon in many places with a relatively strong social safety net. Social Services are seen as a finite resource.
Had a Norweigian Co-Worker and her (Canadian) husband move to Norway, when the baby was due. (Better conditions). He is still “seen” as a “foreigner” after 20 years, “accused” of “sucking off the system”.
Here, in Vancouver, I have heard no shortage of “English as Another Language” recent immigrants, (less than a generation), crapping on our most recent immigrants with all the same tropes WIPPO used to use.
They should have been here in the 70’s, when it was 90% boiled beef and cabbage, 5% Greek and 5% Italian for exotic food.
One of my favorite and best customers was a elderly Vietnamese Gentleman. He has functionally no English language skills. His daughter, who brought him over acted as his translator on our first interaction, (Family ReUnification Program). I used a variety of communication techniques to communicate with him, and after the first interaction, his Daughter realized she wasn’t needed to translate.
Eventually I learned that the Guy taught Molecular Physics in Ho Chi Mihn City, but here, in his 70’s, is working as a landscaper.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Compared to northwestern continental Europe, yes, it is. Otherwise, things are all over the place.
When I was first developing a political outlook (which, thanks to my very political grandparents, started before I was out of Junior High) I thought that, if you supported liberal policies in one area, you supported them across the board.
Wasn’t until I was an adult that I met people who were “lefty” when it came to economics, but hard right when it came to race issues. Yes, that phenomenon dates back at least to FDR, whose social relief programs excluded black and brown people because otherwise Congress wouldn’t pass the bills creating them… but I hadn’t yet actually met any of those hybrids. Very disconcerting when I finally did!
But the gender aspect – misogynistic lefties – I encountered that early on in my activism. A lot of the guys who protested the Vietnam war were utter assholes on women’s issues.
@Calouste: Dems are better on LGBTQ rights than many European countries AFAIK.
@kalakal: Before 2000, TV networks had tended to vary the colors they used to represent the parties on election-night maps. There was no particular pattern. I think it was ABC on election night 1984 that described Reagan’s landslide as making the country look “as blue as a suburban swimming pool”.
But when the 2000 election dispute was going on, there was a particular map in, I think, USA Today that was a focus of a lot of discussion, and that one just by chance happened to represent Republicans as red and Democrats as blue.
I agree. A lot of people don’t realize the frequent absence of liberal intersectionality.
In another universe, there is an ActRed!
@Baud: I think being leftie on economics is easier than being liberal on social issues, especially if you belong to a group that is conisdered the default.
I see this phenomenona in India too. Its easier to be anti-BJP or left but more difficult to question your caste privilege for example.
J R in WV
Can Steve and Edward get married in much of Europe? What if Steve is now Rachael? How does that work across the pond.
Wife spent 2.6 hours watching the classic film Ship of Fools this afternoon… I saw bits and pieces as I tried to repair our water system to no avail. It appear that the problem is down the hole in the well/pump. Very European seeming film.
@schrodingers_cat: A few countries in northern Europe were ahead of most of the US on same-sex civil unions and same-sex marriage. But there was a lot of variation within the US too, before Obergefell. And there is huge variation within Europe.
The UK has a really weird thing going on with a prominent faction that believes transphobia is a progressive or feminist position.
@Matt McIrvin: Massachusetts would be on the liberal/left scale compared to almost any country in the world.
Didn’t women get the vote in Switzerland in as late as the 70s (It was ’71) I looked.
There is a lot of variation within Europe too. So these blanket statements that Ds would be center right in Europe is mostly BS.
@J R in WV: Most countries in Western Europe and Scandinavia now have legal same-sex marriage. A few more (Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic, Croatia) have civil unions and things drop off rapidly from there.
@schrodingers_cat: On marriage equality particularly, I think you could count the worldwide polities that beat Massachusetts to it on the fingers of one hand. The Netherlands, some Canadian provinces?
@schrodingers_cat: Did you know that there’s a song built around the Fibonacci sequence?
Yes, beginning any one of these discussion with “Define left” is usually helpful. But there is another way of looking at it, which is to ignore specific policies because they can vary so widely and focus simply on whether the person’s self-conception is that of the left or right. That instinctive choice when asked which side are you on? The rest is details.
Their (BBC) US political coverage is awful.
@schrodingers_cat: The people who say Democrats would be a center right party in Europe have little idea of what European center right parties actually are like. It’s an idea that only can survive in the left wing bubble. A lot of those folks don’t even have the curiosity to learn about their own country’s politics, much less those of foreign countries.
A great George V. Higgins insult: He couldn’t find his way out of a phone booth if you gave him a map and a Seeing-Eye dog.
(Maybe we can sub in ‘elevator’ for ‘phone booth’?)
@SixStringFanatic: I did not know that. Thanks!
@Anyway: Yes it is mostly awful, I agree.
@Anne Laurie: Couldn’t find his ass with both hands and a compass.
Wikipedia tells me that Britain’s next Parliamentary election must be held no later than January 25, 2025. The Parliamentary majority can call one early if it wants. The Chairman of the Conservatives projects May, 2024 as the time, and new Prime Minister Liz Truss has promised a great victory in 2024.
A perfect distillation of the Unbearable Lightness of Boris.
@SixStringFanatic: very dead thread, but there once was a whole band called the Fibonaccis!
Paul in KY
@Another Scott: Used it in the 80 campaign too.