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March 21, 2016



People have had enough of the politics as normal, look at the United States.

They want change and Jeremy Corbyn was the only change on offer. Which makes John McDonnell choice of an orthodox economic policy, supplied by Simon Wren-Lewis, deeply ironic.

But the traditional hard left, have not an alternative to offer, just identity politics, and protest.

I suspect I will not be part of the new Labour consensus. (Not that I am significant or anything).


Deviation From The Mean

"Corbyn’s popularity with Labour members fits this pattern."

The problem with this statement is that it is clearly bollocks. 100% bollocks at that, with not an atom of truth to it.

The real lesson of this article is how reading too many meta theory papers can lead people to start applying it to things that are not relevant.

So what we could say is that the author of this article has read an academic paper, this paper is in the authors consciousness and because of that the paper is grabbing the eye of the author and resulting in the author writing bullshit because he is too influenced by the academic paper and sub consciously is try to apply the theory to everything and anything.

In the end let us chalk up this pathetic nonsense as yet another lame attempt to undermine Corbyn and portray his supporters as idiots, this time by using some academia to make it look really authentic.

But, to repeat, its a total crock of shit from our Liz Kendall supporting city boy Marxist tosser.


"Deviation From The Mean" your nearly content free comment seems out of order to me, in particular the overly personal comments. Also as to "tosser", please note that this is a blog and we are commenting on a blog, so there :-).

As to «writing bullshit because he is too influenced by the academic paper and sub consciously is try to apply the theory to everything and anything» I have a bizarre theory about our blogger's posts, which I think sometimes come from two "secondary" aims:

* Posting *something* frequently enough, because it is well known that blogs that post infrequently are less popular.

* Posts in the flavour of Oxbridge tutorials topics, where the tutor posits "provocative" ideas, whether he agrees with them or not, and evaluates how the pupils deal with them.

But the primary reason I think we get a certain flavour of posts from our blogger may be that he seems to be of the opinion that it is really important to share as often as possible the relatively recent news that a lot of thoughts and attitudes are the fruit of systematic and even innate biases. I tend to agree with him on that, even if I think that sometimes attitudes can be explained without recourse to biases.

That (often innate) biases matter is not totally recent news; the ancient art of rhetoric (properly intended) was based on the same insight, but rather fuzzier, and we now have quite a bit of confirmation from experiments too.


«disproportionately high weight to salient attributes»

That seems the case but I often also think that «disproportionately» is exaggerated.

Because when you go for the salient attribute it is usually easier to check for it, as in low price or high quality: you may be uncertain about the other attributes, but usually low price or high quality are easier to verify, indeed because of salience.

«When faced with two or three candidates who were much of a mushy muchness, they plumped for the more salient option.»

Well, as in the above: at least you mostly know what you get with J Corbyn, at least on some issues, and he has been pretty consistent over decades on some of them. May not be what you exactly want, but at least you are likely get something of what you want.

The other leadership candidates apart from being «much of a mushy muchness» were also easy to perceive as opportunistic ciphers, not merely "average".

The "sensible" wing of Labour policy position on just about anything is "whatever the conservatory-building classes tell pollsters right now".

Those who elected T Blair or B Obama perhaps did not get exactly what they expected either...


When I saw that this post was about obliquity and Corbyn, I thought you were going to suggest that his unwillingness/inability to play the game and make political capital of things like personal spats had contributed to Tory apathy, which in turn created the biggest political spat of this parliament or the last.

But maybe hypothesis is pushing things a bit. I doubt commenter 'deviation from the mean' would like it (:


>"You might wonder how all this can be consistent >with the compromise effect – our tendency to >choose mid-ranged options, such as middlingly->priced items on a restaurant menu.

>Simple. The compromise effect works by >exploiting the contrast effect, thus making the >offered product more salient."

Doesn't seem simple to me. Why doesn't the "contrast effect" (which I have only heard of in the context of low-level psychology such as visual perception) also work for Sainsburys, or any of the other situations in which the salience effect supposedly explains behavior?


I love this blog and have learned a lot from the author. It has been totally eye opening for me. I cannot go a single day without reading it or searching for what the author's view is on things. I think the author would do well to ignore odious comments from the likes of DFTM.


@ Andy - thanks. I will.
@ Unlearning - yes. One could argue that Corbyn is observing the old saying, "oppositions don't win elections; governments lose them." He's letting the Tories destroy themselves.As Napoleon said, never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake.

Deviation From The Mean

Blissex -

If the author wanted to bring his audiences attention to academic ideas that is fair enough, but to apply that to Corbyn and his supporters is:

1) A huge stretch
2) Part of a pattern of painting Corbyn's supporters as deluded idiots.

I don't know if our Liz Kendall supporting Marxist city boy tosser ever gets to speak to working class activists but if he ever did he would realise the basis of this article is grossly unfair and a slur on those people (I suspect somewhere in that brain he knows this).

I think it is important to say in no uncertain terms that just because somebody references a piece of meta theory academia:

1) it doesn't mean the theory should be accepted as truth

2) It doesn't mean even if we accept the theory has some validity that it can simply be applied to a given situation.

The author did not quality this article enough and in my opinion was open to criticism. And the least we can do is point that out to other readers, as a matter of balance.

The so called abuse comes after the criticism. But there are enough adjectives throw in to piece together the underlying reason for the hostility.


A simpler explanation is that Labour members and supporters are perfectly OK with mainstream economics such as Wren lewis, and blamed the former leader for failing to show up the Tory party today as a far right bunch of extremists. By pointing out the discrepancy between the claims of the Tory party and actual economists.

Miliband is in an unfortunately long line of leaders of the Labour Party who have had rings run around them by Tory boys exploiting their class privilege and media bias. All the Blarite candidates were feared to be as likely to fail as Miliband so were not trusted. The Labour selectorate in all branches had no desire to have Milliband 2.0 foisted on them. No one including the media critics of Corbyn can show the members were wrong. The membership of the Labour movement care about political economy and unless thy get a leadership sound on that issue the party will be unstable. How far the policy should move left is debatable but it must move.

Also Blair and any one associated with him is now in a position very much like that of Lloyd George. Despite great skill and success as a top politician and PM, George came to be despised by his former party as an untrustworthy schemer. His alienation of both Liberals and Labour destroyed any hope he had of recovering a leading position in politics. After being dumped by the Tories. Critics of Corbyn should avoid dubious associations and the siren voices of the press. They ignore the toxic reputation of the old regime and so misconstrued the prospects of the other candidates in the leadership campaign. If they have a candidate who can answer the challenge of political economy lets see him or her.

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