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Batshit Crazy

Entry 1685, on 2014-11-01 at 23:20:56 (Rating 4, Politics)

Politics isn't fair and nobody should be naive enough to think it is. Different parties have different agendas and it makes sense that they will be treated differently - maybe not even deliberately - based on those agendas and on stereotypes which aren't generally fair or accurate. For example I have no doubt that the media in New Zealand give the National Party, and especially the prime minister, a free pass on many things that they would criticise others for.

The New Zealand media is now almost entirely controlled by big business so it would be surprising if they weren't somehow biased towards a party (that is National) dedicated to increasing the privileges that big business already has.

But everyone should understand this fact which means that the other parties really do have to be a lot more careful about giving the media an opportunity to ridicule them. So Green Party MP, Steffan Browning supporting homeopathy as a treatment for Ebola is so obviously stupid that you've really got to wonder what was he thinking (or if he is even capable of rational thought).

Unfortunately many people associate environmentalism with fringe beliefs and historically (and to a lesser extent now) I think there has been a link between them. But looking after the environment has now become a more mainstream idea and the need to do more to prevent global warming, water pollution, and depletion of resources is well supported by science. And that's the type of idea the Greens have been trying to move towards.

But now this clown comes out and gives the enemies of his own party plenty of ammunition to use against them. WhaleOil and all of his rabid buddies have had a field day, and fair enough too, why wouldn't they? Most people aren't genuinely interested in discussing policies and ideas, they are simply interested in tagging their opponents with labels like "the Green Taliban" and "batshit crazy and dangerous".

This is nonsense of course, but 90% of the far right's ranting is nonsense. The Greens are now remarkably mainstream, maybe too much so in my opinion. And every party has its embarrassing members which the leadership probably wish would just go away. On the opposite side of the political spectrum the Act Party are are least as batshit crazy as the Greens. But I don't say that because of one small indiscretion by one member (such as the Act leader suggesting that incest is OK) but because their core policies are dangerous.

There is one point I should have perhaps made earlier: homeopathy is nonsense, and potentially dangerous nonsense too. Not only is the prior probability of it being real practically zero because there is no mechanism through which it could possibly work, but every well designed study evaluating it has found its effects are at placebo levels.

So yes, the risk of using homeopathy instead of real treatments and of potential contamination in homeopathic products is probably greater than any placebo effect it might have, and suggesting it as a treatment for something as serious as Ebola really is dangerous. But that doesn't mean that the whole Green Party or environmental movement in general are wrong. Making that sort of unfounded generalisation really is batshit crazy!


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