Are right-wingers evil? Yes


3:32 pm - July 17th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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Given that Iain Duncan Smith was in the news this week pushing his welfare cap, I think it’s worthwhile wading back into an argument I kicked off last week. Hopi Sen published a blog saying:

Do I believe that the Tories want to see a society where the poor are stewing grass?1 No. I think they’d be horrified.

Do I think the Tories want to see food banks, or increased poverty? No. I think they’re either seen as the unfortunate side effect of essential policies, to be ameliorated where possible, or as an intransigent problem with roots that go very deep and can only really be addressed at the individual, atomic level.

I shot back on Twitter saying this was “naive” – which led to an amusing afternoon of right-wingers comparing me to Hitler. The very people who attack welfare recipients as ‘scroungers’ and dismiss tabloid attacks on disabled people as deserving because most are pretending anyway then act all hurt when someone says they’re heartless bastards.

I’m not surprised centrists like Hopi Sen and Tom Chivers (who works at the Telegraph) endorse this view; it would reflect badly on their own politics if they had to condemn Tory policies in much harsher terms (by devan tforge service). But to justify my point I want to offer some examples anyway. If you want to respond please see the questions at the end.

First, how do I define ‘evil’? My definition is this: if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’. If you have alternative definitions please offer them below.

Let’s look at some examples.

Iain Duncan Smith

In fact, this week wasn’t the first time Iain Ducan Smith had been caught out. He has been caught over-stating benefit fraud (then had to apologise) , caught misleading on disability benefits, misled Parliament on housing benefit cuts, lied about benefits tourism and lied about the Youth Contract. As Jonathan Portes and Declan Gaffney say, this isn’t just spin – they’re actually making up figures. And now they’ve deliberately stopped collecting statistics on benefits-related deaths.

This doesn’t even include numerous deliberately misleading tabloid headlines thanks to the DWP press office. Numerous fact-checks at Channel 4 and by the Statistics Authority have accused the DWP of lying about facts. When Daniel Hannan is found wrong about everything on welfare cuts – we can cut him some slack because his grasp of facts has always been tenuous and he’s just mindlessly regurgitating the party line. What excuse does IDS have?

The evidence that social security cuts have led to more deaths (more here and here and here and here) , more homelessness and more misery is clear.

Of course, if you’re a middle-class journalist or blogger, you probably won’t come across many disabled people being forced to divorce their partner to protect meagre benefits payments. I think this is likely to colour your view on whether these social security cuts have made people’s lives a misery or not.

Global warming
This is the biggest threat facing the planet. It will cause our children far more misery and death than national debt and the case is even more clear-cut. There isn’t a credible institution on the subject on the planet that says otherwise. Not one.

And yet, MPs who are deniers are given influential positions while the education secretary wants to wipe the subject from the school curriculum. The Telegraph, Daily Mail and Spectator (and parts of the BBC) push global warming denial week-in-week-out.

They do this not because there’s ambiguity over the evidence or confirmation bias, but because they hate lefties. That’s what it comes down to. For that reason they’re willing to delay action over an issue that is already causing deaths and will lead to much more problems for the UK in the future.

Celebrating murderers
I pointed out to Hugo Rifkind that blogger Guido Fawkes had called for pizza to be sent to the IDF while it was raining down bombs on innocent people in Gaza. He thought this was just a matter of “differing perspectives“. That’s one way of looking at it. What about if someone wants to send pizza to Hamas? Would Rifkind think that’s OK too? But this isn’t merely about perspectives.

Here is the same blogger defending General Pinochet while deliberately ignoring or white-washing numerous deaths and years of repression. To call this a matter of perspective is quite absurd. A reasonable person would accept the multiple deaths of innocents while cheer-leading with caveats. In both examples Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) doesn’t do that.

* * * * * *

Tom Chivers excuses them by saying they are simply ignoring the evidence, or makes a false equivalence by saying ‘but lefties do it too!!‘. But this is false equivalence. Where are the mainstream and popular left-wingers lying so brazenly on public debates about issues that cause multiple-deaths?

The people cited above aren’t marginal figures but leading lights on the Right. The conservative columnist David Frum recently said US Republicans were being lied to by the Conservative Entertainment Complex – pointing to similar examples. At least there are one or two Republicans in the US now fighting back.

But they don’t seem to exist in the UK, where even the centrists are making excuses for the outright lying on the Right. But given all the evidence, how long can you pretend that this isn’t intentional?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


hahahahahahahahahahaha

2. horsetraders

Hopefully us right wingers will drive you out of the country one day and back in to the loving arms of Saint Barack, the man you campaigned for.

How’s PRISM, the IRS, Beghazi, Associated Press, Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, Keystone, etc. working out for your guy?

3. Foregone Conclusion

“My definition is this: if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’.”

The War in Iraq?

Yeah, no, stop it. This runs the risk of idiots claiming “HAHA BUT THE NHS CAUSES MULTIPLE DEATHS SO YOU ARE THE EVILIST TOROLOLOLOLOL!!!!!”.

Are *the present leaders of the Tory party* acting with negligent or possibly malign intent? Quite possibly. Are right-wingers evil? No, shut up.

“First, how do I define ‘evil’? My definition is this: if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’. If you have alternative definitions please offer them below.”

So is Andy Burnham and the previous Labour government evil?

Guido’s a cunt and a wind-up merchant. If you want to win this argument you need to set your sights a little higher, IMO.

7. William Benson

“if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores…policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’”

Labour – NHS – anyone?
Labour – Iraq War – anyone?

8. William Benson

“Global warming” – has anyone told Mr Hundal it’s called “Climate Change” now because, well, it’s stopped get globally warmer for over 15 years now.

Or did “Global Warming” actually start in that gloriously hot 100+F summer of 76 when they were saying we were going to have “Global Cooling”?

Sunny, didn’t you celebrate Hugo Chavez, the man who systematically impoverished Venezuela and shut down the press there?

This may not make you “evil” by your definition, maybe “a bit naughty”

“Deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths”…
What? At like at least 2 elections?
Arf Arf.

11. Charlotte Gore

Your definition of evil isn’t something you can exclusively and universally pin on all Tories though, so as an intellectual justification for the premise “Tories are evil” I’m not sure this article works.

It’s also something that could apply to anyone who’s ever advocated any policy at any time that’s lead to deaths. Andy Burnham springs to mind. Any Chancellor who’s been in the job while someone’s committed suicide because they can’t pay their taxes. Every MP that voted for the Iraq war. Causing deaths is something of a cross-party non-partisan thing.

And death isn’t the only possibly negative outcome of policies. Lives that aren’t ended can still be ruined. People can be made to suffer, and they are. All the time.

Most policies have at their heart winners and losers. Usually winners are friends of the party in power, the losers their enemies. Sometimes people are hated by the Tories and Labour and that’s pretty much it for them forever.

If I extend your definition of ‘evil’ to include generic suffering instead of just death I could describe all politicians as evil. They don’t mean to be. They do what they think is right and they believe the price that will be paid is worth paying.

A debate about whether these prices are worth paying seems pretty worthwhile. A debate about whether the Tories are Evil is just purile partisan rubbish.

The Sunny Hundal definition of evil: things Sunny Hundal does not agree with.

On that basis, I’m happy to be so.

“First, how do I define ‘evil’? My definition is this: if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’”

Ironic coming the day after a report that showed how political interference and left wing ideology cause up to 13000 additional deaths of the elderly and vulnerable under Labour’s watch, eh?

So you have conclusively proven that the left are “evil” by your own definition of the term.

The left support environmental policies which are causing excessive fuel poverty which is killing thousands more pensioners each frigid winter (which the alarmists stated only 10 years ago, with great authority, certainty and confidence were a thing of the past due to global warming, right up until global warming stopped at the later end of the 1990s, and now those frigid and lenghthening winters are blamed on global warming/climate change/global climate disruption) depending on the official data set used, (as in real empirical data collected through scientific observations, there has been no warming at all over the last 19 – 24 years:

If you want to know the times to the nearest month that the warming is not statistically significant for each set to their latest update, they are as follows:
RSS since July 1989;
UAH since May 1993;
Hadcrut3 since August 1993;
Hadcrut4 since July 1994;
GISS since October 1994 and
NOAA since May 1994.

These are not “crazy denialist” figures. They are the OFFICIAL temperature data.

Ignoring the ACTUALL official evidence to claim that the earth is warming because global climate models say it will, based on an accepted consensus theory, is NOT science. Science means you see something. Come up with a theory, come up with an experiment to test the theory. If the experimental data conflicts with the theory, then the theory is wrong and MUST be rejected. Global Computer Models are based on the accepted consensus theory. Actual global temperatures are today in a range which ALL of the dozens of UN IPCC computer models claim are physically impossible. It is cooler than ANY model predicted based on the AGW theory based data programmed into the models. The scientists cannot explain why and more and more of them are admitting that they do not know why the temperature increase has paused. YET they still want us to put our faith in the robustness of such models, even after the actual real planet has proven them all wrong!

The evidence does NOT match the theory. This means that the theory is WRONG! Yet we are still going to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on unworkable energy that will not keep the lights on and will kill thousands of vulnerable pensioners who cannot afford to keep the heating on in the lengthening winters.

THAT is EVIL!

This proven evil of the left should come as no surprise since the history of the 20th century is littered with examples from the communist Stalin to the socialist Hitler of tens of millions killed by ideologues of the left.

“My definition is this: if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’”

so that makes most of the Labour party and all the people who still vote for them ‘evil’?

This piece is the equivalent of jumping over a shark while at the same time hiding in a fridge from a nuclear explosion.

This really is the most pathetic rubbish you’ve ever printed. I could eat Alphabetti Spaghetti and shit out a more cogent article

17. Dominic H

This is, almost certainly unintentionally, absolutely hilarious.

And complete nonsense, of course.

18. Vince_Right

Quote:” ‘evil’? My definition is this: if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’.”

Evil: enjoying harming others; morally bad and cruel (see dictionary)

So you seem to be socially motivated, stating that the individually motivated are evil, seems just stating that the individually motivated do enjoy morals that are not social. However why should your moral be higher than theirs?

The whole point is harm.
Do the policies that the individually motivated like harm people? No they do not intervene, so they do not harm.
But the social policies are better, since they intervene to remove harm? Here comes the issue with policy, how is this policy financed? By forcing (introducing harm) people to do something.

Forcing people to do something is evil, removing their freedom! Not intervening is never evil though!
So yes intervening to remove harm is good, but you should be careful not to introduce harm doing so, let people choose where to do good freely.

19. Richard Mylles

“multiple deaths” is a tautology. Beyond that I can see nothing wrong with your article.

“There isn’t a credible institution on the subject on the planet that says otherwise. Not one”

yet

“There isn’t a credible scientist anywhere on the planet that would ever use the phrase scientific fact. Not one”

Now why is that?

21. Charlieman

Those of us who are honest to ourselves will recall moments of malice or spite. A few may have regrets about extended periods of their lives, probably criminal periods, when they acted heartlessly and selfishly. But moments or periods for which we are genuinely apologetic do not make us evil.

The word evil has a special meaning and we should not use it lightly. Cruel, heartless, unjust, illogical, irrational, ignorant, thoughtless, bigoted — those are really useful words to describe politicians. Evil is a word that we reserve for a tiny number of unapologetic people and their acts.

To describe how a minister is cruel by implementing a particular measure will cause him/her more reflection than a blanket accusation of evil, a claim that will be cast aside as petty politics.

The word evil has particular significance to religious believers and it does no harm to non-theists to follow their example. I’m an atheist and I will never forget the occasion, once in my life, when I met a man who is evil. The encounter in a safe, familiar public bar frightened me because I had met somebody who would do anything to get what he wanted.

I have met politicians from many parties who depressed me with their vacuity, social unawareness and disregard for others (the three usually go together). I haven’t met one who made me feel that s/he would do anything to get what s/he wanted, which is my definition of an evil person.

22. WinstonSmith

Andy Burnham is evil then?

Ha ha ha ha ha!

24. Shinsei1967

“while the Education Secretary wants to wipe the subject from the school curriculum.”

No he doesn’t. From the very article you link to:

The Department for Education has insisted climate change is protected because of its presence in the draft science curriculum.

25. Rt. Ordinary Horatio Jackson

Utter clap trap. Go do something productive and stop with this persistent moaning.

On the upside, at least Osmium has finally been supplanted as the densest element.

13.
“Ironic coming the day after a report that showed how political interference and left wing ideology cause up to 13000 additional deaths of the elderly and vulnerable under Labour’s watch, eh”

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who led the review, said it was “clinically meaningless and academically reckless” to try to quantify avoidable deaths.
When it comes to choosing between the actual Keogh Report and the ‘Sun’, I choose the report.

28. Paul peter Smith

They’re not evil they’re sociopaths and they are by no means confined to the right.

My, my! So many names I’ve never seen posting here before. The Paul Staines Massive and the Delingpole Astroturf(TM) Glee Club have been engaged, and they’re angry!

The problem here is that word ‘evil’. It’s over-used in a “Ban this sick filth!” sort of way, and so loses much of its formal meaning.

What much of the Right nowadays (more so even than at the high-sewage-mark period of Original Thatcherism) can be described as is ‘sociopathic’. It’s not that they are unaware of the effects their pet ideology is having on people less powerful, less able, less influential than they are; they do know (hence Frontbottom-Smith’s blatant dissembling – just got to get the presentation right, don’tcha know?), but they just don’t care.

(Oh, and Hopi Sen is just a Mandelson wannabe – eager to be the eminence grise for a resurgence of NuLabour without having to lower himself to actually stand for election by the grubby proles of Yorkshire or Wearside).

30. Charlieman

@11. Charlotte Gore: “Most policies have at their heart winners and losers.”

A similar expression used by politicians and authority figures is “lesser of two evils”. I can’t recall anyone using it to defend a choice between two morally unforgivable choices (truly evil options), but it has been fairly used in difficult cases where different morals apply (eg determining the fate of brain dead patients).

In such cases “lesser of two evils” is an unfortunate expression. The decision maker does not choose to be evil.


Bill Clinton flew to Arkansas during his 1992 Presidential election campaign to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector. The purpose was to demonstrate that Clinton was tough on crime.

It can be argued on winners and losers basis that the USA were winners from this act by making Clinton appear to be a more electable candidate. Or that the USA were losers in many different ways.

On a lesser of two evils basis, I can’t see any useful purpose of execution (other than saving a few dollars by not looking after an imprisoned, lobotomised man). There was only one evil choice and Clinton followed it. But does that make Clinton a consistently evil man or a man who made an evil choice?

Are all left wingers lazy bastards? Yes.

Sunny, I so often feel the same. However I work with many Tory councillors who actually agree with me on many things. The confusion is that this new generation of Tories are truly radicals, driven by a simple-minded ideology. They are not the old Tories who, bless their intrinsic loyalty, really don’t understand how a group of entryists have taken over their party.

Maggie’s Militant Tendency, Transatlantic Branch.

33. Arheydis Faakenjaab

“Global warming” – has anyone told Mr Hundal it’s called “Climate Change” now because, well, it’s stopped get globally warmer for over 15 years now.

No it didn’t Mr Benson, you utter knob

34. Squirrel Nutkin

All praise to Sy at 6 and Charlieman at 21 for comments that pretty much take care of all aspects of a depressingly histrionic article.

My definition of “evil” is: lacking in basic human compassion.

I reach the same conclusions, though: right-wingers are EVIL. All in caps.

john b: Yeah, no, stop it. This runs the risk of idiots claiming “HAHA BUT THE NHS CAUSES MULTIPLE DEATHS SO YOU ARE THE EVILIST TOROLOLOLOLOL!!!!!”.

I’ve already said you have to show evidence they’re deliberately ignoring evidence of deaths.

I specifically said intention and willingness to ignore evidence matters.

To others – yes, I do believe the communist dictators who let millions die were evil.

As evil as Stalin, Mao and Lenin?

Are we now calling these chaps right-wingers?

charlotte Gore:

It’s also something that could apply to anyone who’s ever advocated any policy at any time that’s lead to deaths. Andy Burnham springs to mind. Any Chancellor who’s been in the job while someone’s committed suicide because they can’t pay their taxes. Every MP that voted for the Iraq war. Causing deaths is something of a cross-party non-partisan thing.

You didn’t pay careful attention to my definition.
it says: deliberately ignores or cheers on

I’d say people who dismissed the deaths in Iraq were evil – I wouldn’t say people who thought it would lead to better outcomes necessarily are.

I was careful in my piece to only point to examples where the evidence is overwhelming and people specifically choose to ignore deaths or dismiss them or lie about them.

That’s the bar that is being set, and I believe I’ve shown that with the three examples above.

IDS is an interesting case. Does he actively enjoy causing people to suffer and die? That would be *too* cynical. Does he have some ulterior motive – cutting taxes, say – and think a little extra suffering and death is ‘a price worth paying’? I’m not sure that’s right either; his pet policies (Universal Credit, the benefit cap) aren’t really designed to save money. And he has taken a genuine, long-standing interest in issues of poverty and social justice. My impression, then, is that he genuinely believes he’s being (at worst) cruel to be kind – e.g. by making people worse off today so that they’re forced to work, making them better off tomorrow. When he cooks up some figures to show that his policies are getting people into work (say), I suspect he’s trying to prove something he ‘knows’ is true – like a person who ‘knows’ UFOs are visiting and fakes a photo to prove it to other people – rather than trying to distort the truth as he sees it.

He’s a ruthless, deluded dogmatist, but evil in the sense of not caring if people get hurt or die because of his policies? No – I suspect that, like Blair on Iraq, he’s prepared to press on in the righteous belief that in the end he’s *saving* lives and making the world a better place.

Right wingers are experts in doublethink. Some have achieved almost completely immunity to cognitive dissonance.

It’s possible to be horrified and appalled by increasing poverty and also cheer and whoop when some sneering politician suggests that we scrap the minimum wage or lay off some more public sector workers.

They’re right wing *because* they don’t think things through…

41. Shatterface

First, how do I define ‘evil’? My definition is this: if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’. If you have alternative definitions please offer them below.

And yet you joined the party which committed mass murder in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was complicit with the torture and illegal detention of suspects, and which authorised a shoot to kill policy on the streets of London.

And that’s before we get to ‘minor’ issues like turning back civil liberties by over a century, and the creation of ESA and Atos.

Silly boy, Philip. It is you who does not think things through.

Let’s raise the minimum wage and keep all else equal. Profits will be reduced or prices will rise.

In the former case, capital will go to places that can yield a decent return => job losses and poverty.

In the latter case, the business, well, isn’t => job losses and poverty.

So when a sensible person (and, no doubt, your good self), see poverty and unemployment, they think “We should reduce the cost of labour so we can compete, and all have jobs and a rosy future!”

Or, we could make it easier to hire and fire; or reduce the burden of regulation; or remove the many shackles placed by government on business.

But no. Much better to slag off the people who actually “think things through.”

43. Shatterface

I specifically said intention and willingness to ignore evidence matters.

So how’s that search for WMD’s going?

Also, don’t remember you being too keen on evidence when you were defending the belief in flying horses.

44. Charlieman

@38. Sunny Hundal: “I was careful in my piece to only point to examples where the evidence is overwhelming and people specifically choose to ignore deaths or dismiss them or lie about them.”

You were not careful. It is a difficult concept to handle, and I would have given space had you been treading gently. You trod over the concept with leaded boots.

45. Shatterface

I’d say people who dismissed the deaths in Iraq were evil – I wouldn’t say people who thought it would lead to better outcomes necessarily are.

Most of the worst atrocities in history were committed by people who share your opinion that the ends justify the means. Hitler, Stalin and Mao didn’t go ‘Muhahaha!’ while they wrote up their death lists; they didn’t wake up one morning thinking ‘I think I’ll be a monster today!’ Even Blair believed ‘liberal intervention’ was justified in his swivel-eyed view.

I was careful in my piece to only point to examples where the evidence is overwhelming and people specifically choose to ignore deaths or dismiss them or lie about them.

You were careful to pick examples you thought would show the Tories as heartless while sweeping Labour’s industrial-scale atrocities under the carpet.

46. TheEponymousBob

As others have pointed out, all political parties can easily be shown to have championed policies that have led to multiple deaths, and it is naïve to think otherwise. Moreover you are talking about particularly prominent people—people whose politics will necessarily appear magnified. A government minister who doesn’t “sell” his or her own policies as enthusiastically as possible would be dismissed as wishy-washy and never get anything done, while Guido is just a noisy troll who enjoys winding the Left up.

Don’t get me wrong—I have no great love for any of those you mentioned, and would probably go as far as ‘evil’ for one or two of them. But going from there to suggesting the entire Right is evil is like using the Premiership to prove that all football players are overpaid.

On the other hand, dear Lord save us from the armchair scientists. People with no relevant qualifications, who think that they can look at a few temperature charts and suddenly they’re experts. People who believe their ham-fisted interpretations of those charts some how trump those of the people who actually do this stuff for a living.

But somehow most irritating of all, those who try to tell scientists what is or isn’t science, while clearly not understanding it themselves. Geosci75 thinks no credible scientist would use the phrase “scientific fact”. Nonsense. It is a scientific fact that objects falling in vacuum near the surface of the Earth have consistently been observed as falling with acceleration around 9.8 m/s^2. Climate science isn’t my area, so I’m not going to pretend to understand precisely what facts have or have not been shown, but to pretend there’s no such thing is daft. Taking the word of a second-rate journalist over every major scientific body is beyond daft.

Calling people or policies you do not like evil is part of the debasement of language. What language are you going to use when confronted with real evil? Evil2.? It is like the modern fashion used by lefties and righties of calling everyone they do not like fascists. What are they going to call a real fascist? You can define anyone or anything evil if you are the one who is coming up with the definition. You need to use commonly accepted definitions of things to prove a point not make up your own definition.

Government policies leading to more deaths is not on its own an example of evil. Policies that deliberately set out to kill more people could be considered sadistic or evil. What you are describing is that certain government policies have led to a consequence of more deaths. Our drugs laws lead to unnecessary deaths. Are the MPs who have the evidence that prohibition will lead to more people consuming adulterated substances and dying evil? No. The deaths are the consequences of ineffectual policy not the intent. (14 young people have died consuming fake ecstasy in recent months) Are the politicians to blame for those deaths? Yes, because the poison that was in the drugs would not be there if they were sold legally. However, just because people died does not make the legislators evil.

Thinking the worst of your opponents is like a comfort blanket for political ideologues. Why they do it is to make themselves feel morally superior in relation to “them”. To feel morally superior is why they became ideologues in the first place. Evolutionary processes around group status probably explains most of the behaviour. Those deluded or cursed enough to believe that their political ideas have a moral purpose tend to be the worst afflicted.

48. Charlieman

@46. TheEponymousBob: “On the other hand, dear Lord save us from the armchair scientists. People with no relevant qualifications, who think that they can look at a few temperature charts and suddenly they’re experts.”

Climate science scepticism is empowered by people like you. Dear Lord save us, but the arrogance and condescension of your words antagonises sceptics.

My own antipathy arises from the conduct of “climate scientists”. You have a scientific argument, but you do not care to argue with sceptics. You have raw data which proves things, but you do not share. You conduct debates internally, but us peasants are unworthy of participation.

Let us remember that climate change data and analysis was not freely delivered. It was leaked.

Dear Lord, save me from omniscient, arrogant scientists. Dear Lord, place me in the hands of people who um and err, scientists who who understand that knowledge changes.

49. Mediastinum

One of my best friends is a right winger and I’ve yet to observe him being evil. I’m left wing generally (excluding a few topics such as crime and punishment) but have been known to be thoughtless occasionally. We both like the idea of everyone being socially free and financially comfortable, however we do ocassionally disagree on how best it is to accomplish this.

I don’t doubt there are evil people who don’t care about the plight of others but ‘right wingers’ are too large a group to label as such. Being exposed to the trolls online can give people a false opinion of what most right wingers are like. I mean not every right winger is a nazi party member and not every left winger loves the Soviet Union.

I think it would be far more productive for both sides to find common perpose and objectively attempt different solutions until we discover effective ways to solve out problems.

Or we could just keep slagging each other off and do nothing because, you know, the [insert left/right] wingers want to kill us and destroy the country.

@48

Don’t share data? You’re making stuff up now.

51. Richard Carey

Those who oppose road humps are evil, as this leads to more deaths of pedestrians … however, those who are in favour of road humps are also evil, as this leads to more deaths from air pollution and bumpy ambulance rides.

When I said the needs of the many outweigh the needs of many, does that mean I am evil?

53. TheEponymousBob

@48 Charlieman, My post may well antagonise some people, but not sceptics. Scepticism is an active trait. Sceptics pursue evidence, and accept it whether or not it conforms to their expectations. Which is what I did. When climate change first started to become big news, I paid little attention, and largely dismissed it as liberal guilt (which, despite being a liberal myself, I can’t deny is A Thing). I half-watched some documentary that aimed to debunk Gore’s stuff, and heard stories about what became Climategate. But I wasn’t a sceptic, I was just ignorantly doubtful.

When it didn’t go away, though, I figured I should probably pay more attention. I became a climate sceptic. And the thing is, there really is no serious contest at this point. Not if you approach it with an open mind. The overwhelming consensus isn’t some trick of the light, it is the product of overwhelming evidence. And not just evidence from the few graphs that come up time and time again in arguments; people have been approaching this from countless directions—not just temperature records, but using models that have produced accurate a priori predictions (that being the closest thing science has to a smoking gun), the physics of electromagnetic radiation spectra (which is one field I do know about), sea level rises, ice melting and probably several others that can’t think of right now. And they ALL point in the same direction. The agreement is spectacular.

Because that’s what science DOES. You ask for scientists who um and err? That’s exactly what they have been doing! And what they continue to do, updating their predictions as they go. It’s just that the outcomes of all the umming and erring have pointed in the same direction—our climate is changing, and humans are a significant factor in that change.

I don’t know what you mean about not sharing—I had no difficulty finding information and data presented at several levels of detail for readers of all flavours. But some degree of hesitance in engaging doubters directly over the nitty gritty, because the fact remains, however unpalatable, that most of us simply aren’t qualified to understand the detailed replies. I noted above that I know a thing or two about EM radiation, so I had a look at one section on radiative forcing from the 2007 IPCC working group report (if links don’t work here, try googling “radiative forcing 2007 pdf”:

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf

Now, if you’ll pardon the slightly mischievous question, is there enough umming and erring in there for you? I know I didn’t get terribly far with it.

Sunny Hundal: “I was careful in my piece to only point to examples where the evidence is overwhelming and people specifically choose to ignore deaths or dismiss them or lie about them.”

So, like the Labour party, Andy Burnham and the NHS then? Isn’t it evil to ignore warnings (for political expedience) about poor care and unnecessary deaths, however many there were?

I think this article is a mix of hypocrisy, malice and desperation. You seem to have an overinflatd view of yourself and your ideals and cannot seem to understand that things like compassion asren’t solely the preserve of the left. You think that any right minded person should share those values with you, then it simply blows your mind that a large portion of them go and vote Tory or UKIP, and not the Labour party – whose performance recently is moving you to desperation.

@ 49. Mediastinum

“We both like the idea of everyone being socially free and financially comfortable, however we do ocassionally disagree on how best it is to accomplish this.”

I couldn’t agree more. I do prefer it though when people are able to argue and debate a topic, ideally using evidence to back up their claims, rather than resorting to calling me an evil right wing troll as some on this site are prone to doing whn the going gets tough.

@52 – I don’t remember that line. I do recall one similar though…

Evil’s a subjective term anyway, the greatest monsters of history likely believed that what they did was for the greater good, and certainly they managed to find enough people in agreement in order to put their plans into action.

On Climate Change:

I’m not a climate scientist – but I did study (was basically forced to for a lit review) the topic at length during my master in Physics.

I’d like to make a few points.

Firstly, the is a lot of talk about this “science is settled” nonsense. It is truly nonsense. Yes, more C02 in the atmosphere can in theory increase global temperatures. However, what is NOT settled is how big this effect is. There are numerous unertain feedback loops and many seperate drivers of global tepmeratures, which are poorly understood.

Secondly, temperature itself is very hard to measure to the degree of accuracy that global warming would be easily apparent. If you want to prove this jsut stick 3 different types of thermometer in a glass of water – you’ll get 3 different answers unless it is freezing or boiling. The difference in those 3 readings will be more than the total warming of the earth in the last 100 years.

The add in the complication of measuring the surface temperature of the Earth as a whole. You have to have measuring stations evreywhere…..but those stations are getting affected by urban heat island effects and the distribution of these stations is migrating towards the (warmer) equator. Let alone tha tthese weather stations don’t all have the same type of thermometers in them. The you get the fiendishly difficult problem of taking all tha tdata and normalising it to give you one temperature trend – very open to selection bias.

Then we get to the models. C02 simply isn’t a good greenhouse gas, nor is it very prevalent in the atmosphere. Water vapour is much better, so why isn’t it used in the models, and why the focus on C02?

That question at least is simple. C02 is easily measured in the atmosphere, is evenly distributed and the concentration doesn’t change rapidly. It gives you a simple variable to use both in the charts and in the climate models run on supercomputers. Water, by contrast, is unevenly distributed and the concentrations are changing all the time – when it rains. Even today there isn’t a model or computer sufficiently powerful to truly model the effectos of water vapour on climate change. Scientists can only really work with what they have, and C02 readily presents itself as a greenhouse gas when others get overlooked for reasons of practicality.

Lastly, one has to be very careful about the scientists themselves. Academic science tends not to be well paid, so there is a heavy self-selection bias of those who persue science as a career in any field. In climate science, already an emotive subject, I fear that bias is even more so. People who choose to go into climate science tend to do so because they beleive strongly in it already. Both of the friends I have from uni who work in climate science now went in for exactly those reasons – and more worryingly neither is qualified in any field relating to climate change (one trained as a medic, the other was a cell biologist).

Added to that, no human, let alone a scientist, likes being wrong. Put the added pressure of funding on top of that and you get situations like the CRU where proper scientific method (i.e. reproducibility, meaning releasing details of method and the underlying data) get thrown out of the window. And there truly is a lot of funding going into climate research, which people are only too eager to fight over.

((Indeed, one of the things which I truly detest about the pro-AGW brigade is that they are unable to understand or listen to the problems with their argument, but are willing to spend huge amounts of money trying to prevent what may or may not be happening **and even if it is** their sole focus on AGW/C02 is allowing much more serious environmental damage to go unnoticed. It’s easier and much more financially rewarding to lobby governments to go green rather than worry about individual natural habitats on a case by case basis. Kilimanjaro is a great example – the loss of ice there was initially attributed to AGW…when in fact deforestation was the cause. All we hear about now is climate change, when we used to hear about rainforests, pandas, whales and pretty much everything else.))

So yes, the science is likely settled that C02 can increase global temperatures. It is NOT settled that it is the biggest driver of such temperature changes, or even the most important one. It is also certainly not settled that we should focus only on reducing C02 output at huge cost to the world’s economy, at the expense of ignoring other environmental problems and increasing fuel prices (which affects the poorerst the most) when we don’t even know how big any C02 based warming will be to any great certainty, or if it was simply solar activity or one of a number of other factors.

Well done, eponymousbob!

But you’re not confusing them with the facts. They won’t listen.

And guess why? Because you’re EEEEEEEEEEEVIL!

59. The a&e charge nurse

(47) ‘debasement of language’ – I remember similar thoughts when some commentators were ‘horrified’ by the toy layout at Hamleys – I thought words like this applied following war crimes, or terrorist atrocities?

Oh dear, Tyler’s off again.

CO2 levels reach 400ppm as global temperatures rise, but in fact there’s no connection, it’s probably fairies or something.

He claims to have two degrees in physics. Barely credible.

A fine example of the stupidity of evil.

61. Paul peter Smith

Tyler/Ken Hall
You cant reason with fanatics guys, it speaks well of your characters that you try but I fear your wasting your energy. Which only produces more CO2 confusing them further.

You missed out handing over national resources and public services to profit making companies which lie, cheat, defraud and downright steal our money in order to boost that profit. And when they are caught out they show no shame. They and their free market supporters blame the victim for not stopping them from cheating, defrauding and stealing. I daresay they would say they were not evil because good and evil have no value in the marketplace – only money. But it is evil to throw us to amoral wolves like this.

63. Shinsei1967

Cherub

“CO2 levels reach 400ppm as global temperatures rise, but in fact there’s no connection, it’s probably fairies or something.”

You’re as bad as Sunny at not properly reading the comments/articles you refer to.

Tyler clearly says there is a connection:

“Yes, more C02 in the atmosphere can in theory increase global temperatures. However, what is NOT settled is how big this effect is. There are numerous unertain feedback loops and many seperate drivers of global tepmeratures, which are poorly understood.”

Can’t you denounce your Labour Party membership, you voted green at the Mayoral election after all, you’re an embaress ment to the Labour Party,

@ Cherub

Yes, two degrees in physics from Cambridge. Spent a year looking at climate physcis and testing sea shells because the projects I wanted to do weren’t available – a big part of my decision to leave physcis behind as a career.

Believe me, don’t believe, I don’t really care, but it does show you don’t have a clue about what you are talking about when you willfully twist my words and then make some ad hom attack against me. You are just spouting nonsense from the same pro-AGW hymm sheet that Sunny is.

You do realise that industrial greenhouses pump C02 *in* to increase plant growth, running anywhere between 1550-2500ppm normally. Why? Because carbon capture is the most energy intensive part of plant growth, and higher concentrations of C02 promote plant growth – indeed one of the main feedback mechanisms of C02 is plant growth. Not to mention, with the world’s ever increasing population higher C02 concentrations in the atmosphere might help us feed those people thanks to better crop growth and yields.

But as SHinsei points out, I never said C02 had no effect. It certainly the easiest thing to measure and therefore blame. I simply said it is not understood if it the most important effect, and there might be positives to higher C02 concentrations as well as downsides. You seem to be unable to understand this, or weigh the cost/benefit analysis of more atmospheric C02 up.

Are right wingers evil?

I don’t rule out that a significant proportion of their leaders are; but no, even though I disagree violently with most I think they’re just misled and/or blinded by irrational rage.

Having said that, the letters to the Metro this morning (effectively calling for a family with six children on benefits to be made destitute and homeless as punishment for being irresponsible) do push me toward the conclusion that something more sinister might be going on. I mean, WTF? You want to force six kids to sleep in the streets and beg for food because you disapprove of their parents? Or are you just so enraged you haven’t even thought about that?

@Jungle: I haven’t read the Metro this morning.

But does it really suggest “punishment”? Or does it merely suggest that the rest of us shouldn’t be forced to pay for such irresponsible behaviour.

The only punishment going on here is of the taxpayer who is punished for having a job.

65.
Are people who post opinions about climate change on a thread about evil right-wing deeds mad?

69. Paul peter Smith

Ceiliog
Perhaps they’re just pointing out that there are different aspects to evil and some of them inhabit the left. If you think that might be unfair to ‘greens’, dig a little deeper into there philosophy and you you will find real Malthusian evil.

Just when you thought the echo chamber couldn’t get any more echo-y.

Despite all this debate, we could of course simply agree (left and right) that Sunny is a pompous tit who likes looking down on the masses, and has simply posted this article because he can’t figure out why so few people listen to him and his exhortations. The panic this has caused leading him to run in ever decreasing metaphorical circles – such as labelling a large percentage of the coutry as evil.

With any luck he’ll eventually disappear up his own bottom.

71.
I think that Sunny published the article knowing that a number of barking sled- pullers would respond.

73. Gavin Scott

“a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths”

Sounds like Andy Burnham qualifies for that one.

74. Mediastinum

@jungle

I believe the reason that some people get so angry about people on benefits is perception. It’s human nature for people to dislike ‘cheaters’ who benefit from other people’s work, however, it is also human nature to share out equally the rewards of group work (really interesting studies on apes and human children in regard to this topic btw).

I find it hard to believe that most people on the left or right do not have these natural impulses. I feel that one of the main differences between the left and right is the perception of people who are on benefits, I find it hard to say that ‘everyone’ on benefits is a cheater / totally deserving. This is why as a society if we want to help people on benefits we need to change the system to show everyone that they are contributing.

Even though I disagree with most things this government is doing, I do agree that making some people work for benefits is a good idea (and slighty left wing in my opinion) and it will help get us to 100% employment (pipe dream I know). The only critisms I have of the system atm is that the workers should be offered to smaller companies first to boost their competitiveness and maybe given tax reduction to help. I think giving free workers to employers like sainsburies gives them a totally unfair advantage.

The natural feeling of wanting to share the rewards of group work I believe is diluted the larger a company gets. I feel this could IN PART explain the negative behaviour of bosses in large companies as they are very disconnected from their work force so are less likely to feel the need to share the profits. I think there is a financial and cultural benefit to keep companies as small as possible (through strong competition law and insentives to start your own company).

So yeah in conclusion I feel the major difference is perception. Just a wild theory of mine.

MellorSJ:

“But does it really suggest “punishment”? Or does it merely suggest that the rest of us shouldn’t be forced to pay for such irresponsible behaviour.”

Well, erm, you can frame it that way if you like. It’s still calling for actions which would obviously result in six pre-teenage children being deprived of any realistic means of acquiring food and shelter, since neither of their parents are remotely likely to be employable in any job which would fund childcare.

I suppose you could take them away and put them into care. This, however, would certainly cost the taxpayer more.

What a complete load of drivel. I have seen more intellectual and profound writings in a fortune cookie.

@Jungle: Er, no. The actions that will cause these children to be out on the street were those of the parents.

In the meantime, you are depriving taxpayers of their incomes and the ability to have six children if they can pay for them.

You suppose wrong. I would not take them into care. I would their parents–and the surrounding communities–to take of them.

ONLY when these folk realise there’s a downside to their actions will they stop being irresponsible.

@77 Unfortunately the march of liberalism has liberated all from the impediment to personal freedom that was responsibility to your fellow man…

if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths,

I was going to mention a certain Shadow Health Sec, but it looks like quite a few people beat me to it.

And, you know, politicians who lie to justify starting pointless wars, that sort of thing.

Wow, I’ve never read this guy before but goodness, what an absolutely horrible, bitter piece of work he/she is. Not nice at all. Kind of despicable actually.

I love the comments below.

After being directed here from a Telegraph column, I just had to read this for myself. It is hysterical!

I just so pleased that most people see Sunny Hundal for the delusional, brainwashed idiot that he really is.

If you read this Mr Hundal, please continue to publish this entertaining tripe, our office here have had a real belly laugh at this today!

MellorSJ: “Er, no. The actions that will cause these children to be out on the street were those of the parents.”

The parents being to blame doesn’t change the fact the kids are still without food and shelter.

MellorSJ: “I would want their parents–and the surrounding communities–to take of them.”

Yes, in an ideal world their parents should be able to take care of them. But they’re not. They don’t have enough money to do this. It doesn’t look like they have any realistic way of earning enough money to do this. Their fault, maybe, but still a problem.

It won’t always be, though; people have lots of kids while with an apparently secure income, and then lose it. The Metro have obviously selected these people for their clearly blameworthy nature, but bad luck often happens to good people (unless you’re of the school of thought that all bad luck is God’s judgement).

MellorSJ: “ONLY when these folk realise there’s a downside to their actions will they stop being irresponsible.”

No downside? Six kids in a one bed flat?

Hopi Sen is clearly wrong on this, in that obviously a substantial proportion of right wingers welcome poverty as the feckless and contemptible getting the fate they deserve (although he’s accidentally right they might not welcome food banks; they “encourage dependency”). That doesn’t mean Sunny’s right about the “they’re all evil” thing, though…

@ Jungle

“….in that obviously a substantial proportion of right wingers welcome poverty as the feckless and contemptible getting the fate they deserve…”

You are probably right in part, but aknowledge that attitudes to people who live solely on benefits has hardened dramatically – and it would be a push to say that the left-wing would desribe their working class electorate as right wing.

It’s also a bit of a misnomer that right-wingers and Tories are hell-bent on keeping the poor down. Quite the opposite in fact. If nothing else, the richer people get the more they tend to vote Tory. Call it naked self-interest but it’s true. The Tory party would love to see everyone well off and have little reliance on the state as simply it would destroy Labour’s electoral base.

84. Rob Chisholm

You really couldn’t make it up!

Oh … you just did.

The kids would not be without food or shelter. Churches, charities, THE REST OF THE FAMILY, foster homes, or, worst case, dormitories.

They don’t have enough money because they can’t get off benefits. The marginal tax rate is 84%. This is indeed a problem, and removing these disincentives is indeed our problem. Beyond that, it really isn’t POSSIBLE to support them for ever.

Insurance.

Rubbish. There’s a woman with a large family just moving into a £1M home paid for by the taxpayer in the county next door. There is no downside.

I don’t know any rightwingers (NOT ONE) who wants to punish people. As the poster following your pointed out, they want everyone to stand on their own two feet.

We have first to reduce the incentives for this kind of behaviour. That means no benefits for children. Ever. Don’t have ’em if you can’t afford ’em. (And that includes the middle-class child benefit.)

Then we need to phase out existing benefits, so that we are the zero-benefit happy state within 12 years. That protects existing children and makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR that the gravy train is off the rails.

It’s as Liam Bryne said: There’s no money left.

86. Zionist Stooge

‘I pointed out to Hugo Rifkind that blogger Guido Fawkes had called for pizza to be sent to the IDF while it was raining down bombs on innocent people in Gaza.’

Are you suggesting that the IDF specifically targeted innocent people rather than rocket launching terrorists? With such incompetent tactics, it’s a wonder that the Jewish State has survived so long.

Sunny, how much do you get paid per hit?

57. Tyler

I take great comfort from your obviously informed contribution. But why is sea level rising, why are the polar ice caps melting, why is the permafrost ,full of methane, melting and why are Glaciers melting at record levels in the face of stable world temperatures. These are real world events that are reacting to a change in something. If it isnt heat ,the thing that usually melts ice,then what is it?

Please tell me what the feedback loops are in relation to Co2,positive and negative, and why you think water vapour isnt included in the model.

I am genuinely interested in understanding why you believe what you believe.

I cant quiet get my head round why the military are deeply concerned with the security implications of what is clearly not going to happen.

Tories are not evil.

However, Mellor SJ is either evil (and wants to hurt people) or wilfully stupid (believing that if you remove all benefits for children there will be no child poverty), and there are far too many Mellor SJ types in the Tory Party (pointing to isolated examples of families “in million pound houses”, and in its favourite publications.

90. Tony Blair

Many thanks Sunny.
I’d just like to say I’m innocent along with everyone in the cabinet at that difficult time. Moreover,I am definitely not evil; I am a catholic!

91. sackcloth and ashes

Sunny Hundal (2013): Right-wingers are evil.
Sunny Hundal (2008): Vote Tory.

So… By your own definition, Che Guevara was evil and Hugo Chavez was evil. I mean, they both condoned torture and had some pretty brutal policies, and Guevara was engaged in some pretty violent revolutions. Those are indisputable. Gordon Brown didn’t pull us out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. Was he evil? And as for Tony Blair, well. Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have said that they would continue the Conservative’s austerity measures. Do you consider them to be evil?

SH: “I’d say people who dismissed the deaths in Iraq were evil – I wouldn’t say people who thought it would lead to better outcomes necessarily are.”

Has it not occured to you that not to try to reign in public spending is worse for the country in the long run, and that as regretable as some of the immediate side effects are, they’re much, much more palatable than the longer term effects of continuing this debt-fuelled society? I mean, have you read the news and seen what’s happening in Greece?

93. Mack E. Evelly

The ends justify the means!

94. mrbiggunivor

Before you whinge about Pinochet how about you leftists apologize for the 150 odd million people you slaughtered in the 20th century in the cause of defeating us “evil” people who wanted disgusting, right-wing things like free markets, free speech and the rule of law?

@ M15

I’ll do what I can in a short space – but do remember these are simple topics, nor are they particularly well understood.

Firstly, sea levels aren’t really rising. There should be awealth of data regarding that on the web.

There has been a net ice melt of the icecaps – but it isn’t as simple as saying they are melting. Firstly, there was a paper released a few days ago which agreed that there has been some melt-off, but couldn’t attribute it to global warming. They also found that ice caps have been both larger and smaller over the course of human history – and indeed at times larger when the average global surface temperature has been higher. Add also that each cap will increase and decrease in size independently.

Glaciers are another topic altogether. Initially it was thought global warming was indeed the main cause of de-glaciation. More recently though it is becoming evident that other environmental factors are more important. De-forestation is a major one, but also things like dams and the increased use of the water supply in human settlement. So still caused by humans, but not directly linked to AGW. I might be wrong here, but even the heavily pro-AGW IPCC have recgonised this.

Water vapour isn’t included in most climate models as it is incredibly hard to do so. Water changes its atmospheric contration (it rains) too frequently, and it is not evenly distributed (clouds etc) which makes both measuring the amount up there and modelling its affect on the earth’s surface temperature an absolute pig.

In comparison C02 is evenly distributed through the atmosphere, easy to measure and it changes only very slowly. C02’s use in climate models is an example of trying to fit the variable to the limitations of the computer model to an extent.

Positive and negative feedback loops are hugely numerous. Again, the web is a good place to start. An example would be higher C02 = more plant growth leading eventually to lower C02 (positive) or warmer oceans absorbing less C02 leading to warmer oceans still (negative). It’s not always understood how each loop works, let alone how they interact with each other in such a complex system.

I believe what I believe because I was forced to actually study it. I was also exposed to some climate scientists and was genuinely worried by some of the things they said and did. Many were simply worried about retaining their funding (and their jobs) and didn’t want to put out research which really contradicted anything, and some saw proving AGW as some form of quasi-religious crusade – much like what we saw with the leaks of the CRU emails. Science is supposed to be about facts, without bias, but some of the stuff definately has more than a little bit of an edge.

@ Tyler

***aren’t simple topics***

doh.

I’m not impressed with the present political left or right. But, since this post shows such an astonishing lack of self-awareness, here’s a few of the more obvious things that the left apparently don’t recognise as evil:

– Allowing and promoting the taking of the lives of thousands of innocent, voiceless lives in their mothers’ wombs.
– An endless succession of policies which weaken society’s most fundamental unit – the family – in favour of atomic individualism, e.g. changing the benefit system to make single parenthood a lifestyle choice, denigrating the traditional male role, encouraging more and more mothers to leave their children to non-relatives to raise + educate so that they can instead go into economic activity.
– By refusing to accept that crime deserves punishment, treating aggressors as victims and as a consequence causing the real victims to endure further suffering at their hands.
– Breaking many working families by making living off benefits a lifestyle choice, cutting the connection between honest, sustained toil and comfortable living.
– Promoting a selfish culture of sexual promiscuity that has resulted in countless thousands of fatherless homes, made adultery a choice with fewer consequences and less shame, in the name of “sexual freedom” (read: selfish gratification, and we don’t care what happens to those with less education and money than us when they try it).

I do not think the Right is entirely evil, it is just that 98% of them get the innocent a bad name. I accept that some of the opinions on the Right are the result of a sheer stupidity, but these ideas are taken up by mainstream Tories, who should know better.

Joining or aligning yourself with a political ideology takes a bit of thought. No-body is a Right Winger/ Socialist/ Green/ Libertarian or whatever just to fit in. Nobody exposes themselves to the type of ridicule you get when you sign up to a partisan and unpopular movement willingly. It is not like picking your football team based on who happens to be top of the league or becoming a justin Beiber fan, politics doesn’t work like that.

Everyone who has joined the Tory Party or aligned themselves with the Right has done so with the history of Britain at their fingerprints. The tory Party are one of the oldest political Parties in the World and have been in power during some of the most tumultuous times in our history. They saw the depression, the World wars, the trouble and decades of strife, they are all too aware of the conditions that generated the solutions we see around us. If there is one Political Party (even more than New Labour) that knows all too well the scale of poverty that this Country has witnessed it is the Tory Party.

The attacks these cunts carry out on the Welfare State and the NHS are not knee jerk reactions to bad situations, they are all too aware (or should be) of the very reasons the Welfare State and its various offshoots were brought in to alleviate. We, and I include previous Tory Governments, did not build millions of Council houses post war. The Tory Party were building a quarter of a million council houses during the fifties because the poorest people could not afford housing. Not as a sop to lazy, feckless people who didn’t want to work, but to improve society . they are all too aware when they sold off the Council stock, they were aware they would need to set a safety net in place to protect the poor with housing benefit.

They are now pulling the rug from under the poorest in the full knowledge that removing housing benefit will lead to mass poverty. They know why the Last Tory Government put people with long term illnesses onto incapacity benefit because a free labour market would render these people unemployable. They didn’t just think that up, the ACTUALLY LIVED THROUGH IT. The last generation of Tories are still around, fuck me some are still in parliament, and were forced to deal with long term, mass unemployment. They didn’t just park people on the dole for an easy life, they spent billions on schemes like ET, YTS et al trying to get people into work, work that simply did not exist. If merely cutting benefit would create jobs then it would have worked thirty years ago. If cutting child benefit would stop people having children, then we would have never invented child benefit. If ‘the Market’ would solve health and safety and employment disputes we would never have introduced health and safety and employment law. Believe it or not the Twentieth Century actually existed and we did not all plug into the matrix in 2001.

When a tory wants to abolish part of our liberal democracy, it is not because it failed it is because it is a success. These cunts WANT poverty, homelessness, child prostitution and a whole host of other social ills.

They are not ALL (some are though) fucking morons, they are just low life scum.

99. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

I think it important to make sense of this discussion.
Firstly there is no such thing as evil. That went away at the same time as the Witchfinder General. People like to use the term evil because they are stupid,religious or want to sell a few more copies of the Gutter press.

I think it is however true that the richer you get the less you know about real people and real hardship. I think it is also true that the richer you become the less you care about real hardship. Hence you become a Conservative and perhaps fleetingly ponder,whilst waiting for food parcels to be delivered from Fortnum & Mason , what it must be like to drive a Ford and shop in Tesco’s.

I can readily believe that IDS cant count or interpret statistics but really thats not his job. His job is to reinvent the welfare state in a cheaper form because like all Governments of the future the key will be in managing a stagnant economy which has no trajectory other than down.

Worst still its a lame country full of old people which pretty much makes it unsustainable. Add to the fact that energy has hit its peak and global warming is starting to bite. Thanks to Gove we will,however, be able to fluently order a turkey twizzler in Latin. So not all is lost.

But like a ship isnt it completely natural, that when the Country starts to sink, to lock down the folks in third class allowing the monied classes to hog the lifeboats ? To be convincing, inventing an accompying narrative always helps. After all, there are just so many stupid people out there who will believe it.

100. MellorSJ

Wrong again, CBinTH, #89.

I have no desire to hurt people, nor am I demonstrably stupid.

Rather, I am espousing a point-of-view with which you disagree, namely that we have created incentives for people not to take responsibility for their own lives (and deal with all the hard choices we each have to take, such as whether to have another child), and that we cannot afford to create a permanent underclass that we support indefinitely.

Now, you can argue these points like an adult, or you can throw your toys out of the pram like the execrable piece and throw around crass characterisations.

I’m indifferent. The UK is too far gone to be saved.

101. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

Tyler

They also found that ice caps have been both larger and smaller over the course of human history – and indeed at times larger when the average global surface temperature has been higher.

yes thats the point I’m making

An example would be higher C02 = more plant growth leading eventually to lower C02 (positive) or warmer oceans absorbing less C02 leading to warmer oceans still (negative)

Could you explain this a bit more. Perhaps include the current stress on rain forests.

Also the relationship between Glaciers sand dams

102. MellorSJ

Ah. I see JIm has made a dropping (#98). A rather large one.

Happily, only one word is required to stem his logorrhea: Sweden.

Their reforms were based on contribution, participation and conditionality. In contrast, the UK is presently based on mere existence, a pathetic lack of responsibility, and universality.

In short: backwards.

103. Jack Theripper

The only thing which will save this country from being swamped by third world untermensch is a right wing revolution.
And it will happen – one day.
Support the BNP.
Enoch was right.

104. TheKillingJoke84

You have a nerve speaking about what constitutes evil when you support the party that was in power for ten years of its thirteen year reign with a certain Anthony Charles Lynton Blair in charge.

105. beansontoast

Sounds like you are wallowing in a failed ideology to me, proven time and time again. How pathetic!

Are polar caps evil?
They get smaller and then some berk comes along with a satellite photo showing that they’re getter bigger. Doesn’t anyone measure the thickness of the sea ice and measure ice loss of the land mass of Antarctica?

83. Your quote: ‘The Tory party would love to see everyone well off’
Yes, if everyone was well off we could afford to employ people to do all the work. #endof blisterene hogwash

Great article Sunny. Right wingers on the whole are evil. They seemingly derive enjoyment out of the suffering of others, and lack empathy. Their apologists will say they just have different views, but how can you explain this outburst by IDS

Is it a kindness to stick people in some factory where they are not doing any work at all? Just making cups of coffee?

“I promise you this is better. Taking this decision was a balance between how much do I want to spend keeping a number of people in Remploy factories not producing stuff versus getting people into proper jobs.”

Stunned, Julie, 55, said: “We work in our factories!”

The minister barked back: “You don’t produce very much at all.”

To be accurate. “Evil” is a religious concept.

And the bible says people shouldn’t

1: Kill people
2: Start wars
3: Judge people
4: Hate people
5: Pick on the weakest in society (the good samaritan)
6: refuse to accept people different than you (love thy neighbour)
7: Cheat on your wife

Jesus’ teachings are very liberal. All about peace, love, acceptance, and helping others. Particularly the weakest in society.

So, it’s perfectly obvious right wingers ignore and reject all Jesus teachings.

So they’re probably, in a biblical sense, evil. And probably going to hell.

The funny thing being, they all really believe in this stuff!

109. Churm Rincewind

I don’t want to pour cold water on a lively discussion, but perhaps a few ground rules might be in order?

1) Sunny’s definition of evil doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. See Shatterface’s first point @ 45. There’s no evidence that Saddam Hussein, to take an example which I hope will be uncontentious, deliberately “ignored or cheered on” policies that resulted in multiple deaths. In his view, as I understand it, his policies were highly regrettable but sadly necessary.

2) Sunny’s suggestion that policies leading to multiple deaths are of the same order as IDS’ public statements about benefit tourism stretches the point to incredulity. Whatever we may think of Iain Duncan Smith, his world view does not substantially overlap with, say, Saddam Hussein’s.

3) We may forgive Sunny a certain amount of hyperbole. But at least he tends to be better informed than many of those who have posted comments (simple-minded abuse apart – you know who you are). In particular, the frequently made claim that Keogh’s report on the NHS is evidence that Andy Burnham and/or the NHS killed people is clearly nonsense, and is specifically refuted in his report. See Ceiliog @ 27. So I think anyone posting on this matter should first declare whether they’ve actually read the report or whether they’re relying on press coverage.

110. Oh the irony

“if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil'”

Does suppressing reports about 13,000 early deaths FOR ELECTORAL PURPOSES count?

Thought not.

111. MellorSJ

Obviously.

As in “it’s perfectly obvious right wingers ignore and reject all Jesus teachings.”

You mean like a group of folk, well known to us all, who believe “the bible says people shouldn’t

1: Kill people
2: Start wars
3: Judge people
4: Hate people
5: Pick on the weakest in society (the good samaritan)
6: refuse to accept people different than you (love thy neighbour)
7: Cheat on your wife”?

Those people? You mean like the Mormons?

Those people, who reject all of Jesus’ teachings (see list above)? Those right wingers?

You mean like Mitt Romney? That right winger? Who is a Mormon?

Those right wingers who support their communities and each other? Those right wingers who give gazillions to charity? That specific right winger who gave more to charity than the sainted Obama and Biden combined? (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81529.html)

Those right wingers?

Yeah. Obviously.

112. Shinsei1967

I was just mulling over the list of people that the vast majority of us would consider evil (if we were to use such a word). Pol Pot, Hitler, Mao and Stalin obviously. The Kim regime in North Korea. Child sex abusers, serial killers, child murderers, the Harold Shipmans of this world.

These are people we fight wars against. That we prosecute in courts of law and send to prison for life. That many would welcome the death penalty to deal with them.

So just seems hyperbole of the most hyperbolic order to use the word to describe a party that has the support of 30-40% of the population.

113. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

100. MellorSJ

I think it is important to realise that the people you are denigrating are merely examples of a very unequal society.

If you start out in poverty you’ll generally end up in poverty.Sure some people make it out but not many unless big economic changes push the class system to one side.

So the idea that in some way they can pick themselves up by the bootstraps and make some economic headway is rather fanciful to say the least. The only possible hope is for the state to intervene in forthcoming generations in order to turn the same into productive individuals. Unfortunately just the opposite is happening.Forcing people out of their homes where they may have the mutual support of relatives and forcing kids out of schools is not going to help. Forcing people into greater poverty by tightening the already meagre(in european terms)alloowances isnt going to help since there are numerous studies corolating adverse educational attainment with poverty, a recent one suggesting a reading delay of 30 months bewteen rich and poor.
On the other end of the spectrum we have the 2500 banksters
recently walking off with a million each, continual rigging of the markets,Libor PPI ,privatised and FM’d services being ‘gamed’ and the biggest disparity between directors renumeration and those on the shop floor.
Little wonder there is an underclass.

I think people should at least have the humility to acknowledge it is merely a twist of fate that any one of us could have been born to one of those impoverished folk.

114. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

109. Churm Rincewind

But that does lead us to Blair who by Sunny’s definition is evil.

115. Shinsei1967

Man on Clapham ‘bus

“On the other end of the spectrum we have the 2500 banksters recently walking off with a million each.”

Do you really think it makes any difference to the reading attainment of hundreds of thousands of British kids that a handful of (largely foreign) bankers working for (largely foreign) banks in a small part of London get paid silly money ?

And the actual British bankers who earn these sums are rarely from privileged backgrounds. Fred Goodwin (local comp, dad an electrician), Stephen Hester (local comp, dad and mum univ lecturers in Yorkshire) to name just the last two CEOs of the UK’s biggest bank.

116. Churm Rincewind

@ OhTheIrony (110): “Does suppressing reports about 13,000 early deaths FOR ELECTORAL PURPOSES count?”

I think we would all appreciate it if you could post details of the reports you have in mind, just by way of supporting evidence for your assertion. Certainly the Keogh Report doesn’t make this claim.

117. Man on the Clapham Omnibus

It is really important to many thousands of kids that the rich are becoming extensively richer whilst the poor are becoming extensively poorer. One of the biggest impacts is that these kids are not ultimately economically effective,make poor consumers and wont pay my pension.

Moreover, industry and innovation will suffer and ultimately so will the whole of society. Bit like driving a car with the brake depressed.

So yes I do think its highly indicative how we treat our children.

In terms of the people you mention you can regard these as exceptional if you want. The class system in this country has changed for a lot of economic reasons hitherto resulting in aspirational groups and individuals making headway. That doesnt detract from the point that in an unequal society the eductional and hence life chances of the bottom are set to fail. Every study since the ‘Home and the School’ has shown that.

118. MellorSJ

@Man, #113.

You have it right that the idea that “they can pick themselves up by the bootstraps and make some economic headway is rather fanciful…”

We have two problems. First, the existing, er, non-productive members of society, and second, the alteration of the culture that encourages same to exist.

To address the latter, it must be made clear that the responsibility for each family rests with that family. That means eliminating benefits predicated on the creation of cost centres. You want a child? You pay for it. No excuses. And we eliminate the ridiculous middle-class child benefit while we’re at it.

To address the former, we must accept that the six children of some stupid girl should not have to suffer because of their mother’s mistakes. Fair enough. That does imply the temporary continuation of today’s disastrous policies.

Putting the two together, we have to establish a culture of personal responsibility 12 years hence. That means both political parties accepting that we must disestablish the permanent underclass. And then we have to put in place policies that encourage work, enterprise, and most importantly, personal responsibility. Why should Joe Blow, who can barely raise his two children, have to pay for Doreen’s brood of six?

Sadly, the kind of nonsense published under this author’s headline does the opposite. It casts those who would help the poor out of poverty as ‘evil’. (And the comments thread adds ‘stupid’.)

Yet what is required now is an acceptance that to ‘help’ everyone into self-destructive behaviour is not ‘help’ at all.

And even if we were that possible, we can’t afford it anyway.

112. 115.
The question is: Are right wingers evil?
Ignore other wingers, individual psychopaths, sociopaths, gravelpaths and other categories of path because it’s nearly always possible to point at others and say that they are worse.
The question has nothing to do with privilege.
Have fun as it’s the national equivalent of your local rag asking for views on dogs in public places.

118

And why should Joe Blow have to contribute to the £31 billion paid in tax-credits to employees to boost up their wages, let’s make the employers pay.

“if a person of considerable responsibility or power deliberately ignores or cheers on policies that lead to multiple deaths, they are ‘evil’.”

The Lefty Mafia that runs the NHS come to mind, Sunny? They kill thousands, while cultivating their sacred cow status.

122. David Prentice

Poor old Sunny. In his desperation to be relevant and, perhaps, claim back some ground from the left’s golden go-to boy Owen Jones – whose tanks are all over Sunny’s lawn – he brings to mind with this piece the old saying: Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

Whitewashing dictators and butchers? The Right has an awfully long way to go before catching up with the Left in that regard. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Che, Castro, Chavez–all of them excused, rationalized, and even lionized by prominent establishment liberals on both sides of the Atlantic.

Leftism is evil because it’s defining modus operandi is enslavement of others through theft of their labor. It’s good for wealthy A to help needy B. It’s not good for A to put a gun to the head of C and take C’s property to give to B. It’s evil. This would be so even if the programs Leftists build by stealing from the Cs of the world didn’t prove to be almost uniformly detrimental to the Bs as well.

There’s a lot of wonk on here.
Hands up those who confuse right and left wing with authoritarianism?
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Congratulations Sally on your first Lib Con article.

Of course right wingers are evil, it’s about time we stopped pussying round about that fact too. Good on you for saying it.

Love the way it’s brought out all the political and corporate astro surfers (paid). Low life the lot of them.

127. MellorSJ

@steveb: Agreed. We should abolish tax credits (and, by the same principle, housing benefit).

But then we have to accept that employers may need to pay below the minimum wage, or be put out of business by ones not subject to such nonsense, e.g. Chinese.

Similarly, we’d have to accept that people would have to find their rent by either getting a job, or moving to a lower-rent area.

I’m OK will all of that.

128. MellorSJ

@Mike F, #123: Ah. But you forget it allows the As to claim moral superiority.

The fact that this article could be written at all, let alone get some support, signifies just how bad it’s become.

Sunny who backed the Libdems,who are now putting through the Tories policies, so is sunny Evil

Oh for the days when this sort of pre teen rubbish was only printed in Trotskyite newspapers that no one read, so the majority of the public couldn’t see what a few loony ‘s on the left thought

127

I never had any doubt that you would agree, considering that you are in favour of personal responsibility and that also means employers being personally responsible for paying employees.

131. Man on Clapham Omnibus

118. MellorSJ

‘We have two problems. First, the existing, er, non-productive members of society, and second, the alteration of the culture that encourages same to exist’

Agreed, but I think the idea of simply changing behaviour through the threat of economic deprivation is missing the point. You or I could have been in the underclass; its just a matter of chance. The reason people do what they do and act in the way they act is down to their experiences. If they have poor experiences then they do not have the ability, usually education and insight to find away forward. If they are reduced to poverty ,then they dont have the means.

I completely agree that no-one wants unwanted/uncared for
children but the stereotype which you use is atypical and although a concern shouldnt form the basis of social policy.

The big question is,is whether making someone so dirt poor, you are likely to change their behaviour in a way that benefits themselves as well as the commonweal. I think the answer is a resounding no. If the poor were rich then they would behave like rich people and vice versa. From that I would deduce if there was greater income equality and appropriate support for the old and children then we would’nt face a lot of the problems we currently have. As it is,in the current climate, this group will only grow in the face of diminishing opportunies for resonably renumerated employment.

I know its fashionable in some quarters to suggest that the unemployed create unemployment but I would suggest that its the lack of jobs that is generally the cause. In my view this is not an area which is likely to improve in the forseeable future.

132. Man on Clapham Omnibus

123. Mike F.

Leftism is evil because it’s defining modus operandi is enslavement of others through theft of their labor.

Would that be in the same way that Capitalism enslaves through wage slavery?

133. Shatterface

Sunny Hundal (2013): Right-wingers are evil.
Sunny Hundal (2008): Vote Tory.

He was only urging brown people to vote Tory so perhaps he only thinks brown people are Evil.

134. Shatterface

Leftism is evil because it’s defining modus operandi is enslavement of others through theft of their labor. It’s good for wealthy A to help needy B. It’s not good for A to put a gun to the head of C and take C’s property to give to B.

It’s perfectly acceptable to put a gun to C’s head if C’s wealth was stolen from D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y & Z in the first place.

I’ve yet to see a manager who mines all their own raw materials, operates all the machines in their factory and distributes their goods themselves.

135. Shatterface

Sadly, the kind of nonsense published under this author’s headline does the opposite. It casts those who would help the poor out of poverty as ‘evil’. (And the comments thread adds ‘stupid’.)

The saying is that the Left think the Right are evil while the Right think the Left are stupid.

Sunny was trying to demonstrate the former but he’s actually provided evidence for the latter.

136. Churm Rincewind

114 – Man on the Clapham Omnibus:

Absolutely. But that’s just more evidence that Sunny’s definition of evil is inadequate, and in the broad context of the examples he gives, inappropriate. I wonder whether, if he had used a word like “heartless” instead, this lengthy discussion would be taking place at all.

137. Shatterface

Absolutely. But that’s just more evidence that Sunny’s definition of evil is inadequate, and in the broad context of the examples he gives, inappropriate. I wonder whether, if he had used a word like “heartless” instead, this lengthy discussion would be taking place at all.

He could have used the word ‘wrong’ – but that would shift the debate to terms of differently weighted pragmatic responses to evidence rather than quasi-religious posturing.

132. Man on Clapham Omnibus:

“Would that be in the same way that Capitalism enslaves through wage slavery?”

The term “wage slavery” is an example of the Leftist tactic of using words to mean the opposite of their actual meaning (e.g., using “liberal” to describe statist policies). Slavery is characterized by force. Wage contracts are mutually voluntary. You may argue that, due to unequal bargaining power, the worker has no “real” choice. But even if that were true, it would be irrelevant: it’s not the employer who put a gun to your head and coerced you to accept his terms; you chose to accept them in response to your own circumstances. And the employer isn’t obligated to make you any offer whatsoever. In other words, the employer isn’t doing anything unjust. You’re just dissatisfied with the position in which Fortune has placed the worker, which (arguendo) results in unequal bargaining power.

134. Shatterface:

“It’s perfectly acceptable to put a gun to C’s head if C’s wealth was stolen from D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y & Z in the first place.”

Wealthy people haven’t “stolen” others’ wealth since the days of the knights and barons, and those ancient thefts are a vanishingly small factor in today’s inequalities. The dominant factor? Different abilities, choices, and luck. You could redistribute all wealth equally today, and in 50 years you’d have a distribution roughly like the current one. Is that unjust? Not if we own our own labor and have the right to exchange our labor and property on what terms we see fit.

“I’ve yet to see a manager who mines all their own raw materials, operates all the machines in their factory and distributes their goods themselves.”

They don’t steal it either. They enter into mutually voluntary contracts for the sale and purchase of goods and services.

139. the a&e charge nurse

[138] ‘You could redistribute all wealth equally today, and in 50 years you’d have a distribution roughly like the current one’ – this is a variation on Michels formulation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy

Humankind is clever but has never been clever enough to transcend simple injustices like one group starving to death while another eats itself to death …….. I find that strangely disappointing.

140. Robin Levett

@Tyler #95:

Firstly, sea levels aren’t really rising. There should be a wealth of data regarding that on the web

Wrong; try this review of the current state of science, with a wealth of references:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/sea-level-rise-where-we-stand-at-the-start-of-2013/

There has been a net ice melt of the icecaps – but it isn’t as simple as saying they are melting. Firstly, there was a paper released a few days ago which agreed that there has been some melt-off, but couldn’t attribute it to global warming.

You’ve beeen reading Booker again…

The author of the paper has pointed out Booker’s misrepresentations; essentially, it’s true that the melt in the Barents was due to extra warm water entering the Sea – but that water was warm because of the effects of AGW:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/07/arctic-misrepresentations/

Water vapour isn’t included in most climate models as it is incredibly hard to do so.

I’m not even sure this attains the status of wrong: try this:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/04/water-vapour-feedback-or-forcing/

I’ve given this reference to you before:

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/11/14/undercover-sting-exposes-tory-crusade-against-clean-energy/#comment-422984

Mellor @ 105

That means eliminating benefits predicated on the creation of cost centres. You want a child? You pay for it. No excuses. And we eliminate the ridiculous middle-class child benefit while we’re at it.

Which was the position in this Country about a hundred years ago and that system produced far more children than we do today. In fact if you look up the term ‘baby farming’ you find that unwanted children were routinely killed in this Country and some of the most prolific serial killers were baby farmers. In fact, we had so called ‘orphanages’ and workhouses were children were dumped and these places because the most disgusting practices of all kinds of physical & sexual abuse as well as good old fashioned economic exploitation.

In fact, even today we can find countless Countries around the World were there are no child benefits whats so ever and these children are subjected to exploitation to the extent that ‘misguided’ (rather than ‘evil’) Westerners travel thousands of miles to conduct ‘free market’ transactions with these children.

Obviously our own pampered children have play stations and food for free, so we are ‘forced’ to import thousands of these ‘child labourers’ to show up our own lazy nine year old who see giving blow jobs to business men beneath them.

See this exactly why I despise the tory lice so much. This is how I define ‘evil’. Not one tory on this blog is able to deny the ‘delights’ of Victorian Britain. None of them can deny that child exploitation is rife throughout the world, I will wager more than a few Right Wingers have sampled the ‘liberal child employment practices’ of the World’s poorest Nations and yet here we are, still having debates that they were having at the beginning of the last century. Thatcher was pressing for a Knighthood, even after ‘hints’ were being dropped about his darker side. I honestly doubt she had it explained in exact detail the extent of his exploits, but it turns out his ‘benevolant’ actions were more than a little tainted. funny that. Funny how it turns out that a rich Tory helped fund hospital wards not quite out of his own goodness.

Mellor, you are a despicable excuse for a human and I hope to god you are on a list somewhere.

142. MellorSJ

Oh dear, Jim. Fell at the first hurdle, eh?

Correlation is not causation.

What you will find, though, is a correlation between wealth (not benefits) and a reduction in the number of children. Take the Asian Tigers of the ’70s as an example. And many more since, all over the planet. That would explain your ‘baby farms’, rather than a lack of benefits.

Of course, so could the peculiar orbit of the planet Aurelius around its star. I need not deny its delights, nor those of Victorian Britain. They have as much to do with this discussion as a BBC-funded pedophile.

I’m on your list, it would seem. Ineffectual and pointless though that list is.

143. MellorSJ

@Man, #131: Chance is overrated. It has to do with taking opportunities. The problem in the UK is that that impulse is suppressed. Fail in Silicon Valley and the question will be What will you do next? Fail in the UK and people laugh behind their hands. Succeed in SV, and people applaud. In the UK they scratch your car. The same applies to people on benefits–and rightly so. You’d be a fool to work 40+hrs a week to lose 84% of your income, while the bloke next door sleeps in.

I accept that “If they have poor experiences” etc. That poor experience, however, is embedded into the system. It has to change.

“The big question is,is whether making someone so dirt poor, you are likely to change their behaviour in a way that benefits themselves as well as the commonweal. ” I have no desire to make anyone dirt poor. That’s why I proposed a 12-year phase-in period. It is simply not right (and counter-productive) to put all these people on the streets.

It is however, perfectly reasonable to say that, from July 2014, if you have a child out of wedlock, you and your family have to look after it. You will not have access to a council flat. Once that FACT is embedded in the culture, then–and only then–will the culture change.

144. Charlieman

@53. TheEponymousBob: “I don’t know what you mean about not sharing—I had no difficulty finding information and data presented at several levels of detail for readers of all flavours.”

How about failing to share raw data with scientists who disputed the consensus? Failure to respond to Freedom of Information requests? Deletion of raw data after it had been corrected or standardised?

For examples see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/leaked-emails-climate-jones-chinese or
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_documents

Such conduct by climate scientists does not substantially change evidence of climate change. However it fuelled the claims of sceptics and deniers.

When employees of a pharmaceutical or oil company act with dismal ethics, we are rightly upset. But few people seem to worry about the behaviour of some climate scientists.

145. Robin Levett

@MellorrSJ:

How would your hypothetical ideal society with everybody employed and nobody disabled from employment work?

146. MellorSJ

@Levett, #143: Who said anything about full employment? Not me.

But we all fall unemployed at some time or another. Look to Denmark (eg) for solutions here. They have private insurance that pays high levels of previous income. (https://www.workindenmark.dk/en/Find_information/Information_for_job_seekers/Working_in_Denmark/Unemployment_insurance/Unemployment_benefits). Note that this is not required. For youth, see http://cphpost.dk/politics/unemployment-reform-targets-uneducated-youth.

Second, as you obviously cannot absolutely prevent injury at work, that’s not on the table either, so you need a workmen’s compensation scheme. This, too, should be paid for by the worker (though there’s no reason payments cannot be included as a part of the worker’s wage), and I can see reasons for employers in dangerous industries to be *required* to contribute. For a primer on various schemes, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers'_compensation.

147. MellorSJ

How extraordinary that Sunny should, without a hint of embarrassment, use one of the most crude, rudimentary and ludicrous ruses of the lefty – arbitrary redefinition. Language is meaningful if and only if words have a constant shared meaning, which they have, and which are encoded in dictionaries as a reference point in case people should accidentally or deliberately attempt to corrupt them. The left has been hugely engaged in distorting language use for decades. It is an illegitimate manouevre notably pointed out by Lewis Carroll:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)

Copper: Eh, Sunny, put that tomato back. Taking tomatoes without paying is stealing.
Sunny: What tomato?
Copper: That one in your pocket.
Sunny: Come on, this isn’t a tomato. I define a tomato as a long shiny purple vegetable, Latin name Solanum melongena.

@9

“Sunny, didn’t you celebrate Hugo Chavez, the man who systematically impoverished Venezuela and shut down the press there”?

You mean the press that supported the coup of 2002? Yeah, right. How many leaders would tolerate newspapers or TV stations that urged a coup against them? I’ll tell you: none.

This idea that Chavez “impoverished” Venezuela is predicated on the belief that anything that doesn’t fit within the confines of neoliberal discourse is “impoverishment of a nation”.

150. Charlieman

@147. buddyhell: “Yeah, right. How many leaders would tolerate newspapers or TV stations that urged a coup against them?

What is the difference between a coup and a revolution?

@147 What sort of revolution are you asking about?

147.
Do you mean a Coup or a Coup d’état?

153. Dissident

Shouldn’t it be ‘are right wingers lemmings?’ Just asking…

Leaving aside whether I believe in AGW or not, there is something that continually bugs me.

Why, when the Earth is facing burning up, do the people who are informing us of this horror behave as if there is nothing wrong.

I can not judge how much of an effect someone like Sunny would have on the re-election of Obama – but should he, as a believer in the AGW scenario, be jumping on jet planes in order that he can hop over to the USA to take part in the presidential campaign.

Is Sunny evil?

155. Churm Rincewind

@ Trofil (145): True, very true. But I’m at a loss to understand why you think the abuse of language is a preserve of the left. It’s a characteristic of all polemic, on all sides, and the right is just as guilty as the left.

To take a current and egregious example, the right has been energetic in claiming that the Keogh report notes 130,000 “avoidable” deaths in the NHS. It does nothing of the sort, and Sir Bruce has been energetic in trying to correct this misrepresentation of his views.

It’s a straightforward misuse of language by the right, of the sort which you condemn in the left.

Evil is a relative,not an absolute term: http://j-cduncan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/are-tories-evil.html

157. I.Q. Hunter

A bit late to the ball, but, frankly, this is an insulting article. It is genuinely worrying that the Left depends these days on demonising opposing views as either the product of diseased minds (i.e. the constant use of ‘-phobic’) or pure evil. In either case, it means exempting oneself from arguing against the Right and, instead, declaring one’s own self-evident sanity and virtue; it also justifies banning ideas you don’t like or requiring dissidents to be re-educated forcibly. This is the best you can do?

158. MellorSJ

@IQHunter: The underlying problem is they think their need to ‘help’ people trumps any question of where the money comes from. They think they can just take it from someone: the aristocracy, banker, big business, whatever.

At the same time, they have this idea that ‘profit’ means a taking from someone, rather than the price of capital.

The consequence is that people who create wealth (‘capitalists’) are vilified, and nay questioning about the source of funds is classified as mean. To top it off, any attempt to get off the plantation is classified as ‘selfish’ and (gasp!) unregulated. Can Bill Gates eliminate malaria in Africa? Not relevant. He’s a capitalist who took money from people who willingly paid for his products; he’s doing it on his own without reference to government and regulation; he’s only doing it to curry favour with the people he’s “ripped off.”

It is the ideology of a two-year old having a tantrum and shouting “it’s not fair!”

Is it any surprise they think their parents (the providers of their comfortable lives) evil?

159. Paul peter Smith

@156
Surely what your proposing is moral relativism which is itself ‘evil’. Notions of good and evil are only relevant in a moral context otherwise they are simply choices.

160. Robin Levett

@MellorSJ #146:

Sorry – only a partial response at the moment.

How would a workmen’s compensation scheme paid for by the worker deal with those disabled fom work?

161. MellorSJ

@160, Robin Levett: There are many workers’ comp. schemes in the world. I am familiar primarily with the dysfunctional California version, which is a lawyers’ paradise.

Were I despot, I would set up workers’ comp. as follows. It would be an insurance scheme for workers on (or should I say “forced off”) the job. The only difference from any other “unable to work” disability insurance (which a citizen would be required to take) is that the employer pays it based on the type of job. Sitting at a desk would attract a lower rate than building bridges.

The only reasons for making this an employer responsibility is that (1) it really can depend on the type of job, and (2) the backstop is the state.

Normally, of course, such “employer paid” fees are simply a reduction in the wages paid to the employee, but it is too difficult to underwrite (and track) insurance as an individual moves from job to job, and we wish to reduce the opportunities for both employer and employee to arbitrage away different risks to the state.

Permanent disability (a congenital disease or deformity, eg) would be supported directly by the state. The criterion is that it is permanent (no ATOSoid rechecking of some unfortunate with two-and-a-half limbs). Other disability (off-the-job accident) would be handled by personal insurance, also required of a citizen.

In summary, three types:
(1) Permanent disability paid for by the state
(2) Insurance for disabilities required for every citizen
(3) Job-specific insurance required to be paid by the employer because that is where the risk lies.

162. Charlieman

@159. Paul peter Smith: “Surely what your proposing is moral relativism which is itself ‘evil’.”

Differences in moral judgements are ‘normal’ — statistically normal, culturally normal, acknowledging that the Bell curve does not define ‘normality’. An old dilemma is treatment of the starving man who steals a loaf from a shop.

(An old fart Shetland JP equivalent who I knew had a Russian bloke in court for stealing tools from a shop. The Russian bloke stole the tools because they did not have them on the boat and he needed to fix the boat to get home before they ran out of food. Old fart Shetland JP’s judgement acknowledged moral relativism (property rights versus the boat occupiers’ desperate position): the judicial response was a nul punishment to wrong; community response was to fix the boat that community did not previously know to be in a pickle.)

Normative moral relativism? It is the most commonly discussed form and people have written books about it without acknowledging other forms. Normative moral relativism is how I pick up the shit and glories of my life.

163. Paul peter Smith

@162 Charliman
Good example but choosing between breaking a law and suffering hardship of some kind is not choosing between good and evil. The article above takes the position that evil is open to interpretation, it isnt, its a constant within a moral/cultural framework. If you dont have time for the morality what do you need religious concepts like good and evil for? Why not ‘ generally beneficial at the moment’ and ‘not right now’ instead?

164. Paul peter Smith

Charlieman
Also I wasnt acusing you of being evil, I dont know you well enough or believe in such things. In case there was any confusion.

165. Derek Hattons Tailor

More people have died under left wing regimes than right, so all left wing politicians are evil. The fact is there is no correlation between political wing and good/evil. It is simply a difference in stated intent, the left will say they mean to do good (using a very narrow definition of “good”) to justify the evil that results. Intent is irrelevant, outcomes are what count and on that score the left are as evil as the right.

166. MellorSJ

@DHT, #165: A sensible and reasoned response to poisoned red meat.

If I may add a little? The question of the title makes a ludicrous generalisation, rather like asking Are all Indians Evil? Some are, some aren’t, as you rightly point out.

Instead, he could ask “Are right-wing ideas evil?” He might, for example, ask “Are right-wingers evil because they let people starve in the streets?” but then he’d have to show (1) that people are starving on the streets of Britain; (2) that people passed by, and (3) that they are all right-wingers. He’d fail in the predicate of the question because right-wingers don’t let people starve in the streets. And nor do right-wing policies.

And then we get down to policy. Is it evil to take money people by force to help others? I’d say yes, but I accept that is appropriate to demand, as a part of a civilised society that we pay to help others unseen.

Which is your final point: the author would have to delineate those ideas and argue each one. Quite simply, he can’t.

I note in closing that I, for one, have made several specific policy proposals. Neither the author nor any other poster has stepped forward to argue that these policies are ill-conceived, let alone evil.

167. Charlieman

@164. Paul peter Smith: “Also I wasnt acusing you of being evil, I dont know you well enough or believe in such things. In case there was any confusion.”

I described an evil encounter way up in the thread. I am not a religious person but during that time I understood that I was in the presence of an evil person, not just a nasty head kicker.

477774 496874Vi ringrazio, considero che quello che ho letto sia ottimo 505392


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