Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Worst(of)all?

The Tim Worstall blog has recently criticized EU Pundit in an ad hominem manner.
We have in the course of the years developed an effective weapon to deter these kinds of postings, by returning a few salvos in kind, which we view more as humour than anything else, but which generally tends to bring people back to Earth under the motto that anyone can play this kind of game and it leads to nothing.

We simply quote from the Worstall blog (no commentary necessary):

February 22, 2005

Help!!! I appear to be infected or infested with a paticularly vicious little bug. It’s driving me up the wall....

Does anyone know what’s going on here?...

I know that I make fun of ...

It is very difficult to think of the UK as being a free country any more....

Yes, I know appeals to authority are an error of logic....

I really do believe that our Lords and Masters only do what is best for us plebs....

Let’s have a nice scare to remind everyone what the caring sharing bureaucrats are saving us from?....

to think so would be to betray one’s paranoia....

... it might be only 6 months before I unchain her from the stove again?

Yes, yes, I know, sexist pig, me....


February 21, 2005

I guess there are some differences between men and women then, perhaps in the fields of reading comprehension and logic....

Now, I have no idea who is correct here, being as I am, just a guy with a connection....

As I say, I have no idea who is correct here, but I’m pretty sure that someone must be wrong....

Sure, this is all just trivial, someone’s made a booboo and it will be corrected....

I agree that I’m not 100% up on legal requirements....

Just a terribly minor thought on the referendum in Spain yesterday. No, not the fact that a terribly under informed electorate got bamboozled and stampeded into voting for whatever it is that the statist elite desired, this is not uncommon in Latin or other lands....

That’s what makes us different from the Continentals and other lesser races...."


And those quotes are from only two days of postings. Is this reasoned discourse? We think not.

UPDATE:

We see that Worstall has posted to the Wallström blog in response to our comment at that blog. We post our comment first and then that of Worstall:

Here is the EU Pundit commment to the Wallström blog:

Dear Ms. Wallström,
Please excuse the poor manners of many of the other posters to your comments section. They confuse the fact that strongly felt opinions do not grant anyone a blanket license to act rudely in situations where the recipient of such rudeness is hardly in a position to defend herself personally against it. Shame on you all.
Where have all the gentlemen gone? Besides, if Ms. Wallström judges the cogency of your arguments in part by the manner in which they are presented, as I do, then I am afraid that most of the comments thus far are not worth reading.
Ms. Wallström,
Let me say that I think that it is great and quite courageous that you are blogging and I wish you could get more of your colleagues in the EU to do the same. The EU needs to learn to establish much better contact to the citizens, and I think your blog is on the right way to doing that. Sorry that your commenters generally do not acknowledge your pioneership in that.
Andis Kaulins, EU Pundit
Posted by Andis Kaulins on February 21, 2005 at 04:00 PM CET
Website: http://eupundit.blogspot.com/


Here is the Worstall commment to the EU Pundit comment to the Wallström blog:

"Andis, If you look back to comments section of the post on the 25th Jan on this blog you will see that I, along with Richard North and others, are indeed entirely gentlemanly. We make, clearly, the point that none of our criticism or hatred is directed at Ms. Wallstrom herself, her persona, her character, physique or anything else so personal, indeed, I call those who do so contemptible.
It is not "her" that we object to, it is "her views" and those of the people who run our glorious New Europa that inspire the snarling, snapping and insults.
If you think we are a little rough may I suggest that you listen to a radio broadcast (available via the BBC website) of what happens in the House of Commons? We are being entirely polite by the standards of the oldest continuous democracy in the EU.
Posted by Tim Worstall on February 22, 2005 at 09:45 AM CET
Website: http://www.timworstall.com #"


And here is the response we posted to that:

Here is our reply to Mr. Worstall. It would definitely be wise to learn to remove words like "hatred" from comments to blog postings, as we see nothing gentlemanly about them. Worstall writes that he "objects" to "her views". Well, we as democrats do not "object" to your views, but we "differ" from your views. There is a subtle democratic difference there, and it surely should not lead to using the word "hatred". In any case, differences of opinion are a part of democracy, which, as Winston Churchill stated, is a terrible political system, but as he then added, it is better than anything else we have found. Reasoned discourse is possible if people want it. Most do not, because it is substantially more work - and often less fun - than just to rant and rave. We might add that we have seen House of Commons debates and certainly do not regard that grand institution to be a model for reasoned discourse. "Ears" in our opinion developed genetically for warning and "Sight" developed for understanding, so that there are different standards applicable to speech and writing. When people communicate verbally, illogical rhetoric is inevitable, because the ears have an emotional component, which is why people like music, and can be easily moved to do stupid thinigs by a gifted speaker. When people write, they have time to reflect and to put their thoughts into a more rational form. In addition, Sight is the better judge of reason. Accordingly, there is no excuse for needless rhetoric or logical lapses in writing. I can say this with some certainty, having tought legal writing at a university for a number of years. Or, as Stephen King writes in his book "On Writing" - we paraphrase - always edit your written work, and when you do, take out everything which is not part of the story, and that means all the garble and insults. We must admit that we are not without fault here ourselves. In any case, ranting and raving will not help the people of the European Union. In your shoes, we would suggest that a case can in fact be made that the UK is in a different situation regarding the EU than most of the continental countries, and always has been, as an island realm. The issue is, however, how the UK would fare alone outside the EU, in an age where the UK no longer has its rich colonies and must import vast amounts of natural resources from abroad, for good money. We doubt sincerely that the UK would prosper as an isolate of Europe in the modern age and you will find, we think, that many people in the business world agree.

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