Tobacco industry’s 4 step plan to eliminate inconvenient facts

First, the industry appeared to engage, promising high-quality research into the issue. The public were assured that the best people were on the case.

The second stage was to complicate the question and sow doubt: lung cancer might have any number of causes, after all. And wasn’t lung cancer, not cigarettes, what really mattered?

Stage three was to undermine serious research and expertise. Autopsy reports would be dismissed as anecdotal, epidemiological work as merely statistical, and animal studies as irrelevant.

Finally came normalisation: the industry would point out that the tobacco-cancer story was stale news. Couldn’t journalists find something new and interesting to say?

The Problem With Facts, April 24, 2017, at 10:13 AM

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Target voter for all nativist/hativist political parties…

trusting retirees, with a bit of disposable income, and a natural inclination to hate modernity and change—an inclination that could be heightened, radicalized, and exploited.

The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World’s Face, April 10, 2017, at 06:51 PM

The sentence may be written for the voters in the west – the ones who elected Trump, and voted for Brexit. However, from my conversations on visits back home, it’s the same voters who also support Modi & BJP in India – heightened, radicalised, and exploited.

Continue reading Target voter for all nativist/hativist political parties…

Austerity Britain

… local authorities have been forced to embark on an epic economy drive. Their spending on public services will be 22% lower this year than in 2010.

Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, says that, even if he closed all 19 libraries in the city and its nine sports centres, stopped maintaining its 140 parks, halted all highway repairs and street cleaning and switched off 50,000 streetlights, he would save only £68m—which is £22m short of what he must cut by 2020. So there will have to be a further 10% reduction in the social-care budget, he says.

Britain’s local councils face financial crisis, January 28, 2017 at 12:33PM

In other news, firms are already planing to move their European employees and businesses out of Britain. And not just any employees:

… the prize is a share of the 1.1m people who work in financial services in Britain (rising to 2.2m if jobs in supporting industries are included). These workers pay 12% of Britain’s taxes and generate an annual trade surplus of £55bn ($69bn).

Firms consider upping sticks from Brexit-bound Britain, as foreign capitals mount a charm offensive, January 27, 2017 at 11:44PM

Since we’re coping so well with the deep, enforced austerity, the government decided the best course of action was to give the economy another jolt with a hard Brexit. Who needs social services and functioning economies when knee-capping your own economy will win you votes?

Multiculturalism vs Assimilation

“… away from multiculturalism and towards assimilation”

Segregation scars parts of Britain, some immigrant groups remain poorly integrated and minorities within them are hostile to liberal values.

Britain’s genius is its ability to integrate newcomers, January 13, 2017 at 06:03PM

Continue reading Multiculturalism vs Assimilation

Britain, Brexit, Boris. Again :'(

Some of these problems are surmountable. The WTO is not as legalistic as you might think, says Mr Winters; countries that stay in others’ good books find things easier. But so far, British politicians are also struggling on that front. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has irritated his counterparts with clownish comments.

The “WTO option” for Brexit is far from straightforward, January 11, 2017 at 01:45AM

Boris Johnson, screwing the British since 2016 😦

‘Head in the sand’ negotiation strategy

Concern is growing among some high-ranking officials that ministers don’t understand or won’t admit the scale of the task they’re facing.

UK’s new ambassador to EU named – BBC News, January 5, 2017 at 12:16AM

Bureaucrats aren’t the only ones concerned. So are the remain voters, the media, the financial markets, and I.

Brexit – an EU perspective

Individual motivation:

As an intellectual exercise, managing the multifaceted complexities of Britain’s departure from the EU offers the kind of satisfaction rarely found in policy work. As a historic negotiation without precedent—no country has left the EU before, let alone one of Britain’s size and stature—it is a wonderful CV-builder.

In Brussels, where the talks will take place, officials are scrambling to involve themselves with what one calls “the sexiest file in town”.

Collective motivation:

Officials everywhere insist that their priority will be preserving the interests of the EU, not keeping Britain happy. “This is a negotiation where we have to defend Europe, not undo it,”

The other side:

For the EU, at least, that means placing hope in a British government that it fears may not warrant it. “From a rational point of view, we can’t fail,” says an official in Brussels. “But I’m not sure the rationality is there in the UK.

European negotiators who think it is essential to act as one are staggered to hear some ministers cling to the delusion that Germany’s need to sell cars to British motorists will ensure that Mrs May secures a good deal.

The EU’s Brexit negotiators prepare for disaster, December 21, 2016 at 12:57AM