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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Spectator and the facts

When I was more footloose and had more time on my hands I took the Spectator, not I hasten to add because I liked its politics, but because it was quite amusing and an antidote to the dull illiteracy that characterized the Staggers in its declining years. I also took the Economist and I wonder how I ever managed to get through them all and still have time for some semblance of a normal life.

It's been a long time  since I regularly looked inside the pages of the Spectator, but somehow I formed the impression that Fraser Nelson was doing a pretty good job as editor and that though we are never going to be on the same page politically he belonged to the breed of conservatives that one could have a civil conversation with. 

I was somewhat confirmed in that belief when I saw this item on the Spectator's blog under Fraser Nelson's byline offering paid work to people that can ferret out difficult to find factual information. OK, some of the things he wants to know can't really be established because the data don't and never will exist, but the general idea is not absurd and hey, the political right being interested in the facts has to be a good thing.

And then he goes and undoes all that good work by publishing this vile infantile rant by Niall Ferguson against Jonathan Portes for having the temerity to insist that  Ferguson actually gets the facts right and presents them in a way that is not deliberately misleading. 

Bit of an own goal there Fraser.

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