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Murdoch: at the Olympics

by ceebs Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 05:26:13 AM EST

The Olympics being just about the only thing in the news at the moment. You would think that Rupert would be keeping his head down, but no. Over the last few days there has been a rumour doing the rounds that Boris Johnson had invited Rupert to this evening's swimming finals.

Now this is something that is being looked at with at least raised eyebrows by people. Boris as Mayor of London being one of the two people who, with the Home Secretary, has political management of the Metropolitan Police. Who are the force who are conducting the investigation of News International. At best it looks inept, at worst it looks utterly corrupt, and you would think that politicians would have the brains to see this problem coming up.


Tonight Britain's Channel 4 set up a camera overlooking the VIP entrance to the Olympic Aquatics pool and managed to film Rupert there meeting, not Boris, But Jeremy Hunt:

Action in the pool and beside the pool - Channel 4 News

You can learn a lot about Britain by just hanging by the side of the pool. Especially, when that pool is the Aquatic Centre at the Olympic Park during one of the big nights of the Games.

From a overpass, looking down onto the service road where VIPs arrive, you can see it all.

Tony Blair, for example, has the biggest security cavalcade; William and Kate look happy together; Jeremy Hunt and Rupert Murdoch ditto.

Now the film inside this article looks rather too chummy for people who don't know each other as Rupert said at his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry:

            8   Q.  Did you have any discussions with Mr Jeremy Hunt about

             9       the bid?

            10   A.  I don't believe I've ever met him, but I'm not sure he

            11       didn't come to a dinner once a couple of years ago, but

            12       I don't know.  I certainly didn't discuss it.

The body language is not that of people who are not at least friends.

Display:
and in orange http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/03/1116542/-Murdoch-at-the-Olympics

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 3rd, 2012 at 07:19:10 PM EST
Twitter / BBCAllegra: Jeremy Hunt pulled out of our ...
Jeremy Hunt pulled out of our show today, quite late in day. Something had come up. Ahhh... Then he's snapped with Rupert. Plus ca...


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 3rd, 2012 at 07:22:18 PM EST
Rupie acting confident that he's survived the worst the UK had authorities had for him.  He's probably more correct than ordinary wishful thinkers like me.
by Marie2 on Fri Aug 3rd, 2012 at 10:29:59 PM EST
The elite are sufficiently confident as not to feel the necessity of hiding their corruption. The only hope in this is from Lenin's dictum: "The worse, the better."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 07:39:48 AM EST
There is no hope in "the worse, the better".

At least Lenin had a revolutionary strategy. And you?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 08:03:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just know that successful revolutions have been brought about by disaffected members of the middle and upper classes. I don't see to much of that, but then, that would be a requirement for them ever to be successful, as, regardless of laws and traditions of 'democratic' rule and 'popular sovereignty', any serious challenge to the existing status quo will be treated as criminal by those governing in that status quo. And that leads to the nasty side of revolutions.

Of course such movements usually have a pubic 'political' face to accompany the element using violence and force, and I don't see to much of that, though the Occupy - Anonymous axis may have some, or develop some, coordination. The one opportunity I see is in a large scale public epiphany and repudiation of the entire existing system, probably in conjunction with that system collapsing. But I expect there is a greater chance that the usual suspects would come out on top in that circumstance as well. So I agree that there is, at least, not much hope in 'The worse, the better'. But, then, hope is not everything.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 10:30:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are certainly nearing the point when the ruling class no longer can uphold their rule, and the ruled classes no longer want to tolerate their rule. This means revolts. I don't see that the left has a concept of what we want as an alternative economic and political system, so that means no revolution. And worse: I see that the ultra-right has a concept of what they want.
by Katrin on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 02:56:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syriza is hopeful in this respect.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 03:09:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Greece is a very tiny country though, and I don't see the equivalent of Syriza anywhere else.
by Katrin on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 04:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't see it in Greece until recently.
by generic on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 05:08:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
I don't see that the left has a concept of what we want as an alternative economic and political system, so that means no revolution.

i think we may not need a new economic system, but rather the present one managed accountably and transparently.

similar with democracy, a good idea in theory, but so far only created in ersatz versions, just real enough to pass fake muster, but in essence parodies, facsimiles ever more lacking in verisimilitude.

no need to re-invent the wheel, but rather to attach it to useful vehicles, like public transport, agricultural tools, etc instead of the equivalent of just military vehicles or cattle cars.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 03:45:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to learn from our mistakes. Debt systems have been reliably producing crises for three thousand years. We need to develop more functional means of financing what is needed by society and discourage debt whose primary purpose is just making returns for the lender. I don't think this would be too difficult were the control of the society to be based on secure means that are separated from concentrations of individual wealth.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 04:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
We need to learn from our mistakes. Debt systems have been reliably producing crises for three thousand years.

they test people physically before letting them into the army.

as we can see, allowing moral dwarves into the finance system can be more destructive still.

if we are going to have a certain segment of society entrusted with the total liquidity of a country, there has to be a probity exam that is as exacting as an SAS boot camp.

these people are sitting on the equivalent of arms dumps. giving the keys to unrepentant gamblers, over and freaking over again is collective masochism.

of course politics/democracy allows us the illusion of having the power to kick out rascals, but the supply chain to refresh us with more seems cornucopian.

peak politicians is a ways away...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 05:30:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you underestimate the crisis of capitalism due to technological progress there. I believe that from the point of view of capitalist production a very large part of the world's population will be superfluous as a workforce. Or, from a different angle: everything humanity really needs will be produced by much less labour than now. With a fairly equal distribution this could give all of us the freedom to do much more unproductive things beside our work. No chance for that in capitalism though. If we really want to shape our societies democratically, we would need methods to enable strong participation. An informed and educated population that is able to a broad deliberative process. That would be the end not only of Murdoch, but of all our media.
by Katrin on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 04:29:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would also require the transformation of our current public education systems.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 04:48:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or conversely we place too much importance on technological progress as an explanation for the crisis of capitalism. Interest bearing debt has been causing crisis and artificial scarcity for at least the last 5000 years in vastly different societies.
by generic on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 07:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like you and Graeber said: debt is not a feature of capitalism, it is at least 5000 years old. Debt crises are nothing new and there are exactly two ways to get out of them: a) the debtors stop repaying, and the creditors forgive the debts, b) the debtors stop repaying and hang up the creditors. This is no threat to capitalism, only to some capitalists.

In my view there is the unemployment crisis underlying the current debt crisis. A degree of productivity that allows traditional full time jobs only for a small minority. I don't see how capitalism could cope with it.

by Katrin on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 11:19:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm just not convinced that this technology induced unemployment crisis exists. My clothes were made in Vietnam and my electronics were probably made in China. Is it really progress leading to mass unemployment or just slavery 2.0? I don't doubt that advertisement could create demand for most everything that could be produced if there weren't physical limits to consider.
by generic on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 12:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I mean rather like this. Slavery 2.0 is another problem (which must be solved by trade unions and strikes).
by Katrin on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 02:58:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But jobs are just whatever you are demanded to do to get the markers that tells everyone else that you are allowed to get some of the goods society produces. To eliminate jobs is (all else equal) to eliminate the right for some to get a fair share of the goods society produces. And in general that is to give someone else an even bigger share.

I see technological change as an opportunity to renegotiate power relations, which in a situation where capital has the upper hand means an assault on labour. But outsourcing and rounds of shock doctrine has proved far more powerful.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 05:31:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is not interest bearing debt, so much as it is concentrated power. Including, but not limited to, wealth.

A constitutional limit to wealth and income inequality - nobody is allowed to have more of either than fifty times the lowest income, or twenty times the median. Or something like that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 06:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is... complicated.

Firstly we have entrenched interests who have been playing the game for generations. I'm not sure they'd be in reach of a complete revolution, never mind a constitutional change.

Secondly, nation states are idiotic and far too expensive for the (largely illusory) benefits they provide. But world government provides a single point of political failure. I have no idea how to square that circle.

Finally you need to have a system that rewards innovation, insight and creativity but keeps predatory sociopaths well away from power.

Problem is, power is inherently sociopathic. People who crave it are insane, almost by definition. But you still need to have some power differentials, because some people are simply better at things like planning and people management than others. And it makes no sense to employ the ones who don't know what they're doing.

There's also the more basic problem that human political awareness is fundamentally flawed. We don't have the genetic or evolutionary background to make smart social choices. Given a choice, the reassuring smooth-talking liars win every time.

So you need a system that makes democracy about proven performance rather than superficial demagoguery, and which is accessible and open enough to disqualify trite manipulation even if voters like it.

I don't think a financial solution is going to work. The problems are psychological and psycho-social. Money is too blunt an instrument to solve them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 09:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
Secondly, nation states are idiotic and far too expensive for the (largely illusory) benefits they provide. But world government provides a single point of political failure. I have no idea how to square that circle.

Political decisions should be made at the most local level possible, but no lower.

This means multiple levels of government : local (1000 people maximum in the lowest echelon), municipal, sub-regional, regional, national, european, world. Proportional representation at all levels, everything has to be negotiated, both within the governmental level and with the levels below and above.

Collective decision making by design; no government level has an individual leader, at minimum a duo. This of course won't eliminate the star system completely, but ought to seriously counter-balance it.

It's a very slow-moving system, of course, quite resistant to change, but ought to be fairly responsive to the people over the long term.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 04:35:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm increasingly convinced that sortition is the answer.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 04:55:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not convinced by sortition because it seems to hand power to those who offer advice to the randomly selected representatives of the people.

The problem is that national level legislation is often large-span, complex, full of detail and technical wording.

In countries with a strongly technocratic civil service, this may not be so bad, just undemocratic. But in countries with a weaker civil service, legislation will be written by "helpful" lobbyists.

Some legislation could of course be simplified, but it should be noted that simplicity is often the ally of a shrunk state conservatism.

Why do I think it will be worse than now? Especially when I'd be the first to admit that it's very bad right now?

Because as bad as they are, parties remain organisations capable of drafting legislation for political objectives. And those political objectives provide a way for alternatives views to be incorporated, beyond technocracy and the lobbyists.

Of course, the worst thing about my view of the world is that progress only comes through either reclaiming parties of the left, or setting up alternatives like Syriza who only gain an opportunity at moments of great crisis.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 06:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But in countries with a weaker civil service, legislation will be written by "helpful" lobbyists.

Legislation is being written by "helpful" lobbyists NOW.

There could still be parties arguing their cause, by the way. They would supply the advisors.

by Katrin on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 06:54:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because as bad as they are, parties remain organisations capable of drafting legislation for political objectives. And those political objectives provide a way for alternatives views to be incorporated, beyond technocracy and the lobbyists.
The way I see it, parties would morph into lobbies or think tanks. Already the parts of the organization capable of drafting documents from political parspectives are increasingly outsourced to party "foundations", or directly to think tanks. Lobbies lobby not only the legislators directly but the party apparatus and the foundations.

In most European parliamentary systems the government, through the upper tiers of the civil service, drafts legislation. It's not like in the US where legislation is introduced by parlamentarians. The function of parliament is increasingly limited to demanding accountability from the civil service. So that function would remain. And the parlamentarians would seek advice from think tanks, foundations or "parties" just like current parlamentarians now seek advice from their party apparatus or the party itself writes the legislation that the parlamentarians introduce.

With party parliamentary discipline as currently practised in many parliamentary democracies, especially when party-list proportional representation is used, individual parlamentarians have little initiative and are basically there to contribute to party votes.

Finally, parlamentarians selected by sortition would be less vulnerable to corruption. Not only they don't owe any favours to external interests for their access to the parliament, but as they are not part of a party apparatus they are less likely to exchange favours after leaving the parliament.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 07:08:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally, parlamentarians selected by sortition would be less vulnerable to corruption.

Not so sure about that. If you're a billionaire it's possibly not so hard to buy off a few hundred people who are used to an average income - even if they're on an MP pay scale. (Especially if they're civil servants.)

And you still have other issues. The problem is not just about votes in parliament, but about public influence in general. That includes media monopolies (q.v. Murdoch), universities (q.v. Chicago school) and think tanks (q.v. pretty much everyone and everything in the US.)

Put simply, you need to change or remove entire technologies of persuasion and political distortion to get a useful result.

Votes are the end of the persuasion process, not the root cause.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 07:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
The way I see it, parties would morph into lobbies or think tanks.

The problem would be that parties would have no democratic legitimacy, and in particular, no obvious basis for public funding. i.e. the think tanks would be dominated by moneyed interests.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 08:24:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe candidates running for single seats under preferential or transferable voting have democratic legitimacy. I'm not so sure about parlamentarians elected in first-past-the-post, let alone party-list systems.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 09:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are we talking about the legitimacy of candidates, or of parties?

Currently, (mileage may vary in your jurisdiction) a party which gets 10% in elections at a particular level of government is entitled to (say) 10% of the available public funding. The party is resourced, not only for its electoral action, but as lobbyist or think tank, in function of its democratic legitimacy. This is why we have public financing, without which the left is completely kneecapped (absent mass movements of the working class).

Where does that leave parties in your sortition system? De-financed and de-legitimized.

Just because we don't like any of the parties much, it doesn't mean they don't have a useful function as mediators of the political system. Probably they need to be regulated more (transparency and democracy in their internal functioning would be a good start!)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 09:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One could solve that problem by a two chamber system, one elected, the other appointed by sortition.
by Katrin on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 09:57:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Upper house elected, lower house appointed by sortition.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 10:00:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would Germany need a 3-chamber system, to accommodate the Bundesrat?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 10:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suggest we start getting a majority for our plans first and think that one out later.
by Katrin on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 10:40:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Spain, if 97% of the population voted 'blank' out of disgust, and the remaining 3% voted for just one party, they would get 100% of available public funding, and according to you all the democratic legitimacy, too.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 09:59:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A failure of political offer in democracy is, in principle, a transitory condition. Unless someone is actively preventing people from forming new parties.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 10:22:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you interpret the current situation of decreasing voter turnout then? People are fed up with the factual one party system of neoliberals painted black, red, and green. Our media have taken on the role of actively preventing people from forming new parties.
by Katrin on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 10:43:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and Los Piraten have shown us how hard that is in reality, even if nerds have a better understanding of of the technology of a future society.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 01:03:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is 'Los Piraten' an intentional pun about the pirate party going astray?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:20:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In practice, elections are inherently oligarchic, as argued by Aristotle on a theoretical level and demonstrated by the Romans on a practical one.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 11:14:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
elections are inherently oligarchic

Two possibilities :

  1. They reflect the (existing or latent) oligarchy in an already oligarchic society
  2. even in a non-oligarchic society, they favour the emergence of an oligarchy.

At best, elected representatives are a self-selecting sample of people who believe they know better than the rest of their fellow citizens.

The essence of democracy is government by consent. This does not require the active involvement of every citizen; and clearly it's too much to ask of most people. Sortition may be asking too much.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:40:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sortition may be asking too much

Are you against jury duty or drawing lots for manning polling stations?

It's not a favour being asked, it's a civic duty. Plus, it would be remunerated as a full-time job. Possibly at a couple multiples of median income so as not to make it an overly onerous duty.

Military service or mandatory civic service are other examples of civic duty.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:49:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
3. They allow oligarchic groups to gain disproportionate political influence.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how are you going to get people to care about their parish council? Yes, people care about parking spaces, but they don't care that much.

Primary schools are municipal at least, serious public transit planning is at least municipal or county, hospitals and secondary schools are sub-regional or regional. Those I can see people care about.

The parish council with a 1,000 person jurisdiction sounds like a glorified homeowners' association that gets an official channel in which to piss and moan every time the muni wants to do anything that reduces house prices in their particular neighborhood, no matte how much objective merit the policy has for the city as a whole.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone should know, and be able to approach, an elected representative. Representative democracy becomes a concrete and tangible thing. Parish-level representatives are volunteers, of course, and the council leader a part-timer. It may seem ridiculous to you, but my children went to a primary school managed by a municipality of less than 500 residents. That worked pretty well. My opinion is that if all primary schools were managed on that scale, they would be better managed, and the children would be better for it.

As I said above, everything should be managed at the lowest possible level, but no lower.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 05:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But "the lowest possible level" is not an a priori concept but depends on the social structure. To put it differently, one size does not fit all and moreover you don't know the size that fits until you try.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 05:59:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It depends on the representative.

This village - well, this pair of villages - has a parish council. We also have quite a few people who work from home and need good broadband - which we do not yet have, and have no current prospects of same.

When I suggested to the council we look into this, because there's no lack of interest, I was told 'Excellent idea! We'll form a committee at the next meeting.'

That was months ago. Oddly enough, nothing has happened since. (And unfortunately I haven't been here for most of that time to chase things up.)

So representation only works when you have people with an interest in getting things done representing you. When you have people who think decisions can only be made by going through Proper Channels™ you're onto a loser.

And when you have people who become representatives purely for career reasons, things work even less well.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 07:12:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Post script - however, the Parish council put a lot of effort into making sure the ancient Norman church had a new roof.

It's not as if it's used much, and could probably have limped along for another few decades without a replacement.

But because this is middle/upper class England that kind of thing matters, while trivia like broadband and a stable electricity supply (ours isn't particularly) don't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 07:15:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have very great doubts as to the long-term viability of a muni with only 500 residents. That sounds like the sort of place God made for young people to leave and never return to.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 07:21:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I moved there, I was probably the first immigrant since about the time Julius Caesar passed that way. The population was about 300, and it was pretty much as you describe.

20 years later, when I left, the population was about 500 and climbing, and had lost its former ethnic purity (Gaulish, of the Segusiave tribe). Mainly because it's half an hour's drive from an old industrial city experiencing urban flight.

It was a fine place to bring up young children.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 10:45:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That particular growth model does not really alleviate my doubts about the long-term viability of the project...

Urban flight is going to reverse. Soon and hard.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 12:36:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The policy of the council at that period was to issue enough housing permits to enable the primary school to keep four classes. I pointed out that this wasn't actually a good model of sustainability, but they were doing their best with the worldview they had.

And I'm not sure about the reversal of urban flight. The city they left has lots of cheap housing available; and there are no jobs there.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 01:57:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was probably the first immigrant since about the time Julius Caesar passed that way.

Ethno-nationalist romanticism likes to project local traditions and ancestry local ancestry several centuries back into the past. Truth is, rural collective memory is shorter than often assumed, and both ideas and people moved around a lot. I think that of the melting pot of the Roman Empire, the Burgundian migration, the Frank conquests, the Huguenot wars, at least some must have left their trace in the local gene pool.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 01:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, according to local tradition, the evil Baron des Adrets, the bloodthirstiest of Protestant generals in the 16th century wars of religion, won a pitched battle nearby, and our stream ran red with blood.  However, in this remote and eternally poor mountain region, 50km southwest of Lyon, there were no fertile lands to settle, nothing much to plunder, and it's completely unstrategic. The Loire plains to the immediate west, and the Rhone valley to the immediate east, yes, they have seen more than their share of great migrations, invasions etc... but no trace of significant population influx that I ever found.

As for people moving around a lot. Not. Genealogical research by my ex-wife demonstrated that your spouse came from an area within walking distance, for your basic peasants, until the early 20th century.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 01:44:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe for 98% in certain areas in the last 1000 years. But even the 2% remaining (and non-peasants) is enough.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 01:55:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no trace of significant population influx that I ever found.

Where did you search for it? Speaking of which, when was the first mention of your village in historical records?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 02:13:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that the teacher is paid by, and the school programs established by, the French government, right ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 10:25:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, obviously. Education (programme and staffing) is currently a nation-state-level competency; whether it should remain so is an interesting question, because it is definitely one of the strongest defining characteristics of a nation-state.

But managing a primary school, providing the buildings, employing ancillary staff, are communal responsibilities. In France, the size of a commune varies wildly (from dozens to millions of inhabitants); what I propose is that it should be a "parish level" competency rather than a municipal one.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 10:37:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Primary schools being a muni responsibility already leads to gentrification. Restricting the ability to redistribute resources to the parish level is not going to improve that trend.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 10:49:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In France at least, there is pretty heavy redistribution between municipalities, supervised by the national level. This is why a country village could run a decent school, by the way : half of the municipal budget is subsidy. What I'm suggesting, I suppose, is that the parish level should be resourced according to population (rather than ability to levy property taxes). More widely, local-level democracy as a community-building tool.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 11:16:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Historical note: the decentralization reforms carried out by Minister of Interior Gaston Defferre in 1982, during Mitterand's first term, handed the management of schools (buildings & logistics but not the curriculum nor the teachers) for:

That's pretty much how it's been working for the past 30 years. Kind of complicated? Some would argue this is a French cultural trait...
by Bernard on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 04:22:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see that the left has a concept of what we want as an alternative economic and political system

This is hardly unprecedented. There was broad agreement on many of the problems in France in the 1780s, but no broad agreement on the solutions. That did not prevent there being significant beneficial accomplishments from the revolution, along with the notable horrors.

But I do agree that an alternative vision that could gather broad support would be very valuable. Perhaps a continuing effort to widen the understanding of the problems inherent in the current system along with the bogus basis for its widespread support is a necessary first phase. What are needed are nonviolent but effective ways to discredit the dominant view disrupt the standard narrative. When politicians are hissed, booed and reviled for spinning the same old lies and narratives we will know progress towards a new social organization is happening.

It is becoming harder and harder for TPTB to maintain the pretense that everything is under control and operating according to legal and constitutional norms. The more people who publicly call out politicians and regulators by characterizing what they are doing as being front men for criminals the better. Well over 90% of the population of most formerly 'first world' nations are the victims of this collusion. When a substantial majority of the citizens realize this we will be closer to effecting some change.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 04:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we think a collapse is coming, it's time to get together the avant-garde party that will take over power. There certainly isn't the beginnings of the makings of one, is there?

This said, I don't think Lenin really won, do you? Or, by "the worst", did he mean Stalin? (And he never saw Hitler [Godwin - yikes!] coming, did he?)

It is not in our interest -- not in the interest of the majority of people who are not engaged in being or becoming high net worth individuals -- that things really go sick and bad. There's enough of a struggle ahead without it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 04:26:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Lenin really won, do you?

Well, Lenin and Trotsky effectively destroyed The House of Romanov, broke the power of the Russian Orthodox Chruch and transformed, or set into motion the process that transformed the nature of Russian society from feudal agrarian to socialist industrial. This did not result in greater freedom for individual Russians for seven decades or so, but that had never really existed on any significant level in Russia. The accomplishments were not trivial.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 04:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The achievements were there, and they weren't trivial at all, but the concept of a small avantgarde party that knows better than the majority of the population automatically produces some Stalins, and that's too high a price for the achievements.
by Katrin on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 05:09:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole idea and tradition of 'avant-garde party that will take over power' is a first half of the 20th century cliche and has proven to be pernicious. It was not without reason that OWS disavowed formal leadership structure. Anything that is worth having will not likely occur in that manner.

The central problem we face is being able to have a state and state institutions while retaining accountability to the electorate in a meaningful way. We have the forms of such institutions but they have been and are being repeatedly shown to be hollow mockeries of the ideals on which they are based.

Beginnings are important. Nothing that begins in such a discredited manner and in a manner that has repeatedly shown itself highly vulnerable to usurpation of power by the 'avant garde' is likely to be of enduring value. There are likely tacit and informally organized competing 'avant gardes' for competing authoritarian takeovers waiting for a propitious moment, each with a sizable list of potential useful idiots. And the intentions of those who are most powerful in each are likely very closely held.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 08:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need Boris and Doris

The Battle of the Beanfield 25th Anniversary: An Interview with Phil Shakesby | Andy Worthington

They surrounded us just right of the marquee. At that point we were well and truly sorted. As I say, they had these mega bloody riot sticks, and wagons chasing through the site running into benders. Now they didn't know whether there was anybody in these benders, and they'd run into them at high speed, just loving the way that they exploded. The tarp and all the poles would blow out, scattering the contents all over the place. And they did several of these. One of the lads managed to fire up his truck and chase after this thing, and, of course, a few more riot wagons came in then, and they eventually stopped him by ramming him from either side.

The main Super Duper comes over when they've actually surrounded us, and he's asking for Boris and Doris, who are the ring-leaders as far as he's concerned, because we'd billed ourselves as, `The Peace Convoy, backed by Boris and Doris' -- who were two geese that we had on site. So on all the fly-posters it was `Boris and Doris proudly presents...' sort of thing. So they wanted to arrest Boris and Doris. And of course, your arse is tweeting like nobody's business because there's all this thing going on. Your gaffs are being wrecked right before you, and you're surrounded by all this police, and then the Chief Super Duper marches up and says, `Right, I want Boris and Doris to step out here now!' as all 200 of us fell about guffawing. I mean, you couldn't do anything else. Your arse is tweeting away one moment, and then there's this loony toon asking for two geese to step forward. It was the funny moment of it all. Wicked!



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 09:59:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the USA, were the police to harm or kill the geese, that might get them more grief than bashing heads of demonstrators. But then I have been told by LAPD officers that, if they enter a home of a suspect and feel at all threatened by a dog, they are trained to shoot the dog. If they can pass them off as 'crack dogs' then they might get away with it.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 11:29:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where is Russia at today? (Orthodox Church for example)?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 03:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where would Russia have been without the Bolshevik revolution?

Counterfactuals are always slippery, but I'm not convinced the death toll over the course of a century would have been any lower.

But over and over I keep coming back to the same key point - bad things happen when sociopaths end up in power.

Overt politics are irrelevant. It doesn't matter if a sociopath pretends to be a fascist, a communist, a libertarian, a Christian fundamentalist, an Islamic fundamentalist, a corporate executive or a social democrat.

Sociopaths cause poverty, death, and destruction.

We have limited experience of cultures and corporations which aren't run by sociopaths. I'd suggest getting more experience would be a good start.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 07:28:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
Where would Russia have been without the Bolshevik revolution?

Fair question.

It's a commonplace to say that Tsarist Russia was as overdue for change as the ancien régime was in 1789. The collapse that took place was on the cards, and it's reasonable to suppose it would have happened without the Bolsheviks. What the result would have been is hard to say.

I'm certainly not making out the Bolshevik Revolution was a Bad Thing. I do think that Lenin had a successful revolutionary strategy but that, in terms of his own long-term goals, the revolution was not a success.

As to your second point, how to take over the political institutions of a country in such a way as not to open the field to sociopaths?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to start an argument of the benefits and viability of the options, but the Bolshevik Revolution did not overthrow Tsarist Russia. It was a revolution that grabbed power within the power-structure established after the Tsarist regime had been overthrown.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 08:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can call that the radical phase of the revolution.
The radicals triumph because:
  • they are "better organized, better staffed, better obeyed,"
  • they have "relatively few responsibilities, while the legal government "has to shoulder some of the unpopularity of the government of the old regime" with "the worn-out machinery, the institutions of the old regime."
  • the moderates are hindered by their hesitancy to change direction and fight back against the radical revolutionaries, "with whom they recently stood united," in favor of conservatives, "against whom they have so recently risen." They are drawn to the slogan `no enemies to the Left.`
  • the moderates are attacked on one side by "disgruntled but not yet silenced conservatives, and the confident, aggressive extremists," on the other. The moderate revolutionary policies can please neither side. An example is the Root and Brand Bill in the English Revolution which abolished the episcopacy, angering conservatives and established institutions without earning the loyalty of radicals.
  • they are the "poor" leaders of the wars which accompany the revolutions, unable to "provide the discipline, the enthusiasm," needed.


If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 08:33:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
James C Scott, in "Seeing like a state", describes the "official" strategy of the Bolsheviks as Taylorism applied to revolution... No suprise the success of that party ends up with a centralised oligarchic state.

And the October revolution didn't happen at all according to the Bolshevik strategy...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 10:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we think a collapse is coming...

I think a collapse of the existing system of financial capitalism is more likely than that it will survive for another decade or two, and, should it manage to survive more than two more decades, it will, more likely than not, have ensured environmental collapse by preventing effective response to ongoing damage. I am not likely to live much longer than that. But we all should have a concern for future generations.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 05:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think you understand my point. It is that, if you have no strategy at all for revolution, then don't quote Lenin saying "the worse the better".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 03:36:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which comes off as: "If you don't have a complete plan to bring off a revolution don't even discuss the possibility or likelihood of one." But there are many reasons for such a discussion, not least to guard against just that sort of revolution. With Lenin the dictum was both an observation and a strategy. Whatever the merits and consequences of such a strategy the observation had merit.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 10:09:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
Which comes off as: "If you don't have a complete plan to bring off a revolution don't even discuss the possibility or likelihood of one."

No, it doesn't. What I said has nothing to do with your straw-built extension of it.

You were not discussing revolution. You just made a throwaway comment about Lenin's "worse is better". To which I objected, as I explained, because the worst is not to be wished.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 12:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was commenting on the present prospects for meaningful change, which I see as pretty bleak, as would be the case were the only hope to lie in 'the worse, the better'. But that is apparently not what you read, even after I explicitly agreed that there was not much hope in that statement.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 08:26:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not in our interest -- not in the interest of the majority of people who are not engaged in being or becoming high net worth individuals -- that things really go sick and bad. There's enough of a struggle ahead without it.

This is where Europe and the US don't match-up.

In Europe there are political parties and organizations that, at a minimum, pretend to be Left Wing.  There ain't none in the US as exhibited by the position of the two 2012 US presidential nominees on the Political Compass:



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 12:52:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:27:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So Romney and Obama are about where Portugal's government is...

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:38:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find that very surprising. I once calibrated the compass using Bayrou's 2007 program (to see where what I could have called centre would be) and ended in the green square.

I know I find Hollande much too far to the right, and indeed Manuel Valls makes a few unwanted noises, but I would not have expected the current French government to be much to the right of the 2007 Bayrou.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 03:58:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The calibration is iffy. I think they'd get a better scale if they only had "agree/disagree," and then required you to assign a weight to your answer.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 05:22:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another thing might be that if Hollande believes something but is required to do otherwise by EU treaties, they would count what was actually done.
And since the treaties are top right corner...

Anyway, my impression from my attempt was that the conservative end of mere reasonableness would get you slightly to the top right of the green square.

Which makes it frightening to see such a cluster in the deranged region.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 08:08:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is what you "would have called the centre" in 2007 "the conservative end of mere reasonableness"?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 08:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From memory, pretty much, yes. It seemed that anything to the right of that required that you absolutely had to either want to prevent consenting adults from engaging in consensual sex (if such consensual sex was not the kind you approved of), or to hold that any redistribution was inherently evil, or that taxation reduced government revenue, or that human rights should only be guidelines...

It certainly seemed to me that the blue corner was beyond reasonableness on at least some issues. But maybe part of it might be that some questions could have been interpreted differently.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 08:55:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(I also think you have shifted a bit to the left since you joined ET...)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 10:31:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not calibrate with my exact opinions but with the Modem program (with the exception that I extended the idea of gay partnership with all the rights off marriage but not its name to actually being marriage).

So I "calibrated" slightly to the top right of myself.

I'm not that sure that I shifted to the left much, other than being more vocal about it.
I still think that we should have balanced the budgets better in 2007, while trying to change the treaties to something more reasonable of course. What I cannot accept is trying austerity in the current predicament (my main qualm with the Bayrou program this time round was his accepting the golden rule. Alas, Hollande will probably pass it too).
One area maybe: I probably now see more fields where having State companies (or even monopoly) seems a very reasonable proposition, or even the best one.

It seems to me that the world shifted a lot to the right, though. Dismantling the NHS used to be considered unthinkable.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 11:43:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was already a failure to articulate an ideological alternative, even as an object of ridicule, prior to the Global Financial CrisisGreat Clusterfuck, which is part of the reason the crisis has been mismanaged as it has. But I think the crisis itself is providing the ferment and the space for alternatives to be thought out. When the next round of crisis comes, one can hope that at least some people in a position of influence will be willing to try something different from the old neoliberal consensus. Otherwise the next phase of the crisis (which may feel like collapse but won't be it) will have to provide the ferment for your "avant-garde party". And then will come a third fit of crisis, and so on.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 04:32:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not actually arguing for an "avant-garde party". I'm saying that was Lenin's revolutionary strategy, in the context of which he could "objectively" wish for conditions for the down-trodden to get worse.

Migeru:

When the next round of crisis comes, one can hope that at least some people in a position of influence will be willing to try something different from the old neoliberal consensus.

What I think is that we should be doing our best to bring that about. The death of neoliberalism is the watchword.

The development of a new left movement, including a party or loose international grouping of parties but far from limited to this, would surely be a useful element of that effort.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:16:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think one of the most significant things to happen since the crisis is the creation of the Institute for New Economic Thinking by George Soros.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:19:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Most of all, we need to take back the intellectual/ideological hegemony from the neolibs.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:38:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
At least Lenin had a revolutionary strategy. And you?

good question...

maybe it's not the scope of the strategy as much as the virality of an idea.

an idea may be relatively simple, even banal, but amplified by sheer numbers involved can attain an unpredictably transformational trajectory.

OWS may not be on the front pages any more, but for a while there it seemed to have the potential for this.

at the end of the day, i think it may shake out to be less what people do to counter plutocracy, (ie get your head bashed in by goons, go to jail etc), as what they/we abjure, or withdraw support from.

discrimination in choices made daily at micro levels could play out surprisingly well on a macro level, sans direct confrontation or messy friction.

i wish i had more, better ideas, but i sense what i am failing to explain better than i can explain it, perhaps others may intuit something similar and build on that.

where needs must...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 02:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Jeremy Hunt criticised for Rupert Murdoch Olympic 'meeting'

Video footage of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt smiling and shaking hands with Rupert Murdoch at the Olympics on Friday suggests the pair are "as close as ever," a Labour MP has said.

ITN filmed Mr Hunt talking to the News Corp boss near the Aquatics Centre.

Labour's Jim Sheridan said the film suggested "no contrition" for mistakes since Mr Hunt faced questions over his handling of News Corp's BSkyB bid.

But Mr Hunt's office said the meeting was an "exchange in passing".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 11:12:35 AM EST
It's true. He just missed two words: "Of envelopes."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 02:50:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr Rent-a-Quote fools mainstream media - Press - Media - The Independent

With a keen imagination, a decent poker face and a career that sometimes revolves around being economical with the truth, it was perhaps inevitable that the PR strategist Ryan Holiday would have a formidable talent for pretending to be someone that he's not.

Even he was surprised by quite how formidable that talent was, though. In a burst of relentless self-promotion that lasted just a few weeks, the self-confident 25-year-old managed to lie his way on to the pages, websites and airwaves of an extraordinary cross-section of America's most prestigious news-gathering organisations.

Earlier this year, Mr Holiday decided, by way of an experiment, to get himself quoted as an "expert" source by the writers of articles and blogs on as many different subjects as possible. The big catch: he wasn't an "expert" in any of the subjects in question, and some of the time, he wouldn't even speak to the writers.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Aug 4th, 2012 at 07:47:33 PM EST
Meh. That's not very convincing. THE NYT guys puts it right:


Several of the articles have been withdrawn or amended, and Roy Furchgott, the NYT reporter who quoted him, told Forbes that he never expected someone to lie about something so petty. "He gave a fairly credible account in line with what most vinyl record collectors and owners say," he said, "so I took his word on it, and you're telling me that he suckered me."

It's easy to take advantage of people who take you to be in good faith on things which are not purely factual.


Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Aug 5th, 2012 at 06:42:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... and the more you talk about this guy, the more he wins. His pitch is that he can get himself mentioned in the press, even though he has zero added value. Just think what he can do for your products or services.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 05:33:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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