Tag Archives: malcolm gladwell

What can success in other fields tell us about politics?

First published in 2008, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers is a rebuttal of the traditional American emphasis on people’s success coming from the individual merit and triumph of exceptional humans as epitomised in the quote from Robert Winthorp who urged people at the unveiling of a statute of Benjamin Franklin to, “look at the image of a man who rose from nothing, who owned nothing to parentage or patronage, who enjoyed no advantages of early education which are not open – a hundredfold open – to yourselves”. Instead, Gladwell argues that although individual ability matters, it also requires three other crucial elements …

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

How do people really think?

The last edition of ALDC’s Campaigner before the start of the election contained this piece from me:

Knowing why people vote the way they do is tough. It’s not just because people may be reluctant to be honest to others about their motivations, but people are also often bad at understanding themselves.

In fact, one of the findings increasingly coming out from research into how we make decisions is that often we make a decision using our subconscious and only afterwards come up with a justification for it. Our subconscious decides, our conscious rationalises.

It is an intriguing – and in some ways, scary – finding that is best illustrated by a clever experiment where people were shown two photographs of similar, but different, people. They were asked to pick which one they thought was the most attractive. They were then given that photograph and asked to explain the reason for their decision.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 1 March 2010

It’s Monday morning. It’s the 1st March, and the question everyone’s asking is, “Where the hell did January and February go?”. For our Welsh readers, meanwhile, may we wish you a very happy St David’s Day. On with the day’s main news …

Result of LDV poll on Tories’ evaporating lead

Yesterday LDV ran an insta-poll asking our Twitter followers and site readers what you thought was the main reason why the Tories’ opinion poll lead has shrunk so fast. Here’s what the 147 of you who voted told us:

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Cameron thinks elitism will fix education

The Conservatives think they can improve education in this country by making the teaching profession “brazenly elitist” but it looks like they haven’t done their homework. David Cameron’s latest wheeze would actually exclude Carol Vorderman, the Tories’ own Maths Taskforce chief.

David Cameron made a speech today at a south London school, outlining Conservative pledges:

The Tory leader said he wanted to make teaching the “noble profession” and would bar students with a poor degree from taking government cash to train for the classroom.

And in what was almost certainly a conscious echo of Labour rhetoric, Mr Cameron said: “Good education is the right of the many not the privileged few.”

Michael Gove, the Shadow Education Secretary, went further in confronting head on claims that the Conservatives’ policies favour the better off.

An incoming Conservative government would be guided by a “moral purpose” to make opportunity more equal, he said, adding that it was a ‘scandal’ only 79 boys in receipt of free school meals achieved three ‘A’s at A-level nationwide compared with 175 pupils from Eton alone.

“It’s a scar on our conscience and we are pledged to reverse it,” said Mr Gove.

However, “breaking open the supply of education” won’t be achieved by discouraging graduates with lower classes of degree.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 19 Comments
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    Welcoming the £1,000 bonus to keep on furloughed staff, really?! Firstly, this policy doesn't distinguish between those employers who were going to bring back staff...
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    Jenny, fuel duty would be an obvious place to make a start as too is the under-taxation of capital gains and allowances like entrepreneurs’ relief....
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    repeal the smoking ban.
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    So if your libertarian Orange Booker led direction of a reduction in MPs from 57 in 2010 to 8 in 2015 isn't an electoral disaster...
  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 11th Jul - 4:52pm
    Tax strategy? 50p/litre on road fuel. Encourages active travel, electric cars, public transport, discourages Co2 particulate and nox emissions, saves money on building roads, discourages...
  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 11th Jul - 4:52pm
    Tax strategy? 50p/litre on road fuel. Encourages active travel, electric cars, public transport, discourages Co2 particulate and nox emissions, saves money on building roads, discourages...