Radical Egalitarian Atheist Humanitarian Sour Old Puritans Anonymous

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Photo: Arto Marttinen

Here’s everything I believe boiled down to ten seconds of moral logic.

1)     There is no God, heaven, hell, spirits, angels, miracles, fore-lives or afterlives, and life has no inherent ‘Meaning’

2)     Billions of human beings are suffering in ways we could prevent, and that’s incredibly bad

Thus:

3)     Eradicating that suffering should be the pseudo-religious mission statement of every person and every society on the planet

Continue reading “Radical Egalitarian Atheist Humanitarian Sour Old Puritans Anonymous”

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You Can’t Win: Charlotte Church and The Logical Gymnastics of the Sociopath Right

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Russell Brand at Saturday’s demo

Those text-on-picture memes that clog up the internet and mean nobody has to think of anything themselves any more are generally very annoying, but a few manage to be quite good. One currently doing the rounds quotes dead Canadian economist J.K. Galbraith: “the modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy – the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness”.

After last Saturday’s End Austerity Now demo in London, the Right did an excellent job of proving Galbraith’s observation still applies. Taking to their computers in droves, irate right-wingers condemned any and everyone who took part in the event – but saved particular disdain for Charlotte Church and other celebrity leftists who turned up.

In doing so, they demonstrated their usual logical flexibility when it comes to attacking egalitarians. If you’re poor and you complain about a politics scandalously tilted in favour of the richest, you’re jealous – engaging in divisive class warfare, being anti-enterprise, threatening Britain’s future prosperity. If you’re rich, and you do the same, you’re a hypocritical champagne socialist – the implication being that you can only complain about capitalism if you’re poor. Except you can’t, because then you’re engaging in divisive class warfare, being anti-enterprise, and threatening Britain’s future prosperity. Continue reading “You Can’t Win: Charlotte Church and The Logical Gymnastics of the Sociopath Right”

Elitist UK: banning private education would be a start

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Last month, a report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission railed against what it saw as the UK’s ingrained elitism. Its knock-me-down-with-a-feather conclusion was that the upper echelons of Westminster politics, law, the media and other senior professions continue to be dominated by – or at least disproportionately filled with – people who were privately educated, people who went to Oxbridge, or, in many cases, both.

For anyone who’s been paying attention for the last forty years, this isn’t in the least bit surprising. The modicum of social mobility enabled by post-war social democracy was dramatically thrown into reverse after 1979, and in the neoliberal era that has followed, the wealth of the family you were born in determines your life prospects more now than it has done in half a century. Continue reading “Elitist UK: banning private education would be a start”