Bertrand Russell

Labour – ‘lying and cheating are deep in its DNA’

Ok it is UK Labour but they are so similar to Labour here that the observations of Peter Oborne at The Telegraph are worth repeating.

The book can at last be closed on The Daily Telegraph investigation into the MPs’ expenses scandal. More than 300 Members of Parliament have paid back wrongly claimed expenses. Several of the worst offenders have stood down from Parliament. Now that the former minister Denis MacShane has at last pleaded guilty to fraud, no further prosecutions are planned, and all criminal investigation is reported to have ceased.

But one puzzling question remains. Why is it that only Labour MPs have been found guilty of expenses fraud as a result of the Telegraph revelations?

Because thy are bent?

Yesterday’s decision by Mr MacShane (one of the most dishonest characters with whom I have ever had the misfortune to do business) brings to six the number of MPs who have been convicted or pleaded guilty. Not a single one is Tory, Lib Dem or from one of the nationalist parties. All six are Labour.

Some people will doubtless argue that the fact that only Labour MPs have been convicted is interesting but meaningless. I don’t think this can be true. Mathematicians tell us that the statistical probability against a coin coming up heads six times in a row is 64-1. In other words there is only one chance in 64 that Labour’s score of 6/6 was a coincidence.  Read more »

Stephen Fry – Only the Lonely

Stephen Fry has written on his blog about his attempt to commit suicide last year.

There isn’t any point in denying that the outburst of sympathy and support that followed my confession to an attempt at self-slaughter last year (Richard Herring podcast) has touched me very deeply.

Some people, as some people always will, cannot understand that depression (or in my case cyclothymia, a form of bipolar disorder) is an illness and they are themselves perhaps the sufferers of a malady that one might call either an obsession with money, or a woeful lack of imagination.

“How can someone so well-off, well-known and successful have depression?” they ask. Alastair Campbell in a marvelous article, suggested changing the word “depression” to “cancer” or “diabetes” in order to reveal how, in its own way, sick a question, it is. Ill-natured, ill-informed, ill-willed or just plain ill, it’s hard to say.

Depression is something that no one can really understand until they have experienced it. People think that depression is a feeling of deep sadness…for me it is not anything like that at all.

But, most people, a surging, warm, caring majority, have been kind. Almost too kind. There’s something a little flustering and embarrassing when a taxi-driver shakes you by the hand, looks deep into your eyes and says “You look after yourself, mate, yes? Promise me?” And there’s something perhaps not too helpful to one’s mental health when it is the only subject people want to talk to you about, however kindly or for whatever reasons.   Read more »

Mental Health Break

A message to the future

via Boing Boing

Sure, it’s not really what he had in mind. But I’m rather struck by the fact that pretty much every flame war ever could be avoided if we only listened to him. Shorter version: Recognize that you could be wrong, be tolerant of people who say things you hate and kind to people with whom you disagree, and, for god’s sake, don’t feed the trolls*.

*He didn’t actually say that last bit, but it’s just assumed at this point, right?

Very wise words from Bertrand Russell