Want less social unrest? Then we need more equal societies


8:55 am - August 31st 2011

by Chris Dillow    


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Here are three things that are more connected that generally realized:

– Economists are worrying the west is heading for Japan’s fate – decades of a near-stagnant economy.
– Some of the ultra-rich in France and the US are calling for higher taxes on themselves.
– Conor Pope points out that the British people just aren’t interested in politics.

To see the connection, contrast Japan on the one hand and Arab states on the other. In some of the latter, economic stagnation has led to violent revolution. Japan, however, has enjoyed relative social stability. Why the difference?

A big factor is equality. Many of the Arab states that have seen revolution or unrest have/had huge inequality, of political power as well as incomes or consumption (pdf).

Japan, by contrast, is more egalitarian; its “lost decades“ have been accompanied by low profits and relatively modest CEO pay, rather than by mass unemployment. This matters. People can tolerate slow growth if they feel “we’re all in it together”, but not if they see others getting very rich whilst the majority suffer. 

It’s in this context that we should understand the rich’s request to pay more tax. This – whether they know it or not – is an attempt to forestall unrest by showing that everyone is suffering. It is, as the French say, a “gesture of national solidarity”. The stress here should be on “gesture”; a levy of 3% on incomes over €500,000 is nugatory from the point of view of orthodox macroeconomics.

The function of the tax and benefit system is not merely to achieve justice or economic efficiency, however we define these. It is also to legitimate the system, to buy off unrest. Bismarck and Roosevelt understood this. But I fear that right libertarians, with their focus on freedom and efficiency alone, tend to forget it.

And this is where our third point – Conor’s claim that the British people are apathetic – enters. How much the rich must pay to buy social peace depends upon how likely a revolt is. In France, where they take to the streets at the drop of a beret, unrest is a perennial threat. In the UK, it is less so. It is therefore no accident that the rich in France are more keen to see higher taxes than their British counterparts.

This also helps explain why al-Assad, Mubarak and Gaddafi have got into trouble. In dictatorships, it’s impossible to distinguish between genuine support for the (rich) rulers and falsified support. As a result, dictators can never judge how much they have to buy off opposition. And their colossal egos lead them to over-estimate their genuine support and thus to under-bribe the public, with the result that they are prone to revolution.

Herein lies one of the virtues of liberal democracy, especially from the point of view of the ruling elite. Insofar as this produces a less distorted image of public opinion than dictatorship, it enables the rulers to better judge by how much to buy off that public.

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About the author
Chris Dillow is a regular contributor and former City economist, now an economics writer. He is also the author of The End of Politics: New Labour and the Folly of Managerialism. Also at: Stumbling and Mumbling
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Equality

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Reader comments


1. Tony Hatfield

…you can see the stats in wilkinson and pickett’s ‘spirit level’ or on the ‘equality trust website.

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/

2. orangebooklibdem

Chris – you skate over the political dimension of the Arab Spring. People were rebelling against the oppressive state apparatus as much as poverty/inequality. Yes they were angry about inequality but because they felt it was ill gotten wealth obtained via corrupt means. In the West the majority of the rich (with the exception of remaining artisocrats) have earned their money by legitimate and transparent means.

Also Tony – the spirit level is a dubious piece of work, its been thouroughly taken apart by fellow accademics.

Excellent analysis, Chris

Equal outcomes or equal opportunity?

We may see the small value God has for riches by the people he gives them to.

Alexander Pope 1727.

Presumably, when the poor have all gone the rich will be able to live comfortably by either eating their money or each other.

By several reports on the web, Denmark has one of the most equally distributed post-tax incomes. Government spending as a percentage of national GDP is one of the highest for OECD countries. And by some measures, Denmark is also one of the happiest countries according to this survey:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7487143.stm

It is very much about a redistribution of wealth that aids social stability but the other problem with the mega wealthy and corporations is the undue power and influence they increasingly assert on our political, socio and economic life. Unitl this is tackled then ordinary people will feel they cannot make a difference, and are less likely to participate as active citizens.

Good article

“contrast Japan on the one hand and Arab states on the other. In some of the latter, economic stagnation has led to violent revolution. Japan, however, has enjoyed relative social stability. Why the difference?”

Age is also a huge factor, which also interacts with inequality.

Japan is a pioneer in the aging demographic and low birthrate. Thank-you Japan, you are showing the way.

On the other hand, Arab countries, where women’s status is pitifully low, have vast pools of under- and un-employed youth with little or no future in a gerontocratic society where old men keep everything for themselves (often including brides).

9. Mike Killingworth

Good piece as always, Chris.

I think a factor in why Arabs have kicked out dictators now rather than ten or even twenty years ago is to be found not so much in domestic conditions in north Africa as in the greater ease of international information flows leading to awareness of economic growth in India and South America under western-type representative institutions.

It’s noticeable that it’s only the secular dictatorships that have fallen: those which have integrated Islam closely into the state apparatus are as strong as ever.

This from the Mail last year is one reason why not much will get done to reduce inequalities in Britain:

The coalition of millionaires: 23 of the 29 member of the new cabinet are worth more than £1m… and the Lib Dems are just as wealthy as the Tories
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/article-1280554/The-coalition-millionaires-23-29-member-new-cabinet-worth-1m–Lib-Dems-just-wealthy-Tories.html

Another factor to throw into the mix is a culture which values consumerism, rich or poor, the symbolism of the latest mobile phones and other technology (especially among the young) is everything.
Interestingly, not all retail outlets were looted during the recent rioting, some were vandalized. Whether this was consciously driven or an accident, I don’t know, certainly looting suggests a violent manifestation of the dominant cultural forces of consumerism.
There is also the notion that anyone can ‘make it’ if they study and work hard which is clearly nonsense, and I would guess that quite a lot of unemployed youth understand that quite well.
Of course, over the past few years credit has also ironed-out quite a lot of inequality by enabling the many to access the symbols of success, but look where that has led.
IMO, we cannot see what is happening without looking at our culture.

“It’s noticeable that it’s only the secular dictatorships that have fallen: those which have integrated Islam closely into the state apparatus are as strong as ever.”

That’s no accident.

Notice how Algeria is now coming under attack from Jihadists, for offering succour to Gadaffi family.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/29/al-qaeda-branch-says-responsible-for-algeria-bombing.html

@11: “Interestingly, not all retail outlets were looted during the recent rioting, some were vandalized. ”

By this report in the local press, more than 100 people were made homeless in Croydon. Some lost all their belongings:
http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/9222523.Council_announces_fund_to_help_families_affected_by_riots/

A young black man was also murdered by a shot to his head while he was sat in a car.

You can also, standing in a different place, see it as the price the rich pay to have things arranged for their benefit, especially since many of them count riots, looting and strong collective bargaining all as social unrest. At least tax farming mades the relationship a bit more explicit.

(By the way, Conor Pope’s article depends on a particular definition of politics – it’s akin to suggesting no-one is really interested in literature because you can’t get anyone to discuss the possible winners of the Somerset Maugham Award.)

Actually, I am not sure this is as persuasive as Chris’s arguments tend to be. Where is the panel data/natural experiment showing that more equal societies are typically more orderly, seperate from other factors like the rule of law, representative government and cultural homogeneity? And not the spurious cross-sectional correlations preferred by the Spirit Level. There are a lot of things that make Japan stable besides some forms of equality.

It is clear that certain power relationships make society inherently unstable, but I haven’t seen persuasive evidence regarding equality. At what margin does an increase in income or consumption equality lead to less social disorder, and how does it compare to other social goods?

“Want less social unrest?”

When you go on to describe:

“…one of the virtues of liberal democracy, especially from the point of view of the ruling elite [is that] it enables the rulers to better judge by how much to buy off that public.”

… I don’t particularly want to be “bought off”. Your sentence implies that actually, people could and should be entitled to a lot more – whether quality of life, power, material benefit, freedom (whatever that means), access to health, education, etc. – and that it’s only the state that stands in the way.

If “social unrest” contributes to the collapse of an existing corrupt system, that’s surely a good thing, isn’t it? Why be satisfied with feeble gestures on the part of (a tiny minority of) the super-rich and platitudes from politicians?

Why settle for a slightly less unequal society than some others?

@11 steveb

“There is also the notion that anyone can ‘make it’ if they study and work hard which is clearly nonsense”

Surely this is the real problem. Why is it in a society with a large welfare state which provides free healthcare and education people feel that they cannot make it by studying and working hard?

there are clearly examples of people of poor backgrounds who have done very well for themselves – why is this not possible for everyone to achieve this?

It’s hard to have this more equal society when there is such a ”churn” of people coming and going and creating bedsit conditions in parts of our towns and cities.
Eastern Europeans are coming for short to medium term periods and then going home with their savings – and are then replaced by new arrivals. They are much more attractive to employers than the 50% of NEET black young people who should really be doing those jobs the Polish etc are doing.
The woman who jumped from the burning building in Croydon was an example. She’d only been here a couple of months and worked in Poundland. Why do we need to import someone from another country to work in Poundland when there are people signing on as unemployed locally? The problem has to be the Poundland business model, and the fact that we want things to cost so little.

My sentiments on the social benefits of greater equality are plain enough but I think that inequalities are sometimes blamed for too much.

I can’t see how inequalities in Croydon can be held responsible for this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkYAnLtAm40

And that might go some way towards explaining why the young Polish woman who was burned out of her home in Croydon in the riots was working in Poundland.

This is absolutely right – one thing that is amazing us, is that, in the aftermath of the Riots, people are still clamouring for Free Schools – which will, by definition create more fragmentation and more social disharmony.

This is our take on the opening of 24 New Free schools:
http://www.allthatsleft.co.uk/2011/08/after-the-riots-who-on-earth-is-still-calling-for-free-schools/

@17 The so called American Dream, where anyone, regardless of background, can make it is reliant on the fact that everyone can’t. Similar applies here, the few who do make climb from poor backgrounds are the exceptions that provide the rule. Plus you will always need cleaners and other low-grade menial workers, but should we pay them a pittance and regard their honest work as something to be looked down upon?

Bob,

I can’t see how inequalities in Croydon can be held responsible for this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkYAnLtAm40

And that might go some way towards explaining why the young Polish woman who was burned out of her home in Croydon in the riots was working in Poundland.

How does that video explain “why the young Polish woman who was burned out of her home in Croydon in the riots was working in Poundland”?

23. Robert the crip

I’m sure welfare reforms will pull the banks out of trouble.

People can tolerate slow growth if they feel “we’re all in it together”, but not if they see others getting very rich whilst the majority suffer.

Agreed.

We need to rapidly reduce the numbers of high earning public sector workers, in particular.

@21

But why is it that everyone can’t? Obviously there will be some people born with medical conditions who are disadvantaged, but why are some people from poor backgrounds able to be successful and others not? Why is it that Asian children from poor backgrounds are higher achieving than white children?

You are right that there will always be a need for less skilled work. However the reason they are paid a ‘pittance’ is because there is a large supply of people willing and able to do this work compared to the amount of positions available.

What is the solution? Do you transfer cash from those who earn more to the less well off to balance out the material goods that are owned? What is the plan to make society more equal?

How does that video explain “why the young Polish woman who was burned out of her home in Croydon in the riots was working in Poundland”?

I could guess that too many local young people are deemed to be unemployable and that an employer like Poundland would prefer someone who has travelled all the way to the UK to get such a job, than some youth who’s head is filled with the imagined world of South Central Los Angeles and drive by shootings.
I was in the town of Dungannon in Northern Ireland yesterday, and foriegn workers are very noticable. Particularly those from Portugese speaking countries. 15% of the population according to this article.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1319589.ece

There are some big food processing factories in the area that bring these workers in.
But one of them was in the news yesterday for a strike by workers worried about job losses.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/strikehit-meat-plant-remains-open-in-spite-of-closure-threat-16043270.html

What then for the immigrant workforce who are only living there because of those jobs?
They are having families there and their children are in school. It’s not an ideal situation all round I’d say, as having to import workers while there is the area suffers from unemployment and poor wages, keeps everyone’s prospects down.

27. Mike Killingworth

[25] Perhaps we need to ask – since only an extremely naive or tendentious person would suppose that everyone can become a Steve Jobs or a Beyoncé – what it was that kept the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” from looting and rioting in the past – although of course they always did, now and again.

Part of the answer was fear – the ruthless suppression of disorder, as in the armies of Czarist Russia, where you could be shot merely for being camped near a deserter. Part of it was magical religion – more like superstition with a thin topping of Catholicism, Islam or whatever the ruler’s great-great-grandfather had converted to: this also created fear in the ill-educated.

In more recent times we have come to doubt our right to put our fellow human beings in fear, and so we have used avarice instead. The promise of shiny toys to-day and even more shiny toys to-morrow. But now of course the penny’s dropped: there are no more shiny toys.

The labour surplus – the “reserve army” as someone once called it – is getting bigger every year. Why are people now being charged the cost of their university education (and indeed their schooling, since the purpose of academies and free schools is to relieve local authority schools of even trying to educate anyone, which they have been more or less unable to do since the 1980s at least)? Because there is no longer any demand for more than a small fraction of the graduates the system can churn out.

Everyone here who reads this and is in work – or looking for work – should ask themselves this: why can’t the job I do, or want to do, be done east of Suez or south of the Equator? Because if it can be done there, over the next two decades, max, it will be.

God in Heaven. I can’t decide if Mr Dillow’s conventional wisdom is more conventional than the average, or just more coherently expressed. Whatever the case, it is both wrong and harmful.

Like a typical liberal intellectual, Dillow plays good cop to the rioters’ bad cop. “Just give them what they want,” he advises in a calm voice, “and the violence will stop. I want to help you, but I don’t know how long I can control them for.” Well, gee, thanks Chris. You’re all heart.

Isn’t it strange how there is no symmetry between right and left where political violence is concerned? Can you imagine one of our intellectual elite suggesting that the proper response to the massacre in Norway is to meet some of the murderer’s demands? After all, we don’t want any more violence.

No—there is absolutely not even the faintest whiff of compromise where right wing violence is concerned. Amazingly, our society instantly rediscovers its testicular fortitude. Any journalists and bloggers thought to have encouraged the violence are roundly condemned. “What did you expect, Ms Philips, what did you expect?”

Now, isn’t that weird? And, by an equally mysterious coincidence, the deluge of grievance fuelled right-wing violence never materialises.

And yet, and yet, and yet: if we don’t want the children of London’s wretched of the earth to raise our capital city to the ground on the regular, then—apparently—we’re going to have to issue a humiliating apology for making them angry and then meet all their demands. Or are they Chris’s demands? Perhaps a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

In either case, our strategy for preventing future violence is to (1), tell the rioters and looters that their grievance, whatever it might be (we’re not sure), is just and true; and (2), validate their use of violence to satisfy that grievance. Can’t imagine that this will backfire, no sir!

And the broader lesson vis-a-vis political violence is that we don’t compromise with rightist violence: we condemn it and all even tangentially associated with it. This is not thought to imply that more violence will result; or, if it is, it is not mentioned. But, mysteriously, when the violence is leftist, we must instantly and totally capitulate in order to prevent it from occurring again.

If you are confused: good. The whole purpose of modern political thought is to defy rational analysis by making no sense whatsoever. An old friend of mine had a similar strategy. Here is a typical example of his shtick. He was a heroin addict and his long suffering girlfriend paid for them both to go on holiday to the Caribbean. They were relaxing one evening on some deckchairs by the beach outside their hotel. Waiters were bringing them cocktails and they were sharing some chocolate covered strawberries and watching the sunset blaze across the sky. She eats the last strawberry and turns to him. He looks at the empty bowl, and then up to her and says, “You selfish bitch.”

To which there can be no response. How can you reason with someone so insanely out of touch with reality? It is impossible. We have the same problem with our political and intellectual class. They are beyond reason, for, as someone once remarked, “You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.” For our elites, liberalism itself is their religion. And, like your quack medic, their response to any evidence of its failure is always to increase the dose. “Just increase the dose. This time, it will definitely start working.”

Let’s hope so, eh!

Remember Catherine Tate’s ”Lauren” – whose friends found her working in a burger bar?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6e8o9eefIY

Maybe working in Poundland is as worthy of shame as working at Billy’s Burgers.

30. Leon Wolfson

@24 – Yes, we can’t have competent people earning deacent wages! No, we need incompetence and sluggishness in public services, so you can justify abolishing them and charging for poor for the basic services they need. All you can do is attack the poor.

@27 – What rot. The number of graduate positions is and has been rising faster than we’ve been generating them, since the percentage going to university here has been falling for some time, already. All it means is non-British, mostly EU, people will be taking those positions. Then you’ll whine about immigration.

What’s been displaced is the LOW end jobs, via automation. A trend which is only going to accelerate. Not to mention the displacement of jobs by the insane amount of overtime we do, and… the CONCEPT of the job needs to change.

@28 – Keep filling that powder keg, “brother”. Never mind the left haven’t been in power since ’79, no, of course it’s never your side’s fault.

The left haven’t been in power since ’79? I think we have rather different definitions of “the left”.

As for my side, I’m afraid it hasn’t been anywhere near power since, ooh… ’45. 1745, that is.

Fungus @ 25

but why are some people from poor backgrounds able to be successful and others not?

Ah, now I understand, the reason you seem to be arguing nonsense is not because you are trying to be controversial but because you are a plain fuckwit. Are you seriously attempting to suggest that if we all studied hard and worked as diligently as possible we could all be millionaires or at very least rich? You seriously think we could have a Country of 28 million Chief executives, chairmen, business owners etc?

You could argue that a small minority could move from tea boy to chairmen in forty years, but surely to fuck you are not seriously suggesting that if we have a company the size of say, Tesco that employ tens of thousands of employees that if they all work really, really hard that they could have a couple of hundred thousands senior manages and executives in a couple of decades?

Christ, get a grip!

33. Leon Wolfson

@31 – If you’re defining New Labour as left wing, then you’re just trolling.

34. Charlieman

@10. Bob B: “The coalition of millionaires: 23 of the 29 member of the new cabinet are worth more than £1m…”

Is that necessarily a bad thing? Politicians who are already wealthy are less vulnerable to corruption than those who are not. Have we forgotten the pathetic money grubbing by New Labour figures so quickly? That’s not to say that politicians from more normal backgrounds should be denied advancement; they deserve to be paid a decent public salary, transparently, in the same way and for the same reasons as judges and senior civil servants.

@ 28:

You don’t even have to compare it to Anders Breivik-style violence. The EDL marches illustrate the point too (as well as having more in common with the riots/marches than Breivik-style shootings do). I can’t remember any posters saying “Well, we don’t want these people to protest any more, maybe we should reduce immigration and be more aggressive in our attempts to assimilate minorities…” Or if there were, there certainly weren’t as many saying that as there are suggesting we should give in to the rioters’ demands.

You’re quite right: New Labour were reactionary High Tory royalists who closed our borders, broke with the EU, the US and re-established Great Britain’s sovereignty, reinstated capital and corporal punishment, re-established the Church of England, banned foreign media, sacked the current senior police leadership and reformed the police along traditional British lines, put our language and history back on the school curriculum, deported everyone with the faintest association to the postwar liberal regime and anyone with even the faintest trace of Whig in their bloodline and have been goose-stepping up and down the Strand ever since.

Yes, New Labour could hardly be more reactionary and illiberal. I mean, it’s obvious isn’t it? Since Britain has never been more conservative country–apart from, y’know, its entire history–its government must necessarily be intensely conservative. What blessing to be alive in such times. “Oh! Pleasant exercise of hope and joy!

37. Chaise Guevara

@ 28 vimothy

“Isn’t it strange how there is no symmetry between right and left where political violence is concerned? Can you imagine one of our intellectual elite suggesting that the proper response to the massacre in Norway is to meet some of the murderer’s demands? After all, we don’t want any more violence.”

This analogy is broken. The rioters didn’t make any “demands” – or possibly some did on their twitter page or whatever, but there was certainly no coherent political voice. Most of the time it seemed to be people stealing stuff because they wanted to have it.

So the OP isn’t suggesting we do the equivalent of appeasing terrorists. He’s suggesting policies that would hopefully improve the problems we, as a society, face. You seem to be falling into a variant on the formal ad hominem fallacy here – the logic I’m getting from your post is “If a policy would be liked by one or more criminals, that policy is automatically unacceptable”.

Even if the rioters had been political – if the violence we saw recently was committed by a group of socialist extremists – would that somehow prove socialism was wrong and anyone who advanced it was an apologist for the rioters? Would you abandon your own views if they happened to be shared by a bunch of violent dickheads?

38. Chaise Guevara

@ 28

Meant to say: regards you drawing a line between left and right here, I’ve heard many people say that the solution to racist attacks on immigrants is to halt immigration, which is presumably what the people making the attacks want. And as before, the existence of those attacks does not automatically make the anti-immigration viewpoint wrong.

39. Chaise Guevara

@ 36 XXX

“Or if there were, there certainly weren’t as many saying that as there are suggesting we should give in to the rioters’ demands.”

Seriously dude, WHAT demands? I don’t recall anyone giving in to the rioters’ implicit demands (i.e. that they should be allowed to loot shops and set stuff on fire).

Jim

You are a truly sad tosser if you think the definition of being succesful is being a millionaire or very rich.

41. Charlieman

@39. Chaise Guevara: “Seriously dude, WHAT demands? I don’t recall anyone giving in to the rioters’ implicit demands (i.e. that they should be allowed to loot shops and set stuff on fire).”

Hold on a bit, Chaise. Two events occurred a couple of weeks ago: the first was a demo outside a police station which later descended into riot; the second was a serious of orchestrated disturbances, designed to exploit weaknesses in street policing, to provide over for looting. I am confident that you can see the differences between the two.

The Met police have questions to answer about the death of Mark Duggan. I hold no illusions about his non-saintly behaviour, but I do demand that the circumstances of Duggan’s death are honestly analysed and reported.

For the looters who have been caught, all that I expect is that they receive justice and fair sentences.

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 41 Charlieman

Regarding people who rioted over Duggan’s death, see my post at 37 – they shouldn’t have committed violence, but the fact that they did does not mean that the issue should be dismissed.

Vimothy:

The left haven’t been in power since ’79? I think we have rather different definitions of “the left”.

I would invite you to look up the idea of the Overton Window.

As for my side, I’m afraid it hasn’t been anywhere near power since, ooh… ’45. 1745, that is.

I have thought about this and I’m really not sure what you could mean by it, unless it’s in some bizarre way a reference to the Rebellion?

The people ‘in charge’ in 1745 were the aristocracy. These days, that is slightly less true, having been largely replaced by a plutocracy. Are you suggesting that you are an aristocrat and support a return to feudalism? Or that the losing side in 1745 were ‘your side’? If so, you should be a progressive radical; the rebellious Scots were much more politically, socially and scientifically energetic than the English establishment of the time.

Fungus @ 40

You are a truly sad tosser if you think the definition of being succesful is being a millionaire or very rich.

Okay, successful, then. We cannot all be successful then, if you define it in any relevant way.

In other words, Herr Wolfson, left-liberal is exactly how I’d define New Labour. When you imply that they are not left-wing, what you really mean is that they are to your right. In the same sense, Cameron is not left-wing either.

But I define “left” according to its traditional definition, which was derived from the French National Assembly. Just because I am to the left of de Maistre or Wellington, doesn’t make me a left-winger. I’m still a reactionary (sorry!). Outside of Wonderland, words have meanings.

According to this definition, basically everyone in a position of any influence in Britain today is on the (liberal) left, because our entire society has been moving to the left for a long time. Our political class in toto are inheritors of the Whig tradition. The OP might say that the Overton Window has been shifting for at least a hundred years. For the last fifty, its speed has been increasing exponentially.

Blair’s most infamous action, the Iraq War to depose a dictator and establish a democracy in the ME, was obviously a move of liberal internationalism straight out of Woodrow Wilson’s playbook. Can you deny it? If you cannot tell the difference between a Blair (left) and a Chateaubriand (right), I suggest that you need to send your sensory apparatus back to the factory for recalibration.

Our sad decay in church and state
Surpasses my descriving:
The Whig cam o’er us for a curse,
An we hae done wi thriving.

Awa, Whigs, awa!
Awa, Whigs, awa!
Ye’re but a pack o traitor louns,
Ye’ll do nae guid at a’.

If truer words were ever written, I haven’t read them. They certainly did for us, even if it took a couple of centuries to really bite. Poor Britain. May She rise again!

Mr Publican,

I believe the proper idiom is “cross-post”!

47. Leon Wolfson

@41 – And there are very serious questions about the opening move in the riot and who caused it as well (cf video of police dogpiling a mouthy teenage girl)

@45 – Right, you’re not remotely in contact with what I’d call reality. Moving on…

@22: ukliberty: “How does that video explain ‘why the young Polish woman who was burned out of her home in Croydon in the riots was working in Poundland’?”

The old and discontinued ONS website had this:

In the first quarter of 2011, around 1 in 5 workers, or 20.6 per cent, in low-skill occupations were born outside the UK. This figure has increased from around 1 in 11 workers, or 9.0 per cent, in the first quarter of 2002.

This represents an increase of 367,000 non-UK born workers in low-skill jobs, with 666,000 in the first quarter of 2011, up from 298,000 at the start of 2002.

Over the same period there was little change in the number of workers in low-skill jobs in the UK, which stood at around 3.2 million. However, the number of UK-born people in low-skill jobs fell from 3.04 million to 2.56 million.

There were also increases in the percentage of non-UK born workers in each of the three higher-skill groups, although the increases there were not as large as that in low-skill jobs. [end quote]

This is the relatively NEW official and illuminating video on how British jobs have been taken up:
http://www.nomisweb.co.uk/published/stories/story.asp?id=6

By that, East Europeans (EU A8) have been taking up a disproportionate share of “low-skill” UK jobs.

There are no official reasons for that that I’m aware of but there was much media reporting about how employers preferred East European workers because their skills were often better than with available UKborn workers and about how employers perceived them as having a better work ethic.

Compared with 10 years ago, there are now a good few Polish delicatessen shops around where I live and supermarkets often now stock a range of Polish food products. Its a frequent experience to hear Polish and other Baltic languages spoken on buses and in supermarket stores.

Try checking out the senior management of Poundland – they are all hugely experienced in UK retailing and Poundland is rapidly growing business. Judging by my local high streets, it already has many imitators in its market niche.

XXX @ 35

I am really not sure what you or the other guy are arguing against. Nobody has suggested that ‘we give in’ to demands, legitimate or otherwise of rioters. If you actually took the time to read and attempt to comprehend what Chris was saying, he was saying that it appears on the face of it, more equal societies have less of this type of disruption than less equal ones. This is nothing to do with ‘Left Wing or Right Wing violence’ or how we counter this type of thing, the message is pretty clear: If you want to reduce social unrest like you see from the EDL and the like is to have a more equal society.

The premise is that divided societies are less stable and less stable societies are prone to these types of flare ups. So, why you or the other guy want to talk about ‘Right Wing violence’ is anybody’s guess.

Is it possible you are replying to a blog entry that no-one has actually written?

Dude–ain’t no one in contact with what you call reality.

Vimothy @46:

Er, what?

@45:

The OP might say that the Overton Window has been shifting for at least a hundred years. For the last fifty, its speed has been increasing exponentially.

Hmmm. I would disagree, though I believe I understand your point. You are, basically, defining the entire Enlightenment as a movement of the Overton window to the left of your views. This is actually plausible as an argument; since the beginning of the Enlightenment, overall movement in the Overton window of post-Puritan Britain has definitely been leftward.

It’s a pretty idiotic view from a practical perspective, for all it’s logically coherent. For a start, the Enlightenment has been Lamarckian, not Darwinian; or a better description would be that a reasonably steady movement towards enlightened society has been interrupted by occasional generations of retrograde, reactionary successes.

There have been several such periods of reaction in the last three hundred years. In the 20th Century, the most notable were the Edwardian era, which ended in a World War, and the 1940s & 1950s, which started during one. Each instance was followed by a period where the momentum swung strongly, if temporarily, towards the left again: the Roaring Twenties and the Swinging Sixties. This is typical.

Another such period of endarkenment is currently on-going, initiated by the Dominionist/neoCon take-over of the USian right wing. They very successfully spent the Clinton years moving the ‘moral debate’, Overton window, of Western politics rightwards. The post-Iraq-War Labour Party jumped on the bandwagon, for all they had been slightly better in their first term.

The Right very successfully leveraged early 21st century terrorist activity to wrench the Overton window even further to their side, in a manner rather reminiscent of the way British politicians in 1819 used the spectre of the guillotine to justify the ruthless suppression of early organised labour. The current Tea Party crowd are continuing the work, and Obama isn’t stopping them because Obama is ideologically a centerist, an ‘Average American'; and the Right have successfully moved the centre.

Those of us who prefer innovation over stagnation (have a look at the Tokugawan shogunate and what it did to Japan some time) can only hope that the current generation of reactionary success is followed by as effective a grassroots liberalisation of society as the last two were. The success of the Internet in circumventing the plutocracy’s barriers to free thought, expression and congregation of the like-minded suggest that it might.

Chaise,

This analogy is broken.

In my experience, when someone says this, what they mean is that they understand the analogy, but dislike its implications. So I feel that the analogical machinery is working perfectly well.

If you read my comment, you’ll notice that I said both that no one really knows what the rioters demands are (obviously: the rioters are a heterogeneous mass of disparate resentment, not the IRA), and that Chris is using the riots to advance his own agenda.

Symmetrically, there were those who claimed that we must restrict immigration in the wake of the Utoya massacres, but, as far as I know, none of them were members of political parties of influence or wrote for reputable newspapers.

The point is not that there is an actual formal alliance between thugs or murderers and proponents of a particular political agenda, but merely that there is a tactical use of violent elements to advance that agenda. It’s a move that is as old as time. Chris proposes redistributing wealth or risking more mob violence. Melanie Philips proposes restricting Muslim immigration or risking more Utoya style massacres. But Melanie Philips is a pariah. So why isn’t Chris Dillow?

53. Charlieman

@48. Bob B: “Compared with 10 years ago, there are now a good few Polish delicatessen shops around where I live and supermarkets often now stock a range of Polish food products.”

There was always a good Polish stall at markets in a big UK city. It was where you went for sausage, spicy biscuits and chewy milk toffees. What has changed is that the market spot holders now own supermarkets. And the chain supermarkets copy them.

Is this different from Asian shop ownership in the 1970s? Accelerated, but the pattern is the same.

Whilst I agree that inequality and economic stagnation can be a factor in social unrest. I think it is simplistic to look at stagnation in Japan and Arab states and imply that the reason Japan has had no social unrest is lower inequality. Demographics are the driver behind the Arab revolutions. Moreover, Emmanuel Todd who predicted the revolutions before they happened also identifies growing literacy in Arab states as vitally important.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,763537,00.html

Quite simply Arab states have lots of young people and stagnation specifically harms their prospects. Japan is the opposite and is rapidly ageing with one of the lowest fertility rates in the world. Japan likes to present a particular image to the world. However, I would not bet my life on Japanese statistics. For example, the unemployment rate, life expectancy, income levels and overall social equality.

” Over 60s accounted for 18.9 percent of all crimes last year compared with 3.1 percent in 1978, with shoplifting accounting for 80 percent of the total, the report said. ”
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=as80aWlHdA1M

Do pensioners accounting for 18.9 per cent of all crime sound like a particularly socially equal society to you?

People will not riot because they live in an unequal society. However, they will partake in social unrest if they feel that the odds are stacked against them with no way to improve their circumstances. It is a tragedy that the poor life chances of kids aged three can be predicted with accuracy. We can’t decree that all people are born equal with the same abilities. However, it is within our power to give people the chance to improve their circumstances. If we do not offer opportunities, well then we will reap what we have sown..

@52 vimothy: “If you read my comment, you’ll notice that I said both that no one really knows what the rioters demands are (obviously: the rioters are a heterogeneous mass of disparate resentment, not the IRA), ”

Agreed – but we can look at prevailing social issues in those areas which experienced the worst rioting, places like Tottenham and Croydon, and compare those places with the many places which had little or no rioting.

Two girls who took part in Monday night’s riots [8 August] in Croydon said in an interview that they were showing police and “the rich” that “we can do what we want”. The pair who were reportedly drinking wine looted from a local shop on the Tuesday morning, spoke to the BBC’s Leana Hosea.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424

John,

What I meant by “cross-post” is that I addressed the idea of the “Overton Window” shifting while you were posting to ask me if I had ever heard of the Overton Window. Perhaps I’m using the phrase cross-post incorrectly. It’s not important.

I’ve actually argued numerous times in the comments section that the UK is a liberal, progressive state and has undergone a wholesale regime change over the last 50 years. Often to cries of derision from liberals who constantly claim that our government is right-wing and reactionary, meaning, not left-wing enough.

I believe I understand your point. You are, basically, defining the entire Enlightenment as a movement of the Overton window to the left of your views

Yes, precisely so. And the ideology of the enlightenment is really the ideology of everyone alive today. Personally, I am not a fan. But de gustibus non est disputandum as the Romans used to say.

Further, and hopefully less unpractically… The last fifty years have taken a still relatively conservative nation and turned it into a thoroughly liberalised and characterless dystopia. I’m not campaigning for the return of the ancien regime. I would be happy merely to rediscover some of our former character.

Problem is of course that this is anathema to the ruling liberal ideology. Everyone must manifest the same identical existence (with the ultimate if unrealisable goal of transformation into featureless grey goo). Jim Kalb has a neat definition of liberalism: “We’re free to me you and me, as long as the differences between us never matter”. I don’t see that, given our ideology, it is possible to reverse this global trajectory of convergence with the US other than via the total collapse of civilisation. On the other hand, this cannot be too far away, so there is hope yet!

“We’re free to me you and me, as long as the differences between us never matter”

This should read,

“We’re free to be you and me, as long as the differences between us never matter”

58. Charlieman

@52. vimothy: “…and that Chris is using the riots to advance his own agenda.”

I would love to see Chris Dillow in the middle of a riot in my imagination, but not in reality.

“Are you throwing that brick through a window according to the principles of Hayek or Marx? Who do you wish to liberate? How does this street chaos accord with ‘broken window’ theory?”

Understand also, Vimothy, that Dillow debates are not about agendas; they are about ideas.

@53: “Is this different from Asian shop ownership in the 1970s? Accelerated, but the pattern is the same.”

I agree with your take about how Polish delicatessen shops have spread from market stalls to specialist supermarkets – and with emphasis on “accelerated”.

There are places, like Nottingham, which have had substantial and well-established Polish communities since the early post-war years but the frequency with which I’m now hearing Polish and other Baltic languages has developed only during the last few years.

The special relevance to issues here is the impact on the UK job market. The compounding evidence is that East Europeans have been taking a disproportionate share of UK “low skill” jobs and we need to analyse the likely market and social consequences of that.

@58. Bob B: “The special relevance to issues here is the impact on the UK job market. The compounding evidence is that East Europeans have been taking a disproportionate share of UK “low skill” jobs and we need to analyse the likely market and social consequences of that.”

Turn the question around. UK employers choose to employ East European workers for “low skill” work (I agree, the quotes are pertinent when you value labour in social terms). Other places in Europe can provide workers; in the UK, we have a surplus of labour that isn’t working. Immigration is not the problem; the problem is labour economics.

@59 Charliemen: “Immigration is not the problem; the problem is labour economics.”

“Labour economics” can mean many things. Try the memorandum submitted by Professor Rowthorn to the HoL Select Committee on Economic Affairs for the Committee’s report on: The Economic Impact of Immigation:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/82/7100902.htm

The Committee’s final report is here:
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/82/82.pdf

Until he retired, Professor Rowthorn was professor of economics at Cambridge. The Wikipedia entry for him includes this: “He has been described by Susan Strange as being one of the Marxists (another being Stephen Hymer) that is read in business schools.”

But Melanie Philips is a pariah. So why isn’t Chris Dillow?

Because Chris has, for years, been one of the most thought-provoking, intelligent, and entertaining writers in the British blogosphere. While Melanie has, for years, been one of the most brainless producers of unreadable, hysterical ghastliness.

Anything else I can help you with?

63. Leon Wolfson

@59 – Again, it’s simple. Coming here and living in a small room in a house for a few years, saving up money, is quite different at looking at doing those jobs for a lifetime.

Many of those people will go home, and do other kinds of work. The British people in question don’t have anything to aspire to, even within most of those jobs which are dead-ends. If there’s not even a hint of a career path…

Don’t worry, they’ll be driven out of London and the South East by the Tory social cleansing soon enough. It’s all about setting up the Tory Rule…

I see some one has been censoring my posts again – a response to Charlieman @59

The only possible offensive references include a link to a memorandum from Professor Robert Rowthorn to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economics Affairs for its report on: The Economic Impact of Immigration, and another link to the Committee’s final report

Professor Rowthorn was professor of economics at Cambridge until he retired. The Wikipedia entry for him relates that he is a Marxist who is read in business schools.

I find it amazing that freely available Parliamentary publications are regarded as too sensitive to mention on Liberal Conspiracy.

65. Chaise Guevara

@ 52 vimothy

“In my experience, when someone says this, what they mean is that they understand the analogy, but dislike its implications. So I feel that the analogical machinery is working perfectly well.”

Perhaps you should apply that to my post, where I actually explain why the analogy is broken? It’s broken because it’s logically flawed on a basic level – the implications you are trying to draw simply do not make sense. Whether or not you have experience of people hiding behind the claim that an analogy is broken isn’t actually relevant to this conversation, I think.

“If you read my comment, you’ll notice that I said both that no one really knows what the rioters demands are (obviously: the rioters are a heterogeneous mass of disparate resentment, not the IRA), and that Chris is using the riots to advance his own agenda.”

And yet you claim that they DO have demands. And no, it wasn’t disparate resentment. It was mainly people stealing shit because they could.

“Symmetrically, there were those who claimed that we must restrict immigration in the wake of the Utoya massacres, but, as far as I know, none of them were members of political parties of influence or wrote for reputable newspapers. ”

This would work better if you didn’t mention Melanie Phillips later on…

“The point is not that there is an actual formal alliance between thugs or murderers and proponents of a particular political agenda, but merely that there is a tactical use of violent elements to advance that agenda. It’s a move that is as old as time. Chris proposes redistributing wealth or risking more mob violence. Melanie Philips proposes restricting Muslim immigration or risking more Utoya style massacres. But Melanie Philips is a pariah. So why isn’t Chris Dillow?”

She’s a pariah because her politics are not only disgusting but insane. Chris Dillow’s aren’t. That’s all it comes down to. It’s not about right and left, it’s about the acceptability and sanity of the view expressed. If a decent right-winger – say Ken Clarke – and Stalin argued over the implications of an event like the riots, you would see Stalin condemned and Clarke applauded.

I trust this BoE paper won’t also be censored as my previous links to Parliamentary papers were since it addresses specifically the broad macroeconomic consequences of migration from Eastern Europe:

The Impact of the Recent Migration from Eastern Europe on the UK Economy
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/speeches/2007/speech297.pdf

Chaise,

My analogy was a comparison of relationships, what D&G call an analogy of proportionality or structure:

In the case of series I say a resembles b, b resembles c, etc… This is exactly what theologians used to call an analogy of proportion. In the case of structure, I say a is to b as c is to d… This is an analogy of proportionality.

Here, I am saying that Chris is to the rioters what Melanie Phillips is to Breivik or, I dunno, what Noam Chomsky is to Al Qaeda.

The analogical argument is that a mapping exists between these particulars (i.e. the relationships). I do not see the logical inconsistency here. Perhaps if you explained it bit more formally.

Whether or not you have experience of people hiding behind the claim that an analogy is broken isn’t actually relevant to this conversation, I think.

Well, it’s just a bit of harmless fun, ain’t it? You said described my analogy using the metaphor of a broken machine—itself an analogy—and I compared your claim to others I have heard—another analogy. It is analogies all the way down, I’m afraid.

68. Leon Wolfson

“Well, it’s just a bit of harmless fun, ain’t it?”

No. We’re talking about people, it’s never harmless. The right never get this.

Where researching official papers has got us to is that the broad macroeconomic effects of migration by East Europeans has been beneficial for most of us. But the migrants have disproportionately displaced UKborn workers from “low-skill” jobs. A study by the IPPR think-tank published at the beginning of last year shows one of the likely consequences:

Almost half of black people aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed, compared with 20% of white people of the same age, a think tank has claimed. The left-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research said a survey of 7,200 young people showed a wide variation in unemployment by ethnic group. Black unemployment had risen 13% since March 2008, compared with 8% among white people and 6% among Asians.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8468308.stm

The obvious ensuing question is why have the East European migrants had such a differential impact on the employment of black workers rather than on other ethnic groups?

@68: “We’re talking about people, it’s never harmless. The right never get this.”
Dispassionate research is crucial if we want effective and benign “evidence-based” policies regardless of whether the analysis offends some parties with personal or vested interests.

Doubtless, bankers don’t like much of the research into bankers’ bonuses and whether investment banking activities should be ringfenced from retail banking to better protect systemic stability of the banking system by allowing investment banks to fail if they become illiquid or insolvent while retail banking deposits are protected.

@59 – Again, it’s simple. Coming here and living in a small room in a house for a few years, saving up money, is quite different at looking at doing those jobs for a lifetime.

Many of those people will go home, and do other kinds of work.

Inclined to agree with this. I would add that money not spent in the UK will go relatively far ‘back home’.

Vimothy @56:

Ahhh, that sense of cross-post. Yes, you do seem to be aware it exists. I maintain that from the comment I looked at, the evidence suggested you did not.

Yes, precisely so. And the ideology of the enlightenment is really the ideology of everyone alive today. Personally, I am not a fan

If I understand correctly, this defines you as not merely unenlightened, but actively medievalist. At which point, there is as little hope of a reasonable discourse with you as there would be with a 16th Century French monk or a modern US Dominionist. Thanks for giving me the right to start ignoring you.

I’m rather late coming to this thread, but I have a nit to pick about the headline. An equal society can be equally awful for everyone, which is surely undesirable? Isn’t the real aim of progressives to achieve a society where more people are able to live better lives?

BobB:

The obvious ensuing question is why have the East European migrants had such a differential impact on the employment of black workers rather than on other ethnic groups?

The facile answer is, ‘more UK employers are skin-colour racists than are colour-blind xenophobes’, but we already knew that.

The more serious answer is geographical and socio-economic. If you compare unemployment rates among young whites in areas of post-industrial catastrophe, they will be very similar to the employments rates of young blacks, because the young in old pit towns or Newcastle’s slums are just as unemployable as the young in Hackney or Brixton, and for exactly the same reasons.

The point is that the second and third generation Afro-Caribbeans overwhelmingly live in the catastrophically under-developed inner-city areas (like Hackney, Enfield, Brixton and Harlesden, to use examples from the city I know best) where unemployment is systemic and multi-generational, as is under-education.

The 90% of the country that are white live more or less everywhere, which means that by proportion, a lot of white people live where there are jobs and a lot of white people are educated enough to get them. While the vast majority of Afro-Caribbeans are concentrated in areas of extreme urban poverty where what few jobs there in fact are, are mostly held by said youngsters’ first-gen immigrant parents.

Comparing overall statistics without reference to context is silly at best and a preamble to eugenics at worst.

@73: “The facile answer is, ‘more UK employers are skin-colour racists than are colour-blind xenophobes’, but we already knew that.”

Labelling employers “racist” doesn’t shed light on why employers are racist towards Blacks but not Asians, does it?

Nor does it explain the IPPR finding in January 2010 that as many as half black youth had no jobs, compared with 20% for white youth, or the finding in Social Trends 36 for 2006 where the highest unemployment rates by ethnic goups in 2004 were for Black Caribbeans and Black Africans.

This from The Economist suggests one credible explanation:

“Though white children in general do better than most minorities at school, poor ones come bottom of the league (see chart). Even black Caribbean boys, the subject of any number of initiatives, do better at GCSEs”
http://www.economist.com/node/14700670?story_id=14700670

The obvious ensuing question is why do poor black Caribbean youth rank so lowly in the school GCSE exams for 16 year-olds as compared with poor Asian youths – “poor” here defined as “qualifying for free school meals”?

BTW this is the link to the NEW ONS website: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/index.html

I’ve added the link to my browser.

@74 Didn’t someone already mention. Class. And culture. They interact.

@76: “@74 Didn’t someone already mention. Class. And culture. They interact.”

So they do – as does much else. But some stark employment and unemployment comparisons emerge relating to ethnic groups, which may well connect with cultural differences and have implications for social class. The question remains about why the relatively high unemployment rates for black youth as compared with other ethnic groups?

78. The guy who says what Bob B wants to hear

@77 It’s just cos blacks are inherently lazy!

77
I think your problem here is that you are focusing too much on race/ethnicity, John Q @73 points out the problem with sweeping statistical analysis:-
More Asian children come from middle-class backgrounds than Afro-Carribean, in fact, in the 1990s there were more female Asian doctors than white female doctors, I haven’t checked the latest numbers.
More Asians than whites owned their own home (figures from the 70s and 80s), including working-class Asians, one interpretation was the discrimination of local councils when allocating homes to ethnic minorities.
We are all aware of the sterotypal view of the Asian corner shop owner but Asian familes going into this, and other businesses together, managed to avoid discrimination by white employers.

@Vimothy how is Melanie Philips – a writer for a popular newspaper and regular guest on respectable radio shows- in any sense a pariah? Or less popular than Internet commentator Chris Dillow?

And for that matter, how is Noam Chomsky (a libertarian pro-american zionist) a more moderate version of Osama Bin Laden (a fascist anti-semite third worldist)? Did you nick that comparison from Moldbug because it didn’t make any more sense when he said it. Chomsky thinks the areas OBL wants for the caliphate should abandon religion and adopt (some syndicalist variant on) free market economics, he just thinks military intervention by the US is unlikely to meet this objective.

@79 Steveb; “We are all aware of the sterotypal view of the Asian corner shop owner but Asian familes going into this, and other businesses together, managed to avoid discrimination by white employers.”

Yours is an illuminating and constructive analysis IMO but we are decades on since the Windrush first docked in 1948, more than 60 years ago, so there is a challenging puzzle about why so many businesses and corner shops are Asian owned and why so few shops are black owned and run as well as why Asian youth strive at school.

Does this relate to why several East African countries expelled their settled Asian communities in the early 1970s?

Flinging “racist” labels around does not illuminate the reasons for the stark observable and documented social differences among our ethnic groups.

Bob,

Flinging “racist” labels around does not illuminate the reasons for the stark observable and documented social differences among our ethnic groups.

Perhaps you should attempt to answer the questions you repeat time and again in these threads.

I have no idea whether you are racist or not, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable inference given your posts.

ukliberty: “I have no idea whether you are racist or not, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable inference given your posts.”

I follow the documented evidence, evidence which I didn’t invent, and simply ask why so.

It is amazing that some find that inquisitive approach “racist” – and then make that claim without offering any explanation for the observable stark social differences between our ethnic groups so the questions remain unanswered.

At least I’ve attempted one explanation in a quote from The Economist @74 relating to the differences in school attainment by poor youths by ethnic groups in the GCSE exams. Apparently, some even find that quote offensive.

On the evidence here and from other threads, the only reasonable conclusion seems to be that rational discussion of these issues concerning the ethnic dimension of social inequalities is impossible.

84. Leon Wolfson

@83 – Because of the context of your other posts, yes.

80
I did not infer that you were racist I pointed-out that you were focusing too much on race rather than other issues such as class and culture.
Why do more Asian families go into business, I can only speculate that many first generation Asians who came to this country came from a feudal/semi-feudal economy and, consequently culture therefore, working as a family is ‘normal’
The Afro-Carribean social/economic/cultural conditions were far more complex, a large number were decendants from slaves and the British colonial system in a much smaller area than the Raj,
There isn’t going to be an easy answer, class and culture do interact as someone upthread has already pointed-out.

@85 Steveb: “I did not infer that you were racist I pointed-out that you were focusing too much on race rather than other issues such as class and culture.”

Social classes are much shaped by group cultures, which is the point that The Economist is making in that quote @74 which reports that “poor” working class white lads are at the very bottom of the heap in the GCSE exam results. It’s not credible to charge The Economist with racism for highlighting that unpalatable ethnic fact.

Besides we can note those entirely external ethnic factors, such as the expulsion of settled Asian communities from East African countries in the early 1970s, which isn’t something I invented. As mentioned, the ethnic Indian guy from Mauritius working as a ward sister in the hospital I was in last year, has no “right of return” to India. Whereas that arch crook Robert Maxwell got a state funeral in Israel.

And there is this recently on the BBC website: Is it wrong to note 100m winners are always black?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14679657

There is a regular example of astounding ethnic inequality. Someone ought to do something about it.

87. Leon Wolfson

@86 – Annd the Anti-Semitism emerges. How unshocking.

87
Social class is shaped by the economic base.
To a large extent, culture is also shaped by the economic base.
That’s why ‘poor’ working-class white lads aspire to own new mobile phones, and the latest technology, just the same as Asian and Afro-Carribean lads.
As you often make reference to the fact that white working-class boys do worse in GCE results than black Carribean boys, how do you then explain that unemployment in the latter group is 40% and that of the former is 20%?
And you are really losing me now with the reference to Robert Maxwell.

@87: “@86 – Annd the Anti-Semitism emerges. How unshocking.”

ROFL! It’s now “antisemitic” to mention the factual statement that the arch crook Robert Maxwell – who defrauded thousands out of their employment pensions – got a state funeral in Israel. Try the entry for Maxwell in Wikipedia:

“Maxwell was given a funeral in Israel better befitting a head of state than a publisher, as described by author Gordon Thomas: On 10 November 1991, Maxwell’s funeral took place on the Mount of Olives Har Zeitim in Jerusalem, across from the Temple Mount. It had all the trappings of a state occasion, attended by the country’s government and opposition leaders. No fewer than six serving and former heads of the Israeli intelligence community listened as Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: ‘He has done more for Israel than can today be said.'”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Maxwell

@steveb: “As you often make reference to the fact that white working-class boys do worse in GCE results than black Carribean boys, how do you then explain that unemployment in the latter group is 40% and that of the former is 20%?”

The findings about ethnic unemployment rates come from a IPPR report in January last year. As I understand it, the 40% unemployment rate relates to all black youth, whereas the 20% rate relates to all white youth, not to just those “poor” white youth who do worst of all ethnic groups in the GCSE exams.

As The Economist reports, white youth, which don’t qualify for free school meals and which comprise most of those taking the GCSE exams, naturally do about as well as average in the exams – which is unsurprising since white candidates comprise most of those taking the GCSE exams.

What we are looking for here is why employers have been taking on East Europeans rather than UKborn workers. I’m suggesting that the low attainment of “poor” black Caribbean youth in the GCSE exams as compared with “poor” candidates from other ethnic groups is probably part of the explanation for the high unemployment rate of black youth compared with other ethnic groups. By many press accounts, employers prefer the skills and work ethic of the East European migrants.

Quite why reporting that analysis is deemed “racist” is a mystery.

“And you are really losing me now with the reference to Robert Maxwell.”

That was really intended for our Leon here. Robert Maxwell was very wealthy. He was also a fraudster on a horrendous scale. Given the mysterious circumstances surrounding his unexpected demise while sailing on a luxury yacht, his subsequent state funeral in Israel came as a surprise to many, perhaps especially to the thousands who had lost their employment pensions through his fraud.

Leon fell headlong into an elephant trap. As I’ve suggested many times, anything deemed remotely critical of Israel is promptly labelled “antisemitic” by some.

@88 Steve, the reason why you’re lost by the Robert Maxwell reference is because Bob B essentially deploys the Gish Gallop technique – throw enough spagetti at the wall till something sticks (with added google links which occasionally are relevant). You may have noticed he always asks questions (usually the same fucking ones which have already been answered umpteen fucking times), and never puts forth his own ideas or opinions as to why a situation may be. This allows him to dress up his barely veiled bigotry as some sort of fearless quest for the truth, when in actual fact most of us see through his transparent ploys easily enough.
Hell, he basically made the case, in another thread, that the Scottish were unfit to run their own affairs because they’re a nation of drunks and some project there a couple centuries ago didn’t turn out as planned.
He’s a professional troll, at the end of the day. Not that that ever stops those with siwoti syndrome from having a go.

@91: Cylux

Predictably more ad hominem stuff but with no illumination as to why employers have been taking on East European migrants instead of UKborn workers or for the independently documented relatively high unemployment rate among black workers compared with other ethnic groups. And no illumination on the low attainment of black youth in the GCSE exams at school compared with other ethnic groups.

I submit my exhibit a: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/05/08/for-alex-salmond-scotlands-independence-isnt-the-point/

I’d try providing you with answers Bob, but it should be very clear to everyone now that you are looking for a particular answer and are quite willing to handwave away any explanation that doesn’t conform to that answer. So why don’t you save us all the buggering about and just tell us what you think the likely reasons are to your concerns.

John,

Thanks for giving me the right to start ignoring you.

You’re welcome, but you already possessed this right—and it is not from me that you acquired it.

Mercy,

Quite possibly. Talent borrows, genius steals, but generally I just cut and paste.

I fear you have misunderstood the nature of my analogy, though. I am making what Delueze and Guattari call an analogy of proportionality, and not the more typical variant, which they call an analogy of portion.

An analogy can be thought of as an identity of relation between two objects or particulars. Thus, in an analogy of proportion, we say a is like b, c is like d and so on. For instance, when Chaise implied via metaphor that my analogy is like broken machine, an identity of relation was established between my analogical argument and the malfunctioning cogs of a broken appliance. If I were to say Chris Dillow is like the rioters, or Osama bin Laden is like Noam Chomsky, or Melanie Phillips is like Anders Breivik, then I would be making arguments of the same form. One object, a, is like another object, b. We have formed an ordered pair of objects (or several pairs) and established an equivalence relation between them.

However, what I am trying to establish is an identity of relation between two ordered pairs of two ordered pairs. I am making an analogy not between objects but between relationships between objects.

In the case of series, I say a resembles b, b resembles c, etc.; all of these terms conform in varying degrees to a single eminent term, perfection, or quality behind the series. This is exactly what the theologians used to call an analogy of proportion. In the case of structure, I say a is to b as c is to d; and each of these relationships realizes after its fashion the perfection under consideration: gills are to breathing under water as lungs are to breathing in air; or the heart is to gills as the absence of a heart is to tracheas [in insects]… This is an analogy of proportionality. In the first case, I have resemblances that differ from one another in a single series, and between series. In the second case, I have differences that resemble one another within a single structure and between structures. The first form of analogy passes for the most sensible and popular, and requires imagination; but the kind of imagination it requires is a studious one… The second form of analogy is considered royal because it requires all the resources of understanding, in order to define equivalent relations by discovering, on the one hand, the independent variables that can be combined to form a structure and, on the other hand, the correlates that entail one another within each structure.

By way of example, Deleuze and Guattari suggest Vernant’s analogy: marriage is to the woman what war is to the man. “The result is a homology between the virgin who refuses marriage and the warrior who disguises himself as a woman.”

You can make your own. It’s fun! The troll is to the thread what the yeast is to the grain. The reactionary is to democracy what the ghost is to its crypt.

And so: Chris Dillow has a relationship with the rioters, established via what he has written in this post. Noam Chomsky has written about Al Qaeda. Melanie Phillips has written about Breivik. My claim is not that Chomsky or whoever you prefer is like bin Laden (though Chomsky is clearly the best since bin Laden has returned the favour by writing about him)–that would be both stupid and uninteresting, but that these relationships are structural analogues. Phillips and Breivik share (some) goals, which motivates their relationship, just like bin Laden and Chomsky, and just like Dillow and the rioters. Who do writers write for? Themselves, obviously; but, as Bruno Latour might say, truth proceeds only by alliance.

91
Had to look that one up, should try harder to ignore posts that go round in circles.

@94 Heh, if you fancy looking at the Scotland discussion, it’s in the comments here:- http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/05/08/for-alex-salmond-scotlands-independence-isnt-the-point/

97. Chaise Guevara

@ vimothy

“My analogy was a comparison of relationships, what D&G call an analogy of proportionality or structure:

[...]

The analogical argument is that a mapping exists between these particulars (i.e. the relationships). I do not see the logical inconsistency here. Perhaps if you explained it bit more formally.”

I did explain quite clearly, at 37. It’s frankly annoying to have to refer you back to a post that you’ve already replied to, vimothy. The relationships are not comparable (see 37) and the inferences you draw from them are baseless (see 37).

Or, more “formally”, as that’s apparently a requirement all of a sudden: a has a relationship with b. c has a different relationship with d. Ergo: nothing. This does not allow us to draw a direct comparison between a and c.

“Well, it’s just a bit of harmless fun, ain’t it? You said described my analogy using the metaphor of a broken machine—itself an analogy—and I compared your claim to others I have heard—another analogy. It is analogies all the way down, I’m afraid.”

Even if true, this would be nonsensical. But no, I didn’t use an analogy, I said your analogy was broken. To whit: “a thing that does not work”. That’s not an analogy, it’s a description. But if I had used an analogy, that would be no excuse for you drawing irrational conclusions from your own broken analogy.

Yeesh.

98. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob B

“On the evidence here and from other threads, the only reasonable conclusion seems to be that rational discussion of these issues concerning the ethnic dimension of social inequalities is impossible.”

Bob, I’ve yet to see you try to start a rational discussion where ethnicity is concerned. What you do is link a load of anecdotes about blacks/Muslims/whoever being horrid, say “who, me?” when people question your motivations for doing so, then bemoan our “failure” to engage with the “evidence” of your selectively harvested anecdotes. Over and over and over again.

It’s called confirmation bias: if Bob wants to believe that Muslims are evil, he will go out and find a load of sources about evil Muslims. Look it up, and then stop doing it.

@90. Bob B: “Robert Maxwell was very wealthy. He was also a fraudster on a horrendous scale. Given the mysterious circumstances surrounding his unexpected demise while sailing on a luxury yacht, his subsequent state funeral in Israel came as a surprise to many, perhaps especially to the thousands who had lost their employment pensions through his fraud.”

Everything around the time of Maxwell’s death is consistent with they way he was treated by politicians during his life.

He died on 05 November 1991. In accordance with Jewish practice, he was buried a few days later (08/09 November?). His dubious personal history and practices had been known for many years by journalists and Private Eye readers, but his official persona was that of a straight but tough businessman. John Major and Neil Kinnock, in the days after Maxwell’s death, maintained the farce in their personal tributes.

Maxwell’s WWII record was that of an escapee from occupied Europe, a British soldier and an intelligence officer. Whilst many people held doubts, the official record at the time of his death was that Maxwell was a war hero. And the state of Israel buried him as a hero. Note that the Maxwell empire was still running at full steam, unlike his personal yacht.

The fact that Emperor Maxwell wore no clothes did not occur to some people at the time of his death, or more likely they chose to ignore it. But Maxwell’s cloak unravelled like a badly knitted jumper shortly afterwards. Journalists who had been silenced previously spoke out, and some people who had spoken of Maxwell’s great character recycled their words to suggest that he was a flawed man.

As Bob B wrote, Maxwell was a fraudster. And if he couldn’t fool people, he bullied them. The Maxwell story is not about an active conspiracy to protect him; it was about passivity, recorded on a fortnightly basis in Private Eye for years.

@9y chaise: “Bob, I’ve yet to see you try to start a rational discussion where ethnicity is concerned. What you do is link a load of anecdotes about blacks/Muslims/whoever being horrid, say ‘who, me?'”

That is demonstrably untrue. I have provided umpteen links to independent factual sources – as @19, @48, @61, @66, @69, @74. In this thread, there was no mention of Muslims until you introduced it. I have not commented on Muslims in this thread.

On the clear evidence, you are plainly incapable of honest, intelligent discussion. The main focus of much of my posts here has been to seek:

(1) Explanations as to why jobs have been predominantly taken up by non-UKborn workers, rather than UKborn workers, as reported in this official ONS video presentation, which I quoted @48:

“This is the relatively NEW official and illuminating video on how British jobs have been taken up”:
http://www.nomisweb.co.uk/published/stories/story.asp?id=6

(2) reasons for the differentially high rates of unemployment of Black Caribbean and Black African workers, compared with other ethnic groups, as reported in the official publication: Social Trends 36, published in 2006: ‘The different experiences of the UK’s ethnic and religious populations’, as I quoted @74

And I can readily provide a link to the last reference to Social Trends 36.

101. Leon Wolfson

@99 – Junk statistics.

http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/09/how-the-disabled-took-all-the-jobs/

How unsurprising. The ONS are proving how far the government is prepared to go…

For reference, this is a link to the official publication: Social Trends 36: 2006 with “The different experiences of the United kingdom’s ethnic and religious populations”
Unemployment rates of men by ethnic group 2004 are shown in Figure A.4 on page 6
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/social-trends-rd/social-trends/no–36–2006-edition/index.html

@junk statistics

The old and discontinued ONS website had this:

In the first quarter of 2011, around 1 in 5 workers, or 20.6 per cent, in low-skill occupations were born outside the UK. This figure has increased from around 1 in 11 workers, or 9.0 per cent, in the first quarter of 2002.

This represents an increase of 367,000 non-UK born workers in low-skill jobs, with 666,000 in the first quarter of 2011, up from 298,000 at the start of 2002.

Over the same period there was little change in the number of workers in low-skill jobs in the UK, which stood at around 3.2 million. However, the number of UK-born people in low-skill jobs fell from 3.04 million to 2.56 million.

There were also increases in the percentage of non-UK born workers in each of the three higher-skill groups, although the increases there were not as large as that in low-skill jobs. [end quote]

The Office of National Statistics is an independent agency, which I take a deal more seriously than any comments on: Left Foot Forward

On the evidence, “low skill” jobs are going mainly to non-UK born workers. It makes sense to try to fathom out why employers prefer to take on non-UKborn workers.

@ 39:

Yeah, you’re right. Probably best to replace “the rioters’ demands” with “whatever supposed grievances people have projected onto the rioters”.

The link posted @55 to a BBC interview with two young women in Croydon gives us a pretty clear insight into what the rioting was all about.

@1: Tony Hatfield: you can see the stats in wilkinson and pickett’s ‘spirit level’ or on the ‘equality trust website. http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/

Actually, if you want to see their raw data, you have to tell them your name and address and give them your credit card number.

103
1 in 4 graduates are still unemployed 2 years after graduating.
I wonder why employers aren’t employing all of those graduates?

@steveb: “1 in 4 graduates are still unemployed 2 years after graduating. I wonder why employers aren’t employing all of those graduates?”

There is a grim analysis in Friday’s FT by Martin Wolf which starts: “The current UK depression will be the longest since at least the First World War.” He points out that UK output is still 4% below the starting point of the depression in autumn 2008. He links to this by Bill Martin at the Centre for Business Research, Cambridge, who argues that there has been a collapse in Britian’s “supply-potential”: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/BM_Report.pdf

Wolf argues that the UK’s depression is more likely due to weakness in demand than to a collpase in potential supply.

That’s my (keynesian) take too: why would businesses add to capacity if they don’t expect the demand to be there for the output produced by the new capacity? It tends to get overlooked that Keynes had an aggregate supply function in his model as well as an aggregate demand function.

But none of that analysis explains why employers have been taking on non-UKborn workers for “low skill” jobs rather than UKborn workers.

I know from my son’s work experience after graduating that new graduates can be very fussy about whom they work for and what they do. Some end up taking non-graduate jobs in desperation. Others hold out for fear of being typecast as not really up to graduate jobs.

The degree subject is likely to be significant. Every so often the media produces figures on unemployment rates by degree subject and the Indy produces an annual league table of average graduate salaries by degree subject. Doctors, dentists, engineers and economists usually head the league.

Perhaps significantly in the news today, there are reportedly official concerns about there being too few male teachers in primary schools – and recall that teaching is now an all-graduate profession.

108
What your post shows is a very careful analysis of the statistics I mentioned @107.
John Q @73 gave you a careful analysis to your questions, and several other posters, including myself, have also given you answers, but instead of acknowledging those answers or even contradicting them with other evidence/analysis, you either ignore them or expand the argument into (questionably) unrelated areas.
In South Yorkshire, the reason so many working-class boys are out of work is because of the high unemployment levels dating back to the 80s. Well paid manual jobs have made way for low-paid, part-time retail and service jobs. This in part explains why most working-class lads aren’t interested in education. Also, the geographical problems caused by mining over a large area of the county makes central redevelopment very difficult.
And I don’t want another quote from Orwell, because as a social scientist, you should know that an extract from a work of fiction is not suitable evidence for explaining social phenomena.

@steveb: “but instead of acknowledging those answers or even contradicting them with other evidence/analysis, you either ignore them or expand the argument into (questionably) unrelated areas.”

That is more a smear than an argument. I’ve been accused of much, including relying on “anecdotes” when I’ve been at pains to cite independent sources of the essential facts at issue and post links to many – as I showed @100.

That post set two main questions which haven’t had robust answers:

– Explanations as to why so many ‘low skill’ jobs have been taken up by non-UKborn workers, rather than UKborn workers, as shown by the official ONS analysis in the link @100.

– Reasons for the differentially high rates of unemployment of Black Caribbean and Black African workers, compared with other ethnic groups, as reported in the official publication: Social Trends 36, published in 2006: ‘The different experiences of the UK’s ethnic and religious populations’ – the link to that reference was posted @102

Claims that I’m “racist” and relying on slurs are manifestly absurd when I’m seeking explanations for facts reported in official publications. Even the facts about attainment in GCSE exams by ethnic group, as reported by The Economist in the link @74, derive from official sources.

Those sources will remain out there even after this thread ends.

Race and riots in The Economist on 3 September 2011
http://www.economist.com/node/21528285

Chaise,

It’s frankly annoying to have to refer you back to a post that you’ve already replied to, vimothy.

I quite agree. More than once, too. Must I reply to it yet again? It seems that I must.

*****

This analogy is broken. The rioters didn’t make any “demands”.

You’ll notice that at no point has Noam Chomsky suggested that the US overthrow the House of Saud and set up Sheik Osama’s Caliphate on Al Jazeera either. Another broken analogy!

The problem seems to be that we are communicating in two different languages, so that even though I’ve responded to your objection several times, and again at length when someone else raised it, you haven’t realised. Given this, I wonder if there is any point in posting it another time. But why not, eh:

I am not comparing the rioters to terrorists—that was not my analogy.

Feel free to copy this and write it out in all caps if it helps.

In fact, as I have intimated repeatedly up and down this thread, I was comparing the relationship between Dillow (really, the left in general) and the rioters to the relationship between Phillips (or whoever) and Breivik.

As to whether the rioters possess a coherent organisational structure akin to Al Qaeda or Hezbollah, it really is beyond obvious that they do not. On the other hand, it is pretty clear that they were interested in both demonstrating their collective power and acquiring some booty. Do you think they might like more of the same, if it were on offer? Well gee, I don’t know, but I guess so, given that they are evidently not robots or Vulcans. What do you think? Would you like more power and some free goodies? I rather suspect that you would, unless you are Gandhi reincarnated, and even then you would pass only on the goodies.

So the OP isn’t suggesting we do the equivalent of appeasing terrorists

As I said previously, it’s not clear exactly whose interests Dillow means to serve, because, as I also said previously, the rioters are not a coherent political organisation. However, Dillow suggests that, unless we want to have more “social unrest” (a euphemism that clearly means violence and terror), we need to redistribute more wealth. Who to, exactly? Again, I just don’t know, but I get the feeling that whoever it is will include the rioters and potential future rioters, or I fail to see how redistribution will satisfy any grievances. So we have two interpretations, and neither is particularly pleasant: write the policy the OP favours, or suffer the violent consequences; and, give these guys some money, or suffer the violent consequences. Both are threats. This is a kind of protection racket, but on a much larger, society-wide scale.

Note that the threat from the right works in exactly the same fashion. Write policy I like, or suffer more crazy Utoya-style outbursts of violence; and, write the policy they (the mass murderer/terrorists) like, or suffer more violence. The magnitude might be different, but the relationship between intellectual and thug is the same.

The logic I’m getting from your post is “If a policy would be liked by one or more criminals, that policy is automatically unacceptable”.

That’s kinda mystifying, because I haven’t written anything like that.

Even if the rioters had been political… would that somehow prove socialism was wrong and anyone who advanced it was an apologist for the rioters?

Of course not. But it would call into being a relationship between the rioters and those who advocated socialist policies on the back of the threat of more rioting.

*****
Or, more “formally”, as that’s apparently a requirement all of a sudden

You were the poster who brought up formalism, when you described my analogy as logically inconsistent, meaning—as I was taught to use the phrase—that the conclusion does not follow from the premises. But you have only disagreed with my premises, and not shown that my argument is inconsistent. Now you pretend that being asked to explain yourself is somehow unreasonable.

a has a relationship with b. c has a different relationship with d.

The relationships are analogues, as I have gone to some lengths to explain. Since this is the substance of my argument, why don’t you address it, rather than dismissing it with a simple assertion?

This does not allow us to draw a direct comparison between a and c.

Which I am not doing, as I have explained—over and over and over and over.

Even if true, this would be nonsensical.

Clearly, if it is true then it cannot be nonsensical.

But no, I didn’t use an analogy, I said your analogy was broken. To whit: “a thing that does not work”. That’s not an analogy, it’s a description.

What it is is a metaphor, which is a type of analogy.

But if I had used an analogy, that would be no excuse for you drawing irrational conclusions from your own broken analogy.

What are you talking about, “excuses”? This is the comments section to a blog.

And the “irrational conclusions” that I drew from my own “broken analogy” (you have that exactly back to front, BTW) do not follow from anything you wrote.

Yeesh.

Um, quite…..

113. Chaise Guevara

@ 100 Bob

“That is demonstrably untrue. I have provided umpteen links to independent factual sources – as @19, @48, @61, @66, @69, @74. In this thread, there was no mention of Muslims until you introduced it. I have not commented on Muslims in this thread.

On the clear evidence, you are plainly incapable of honest, intelligent discussion.”

LOL. You ignore the central point of my post (i.e. that you cherry-pick anecdotes to support your prejudices), defend yourself against an accusation I never made, then tell me I’m incapable of intelligent discussion? Look in a fucking mirror, Bob.

114. Chaise Guevara

@ 112 vimothy

“You’ll notice that at no point has Noam Chomsky suggested that the US overthrow the House of Saud and set up Sheik Osama’s Caliphate on Al Jazeera either. Another broken analogy!”

Eh? I wasn’t talking about your Chomsky reference. I was talking about your claim that the OP is essentially an attempt to threaten people into following the OP’s preferred policy.

“I am not comparing the rioters to terrorists—that was not my analogy. ”

Aware of that.

“In fact, as I have intimated repeatedly up and down this thread, I was comparing the relationship between Dillow (really, the left in general) and the rioters to the relationship between Phillips (or whoever) and Breivik. ”

OK, I accept that comparison. But it’s shifting the goalposts from your original accusation (see below).

“As I said previously, it’s not clear exactly whose interests Dillow means to serve, because, as I also said previously, the rioters are not a coherent political organisation. However, Dillow suggests that, unless we want to have more “social unrest” (a euphemism that clearly means violence and terror), we need to redistribute more wealth. Who to, exactly? Again, I just don’t know, but I get the feeling that whoever it is will include the rioters and potential future rioters, or I fail to see how redistribution will satisfy any grievances. So we have two interpretations, and neither is particularly pleasant: write the policy the OP favours, or suffer the violent consequences; and, give these guys some money, or suffer the violent consequences. Both are threats. This is a kind of protection racket, but on a much larger, society-wide scale.”

Right, this is where your logic falls down. The OP is suggesting a solution to a problem. You are creatively interpreting that as the OP threatening you with the problem if you don’t adopt the solution. If you brand that a threat, and declare that threats are not acceptable, you’re outlawing people from suggesting a solution to any problem ever.

Imagine someone is in favour of the death penalty – something I happen to be against. In the ensuing debate, they claim (it’s not important for now whether or not the claim is accurate) that the deterent of capital punishment would result in there being less murders. Would it be reasonable of me to reply “OMG, you’re threating us with MURDER if we don’t comply with your demands!” Because that’s the logic you’re employing.

Put simply, pointing out the logical consequences of one course of ction is not the same as threatening someone with those consequences should they decide to follow that course of action.

“That’s kinda mystifying, because I haven’t written anything like that. ”

Really? And yet you seem to object to a sensible policy on the basis that the people who benefited from it would include rioters.

“Clearly, if it is true then it cannot be nonsensical.”

Okay, this statement was related to something I’ve now accepted, but it’s still a silly attempt to misinterpret me. A statement can be true but nonsensical in terms of the discussion. Try “Even if this was true, it would not logically support your point”.

“What it is is a metaphor, which is a type of analogy.”

Why is calling a broken thing “broken” a metaphor?

“What are you talking about, “excuses”? This is the comments section to a blog.”

Thanks for the non-sequiter. “What do you mean, “comments section”? This is Saturday!”

“And the “irrational conclusions” that I drew from my own “broken analogy” (you have that exactly back to front, BTW) do not follow from anything you wrote.”

Good place to sum up here: I retract my complaint about your OP/Phillips analogy. However, your conclusions are still nonsensical as they rely on labelling a solution (and, by extention of the logic, ALL solutions) as a threat.

115. Chaise Guevara

@ 110 Bob

“That is more a smear than an argument. I’ve been accused of much, including relying on “anecdotes” when I’ve been at pains to cite independent sources of the essential facts at issue and post links to many ”

Oh, God, is all this down to you not knowing what “anecdote” means? It doesn’t mean the claim is dodgy – an anecdote can be fully accurate and come from a reliable source. It means that you’re drawing conclusions that the claim cannot support.

In your case, this means posting (presumably true) examples of people in demographics you hate doing bad things in the obvious hope that we’ll all adopt your bigotry. Happily, most people on this forum other than you are capable of, well, honest, intelligent discussion, and don’t fall for logic like “Here are five evil black men, ergo black men are generally evil.”

@113: “LOL. You ignore the central point of my post (i.e. that you cherry-pick anecdotes to support your prejudices), ”

Rubbish. I look at the evidence in indpendent sources and raise questions about the what the documented stats show.

My few anecdotes are simply illustrative – my most frequently used anaecdote being about the ethnic Indian ward sister from Mauritius in the hospital I was last year having no right of return to India, which relates to the expulsion of settled Asian communities from East African countries in the early 1970s. The expulsions were well-documented and affected tens of thousands of people:
http://www.minorityrights.org/5415/united-kingdom/east-african-asians.html

What is prejudiced about that?

Try the link posted @111 to the analysis in this Saturday’s The Economist on race and the riots – which has more stats about inequalities by ethnic group. I’m persuaded by the conclusions there. If we want effective and sympathetic evidence-based policies then we have to start by facing facts. That’s what I’ve been trying to do. Unsurprisingly, some find the facts unpalatable so they claim I’m prejudiced rather than face reality. Since I’m saying that I agree with The Economist, they will need to extend their smears to that periodical as well.

117. Chaise Guevara

@ 116 Bob B

“What is prejudiced about that?”

Nothing. But pointing out that some of your actions are not based on prejudice does not excuse those of them that are.

“My few anecdotes are simply illustrative”

They’re not, though: you frequently use them as the total body of evidence. You have a tendency to say something like “Have we considered the implications of this behaviour being common among [ethnic/religious group]?”, then post a few anecdotes to “support” the statement. And no, that’s not supposed to be a direct quote.

“Try the link posted @111 to the analysis in this Saturday’s The Economist on race and the riots – which has more stats about inequalities by ethnic group. I’m persuaded by the conclusions there. If we want effective and sympathetic evidence-based policies then we have to start by facing facts. That’s what I’ve been trying to do. Unsurprisingly, some find the facts unpalatable so they claim I’m prejudiced rather than face reality. Since I’m saying that I agree with The Economist, they will need to extend their smears to that periodical as well.”

If race is a factor, we shouldn’t ignore than simply because it upsets our sensibilities. But again, you frequently throw your anecdotes out without offering any conclusions yourself, if not in this thread then in many others. You just claim that other people on the thread should connect the dots for you. As a result, you’re pretty much known as “the guy who spams unrelated news stories to prove that blacks and Muslims are not to be trusted”, and people are understably wary of your contributions to the debate.

@chaise

If you don’t approve of what I post here then try reading the analysis in Saturday’s The Economist linked @111 – which I agree with.

I don’t propose to waste further time discussing with someone who is patently incapable of addressing documented facts about the basic sources of ethnic inequalities – which IMO owe much to the documented low educational attainment of black youth, as compared with other ethnic groups. That can be dubbed “prejudiced” or “racist” to cover up the facts but the problem is substantive and remains for all the puerile name-calling.

Relabelling the causes as due to “social class” or “culture” is just relabelling.

We are still looking for explanations as to why employers have been taking on so many non-UKborn workers for “low skill” jobs rather than UKborn workers.

118
Bob, you are confusing ‘data’ with ‘analysis’, as you rightly say on a previous post, the data will always be there. But just as so much observable phenomenon remains, the intepretation/meaning has changed over time.
No-one has challenged the data, it’s your interpretation (or lack of it) which infers certain explainations which are being challenged.

@119 Stevebe

My posts have included umpteen references to data – see @100.

The substantive issues relating to inequalities between ethnic groups are unresolved:

– The DOCUMENTED relatively low attainment of black youth compared with other ethnic groups – see the quote from The Economist linked @74 – and the implications of that in job markets

– We are still looking for explanations as to why employers have been taking on so many non-UKborn workers for “low skill” jobs rather than UKborn workers

Flinging accusations of “racist” doesn’t resolve those fundamental issues.

If you don’t approve of my analysis then try the link @111 to the piece in Saturday’s The Economist on: Race and the riots.

121. Chaise Guevara

@ 118 Bob B

I read the article. It’s interesting. It doesn’t compel me to hate black people. Sorry about that.

Of course, I don’t want to waste your valuable time, as I am apparently “patently incapable of addressing documented facts “. Fair enough, it’s not your fault that you don’t know what “anecdote” means, despite this being explained to you in language a five year old could understand. But then, I don’t like talking to ludicrous little racists, so perhaps we can agree to disagree. Let me know what it’s like on the losing side of the bellcurve.


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. Dominic Campbell

    Want less social unrest? Then we need more equal societies http://t.co/UCflRVX

  3. Alex Braithwaite

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  8. punkscience

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  10. P A N D E M I C

    Want less social unrest? Then we need more equal societies http://t.co/UCflRVX

  11. Geoffrey Pearson

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  12. Fen

    Want less social unrest? Then we need more equal societies: http://t.co/7QrBIbS by Chris Dillow #LibCon

  13. Richard

    RT @libcon: Want less social unrest? Then we need more equal societies http://t.co/PImkwcU << That this must be so clearly argued is damning

  14. Pamela Heywood

    Want less social unrest? Then we need more equal societies http://t.co/dPVeAvV

  15. Rachel Hubbard

    WantLessSocial unrest?NeedMoreEqualSocieties @LibCon http://t.co/KkEJ477 SomeUltraRichInFrance&US are calling for higher taxes on themselves

  16. Teresa Amor

    Y más sobre el tema http://t.co/856SSAa "En este contexto, que los ricos quieran pagar es, lo digan o no, para prevenir disturbios"





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