Sunday, 1 March 2009

Britblog Roundup # 211

Good evening and to welcome me back from the Alps (summits scaled and bumps bashed), here is the Britblog roundup sponsored this week by Fred "the shred" Goodwin's pension pot, which is worth more than mine, invested as it was in Royal Bank of Scotland shares. On the brighter side of life, this is also the week I first get my name in Print, at the Wall St Journal no less...

Anyway... On with the show. A number of the Libertarian mindset are upset to say the least with Hattie Harperson's desire to subject contractual remuneration of failed bankers to the "court of public opinion". Naturally that does not apply to politicians' fingers in the till.

While we're on the subject of Bankers, Next left gives us his thoughts on reform of the World Bank. Apparently it should be about poverty eradication - something he thinks free markets are not very good at, thinking that the World Bank is a "neo-liberal" shill. There is no crisis that statists will not use to increase the power of the state - or even worse, supragovernmental international quangos. Since India and China joined the free-trading globalised world, we have seen the greatest rise in living standards amongst the greatest number of people in human history. Only africa, the Aid junkie continent with dozens of despotic kleptocrats remains immune from this flowering of human potential and that is because of, not despite government intervention and support for industry. As soon as India and China unleashed the power of the people, it is they who are buying our industry, not the other way round. Free trade makes us all richer in the long run, what ever the fabian society thinks. Inequality is not an a-priori bad, when compared to the universal poverty of pre-deng China. Not that Peter Townsend, or any other fabian will ever see anything other than what they want out of history - they are using the crisis to support what they would advocate anyway in any other conditions. We are going through a crisis, it happens periodically, and Governments are just as much to blame as the Bankers. International commercial cycles cannot be regulated away by Governments, who risk compounding the mistakes of the Bankers if they attempt to do so. This applies to International institutions like the world bank even more so.

It is not just bankers. Women too are to blame for the credit crunch, if you read the Irish Times, as Mr Eugenedes pointed out this week. He sees the tongue planted firmly in the cheek - a 'modest proposal' for our times. the Loise Lively at the F word on the other hand fails to see the funny side. There is no satire too obvious for the average feminist to take offence at! Women and their dastardly freedoms are also to blame for climate change - the catch all justification for all illiberal nonsense everywhere - mind you even jimjay at the Daily Maybe thinks enforcing other peoples marriage vows is a bit of a stretch for even the most committed environmentalist. He thinks anarcho communism is the answer. Whilst we're on the subject of things to rile Feminists, Amused Cynicism brings us the tragic tale of the (now very wealthy) 15-year old prostitute.

I thought Anji at the 'Mothers for Womens' lib' blog was covering the same story with her post Start 'em young. But no: it's the important issue of the words contained in the Magnetic words for children - there are two versions: Girls have words like 'fairy' and 'Princess'. Boys have 'Tractor' and 'Monster'. Is there no part of the Hard-wired innate differences between your average little boy and girl that a feminist will not put down to a phallocentric plot to keep women in their place? In what way is 'dancing' more limiting than 'football'? These are questions she does not answer. She's mighty angry about it though.

Finally Chris at Stumbling and Mumbling, never afraid to poke the feminists with a stick, this time takes on Lone Parenthood and concludes, uncontroversially that Purnell's harrassment of lone parents is political rather than economic or welfare inspired. Mind you he always says much the same thing about any welfare reform.

The BNP 'threat' is doing the rounds of the Brothers and sisters in the Left-wing blogosphere, with John Nicholson, for example placing the blame squarely on "capitalism", (The cold war must have passed him by), and he suggests a vote for the greens to keep the Fascists out. He also thinks they must be fought, and prevented from holding meetings. Freedom really isn't that important to the Left. The Ugely Vicar, on the other hand suggests that the Christian response should be engagement. My view, for what it is worth is that perhaps if the Government is targeting resources at "women, ethnic minorities, the elderly and disabled workers" as James Purnell suggested recently, they are explicitly saying "we won't support the white working class". The Labour Government is gifting the BNP a vote-winning message. Another Labour cock-up. Even when they try to dog-whistle this constituency, it backfires splendidly. Remember "British Jobs for British Workers"? Cutting the wire does, and he thinks the Slogan and anyone who campaigns on it are a disgrace. I agree, but many people do not, and The BNP are tapping into a view unarticulated by mainstream parties, and screaming blue murder at them is going to increase their electorate's feelings of alienation and betrayal, on which such extremeisms thrive.

They've even managed to shoot themselves in the foot over Geert Wilders, who has been pontificating on Islam in the USA, apparently without causing a race war, which rather makes a mockery of the British Government's position, especially as the Heresiarch points out the ultimate similarity of his and Hazel Blears' message. Neither he nor the British Government have a view of Islam which reflects reality, and all the Government have done is give a slightly ridiculous foreign politician "free speech martyr" status, for saying that which a great portion of the Labour core vote also believe. Banning Gert will play again into the BNP's hands.

Mind you who needs the BNP's brand of Fascism when the supposedly centre left New Labour is busy creating a surveillance state of its own, on which subject The Heresiarch gets another mention with his post. I think we're all agreed that it is a disgrace that of all the world's CCTV, half is in the UK. Even the Security services are beginning to say enough is enough, and the Information commissioner agrees. The Government, naturally will not listen.

Nor will they listen to libertarians, while the pharmaceutical industry can boost drug sales and encourage further interference in the lives of people, if the NHS Blog Doctor's excellent post is anything to go by. Diabetes is a continuum, not a hard and fast condition. A few small lifestyle changes and mild forms can go away - but many asymptomatic people are on drugs anyway, and have the associated expensive life and motor insurance as a result. This is, in part to justify the Governments assault on the obese and the drinker and fills big Pharma's coffers - all for our own good, naturally.

It's not just big Pharma who have the ear of the Government - the record industry have too, and their desire to ban file sharing is a useful smokescreen for Governments' desire to regulate the Internet. Cabalamat brings us an aposite cartoon.

Gambling is another thing of which the Government disapproves (yet likes the revenue...) Kate Sumerthwaite thinks the Government should do more about the proliferation of Betting shops in Hackney. Naturally there's some humbug in there about not wanting to appear classist, but she wishes all those dreadful working class men and youths would stop hanging around her street. "local" people should be able to object, she says. Like by not going in them?

Not satisfied with ordering us about in what we eat, drink, bet on and watch, they want to (temporarily) enslave our children. Tim Worstall likens Frank Field to the brilliant PG Wodehouse creation, Roderick Spode.

And while we're on the subject of Grotty little oiks like Roderick Spode in his footer bags, Quentin Davies is given the treatment by Jonathan Calder, who is much enjoying the fact that the Tory turncoat will be out of a job in (look right and insert the number of days you see in the countdown to Labour's defeat) days. I think we can all indulge in that particular piece of Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude too is the emotion that springs to mind when I consider the battle royal that will engulf the Labour party now the Government has decided to part privatise the Royal Mail. Two Doctors cannot see the political point, and thinks it's got Mandelson's fingerprints all over it. Henry G Manson at Political Betting reckons it's as toxic to Labour as Maastricht was to the Tories. My view: Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake.

And here are the miscellaneous posts:

The Moral of Alex Foster's story is don't buy a Renault.

Diamond Geezer Counts things...

Nee Naw has a busy night.

Here is some vintage Stanislav.

Natalie Bennett reckons we should recycle bumwad. Or something.

English Buildings educates us about the Whiteway Colony.

Pliable reckons he's met Jacques Brel's Daughter (or is it niece)?

Bean sprouts
blogs about the wet moon.

Swiss Toni muses on 'Home', or specifically what his missus calls 'home' A poignant subject for me at the moment, as those of you who know me well might know.

Even more poignantly, One Man Blogs remembers his Grandmother. A Beautiful post. We are all sorry for your troubles.

That is all for this week, and I hope you enjoyed the ride. Next week, your host is Jonathan Calder at Liberal England. If you see anything you like, or feel should get a wider viewing from the UK Blogosphere next week, please send them to britblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

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