Prof Brian Cox: ‘Being anti-expert – that’s the way back to the cave’

Jul 4, 2016

By Decca Aitkenhead

You can guess how Professor Brian Cox feels about our referendum result from his opinion of the current anti-expert mood. We met three days before the referendum vote, and throughout the interview his famous perma-grin faltered only when the subject of public cynicism towards professional expertise came up.

“It’s entirely wrong, and it’s the road back to the cave. The way we got out of the caves and into modern civilisation is through the process of understanding and thinking. Those things were not done by gut instinct. Being an expert does not mean that you are someone with a vested interest in something; it means you spend your life studying something. You’re not necessarily right – but you’re more likely to be right than someone who’s not spent their life studying it.”

If Michael Gove believes the country is fed up with people who know what they’re talking about, Cox’s enduringly wild popularity suggests that we haven’t entirely lost faith in them. The particle physicist, 48, enjoys a remarkable degree of global celebrity status for someone who references Plato, Newton, Descartes and an obscure patron of early 17th-century science called Johann Matthäus Wacker von Wackhenfels within the first five minutes of conversation. His previous series have attracted the sort of viewing figures Simon Cowell would envy, and his new four-part series will go out on primetime BBC1.


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48 comments on “Prof Brian Cox: ‘Being anti-expert – that’s the way back to the cave’

  • @OP- You can guess how Professor Brian Cox feels about our referendum result from his opinion of the current anti-expert mood.

    If Michael Gove believes the country is fed up with people who know what they’re talking about, Cox’s enduringly wild popularity suggests that we haven’t entirely lost faith in them.

    Unfortunately the pig ignorant and lazy thinkers, don’t know the difference between expert opinion and posturing quacks or ideologists.
    Given the proportion of posturing quacks who feed them disinformation and false “balance” via the tabloid press and popular media, it is not very surprising!

    The problem is the relatively large numbers who are looking for scapegoats to blame for the problems of modern living, with the likes of Gove, Farage, and Corbin, only too ready to whip up gatherings of mob rage, by pointing the finger of mis-direction at any form of authority they don’t like, and any regulatory mechanism they wish to disable!



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  • @OP – “One of the really refreshing things about the BBC now, with Tony Hall running it, is you’ve got someone who I know understands what a public institution is. I’ve always felt that the BBC is a public institution first and a media company second. So it exists in order to make the country better. It does not exist to make television or radio; that’s it secondary purpose. It makes the country better by making television.”

    It carries on some traditions from when David Attenborough was running things as as a producer at the BBC, and later when BBC Two was created in 1965, Attenborough was asked to return to the station as its controller. In both this capacity and as director of programming for both the BBC and BBC Two, Attenborough continued to collect milestones, pioneering such educational series as The Ascent of Man and Civilisation, overseeing the BBC’s transition to color television and having the wisdom to sign up an oddball comedy series called Monty Python’s Flying Circus, starring John Cleese and Terry Gilliam among others.
    http://www.biography.com/people/david-attenborough

    Some of the bean counters and right-wing privatisers, just don’t get this, and keep on trying to sell off services and buy in cheap timetable fillers, to copy American formats!



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  • Alan: I just had a discussion with a retired carpenter. The county I live in has no industrial arts classes. No wood shop, electronics, auto shop or metal shop.
    The need for these skills are crucial. The twenty year old people I meet have no idea how to change oil and filter much less repair anything.
    Their first house is further away financially if they have to call a contractor every time they have a need.

    The young are getting trained at being stupid and proud.



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  • Alan4discussion, #1: Unfortunately the pig ignorant and lazy thinkers, don’t know the difference between expert opinion and posturing quacks or ideologists.

    S. Grant, #4: How do you consider yourself a tolerant free thinker when referring to those with whom you disagree as “pig ignorant lazy thinkers”

    Alan does not refer to those who disagree with him in such terms; if he did most of the regular contributors to this site would have long been consigned to the sty. He is plainly speaking about the purblind people who refuse to listen to, or attempt to understand the opinions of people who know more than they do.
    I’ve never considered myself as the brightest tool in this particular box, but I hope that I have the humility and common sense to attend to those who are more intelligent, more diligent in study and more erudite than I. I dislike name calling, but I can understand that Alan becomes frustrated at those who will not attempt to grasp even the broad outlines of the issues which will determine the next century of our planet, and moreover the machinations of the bean counters and right-wing privatisers who use every tool that money and propaganda can muster, in order to hide the established truth from those who are victims of the woeful standard of education and media available to the masses.
    In his posting Alan made a positive contribution, about the distinguished career of a great broadcaster, but S. Grant took the opportunity to have a destructive rant against the usual scapegoats of the Left, the BBC, the police etc, without deploying any facts. The rape of teenagers by Muslims is a complete irrelevancy in this context, and indeed the whole sordid business requires a proper in-depth analysis, not gratuitous deployment in a discussion about understanding and thinking.
    Alan has contributed more to this site than almost anyone, in explaining the science, illuminating the discussions and joining in the banter, and he does not deserve to be traduced with such vitriol.



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  • S. Grant #4
    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Alan4Discussion: How do you consider yourself a tolerant free thinker when referring to those with whom you disagree as “pig ignorant lazy thinkers”?

    That’s an easy question!
    I have listened to a sample of their comments, read what they have written, and compared their perceptions and attempts at reasoning, with the evidence.

    When people attribute “on the record” laws, regulations, and decisions to the wrong people, wrong levels of government, and wrong administrative bodies, it is clear they are lazily babbling nonsense without doing their basic homework.

    @#1 – Unfortunately the pig ignorant and lazy thinkers, don’t know the difference between expert opinion and posturing quacks or ideologists.
    Given the proportion of posturing quacks who feed them disinformation and false “balance” via the tabloid press and popular media, it is not very surprising!

    I think it is safe to say that the left are “posturing quacks who feed them disinformation and false balance”.

    I made no such claim, but pointed out that false claims and false balance were made by the low-grade media from sources all across the political spectrum.

    I never wanted to use this forum for this style of argument, but your astoundingly intolerant, smug, know all attitude and plain wrong ranting is unbearable.

    I see you have no evidence to challenge my view, so have resorted to emotive rhetoric which is without substance!
    Are you suggesting the popular media do not feed contrived false information, quackery, pseudo-science etc, to the poorly educated?

    Science is NOT the natural home of the loony left, so keep your name calling and extremist views out of it.

    Science is the natural home of debunking loony claims and extremist views from any area of politics.
    However, facts and objective evidence, are never “extremist”, regardless of emotional responses some people produce as a reaction to them.

    Your fervent beliefs are no different in nature to those of an unpersuadable religious nut-case; you’re cut from the same cloth and you don’t even know it.

    You are clearly into psychological projection here.
    If you have any evidence to challenge my claims please present it.

    I have been actively engaged in science and politics for many years.



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  • Why was S. Grant’s post chopped? I chuckled as I imagined a blood-red face behind a manic tapping of his keyboard. His diatribe was amusing, and it probably prevented him from kicking his cat or something else in an effort to pacify his rage at Alan’s succinct appraisal of what Prof. Cox was insinuating!



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  • 8
    maria melo says:

    “Unfortunately the pig ignorant and lazy thinkers, don’t know the difference between expert opinion and posturing quacks or ideologists.”

    Ugly words by Allan4discussion, remember the “pig ignorants” are experties and cannot know about everything, perhaps that´s why I was a bit surprised to see a brexit opinion in terms of grasshopers, but didn´t find it quite strange once I know a musician and all that is on his mind is music.
    Perhaps UK politicians have really rely good expertise advise, at least, they didn´t fallen in Euro currency, perhaps that´s what they really need to do, to exit EU, but those that think they can know everthing are ridiculed by common people too, and in fact, they seem more ridiculous to me too.

    I never felt so respectuful by British politicians as now, even Nigel Farange, as deputy, was not thinking with his guts (defending his status quo) but defending what he think is better for the country, that´s really admirable.
    By the way, I use always my vote to put Euroceptics deputies in EU Parliament, and sincerelyI think although they are Euroceptics, they make real work in there.
    This discussion is really becoming nasty, so that I will not participate anymore and I´ll do my homework, of course. (right now a have a list of good “expertises” to read)..

    After Lisbon Earthquake, the best arquitects and engeneers have beem advisors of “government”, and they adviced about the best technics to build a safer city, (the best in the world I recall). It seems naive from someone that thinks that can tell politicians their job, more, when it comes to British politicians in general.



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  • maria melo #8
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:51 am

    “Unfortunately the pig ignorant and lazy thinkers, don’t know the difference between expert opinion and posturing quacks or ideologists.”

    Ugly words by Alan4discussion, remember the “pig ignorants” are experties and cannot know about everything,

    The words may be “ugly”, but not half as ugly as the damage the persistently interfering clueless cause communities.

    My criticism of the “pig-ignorants” is not that the don’t know about everything, but that they make next to no effort to learn anything, – and then contradict experts and interfere in matters about which they know nothing!

    I never felt so respectuful by British politicians as now, even

    British politicians are in a muddle trying to sort out the mess arising from some very foolish risky decisions. Some should be respected for their efforts to repair the damage, others are just a clueless waste of space and running around like headless chickens, trying to look important!

    Nigel Farange, as deputy, was not thinking with his guts (defending his status quo) but defending what he think is better for the country, that´s really admirable.

    Sorry to spoil your illusions, but Nigel Farage has just stood down from his position as leader of UKIP.
    Having been a prime initiator of this chaos, he has now pronounced himself a success, and now he has no plan whatever for any “better future” beyond achieving the protest vote.
    He has just walked away leaving everyone else to sort out the mess which he helped to make!

    By the way, I use always my vote to put Euroceptics deputies in EU Parliament,

    There is nothing wrong with sceptics trying to improve the workings of the European Parliament or its administrative functions.
    As with climate issues, scepticism is not the same as gratuitous ignorant contradiction of objective data or expert opinion, or the cavalier wrecking of administrative structures or international agreements with no better alternatives suggested.



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  • 10
    maria melo says:

    “Sorry to spoil your illusions, but Nigel Farage has just stood down from his position as leader of UKIP.”

    You don´t need to feel sorry concerning me as a person, I am well informed about that.



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  • maria melo #8
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I never felt so respectuful by British politicians as now, . . . . . .
    This discussion is really becoming nasty, so that I will not participate anymore and I´ll do my homework, of course. (right now a have a list of good “expertises” to read)..

    You might like to have a look at this example of an MP failing his electors – especially any requiring medical care!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/07/the-gops-denial-of-science-primed-them-for-the-illogic-of-trump/#li-comment-206585



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  • I really must try to remember; next time I’m ill I must avoid going to the doctor; she’s an expert.

    I’ll call up my builder friend instead; of fuck! Just remembered, he’s an expert too.

    Oh, I know, I’ll email a politician. Now, who should I choose? Hm; difficult.



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  • If I want a shot of adrenalin to lift me out of my retirement lethargy I normally watch fox News for a bit. Similarly when I want peaceful instruction, intellectual improvement and gentle satire, I go to this site. It seems that now I’m getting both in one place.



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  • None of the above. With respect, I never intended to offend anyone, so if that’s the case I apologize. People of all backgrounds admire and respect the likes of Richard Dawkins, and that includes those who voted to leave the EU. Readers and site administrators who submit articles likening Nigel Farage to the pied piper of Hamelin as 27 million citizens fall into a trance is utterly ridiculous. You make a mockery of the legitimate concerns of millions and use the good name of great men to stubbornly peddle your tired old mantra.
    The vast majority of people across Europe and the United States aren’t listening any more and you scratch your heads wondering why. Unbelievable.



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  • Then you are lying to yourself and didn’t learn anything from your mistakes.
    You didn’t mean to insult anyone?
    “Your fervent beliefs are no different in nature to those of an unpersuadable religious nut-case; you’re cut from the same cloth and you don’t even know it.”
    “You make a mockery of the legitimate concerns of millions and use the good name of great men to stubbornly peddle your tired old mantra.”

    What are you accusing me of?



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  • I am not lying to myself or refusing to learn. I apologized for my comment and I will be more careful in the future. Bringing up a previous comment as evidence to the contrary is illogical wouldn’t you say? And I am accusing you of nothing. I think it’s obvious that I and many other visitors are here to learn more about the natural world. Personally I have grown tired of readers continuously politicizing articles and I felt compelled to say something in this case.
    I’m not here to pick a fight or insult anyone.



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  • S. Grant #21
    Jul 5, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    I am not lying to myself or refusing to learn. I apologized for my comment and I will be more careful in the future.

    The issue is that the terms of this site, require posters to produced reasoned comments based on evidence, and exchange ideas politely.

    Bringing up a previous comment as evidence to the contrary is illogical wouldn’t you say?

    The rules also outlaw multiple identical posts, so if the same comment applies twice it makes sense to link it and any citations or links it contains. – (particularly when discussions are on related subjects.)

    And I am accusing you of nothing. I think it’s obvious that I and many other visitors are here to learn more about the natural world.

    Indeed there are many well informed discussions on science threads.

    Personally I have grown tired of readers continuously politicizing articles and I felt compelled to say something in this case.

    However, when discussing anti-science politicians, pseudo-science policies, and political statements, it is a necessary part of the discussion to include the politics.

    We also call out wild and incompetent assertions made by politicians, which in the case of Nigel Farage, anyone who has heard his comments on science or economics, or read his party’s so-called policy statements, is spoiled for choice in rummaging through the sea of made up rubbish which contradicts available evidence!

    The average 13 year old could out-perform Farage in science subjects.



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  • S. Grant #18
    Jul 5, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    and that includes those who voted to leave the EU. Readers and site administrators who submit articles likening Nigel Farage to the pied piper of Hamelin as 27 million citizens fall into a trance is utterly ridiculous.

    Farage is a con man who just makes up propaganda off the top of his head. Looking at the levels of understanding of the issues is very relevant to analysing how the result came about.
    Simply asserting that evidence based posts are “ridiculous” makes no case.

    You make a mockery of the legitimate concerns of millions

    There are legitimate concerns, but the opinions of people who attribute the problems to the wrong organisations or contradict and dismiss soundly based evidence and expert opinion, have no credibility to support their views.

    and use the good name of great men to stubbornly peddle your tired old mantra.

    Labelling expert evidence based information “a tired old mantra” makes no case against it! It is empty rhetoric of the type used by Young Earth Creationists, AGW deniers, quacks and astrologers in response to valid criticisms.

    @#21 – Bringing up a previous comment as evidence to the contrary is illogical wouldn’t you say?

    Logic is a process of deduction and induction.
    If a relevant previous linked comment is logically reasoned it is logical. If it is evidence based it is a legitimate argument. If not, it is not.
    The matter of the logic is unrelated to whether it is linked or not.



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  • S. Grant #24
    Jul 6, 2016 at 6:02 am

    I think you just fried my brain. I’m heading back to the UK Mail. Best wishes.

    Some come here to learn to improve their understanding of science and use of reasoning.

    Those who come with no evidence and present no reasoning, do have their arguments shot down quite quickly on this site.
    This is a science site not a chat-room.

    If you are finding the political issues too complex, try some of the science articles and discussions.

    The topic in this particular discussion is the disputing of expert advice by the ignorant or uneducated.



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  • S. Grant #18
    Jul 5, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    The vast majority of people across Europe and the United States aren’t listening any more and you scratch your heads wondering why.

    That’s the problem which is being discussed! A whole string of experts from different specialisms have told them that brexit is a very bad idea which is likely to have dire consequences, but they prefer to listen to a bunch of clowns who are telling them this is just scaremongering!

    The problem with reality, is that it does not care what wishful thinking crowds following the deluded wish-thinkers and the con-men think about promised business “benefits”!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36721689

    Global stock markets have fallen and the pound has hit a fresh 31-year low as worries over the UK’s vote to leave the EU continue to rattle markets.

    The UK’s FTSE 100 share index was down 1.6% in afternoon trade, while US stocks opened lower on Wall Street.

    Earlier, the pound fell to $1.2798, its lowest since 1985, before rebounding.

    Analysts blamed warnings from the Bank of England that Brexit risks were “crystallising” and fears about the UK commercial property market.

    In afternoon trade, the pound was trading at $1.2952. Sterling has dropped by about 14% against the dollar since hitting $1.50 ahead of the referendum result.

    Against the euro, the pound was down 0.5% at €1.17, having earlier hit its lowest level since 2013.

    “Pessimistic predictions for sterling are coming true,” said Andrew Edwards, chief executive of ETX Capital. “The pound is the chief proxy for the post-Brexit mood in the markets.”

    Unbelievable.

    Utter denial until reality kicks them personally when it’s too late!



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  • It is simply easier to not know anything. Thinking is work, and why work when everybody else will do it for you? Beware the great dull stupid masses; they can be manipulated into the most dreadful plagues, like electing Trump. Opportunism is part of the evolved human condition, and I see it every day without fail. It’s so refreshing to meet people that seek knowledge, but the deeper you go the harder it gets. It’s easier not to think.



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  • Alan, and others who are regulars:
    I am not as educated as the majority of the posters here. I am aware most of you are educators, biologists, and scientists.
    I tend to stay quiet and ask questions rather than give my “expertise”, which I have little.
    Occasionally,,, because of living in the USA and being of minority status, I get involved in these discussions because of my strong objection to religion and discrimination.

    I have to communicate with educated people here because I am an American living in a rural area.
    Thank you all.



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  • @Alan

    PY, Ditto (what Alf said). Welcome. It’s the best site out there.
    Hi, Alf.
    Alan, English politics is not my forte. It is obvious that you have a great command of this topic, and many others.
    Would you mind explaining to me why you don’t like Corbyn? I heard (from some of my liberal friends and one family member) that he’s pretty good. But what do they know? You live over there and are immersed in this. When you have the time, I’d like you to tell me what your beef is with him. Thanks.
    Regards,
    D



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  • Dan #30
    Jul 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Alan, English politics is not my forte. It is obvious that you have a great command of this topic, and many others.

    I have been involved for many years and had many personal conversations with MPs, mayors, and councillors, as well as sitting on committees with some of them. It is a kind of family tradition.
    My father was leader of the council (That’s like mayor), the year I was born!

    Would you mind explaining to me why you don’t like Corbyn? I heard (from some of my liberal friends and one family member) that he’s pretty good. But what do they know?

    Corbyn has just had 172 of his party’s MPs pass a vote of no confidence in him as leader because they find they cannot work with him because of his incompetence.
    The leader was previously elected by the party’s elected MPs from their number, on the basis of the recognition of capability and leadership qualities.
    The rules were recently changed so the leader is now directly elected by the whole membership – including new members who have no understanding of how anything works, so the MPs are stuck with someone they see as not up to the job!
    He makes sympathetic noises and gives assurances, but is useless at organising actions to actually benefit the people.
    He has just messed up on the brexit referendum, by playing silly politics and watering down the campaign everyone else was working on, encouraged voters to attack the wrong people, and at the end simply surrendered without a fight, while pretending to defend the interests of the country and the people.

    You live over there and are immersed in this. When you have the time, I’d like you to tell me what your beef is with him.

    He is now in denial, but rather than stepping down for the good of his country and his party, he is trying to rally his remaining 40 MPs and the more ignorant party members, to fight the majority who have no confidence in him!

    As I was active in the Remain Campaign, he has my email address on his circulation list, and is sending me his propaganda letters which further illustrate his incompetence and lack of understanding of the issues!
    (For example he describes the serious warnings from experts as, “The fear campaign” – claiming his lack of involvement in this is an indication of the “strength of his position”!!!)

    There are copies of his emails with my analysis and comments here:-
    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/06/britains-shaky-status-as-a-scientific-superpower/#li-comment-206550



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  • 30 @Dan

    Would you mind explaining to me why you don’t like Corbyn?

    Corbyn is a throwback to the hard left labour party of the eighties, before Tony Blair moved them to center and out of the political wilderness. Every election defeat seems to precipitate a sort of coup d’etat where the centrists are pushed aside by the union-backed left. The problem is that the left wing of the party can never win a general election – you’d think they would have learned this by now.

    A good analysis here if you have the time to read it. http://eucenter.scrippscollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/files//2016/03/ResearchPaper_JieMingChong.pdf

    Since Corbyn became the leader a lot of top Labourites have bided their time, content to wait things out until the party could re-organize. Brexit has added immediacy to their concerns – the thinking now is that with the turmoil in the Conservative party the new Tory leader may want to call an early election, while Labour is weak, as a way of obtaining a mandate to proceed with the negotiations to leave the EU. There is a feeling amongst pro-EU Labourites that that could be an election they could win.



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  • john.wb #32
    Jul 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    the thinking now is that with the turmoil in the Conservative party the new Tory leader may want to call an early election, while Labour is weak, as a way of obtaining a mandate to proceed with the negotiations to leave the EU. There is a feeling amongst pro-EU Labourites that that could be an election they could win.

    Unfortunately, some of the Corbynite loony left, are thinking that if they “adopt the will of the people” and go with a brexit move, they can gain the votes from the leaderless UKIP, deselect a few experienced and skilled Labour MPs, and substantially increase the number of Labour MPs – and in particular, far-left MPs. – Especially if the Tories try to back-track on the referendum vote for the good of the country, and they then oppose this! !



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36753769
    Angela Eagle has said she will announce a bid for the leadership of the Labour Party on Monday.

    Ms Eagle, who resigned as shadow business secretary last week, said leader Jeremy Corbyn had failed “to lead an organised and effective” party.

    Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said he would remain as leader of the party and would fight any leadership challenge.

    It comes after Tom Watson called off talks with unions aimed at resolving the stand-off at the top of the party.

    Mr Corbyn has refused to step down despite a vote of no confidence passed by the party’s MPs last month – and many resignations from his shadow cabinet – in the wake of the EU referendum.

    Confirming her leadership bid, Ms Eagle said she would “explain my vision for the country and the difference a strong Labour Party can make” on Monday.

    Meanwhile, deputy leader Mr Watson said Mr Corbyn’s declaration to continue “come what may” meant there was “no realistic prospect of reaching a compromise” over the leadership.

    Mr Watson said he had made “significant progress” during initial talks with union representatives earlier this week, adding it was his “strong belief” the discussions could have led to a basis for further talks.

    “It is with regret and profound sadness that I have concluded there is little to be achieved by pursuing wider conversations with our union affiliates at this time,” Mr Watson said.

    Corbyn is fighting his own party MPs and seeking partisan support from some unions against the majority of Labour MPs, – which apparently he does not see as being inconsistent with his calls for “unity”!

    Meanwhile, the failures to address the urgent problems of the country arising from the brexit vote, remain, to the continued detriment of the economy and the people.

    It looks like Corbyn is set to “out-stupid” both Cameron and Farage, in leading the Labour Party back into long-term opposition , with no prospect of governing.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-36750069

    Under-fire Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for party unity during a speech at the Durham Miners’ Gala.

    Mr Corbyn, who has faced calls to quit from 170 MPs, is the first Labour leader to attend the trade union gathering since Ed Miliband in 2012.

    Rebel MPs were denied access to the gala platform, after organisers said they tried to “humiliate” Mr Corbyn.

    During the speech, to a crowd of tens of thousands, Mr Corbyn said there was “no pressure” on him to stand down.

    Any leader with an iota of judgement, would recognise that a political leader who cannot gain the support from over three quarters of the MPs is under pressure to stand down in the interests of his party!
    Only a delusional egotist, can fail to recognise such a situation! – But wasn’t the failure to seek expert professional advice and recognise the reality of situations, the issue of his incompetence in the first place?

    DMA general secretary Dave Hopper said: “Labour MPs who refused to support Jeremy Corbyn in the recent vote of confidence have not been banned or barred from attending this year’s gala. The gala is a public event which anyone can attend.

    “However, the invitations to attend the official Durham Miners’ Association events and functions, stand on the balcony of the County Hotel and grace the platform on the racecourse have been rescinded.”

    He said: “We will not allow those who have sought to humiliate him and undermine the democratic process in the Labour Party the honour of taking part in the aforementioned gala traditions.”

    OOOOoo! Objective criticism is just sooooo offensive to the clueless who have no idea about what standards of competence are!

    The loony left loves pretending the spoutings and actions of their ideological representatives, with a yahoos backing chorus, ARE the democratic process!

    The platform has presented a “Corbynite message of “unity”, –
    Nobody but Corbinites will be allowed to speak!
    All discord, rational argument, and criticism, will be excluded!

    Corbyn is trying to resurrect brain-dead Labour! – With votes taken back from UKIP, by out-Faraging Farage!



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  • @OP – Michael Gove believes the country is fed up with people who know what they’re talking about,

    Michael Gove and the brexiteers were clearly “fed up with people who knew what they were talking about”, when they were promising the gullible voters wonderfully improved trade deals outside of the EU!

    If is becoming increasingly obvious, how many specialist advisers those brexteers in government office, consulted before making such wild claims.

    The extent of their forward planning of those promised “wonderfully improved trade agreements”, is also becoming self evident!

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/exminister-oliver-letwin-we-have-no-trade-negotiators-to-seal-brexit-deal-a3296786.html

    David Cameron’s top policy guru today admitted the British Government has no trade negotiators.

    Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Office Minister until the reshuffle, said all British negotiators are currently employed by the EU. He said Brexit Secretary David Davis and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox now must hire droves of new negotiators to lead talks on deals.

    I think 500 negotiators was the estimate of the number needed to renegotiate back to where we are now post-brexit, – providing other states want to co-operate!



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  • It seems the brain-dead media has held a poll of brain-dead readers, and 98% of the profoundly ignorant are shouting their mouths off again about legal issues and dire consequences they know nothing about!

    The Express is plumbing new depths in offering very poor value at 10pence a copy!

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/693193/NO-EU-deal-talks-Brussels-quit-NOW-new-poll-readers

    98 per cent say NO to EU deal: Forget talks with Brussels and quit NOW, urges new poll
    A NEW Daily Express online poll has revealed that 98 per cent of respondents – 3,548 people – want the historic Brexit vote to be enacted now instead of Britain being embroiled in months or years of talks with Brussels bureaucrats.

    It comes amid alarm over comments by Theresa May to Tory MEPs saying that there could be “months of negotiations” before Article 50 is triggered to even start freeing Britain from Brussels rule.

    And last night it was clear that those who want to harm Britain have made underlined that they intend to use any delay in leaving the EU to inflict damage on the country.

    This is laughable as a comment on how making a coherent plan to try to minimise damage from a reckless decision with massive potential for damage, is “inflicting damage on the country”.
    The level of cynical, reckless, clueless, and incompetent lying is disgusting!

    European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said that free trade could not happen without free movement while separatist Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a speech “blackmailing” the rest of the UK into abandoning Brexit or risk a second independence referendum.

    Former Tory cabinet minister John Redwood has led a cross party group of MPs which has come up with a plan to get Britain out of the EU “in just a matter of weeks”.

    “Redwood” by name and “deadwood” by head content!

    The simple solution, also backed by Labour Leave, would be to trigger article 50 by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act and then informing the EU that the UK is no longer a member but intends to trade tariff free.

    I think they actually mean, “The simpleton solution”!

    If the EU then decides to impose tariffs then Britain would respond but because the UK has a trade deficit with the EU of almost £24 billion a trade war would be more damaging to European countries especially Germany which could lose its biggest car market.

    Yep! Brilliant!!!
    The EU market is about ten times bigger than the UK and has trade agreements in place with about 50 other countries, so the other 27 will be really scared of having no trading partners if Johnny-no-mates UK jumps ship without a plan, reneges on agreements with present partners and wishfully thinks everyone is then going to rush to make lucrative new deals for someone who reneges on agreements and launches into trade wars! The UK has no independent trade agreements in place with these, and has no qualified trade negotiators to draw up any!

    If you want a really, really, really, stupid answer to a complex question – which requires expertise from numerous disciplines, get a muppet reported to have a poll and ask the know-it-all-clueless to pick from a selection of daft options, and then publish the result as a headline!

    “Plan” for international trade? Who needs a plan??? Just start a trade war with someone ten times your size!!!
    If given the chance our macho simpletons, would demonstrate that “fools rush in where wise men fear to tread”, and be applauded by the cheerleaders at this tabloid comic!

    This rag is not worth 10pence!
    They mention “Article50” but are too reckless, to illiterate, or too lazy to read it!
    The publishers should be paying people to take bundles of this pseudo-news disinformation junk reporting to the recycling bin!

    Are they really this stupid, or are they being paid directly or indirectly by some foreign power to cause chaos???

    The real-world issue, is “How many gullibles will believe this disinformation”?



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  • Alan ! It’s the Express !!! what did you expect? Your average Express reader will be lapping it up!!! Reinforcing their tory prejudices! Moaning to anybody who will listen that they can see an asylum seeker peeking out from underneath their wife’s skirt! HaHa



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  • M27Holts #40
    Jul 26, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Alan ! It’s the Express !!! what did you expect?

    I don’t buy the Express (not even for 10p), but there it was with its nutty headline, on the convenience store news shelf, when I was buying some fresh food, so I saw the front page!

    They really are taking the intellectual levels of reading and comprehension of legal documents, “back to the cave”!



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  • phil rimmer #42
    Jul 26, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    I was buying some fresh food, so I saw the front page!

    Sure, sure….

    Well – They used to use newspapers like this for wrapping fish and chips, but with the new hygienic packaging, they are no longer even useful for that!



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  • I see some of the leading brexiteers, who vehemently opposed UK co-operation in Europe, have demonstrated what many of us already knew!
    Namely that they could not organise a booze-up in a brewery, and in any “negotiations”, cannot co-operate with Europe or even with each other, so promptly degenerate into petty squabbling!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36962266
    UKIP leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe has been ruled “ineligible” to stand in the contest to replace Nigel Farage – after he submitted his papers late.

    The party’s NEC said it had voted by a “clear majority” to exclude Mr Woolfe – previously seen as the frontrunner.

    The MEP said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision, and three NEC members have quit in protest.

    Jonathan Arnott, Bill Etheridge, Diane James, Lisa Duffy, Phillip Broughton and Elizabeth Jones are on the ballot.

    Announcing their resignations, Victoria Ayling, Raymond Finch and Michael McGough said in a joint statement that the party’s governing body “is no longer fit for purpose” and called for a vote of no confidence in the NEC.

    They accused it of “deliberately obstructing” Mr Woolfe and some of its members of putting personal ambitions ahead of the interests of the party – which polled more than four million votes at the last general election and got 12% of the vote.

    12% of the UK vote supports this squabbling shower with no idea of how to put together an effective plan to do anything useful, – while hanger’s on in other parties pander to them! – It’s a bit like the US right’s support for the abrasive clueless Trump!
    (If you can’t be good be LOUD!!! – That should impress the ignorant!!)



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  • It looks like brexit is the gift which just keeps right on giving!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36953247

    The UK has a 50/50 chance of falling into recession within the next 18 months following the Brexit vote, says a leading economic forecaster.

    The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) says the country will go through a “marked economic slowdown” this year and next.

    It says inflation will also pick up, rising to 3% by the end of next year.

    “This is the short-term economic consequence of the vote to leave the EU“, said Simon Kirby of the NIESR.
    In a separate report, the CBI business lobby group says that the UK’s small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMEs) fear they will be hit by a fall in orders in the next three months.

    Its latest quarterly survey of SMEs says business optimism has fallen at its fastest rate since January 2009, when the UK economy was falling into recession.

    Now, the culprit is the uncertainty following June’s Brexit vote.

    Despite this, the 472 firms surveyed said that current orders were stable.

    Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s director for economics, said: “The UK’s SME manufacturers reported higher production, more staff hired and now expect to sell more of their world-class goods overseas over the next quarter, with a weaker sterling having a hand in this.

    “But overall they do feel less optimistic and are scaling back some investment plans in machinery and plants.”

    The CBI’s survey is just the latest to suggest that the effect of the June referendum vote may be, in the short term at least, to depress business activity.

    On Monday the Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index suggested that activity among UK manufacturers in July had shrunk at its fastest pace for three years.



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  • There is now an expert report on the absolute mess the politicians made in their attempts to explain key issues to voters in the EU referendum!
    Perhaps a second referendum AFTER a 6 month course of public education would be appropriate, rather than acting on flawed decisions made on misinformation and anti-establishment rhetoric! !

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37238641
    The Electoral Reform Society attacked both sides of the referendum campaign, saying people felt “ill-informed” by the “dire” debate.

    The society said the impact of political leaders had been “minimal”.

    It called for a “root and branch” review of the way referendums are run.

    Recommendations made by the society in its report include having a public body intervene when “misleading” claims are made by campaigns, reviewing broadcasters’ role and publishing a “rule book” to govern conduct by campaigns.

    They also propose that future referendums have a guaranteed six month official campaign, and citizenship education be extended in schools with the voting age reduced to 16.

    It said voters had viewed both sides as increasingly negative, and many “simply did not trust” their key claims. These included Remain saying households would be on average £4,300 a year worse off outside the EU and Leave claiming an extra £350m a week could be spent on the NHS.

    The government’s controversial mail-shot to every household in the UK had “little effect on people’s levels of informedness”, it said, and towards the end of the campaign nearly half of voters thought politicians were “mostly telling lies”.

    The society said the EU debate was in “stark contrast” to the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, which it said had featured a “vibrant, well-informed, grassroots conversation that left a lasting legacy of on-going public participation in politics and public life”.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37219143

    The government will “push ahead” to triggering Brexit without Parliamentary approval, Downing Street says.

    So much for parliament holding government to account!
    Still I suppose in the absence of ANY effective opposition, they can probably get away with doing whatever they like!

    In a statement after Theresa May’s cabinet gathered at Chequers, Number 10 said ministers agreed on the need for a “unique” deal for the UK.

    MMmm? I wonder what the other EU member countries think. I don’t think international agreements are decided by UK cabinet committees agreeing among themselves on wish-thinking! !

    This included controls on EU migration as well as a “positive outcome” on trade, Downing Street said.

    Mrs May told cabinet colleagues the UK would not stay in the EU “by the back door”.



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  • As conflicting claims come from Theresa May and the chancellor regarding money for “no-deal” post brexit planning, it seems like the “still no plan” fantasist brexiteers, could not only end up with no deal with the EU, but could also end up with no deal with the World Trade Organisation!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41581705

    The UK and EU have formally set out plans for World Trade Organization commitments post-Brexit, but they have already been opposed by some countries.

    The issue is about how much of certain goods can be imported at reduced tariffs after Brexit.

    These quotas currently apply to imports anywhere in the EU.

    But seven nations, including the US and Canada, have already made it clear that they think plans to divide existing quotas will put them at a disadvantage.

    After Brexit, exporters of goods will need to know what access they can expect to the separate markets of the UK and EU.

    The dissenting nations object to proposals from London and Brussels about how they plan to handle access to their markets for about 100 mainly agricultural goods.

    They feel that proposals for dividing quotas for goods imported at reduced tariffs will leave them worse off.

    This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of Britain untangling its WTO membership from the EU.
    Its status as a member is not an issue. The UK is a full founding member of the organisation.

    But the commitments made to other members of the WTO have been done through the EU.



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