Readers went in yesterday on the latest plight of the Brexit-ridden UK, whose Labor Party has just seen several MPs defect in protest of Jeremy Corbyn. As readers indicated, it’s unlikely there will be any clean outcomes. Meanwhile, discussion about the Paladin-Home Affairs snafu continued unabated, and readers mulled over the question of regulating Facebook (hint: we should). And finally, Guy Rundle responds to a reader’s note on his depiction of British MP Chuka Umunna.
Charles Richardson writes: If May goes to an election, she has to have a Brexit position. If it’s anything other than hard Brexit it’ll split her party, and if it’s hard Brexit surely that will drive a big chunk of the middle class vote Labour. I don’t know if that would be enough to outweigh Labour losses, but I reckon there’s a good chance it would.
Robert Graham writes: One thing Margaret Thatcher was right about is that if you stand in the middle of the road you get run over. That’s the problem with some in the British Labour Party: some are wishing for a new Blair to turn up. It seems both major British parties are like the Roman senate: people on a bus, half wanting to drive and the other half wanting to take the fares.
Peter Wileman writes: An ICAC would identify whether there is any corruption or confirm that it is just another case of ineptitude. It is one or the other, most likely the latter, but let’s be sure.
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Mark E Smith writes: Just what does it take to get a minister sacked and a department head investigated? It’s no wonder Pezzullo is so contemptuous when he fronts up to estimates, or Dutton blusters on when called to account. Who can blame them?
Malcolm Harrison writes: Edward Snowden said: “Facebook makes their money by exploiting and selling intimate details about the private lives of millions, far beyond the scant details you voluntarily post. They are not victims. They are accomplices.” Alongside this damning description of Facebook, and the concerns about privacy and the on-selling of personal details, Facebook’s main “crimes” involve its association with the American state, notably the CIA. It is true that Facebook was initially forced into this relationship by government demands that it find evidence supporting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nowadays, it does so with alacrity off its own bat, deplatforming entities that have any whiff of Russian or Chinese presence, and using algorithms to bury homegrown political narratives hostile to official narratives. Of course it should be regulated.
On Guy Rundle’s writing on the British Labor schism
Sean O’ Donohue writes: Can I make a request that Crikey be a little more sensitive about ethnic descriptions? I’m not very impressed that the usually right-on Guy Rundle is using rather anachronistic demonyms to describe Chuka Umunna’s background. “Half-Nigerian”? Really? Which half would that be? Top or bottom? Left or right side? Do tell… Such phrasing is just way too close to those 20th century eugenicist gems like “half-caste”, “half-breed” etc. According to his biography, Mr Umunna was born and raised in London, which would make him English or British — 100%. Including that his father was Igbo is both more accurate and more respectful. But is it really relevant?
Guy Rundle responds: Mr Umunna described himself as “a quarter English, a quarter Irish and half Nigerian” in the press conference launching the new group, and talked of his Nigerian father’s emigration to the UK as a land of opportunity. Umunna’s multicultural origins are a major part of his public profile; I simply gave readers a snapshot of how he presents.
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