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When you say "Nobody could have expected.....", you actually mean "I don't know what I'm talking about".

Y'know I think this will need to be engraved on the tombs of most western leaders and "serious people" who've been involved in practically every decision of the last 100 years.

I was watching Simon Scharma's new series on "American futures" and he was talking about the water crisis in the west and the Oklahoma dust bowl. In each of these genuine experts desperately tried to get access to policy makers and explain why what they were doing was wrong. They weren't serious people y'see. Cos serious people have access, they flatter, they tell politicians what they want to hear, they go with hte flow, never bring awkward facts into discussions. They don't contradict, ie they're rude and abrasive.

The bloke who predicted the dust bowl was actually granted a hearing the day the winds actually produced a dust cloud over Washington. He was able to say "this cloud is the topsoil of Oklahoma, it is what I have been warning you about for years" Of course, it was too late by then.

I was reminded in this programme of the people who said how Iraq would go swimmingly, or would turn the corner is 6 months, rose petals. And how anybody who contradicted was frozen out. Nobody would hear them. They were pronounced "not serious". And we hear politicians now going "nobody could have predicted..." and you can't help throwing things at the screen even now shouting "yes, they did, you wouldn't listen to them..."

And now the smartest guys in the room are saying "nobody could have predicted" this financial crisis. And I reach for a bottle of beer and drink deep cos I can no longer bear to listen to this self-serving drivel of self-reinforcing blame avoidance. They didn't know, cos they didn't want to know. They didn't hear cos they never listened.

Because oily lobbyists flatter them with easy promises, surround them, protect them from words that are impolite, from ideas that might challenge.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 04:14:18 PM EST
I watched that too. I highly recommend it to anyone who gets the chance to see it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00dygkw

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 04:24:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm downloading that as I read this comment.

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 Oct 11th, 2008 at 05:16:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
simon schama is a national treasure...

'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 Oct 11th, 2008 at 07:18:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only available in the UK.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 06:01:28 PM EST
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Connect to Iplayer using a UK based proxy server, in theory that should do it so you should be able to watch.

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 Oct 11th, 2008 at 06:59:21 PM EST
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Because oily lobbyists flatter them with easy promises, surround them, protect them from words that are impolite, from ideas that might challenge.

Politicians are high maintenance clients for those the lobbyists represent.  At least those who possess a conscience require constant stroking to assuage the anxiety produced by constantly being required to vote against the interests of those they nominally represent. This would make a good plot for an HBO series that brings Deadwood up to date.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 10:31:05 PM EST
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Oh yes, I've been meaning to write a diary on this for a while now.

Well said.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 12th, 2008 at 12:32:17 PM EST
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