« Incentivizing politicians | Main | Keynes' flaws »

March 22, 2017

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

richclayton3

Just and FYI: JFK didn't "fail" to get the Civil Rights Act through Congress, he introduced it after having won a change to the rules in the House of Reps (specifically reducing power of Rules Committee), and bill advanced to the floor a day or so before he died (big part of why he was in Dallas; shoring up support from Southern Democrats). Not taking anything away from LBJ here, just wanted to clarify this point.

Jim

Lol, Donald Trump is evil personified because reasons, but Martin McGuinness is a latter day saint. How many people does the Donald have to personally murder to get the sort of hagiography McGuinness got on the BBC the other day? Five? Ten? Couple of dozen?

God the Left are f*cked up.

TowerBridge

Jim, much like broken pencil you have again missed the point.

Do you do this deliberately or is it wilful blindness (in which case I wonder, to myself, whether that is also quasi-deliberate)?

rogerh

One might argue that the British were trying to perpetuate an unfair non democratic system whilst McGuinness was countering that system. Neither had a monopoly on righteousness. Both sides had tried dirty tricks and violence to gain advantage.

The British had been unable to crush the IRA and realised that even if they did the advantage would only be temporary, trouble would flare up again. So, just possibly, wiser heads prevailed over MI5 not to crush the IRA but to pave the way for a way out of an intractable mess.

McGuiness was a very useful ally at a time when the British and Irish were ready and politically able to move away from a conflict no one could win. Sometimes the Daily Mail zealots should be ignored by more subtle thinkers.

Bonnemort

You can easily reduce tribalism in national politics - by having only one tribe per national unit. Note the historic problems the British State has from those who consider themselves to belong to a different tribe - from PIRA to the SNP - and that's when the different groups have rubbed along and intermingled for hundreds of years, shared the same religion (albeit different flavours) and have very similar phenotypes i.e. they look pretty similar.

PeteW

"You can easily reduce tribalism in national politics - by having only one tribe per national unit."

Isn't it a bit late for that?

Jim

"Jim, much like broken pencil you have again missed the point"

No I haven't missed the point. The point is that while good can come from the actions of an evil man, the man is still nonetheless evil. Otherwise one gets into the whole 'Well Stalin industrialised Russia, which was a good thing, so what if he had to murder Xm people to achieve it??' argument.

And when a person like that dies one should say it like it is - he was an evil man who the world would have been better off without. End of story. Not pretend he was some sort of saint for stopping murdering people.

If a man like McGuinness has a real change of heart (and its possible) then he asks for forgiveness for what he has done, and accepts the punishment that is coming his way, because he accepts he deserves it. McGuinness never did any of those things, and acted as if he'd never said boo to a goose in his life. And had all the usual suspects fawning over him.

Makes me sick.

Keith

But jim Politicians murder people all the time, Blair by invading iraq with bush on a prospectus of lies, churchill by backing bomber harris. Is blair or churchill evil? The interesting thing about the Good friday agreement is how Blair followed a theory of pragmatic compromise over Ulster, but went about calling Saddam evil. And supporting the most extreme and impractical policy he and the US President could come up with to remove him from office without any realistic consideration of the complexities. Martin Mcguinness at least had an excuse for believing that only armed struggle could unite Ireland; namely the history of the english ruling class continually failing to deliver on home rule or respect democratic majorities in Ireland when it was part of the British empire. Tories like Jim stopped Home Rule when they could have supported it and he or people like him are the ones to blame for the turn of Nationalist politics to violence. !968 or 1916 it is always the same message from westminster, Jam tomorrow. Eventually people lose patience with being flobbed off and told to wait around.

TheBlurredRedLine

"If a man like McGuinness has a real change of heart (and its possible) then he asks for forgiveness for what he has done, and accepts the punishment that is coming his way, because he accepts he deserves it."

Why didn't "Bomber Harris" do that?
Why didn't Itzak Rabin do that?

Perhaps because like McGuinness they thought that they were not murderers, but guerrilla soldiers, and the context was war, not crime.
The atlantic powers have often themselves blurred the thin red line between "guerrilla soldier" and "murderer", and this has had consequences...

David Jones

The LBJ analogy's a bit thin. LBJ might have been personally racist but he wasn't a principle cause of racism. McGuinness, though, was a principle cause of terrorism.

If I stab random people in the street for twenty years then give it up you might be relieved but I wouldn't expect you to call me a peacemaker.

Richard Graham

"Nixon goes to China' meme disgusts me, as it was Pierre Elliot Trudeau who first went to China. The resulting lack of catastrophe, led the greedy to infer China was the next big market.
It isn't necessary to have the bad man lead the way; it's merely necessary for people to be willing to listen to good people. But of course, the people will listen to whatever bullshit amuses them most. This allows charlatans and psychopaths easy paths to manipulate: 'Trump tells it like it is'. People would rather listen to easy, convenient lies than do the hard work that intelligence requires to uncover truth.
I wonder if any of these so-called 'hard men' ever look back on the Troubles and realize that all the murders, threats, hatred and bombs accomplished nothing but reluctant peace. That everything they did was not just cruel and futile, but stupid. This is the central challenge of these days: don't let stupid people drag you through a version of hell.

Igor Belanov

@ Richard Graham

"I wonder if any of these so-called 'hard men' ever look back on the Troubles and realize that all the murders, threats, hatred and bombs accomplished nothing but reluctant peace."

It's perfectly legitimate to argue whether the end justified the means, but the Catholic section of the population did emerge with a constitutionally guaranteed share of power in NI and with a much improved relationship with the Republic, rather than living as an institutionally second-class minority.

John Johnson

I think Dominic Cumming is trying to work on the last issue you raise in terms of how to incorporating a self-correcting system into Whitehall etc. Would be interesting to see what would happen if you two put your heads together.

TheBlurredRedLine

"thought that they were not murderers, but guerrilla soldiers, and the context was war, not crime."

From the obituary in "The Economist":

"The moment he remembered longest, though, was when they took young Dessie Beattie’s dying body out of a car by his house. It was July 8th 1971, the first time that the British army had used lead bullets in Northern Ireland. Blood was everywhere. It shocked him, and scared him more than a little. He had never seen anyone killed by a bullet before.
It was crystal clear to him that this was a war, and had to be fought like one. Armies must oppose armies. There was a peaceful path available, through political pressure and the Social Democratic and Labour Party, but he did not take it. Nothing could be achieved that way."

It is possible to understand that point of view: it is not entirely wrong to think that the english government had militarized the occupation of Ireland for "only" a few hundred years.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Why S&M?

Blog powered by Typepad