/ The generally left leaning UKC seem rather quiet about this one

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Oceanrower - on 13 Nov 2012
Seems it's not just the Conservatives

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20309090

But unless I've missed it (always possible) then no mention on here.
Daithi O Murchu - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> Seems it's not just the Conservatives
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20309090
>
> But unless I've missed it (always possible) then no mention on here.

don't care which political party she was from or how old that woman is or whats wrong with her

she is a thief and should do a bit of gaol time and have to pay all the money back from her substantial assets
andyathome - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
Strangely this is supposed to be a forum about climbing rather than a current affairs blog.

You have just mentioned the story. On UKC.

End of.
Oceanrower - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to andyathome: you really haven't got the hang of this , have you.....

OFF BELAY:
A forum for general non-climbing discussions and debate. Discuss politics, society, sport, whatever you feel like on this very popular forum. Please keep the trivial and extra light-hearted stuff in The Pub. Please note - Unsuitable posts in Off Belay will be either moved to The Pub and closed, or just deleted. 'Unsuitable' means chatty posts between mates, trivial jokes and banter, mimic posts or posts with mild bad language in the starter post or title.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> Seems it's not just the Conservatives
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20309090
>
> But unless I've missed it (always possible) then no mention on here.

Who said it was just the Conservatives? I think the fact is that rather more Labour MPs fiddled the books than Conservative. As someone else has said, people have not talked about here it because she is simply a criminal and it's an old story. What are we meant to say? 'Ooh, isn't it awful, an MP's committed a crime?' I can't see what there is to add or discuss.
Jon Stewart - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> Seems it's not just the Conservatives

What are you on about? The whole point of the expenses scandal was that it was endemic across parliament - you misunderstood the story.

The New NickB - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

Who told you UKC was generally left leaning?
Oceanrower - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Oceanrower)
>
> Who told you UKC was generally left leaning?

Hahahahahaha!
Hairy Pete on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Oceanrower)
>
> Who told you UKC was generally left leaning?

Probably the same people that insist the BBC is left leaning and would never print a story like that ... oh, hang on a minute!
verygneiss - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

Labour are centrists, just like the other major parties.
The New NickB - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> Hahahahahaha!

I don't know them, do they post on here?
balmybaldwin - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

Quite frankly, it beggars belief that she wasn't done for fraud long before the "Expenses Scandal" - I mean re-submitting the same receipts under a different description after having previous claims for Christmas cards, falsifying invoices etc. how on earth this didn't ring alarm bells god only knows.

As said, it's been widespread across all the parties, and personally I think a lot more should have gone down for it saying "oh i've made a mistake" and returning the money wouldn't wash in any other profession's expenses systems
Horatio on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower: It's hardly a surprise that Labour MPs also fiddle expenses. If they weren't skint they'd be Tories.
Jim C - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> Seems it's not just the Conservatives
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20309090
>
> But unless I've missed it (always possible) then no mention on here.

But the por woman is ill, so we should lay off her, and of course we can't prosecute either.

(As soon as the risk of prosecution is lifted, I predict a miracle and she will be cured and back to her old tricks.)

dissonance - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> Seems it's not just the Conservatives

has anyone ever said differently?
Its not really news considering she was barred from standing as a Labour MP a while back in response to the various abuses of expenses.
Ben Sharp - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower: It's a non story, sounds to me like you're just trying to start a pointless argument by suggesting that the ukc demographic is so left leaning that everyones hushed up because it's a Labour MP.

a) Labour aren't that left leaning these days anyway
b) Neither is ukc. The reason the arguments on ukc tend to be so virulent is because there's plenty from either side of the political bench.
c) No one ever said it's just the conservatives, it crossed all the main parties. If you think people say it's "just the conservatives" then you're either spectacularly badly informed or you've been talking to idiots.

Have you considered working for the Sun?
tony on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> Seems it's not just the Conservatives
>
You're a bit slow with that one, considering a number of Labour MPs have already done time for fiddling their expenses - in and out of prison without you even noticing.
jonnie3430 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
> The generally left leaning UKC seem rather quiet about this one

I thought new labour were right as well....
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to The New NickB: Ignoring the OP, I suspect if you did a poll of UKC contributors GE voting patterns, the majority would vote labour.

I have no proof of this but having used the site for years, that's definitely the impression I have.
thin bob on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:
It's an old story dragged up...and it's hardly news, because they're all bstards.
Channel 4 Monday 19th, 8pm. Dispatches "Are MPs still at it?"
ads.ukclimbing.com
Hugh J - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: I suspect that if you did a poll of UKC contributors the majority would say what a bunch of ***** (something to do with a forthcoming mid week rendez-vous).
puppythedog on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower: I've always thought there was a pretty strong presence of right leaning people on here and that their voice is as loud as the lefty loons.
With regards to the major political parties they have all shown them selves to be a bit right of center over the past decade (or really quite right of center for conservatives).
As for this particular story it is all a bit talked about already what with the expenses scandal having happened a while ago and this being just the criminal justice bit.
Regardless of party she is a theif and should recieve appropriate punishment as decided by our criminal justice system. There are b4st3rds in all walks of life and all breeds of politics.
The New NickB - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers:

I suspect it would broadly follow national polls.
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

> The generally left leaning UKC seem rather quiet about this one

UKC posters are generally "left leaning"!!!? I suppose everything is relative, but it's not the impression I get - strong "apolitical", all politicians are rotten trend - hardly "left leaning", ferocious pro-maintaining British colonies - look at the numerous threads on Gibraltar, Malvinas/Falklands - hardly left leaning, the strong military lobby.. and christian lobbies, position on Palestine, anti-commy, anti-Russian, anti-Chinese, anti-Cuban etc etc... left leaning seems hard to justify from the posts objectively.

Unless you are using an unconventional definition of "left" of course.
tony on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Why is being anti-Chinese or anti-Russian not compatible with being left-leaning? Both are oppressive undemocratic corrupt states with little regard for human rights and no respect for self-determination. They both seem quite legitimate targets for the left to me.
MG - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I think you are confusing left-leaning with completely fallen over to the left.
dissonance - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> ferocious pro-maintaining British colonies - look at the numerous threads on Gibraltar, Malvinas/Falklands - hardly left leaning

I always find it amusing you never mention Diego Garcia. The one example of an overseas territory where the people living there, or rather not, are not happy about overseas "rule". Why is that?

, the strong military lobby.. and christian lobbies

Christians can belong to all sides of the political spectrum, you only need to look at the origins of the labour movement to see the overlap of some Christians with the left.

> position on Palestine, anti-commy

ermm yes and? If you are referring to the implementation seen last century anyone sensible would be anti it.

, anti-Russian

exactly what has Russia got to do with being left wing nowadays?
GridNorth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower: If you count the numbers I believe that there were more Labour MPs fiddling than Tories or at least there were more caught and outed. Can't be bothered to make the count but it certainly felt that way at the time. With regard to left and right I seem to encounter more left wing climbers than right wing climbers and have learnt to keep my mouth shut with regards to politics as I always feel in the minority being more to the right than left.

John
puppythedog on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to GridNorth: Quite the opposite to my experience with me feeling therre are more right wing. I too tend to just keep shut though because to argue about left and right is an exercise in futility, no-one changes their mind.
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:

Anti-Russian and anti-Chinese positions are essentially anti-left as they are based on a refusal to respect the interests of these countries as being legitimate, a neo-colonial attitude. They may be justified by spurious "liberal" clichés, as if the foreign policy of the "free world" was anything but self-centred. A classic left wing attitude recognises that the interests of all countries are legitimate... it is internationalist.

Obviously definitions of what is "left" differ though, but nationalism is seldom thought of as a left wing virtue, except in colonial situations concerning the colonised people, but few developed countries today can be considered as colonies, and even poorer countries are rarely under direct domination of colonial powers, whatever Donald-Alba may pretend.
Timmd on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> Why is being anti-Chinese or anti-Russian not compatible with being left-leaning? Both are oppressive undemocratic corrupt states with little regard for human rights and no respect for self-determination. They both seem quite legitimate targets for the left to me.

A thought has just occured to me, that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

Could perhaps apply to a lot of things. I don't want to be too specific.
Offwidth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to MG:

Monty Python's life of Brian quite rightly satirised the factionalism of the far left with its variations on the PPFoJ. It still goes on to this day. Far left can mean many things.
Offwidth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

"I think the fact is that rather more Labour MPs fiddled the books than Conservative." Got any references for that Gordon? I thought the conservatives pipped it in both proportions and levels of naughtiness (and in deciding not to stand again and face further scrutiny) and in any case overall most would say that as parties both were as bad as each other. The system of shifting income from pay to expenses was also introduced by Maggie's lot.
GridNorth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to puppythedog: Yes they do. When I was young I was anti-monarchy, anti-tory, anti-capitalist. My parents subscibed to the daily worker and hated the tories with a vengeance, they could have easily been described as communists, but I grew up. I think it was Churchill who said "Anyone who is not liberal at 20 years old does not have a heart, anyone who is liberal at 40 doesn't have a brain" or words to that affect. I don't want to confuse liberal with left wing but I'm not sure if you can be a right wing liberal :-)

John
tony on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> "I think the fact is that rather more Labour MPs fiddled the books than Conservative." Got any references for that Gordon?

I think more Labour MPs went to prison. In fact, I'm not sure any Tory MPs went to prison, although at least one Tory peer - Lord Taylor - went to prison.
tony on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> A classic left wing attitude recognises that the interests of all countries are legitimate... it is internationalist.

as in:
A classic left wing attitude recognises that the interests of Israel are legitimate
puppythedog on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to GridNorth: My post would have been more acurate if I stated that people don't change their minds within the context of the arguments. I have very rarely experienced someone mid entrenched argument say "oh hang on, I'm wrong and the other perspective has merrit".

I like the quote, I've heard it often but with 30 as the upper age. I'm still a bit lefty at thirty. I wonder if i won't be at 40. Oh and I'm not too thivk :-)
Offwidth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

Right wing liberalism exists, eg libertarianism.

Churchill was a sound bite specialist looking to justify his lack of party political loyalty (he was a Liberal once).
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to puppythedog and gridnorth:

When I stumbled on ukc a few years ago I was surprised to find what seemed to me to be a more conservative average feeling, compared to the climbers I had known when I last climbed in Britain back in the 70s. But maybe this reflects a change in the climbing public since then - it was more of a marginal sort of activity then, with a neo-hippy non conformist slant.

Nowadays the number of climbers has increased enormously, it is even seen as more or less respectable, many posting here are clearly fairly well off professional people as opposed to the skint drop-outs of days gone by, so it's only natural that there should have been a political readjustment as people from all backgrounds took up climbing... so there's really no need to "keep your mouth shut", whichever side of the political spectrum you are on... "let a thousand flowers bloom" as Mao used to say.

The other point may be that marginal drop-outs do eventually grow up a bit, get families and mortgages... alas.
puppythedog on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to puppythedog: love that I mis-spelled 'Thick'
ads.ukclimbing.com
Offwidth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to puppythedog:

Au contraire, quite a few people with rabidly extreme political and religious positions famously did a complete flip.
puppythedog on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I don't feel that I should keep my mouth shut to save myself from hassle and grief just that there is no point. I wonder if the swing to the right that you describe is also simply a representation of the national comunity. I am continually baffled by the fact that the country seems more right of centre than I think it should be and than i think it was a decade ago.
Offwidth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:

Sure, but they were the headliners and that was as much about when and how you cover things rather than what. Tories famously went to prison for other interesting reasons under major.
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> [...]
>
> as in:
> A classic left wing attitude recognises that the interests of Palestine are legitimate

There you are, I corrected it for you. Israel is just the name the colonists have given to occupied Palestine.. It is one of the last actively repressive colonies in fact, still expanding on the genocide of the native population.
GridNorth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Offwidth: I think that there is a separate debate to be had there.

I acknowledge what you say about Churchil but that doesn't make his sound bites any less valid.
John Rushby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

It might a case that individual politics is evolving, so there is no slavish adherence to any particular form of dogmatic political thought. The world is changing too fast, ideas and dicusssion is much freer and the concept of self determination is much more accepted.

Offwidth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

UKC is maybe a bit like any public square: the politically dedicated and the nutters of all shapes and sizes make way more noise than the ordinary and are in no way representative of normality.
Offwidth - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

Sound bite vaildity..... indeed a separate topic (or even reality).
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to puppythedog:

A lot of people have commented on the swing to the right in British politics from the days of Thatcher onwards - the Labour party has certainly moved to the right. In the world the fall of the communist block has led to the total victory of capitalism as the only viable system, putting us back a century in many ways... so it's not just Britain.

It's hard not to admit though that this was as much the failure of the political left when it came to power to provide an attractive alternative as the aggressive policies of the capitalist block throughout the 20th century. Nothing very new has come along for a while, hence my own political agnosticism... a cop-out for sure before anyone says so :-)
dissonance - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> They may be justified by spurious "liberal" clichés, as if the foreign policy of the "free world" was anything but self-centred. A classic left wing attitude recognises that the interests of all countries are legitimate... it is internationalist.

What? So under this logic you cant be left wing since you dont seem to respect the interests of the west when they were colonial powers.

> Obviously definitions of what is "left" differ though, but nationalism is seldom thought of as a left wing virtue, except in colonial situations concerning the colonised people, but few developed countries today can be considered as colonies, and even poorer countries are rarely under direct domination of colonial powers, whatever Donald-Alba may pretend.

I have no idea what you are trying to say here.
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:

> What? So under this logic you cant be left wing since you dont seem to respect the interests of the west when they were colonial powers.

Obviously only in as much as these interests were "reasonable", I don't think many would say that Hitler's policies should have been respected, nor Pol Pot's. Your remark is like saying being in favour of individual freedom implies accepting that the said individual murders someone, chops him up and eats the chunks... clearly an absurd extrapolation.

In the EU each country defends what it sees as its interests but also accepts that its partners have interests too that require respect... extending this to all countries in the world would be an internationalist foreign policy.

> I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

Don't worry about it.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

This may be the perfect storm ukc thread

We've already had thatcher, Israel/Palestine, China, the falklands, communism, religion, Hitler, and colonialism brought up, and all in the first 50 replies...!

Can I just add that Tories are more likely to hog 3* routes on a top rope, and left wingers are compulsive dry toolers

;-)

Gregor
John Rushby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I hear that General Haig has been dry tooling at Millstone again.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby:

Is there no end to the man's wickedness...??!!!
dissonance - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> In the EU each country defends what it sees as its interests but also accepts that its partners have interests too that require respect... extending this to all countries in the world would be an internationalist foreign policy.

So countries should take other countries interests into account?
That really isnt a novel or indeed left wing idea.
It also fails to address which interests should win out and indeed when colonialism should be considered as such. There seems to be an attitude from some to consider it only a western thing and ignore all the other cases.
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> [...]
>
> So countries should take other countries interests into account?
> That really isnt a novel or indeed left wing idea.

Not novel? It is relatively novel if it goes beyond just taking them into account in order to shaft the other better!

> It also fails to address which interests should win out and indeed when colonialism should be considered as such. There seems to be an attitude from some to consider it only a western thing and ignore all the other cases.

Look at a map of the world between WW1 and 2... usually British colonies are pink and French ones light green... which colours are most visible? Last time this came up I found some figures which gave something like 90% of the world being colonised at the maximum of the recently unravelled very largely Western colonial jamboree. Other empires have come and gone but at present we are still sorting out the most voracious colonial spree the planet has ever known.
jonnie3430 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to dissonance)
>
> the most voracious colonial spree the planet has ever known.

Was that not the Mongols?
Steve John B - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> This may be the perfect storm ukc thread
>
> We've already had thatcher, Israel/Palestine, China, the falklands, communism, religion, Hitler, and colonialism brought up, and all in the first 50 replies...!
>
> Can I just add that Tories are more likely to hog 3* routes on a top rope, and left wingers are compulsive dry toolers
>
> ;-)
>
> Gregor

I reckon the Israelis should carpet the occupied territories with wind farms, that would f*ck with a few heads!
thin bob on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to Offwidth) I think that there is a separate debate to be had there.
>
> I acknowledge what you say about Churchil but that doesn't make his sound bites any less valid.

I heard a limerick about churchill once. Thus, it must be true :-)

That quote is a discussion point, certainly. Did he mean that people get more fearful about 'their stuff' as they get older? Or that they care less about their fellow man?
And 'anyone over 30 on a bus is a loser'? Valid?

"The Tories, every election, must have a bogey man. If you haven't got a programme, a bogey man will do."



and, in conclusion, "This is my truth, tell me yours."
Aneurin Bevan
:-)
thin bob on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> This may be the perfect storm ukc thread
>
> We've already had thatcher, Israel/Palestine, China, the falklands, communism, religion, Hitler, and colonialism brought up, and all in the first 50 replies...!
>
> Can I just add that Tories are more likely to hog 3* routes on a top rope, and left wingers are compulsive dry toolers
>
> ;-)
>
> Gregor

Well spotted and quite correct.

I speed-climbed TPS with freshers, too. :-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Was that not the Mongols?

The Mongols were small fry in comparison in terms of the quantities of wealth produced, extracted and so on.
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs)
> [...]
>
> I reckon the Israelis should carpet the occupied territories with wind farms,

Carpet bombing would be more their speciality... 20 air strikes on Gaza today and the last count was 9 Palestinians dead, no figures for the wounded.

johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to thin bob:

>and, in conclusion, "This is my truth, tell me yours."
Aneurin Bevan
:-)

I thought it was a Manics album title. Or am I missing your joke?

jcm
thin bob on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
it's both a quote and the album title.
[the reason for it is my partisan quoting! :-)]
Rob Exile Ward on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: They were pretty significant in terms of corpses stacked, women impregnated and kids orphaned.

BTW the book that I recently quoted and you slagged off, without having read it - Better Angels of Our Nature - was shortlisted for the recent Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction, and the Royal Society Winton prize. But the judges are all a bunch of imperial capitalist stooges, so no need for you to read it, obviously.

dissonance - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> The Mongols were small fry in comparison in terms of the quantities of wealth produced, extracted and so on.

and there you see it through western eyes. Chinese histories would portray it slightly differently and for good reason. Look at the records around populations before and after the Mongols.
Much the same as why Alexander the Great doesnt keep that title in other parts of the world.
To leave that aside and just take this small fry statement. The Mongols sit second behind the British empire in terms of land area but is above it in terms of percentage of world population (although even then doesnt get first place. In terms of wealth you might also want to look at the tributes demanded and paid.
John Rushby - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Voracious

I think the Spanish probably win that one.


I don't get how you can sit there and lecture the collective on the crimes of the British empire (most of which us woolly liberals accept) and then quote a man who's economic strategy killed millions, utter millions.

You accuse us of being neo-colonialists while blowing sunshine up the arses of Stalin and Mao because it helps you feel ike the agit prop contrarioan you were back in the days before synchromesh and Adam Faith.

We're trying to revise our obsolete interpretation of history, shouldn't you?
Simon4 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I think the fact is that rather more Labour MPs fiddled the books than Conservative.

Not to mention the fact that MacShane was actually a minister and quite prominent figure in the media, who may apparently still face criminal action. But then who remembers MacShane now, almost completely forgotten (or rather deliberately buried, possibly literally).

But this sort of skeleton-uncovering is very dangerous for any political party, mostly because none of them can ever be sure how many skeletons reside in their own cupboard. People in glass houses, to mix the metaphor.

Rather like the Guardian-BBC stridently and incessantly gloating and moralising over their fallen rivals, the "Murdoch empire", over mostly comparatively trivial offences against C-list celebs, only to find that the Guardian-BBC empire also has feet of clay - over rather more serious crimes than News International was ever involved with. What goes around, comes around BBC.

That the BBC then had to compound an initially bad situation by a catastrophic attempt to smear a completely innocent man was simply a compound of hubris, lack of self-awareness, double-standards and an unshakeable conviction that they were untouchable and the normal rules don't apply to them. That and of course that the chance to connect "paedophile" "tory" and "Thatcher" in one highly trailed and loaded sentence set so many Guardian-BBC knees jerking, it is a wonder that their legs didn't drop off. Certainly any sense of objectivity or fairness that they may ever have had vanished out of the window, in what they saw as a golden opportunity to simultaneously divert attention from their own shady secrets and to launch an underhand attack on their political opponents was too good to be resisted.

Mind, the BBC probably think that paedophiles are being smeared by being compared to tories, so intolerant are they of opinions that challenge their own received wisdom and prejudices.

> As someone else has said, people have not talked about here it because she is simply a criminal and it's an old story.

No, if she were a Tory, it would be headline news for weeks or months, with loving lingering on every minute detail.
The New NickB - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Simon4:

Just looking at your BBC-Guardian conspiracy, arn't the lovely New
International lot nice, they only hacked into the phone of a murdered 13 year old, stuff. Can you remember who exposed the failures in the Newnight story that didnt name McAlpine?
The New NickB - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Simon4:

With regard to guilty Tories, well they have had their day in the limelight, but anymore than Mrs Moran or others, not really unless they have really put themselves in that position like Archer and Aitkin
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to John Rushby & others:

I don't think I singled out British imperialism, even if it was the most active country involved in modern colonialism, this sidetrack started when a reference was made by Dissonance to "west when they were colonial powers". There have been all sorts of colonialisms but the most widespread and the materially important has taken place from about 1500 to the WW2 and the "wind of change" and various UN resolutions on colonialism.

During that period over 90% of the world's surface was occupied at one time or another by European powers, first Spain and Portugal, then Britain, France, Holland finishing with Russia, Germany and last of all Italy under Mussolini got into the act in Libya... (I may have forgotten a few) and countless millions of the native populations died as a consequence, either directly or indirectly while riches were amassed beyond the imagination of previous generations of conquerors, like Alexander or Genghis Khan... the world's population had grown so much that the magnitudes involved had changed completely... none of which is any consolation to a victim of a barbarian raider or a Roman soldier I'll grant you.

So I haven't lectured anybody about the British empire in particular, and for information I have never been, or posted anything, in favour of Stalin, although I am a life long admirer of Mao for having given China its pride and prosperity back after two centuries of anarchy and foreign domination... not a contrarian point of view outside home counties conservative spheres.

You are wrong about synchromesh too, that existed long before I was old enough to drive even a motorbike.
Offwidth - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Simon4:

Again where is your evidence on numbers (rather more labour MP's)?

I think the NotW was guilty of some genuine illegal acts in recent years whereas the BBC crimes are stupidity, journalistic incompetance, libel and mismanagement all civil or moral issues. Your " BBC probably think that paedophiles are being smeared by being compared to tories" is mad enough but if you genuinely believe they were attempting to smear McAlpine knowing he was innocent, you are even madder than I thought. Frankly you are an embarrasment to those who can think on the political right.
Sir Chasm - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Offwidth: Do you have some ideological aversion to going onto google and typing "expenses scandal", lots of articles available for you to do your own count.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> I am a life long admirer of Mao for having given China its pride and prosperity back after two centuries of anarchy and foreign domination...

This is one of those statements that you just don't know what to do with. "Prosperity"? If you want to idealise Chinese state capitalism, then surely Deng Xiaoping is the one to admire? Mao's economic planning led to starvation and devastation for millions, maybe tens of millions, of Chinese people. What prosperity?
Postmanpat on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> This is one of those statements that you just don't know what to do with. "Prosperity"?
>
One can only assume that you are from the Home counties because the rest of the world realises that Mao brought brought peace, prosperity and happiness to the Chinese nation and anyone who doubts it is a running dog of imperialism.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:

> Mao's economic planning led to starvation and devastation for millions, maybe tens of millions, of Chinese people. What prosperity?

The "maybe" is important! In a country of this size instead of thousands dead in famines the figures are multiplied, obviously. During the British Raj in India some famines really did cost tens of millions of lives, they can't be put down to an enemy of the British people though so we don't talk about them.

Whatever way you look at it, and even admitting that not all Mao's policies were a success it was his leadership during the revolution that was his main contribution towards the rebirth of China, from near defeat to victory over an enemy that was brutal beyond the imagination of anyone who has not taken the trouble to read about it. For once here's a reference, "Man's fate" (La Condition Humaine) by André Malraux, not a reference book but a novel by someone who was hardly a mad lefty, he was a minister under De Gaulle, but unlike you or me he was there in China and he saw it for himself. If after reading that you still despise Mao then I don't know what t else to say.

China is not yet back to it's traditional splendour - someone pointed out that over the last 4000 years China was the most advanced country in the world except for the two centuries before the revolution, by coincidence I expect this was when European powers were "helping" them - but it is well on the way. If they can avoid destruction at the hands of their Western "friends" in the next decade, until they are strong enough for this to be impossible, then I think we can expect them to regain what they lost. Is this a problem for you? It isn't for me.
MJH - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> [...]
> The "maybe" is important! In a country of this size instead of thousands dead in famines the figures are multiplied, obviously.

That makes it OK then.

> Whatever way you look at it, and even admitting that not all Mao's policies were a success it was his leadership during the revolution that was his main contribution towards the rebirth of China, from near defeat to victory over an enemy that was brutal beyond the imagination of anyone who has not taken the trouble to read about it.

Are you talking about Chinese nationalists or Japan as the enemy??? The Kuomintang had a large part in defeating the later.

> China is not yet back to it's traditional splendour - someone pointed out that over the last 4000 years China was the most advanced country in the world except for the two centuries before the revolution

That is a bit of romantic thinking plus ignores the fact that Mao did so much to try and keep the peasant economy and prevent advances.

tony on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

As a keen student of Chinese history, you might be able to help - is corruption worse now compared with previous Chinese leaderships?
dissonance - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> There have been all sorts of colonialisms but the most widespread and the materially important has taken place from about 1500 to the WW2 and the "wind of change" and various UN resolutions on colonialism.

nope, sorry you are still seeing this through western eyes. There have been many significant empires and colonisation throughout history.

> the world's population had grown so much that the magnitudes involved had changed completely... none of which is any consolation to a victim of a barbarian raider or a Roman soldier I'll grant you.

yes which is why people look at overall percentages to see the actual impact. If you do that you will see the west only really stands out by virtue of the heavy use of sea travel which allowed expansion into other continents.

> not a contrarian point of view outside home counties conservative spheres.

really? Mao? Perhaps if you jumped forward to some of the following leaders you might have a point.
dissonance - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to MJH:

> That is a bit of romantic thinking plus ignores the fact that Mao did so much to try and keep the peasant economy and prevent advances.

it also ignores how much "China" changed in those years eg with invasions and counter invasions not least by the Mongols with Bruce casually dismisses.
jonnie3430 - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> by coincidence I expect this was when European powers were "helping" them

Are Mongol and Japanese classed as Western in your world?
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> As a keen student of Chinese history, you might be able to help - is corruption worse now compared with previous Chinese leaderships?

I'm not really sure but if it gets much worse it'll reach a significant fraction of the corruption we have in the Western world... pretty scary but it comes with the move towards capitalism. It certainly pushes economic development but it isn't without side effects.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to MJH:

> That makes it OK then.

Of course it doesn't but do you think that the Chinese, including the leadership, were happy with this? Do you think they are different to other human beings?

Comparing it with nearer home, the Irish Potato Famine cost a million dead and a further million who emigrated to find food, something like 20 to 25% of the population of Ireland, and unlike in China this was not at a time just after a period of decades of civil war and foreign intervention in Britain, it was a period of colossal growth in the Victorian industrial expansion. Translate that to the population of China and you'd have hundreds of millions of deaths and exile.

When in glass houses throwing stones is best avoided.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:

> nope, sorry you are still seeing this through western eyes.

Hardly the case as this period saw the whole world colonised, including Asia, the Americas, Australia, no other period of history has known such a world wide phenomenon.

It is nearly over, thank goodness, but the news from Palestine this morning reminds us that there's still some mopping up to be done. Colonialism is nearly finished as a force but colonial attitudes are still there, especially in the minds of those whose culture come from countries that had empires until half a century ago.
dissonance - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Hardly the case as this period saw the whole world colonised, including Asia, the Americas, Australia, no other period of history has known such a world wide phenomenon.

ermm yes because of the advance of technology and the specialisms of the countries involved. However, to give but one example, the Mongols ruled a larger single land empire but due to their nature didnt go beyond that.

> Colonialism is nearly finished as a force but colonial attitudes are still there, especially in the minds of those whose culture come from countries that had empires until half a century ago.

and this shows the simplicity and bias of your position. Colonialism is still going on but since many like to reduce it to a simple "by the west" the other cases are ignored.
You only need to look at the origins of the British empire and then modern day Africa to see overlaps.
dissonance - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> When in glass houses throwing stones is best avoided.

the difference of course is no one is cheerleading the management of the potato famine in the way you do Mao.
Admittedly some ignore the lessons but thats different.
bouldery bits - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

Yeah, CLASS WAR!
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Are Mongol and Japanese classed as Western in your world?

I don't know which Mongols invaded China during the period of their decline, 19th and first half of the 20th century, I think you'll find they were much earlier and then they blended into China becoming the new rulers - Chinese history had as many conflicts as Europe did.

As for the Japanese, they are not Westerners in geographical terms but Japan in the 19th century developped its industry as in Europe, enough even to beat the Russians in 1904 and was accepted into the Western club, in China they has the status of "honorary whites" - Hitler had no problems working with them in WW2 either. The term Western is shorthand for countries with a similar social and economic situation, including Australia and New Zealand which aren't really in the Western hemisphere either.

seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Simon4)
>, you are even madder than I thought. Frankly you are an embarrasment to those who can think on the political right.

^^+1^^
MJH - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Of course it doesn't but do you think that the Chinese, including the leadership, were happy with this? Do you think they are different to other human beings?

I think they thought it was acceptable collateral damage and if they had been that unhappy about it then they could have changed their policies.

I'm not sitting here acting as a cheerleader for the UK Govt of the 1840s...
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
>
> Of course it doesn't but do you think that the Chinese, including the leadership, were happy with this? Do you think they are different to other human beings?

I always got the impression that the Chinese leadership, back in the days of the Cultural Revolution, were different to most human beings. They were monstrous psychopaths.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to MJH:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> I think they thought it was acceptable collateral damage and if they had been that unhappy about it then they could have changed their policies.
>

Do you have any reason to believe this though, apart from it fitting in with your negative view of China and the Chinese people? If a disaster happens in India, Africa, or anywhere else but the communist block it is met with at least a little empathy, and often a token bit of sympathy, when it happens in the "red" zone it is always taken to be a proof of the bankruptcy of the system, the perfidiousness of its leadership and yet another reason to stoke up the hate level. A tragedy in India, for example, is rarely taken as proof of the failure of the capitalist system.

Why do you think this is?
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce, may I respectfully suggest you check out some of the work of Amartya Sen? He's written extensively on famines, particularly (iirc) how the last famine in India was in the late 19th century, under the Raj, because it was an undemocratic regime with limited freedom of the press. He contrasts that with China, which had its last famine in the 1960s, when it was, erm, an undemocratic regime with absolutely no freedom of the press.

I don't see why finding Mao and his cronies to be callous brutes of the highest order translates into having a negative view of the Chinese people.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> I always got the impression that the Chinese leadership, back in the days of the Cultural Revolution, were different to most human beings. They were monstrous psychopaths.

As above, why do you think you have this impression? Is it based on any serious effort at looking into what really happened there? I won't insult you by suggesting it is a racist reflex but don't you think seeing endless James Bond style films where the Chinese are always dressed in funny uniforms and strut about the set like inscrutable, but visibly evil, Daleks and other niceties of our Western upbringing may have something to do with it?

Where I live many of my neighbours are ethnic Chinese who came to France after the Indochinese wars, they seem very similar to the rest of us in their general attitude to life.. a little more discrete perhaps, with higher school success rate than any other ethnic group, possibly a little more materialistic but in a positive, hard working sort of way which most likely comes from being forced refugees in Europe, but otherwise they don't fit in with your image.

Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to seankenny:

> I don't see why finding Mao and his cronies to be callous brutes of the highest order translates into having a negative view of the Chinese people.

Do you think that Mao and a handful of pals were capable of imposing their wicked way on hundreds of millions of Chinese, in a country with few means of communication and a long history of rebellion single handed then?
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Ooooh Bruce, I don't think that writing "I won't insult you by suggesting it is a racist reflex," gets you out of the fact that you've accused me of racism rather than engage with what I've written.

Unless your neighbours include the elite members of the Chinese Communist Party from the 60s and 70s, then I'm most categorically NOT talking about them. I'm talking about the leadership of China during a period even Deng and later leaders have disavowed (again, iirc).

Now quit throwing accusations of racism around and argue the points.
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to seankenny)

> Do you think that Mao and a handful of pals were capable of imposing their wicked way on hundreds of millions of Chinese, in a country with few means of communication and a long history of rebellion single handed then?


Remember the Revolution was in 1949. The Cultural Revolution started in 1966. So Mao had plenty of time to set up a political system which rewarded absolute obedience and punished dissidents (and frequently loyal party members too). I'm not sure why that's so hard to imagine.
MJH - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to MJH)
> Do you have any reason to believe this though, apart from it fitting in with your negative view of China and the Chinese people? If a disaster happens in India, Africa, or anywhere else but the communist block it is met with at least a little empathy, and often a token bit of sympathy, when it happens in the "red" zone it is always taken to be a proof of the bankruptcy of the system, the perfidiousness of its leadership and yet another reason to stoke up the hate level. A tragedy in India, for example, is rarely taken as proof of the failure of the capitalist system.

For a start I don't agree with your premise - a failure of leadership is a failure of leadership regardless of the political power behind it.

But let us be absolutely clear - it is one thing for a leadership to react poorly to a natural disaster and another thing for a leadership to pursue policies that perpetuate or accelerate the disaster.

I don't think the Great Leap Forward was a failure of the communist system, but a human failure of its leaders which then compounded the problem with the Cultural Revolution.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 15 Nov 2012
Having read the OP, and then the last ten posts, can I ask what the hell is going on here?
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to MJH:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)

> I don't think the Great Leap Forward was a failure of the communist system

The work of Sen suggests otherwise - that the communist system, with its lack of checks and balances on the leadership, and very controlled press, makes famines likely to happen, partly because good information doesn't reach the leadership in time. (I'd say also factor in the possibility that being a good revolutionary and a good leader are two different things.) Anyhow I'm sure Toby will be along in a minute to put us right on this stuff.

More broadly speaking, it seems to me that the early to mid 20th century saw such a breakdown in many societies that nutters who quite frankly should have been kept as far as possible from positions of power found themselves in the highest offices.

ads.ukclimbing.com
MJH - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to seankenny: Sorry I should have been clearer - when I refer to the communist system I'm trying to talk about the political theory, rather than its implementation.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to seankenny:

Funny, I say I don't think you are racist, many anti-Chinese people are simply that, because of what you have posted in the past and you think I said the opposite! If I said what I did it is to get across what a lot of the anti-Mao tripe really sounds like.

The day that the Chinese people themselves disown him then you might have a point, until then and supported by quite a lot of reading about China in my youth from Edgar Snow onwards, I will continue to say that Mao Tse-tung was one of the greatest people of the 20th century, and in terms of positive influence on world history, probably the most important.

This seems to get up some peoples' noses but that's their problem, not mine.
dissonance - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> The day that the Chinese people themselves disown him then you might have a point, until then and supported by quite a lot of reading about China in my youth from Edgar Snow onwards

yes because the average Chinese person is given so much freedom to read up on and then choose whether to disown leaders of the communist party.

> This seems to get up some peoples' noses but that's their problem, not mine.

no i think it is more your arrogance and habit of accusing people of imperialists while supporting countries which still are which gets up peoples noses.
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Funny, I say I don't think you are racist,

You pulled the "I'm not racist but..." card on me, ie "You're not racist but..." I'm quite unphased by your remark, merely disappointed as you played the man, not the ball.


> The day that the Chinese people themselves disown him then you might have a point... I will continue to say that Mao Tse-tung was one of the greatest people of the 20th century, and in terms of positive influence on world history, probably the most important.


I'm sure plenty of Chinese people do disown him, at least in private. Surely one of the problems of modern China and Russia is the "sweep it under the carpet" attitude to vile episodes of history. Their historians aren't given access to official archives and can't build up a picture of what was happening. Nor can they be published and discussed openly. So it's very hard for people to place their own experiences, or that of their family, into a broader context. Compare this to the thorough unearthing of history that the Germans have experienced...

But then that is the advantage of liberal democracies over totalitarian or quasi-totalitarian regimes.

Didn't Deng say Mao was "seven parts good, three parts bad." Which is slightly more nuanced than your take, and for public consumption. Let's remember he was purged in the Cultural Revolution, forced to work on the production line of a tractor factory and that his son was tortured by the Red Guards.

Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to seankenny:

1949 was not a magic moment (except for me personally) it was a start, a huge country like China, ravaged by decades of turmoil, little to eat, not even tea to put in their hot water to make a drink, couldn't be turned round even in years. They had few friends and constant pressure from the West in the cold war days.

The cultural Revolution is presented as barbaric by many but it wasn't by many others - it was an attempt to avoid sliding back into pre-revolutionary ways, to ensure that momentum in restoring China was not lost. In such a huge, poorly educated country any such movements could, and did, get out of hand, it wasn't the only mistake made by the CCP, something they recognise today... but like the English Civil War or the French Revolution, it is part of their history, it seemed a good idea at the time, and like the other two revolutions I've just mentioned it was instrumental in creating the counties of today - in Britain and France it moved us from absolute monarchy to parliamentary democracy, in China it laid the groundwork on which stability, national unity and the present extraordinary economic success has been built.

We are three and half centuries from Marston Moor, France is two centuries from the Terror, give the Chinese a little more time before you judge them, half a century isn't much to achieve what they have achieved.
MJH - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I refer you to my point on collateral damage. I'm far from convinced that the great leap forward did create the circumstances for the current growth.

Of course the real question is not whether they did or didn't but whether the same advances could have been achieved without killing millions.
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I see where you're coming from, ie the idea that no one (okay maybe Canada ;) ) has managed the transition to modernity without a lot of bloodshed, so why should China be any different.

But where we have to part ways is with your eulogising of the perpetrators of vast crimes. And once again, you (deliberately?) misrepresent my argument by saying I'm judging the Chinese people. I'm not. I'm judging the coterie of extremely unpleasant leaders who allowed political criminality to run rife in their country.

Alas I don't know the history well enough to comment, but strongly suspect that personal power politics were as much a driver as avoiding "sliding back into pre-revolutionary ways".
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to seankenny:

> Surely one of the problems of modern China and Russia is the "sweep it under the carpet" attitude to vile episodes of history.

Funny, I've seen several documentaries on China on the French TV in which Chinese officials have done quite the opposite - as you say yourself some of the present day leaders suffered during the Cultural Revolution, or made their own parents suffer - do you think they have forgotten what they thought at the time? I can still remember very clearly what I thought in my teens, why would they be any different?

The 7 to 3 quote sounds quite reasonable to me, although I couldn't work out an exact figure myself, no-body's perfect - take Oliver Cromwell, often in the top three in BBC "greatest Briton" polls, he did an awful lot of good historically but he has his critics too - you can't make history in a straight peaceful line. Much the same sort of remark can made about Winston Churchill.... remember Gallipoli?
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to MJH:

> I'm far from convinced that the great leap forward did create the circumstances for the current growth.

The great leap forward was a total cock-up, the Chinese themselves admitted that back when Edgar Snow was still writing.
seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to seankenny)
Much the same sort of remark can made about Winston Churchill.... remember Gallipoli?

Of course the difference being that criticising Churchill in the 1920s or 30s didn't earn you a spell in a quarry in northern Scotland, smashing rocks and being forced to denounce yourself in front of your peers. And that I can read about Churchill (or Mao for that matter) on the BBC.

And I was being a little soft on Deng with the quote, after all he couldn't repudiate the CCP too strongly or he'd have no legitimacy.
Bruce Hooker - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to seankenny:

> but (I) strongly suspect that personal power politics were as much a driver as avoiding "sliding back into pre-revolutionary ways".

That's more than likely, in such situations of extreme power and extreme risk most people come to associate their own survival with the salvation of the country, the only person they can really trust in a mire of treachery and doubt is themself... ceding power will result not only in a change of direction but quite probably their own death and the death of all those who trusted them.

I'm willing to bet that none of us on this forum have ever lived such situations and yet we feel capable of judging them. Reality is a mixture of a whole load of factors and us who judge them years later from a safe situation afar really should take this into account. The larger picture is that China now is peaceful, the people are fed, it's borders are safe from external aggression, for many Chinese with a memory this is already not bad.

Here's an article which is quite refreshing from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20178655


seankenny - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to seankenny)
>
>
> I'm willing to bet that none of us on this forum have ever lived such situations and yet we feel capable of judging them.

So what you're saying is the only people capable of judging whether Mao was a criminal or not are the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Gadaffi, etc - leaders who've been in that position. The rest of us, whether ordinary punters like ourselves or sophisticated historians or political scientists, have no business judging how these extraordinary men behaved.

What codswallop!

If that was the case, then only criminals could sit on juries, and our court system is a sham.

Come on Bruce, the man was responsible for the deaths of millions, stop being a bleating apologist for such vile cruelty.


> Here's an article which is quite refreshing from the BBC:
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20178655

It's a good article, for sure, and Jacques makes many good points. I'm afraid I'm not convinced. Would like to see him better explain his point about the Chinese state and civilisation...
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

"...in the top three in BBC "greatest Briton" polls, he did an awful lot of good historically but he has his critics too - you can't make history in a straight peaceful line. Much the same sort of remark can made about Winston Churchill.... remember Gallipoli?"


this is one of the more nuanced comments i've seen you make on the subject Bruce. most "great leaders" are complex characters, with aspects of their biography that make uncomfortable reading for their supporters.

i dont know enough about this part of history to make an informed comment on whether the millions that died in the great leap forward and cultural revolution were a tragic but necessary part of a transition to modernity, or a horrific and unnecessary product of the adherence to dogma above humanity... though i suspect the latter.

what i would say is that there is an inconsistency in your position on this compared to that on european powers and colonialism. you excuse mao on grounds that the millions that died were a product of the large population; but it can certainly be argued that the greater effectiveness in colonising distant regions and suppressing resistance was a product of the weapons and transport that were available to european powers. if ghengis khan, alexander, atahualpa or ashoka had access to oceangoing ships and firearms, i've little doubt they would have ruthlessly deployed them. there was nothing uniquely pernicious about european powers when they had their period of preeminence; they displayed the same mix of enlightenment and almost boundless cruelty as every other imperial power through the years has done

cheers
gregor


Oceanrower - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> Having read the OP, and then the last ten posts, can I ask what the hell is going on here?

Damned if I know, and I started it!
subalpine - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: the trouble with China is...
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

deary me, the wiki article on the great leap forward makes grim reading.

18-45 millions deaths, including an estimated 2.5 million beaten or tortured to death

and an interesting comment about responsibility:

"Despite the risks to their careers, some Communist Party members openly laid blame for the disaster at the feet of the Party leadership and took it as proof that China must rely more on education, acquiring technical expertise and applying bourgeois methods in developing the economy. Liu Shaoqi made a speech in 1962 at Seven Thousand Cadres Conference criticizing that "The economic disaster was 30% fault of nature, 70% human error." "

subalpine - on 15 Nov 2012
Offwidth - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I tried to find the data quickly and failed. Now I'm back from Kendal I've had a bit more time and got the MP data from the guardian data blog (search for Legg the expenses report chair on that site) but still had to use a calculator. My calculated numbers for MPs are that 123 conservatives were asked to pay back an average of £4227 at a total of about £520,000 and 132 labour MPs (from a much larger commons group) had to pay back an average of £3237 at a total of about £427,000. I think the total figure I remembered that made me challenge Gordon may have included the lords. Hence I'm sticking to my guns all parties were bad but tories pipped labour in all but prosecutions.

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