jump to navigation

Signs of Hope – A continuing series September 12, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?


1. CL - September 12, 2019

“Scientists at the University of Jena in eastern Germany have called for the term “race” to no longer be used, saying there is no biological basis for the classification of humanity into races….
The concept of race is the result of racism, not its prerequisite”

Liked by 1 person

tafkaGW - September 12, 2019

Praiseworthy statement by the Uni Jena, considering German and British universities shoulder much of the guilt for inventing the pseudo-scientific notion of ‘race’ in the 19th Century.

Particularly pleasing it comes from Thuringia, one of the power centres or the not-at-all-Nazi-no-siree increasing hegemonic ‘Flügel’ wing of the AfD.

Scientific research on genetic variations of human beings shows that “instead of definable boundaries, genetic gradients run between human groups,” say the scientists. “To be explicit, not only is there no single gene that underpins ‘racial’ differences, but there is not even a single base pair.”

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2019

I’m just glad the two of you commented – we need some good news!


Dermot M O Connor - September 13, 2019

Shocking thing about the persistence of ‘race’ is that it’s been debunked for a very long time. At least as far back as the 60s, in Ashley Montagu’s ‘Most Dangerous Illusion’:

And more recently in Field’s ‘Racecraft’:

Also from 1960, Carroll Quigley in ‘Evolution of Civilization’, used a reduction ad absurdum to demonstrate the imaginary nature not just of race, but most (if not all) of our categories.

from ‘Evolution of Civilization’
Carroll Quigley

… If, for example, we set color of skin as the criterion of “race,” and we were to arrange the human beings on the globe in some magical fashion in a long line with the blackest black man at one end and, next to him, the second blackest man, and so on, in ascending order of light reflection from their skin surfaces, until we passed through all the blacks, browns, reds, yellows, and whites to end up with the whitest white man on the globe, possibly an albino Norwegian — if we were to do this, I feel confident there would be no place on that long line where any two adjacent persons would have any difference in skin color sufficient to be distinguished by any normal physical process. We might then decide that men, based on skin color, form a single race. Or, if we insist on having more than one race, we might simply divide the line at its midpoint and settle for two races — the “lights” and the “darks.” But however many races we decided upon, there would be no discernible difference in skin color between any two adjacent persons between whom we drew a boundary line.

…We might, on the other hand, arrange mankind in a line on the basis of height. In that case we would have several billion variations over a total height difference of no more than seven or eight feet, giving an average difference between any two adjacent persons of no more than one fifty-millionth of an inch, a difference which is, once again, too slight to be discernible by any normal procedures and is, indeed, considerably less than the normal increase and decrease of any one person’s height caused by rest and exercise during a day. Indeed, if we tried to arrange the persons of the world in order by height we would find the daily changes in individual height to be relatively so much greater than the average height differences between individuals that persons would be compelled, from their constantly changing heights, to change their positions in the line by hundreds of thousands and even millions of persons at relatively short intervals. If we were to use such a criterion as height as a measure of race, we could do so only so long as people were locally segregated into groups of obviously different average heights. As soon as people began to move about or mix socially, the classification would break down. And we could never classify racially, on this basis, any isolated individual.

We deal with continua rationally either by dividing them into arbitrary intervals to which we give names, or by giving names to the two ends of the continuum and using these terms as if the middle ground did not exist at all. This last method is called “polarizing a continuum,” and is frequently done even when the greatest frequency of occurrence is in the middle range.


Richard Dawkins recently came out with some bullshit about races being real because of differences between people. The notion that the differences can be real, but the categories imaginary never seems to have troubled his vaunted intellect.

Quigley noted (IIRC) that we need the categories to navigate a world that is mathematically irrational (meaning a variety of continuaa with no hard boundaries between things); absent the categories it’s impossible to talk about things – but that we should beware about being hypnotised by the categories that we ourselves invented. The recent flap over Pluto’s status as a ‘planet’ being a case in point.


2. Dermot M O Connor - September 13, 2019

Guardian posts a piece by ‘stats for lefties’ psephologist on the difficulty facing BJ’s election hopes:


Many observers have focused on the Lib Dems’ impact on the Labour vote. That’s a mistake: of the Lib Dems’ 19 top target seats (seats where they are behind their opponent by 20 points or less), just two are held by Labour. There are virtually no Labour/Lib Dem marginals left. Some seats that were once Lib Dem strongholds now have huge Labour majorities: in Bristol West, for instance, the Lib Dems’ share of the vote fell from 48% in 2010 to just 7% in 2017.

Instead, the Lib Dems pose a bigger threat to the Tories. Thirteen of their top target seats are currently held by Conservative MPs. This creates a major obstacle to the Tories’ chances of winning a majority. The Tories were only able to get one in 2015 by gaining dozens of seats from their former coalition partners. Four years later, the Lib Dems remain their main opponents in dozens and dozens of constituencies.

Small % = big effects (either way)

if the poll average changes by a mere three points, say, giving the Tories 30% to Labour’s 29%, then the Tories would win only 284 seats to Labour’s 260. With so many highly marginal seats, a few percentage points could make all the difference in the world. This goes both ways, of course. Forty Conservative seats have a majority of less than 5%, but so do 30 Labour seats. The Tories may well lose dozens of seats to the Lib Dems and SNP, but pro-leave Labour seats in the north of England and the Midlands can provide them with an alternative pathway to a majority government.

And as we have seen before, polls can change very rapidly. Between April 2017 and election day itself, Labour’s vote share rose from a poll average of 27% to a final result of 41% (+14). Equally, the Conservatives went from averaging 32% in February 2015 to winning 38% on the day of the 2015 election.


Paul Culloty - September 13, 2019

So in theory, anti-Tory tactical voting should maximise the returns of both parties, along with the SNP.


Dermot M O Connor - September 13, 2019

That would be the hope… if ever there was an election to vote tactically this is it.

not sure anyone can predict anything too certain in FPTP with a 3 party split like this (not to mention the tories chucking away their one-nation core in the attempt to win new brexit voters in diff. regions). As Craig Murray writes, they may end up with a great many stranded votes in Labour and LibDem heartlands which will deliver no seats. That seems to be the take from the HuffPo constituency breakdown and the leaked internal tory seat analysis.

SNP looks like sweeping Scotland now with Scot tories having nothing to offer. 45%. SNP will be running this like IndyRef2, trying to get as close to, or more than 50% to strengthen calls for new IndyRef.


SNP line heading back to 50, Lab/Con in scotland both being eaten.


WorldbyStorm - September 13, 2019

Amazing how badly both the LP and Cons are doing there on one level. A lesson for any party in that.


3. Paul Culloty - September 14, 2019

It appears immigrant communities in Dublin are integrating reasonably well, at least according to the unlikely source of this month’s National Geographic – global cities were analysed according to Twitter users, languages used, and their overnight locations. The only community that lived in distinct neighbourhoods, rather bizarrely, were Portuguese speakers – have our Dubs seen “Little Brazils” anywhere?



WorldbyStorm - September 14, 2019

Strange, that seems odd re Brazilians.


4. tafkaGW - September 16, 2019

The annual ‘petrol head and SUV bumper fondler’ car show in Frankfurt was this year disrupted by 21,000 climate emergency protesters. 18,000 arrived by bike.

And yet the ‘realos’ in charge of the Green party remain in Blaireite terms ‘very comfortable’ with the auto industry.


5. roddy - September 16, 2019

The BBC axed ”rule Brittannia” and ”god save the queen” in their proms from the park in both Belfast and Scotland.Que unionist fury all over the airways this morning!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: