15 comments on “Me on the Moral Maze

  1. Brilliant. Don’t understand why you couldn’t say what they wanted to hear! The tone of the presenter’s voice at the end of your segment was a delight.

  2. Honestly it’s like you’re speaking a different language to whoever it is you’re talking to. They repeatedly interrupt you, do not answer your question about what negative externalities they are referring to and then claim that landfill is a negative externality and are absolute stunned into silence when you tell them it actually isn’t. It’s like arguing with a bunch of religious zealots. I honestly don’t see the point of going on the show at all.

  3. Even when I used to listen to the Beeb, that was one program that had me instantly reach for the off switch. I’m buggered if I’m going to “Sign In” to listen as the link demands.

    MP3 clip maybe?

  4. Hope you got paid for that, Tim. Because, otherwise, the programme’s an utterly pointless exercise. There is no such thing as absolute morality, so the search for any particular moral principal will inevitably be fruitless. Morals are purely opinions. The only thing that comes out of the Moral Maze -carefully set up by the producers in their choice of panellists & “witnesses” – is the current moral posture of the BBC.

  5. Good show Tim. Time limited but got across well this is how poor countries get richer.

    The morality of buying a garment made in a sweatshop was danced around somewhat. Don’t buy it vs do buy it. Buying it is better for the person making it.

    But even if we’re assuming perfect enforcement of certain min standards and pay Isn’t there something akin to a baumol hidden cost? Someone flicking a switch on a oxen’s arse in africa doesn’t get the opportunity of trying his hand as sewing because he can’t out compete with the established producers in currently manufacturing countries. So he stays what he’s doing, which keeps him poor.

    Incidentally the living wage in Bangladesh? Is there a technical hitch with the short hand of “living wage”. A london living wage sub average wages are being lifted nearer to the average. But in 3rd world if the majority of the wealth being generated is in the sweatshops aren’t they already near or above the average already?

  6. Oh I see. “The Moral Maze” is a programme. Did you ever?

    At least I can spell “programme”. Shoulda gone to Ampleforth, Worstall.

  7. The min wage in the sweatshops is, I think – note I think – about the average Bangladeshi wages right now.

  8. “I honestly don’t see the point of going on the show at all.”

    You’re talking to the intelligent listeners who sense something is wrong but haven’t figured it out yet. The panel are irrelevant.

  9. I was browsing through some data backups yesterday after listening to the programme, and found a copy of my ex-wife’s CV. Her career is more-or-less a single-generation example of exactly what Tim was describing on the programme.

    Poor as manure parents escaped China with the kids for Hong Hong, worked 30 hours a day in a shop under the one-room flat, male children worked as labourers, females as garment assemblers – for several magnitudes more than they could have earned in China.

    By her eary 20s, my pre-wife had saved up enough to go to university and graduate in Textiles and Garments Technology – which was essentially trade school teaching you how to supervise the garment makers and have input on the impact between customer design requirements and technical implementationability. Essentially, up to lower management. That got her on the ladder to move sideways into teaching. Indoor work with air conditioning.

    Saved up from that and went to UK and did IT Masters, back in the 1980s when that was a proper degree. That bumped her up to specialist special needs teaching, middle management.

    From that PGCE specialising in special needs, gets her to back to the UK, Introduction to Social Services diploma, straight into local council Social Services department, couple of years, senior management, breezes through for 15 years, spent last five years working half weeks.

    So, quite literally, from following the rear end of a buffalo to being too well off to be arsed to do full-time work in the UK public sector in 50 years.

    And of my nephews, one is an airline pilot, one is an import-export supply/demand matching specialist (think Tim’s sort of stuff), and one is a technical translator.

    But there are some people who would destroy the very industry that got her out of the paddys in the first place.

  10. TBF to “The Moral Maze”, they often have a reasonable spread of panellist – Michael Portillo and Claire Fox are regulars. This week’s programme was less well-balanced.

  11. @Tim W

    You did well in a short slot compared to air-time given to lefty-woman first “witness” who Melanie defeated. Shame Melanie wasn’t allowed to question you.

    You missed a trick on Giles “Is it moral for you, Giles, to say ‘Tebbit is wrong/un-Christian to not forgive Brighton bombers’, then seconds later to say ‘I would never forgive anyone who almost killed my wife’ on BBC QT”

  12. Good show old chap! (Hope I translated from American properly)

    Follow-up topic to chew on: what is the Venn overlap between the segment of the Western population that purchases the vast majority of garments and Westerners who oppose sweatshops on principle?

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