Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by David Robertson » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:36 pm

Bravo, Gerard! Good find :!:

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:58 pm

My personal politics are very much against the views expressed by Dominic Lawson. However it's worth contrasting his relatively smooth ECF Presidency with the most recent President who was elected to the role due to his media profile and who proved an unmitigated disaster, ironically largely due to a spectacularly ill judged stunt to challenge bigotry in chess.

If anybody wants a more progressive figure at the head of the ECF all they have to do is find one willing to stand when the role next comes up for election and get one of the requisitionists to nominate them. If given a direct choice I would almost certainly vote for somebody on the political left (Rachel Reeves is a frequently mentioned name, as are the Eagle sisters) but have to accept that there are some chess colleagues who might not feel the same; and indeed might reject the names mentioned for not being Corbynite enough.

Which takes me on to my next point. I agree that chess in this country suffers from being riddled with sexist, homophobic and generally outdated views. At the same time those such as myself who try to reach out to a more diverse generation don't have Dominic Lawson imposed upon us; if we want a more progressive figure to provide an endorsement or open an event/ present prizes we are quite welcome to find one.
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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:51 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:58 pm
If given a direct choice I would almost certainly vote for somebody on the political left
I consider the post unsuited to a professional politician of any stripe. They only lead to trouble.
Which takes me on to my next point. I agree that chess in this country suffers from being riddled with sexist, homophobic and generally outdated views.
I cannot speak to the last point - it is nowadays standard procedure to dismiss any views which which one disagrees as "outdated", thus obviating the need to describe why they are actually wrong. On the first two, I have never observed either sexism ( unless you count targeted attempts to encourage women and girls to play ) or homophobia in chess. Is this perhaps an element of the North / South divide?

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:40 pm

Gerard Killoran wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:33 pm
I've now listened to Lawson's reply and he spends little or no time on the the real causes of poverty, but spends his most of his answer criticising the poor for gambling, smoking and drinking. We've had to listen to this nonsense ever since the nineteenth century. Some people might like chess to be represented by this privileged patrician snob but I'll leave it to Siegfried Sassoon to sum up my feelings about people like Lawson.
Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion, including 'people like Gerard' who apparently would encourage the poor to gamble, smoke and drink.

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:00 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:40 pm
Gerard Killoran wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:33 pm
I've now listened to Lawson's reply and he spends little or no time on the the real causes of poverty, but spends his most of his answer criticising the poor for gambling, smoking and drinking. We've had to listen to this nonsense ever since the nineteenth century. Some people might like chess to be represented by this privileged patrician snob but I'll leave it to Siegfried Sassoon to sum up my feelings about people like Lawson.
Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion, including 'people like Gerard' who apparently would encourage the poor to gamble, smoke and drink.
Did Gerard say that? No - he didn't say anything of the sort. Yes, in some cases families are impoverished because the member who should be the breadwinner ends up spending what little money they have satisfying various addictions (and yes, Lawson is right to say that this needs tackling). However those of us who live in the real world know that wages have not kept pace with the cost of living and that a full time job with a living wage is hard to come by, even if you do have the qualifications (which the children of gamblers and alcoholics are unlikely to have, through no fault of their own). There are many working people who are struggling to put food on their table, meet transport costs to get to work and afford other necessities like the equipment their children need for school. Dominic Lawson (the son of a prominent MP who has probably never wanted for anything) ignored that and simply implied that ALL poor people are responsible for their own misfortunes.
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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by David Robertson » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:01 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:40 pm
Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion, including 'people like Gerard' who apparently would encourage the poor to gamble, smoke and drink
Now that is a foolish comment, not least by your normal standards. Nowhere in his criticism of Lawson does Gerard Killoran advocate the wasting of the poor's money by the poor. If gambling, smoking, and drinking are normal social activities in our society - just as watching TV, buying a newspaper, catching a bus are - why are the poor denied normal social engagement? Dickens understood the problem. Welfare legislators this past century have too. Only in the past decade have the lessons of a century or more been ignored; and the questions they addressed, forgotten.

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:09 pm

David Robertson wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:01 pm
Now that is a foolish comment, not least by your normal standards. Nowhere in his criticism of Lawson does Gerard Killoran advocate the wasting of the poor's money by the poor. If gambling, smoking, and drinking are normal social activities in our society - just as watching TV, buying a newspaper, catching a bus are - why are the poor denied normal social engagement? Dickens understood the problem. Welfare legislators this past century have too. Only in the past decade have the lessons of a century or more been ignored; and the questions they addressed, forgotten.
David, my reading is that Gerard categorised Lawson's views as "nonsense". There have been times in my life when I've been short of money and, in extreme circumstances, a lot of what you (reasonably) term 'normal social engagement' has to be sacrificed to pay for essentials such as food and housing costs.

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:26 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:09 pm
David Robertson wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:01 pm
Now that is a foolish comment, not least by your normal standards. Nowhere in his criticism of Lawson does Gerard Killoran advocate the wasting of the poor's money by the poor. If gambling, smoking, and drinking are normal social activities in our society - just as watching TV, buying a newspaper, catching a bus are - why are the poor denied normal social engagement? Dickens understood the problem. Welfare legislators this past century have too. Only in the past decade have the lessons of a century or more been ignored; and the questions they addressed, forgotten.
David, my reading is that Gerard categorised Lawson's views as "nonsense". There have been times in my life when I've been short of money and, in extreme circumstances, a lot of what you (reasonably) term 'normal social engagement' has to be sacrificed to pay for essentials such as food and housing costs.
Again that is to completely and utterly miss the point. We all know full well that there are times when the belt has to be tightened and luxuries have to be sacrificed. The point is that there are plenty of people who do not smoke, drink or gamble and yet can't afford the cost of living, no matter how many hours they work - and it may be that they cannot work due to physical disability or mental illness; the Cameron and May governments have treated such people as fodder for budgetary cuts. Lawson simply refused to acknowledge that such issues exist.

It's also worth noting that gambling addiction and alcoholism is a form of mental illness. Up to a point the sufferer needs to take some responsibility, seek help and manage their condition. However it is not an excuse for the government to impose punitive sanctions upon their dependents. Also such addictions are rather like Malvolio's genius; some are born disposed towards it, some achieve it and others have it thrust upon them.
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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:40 pm

I'm not seriously suggesting that gambling, smoking and drinking are the most important factors causing poverty (and I don't recall Lawson saying this either) but they are factors over which, notwithstanding the point about addiction, individuals have some control. And I'm somewhat intolerant of people who describe as "nonsense" the views of "people like (insert name here)" simply because they disagree with them. As I suggested earlier, I'm less than enthused by the views of Diane Abbott but I hope I managed to refer to her in respectful terms.

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:51 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:40 pm
I'm not seriously suggesting that gambling, smoking and drinking are the most important factors causing poverty (and I don't recall Lawson saying this either) but they are factors over which, notwithstanding the point about addiction, individuals have some control. And I'm somewhat intolerant of people who describe as "nonsense" the views of "people like (insert name here)" simply because they disagree with them. As I suggested earlier, I'm less than enthused by the views of Diane Abbott but I hope I managed to refer to her in respectful terms.
Sorry but again missing the point. If gambling, smoking and drinking are not the most important factors causing poverty why did Lawson, when asked about poverty, immediately divert the subject on to a secondary cause?
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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:58 pm

And if you were to tell Diane Abbott to her face that she was talking nonsense I doubt she would consider it disrespectful although she might robustly defend her views; I think I can safely say she will have had much worse said to her. Even if what Diane Abbott says is nonsense to the ears of some people; ultimately she grew up in modest surroundings to immigrant parents and rose to become a Cambridge graduate and the first black woman elected to parliament.
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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Gerard Killoran » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:37 am

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:40 pm
Gerard Killoran wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:33 pm
I've now listened to Lawson's reply and he spends little or no time on the the real causes of poverty, but spends his most of his answer criticising the poor for gambling, smoking and drinking. We've had to listen to this nonsense ever since the nineteenth century. Some people might like chess to be represented by this privileged patrician snob but I'll leave it to Siegfried Sassoon to sum up my feelings about people like Lawson.
Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion, including 'people like Gerard' who apparently would encourage the poor to gamble, smoke and drink.
People 'like me' might do such a thing, but I wouldn't. As I lost my mother to lung cancer caused by smoking - despite my many appeals for her to quit - I find your assumption particularly offensive.

Unfortunately people 'like' Lawson don't or won't understand how poverty traps people into addictions to gambling, tobacco and alcohol. They would rather wag their fingers at the poor and blame them for their poverty rather that the cruel and vindictive system causes poverty and which benefits them and their rich friends.

Quiz question. Which very rich man, married to the daughter of a Viscount, wrote the following disgusting sentences?

A few years back I was asked to dinner by a billionaire. When I cast my eye over the other guests I couldn't help noticing that they, like my host, were all fabulously wealthy. As one of the many Filipino staff offered me yet another blini with beluga, it occurred to me if the incomes of all the people in the room were plotted on a graph, I would appear very close to the waiters, way below the dots marking the other guests.

In that, admittedly artificial, environment I was relatively poor. But by no stretch of the imagination could I be described as poor; still less would it make sense for me to claim that the state should act to make it possible for me to afford even one of the Modiglianis that hung on my host's walls, envious though I was of his collection.

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by Paul McKeown » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:54 am

Gerard Killoran wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:37 am
Quiz question. Which very rich man, married to the daughter of a Viscount, wrote the following disgusting sentences?
I would guess George Osborne, married to Frances, daughter of David Howell. George Osborne is, of course, a highly intelligent man, but he has never seemed to show any empathy for the poor in this country, or indeed in any country.

As for Dominic Lawson, I would prefer not to listen to his tedious drivel. Heard it all before; a symptom of the dreadful state of journalism these days is that blustering chancers of his ilk are never subjected to detailed forensic cross-examination. It's all hail fellow well met, a slap on the back, and a few balls nicely set up for the weakest batsman to deposit nicely over the boundary rope. Of course, that he is also a member of the journalistic profession, probably saves him from awkward questions by other journalists.

His climate change denial revolts me. That his views on the matter are never put in the same sentence as his father's extensive shareholdings in coal extraction by journalists is an obvious omission of the profession. It isn't a point that a journalist requires in depth technical knowledge of in order to be able to pierce the fog of misinformation that financially interested climate change deniers invariably raise. That his climate change denial goes hand in hand with poverty denial, sexism, homophobia and the like doesn't surprise me in the least.

As for the current high idiocy that is wreaking havoc on the British economy and paralysing its politics, Brexit, it is no surprise that Lawson is yet again a parrot for his father. His father of course, was a senior Cabinet Minister in Major's government, whose cretinous pursuit of maintaining an extreme exchange rate to the D Mark suffocated British industry, all in the guise of an economic fad, "monetarism", eventually lead to the rout that was Black Wednesday. Strange that no one has heard that word on any Tory mouths from that day forward. Searching for an excuse for their economic folly didn't take long at all. They cast around, and as they have often done, blamed it all on Johnny Foreigner. It was the fault of the EEC for its policy of European Monetary Union. Nary a word was said ever again about 3 D Mark parity. From this, Europhobia became respectable again in the party that had brought the UK into the EEC, and had fought hard diplomatic battles to create the Internal Market, through the Single European Act.

That Lawson is seen fit to be President of the ECF is for me an abomination. It should be a role filled by an uncontroversial figure, not someone that despises the poor of this country, the female half of its population, those of it that are homosexual, and doesn't write self serving tissues of lies about climate change or purvey cynical, deliberately misleading garbage about the foundations of political Europe.

And, Gerard, I echo David Robertson's gratitude for that poem. Bitingly apt both then, and now.

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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:14 am

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:40 pm
I'm not seriously suggesting that gambling, smoking and drinking are the most important factors causing poverty (and I don't recall Lawson saying this either) but they are factors over which, notwithstanding the point about addiction, individuals have some control.
This may be true up to a point, and I don't really want to enter into a political argument that I would normally avoid on here because I avoid the Not Chess forum: also, my objection to Lawson holding the post he does lies largely in his attitude to women, rather than his wider political views, which, however much I dislike them, would I suspect find a great following than mine among the English chess community.

Still, since we're here, perhaps two points. First, that if the individuals who wreck their lives on these machines have personality responsibility, then so do the people who own and licence them, and yet we tend to neglect the latter in order to weigh in against the former, which is, to put it more gently than I sometimes do, a dislikeable syndrome. Second, when you have somebody like Lawson, born into enormous privilege and having taken full advantage of it, and yet a large part of their activity involves laying into poor and vulnerable people, that's not just dislikeable, but distasteful too.
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Re: Dominic Lawson on Question Time (BBC Radio 4) now

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:04 am

It's a minor point, but Nigel Lawson wasn't actually a member of Major's Cabinet; he was a backbencher during his first ministry and not an MP at all during his second.

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