In a great bellow of wasted testosterone, Chris Dillow thinks the chicks have got a bit big for their Jimmy Choo's.
Monday, 30 June 2008
Friday, 27 June 2008
This country is fed up with its elected Government, if anything even more so than it was in 1995-97. We are sick of barefaced lies told on order by European masters. We are sick of the nanny state interference. We are sick of the PC totalitarianism. We are sick of the tax and spend. We are sick of the unreformed public "services". We are sick of the illiberal bullying in the name of the War on Terror. We are heartily sick of bin snoopers, surveillance over schools admission, chavs, benefit cheats, MRSA, co-payment murder, uncontrolled immigration and the waste and filth of Britain's bloated public sector.
That we were even before Gordon took over, but we accepted Blair because we (some of us anyway) voted for a party he led, and he looked and talked like he was on our side. In all fairness and allowing for a bit of self-delusion inherent in all successful people, he probably was. Now we have a dishonest, incompetent, cowardly ditherer who bullies his minions and hides behind someone else at the first sign of trouble, who has not been elected, even to leadership of the Party. Since becoming prime minister, He has played politics with soldiers' lives, in an appallingly cynical and transparent attempt to triangulate for party political advantage, before being caught in a bare-faced lie over the election that never was. Any popular policies announced have been transparently lifted from the Conservatives, Then in a transparent piece of triangulation, a Tax cut for the middle classes was proposed at the expense of the poorest in the land, simply to wrong-foot the Tories, before retreating like a snake from a flame when he was found out. In retreating on this issue, he broke his rule of borrowing only to invest sabotaging any reputation he may have had left for "prudence". How hollow his boasts from the despatch box as Chancellor sound now.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbalNo! We do not like our Prime minister. We do not like the cut of his Jib at all. As a monarchist atheist, I am not an admirer of Oliver Cromwell either, but I agree with sentiments expressed by him three hundred and fifty-five years, two months and seven days ago to another parliament and would like to express them myself to this one:
You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!He then ordered the Army to clear the chamber whilst shouting
You are no longer a Parliament, I say you are no Parliament!Perhaps it is the Government's plan that the Queen's armed forces are out of the country in lands of which we know little and care less, and are unavailable for this patriotic duty, but if ever we need a Thomas Harrison to take the Fools' Bauble out of the chamber, and stand resolute when parliamentary authority is abused (as indeed he did subsequently when Cromwell anointed himself "Lord Protector"), it is now. But we do not have such a figure.
The best we can do is get rather more than the 92 signatures currently on the petition demanding a General Election NOW!.
For those of you who think that this would be unconstitutional, that Parliament is sovereign and who favour fixed term parliaments, consider this: Legitimacy derives from the people's mandate given to Governments to wield power on behalf of the Crown. The genius of this idea is that it is responsive to a change in opinion. It barely needs articulating that because of his deep personal failings both as a man and politician, Gordon Brown is a Lame duck - barely able to command a Majority in the house, as fractious Labour backbenchers abandon the sinking ship SS New Labour in a desperate and probably futile attempt to save their places at the political trough. As such, any pressure that can be brought to bear on the unelected plastic tyrant we have ruling us, to go to the country to renew his mandate following his treachery over internment and the Lisbon treaty should be applied, with alacrity.
This country needs a change of direction - we need lower taxes, less regulation, fewer rules and more independence for the individual. We need arrange a looser arrangement with the European union, and we need to honour the electorate, who are speaking their mind clearly, both in the Tory heartlands and in Labour ones.
You may blame the problems in the economy on external factors and suggest that Gordon Brown was merely unlucky. However he was for a decade sufficiently hubristic to believe that he, Gordon Brown, had uniquely abolished the business cycle, and he spent and spent and spent, paying off his ever growing client state for petty electoral advantage during the boom years, running up debt like a drunken housewife watching price-drop TV. The severe inflation, the falling disposable incomes after tax, the soaring costs of utilities and housing are all, at least in part, as a result of decisions taken while Gordon Brown was in Number 11, and there is a certain poetic justice being meted out to him now. He and he alone left the country in debt, when he should have been posting surpluses and paying off the national debt. He alone decided to fire-hose money at unreformed public services, which have all been swallowed in increased headcount to little measurable effect.
The world has changed from the optimistic, booming 2005 when we thought we could afford Labour incompetence. We did not want or elect Gordon Brown as Prime minister. If he had turned out to be competent, he could have stayed. As it happened, he was simply was not up to the job. If he had any ounce of decency, he should resign and trigger a general election.
That and that alone will save him from going down in history as Britain's worst ever prime minister. It might even see him raised to the status of "fundamentally decent chap" like Sir John Major in the eyes of the Nation - He may have hung on to the bitter end as Gordon plans to do, but at least Sir John won elections both for leadership of the Party and as Leader of the party in a general election. As he is, Brown is seen as a malevolent fool who bullied and schemed his way to illegitimate power, before losing his way once he got it presiding over a car crash administration. A petition with a million signatures calling for an election could be the trigger for him to go with the little dignity he has left.
So go and sign it, Now.
Beaten by a party whose membership get sexually excited about leather; and ejaculate over pictures of an ugly short bloke with a brown shirt and toothbrush moustache.
Beaten by a party that believes telling everybody what they want to hear will get them elected to government and that the EU is good for us – I can’t believe that one either.
Beaten by a party who haven’t announced their policies yet, and who all knew each other in the Eton common room.
It must suck big time to be a Labour supporter today. Granted they were fighting in probably the safest Tory seat in the country. But even in these hallowed boundaries by the law of averages you get the odd Bollinger Bolshevik. These people who by dint of a low IQ and years of bullying still retains unfashionable and outdated beliefs (like tax is “investment”), even they couldn’t bring themselves to close their copy of the Daily Worker; put on their hemp sandals, fire up the Prius and vote Gordon. 1066 votes for Labour, that’s certainly one in the eye for King Broon. And a very happy 1 year anniversary Gordy.
If you are planning to introduce Jim Crow Laws against the Majority, you are going to do worse in elections than the party planning to introduce Jim Crow laws against the minority. Of course most reasonable people therefore voted for parties not planning to viciously discriminate against anyone.
We're nice like that, the British.
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
It’s not often I agree with Race Baiter, the Rev Jesse Jackson but his comments on Zimbabwe have been almost enlightening. “If this were a white regime in Zimbabwe seen as holding an election, the world would cry out to ask for fairness and open, free fair election without violence…” A statement of the bleeding obvious you would think - not to someone who has worked in the race industry their entire lives it isn’t. This industry has been built up to divide, not unite; next you’ll get Al Sharpton saying he wanted to be a Police Officer all his life, and his hobbies include country music, NASCAR and Ice Hockey.
The following statement almost made me fall off my chair "That is inconsistent with what ANC asked of the world when they under apartheid. ANC asked the world to help, and the U.S. Congress passed action against apartheid in South Africa. We had demonstrations around the world against apartheid South Africa. So there are some crises that cannot be left to isolation into their own device. South Africa of course shares border with Zimbabwe, and there are some diplomatic sensitivities, but I hope ANC would see itself playing a more aggressive role in bringing about a plan to reconciliation and growth in Zimbabwe”. Basically he’s calling South Africa hypocrites, which is fairly powerful stuff.
Of course Jesse Jackson trots the usual guff about both sides coming together and talking, and the struggle against Colonialism. You can’t expect the Left to admit they’ve been completely wrong on the nobility of Comrade Bob, something that was blatantly obvious after the Matebele massacres in the 1980’s. Nor has the British government who supported Comrade “Idi” Mugabe in the first place “fessed” up to the error. The only consistency in Africa has been from men off the cloth who have spent longer in church than running for President, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Archbishop Pius Ncube. Mugabe called Desmond Tutu an “angry, evil and embittered little bishop”, you really get to know a man by his enemies…
Monday, 23 June 2008
Why does every Labour Government end in Public Sector strikes?
It's simple. Labour exists symbiotically with the public sector. The Labour party gets in on a wave of optimism. They go to work, stealthily raising taxes on the private sector. This is pumped into an unreformed public sector who in the Labour mythology has endured x years of 'Tory underfunding'. This money is offered without compensating changes to a multitude of Spanish practices, and is all swallowed in pay rises, with negligible increases in productivity.
So all that money (and more) raised in Taxation (during this spectacularly incompetent 11 years representing the greatest rise in taxation in peace time in British history) has gone from a productive private sector to an unproductive public sector, and what's worse much of this is hard-to-administer 'stealth taxes' in which each pound of tax generates approximately 30p of spending. That's before you consider the 30% of the tax raised which is entirely wasted subsidising crime.
Economics 101: what do you call an increase in price without an improvement in service? Inflation. Yet that inflation is not included in the headline measure, which means the Government can continue to print money for its chums in the still unionised bits of the economy.
But the Labour party is in charge.... so they're not going to let piffling economics interfere with their grand new order, so they try ludicrous schemes like price and wage controls (in the 1970's) or they simply change the rules, ignoring all public sector inflation (now). This is the socialist "la la la... it's not happening" logic, which should be familiar to anyone who has tried to explain that chavettes do indeed give birth to feral fuck-trophies in order to secure a council flat. That is why Gordon Brown chose CPI as a measure of inflation for the MPC to target, rather than the good old British RPI. Then when even that doesn't work... they go back to trying (wait for it) wage and price controls, which as we all saw worked so well in the '70's.
Now remember in step one, you spend the first bit of your administration pumping money taken off the efficient, productive private sector directly at unreformed public sector workers. Once the pips squeak, as they inevitably do, as the money runs out you still have to deal with the increased expectation of wage rises from the gentlemen with their thumbs in their braces. Once dashed, the unions go out on strike. Meanwhile, because of the strikes, the pips in the private sector who've paid for the whole fucking charade finally realise just how little they actually use the public services and how much better the private alternatives are, realise that the "Tory cuts" aren't actually the apocalypse the Labour party have been painting them. All they care about is whether their bins get emptied. Oh...
As a result of the inflation, collapsing house prices and skyrocketing oil, no-one's got enough money - even the dregs in the public sector, because they are on strike pay.
So that's why the Labour party inevitably has to preside over a fag-end of strikes and Stagnflation: They're economically illiterate cabbages who promise 'jam today' to their client state, who wouldn't know 'prudence' if it bit them on the bum.
Comment from SeanT at Political Betting...
Yes, Cameron can be a little smug. Even a tad cocky, in that annoyingly smooth Etonian way.I don't think there's anything I can add to that superb and insightful analysis... do you?
Yet I’d prefer to be governed by a toffee-nosed twerp like Cammo, compared to that ugly, lying, self-serving, cowardly wart-hog that is Gordon Brown. Gordon Brown is a disgusting traitor sitting in the death-row cell of his own incompetence, and New Labour are the bucket into which he defecates.
Someone hang him and let’s move on
Saturday, 21 June 2008
DK takes me to task for not really caring about our Lords and Masters fiddling their expenses. The reasoning he paraphrases me as saying is "everyone does it, so why should politicians be any different?"
Naturally it is more complicated than this.
First let's dismiss the scandals surrounding party finance. This is simply a function of the rules combating the natural mating of money and influence. You might as well try to make water flow uphill. The rules are complex to the point of absurdity, no individual is personally profiting and that is that. We have an unusually uncorrupted system in this country, and the damage the complex rules do is in creating the perception that we don't.
With the personal expenses, there is a similar, but morally different problem.
The underlying problem is that the MP's salary is very low both in historic and relative terms - less than a secondary headmaster for example. Expenses are used therefore as a "perk of the job". There are a lot of professions where this is the case. No-one would suggest soldiers are overpaid, but their daily allowances are, if claimed, potentially lucrative. As are the Tax-breaks from serving overseas. This is why many squaddies serving in Germany drove brand new BMWs. They could, if smart, get effectively free motoring by buying a new car in Germany, driving it for a year or so and selling it in the UK. Officers' school fees are probably the single biggest inducement keeping passed over majors in the coulors. In the private sector, Salesmen put all sorts of dubious things into their expenses. This is only really a problem if the company is in trouble or the individual is not meeting his targets, in which case he can be fired without much expense to the company, so both sides are happy with the arrangement.
With Politicians, there is merely a quantitative difference - hundreds of thousands of pounds. Because there is not "quality control" as there is in the example of the salesman above, this is troughing simply a rational response to complex rules which encourage this sort of behaviour. So these scandals are all about people falling foul of rules which condone immoral behaviour even if you stay on the right side of them, and it is simply an issue of degree. The scale is the problem - and is mainly in 3 areas. The Office, Housing and Travel.
MPs office expenses should be funded centrally which would sort out the largest source of potential temptation to trough. It really is that simple.
Travel can be sorted out with the simple requirement to produce receipts - you get back what you spend. No-one would expect Charlie Kennedy to finance dozens of journeys from Skye to Westminster from his own pocket, and MPs should be free to travel between the two places they are paid to work, as they see fit. We're a rich country, and it's not as if the travelling itself is a perk. Clearly they should not be able to profit from this.
Housing, however represents the biggest problem.
Politicians' London flat scandals are simply the logical result of a system which refuses to pay MPs an appropriate salary, whilst at the same time letting them get away with theft. The Wintertons are merely (just) on the wrong side of a line which the rules suggest is acceptable, and Balls-Cooper are just on the right side of it. Everyone's at it, and the Wintertons have just been caught. What is not the problem is that two families are either side of an arbitrary line, it's that the arbitrary line is as far over into what most of us would regard as "theft" as to bring politics into disrepute. No-one has suggested, for example that the MP with the biggest expense account in 2006 - Eric Joyce has ever done anything wrong.
MPs need a decent salary, enough to afford a pied a terre if necessary. London MPs could be paid less than those from the rest of the UK to reflect their requirement for only one home. And no further expenses for housing should be given, after all, no-one else gets one. Overly generous expenses give the impression of impropriety even amongst honest MPs. It is too easy for the likes of DK to simply say "hang them all". I am not defending the Wintertons, but a simpler system would remove the reality, perception and opportunity to put "snouts in the trough".
As in everything, simplification is the solution. Openness is no good if the rules themselves are opaque.
On the basis that the Wintertons are simply acting as rational agents according to the incentives presented to them. Do you really think self-employed people really differentiate between business and personal expenditure? They claim what they think they can get away with. Tax evasion is merely getting caught by going too far. Change the incentives, change the behaviour: the Wintertons are no different and no more blameworthy than the single mother who has a baby and kicks the father out in order to get a flat and income support from the council, or the plumber who claims the mileage to visit his granny against tax. That is why I don't really care. It goes from the bottom to the top of our society - and everyone's at it, fiddling a complex system to the best of our advantage. Excoriate the system not the individuals.
Gordon Brown is to fight only one election as Labour leader, the next sources say will be his last in charge of the Labour party.
In other news
The pope, it is revealed is Catholic.
The Mystery of where wild bears shit is finally solved: In the woods, naturalists say.
Family trip to zoo ruined as granny sees chimpanzees masturbating.
Scotsman seen drunk in the street.
Dog bites man.
Earth is an "oblate spheroid" scientists reveal. "Flat earth" theory dismissed.
Friday, 20 June 2008
In 2006, Ian Clayton took his son and daughter canoeing in Hay on Wye. Now I've canoed that stretch of river, using similar canoes. It's a river, therefore it is dangerous, especially to a 9 year old girl, but it is a flat, shallow and generally benign stretch which anyone should be able to drift down in a canoe without too much ado, and indeed thousands do every year, as did I on a stag party whilst roundly pissed and dressed as a pirate. Sadly, however their Canoe capsized after a "wrong turn" (I'm not sure either...) and he was forced to save one child or the other. He saved the boy who was clinging to a tree. His daughter, Billie drowned.
At the inquest, He described the canoe hire industry as "Stupidly unregulated" and said that his daughter "fell through a hole in the health and safety law and drowned". His Daughter is dead, so I don't want to heap too much scorn on Mr Clayton, but he's a idiot. Is daughter fell out of a boat of which Mr Clayton was in charge, and drowned. Then he tried to blame the people who lent him the kit for manslaughter by way of "gross negligence", and now he's whingeing about the regulations. This, to my mind is despicable moral cowardice. He's already cost people their business, as the Family were the first and last customer of Hay Canoes. Mr Clayton thinks it's shocking that all you have to do when hiring equipment is provide defect free kit, and there's no obligation to instruct. Take some responsibility, man! It happened on your watch, now deal with it rather than looking for someone else to blame.
No regulation will ever make a river 100% safe. There are trees hanging into the water, there is a variable flow, what is a ripple one day is a rapid the next. The family though, received kit in good working order, and I'm assuming because their absence was not mentioned in any of the news reports, buoyancy aids. What more does a hire firm have to do? hold your fucking hand?
I'm a level 1 (the most junior) canoe instructor. I have the skills and most importantly the paperwork, necessary to take a few kids on flat, sheltered water. To get this tick in the box, I took a week long course encompassing first aid, rescue techniques paddling and coaching skills, and I have many year's experience in various disciplines of Kayaking. Yet I am not qualified to lead the expedition that Mr Clayton took his children on, though I would be more than happy to take a couple of kids in a private capacity. If, to hire a canoe to drift down a river required "instruction" there would be no canoes hire at all, except at extortionate cost. That would mean no-one could do it unless they were qualified and experienced which is the endless chicken and egg - can't get experience until qualified, can't get qualified without experience.
Outdoor pursuits are becoming constipated with this thinking. I'm expected to keep a log book of all canoeing and coaching. Because I'm also qualified to lead hill walking expeditions in summer, I'm also expected to keep a log book of Walks. Yes, a Log book of walks. Add to that the diving, sailing and skiing log books which I will need should I ever want to coach these activities, the simple joy of the outdoors is being drowned in paperwork. It's a wonder there are any instructors at all.
What this means is that safety in the outdoors is binary. You're either on your own, or under the guidance of an experienced (and given the onerousness of the paperwork, probably professional) instructor and you're paying through the nose. Further more, that instructor is not going to let you just drift down the river, he's going to want to teach you how to paddle, which is a couple of hours of lessons the kids don't want or need, for a day out on the river, which the vast majority of people manage without killing their children. If Mr Clayton ever gets his piffling regulations, it will not save one life and the only beneficiary will be the bureaucrats who'll be employed to police it. The cost will be borne by everyone involved in the Outdoor industry who is going to have to pay more for insurance and to box-tick for the safety gestapo. Instructors are going to be in greater demand and their fees will go up, but for the casual Sunday afternoon paddler, no-one is going to provide tips and hints, because that would constitute instruction and if you go and kill yourself, then there's a liability. That's if the Sunday afternoon paddler is allowed on the river at all without demonstrating expertise in the sculling draw stroke according to some form devised by an Eichman look alike in the department of Fun Prevention. It means anyone who ever wants to paddle anything will end up paying annual dues to the BCU. This will prevent people from trying activities they might enjoy. And all because one idiot went the wrong way on a river. In the end because he wasn't taking sufficient care, he'll spoil the river for everyone.
The great outdoors does not require more legislation and regulation, it requires less. It should be obvious that a river is dangerous and you need to take basic care of yourself and those around you. By demanding regulation you just end up making the country a little greyer, a little more boring but no safer. Too much regulation means people take stupid risks because someone else will cop the blame when it goes wrong. No, we do not need more pointless rules, just to salve Mr Clayton's own polluted concience.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Yesterday the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England abandoned a decade of inflation targeting and said that although inflation is going through the roof, this is because the Arabs aren't pumping enough oil, rather than because the Plebs are demanding more cash, and therefore Merve the Swerve doesn't give a shit. I paraphrase, naturally. But the bank is apparently comfortable with inflation spiking to 4%, probably because doing anything about it would turn a down turn into an economic train wreck. In response, Darling, whilst sitting on Gordon's knee said "That's OK. It's all the beastly Arabs' fault. That's why we want to lock such evil
Darkies Muslims terrorists up for 42 days without charge" You can barely see Gordon's lips move during the performance.
The problem is that inflation has already spiked - mostly in the part of the economy (nearly half) which is not covered by the fraudulent CPI measure, introduced (ffs) to help us align our economy with that of the Eurozone in preparation for joining the single currency. Funnily enough CPI specifically excludes all aspects of the economy where government action is inflationary. Fancy that! RPI, which includes property costs such as Mortgage interest repayments and council tax, is running much higher than CPI, and has been for some time, but there is no doubt that it more accurately reflects the UK economy which is uniquely sensitive to interest rates. This sensitivity is because of a high level of home ownership on floating rate mortgages, and that is why Darling, the badger faced sock-puppet was trying to foist (expensive, inefficient) 25-year fixed loans on the UK market. He was told to by his Bosses' boss, the EU. But when has economic literacy, or honesty ever been part of a Labour Government's arsenal?
Thus the Labour "Government" have been able to severely curtail peoples' disposable income by hammering them with council tax rises (if you think this is anything to do with councils rather than central government, you're an idiot) and allowing a property price bubble to inflate whilst keeping interest rates low, because most real inflation was not reflected in the "official" inflation target. It still hurts the consumer, and this, more than anything else gives the Lie to Gordons Boast of the lowest period of sustained non-inflationary growth ever. That non-inflationary bit was a mirage. He lied to you, though and the chickens are finally coming home to roost. I seem to remember warning about this in January 2007, and before.
Everywhere you look, if there's a problem, there's an ill thought out Government target devised by a Presbyterian charlatan. But in the Government of the blind, the one-eyed man is Prime Minister.
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Disgusting gnats' piss, more like
Inbev has launched a hostile takeover for Anheuser Busch, which is great. I hope the Belgians can finally teach the Americans how to brew beer. How, in the name of all that's holy did Budweiser get to be the world's biggest beer brand with a product so inadequate? I mean say what you like about Stella Artois, at least it tastes of something. If there is any justification for anti-Americanism, it is their description of Budweiser, apparently without irony, as "the king of Beers". That alone is sufficient justification for pearl harbour,9/11 and the Kennedy assassination.
Listening to the (financially illiterate) Democratic senator for St Lois, Claire McCaskill go on about how "connected" she and "all Americans" felt about Bud, made me realise just how much the poor deluded Americans need to learn about the art of brewing and drinking beer. The sooner Anheuser Busch gets lessons from the Belgians, the better.
How at home Gordon must have felt buying off backbenchers with deals on Cuba (Some labour MPs want to support one communist dictatorship by turning Britain into one too, which should show how committed the potential Labour rebels are to civil liberties...). How clever he must have felt using water rates to buy off the Democratic Unionists - for a mess of pottage, they sold their birthright and the country's freedom. How it all seemed that the inorexible haemorrhage of authority his administration had been suffering was over - he had won, where Tony had failed!
Ever since he was caught in spin and counter spin, Marching his troops to the top of the election hill nearly a year previously, Gordon felt increasingly anxious about his place in history as his popularity waned. Even when he offered tax cuts, the people jeered, till last Thursday's triumph. Then David Davis' quixotic action stole the headlines, so the papers were talking of a Tory, over his popular victory. This vote was not his moment of Triumph, it was a phyrric victory. Gordon must have grinned his most insincere grin and felt elated, only to be dashed, making the subsequent despair all the deeper.
Following his moment of Triumph how confused he must have been that in achieving a policy supported by 67% of the population, he had managed to turn victory into defeat. David Davis has snatched all the limelight away, and in a moment of madness, has successfully shone a light onto Gordons greatest failing. In failing to seek election - and at least John Major managed to gain the support of the Conservative Party - and in ducking the referendum on the
Constitution Lisbon Treaty and finally in falling for the trap of refusing to put a candidate against David Davis the public are seeing a pattern. Some "stunt! Gordon is being seen as man who would rather do shoddy back room deals than make an open case to the people. A man who holds the people in contempt. And that contempt is being returned, with interest. Nothing, nothing he can ever do will be trusted. He is loathed, derided and he is the WRONG MAN FOR THE JOB.
As this fact dawned on Gordon Brown, he was sitting in his bunker half naked, nails bitten to the quick wondering how it went so wrong, muttering
"..Surely I was doing what the people wanted.... They wanted to lock darkies up for 42 days... They wanted it..."over, and over as he squatted in the corner of his dilapidated office, surrounded by empty coffee cups and discarded fast food. Hugging his knees, rocking gently backwards and forwards, he cuts a deeply pathetic figure. Suddenly he got to his feet, kicking Ed Balls out of the way and started shouting manically, his soiled underpants stained to the same shade of yellow as his eyes - he has clearly not slept for several days
"the people will do what they're told" he shouted. "If not on 42 days, then on Europe. Tony couldn't get 42 days through. I DID! I'll ratify the treaty of Lisbon too. You'll see!"A paperweight flies past the head of a passing minion, and smashes into the wall.
"Snr Barroso on the telephone,
Gordon Brown snatched the handset and retreated to his corner. The brooding cyclops squatted down again and wrapped his arms around his knees, quietly sucking his thumb whilst listening to the president of the European commission sending instructions to his Myrmidons, following the Irish Referendum "no" vote. "There is to be no referendum, ever again in Europe" Barroso demanded. "The people are not to be consulted. They are too stupid."
Gordon nodded approvingly.
Then he looked down at the broken bust of Keir Hardie, his favourite paperweight, which he had hurled a few minuted earlier, and felt a pang of guilt at the betrayal of democracy that his unelected premiership had represented. The Irony of breaking the peoples' trust at the same time as the bust of Labour's first MP would not have been lost on Brown, who knew Hardie would have been turning in his grave at the betrayals of democracy of the last few days. A Liberal Democratic party may well take Labour's place on the left as the main opposition to the Tories, and Gordon knew it. In his heart he knew that he would be the Last Labour prime minister - the movement going out with a whimper on the back of a finally obvious contempt for the people.
A tear welled up in his eye as he looked from the broken bust to where earlier in the darkest hour of the night he had raved and gibbered to everyone and no-one - only Ed Balls staying like a whipped cur by his Cyclops' side unable to comprehend his master's despair. They looked up at the wall where the portrait of Churchill used to rest where now was daubed, using his own excrement, two words.
Monday, 16 June 2008
This was on the BBC Have Your Say... Refering to the European Constitution vote a Herr Lutz of Berlin said... "The Irish vote should be ignored. Perhaps when we achieve an EU army, it might be good for a regiment to be based in Ireland to ensure no more anti-EU votes. The sooner we have an EU administered by the Germans (and some French) the better".
This sounds remarkably familiar, where have I heard this before?
Let's first deal with semantics. When I want to discuss conservatism - the outlook or political philosophy, I will use the word 'conservative'. When I am talking about the British Conservative and Unionist party, I will use the word 'Tory'.
Though I am a libertarian, because I distrust change for changes' sake, there is a broad stripe of conservatism in my political outlook, but the political philosophy to which I subscribe and against which I judge all political decisions, is Libertarianism. Which is why David Davis' apparently quixotic resignation has received such an enthusiastic response on this blog.
Those who think that Conservatives are natural Authoritarians, and are just playing at the "liberal" game do not understand what makes what could broadly be described as "the right" tick. Sure, as an inclination, Tories do not like to make radical changes. If society or the economy is broadly ticking over OK, and there's no great support for radical change as it was until the early 70's or even 2007, then there is precious little appetite for taking big risks and the "one Nation" wets win the argument. David Cameron is playing to a powerful conservative element in the Tory party. But now the disastrous decisions of the last decade are coming home to roost on this appalling government, then the natural conservative instincts to shrink the state come to the fore - and Cameron can afford to be more radical, more Libertarian. He would not be breaking with Tory history in doing so. The Libertarian, Thatcherite "drys" represent the other great strand of conservatism. Perhaps David Davis' bold step in resigning will allow the libertarians to demonstrate the resonance (or not - Davis has not yet won his argument) of his stand over the 'database state', and swing the balance in the Dry's favour.
Here are some posters from the Conservative Party Archive the Bodlean Library in Oxford, all of which would be just as relevant today as the 1920's and demonstrate how the two strands of Conservatism have worked together, shrinking the state where possible, halting socialism where not. Politics in the Tory party is all about the art of the possible creating a coalition of philosophies rather than ideologically hammering a single one through. In this confidence in our philosophy, we libertarians are little better than socialists (though I admit we have evidence on their side). Conservatives run things, including a libertarian state better than Libertarians ever would. Libertarians should accept that conservatives are our natural allies against the real enemy, Socialism.
Naturally, Socialism is economic lunacy. It's inflationary, keeps real wages and productivity growth low, allocates capital inefficiently and crowds out the more innovative private sector. This in the long run makes the country poorer, less able to afford the first-class education and health services for which a socialist might stand. Sure, raising taxes in the short term pays for boondongles now, but at the cost of a much greater spending ability in a couple of decades. The poster to the Left is just as relevant and true today. To be a socialist is to be an idiot.
The reason the USA is richer than Europe can in part be explained by a commitment to free trade, lower taxes (which is why socialists hate it) and also to less destruction during the wars. This tradition of economic openness is sadly under threat, but the Tories have, for most of their recent (ie since the Corn laws) been pro free trade, and the USA has exemplified this.
If someone else wants to subsidise their industry so you can buy the goods cheaper, you're richer as a result. For every job lost by free trade more are gained as a result of this economic freedom. "Protection - unutterable folly, an insult to the intelligence of the nation". Perhaps someone should translate this into French! It is this tradition which admires the 'can do' free trade attitude of the USA rather than the isolationist, protectionist europeans and explains the 'Special relationship' which so excites pride in the Tory soul.
But it is civil liberties where our opponents have got us wrong. To many of those on the Left, it is Axiomatic that Tories are "authoritarian". Many are, in that they believe that harsh punishments and a strong defence are key to securing freedoms. I, for example am only just persuaded that Hanging is a bad thing. I would cheerfully bring back flogging for "anti-social" crimes and get rid of the illiberal and extra judicial ASBO. There is precious little leverage the criminal justice system has over someone who is paid for by the state and who knows that benefits will not be withdrawn, so pain is really not so bad. What is important t my mind is not the form of the punishment, which could in all justice be "cruel and unusual", but that the process which leads to the punishment is fair and true. Hence most conservatives support the common law and trial by jury. But it is a socialist, European project to undermine the common law, and the independent judiciary which is being enthusiastically hammered through by a Labour government.
Most Tories too regard the Englishman's home as his castle, and would not criminalise much of what goes on inside, whereas the Labour party wishes to regulate the family as a mere "lifestyle choice" - one of many. Again this intrusion is an inevitable function of the big welfare state. The state's attempts at child protection are tantamount to abuse - in many cases the state would be better off leaving well alone. In the few cases, and they are few, where there is serious abuse, social workers often fail to intervene for the flimsiest of reasons.
Where the Tory and the socialist most sharply is over the very function of the welfare state. We Tories accept that part of freedom is the creation of winners and losers. Most conservatives too believe that the duty of the winners is to help the losers voluntarily - and support charity. The Labour response is to co-opt charity to deliver state agendas. The conservative believes that charity is morally better than coercive redistribution by the state, both for the beneficiary and the donor who is more likely to engage time as well as cash in philanthropy and as a result deliver a better, more personal result and deliver it cheaper. Socailists believe it to be demeaning to be "thrown upon" charity, as if welfare dependency is not soul destroying and crushing too. The socialist view either by crowding out charity or funding charity directly out of taxation is that people need to be made to give, for their own good. At the heart of both Socialisms moral self-belief and its inevitable authoritarianism, is the welfare state.
The welfare state demands the view that everything is the states' to dispose of as it, rather than the person who owned it, sees fit. Data gathering is central to this task - involving intrusive inspections of everything you own. People naturally resent the process. I remember recently telling a local government inspector to bugger off because he wanted to inspect my flat for valuation purposes, when I bought the place less than a year previously and they could have looked it up within seconds on the land registry. But it is not just the process, The state need knowledge because the tax base is broadened by the need of the government to spend roughly 1/4 of GDP in direct re-distribution and not everyone likes to see their hard earned cash going to subsidise lifestyles of which they disapprove. There is huge waste paying people who could work to not work and this is seen and resented by the neighbours - who in many cases are paying disgusting percentages of low wages in order to finance this. This is a huge effort in counting what everyone has and trying (unsucessfully) to even it up a bit that requires an army of civil servants and local government officials, fruitlessly pushing paper around whilst everyone frantically tries to avoid as much tax as possible. The result is that the poor suffer and are turned into supplicants to the state and the wealthy live in fear of the tax man. Do we really need a quarter of a million accountants and a million payroll clerks in this country, because they're ultimately paid by the welfare state too!
This is what the poster to the left is warning about. All those databases, the ID card whose justification is access to the welfare state, the intrusive inspections, the targets culture - they're all inevitable creatures of the Socialist welfarist project. The warning was made in 1929, and it has reached it's zenith under NuLabour.
David Davis is not just talking about 42-day detention without charge. He's talking about CCTV, databases and the intrusive nose-poker-inners which are the logical result of having a cradle to grave welfare state. Officialdom with a clip-board and a sense of self-importance are making Britain intolerable. Security theatre, done for our benefit builds up petty restrictions that risk-averse officials are loathe to repeal, but whose groundwork with the public is the acceptance of intrusion by which the British have been schooled by 50 years of welfareism. There is little you can say against it, and each individual measure can be defended as proportionate and necessary. But as a whole, the constant salami-slicing of British liberty must stop somewhere and 42-day detention without charge is as good a place as any. It could have been Regulation of Investigatory Powers act 2000 - which allows councils to spy on you over school admissions or refuse collection. It could have been attempts to limit trial by Jury. It could have been the hunting ban or the Racial and Religious hatred act 2006, or the increase in police powers of arrest to more or less anything (it used to be available if you were suspected of a crime which carried a 3-year gaol term) which, combined with of the 3,000 or more new criminal offences introduced since 1997, have dramatically reduced respect for the police. And this is before you consider the million or so innocent people on the DNA database. ID cards present the next challenge to be resisted.
There are many potential lines in the sand, and David Davis should be applauded for taking one where he can rally public opinion to the libertarian view. That this is most broadly echoed in the Tory party should bring those who fled to UKIP (I hope you're embarrassed by your MP) or even more pointlessly, the Libertarian Party, back into the fold where you now have a chance to influence a party which is heading for power. The Conservative and Unionist party is never going to be ideologically pure, but let's not surrender it to the statist consensus without a fight. They've been around too long for such adolescent behaviour as ideology, but they are usually right - even if it takes 90 years for them to be proved so.
Help strengthen David Davis case by joining his party and persuading the Leader to back his former home secretary to the hilt.
Ranted by Jackart at 6/16/2008 09:14:00 a.m.
Saturday, 14 June 2008
I have been reading Raedwald for a year or more, and his link has been sported on my link list for most of that time. We often read other bloggers, and occasionally link them but just read his last few posts. I have read them and thought "I really must link that" but I rarely have had anything to add, which is why I just thought i'd just point you all in his direction. He's good, honest British common sense distilled, and what's more remarkable he's just a boat!
Seriously, go read raedwald and add him to your blogrolls.
Friday, 13 June 2008
Gordon Brown was so delighted to be able to swat David Davis "stunt" aside that it gives me confidence that Resignationgate (TM) is not a disaster for the Tories. It must be remembered that Gordon is such a derided figure, so universally loathed that anyone generating that smug insincere grin will derive huge public sympathy. Brown has no political antenna. There is no political mood he cannot misread.
The Tories are not split on the issue of 42-day detention. Indeed the issue is really divisive for the Labour party whose activists are often embarrassed at the behaviour of their evil government, yet others reveal the true colours of vicious authoritarian socialism. For Tories however, it is an issue where opinion ranges from enthusiastic support for the Leadership to a feeling that the leadership has made a tactical mistake. Tim Montgomery of Con Home is as outspoken as the "Tory Split" gets.
But it's the inevitability of Brown missing the open goal - not least a failure to get himself off the EuroHook thanks to the Irish referendum, by ploughing quixotically on with ratification, which will mean the Tories have lots of things to beat the government up over during a summer, during which, crucially they will be setting the news Agenda, thanks to David Davis' spectacular gamble.
A comment by Easterross on Political Betting
....Dominic Grieve has been on the BBC News, Newsnight, ITV News and SKY News making it clear he will be going to H and H to campaign for David Davis. David Cameron last night said that while he obviously didn’t sanction DD’s move, he David Cameron will be up in H and H campaigning for him re-election. Expect half the Yorkshire Tory party to be in H and H and the entire Shadow Cabinet as well. The Tories could achieve wall to wall TV coverage throughout the usually dire politics free late June and July and add to that the fact DC won’t be restricted to talking in H and H to the media about Civil Liberties but will have a free swipe re fuel lorry driver strikes, Lisbon,anything that Gordon Brown has done wrong and the Tory poll ratings should sore because as Mike [Smithson, editor of Political Betting] often says, if DC is on the TV the Tory ratings rise.....put succinctly what I had been trying to say. And he suggested a get out for DC: With Dominic Grieve safely ensconced in the home office berth, that leaves few other potential positions for a re-energised heavyweight with the backing of the Grass roots - Deputy leader perhaps. Thanks Easterross for cheering me up.
"...Maybe instead of Labour fielding a candidate in Haltemprice & Howden we should find a .... survivor or relative of a victim of a terrorist attack, to run under the following 5 word candidate description: "Independent - for detaining terrorism suspects"...."I'll tell you what, Luke Akehurst, you despicable little vulture. How about you stand and enjoy the humiliation of losing your deposit, you amoral cunt, and fuck off while you're about it.
You Nasty, Nasty, Nasty piece of work.
Further proof of the complete waste of space that is the UN today was proffered up in the form of the UN Human Rights Council. It seems that they’re not too keen on the Monarchy, and on the insistence of Sri Lanka (where hundreds of people have “disappeared” in recent years) have demanded the UK hold a referendum on a “written constitution – preferably Republican”. Other nations on the not so impressive list of the Human Rights council includes Cuba and Saudi Arabia.
Syria had a moan up about Britain’s treatment of Muslims in general and Sudanese immigrants in particular. The crowning turd in the water pipe however was Iran; who had the gall to criticise the UK on Sexual Discrimination. This of course being a nation that insists women dress in Hijabs, live in sexual Apartheid and stones them to death if they are unfaithful. Other stellar examples of sex discrimination include the act that in court the testimony of two women equal one man (one wonders how many girls you need to equal one man?), blood money paid to a female victim is half that of a man; her murder half the punishment; Iranian women must also ask their husbands permission to leave the country. Very enlightened!
Terry Kelly has withdrawn his defamatory statements, and apologised, in his sub literate mealy-mouthed way. He did not publish the comment in which I told him my real name* though. That would not have been in tune with the "anonymous cowards" line he so predictably takes...
Fuck me, the man's a twat. Hey ho! No trip to Scotland to argue with the good Councillor. I will however be off to Haltemprice to help DD stick it to the man. If anyone wants a lift, then say so in the comments.
*If you're wondering, the clue's in the URL. Should take you about 30 Seconds...
David Davis' resignation has been described by a bemused media as "catastrophic" for David Cameron. I'm not so sure... The public are divided - but gloriously so. This is the kind of debate which will enthuse the public and politics will be the better for it. So what do the public think. In the absence of polling data (yet) we'll have to rely on the Comments: The BBC "have your say" page on the subject starts off with the predictable
Davis is an idiot, hes clearly very self important and arrogant. The extension of which police can hold potential terrorists is not something to throw a paddy over if you dont agree with it. Its for the security of this country and if anyone in my family where hurt due to this idiots and the rests idea to give them civil rights then i would find it hard not to take action myself. Davis is a disgrace, he's stepped down, by rights he shouldnt even be allowed to run for the position again.from Johnny C, but scroll down and there are plenty like this
I'm very proud of David Davis. Everybody is talking about how he may have blown his chance at being Home Secretary and caused David Cameron some problems but this is about principal. Labour will be treating the people in this country with disdain if they fail to put up a candidate.As I look further, there is this from Ranjit Singh Sohal
If they do use the Parliament act to push through this legislation it'll be a sad day for Britain.
I'm a supporter of David Cameron but he'll have to play this cleverly to not be personally damaged in my eyes
I am a Sikh by birth, 55 years old of Arabic apperance. Almost on every ocasion during my travels, I have been pulled up by security. My last trip to Brussels resulted in removal of my leather shoes. I am just embarrassed and annoyed that my liberty can be taken away by these people in search of terrorism. I have no criminal record of any kind. Yet, I feel threatened that one day, for no reason what so ever, I can be locked up for 42 days without explanation.Which cuts to the quick of what this is all about. The security theatre does not just catch people of Arab appearance. As far as I am concerned we are all caught up in this nonsense. Like Mr Sohal I have to endure the petty fogging officialdom and their box ticking mentality too. It is this which makes the Government vulnerable.
It's unscientific, but all the most recommended posts were along the lines of this one which came top.
RESPECT!When sorted this way, you have to go to the fourth page before you find a post criticising Davis' actions. So... I think the BBC have misjudged what will turn out to be a master stroke. The BBC are reporting that "Labour are calling it 'irresonsible'" and the party will think it rather clever to fail to run. Mr Davis will instead run against former Sun Editor Kelvin MaKenzie. The issue will in this case be cheap populism vs high minded principle, and David Davis' reputation will be burnished by the comparison. Far from damaging his career, his high-minded act may force David Cameron to put Davis back into the Job immediately on his return.
(I have never voted Tory so this is unbiased opinion.)
Mr Davies shows a high-minded, principled, self-sacrificing attitude in complete contrast to the grubby self-serving MP’s who voted yesterday to save their own skins at the price of our historic laws.
Labour, having not fielded a candidate in a by Election on the issue of Civil Liberties will not have the moral legitimacy to use the Parliament act to hammer their assaults on it through, and this law will fail. Davis will have won, and Labour will have demonstrated their contempt for the democratic process. In shirking debate, they will in turn earn the peoples contempt.
Thus far, the case against 42 Days has not really resonated amongst the public, who think that it will not apply to them, but public opinion is soft on this issue - the solid polls in favour of this measure often change markedly when you put other options like post charge questioning into the mix. The Labour party is foolish in thinking they've got the public sewn up. Davis' gamble in propelling this issue to the fore, and making it on the general 'database state' rather than 42 day pre-charge detention, may cause the pubic to further question the Labour government's record. In examining the issues for the first time people may well be persuaded that, like internment before it, 42-day pre charge detention is not only wrong in principle, but wrong in practice. Just as special measures were a recruiting sergeant for the IRA, this will give jihadi preachers ammunition to portray the UK as a hard, overbearing state which has it in for young Muslim men. In examining the law, and the Government's record, the British people will see that these measures taken as a whole do affect all of us and we are made poorer by an overmighty, over intrusive state.
I urge you to read a suberb post on the subject at heresy corner in full, whose title I have shamelessly pinched (imitation being the best form of flattery and all that...):
"...but other measures, such as ID cards, are far less widely loved, especially by those who have heard about the cost. And the steady drip-drip of newspaper stories and personal experiences continues: the local councils making use of surveillance powers to monitor parents, the time-wasting and ineffectual security at airports, the perversity, rudeness and box-ticking lack of perspective increasingly shown by the police, the rubbish-collection Stasi, the carelessness repeatedly shown by the government when handling compulsorily-obtained and sometimes unnecessary data. It is this accumulation of annoyance and frustration, far more than the symbolic (but important) 42 days, that has the potential to turn Davis's upcoming campaign into far more than a political stunt."For the final word I hand you over to the Great man himself
"...the Government continually briefs blood-curdling assessments of the terrorist threat. It is a myth to believe that we can defend our security by sacrificing our fundamental freedoms - one I intend to puncture over the next few weeks."I said it yesterday, and I say it again. We're with you all the way, Sir.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
In protest at the "monstrosity" of a law passed yesterday, David Davis has taken the Chiltern hundreds saying
...I will fight it, I will argue this by-election, against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government.We're with you Mr Davis, all the way.
Now, that may mean I've made my last speech to the House—it's possible. And of course that would be a matter of deep regret to me. But at least my electorate, and the nation as a whole, would have had the opportunity to debate and consider one of the most fundamental issues of our day—the ever-intrusive power of the state into our lives, the loss of privacy, the loss of freedom and the steady attrition undermining the rule of law.
And if they do send me back here it will be with a single, simple message: that the monstrosity of a law that we passed yesterday will not stand.
Some might say that David Davis is self important like Mr Eugenides, or that this is a political stunt. No doubt the line prepared by the "Government" will be along that suggested by Dennis McShane.
"I think this will be seen as a stunt which showed the Conservatives were utterly unfit for government."Whereas I think your conduct over the past 48 hours, Mr McShane demonstrates your manifest unfitness, and that of your party, for Government. Perhaps Cameron, by refusing to pledge to repeal the law once in Government prompted this walkout. The Tory leader will have his eyes on the polls which suggest banging darkies up for 6 weeks is a popular measure - and certainly the Labour party will want that line to stick. If this is the case then David Davis' actions tell of that rare thing in Parliament. Principle. It shows that David Davis is twice the man Cameron is. Perhaps then he will be more staunch in his defence of Ancient liberties when he sees how popular such a principled stand is.
It may be however that this is a strategy to keep the issue in the news for a long time, and there will be Labour backbenchers examining their consciences this morning. Perhaps it is a political stunt to highlight an issue on which the Tory party is united (apart from Widdicombe) but is deeply divisive on the benches opposite. In this case my immediate reaction is to shout BRAVO! I will be driving up to Haltemprice to deliver for Mr Davis, the Most honourable member of the House, as he fights to regain his seat.
This is, as Mr Davis says an opportunity for the British people to inform themselves about our liberties and perhaps we can reverse the polls in favour of this illiberal faustian security/freedom trade-off. Maybe then Mr Cameron can be persuaded to lead
But I must be doing something right.... I've been barred from Terry Kelly's blog.
For the record, the comment which got me barred was as Follows:
RfS clearly distanced himself from the viler abuse on Terry Watch, and always engaged you on the issues, which you consistently ducked whilst indulging in the most gratuitous ad hominem - including accusing him of being a paedophile. These are depths to which RfS did not sink.And I've been proved right. Gloriously so!
He's been forced to take his blog down and you shouldn't crow. Some (most) of your views are offensive too, and you probably don't want too much media scrutiny of them. Be careful what you wish for, Councillor.
Go after shotgun (the author of the more slanderous articles on Terry Watch) if you must, but an innocent man has been done an injustice by you, Terry and if you had a shred of decency you'd admit it.
But you don't and I doubt you have the guts to put this comment up.
And again for the record too, I don't recall making tasteless jokes about the McCanns, or at least not in print. As such, I shall be writing to the standards commission with an allegation of slander (or is it Libel?). I shall keep you updated about the stink kicked up.
Update: He's Having another go at me.
It seems a mandarin in Whitehall has been careless with information yet again. A secret al-Qaeda file Market “For UK/US/Canada/Australia Eyes Only” (which shows you how much people who actually give a shit about our national security trust our EU partners; unlike the Foreign Office who regularly sell out our interests) was left on a commuter Train. This screw up would be bad enough but unfortunately the wank-stain who picked it up didn’t go see the Police, or better yet knock on the door of Thames House. Instead the publicity seeking, hopefully soon to be jailed, twat went to the BBC; probably in the hope of getting his or her face on the Telly.
If by any chance (and the odds are high if you get on any form of public transport in the Greater London area) you do find some secret information left on a train by some dozy fuckwit of a Civil Servant - mark these words! The last people in the entire world you want to take these documents to is the Fucking Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation (Al-Jazeera North). Firstly they are the media and by very definition are unable to keep their gobs shut, due mostly to the fact their career is to live their lives vicariously through others and then talk about it. Secondly like most Journalists they actually despise their own country, and would do anything to see the nation fail. The bloke who found these documents might as well have sent them to Belmarsh Prison C/O Abu Hamza with a Postage Paid envelope to Pakistan.
Why in the name of God’s Arse cannot the Ministry of Defence forbid any employee from taking their work home? Thankfully the document in question has been numbered so they know exactly which Retard is responsible. Will they get fired however? – I really wouldn’t bet on it. Whitehall Sir Humphries have a long and dishonourable tradition of protecting their own, up to and including betrayal of the British People. Even when Politicians betray their country to there is still wriggle room – Ted Rowlands was made a life peer for Fucks sake. The fact that these people hated Margaret Thatcher (PBUH) and would benefit politically from Britain loosing the Falklands is just a stupendous co-incidence. In the news today they are talking about scrapping the Treason laws, in reality they disappeared ages ago.
You would think that the God-bothering Extremists of the Democratic Unionist Party would be aware of the phrase "mess of pottage" and sell the right to not be banged up on the whim of the executive for six weeks, for a little more than fucking water rates.
Words fail me.
"I feel like I'm supporting someone, and having a personal dialogue with them, and it's amazing," gushed Scarlet Johansson. “"You'd imagine that someone like the senator who is constantly travelling and constantly 'on' - how can he return these personal emails?" Oh I wonder why Mr Obama has time to spend sending emails to you? It’s absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you’re incredibly pretty, have a huge rack, are blonde and are probably not eligible for Mensa. Oh and the fact that you can bring in the 19-22 barely post adolescent “Yoof” vote who are knocking one out nightly over your piccies doesn’t have anything to do with it either.
Of course the real conundrum Barack is why, if you have all the time in the world to email Scarlett, you don’t have a spare minute or two to talk to the military commanders on the ground in Iraq before you open your gob in Congress. The other big conundrum is how the Missus feels about your new email buddy.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Today's PMQ's has been one of the best ever and a real showcase for Parliamentary democracy - and we will see in a few hours whether this democracy is really worth anything. David Cameron laid out the principled reasons for opposition to extending pre-charge detention.
These are in brief:
- It's unnecessary
- It's counter productive
- Many in the security services, military and prosecuting authorities don't want it, whatever el Gordo says
- It's profoundly illiberal
- It's unwieldy and will not work
- It strikes at the heart of the separation of powers.
- It will not get through the Lords
- It will not get through the Courts as it against basic human rights
which is what the last person who tried to unify Europe wanted. Jim Sheridan (Labour member for some godforsaken inner-city toilet North of Hadrian's wall) let the cat out of the bag by saying openly that 42-day detention will only affect brown people not "hard working BRITISH families". So that's aright then... Despicable dogwhistle stuff.
Michael Howard asked how a debate in the house on a case would not prejudice a subsequent trial... and there was no answer (though there was a good gag about the Hon Member for Folkestone and Hythe knowing a thing or two about not answering questions), nor was there to any of the other substantive points. A good gag does not excuse a viciously authoritarian breech of the basic principles of equality before the law. The Government is playing politics with liberty and I'm ashamed to be British at the moment, and will remain so until this despicable law is strangled, hopefully at birth, this evening.
As there are fewer than 30 Labour MPs with any respect for the principles of freedom, whether we remain free, alas depends on the DUP and goodness only knows the deals which are being cut with those Tribal, religious knuckledraggers.
Whilst I like Ireland and the Irish I didn't hear choirs of Angels on landing in Dublin - but then I'm not a Yank. So I'm not one that buys the Ken Loach version of history. There are so many shades of Grey in Anglo Irish history one can't begin to count them. Irish Republicans were willing to take weapons and moral support from a whole host of unpleasant dictators to stop English people intefering in their lives– the Soviet Union, Lybia, the Nazis, the Kaiser, Napoleon, and of course... the people who got us involved in Ireland in the first place. To give that up after a mere 92 years to let Brussels run them is fairly astounding to me. Granted the EU pushed more cash in Ireland’s direction than the English ever did, but voting yes just means that you’re being bought by a higher bidder. Like the Treaty of Nice, where the Irish voted No and then the EU shoved another vote down their throat, is it possible the Irish will – like the French and Dutch before them merely be a road bump in the EU’s appetite for unelected and unaccountable power, but I hope they're made of sterner stuff and are a Roadblock instead - unwilling to be intimidated by the European Elite’s threat
All the mainstream political parties in Ireland are pushing or a "Yes". Those in Ireland who are in the "No" camp are not part of the political establishment. It seems some likeminded people who believe in freedom from across the pond and in Europe are supporting the “No” vote. Not all the no vote have democratic credentials of course, those pleasant chaps from Sinn Fein are also supporting the no campaign. It’s a bit worrying being on the same side of the political fence as Sinn “You’ve got five minutes to clear the building” Fein and a bunch of Socialist loons in Ireland. But for once I find myself in agreement with the right dis-honourable gentlemen in the Balaclavas from Crossmaglen South, and the Member for Belfast West. This is about freedom, even though we’re looking at it from totally opposite sides of the fence, and right now I wish I was Irish.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Nothing nothing about politics annoys me more than "free" boondongles for special interest groups - be it free bus passes and swimming for the over sixty-fives or child tax credits. Why should the Old or Parents get extra freebies paid for by me? Because free boondongles are never, ever available to unmarried middle class childless men. No politician says "thanks for paying all the taxes whilst not demanding much off the state, have some of it back". It's all "you're 'privileged' and you must pay". And let's be clear about it. This isn't done to get Grandma to go to the pool. It's done to get a favourable headline. And simply to demonstrate that you "care" about "ishoos" facing [insert special interest group]. Anyone arguing against the state spending in this way is shouted down as "out of touch" with the "real needs" of "ordinary working families/pensioners/(delete as applicable) etc..."
Yesterday filling my car with fuel broke the £70 mark. 50p per litre is the cost of fuel, 50.35p per litre is tax and the remaining 17p is ...urm... tax too. A 'value-added' tax, on a tax. So of that £70 just under 70% is going to swell Gordon Brown's coffers. Now much of this money is going to pay off the Labour party voters who exist on either state handouts and theft, or as a non-job in the public sector/quangocracy. What about me? I'm struggling to make ends meet, as is everyone I know. Rapacious taxation from Council to Westminster, fuel, heating, electricity and water. Getting to work, paying your NI when you're there, paying taxes, Parking and fines... the mortgage. Everyone is dipping into my pocket, which means I haven't any spare money to cope with the doubling of the bill for petrol every month or so.
Now if you accept the logic that if oil is scarce, it follows that we need to use less of it, then the petrol price is the way to do it. It forces you to consider the train, or the cycle (as I do) for your commute. It means that you might just fly to Spain, rather than drive to Wales (suck on that one, enviro-wenie) for your holiday. And you might start sticking to the speed limit thereby getting an extra 5-10mpg. These are decisions you make based on whether you value time at home and a shorter journey against being brutally arse-raped by Gordon Brown at the pumps every time you fill your car. And there's the predictable bleating about "fuel poverty" amongst some groups. This is defined as anyone who is paying more than 10% of their income in Fuel bills. Like
Airlines old people.
Let's introduce a new concept to political debate. Tax poverty. Anyone who pays more than... say 30% of their income in tax. Fuck me, that's all of us! All this money redistributed from me and others like me, to people who might vote labour is also serving to say "we know what's best for you". And that is an infringement of freedom. It might not be a 3am knock on the door, but it serves the same purpose. Never mind that Doris in number 43 might rather like a nice novel rather than a session of aqua aerobics to Vera Lynn records at the local lido, the state has deemed it better to make that decision for her. At my cost, naturally. And for every pound you give to the state, generates roughly 30p of benefit, so it serves to shrink the economy too.
This is ludicrous micro managing. Government has no role in whether or not you go swimming. Nor has it in where you go for your holiday. Or even the car you drive Or what you do with your leisure time. But all these headline seeking boondongles are attempts to interfere. To demonstrate or encourage you to do something of which the government approves. Each piffling scheme may be defensible on its own but as a whole, they interfere with the proper functioning of the market, skew incentives and create perverse ones. Like flying to Spain because it's cheaper than driving to Cornwall.
So what should be done? Rather than pay people for specific activities - winter fuel payments for example, or the inevitable low-paid petrol voucher (just wait. Labour is that desperate...), why not just tax people less, and make them responsible for how they prioritise their spending? You could fire much of the civil service currently administering the myriad redistribution schemes and save ever more money. Delivering more tax cuts, stimulating the economy. An ever shrinking state could be funded by a smaller and smaller proportion of the workforce, setting the low waged free from the crushing oppression of having such a large proportion of their wage disappear into the rapacious maw of the tax man.
The problem is that less than 10% of the population pay higher rate tax. There is no way you can replace the lost tax from millions of poor and middle earners from increases on a few hundred thousand rich people, the top 1% already pay 16% of income taxes. Which is why no government has done it. The rich'll simply bugger off to Hong Kong with its 16% flat tax (it's called the laffer curve - politicians know it exists even if so-called 'socialists' pretend it doesn't) Raising taxation kills the goose laying the golden egg. So tax cuts for the poor can only come at the cuts in spending. There is waste but if you can get at it, you're a better man than me. No... the state must simply try to do less, but better. Even Labour politicians are now saying the state spends too much. So we come to an idea whose time has finally come: radically shrink the state.
Bollocks to fuel poverty, End Tax poverty. Now.
Monday, 9 June 2008
Right for Scotland has been forced to give up the Blogging game because of comments made by someone else on a Website he founded, which have been "exposed" in a Scottish Newspaper. The deletion of RfS's excellent Blog was the minimum requirement for him to continue in employment and the Scottish blogosphere is all the poorer for it. This is why many people blog anonymously, Employers rarely have a sense of humour and can be remarkably po-faced about opinions - especially, in this day and age of big-state consensus, any form of Libertarianism especially if expressed vigorously.
I'm self employed, so I can more or less say what the I like, and what I like to say is that Terry Kelly is a Window-licking Moron with the IQ of a rhododendron bush and the body of a mating Elephant seal. The only way I can see Councillor Terry Kelly being of use to society is by him being boiled down for soap. And he would make a lot of soap...
He's a spiteful, bigoted profoundly stupid man. Some of his comments about the military in particular defy belief - and he seems to consistently take this country's enemies' side. His visceral loathing of the Royal family would be funny were it not so transparently envious. He hates his nations - Scotland and the UK in that peculiarly leftist disease of displaced self-loathing and refuses to take any pride in the great things these Nations have given the world. Liberal economics and Parliamentary democracy for example. He regularly mouthes support for dictators, Fidel Castro and "Uncle Joe" Stalin in particular. He condones genocide. His comments on Israel border on the Anti Semitic. The standard debating tool is the accusation of racism or mental illness for disagreeing with him.
Councillor Terry Kelly, despite his numerous run-ins with the standards committee, and deeply offensive comments about homosexuals and the Mentally ill; despite (repeatedly) describing the SNP as "Nazis" and Tories as Squalid, has finally got the scalp of the man who has done so much to bait him following Terry's refusal of Planning permission for RfS's Rugby club several years ago (Rugby is elitist you see...).
RfS has been "exposed" by a churning journalist, all Because someone else photoshopped a dildo into the hand of his daughter (thanks shotgun!) RfS often distanced himself from the more extreme slander on Terrywatch, but Councillor Kelly is not averse to accusations of Paedophilia himself. Indeed the Labour party has been deeply embarrassed by some of Our Terry's less than informed comments on female intelligence, to pick one of many, many examples.
Because of a commitment to free speech RfS Naively believed that stuff you write is your responsibility, and stuff someone else writes is theirs. Of course we know that this is not the Law - which holds that the "publisher" of the blog is the blog's "host", not the person who writes it and even linking to a site which a journalist believes is "offensive" is taken as a declaration of support. In this febrile atmosphere, employers are allowed to fire you for your opinions. Fine. As a libertarian I believe they're free to do so - the trick is to let your employer know about your blog in advance and blog semi-anonymously. I've had one run in, but I've never hidden what I do. But it's a demonstration that the private sector employer has more totalitarian power over you than your worst Orwellian fear of state intrusion - which is why I work the way I do. I value my freedom to call a fat Socialist bigot like our friend Councillor Kelly a "cunt". Which is what he is.
Terry Kelly has now accused RfS of cowardice for getting out of blogging. He feels vindicated and is clearly enjoying rubbing in his 'victory'. Well terry, its a victory for the bullies against someone who, if you still had the opportunity to read what he has said over the years is much, much less offensive than the Councillor' own repeated personal abuse and slovenly logic with which he entertains us daily. Why didn't he go after the Terry Boys (named after a sectarian song - the Billy boys) or Mr Shotgun himself? Because he doesn't know who they are and there are no levers to pull against them.
Terry Kelly's reaction is demonstration of a manifest unfitness for public office. But then in Britain's shittiest place they will (and have three times) voted for a turd in a red rosette.
Bullies 1; Freedom 0.