In which I am mentioned on Twitter

I have to admit that this isn\’t quite how I see it:


@hal_berstram Hal Berstram
@Van_Patten the problem for tim w is that richard m has an extremely deep grasp of economics whereas tim is a hack. it\’s as simple as that.

21 thoughts on “In which I am mentioned on Twitter”

  1. What’s a van patten?

    “Deep grasp” might mean something like FUBAR and clutching at straws at the same time.

  2. deep grasp?

    We have the same problem in the same type of people here in Spain. You need a special dictionary to interpret their words. You discover shades of meaning that you never knew existed.

  3. The illusion of deepness is created by Murphy’s grand and overarching vision of economics. In fact his Grand Plan. To an outside observer, this can look like a more complete and thought-through understanding than is evidenced by Tim’s bitty snarks. The fact that on a point by point basis the Grand Plan has many flaws, and the arguments in favour of it appear to abuse much of the supposed ‘evidence base’, only emerges if you are prepared to engage critically with it. Which, if this vision matches your own desires and designs for the world (just all nicely spelled out and researched for you), you’re unlikely to bother to do.

    I similarly enjoy perusing websites of anarchists, communists and Deep Green types where they have posted their own very detailed social and economic plans (for after the Revolution usually). As dystopic visions go, they’re usually more convincing than Zamyatin’s ‘We’, on a par with the terror of ‘Brave New World’, yet funnier and sillier than ‘Animal Farm’. Because they go into so much depth about all kinds of minuteae (from the money supply to individual industries) I’m sure fellow-travellers are convinced that deep and thorough economic understanding must underlie them. Whereas unplanned capitalism is obviously an ill-thought out (by definition as it’s unplanned!) system in its death throes, with even its proponent economists clearly unable to understand it (otherwise why was there the financial crisis they didn’t predict? The Crisis anticapitalists had forecast for decades, nay centuries?).

    I particularly recommend the anarchist theory of ‘ludic work’ (which sounds fun albeit wishful thinking) and the SWP blog Counterfire’s indepth ‘Stitched Up’ series on the clothing industry under Trotskyism: fashion will be abolished, all clothes will be tasteful long-lasting and utilitarian, women’s clothing must be plain to stop them being seen as sex objects. Fortunately women are well known as haters of fashion and lovers of boring but tasteful clothes so I’m sure 50% of the population are signed on already!

  4. The only thing Murph has a deep grasp of is his own dick.

    My Burning ears: I agree the tripe they write is funny. Let’s not forget that socialist scum have put about 150 million human beings in the ground in pursuit of these arrogant, wicked fantasies.

  5. Do Murphy’s supporters actually believe that he is a great economic guru, or do they just say he is because he says what they want to hear?

    Or have they reached the point where they are no longer capable of knowing the difference?

  6. Richard – I think he’s mostly popular among the Left for his work on tax avoidance and only a small number of people genuinely hold him up as a Great Economic Thinker. I suspect ‘The Courageous State’ will bolster that number though. If someone writes down the stuff you agree with, but using longer words than you would, with a more complete account of the world (not necessarily coherent but as a supporter you are less likely to spot inconsistency) and the work is full of facts and figures and research that bolsters your cause (you now have something that looks definitive and official and argument-ending to quote at opponents) while strengthening your prior beliefs, isn’t that person bound to be an ‘expert’ in your eyes – maybe even a ‘leading expert’?

  7. I swear I heard that idiot on the radio not long ago calling Nigel Farage a little englander and telling him he is not living in the real world as far as the bail outs are concerned

  8. Of course he has a deep grasp. He’s the number 1 economics blogger in the UK!

    Sorry, couldn’t keep a straight face typing that.

  9. Sadly the comment is accurate. Murphy does indeed deeply grasp his own economics. You just try loosening his grip and see what invective you receive. At least hacks have a sense of humour.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Mr Ecks – “The only thing Murph has a deep grasp of is his own dick.”

    Sorry but is this one of those sexually charged posts which drive Special Little Snowflakes off the internet that we have been hearing so much about?

    Odd that it is aimed at what we might agree was a man.

  11. He’s self publisist with an ego the size of England. When you start believing you’re own publicity you need to give up. For the Courageous State read Nanny State.

    He runs a blog but only allows posts that agree with his distorted view of the world. If you take issue with anything said he puts some snarky comment with no ‘reply’ button or does not accept the post.

    Does he not have any faith in his own musings ?

  12. Mr Ecks: I believe you have confused the penis for the prostate. From what I’ve seen of Murphy’s work, he’s got that bit firmly between his teeth.

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