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Great post, Chris! "For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction." ~ Kahlil Gibran ('The Prophet')
Toggle Commented Aug 2, 2014 on Limits of rationalism at Stumbling and Mumbling
Great post, as always, Chris. I agree with much of Brand's diagnosis and much of the general spirit behind his solutions but the not voting thing: really not so much. The political and the personal are irrevocably intertwined, whatever Brand thinks - unless one has managed to completely detach from all national/global systems - it is a myth to assume that individual or collective apathy can either be sustained or helpful, except to the interests of the most powerful: it leaves far too much to chance. Here I agree more with Bartlett. Abstention from voting, is an option and a natural reaction, I concede, in the dissatisfied (or lazy, or ignorant), but it merely takes us back to chance. Far better, I always think, to turn out to vote and spoil one's ballot in the absence of a palatable choice because at least spoiled ballots are counted. It is the one of the few official "platforms" we have through which to show our disapproval, after all. That would also speed up politicians' "incentive to appeal", for "eventually" is a most unsatisfactory time frame. There's nothing to stop us forming and using other platforms simultaneously. It is a shame how right you are about "the bind that leftists are in". As are the rightists, too, really, in their own way. It shows how far we haven't come or how easily Society reverts when it is desperate, frightened and confused. Personally I have little time for those who play the envy/hypocrisy cards. It serves to perpetuate traditional and economic class distinctions and stereotypes and, well: it's superficial, lazy and grossly oversimplified in the 21st Century.
Spot on! Farage is yearning to preserve the Establishment and it is a mark of how much this nation has dumbed down, or perhaps surrendered, that they would align their protests with such an entropic mindset as UKIP portrays.
I hope 'deformation professionelle' includes the blurring of the distinctions between reporting clear, factual news, opinion pieces and investigating a story. With particular regard to TV news and the BBC: I think I’d prefer if the pretence at impartiality and balance was dropped: it really insults our intelligence, don’t you think, when the interviewer swallows overt dissemblance or equivocation; when he lets the interviewee babble tripe or answer self-rephrased questions. I’m tired of such bespoke rhetoric: “If you’re asking me, blah, blah, blah…”. I don’t know if they seriously believe they’re doing a good job but I’m sick of being served mostly gruel when they have access to a Smörgåsbord of vital contexts and perspectives. Anyway, it makes the interviewer look like either a shady sympathiser or a sad sop. What I’d prefer to see is discipline: the clean reporting of the facts by the presenter, followed by a clear and plain explanation when appropriate and then the analysis and discussion. When it comes to interviews with politicians, journalists and other influencers to whom this medium gives a platform, I want the interviewer to ask intelligent questions and listen to the answers instead of thinking about the next banal cheap shot on a silly tabloid list. I don’t want populism and I don’t want personal, petty point scoring (stop wasting my time and take it outside). I want the interviewer to employ professional rigor to expose motive and challenge the claims of guests from an informed position. I want the interviewer to give these duplicitous narrators and makers of policy a bit more rope…
Toggle Commented May 3, 2013 on News vs truth at Stumbling and Mumbling
"Wouldn't it be simpler to just raise pensions generally? And if some pensioners are too rich, just tax 'em." - No-brainer really, isn't it? Just pay pensioners a decent basic pension in the first place and the extras wouldn't be necessary. Much cheaper than means testing; more efficient implementation; no one gets missed out; keeps it universal and friendly - Both efficient and legitimate.
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions"? ;-)
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Nov 28, 2012