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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

1978 - when TV political debate was more serious

Here is the Thames TV debate on the Common Market and its relevance to the minority Callaghan government. If only modern debate could be more like this.

Dennis Skinner is very good on the multiple impacts on British industry and labour.

I like the comment by John Pardoe (Liberal) towards the end of Part 2 when he talks about the disadvantages of government by a party that has secured an overwhelming majority in Parliament.

I think that EU membership and recent British government have highlighted the need to revisit:

  • The increasing power of the Executive
  • The use of prerogative powers
  • The expansion of secondary legislation that is merely waved through both Houses


James Higham said...

The wave-throughs are a worry.

Sackerson said...

JD comments:

To add to your list of things we need to revisit:

What struck me about all of those around the table was how they listened to and remembered what was being said. In other words their attention span was much longer than that of current politicians and very much longer than the population at large who are or appear to be permanently distracted by their smartphones etc.

Here is an interesting statistic-

Internet Browsing Statistics
12. Percent of page views that last less than 4 seconds: 17 %
13. Percent of page views that lasted more than 10 minutes: 4 %
14. Percent of words read on web pages with 111 words or less: 49 %
15. Percent of words read on an average (593 words) web page: 28 %
16. Users spend only 4.4 seconds more for each additional 100 words.

Perhaps not a true 'scientific' study but it is possibly an intuitive response to what will become a big problem in the future.

Sackerson said...

@JD: And so we shall be managed, like a herd of cows.

Paddington said...

Sound bites make things so easy. That explains American politics.

A couple of associated anecdotes:

1. I had several students comment to me in recent years that they 'got tired' reading a single paragraph.
2. When I see a video that a friend has posted, I roll my eyes if it is more than 2 minutes long, as if I had so much to do.
3. This is why online education doesn't work. Humans need interaction to learn.