Richard Bentall #FBPE #FBPA Woke and proud! Profile picture
Political doppelgänger of @BentallProf and comrade in arms of @s_bentall. Scientists are allowed political opinions, which are not those of their employers.
LittleGravitas 🇪🇺 💙 #FBPE, #FBPA, #FBPR Profile picture Chris🌟 #FBPPR #RejoinEU #FBPE #FBPPR💙 Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
4 May
1/ Let's assume that this is true and the Tories are ahead by 17 points in Hartlepool. What does it mean? (A very short thread in lieu of the long one this really deserves.)
2/ Most people assume that people vote for policies or, if not policies, then ideology, but decades of research by political scientists reveals that this is rarely the case.
3/ And why should the people of Hartlepool care about policies? They've had decades of being let down by everyone. My guess is that they don't think whoever gets elected will make any difference to their fortunes.
Read 22 tweets
17 Apr
1/ Some thoughts about Brexit, remain/rejoin, Europeanism and identity.

This thread has been stimulated by a discussion with a political scientist friend, Thomas Stocks, and also by reading an article in the @Daily_Express today:
2/ Thomas and I have collected a lot of data on the psychology of Brexit and we were wondering what to do with it. I suddenly realised we were trying to find out "what was wrong" with leavers, which led Tom (not so committed to remain) to ask my why the EU was so important to me?
3/ This turned out to be a good question! Whatt is the psychology or remain?

I suddenly realised that I was always arguing about economics of Brexit but the truth is that I FEEL passionately European (it's just fortunate that the economics supports the remain side).
Read 21 tweets
21 Feb
1/13 It is hard for a remain/rejoiner not to feel frustrated by @UKLabour right now. Starmer's silence on Brexit is deafening.…
2/13 I wrote about what remain/rejoiner's attitudes towards @UKLabour should be a little while ago, urging patience and for party members to put their weight behind @Labour4EU.
3/13 I am continuing to hold my nerve right now, but I think @Keir_Starmer is in danger of making a bad mistake, losing the support of remain/rejoiners while failing to regain the trust of the red wall leavers (who were fewer in number than commonly supposed anyway).
Read 13 tweets
10 Jan

I am pretty annoyed about Starmer's statement about FoM on the Marr Show today, but I'm still not sure what the thinking behind it is. If it's just that this is not the time to talk about EU allignment, fair enough, but it could have been expressed in a more nuanced way.

Because, rest assured, there will have to be a reallignment with the EU. This will be necessitated not only by the economics but also, most likely, by unfolding events in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

I am not convinced that complete endorsement of the Tory's Brexit is required to win back the red wall seats; its not what a careful analysis of polling says and it's, frankly, treating red wall voters as idiots while pandering to their supposed idiocy (pretty patronising).
Read 19 tweets
25 Dec 20
1/20 This is a Christmas message to my wonderful pro-European friends, especially but not exclusively #FPBE. This is a difficult time for our movement, as it is at last confirmed that the UK will be leaving the EU customs union and single market in a few days time.
2/20 Maybe you are feeling demoralised. Maybe like me you acutely feel the pain of having your European citizenship and identity stolen from you in an act of naked vandalism. Maybe you feel that a hole has been torn in your heart that will never be repaired.
3/20 At this time, it would be easy to rant about the economic lunacy of cutting ourselves off from our nearest, biggest market, or about huge losses that we will suffer in excluding ourselves from EU projects like Erasmus, Galileo and REACH. But that can wait for another day.
Read 21 tweets
6 Dec 20
1/ This is a completely dishonest account of the events that led us to this point, but (I will give Barrister's Horse this) cleverly crafted. At each stage, the pathway is misrepresented to blame remainers for the catastrophe that is about to be inflicted on the UK by leavers.
2/ For example, in tweet 5 we are told that the Benn Bill was 'allegedly' drawn up by EU lawyers. Nice conspiracy theory. Which EU lawyers?

What is the argument against the content of the bill (none presented that I can see)?
3/ In tweet 6 the issues surrounding prorogation are completely misrepresented. It was a deliberatey antidemocratic attempt to suppress Parliamentary debate on the most important issue of the age and found illegal by the Supreme Court (but, hey, Barister's Horse knows better?).
Read 14 tweets
5 Dec 20
1/4 At this point in the Brexit process, when we remainers can only wait in horror, like passengers in a bus with defective breaks that is hurtling towards a cliff, it’s important to remember three simple but utterly fundamental truths.
2/4 Truth #1: The only possible way of maintaining our economy, our individual rights, peace in Ireland, our global reputation and the Union was to stay in the single market and customs union.
3/4 Truth #2: We could have stayed in the SM and CU while leaving the EU (and possibly had more control over fishing), although there would be some small (to my mind trivial in the scheme of things) sacrifices over sovereignty.
Read 5 tweets
11 Sep 20
So here is where we are now:

Johnson has told the world he intends to break international law and jeopardise the GFA while, at the same time, Herr Führage is literally trying to organize malitas to patrol our beaches while demanding that the WA must be completely repudiated. 1/
Meanwhile, EU Parliament says that it will veto UK FTA if Johnson does not back down, and the Americans are saying no trade deal with them if GFA is jeopardised. The twin effects will be economically and politically catastrophic. /2
Johnson is in zugzwang but I doubt whether he can face up to the humiliation of backing down or that many Tories will have the balls to stand up to him or Führage and his neofascist mobs. They will whine but ultimately comply. /3
Read 10 tweets
10 Sep 20
Brexit is a cult beyond reason; more like a religion than a serious policy initiative. To see that this is true, it just has to be noted that in Brexitier ideology EVERYTHING is the EXACT OPPOSITE to what it is claimed to be. EVERYTHING! 1/
For example, Brexitiers claim to be for free trade, and to achieve this they are imposing massive and expensive trade barriers with our nearest and biggest trading partners. These will increase costs of imports/exports and intoduce delays, wrecking just-in-time production. 2/
(I've been trying to find a historical precedent for this. the only one I know of is the tariffs imposed by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act of 1930 in the USA, which are thought to have contributed to the Great Depression. Let me know if you think of any other precedents.) 3/
Read 13 tweets
6 Sep 20
Yesterday, Sept 5th, I gave the first political speech of my life - about the threat of fascism in Britain today - at the 3.5% meeting on the steps of St George's Hall, Liverpool. This is what I said. 1/13
Yesterday, Sept 5th, I gave the first political speech of my life - about the threat of fascism in Britain today - at the 3.5% meeting on the steps of St George's Hall, Liverpool. This is what I said. 2/13
Yesterday, Sept 5th, I gave the first political speech of my life - about the threat of fascism in Britain today - at the 3.5% meeting on the steps of St George's Hall, Liverpool. This is what I said. 3/13
Read 15 tweets
28 Jun 20
So I've been thinking about @SebastianEPayne's account of @michaelgove's Ditchley lecture last night. Gove, you'll recall, was described as a Maoist by David Cameron.
On the surface, Gove seems to be making some decent points - get more (especially scientific) expertise into the civil service (quite a change of tune) and stand up for the 'forgotten man' (not sure of he cares about forgotten women) who voted to leave in 2016.
He grandiosely compares this project to FDR's New Deal. But Cameron was right - it's pure Maoism. He and Cummings (I suspect Johnson is just along for the ride) want to tear everything down and get us to Year Zero.
Read 10 tweets
27 May 20
Short thread on lying and the threat democracy in Britain (with links to previous threads) - an important topic given events of the last few days, and the question of whether Dominic Cummings should keep his job as Johnson’s advisor, which I’ll return to later. 1/
So first, what's so bad about lying? Note that not all deceptions are lies. Smiling to hide our feelings isn’t lying. Note also that deception has deep roots in our evolutionary past – think of the cat that bigs itself up to a rival by arching its back and sticking up its fur. 2/
Lying is a specifically human type of deception - a verbal statement, believed by liar to be false, made with the intention that another person be deceived. Put another way, a lie is a calculated way of trying to manipulate the beliefs of another person to one’s advantage. 3/
Read 22 tweets
28 Apr 20
An online exchange with @montie and @wallaceme of @ConHome has got me thinking about the strange death of the UK @Conservatives. Let me explain. /1
I grew up in Conservative Household. Dad and mum were activists during '70s and I was briefly a @YoungCons at that time (I know, I know). I've always been pro-European. In '75 campaigned with other young cons for Britain staying in the EEC (got arrested for fly posting). /2
When I went to university and became a psychologist I drifted towards the centre, but lost interest in politics. Since 1990s I've been hovering in the bit of the Venn diagram where Labour centre and Lib Dems overlapped; I guess you could call me a Blairite (I know, I know). /3
Read 26 tweets
20 Jan 20
What is the biggest lie of Brexit? There are so many, it's hard to choose, and perhaps we should hold a competition.

Here is my choice (repeated endlessly by Brexiters of all persuasions: Brexit is about promoting free trade.

Many Brexiters have made this claim, including @RupertLowe10, @DanielJHannan and @LiamFox. Here is our trade secretary, @trussliz boasting about the trading opportunities with Africa


Nothing could be further from the truth than the Brexit lie that leaving the EU will promote free trade. In fact, Brexit is the deliberate decision to tear up our existing free trade arrangements, and replace them with inferior ones, thereby making trade less free.

Read 9 tweets
13 Jan 20
There seems to be a palpable energy in the Remain movement at the moment, which might seem a bit surprising, even paradoxical, given that we are about to confront our worst nightmare on January 31st. 1/
Brexiters smell this. Given that they're about to get what they want, just as paradoxically, they seem to be remarkably unhappy. Their trolls are even more active than usual; the Tories are desperately spewing out Orwellian propoganda; the Russia report remains hidden. 2/
It is as if they are frightened. Frightened that there will be no unicorns, that 'global Britain' will be shown to be a con. Frightened that they have to own their shit . That it will no longer be possible to pretend the Emperor is clothed. Frightened of the spectre of Rejoin. 3/
Read 12 tweets
9 Jan 20
Today I need to get something off my chest. I have woken up with a deep sense of anger towards those – especially in my own family – who voted for this shitshow known as Brexit. I’ve been angry for a long time, but events of yesterday have somehow pushed me over the edge. 1/
Learning that that the HoC has voted down supporting the rights of unaccompanied refugee children, their own right to scrutinise Brexit negotiations and especially to leave Erasmus (because it affects my kids directly) has somehow been the last straw. 2/
All policies completely unnecessary even in event of Brexit and can only be explained by weapons-grade stupidity and selfishness amongst those who support them. We have a class of politicians and people who don’t give a fuck about anyone, no matter how young or vulnerable. 3/
Read 13 tweets
17 Dec 19
So I've been thinking about Britain's electoral psychology. Seems to me that this is something that we should all do to make sense of mess we're in. For those of you who don’t think psychology is important, consider that a lot of politics is about how people THINK and FEEL. 1/
I’ve been struck by research which shows that people rarely vote on basis of policies but, instead tend to be swayed by emotion and identity (see Achen, C. H., & Bartels, L. M. (2016). Democracy for realists. Princeton University Press). 2/
Seems that UK and probably most other western countries can be described as 'lazy democracies'. This kind of laziness not irrational; most of us don't have the time or headspace to think about policies in detail. Instead, we make our choices based on who we think we can trust. 3/
Read 19 tweets
28 Feb 18
1. I have been struggling to understand Brexit for over 2 years, partly motivated by my palpable and unexpected grief at the referendum result, but partly because of my professional interest in human behaviour. So, FWIW, here goes.
2. It has become increasingly clear that Brexit has torn the country apart in a way which nobody anticipated. I do not see this healing for a generation. So why has this happened?…
3. First thing to note is that those leading Brexit have almost nothing in common with those who voted for it. Some leaders are utopian free market ideologists (Hannan), some nationalists (Farage), some members of Oxbridge establishment under threat (BJ):…
Read 20 tweets
20 Dec 17
1/ That's an impressive graphic.

I'm moving to the sad prediction that nothing that will stop these imbeciles from driving us over the cliff edge. They seem incapable of learning from experience. No amount of evidence of the damage they are doing will change their minds.
2/ Brexit is truly the triumph of the stupid over the intelligent; of the ignorant over the informed. It is testing in the most brutal way the anti-intellectual hypothesis that experts cannot be trusted and can be ignored with impunity.
3/ Which makes me think that, without giving up hope that sanity will prevail, some of us should be planning for the chaos that will inevitably follow the kind of hard Brexit that these idiots - May, Johnson, Gove, Farage, Banks, Dacre - are pushing us towards.
Read 5 tweets