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January 18, 2007


Mark Wadsworth

Does anybody actually watch this rubbish?

Rob Spear

Regarding 2 and 5 - are your eyes really so closed that you didn't see this until now? This *is* the UK in the age of government education and mass immigration. I take it you never actually poke your nose outside of your nice London suburb to take stock of the horrors of welfarism in practice.


This should remind us of what all but the most bone-headed vulgar libertarians have always known - that inequalities in wealth bear little relationship to personal merit.

Jade Goody is hardly the norm though is she. In reality, inequalities in wealth OFTEN bear little relationship to personal merit.


[CBB challenges my optimistic view that racism would fade away because racist attitudes were more common among the elderly than young....]

Not so quickly. Quite a lot of the complaints have been made by white English people; they've shown themselves as sensitive to the issue as non-whites. Also, I've lived in a few places, and the UK is easily the place most tolerant of racial difference.


That said, ignorance of another country isn't necessarily racism, is it? The food thing and the hands thing comes from ridiculous parodies of India in popular culture. Equally, a lot of UK ideas about what about who, say, Americans are, or Australians or whatever, are equally silly and ignorant: it's just that as they speak "our" language and tend to the pale skin like us, it's not suggested as racism. Race can mean nation as well as colour, no?


So there's now an objective measure of merit is there?

We move from a centrally planned economy to a centrally planned morality!


"What happened to the dignified, egalitarian working class we knew and loved ?"

A combination of

Welfare state
Decline of religious faith
A decision by the administrators of welfare state not to "impose middle-class values" or to discriminate between the "deserving" and "undeserving", thus undermining the respectable working class.

In Norman Dennis' words :

"Because of its moral judgementalism, the respectable working class was one of the few groups of the poor and deprived to whom the reforming intelligentsia of non-working-class origin did not—and does not—extend its tolerance. One of the ways in which this anomaly was explained away by the reforming intelligentsia was to characterize
respectable English working-class values as ‘bourgeois’. They were not really working-class values at all but had been foisted upon them—as if working people had never possessed the wit to discover for themselves through their own experience that there was a great deal to be said, especially in their circumstances, for thrift, prudence, foresight, dependability, and self-improvement. To the extent that these virtues also benefited capitalists, turning the working man into his own slavedriver, and his diligent wife into an unpaid adjunct keeping him well ‘serviced’ for his exploiters, that was unfortunate.

But the respectable working man still thought that he was badly advised by his economic betters in the intellectual vanguard when he was exhorted to cut off
his proletarian nose to spite bourgeois faces."

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