Monday, 17 August 2015

Fun Online Polls: Hiroshima, Nagasaki & Jeremy Corbyn

The responses to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

If you had been the US President in August 1945, what would you have done?

Ended the war and allowed Japan to get away with it - 10%
Allowed the war to drag on for another few months or years - 1%
Dropped The Bomb on Hiroshima then given them a couple of weeks to surrender - 52%
Dropped The Bomb on Hiroshima and another one on Nagasaki out of spite - 36%

So a clear winner here, and I was with the majority on this. A good turnout of 77 voters, thank you everybody who took part.

My view is, as the US President, you have to think about
a) what's best for the American people as a whole (and sod the Japanese) and
b) what will get you elected President in a three years' time. Harry Truman was of course not elected President the first time, he took over when FDR died.
This week's Fun Online Poll.

"Who will/would you vote for as new leader of the Labour Party?"

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar, multiple selections allowed if you're in two minds.

I'm in several minds about this (although luckily I am not registered vote so I'm not losing sleep over this).

On the one hand, he is likeable, has principles and I agree with some of his policies while the other three are just faceless mishmash self-promoting machine politicians. I don't agree with any of their policies for the simple reason they don't actually have any.

But Corbyn's policies miss the point and he will make life more difficult for the Young People's Party by offering superficially attractive solutions to our core voters which will not actually address the underlying issues.


Random said...

I say Corybn is better than the alternatives.
MW, do you know what "negative gearing" is and if it is in the UK? It is in this article:

Mark Wadsworth said...

R, it refers to when people borrow so much that the rental income does not cover the interest. This is subsidised by a tax break (tax relief for excess of interest over rent) and incentivised by the fact that the expected capital gains still make the whole thing profitable.

DBC Reed said...

@MW You are rather missing from the discussion about Hiroshima and Nagasaki the probability that the bombs were dropped to show the Russians they couldn't look to their erstwhile allies for any co-operation in post-war reconstruction even though they had won the War for them in Europe .

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, the Russians annexed half of Europe and Truman wanted to rein them in a bit, seems fair enough to me.

DBC Reed said...

The Americans didn't "annexe" the other half of Europe and take over all the British Imperial markets while making us pay them for all their war materiel with a war loan we have only just finished paying back? I'm with de Gaulle who chucked out American occupying forces and Enoch who was very sound on the American problem. Why would it be fair to massacre so many Japanese civilians ,men women and children, in pursuit of unrelated war aims on a different continent? Anybody in their right mind (ie not Churchill or Truman) would have sought some via media with Russia not imposing the American way by which you pay for grossly inefficient "free market" hospital care so you end up paying $3,000 for a bee sting or keep doing manual work with a hernia
while hoping that some international charity like Medicin sans Frontieres turns up in your state.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, is this what Englishmen do when the weather is too boring to talk about? Refight the Second World War?

This has nothing to do with "The Russians" but with the mad power lust of Stalin who happily sent millions of Russians and Ukrainian conscripts to their unnecessary deaths in order to take over half of Europe.

You can slag off the Yanks all you like, they were not and never have been as bad as the Stalins and Putins of this world, and anyway, the British-European muddling along social-democratic way was better than either. The UK Con-Lab coalition government had basically introduced the NHS and the welfare state before WW2 ended, other European countries all had something similar already.

Even Home-Owner-Ism is not as bad as full on Stalinism.

DBC Reed said...

Hitler attacked Stalin, don't forget and the simpering narcissist Churchill left the Nazis to devastate Russia, presumably as part of the agreement Hess brought over in the middle of the definitive blitz on London meant to show how much England, at least, was at Hitler's mercy.In this existential fix, with the rest of the world against him, Stalin was likely to go a bit paranoid and exploding atomic bombs on non-combatant Japan ratcheted up the pressure to the max. This talk of Stalin's "mad power lust" is naïve. The British people gave Churchill's creepy Closet Queen power lust the elbow but not before he had helped initiate the Cold War which was his bequest to the nation.We should be "re-fighting the Second World War" because its still going on.Why are Afghans trying to migrate over here if not because Najibullah's attempts to detribalise his country with socialism and infrastructure were not thwarted by creepy Americans?

Bayard said...

"and the simpering narcissist Churchill left the Nazis to devastate Russia"

And what was the simpering narcissist supposed to do, eh? We weren't exactly in a position to invade Germany were we and we weren't exactly leaving Germany alone elsewhere in the world. You seem to conveniently forget the fact that Stalin was Hitler's ally and therefore our enemy, right up to the point where Hitler attacked him. He had also just attacked the Finns for no reason at all, quite apart from being the second greatest mass-murderer in history, easily eclipsing Hitler.

In any case, what was wrong with leaving the Nazis to devastate Russia? WTF should we have given a toss about the Russians who never gave a toss about us. Are you suggesting that Stalin would have come to our aid if Hitler had invaded Britain in the early part of the war?

DBC Reed said...

In effect: what was wrong with agreeing to appease Hitler when he was in the actual process of devastating Russia after, in the simpering narcissist's case, gaining power by being anti-appeasement? If you feel that suppressing Communism was the country's principal war aim then a de facto non-aggression pact with Hitler has a Satanic logic.
The point is that the insane policy of wrecking Communism with whatever allies, at all costs, has landed us in the present predicament. The Middle East would not have "evolved" in the dire direction of fundamentalist Islam if Mossadeq had been allowed to nationalise Anglo Iranian oil Co (now BP) and had got on with progressive reforms such as taxing land rents as he proposed.We should have encouraged Iran to fix itself up with the nationalisation of natural monopolies that we introduced in UK post war and taken the same view with Najibullah in Afghanistan which desperately needed big infrastructure. Instead we followed the fundamentalist anti Communist line emanating from a small clique of right-wing weirdos in the US and deposed Mossadeq (even Truman thought the CIA was acting like an American Gestapo)and helped Osama bin Laden and militant Islamists who have now got thoroughly out of control.Well done weirdos!
NB we certainly were in a position to invade Nazi Europe as soon as American troops arrived. Delaying the landings as long as possible (to allow Hitler to polish off Communism)was evidently Churchill's aim and he was subject to continued criticism from General Marshall for not getting on with crossing the Channel because it allowed Hitler to build the Atlantic Wall and coastal defences.

Bayard said...

DBC, I think you need to check your dates. Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939. This ended the appeasment of Hitler. In that same month, Russia allied itself with Germany and in November attacked the Finns, and invaded the Baltic states the following year. By June, we had been kicked out of the continent. Hitler attacked Russia a year later, while there was nothing we could do about it Where was the "de facto non-aggression pact"? tell that to the relatives of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who died as we fought the Germans round the Mediterranean. By the start of 1943, the Germans were already in retreat from Russia, so there was no way that Hitler was ever going to "polish off communism", yet D-Day wasn't until the following year. I'm sure we could have invaded sooner, and it seems the Americans wanted to (which rather shoots down your argument that the invasion was delayed as an anti-communist measure), but militarily it made sense to let Germany exhaust itself fighting the Russians, who had proved themselves to be every bit as nasty aggressors as the Germans and were never our friends, only our enemy's enemy. I very much doubt that the conduct of the war would have been any different if Stalin had been Tsar Josef I and communism had remained within the pages of Das Kapital.
Not that that excuses any of the shenanigans in the Middle East, which was a truly shameful episode, but that was all about oil, not communism.

DBC Reed said...

Oh dear this is going on a bit.My whole argument is that at the time of Barbarossa Churchill re-started classical Unity Mitford style appeasement which was meant to deflect Hitler on to the Commies. Because the American High Command was trying to push us into invading Europe sooner does not "shoot down" any argument: the Americans were playing another long game which was anti British Imperial Preference Trade (which they won in spades!).It may have suited them to cosy up to the Russians for reasons of real politik.At least you agree that there was considerable tension between the so-called allies (all of whom had different war aims) about a dash across the Channel in the way of which Churchill was an obstacle. It may have been that Churchill hoped to hang onto the Imperial Preference markets by a deal with Hitler via Hess (who knows?: the written evidence is still too dangerous to be made public apparently).But he could have struck a deal with the Russians if we had made our Imperial Preference Trade more Socialist (Not difficult: I was associated in my youth with a group of Jewish Communist Empire loyalists who believed in a Socialist Empire!)
The American wouldn't have organised a coup d'état in Iran for the sake of a British oil company.They were worried about the spread of Communism (which they probably descried in Mossadeq's plan to tax land rents). They didn't come to our aid when Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal getting rid of Eden by organising a run on the pound and denying us accessing out own money in the World Bank.
The post-war British State, to which I remain loyal, contained much more nationalisation than Mossadeq was proposing.Even Najibullah was private sector friendly.Never stood a chance.Neither do we now.

Bayard said...

I'm obviously never going to convince you the the C20th wasn't one long anti-communist crusade, however at the time of Barbarossa, we were losing the war and losing badly. Militarily, we were pretty well buggered and in that position, I would say that appeasement was probably the only option we had, especially if it involved doing nothing about Germany attacking one of its own allies, i.e. a state that uo to that point had not been on our side. You haven't answered my question as to whther you think the Russians would have torn up the Ribbentrop-Molotov pacy and attacked Germany if Germany had invaded Britain after Dunkirk. If you didin't think they would have done, why on earth should we have invaded Germany after Barbarossa and what with? You don't seem to appreciate just how unprepared Britian was for WWII, which was one of the main reasons why we nearly lost.

DBC Reed said...

There seems to be agreement that Churchill followed the classic appeasement policy of hoping Hitler would finish off the Russians before any cross Channel moves to relieve Europe. I will stick at that.
I suggest you look at Powellism on Wikipedia for a more accurate picture of the state of opinion at the time.Powell thought the US was our great enemy and that we were natural allies with the Russians. A lot of British Conservatives were anti-American.They got squashed by the Suez debacle when the Tories dared to act independently of the US in foreign affairs.As I said, in my youth I ran with a group of Jewish Communist Empire Loyalists (literally because we were always being chased by Mosleyites who believed ,forcefully, in union with Europe- hence Union Movement). They quite liked Powell up to a point.He told Conservatives to vote Labour over the EU referendum. Things were a lot different back then when it was all happening. A lot more complicated.