Ritchie goes entirely doollally


It’s joyous in one manner. His argument is that whoever pays you necessarily, without the possibility of refutation, biases your findings. Therefore, anyone getting paid cannot possibily be independent or unbiased.

As Christy points out, this does indeed mean that everything Ritchie writes must therefore be biased by whoever has paid him to write it.

In fact, rather more so that the person he’s attacking: they at least have the multiple layers of university, department etc between them and the cash. Ritchie receives his directly.

18 thoughts on “Ritchie goes entirely doollally”

  1. But he’s biased in favour of nice cuddly left-liberal unionists, not these horrible rightist facist neo-liberal bastards.

    So that’s entirely right and proper. Surely?

  2. let’s dismantle something he said on Twitter this morning:

    “Big business corporation tax cuts have reduced UK business investment rate to one of the lowest in the world.”

    “Higher corporation tax rates encourage business investment – the rate of subsidy is higher. Low tax proponents ignore this obvious fact”

    Two things about this – let’s have a thought experiment and set CT at 100%. I suggest that no investment at all would take place, therefore there is a limit beyond which investment falls.

    Secondly, the claiming of tax allowances is evil and wicked tax avoidance as defined by the Lord High Tax Denouncer himself. So is he now arguing that all legal tax allowances should be claimed regardless of his own subjective view of the morality of them?

  3. His view of others (im)partiality is truly stunning.

    I need to meet this man. He encompasses all the worst traits of leftism (maybe there are some good ones, but I doubt he has them).

    Have any of you ever met him?
    How does he come across personally?

    Is he as objectionable, rude and crass as his internet persona?

  4. He comes across exactly as Christy describes. He sits quietly tapping away on his laptop, never interracting. Then you find he has blogged away, either claiming credit for the work that has gone on or denouncing everybody else in the room.

  5. Another problem is that when you are getting money from multiple sources, like Freedman, no one of them has the simple power to dictate he claims, whereas when it comes from one source, like him (or an even better example being that there is not a single scientist anywhere in the world who supports the CAGW fraud without being state paid) it is relatively easy.

    If course that cannot prove that they have been corrupted it would only explain, after the event, if somebody had been proven to have lied or applied a double standard between their funder and others.

    As Ritchie is shown to be corruptly applying a double standard to his own funding.

  6. There is though a disgraceful insinuation, from Tim, from SE etc, that Ritchie’s work somehow lacks independence. This simply cannot be true. He may write to a gov’t minister that his backers “pay me for the express purpose of changing public opinion” but that is surely just a slip of the pen. And his agreement with the PCS view is so complete, so absolute, that he can quite rightly feel unembarrassed about reprinting its pre-meeting press release for today’s event in Brighton without altering so much as a comma. We should be lucky enough to agree with somebody’s opinion so completely that academic independence is rendered academic.

  7. i) She is at Oxford – Murphy has an intellectual inferiority complex*
    (ii) She asked him about his independence – the twitter exchange does not show any reply from him just a utterly unjustified attack on hers
    iii) Oxford (and Cambridge, and to a lesser extent, LSE and Imperial) are the centres of *independent* thought that have brought us out of the “Dark Ages” into the comforts of modern life, so depriving revolutionaries of masses of recruits with “nothing to lose”
    iv) Those who read “1984” (very popular in Murphy’s youth) may remember the thesis that revolutions replaced the old ruling class with the middle class (of which Murphy as an accountant is part) with no actual benefit to the proles.
    *When I was at school the very bright went to Oxbridge (except for metallurgists who went to Birmingham), the pretty bright went to other universities, those good at sums who weren’t that bright became accountants … – everyone found a job if they had even one hand (Remembrance Day poppies were made by crippled ex-servicemen), Murphy hates Oxbridge (and to a much lesser extent LSE) because he wants to proclaim his superiority – just look at his posts – and their existence refutes that.

  8. Murphy hates Oxbridge (and to a much lesser extent LSE) because he wants to proclaim his superiority

    well, and also I assume because they represent good elitism that works. They genuinely don’t care what your background is*, only if you’re bright and engaged. If so, and you last the course, the idea is that the degree gets you a better job. Much in the same way as the grammar schools did.

    Murph et al despise this because it represents an absolute counter to their “all must have prizes”** ethos

    *which upsets a lot of leftists who want them to care deeply about it in an ideologically acceptable way.

    **except the ideologically unsound, who should be reeducated, or – failing that – desposed of for the greater good.

  9. @ Sam

    “They genuinely don’t care what your background is”

    Maybe not once you’re in, but up until that point it’s pretty obvious that they do. Either that or people who’s parents are rich enough to send them to public schools really are way smarter than the rest of us.

    Though I’m not especially bothered by that.. if they have to pad the place out with average posh kids to keep it viable for the bright kids (posh or not) then so be it.

    I know this.. when I got rejected by Cambridge nobody tried to tell me that it was unfair.. that it was elitist.. that my only failing was that I went to the wrong school and daddy didn’t have any strings to pull. Even more importantly, nobody told me that my life chances were being damaged. They said I probably fluffed the interview a bit (which I did) and that I’d get in somewhere else pretty good and do fine (I which I did). I feel sorry for applicants today who are made to feel like some great injustice has been perpetrated against them. You’re dead right about ‘the left’ and their obsession with background.. and this is another one of those areas where it’s damaging because the constant bleating about how people from ‘background x’ will never be able to succeed becomes self-fulfilling.

  10. @ TTG
    “Either that or people who’s parents are rich enough to send them to public schools really are way smarter than the rest of us.”
    No, it is the poor kids who get scholarships to public schools who really are smarter. In my year the top and second scholars went to Cambridge, the third and fourth scholars and top “exhibitioner” went to Oxford. No-one in my year who paid full fees went to Oxford (almost certainly true for Cambridge as well but I can’t remember).

  11. @ John77

    I’m sure that’s the case for some. Several of the smartest people I’ve known were privately educated *because* they were smart.. not because they were rich.

    That said.. isn’t the non-wealthy population in public/private schools a pretty small one? And even where those schools take kids on merit, it’s hardly as if every 11-year-old gets a shot because we killed off the system that had the temerity to do that.

    I think there are factors other than wealth which lead to such disproportionate representation of public/private schools at Oxbridge. But there are factors other than talent too.

  12. But he’s biased in favour of nice cuddly left-liberal unionists, not these horrible rightist facist neo-liberal bastards.

    So that’s entirely right and proper. Surely?

    He is objective, they are biased.
    He has principles, they have ideologies.
    He is reasonable and fair, they are – candidly – extremists.

  13. No! Objectivity is an invention of neo-liberal economists to mask the complete absence of evidence to support their claims. This evidence, candidly and objectively, isn’t available.
    This leaves me a little lost when he quotes research that he claims proves (objectively presumably) his positions. But hey-ho.

  14. @ TTG
    Your last paragraph is certainly fair comment and going to a public school does give you an advantage in terms of smaller classes and better teaching (so these days Oxford adjusts its marks for applicants from state schools to counterbalance this). [There was a period when they overdid this letting David Miliband in]
    Second paragraph slips into the fallacy that the minority of public school boys and girls who get into Oxbridge are representative of the school population.That is not the case. Public school pupils can, for this purpose, be split into three groups – super-bright well-off kids, super-bright poor kids and fairly bright well-off kids (the stupid ones don’t get in any more). The ones who go to Oxbridge come solely from the first two groups, which are far smaller than the third. The %age of poor kids at public school who get into Oxbridge is significantly greater than the %age of well-off kids at public school who go to Oxbridge.
    When I was up there were more boys from Manchester Grammar than from Eton (and more grammar school boys in total than public schoolboys). So it is beyond doubt that Tony Crosland’s destruction of grammar schools is the primary cause of the disproportionate number of well-off kids at Oxbridge. A secondary, much smaller cause is the belief that poor kids can’t afford to go – which isn’t actually true (my old college has a bursary fund (supported by an annual appeal to alumni) to provide additional funds to every undergraduate from a poor family) but can put youngsters off applying..

  15. “If Richard Murphy is to be accepted as credible he has to drop his supposed ‘holier than thou’ suggestion of ‘independent observation’ and admit he’s engaged in blatant lobbying. When he does people might accept what he says with more open minds. Right now they rightly, and very largely, dismiss it because he self evidently is not telling what most people would consider to be the truth – and rightly so.”

    Oops. I appear to have substituted “Richard Murphy” for “the tax profession” (is he a part of it or not?) in the final paragraph of this : http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2013/09/25/if-the-tax-profession-is-going-to-make-relevant-comment-it-really-does-have-to-change-its-mindset/

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