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August 10, 2015


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An Alien Visitor

So all single men are now child abusers are they. I thought we were heading back to the Dickensian era but it appears we are going even further back to the Witch finder era.

Matt Moore

A small terminological point. I've always seen "uncertainty" to mean the risk associated with a known distribution, and "ambiguity" to mean the situation of not knowing the distribution. The known unknowns versus the unknown unknowns

Uncertainty/risk does not equal ambiguity, in other words. This is the point of Ellman's urn experiment. But you haven't parsed the differences in your analysis. You might be talking about either.


A Single Man

@An Alien Visitor - Nobody's really saying that though, are they?

As I understand it, a number of police forces are investigating whether histroical complaints or evidence against Ted Heath were investigated properly. So, there must, at least, have been some complaints or evidence.

It may turn out that the police forces at the time acted properly. Given other high profile cases it seems quite possible that they weren't.

Looking into this doesn't seem, to me, to be anything to do with branding all single men paedophiles.

Luis Enrique

I think there's a lot of truth in the idea that the unfamiliar is regarded with suspicion. But there must have been a time when privatisation was an unknown quantity, so familiarity doesn't always swing things (I don't mean you suggest otherwise)

Ralph Musgrave

I’m thrilled to learn from Chris that there’s a “strong possibility” that the “changes” brought by immigration will be “benign”.

So the contribution immigrants make to house price increases, and pricing first time buyers out the market is “benign”? And those Rotherham child abusers are benign? And blowing up trains and busses is benign? And killing the authors and cartoonists you don’t like is benign? I could go on.

To say there is no room for “uncertainty” as to the effects of immigration is bizarre.

Laban Tall

"they are disquieted by the prospect that migrants will change their communities.The strong possibility that these changes will be benign ..."

Is that "strong possibility" anything like "statistical likelihood"? People living in such changed communities don't seem to chuffed about it.


Igor Belanov

One of the unfortunate certainties of life seems to be that there will always be some racists around.


"I’m thrilled to learn from Chris that there’s a “strong possibility” that the “changes” brought by immigration will be “benign”.

So the contribution immigrants make to house price increases, and pricing first time buyers out the market is “benign”? "
House prices increased in both immigrants and emigrant countries.
Ralph, house prices are up because the Homeownerists have rigged the market. Look up "Mark Wadsworth" for examples of this.

Ralph Musgrave

I’m delighted to see Igor Belanov come up with the bog standard, moronic and insulting suggestion that anyone concerned about immigration must be a racist.

Racism is defined in dictionaries as amongst other things the belief that some races are superior to others. The fact that you don’t want excessive numbers of immigrants in general or immigrants of another race in your country does not prove belief in the above “superiority” point, any more than a desire not to have daffodils in your garden proves you think daffodils are inferior to other flowers.

Second, what’s wrong with racism? According to psychologists some races have higher IQs than others. To that extent it's not unreasonable to claim that racism is a valid doctrine.

In short, Igor Belanov is totally clueless, as are most of the politically correct.

Ralph Musgrave


Thankyou for referring me to Mark Wadsworth’s site. I’m well acquainted with it and make occasional contributions to it.

I’m also well aware that house price increases are partly down to “Homeownerists rigging the market”. I.e. the price increase is partly down in inadequate supply. But’s it’s nonsense to claim that increased demand has nothing to do with it. The fact is that Britain’s population is rapidly expanding, and that’s partly explained by immigration.

Luis Enrique

right Ralph, people who don't want black people around because they dislike them are not racist, so long as they don't claim to be superior to them. Merely that they find whites more likeable.


@ Luis Enrique - Paradoxically, privatisation may have triumphed in part because it was so unthinkable for so long that nobody who opposed it had felt the need to come up with any specific arguments against it. For a idea to be unpopular because of its strangeness requires that it at least be known, but something coming from so far outside the Overton window as to be unknown does not meet this requirement.

@ Ralph Musgrave - That "amongst other things" rather gives the game away. The Oxford English Dictionary, for one, defines racism as '[a] belief that one's own racial or ethnic group is superior, OR that other such groups represent a threat to one's cultural identity, racial integrity, or economic well-being'.

Steven Clarke

I think this might apply to NIMBYism.

New developments will change the character of a community. There is a strong probability that these changes will be benign.

But there is a chance it will not. And when many people have much of their wealth in an undiversified, leveraged bet (their house); they are afraid of that small risk.

Which is a shame because our failure to build enough homes in the right places has terrible costs.

George Carty

Ralph, do you think that greedy BTLers may have actually encouraged mass Third World immigration in the first place, because Third World immigrants are more willing than British-born people to live in extremely overcrowded conditions (and are thus more profitable for landlords)?

That could go some way to explaining why 50% of London's population is foreign-born...

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