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 Post subject: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Good point - sort of
Lord Tebbit – always a reservoir of good sense – writes today that the calls for Baroness Scotland to resign are misconceived. She did as much as any reasonable person could be expected to do to check whether her housekeeper was here legally.

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Moral infantilism

The more you think about it, the more striking the phrase used by Martin Newland becomes. His "moral infantilism" so aptly labels much of what is currently wrong with society – or, more specifically, our leaders.

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 Post subject: Re: Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:05 pm 

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The woman has been caught out breaking the law on employing an illegal immigrant, but what is perhaps far more important is summed up in a letter to a newspaper. This tells us that Home Office has admitted that: "Currently, employers do not have a reliable means of establishing whether a job applicant has the right to work here."

There lies a major – if not scandalous – defect in the system. We have a law, with all its penalties, with no reliable means by which an employer can actually avoid breaking it.

Providing you cover your arse by a) asking for the appropriate documents every 12 months b) keep copies of them and c) don't knowingly employ someone without the right to work, you have done the minimum required. A thorough explanation of the proceedure can be found in this Home Office document (pdf). Baroness Scotland did not keep copies apparently, and hence by default has been slapped with a 'penalty charge'. I hate those bloody things. Convenient (in)justice.

One issue that jumps out at me from the Home Office admission is: Should it be an employer's responsibility to establish whether a job applicant has the right to work here?* The law suggests it is not even if the Home Office believes it ought to be. Of course, the HO would love that to be the case because it absolves them of their statutory responsibilities.

Modern politicians and the media are avoiding the issues we care about as best they can because they want to shape what we think and talk about. If they bother to seriously address what matters to us they meet too many ready formed views to influence us. They don't want to know or listen to our opinions nor do they take the time to have grown up debates and conversations about issues. They want attention. They want influence. You don't get that by sticking to issues which many people have already made their minds up about. They have to concentrate on the peripheral issues of our lives of most of us, over-emotionalise the content and frequently exaggerate the consequences of inaction. I am probably looking through rose-tinted glasses but politicians of even 20 years ago seemed better able and willing to explain serious issues in a largely level headed manner and the media were prepared to report similarly. The tabloid media and tabloid politicians are well suited to each other.


* Another being: Why should the Government have a monopoly on the provision of labour?


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 Post subject: Re: Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:49 pm 
”The woman (Baroness Scotland) has been caught out breaking the law on employing an illegal immigrant”. This is a law she helped introduce and her employer, Gordon Brown, has stood by her. But no doubt Baroness Scotland will reflect on the stated preference of “British jobs for British workers” Brown made recently and not do it again!


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 Post subject: Re: Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:02 pm 
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In2minds wrote:
”The woman (Baroness Scotland) has been caught out breaking the law on employing an illegal immigrant”. This is a law she helped introduce and her employer, Gordon Brown, has stood by her. But no doubt Baroness Scotland will reflect on the stated preference of “British jobs for British workers” Brown made recently and not do it again!


I think Gareth has it. But it is interesting that the focus here is on Baroness Scotland, and not the broader issues raised. Does that tell us something?

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 Post subject: Re: Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:12 pm 
Moral infantilism was an unexpected consequence of Rousseau's notion of 'the noble savage', that Man is born free and equal but is progressively corrupted by civilisation. It was but a step for Marx and Engels to state that those mind-forged manacles were the products of laissez-faire capitalism.

While there may be a semblance of truth in even the dottiest idea, experience seems to prove that whether nurture corrupts and nature liberates - or vice versa - one thing is indisputable: human affairs are governed by the law of unforeseen consequences: nemesis results from hubris. Therefore, expect bad to flow from good and good to flow from bad. The righteous are invariably punished and wrongdoers rewarded.

So when Jean-Jacques senior had the fatal erection that resulted in Jean-Jacques Junior and his fatal conception of liberty, the world little thought that from this would arise the monstrosities of the Hitler Youth, Mao's Red Guards and Pol Pot's youthful death sentencers in the Year Zero of Kampuchea. We should not be surprised by the enormities done in the name of freedom, though. Christ warned us that many would come in his name who would do evil.

Ah, there's the rub Aladdin: these days we don't believe in good and evil, we believe in moral relativity. There but for the grace of God has been replaced with there but for your genetic lucky number.

Moral infantilism is a steadfast refusal to face facts, to face up to inconvenient truths. We all do it to some degree. My thinning hair and diminishing libido mean I am getting older; I simply don't like to contemplate the idea of being infirm and in the hands of others. But in terms of governance, moral infantilsm is what Richard North describes as "constructive ignorance": if we don't admit there is a problem, there is nothing to worry about.

This reasoning has been pounced on, of course, by eco warriors and their friends in the media. Global warming sceptics are forever being accused of living in wilful denial - at the expense of their children and children's children. Save the children!

The establishment's exaggerated interest in youth is a sure sign that the rot has set in. Harold Wilson lowered the age of maturity from 21 to 18; Gordon Brown has made sympathetic noises about lowering the voting age to 16. The unforeseen consequence of Mr Wilson's progressive act was greater youthful indifference to the issues of governance but a greater interest in politics as a career. To make up for the wide-spread disillusionment in the political system, our elders, encouraged no doubt by European Union institutions, invest in projects such as youth parliaments; the callow are enticed by the seeming inclusivity of democracy.

They think this gives them the right to attitudinise publicly about global warming, world, peace, racism, sexism, war, socialism, Thatcherism, Europeanism.

And we listen, as we must, because they are young and we are old; and this culture still believes the Oscar Wilde aphorism that only two things count in life: youth and beauty. Keats, who belonged to an earlier, more idealistic age, emphasised the importance of truth and beauty.

In spite of Lord of the Flies and 1984 - remember that lovely organisation, The Spies? - Rousseau's pernicious idealisation of nature over nurture goes on.

In spite of the infrastructure of Parliamentary select committees impartially seeking evidence, the empiricism of law and the rule of Habeas Corpus, moral infantilism seems to flourish, no longer from the cradle to the grave but from the cradle to the cradle.


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 Post subject: Re: Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:28 pm 

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More trouble for Obummer on his Cap'nTrade scheme.

Congressman Upton Demands Declassification Of Censured Cap-And-Trade Cost Estimates

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/congre ... -estimates


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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Getting back to the Baroness, if a minister breaches legislation they have themselves piloted though, they should have to go, however stupid the legislation was.

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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:32 pm 
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John Page wrote:
Getting back to the Baroness, if a minister breaches legislation they have themselves piloted though, they should have to go, however stupid the legislation was.


Nah ... there is collective responsibilty here. The whole government should go. But to single out a single minister for a technical breach* of the law, in her private life, unrelated to her ministerial duties, is missing the point. There is certainly huge irony in this, that a minister should be hoist by her own petard, and that is the case. In a grown up world, that should trigger some merriment but, more importantly, it should also trigger an examination of a cumbersome and unfair law, with pressure for its repeal and replacement with a better, more effective system.

And that is the point. If the minister was being attacked for promoting a bad law ... even to the extent of demanding her resignation because of it ... then I could go with it. But simply to call for her resignation because she, as an individual, fell foul of a bad law (albeit that she was party to its creation) is not the point. But that is ALL the media is interested in. Either she will or will not resign but the story will die, with the underlying issues unresolved - because all the media wants is theatre.

* The use of the phrase "technical breach" is well recognised, often used in courts and accepted as grounds for mitigation. It describes an unwitting breach of an administrative law which creates an absolute offence, through a procedural deficiency, where there was no mens rea. Here, you have to distinguish between criminal acts, where the test of criminality is the intent. It is not an absolute offence to kill someone - the test is the intent. Where an offence is occasioned by an administrative oversight in the context of a procedural requirement, an argument of "technical breach" is entirely appropriate.

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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:12 pm 
Tebbit and others may be missing the point but so is Gordon Brown.

The PM is quite happy for his employees, like Scotland, to introduce reams of poor quality legislation that will trap the unwary as much as the guilty, so he is responsible.

It's also funny to hear Scotland claim that her offence is no worse than not paying the congestion charge. This sort of remark is a gift to the BNP. They will claim that illegal workers are as much a 'congestion' and a problem as too many cars, hence the fine on Scotland was valid.

They will also chuckle to remember that Scotland's boss, the PM, once borrowed one of their political slogans, 'British jobs for British workers'. Indeed, the illegal worker in question was from Tonga, had she been of Anglo Saxon stock from Dagenham this problem would not have occurred!

This is, I suggest, quite a complex case, so an opportunity for us all to miss something!


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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:32 pm 

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How is it justice done and seen to be done where some internal investigation by someone unwilling to rock the boat can issue a penalty and the public only hear about it by press release? What the hell is one of those penalties anyway? Could it be merely a way of raising funds, because it catches no illegals, and ensures nothing about what the employer does tomrrow? Is such a penalty really in line with the bill of rights? No, don't laugh, we had a bill of rights, once. How can the offence be merely about keeping copies, when the documents have not been seen, and there is no evdence that legal docs for the woman ever existed, so they would not have passed any decent check?

I want Scotland to go for another offence entirely, but this one will do.


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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:07 pm 

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Stephen Hesford MP has resigned yesterday from his job as a PPS saying 'facts do not matter' and that the perception of impropriety should be enough for Baroness Scotland to resign.(He also has a small majority to defend) I disagree wholeheartedly as facts bloody well matter and propriety is more important than perception.

Pin the blame on the right donkey rather than the nearest one. Baroness Scotland should resign because she has been party to some fantastically crap legislation that wrongly puts the responsibility for policing our borders onto employers. All part of the game though. Gordon Brown will continue to be asked 'Will you sack Baroness Scotland?' and he can continue to bat the issue away. Ask him 'Why is such an onerous weight lumped on employers who can easily be deceived?' and he might begin to squirm.


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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:11 pm 
Dr North, Lord Tebbit and the Adam Smith Institute are all terribly high minded.
But I'm not.

The law may be an ass. Its provisions may be unverifiable and unenforceable. But Scotland made the ass law. So she should resign. We don't need asses to make laws.

How many other illegal immigrants have had their doors kicked in by the police this week? If there is the faintest suspicion that the police are acting in the private interest of a public figure then she should go. She should go.


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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:14 pm 
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blokeinfrance wrote:
But Scotland made the ass law. So she should resign ...


For that reason, I agree. Not because she did not photocopy some forms.

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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:35 pm 
"Moral infantilism was an unexpected consequence of Rousseau's notion of 'the noble savage'"

Rousseau never put forward any such notion!

It is also hilarious to see the poster holding that public opinion polls are a good way to discern the seriousness of a problem! Talk about pots calling kettles black...


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 Post subject: Re: Good point - sort of / Moral infantilism
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:04 pm 
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Nick Danger wrote:
"Moral infantilism was an unexpected consequence of Rousseau's notion of 'the noble savage'"

Rousseau never put forward any such notion!


He didn't?

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