Al Jazeera: British Labour Party Rejects Evolution

We found this at the website of Qatar-owned Al Jazeera, which reportedly paid $500 million to purchase a TV network founded by Al Gore. Their headline is British Labour Party rejects Evolution, endorses Creationism.

That’s big news, right? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

We all know that the British Labour Party is led by highly educated, highly intelligent people, which is why it would be surprising if they rejecetd [sic] a well-established truth like the theory of evolution. Tantamount to such an intellectual absurdity is their recent rejection of accecpted [sic], conventional economic theory.

We all don’t know that the Labour Party is led by “highly educated, highly intelligent people.” Your humble Curmudgeon’s impression is that they’re led by socialist labor union gangsters. But then — you’ll have to forgive us — we’ve always admired Margaret Thatcher. Anyway, you don’t care about that. Here’s more from Al Jazeera:

At the party’s National Policy Forum, party leader Ed Miliband announced that if the Labour Party regains power in 2015, it will offset any spending increases with cuts elsewhere in the budget. This means the Labour Party will not raise the deficit.

Egad — fiscal responsibility? How very unusual for a left-wing party. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. But Al Jazeera thinks otherwise. Let’s read on:

This is an incredible pledge, since it commits the Labour Party to slow growth and high unemployment. The main problem for the economy in the United Kingdom now and for the foreseeable future is a lack of demand. In this context, government deficits are good.

Aaaargh!! But you didn’t come here for a Curmudgeonly rant about economics, so we’ll ignore the next several paragraphs, and then we’ll ignore some more on the subject of same-sex marriage. As we scan to the end, looking for details about Labour’s embrace of creationism, we find — nothing! Nothing at all.

Al Jazeera used a false headline to get our attention, and then said that Labour’s desire for budget restraint is as stupid as if they had come out in support of creationism. That’s it. That’s all there is. We’ve been slimed by Al Jazeera. Maybe their bosses in Qatar think this is very clever journalism. Maybe Al Gore does too. Sorry, but we don’t see any, ah … humour here.

Okay, false alarm. There’s nothing to see here, folks. Y’all move along now.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Al Jazeera: British Labour Party Rejects Evolution

  1. we’ve always admired Margaret Thatcher

    But you didn’t live in the UK during Thatcher’s regime. It was absolute f***ing misery.

  2. Our Curmudgeon plaintively cries:

    We’ve been slimed by Al Jazeera. Maybe their bosses in Qatar think this is very clever journalism.

    It is indeed “a false headline to get our attention”, but the real culprit would seem to be Dean Baker and CEPR (Center for Economic and Policy Research), based in Washington D.C.

    At least, that’s the authorship of the article itself. As for the headline: WTF????!!!

  3. Ahh, and a bit more googling turns up the fact that Mr. Baker is a proponent of “Evolutionary economics”, which suggests to me [that he] may indeed be responsible for the moronic headline….

  4. “you’ll have to forgive us — we’ve always admired Margaret Thatcher.”
    No, I won’t, because this makes clear you think principles more important than the misery of people.

    “Anyway, you don’t care about that.”
    Yes, I do, even if I’m Dutch. Thatcher’s admirers in The Netherlands have caused our share of misery as well.
    To be honest, in my eyes your admiration for MT makes your attachment of the Enlightenment shallow if not meaningless.

    “How very unusual for a left-wing party.”
    And my last statement is immediately confirmed. While it’s not always true there is an abundance of examples of left-wing parties in government who showed more fiscal responsinbility than their average liberal counterpart. One example I know from first hand is the left-wing Joop den Uyl vs. the right-wing Hans Wiegel. Just check the facts. Or won’t you? Then you behave like the average creationist. Congrats with that.
    So I’ll give you the same treatment – I’ll hammer your head with numbers.

    1930-1935: conservative governments.
    1973-1977: the most left-wing government The Netherlands ever had.
    1977-1990: right-wing governments – your political allies (the liberals participated).
    1990-1994: centre/left-wing.
    1994-2002: secular governments consisting of Dutch Labor and Dutch liberals.
    2007-2010: centre/left-wing

    So what will it be? A public rectification or applying for a job at DI Seattle?

  5. I believe MNb above means “economic liberal”, i.e. free marketeer, what we in the US call economic conservative.

  6. JG: “But you didn’t live in the UK during Thatcher’s regime. It was absolute f***ing misery.”

    Do tell us more.

  7. @Megalonyx

    From a Canadian perspective, I’d have to agree. Any factual historical comparison of “fiscal responsibility” with party in power shows balanced budgets in most provinces where & when the socialist (?) NDP has been in power and zooming deficits, provincially and federally have almost always occurred when Conservatives or right-wing Liberals held power, even though an outgoing government had left things in good order.

    The only NDP government I recall that couldn’t balance the budget was the Rae government in Ontario, but that was in the middle of a steep free-trade induced recession that destroyed Ontario’s manufacturing base.

  8. Diogenese – de-nationalisation of publicly-owned companies; the Falklands War; curbing of union rights; the Poll Tax riots; several other riots; the miner’s strike; Black Monday; that voice; “We are a Grandmother”. Need I say more?

  9. @Dave: it’s my understanding that the publicly owned companies had actually become so unproductive and unprofitable they were a drain on the UK. Then again, I will admit that the source was suspect.

    Could you enlighten me to the facts of the matter?

  10. The miners strike was the fault of the miners themselves. Where where they when the previous Labour Government closed more pits than Margaret Thatcher did. Not a word then, but for some reason closing less pits was the end of the world.

  11. I’ll hazard a few–and hope not too provocative thoughts–on this topic, though I think it is way beyond scope of this blog and far too complex and involved to discuss in small posts on a blog.

    My perspective is that of an American who has lived in the UK the whole of his adult life (complete with British wife and British born and raised daughters); I arrived here in 1973, when Ted Heath was PM, so have been here through both Tory and Labour administrations. I am routinely called upon by folks over here to explain what are locally unintelligible aspects of American life and politics, less often asked to enlighten Americans on British oddities.

    And my conclusion? Both are futile and thankless undertakings best avoided. History and prevailing levels of social cohesion simply make the US and the UK politically unintelligible one to the other IMHO.

    But on the vast topic of Thatcher’s legacy, I will offer two observations from a genuinely non-partisan (I hope) perspective. To Lady Thatcher’s most ardent admirers, I respectfully remind them that it was her own Conservative Party that had to depose her–and with good reason, Conservatism would have been damaged beyond repair had she remained in office beyond a certain point (at that point was when ideology prevailed over pragmatism). And to her most virulent detractors, I would with similar respect point out that the the clearest inheritor of her mantle and advocate of many of her policies was in fact Tony Blair of the Labour Party.

    Personal take on Thatcher’s legacy: a very mixed bag. Some essential political and economic reforms can certainly be attributed to her, but also some enduring social damage and long-term economic malaise. As one who generally favoured her reforms at the time she was implementing them, I must nonetheless admit that a large portion, perhaps fully half, of her initiatives have subsequently failed. But arguing about all those individual items is simply too large a topic for this forum, methinks!

  12. @Megalonyx: Thank you for the explanation. The Iron Lady certainly had a “magnetic personality” — very polarizing. One key difference, though — it was the opposite pole that was repelled, not the same pole.

  13. Having lived in the UK during the Thatcher years my admiration for her remains undimmed. I am generally not a fan of conviction politicians feeling that certainty about everything means not understanding that most issues have many facets and that pragmatism is a necessary component of political life. However, after Thatcher it is clear that sometimes a conviction politician is necessary when the damage is as deep, unaddressed and long term as it was in Britain in 1979 (‘Crisis? What Crisis’ in the immortal words of The Sun)