During ‘The Unbelievable Truth’, on BBC Radio 4 yesterday, the definition of ‘Aristocracy’ was given: “Rule by the best”. Compare that with ‘Meritocracy’: “Rule by those most able & talented”.
Built into our current model of capitalism is an assumption that ability and talent is almost entirely inherited. Inherited wealth must be protected. The rich are the best so their children have an automatic right to better education, food and healthcare.
As I have toured the stately homes of Greater Midland, which fell into the hands of the National Trust, in earlier, more socialist times, I’ve noted the walls lined with centuries of family portraits, illustrating the past owners’ pedigrees.
Along with evidence of their line and their obsession with animal husbandry, documented by walls full of champion bulls, hunting hounds and stallions there is an occasional beautiful mistress from the mongrel classes. They are fully aware of their own weaknesses.
I was asleep when the Eton Rifles started to lead the fightback against a Conservative Party appointed on merit. So were New Labour. “Let them eat organic sour-dough loaves with Tuscan olives”, said Tony. “Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand”, sang Bob Dylan, back when Jeremy Corbyn was a lad. He listened. He kept his head down when New Labour led, voting against them when he felt he must but staying mostly quiet until the wind changed. It is now time for New Labour’s Bitterites to shut up and let someone else have a go. You lost and are FAR MORE unelectable than Corbyn right now. Give the guy a chance because it’s the only chance your side has.
And you know John McDonell’s little red book stunt? It was very funny! The Conservatives ARE selling Britain to Communist China. They work for the new international aristocracy, not the British people. That’s a far bigger danger to ‘the rest of us’ than one-world socialism.
There is nothing wrong with the science of statistics. Statistics are just meta-data. Who could possibly object to life-and-death decisions based on meta-data?
Statistics are typically a simplification of a more complex truth. They are only dangerous when misused. Misuse can be ‘plausibly denied’ as simple lack of competence, in any ‘being found out’ emergency, as accidental choice of an inappropriate model. Statistics are only a tool for evil when they are misused deliberately.
Earlier today, I tweeted:
“There are lies, misdirection & oratory. Three levels of lubrication for a falsehood.”
I was drawn to meaning number 3: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/oratory
“Public speaking marked by the use of overblown rhetoric.”
All lies are bad but covering your lies with a slippery layer of deceit to hide them moves the perpetrator from cheeky chancer to professional deceiver. Both David Cameron and Hilary Benn delivered equally passionate speeches about not bombing Syria, only two weeks earlier.
Most of the time, most people would be happy to agree to a sensible course of action, after a discussion based on clear data and good sense. Politics only needs to happen where there is disagreement, based on different sets of values. We have a political system designed for a confrontational two-party system in which the result is decided by the people in the middle who don’t really agree with any party in the fight. The day is won by befuddling people with no convictions. You can do that with bad statistics, good oratory, bribes or bullying.
In recent years this has delivered New Labour and Liberal Democrats pretending to be further Right than they were, until they really were, and UKIP on the Right pretending to be on the Left but only convincing the very poorly informed. We have a political culture that actively encourages and rewards lying and pretence. I want a voting system that allows people to vote for ideas they believe in and makes honest people want to get involved in national decision making. Let’s call for electoral reform rather than politics.