Date: 2017-07-14 01:57 pm (UTC)
calimac: (Default)
From: [personal profile] calimac
Headline: "Labour's 2017 election campaign worst in almost 70 years at turning votes into seats."

LibDems: We weep for you.

(Also, puzzled by the comparison to 1959. Is the suggestion that Labour should then have dumped Gaitskell?)

Date: 2017-07-19 09:11 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I think all the reference to Gaitskill is saying is that 1959 was the last time the Labour Party won such a large share of the vote and still didn't win the most seats. Since then it's won higher shares of the vote and won the election and won lower shares of the vote and lost the election but it's not won a higher share of the vote than Gaitskill and still lost the election.

Date: 2017-07-19 12:45 pm (UTC)
calimac: (Default)
From: [personal profile] calimac
Yes, I followed all of that in the article, but what's the significance of bringing up this history? There's a heavy implication in the article that the 2017 disparity between vote share and seat numbers is an indictment of Corbyn's leadership, renewing the suggestion that he should be dumped. Therefore, is the similar disparity in 1959 an indictment of Gaitskell's leadership and an implication that he should have been dumped? If not, why bring it up? That's what I'm asking.

Date: 2017-07-19 01:57 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I think the only reason they bring up Gaitskell is to place the result in some sort of historic context. Gaitskell was a long time ago. It's been a long time since the Labour Party were this inefficient. I'm not sure it means anything more than that. Not since the days of Nelson has one navy held as much sea-power as the US Navy does today. Not since the days of Armstrong and Aldrin have human beings walked on new celestial bodies. Not since the days of Captain Janeway and Dr Dana Scully has a woman fronted a major science fiction television programme. I don't think it's anything more than sort of thing.

As for the implied critisism of Corbyn I think many people are reading some things in to the article. I am reading the report.

I think the facts of the matter are that the Labour Party got a relatively high proportion of the vote but failed to convert that in to more seats and an election win and I think the report is trying to dig in to the detail of that and see if the Labour Party can work out why. There seem to be a number of reasons on offer by other commentators, but not in the report. 1) That the Tories also did the same thing and the two cancelled each other out. 2) That Labour thought they were going to lose 50-100 seats and so concentrated their efforts on defending deep or 3) People who already vote Labour really like Corbyn so turned out but people who don't like him really don't like him.

But the report doesn't draw any conclussions about why it happened. All it's doing is mapping out 128 seats where Labour should target a One More Heave strategy. If the Labour Party goes to those 128 seats and can persuade, on average, 1.8 % of the voters in each seat (a swing of 3.6%) in about half of them then the Labour Party wins a small majority.

The reader (so far) is then left to imagine for themselves if that is possible or likely or if the Labour Party should adopt Plan B which is to seak out a different coalition of voters (An approach I dislike because it assumes that voters fall in to homogenous boxes who behave uniformly, which I think is untrue. It is for this reason I think Hopi Sen is less likely to be involved than I initially thought.)

I expect that the group is on the anti-Corbyn or possibly just the right of the Labour Party and will turn out to support Plan B and that Plan B will for Chuka Umuna to become leader of the Labour Party, forfeit 5 digit majorities in the North and sweep to power with a hundred seats in the South won by a few thousand votes. But I don't think the report says that.

The paragraph from the report you are interested in comes from page 15. It goes on to say

The added worry is that we are no longer in the 1950s - minor parties still take a larger share of the popular
vote despite the collapse of minor party vote share in this election.

So, if one draws the conclusion that Corbyn should go but Gaitskell shouldn't I think the answer would probably be because Gaitskell polled well but didn't win in a two party system and Corbyn polled just as well but didn't win in a two and two one thirds party system which ought to be easier to win if in you are grabbing lots of votes.

Or perhaps the report is implying that, as the Labour Party went on to win the 1964 election with what looks like a One More Heave strategy and, until his death in early 1963 Gaitskell was Labour Party leader, that the Labour Party should stick with Corbyn for One More Heave but make sure it trims its sails just a touch to pick up the fistfuls of voters it needs in key marginals.

Date: 2017-07-19 02:46 pm (UTC)
calimac: (Default)
From: [personal profile] calimac
Your argument that the reference was just historical trivia defeats itself. I can't speak to "major science fiction television programmes" since I don't watch any (the only one I've been watching lately is Orphan Black which I guess doesn't count as major since it's been fronted by women since it debuted 4 years ago), but the naval and space-travel examples are indications of deep and significant historical trends worthy of serious discussion.

My point was not about the report. It was about the article, and what the article reads into the report. My reason for bringing this up was because I found the article's implications about the report puzzling. Generally I agree with your analysis of the report, and I don't see justification for using the statistics to indict Corbyn.

That the article's implication of an indictment of Corbyn is then backed up by a reference to 1959 is especially odd for the reason you mention: that Labour had won the next election in 1964, so the prospect wasn't as bad as it looked. It's more an argument to keep Corbyn than to dump him; yet the article implies dump.

Yet it should be mentioned that Labour thought it was going to win 1959 and was severely shocked by the loss. If that had happened today (the dynamics of the actual 2017 were entirely different), Gaitskell would probably have resigned immediately. But the idea of a leader automatically resigning after one lost election (unless there's exigent circumstances like 1987 or 2017) is only a creation of the last few decades. (Brown and Miliband didn't even wait long enough for their successors to be elected: what a pair of wusses.) Before then they tended to stick around. In fact Gaitskell blamed the 1959 loss on Clause 4, and tried to get it revised - without success, and with great upheaval; it took Blair to do that.

Date: 2017-07-19 03:14 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I don't think the reference to Gaitskell is historic trivia. I think it's context. (And the deep trend I'd pick out is the growth of multi-party politics in the UK since Gaitskell and his wrestling with Clause 4). I think there is some implied critism in the reference to Gaitskell. Hold the celebration folks, Labour Roadmap might say, the Labour Party is still in a world of trouble, not since Gaitskell (i.e. a long long time ago in an electoral environment far far away) have we been so bad at turning lots of votes in to not enough seats to win. I am not sure that anyone is meant to draw any conclusion about Gaitskell or Corbyn from that particularly other than it's been a long time since the Labour Party were this inefficient.

As we've both said, and the as the actual report says, you can take a starting point of 1959 / 2017 and read it one of two ways.

One that Corbyn's Labour Party is historically bad at elections, the other that 2017 represents a near miss and that One More Heave is worth trying.

Like you I'm piqued by what the article reads in to the report. It does read as if the article's writer has jumped to conclusion that the follow up to the report will be an opinion by Labour Roadmap that a) Corbyn's polling created panic in the Labour Party causing a too defensive posture, or b) Corbyn can't appeal to swing voter and so the One More Heave plan won't work or c) Corbyn's leadership is lacking because he can't work out that he needs to campaign in winnable margins. Or perhaps d) that there is no need for a huge build up of a new social movement, we can win the next election if we just box clever.

That assumption seems to rest on the view that Labour Roadmap is a creature of the right of the Labour Party. I think I'd trust the Independent's political correspondent to know who was behind Labour Roadmap. At least to know whether they were an offshoot of Progress or the Fabians.

Given that one can read the quoted paragraph one of two ways and the article is chosing to read it in one way and not mention the other possibility and given that this is a major national newspaper I think I'm coming to the conclusion that the author of the article knows what is coming next from Labour Roadmap.

I guess we will find out when the other shoe drops.

Date: 2017-07-17 01:16 pm (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I can entirely believe that all(-ish) new car sales will be electric by 2035. There seems to have been a build up of incremental improvements in the cost of making electric vehicles which has brought much, much closer the day when EV's become cheaper than ICE cars.

I think once they get a genuine cost advantage and are at at least parity on performance then that is the end of the ICE passenger car. Things I wonder about is whether we will have the electricity generation capacity to charge all the vehicles and what it does to our daily demand curve. Do we have the infrastructure at a local grid level to accomodate lots of EV's? Whether the EV cost advantage will be such that people will actively shift from ICE to EV rather than letting their existing ICE vehicle turnover at the natural rate?

Also, I wonder what bits of real estate become worth significantly more because they are now next to a busy road that is not filled with noisy, smelly ICE passenger cars.

Date: 2017-07-18 08:03 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I think they are closely linked.

The longer the range the fewer times you have to recharge in a given month and the less charging infrastructure you need.

The quicker the charging time the less range is a barrier (a six hour motorway drive with a 15 minute stop for a charge being different than the same drive with a two hour stop for a charge).

One of the many conversations that my dad and I loop round is the difficulty of putting the charging infrastructure in to parts of town like the bits you and I live in with lots of tenements

I find I approach energy policy in the much the same way other people approach the next season of Game of Thrones.

Date: 2017-07-18 09:05 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
It might do.

Certainly I think the test that people have in their heads is that they can "fill up" in about the same time as they can with an ICE. They could probably be convinced to charge up overnight at home or, if the charging time was short, charge up at the supermarket but they will be looking for something no less convenient than petrol.

And people seem funny about the standards they require from EV's. There seems to be some market research that implies that many people wouldn't buy an EV unless it had a range significantly more than double the range of an ICE. The practicalities might matter much less than the perception.

My gut feel on the flow battery is that by the time they have it ready to go in to commercial production the range / recharging performance of more traditional batteries will have improved to the point where the problem is largely solved for most people.

You also get in to the Betamax / VHS structural type conflict. The plug-in batteries probably need a significant degree of local grid re-enforcements and new charging outlets. Any battery with replenished electroyltes needs to persuade (probably) existing petrol stations to stock the electrolyte. (I'm also not convinced that having a whole second set of tanker operations taking the spent electrolyte back to a recharging station is ideal.)

Interesting times - I'm pretty tech agnostic but I'm confident that one or more of the various pathways to better storage will come off. I look forward to seeing which technologies emerge.

Date: 2017-07-19 08:53 am (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I think transport as a service makes a big difference. Even without autonomous vehicles you can still set up your charging infrastructure around fewer, larger and quicker recharging points and I think that makes a difference to the speed and the cost of the roll out of the charging infrastructure and the fact that someone else is managing all of that improves the convenience of electric vehicles. With autonomous vehicles it becomes significantly easier than that. There's no driver to manage their time, the vehicles can take themselves where they need to be and if you have say a one hour charging time and an eight hour overnight lay-up the AEV can shuffle themselves around to charge up 8 units.

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