The Flaw of Jenkins’ Ire

by Stephen Tall on March 14, 2007

Simon Jenkins is in good trenchant form in today’s Grauniad on Trident, but see if you can spot the logical fallacy in his opening paragraph:

I can hardly believe that a majority of British MPs will tonight vote to renew the British nuclear deterrent. Almost all of them, of all parties, know in their heads that it makes no sense. They lack the guts to say so, Labour MPs because they want jobs under Gordon Brown, Conservatives because they love whizzbangs and want to embarrass Tony Blair by keeping him in power, for reasons that pass comprehension.

He cites, “of all parties”, but names and shames only two. I wonder why that might be?

Not because Mr Jenkins cannot find it in himself to agree with (or even mention) the Lib Dem position, is it?

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6 comments

Well spotted Stephen. Isn’t that an empirical factual flaw in his opening paragraph, rather than a logical one? I always thought you could be logically correct while being factually wrong. But then again you’re the Oxford egg-head, I bombed out of Reading after one year.

by Paul Walter on March 14, 2007 at 3:32 pm. Reply #

That, sir, is a dreadful pun of a post title.

by Will on March 14, 2007 at 4:03 pm. Reply #

You are right he should have mentioned the Lab Dems as the new converts to one-sided nuclear disarmament,but I guess like so many people he finds the Lab Dems just opportunitic and irrelevant.

by Anonymous on March 14, 2007 at 10:34 pm. Reply #

I can’t stand Simon Jenkins.

In fact, given his smug patronising attacks on us in the past, I prefer it when he doesn’t mention us in his columns.

by Joe Taylor on March 15, 2007 at 12:30 am. Reply #

I knew you weren’t paying attention in tutorials. That is quite clearly not a ‘logical flaw’ in the argument…

by Nathaniel Tapley on March 15, 2007 at 12:29 pm. Reply #

I’m not sure it is a flaw. He says they almost all know replacing Trident doesn’t make sense. He then complains that of those, many in Labour and the Tories lack the guts to say so. Our honorable members don’t lack the guts to say so…:)

by Jock Coats on March 18, 2007 at 1:34 pm. Reply #

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