Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Feel free to copy, there is no copyright on an Anoneumouse montage. (click on image to enlarge)

believe in fairies

I used to believe in Santa Claus because my parents told me so, and I ceased to believe in him when my big sister disabused me.

The process by which large numbers of people become convinced of things that are not true has always been an important feature of political life. But never more so than recently.

Not many adults give an honest answer when Peter Pan asks if they believe in fairies. The only negative answers usually come from precocious children who have learnt to think for themselves but have not acquired social skills; I can still remember being silenced by my parents and shunned by the audience.

With maturity, most of us learn that it is wiser to go along with the crowd and with reason. What is widely believed is usually true. That is why it is not just more congenial, but also more efficient to adopt the conventional view than to engage in original research. But the strongest force driving us towards false opinions is the natural human desire to believe what we want to believe. If the choice is between declaring your belief in fairies and watching Tinkerbell fade from view, who would not shout that they believe in fairies? and as the seat of power slips away from the Tory's, so it seems Michael Howard believes in fairies


":Mr Howard could not bear the thought of looking "weak on terror", so preferred to make his front-bench team seem ridiculous yesterday in forcing them to fall in line behind a scheme that will cost billions, make us no safer and ultimately prove highly unpopular. He has deprived millions of people like me with an innate scepticism towards government of a real choice next year. At the very moment when one senses that voters are growing uneasy at the controlling instincts of New Labour, the Tory front bench has endorsed Big Government on stilts."


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