Should Politicians be Honest or “Electable?” | Philosophy Tube


In the West we like to think that politicians are all dishonest and just in it for themselves, but here’s an interesting question – do you really want your politicians to be honest or do you want them to be “electable?” This is something that British politics struggles with a lot, and in particular the Labour party. I know something about them so we’re gonna be examining this question through that lens, but it’s obviously applicable to just about any democracy. We’re gonna be examining exactly what “electability” means, but first for those of you who are unfamiliar with Labour, let me bring you up to speed. British politics used to have two big parties,
the Conservatives or Tories who were more right-wing and Labour who were more left-wing. They used to have very different approaches to economics. Then in 1994 Tony Blair became leader of the
Labour party and Labour changed its economic vision to more or less just agree with the
Conservatives about economics – and under Tony Blair the Labour party won three general
elections in a row. So Labour’s approach to economics since
Blair has been quite right wing. But here’s the twist: the left-wing element of the party never really went away, it just got suppressed for a while. Now it’s back,
and the party has a new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who is socially and economically left-wing. Jeremy Corbyn was elected to the leadership position by party members with a bigger mandate than any other Labour leader ever and party membership has massively increased under him. There are those in the party who believe that this resurgence of the left-wing is a terrible idea. It’s complicated by the fact that a lot of the people who think that are the MPs themselves or those near the top of the party machinery.
Helped by various private corporations, notably the PR firm Portland Communications, they
are trying everything they can to get rid of Corbyn. They believe that he is “unelectable.” Although I should say that not all criticism of Corbyn comes from that position. So what is “electability?” Obviously it’s
more than just popularity because among the Labour members and those who are joining the party Corbyn is very popular. But electability does contain some practical assumptions about who will win an election. The Labour Right say that you’ve gotta be in power and have people vote for you if you wanna do any good, and if you want people to vote for you you’ve gotta tell them what they want to hear. Or in the party parlance, you’ve got to “address real concerns.” In the present day it’s not just right-wing
economics that’s popular in the UK; socially right- wing ideas are starting to become fashionable too,
particularly intolerance of immigrants. Some people believe that the UK’s economic problems
are caused by immigrants putting strain on things like houses, hospitals, and schools.
The Labour right think that you’ve got to indulge people’s worries about immigration and more or less agree with the Conservatives’ approach to economics, because that’s what Blair did and Blair won. But that is not how Corbyn rolls. The Labour Right want to tell people, “Yes, immigration is a problem and we need to fix it.” The Labour Left would rather educate people about immigration so they can ask themselves, “Why aren’t
there enough houses for everyone? Why aren’t hospitals being funded enough for everyone? Why aren’t schools being funded enough for everyone?” Because the answer to that is
that the economic consensus of the last 30 years, that the Labour party actually supported? Well turns out it’s very good for the rich and not so good for everyone else. It’s not just economics and immigration
though; this tension applies to things like defence. When a terrorist attack happens,
do you tell people the myth that they expect to hear – that terrorism is caused by people
who hate you and military action will fix it – or do you tell them what is actually
the truth according to terrorism experts: that terrorism is caused by a very complex web of factors, many of which we contribute to, and that military action will likely make it worse? Or crime – do you get tough on crime because you think voters might like that, or do you try to design a justice system that will do the most good, including
good for criminals? Do you tell people what they want to hear, or what they need to hear?
The popular slogan? Or the inconvenient truth? The Labour right think that you’ve gotta play to your audience and that it’s no good being morally pure if you don’t get elected. As
a friend of mine on the Labour right said to me recently, “Rhetoric doesn’t put food on the table.” They believe this despite the fact that Labour tried going right under Ed Milliband in the last election, and failed. And they believe it despite the fact that David Cameron indulged people’s worries about immigration with a referendum on the EU, and it bit
him in the ass – and here we’re starting to come up against our first snag. If “electability” involves practical assumptions about who will win an election then that could be a problem because it’s actually bloody difficult to predict who’se gonna win an election or even bloody difficult to understand why people who won past elections won them. Like I said before, Labour tried going right under Ed Milliband and failed. People predicted that it going
left again under Corbyn would wipe it out but Labour’s been winning by-elections with an increased share of the vote. There’s a widespread assumption that being more right-wing or “centrist”
helped the party win under Blair, but that might not have been what really caused it, or it might not have
been the only thing. There are a million polls and surveys and approval ratings you can look at to try and figure out what people will vote for, but in a sea of polls you can’t help but focus on the ones that support what you already think. And it’s worth mentioning that polls can be very inaccurate: all the polls in the last general election predicted it was gonna be very close and it wasn’t; Labour got creamed. The practical dimension of electability is a minefield because in order to really know for sure who is electable you would need to be
able to predict the future. And it’s doubly difficult for Labour. Labour
has traditionally marketed itself as the party of the working class, but people’s view
of what “the working class” is and will vote for can be very skewed. It’s worth
remembering that migrants and people of colour are disproportionately members of that class,
so pandering to empire nostalgia and xenophobia may not go over well with them. When making calculations about what people will vote for you’ve got to remember not to erase large swathes
of people. But – the concept of electability doesn’t
just contain practical assumptions; it contains moral assumptions too. When politicians publicly entertain an idea they give it legitimacy. Case in point, the EU referendum. A lot of
the discussion leading up to the referendum played on people’s worries about immigration and foreigners.
Since the Brexit vote there’s been a massive increase in racial hate crime against people who are or are just perceived as “foreign.” And that’s millions of people who are afraid to ride the bus alone now, or whose homes and businesses have been destroyed, or who’ve been spat at and insulted in the street. Brexit unleashed a tidal wave of racial hatred – a lot of people
were already distrustful of “foreigners” and for some, all they needed
was an excuse. Not all disrespect leads to racial violence but all racial violence starts
with disrespect, and when we and our politicians feed that disrespect, we fan the flames. So the idea of electability insofar as it
means going right contains the moral assumption that those who suffer as a result of that are acceptable casualties. You say that their suffering is a necessary sacrifice to winning the election, assuming
that you will in fact win it on that platform, and you promise to turn around and fix everything
for them when you get power. But it’s all well and good saying that a politician needs to be “electable” if you’re not the one who’ll be killed or deported in the
meantime. That’s why a lot of those on the left of the Labour party think that it shouldn’t abandon those who arguably need it the most. That moral seriousness cuts both ways though: if you stick to your principles and lose the election then your opponents are gonna get in and they might kill people. It’s not true that the opposition is completely powerless in British politics, they can sometimes have an absolutely crucial influence, but they have a lot less influence than winning would get them certainly. So to sum up, there’s a lot of pressure
on politicians to believe what they think they need to believe in order to be “electable,” and what exactly electable means will depend on your personal politics, your ability to predict the future, the reliability of your information, your ability to imagine and empathise with groups of people who aren’t necessarily like you, and which human beings you think it is acceptable to sacrifice. So do you play it straight, or do you try
and stack the deck? Either way, you’re gambling with other people’s chips, so how do you
do that responsibly? I know what my answer to this is; it’s why I support
the politicians that I do. You’ll have to think about what your answer is. And then act on it. Subscribe for more videos about philosophy from me! At Patreon.com/PhilosophyTube you can help keep the show alive, and help me give away more free education on YouTube.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. The trouble with voting Labour is that they're on morally shaky ground. Like you said, we can't predict the future, so we don't know if the next leader will be to the right or left. However, the green party, for example, has never had a right wing leader (to my knowledge). Voting green would be voting for long term morral correctness as opposed to short term gains.

  2. Why aren't there enough houses for everyone? becasue there isn't enough physical space on your tiny island to house everyone who wants to immigrate into your country. Why isn't there enough schools and hospitals for everybody? because there isn't enough money in your economy to give welfare to everyone who wants to immigrate to your country, also the teachers and doctors are leaving becasue they don't want to live in a country that takes 50% of what they earn.

  3. Its all smoke and mirrors really. Corbyn and McDonnell are selling the economic policies of Miliband and Balls, but they've moved the rhetoric to the left.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Olly, and congrats on drama school! I recently watched a Vox vid about ancestor simulations, in which Elon Musk states there's only a 1 billionth chance we exist in base reality. Could you kindly explain "Are you living in a computer simulation?" by Nick Bostrom, in which he posits a 20% chance we are an ancestor simulation? If you covered this already, someone please share the link. Thanks!

  5. Why aren't there more videos on the classic philosophy education cannon? Videos like these are cool, but if you're goal is really to give away your degree then I think we're due for a bit more than a 60 second video in Utilitarianism in between 3 10 minute videos on social justice.

  6. Btw, Have you considered collaborating with the channel CollegeBinary especially since the Three Minute Philosophy series had just been "rebooted"?

  7. This is an interesting question, but it doesn't seem like you really perceive there to be a serious moral or philosophical conundrum at play. Which makes me wonder whether you think see this as a video about philosophy, and if so, why. On one hand, it seems like philosophy requires us to consider countervailing worldviews with seriousness and respect, which you're not exactly doing here. On the other hand, doing too much to keep intellectual discussion or of the fray of public political theater risks removing it's relevance or influence in public life.

    I guess I'm asking whether we should be trying to have honest philosophical discussions, or the kinds that sway elections.

  8. And this is why I support you on patreon. Great thought process, clear and confident, challenging without belittlement.

  9. Not to mention the fact that policies that will get you elected in certain constituencies, will not get you elected in others! So, then how do you craft a set of policies that will appeal to enough people in a majority of constituencies, without alienating some parts of your base! It's a tricky one.

  10. I just wanted to say to you that I love your work here. I listen to you while I'm at work at my graveyard shift security job. It makes me feel pretty connected intellectually in an otherwise simple job. Thank you so much

  11. If I see a cat and I believe that it’s my cat, Fred, but I only see it for a split second and it turns out to be a different cat that I don’t know, also called Fred, am I right in thinking that it's Fred?

  12. I that the public fully understand that politicians lie and never fully deliver on their promises. They are not even fully aware of the policies each side have at their core so with this in mind maybe the reason election results are unpredictable is because they are in fact voting for the person or party most likely to get the current leadership out, not because the believe in what they're promising.

  13. But if you are faking it to get elected, so that you can do what is morally right once you get into power, what about the compromises you have to make once you get into parliament? You might have to help enact policies that you know are detrimental to society, just to get on the right committee. And then there are reelections… I mean, you will have to do a LOT of morally dubious things, for just not that much good?

  14. The biggest reason I don't want Trump in the white house is because, like brexit, it will embolden and legitimize bigotry. I think a lot of people discount that when comparing the two main candidates.

  15. Constructive feedback: I really love your channel, explanations, taught and arguments. That aside, on this video specifically, the inserted background music created a distraction from the content. It made is somewhat difficult to listen to you… maybe its juts me, but again maybe not. Anyway, keep up the good work!

  16. I would love to see more political ones, specifically current politics. I like learning about the politics of U.K like this one, but maybe you could include U.S or other major nations. IDk though, others may not be as thrilled over political videos. who knows i bet alot would be thrilled!

  17. I am currently reading Zizek's In defence of lost causes which makes some interesting points regarding how the rhetoric of major parties is shifting quickly to the right. There he claims (among many many other things) that propositions that 30 years ago would be considered modest are now considered radical leftist (and the book was written about a decade ago). It's a great read, I encourage you to take a look.

    Great video! Please keep it up!

  18. I think if you don't try to be honest with the electorate, or try to mislead them, you end up with an ignorant electorate. This is aggravated when you make education difficult to obtain. Although this may be a strategy to get elected that can work at times, it ends up causing an overall loss of prosperity (if thats the word) as people start making poor choices that could have long lasting effects. I can only guess how hard it is to build up the aggregate intelligence of society, but given how long it has taken to get western nations to semi behave, I wouldn't want to set it back. I think it is self explanatory in why this would be immoral.

    In a way I think the whole thing is a confidence trick. Not a great thing.

    I would also say that by making the electorate more ignorant, they end up making honest politicians less electable as the electorate may become more confused by the complexities of truth.

  19. I think the right-wing Labour MPs might well have sincerely held right-wing economic beliefs. Their appeals to 'electability' would then be honest idealism, simply couched in terms that they hope their left-wing allies will find persuasive (honest idealism that they're lying about? Perhaps I should have chosen my words more carefully!). I've followed the American primaries a little, and I think the mainstream Democratic party is doing this: pretending to wish they could be more leftist so that they can hold on to large portions of the electorate who don't actually agree with the party and its policies. Of course I'm speculating about the motives of people who have little reason to be honest about their motives!

    I will suggest, in regard to the moral question: one should not vote for the 'lesser of two evils candidate' or (as a politician) adopt positions one believes to be harmful. It seems easier to blame a person for harm done by a party or a policy that they supported than for harm done by a party or policy they opposed, even if their opposition was futile. If you believe the Neoliberals will cause a lot of harm, the Champagne Socialists will cause some harm, and that the Syndicalists would cause no harm in office, but that the Syndicalists have no chance of getting power, I'd say you should still vote for the Syndicalists. I believe there is also an argument to be made based on likely consequence: in the long run, voting for the 'lesser of two evils' encourages the kind of pseudo-two party system the States have, where the ideological differences between the parties become harder and harder to find and where real political opposition gets completely sidelined.

  20. Liked the video. I didn't like the background music.

    What is important to remeber is the memory of the UK under Ed Heath and Jim Callagahan. Pre Tatcher 'electability' was squewed to the left.

    Another point that seems to be neglected is the rise of the SNP. The fators behind this have nothing to do with English politics.

    What is working class in today's econoomy? Is "working class" a cultural construct; it is a matter of personal identification rather than determined by one's profession?

    There is a huge discrepancy between the protected benefits of the public workers and benefits of private workers. Part of shism in Labour is between public and private sector unions. The reason why austerity gets votes is because there is an anger that private workers
    are paying taxes tp pay for public sector job security. see Neath Port Talbot

  21. Could you do a serious video/research of consercative ideals and more theology videos??
    I consider myself conservative and I watch most of your videos as I think that you are the most inteligent left wing youtuber I came across. I watch you to learn about left wing ideology/philosophy, and you helped me understand and criticise better. So it would be REALLY nice to hear your criticism on the core of conservative thought, and if you have already a video on that could you please tell me which??
    thanks.
    ps:I'm not british, so it's not like I support the conservative party.

  22. This has also happened in Spanish politics. After the general election in 2011, in which the Partido Popular (Popular Party?) won with absolute majority, the PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, Spanish Socialist Worker's Party), decided to vote on a new leader. There were two main candidates, Pedro Sánchez and Eduardo Madina. Eduardo Madina represented the left-wing spectrum of the party, while Pedro Sánchez is handsome and elegant. Guess who won? After that, an actual left-wing party was created and has gained a lot of influence, and the most left-wing people like not to say the SO in PSOE, because they have abandoned both their Socialism and their worker focus.

  23. Your anti-conservative bias is showing. I would have preferred if you had tried harder to look at this from a more objective perspective and had handled more of the abstract part.
    Also if a politician is trying to be electable how will you know? If they are open that they arent being honest then that makes them unelectable. This is more a moral question for the politicians themselves to ask themselves than for voters.

  24. I dislike ur subtle use of sad music in this video at 6:45ish. Your point is already very good without the music, and your channel is dedicated to reason. The sad music set off alarm bells in my head that subtle music might be being used to sway my opinions without me noticing and I stopped listening to what u was saying and took a moment to listen to the music thru, go back and then listen to you properly. I am all for ur generic music thru out, or even sad music thru out. And I get turning off the generic music for a topic, even though it has similar and maybe more powerful effect, if that topic is sensitive. But strategically placed music to create bias around a certain point… I am disappoint.

    Great video otherwise lol. Minor issue I wrote about in some depth. Keep up the good work! Maybe a video on bias and how different forms of consuming media affects the way people interpreter it?

    Also; seeing as I'm typing now: I enjoy these topical and political videos quite a lot, but would not if they where the bulk of ur channel, they work as an occasional treat. Keep ur random topics coming, bringing up ideas that people have never heard before and 1900's philosophers who have shaped contemporaneity thought but no one really knows. That's why I subed for and what makes the channel great!

  25. I've learned alot of philosophy on this channel over the years. He has introduced me to many philosophers and have given me there argument and counter arguments. But since his shift in focus toward acting and success of getting subscribers to donate toward his channel, I've been seeing less of a academic drive toward his videos. This video doesn't have any historical perspectives on this subject, the basis for much of the video hung on the "good" or "bad" without giving a rationale or standard to judge it from. And much of it was "well if you mean this way politically you contain the truth and the other side is pandering without giving sources for this belief.I hope this channel doesn't go video blog on us.

  26. Isn't "democracy" a misnomer perpetually used? I mean, a republic legitimizes and filters a fairly meritocratic oligarchy, with levels, checks, and provisions, but the main supporting elements are oligarchal in nature. It seems to be a historic misplacement to represent popular Western opinion. Do you think we should purposely filter it out?

  27. It seems like there are a few factors to this "electability:"
    Ability to suppress uproar in the other party(A general consensus on a whole issue seems to be good with Blair)
    Practical, but not overwhelming view on change(Populists are interesting, but not stable for systemic change)
    Suppressing general opinion(People tend to dissect on multiple issues; forcing one opinion at a time centralizes support, builds relationships, and makes one-leader governments easier. While one-leader governments aren't ideal and this is, of course, a checked parliamentary democracy, power is effectively centralized in most ways and affects people's opinion, rather than vice versa.)
    (Now at least) Traditional immigration opinion(Supporting tradition gets you the conservative and at least some of the left-wing vote if you aren't seemingly iron-willed on the issue and populist ruckus is not that predictable.)
    Support casualties(the 1960s counterculture and extreme right-wing crime control aside, war is a non-populist opinion and seeming strong on this divisive issue can win votes from one's enemies)

  28. It seems like the general intellectual consensus is that this centralization of power in non-professional hands(economics being in a union of economists, and so on with any self-contained group) allows popular speculation and degrades government as a functioning democracy. Why can't we just have panels of experts, or anyone who has a defensible opinion just meritocratically work their ideas up through centralized political forums and infrastructure?(We'd have everyone debate on city, then region, area, then federal level, or really through any classification and scientifically/objectively just work up?) What's the point of allowing popular speculation be an issue for any area of a country, whether it be science, education, law, economics, basic labor, or anything?

  29. I find it funny how you only focus the reactions of those on the anti-immigration right and towards immigrants and never discuss weather or not their arguments have any merit….but you just call it racist and xenophobic.

  30. would the entire system collapse if all possible politicians were honest? if they were black and white with their policies, their views and did not hide behind their masks?

  31. Your earlier (non-political) videos, where you introduced famous arguments of philosophy (e.g. A time vs. B time) were excellent. Sometimes you presented arguments with holes, but it was always of the form "person X said this" or "person Y made this point".
    This video continues a trend where you seem to assume, a priori, that leftist policy is the best policy in seemingly every context. You are allowed to believe that, but you should understand that using this assumption in your argument immediately alienates anyone with different views.
    If you want to argue that leftist policy is superior, or that Jeremy Corbyn's policy is superior, that's fine too, but you have to get to that conclusion with a series of logical steps, not with an a priori assumption. I don't live in the UK and I can't say I'm informed on all of the issues affecting the UK, but I have seen some evidence that there is a policy of tolerating (if not facilitating) anti-Semitism among Corbyn and his supporters. Would you prefer to have a non-racist centrist candidate or an anti-Semitic leftist candidate? It's not as simple as what you present and I don't think you've done justice to the complexity of political issues in general and this one in particular.

  32. "since the brexit vote there's been a massive increase in racial hate crime against people who are or are just perceived as foreign" that's not particularly accurate. there have certainly been an increase of reports of hate-crimes, but whether or a significant number of those reports are true has yet to be determined. it's very possible that the outcome of the vote influenced certain sectors of the population to falsely report hate crimes in order to bolster the narrative that brexit supporters are racists who carry out hate crimes.

  33. Glad for this video! The content isn't ground breaking but I love it when concepts are thoroughly discussed. Helps one understands ones own opinions

  34. I find the question of whether we want politicians to be honest or electable rather odd. The answer is clearly that we want them to be electable, as electable politicians are, by definition, politicians we are inclined to support. If it were true that we prefer honest politicians, then they would be the electable ones. The odd conclusion here is that regardless of what the answer actually is, in all cases, it ultimately is 'electable'.

  35. I find the question of whether we want politicians to be honest or electable rather odd. The answer is clearly that we want them to be electable, as electable politicians are, by definition, politicians we are inclined to support. If it were true that we prefer honest politicians, then they would be the electable ones. The odd conclusion here is that regardless of what the answer actually is, in all cases, it ultimately is 'electable'.

  36. In order to avoid giving offense, I will avoid present-day politics. An interesting example of a politician acting dishonestly in order to be appealing to the electorate leading to th opposite of his intended effect is Nikias in book 6 of Thucydides. Having failed to dissuade the Athenian assembly that th Sicilian Expedition would be inadvisable for military reasons, Nikias inflated his estimate about the cost of the expedition hoping that the assembly would refuse to support the expedition for financial reasons. Nikias' dishonestly inflated estimate had the unintended consequence of persuading the Athenian assembly to send forth a bloated and ruinously expensive expedition rather than dissuading them from sending forth the expedition at all. I think Thucydides intended for the reader to take this as an example of why it is important for politicians to be honest–a advised by Perikles in book 2.

    I have enjoyed the packages about political philosophy. I wonder if you have done anything investigating whether it is the responsibility of governments to do good or to do what the people want by the most expedient possible means. If good, what good and for whom? I would also love to see an exploration of goodness–whether it exists and if it is good to be good or good to do good.

  37. There is nothing inherently right wing about anti immigrant views. It can come from both the left and the right and theoretically (if not in practice) you should see more of it coming from the left.

  38. Did I miss the bit where you point out that, should she continue as leader into the next election, the Conservative party have one of the most left-wing Conservative leaders ever? I suspect this is likely to detract from Labour votes if the parliamentary Labour Party prove they aren't interested in listening to their grass roots supporters and succeed in ousting their preferred leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    In most regards, I think Theresa May is far more left-wing than Owen Smith, despite the reputation of their respective parties, and that creates a very strange situation where the views of the two major party leaders are more in-line with the traditions of their opposition party than their own. How's that skew the centre?

  39. I think electablity is missing one huge factor. Relatablity, Charisma and Rhetoric. You can pretty much sell anything with these three if you do it right. Convince and persuade before you join the majority. It's what got every historical figure where he is today. From Hitler, Lenin and Che to the Prophets, MLK and Ghandi.
    And I will always be convinced that as a Leader you are First and formost Charismatic and only secondly Competent. If you can't sell yourself, your competence won't matter and if you agree to work against your intention then you've lost your cause.

  40. People like to make really grand proclamations about what does or does not win elections based on paltry data sets. Even if I was willing to go with the idea that "electability" matters more than honesty, no one can say for sure what "electability" means. Better to at least address the world like it really is.

  41. This is one of my main problems with philosophy, they comment on areas they aren't authorities on and claim authority through their own standards. Much like a church would claim authority on any subject due to their authority in divinity. Where i disagree alot with many of your points i still listen and watch all your content because i want to hear all opinion but can you please back up your claims with citations.

  42. I honestly don't think that any politician within the political system we have at the moment can be seen to be 100% honest even if they are. The ideology of public service has been so eroded by spin, the currency of any politician is debased. We get the politicians we deserve because we don't do politics any more. Political activism was seen as being essential to being a citizen in a modern democracy but now we're consumers and so we're sold products and policies designed to get us to vote the same compromised set of hacks in again.

  43. Very good video, as always. Your channel is a great and reliable source of information, and as a political science student it is very useful to me when I don't understand parts of my lectures, or just want to satisfy my curiosity. Thanks!

  44. This is an interesting perspective, but I think it's really disingenuous to suggest that Labour have been doing well under Corbyn, and hold Miliband up as an example of people judging "Labour going right".

  45. Are honesty and electability necessarily mutually exclusive? In the U.S., Bernie Sanders ran a grassroots campaign against a Clinton and nearly won, and his one and only tactic was honesty about his values. Perhaps the definition of electability changes depending on whether or not people vote in accordance with their values, and whether or not the playing field is even.

  46. You should have added a line explicitly pointing out the videos "example" was from a labour left perspective and its arguments still apply to other parties and views.
    Without it you appear overly biased and some people with different principles get alienated.

  47. When did the U.K. turn into the U.S.?

    Bernie Sanders represents the quintessential leftist Democrat, but was robbed of the nomination because the Democrats wanted Hillary Clinton, because she's as far on the right as most of the top Republicans, and therefore "electable," and also because she's an insider who will "play ball" with the corporate demigods who fund both major parties.  Eight years ago, the same thing happened with the Republicans.  Ron Paul had huge public support, the he wasn't a "typical" politician, wouldn't play ball with the financial contributors, and wasn't considered "electable," so he got pushed out in favor of guys like John McCain and Mitt Romney.  This year, Donald Trump has basically proven that he can play their game better than they can, trolling his way to a nomination.  It's pretty obvious that Clinton is going to be the next U.S. President, and Trump is playing some sort of angle yet to be revealed, that doesn't involve him actually winning.  In the meantime, I'll just stick to supporting the Libertarian party.  Gary Johnson 2016!

  48. "addressing real concerns" is not jargon for shifting to the right. its addressing real concerns. a lot of people think that nationalising the railway is a good idea, but its not a vote winner on its own, because no-one comes home and says to themselves "shit, I wish the bloody railways were nationalised, that would make everyone better". They want to know about how their children will be taught, how they will get a house, a good job, and a good leader should understand which issues to campaign heavily on and which ones to leave in the manifesto as further reading.  being electable in my opinion should not be dialectically opposed to being honest. the task of the statesman is to do both, to put things in a way that pulls people to your side. to offer real, implementable, fully costed solutions, not slogans. Anti-Austerity is not a policy that you can write into a bill. The biggest issue that the labour party face is that to a lot of ordinary Britons, that don't care much about politics, Tory rule is the default setting. Tony Blair, who has become reviled for his actions in the Iraq war, quite reasonably has been utterly demonised to the extent that no-one bothers to try to understand why he won elections so confidently, and was able to implement some excellent policies.Theres a moral argument there too, if you decide to say, I will not compromise my beliefs, at all, with the knowledge that it will cost you the election, and the opposition get in and Implement some really horrid policies, you have to accept a degree of responsibility for that. but hey what did Tony Blair ever achieve for people on minimum wage, am I right?

  49. No offense, but having a in depth knowledge of British politics compared to many people (I read all main newsites and papers from the guardian to the dailymail and keep in touch with the latest Westminster and politics news. I also have read much British political history.) Your assessments of Ed miliband, are untrue. In fact ED milibands plan of the 50p tax, mansion tax, freezing energy prices and so on. Are in fact to the left of labour. #

    Corbyn is not also pure. He has had numerous meeting and past in not present sympathies with the IRA and Hamas. (Although this is unclear in Hamas's case.) He has also not dealt with the growing amount of antisemitism in the party and even the report into it. Is very poor with little to no evidence used it it therefore making it's conclusions useless, under closer examination. The fact he was against the EU as he saw it a capitalist business club, but then quickly changed his mind during the beginning of the campaign is suspicious. This is also added to the fact that he deleted all his past criticisms of EU. This gives insight to the fact that he is not completely pure.

    The rise in racial is not result of the EU referendum, but in fact was simply present but not expressed. This way it can be combated and discussed, allowing people to be shown why it is wrong. So this could be a good thing.

    Immigration is also a more complex topic as some areas eg. Inner london can be heavily effected by immigration of no english speaking immigrates raising schooling costs and increasing schools classes and increasing house prices. whereas as others e.g. Cornwall have no problems. Immigration can be good and bad. Especially if the immigrates clash with British culture e.g in free speech, respect to women, dress, ect. This cannot be white washed one way or the other. To do so is being intellectually dishonest.

    Anyway I like some of philosophy video's well done on them!

  50. Amazing analysis.

    I watched a couple of your videos from 2014, and with this, I can tell that you have learned alot.

    Feed my brain!!

  51. There's a slight problem with your analysis on immigration and the Labour centrists' perspective, and this comes from a slight false dichotomy. Whilst there definitely are centrist/right-wing Labour MPs who think that the party should adopt an anti-immigrant economic stance (such as Frank Field MP), there are more who don't. And there are more who are despairing about the EU Referendum result. And it doesn't hold up that Jeremy Corbyn and the party's left are accepting of Brexit, whilst Owen Smith and other supporters of his are strongly opposed. Brexit and the Overton Window extension to the anti-immigrant parts of the socio-economic spectrums is the crux of the problem, and Jeremy Corbyn publicly appears to be apathetic over the issue. I don't think he's secretly anti-immigration, but I do think that he has overlooked the fundamental roots of the resurgent populist/nationalist right and I worry that he will only allow it to consolidate itself over the coming years.

  52. I'm very glad you made this video – too often British politics seems to be devoid of any iota of logic. One of the fundamental issues you've touched on, which you may wish to consider exploring in another video, is what to do when a democracy starts democratically engaging with and warming too ideas that tend to be less associated with liberal democracy (i.e. illiberal democracy). The American founding fathers decided that they needed to address the inconvenient problem of tyranny of the majority by introducing a web of restrictions and limitations through their constitution. A bill of rights or entrenched freedoms are an easy way to escape the ugly truth that a lot of people have some pretty horrible views and ideas. And it is great that Jeremy Corbyn is trying to address this by tackling the issue in certain ways, but after an election he may lose the critical mass required to lend credibility to his views. This could be more dangerous for the left than the short term costs of pandering to some anti-immigrant policies, as certain liberal views may get completely wiped out in British politics. If the harder-left drag Labour away from the median voter then it could be the perfect way of shooting themselves in the foot. But a little bit of realism/pragmatism could get their foot in the door of No10 so that they can engage in a more effective campaign to address anti-immigration and the anti-globalisation sentiment sweeping the West at the moment. So at what point do we accept that a large section of the electorate hold some pretty ghastly views and won't relinquish them? And furthermore, is it our democratic duty to represent these views?

  53. So… let me get this straight. Jeremy Corbyn won by the biggest vote in the party's history… but he's unelectable? What kind of backwards logic is that?

  54. A politician should fool everyone whether he is a good or a bad guy. It's much easier to get elected and do what you want. People are not rational, in fact they believe in religions and gods. So really hard to reason with a conservative person. And those persons drop their individuality to make it less stressful and responsible to live and make decision but in the end they act like sheep. We are simply left to ruler's conscience. And I know how things are bad in Turkey right now and what people think about our President. There was a cartoon once and it's named Once upon a time… Man. It was when I was a child but now things changed and everything went bad, there is nothing on TV like this anymore, science channels went premium and they censor things like ''idiot''. Much alliance such leadership wow!

  55. I think one potential answer is actually in an episode of doctor who, The Beast Below it kind of backs up my view that even if you were perfectly honest with the electorate all the bad and all the good the electorate will just want to forget the bad and live in a world of blissful ignorance.

  56. A message from the future: In the primaries (early 2016) of the Democratic Party (American Labor) the elite of the Party around Hillary Clinton said that Bernie Sanders was "unelectable"….

    BWWWAAAH HAAA HAA HAAA HAAA Yes Hillary that worked out brilliantly now, didn't it.

  57. I think that the best course of action would be to try to educate people about the truth whilst trying to make them feel good enough about it to want to vote you into power. Therefore, being honest and true can be electable but may not always work out. I understand that the premis of the video is that they are mutually exclusive but this should be clarified.

  58. a right-to-vote test is the solution. If you know what's playing in the world and based on that you vote, you may, but if you just like the sound of a politician (like military actions which make it all worse) you may not vote. Stupid people can vote, that's the problem with democracy. We could also go back to have one person be in charge of the country, one person who is smart, and tries to keep everybody happy, but than again, that has some negatives as well. So I think a vote exam is the best option

  59. in a democracy the people are too stupid to rule. It's like the sailor is telling the captain where the ship must go, while the sailors don't have a clue what to do. But if you want the sailors to be happy, you have to listen to them, and therefore electability is more important than honesty. Although the captain should always try to inform the sailors (honesty), the sailors will never understand completely.

    If you want the best for your country however, you should just skip democracy and go full power. But do you want a good country or do you want happy citizens?

  60. The trick is to be brutally honest with the top covered. That way any man who gives two shits about what you are actually saying will see right through the cover. Your supporters will love you and will jump in front of a bullet for you, your opponents will hate you and would take up the chance to drown you in a spoonful of water if they could.

    But the large majority if they don't care will then simply not care. Which is good enough, because as long as they are satisfied they won't care too much if you are in power or what you do too much.

    And of course you should always work with real politiks, a batch of realism. Sticking to "great grand socialism" when your nation has got a yearly inflation of 475% is not good, for the simple reason that it is not realistic. And denying your citizens healthcare just because "then the doctors will be state workers, and the word state scares me" is also not good.

    Do these three things and you can become the next Hitler or Stalin or Churchill. All three are absolutely same when it comes to ideology and how they go on about achieving it. Which is quite funny I think, since society seems to think they are like rock paper and scissors. However in truth, they are almost identical.

  61. I want politicians to be honest more than electable. it is hard to explain why I fell so in a YouTube commentary field. but if politicians is honest no one will vote or listen them because we as voters want to take responsibility for what we do. it is sad but very understandable why it is that way if you as a politicians blame all your problems on the voters they get mad.

  62. Sorry, but the centre-left Labour 'right' are more pro-immigration than the Labour left, headed by Corbyn, whose implicit support for 'hard' Brexit has been confirmed in light of the election.

  63. Oh Jeremy Corbin… Oh Jeremy Corbin… If you'll pardon me, as an citizen of the US, for saying something about your politics in the United Kingdom. I didn't, but our general public (excluding the rigging from the Democratic Party) voted against Bernie Sanders, who was our version of Jeremy Corbin. Please don't make the mistake that we did. <3

  64. "Unelectable" is very convenient descriptor for dismissing a candidate while avoiding any real discussion of their policy positions and goals. It's an intellectually dishonest accusation. It's also very snobish.

  65. There's something missing here. That people seem to be rejecting Corbyn because he is seen as too morally principled. And people want politicians to do morally wrong things for our benefit, so we don't have to take responsibility for them by being cynical. That's why they describe Corbyn as, "Not able to make the hard decisions." And therefore, "Not serious about the job."

  66. An honest politician would pretty often have to blame the public for their own problems. We all know how well that would go over. Look at Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment for example. It was brutally honest, but she was widely derided for saying it. People who say they want honest politicians should be careful what they wish for, because an honest person is not likely to stroke your ego.

  67. I don't think it's okay to lie to get elected, but it is okay to avoid an issue. For example: if you are a pro LGBTQ rights Democrat running in the 80s, you can't come out in favor of gay rights without committing political suicide. It's also immoral to lie to the electorate. The right thing to do is play off the low visibility of that issue for the time.

    For immigration, it is a high visibility issue so a stance must be made on it. Lying about where you stand makes those you try to help vote against their interest and those you are trying to deceive less inclined to support that issue.

    In the case of a high visibility issue a stance must be taken with action. This is the key to being pro immigration while also winning the electorate. The electorate isn't necessarily for or against anything. They either think there is a problem or not. You can simply redirect the problem to how immigration is handled rather than the immigrants themselves. Perhaps create some structure to more easily integrate immigrants into British society. At least look like you are doing something. As long as the real problem(economic inequality) can be handled alongside the fake solution, everybody goes home happy and nobody is really lied to.

  68. I think the politicians should be voted for their honesty/morality and not their acting abilities, employing actors to run the world seems to complete madness and will only end up in what we have now running the world. Actors are trained to deceive, when you have all parties full of actors/deceivers whom got to power by deceit/acting and are not capable of completing their job role as politicians , as in this world at the moment. Politicians should just complete their job role with honesty and morality, and it seems like both these things are missing in today's politicians; which leads me to believe that they are not politicians for the people but for the corporate dream, which does not hold any morality or honesty. As my old granddad use to say " Never trust a person that tries to deceive you", always sounded like common sense to me.

  69. A big complication in this talk that you forgot is that some people think a politician should do what the people they represent want them to do, not what they believe they should do.

  70. In political science (I'll look the sources up later), there is the idea that there is a major difference between small parties and big parties, such as labour or tories in UK. Big parties are more likely to engage in vote seeking. Thus, their behavior is highly influenced by strategies of political competition. Often, we can see that those assumptions work well in the left-right spectrum.
    You can easily see this behavior in how the democrats behaved in the previous election. The republicans decided for a candidate that was very far right. Thus, it was a promising strategy for the democrats to go for the candidate that is closer to the center. After all, even people on the far left who are willing to vote at all will most likely rather vote for a centrist candidate than for someone they consider a fascist.
    Due to this behavior, and especially in very bipolar party systems, it is assumed to be pragmatically reasonable to go for the center as this is where the switch voters are.

  71. I think two of the issues that arises from not sticking to your principals for an election are one: false advertising, if you don't do what you say you will do when you get into power you will be seen as untrustworthy and two by not mentioning issues that are important to your party e.g. the enviroment as a concern then it means that the other party doesn't need to also address those issues which means they don't need to curtail their proposals and those issues dissapear from the political discourse.

  72. The Left must be honest. It must not combat Right cognitive dissonance with Left cognitive dissonance. Are you really discussing Corbyn in this bizarre light? Let’s see Corbyn is the politician who called for Article 50 less than 2 hours after the referendum result. Corbyn is the politician who argued that Brexit would help to control immigration. Corbyn is the politician who long after the 350m NHS claim was exposed as false still repeated the false claim that leaving the EU would save 350m. Jeremy Corbyn is a politician. There’s a problem deep at the heart of representative democracy and Corbyn embodies it, namely that the ends justifies the means. Winning is everything.

    At this moment in the U.K’s political history, it stands at a precipice. Jeremy Corbyn, a Brexiteer believes that chaos is a ladder to that end he has supported Remain to undermine Remain, celebrated the victory of Trump and now what, called for Article 50 to strengthen the hand of Boris Johnson’s right wing loons and now he’s going to seek to undermine the loathsome Teresa May to strengthen the hand of whom, Rees Mogg and Farage? Corbyn does NOT represent a coherent political opinion, he’s that guy pissing in the punch bowl.

  73. I'm really worried that the NDP in Canada is going down the same route as the Blair Labour Party did. They have a leader who agrees with the Liberal Party on key issues of economics.

  74. I think your being naive here, these politicians are in their 50s their not stupid, their not for a labour right because of beliefs, but because it gives them power, pure and simple

  75. I'd prefer honesty but try being honest with coal miners and tell them that coal isn't coming back.

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