Antony Jay, co-creator of Yes, Minister, on the leanings of the BBC:
It would be astonishing if the BBC did not have its own orthodoxy. It has been around for 85 years, recruiting bright graduates, mostly with arts degrees, and deeply involved in current affairs issues and news reporting. And of course for all that time it has been supported by public money. One result of this has been an implicit belief in government funding and government regulation. Another is a remarkable lack of interest in industry and a deep hostility to business and commerce. […] This deep hostility to people and organisations who made and sold things was not of course exclusive to the BBC. It permeated a lot of upper middle class English society (and has not vanished yet). But it was wider and deeper in the BBC than anywhere else, and it is still very much a part of the BBC ethos. Very few of the BBC producers and executives have any real experience of the business world, and as so often happens, this ignorance, far from giving rise to doubt, increases their certainty.
See also Jay’s Confessions of a Reformed BBC Producer.
Kevin D Williamson is a fan of Thomas Sowell:
One of the great things about Thomas Sowell is that he, like most nerds, appears to be simply immune to certain social conventions. This is a critical thing about him - because the social conventions of modern intellectual life demand that certain things go studiously unnoticed, that certain subjects not be breached, or breached only in narrow ways approved by the proper authorities. Sowell does not seem to me to be so much a man who intentionally violates intellectual social conventions as a man who does not notice them, because he cannot be bothered to notice them, because he is in hot pursuit of data about one of the many subjects that fascinate his remarkable brain.
Sowell’s failure to avert his eyes from unspeakable details is also in evidence here.
And Theodore Dalrymple looks back on the summer’s opportunist looting:
One rioter told a journalist that his compatriots were fed up with being broke all the time and that he knew people who had absolutely nothing. It is worth pondering what lies behind these words. It is obvious that the rioter considered being broke not merely unpleasant, as we all would, but unjust and anomalous, for it was these qualities that justified the rioting in his mind and led him to suggest that the riots were restitution. Leave aside the Micawberish point that one can be broke on any income whatever if one’s desires fail to align with one’s financial possibilities; it is again obvious that the rioter believed that he had a right not to be broke and that this right was being violated.
When he said that he knew people with “nothing,” he did not mean that he knew homeless, starving people left on the street without clothes to wear or shoes on their feet; none of the rioters was like this, and many looked only too fit for law-abiding citizens’ comfort. Nor did he mean people without hot and cold running water, electricity, a television, a cell phone, health care, and access to schooling. People had a right to such things, and yet they could have them all and still have “nothing,” in his meaning of the word. Somehow, people had a right to something beyond this irreducible “nothing” because this “nothing” was a justification for rioting. So people have a right to more than they have a right to; in other words, they have a right to everything.
However, the Guardian’s Nina Power would have us believe that the looters, muggers and arsonists, the majority of whom had numerous previous convictions, were, in ways never quite made clear, fighting against entitlement. Albeit by robbing children of their clothes, assaulting fire-fighters and burning women out of their homes. Yes, it was all about “social justice,” see? And whatever you do, don’t refer to the perpetrators as feral – even those who ganged up on pensioners and beat them to the ground - or you’ll upset Laurie Penny, for whom, “nicking trainers… is a political statement.”
As usual, feel free to add your own in the comments.