Icons of the hard Left.

Mr. Charts

Legendary member
7,367 1,184
Benn and Crow in one week !

No-one blaming MI5 yet?

Who is next for a "natural" death?

No conspiracy theorists yet?

Mind you, the police have 12 million suspects for the Crow death.....

Seriously, may they rest in peace, as we all do.......more than Crow said about Thatcher.....when she died he said he wanted her to rot in hell. Typical hard Left hatred.


:devilish: has a couple of new guests......
 

PieterSteidelmayer

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283 54
I can only speak of Mr. Benn for whom in my native land (Germany) his integrity, his ideals and his honesty are held in high regard across the entire political spectrum, just as was Mrs. Thatcher.

While my personal opinion of politicians, politics and government is largely negative, there are occasionally individuals whose genuine good intent shines through even if you do not agree with their views and methods.
 
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chump

Senior member
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I can only speak of Mr. Benn for whom in my native land (Germany) his integrity, his ideals and his honesty are held in high regard across the entire political spectrum, just as was Mrs. Thatcher.

While my personal opinion of politicians, politics and government is largely negative, there are occasionally individuals whose genuine good intent shines through even if you do not agree with their views and methods.



If only 'good intent' actually correlated with good outcomes I would be all for them. However, I have always thought of such people like Benn as being those who always show sympathy as opposed to empathy and invariably want to feed the recipients rather than teach them how to feed themselves. In a word, one of many architects of unforeseen consequences based upon good intentions which formed the nanny state we so enjoy today.Hope I am not being too deep. Could just have summarised it as save me from good intentions ,please. Can't be an hypocrite ,I thought he was an ******** when he was alive .I hope he's better for the transformation.
 

PieterSteidelmayer

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283 54
Valid points chump from the comfort of distant perspective it is perhaps easier to see how you might have achieved better results, but would I be right in thinking that you didn't and haven't? I can't damn a man for doing something in what I consider to be the wrong way if I haven't done my equal best to do it the right way.
 

chump

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2,212 274
Valid points chump from the comfort of distant perspective it is perhaps easier to see how you might have achieved better results, but would I be right in thinking that you didn't and haven't? I can't damn a man for doing something in what I consider to be the wrong way if I haven't done my equal best to do it the right way.

LOL...I think you have it the wrong way round ,because you are making assumptions ,or judgements about his efforts that I simply do not share.Now would you like to get philosophical about this? Let us presume that he and I took the Hippocratic oath. Which of us was more successful in 'first do no harm'? ;) Him with all his misplaced effort ,or me with my laissez faire attitude ? Sometimes doing nothing might actually be better than doing something. Indeed , I see that in the market all the time.
 
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PieterSteidelmayer

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283 54
I agree that sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something, but we can only ever judge that from hindsight.

I thought we had already got philosophical?
 

chump

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2,212 274
I agree that sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something, but we can only ever judge that from hindsight.

I thought we had already got philosophical?

Again, I have to disgaree with you. It is not for me a function of hindsight at all. The best baseball hitters in history miss more than they connect. The greatest inventors fail far more times than they succeed. Politicians screw it up far more than they improve matters for the people they elect. I've made a raging success out of doing as little as possible ;)
There's a caveat ,but we'll leave that aside.
 
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PieterSteidelmayer

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Let us presume that he and I took the Hippocratic oath. Which of us was more successful in 'first do no harm'? ;) Him with all his misplaced effort ,or me with my laissez faire attitude ? Sometimes doing nothing might actually be better than doing something.
But neither of you did take that oath. And the harm he has done is just by your judgement. And what harm are you unaware of that has occurred because you took the position you did? Could you not have taken a sniper rifle and taken aim on him and had a more positive effect overall than the combination of you both has had? Are you willing to take responsibility for the harm he has done (according to you) because you did not take him out?

I remember reading, possibly Taleb, or maybe Kahneman or Tversky, about one of the biases that evidence themselves in human bahvior. An example was given of a person who invented a hijack-proof airplane cabin door (with associated protocols and procedures) that would have prevented 9/11. Would they have had their statue unveiled in Central Park? No, of course not. Because their invention would have prevented 9/11 and the benefit to mankind gone completely unnoticed and unnoticeable. They would have taken action and become a hero had people known the consequences of them not doing so, but the nature of the involvement and implementation and its effect would have caused not a ripple on the global human consciousness.

Take that same person and same invention (this is my work here onward) and both pilot and co-pilot (and navigator) coming down with food poisoning and become unconscious. Nobody can get through to the cabin to take the controls and the plane crashes killing everyone on board. Hero or villain? Certainly no statue in Central Park.

My point is that you can take action with good intent and the result can either be good or bad – you have no control over that. Or you can have the wherewithal to judge not taking action with good intent is the best course of (in-)action and the result can be either good or bad – you have no control over that.

The thing is, these two options are not equally weighted nor do they impose equal culpability.

There is a tendency for far more to claim the laissez faire as a justifiable mode of conduct for the simple reason you can use it as a counter-point, in retrospect, for just about any human evil or terror perpetrated on humanity deliberately or accidentally. But there is an explicit silence around those events where such an approach would have been counter-productive. Basically, you can step up to the plate after stepping up to the plate can be shown to have been a bad thing to do and claim victory for inaction. But when stepping up to the plate was the right thing to do you do not have to step up to the plate to apologize for not stepping up to the plate - you just keep your head down.

I’m probably aiming high for the Nobel prize for this – but you have to start somewhere.
 

chump

Senior member
2,212 274
But neither of you did take that oath. And the harm he has done is just by your judgement. And what harm are you unaware of that has occurred because you took the position you did? Could you not have taken a sniper rifle and taken aim on him and had a more positive effect overall than the combination of you both has had? Are you willing to take responsibility for the harm he has done (according to you) because you did not take him out?

I remember reading, possibly Taleb, or maybe Kahneman or Tversky, about one of the biases that evidence themselves in human bahvior. An example was given of a person who invented a hijack-proof airplane cabin door (with associated protocols and procedures) that would have prevented 9/11. Would they have had their statue unveiled in Central Park? No, of course not. Because their invention would have prevented 9/11 and the benefit to mankind gone completely unnoticed and unnoticeable. They would have taken action and become a hero had people known the consequences of them not doing so, but the nature of the involvement and implementation and its effect would have caused not a ripple on the global human consciousness.

Take that same person and same invention (this is my work here onward) and both pilot and co-pilot (and navigator) coming down with food poisoning and become unconscious. Nobody can get through to the cabin to take the controls and the plane crashes killing everyone on board. Hero or villain? Certainly no statue in Central Park.

My point is that you can take action with good intent and the result can either be good or bad – you have no control over that. Or you can have the wherewithal to judge not taking action with good intent is the best course of (in-)action and the result can be either good or bad – you have no control over that.

The thing is, these two options are not equally weighted nor do they impose equal culpability.

There is a tendency for far more to claim the laissez faire as a justifiable mode of conduct for the simple reason you can use it as a counter-point, in retrospect, for just about any human evil or terror perpetrated on humanity deliberately or accidentally. But there is an explicit silence around those events where such an approach would have been counter-productive. Basically, you can step up to the plate after stepping up to the plate can be shown to have been a bad thing to do and claim victory for inaction. But when stepping up to the plate was the right thing to do you do not have to step up to the plate to apologize for not stepping up to the plate - you just keep your head down.

I’m probably aiming high for the Nobel prize for this – but you have to start somewhere.

"But neither of you did take that oath"

I did not ,but I was willing to be considered according to the same standard for behavior. I rather think he did in a sense. Politicians like doctors are supposedly engaged in the service of others (that's why we call them public servants). They supposedly further the interests of the public before theirown interests which is why an oath exists in the first place to govern behavior according to an ethical contract. So let us propose the oath is taken by politicians when they just take the job ,it is simply not done explicitly. Indeed ,I have money that Benn would completely agree with that idea ,because though I considered him incompetent I wouldn't doubt his integrity.

"And the harm he has done is just by your judgement" .

I doubt that . Indeed, you should too. It is extremely unlikely that I am the only one holding such a view although I may be the only one crass enough to voice it here. From an ideological view it's likely anyone moderately right of centre probably shares the view that he was an ineffectual meddler. The centre itself would be more evenly shared. Left of centre probably think he's a saint.

You then go on to basically address the we 'cannot know what we do not know' issue.
I reply like this.

I use the titular 'chump' for a reason. It's a continuous reminder that the vast majority of us are not that clever. We are in effect, at best iterative machines that adapt or learn based upon trial and error. Offering a bow of acknowledgement to the exceptions that exist. In that, we continually overestimate our abilities to make rational decisions and we overestimate how much of our 'success' is attributable to our decision making and how much is simply random.

Now in terms of what we cannot know we can start from that point of 'decision making' and move onwards accepting that much of what we try to do we cannot know how it will work out, but we can know that most of it will fail. Your argument would appear to be that we should simply ignore that and do it anyway as we don't know which bit's will fail. Yet as traders we don't do that. We don't take all possible trades . We use the iterative process to filter them into a system which reduces our propensity to waste resources. I think politicians would benefit greatly from being traders before they become politicians. It would counter their ideological certainties. Encourage them to understand their fallabilities and definitely be willing to consider alternative outcomes thus identifying what would otherwise be unforeseen consequences. It might push them to do far less on the understanding that their decision to engage does have an high failure rate simply because their decision making is highly fallible. I think my criticism of Benn and indeed many politicians is they do do harm first simply by doing too much. They justify their political existence by action as opposed to inaction even if more inaction would often be the systematic 'winning' outcome. Indeed to revert to trading as an example. Do you think you would have a positive winning outcome if you based your action / decision making upon an ideology(experential bias) as opposed to a rule based system ;) Well politicians appear to think so if we take what they say at face value.
 
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Splitlink

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10,850 1,233
I am on record, somewhere, as having said that I did not like MT, because of some of her privatisation policies of public companies, ones which have done the country no good. Yet, she meant well. I believe that Putin means well for his country, as well. So it was with Tony Benn. He was a terrible government minister and one of the participants of a split Labour Party that won Maggie the election. Yet, I am sure that he wanted the best for the UK, So RIP.

I am reminded, in Spanish politics, of Santiago Carrillo who was an utterly ruthless Communist Comissar. How anyone could have any affection for this man, I do not know, but, once democracy was established, after Franco's death, up he popped, as large as life, and became one of those intellectuals, surrounded in tobacco smoke, pondering on the problems of the day. Did he mean well? I'm sure that he did and it is all water under the bridge, anyway.
 

0007

Senior member
2,376 660
I am on record, somewhere, as having said that I did not like MT, because of some of her privatisation policies of public companies, ones which have done the country no good. Yet, she meant well. I believe that Putin means well for his country, as well. So it was with Tony Benn. He was a terrible government minister and one of the participants of a split Labour Party that won Maggie the election. Yet, I am sure that he wanted the best for the UK, So RIP.


Don't they all mean well? And isn't history littered with the results of such people?
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,501 1,542
"But neither of you did take that oath"

I did not ,but I was willing to be considered according to the same standard for behavior. I rather think he did in a sense. Politicians like doctors are supposedly engaged in the service of others (that's why we call them public servants). They supposedly further the interests of the public before theirown interests which is why an oath exists in the first place to govern behavior according to an ethical contract. So let us propose the oath is taken by politicians when they just take the job ,it is simply not done explicitly. Indeed ,I have money that Benn would completely agree with that idea ,because though I considered him incompetent I wouldn't doubt his integrity.

".


Just as a matter of fact I remember an interview Benn did. As he had publicly stated that he was against the Monarchy, how was it he managed to swear allegiance to the Queen on enterring Parliament ? He said he had his fingers crossed behind his back at the time!!
He supported all those strikes in the 1970s that wrecked Britain economically too. Always trying to cosy up to the extremist Unions, who frankly despised him as an aristocrat, bon viveur and hypocrite.
 

PieterSteidelmayer

Well-known member
283 54
Chump, one of us has lost our way in this discussion. On the off chance it is I then let me reiterate simply my comments.

Tony Benn is admired in my native country across a broad spectrum of ideological factions for his personal qualities of integrity, honesty and his ideals – whether one agrees with those ideals or not.

We then went off on a slight tangent into higher philosophical issues relating to the place of good intent within the realm of results and whether a bad result cancelled out the qualities of good intent and whether doing nothing was of higher value than unmitigated action.

My view as and still is, that the result of any person’s actions do not inform the good intent of the person taking those actions. In equal measure, one electing to not take action, providing it is with good intent, is not diminished or modified by the result of their not taking action. So a good man taking action and/or a good man deciding not to take action with the result of fubar – both men are still good men.

What a am careful to guard against are those that take the moral high ground (not that I am accusing you of this) with inaction trumping action in any event. Those that typically take this position are completely silent on those actions that were taken which resulted in good. If we left it to the inaction brigade we would all still be living in caves.

I suspect, though am not sure, that I probably almost 100% agree with you that inaction would generally always be the better course when it comes to politicians.
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,501 1,542
Don't they all mean well? And isn't history littered with the results of such people?

The all time example of well meaning do-gooding that went disastrously wrong must surely be Prohibition. This gave the mafia and organised crime a huge boost in income and power. The legacy still haunts America today.
 
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