The Syllogism of Betrayal

    Earlier today I added a short microblog post in which I called Nigel Farage a traitor. Its a strong word, and maybe one that I shouldn’t throw around so casually.

    I don’t really go in for patriotism, nationalism, and all that kind of thing. But I do want Britain — the country I live in, was born in, and am a citizen of — to be the best country it can be. On the assumption that most citizens would have a similar desire, it seems reasonable to me to think that a citizen who acts against that desire — against the country’s best interests — is betraying the country.

    Nigel Farage has made it his life’s work to get Britain to leave the European Union, and has been successful in making (or at least starting)1 that happen.

    Leaving the EU is not in the best interests of the country.

    Therefore Nigel Farage has been working against the best interests of the country. Therefore he is a traitor.

    It’s a simple syllogism.

    Of course, he’s far from alone in this. I count Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and, of course, Theresa May in the same group. And many more.

    Indeed, you could argue that anyone who voted to leave the EU is similarly guilty, but that seems unfair. Many knew exactly what they were doing, of course. But many also (possibly many more) were duped.

    It doesn’t mean much if I name these people as traitors, but it’s worth recording what my thinking was behind using that term

    1. Brexit can still be stopped, and must be. ↩︎

    Kippers for Tea

    I usually post before elections. This time I didn’t get round to it.

    The results of the European parliament elections were horrendous, of course. But one slightly good thing may come out of it all.

    IMHO the single biggest contribution to UKIP’s success is the fact that Nigel Farage was never off the BBC in the last few months. More appearances on Question Time than anyone else, for example. Constantly consulted on the radio about anything even vaguely connected to Europe or immigration (or anything else, it seemed).

    In short, it’s the fact that the BBC treated them like a mainstream party that has caused — or at least helped — them to almost become one.

    I see a close parallel with the way they give climate-change deniers equal time with climatologists whenever there’s an environment story; the intent being balance, but the effect being to give undue weight to the views of a tiny minority.

    Here, though, they went far beyond that point, to where I feel they were guilty of violating their mandated requirement to show balance.

    So the potential good outcome: at least people of the right can no longer say that the BBC has a left-wing, pro-Europe bias.1

    1. Not that that was ever a very fair point; you just have to look at the BBC’s political editor, Nick Robinson, for a counterexample. ↩︎