My thanks to Alicia for an interesting discussion this afternoon. She called to ask me what progress we’re making with getting the government to engage with out arguments. I explained we have a meeting arranged with a senior politician shortly, but trying to engage with people like David Cameron, Vince Cable and Helen Whitehead (DBIS) is proving futile. Alicia then made an interesting analogy:
It’s as if the government had been persuaded by the evidence put forward by academics at the Flat Earth Society, in support of the theory that the world is flat. Policies have been developed on the basis of the theory, and more will be developed over time. Politicians and civil servants are busy people, too busy to consider alternative theories, especially the one put forward in some quarters that the earth isn’t flat, but is a sphere! How crazy would that be, if it were true? Wouldn’t it be obvious for us all to see? And wouldn’t people spin off a spherical earth, due to centrifugal force? No, a flat earth makes much more sense. There’s no need to engage with people who suggest otherwise.