Big ideas, but little substance

By Dr Jonathan Carr-West | 10 October 2022
  • Dr Jonathan Carr-West

Readers may be aware that there is a week between writing these columns and them appearing. Never has that week felt longer. Who knows what might happen over that time? Nonetheless, I’m going to take a chance and take stock at the end of party conference season.

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously wrote that ‘a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds’. I have always felt that the word ‘foolish’ does a lot of work in this sentence. I take it to mean that an unbending adherence to ideas in the face of evidence is a sign of intellectual insecurity and that it can easily lead to mischief, hence the ‘hobgoblin’.

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