hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Wednesday, June 05, 2002
another excerpt from "The Complete Yes Prime Minister", by Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay

"Today I held an off-the-record, non-attributable briefing with the European correspondents. The lobby system really is invaluable. The hacks are keen to get a story, yet lazy enough to accept almost anything that we feed them. I told them that we had a big problem coming up with Brussels. Since they'd be hearing about it anyway some day soon, I told them I'd level with them now and give them he whole embarassing story. They lapped it up.

`Brussels,' I said, `is going to make the British sausage illegal under EEC regulations.'

Bernard looked very worried, and passed me a hurried note reminding me that the EEC plan was not to illegalize the British sausage. . .I crumpled up the note decisively. Bernard just doesn't understand politics. [though he did understand the difference between truth and falsehood]. . .

Finally, one of the reporters asked me what the government is going to do about it. I looked despairing, pathetic, and helpless, and told him that I had no idea, that it is a big problem, and that I wouldn't pretend that we have an answer. Then I sent them all out into the waiting room so that the Press Office could ply them with drinks. As they left, Bernard cornered me. Minister! You realize that the Press will be printing something that isn't true?'

`Really?' I smiled at him. `How frightful!'". . .

"I have a feeling that tonight I clinched the leadership of the Party. . .There were several bursts of applause during my speech, some lasting for up to a half a minute, and at the end I sat down to cheers and a standing ovation. The last part of the speech really got them going. I think I might have a future as a major demagogue:

. . .(BBC TRANSCRIPT COTD) The Europeans have gone too far. They are now threatening the British sausage. They want to standardize it - by which they mean they'll force the British people to eat salami and bratwurst and other garlic-ridden greasy foods that are TOTALLY ALIEN to the British way of life.(CRIES OF "HEAR HEAR", "RIGHT ON", and "YOU TELL 'EM, JIM")

Do you want to eat salami for breakfast with your egg and bacon? I don't. And I won't! (MASSIVE APPLAUSE)
They've turned our pints into litres and our yards into metres, we gave up the tanner and the threepenny bit, the two bob and the half crown. But they cannot and will not destroy the British sausage! (APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
Not while I'm here. (TUMULTOUS APPLAUSE)

In the words of Martin Luther: "Here I stand. I can do no other." (HACKER SITS DOWN. SHOT OF LARGE CROWD RISING TO ITS FEET IN APPRECIATION)"