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Niall Murray
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@ Karen Elliot - if you are going to cite evidence on Kosovo, you should probably find a better source than Chomsky, whose despicable support for genocide deniers in that conflict is well documented.
Do we not also see the "availability heuristic" at work here in framing our decisions on whether or not to use force? The unknowable and messy consequences of action (as with Iraq) are forever in our minds, but not the consequences or responsibility for inaction. The SNP and many of Corbyn's supporters make much of their "principled" opposition to Iraq, and we remember the consequences of that engagement. OK, but what of their "principled" objections to helping the people of Kosovo as they faced genocide? Alex Salmond went from studio to studio, repeating his line that is was "unpardonable folly" to intervene. He wanted to wash his hands of these far away people and leave them to their fate - far better than a messy foreign engagement with unknown lives lost. And yet, that engagement worked. It did save lives, and the people of Kosovo are for ever in the dreaded Blair's debt. We neither remember this, nor call on those who wanted to leave people to their fate to account. If it didn't happen, it isn't in our minds - even if actions by British politicians stopped it from happening. Rather as a recession can affect behaviours for years afterwards, a disastrous military campaign (Iraq, Suez) can shape thinking for decades to come - but not necessarily in a good way.
Do you really mean a register of best practice, which suggests a list of successful changes that can be replicated, or given that we are trying to judge effectiveness between councils, are we really talking about performance statistics? The former seems a useful idea allowing interested councils to seek out opportunity. The latter smacks of the kind of managerialism and counterproductive changing to hit the measure that you so often complain about?
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2015 on "Best practice" at Stumbling and Mumbling
Hang on, Thatcher had a first class education in Science (Chemistry) before qualifying as a Lawyer. You can call her many hings, but she was no slouch in that respect. Who were these intellectually superior wets you talk about?
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2015 on Intellect in politics at Stumbling and Mumbling
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May 8, 2015