At the End of the Day

Angela Merkel having won 98% approval of her CDU member votes to continue in the leadership role ten days ago, this week the news from Germany is that Peer Steinbrück won 93.45% of SPD member votes to remain as leader at a special SPD conference last Sunday in Hannover.

Burly and bespectacled, Steinbrück has an ebullient style that should stand him in good stead when trying to debunk Chancellor Merkel’s eurobollocks in the election campaign to be held next September. Steinbrück’s ideas about how to handle the 2008 financial disaster won plaudits at the time. But the SPD man from Hamburg faces a task that goes way beyond uphill.

This may turn out to be the Batttle of the Plebiscites, but although – like almost every First World nation in 2012 – Germany is divided on neocon v mixed economy solutions, the overwhelming majority of citizens there support the European Union almost unreservedly. And like Yuri Gagarin before her was a Hero of the Soviet Union, Chancellor Geli is a Hero of this latest European version of braindead central command.

My hope – and it is a real one, not a Friday night fantasy – is that massive events will combine to rain on Merkel’s Siegeparade well before September 2013. But my closing point tonight isn’t about europolitik: rather, it is the danger represented by the tyranny of numbers.

Democracy above all else is based on the will of the majority. That works extremely well when the populace is well-informed about events based on what they learn from a rounded media set. But it is a quick-prep recipe for authoritarian oligarchical rule if the People are fed a nonstop diet of – for example – Brussels Rule as the only option on offer. I am reminded of the old and ironic adage, “Eat sh*t, 870 quadrillion flies can’t be wrong”.

I will be posting tomorrow about some of the increasingly obvious ways in which our current model of globalist neocon nonsense is falling apart. But in the meantime, I’d like if I may to list some examples to support my argument about misleading majorities:

* In 1936, the top record in the German hit parade was Ich will mit mein Baby ein Anschluss haben, a crude sexual double-entendre based on Hitler’s forced amalgamation of Germany and Austria – a subject upon which the Austrians were never consulted. Think about the insensitivity of that song.

* One in two Americans believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.

* In October 2011,  ITV’s X-Factor talent show attracted 8.3m viewers, while 9.5 million tuned into BBC’s ballroom show Strictly Come Dancing. A year earlier, a live debate on the key General Election issues attracted 9.4 million – but this represented both stations put together. Think about those numbers.

* When Vancouver reasearchers asked the public about the leading causes of homelessness earlier this year, two-thirds thought drug and alcohol addictions were the leading causes, followed by mental illness. Yet 77% cited affordable housing to be the main remedy. So three-quarters of Canadians think that addicts, alcoholics, and the mentally ill should get cheap housing to solve their problems.

* On 14th April 2008, Silvio Berlusconi’s Opposition Coalition won the Italian election with 46.81% of the votes cast. Think about what came later.

* Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans believe that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin. This is medically impossible.

*When Albert Einstein presented his ideas about relativity to a scientific audience in 1907, practically everyone present thought his ideas preposterous.

If this doesn’t make you doubt the muddled, ignorant and capricious views of the majority, nothing will. But again, as a former market researcher I know that questionnaire design, well-meaning compassion and biased information are factors every bit as significant in unravelling such stuff.

My bottom line is this: percentages of agreement deliver only opinion: not the answer, not the best policy, not a practical compromise, and most certainly not the truth. They must be read with care by those of good intention. Sadly, in 2012 they are used by those with questionable motives.

Earlier at The Slog: Why the UK is turning into Argentina

 

 

47 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. ‘massive events will combine to rain on Merkel’s Siegeparade well before September 2013′
    Again, don’t hold your breath on that one, these people are not amateurs you know..Nothing happens in politics that isn’t planned.

  2. Congratulations – you have rediscovered Chomsky’s Propaganda Model.
    ‘They’ve’ been at it for the best part of a century, it’s how democracies are managed.
    A pithier summary can be found here:

  3. Off topic here I know, but I’m incandescent with rage and I have to sound off. Can anyone tell me what the F**k is going on in this god forsaken mud ball we call earth? 20 children confirmed shot dead in an elementary school in Connecticut, but that number may be 22, and earlier today, 22 children were slashed by a man with a knife at a school in China. WTF?

  4. OK,JW,democracy has its drawbacks,frequently providing imperfect solutions.Benevolent dictatorships,per my A level history,were quite good,but then came Stalin,Hitler,Pol Pot and the rest.Cameron is a one term PM,to be remembered by his addiction to Garry’s Treasury’s policies of borrowing,and ,of course,his mimicry of King Canute,as regards redefining marriage.2015,it will be a narrow victory for North London,the usual financial chaos,another election and the emergence of a new revolutionary leader,driven,like the one whose name is still not PC.

    • With regard to ‘gay marriage; I still do not get it ! Is there a law banning the church (of whatever denomination) from marrying gays at the moment……….. if not – why does there need to be a law to allow gays to marry ? They have all the rights of a married couple conferred by ‘civil partnerships’ why not just reneme them as ‘civil marriages’ and let these people say they are married if that is what is required……………am I missing something ? …… or is it that they want to have church ceremonies………… in which case what is stopping gay couples from asking each church until they find one which will allow it ? I mean, if a priest/vicar whatever can go on record as saying he doesn’t belive that Jesus performed miracles, the ressurrection never happened, and there was no virgin birth…………surely there must be one who will allow a couple who intend to commit to each other for life who will let them have their ceremony………. Or is personal concience not allowed (by LAW) any more, and our ‘non judgemental morality’ forced upon everyone from above ?

      Nope – this is a problem created by Government in order to give itself a purpose….. it has so little to ‘govern’ that it is given over to issues which are not already illegal (but give itself authority) or instead bans things which were previously of little or no consequence (except to those who it funds to create an issue for it to solve) which again take power unto itself !

      • You are confusing marriage in law with marriage in a church.
        Something the pols are happy to continue to let you do, as it
        helps obfuscate and extend this non-issue.
        Currently, marriage in law is only between heterosexuals, thus it is illegal for anyone to marry homosexuals.
        The law can (and probably will) be changed, thus making marriage and
        civil union indistinguishable. Churches have their own internal laws which they may alter to allow gay marriage too.
        However, the vast majority (myself included) are largely indifferent
        to the issue.
        A few fundamentalist gay rights group want it, more fundamentalist religious types do not. In the end a vanishingly small proportion of
        the population will be affected, but that wont stop Carmerbore using
        it as a massive political distraction from all the other shit floating
        around him.

  5. “neocon v mixed economy solutions, the overwhelming majority of citizens there support the European Union almost unreservedly.”

    This is a very good point. When you add Greece into the mix (but also Italy/Portugal/Ireland to some degree) the necons want it out of the Euro to take whatever they want at bargain basement prices whilst the other side wants to austerisize her till her culture becomes European.

    2013 is not going to be pretty.

  6. “Democracy above all else is based on the will of the majority. That works extremely well when the populace is well-informed about events based on what they learn from a rounded media set. But it is a quick-prep recipe for authoritarian oligarchical rule if the People are fed a nonstop diet of – for example – Brussels Rule as the only option on offer.”

    You NEVER give the vote to the low classes. All they will vote for is sloth for themselves and your money transferred into their pockets. Period.

    Nobody from Jefferson, the English kings, J J Rousseau, Hobbs, Say, Adam Smith, back to Plato and Aristotle EVEN thought everybody should have a vote.

    • How many Einsteins/Gandhi’s have been laughed out of town,how many have died in the African/Asian fields of hunger,Mans’ achievements good and bad have all come about by the choices of a small elite group.
      which makes them believe their own crap,like the brain if we could only unleash humanities full potential, nurture all children to their full potential.
      I love the science program that showed the connection between primitive man achievements to the latest find
      We should always be humbled by the imagination of all people no matter how silly it may appear,after all wasn’t Gailileo laughed at for heliocentric theory
      Are you wise enough to know who is the real clown

      • @Ghost , somehow i have the feeling that we are all clowns .Pathetic , lovable ,trying hard , always flailing and failing , always getting fouled up , mixed up.We climb the ladder only to find out it is leaning against the wrong wall, we search for hats that are already on our heads ,we plan our days and lives only to find that the days and lives have other plans, we quickly forget our past and move on to our next disasters,we move the piano like Laurel and Hardy , we are trying to get wid of the wabbit like Elmer Fudd, we try to clean our mess and we make things more messy in the process,we run in circles,we wear shoes that dont fit ,we get caught in the machinery of modern times , we are lured to the gold rush ,we are buffered by the forces of history and our own foolishness but we survive somehow , we manage a stupid grin here and there or we jump up and click our worn-out heels as we walk into the sunset like Charlie Chaplin .That’s what we are , clowns , we fall over , we stand up , we think we progress but we only live in chaos , we think we are great but our meat is useless , are bones dont make ornaments and our skin cant be played on an instrument .We are clowns , we are fools , some silly fools , some great fools beyond ordinary understanding .Great fools are rare like Einstein , they wonder about the obvious and stand in awe with the ordinary which makes them capable of revolutionary discoveries .The most of us silly fools take for granted everything around us the great fools look at it as for the first time.Silly fools , great fools , holly fools , some challenge empires , some give a new beginning to our eternal circle .If there is a message there is that the one that knows is a fool he isnt the biggest fool .Accepting our limitations , our uncertainty and insignificance might allow us to honor each other more,show more tolerance for those who appear to be fools or speak truths we dont like .

      • Yana I actually believe the clowns will survive,i was hoping their path would have foresight & wisdom,but you are probably right we will fall over bang our head,only to find the answer
        Anyway it worked for Newton
        PS John now you are checking the comments,they seem to have gone up,you do not think your detrackers are bombarding you.
        Maybe you should just let them show themselves up,by allowing their comments & have faith in your words

    • Somewhat closer to home, J S Mill was not keen on seeing the franchise extended to – among others – those unable to read, write, do simple arithmetic or those who didn’t pay taxes. One can only guess how many of the present House would get on to the electoral roll in such circumstances.

    • Define the “low classes” for the purposes of excluding them from casting a vote?

      I understand your point, but how do you decide who is “low class”?

      It’s not a label many will flock to.

  7. Agreed john: the crowd is, overall, dumber than dirt.

    But like you suggest, “events, dear boy” will trump all assumptions.

  8. Awful news no doubt. But any more terrible than women and children being vaporised by an American war machine in fallujah, or any other number of worldwide atrocities committed daily but rarely highlighted because the victims are:

    A) not white
    B) not american/western

    I have 2 young daughters myself and I’m by no means unmoved by these awful murders today. But it’s just one in a long line and will probably be manipulated into an excuse to try and disarm the American people. At a time when they are going to genuinely need their guns.

    • Chris……..I cannot even imagine the chaos if someone tried to disarm the American people. Gun sales are at a all time high and people I know have a ridiculous amount of ammo. I retired police officer friend is always buying ammo for cash at Wal-Mart. These people have thousands of rounds of ammo, lots of guns and they are not about to give them up.

      • Yes but are they united together in tightly knitted communities with the same anti establishment beliefs? When the organised but brainwashed militarised police with their hollow point bullets, tanks drones ect swamp the place, it would be a civilian bloodbath. Unfortunately!!!

    • Chris Loughrey: Judging by the language you used in your comment, I’m assuming you’re replying to my earlier comment. If that’s not the case feel free to mock me accordingly.

      BUT, I did also, with equal gravity, mention the wounding of 22 CHINESE schoolkids. I don’t differentiate between races at that age, they’re all kids.

      And I absolutely agree with you on the American war robots over Afghanistan.

      And I absolutely agree that it (this latest mass shooting) will be used by the anti gun fascists to say that ALL gun owners should be disarmed because of the actions of one obviously evil/psychotic/young man.

      And I also have two daughters. And whenever I hear of awfulness like this being visited upon someone’s child like happened today, like you, I usually thank God (a God I’m not sure I believe in), that it wasn’t one of my children.

      • Agreed with all of what you said. Honestly didn’t mean to imply that you personally saw things along the lines of race.

        My comment was more of a general reply to the inevitable hysterical reaction that will come from these events.

  9. “tuned into BBC’s ballroom show Strictly Come Dancing. A year earlier, a live debate on the key General Election issues attracted 9.4 million ”
    People can vote on SCD or on the X factor and their votes affect the outcome. They can vote for politicians but it makes bugger all difference.

    • What makes you think voting on SCD affects the outcome ? Even if you believe that the BBC actually counts the phone calls (numbers are never revealed), the actual decision is then left to the Judging Panel – so one pair may have attracted 100 times the ‘public vote’ of the other pair, but the judges decide who wins and who goes home regardless. Democracy ? Hardly.

    • It woud if they didn’t keep voting for the politicians who the politicians choose to join in ! If they voted for something different they might get something different………. but it needs masses of people to stop thinking that ‘a party’ represents them rather than itself…….. If you vote and get let down, you vote for something else next time……… it will work and the alternative eventually is bloodshed !

  10. “* Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans believe that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin. This is medically impossible.”

    I’m wouldn’t so sure about that John. There are many documented cases of so-called heavy petting resulting in a new addition to the human race:

    “I think much was made about a woman’s hymen being intact to “prove” she was a virgin. But if a young couple were fooling around in “heavy petting” the sperm could get past the hymen for a normal impregnation and the girl would still be a “maid”. Science is one thing, an upset father is another force of nature. In a religious society, the old wives are declaring her a virgin, yet she is preggers, not a stretch to see where the “virgin births” came from. What poor girl’s honour could stand up against being chosen by Zeus to couple with him? An upset father would be “proud” that a God had chosen his daughter for her beauty…. ”

    After all, if even the careful use of a tampon can ensure that a virgin remains a virgin, then the little gap that it passes through can also be accessed by tater-water!

  11. Cheap housing is also the answer here in the States. We were told if we build the homeless free housing we can save money because they can drink/take drugs in their rooms and when they pass out it saves an aid car call out. Guess what, the aid cars now still go out as much as before because the in house nurse who the taxpayers pay calls them…………yet they are building more of free housing for drunks……..maybe the taxpayers will save with the added volume.

  12. “One in two Americans believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.”
    No they don’t. Where does this rubbish come from?

  13. Well argued, John; I am reminded of this scene from “The Remains Of The Day”. I would have loved to have seen Stevens grab the supercilious sod by the neck, haul him out of his chair, rattle his head along the mantleshelf and ask him if he felt so f_ing superior now. But it must be allowed that Lord Dunabunk had a point.

  14. I am with JW on Merkel being deep in the do-do long before the German Election campaign really gets underway later next summer. The Greeks might have been bought off for now with €49 Billion, but I’m still not convinced that Samaras will have a viable government by Sept 2013. If Italy votes in an anti Austerity party, even if not an anti Euro party, (as seems likely), then that should throw a few spanners in the works too…..Hollande is already conducting an anti Austerity policy on the quiet and another Ratings downgrade for France would make a real mess of the ESM guarantees too.

    But my money is on ‘The Rain in Spain’ falling mainly on Gelis head as early as January ’13, when Rajoy needs to sell €28 Billion of the counties €207 billion projected 2013 gross debt issuance ( + another €23 billion odd next year, on behalf of the regions locked out of financial markets). Quite a lot of this is before next Sept too !

    Surely that alone will have to kick in Spanish Bale Outs and Draghi’s Unlimited ECB Bond Purchasing from early in 2013?….And that will hopefully be when the German Taxpayer gets an explanation from Peer Steinbrück & Co (in words of one syllable if necessary) exactly WHO is really buying up billions of toxic Spanish Sovereign Bonds ahead of some very nasty Crew-cuts with blunt clippers….. since the coffers in Spain are also utterly empty, but 5 times the size of the Greek ones.

  15. Wow.

    Some fascinating insights above into the true view of humanity held by some readers of this blog. Restrict the right to vote… wow.

    Yep, our current predicament is all the fault of all those hideous chavs we’ve all be indoctrinated to hate. All those now useless working class people who were thrown overboard thirty years ago. So riddle me this, fascists, in the Manchester Central By-Election last month, Labour MP Lucy Powell was elected with a turnout of 18%. EIGHTEEN. The lowest turnout in British electoral history.

    ”Ah well of course it was Labour’s ”client state” voting for more handouts”

    Yeah? Labour is committed to the same cuts as the Tories. I know people who canvassed for a number of the parties standing in that election. They described trying to get the vote out as the most dispiriting experience of their political lives. ”You’re all the same” was the refrain which met them on the doorstep.

    The evidence is overwhelming: poor people don’t vote.

    Labour lost 5 million votes between 1997 and 2010 – only one million of which were ‘Middle class / Middle England’.

    I couldn’t even estimate how many times I’ve been told by people from all walks of life, ”Phil, what can you do? You can’t change anything”. And this is in ”the world’s oldest democracy”? And what’s the answer here? To RESTRICT that democracy? Great. Just great.

    John’s comment about finding ourselves one day in a little village called Bergen Belsen Forever has rung around my head since I first read it. Based on the comments I regularly read here, I’d say TPTB will have plenty of helpers in the creation of that holiday camp.

    • Phil, you chastise many of us quite rightly. But I would respectfully observe that ‘Democracy’ is not all it’s racked up to be. It is merely a staging post on the slippery slope downhill from the pinnacle represented by the rule of a benevolent despot.

      Give the masses the right to vote for free bread and circuses, no matter who pays as long as it’s not them, and that’s what we’ll get. More and more. I wrote some time ago of a chap in a recycling centre who emptied broken glass from a metal dustbin into the skip for garden waste. When challenged by the site operator he was genuinely taken aback, “It’s me greenhouse”, he explained. This gentleman not only somehow managed to pass his driving test, he also has a say – however remote – on how I am governed. I don’t think that’s right …

      Quite what the answer is I don’t know, but I think I may be forgiven for suspecting that this experiment in “democracy” will end in tears.

  16. I do believe in the Virgin Birth. I also believe it is a medical impossibility. Hence miracle. General question – does scepticism apply only to this miracle or to miracles in general?

  17. Why hasn’t my post been published Mr. Moderator? I believe in the Virgin Birth, too. It is a miracle. This belief has stood for 2000 years.

  18. Point taken. People in herds are capable of a remarkable degree of cognitive dissonance.

    However…

    I can find absolutely no reference to “Ich will mein baby…. Anschluss haben” anywhere, and I rather fancy myself a bit of a swing era music buff. Where can I get a recording? At least a reference…. ?

  19. “This is medically impossible.”
    I never considered the New Testament a medical book…(in other words, it is a bit daft argument to make).
    The truth is, Mary’s virginity was “discovered” by a Synod some 400 years after the “event”. I wonder how widely is this known.
    I agree that 1 clever leader with an idea is worth more than all the dumb votes on Earth…but how do you pick one? Democracy is daft, but dictatorship is dangerous. Better safe than sorry…

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