1. Exquisite Tweets from @frankcottrell_b

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    I couldn’t sleep last night so I read this. It’s by, among others, Dominic Raab and Priti Patel. It outlines their “thinking”. It's difficult to convey how ridiculous it is. It feels mean to try but I’m going to because learnt something

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    Remember the moment when that nice courier guy was mistaken for an IT expert and interviewed on BBC News? Imagine if he hadn’t been gracious or smart enough to say you’ve got the wrong guy, but instead thought, yeah why not? I’m entitled to my opinion .. that’s this book.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    Remember on 30 Rock when Jack can't figure out what Kenny is thinkin in a poker game because "Kenny is not thinking" - that's this book.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    It’s a book by people who think anecdotes are data. They don’t have to be their own anecdotes by the way. Pre-loved anecdotes will do. So long as they confirm the opinions you think you’re entitled to.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    I put “thinking” in inverted commas up there because the “thinking” in this book has to same relationship to thinking that popping a slice of Sunblest into a toaster does to making a loaf.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    But these people are in power. Why? Because zealous ideological conformism. Ideological conformity has hollowed out this cabinet’s human resources in the way that covert privatisation has sucked out NHS rescources.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    It made me think of all the times that the left does this too. Badge-wearing tick-boxing vocab-checking, debate-killing zealotry is a virus.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    (caveat: I’m being generous using the word “ideology” here. Don’t run away with the idea that someone has spent time in the Lancashire cotton mills and discussed their findings with a bunch of philosophers and economists. This “ideology” is not based on anything so demanding …

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    .. it’s based on a poor novel - the Fountainhead - that I don’t believe anyone of them has actually read. In other words it has the same intellectual pedigree as Scientology).

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    But in some important ways the ideology starting point is less important that the discipline of noticing and questioning your own ideology. Because

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    An experiment is supposed to produce knowledge. I wish Johnson well. Said prayer for him. But I'm worried that his illness and recovery will be a distortion field that makes it hard to learn the lessons of this trial.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce

    Only just noticed the Terry Leahy cover quote about pulling no punches and got to say it's fair comment. It's a book that recommends repeatedly punching Britain in the face. Which its authors, to be fair, have been doing.

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    Frank Cottrell-Boyce