Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Irony squared

Via Calling England and a piece by Brendan O'Neill in the Telegraph, I come to the ridiculously irony-deprived UAF statement on Theresa May's ban of marches in East London. You will recall that the UAF were demanding a ban on EDF marching, well ...

"We the undersigned welcome the banning of the racist English Defence League's (EDL) march through Tower Hamlets.

However we believe the headlines claiming the EDL have been "banned" from Tower Hamlets are misleading. The EDL will still be holding a static protest in the borough.

We are also appalled to discover that the Metropolitan Police are applying for a blanket ban on ALL marches across five London boroughs: Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest; and the City of London for 30 days.

This is a huge attack on everyone's civil liberties and prevents people's right to oppose racism.

We have the democratic right to peacefully march through Tower Hamlets on 3 September to show unity of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Black, Asian, LGBT communities, trade unions and all those against fascism and for freedom, and to voice opposition to the EDL's attempts to divide us.

Our legal advice says there is no law that says if one march has been banned all marches in that area must be banned.

It is our human right to peacefully march in Tower Hamlets."
Do they really not see the contradiction in their position? Answer: no, they really are that dumb.

One for my older readers

I've never listened much to this band, but this is pretty damn good.

Fleetwood Mac

Christine & John McVie, Bob Welch, Bob Weston & Mick Fleetwood. "Miles Away" & "Believe Me" from the 1973 Midnight Special.

EU politics and the English language

Orwell buffs will recognise the reference in the title of this post to an essay by the great man. He was well aware of the importance of language, and a key element of the totalitarian dystopia he described in '1984' was the manipulation of language.

The case in point here is the word 'eurosceptic', which I believe needs to be retired. I have said this a number of times in the past, but it seems that others are coming to the same conclusion.

My dislike of it comes from the fact that it is a negative term, i.e. it is against something rather than in favour of something. Furthermore, it is vague and weak, for what does it convey? Scepticism and no more. A sceptic may go along with the thing he is sceptical of, there's no implied contrary action, only a lack of belief. The word thus seems to be chosen by its opponents, and hands an advantage to the opposing side, who can portray themselves as enthusiastic and positive.

Such inferences operate on a barely-conscious level, but nonetheless they do have importance, so what is needed is a new word, that indicates what those who have been calling themselves 'eurosceptic' actually want and /or believe in, something that captures our virtues. We are pro-independence, pro-sovereignty, in favour of democratic accountability, national self-determination, home rule...

I haven't got the snappy answer yet, i.e., the name everyone will wear as a badge of pride, but I'm working on it.

In the meantime, we should all make an effort to break out of the negative confines which our side has been positioned into. We have to make the pro-Brussels federasts the ones who are against, who are anti.

Polly: class dunce

Is it worth attempting to pick through the latest mush from Polly Toynbee? Will any of us gain from such an act of self-sacrifice on my part? Here's the headline and sub-title:

Money busts the convenient myth that social class is dead

Britain likes to pretend it has moved on: but birth determines our destiny and income more now than it did 50 years ago
So, Polly's going to attempt to bust a myth - only there is no myth, convenient or otherwise, illustrated by, according to her, everyone she speaks to on the subject. I suppose it's part of her modus that she needs to be slaying a dragon in order to motivate herself. Take the mythical myth away, and all she's doing is writing up a report on the current state of class in our society (and puffing her new Ministry of Truth Radio 4 series on the subject).

What she does is trawl through the figures, note that people mainly consider themselves middle-class these days, chat to people who 'reveal' that class still plays a part, whinge that their is less social mobility, but I've no clear idea, and I don't think she has, what she actually wants.

There is a clue in the last paragraph when she name-checks the egalitarians' holy scripture, 'The Spirit Level'. The presumption is thus, that she wants everyone to be equal, but equal what?

What we will not find, I expect, is any kind of analysis which looks at the results of Polly and co.'s egalitarian / welfarist agenda, which has been running rampant for decades, with one example being the abolition of grammar schools. This was intended to make everyone equal, by kicking away the main ladder which enabled kids from a working class background to rise to higher positions. Was this a success or failure, in Polly's terms? I can't say because I can't work out what Polly's terms are.

Come what may, no doubt the conclusion of Polly's thought process will be: more government action, higher taxes, more wealth transfer, indeed more of the same that we've seen over the last fifty years. The notion that these socialistic policies may be part of the problem will escape her.

Monday, 29 August 2011

I feel an attack of Tourette's coming on

It's a year off, and I'm already hating the Olympics, and I can feel my spleen throbbing when I read this story:
Children will be banned from watching shooting events under Boris Johnson's Olympic ticket giveaway.

London schoolchildren are eligible for 125,000 Olympic tickets but these will not include any featuring guns, as Games organisers and City Hall fear a backlash from the anti-gun lobby.

Giving children tickets to the events, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, could have appeared at odds with Mayor Boris Johnson's bid to quell teenage gun and knife crime.

A source said: "We decided it would not be appropriate. It's the only sport children will not be able to go to as part of the Ticketshare scheme."
I won't bother to elaborate my views.

Hat tip: Samizdata

Helmer: no goat like a Judas goat

My post below of the Tony Benn interview on the EU came about tangentially from reading and commenting chez Autonomous Mind who, over a troika of posts, has been engaged in a dispute with Tory MEP Roger Helmer.

Although I do prefer political types like Helmer who are at least prepared to argue with the commoners, he should not be surprised to meet with the hostility and cynicism which he has done in the comment section, because this is what he deserves. If he wishes to wear the blue rosette, then he will be treated as a representative of the party above all others which has betrayed this country to the EU.

My views of Tory 'euroscepticism' are made clear here, here and here. I find it a contemptible political stand-point which is essentially indivisible from the willing Euro-lapdogs, and in some ways worse. Whereas the EU supporters' message to their side is 'come on, everyone, the EU is great!', the 'eurosceptic' message aims at shutting up vocal opposition to Britain's membership of the EU, and trusting for our redemption to a furtive band of brothers within Tory party ranks, who are, we are led to believe, about to spring into action.

We are being led off into bondage. Helmer and his ilk are telling us: "Don't resist, now is not the moment, wait for the signal". But with every prevarication, our captivity is more assured. The gates of the prison camp loom ever nearer. We, who love our country and desire to rescue its sovereignty, must sadly conclude that the 'eurosceptics', whether wittingly or unwittingly, through folly, cowardice or malice, are no more than Judas goats.

I hope to be proven wrong, and one of my motives in attacking them is to sting their conscience, but make no mistake: they deserve our vilification.

A strange bed fellow

I shall put aside my standard hostility to socialism, as Tony Benn is correct on at least one thing: the EU is rotten. He makes some interesting points, and he smokes a pipe (good man). The clip could do without Farage chiming in at the end.

The second part is here.

Searching for a metaphor

Reading a piece in the Telegraph about a possible EU bust-up, as the deutschers baulk at pay-rolling the rest of the Eurozone, I find myself happily contemplating the collapse of the Brussels Empire. On one level, I recognise that this may lead to bad things, but so be it.

As I ponder my attitude, searching for an explanatory image, I come to this: I feel like a captive Israelite in the Philistine temple with Samson shaking the pillars. I know if he brings it down, I'll be smashed to smithereens along with everyone else, but still...


Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Chancellor giving moral lectures? Excuse me while I vomit

If there's one person ill-suited to give moral lectures, it's that hairless rodent George Osborne. You only have to look into his shifty, furtive eyes to know the measure of him.

But now he's ensconced in the Treasury, and presiding over the bloated, flatulent leviathan which each week splashes out £3,000,000,000 more than it bleeds from us, it's imperative that he find new sources of protein for the metastasising tumour that is the big government state. Hence he squeaks out against tax evaders (or tax avoiders as the red rag Guardian erroneously calls them), and where does he do this? Why, in that bastion of conservatism, the Observer. Maybe he reckons none of his poor deluded flock of loyal party members will notice.
"Tax evasion is morally repugnant," he writes. "It's stealing from law-abiding people, who face higher taxes to make good the lost revenue."
Morally repugnant? Well, you should know, Georgie, my flesh is crawling just from seeing the photo. Stealing from law-abiding people? Again, you're the expert there, but note the blatant lie, that tax evasion leads to us poor mugs, who can't escape the state's shake-down enforcers, paying higher taxes. The premise is that the government needs a certain fixed amount to pay its largess and if it can't get it from the tax evaders it has no choice but to put the squeeze on everyone else, but the state cannot possibly pay its outgoings with the amount they loot from us anyway. The state's expenditure doesn't bear any resemblance. There is no attempt to balance the budget.

There is no moral failing in evading tax. It may be mala prohibita, but it certainly ain't mala in se. I bear no ill will to those with secret Swiss bank accounts, rather I think the Swiss have cheapened themselves by agreeing to snitch out their clients, and considering what these scumbag politicians and mandarins do with the money when they get it, I would say it is morally imperative to hide whatever you can from their avaricious clutches.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Holy Mother

Sinead O'Connor - Jerusalem

The strategy, courtesy of Murray N.

Recently Matthew Sinclair of the Tax-Payers Alliance gave a speech on his book 'Let them eat carbon', in which he exposes some of the insane, counter-productiveness of the state-worshippers' enviro-mentalism. He stresses the need to make the public aware of the huge cost of 'climate change policy' - which we're all paying. This reminds me of something from the Great Guru, in an essay entitled 'Right-Wing Populism', stressing the key message we need to be proclaiming; the one that cuts through the smoke; the one that eveyone knows already, but needs to be put into words and shouted from the rooftops - THEY'RE RIPPING US OFF!

Here's an excerpt, with my emphasis added, followed with a clip from Sinclair's speech:

"Libertarians have often seen the problem plainly, but as strategists for social change they have badly missed the boat. In what we might call "the Hayek model," they have called for spreading correct ideas, and thereby converting the intellectual elites to liberty, beginning with top philosophers and then slowly trickling on down through the decades to converting journalists and other media opinion-moulders. And of course, ideas are the key, and spreading correct doctrine is a necessary part of any libertarian strategy. It might be said that the process takes too long, but a long-range strategy is important, and contrasts to the tragic futility of official conservatism which is interested only in the lesser-of-two-evils for the current election and therefore loses in the medium, let along the long, run. But the real error is not so much the emphasis on the long run, but on ignoring the fundamental fact that the problem is not just intellectual error. The problem is that the intellectual elites benefit from the current system; in a crucial sense, they are part of the ruling class. The process of Hayekian conversion assumes that everyone, or at least all intellectuals, are interested solely in the truth, and that economic self-interest never gets in the way. Anyone at all acquainted with intellectuals or academics should be disabused of this notion, and fast. Any libertarian strategy must recognize that intellectuals and opinion-moulders are part of the fundamental problem, not just because of error, but because their own self-interest is tied into the ruling system.

Why then did communism implode? Because in the end the system was working so badly that even the nomenklatura got fed up and threw in the towel. The Marxists have correctly pointed out that a social system collapses when the ruling class becomes demoralized and loses its will to power; manifest failure of the communist system brought about that demoralization. But doing nothing, or relying only on educating the elites in correct ideas, will mean that our own statist system will not end until our entire society, like that of the Soviet Union, has been reduced to rubble. Surely, we must not sit still for that. A strategy for liberty must be far more active and aggressive.

Hence the importance, for libertarians or for minimal government conservatives, of having a one-two punch in their armor: not simply of spreading correct ideas, but also of exposing the corrupt ruling elites and how they benefit from the existing system, more specifically how they are ripping us off. Ripping the mask off elites is "negative campaigning" at its finest and most fundamental.

This two-pronged strategy is (a) to build up a cadre of our own libertarians, minimal-government opinion-moulders, based on correct ideas; and (b) to tap the masses directly, to short-circuit the dominant media and intellectual elites, to rouse the masses of people against the elites that are looting them, and confusing them, and oppressing them, both socially and economically. But this strategy must fuse the abstract and the concrete; it must not simply attack elites in the abstract, but must focus specifically on the existing statist system, on those who right now constitute the ruling classes.

Libertarians have long been puzzled about whom, about which groups, to reach out to. The simple answer: everyone, is not enough, because to be relevant politically, we must concentrate strategically on those groups who are most oppressed and who also have the most social leverage.

The reality of the current system is that it constitutes an unholy alliance of "corporate liberal" Big Business and media elites, who, through big government, have privileged and caused to rise up a parasitic Underclass, who, among them all, are looting and oppressing the bulk of the middle and working classes in America. Therefore, the proper strategy of libertarians and paleos is a strategy of "right-wing populism," that is: to expose and denounce this unholy alliance, and to call for getting this preppie-underclass-liberal media alliance off the backs of the rest of us: the middle and working classes."

Friday, 26 August 2011

Don't listen to experts, experts say

Whenever the descendants of Goebbels have a new measure of tyrannical control to sell, you will find it described as research and those pushing the hateful liberty-destroying plan will always be referred to as experts. It's as if that word alone is enough to justify the idea, no matter how loathsome.

A prime example of such propaganda from the Ministry of Truth is a piece entitled; "Global governments 'must get tough on obesity", with the sub-heading;
"Tougher action - including taxing junk food - is needed by all governments if the obesity crisis is going to be tackled, experts say."
Experts in what? One supposes, given the subject, experts in nutrition. But that in itself does not explain what they are calling for, because in addition to their purported expertise in nutrition, they must also be of a certain political persuasion, otherwise they would not be calling for such tyrannical government action.

It is one thing to release reports on public health, it is quite another to lobby for tyrannical laws. Only state-worshipping, jackboot-licking scum would do that, and therefore, given this unavoidable fact, why on earth would we consider their research to be worthy of consideration? With their ernest desire to inflict tyrannical control over individuals clear for all to see, knowing as we do such people will say anything to push forward such tyrannical goals, we cannot possibly trust a word they have said.

And I should know. I'm an expert in these matters.

Hat tip: Snowolf

Tom Woods sets matters straight

Tom Woods providing a healthy dose of TRUTH against the historically ludicrous attack on Ron Paul by the American Spectator.

Dumb-assed neo - (i.e. ex-trotskyite) cons, you're gonna have to do better than this.

Hat tip: Lew Rockwell's Political Theatre

Paraphrasing Monbiot

Reading George Monbiot's piece entitled "As the dream of economic growth dies, a new plan awaits testing", a wave of fatigue hits me. For a moment I am daunted, as if surveying a vast army massed against me, a horde of fallacy, ignorance and lies, all dressed up in the glittering armour of faux-intellectual twaddle.

But, as Psalm 27 teaches: "Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear".


In keeping with the title of this post, the brief paraphrase of Monbiot's article is:
Our economic system is screwed because of too much freedom. The government hasn't interfered enough, and what we need is more government control.
This, according to Moronbiot, is 'a new plan that awaits testing'. In fact it's the same old, dirty, communist turd with a veneer of eco-polish.

As is de rigeur, we get the mis-representation of capitalism, used here to signify the government-regulated corporatist structure which has brought us to this pretty pass, and wearisome though it is, I am forced to restate the meaning of the word:

Capitalism: an economic system based on private property and freedom.

Not for Georgie-boy, of course, anything short of Pol Pot massacring a third of the population is wicked laissez-faire, but he's found himself a 'capitalist' he likes, neo-Keynesian cockwaffler Nuriel Roubini. Why does he like him? Because Roubini is quoted as saying; "Karl Marx, it seems, was partly right". Sure, Karl Marx was partly right, to the same extent that if I drank a pint of weak beer and pissed into the Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean would be partly alcoholic. But with the Moron, all roads lead to Marx.

So, anyway, the 'new plan' comes courtesy of a book written by some cunt called Professor Tim Jackson, which I'm not going to bother researching, but my bet is that his professorship came out of one of those posh Christmas crackers. I'm satisfied that if Mong likes it, it must be bad, and from what I can glean, it seems to be a cut and paste job from Hazlitt's 'Economics in One Lesson', where he's taken all the fallacies which Hazlitt explodes, and stitched them together. One thing's for sure;
"It requires more government intervention than we're used to; but so does every option we face from now on..."
Well, of course! Especially since;
"the financial crisis was caused not by isolated malpractice but by the systematic deregulation of the banks by governments, in order to stimulate economic growth by issuing more debt."
Yeah, 'laissez-faire', right? But, I'm confused. You see, in the above statement, the cause of the crisis was government action aimed at creating more debt. That this government action is characterised as 'deregulation' changes nothing. The government intervened in pursuit of a policy to create more debt. That ain't laissez-faire, motherfucker, quite the opposite, that's the government fucking things up, according to your own explanation. So if that was the problem, how the fuck is more government intervention the solution? Don't tell me, I can guess; if we keep doing the same thing over and over again, we're bound to get different results one of these days, right George?

And as ever, shot through Monbiot's musings is the hatred of consumption, and in one way I agree. I think in this age of austerity, poncified, pontificating, ivory-tower reds like George Monbiot are a luxury we can't afford.

Hat tip: An Englishman's Castle

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Another judge-assisted homocide

Q: What is appropriate punishment for a man found guilty of raping two women at knifepoint and considered, unsurprisingly, to be very dangerous?

Wait, wait! Before you answer, imagine you like dressing up in ridiculous 18th century costumes, that you don't give a fuck about the victims of this vicious criminal, or the future victims that you are about to make inevitable by your answer to this question, you're probably a bit bored, you're probably waiting to get off to your appointment with Madame Whiplash who's going to tie you to a bed and spank you for being a naughty boy, or perhaps defecate upon you because that's what gets you off. In short, imagine you're an average judge.

A: Three and a half years should do it. I'm sure he deserves another chance. It's not like he'd murdered anyone. Yet.

Thanks judge.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Randolf Bourne on war and the state

In the post immediately below, I quoted Randolf Bourne's famous maxim; 'War is the health of the state'. So, let me quote him at greater length. Here are the first few paragraphs of the essay with that title, itself part of a work, 'The State', unfinished at the time of his death. The full essay can be found here. I have high-lighted one part, which I think is especially relevant in these days.

"To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war [World War I] brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favor of partisan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday.

Government is obviously composed of common and unsanctified men, and is thus a legitimate object of criticism and even contempt. If your own party is in power, things may be assumed to be moving safely enough; but if the opposition is in, then clearly all safety and honor have fled the State. Yet you do not put it to yourself in quite that way. What you think is only that there are rascals to be turned out of a very practical machinery of offices and functions which you take for granted. When we say that Americans are lawless, we usually mean that they are less conscious than other peoples of the august majesty of the institution of the State as it stands behind the objective government of men and laws which we see. In a republic the men who hold office are indistinguishable from the mass. Very few of them possess the slightest personal dignity with which they could endow their political role; even if they ever thought of such a thing. And they have no class distinction to give them glamour. In a republic the Government is obeyed grumblingly, because it has no bedazzlements or sanctities to gild it. If you are a good old-fashioned democrat, you rejoice at this fact, you glory in the plainness of a system where every citizen has become a king. If you are more sophisticated you bemoan the passing of dignity and honor from affairs of State. But in practice, the democrat does not in the least treat his elected citizen with the respect due to a king, nor does the sophisticated citizen pay tribute to the dignity even when he finds it. The republican State has almost no trappings to appeal to the common man’s emotions. What it has are of military origin, and in an unmilitary era such as we have passed through since the Civil War, even military trappings have been scarcely seen. In such an era the sense of the State almost fades out of the consciousness of men.

With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. For the benefit of proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle. Good democrats are wont to feel the crucial difference between a State in which the popular Parliament or Congress declares war, and the State in which an absolute monarch or ruling class declares war. But, put to the stern pragmatic test, the difference is not striking. In the freest of republics as well as in the most tyrannical of empires, all foreign policy, the diplomatic negotiations which produce or forestall war, are equally the private property of the Executive part of the Government, and are equally exposed to no check whatever from popular bodies, or the people voting as a mass themselves."

Libya and the EU

We all know there is one thing that the EU ideologues crave more than anything: the recognition of the vile entity as a state in its own right. That was the thrust of the Constitution and the other symbols of flag and 'national' anthem. When the Constitution was thrown out by the voters of France and the Netherlands, the ideologues took one step back, realising they'd gone a little too far, had shown in effect too much honesty and openness, and went back to their usual modus operandi of deceit and camouflage. Thus they re-packaged the Constitution as the Lisbon Treaty, which enabled the lying cocksuckers of the British government to pretend it was something else entirely. The people were not of course fooled, and statements from politicians around the EU directly contradicted the British government cocksucker version.

Thus the project to set up the EU as a nation continues apace, and looking at the EU's role in the current war on Libya we can see a definite change compared to earlier wars such as the war on Iraq. Indeed it could be said that the war on Libya is the first EU war, notwithstanding Germany's reluctance to participate in the military action. As I noted at the time, the beginning of the Nato attack on Libya coincided with a planned Anglo-French airforce exercise called Operation Southern Mistral, which was based on a scenario of attacking Libya in all but name. Taking that to be a mere coincidence for the time being, the exercise was intended to push forward plans to merge British and French troops into an EU strikeforce. I don't see how this can be gainsaid, only the extent of the planned merger can be disputed.

The developments in the military re-organisation mirror developments in almost every other area, such as the plan to issue bonds and to solidify central economic control over member states. None of these matters are intended for public discussion. The EU ideologues are well aware that they can command no democratic mandate, thus they rush to put in place their tyranny before organised opposition can appear. With regard to Libya, perhaps the enemies of national sovereignty think they have the Achilles' heal of conservative opposition to the EU state, as they can play this war as a Nato action, which most conservatives will probably blindly approve of, and sneak the EU aspect in through the back door.

"War is the health of the state" as Randolf Bourne noted. I expect the EU conspirators know this well, and would like nothing more than to bolster the weak and sickly EU project with a militaristic transfusion. Indeed, if sanctions are a form of war, which some would class them as, the EU is already flexing its military muscles. For their plans to succeed, they need to forge some kind of illusionary, ersatz patriotism to the EU, so expect to see the symbols of Brussels in prominent places, if this war comes to a 'successful' conclusion.

Mencken on the scourge of our times

Short, to the point and one to memorize, because you never know when you'll need it.

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

Bastiat on socialism

The Immortal Bastiat

I am currently reading the first volume of Liberty Fund's Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat, which contains his letters and various articles. I am impatient for the Fund to release the following five volumes, though I imagine this will take some years. Tant pis.

Reading the letters affords an intimate view of this great man, sadly cut down by illness at the height of his powers, and will inform my later study of his public writings. His decency and his genius shine through, but there is an unsurprising melancholy which envelops him as his health declines.

In the letters he wonders what his contribution to humanity and his legacy will be, and towards the end as he reconciles himself to death's approach and the realisation that his work will be unfinished, he hopes that others will carry on down the path he has mapped out. I have resolved to pay a visit to his home town of Mugron in Aquitaine, a beautiful part of a country that I love, and pay my respects to the statue in Place Frédéric Bastiat, and lay some flowers in his honour.

Anyway, here is a little quote from a letter written during his journey to Italy, where he was to die. It concerns a place which had seen the violent suppression of workers resisting industrialisation (if I understand correctly). It is from letter 192, and seems somewhat fitting for these troubled times. As with most Liberty Fund publications, it is available for free online.
Contemplating the theater of so many bloody conflicts, I thought that there is no more pressing need in man than that for confidence in a future that offers some stability. What troubles the workers is not so much how low their wages are but their uncertainty, and if men who have achieved wealth were prepared to take a look at themselves, seeing with what ardor they love security, they would perhaps be somewhat indulgent toward the classes which always, for one reason or another, have the specter of unemployment before them. One of the most beautiful of economic harmonies is the ever-increasing tendency for all classes in succession to achieve stability. Society achieves this stability as civilization is attained, through earnings, fees, rent, and interest, in short everything that the socialists reject; to such an extent that their plans bring the human race back precisely to its point of departure, that is to say the time when uncertainty is at its highest for everyone.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Walter Block on privatising education


Not great sound during Walter's speech (the first 10 minutes or so) and not all Walter in the following question and answer session, but worth it for Walter's contribution, which are circa:

12:15, 17:05, 24:50, 27:30, 42:00

The role of the media in the Libyan war

The role of the media in reporting conflict seems to have crossed a significant point into pure agit-prop during the Libyan conflict. It is not that this has never been the case, after all the media has always been selective in what it can and what it chooses to report, but it seems to have moved on from partial reporting to active participation.

With media now broadcasting to a global market, it's no longer a case of keeping the folks back home selectively in the dark, but rather feeding propaganda into the very theatre of operations.

Also worrying is the trend, very prevalent in this conflict, of seeing independent reporters in the same light, i.e. as a combatant - an enemy combatant. The message is clear: any journalist not on our side, better watch out. If they get out alive, they may be pursued with legal action for taking money from the enemy regime. Don't expect such action to stretch as far as the many political leaders who lapped up the milk and honey back when Gaddafi was a man we could do business with.

Nato attacked Libyan television, as they had attacked Serbian television some years before. In the Libyan case, we were told this was a legitimate target in a campaign ostensibly to protect civilians. Are the journalists playing this game aware that such logic blows both ways?

An anti-interventionist speaks

Back in the days when I gave a toss about football, I used to make a special effort to wear my colours after the team I supported had taken a beating. If they'd lost a cup final, I'd pull that shirt on. I figured it was more important to wear it that day than on the fair-weather occasions.

The thought comes to mind as I begin stating my opposition to my country's military intervention in Libya, at a time when the success of that action is being loudly trumpeted by politicians and the press.

I should first state that I wish the people of Libya peace, and hope that the war will come to an end, and that the people of Libya have a right to liberty and to choose their own government. I certainly will not stand in the way of a popular revolution any more than I've stood in the way of the Nato aggression. My opinion is inconsequential anyway and I know it.

Is it a good thing, if Gaddafi falls? I don't know. I am not Libyan, and I don't know what will replace him. Will the people be more free? Likewise, I don't know. There are reasons for hope and reasons for fear. When all the dust and the debris is cleared away and order returns, will the ordinary Libyan be better off? Only they will be able to answer that.

The usual attack on the non-interventionist is based on a perceived lack of compassion for the suffering of the oppressed, that we would stand idly by as innocent victims are shot down by government thugs. Nothing we can argue back, about the number of deaths caused by the intervention itself seems to remove this taint, especially as we are never told how many deaths Nato causes, neither in Libya, Afghanistan nor Pakistan. There are reports of militants, which as far as I can gather means post-pubescent males. For those who happen to be anywhere in the vicinity, a terse regret may be muttered. But let me answer the charge: Yes indeed. If the government had listened to me, they would have not have bombed Gaddafi's forces on the way to Benghazi. And this sticky blood would be on my hands. But why does none of the blood of the Nato victims attach to the interventionist hawks? Of course, I know that one: because Nato's the good guys, and when they bomb and strafe, it's with love in their hearts. Such casualties are unintentional.

One of the cards we like to play is what is known to our adversaries as 'whatabouterie'. We point to all the other places where our government do nothing in very similar situations, or actually supports the kind of violent repression Gaddafi is accused of. Clearly its not the shooting of protestors per se, which has incurred the wrath of Nato.

But, cry the hawks, we can't do everything, can we? And just because we can't do everything doesn't mean we shouldn't act when we can.

Or else we may point out other agendas, such as kicking the Chinese out of Africa, grabbing the oil and the gold, carving up the reconstruction between friends. We might reflect on the blatant misuse of the UN Resolution, which has been stretched to the point of disintegration to cover what was always the plan: regime change.

However, these are minor matters for the inteventionists, especially on a day like today. They will be feeling good. They will be camping, as ever, on the moral highground. It was they, at least from the comfort of their armchairs, who liberated Libya and made every tyrant quake in their jackboots. They must learn the lesson of Libya, and that lesson is; tyranny's fine, just as long as you do what we tell you, and keep taking the dollar.

So, notwithstanding what the future holds for Libya, we can expect to see more interventions, more Nato playing the policeman of the world, and a continuation of this country's self-righteous belief that; once the good guy, always the good guy. And my view will remain the minority view, heaped anew in fresh ordure. Misunderstood, indeed. Contemptible, perhaps. But stubbornly held.

Picking over the bones

I've just learned that during the recent riots one of my friends was broken into, when she was home by herself. I don't know too much about it, other than that, but it makes me want to clarify my position and reassert my interpretation of the riots and the aftermath. It also brings back to me some of the fury I felt at the time.

Firstly, looters, and burglars in general, deserve to be shot. They are nothing but vermin.

Secondly, we had a right from time immemorial to keep and bear arms in our own self-preservation and defence. All free people have this right. It has been illegitimately taken from us by successive governments in the 20th Century. This is due to the return to dominance of ideologies based on state power. Whether of the supposed left or the supposed right, they all reject individual liberty and uphold collectivism in one form or another. The left version couches its state worship in the language of democracy. i.e., the state = the people. The right justifies its position by telling us we need to respect authority. In the past this authority would have been ordained by God himself, but this last part is usually lacking now, so tradition can be substituted for divine ordination.

Such left versus right distinctions are superficial in reality. They merely explain the constant battle between each faction for control of the state apparatus. Neither side doubts for a moment the legitimacy or need of the apparatus itself. They both see it as imperative in order to keep down those who dissent. The right harks back to the Ancien Regime of Throne and Altar, to the 'good old days' when everyone knew their place. All the left - by which I mean socialist, communist, social democrat or whatever nuanced name it goes under - ever wanted to do was install its own leaders into the positions of power, in the hope that they'd share out the plunder from the defeated old guard.

There is no great physical struggle between these two factions any longer. They have fused together into a unified political Establishment. They are two wings of the same bird of prey.

The libertarian position is outside of this, because it is based on individual liberty, not a doctrine of state power. The only legitimacy the state can accrue to itself is as the defender of this individual liberty. It can claim no powers to itself, which the individual does not possess. Neither God nor the majority provide an excuse for crime. To a libertarian, the policeman's power derives from the individual's power to defend himself and his property from aggression. It may be delegated, but it is not alienated. Thus, the state has exceeded its authority egregiously by enacting legislation preventing individuals from defending themselves. By disarming the public, the state has become the aider and abettor of every violent criminal who aggresses against another individual.

Thirdly, there is no need for new laws and new prohibitions. Every crime committed during the rioting is amply covered by the law. That does not mean that the criminal justice system is functioning well, far from it, but the problems long pre-date the riots, and they relate to the sentencing, not the statute.

The failure of the justice system to treat serious crimes seriously has been given new exposure, but it is not news. The press have paraded countless examples of preposterous judgements from judges, following guidelines from the political class, which show a complete disregard for their traditional function. Cossetted by their wealth, perhaps, addled by the prevailing fabian doctrine, they go through the motions like a priest who has lost his faith. Casting down their eyes from the ivory tower, their blurry vision cannot distinguish between victim and aggressor.

If there is to be reform, let it be limited to the punishment. We need no new crimes.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hitchens and the Great Helmsman Syndrome

Peter, the arch conservative, gets it right part of the time:
"The whole Fabian socialist project, which revolutionised our nation throughout the 20th Century and which eventually took over the Tory Party itself, was intended to change behaviour, and did so. So is the new programme which has replaced it, the politically correct drive for ‘equality and diversity’."
As ever, I agree with much of his diagnosis, but cannot endorse his preferred course of treatment, as the kind of authoritarian state which he implicitely advocates calls to mind Massachusettes under the puritans.

If only he could grasp the true meaning of liberty, he would junk the authoritarian contradictions, and rather than fighting a lone rear-guard action against the Age of Enlightenment, he could turn his fire on the real enemies of the principles he holds dear, and not on all those who are neutral with regard to what he believes in, provided he doesn't seek to impose these beliefs on everyone else, and although I find his views interesting because he is a self-declared outsider, he does say some silly things. Thus he states:
The Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971 decriminalised cannabis, with huge results for behaviour. So did the abolition of the old alcohol licensing laws.
Not at all. Cannabis is not decriminalised. It's true that you're unlikely to be jailed for simple possession, but if they can charge you with intent to supply, you may well be, and if you're a little old lady with a couple of plants in the greenhouse, they'll nail you up with sadistic pleasure. And as for the licencing laws, they were, as we all know, introduced as a temporary measure during the First World War, and they should have been repealed in 1918. Those laws were an embarrassment to this country, and had the effect of infantilising adults.

What I can't grasp is where there is any answer in Hitchens' philosophy to Juvenal's question; who watches the watchman? To whom are we going to entrust the arbitrary powers over individual liberty which he calls for? It is at this point that his earlier adherence to trotskyism rears its ugly head. Hitchens' system requires a dictator. It also requires a massively inflated state. Yet again he bemoans the end of the grammar schools, but never does it occur to him that there are other, non-state solutions to the problem of state-run education.

So, I'm left wondering; what is this conservatism that Hitchens champions? What is it rooted in? It certainly is not Victorianism, for if it was, he'd be for legalising drugs, which were widely available back then, and he'd see that education should not be a state monopoly. His position is merely a mish-mash of bits and pieces from various past times, bound together in the fires of his irrational animosities.

Ron Paul wins again

From Huntingdon News:

Forget Pepsi; it appears that veteran Texas congressman Ron Paul is the choice of a new generation. At the New Hampshire Young Republicans Straw Poll and Lobster Bake in New Castle New Hampshire on Saturday, August 20, Paul, taking 45 percent of the total votes, soundly defeated his rivals for the Republican nomination, beating second –place finisher Governor Mitt Romney by over 35 percent of all votes cast.

More embarrassingly for the GOP field, Paul and putative front-runner Romney, who finished with only 10 percent, were the only candidates who finished in double digits—and neither of them were among the candidates who had bothered to come to the event. Among the rest of the battling Republicans, Michigan congressman Thad McCotter and Texas governor Rick Perry tied with 8 percent; Governor Gary Johnson garnered 6 percent; and Ames Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann tied with CEO Herman Cain, each gaining 5 percent. All other candidates finished with less than 5 percent of the votes cast.

The straw poll results reveal not only that Paul has a commanding position among young GOP adherents, they also hint at the difficulty Bachmann will have maintaining any momentum from Iowa among more liberty-minded conservatives in New Hampshire. Bachmann, along with Paul and others, was a sponsor of the event, and yet finished tied for fifth.

Hat tip: Lew Rockwell's Political Theatre

Mandelson: symbol of the corrupt political establishment

The Daily Mail reports on Peter Mandelson's plans to buy an £8 million property in London, saying it raises "new questions" over his wealth. I disagree. There are no new questions, but there is an old question, which goes something like this:

Why the fuck has Mandelson not been investigated for corruption, given what we know about his dealings with Oleg Deripaska, not to say his stinking, venal, scumbag character?

The answer is obvious; because the law isn't applied to mobbed-up cocksuckers in the establishment, especially when they are connected to the EU conspiracy.

Mandelson is nothing but a huge tick feeding on the blood of decent, honest people, but it's good to have him around, to remind us of what the Labour Party truly represents: la-di-dah communist wankers who feast on caviar and despise the working class.

Blood-sucker: Mandelson without the make-up

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Lessons from history: Nixon and gold

RT interviews Lew Rockwell on Nixon's fateful decision to break what was left of the Gold Standard, namely the Bretton Woods version, AKA the bastard son of the bastard son of the Gold Standard, and precipitating the world into the current paper money era.

Kudos to RT. You would never get such opinions and analysis on the standard corporate media.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Scientists they ain't

Leaving aside the collapsing world paper money economy, I note the beneath-the-empty-barrel state of the global warming fear-mongering industry on show in this Grauniad article:

"Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists"

Yep. It's a chance we can't afford to take. Best shut down our civilisation and wipe ourselves out in a Khmer Rouge-style return to nature, in order to stave off the risk.

Hat tip: Infowars.

Puritan news of the day

The fanatical puritan temperance crusaders of the anti-alcohol, anti-tobacco, anti-everything persuasion are quite happy, in the interests of their twisted version of the "greater good", to commit the minor sin of lying through their teeth. A favourite method for manufacturing the semblance of evidence is the skewed poll.

The Daily Mail is reporting on what could be a classic of the genre. Here we learn:

The poll, by Benenden Healthcare Society, revealed a fairly widespread dependency on alcohol.

The average Briton starts experimenting with alcohol at the tender age of 14.

Four out of 10 admitted they can’t go longer than a week without having a drink, while 10 per cent said they would struggle to make it through just two days without cracking open a bottle.

Popular reasons for indulging included drinking to 'unwind' (40 per cent) and 'escapism' (17 per cent).

Meanwhile, one in five polled admitted they can’t have fun out on a night out if they don’t drink.
(my emphasis above)

I'm guessing the questions were rather leading. Regarding the points above, who says 14 is young for having a drink (or, as they put it, to give it that druggy, flavour, 'experimenting with alcohol')? What do they mean by 'widespread dependency'? I suspect that is their spin on people saying they like a drink, and see no reason not to have one. What is wrong with having a drink to 'unwind'? And in general, why the fuck is any of this 'shocking'?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Heard in my head

So, once I'd placed it, I thought I'd share it: Shooter Jennings from the album Black Ribbons, 'when the radio goes dead'.

Classic socialist stupidity

Melissa Benn's article in the Guardian illustrates one of the key obsessions in socialist thinking (if that ain't an oxymoron): the gap. In this case it's the gap between the education on offer at the top, fee-paying schools and that available at the bog-standard state comprehensives.

As usual you get the clear impression that what bothers her is not the disaster of state-run schools, but that some lucky bastards, due to accident of birth, escape from the socialist cesspit. If only, she opines, everybody could be equally fucked up by the lunatic fabian brainwash, no one would notice how bad it is.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Jon Stewart on the Ron Paul media black-out

Not a great picture, but worth watching.

Hat tip: Lew Rockwell's Political Theatre

As Dr Paul says in the first video below, he is rock-solid consistent. Therefore, here he is appearing during the last nomination debate. The message stays the same.

Part 2 here.

UPDATE: For the UK corporate media version, see the Graun with this piece, that doesn't mention Dr Paul once, and this article, which highlights the attempts to ignore Dr Paul, but naturally has to start the subheading with "The Texan libertarian won't win the GOP nomination ...".

Monday, 15 August 2011

Drawing threads together

Have you noticed how the recent riots have confirmed everyone in their previous opinions? Whether you be leftwing or rightwing, liberal or libertarian, whoever and whatever you previously blamed for the decline and fall of this nation, the riots have provided the perfect example.

So, in one way, the riots have changed very little. What it has done, though, is to provide Cameron's clique with a narrative back-drop. As a politician, he knows this kind of thing is the making or the breaking of his premiership. He'll be thinking of Churchill. His mind will keep looping round to: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. There's been a breakdown in political order, and Cameron and gang, the same as rival factions, are going to try to grab whatever they can.

Where should the libertarians be in this political looting spree? I would say, within this metaphor, we should be guarding our shops, armed to the teeth, in any case keeping out of it. Let us not be caught up with the mob.

The rightwing's diagnosis of society's ills is certainly accurate, up to a point. However, the course of treatment they recommend will only make matters worse. It is merely a change of heavy medication. The overbearing, authoritarian pill favoured by conservatives may be slightly more palatable, insofar as it is based on 'traditional values', rather than leftist quackery, but, and this is important, it will not work.

Libertarians seek a society based on liberty. We may have found ourselves in the same trenches as conservatives in recent times, fighting off the waves of fabian beserkers, but this should not blind us to the fundamental difference in outlook between libertarians and conservatives. We do indeed agree about many things, but not for the same reasons. If we both agree about a particular traditional liberty, such as habeas corpus, they do so because it's traditional, we do so because we believe it's right.

What about the leftwingers? Should we or can we make common cause with them? I would answer; yes, whenever possible. We certainly should not disguise our disagreements where they exist, but if the rightwing brain cell has closed down, and all it is thinking of is how to bring in National Service and teach respect for authority, give the left it's due - at least they can see the inherent folly with such notions, (at least as long as they're not running the programme).

Surely the message we should be giving is the message we always give: liberty is the answer. Let the individual citizens be empowered, not the state machinery. With the government tilting to the right, there is no better time to confront leftwingers with the error of supporting the big government, interventionist, interfering state model they generally call for.

My one concret proposal: Let us push for drug legalisation. There's no time like the present. The alternative we are faced with is a massive crackdown. The tinpot government have correctly identified the part played by the illegal drug trade in the street gang subculture, but cannot draw the rational conclusion to remove the trade from the hands of hoodlums, especially not in the midst of a hang 'em, flog 'em backlash. However, we must seek positive outcomes from the destruction of the riots, and drug legalisation could provide a rallying point for those resisting the rightwing lurch.

Cross-posted at Libertarian Home

Piss off back to Tuscany

If there's one thing worse than a crooked politician, it's a pontificating, moralising one. If we haven't suffered enough already, we now have to put up with Cameron lecturing us like a vicar from the 1930s warning the scout troop against masturbation.

Cameron: don't be a wanker

And what's he gonna do? Here's my wild stab in the dark: more of the same shit that got us into this mess. More government interference. More state power. More micro-management of our lives. More infantalising of a population. New police powers, new surveillance powers, new measures to keep us safe.

Meanwhile, while everyone's attention is elsewhere, Cameron's stinking administration is continuing its policy of selling us down the river to the EU, NATO is continuing its murderous war on Libya and so on and so forth.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A subversive message

Public Enemy, cocking a snook at the wannabe gangster rappers and the establishment-peddled nihilism.

(btw I was prompted to post the above by this trashy article.)

A "new generation of suffragettes"? Err, why?

They've already got the vote. What do they want now?

Zoe Williams and her strange notion of functional

Grauniadista Zoe Williams makes the same connection as I do vis à vis 'The Big Society', but draws the opposite conclusion in her piece on citizens stepping into the breach. JuliaM at Orphans runs through it all, so I will concentrate only on two parts:
"The point here is that everyone from "feral rat" lady to the Enfield Defence League is on the same spectrum: they vary in the impression they give, from seeking order to seeking chaos, but they all doubt the ability of the state to defend their safety – and they are all, therefore, tacitly outside the control of the state."
You get that? "Tacitly outside the control of the state". Here's her closing flourish with my italics:
"Big society might look like people on the streets with brooms or doner knives; but that's not what functional society looks like."
So, what can we assume to be Zoe's vision of a functional society? Clearly not one where members of that society do anything for that society, be it defending their property from criminals or sweeping up broken glass, unless they have a uniform and a badge, work for the state and have been instructed to do it. Functional society for Zoe is when the state controls everything, and the citizens are utterly passive, only doing what they are told, and nothing else.

What the fuck is the matter with the woman. Rush her to hospital, somebody, and give her a scan. Somebody's looted her fucking brain.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Sawdust caesars

A scene that came to mind, from 'Quadrophenia'.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Education's the problem: are you gonna blame the parents for that as well?

The state schools have got to go. It's not the teachers. It's not the buildings or the number of computers. It's the crap they feed into the brains of their victims - our younger generation. It's not all rubbish, but the way they present it makes even the good bits bad. Take a look at the kind of material they use for the 'citizenship' syllabus or 'personal and social development' and you will wonder no more why some of these youngsters don't know the difference between right and wrong.

In a thousand misdirections they are taught; what their rights are (and the need for limits), how big the government is (and why it must always be this way); they learn the reasons why young people steal cars (poverty etc), they learn the process of punishment they can expect if they disobey the law (first you get warning, next you get another warning with a different name etc); they learn that discipline means controlling someone by rewarding and punishing, and that there is no agreement on what is good behaviour or bad, it all depends on the situation. I kid you not.

What parent would fill their child's head with this nonsense?

Libertarians: step back from the right-wing brink

The time for tough action was during the riot. The last thing we need is a raft of new police powers

The politicians' speech competition can go hang. Don't tell me we need new laws. Don't tell me that there's nothing on the Statute already, that allows the police to deal with arson and looting.

Look out for leitmotifs

You see, the police were criticised for being heavy-handed at the G20 and other demonstrations, but now it's clear they need to be ... altogether now ... MORE ROBUST.

Do you notice how they are bracketing together, as if there is no distinction, political demonstrations and full-blown rioting? One is a legitimate democratic right, the other is an orgy of felonies, and there are certain bridges which must be crossed from one to the other. What we cannot allow, is for the riot to be used to legimate heavy-handed treatment of political protests, or to over-react in such circumstances.

The wisdom, or otherwise, of the crowd

I have experienced, as I'm sure my readers have also, being a member of a large crowd at a large event; such as a football match, Glastonbury or the Notting Hill Carnival. When a large body of people come together, there can be a change in our perceptions. A current of connectivity flows through us. We are not used to being so surrounded by other people. If there is an identification between us, in other words we are all together, the inherent power of the crowd becomes focused, and reason becomes purpose.

Police brutality towards a demonstration immediately produces such a focus, and therefore provokes trouble. That is a fact which must be remembered. As I said above, a riot is not a political demonstration. When the riot was at its peak, yes the police had carte-blanche. If they had actually raised a stick to someone that night, we would have all looked away. But that's past now, and the last thing we need is the police waddling about, trying to reclaim some street cred, picking on 13-year-olds and extending indefinitely the appearance of a state of emergency.

As libertarians, we should try to offer something different to the political debate. The right-wing are busy imagining all the things they'd like to do to the little bastards. The left-wing is singing their usual song. We don't need to play along. Let us stress the differences in our interpretation.

For starters, let us remember the case of Mark Duggan. It seems quite likely that the police did fuck up. If they shot him dead simply for carrying a gun, we should be brave enough to point out from a libertarian point of view that's a victimless crime. which we would abolish.

Also, let us congratulate those citizens who stood up against the looters. A society where people will do this is far safer than one with 'robust' policing. The people standing up helped quell the riot. That is a fact. We must disrupt the official narrative before it succeeds in pasting on top a false conclusion; that being; 'we' need more police, more policing, new police powers. Not at all.

The riot's over, folks, at least for now. Back to the old enemy: the state, and it's about to try a number of predictable things on the back of recent events, which we will need to resist, and we will need allies.

Cross-posted at Libertarian Home

Also at Orphans.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


It is important to learn the lessons that we want to learn, and not those that either the authorities would like or the established political factions will push.

Watch now as the state rolls out the response.

Cameron with his constipated frown, standing in the Downing Street compound, lecturing us sternly, whilst mandarins reach up to the shelf and take down ‘new measures’, lovingly prepared, only waiting for a pretext. Soon will be the Olympics. You may have noticed they are going through the rehearsals, running through various events, for example beach volleyball in Horse Guards Parade. Guess what, they’ve just had a rehearsal for shutting down the city. Return to your homes and remain calm.

I would say the most positive thing in this trouble is the examples of citizens banding together to defend their homes and businesses, and they should be praised. The Sikhs did what you would expect them to do: they stood up and quietly explained that nobody was going to riot where they were. Eltham provided their own version, and in many other places, shopkeepers put on a show of strength. The first reports I saw were from Monday night of Turks and Kurds in Dalston chasing off the looters. Great souls as these turned the tide of the riot. Not the police. Not the Prime Minister flying in from Tuscanny, and a moment should be spared for those who died in Birmingham defending their neighbourhood.

These groups took action because the police could not be counted on. One Enfielder explained on Sky news; the police were just standing around, scratching their arses. He pointed out he’d paid his taxes – i.e. he’d paid the state its protection money, but the state was delivering their side of the bargain. Another explained what they were doing was wholly compliant with the law in these matters. Everyone’s heard of a citizen’s arrest.

This may well concern the authorities more than the rioting and looting. The idea of citizens organising for their own self-defence will terrify them. It threatens their monopoly position. The looters made them look ineffectual. Self-defence committees make them look irrelevant. The latter pricks them harder, and there is nothing the authorities hate more than members of the public ‘taking the law into their own hands’. The authorities will want to nip such things in the bud.

Our poor suffering kids

Two days ago I wanted them shot. I have become more forgiving, but that won’t help them now. The criminal law machine is cranking up, and they’re the feed. The prison unions sense a bargaining position. The politicians get to moralise. We get to jeer at the politicians. If you’re civically-minded you can help sweep up. The police also have started sweeping up.

There’s something sneaky in letting them riot to their heart’s content, and then coming after them. They could almost claim entrapment. If the police had handed them a beating, their crimes would probably have been less. We could have called it quits for the peripherals, and concentrated on the real bastards who were out there, and the police can guess who most of them are already from their many previous dealings. The usual suspects indeed.

The first thing that turned my nose was an officer laying it on thick about parents handing in their miscreant sprogs. And today a Greenwich councillor shrilly declared tenants who are found guilty of involvement will be flung out. When asked the question, what if it’s a kid, do you fling the whole family out? He said, then we take the kid! He sounded like a man who’d never even met a mother with a teenaged son. Some of the mothers of these looters are everything the Daily Mail says of the feckless underclass no doubt, but not all of them. Some of them are good mothers. They try their hardest to be a good influence, but they are not the only influence on the child.

Repeals which would help

Legalise drugs. If you remain to be convinced, I won’t convince you now, but many agree, surveying the subject as a whole, seeing the effects of drugs on society and the effects of drug illegality on society, and we use logic and common sense, drugs will be legalised.

Gun laws (some hope and ditto above about convincing you)

Get rid of minimum wage laws, so young people can get jobs, and revert to 16 every law which was changed to 18. By raising the age limits, they enforce more childhood on a generation who have grown up in some ways faster than it should, whilst in other ways they remain bafflingly naïve. Post-riot, they’re happy to blame the parents, but the state has had the children under their care for much of that time. Could it be that what they learnt in school helped bring about this outbreak of nihilistic hedonism?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ex-party business

Leaving aside for the moment the situation in London, I will turn my attention to something of far more limited interest: namely The Libertarian Party.

Much later than most, I have come to the conclusion that there's nothing worth saving within the party. All that is worth saving can and will be salvaged, but the party name and the party vehicle cannot.

The reasons for this lie in the constitution of the party. Not only does it contain clauses that are virtually bullet-proof from amendment, which need amendment, but it has prove utterly ineffectual when faced with a crisis.

That crisis is well-known to bloggers. No resolution was found, and the leadership have managed to barricade themselves in position and keep hold of the financial records, preventing anyone from seeing what happened to the money.

At this point, it no longer matters whether the so-called leader did anything wrong prior to the crisis. It is his actions, and the actions of his lieutenants, since the crisis emerged that have lain the party low. It boggles the mind that this little cabal imagine that ordinary members will tolerate their behaviour.

From the very start, all I wanted was openness. I wanted the financial records to be examined, and I wanted a Special General Meeting to be called, so that party members could judge for themselves. Some time back, I thought that we were winning. The chairman resigned. The leader also resigned. They tried to de-register the party, but that was prevented, and new people were appointed to those positions, with the new leader promising to call the necessary SGM.

However, through a behind-the-scenes campaign, which I can only guess at, the old leader and chairman have managed to hold on to the party and the positions they'd resigned from, and are now emerging from hiding, intending to sally forth, with no mention of all the unfinished business, other than snide remarks aimed at those who tried to get answers. I can only advise members and non-members alike to steer well clear of the party in its present form.

It's not been all bad, though. I'm glad I joined because through it I've met a lot of decent people, who I hope will help build the libertarian movement in London and England in ways that are not possible with that busted flush of a party, and will find innovative ways to advance the agenda, campaign on specific issues and support libertarians who want to stand in elections, whether as members of a party or as independents.

One part of this new direction is the website Libertarian Home, which has been set up by a couple of my friends from the London party. I haven't started writing there yet, but I will do, God willing, as soon as London stops burning around me.

Memo to the Met

I hope to fuck that you are using these daylight hours to round up every toe rag you can get your hands on.

Don't pretend you haven't got the power. I have no idea how many times I've heard on the news that 'police are to be given new powers', but it's a lot.


You've got, no doubt, thousands of tip-offs from people telling them their neighbours were unloading looted goods last night. Act on them.

You know who they are. Some of them, you've already arrested 30 times. Start with these ones. Work on the assumption that they haven't turned over a new leaf.

For once, fuck the paperwork. Don't worry about it.

Say it got burnt.

Warnings to the Left; Warnings to the Right

To the Left:

Don't you fucking dare try to justify in any way the orgy of lawlessness we've seen.

I don't want to hear the word 'disaffected' again. The word you're looking for is 'scum'.

If you try to push your agenda on the back of this looting, you are nothing but the political wing of the looters.

To the Right:

I know you armchair generals would like to rush us into martial law. That ain't the answer.

The answer is to let the citizens arm themselves and thus defend themselves.

Ordinary citizens need to be empowered - 'The Big Society'. remember? Or are you just a bunch of gutless cowards, who want the big government to take care of you?

Authoritarianism is not the answer - the overbearing state is what's got us into this mess.

The Lesson: sheep get slaughtered

The big state / passive citizen model has got to go.

It has been exposed for all to see in the streets of London. The idea that you should be good little sheep and the state would be the sheepdog.

Don't worry about the wolves, they say, we'll protect you.

Only they can't protect us, or they won't. What they can do and what they have done is try to prevent us having the ability to defend ourselves and our property. Oh sure, you still have the right to defend yourself, but your means of doing it have been removed to the greatest extent that they can manage. Not only that, the weaker and more passive the sheep become, the greater the risk that the sheepdogs will turn wolf, and then what do you do?

As Single Acts commented on a post below:
"The tragic disarming of law abiding people has left them defenceless in the face of criminals. The fact that the police are clearly overwhelmed and not able to answer and respond to 999 calls in a timely manner surely shows our absolute right to self-protection. How many stores would be burned down if the shopkeepers were on the roofs with guns? Zero. "
I noted the reports of self-defence groups in Dalston and it was genuinely the only good news out of yesterday. Many people are now calling for martial law, curfews and troops on the streets. That ain't gonna happen, but the state and its PR department (AKA the government) are certainly going to swing their 'robust response' into place, whilst everyone keeps their fingers crossed that the looters have glutted themselves on adrenalin, and want to stay in tonight playing with their new Wii consoles. However the real and lasting lesson must be learned: you can be passive and trusting like a sheep if you choose, and just so long as a wolf doesn't come along everything will seem fine. But if that wolf does come, it's too late to wait for the sheepdog.


Monday, 8 August 2011

No Pasaran! Turks and Kurds show Londoners how its done

I'm following the story of the Turkish and Kurdish people in Dalston defending their streets and property and fighting off the looting scum.


That is the first piece of good news all fucking day. That is what stops looters.

How do you stop looting?

This is a question which these businessmen pondered during the LA riots of some years ago. I think they're on to something. Of course, ordinary citizens in this country are disarmed, so looters need not fear getting their just desserts.

Ivory Tower Syndrome

The typical leftist response to such things as the current wave of rioting and looting goes something like this:
Whilst I condemn the willful destruction and the thievery, we must address the underlying social causes which have led to these troubles...
... followed by a discourse on inequality and disenfranchisement, seasoned with references to banker bonuses, Tory cuts and of course police brutality. What runs through it is an identification between the community and the looters, as if running off with an armful of gear from JD Sports is somehow a collective cri de coeur for the rest of the people, including presumably those made homeless and jobless by the violence. What the typical leftist cannot really do is feel any outrage in their heart for the plain criminality of rioting and looting. Hence their desire to quickly turn to examining underlying social causes.

This got me thinking of something Ludwig von Mises wrote about the Weimar Republic, specifically the attempted communist putsch and the ineffectual attempts by the more moderate (and far more numerous) socialists to resist it. What he identified is this: that the leftist can never condemn those who are more leftist than he is. Instead he will only sit on his hands, for fear of being labelled (horror of horrors) 'reactionary'.

It may be the case that a similar syndrome afflicts the rightwing. I shall leave that to leftists to point out (feel free to do so). I will also say that, with regard to the current troubles, ordinary people, if I may use that term, many of whom put themselves on the left, do not suffer from this problem, it being an affliction of the 'intellectual' types. It's a lot harder to pontificate about society when you're close enough to smell the acrid stench of burned-out buildings. I would not accuse David Lammy, for instance, of this failing.

Anyway, the following quote comes from 'Omnipotent Government' chapter IX: The Weimar Republic and its collapse, which can be read in its entirety here. (The emphasis is mine).
It is very important to understand the ideas which in those fateful days shaped the attitudes of the majority socialists. For these ideas sprang out of the very essence of Marxian thought. They reappear whenever and wherever in the world people imbued with Marxian doctrines have to face similar situations. We encounter in them one of the main reasons why Marxism—leaving its economic failure out of the question—even in the field of political action was and is the most conspicuous failure of history.

The German Marxians—remember, not the communists, but those sincerely rejecting dictatorship—argued this way: It is in­dispensable to smash the communists in order to pave the way for democratic socialism. (In those days of December, 1918, and January, 19l9, the German noncommunist Marxians were still wrapped in the illusion that the majority of the people backed their socialist program.) It is necessary to defeat the communist revolt by armed resistance. But that is not our business. Nobody can expect us, Marxians and proletarians as we are, to rise in arms against our class and party comrades. A dirty job has to be done but it is not our task to do it. Our tenets are contrary to such a policy. We must cling to the principle of class and party solidarity. Besides, it would hurt our popularity and imperil our success at the impending election. We are, indeed, in a very unfortunate position. For the communists do not feel themselves bound by the same idea. They can fight us, because they have the enormous advantage of denouncing us as social traitors and reactionaries. We cannot pay them back in their own coin. They are revolu­tionaries in fighting us, but we would appear as reactionaries in fighting them. In the realm of Marxian thought the more radical are always right in despising and attacking the more prudent party members. Nobody would believe us if we were to call them traitors and renegades. As Marxians, in this situation we cannot help adopting an attitude of nonresistance.