So why doesn’t anyone do this?

Harris’ augment is simple: it is that British politics is not listening to what people really want. And to hear it you have to go – as he does – to the places where it is being said. It is doing what the economist Danny Blanchflower calls ‘going walkabouts’ to ignore the formulas, assumptions and preconceptions and actually observe what is really happening in life.

I have long argued that what people really want in life is enough to live on, to live in community, to have the support of family and friends and to feel that they have a purpose as a result. That’s what my whole book ‘The Courageous State’ is really all about, in a sentence.

And no one is offering these things in British politics right now. There is simply too much flag waving on left and right for most people.

Both Rotherham and Brexit would have been rather different if people had been listening earlier, no?

A focus on housing, education, health, jobs, local services and invetsment in communities is what the British want of their politics. The rest they will tolerate because the political classes want it. But politics has forgotten it is about people’s ordinary lives first.

And possibly not mass immigration and the European Union?

40 comments on “So why doesn’t anyone do this?

  1. What British Politics is missing is a sensible Party between Nationalist nutters like you and sixth form Communists like this one
    Its interesting how much like serfdom that description sounds in`t it

  2. “That’s what my whole book ‘The Courageous State’ is really all about, in a sentence.”

    Spud’s MO is now to call anyone who doesn’t subscribe to MMT “stupid”, and yet MMT didn’t get a single mention in the Corajus State, because the great economist that he is, he hand’t even heard of MMT when he wrote it.

  3. “I have long argued that what people really want in life is enough to live on, to live in community, to have the support of family and friends and to feel that they have a purpose as a result. That’s what my whole book ‘The Courageous State’ is really all about, in a sentence.”

    What?

    He accepts that people want things that are nothing to do with the State (indeed “community”, “support of family and friends” and “sense of purpose” are things that the State tends to weaken, rather than encourage).

    But the answer, to him, is for the State to do more and more. How on earth does he get from one to the other?

  4. What is needed Facepainter is the punishment of active traitors and sell-outs like you.

    Your longing for an alliance between the trash of BluLabour and the Bliarite wing of ZaNu shows exactly what kind of self-serving offal you are. Two of the worst groups of vermin to blight the UK ever united to maintain your prosperous lifestyle. Well–no. A Brexit sellout equals Corbyn and his dirty fingernails in your prosperous hide from Day One. Better tell whoever is your MP to support a WTO Rules Brexit –for your own protection.

  5. “But the answer, to him, is for the State to do more and more. How on earth does he get from one to the other?”

    L’état, c’est lui.

  6. Noel

    “Spud’s MO is now to call anyone who doesn’t subscribe to MMT “stupid”, and yet MMT didn’t get a single mention in the Corajus State, because the great economist that he is, he hand’t even heard of MMT when he wrote it.”

    MMT did not get a mention there because Murphy, the inventor of MMT, had not yet turned his vast economics brain to its invention. Having written the Courageous State, he then invented MMT. Does that help?

  7. What a bizarre list! Let’s take them one at a time :

    1/enough to live on: unless you are a civil servant or in a nationalised industry, the only involvement the government should have is to keep taxes as low as possible and stop passing stupid laws that tie up time uselessly, such as the Modern Slavery Act. Every company now has to make a statement about what it has done to eliminate slavery and people trafficking in its supply chains. What the fuck is the point of that? How can any company really comply?

    2/ to live in community: unless you live in the kind of state where you can be moved or gulagged at the government’s whim, where does the state come into that? Is he suggesting nationalised boozers?

    3/to have the support of family and friends: I know, if I ask my MP to get me some friends, the whole problem is sorted.

    The fuckwit’s real problem is that he is unable to think coherently. If he thinks those things are what politics is about, he ought to be sectioned. What about defence, law enforcement, passing sane laws? If only our government tried to do those things, we might be in a happier state. The thought of politicians telling me to be cheerful just makes my blood boil. The fact that the infantile moron who wrote this shit is paid by the state is actually an insult to the taxpayer

  8. Wouldn’t things be much better if the government and politicians had no bloody involvement in “housing, education, health, jobs, local services and invetsment in communities”?

  9. what people really want in life is enough to live on, to live in community, to have the support of family and friends …

    Utter bollocks. Hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans have moved to the West, despite having enough to get by in their home countries, and despite the community and friends & family in their home countries. Their revealed preference is for cold hard cash.

  10. “I have long argued that what people really want in life is enough to live on, to live in community, to have the support of family and friends and to feel that they have a purpose as a result.”

    Yet when given free choice they tend to choose iPhones and Sky TV over sitting in the working mens club every weekend being part of the ‘community’. After all they had the latter, and if they had chose to keep it, it would still be there. Rather like the butcher/baker/grocers shops, they died because people stopped going. Free choice, its a bitch. And what Spud and his ilk are all about is removing freedom and making everyone do what he wants.

    Though of course he won’t be giving up HIS iPhone, or perks of modernity, he’s the nomenklatura, just the proles will have to make do with B&W TV and turnip soup……..its all we can afford comrades!

  11. Absolutely right, Andrew M. How does this utter twat explain emigration? As you say, for some people it’s for cash. For others it’s as simple as a better climate and lifestyle.

  12. stop passing stupid laws that tie up time uselessly, such as the Modern Slavery Act

    It seems to me that the best way of implementing a Modern Slavery Act would be to lock up, expel or deny entry (as appropriate) to pikeys, travellers and all other forms of gypo’s.

    Plus the bar stewards from third world shitholes where they think it is acceptable to bring their slaves from said third world shithole to the West and continue to pay them next to nowt.

    …but then again, whatever would happen to “muh diversity” if we did that…?

    😐

  13. @John Galt, guess what, none of what you suggest is covered by the MSA. Perhaps preventing slavery is another of the very short list of things that should be handled by politicians

  14. What exactly is “enough to live on”? At what standard of living? Does it include having a car? Holidays? Going to the pub? Paying extra to send your kids on the school trip?

    Why do all these people enjoy foreign holidays, cars, visits to restaurants, iphones, new clothes etc if they simply yearn to “have enough to live on”?

    Also, enough to live on now, what about in five years time? What if you are at your peak earning potential, say a professional in their forties? If you earn “enough to live on”, you are fucked when you are sixty and can’t find enough work. So people work harder now so that they have “enough to live on” decades down the line.

    This all seems to be too much for Murphy.

    Harris’ augment is simple: it is that British politics is not listening to what people really want.

    From someone who has banned more people than anyone else in history, this is quite something.

  15. “I have long argued that what people really want in life is enough to live on, to live in community, to have the support of family and friends and to feel that they have a purpose as a result. That’s what my whole book ‘The Courageous State’ is really all about, in a sentence”

    It’s as if he invented the idea.

  16. Rob

    I think the mincing flouncy 12 year old twat who writes for the Guardian probably has banned more than Murph, but point taken

  17. I’d be fascinated to know what Spuds credentials are for knowing what “ordinary people” want. When does he ever meet any? His unfortunate students at the Islington Tech? The rest of its Trot faculty? The raving nutcases comment on his blog? The ones that aren’t trolling him. The tiny religious sect he claims to belong to?
    I’m sure it can’t be the “ordinary people” of Ely. If they’d had any direct experience of him they’d have stoned him in the marketplace, by now.

  18. “I have long argued that what people really want in life is enough to live on, to live in community, to have the support of family and friends and to feel that they have a purpose as a result. That’s what my whole book ‘The Courageous State’ is really all about, in a sentence.”

    So he’s never heard of the socially corrosive effects of welfare dependency or of diversity. Both erode social capital.

  19. I blame Thatcher – if it wasn’t for care in the community, spud would be in some long term facility chewing at the restraints of his straight jacket.

  20. @diogenes

    Is it not covered? Of the cases I’ve seen convictions for covered in the press, most seemed to involve people from either travelling or African / South Asian backgrounds.

  21. If Richard Murphy waddled around Ely sounding out the local yokels and came up with ‘The Courageous State’ as a result of those waddles, well, then now I know all I need to know about the state of Ely’s collective intelligence. Though, in all good faith, I can’t imagine Richard Murphy waddling around Ely gathering the opinions of others, much less listening to them. Or, more accurately, I can’t really imagine the residents of Ely doing anything other than fleeing quickly at the sight of the Great Man.

  22. “what people really want in life is enough to live on … housing, education, health, jobs, local services and invetsment in communities”

    Not foreign holidays or low crime rates, but almost everything else.

    “And possibly not mass immigration and the European Union?”

    I heard that 48% did want that, but, yeah, go ahead and assume that anything that’s not on the list of wants is on the list of don’t wants.

  23. I think the mincing flouncy 12 year old twat who writes for the Guardian probably has banned more than Murph, but point taken

    Yes, I expect so, if only because Murphy repels 99.9% of the population. In terms of ratio of visitors to bans he must be up there in the top five worldwide.

  24. “I have long argued that what people really want in life is enough to live on, to live in community, to have the support of family and friends and to feel that they have a purpose as a result.”

    The conceit of the central planner who knows what everyone wants at every stage of their life and believes that the State is capable of delivering it. Evidence free vacuums are still the order of the day in lefty land.

    Well, you fat twat, I don’t want to spend my life grubbing around in the lower half of Maslow’s Hierarchy, I worked hard so I can enjoy the top two tiers, so you can fuck off and take your ego and its manifestations in dreary books with you.

    “A focus on housing, education, health, jobs, local services and invetsment [sic] in communities is what the British want of their politics. ”

    As a first order assessment, possibly, but that doesn’t mean they want a Courageous State interfering. Those things can be delivered without centralisation and a massive bureaucracy.

    “The rest they will tolerate because the political classes want it. But politics has forgotten it is about people’s ordinary lives first.”

    “What does that mean? If it is patronising public health officials, 5-a-day coordinators, MPs trying to regulate the Internet and the rest of the incessant interfering in our daily lives then, no, fuck off again, we won’t tolerate it.

  25. “A focus on housing, education, health, jobs, local services and invetsment [sic] in communities is what the British want of their politics. ”

    Well, they certainly get the last of those. If one takes the other meaning of investment.

  26. “A focus on …” Well, I might like a bit more than the basics of food, clothing, and shelter, but just getting the politicians and all the rest out of my life would go a long way to satisfying all that.
    “The rest they will tolerate because the political classes want it.” There’s the problem, tolerate at best, not need or desire. And what is there for the politicos to do, left to their own devices? Meddle and that conflicts with my basic desire to be left alone, don’t meddle and prove that nobody needs the ‘political classes’.

  27. OT but the comments field over at Contin seems to be irretrievably broke, Tim. The post I’ve been trying to make is being rejected for ” Syntax error. JSON parse unexpected character .at line 2 column 1 of the JSON data”
    FK what that’s supposed to mean. Unless there’s something unexpected about characters Q-M, upper & lower case, spaces & a few dots & commas. In which case we can all give up & go home.

    Shame. I thought it was quite a good bit of logical dissection. Have to keep it to myself, now.

  28. bloke in spain said:
    “I’d be fascinated to know what Spuds credentials are for knowing what “ordinary people” want. When does he ever meet any?”

    Isn’t he a member of a steam train club?

  29. How did our entire, allegedly democratic, political system turn into an open conspiracy against the public?

    It’s not just immigration and Europe, though the former is the single most important issue
    of all time and the latter is closely connected. But on just about everything you can think of:

    * The war on smokers and drinkers – when did we decide the government was our adoptive parents? Why the fucking fuck do we let them ruin our small pleasures? Is it not enough that they take most of our income?

    * The war on motorists – backstabbing Caledonian clown Michael Gove, who looks like a ventriloquist’s dummy possessed by the unquiet soul of a child molester, wants to ban cars. Why hasn’t he been dragged from the back of a BMW X5 live on TOP GEAR yet?

    * General political correctness – why do NHS hospitals ban sugary drinks and make you trek three miles into the woods to enjoy a quiet fag, and yet have posters informing you that celebrating homosexuality is mandatory? (I’m not picking on the gays, but which is the bigger health hazard? The odd tab, or treating the public park as a sexual assault course?)

    I could go on, but the point is Guido Fawkes did nothing wrong. An olden days popish theocracy would be far less intrusive and overbearing than living in modern-day Airstrip One.

  30. “BniC

    Given rumours of the split with his wife….”

    Not rumours, Spud announced it himself.

    Her illness took its toll on her, apparently.

    Nothing to do with him being an intensely unlikeable human being.

  31. BniC said:
    “Given rumours of the split with his wife is he still a practicing Quaker?”

    She was already his second wife; he’d already divorced his first wife and married her. So the Quakers must be OK with that.

  32. AndrewC, I’d missed that. Did he really put it on his blog?

    Having his wife kick him out almost makes me feel sorry for him.

    Worse, if he’s divorced he’ll have to keep writing crap for longer to afford the maintenance payments.

  33. AndrewC

    Her illness took its toll on her, apparently

    Do we take that to mean that she was sick to death of him?

  34. Given the grants he hoovers up his statement that “people want enough to live on” isn’t exactly a personal testament, is it?

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