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May 06, 2010


The Silent Sceptic

A typically well argued post, but one that misses the point. THOSE WERE NOT THE REASONS YOU GAVE FOR VOTING LABOUR. You claimed that you did not vote against Cameron because you thought his background would mitigate against your preferred policies. Instead you stated that you did it because you hate public schoolboys.

Also, you claimed you voted for Labour because it would get you 'in' with people you admire, not because your tribal roots thought this would lead to effective policy.

I think people were so disappointed with the first post because the only reference to policy was the bad policies labour have enacted. You now appear to be retreating from this position and adding a fourth reason to vote for Labour: that their tribal background is more likely to produce policy decisions of which you approve. This is far more palatable and makes vastly more sense.

For your info I am still floating. 1hr45 to go.

Ralph Musgrave

"It's far from obvious to me which is worse." Quite right. I.e. in the words of J.P.Sartre, "man is condemned to freedom". That is, the only logical course of action is to think for yourself. And even if you go for tribalism, it is you yourself who has decided which tribe to join, thus in effect we think for ourselves whether we like it or not.

Liam Murray

Fair points. And in the spirit of the discussion I'm happy to admit that I'd be out my depth if I attempted any serious rebuttal.

Only observation I guess is that there are different sorts of tribalism surely? You describe - and exhibited - a sort of informed, conscious tribalism. You took a lead from people you trust in and whom you know you share values with. This implies were they to vote differently you *might* do the same.

I was objecting to something far less considered or informed, to a habit all too common here in Scotland of refusing even to engage with the issues or allow for the possibility that different views might carry weight.


As a foreigner, I wonder why it is more PC or, at least, more acceptable, to hate schoolboys than, let's say, blacks or jews.
Even refering to one of them as 'those people' (as you did yesterday) and they 'revolting your stomach' would seem a very ugly thing. Even the BNP avoids to say so that clear.
Well, thanks to a forgotten microphone one thing is sure: Brown knows very well his voters. Much better, probably, than they do themselves.


"No-one is, or can be, an expert on all policy areas. And no-one knows what future issues will arise that could well shape the next government."

You have committed the error of the religious. It's one thing to argue that you can't prove that there's no god, it's quite another to take that as a reason to believe in god, to have faith.

Luis Enrique

So, if we are all tribal, how do people change their minds? If appeals to reason and evidence are ineffective, what sort of appeals are going to be successful?

How you can you, say, try to counter anti-immigration arguments, in a tribal world?

Let's say people are convinced by your defense of tribalism, and abandons any attempt at dispassionate, evidence based reasoning. Would things get better or worse?

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