Wednesday, August 3, 2011

As unreason triumphs in the US, a similar paranoia and refusal to accept scientific fact threaten to invade British politics

Tea Party Madness has brought the U.S. to the brink of economic chaos, risking much of the world with him. Given the entrenched irrationality, the president of the hyper-reasonableness was forced to surrender. The economic credibility of the country that holds the world's reserve currency has budged. The political credibility of the world 's beacon of democracy in the face of a failed uprising of unreason. Facts, evidence, probability, chance - None of this is a movement founded on a wild imagination.

The founding fathers would agree to build a Constitution of checks and balances believe reasonable people as they could foresee Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or Glenn Beck? For the British mind, America was always prone to dangerous waves of populism and McCarthy panic. The country has a blockage, it can be set as the decline of absolute intransigence creates a constitution that does not work achieved on a faster track. Why match the big show of the presidential election effort, when the President denied power, their splendor? The policy of the miasma in which every word counts more than facts and deeds, does the Tea Party, we demand the impossible - with tax cuts, debt reduction, spending cuts without the huge defense budget. Obama believes against all evidence that his opponent would be reason to see. That 's not who they are.

I worked in Washington during the Watergate and the downfall of Richard Nixon, even in the national trauma it was not such an insurmountable repugnance between the red and blue. What happened? The rise of the Tea Party owes a great deal to Rupert Murdoch 's Fox TV, the fog horn of the extremism that is changing the nature of political discourse. Thrashing the competition, misinformed propaganda for its tea party views of the electorate on pretty much everything: it's scary rivetingly consideration. It makes our own policies look civil, measured our annotation, our moderate right wing. But there is little doubt that News International had not fallen so spectacularly from grace, the Murdochs British politicians in changing our laws would have intimidated to unhealthy political bias in television. Fox-style television would have smashed their way into our living rooms, Tea Party brings us to politics.

Whatever you think of the Tory party, it is not shot through with the US-craziness, not to stem cell research and gay marriage, or even really about abortion - even worse if the conditions for it. Steve Hilton 's got cunning plan to eliminate all consumer, employment and motherhood a dusty answer, while his green passion at least tolerated. Most are driven by Thatcherite Tories, according to his shrink-the-state, on-your-bike thirst deregulation. But even though Oliver Letwin 's parents were disciples of Ayn Rand, the American right' s Call of the Wild no closer Tory core feeling, as in the Labour 's ritual singing of the Red Flag once a year. Britain is more extreme right than mainstream Europe, our media more flashy, but we haven 't cross the Atlantic - yet.

But American intellectual fashions waft our way: a taste of the Tea Party comes to these shores in the strange paranoia of the climate change deniers. You can see some air space such as fruit cake or oil company lobbyists, but when Andrew Turnbull, the former head of the civil service shows that he is of their number, it should alarm us.

Professor Steve Jones 's report on BBC coverage of science increases the difficult question of impartiality: the BBC should be impartial between sense and nonsense, between flat and round-Earth? On the MMR / autism controversy and genetically modified plants of the BBC was a "false balance" between minority views and the consensus of most scientists. Jones suggests that agree with the great weight of international scientific consensus that global warming is caused by humans means that the BBC does not need more, proportionately balancing deniers, if only "the pretext of the debate remains". Instead of alleviating the real debates about the best way to move. E-Mail and Telegraph commentators called this the "quasi-Stalinist thought police '. For some reason it as "the warm ISTS" a left-wing conspiracy, although why is never clear. Mr Turnbull wrote in the Sunday Times, Jones called for every weary denier 's argument: didn' t Galileo and Darwin, against the science of their time? I 't rehearse the paranoia of the deniers who think the world is against them: yes, it is.

In matters of fact, those of us not only to scientists with what scientists say, listen and trust such an overwhelming global consensus. As cabinet secretary, would have Turnbull, evidence on numerous topics, from which he could gauge to know something: Trust in the best know-how is the only sensible approach. So, what part of his psyche, the Tea Party resided idea that scientific facts don 't matter? Our service is proud of the higher drawing on the finest Oxbridge heads, because they should be trained in evidence-based thinking. Turnbull was in charge of Public Service at the beginning of the Iraq war: the evidence on his clock in the infamous dossier was used Dragoon public support.

Reason should rule, but none of us are as rational as we do every inhabit our imagination more than we do to the real world, driven by opinions of beliefs, passions, beliefs, hopes, fears, and a hundred conflicting thoughts and impulses . But to make sense of the world, there is an obligation to seek evidence of know-how and confidence. Where there is conflict, we are fighting for our political corners.

But science is different. Chief scientist John Beddington said in a candid speech this year that we have to "grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the cherry picking of facts and the lack of scientific knowledge and scientific method \ use". The refusal to consider evidence Tea Party - and we would do well to challenge his every manifestation in this country, especially in the seats of power.

Polly Toynbee ? Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms and Conditions | More Feeds


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