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July 29, 2008

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NoToBoris

But let's be fair, Dave, the BNP is not entirely uncritical of Anthony Browne. Back in 2006, after The Retreat of Reason was published, the BNP's then national press officer "Dr Phil Edwards" (aka Stuart Russell) complained:

"When I read Anthony Browne's earlier book 'Do we need Mass Immigration?' (Published by Civitas in 2002) I was struck by how so much of it seemed to be cribbed from my writings, broadcasts and newspaper and radio interviews from around 1997 onwards."

mww

This argumentum ad BNP has become depressingly common among lazy thinkers on the left. It is depressing because:
1) it is not actually an argument, it is just a smear
2) it is a logical fallacy
3) it gives more importance to the opinions of the BNP than they deserve.

People should stop doing it.

Dave  Hill

mww: As it happens I broadly agree with you. But I also think it should be a cause for reflection on Browne's part that a racist political party has embraced his work so closely and for so long.

Tom

I'm not sure it's that depressing (the fact that a man with such shallow opinions is considered worth a job in London's administration is depressing, but that's by the by). What matters about the BNP's apparent endorsement is that it's precisely because their opinions are worthless (point 3) that they like Browne's work - it shares their poisonous and idiotic hatred of professionalism and intellectualism, for instance. This should be a matter of concern as it's a trait also shared by most useless or revolutionary administrations; those that prize loyalty over competence (George Bush's Republicans are the perfect example here, but there are lots more. Mugabe springs to mind).

Apparent BNP agreement is therefore a strong point against Browne being a competent person to appoint to such a high-profile role, but it's far from the only one, or even the most important one, which is that his career and experience came second to his connections and opinions when being considered for the job. That's damn bad management, and it's not alone in Team Boris.

mww

What matters about the BNP's apparent endorsement is that it's precisely because their opinions are worthless (point 3) that they like Browne's work - it shares their poisonous and idiotic hatred of professionalism and intellectualism, for instance

Assuming this is true, then the problem with Browne is that he has a poisonous and idiotic hatred of professionaism and intellectualism. The fact that the BNP share these traits is incidental to the case against him (as are comparisons to Bush and Mugabe).

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