Cameron, May, Trump: The Law of Unintended Consequences

statsman

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The Law of Unintended Consequences states ‘that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended’. It’s a law whose operation has been in full swing in UK and US politics this last year or so.

Take the Brexit referendum. Cameron called it to face down the strong anti-EU rump in the Tory party, that coalition of chaos, not for a moment considering that he might lose the popular vote. He did, and he’s gone, and a Brexit without a plan kicked in.

Then his successor May called a very slow snap GE at a time when Labour under Corbyn were plummeting in the polls, again at least in part to face down that same Tory rump. What couldn’t have been foreseen was that she would run the worst campaign in living memory, make Corbyn look competent by comparison, lose the majority she had end up clinging to power by her fingertips.

Oh, and the DUP end up in government. Talk about a coalition of chaos.

And the fact that the elderly vote for Brexit resulted in an unprecedented 72% turnout in the 18-25 age group, which helped swing the election.

Then there was the Russian scheme to get the Orange Dayglow Bollix elected to the White House, as a follow up to their role in the Brexit vote. Clearly the plan was to set off a domino effect across western democracies to help elect pro-Russian, anti-EU and anti-China governments. Well, as The Netherlands, France and now the UK have amply demonstrated, an Orange Dayglow Bollix is a very poor role model and nobody with any sense wants to replicate him. Meanwhile, the EU have put together a solid framework for negotiating the UK out of the Union and China, heaven help us, look like the prime voice of reason on the world stage.

The Law of Unintended Consequences: don’t mess with it.
 


storybud1

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It really is just poor politics, apathetic voters, timing and fake news thrown in also,,
 

GDPR

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Actually, w/r/t BREXIT and Mays mad gamble, the consequences could have been foreseen and were. About three years ago I posted some links to foreign analysts (some US) decrying any talk of an EU Referendum because it would open a veritable Pandoras Box. They were seen as alarmists and stooges for US/EU imperialism.

Likewise, Mays utter inadequacy was a byword. Five years ago she was being ridiculed on Mock the Week as "the Maybot". Her reputation was that of someone who never answered a question, had no ideas (bad or good), skulked in the shadows and waited till everyone else had screwed up before stepping demurely over their corpses. Then she ran a Cult of Personality campaign when it was clear her USP was that she didnt have one ,

I think these mistakes were made by a limited, incestuous political class who thought they could sell anything at all through the meeja. They are actually very out of touch and not terribly bright.
 

statsman

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Actually, w/r/t to BREXIT and Mays mad gamble, the consequences could have been foreseen and were. About three years ago I posted some links to foreign analysts (some US) decrying any talk of an EU Referendum because it would open a veritable Pandoras Box. They were seen as alarmists and stooges for US/EU imperialism.

Likewise, Mays utter inadequacy was a byword. Five years ago she was being ridiculed on Mock the Week as "the Maybot". Her reputation was that of someone who never answered a question, had no ideas (bad or good), skulked in the shadows and waited till everyone else had screwed up before stepping demurely over their corpses. Then she ran a Cult of Personality campaign when it was clear her USP was that she didnt have one ,

I think these mistakes were made by a limited, incestuous political class who thought they could sell anything at all through the meeja. They are actually very out of touch and not terribly bright.
The point of the law is that the consequences are unforeseen by the actors involved, not by all-knowing Internet experts like ourselves. ;)
 

Sweet Darling

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The mainland is being run from Belfast.

Wonder how old Hollywood smile Adams will try put a good spin on the situuuuashin
 

statsman

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The mainland is being run from Belfast.

Wonder how old Hollywood smile Adams will try put a good spin on the situuuuashin
That the UK is now effectively an Irish colony?
 

eoghanacht

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Yis all were wrong on Jeremy
 

GDPR

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The point of the law is that the consequences are unforeseen by the actors involved, not by all-knowing Internet experts like ourselves. ;)
No need to be personal! The point is you didnt have to be an internet expert, whatever that is, the real experts and people with commonsense could see that the politicians making these decisions were doing so out of short-termism, hubris and because they live in a bubble. So your points that they failed to see them, or did and disregarded them, doesnt really touch on the main issue of why we are where we are today.
 

eoghanacht

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Norman Bates

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The point of the law is that the consequences are unforeseen by the actors involved, not by all-knowing Internet experts like ourselves. ;)
I think a lot of the problem is that either they are out of touch with reality, or they think their cunning plan will be swallowed whole by the electorate, who like to remind these top-of-the-mountain poseurs every so often exactly who is boss.
 

statsman

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No need to be personal! The point is you didnt have to be an internet expert, whatever that is, the real experts and people with commonsense could see that the politicians making these decisions were doing so out of short-termism, hubris and because they live in a bubble. So your points that they failed to see them, or did and disregarded them, doesnt really touch on the main issue of why we are where we are today.
The plural 'ourselves' might indicate that I include myself.

Did you read the link in the OP?

Merton labeled the third source the “imperious immediacy of interest.” By that he was referring to instances in which someone wants the intended consequence of an action so much that he purposefully chooses to ignore any unintended effects. (That type of willful ignorance is very different from true ignorance.)
 

GDPR

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I freely admit that I was totally, foolishly wrong.
You should read Alastair Meeks mea culpa. I dont know if you are familiar with him? High-powered lawyer. Its very good.

Quote

Much though it is a blow to the ego, I have to admit that while I know a lot of information about politics I clearly do not understand it in any way meaningful enough to draw conclusions about uncertain matters. The last two years have illustrated that over and over again. In 2015 I had confidently expected a hung Parliament. I was amazed that the Conservatives secured an overall majority. In the ensuing leadership election campaign for Labour, I dismissed Jeremy Corbyn’s chances until it was apparent that a bandwagon was rolling. When he won, I dismissed his chances of ever getting a fair hearing from the public for his ideas.
In 2016, I confidently expected Remain to win the EU referendum. I did not believe that the public were ready to be so reckless as to press a big red button just to see what happened.
And so to this year. I thought that Theresa May calling the election was a good idea, to capitalise on Labour weakness. Despite the Conservatives running a dismal campaign and Theresa May seeming aloof and panicky, I expected them to achieve a hefty victory based on the entrenched hostile views that large sections of the population had about Jeremy Corbyn.

In short, I have been crushingly wrong about many of the most important
political judgement calls of the last two years.

I have two choices. I can seek to sweep this under the carpet. Or I can accept that I urgently need to start seeking out new perspectives, to be checking existing ideas against new developments and generally being more open-minded. Only the second is an honest choice. So I’m going to try to take it. Who knows, it might actually be fun.
Lawyers aren’t big on humility. Oh well. I suppose that’s something else I’m going to have to start learning fast too.
 

Franzoni

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By the time the DUP are finished with the Brits they will be begging us to take them and the keys back.....:D
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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At least you didn't claim that Cameron had the referendum, to put it up to UKIP...if another eejit claims that...
 

gatsbygirl20

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I have tried vainly to impose some logic on the goings-on.

I thought initially that Brexit was a power grab by a bunch of mad Tories, crazed with power at the prospect of a useless Corbyn and a warring Labour party.

As for the snap election--I did predict that the campaign would move the conversation away from Brexit and shine a light on domestic Tory policy, where they, and May, were vulnerable.

Then I thought that yesterday's result was the Remoaners' Revenge---those who didn't vote during the referendum , or didn't bother, coming out in their droves for Corbyn, young people especially. ( and I know he supports Brexit too, but my reasoning here would take too long to explain, and is probably wrong anyway)

Or maybe it was just Corbyn's Tuition Fees and May's dementia tax.

Or Corbyn's Trump-like mass rallies with cheering supporters. And his social media presence....

His principled sticking to his policies and refusing to get rattled no matter how much he and his policies were attacked....

Or the anti-middle-aged woman thing---like Clinton, May was "too wooden", too "school-marmish", while Jeremy was seen as bloke-ish and down-to-earth, and an all-round good sort., doing that thumbs-up thing...

The shenanigans with the DUP and May holding on, should not surprise us here in Ireland.. Look at our own "law of unintended consequences" after our own election last year. Despite FG's falling short of expectations and getting a kick in the teeth for their patronising misreading of the electorate, , they had the most seats and clung on--taking weeks to cobble together a weird rogues' gallery plus arch-enemy FF

Anything is possible. Be ready for anything.

It's not about us. It's about them.
 


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