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Posts tagged ‘Government’

Darwin vs Spencer: Chicken, egg or German Romantics?

Posted by RDN under Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 25 February 2014. No comments.

BBC R4 had a great In Our Time episode last week. It discussed Social Darwinism and taught me (I fear for the first time) to wonder which came first: the sociology, as in social, or the biology, as in Darwinism? Put it another way: who was the precursor of whom? Who got to evolution – and got to its messages – first? Was it our obvious hero Charles Darwin, or the famous old villain, Herbert Spencer? Naturally, I was rooting for Spencer…. More »

Building trust: Character or accountability?

Posted by RDN under Politics & campaigns on 23 February 2014. No comments.

There was a fascinating vignette of modern government when the former head of GCHQ (the government’s listening post), Sir David Omand, was quizzed by Keith Vaz, the chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee during on a session on counter-terrorism. (The Home Affairs Committee, 11 February 2014.) Sir David argued – rightly, and counter-intuitively – that character was a better guarantee of probity than transparency. Well, there was more to his argument than that… More »

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