Titter ye not

But if society pays large numbers of people to be what I think should be public intellectuals (and I am now in that category, being paid one day a week by City University, and so by the state)

So the bloke who teaches Meat 2 at Fenland Tech is a public intellectual while Matt Ridley is not?

Not sure that’s a definition which really stands, is it?

36 thoughts on “Titter ye not”

  1. That would make Goebbels a public intellectual too. A lying twat paid by the scum of the state to lie on behalf of the state.

    Murf is already lying on behalf of the state but he hasn’t yet been able to attract any direct state funding to do so,

    Cos he’s a loser.

  2. Most academics would not consider themselves “public intellectuals”. They may be intellectual and they may be paid for (nebulously) by the public, but most academics do not put themselves out to the public as intellectuals.

  3. As Shakespeare put it

    “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool”

    Though I also like the well known philosopher Bruce Lee’s

    “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can from a wise answer”

    Which explains the hopelessness of trying to comment on murphys blog

  4. Public intellectuals are folk like Susan greenfield, Dawkins or even that irritating Brian cox.

    People who through their intellectual communication can eek out a living directly educating the public. Through book sales, TV series, articles, lectures and what not.

    Teaching university courses does not necessarily make you a public intellectual. An intellectual maybe but not public. And while I tend to define intellectuals as those whose primary output is ideas, there is much else to qualify that, the content of which is up for debate,least we call Katie Hopkins or RM those things as that kind of what they do.

  5. And let’s be honest the only bit of RMs knowledge that exceeds normality is Tax.

    I wouldn’t want to listen to him talk about economics much as he seems to have the proficiency as anyone whose a bit ‘in to it’.

    And politics, well it’s so bad and weak I would perhaps accept the level of knowledge, lack of originality and thought from a 16 year old but not a 50 year old man. It’s crap pub politics not the level becoming of a public intellectual. Christ it’s not even close to pollybor OJ

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    ken – “Most academics would not consider themselves “public intellectuals”. They may be intellectual and they may be paid for (nebulously) by the public, but most academics do not put themselves out to the public as intellectuals.”

    Most academics I know wouldn’t stoop so low to be a public intellectual. Seriously. The ones I know tend to sneer at anyone who writes anything “accessible”.

    Ritchie has found a good home.

  7. RH

    Nope. His knowledge of tax is very poor. To really understand tax policy you need to be into economics and law and he just doesnt have it. As an accountant he has a basic understanding of tax, but in the same way that a driving instructor might understand how to design and engineer a car.

  8. Rob Harries

    You’re being too nice Rob – Agree with ken. His knowledge of tax is to my mind pretty dismal. I question how he was able to hold down an accountancy practice as he seems to have a very sketchy grasp of fundamental principles in that field.

    In size of ego and self – regard he excels, but in actual knowledge terms he knows practically nothing of any value….

  9. Hmmm… Since I’m a pensioner, (and thus being paid by the state), and I’m well known by the chaps down my local Public House for my intellectual outpourings, I guess that makes me a ‘public intellectual’.

    So, a bit more respect from you kids, please.

  10. I genuinely do not know and have never heard of anyone with an ego as big as Richard Murphy’s.

    With (genuine) respect to Van P, this is why Murphy’s not a serious threat to anyone.

    Dangerous leftists are at least charismatic to and engender fierce loyalty in idiots.

    I don’t think you could find five people in the entire land who could spend more than an hour in the same room as this preening, pompous cock and not come away wanting to punch him (or possibly, having punched him).

  11. Judging by the brevity of his political career, Corbyn found Murphy a public inconvenience.

    So he’s sort of ½ right with the “public” bit.

  12. He seems to think that City University is owned by the State. I suppose that under his dispensation it would be.

  13. Interested

    No (and thanks for that comment) – you’re right and I think I need to distinguish between the bowdlerised version of his ‘ideology’ which has permeated into the mainstream – and which is undoubtedly near lethal and his pooterish public profile, which is rather less so.

    I agree it’s true that the recent few weeks and his quite hilarious brushes with the mainstream media mean he has revealed himself too stupid, gaffe prone and preternaturally think-skinned to ever be likely to gain political power. I would hazard a role of an Alfred Rosenberg is probably beyond him – let alone a Hermann Goering. Nevertheless I still think it worth ‘Ragging on Ritchie’ as it’s only by keeping the comedy going, forcing a reaction and making him look stupid that his threat is mitigated.

  14. Ritchie’s going for self-parody now?

    “I have a problem. I am an intellectual, but at the same time I am not very clever.”

    I bet he also once understood nearly every word Malcolm Muggeridge used.

    Richard Murphy, age 73 and 3/4.

  15. Has anyone been able to make any sense of his latest intellectual master stroke? I made the mistake of trying to understand it; you would think I would have learned by now.

    He seems to be obsessing about “safe havens” for finances: it’s going to be his focus for the next few months he says.

    Looks like PQE being ridiculed in public and binned by Corbyn has left Ritchie searching for a new “big idea” for him to think “big thoughts” about.

  16. GlenDorran: I’ve got money on Farnsworth’s 93bn of corporate subsity as his next “big idea”.

    It’s got all the hallmarks-

    >Eyecatching claim
    >Minimal thought required
    >Trendy SJW lingo
    >Fundamentally flawed
    >Potential for lots of press/grant (“Gotta keep Mrs M in hats”)
    > Originallysomeone else’s idea

  17. GD I tried to read the safe havens post but it was so tedious that I couldn’t make it through to the end. At one stage it looked as if he had invented the concept of debt for equity swaps, but then it seemed to boil down to everybody giving all their money to government for them to look after.

    I would love to know more about the recruitment process at City University. I can only assume that no one with any knowledge of any subject under the sun took part. His writings are so rambling and confused, when they are not displays of determined ignorance, that it cannot have been because of them. It takes determination to continue to believe what he does about economics in the face of concerted and repeated rebuttal. However that is not a quality I would want of a university teacher.

  18. “everybody giving all their money to government for them to look after.”

    Yes, that’s what I concluded as well. Basically gilts with the added Ritchie fairy dust of an additional tax, a negative yield and capital controls.

    What could possibly go wrong!

  19. In fact, there is a little Ritchie suggestion sneaked in that I missed.

    I think (and as usual his writing is so mangled it’s not totally clear) that for “orderly passage of capital” he wants powers for the state to take over failing companies.

    Quite what he expects to achieve from this is not clear. To stop people bailing out of their equity holdings? To stop debt sell offs? I have no idea what he’s trying to do, other than another power grab.

    As always with Ritchie, he is utterly clueless about the markets. The thought doesn’t occur to him that a government may not react to a failing company as quickly as the market so the capital flight he’s keen to avoid will have happened before the state gets moving.

    This all appears to have emerged from a desperate attempt to make an analogy with refugees.

  20. Sorry for three posts in a row, but he’s also demanding that investors must prove that all taxes, etc have been paid on this “capital” before being allowed to access Ritchie’s Special Place Safe Haven.

    So now he’s adding additional requirements on the billions of pounds that he wants people to give him.

    The man’s mental. Totally fucking mental.

    (I’m travelling between meetings at the moment, and Ritchie’s latest idea has caught my imagination.)

  21. This caught my eye:

    “With all major gilt issuers in the world now offering interest rates of less than 2% in nominal terms, and often (but not always) close to zero in real terms there is no point in the new bonds that might need to be issued to the world’s refugee capital having a positive interest rate paid upon it.”

    and of course this:

    “The necessary powers to take control in this way, without any legal right of recourse from the private equity owners involved, must be designed now. The precedents exist from 2008”

    The wonderful Baxter Basics (him of the e-cigs and punting) points out that “Just thinking about how that would work would drive a man to blow the lot on a punting spree.”

    To which Murph responds “To describe that view as naive is the politest thing I can think to say”.

    And as if there is not enough hilarity in the post and the comments, further down he says “I admit by the time I finished it the dog was demanding a walk.”

    Here he is saving the world and he has to stop to take his dog for a walk.

  22. Ahem…

    “The first, and fundamental, element of any such safe haven strategy is to provide a means of passage. ”

    “Second, the state has to provide an alternative secure place of abode.”

    “Third, this [x] has to be subject to state scrutiny. One of the major contributors to the crises in the world has been increasing inequality. It is this that has, at least, in part created the situation we are now in and a safe haven policy for [x] cannot be offered without that issue of inequality being addressed. [x] of unknown provenance cannot be permitted to stay in a safe haven”

    “Fourth, the [x] must then be regulated”

    “Fifth, this [x] has to earn its keep.”

    “And, last, the [x] has to be put to use.”

    So that would be cattle trucks, concentration camps, the Gestapo, camp guards, labour camps, and human skin lampshades/soylent green.

    Anyone believe Murph-a-Minute’s really talking about ‘capital’ rather than its owners – or rather, the owners who are of a particular religious persuasion?

  23. Does he live far from Porlock, maybe we could arrange for someone to pop round and knock the shed door of dog isn’t demanding enough

  24. I’m tempted to submit a comment that perhaps his new idea needs a name, something like Capital Asset Safe Haven. Don’t know if the acronym works though….

  25. v-P:

    “I need to distinguish between the bowdlerised version of his ‘ideology’ which has permeated into the mainstream”

    For an example, consider the “Amazon UK paid £4k corporation tax” story both in the Sunday Times (!!) and the BBC today. They made a loss, but that cut no ice with the journalists. When the Sunday Times writes stuff like this, Murphy’s ‘ideas’ truly have infected the mainstream.

  26. Maybe a gang of foxes to piss on his shed and excite the dogs would stop this waste of space from blogging. Has anyone ever asked him why he is so stupid that he doesn’t know the difference between a blog and a post?

  27. Murphy is an idiot. Agreed (without this blog I would never have heard of him, but whatever).

    But Matt Ridley, famous failed banker, a public intellectual? What is he paying you? All he has ever done is crashed a bank. Numpty of the first class. Proven idiot. Ignore.

  28. The memes are interesting. Yes Ridley is linked with Northern Rock but he was the Chairman rather than the CEO. A technical distinction perhaps but still a worthwhile distinction. And his wrtings and books and articles are interesting and thought-provoking and rarely involve banking or economics.

    So he is a public intellectual in the areas in which he has knowledge. Rather than Murph chuntering away about things he obviously does not understand.

    Do you see a distinction, Luke?

  29. @Interested: You may like this comment over at Ritchie’s:

    “I’d engage with the issues but your ego and your distorted view of the facts have got very seriously in the way”

    Now, who do you think made that comment and who was it addressed to?

  30. @Glen – dunno and won’t find out as I refuse to visit his site anymore, in the same way I wouldn’t visit an asylum to laugh at the madmen. But I can guess!

    Re the Sunday Times, journalists are idiots, what’s new. Actually what’s new is that no one reads the Sunday Times any more.

    Not literally, maybe, but journalists have ceased being the only arbiters of fact. They will have to stop printing demonstrably stupid stuff or they will go out of business.

    I must say that Amazon have a very poor PR operation (or don’t care as they know that while people are saying they won’t shop there they are shopping there ).

  31. GlenDorran

    It was The superb Frances Coppola (who else) taking a break from her Forbes activities to try and educate the ineducable and as expected all he had in response to her peerless understanding of the issues was bluster and snide attacks – what an utter tool…..

    His ‘safe haven’ blog suggests he auditioned for the part of a henchman in Spectre and was rejected – really out there even by his standards!

  32. Do you guys realise that if you google the phrase ‘I’d engage with the issues but your ego and your distorted view of the facts have got very seriously in the way’ you get several pages all to do with narcissistic and borderline personality disorders and the like?

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