I’ve had feedback on my radio scepticism (Jim Mora’s Panel Thursday last) about the “Appeal to Parliament” group promoted by Sir Alan Mark. I said they were wasting their time, that I’d have to be paid to listen to their list of concerns because it sounded like Moaning Report concentrated, and that they were likely to generate the same reaction as ‘Citizens for Rowling” – that is anti-elitist resentment.
The are wasting their time because they share the common conceit of intellectuals (left and right) and business people and others who pay lip-service to democracy but essentially despise it. They are sure that politicians and other decision-makers who are not following their advice must be stupid, ignorant or consciously evil and motivated by sinister forces. They believe that for those who are not evil, all that is needed is careful loud and repeated explanation until the decision-makers grasp the wisdom of their advisers. To them the rest is obvious.
They rarely think it is worth debating with those who disagree with their diagnosis, or, to the extent they bother with them, their prescriptions. They are dismissive of cost benefit study, on the basis that their purposes are so pure it is improper to weigh them against grubby matters like cost. Whether or not they are of the left, they become Lenin’s useful idiots for the left, because they supply the need of their media kin for events with which to bludgeon the rest of us ‘people’ who are suspicious of their balance and their clerical zeal.