H L Mencken wrote that for every complex question there is an obvious answer that is clear, simple and wrong.

H L Mencken wrote that for every complex question there is an obvious answer that is clear, simple and wrong.

And you know, probably never has a more true word been spoken especially if you look at our troubled times in 2016.

Remember the simple answers that the Brexiters poured all over the UK electorate to manipulate them into voting to leave the EU?

Remember the simplistic answers Trump gave the US electors to get them to vote for him?

Or how about ‘Brexit means Brexit’, just about the only thing of note our Prime Minister has had to say about the result and dire consequences of the EU Referendum. Trouble is that off the cuff phrase is not clear, obvious or simple but it certainly is wrong headed!

Daily we are bombarded with simple solutions to the most complex of problems. Sadly, some of us actually do think that there are such simple, obvious and clear answers. Indeed, we don’t even bother to think about why, or at whose behest we are being sent the simple solutions that fit with our preconceived prejudices.

We don’t know the solutions the vast majority of the time because we don’t have all the information required to make clear headed judgements on hugely complex matters of public policy. On that basis isn’t it nice when some media outlet or politician after power saves us the bother of thinking it all through.

Democracy only works well if the vast majority of the electorate has a reasoned understanding as to the consequences of their votes. Democracy does not work at all well when those in power or who seek to be in power, together with a media on their payroll, seek to convince us of simple, obvious and clear solutions. Such solutions will invariably be wrong, misleading or down right dangerous.

The solution? Be informed, question any information you get from the media and popularist politicians. Better still stop taking the ‘advice’ of biased media outlets.

With Thanks to Bob for reminding me of Mencken’s quote.

Spinning so fast it’s a blur – Tories utterly paniced by UKIP

You can tell when political leaders are feeling the heat as they will claim just about anything to keep their heads above water.

What with the Tories, and indeed Labour, having their heads pushed under water by UKIP’s mixture of popularism, racism, socialism, nationalism and just about any other negative ‘ism’ you can think of the Tory leadership is desperately claiming black is white over the EU invoice that the UK is being told to pay. Labour on the other hand is trying to keep UKIP leaning supporters on side by agreeing with UKIP over this bill that has presented been for settlement.

Cameron a left wing Tory, who is in favour of staying in Europe, is being pushed by those Tories on the verge of defecting to UKIP and is all but being held to ransom.

But poor old Miliband, as if he did not have enough trouble keeping his head up in the deep end of Labour’s own churning pool, is seeing his ‘working class supporters’ threaten to march off to UKIP’s tune as well.

It’s amazing to see how UKIP, who seem to stand for just about anything folks are upset about, can cause such panic in the political classes. Just imagine them in Government; right wing ex-Tories, socialists who have given up on Labour, racists, anti-Europeans, popularists for what ever the flavour of the days is – well at least it would be entertaining! Trouble is our economy would soon be in utter ruin again and climate change would not be tackled at all.

Our political leaders would be well advised to start telling the truth about the economy and our desperately fragile environment because they have only got themselves into UKIP’s deep hole by being economical with the truth. Trouble is where are the political leaders who folks would listen to and trust? John Smith, Charles Kennedy……….