Delingpole on Friday: Why there’s no point arguing with lefties.

I think it’s time you learned a bit more about me. Be warned, it isn’t pretty.

Basically, my sex life is a mess. I’ve never had a successful relationship with women, owing to the fact that I’m misogynistic, immature and a braying right-winger with a face like a horse. And we haven’t even got on to the size of my penis yet which, as you can well imagine, is minuscule.

Then there’s my unfortunate educational background. You’d think it would be an advantage having had an excellent private education at Malvern followed by a stint reading English at Oxford. But God, you couldn’t be more wrong. From public school all I learned is arrogance and a sense of entitlement and a lofty disdain for the poor while my English degree, being a mere “humanity”, is worthless and leaves me especially ill-qualified to comment on any issue which has to do with science.

And it’s not just that I’m ignorant about science, either. I’m actually anti-science. Perhaps it’s all the money I’m paid by Big Oil, perhaps it’s because I’m mentally ill, or perhaps it’s just because I’m plain evil but, would you believe it, I’m on a personal mission to disseminate ignorance by deliberately distorting the truth about issues like climate change because it doesn’t accord with my selfishness and greed and refusal to alter my rapacious lifestyle for the common good.

Did I mention my mental illness? I think I did but it really can’t be mentioned often enough. I’m sick, warped, perverted – not to mention stupid, childish, puerile, irresponsible, silly, flippant, sexist, racist, disablist – and totally wrong in the head. It’s all down to the lack of love I received as a child, which turned me into a rampant attention seeker. The kind of upbringing I have scarcely bears thinking about but what we can say with confidence is this: the values imparted to me by my parents were so perverse that they created the veritable monster I am today.

Nah. Not really. The hideous creature I’ve just described isn’t me but an amalgam of the various things that get said about me pretty much every day, either in the troll comments below my blogs, or on Twitter or via email. Lest you think I’m making this up, here are some very recent examples.

From a commenter called La Boheme below my piece in the Spectator on women and internet porn.
“I can only assume that you’ve had a really boring sex life. Why can’t you attract women who are interested in sex and who enjoy it? Does your braying public school persona put them off or something?”
and, from Twitter earlier this week:
“James I really do understand why you feel inadequate but honestly you should try to hide that enormous chip on yr shoulder.”
“What a sad person you are. You need help son.”

I tell you this stuff not in any way to make you feel sorry for me – being attacked for vices and problems you don’t actually have is more entertaining than it is wounding – but rather because of what it says about the left-liberal mindset.
Basically these people don’t get us. They don’t get us at all.

By us, I mean, of course, those on my side of the political argument: Tea Partiers, classical liberals, libertarians, conservatives – anyone who believes in smaller government, less regulation, greater personal autonomy from the groping tentacles of the state.

And by “these people” I mean all those on the other side: the puritanical control freaks; the sustainability evangelists; the communitarians, commies, fascists, socialists and lefties generally – anyone who believes that the answer to our problems lies in bigger government, more bureaucracy, more state-enforced fairness, higher taxes, etc.

They don’t get us because their minds are simply not programmed that way. Presented with any loosely right wing argument, their brains are quite incapable of weighing the pros and cons and then drawing a considered conclusion. They go simply: “Does not compute.”

Or, rather, they go: “This argument is wrong because the person making it is wicked/stupid/mentally ill/badly brought up/misogynistic/racist”. Note that at no stage has any effort been made to grapple with their opponent’s logic, let alone concede the possibility that he might have a point.

In my earlier days as a happy warrior for the right, I credited the enemy with more intelligence than they deserved. I thought it was no more than a cunning Alinskyite smear tactic. “Of course they don’t really believe it when they tar us as selfish, uncaring, cackling servants of Satan with dollar signs on our suits and cigars clamped between our teeth,” I told myself. “These are just convenient caricatures the left has devised for cheap emotional effect. No way do they take all that nonsense seriously, though. I mean, it’s not like we righties don’t explain the rationale behind our position in pretty much every article we write, every statement we make, on every subject ever.”

My big mistake here, though, was to assume that lefties think with the same intellectual rigour as righties. But after more than a decade’s engaging with them in the trenches, mano a mano, I’ve reached the sorrowful conclusion that they just don’t. Never mind the intellectual rigour part: where lefties are concerned even the notion that they “think” is moot. “Feel”, yes. But picking their way through a lucid argument, examining the evidence, contemplating the possibility of unintended consequences, trawling through history, considering human nature and then reaching a sensible conclusion? These, in my experience, fall well beyond the purlieus of your average lefty’s skillset.

Some people, as Gilbert and Sullivan once noted, are born liberals and some people are born conservatives – and there’s really very little you can do, no matter how elegantly persuasive your argument, to lure people from the former camp to the latter. It’s beyond facts, it’s beyond evidence, and it’s beyond reason. It’s all about the mental wiring.
This is why I’m never persuaded by those well-intentioned types who say I’d achieve more if only I took greater pains to reach out to the other side. No I wouldn’t. First they wouldn’t understand; second, they’re just not worth it. I’m not saying I’m not capable of being friends with liberals: on the contrary, many of my best friends are liberals (in the American sense of the word). But to waste valuable life or emotional health talking to these people about politics would be like trying to teach my cat how to play Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

Am I being a little superior here? If so, it’s with justification. I don’t know of anyone on my side of the political argument who would seek to write off his opponents simply with cheap shot reference to their personality or their moral character or their background or the state of mental health. And this isn’t because the occasional judicious ad hom doesn’t have its place in a fight; it’s rather because we take far too much pleasure in the business of ideas. We on the right pride ourselves on being where we are because we have thought our way into our position. Lefties have merely felt their way into theirs, bypassing the logical process completely.
It’s often said that lefties hate righties because they think they’re evil, but that righties despise lefties because they know they’re stupid. There’s a lot of truth in this. I hate passing few, if any, of my many left-liberal enemies because to hate them would be to grant them a respect they just don’t deserve.

Mostly, I just feel sorry for them. I see them as tragic victims. Whether through the intellectual impoverishment of their upbringing or the failures of the education system or the brainwashing of the BBC or peer group pressure from all their Guardian-reading chums these piteously Gollum-esque troll creatures exist – or semi-exist – in a world where they will never know the giddy thrill of clever ideas, lucidly and wittily expressed, yoked within a logical framework within which, by many delightfully sinuous digressions and soaring flights of fancy, we finally reach the provocative, satisfying pay off which tells us that, yet again, the free market solution is the right one.

Poor loves.

83 comments on “Delingpole on Friday: Why there’s no point arguing with lefties.

  1. Jonathan Dickson.
    August 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    You cannot reason with those who cannot reason. Lefties are strangers to logic, reason and, to a large extent, facts. If they could think or reason properly they would never be lefties in the first place. Leave them behind, James – who needs baggage like that?

    • Revelation Knight
      August 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      Yet they claim logic as their friend, how ironic.

    • Newt Love (@newtlove)
      August 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      I’ve noticed that if I’m arguing with a lefty, and I corner them with logic, they change the subject to some non-sequitur topic that is bad for conservatives, at least in the way they spin it. I used to chase off after them on the new topic, and when I had them cornered with logic, they would spout “But what about…?”

      I now refuse to let them change the subject. I either force them to admit their point had failed, or the vanish into the Ethernet. A few have unfriended me. Boo hoo, sniff. I’ll get over it.

      We need to call these cretins on their switch and run tactics of changing the subject when they are losing on a topic. They all do it. I’ve even seen it on TV with James Carville and others. It must be taught in Lefty 101.

  2. George Spiggot
    August 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Superb – and so right. I waste time on one website trying to prove I’m not a baby-eating, earth-hating, swivel-eyed enemy of the poor, but every time you take one piss-poor caricature, another pops up. Total. Waste. Of. Time.

  3. Amy
    August 2, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I agree with this, although we do have to be careful not to be hypocritical. At the end, you reference the ‘intellectual impoverishment of their upbringing’, which is verging on doing exactly what you said the lefties do. I think lefties get personal more often because they are prone to being illogical. I just remember having a debate with someone a number of years ago on Facebook in which I did resort to saying something like ‘no wonder you don’t have a girlfriend’.

    • James Delingpole
      August 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      D’oh Amy. Can’t you see that was a case of: “Did you see what I just did there?” It’s otherwise known as: taking the piss.

  4. Andy Hedges (@hedgeybaby)
    August 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I honestly believe they have a mental affliction.

  5. donnaedmunds
    August 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I don’t feel sorry for them at all. They’re pompous, superior (in the negative sense of the word), and regularly make our lives hell. I had to move out of my home town to get away from all the dreary, joyless guardianistas who had moved down from Islington and taken over.

    Damn them, damn them all.

  6. Peter
    August 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    The weakness in your argument is that in assessing the intellectual qualities of the left your empirical evidence consists of the comments left on blogs. I have one rule in life; never read the comments (especially on CiF), therein lies madness. Now please ignore this one by a leftie (who actually does know a thing or two about classic liberalism).

    • blingmun
      August 6, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Bollocks. I’ve read loads of great stuff below the line. The only people who hate below the line in my experience are the same arrogant self-appointed arbiters of truth and morality that James was railing about in this very article. By contrast, James himself and Norman Tebbitt, to name just two examples, regularly interact with their readers. Therein lies the difference.

  7. Colin
    August 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    As you’re well aware James, no-one hates quite like the left, because their arguments are from emotion (that’s just wrong!) rather than logic.

  8. Ian W
    August 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    What will they do if – as their former friends the Russians are forecasting – the Earth goes really cold? I presume they will state with all the certainty of the ignorant that it is getting cold because it is warming.

    “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” 
Martin Luther King Jr

    • therealguyfaux
      August 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

      How DARE you invoke the name of Martin Luther King to make a cogent point! Check your privilege! You’re not allowed to use King– only black race hustlers are!

      • Ian W
        August 3, 2013 at 10:46 am #

        I rather think it makes the point well how far from their original roots some of these left leaning people have come.

  9. therealguyfaux
    August 2, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    “It’s often said that lefties hate righties because they think they’re evil, but that righties despise lefties because they know they’re stupid.”

    A corollary of this argument has been made that the Right, when discussing a policy/proposal/programme, hope the MSM report it fairly and that the people in the audience will understand what it is the Right are really trying to do– whereas, the Left assume the MSM are on their side and will report it the Left’s way, lest people understand what the Left are really trying to do.

    PS, A study as to whether the Left and Right have brains wired differently:

    • Newt Love (@newtlove)
      August 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

      How funny! The Atlantic is a lefty rag. How can they be trusted to write on the left-vs-right argument?

      Their paragraphs will have a lot of “I feel such-and-such,” while we would be saying “I believe…” or “Evidence indicates…”

      Just saying…

  10. Losferwords
    August 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Unfortunately the Lefties have been smart by seizing control of institutions such as the EU, BBC and Conservative Party. However, once in a position of authority it all goes to pot and they revert to being pea-brained control freaks.
    The result of course is that society had to pay big time for their ineptitude, while they will endlessly claim to be doing ‘the right thing’.

  11. Michael West
    August 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I’ve always felt that Lefties were potential Righties that just haven’t worked it out yet, or lacked the life experiences required to comprehend the failings of the Left. Now I’m not so sure. Thanks……… I think.

    • therealguyfaux
      August 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      Sadly, many who DO abjure what they consider their Leftism to have been, end up, when on the Right, having the zeal of the convert, and they become Neo-cons– “We believe SO deeply in the free market and democracy that we will force those things on societies that have proved time and time again that they cannot handle such things; we know better than they do what’s good for them, and we will not allow them to be pig-ignorant mongs living in the Dark Ages.”

      • blingmun
        August 6, 2013 at 9:24 am #

        “we will force those things on societies that have proved time and time again that they cannot handle such things”

        Yeah those silly Arabs eh, can’t handle grown-up things like democracy, free markets, rule of law. Better to leave them at the mercy of authoritarians who know what to do with adulterous women and homosexuals.

      • Nicolai Hähnle
        August 6, 2013 at 11:02 am #

        Neocons believing in democracy or the market? You must be joking.

        They may say they do, but only according to their warped definition of both of them.

      • blingmun
        August 6, 2013 at 11:32 am #

        @ Nicolai Hähnle “Neocons believing in democracy or the market? You must be joking.”

        I don’t think therealguyfaux was joking. He was criticising Neo-cons for forcing the “free market and democracy
        …on societies that have proved time and time again that they cannot handle such things”.

    • cuffleyburgers
      August 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Like lesbians? oo-er,

  12. David
    August 2, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Classic Delingpolism.
    “I write rude and over the top dismissive blogs using predjudice and snark – I also enjoy a bit of a ribbing tweet – and when people react rudely back to me I use it as evidence of thier stupidity.”

    The ‘well he said that, but you called me a twat’ school of debate.

    Oh to see you ‘pwne’ a climate scientist in public – instead of radio DJ’s, or your sparring chums in the meedja ring – low down in the foothills of Parnasuss. Still thats as far as your education got you I guess.

    Oh – no – I blew it – I was so restrained until that last remark..what a typical leftie…!!!

    • Eric Worrall
      August 3, 2013 at 2:37 am #

      If you and your fellow travellers made an effort to point out why we are wrong, using logic rather than empty insults, we’d actually kind of respect that.

      • grumpydenier
        August 3, 2013 at 8:52 am #

        Talking to David doesn’t work, I’m afraid. At the risk of sounding like a leftie, he is on a personal campaign to undermine JD’s credibility. He’s has failed majestically, so far, and apparently isn’t heading for success anytime soon.

      • Tore
        August 3, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

        My impression from this blog post is more that the author feels insecure in debating with people he politically agrees with, and thus feels compelled to ascribe their differences with him as somehow being grounded in some abstract “intellectual inferiority” and envy of his education.

        What on Earth kind of possible response could there be to a post like this, so utterly devoid of arguments beyond strawmen, and so totally based on an uncommonly stupid level of prejudice?

        The intellectual laziness of ascribing such detailed traits to a whole side of the political spectrum, is flabbergasting. That such astounding intellectual laziness is employed in a post describing the lack of intellectual rigor in the left, is fascinating in its brazen hypocrisy.

        I’m a social democrat – or, as you in your immaturity will likely term me – a “lefty”. And I have good friends all over the political spectrum, which I take pride in. I shall never judge my opponents on the “right” by the depressing standard set in this post.

      • blingmun
        August 6, 2013 at 9:32 am #


        “The intellectual laziness of ascribing such detailed traits to a whole side of the political spectrum, is flabbergasting.”

        Sorry but James’ description rings true at least in my experience. I’ve experienced insults and smears both online e.g. at the Guardian, LabourList and in person from those on the left.

        Doesn’t mean everyone on the left is guilty of this, but personally I have never had an argument with a lefty without any insinuations about my motives, moral worth etc. Sad but true.

  13. Amy
    August 3, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Oops, sorry I take it back, it’s just me who’s the hypocrite.

  14. Eric Plamondon
    August 3, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    As far as I’m concerned, lefties are the creationists of politics. Trying to explain them the free market is just like trying to make a creationist aknowledge that dinosaurs existed.

  15. Chris
    August 3, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    There’s too many of them in power. Listening to Ed Davey discuss global warming, shows that he’s not too bright.

  16. right_writes
    August 3, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    I reckon that being on the “left” is not so much an “ism” as an “itis”…

    For some, like me it was an acute attack, which I picked up from a workmate, suffered for a few weeks and then recovered from… that was over forty years ago.

    For others, it is chronic, the symptoms come on whilst at school, and like so many people with chronic disease they fall in love with their condition, they become emotionally attached, they defend their right to be sick, and most will die of it.

    Indeed, many of the chronically sick see so little hope of a recovery, that they adopt their lives to suit, they get jobs in the public sector or other non-profit organisations like “cherities” or “quango’s”. Many of them take courses in their science subjects, like communitarianism, social sciences and media studies.

  17. Kitler
    August 3, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    I like to have fun living up to their stereotypes of us, if they call you a waycist then be one just for them , homophobic then by gosh say execute them all. The most fun my missus an I have dreamed up of taunting the left is to tell them we belong to the KKK and she’s far east asian. The sad part is lefties believe such an obvious untruth because they feel it must be true against all logic.

  18. Iain Hall
    August 3, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Reblogged this on Iain Hall's SANDPIT and commented:
    I totally love your argument James however I still get a bit of a thrill out of taking the argument to the enemy trenches but the mostimportant thing to remember is that they so often argue on emotion rather than intellect and when you know this its very easy to set them off , and sometimes its can be rather like lighting a firework, light the blue paper and step back to enjoy the show,
    Cheers Comrade 😉

  19. PeterS
    August 3, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    Lefties don’t get themselves so it’s no wonder that they don’t “get us.” They struggle to recognize their own hypocrisy, castigating others for being privileged, yet at the same time taking advantage of it themselves.

    Luckily for us, their obvious hypocrisy usually makes them easy to identify, thereby making it simple for us to avoid pointless arguments with them. The problem with flawed characters is that they think everyone but themselves suffers from those flaws.

    The political philosophy of The Left is founded on hatred which is, by definition, blind and impervious to logic. Give it up James…”They ain’t worth it.”

  20. Jonathan Ashcroft
    August 3, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    In one single article you make sweeping generalisations, showcase a wholesomely smug disregard, flaunt you perceived/received intellect and emphasise stereotypes whilst blindly, nay… arrogantly ignoring the validity of the opposition without. Yep you’re nothing like what them darn lefties assume you to be.

    • therealguyfaux
      August 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      “…[S]weeping generalisations, a wholesomely [!- should be “fulsomely”] smug disregard, flaunt[ing] you[sic] perceived/received intellect[,] emphasis[ing] stereotypes whilst blindly, nay… arrogantly ignoring the validity of the opposition without. Yep you’re nothing like what them darn lefties assume you to be.”

      Or like they are.

    • cuffleyburgers
      August 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      I thought the article sums up very well the mindset seen with monotonous regularity in the (loss-making) grauniad, the (state subsidised) BBC and to a depressing extent even in the (tax payer subsidised) government and civil service, the (non-commercial) education service, the (nationalised) NHS… in case you haven’t spotted the common theme running through these sections of society – no perhaps not being a lefty yourself, these are the parasite classes who suck the blood out of society and the economy, a self serving class of mediocraties who do not actually have to so anything useful for a living, who are not required to compete, or innovate or satisfy any customer.

      The left have no good arguments, and if they do we certainly never get to hear them,and to a man they lack the intellectual courage actually to debate, rather using their Gramsci-ite stranglehold over large parts of the commanding heights of the media, they actually manage to shut down most debate over important subjects.

      Fortunately their effect on the media of owning the commanding heights of it is proving to be rather like the results of their ownership of the commanding heights of the economy – all those parts have died a death (just look at Detroit, only the latest example) and as the list above shows, the same is rapidly occurring in the media. give it five years, and I suspect the political landscape will change once these champagne socialists finally pop their last corks.

      • Nicolai Hähnle
        August 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

        cuffleyburger, as usual, similar arguments can be made in the other direction:

        1) It was the irrational exuberance of the financial industry that crashed the economy, not government planning. It is the financial industry that poisons the system of governance to prevent any real solution to the crisis.

        2) Consider the poor person on foodstamps who is struggling to help their family survive even while holding a physically straining full time job. Consider the rich person who receives multiple millions every year just for shuffling some numbers in computers that happen to have sub-millisecond connectivity to a stock exchange.

        Which of these are parasites?

        The point is clear: There are certainly abuses of all sorts of societal systems. It’s just that those on the right tend to focus on abuses perpetrated by those who are weakest, while those on the left tend to focus on abuses by the richest. Both tend to ignore or downplay the other kinds of abuses.

        You should be able to acknowledge at least that much. If you insist on finding out which kind of abuse is worse, well, you’d have to start looking at statistics and numbers, and try to do so objectively.

    • SD Sun Devil (@diegosundevil)
      August 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      You have just proven the point. Nothing you wrote qualifies remotely as an intellectual argument against his thesis. You only seek to shoot the messenger. This strongly infers that we must assume everything James wrote about is spot on.

  21. Jonathan Ashcroft
    August 3, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    In one single article you make sweeping generalisations, showcase a wholesomely smug disregard, flaunt you perceived/received intellect and emphasise stereotypes whilst blindly, nay… arrogantly ignoring the validity of the opposition without. Yep you’re nothing like what them darn lefties assume you to be.

  22. grimbler (@Grimbler)
    August 3, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Love your article made me think was I ever a Leftie? Yes for a while as a Shop stupid when I was sadly much younger. After a while I became very cynical about it, always argue the opposite to management, only allow productivity improvement if someone wants redundancy! etc.The free market is correct but the likes of Goldman Sachs should be over-watched (Aluminium storage in Chicago Barclay’s use of swaps and interest rates and all sorts of dodges). But the greatest threat to all of us is the proliferation of “if not explicitly allowed is forbidden” type of regulation which I partly blame for the death of that child in Coventry. I think a small committee of random persons off the streets should examine that situation and I will bet it will be more believable than the official report due in six weeks! I am a firm believer that most problems could be solved by something like the jury system. Keep the vested interests out of it!

  23. Jo Hayes
    August 3, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    In my experience many a lithe young left-winger develops a paunch and right-wing ideas at the same midpoint in their lives. Only the comfortable cushion of inherited money seems to keep them to the left of the track as life proceeds. It is earning your own, making your own way in life, and generally fighting your own battles that persuades that big gov is the wrong way to do things. At the same time, not everyone is capable of fighting their own battles so there is much to be said for compassion and targeted help.

  24. Gareth
    August 3, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    The Lefties hate any kind of debate or argument. Their ideology is a quasi-religion, which must never be questioned or criticised.

    • therealguyfaux
      August 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Which is why they recognise that same quality in Islamic militancy and admire it. leave aside the fact that, if the Islamoloons ever got in, the Lefties would be among the first to be hoisted up by the cranes.

      But hey, as you say, logic isn’t their strong suit.

      “Silence! I kill you!” is.

  25. James O'Flynn
    August 3, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Ironically you’re piece seems to sink to the level of those it is targeted at. Certainly there are people with left leaning politics who simply call names rather than engaging in reasoned debate, though equally that level of intellectual simplicity exists on the right.

    I do shake my head with pity at some of the screeching I see from “the left”, but that does not mean leftist positions aren’t defendable with logic and sensible debate.

    Not everyone on the left holds exactly the same position on everything. It is possible to believe in the free market for some services and products, but strongly oppose it in other areas. The left, as the right includes many different standpoints on various subjects. We don’t all just stand around in a sycophantic circle nodding at each other.

    If you don’t group me in with the “woolly, looney, intellectually incapable lefties”, I won’t automatically assume you are part a racist, greedy, inhumane group of evil individuals.

    Perhaps we can exchange ideas, not generalisations.

    • David
      August 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

      Absolutely. As someone who taught at Oxford at the same time as some of these people who now get paid for creating slime trails attached to ‘respectable’ papers happened to be there, I’m agahst at the puerile generalist level of debate. Strutting round claiming ‘I’m right’ -( yeah I see what you did there) is funny for five minutes.
      People with leftists leanings are unhappy as well – with the BBC, with hypocritical newspapers, with weak politicians with unbending agenda based arguments.
      Thank god that most of these blogists eventually hoist themselves up with thier own petards anyhow as thier ‘expolsive’ screeds become unstable and end up leaving brain stains all over google.

      • James O'Flynn
        August 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

        Except the painfully embarrassing grammatical typo. I know that you’re point is always undermined if your grammatically sloppy.

      • Jonathan Dickson
        August 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

        Talking of grammar, it’s your , not you’re.

      • James O'Flynn
        August 8, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

        Thank you Jonathan. Next time I make a clumsy joke at my own expense about a grammatical typo I made earlier I will remember that their are some people who perhaps make there comments without reading the previous posts which would offer context removing the need for they’re post. (See what I did there?)

        I suppose the irony of including the word grammatically in a sentence involving two grammatical mistakes was a bit too subtle.

        “Grammar police. Its a matter of principle.”

      • Jonathan Dickson
        August 9, 2013 at 7:34 am #

        hanks, James, for clearing that up.

      • Jonathan Dickson
        August 9, 2013 at 8:23 am #

        I meant Thanks!

      • James O'Flynn
        August 9, 2013 at 8:31 am #

        I thought you were just pandering to me and joining in with my rather week humour. We can all forgive a typo.

      • Jonathan Dickson
        August 9, 2013 at 11:47 am #

        If only….

    • andrewpoo
      August 6, 2013 at 4:17 am #

      i think you miss the point.

      the subject matter is about the absurdity of the left, generally.

      by the left, im speaking of those who see politicians as fundamentally so infallible they should be allowed to tighten their grip on more and more aspects of our lives AND be trusted in doing so (logically, the wish for a bigger state necessitates such trust), from:

      education to health services

      to accessing our phone records.

      to those.. TO A MAN/WOMAN… who believe israel is the antagonist rather than merely a protaganist,

      TO A MAN/WOMAN who believe higher taxation is a good thing,

      TO A MAN/WOMAN who wish to ban things (lads mags/P3/tobacco labels),

      TO A MAN/WOMAN who think leveson is a good idea etc etc etc.

      it is quite sad that in general you can very easily pigeon hole the views of somebody who considers themselves ‘of the left’. its eye rollingly typical.

      for him to go through the problems associated with believing each of the subjects mentioned above as good things, in a blog noting the vacuousness of the left, would take him forever. if you want to read some of that, read his blogs on the telegraph for he does it quite succinctly.

      • andrewpoo
        August 6, 2013 at 4:30 am #

        forgive! accessing phone records is something those on the left and right usually agree with!

        that said, it never ceases to astound me that the lefts wish for such a big state is not seen to carry by its very nature the creation of such moral hazards as the states hunger for more information about its citizens.

        this is just one circle the left has always had problems squaring. despite this, it would seemingly be heresy conceding that the higher taxation the big state necessitates, which feed such endeavors, is a problem

      • James O'Flynn
        August 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

        Just because someone advocates a larger state does not mean they think politicians are infallible. That’s a rather leaping assumption. I would not assume that someone who desires more freedom for the market thinks all private enterprise is infallible.

        Desiring a larger state does not automatically mean someone wishes there to be no limit to it’s size. Equally just because someone wants a smaller state doesn’t mean they want no state at all.

        A desire for a larger state also isn’t bound by an assumption that the state will remain in the current form. Democratic systems can be more or less accountable to their public. An increase in the size of the state could be balanced with more democratic accountability. Larger state needn’t be seen as an opportunity to “tighten” the Govt’s grip.

        If greater accountability is involved then trust needn’t be logically required. We should always scrutinise and as a nation we certainly don’t enough at the moment. We should never trust politicians for the simple reason that power corrupts, but equally as power corrupts politicians it also corrupts companies and imagine the state of some industries if there had been no state to legislate them. It’s fine to argue that a free market brings competition, allowing people to hold companies to account, but equally an entirely free market allows larger companies to deal with smaller companies by fair means or foul removing them as competitors. I work for a company that attempted to do this 30yrs ago by simply buying all the competition. Stopped from monopolising it’s particular market by the state.

        Imagine how Microsoft would be now, or in the future if they had not been hampered by competition regulations restricting some activities.

        Often it seems “the left” and “the right” have some similar concerns, but have very different views on how to go about improving the situation. Who to “trust” if you like.

        Both left and right are concerned about health care and education, but have different ideas about the best way to go about providing it. It certainly is a debate that should always continue as times change, but it doesn’t seem to. Perhaps that is where this view that “the left” have no arguments comes from. Perhaps each side of the debate is working from a different set of absolutes and with different absolute assumptions they will always be arguing towards different things and will always come up with solutions that disgust each other.

        I am baffled that people can’t see the problems with a free market. Perhaps I haven’t spoken to enough people who are prepared to discuss it fully.

        Intriguingly you demonstrate my point exactly by suggesting four things that “the left” TO A MAN/WOMAN believe, yet you’ve no idea what I as a confessed Lefty believe.

        It is possible to sympathise with Israel, while still believing that they are breaking international law which is unacceptable and that they are carrying out other horrendous actions. It doesn’t mean that I think the Palestinians are without fault.

        Regarding taxation it depends. I certainly believe it could be organised differently. Even so you’d probably struggle to find a lefty who disapproves of the raising of the tax allowance to £10k, which is essentially a reduction of tax, so it’s not an absolute like you suggest.

        Equally you may find many on “the right” do think some corporations don’t pay enough tax. Doesn’t mean they are shouting that we should raise all taxes.

        I can’t think of anything specific we should ban off the top of my head. Certainly in some areas the Govt is far too happy to slap bans on things they have no hope of controlling. A bit more thought would go a long way in many cases.

        I have mixed feelings about Leveson, as I imagine do some on “the right”.

        Those four points disprove your penultimate paragraph. You can’t pigeonhole people, your efforts above all failed.

        There are no absolutes on either side of the political spectrum. I acknowledge the subtleties on the right, but you won’t avoid the same respect to the left?

        Mr Delingpole can only comment on the opinions of “the left” that he has heard. Perhaps he hasn’t listened to enough people.

      • James O'Flynn
        August 8, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

        I can certainly see that a larger state has inherent hazards, but I also think greater dependence on and less regulation of entities which are obliged to make ever increasing profits carries it’s own hazards. Personally I believe Govt is more accountable to the public at large than companies and also the Govt can be made more accountable still. That is the debate that needs to be had though.

    • blingmun
      August 6, 2013 at 10:32 am #

      “that does not mean leftist positions aren’t defendable with logic and sensible debate.”

      I could make a better case for leftist positions than I have ever heard from anyone on the left. And I mean ANYONE. They may have strong arguments and logic on their side but we never hear them. Or I never seem to anyway, despite my best efforts. Not in person in my experience and certainly never online.

      So if these mythical arguments do in fact exist, where the hell do the left learn them from – certainly not from any national newspapers or blogs. And why do they keep them safely hidden behind a barrage of insults? The simpler explanation is that they don’t have any arguments, and that in many cases highly intelligent people do the same when it comes to politics as others do when it comes to religion….leave reason firmly out of it.

      • Nicolai Hähnle
        August 6, 2013 at 11:12 am #

        Again, you are probably suffering from a case of this:

        I have to give you one thing: I am as left as it gets, and it is sometimes physically painful to see the stupid stuff that some people on the left bring up occasionally (even after filtering out the obvious stupidity of random blog comments).

        However, when you start from a position of a Rawlsian sense of justice, and you are truly serious about basing your belief system on the corresponding axioms, there is no logical conclusion except to end up with (some variant of) leftist ideas.

        That does not mean you become a cartoon communist, but it means that you are serious about challenging the existing power relations – unlike the right, which tends to prefer the preservation of existing power relations.

        I think what it boils down to is that if you believe there are no solid arguments for the left, you are simply living in a filter bubble. Check out economists like Galbraith, check out bloggers like Matt Bruenig.

        The great thing about someone like Matt is that he can easily eviscerate a lot of the so-called “logic” on the right, but he will also acknowledge that some of their logic is self-consistent. Sometimes, people disagree because they disagree about axiomatic (i.e., implicit and inherent) values they care about.

        So you might still disagree with Matt, if you disagree about the underlying value system. If e.g. Rawls’ approach to justice conflicts with your axiomatic values, then you will probably come to different conclusions than somebody like him. However, if you are a decent human being capable of logic, you should be able to concede that his arguments make sense, given the axiomatic values that he starts from.

      • James O'Flynn
        August 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

        I can’t really comment on the people you have interacted with, but please don’t just bunch me and everyone on “the left” in with them. If they are resorting to insults then perhaps you aren’t finding a very good calibre of debating partner, though people on this page have hardly been polite.

        Do you read all of the National newspapers and all of the blogs? Perhaps you’ve missed a couple of enlightening articles.

        What would you like some reasoning for? I’m happy to help if I can.

  26. Simon Roberts
    August 3, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    You hit the nail on the head when you say that they feel rather than think.

    All their arguements for the Welfare State, Nationalist Healthcare, State Education etc are based on this. The justifications are always that you are nasty if you don’t support them.

    Thinking requires effort and self-discipline, feeling is merely an indulgence.

    • Simon Roberts
      August 3, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Sorry – Nationalised Healthcare 🙂

  27. Gillian C.
    August 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    That was a great interview you did on the Alex Jones show (02/08/2013) JD. Nice of your cat to put in an appearance too.
    I shall be recommending that interview to anyone who has the slightest doubt about the gigantic scam that is ‘climate change’. I wasn’t aware until listening to that interview of the connection between the ‘greenies’ and eugenicists. Though it didn’t come as a huge surprise. Keep up the good work, it’s much appreciated and so vital. In fact it’s no exaggeration to say it really is a matter of life and/or death.

  28. russe
    August 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    ‘It’s often said that lefties hate righties because they think they’re evil, but that righties despise lefties because they know they’re stupid. There’s a lot of truth in this.’

    Lefties ‘sterling’ Obamanomics – New York Times Sells Boston Globe at 93% Loss

  29. Kevin T
    August 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    The problem is though that while we argue about whether to mock them (a la James Delingpole) or try to rise above them (a la Daniel Hannan), the bastards are winning. They got their gay marriage and, as predicted, they’ve already started the lawsuits against churches that won’t marry gays. They got the lads’ mags covered up, they’ll get their Twitter ban-the-righties button (sorry misogynist rape threat button). They dominate the public sector, the charity sector and the media, plus Brussels and Washington. The Tories either fear them or agree with them and UKIP is not yet in a position to win a general election. It’s one thing to observe correctly that they’re stupid, but they’re stupid and motivated and networked and organised, whereas we are smart and none of those things and we are being run roughshod over. What are we actually going to do about them?

  30. Nicolai Hähnle
    August 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    The amazing thing about both this article and its comments is that you could potentially find the _exact_ same, just with Left and Right in mirror-reversed roles, on a left blog.

    This is kind of ironic, and it should also be food for thought for everybody – both those on the Left and on the Right. (Note, for example, that other commenters here have already pointed out that the text commits some of the same sins that it accuses its opponents of.)

    In any case, for those on the Right who _are_ interested in genuine conversations, you may want to consider that something like this is going on:

  31. Ray Dixon
    August 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    This all sounds like a childish dummy spit and a broadbrush swipe at anyone to the left of Genghis Khan. A lot of “them” and “they” in all these descriptions of so-called “lefties”. I think it’ds only a small minority of extremists on both sides who resort to personal insult and put down as a form of argument … so why do it, James? Unless ……

  32. Danchik
    August 4, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Although I’d agree that it is a bit difficult to pigeonhole the whole spectrum of ideas on the ‘left’ and ‘right’, after years of thinking about it (which obviously makes me a ‘rightist’) the conclusion I’ve come to is that the root of the distinction is a simple difference in people’s responses to reality. In general, people on the right have a much clearer view of the realities of life and human nature, and have the emotional fortitude to accept these realities and value life for what it is. They take pleasure in using their rationality to understand as much as they can about the world, and having made that effort, place a far higher value on the concept of truth. They also tend to be people who actually work for a living, especially in the productive sectors – and as such realise that being able to get a good picture of what’s actually happening is vitally important, as opposed to spending all one’s time bleating about what should be happening, in an ideal world.
    The left come from a completely different place – their basic emotional state is aversion to the world as it is. They see nothing but injustice, inequality, violence, nastiness etc and quickly become overwhelmed by it all. In response, they start to create visions of how the world could be, should be, would be etc and then devote their lives to chasing these ideas. The basic metaphysical picture they carry around in their heads is something like: “The world is a messy and ugly place, and other people are greedy and nasty but I am good because I have all these beautiful ideas in my head”.The longer they carry on this path, the more that reality fails to conform to their ideals, the shriller and angrier they get – and it all generally ends nastily, because you can only escape reality for so long….

    • James O'Flynn
      August 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Is trying to change the current reality always a bad thing? Both “left” and “right” believe in progress, they just tend to want to progress in different directions.

      Neither left or right accept the current political reality. Both try to change it.

      If people still accepted the reality of human nature, success would still belong to the person with the greatest brute force. Reality is always changing, the political debate is about how it should change.

    • Mick Waite
      August 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      How very true the above comments are.
      The left manage to ignore all the historical abuses inflicted on millions of innocents by left wing ideologists over the last 100 years. They block from their minds the mass murders of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and many other Marxists while endlessly carping on about Hitler.
      As a rough estimate Hitler was responsible for 12 million deaths while the Marxists total is roughly 130 million.
      The only good thing about the leftie murders is that in most cases they have ended up killing many of the people who were their most ardent supporters when they achieved power.
      The left cannot grasp the concept that by destroying the capitalist right wing they eventualey destroy themselves.

  33. Daniel
    August 4, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    “childish, puerile, irresponsible, silly, flippant, sexist, racist, disablist”

    Where’s the ‘homophobia’? Or are you too much of a pitiful, snivelling closet-case to even type the word?

  34. Unlearning Economics (@UnlearningEcon)
    August 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    I’d say this is a clear case of:

    There are a lot of coherent arguments on the left – I suggest you stay away from comment sections in popular magazines or newspapers and instead read blogs like Crooked Timber, economist’s view, facts and other stubborn things. Or if you want UK-based go with Chris Dillow, Flip Chart Fairy Tales and the TUC’s blog.

    For example, somebody here referred to the left’s inability to comprehend the free market, and compared it to religious zealotry. This is absurd: the worship of the quasi-mystical entity “the free market” – which many from Robert Prasch to Ha-Joon Chang to Karl Marx have pointed out is something of a chimera – far closer resembles religious worship than the (centre) left’s position. Anyone who bothered to read much of the left’s work would be familiar with this argument and wouldn’t speak such nonsense.

    • David
      August 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

      Thank you, that last paragraph – that mirrors the way my mind responds to these debates, I just skim past any pop psychology. I look everywhere for the real meat of debate – but cant find it – possibly because as outlined in your link, only polarisation thrives.

      I embrace any right winger, in fact any extreme political view as long as they want to engage in proper discourse.

      9/10 though its f off libtard. Funny thing is being a student of the 80’s when we all wore donkey jackets and could debate Nietzsche, I thought all my contemporaries were similarly enlightened. But no – look at the children on twitter – DEVO in action.

      No then, lets examine this concept of a ‘free’ market…

  35. Revelation Knight
    August 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    I was just commenting on this exact same subject yesterday 🙂 Great minds think alike.

  36. Revelation Knight
    August 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    The reason you get called these things is because you are on in the right and the only response these idiots can give in response is an ad hominem attack.

  37. Justice for Taxes Network
    August 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    James, if you are such an intellectual, surely you would realise that the onus is on you to prove that you are not a poorly endowed, arrogant privately educated retard?

  38. Chris Johnson
    August 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    I would love to pass this ramble along to my liberal circle, but, what would be the point?

  39. LisaG (@LisaGinNZ)
    August 6, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    great column…

    Can you please shed some light as to why the Left, more so now than ever before, is “allowed” to remain in power?

    Seems to me their love for power over the masses and control of the public treasury – is at a very high achievement level.

    If we all agree the Left isn’t too bright, then why is the Left in control of all of us?

    That’s the bit I don’t quite get… Everyone on the right is scratching out their own existence – so they don’t have time to run for office? … Ever?

    Help us James, please explain how a) right thinking can defeat left thinking – the right’s message is obviously not getting through very well or something or b) how can we get all lefties AWAY from government positions and hands out of the till?!

    cheers from NZ….we are awash in sheeple down here for sure mate…

  40. Ken
    August 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Perhaps the beginnings of a speciation?


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