Ms. Ashley:

Whatever you think of the New Labour years, it has been a decade of social liberalism, when racism, homophobia and anti-science voodoo became steadily less respectable.

We have hysteria about GM….anti-science voodoo has become steadily less acceptable? We have alternative medicine on the NHS? Deepak Chopra continues to make millions….children die because the anti-vaccination brigade have the bit between their teeth? Nuclear power is rejected because Greenpeace is opposed to the only thing that can provide low carbon base load? Charities insist that poor countries should keep their tariffs, thus keeping them poor?

We have the organic movement, the food miles one, reiki and crystal practitioners coming out of every orifice and you\’re trying to claim that anti-science voodoo is becoming less respectable?

11 thoughts on “Really?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Sorry but which Party in which By-Election was producing election posters accusing the Tory of opposing ID cards for illegal immigrants?

    By my little reckoning thats’ two counts on which Ms Ashley is misinformed. This has NOT been a period of social liberalism NOR has it been a period when open race baiting in public life has become rarer.

    Imagine the response if, say, Sir Keith Joseph had said that about an opponent during a 1970s by-election.

  2. “And trade policy and food miles have bog-all either way to do with science.”

    The science of economics shows that tarriffs are a bad thing for development. So imposing them ostensibly to help development is anti science. Likewise, using food miles instead of science to measure carbon footprints is anti science.

  3. “If you think economics is a science, you’re a gibbering idiot.”

    The above is a non-sequituer. I could be merely mistaken rather than a gibbering idiot. Anyway, economics is a science. It involves (some) testable theories. Try keeping things civil by the way, this is not CIF.

  4. “The above is a non-sequituer. I could be merely mistaken rather than a gibbering idiot. “

    Do you think there’s no possible level of wrongness in a belief that would entitle you to refer to its holder as a gibbering idiot (including “Elvis alive on moon”, “Blair plotted 7/7”, etc)? If not, then the question is merely one of whether “economics is a science” is a *sufficiently* wrong belief to class its holder as a gibbering idiot…

    Anyway, economics is a science. It involves (some) testable theories.

    To the extent that psephology is a science, perhaps. To the extent that physics is a science, certainly not [and if we’re going to be really picky about the empirical evidence, nearly all of the countries which have gone from ‘being poor’ to ‘not being poor’ did so with large tarrif barriers in place…]

  5. And we have had a government which has made electoral fraud easier on the cheerfully racist assumption that it is some of its own client groups who will prove most adept at it.

  6. The government has been very socially liberal towards homosexuals (one of the few things it has done I agree with), the problem is that its incredibly hostile to anyone that is homophobic or suspected of being so, and that isn’t very liberal.

  7. “Do you think there’s no possible level of wrongness in a belief that would entitle you to refer to its holder as a gibbering idiot (including “Elvis alive on moon”, “Blair plotted 7/7″, etc)? ”

    Do YOU think that the claim that economics is a science is on a par with the claim that elvis is alive on the moon? If you do beleive this, do you really think you ought to be calling anyone else a gibbering idiot?

    “[and if we’re going to be really picky about the empirical evidence, nearly all of the countries which have gone from ‘being poor’ to ‘not being poor’ did so with large tarrif barriers in place…]”

    post hoc ergo propter hoc

    Economics models some aspect of the real world, and makes predictions and has testable hypothesis (at least in principle). So I am not sure why it is not a science.

  8. Just for starters, the govt. has created more than 3,000 new criminal offences; Civil Contingencies Act, weakened trial by jury; weakened presumption of innocence; signed up to the EU Arrest Warrant; abolished smoking in privately held buildings such as pubs; turned bank employees into state snitches; created blasphemy laws to protect the feelings of certain religious groups.

    Probably the most illiberal government since the Second World War. And WW2 did at least provide kind of an excuse.

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