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July 31, 2010

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HuwOS

"Joe Public are more like customers within a monopoly, making marginal choices within an infrastructure over which they have little to no control." DG

This is the fallacy DG.
We are the parents.
We may not be allowed to beat the little brats.
But it very much is in our power to ground them.
We have had opportunities to do so, but we've sat back grumbling to each other that we don't like what they're doing, but making it absolutely clear to the kids that they can do it with impunity.

They know when we genuinely don't like something, that's when we don't let them go play with their friends in parliament again. But each time we do.

The times we don't is over minor and relatively unimportant issues like expenses, or certain types of sex scandals.

We keep telling politicians what is important to us, by our actions and we are not telling them that it's drug legislation, or Afghanistan or Iraq.


"Perhaps. Maybe the over-purchase of the swine flu vaccine was a genuine mistake that nobody profitted from. It was entirely innocent that a national newspaper misreported the deaths of 2 young people from mephedrone. The Digital Economy Bill was rushed through in the wash purely for expedience's sake."

The over purchase was basing our purchase on worst case scenario, something the public insist upon and if one person had died that might have been saved by access to these things but we had said no, then the politician that did it and the others involved could have kissed goodbye to their seats.
That would have been something we would have cared about a great deal.
It was a result of cowardice and an inability to lead that caused it, not anything underhanded.
Other countries have shown that.

The newspapers know what gets the public worked up and "dangerous drugs" is up there with "paedos" and "welfare scroungers" for that.
The papers make money based on readers, the readers buy the papers that suit them.
The public make those choices, the newspapers or comics as they more often are simply cater to their readers.
Again a lack of leadership but most of them don't make much of an effort to pretend to be serious.

The digital economy bill, well its more of the same really, most of the public don't actually care, even most of the MPs don't actually care.
You may have noticed Paul has yet to comment on the DEA one way or the other and didn't vote on it either.
Do you think Paul was actively engaging in supporting the money men or was it as I believe, that the issue just didn't rate for him?

DG

Joe Public are not the parents of politicians. Parents have power over their children; they have the means to put them on the naughty step and can take the hammer away more often than once every 5 years. A parent can even (as discussed) give the little b**gers a smack if all else fails. I doubt Mr Flynn would appreciate such treatment.

Joe Public are more like customers within a monopoly, making marginal choices within an infrastructure over which they have little to no control.

"I think DG you over rate the powers that be."

Perhaps. Maybe the over-purchase of the swine flu vaccine was a genuine mistake that nobody profitted from. It was entirely innocent that a national newspaper misreported the deaths of 2 young people from mephedrone. The Digital Economy Bill was rushed through in the wash purely for expedience's sake.

Companies that pay £5000 per day for a former minister's time, when everyone in this country has equal power and influence, have stupid CEOs making stupid decisions.

But why is that every time a politician or a newspaper says or does something that absolutely defies common sense and reason, somebody with influence walks away with a massive profit? What are the odds that one day the government will do something boneheaded that puts substantial sums of money in the pockets of the Average Joe? Can you get me tickets to the Bilderburg conference? Why have we even heard of Alistair Campbell? He's just some bloke that used to work for Tony Blair; I've got just as much sway as he has, right?

Ad - Wikileaks is brilliant. I give it 5 years, tops. BBc seemed reluctant to even name it, referring to it as "an American website" in its initial reporting.

Ad

'The parent meanwhile repeatedly complaining about the violence to the other adults who all tut and agree but all of them choose not to remove the hammer, nor to put the hammer wielding one on the naughty step.'

To put it another way as this author does, continuing to be obedient to the 'rules' set by the authorities whilst as you say they all 'tut and agree', when in fact it is a question of weather one chooses to support or not give support to them.

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2010/07/wikileaks-resistance-genuine-heroes-and_29.html

'Wikileaks' approach is the embodiment of justice. It takes the repeated proclamations that the United States is a "representative democracy" and that its government is "our" government, and says in effect: You contend that you act in the name of the people. Then the people surely have the right to know what you're doing. This is what you're doing.
..
The most basic purpose of Wikileaks is to challenge this structure at its foundation. To hell with your laws and rules, Wikileaks trumpets to the world. They are what enable you to continue in your evil and murderous actions. The laws and the rules are invaluable to the continuation of these horrors. Without the laws and rules that you use solely for your benefit and protection, the horrors might be stopped.'

HuwOS

When I think Gillian Duffy, all I can think about is that question.
"All those Eastern Europeans, where are they coming from?"

I think DG you over rate the powers that be.
Yes they will always try to serve their own best interests, but they only get the power to do so, from the people.

If the people don't care enough to do anything about them then it's like a parent sitting back while one child hits the other over the head with a hammer.
The parent meanwhile repeatedly complaining about the violence to the other adults who all tut and agree but all of them choose not to remove the hammer, nor to put the hammer wielding one on the naughty step.

Although I suppose we are one step worse, in that when the non violent one is killed, we simply pop in a replacement. Sometimes another non violent one, sometimes one who will take over the hammer wielding duties.

As a metaphor this ship would now be sinking but as it's a simile, lets just call it a train wreck instead.

DG

That's very good point, but we should also consider whether the pwerful are all that pushed.

I conject that the law against smacking/hitting will have no effect on most of them, since they generally don't raise their own kids anyway, what with boarding schools and nannies et al, so why the heck not? Plus they get to look good by standing on a platform saying noble things like "children are so precious" etc. It's a very different matter if the law being proposed threatens their own interests.

To take an example where the interests of the powerful are challenged, let's look at immigration. There's a small but very vocal minority in favour of more isolationist or nationalist tendancies, but they don't get anywhere, even though a great number of people either aren't that pushed or agree with them to some extent (think Gillian Duffy).

However, this group are counteracted by another vocal minority (more liberal minded types, minority groups that would be affected by their policies, and, most importantly, businesses that want access to "cheap and flexible"* labour) that are more powerful. Hence, we have a very open immigration policy that's usually justified primarily on economic grounds.

I know Cameron is now putting a limit on immigration from outside the EU, ostensible because he's aware of people's concerns, but that'll mostly just limit competition in the skilled professions (doctors, engineers etc) from countries like India. Again, the interests of the powerful are served, while the buck gets passed back to the Gillian Duffys as pretending it's about listening to the concerns of "Real People".

(My view on immigration is that an open door policy is a great idea, but only with countries that have a reasonably comparable minimum wage. Would love to see as soon as we have an EU wide minimum enforced, with member states free to set it higher if they wish)

* ie, desperate

We've also discussed previously that the drug prohibition only makes sense if you consider the impact legalisation would have on the powerful tobacco and alcohol industries.

HuwOS

"But the law against it will probably get passed, because the minority who support it are more powerful than the majority that aren't." DG

I would suggest rephrasing,
as the more vocal and determined minority have a greater effect than the majority who aren't that pushed.
In the case of smacking very few people are going to make an impassioned defence of hitting a child even if they firmly believe in it and smacking being distinct in their minds from hitting.

The same may be true of wars of aggression, if there was a very vocal very disparaging minority constantly hectoring about the evils of it, they might prevail over the majority who are not all that pushed about it.

DG

Another perspective on the examples you give below.

I can only imagine that rape has been viewed with scorn and contempt by women for countless generations, but action has only (gradually) been taken since they've (gradually) become more powerful (getting the vote, slowly-approaching-equal wages, etc).

With child punishment, my perception is that there are very few parents out there that think a smack is tantamount to child abuse. But the law against it will probably get passed, because the minority who support it are more powerful than the majority that aren't.

Take a look at the link below and witness Cameron's BS* in action - brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/02/coalition-crowdsourcing-results-unheeded-whitehall

The elite make the decisions, market the decisions, then tell us *we're* responsibile for those decisions when the Big Society hits the fan.

The BS doesn't seem to land on them much, though. In fact, they're often left wealthier or more influential as a result of the stupid decisions "we" keep making. Funny, that.

* "Big Society"

HuwOS

After all if vocal people were able to change the opinion on smacking of children from perfectly normal to being or practically being child abuse in the space of one generation, there must be hope that society can make the invasion and occupation of other countries along with the tens of thousands of deaths and maimings that go with them, also unacceptable.

But people really have to say so, quite loudly and a lot, even unpleasantly, perhaps even contemptuously.
To get the best feeling behind your comments, try to imagine, if you need to that the person defending those actions is talking about raping your wife or is explaining why they had to murder your children.

I know your view on this DG so I am aware you disagree and feel that people need to be led and encouraged to change their view.
There could well be room for that for some, but I feel it panders to them and is doomed to failure as it gives them excuses to stick to their positions.
In the past, rape was often excused as young men sowing their wild oats, we have a different view now, one that is not about gently leading people away from that belief but about the utter contempt we hold people in who try to justify rape.
Just as an example.

HuwOS

Next is to not be quiet about your opinion DG.

DG

Agreed, let's not reheat that old cabbage again!

So, I voted for an anti-war candidate, and luckily for me he got elected. I assume I've not earned a clear conscience yet - what's next?

HuwOS

First step for everyone is to only vote for those candidates in elections who are committed to these things.

Leading us to our main point of disagreement that the election results indicate the population is not that bothered.

But we've been over that ground before.

DG

Don't worry Huw, I'm neither transformed or co-opted - I just love playing with language and "y'all" is beautiful.

I'm very open to suggestions on how to do my bit to ensure laws and procedures that prevent our governments from committing atrocities with impunity are put into place and enforced.

HuwOS

For whoever it is, however, you can assume that a lot of people will be fully satisfied with deniability.
It is their unfortunate nature.

The reality will be that us paying other troops to commit our crimes for us does not diminish our responsibility by one iota, if it has any effect on that, it increases it.

I imagine that some, including Paul probably will if even the appearance of withdrawal occurs will call it a victory.
But when we have been the aggressors for over nine years, it will be no such thing.

The bully who gets tired and stops kicking the little kids because he wants to go home for his tea is not someone who has learnt any lesson at all.

Until we put in place laws and procedures that prevent our governments from committing atrocities with impunity, there will have been no victory.

Victory will be when Tony Blair and friends have all their assets seized and are sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.
As time goes on further names have to be added to that list, which now must include Cameron and with little doubt Clegg too and in the states along with Bush's handlers, Obama's name will have to be included.

True irony is that Bush Jnr himself, the figurehead that supposedly led all this would probably be found incompetent to stand trial.

HuwOS

"Can I assume that y'all"

You appear to have become a texan DG or has someone merely been co-opting your initials.

DG

Can I assume that y'all will be carrying on your protests if the British troops come home but outsourced fighters such as the Tongans and other British-funded fighters remain; also that you'll not be spinning the withdrawal of British troops as a victory for the people who protested against the occupation?

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As you mentioned previouslly Paul, the original BBC report on this operation said that the villagers where opposed 'to a man' against the return of the Afghan government and police. And furthermore that these 'Taliban' were in fact local people who had stood against the corruption and abuses.

They've changed their tune into celebrating by what all accounts is a fairly minor incident in the war. An 'invisible enemy'. As you say a calculated morale boost news item which really isn't important at all. Why make it the most prominent news item? Army propaganda.

HuwOS

Drug laws along with Patent, Trademark and Copyright laws all seem to be based on the classic theory of "well it stands to reason doesn't it"

I guess we can only expect even more of the same or worse.

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