Friday 10 May 2019

‘Village’ and other Idiots

Oh good, there’s an interesting conversation below the line on this blog. It’s about whether it’s completely fair to rip sound-bites out of their intended context, take them down and use them against the suspect, later, as evidence in the court of public opinion. 

There are millions of examples, but let’s take the most notorious one. 

“Friends”. No, not them. Jeremy Corbyn and his friends from Hamas and Hezbollah. He definitely called them friends, but at a stretch, he could have meant it in a general sense, or ironically, as one might refer to an infestation of carpet beetles or rodents. You know, our little friends who invade our homes and chew them to bits.
That is arguable but unlikely. We all know that British irony may be Jeremy Corbyn’s special area of expertise, but let’s face it, irony is not something he’s known to have used himself. He’s just not that witty.

So, taking his overall conduct into account, it’s safe to assume that he really does consider Hamas and Hezbollah as friends - not necessarily in a strictly personal capacity, but ideologically and symbiotically “denoting a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups”

The red bus. Side of.
 “The Leave campaign promised the NHS 350 million quid per week.” No. Not exactly, but there was an implication, and they should have known better than to lay themselves open to such a meme. Look out for the potential open goal - anticipation is nine-tenths of success. (I made that up, but you get the point) Every fule kno that when one says ‘could’ it is automatically assumed one really means “will”.

“Freddie Starr ate my Hamster.”
Apparently, he didn’t.

Now we have: “Gavin Esler called Leave voters village idiots”. Gavin Esler explained on Daily Politics that he used the term ‘village idiot’ during a conversation about Michael Gove’s comment about ‘experts’. Esler claimed he used the term ‘Village Idiots’ merely to serve as an example of ‘the opposite of ‘experts’,  and specifically to illustrate the type of person who doesn’t merit any air-time at all. Only ‘experts’ deserve air time.

But then someone went and spoiled it all by producing the incriminating Tweet, which did show that he does indeed think of Leave voters as village idiots. “The ‘village idiots’ of Brexit” - there it is in black and white. But wait - there are scare quotes around the damning words.  Does that exonerate Esler?

Personally, I think he really does think of Leave voters as village idiots, on account of umpteen more general indications and clues that that is what he actually thinks. Everything points to it, and if it walks like a duck etc., etc. 

I just think he let it slip accidentally, and tried to row back on it rather ineffectively. That doesn’t mean I approve of the witch-hunt as a means of attack. Not at all. I’m one of your more pedantic observers of what 'words' mean, but I think in most cases the bigger picture rules ok.  Discuss?

Lo and behold....


  1. Gavin Esler ate my licence fee several hundred times over - that he did!

    Arguing, as does Esler, that our democratically elected MPs should not be allowed to give their opinion against experts who spectacularly mispredicted a recession that never happened after the Brexit vote and who never saw the 2008 world recession coming down the tracks at 100 MPH is itself an absurd proposition.

    But also, note, the Elastic Esler doesn't say "I want pro-Brexit experts up against pro-Remain experts." Oh no, no siree. You see he doesn't think there are any pro-Brexit experts. He thinks any academic or economist who is pro-Brexit is by definition not an expert. He also thinks that the think tanks he likes are not biased think tanks...even though they clearly are.

    Just because the BBC calls them "independent and much respected" think tanks doesn't make it so, especially when all their predictions about the world economy, the effects of mass immigration, China's incorporation as a responsible member of the world family of nations, the Arab Spring, the effects of Trump on the US economy and a supposed recession immediately following a Brexit vote have proved so incredibly, indelibly and indubitably WRONG.

    1. No need to analyse what Esler meant or waste your time with lots of words. He is just a liberal ex-BBC prat.

  2. His explanation or attempt at an explanation doesn't make it any better, though. Whether it be vote leavers or think tanks / 'experts', he has the same de haut en bas sneer and superior attitude because people don't agree with his view. Is he an expert or is he just another one of the multitude?
    There are no actual experts in whether it's good or bad for the future course of the country to leave the EU. Those purporting to be such and predicting dire consequences have up till now been woefully wrong at best and utterly deceptive and downright charlatans at worst.

    There are no experts when it comes to voting to leave or remain because there are no experts in democratic voting. It's a rough and even a risky way of doing things and you never know what's going to come up. Even the experts who think they know, don't. But we take what comes.

    The vote to leave isn't about the things Eslers and 'experts' prefer to say it is. That's a misunderstanding or perhaps a deliberate deflection because they don't want to leave. Like it or not the majority decided they'd prefer to leave because of not liking the way things are going and a sense of wanting to be a separate independent country. They want to take their chances on that because it's important to them and that's not a matter for or of expertise. Democracy it is. There are always people who don't get the result they wanted but they live with it, as we've done for umpteen years with the EEC, the EC and EU. The referendum was a great opportunity, eagerly taken up by a high proportion of the electorate, and a good test of democracy and what mattered to people. It's a forward move and an optimistic one. That's what I like about it. Those like Esler who most want to obstruct it have the gall to badge themselves Change!

  3. What's there to discuss

    Esler reveals exactly what he & the not-fit-for-purpose BBC think of the people who are forced to pay for their pearls of wisdom..

    Fuck them & the horses they rode in on

  4. Andrew made a complete and utter sweaty tantrum throwing baby of himself during the Shapiro interview.
    "I've never heard of you either".
    What a bell end.
    Shapiro - another commentator I don't agree with very often but am glad that he exists - nails the MO of the BBC babies with aplomb.
    I can't wait for the BBC to interview Ilhan Omar or give AOC a hard time in the same way.
    Just pathetic.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.