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Lion & Unicorn
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Lion & Unicorn 5h
RLB is avoiding Marmite policies. Her team no doubt see the and constitutional reform as safe signifiers of radicalism. She doesn't want to be drawn into the detail of the nationalisations, or worker ownership funds.
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Lion & Unicorn 5h
Replying to @PolProfSteve
Chuka was clearly positioning himself to succeed Miliband. The recent referendum in Scotland made constitutional reform topical, but it wasn't his brief: he was shadow business secretary at the time. Proposing an end to peerages was a safe way to look like a bold thinker.
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Lion & Unicorn 6h
Replying to @PolProfSteve
I've long regarded Labour politicians announcing wheezes for Lords reform as a sign that they're struggling to think of policies that sound radical but won't put off either activists or voters. Like when Chuka came up with a senate for the cities and the regions in 2014.
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Lion & Unicorn 13h
Replying to @TomBeattie2010
It could also occasion some damaging missteps in interviews, refreshing activists' memories of Corbyn's terrible media management.
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Lion & Unicorn 13h
Replying to @TomBeattie2010
The 10/10 score was naive. But it was also early and nonspecific. It would be worse for her to get trapped on the horns of appearing to defend or betray him on specifics. Similarly her mentor John McDonnell. Her campaign could get bogged down in litigating the past four years.
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Lion & Unicorn 14h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
But if Labour is to regroup and recover, it needs to address its differences. It also needs to test the mettle of its prospective leaders. That means some 'knifing in the front', which probably requires a looser and more gladiatorial format. So far, so dull. ENDS.
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Lion & Unicorn 14h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
#8: Factionalism has to show The format of the first hustings effectively ruled out debate between the candidates. This benefited Starmer (who wants to avoid revealing the depth of his policy differences with Corbyn) and RLB (who doesn't want to become an apologist for Jezza).
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Lion & Unicorn 14h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
This reticence to admit that Corbyn's political beliefs and history - as well as his choices as Labour leader - were at the heart of may make tactical sense right now, but it will quickly prove untenable for whoever replaces him.
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Lion & Unicorn 14h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
#7: The two-state delusion No candidate dared challenge the idea that Labour can tackle its anti-semitism problem while simultaneously believing Jeremy Corbyn was 'decent' and unjustly 'vilified'. Phillips and Nandy came close, but shied away from criticising Corbyn personally.
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Lion & Unicorn 15h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
#6: Pawn star really isn't Labour's answer to . But she was more punchy and personable than I expected. She managed both to smile and to joke (albeit poorly). And unlike Jess, she'd clearly rehearsed. The Left has a better shot than I thought.
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Lion & Unicorn 15h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
#5: Be green and not heard All five seem to believe the / is a winner. Maybe among activists, but it's not obviously popular (or easy to sell) on the doorstep. Some green policies poll well, but radical rhetoric makes change seem risky.
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Lion & Unicorn 16h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
#4: Jess needs a fillip Staying on Phillips: has anyone else ever speechified about the importance of optimism while looking quite so close to a nervous breakdown? To be the real Blairite candidate, you need to learn the lesson Cameron took on: let sunshine win the day.
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Lion & Unicorn 16h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
#3: Praxis makes perfect This is possibly the most inexperienced line-up in the history of elections, and it shows most of all in , who looked as if she hadn't even thought to rehearse. Not so much speaking to the heart as rambling from the hip.
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Lion & Unicorn 16h
Replying to @LionUnicornNews
#2: Such spirit is deserving of a sporting chance Thornberry has by far the most appealing voice. Calming, but with a hint of menace. Like Shere Khan in the 1967 version of The Jungle Book. By contrast, Starmer's nasal tone could really begin to grate.
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Lion & Unicorn 17h
Some thoughts on the hustings. #1: (S)he who smiles wins In the debates, a key contrast between Boris and Corbyn was that the PM looked at ease and optimistic while the latter seemed tense and downbeat. So far there is no 'happy warrior' candidate.
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Lion & Unicorn Jan 18
"They were learning the lesson of their race, which is to put away all emotion and entrap the alien at the proper time." Remembering Rudyard Kipling, who died 18 January 1936.
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Lion & Unicorn Jan 17
"They played us some tracks of what they wanted Kenny to do, and we went: ‘Don’t really fancy it, we want to do like Pink Floyd numbers and Yes songs.’"
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Lion & Unicorn Jan 17
Replying to @stephenkb
Something Labour's Hard Left, Soft Left and Right (yes, I know you think those terms are largely defunct!) share is a tendency to interpret voters' social conservatism back at them as mere symptoms of economic malaise. False consciousness isn't just a Marxist comfort blanket.
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Lion & Unicorn Jan 17
Replying to @stephenkb
The key line in this typically excellent piece is surely: "It is the same political offer made by Ed Miliband in 2015 and Jeremy Corbyn in 2019 – to tell voters that while they might think the problem is immigration, the real problem is public services".
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Lion & Unicorn Jan 17
Replying to @OliDugmore
I think it's interesting that politicians' admissions to using cannabis or even cocaine (which are illegal) often get treated as badges of normalcy, but a politician who confessed to using legal porn would probably be excoriated.
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