Politics – Facts

Cameron’s Corkers. What a great idea, somewhere to sum up the lies and U-Turns of an incompetent leader.

My only issue with fact-checking in this manner, is that we may end up with the situation in American where the right begin to question facts as being socialist conspiracies and being compiled by biased statisticians (as has been alleged in the wake of recent employment statistics). Or indeed the movement of manufacturing facts to suit any position.

Facts are good, holding lying and deception to account are good. But when a party like the Tories (or the US Tea Party) are set on a radical ideologically motivated path, they will tend to bulldozer through the facts which get in the way of their position. Worse, facts to the contrary are held up as an example of your opponents conspiring against you.

I remember seeing an interesting piece of political science research in the New Scientist a while back. It showed how, when confronted with arguments and facts against their position, right-wingers were more likely to double down on their belief and hold it more strongly than before confronted with the evidence to the contrary. Left-wingers (or liberals) didn’t.

I wonder whether it’s something about how we are as human beings. Right-wing/conservative ideology lends itself to knee-jerk reactions, at its most fundamental level. Crimes should be punished, taxes are bad, the unemployed are lazy scroungers etc… Left-wing/liberal ideology requires more consideration of the matter. Perhaps people commit crimes not because they’re bad people, but because of environmental factors, taxes are taking income you only earn because of society’s existence to pay for things society needs, unemployed people may be so because there are no jobs…

Therefore, when the knee-jerk reaction POV comes across evidence to the contrary, the reaction is to dismiss it, and stick with their gut. When the considered POV comes across such evidence it… well, considers it.

I don’t mean the above as some sort of smug lauding of how great left-wingers/liberals are and how stupid the right/conservatives are. (That’s just self-evident.) Rather, that there are reasons why people think the way they do, and then believe what they do. Bringing facts to the table is essential, of course, in all debates. But relying on simply putting facts out there and assuming it’ll work isn’t enough. If we’re going to demonstrate the true ineptness and the full-scale of deceit this government has attempted to pull off, we have to use good arguments, a well crafted narrative and have a relentless drive to keep pushing them home.

Otherwise, facts will go ignored or unbelieved, and the right will continue with their orgy of austerity, cuts and morality play economics, regardless of the consequences.



About iwastoldtheredbegin

Politics of the Left Wing and Liberal variety, plus gin!
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