Looks like the living wage movement will not be taking up my challenge for a public debate anytime soon.
Those denouncing Trump forget he is the weakest newly elected GOP president in modern times. Trump’s polarising nature rules out his popularity going up that much.
His erratic nature means that his administration will perform poorly because those he appoints to make up his administration, all 4000 of them, do not know what Trump wants because that changes every day. Trump will have to arbitrate all disputes within his administration.
Congress will desert him as soon as it hurts their re-election chances in 2018 where a great many Republican Senate seats are up because they won back the Senate in 2012.
Trump is even weaker than average because a good part of his base do not otherwise vote in elections or they are registered Democrats. This makes his disgruntled base less of a threat in the 2018 Republican primaries.
Trump can only afford to lose 2 Republican senators. The Democratic Senate caucus will be united because opportunities if they can only pick up two Republican votes in the current Senate.
Trump will be an inept President but more socially liberal than any recent GOP president. Protest that.
Before you start on the fact that Trump won the electoral college but not the popular vote, remember the John Kerry to this day believes election fraud in Ohio deprived him of the presidency in 2004 despite losing the popular vote by about 3 million votes. Winning Ohio would have flipped that election.
Hanson, Trump, UKIP, Alternative for Germany, Marine Le Pen, and the anti-immigration but pro-welfare state populist parties in northern Europe are all smeared by the media as far right parties but also are described as right-wing populists. Media bias is still constrained by the median voter theorem.
You cannot be on the far right but win lots of votes because the extremes of the political spectrum account for few votes. What do you think left-wingers stay within the Labour Party despite wanting its leader to be tried for war crimes.
Even in proportional representation systems, few far right and far left party set up on their own two feet and survive because of thresholds to win seats. There are Communist parties in European parliaments but their representation is small except for the Bundestag.
You cannot get into the 2nd round of the French presidential election, come 2nd in 40 British Labour Party seats, win the safest Labour Party seats in Queensland, and be attacked from Ted Cruz from the right and still be a far right winger.
All right-wing populist parties combine that heady brew of nationalism,opposition to immigration and free trade, and staunch support of the welfare state. Not surprisingly, something like 40% of their votes come from the traditional labour parties and social democratic parties.
Countering their appeal to the electorate cannot start with saying that anyone who votes for them is weird because the secret ballot allow secret malice.
The left is surprisingly bad at playing catch-up in identity politics. As one UKIP supporter said, I am a white working class Englishmen not on the benefit so Labour does not speak for me.
An inquiry established by Labour’s former policy chief, Jon Cruddas, MP found that Labour needs to
“stop patronising socially conservative Ukip voters and recognise the ways in which Ukip appeals to former Labour voters”, the report says, adding: “Labour is becoming a toxic brand. It is perceived by voters as a party that supports an ‘open door’ approach to immigration, lacks credibility on the economy, and is a ‘soft touch’ on welfare spending.”
At present, the report argues, Labour is “largely a party of progressive, social liberals who value principles such as equality, sustainability, and social justice.
It is losing connection with large parts of the voter population who are either pragmatists in their voting habits or social conservatives who value family, work, fairness and their country.” It adds: “Labour is becoming dangerously out of touch with the electorate and … unwilling to acknowledge this growing estrangement.”
David Aislabie yesterday in the Wanganui Chronicle went beyond Max Rashbrooke’s boy’s own view of the 1970s New Zealand is an egalitarian paradise. Aislabie said
The post-war New Zealand I grew up in was the envy of the world — an egalitarian paradise and a great place to bring up children.
It is a sad irony that the baby boomers who benefited from the welfare state they inherited from their parents’ generation should be responsible for snatching those benefits away from subsequent generations.
New Zealand up until the 1980s was fairly egalitarian, apart from Maori and women, our increasing income gap started in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” says Rashbrooke. “These young club members are the first generation to grow up in a New Zealand really starkly divided by income.
Leaving out a good 60% of the population from the pre-1984 New Zealand egalitarian paradise is a bit of a stretch on any paradise.
Max Rashbrooke was good enough to remind us that the 2013 update of New Zealand top income shares came online a few days ago.
As is well known to everyone except those obsessed with top income shares, New Zealand top income shares have not changed much since the late 1980s. They are now no higher than in the good old days when New Zealand was an egalitarian paradise in their eyes.
Source: The World Wealth and Income Database.
For a generation, a campaign by the green movement against the growing of genetically modified crops has held sway across Europe. These foodstuffs are a threat to health, the environment and the small independent farmer, NGOs have argued.
As result, virtually no GM crops have been grown on Europe’s farms for the past 25 years. Yet hard evidence to support what is, in all but name, a ban on these vilified forms of plant life is thin on the ground. In fact, most scientific reports have indicated that they are generally safe, both to humans and the environment.
This point was endorsed last week when a 20-strong committee of experts from the US National Academies of Science announced the results of its trawl of three decades of scientific studies for “persuasive evidence of adverse health effects directly attributable to consumption of foods derived from genetically engineered crops”. It found none.
Instead the group uncovered evidence that GM crops have the potential to bestow considerable health benefits. An example is provided by golden rice, a genetically modified rice that contains beta carotene, a source of vitamin A. Its use could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who suffer from vitamin A deficiency in the third world, say scientists.
Scientists and governments around the world overwhelmingly agree that climate change is real, is largely human-induced and needs urgent action to prevent.
There is, in fact, a broad and overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused in large part by human activities (such as burning fossil fuels), and if left un-checked will likely have disastrous consequences.
Furthermore, there is solid scientific evidence that we should act now on climate change – and this is reflected in the statements by these definitive scientific authorities.
There were few difference across the political spectrum as to why voters voted to Remain or Leave. This is according to Lord Ashcroft’s survey on referendum day of over 12,000 voters.
Labour and Tory voters voted to leave to regain control over immigration and sovereignty.
Labour and Tory voters who wanted to remain thought the EU and its single market was a good deal not worth putting at risk. It is all about identity politics, not inequality.
Vote Leave voters are a grumpy lot who think things have been getting worse for 30 years:
Leavers see more threats than opportunities to their standard of living from the way the economy and society are changing, by 71% to 29% – more than twice the margin among remainers…
By large majorities, voters who saw multiculturalism, feminism, the Green movement, globalisation and immigration as forces for good voted to remain in the EU; those who saw them as a force for ill voted by even larger majorities to leave.