Sunday, June 29, 2008


Squander Two discusses why Boris isn't up to the job, and then makes an error that I see far too many people making about politicians in general.
[Boris is] supposed to be running one of the world's largest cities...

No. He. Isn't.

London would run perfectly well without Boris. It would run perfectly well without Ken too. In fact, before the London Mayoral position was resurrected less than a decade ago, London carried on quite nicely, thank you. Oh, and Londoners paid roughly £300 less in Council Tax too.

Let me spell this out: politicians do not run anything productive. No one should ever tell them that they should be running anything, because then the evil bastards might think that they have some kind of ability.

Politicians should not ever try to run anything. Ever.

We don't do planned economies because it always leads to disaster. And when you talk about politicians running something, you talk about politicians running human interactions. And we call that "totalitarianism".

Politicians make laws that might—but usually don't—help to grease the wheels of human trade and interaction, but they do not, should not, and should never be allowed to run anything at all.

Oh, and it's not just "politicians": it's anyone. No one should try to run—or may I use the word "control"?—human interaction. Humans do things most efficiently and most responsively when they are allowed to respond spontaneously. The world is fast-changing and fluid.

It is a failure to understand this that makes politicians and governments and bureaucracies so uniquely unsuited to run things.

Think: you have a certain problem. People demand that politicians "do something". The politicians do some research, table a Bill, have it read, get it through, get it passed back for revisions, debate it again, etc. etc.

Finally, it is made into law. But by now, two or three years have passed and the problem that they were trying to solve has either gone away, or the nature of it has changed. So, the Bill to fix a problem that no longer exists goes through and has massive unintended consequences, and causes problems of its own. And now the politicians have a new problem to fix and the whole sorry procedure goes round again.

The politicians, of course, love this because it keeps them in a job. The more laws that they pass, the more problems are caused; and so there are even more problems needing to be "fixed" and even more justification there is for politicians.

But then, it's never the politicians who pay the price, is it?

They have voted themselves fat salaries, generous—and slackly controlled—expenses and gold-plated pensions so even if they are only in Parliament for one term, then they don't really have to worry about slumming it with the proles again (even if they were originally working class).

If they bollocks up the economy, or the budget, the politicians don't really have to answer to anyone. And if taxes go up... well... they just vote themselves an inflation-busting pay rise and yet more generous expenses (with a tax exemption from the Inland Revenue).

The point of this rant is that things would run just fine—and probably rather better, actually—if politicians were just to sit down and shut the fuck up.

And in the name of all that's unholy, don't give them the impression that they should run anything because it is we who will pay the price.


mitch said...

Empty the bins and defend the borders that's enough.
We should have 3 Mps and fill the commons with lions, The Mps can feed the lions and the Lions can keep the Mps out simple see.

Anonymous said...

Yep..on target as usual. Which brings me to DC.The Conservatives are going to inherit the biggest financial ballsup of the last fifty years.This man is going to need some serious economic guidance, some real heavy-weight hitters from the real economic world.This is the last chance.If he takes any notice of the leftwing eco-windbags, or the London School of Economics socialist apologists we might as well all book our flights out now !

Patrick said...

In all fairness, economic collapse could be are only way out of this mess... The statists are certainly heading that way... We just have to hope that liberty comes next and not another bunch of dumb ass statist wannabee pricks... Hers hoping...

Anonymous said...

Mitch and DK are spot on.

The fact is, someone has to arrange for bins to be emptied, for potholes to be filled, for the sewage system to be kept in working order and all the other mundane shite that is needed to maintain society's basic infrastructure.

That should be the Mayor of London's job - to be a glorified maintenance manager who keeps the streets clean and in good repair.

Spent Copper said...

I cant really add much more to what has been said above. Another spot on comment DK, as usual. There really seems to be some sort of disease afflicting the commentariat, many of whom seem to think that we have the politicians to thanks to thank for all the blessings in our lives; you know, the sun rising and setting, the fact that we have food to eat as so forth. At least we don't have to practice Human Sacrifice to make sure that such blessings continue. Some progress at least?

Squander Two said...

Oh, come on, DK. What's up? Short of material this week? You know full well that I agree with everything you just wrote. God only knows why you felt the need to present your post as some sort of disagreement with me.

Fact is, Boris is supposed to be running London. I said nothing whatsoever about whether it's right that the Mayor be supposed to run London. Your problem is with the system. All I did was describe it. In passing. While making a point which really had absolutely nothing to do with this.

> There really seems to be some sort of disease afflicting the commentariat, many of whom seem to think that we have the politicians to thanks to thank for all the blessings in our lives

Great. So now Spent Copper and presumably a bunch of other people think I'm sort of rabid statist because you quoted one sentence a couple of miles out of context. Thanks for that.

Devil's Kitchen said...

A wee bit sensitive, Squander?

Come on, it wasn't meant to be some sort of disagreement; I pointed out that I disagreed with that sentence. I put the link to your article so that people can go and read it.

Just for the record, chaps, Squander Two is one of the good guys. This is why I said it was "an error" rather than "a fucking piece of shit comment"; I was trying to highlight that people actually believe that all blessings flow from the Mayor and that this is an error.


Squander Two said...

> A wee bit sensitive, Squander?

Me? Hey, you're the one who flew off the handle because someone happened to mention what the Mayor of London's job is.

> it wasn't meant to be some sort of disagreement; I pointed out that I disagreed with that sentence.

Have you had your coffee this morning?

Anyway, I in turn responded to point out that your disagreement with that one sentence is wrong, because it is correct. So nyahh nyahh nyahh.