Why Our Elites Are Unpersuaded by the Evidence of Human Suffering


by Joanna Gray, Daily Sceptic:

Like all of the best ‘quick drink’ catchups, ours ended in the small hours with a drunken row about whether Robespierre regretted his actions. “Surely,” I slurred, “committing 17,000 to Madam Guillotine would have given him pause: think of all those severed heads leering at him.” My friend, the rationalist, laughed, “Oh naïve simpleton, it’s never about the people, it’s always about the idea.” She insisted the Robespierre, top monsieur at the ‘Committee of Public Safety’ went to the block convinced he’d pursued the correct public policy of: “speedy, severe and inflexible justice”.

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Our conversation began in response to Freddie Sayers’s already much-commented-upon interview with one of the lockdown architects, Lee Cain, where Cain proudly asserts: “One of the great things he [Boris] did was deliver a lockdown and save a huge amount of lives.”

“But that is so demonstrably untrue,” I explained furiously to my chum. I took another glug and ranted about how, that day, I had seen a 19 year-old woman whose Mum kept her largely inside during lockdowns, who completely fell out of school, lost what few friends she had, has no qualifications and is now ‘not fit to work’. Like the headless corpses of The Terror, this young woman – and thousands of others like her who stopped bothering going to school – ought to stand in grim reproach to the lockdown policies championed by Lee Cain. “And nevermind the 7.6 million NHS waiting list…” I banged on.

“Ah, but it’s never about the people,” my friend responded, “Only the idea.” She shook her head sadly and wondered why I hadn’t understood any of this before.

And in that marvellous way the vino can help you see the veritas, I realised she was right. The idea of lockdown is understood by Mr. Cain to be correct, so no matter how many individuals were figuratively guillotined in pursuit of it, he sleeps easy.

My friend explained, as if to a class dunce, that ideas trump human suffering in all of the great horrors of our age: lockdown, transgenderism, infected blood, the Post Office scandal, Net Zero, EDI. It matters not a jot the numbers of individuals who are harmed in the unrolling of the ideas, those causing the harm will continue so long as the idea holds – or as in Robespierre and Boris – until the wickedly flawed idea consumes its own.

Paula Vennells believed in the infallibility of her ‘systems’ over the false imprisonment of her sub-postmasters; health professionals believed in the technical superiority of plasma innovations over ill humans in front of them; Net Zero enthusiasts welcome decarbonisation no matter how many humans are thrown into fuel poverty, and so on. I once sat next to a No.10 policy adviser at a dinner party who said, “I mean, I love candle light, I don’t see why we can’t all return to it.”

So firmly and unswervingly held are the orthodox beliefs by the majority of politicians (lockdowns, Net Zero, the NHS, the Green Energy Revolution) that it is asks too much of them to accept that these ideologies are based on completely wrong premises.

I may have slumped so far over my wine glass I banged my head on the table. “But how can we ever convince them their ideas are rotten if they ignore the evidence of human suffering their beliefs cause?”

We had entered the drunken stage where we thought we could quite lucidly sort everything out.

“Oh that’s easy,” my friend said pouring another glass, “We just have to destroy the idea.”

Merely pointing out individual tragedies or presenting swishy data graphs, or engaging in long form podcasts to politely raise the idea that there may be other sides to the issue will not do. Instead, the rotten idea needs to be entirely dismantled. It needs to be pointed out consistently and persistently that such ideologies as Net Zero, EDI, Big State Welfare and the NHS, are based on completely wrong premises. They are wrong. They will never work. They harm people. We don’t respect alternative points of view; instead, we explain relentlessly and consistently why the ideas are wrong.

The Cass Review succeeded in ending despicable harm to confused teenagers because it dismantled the idea at the heart of transgenderism. Dr. Cass simply asserted the biological truth that there are two sexes. Without that alternative idea of gender, the whole edifice of medical interventions collapses.

The same methodology applies to all of the other rotten ideas polluting public discourse. Reveal their inherent and fundamental error and let everything crumble. In Robespierre’s case: revolutionary purity is unachievable.

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