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January 14, 2006

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Stumbling and Mumbling thinks it’s a positive handicap, and gives five reasons why. I particularly liked his third point:3. Intelligent people don’t have the self-discipline to read through the tons of mind-numbing detail that crams ministers’ red boxe... [Read More]

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Jeremy

Ruth Kelly is also a member of Opus Dei which leads me to question her intelligence. Shouldn't there be a law about religious nutters getting ministerial portfolios? But I agree with you, in a modern tolerant society, there is no place for Ruth Kelly in politics (or any other member of Opus Dei).

Backword Dave

5. People who show off intelligence don't socialise well, but I'm sure that some intelligent people do socialise well.

2. Indeed. tehgrauniad: Kelly blames Blunkett in teacher vetting row. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/publicservices/story/0,11032,1685888,00.html?gusrc=rss If Ruth Kelly were intelligent, now would be a good time for her to say that Blunkett left the Department of Education in a mess. http://www.stephenpollard.net/001917.html

Stevey

Very very true. This is the reason that the "separation of church and state" idea was so important to the development of the west - it put a firewall between the intellectual's abstract ideas and the people actually running the show.

rjw

heh - the halo effect - very nice

MatGB

You're right, the hysteria over this is getting to me. I suspect the original bloke (the one cautioned for apparently paying for child porn in the internet) could have a good case for libel against some of the tabloids.

Hmm. Anyone know how to contact him? I suspect he's in hiding scared for his life right now, but a fight back is in order.

jamal

yes, it is about time she goes.

Alex

Or, as the only detailed description of his case I've heard would suggest, paying for porn whose vendor used the same server for their credit card authorisation as Wonderland..

dsquared

hum, not convinced.

on 1., you have this back to front, surely. In the history of Belmarsh Prison, nobody has been killed by someone on its maximum security wing. Therefore we might as well unlock the doors because the evidence shows they are harmless.

on 2., this is simply a recipe for getting sloppy behaviour by ministers. The principle of ministerial responsibility is something that has evolved over time for a reason and your assumption that intelligent people would set it aside is pure managerialism (in so far as I understand that term, which might not be that much)

on 3., a hundred times no. This is the constant cry of the brightest kid in primary school, who doesn't want to do the hard work because he's spent his whole life being told he's special. Intelligent people can master vast amounts of detail because they can keep track of the underlying organising principles. Inability to knuckle down and master detail is the surest ever mark of the one-topic expert who can look incredibly intelligent as long as she keeps to her subject (in which subject guess what? she knows a lot of detail) but should be feared like rabies when she ventures out of it.

on 4., nope, open debate is exactly where the facts come out and the fakers are exposed. Not at all coincidental that in roughly two thousand years since Athens, nobody's been able to come up with a better system.

on 5., I don't believe that the general statement "Intelligent people don't socialise well" is well supported at all, either in absolute terms or relative to the population as a whole. Some do, some don't.

Shuggy

"The fact – as far as we know – is that no child has been sexually attacked by a teacher who had a previous conviction or caution for a sexual offence. An intelligent person might, therefore, infer that there’s no problem."

I don't really care about Ruth Kelly or her career but that isn't the point: a selection procedure that can't even eliminate such obviously unsuitable people and prevent them from working with children is obviously pretty useless. If they can't even get that right, why should anyone have any confidence in it at all.

Paul Davies

On 3: the point is not surely whether they can (as in 'are capable', but whether they can be arsed - they should really have better things to do)

Le Tissier, for example, could go through a whole game only making simple 12-yard passes, but where, for someone like him, is the fun in that?

dsquared

Well, how much fun was it for him being constantly passed over for England, never winning anything and being stuck in a Southampton team that went nowhere? Le Tissier is/was massively overrated by people because of precisely this fallacy. As someone like Zidane or Beckenbauer can show you, it's not a matter of "making simple 12 yard passes", but choosing which ones to make and Le Tissier showed very little evidence at all of having the ability to do that (or indeed to do much of anything except come up with fancy tricks in the last 15 minutes of games, usually against sides that were even worse than Southampton. IMO he was very lucky to have played for the most part in the pre-Arsene Wenger Premiership when there were still a lot of teams with fairly disgraceful levels of physical fitness).

Mark T

isn't the point that Child abuse is now the silver bullet against which there is little or no defence -innocent or no. Is it too cynical to suggest that this "scandal" was discovered incredibly conveniently ahead of an education white paper and is threatening to remove an irritating reformer who was planning to jeopardise the monopoly provision of education by the educationalists. With Cameron having spiked their "back to 11+" scare tactics, this was an obvious next step.

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