Monday, March 01, 2004

bad thoughts
Despite the post below, I don't want B&T's many foreign friends to think that Britain has an underclass problem. I want you to realise that we have an overclass problem. Here's an example.

Words fail me. Or rather, they fail him. Now this is someone associated with an intellectual movement of substance, not the think tank equivalent of illegal billboard posters. Yet it's a genuinely atrocious piece of work. There's not much point in reproducing extracts, since its badness is of a whole, entire. None of the arguments presented make sense of themselves, and none connect to the conclusions for which they are offered as evidence. And the piece as a whole is based on propositions that are either dubious (that everyone should accept honours from the state)or ridiculous (that they would do so if honours were offered from the hands of the Speaker of the House of Commons, rather than the Queen).

The overall impression is as if the Guardian had conducted a thought experiment in which a sufficiently medicated schizophrenic was offered a chance to set forth his vision of reform of the honours system, or if a number of linguists had elaborated a beta version of a means of back translation out of powerpoint. And it would be wrong to say that the article is unique. It's more an exemplar of what passes for ideas formation amongst the managerial class as a whole, a distillation of the kind of nonsense spouted every day in local authorities, boardrooms, NGO's and perhaps the newer of our less-esteemed universities.

Jesus fucking wept, what's happened to us? When did we start taking the stupid pills?