The closed system

A thought: every political party contains what Karl Popper would call a closed system of knowledge, rather as Lloyd George said each man has a House of Lords in his own head. This system incorporates the symbols of its identity and the tropes of its internal culture. The party also, however, must needs contain an open system of knowledge, in order to work with the institutions of the state and strategise against the opposition. If you want to achieve anything you must have one foot in both.

Today, all the parties seem to have been taken over by the closed system. So you have Kelvin Hopkins suggesting that perhaps Labour should make a priority of abolishing private health insurance, you have Liam Fox plotting to escape the EU’s ban on trade with China that only exists in his head. In Scotland, of course, it’s different – the closed system took over the country, not just a party.

I’m not sure where to go with this insight, but it doesn’t look like they’re trying to learn anything, does it?

7 Comments on "The closed system"

  1. “In Scotland, of course, it’s different – the closed system took over the country, not just a party.”

    Interestingly enough at least a part of the answer as to why this is so can be found here:

    providing one joins the dots.

    Using a comparison of the 2015 film The Big Short Westminster and England are dead ringers for the Byron Mann character Wing Chau whilst Scotland is best represented by Steve Carrell as Mark Baum – a nation with a permanent look of WTF etched on their faces as they observe the puerile nonsense that passes for grown up politics and governance south of Hadrians Wall. If only the rest of us here in England could see the prospect of detaching ourselves away from the multiple car wreck on offer by a dysfunctional and self delusional City of London Corporate based English establishment with its exceptionalism to the rules attitudes and sense of entitlement.


  2. The SNP are not a “closed system”, but have achieved a neat ideological trick: everything that might be a Grand Plan is gated behind independence. Since Grand Plans are the things that get done in the face of contrary advice and go spectacularly wrong, this prevents the party from doing anything stupid on a grand scale. SNP interim governance is extremely cautious.


  3. I agree with you about the closed system in Scotland; it was this very kind of thinking which made it impossible for many to even contemplate the notion of independence. For those that did think about it, but rejected it, a factor was the prospect of a one party state. I find the irony of that quite delicious.


    1. The number of people in the world who continue to believe that Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Virgin Cola and generic supermarket Cola are distinct and separate types of drink rather than four brands of the same product has long been a source of puzzlement.


    2. I really don’t get this “one party state” talk. The SNP have the backing of one and a bit newspapers, while being opposed by all the rest of the newspapers and broadcasters. They’ve won fair elections, repeatedly, getting a majority of votes cast despite the semi proportional electoral system. There’s never been any serious suggestions of them arm-twisting journalists or suborning the organs of the state. There’s no allegations that they have a fraternal organisation inside the police (while such allegations are occasionally made against the Orange Order and the Masons).

      How are they a one-party state, other than the inability of the other parties to persuade people to vote for them?


  4. Jesus wept!

    Just followed the twitter link to the Dan Davies [dsquared] discussion on regional net contributions.

    Total failure by all comments [including YR] to recognise any context whatsoever as to how and why this is the case. Taking a snapshot in time – – tells absolutly zilch about the process of transfer of value from the regions to the city State of SE Ruritania over time and the role of that region of these islands in emptying those regions of any activity involving productive value for its own benefit. Whole industries in these regions contributing positively have been wiped out in order to benefit the one too big to be allowed to brought to account activity centered in the City – finance.

    Nothing about the net contribution of Scottish oil over time. Zero about the amount of Scottish energy currently propping up the National Electricity Grid.

    History been rewritten before our eyes. Reality being contemptuously airbrushed out of existence to promote a barely concealed meme of regional spongers.


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