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Make stupidity history

And since we are on the subject of ‘Star Wars’ this evening, it appears that Our Glorious Leader has finally been seduced by the ‘Dork Side’:

They are the must-have fashion accessory for the socially aware – and now Tony Blair has got in on the craze.

Whether worn to highlight racism, cancer research or poverty, coloured bands are a familiar sight on the wrists of footballers and pop stars.

Now the prime minister has been photographed wearing a white Make Poverty History wristband during a trip to a hospital in Edgware, north London.

Perhaps he wants to be in a filmy-wilmy with Gwynnie and Braddie?

[Furthermore, for a polished and forensic debunking of this cloth-headed, celebrity-driven codswallop, I recommend Stephen Pollard]

24 comments to Make stupidity history

  • Rich

    LIVEWRONG…The wristband for the rest of us.(Link)

    Sure, we all love Lance, but what if you can’t live like he does? What if you don’t eat right, or if you take a few risks now and then? We drink a little, party a little (a lot?). Sometimes we stay out too late.

    We’re not afraid of “carbs”. We sometimes indulge in red meat. What if you like to mix a little fun into your life? Does that mean you live wrong? YES IT DOES.

    Show the world that you’re not ashamed of your lifestyle and don’t apologise for it!

  • Rich

    Another stab at that link(Link)

    Sorry, vodka induced stupidity.

  • Verity

    Well, it’s facile and moronic (not the Livewrong, one; that’s OK), but we can take comfort in the fact that now the Great Phony One has adopted the style, it will be abandoned with alacrity.

    How do these stupid ideas catch on? It’s got to be through TV, because they’re wearing them in Mexico. And all the different colours mean you are showing solidarity with a bunch of different groups. I didn’t know poverty was one of them. I think there are some people busy stamping out racism by wearing a different colour cheap bracelet. I saw someone with a green one the other day, so I guess that is stamping out logging or something.

  • Julian Taylor

    Ah but we all know that when our Tone went into the Royal Free Hospital (what a great Socialist name for such a bug-ridden hospital!) it was for a lot of fake reasons. Most of all “the Prime Minister is suffering from a slipped disc” … yeah like li’l Tone actually has any spine at all.

    Far more like, “the Prime Minister is suffering from a minor ego slippage, following his significant reduction at the last election”

  • Verity

    Well, it’s been obvious since the first time he assaulted us with his smile that Tony Blair is an invertebrate. All hiss and no knickers.

    So, Julian Morrison. Not a slipped disc. Not that anyone in this parish fell for that one. But what?

    How intriguing.

  • Verity

    Julian Taylor – please forgive my slip of the keyboard. I was responding, obviously, to your very interesting post and apologise for not paying attention and typing in the wrong surname in my eagerness for unpleasant truths about the little father. I’m very sorry and am normally mindful that there are two Julians who are regular posters here.

  • John Rippengal

    Well I read the Stephen Pollard link and it’s a slipshod rotten piece of journalism. My inclination is that ‘free trade’ is the preferred route to riches but you don’t make a good case for it by blatant inaccuracies.

    Pollard quotes Singapore as abandoning tariffs in order to get rich. What total rubbish Singapore was always a free port since the days of Stamford Raffles.
    He also quotes South Korea starting on the road to riches after stopping protective tariffs. Again total rubbish of the testicular variety. In the sixties Korea was desperately poor and Seoul was recovering from an almost total wipe out during the fifties war. By the seventies however with high and rigid tariff barriers they were well on the way to building the current rich advanced economy and that continued inspite of the maintenance of those barriers.

    The same applied to Taiwan although he does not mention that countryand of course Japan is and was notorious for total lack of free trade.

  • Perhaps we should send Tone a “Make Poverty Permanent” wristband.

    Speaking of balls, this has it in spades:

    >Japan is and was notorious for total lack of free trade.

  • GF

    Some politicians did this more quickly, and even more stupidly… I really hope the wristband craze is coming to an end now that it’s reached the pinnacle of uncool.

  • Verity

    GF – Tony Blair’s adopted it. Of course it’s reached the pinnacle of uncool.

  • What I’ve never understood about people who talk about ‘fairness’ as a social construct rather than an objective reality is, how come they don’t perceive that their personal view of what constitutes fairness in any given case has, in their own terms, no more validity than any other such person’s notions.

    If one says, ‘x is fair’, rather than ‘fairness means treating people equally, without favour’, there is no obvious reason – other than the might of electoral majorities – why someone else shouldn’t come along say, ‘well, actually I think y is more fair’.

    Both people are advancing subjectivist views. In their own terms they are both right, but there is no mechanism for deciding between them.

    I can understand the self-righteous impulse to make ‘fairness’ a matter for policy outcomes rather than due process. But these people are not all that stupid: why do they not see that the flaw in subjectivism is that by definition is has no external, objective yardstick?

    If I wish publicly to advance my own virtue by making ‘fairness’ or ‘social justice’ have x, y, or z values, even if I can build electoral majorities for my position, it is inherent to the game in which I indulge that another feudal landlord can come along and promise a, b and c, and for a, b and c to be rather more generous in their interpretations of ‘fairness’ than mine viz. x, y or z.

  • speedwell

    “Make stupidity history.”

    Is that intended to mean, “Make stupidity merely a historical footnote,” or “Be so stupid that you make yourself a part of the history of stupidity?”

    Just asking :)

  • John Rippengal

    I should perhaps be careful to choose my wording.
    By saying Japan was notorious for restricting trade the implication is that pretty well everybody knows that. This does not cater for the ignorant such as Mr Blithering Bunny. Nevertheless Japan built its post war economy on higly restrictive exquisitely crafted non-tariff barriers and of course tariffs. They still maintain a lot of them. It is virtually certain that Taiwan and South Korea took the same path because of Japanese influence, both being erstwhile Japanese colonies.

    It’s probable that very few other peoples could pull it off successfully. Free trade is the better bet.

  • J

    John Rippengal:

    Please keep your facts to yourself. As I’m sure you know, such things have no place on the comments section of political blogs :-)

    re wristbands, more pathetic bleating. What the hell’s wrong with it? If I can wear an no-id T shirt, why not a no-id badge, or a no-id wristband? I used to have a blue ribbon for internet freedom of speech, if anyone remembers the old CDA controversy.

    Why not have wristbands?

  • John Rippengal,

    I don’t see what cause you have to sneer at Scott Cambell for “ignorance”.

    1) A perfectly natural reading of your phrase “total lack of free trade” to describe Japan is to see it as denying that Japan has any free trade, i.e. is not a trading country. That was the impression I got. Your subsequent post modifies this, but it is, like, subsequent.

    2) So Japan had lots of barriers post WWII. There is scope for argument about how extensive or effective they were, but let it lie. It had fewer pre war and fewer still pre WWI. It made the transition from agricultural to trading nation during the nineteenth century under an externally-imposed low-tariff regime.

  • John Rippengal said:

    >I should perhaps be careful to choose my wording.

    Yes you should. Have you only just realised this?

    >By saying Japan was notorious for restricting trade the implication is that pretty well everybody knows that.

    This can be semi-formalized as the following:

    “The implication of saying x is: everybody knows x.”

    Well, that’s cleared that up then.

    In actual fact, you said “Japan is and was notorious for total lack of free trade”. Which isn’t true. Japan had a fair amount of restrictions of trade, as everyone does know, but the context was a highly pernickity one (partly due to your own comments), and thus what you said was very misleading. Japan did not have a “total lack of free trade”. Did you not understand that that was my point?

    >They still maintain a lot of them.

    Yes, and their economy is now stuffed.

  • John Rippengal

    The implication of saying x is ‘notorious’ is that everybody knows. Surely that is clear enough.
    Do I have to explain that notorious means that
    it is well known that it is a ‘bad’ thing.

    Natalie, not having free trade is not the same as not trading. It just means you trade with protection. You sell your cars and sophisticated manufactured goods but you don’t allow their import and you don’t allow agricultural imports that compete with major indigenous products like rice. You do it with impossibly intricate standards or by tariffs. You build up a huge current account surplus. Of course you allow the free import of such things as oil as you have no indigenous supplies.

    My original post was to point out that the article by Pollard, contrary to the statement in the Blog,
    did the free trade case no favours whatsoever because it was full of factual errors which made it easy to shoot it down.

    South Korea was mentioned in the Pollard piece and I introduced Taiwan and Japan because I think there are close parallels. Nobody can seriously believe that those three countries built their hugely successful economies on anything but the very antithesis of free trade.

    They are parallels that in my opinion may prove the exception to the rule that free trade is the best policy.
    As Blithering Bunny points out the Japanese economy has stalled for the last decade or so. It may well be they cannot sustain bucking the ‘true’ path.

    I repeat that I am a believer in Free Trade but it cannot be denied that those three far east countries have made at least a temporary success of the complete opposite. Would be interesting to work out why.

  • John K

    Why is everyone being beastly to the Dear Leader? Don’t you know that he cares? He really, really cares. Look at his war on poverty. Poor David Blunkett and Beverley Hughes were forced to live on the paltry salaries of backbenchers, all for having done nothing wrong apart from lying and being shit at their jobs. Now the Leader has brought them back into the fold of government, proving that he cares about his friends, if no-one else. I for one don’t begrudge a single penny of my taxes going to help poor David and Beverley, and would be more than happy to wear a bracelet to that effect. Who’s with me on this?

  • APL

    J: “re wristbands, more pathetic bleating. What the hell’s wrong with it?”

    It’s not the wrist bands., It’s that our nasty little runt of a Prime minister is trying to jump on another populist bandwagon in the hope that some of the popularity will rub off on him personally.

    J: “Why not have wristbands?”

    My opinion? I think they are a silly affectation. If you want to spend your money on a cause then give that cause all of your donation.

    But ultimately, yes, why not?

  • Verity

    John K – The glorious leader was kinder than that to his ol’ mate Weepy Blunky. Yes, he was demoted to a back bench salary. BUT, he kept his grace and favour ministerial residence and (I think) limousine and driver. This was because the glorious leader intended to bring him straight back into government, as is his wont with his disgraced chums, so why go through all the bother of packing and moving, only to move it all back in two months later?

  • John Rippengal says, “Natalie, not having free trade is not the same as not trading.”

    Yes, I know. It’s just that one reading of your original comment made it look as if you didn’t.

  • I’ve actually set up a blog for this at http://www.makestupidityhistory.org/ . All are welcome to come and post about stupidity and how to end it.