Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Recess for the NHS Blog Doctor

The good Doctor Crippen is suffering from blogging fatigue.
... the part of NHS BLOG DOCTOR that I value the most, the muse, such as it was, has deserted. A thousand words or so a day, which I have managed usually with pleasure for nineteen months has suddenly become impossibly demanding.

Time to recharge the batteries.

So, NHS BLOG DOCTOR is going into recess.

The good Doctor promises to be back in the autumn; your humble Devil sincerely hopes that Crippen does, indeed return. In the meantime, Dr Rant will be hosting the weekly Britmeds Roundup.

It is at times like these that I wonder quite how it is that I have continued to churn out thousands of words a week for over two and a half years; truly, one feels like something of a political blogging veteran...

Water, water everywhere; all the money down the sink

Christopher Booker succinctly explains where all of the money has gone.
It made front-page headlines yesterday when Baroness Young, the head of the Environment Agency, warned that we all face soaring water bills to pay for the deficiencies in "infrastructure" brought to light by the recent floods. As most of us are aware, water bills have already been soaring in recent years. But by far the greater part of that money, as I reported on May 13, has been spent, not on repairing pipes and drains, to avoid floods and provide us with extra water, but on complying with three over-the-top EU directives on water purification.

As the Government admitted to Lord Pearson of Rannoch, these directives have so far cost us no less than £65 billion, leaving the water companies with only £14 billion to spend on infrastructure. One could not, of course, expect Baroness Young to explain this. But for anyone genuinely wanting to know why our water infrastructure and flood defences are in such poor shape, this is where they might start looking.

And to add insult to injury...
Meanwhile, with that uncanny grasp of reality for which it is legendary, the EU has just produced yet another "strategy pape" on water. Published as large parts of England were becoming submerged, its purpose was to propose drastic measures to combat the "water scarcity and droughts" brought about by global warming. The proposed measures range from compulsory water metering to devices restricting the amount of water used in taps, showers and lavatory cisterns.

For fuck's sake, really, can we leave yet?

Could 10,000 monkeys do better? Or 100,000?

One of the only true things ever said by a NuLabour Minister was John Reid's infamous assertion that the Home office was "not fit for purpose". And how!
The Home Office site Operational Policing says:
"Home Office research published in 2001 showed that 10,000 offenders (10 per cent of all offenders on the offenders index) in England and Wales are responsible for over half of all crime."

Yet the HO's Criminal Justice: The Way Ahead [PDF] says:
"Recent research suggests that a small group of hard core, highly persistent offenders, probably no more than 100,000 strong – about ten per cent of all active criminals – may be responsible for half of all crime."

(para 1.28)

They can't both be right can they? Or had we somehow got it wrong?

No, of course not.
In a blind funk I emailed David Green [of Civitas, see here] and asked if he could explain the discrepancy. Very kindly he did: the 10,000 quoted on the Home Office Police site is plain wrong.

So while the HO's policy left hand knows that half our crime is committed by 100,000 persistent offenders, its "operational policing" right hand is working on the basis that it's only 10,000.

No wonder the police detection rate is only about 20%- they think they're only looking for 10,000 hardened criminals, when in fact they should be looking for 100,000. And no wonder we don't have enough prison places, etc etc.

For fuck's sake, no wonder law and order in this country is such a fucking mess.
When last sighted, the Home Office was spending £1.1bn pa of our money on administrating itself. It was employing 22,000 staff to do so.

With that kind of budget, you'd sorta think they could just get one or two employees who weren't completely number blind.

As I have pointed out before, I am, in the main, a consequentialist libertarian: I believe that the state does things very badly and so it should do as little as possible.

I don't think that any further comment is needed, do you?

That gender pay gap

I'm a little late with this, but I am mentioning it almost for my own reference; Tim Worstall greeted the last Equal Opportunities Commission Report [PDF] with derision: here are a few gems. [Emphasis mine.]
Women who work full-time earn, on average, 17% less per hour than men working full-time. For women who work part-time, the gap in pay relative to full-time men is a huge 38% per hour.

True. In the talking points:
The average woman working full time is still paid 17% less.
For part-time workers the pay gap is 38% less per hour.

Untrue. You can see how poor journalists get confused, can't you, when the EOC themselves perpetuate such nonsense.

Female part time workers get paid 38% less per hour than full time male workers. Not, as that second implies, 38% less than male part time workers. It's a deliberate distortion to make the problem look larger than it is. When I first saw these numbers, way back when, I phoned the EOC to find out what they were doing. I was told that "comparing male part time wages with female part time wages was not comparing like with like". Liars.

What a surprise! The Equal Opportunities Commission realises that, if everything is actually OK, it will have to abolish itself. So, in its own report, it lies in order to give the impression that there is a problem.
The causes of the pay gap are complex – in part to do with discrimination; in part because women are more likely than men to work in low paid sectors; and in part because women often have to ‘trade down’ or face other work and pay penalties once they become mothers.

Quite. That latter being the major cause.

When will people realise this? Having a child is a fucking lifestyle choice, not a sodding right, OK? If you decide to have a child, there is no reason on earth why I, or anyone else, should support that choice, either by supporting you or your fucking spawn. Why should I support a lifestyle that you yourself cannot? Should I demand that you support my booze or cigarette habit? Quite.
Until we close these glaring income gaps and fundamentally change Britain’s workplaces, our choices will remain limited.

JC on a bike: the income gap is because of the choices that people make: to have children, to care for them, the jobs that are chosen, the flexible hours and so on. It's precisely because people have choices that there is a gap!

Choices have consequences; our society has tried to insulate people from the consequences of their choices and the only thing that we have achieved is the infantilisation of the majority of the population.
Something else they want to see:
That gender-based violence is no longer considered acceptable

Anybody currently think it is? Anyone? Bueller?
an increase in the proportion of reported rapes that are successfully prosecuted

What? You mean that if there isn't enough evidence, a few more people should still be locked up in order to show our committment to gender equality?

Because of the nature of rape, it is often a difficult crime to prosecute; should we just do away with the trial process and just draw lots, or what? What a bunch of illiberal fuckwits.
In today’s workplace requesting flexible working can still spell career death for many women. Instead they often have to ‘trade down’ when they take on caring roles and then lose out on the top jobs.

True. It's that pesky choice thing again, isn't it?

Choices have consequences, choices have consequences, choices have consequences, et cetera ad nauseam...
Anyway, there it is, the last report from the EOC. Thank the Lord for that and good riddance to bad rubbish.

Never a truer word spoken but this report is, infortunately, typical of these fucking QUANGOs; after all, if the problem is solved, then these handsomely paid cunts are all out of a job. So—surprise sur-fucking-prise—they have produced a report that shows that there is a problem and, as we have pointed out, lie through their teeth whilst doing so.

But then, does anyone really still believe that our bastard bureaucrats have any priority other than their own self-enrichment?
Yes, via The Englishman, it seems that global warming really is man-made. Men have made up the fact that there's any fucking warming.

Can we leave yet #94

Via Prodicus's chanelling of Mr Punch, I find this marvellous quote from Dan Hannan MEP. [Emphasis mine.]
It’s a tempting prospect: outside the EU, and in control of its territorial resources, including energy and fisheries, Norway has become the healthiest and happiest nation on Earth – and all with a population slightly smaller than Scotland’s. Then again, Norwegians have voted against the EU in every referendum they have been offered.

So, in the name of all that's unholy, can we leave yet?

UPDATE: and whilst we are about it, I would implore you to read this very excellent Prodicus rant on the same subject. It's poetry, I tell thee...

Idiot of the Week: Benicio del Toro

Via EU Referendum, I too shall be putting this book—Exposing The Real Che Guevara And The Useful Idiots Who Idolise Him—on my reading list.

Not least because the place in which we are performing This Lime Tree Bower during the Fringe is a kind of fucking hippy hang-out and I will need a weighty and relevent tome to bash the shit out of all the fucking student wankers and bloody tree-hugging, sandal-wearing twats that will no doubt be milling about wearing Che t-shirts like the guy is some kind of god rather than the small-dicked sadistic psychopath, with a penchant for killing young boys, that he actually was.

Richard also links to the first half of a long interview that the author gave to CNS News. In the interview, Humberto Fontova: talks about a couple of new Che Guevara films that are due out, one of which features our Idiot of the Week.
We have a clue as to what these movies will be like in that Benicio Del Toro made a comment a few months ago because he's studying up on his character. He said,
"Che was just one of those guys who walked the walk and talked the talk. There's just something cool about people like that. The more I get to know Che, the more I respect him."
Benicio del Toro: political fuckwit and apologist for murderers.
Well, here's some news for you, Benicio: if walking the walk and talking the talk means that Che Guevara was a mass murderer, then you are right. But if that is why you respect him, will we see you saying the same thing about Hitler or Stalin? Because, by your measure, they too "walked the walk and talked the talk".

Benicio del Toro, ladies and gentlemen, supporter of mass murderers and useful idiot to a despotic, Stalinist regime responsible for the execution and imprisonment of ten of thousands of innocent people.

Benicio is brilliant advert for why actors should only open their mouths to speak the lines written for them, rather than giving us all the benefit of their utterly valueless opinions. Shut the fuck up, you mass-murder-condoning fucktard.

Abolishing private property

Via the fine ranting of Nation of Shopkeepers, I find that NuLabour are carrying on nicely with their socialist plans to abolish private property.
Muslim or Christian guest house owners who refuse to accept homosexual couples must impose a "sleeping together ban" on all other guests, the Government says.

Look, you fucking little shitsticks, you have just pointed out that these people are "owners" and now you are telling them what they may and may not do in their own private property.

Do you understand the concept of property rights?
As the holiday season gets under way, Meg Munn, a junior minister, has emphasised that it is illegal to allow married couples to share a room at a guest house or hotel while not allowing homosexuals the same right.

Really, Meg? I mean, I don't support these lunatic fucking religionists either, but I think that anyone should be able to do whatever the fuck they like on their own private property. That is, after all, the point of property rights, you socialist fuck.

The beauty of the way that our system works is that someone down the road who doesn't gives two shits about homosexuals staying in his guesthouse then makes a killing. The market provides, do you see?

But in any case, it is none of your fucking business, you interfering statist cunt-rag.
If gays are turned away, the only way a Christian or Muslim guest house owner can lawfully stay in business is if he or she offers single bedrooms to all guests - straight or gay.

So, tell me: if the owner offers a single room and the married couple say, "no, we'll take a double, thanks", does the guesthouse owner have to say that they cannot?
Miss Munn said a wedding photographer who refused a gay wedding booking should take up portrait photography instead, while a chauffeur who declined to work with homosexuals must specialise in corporate travel.

And now the government are attacking freedom of association! For crying the fuck out loud, why won't you fucking cock-knockers leave us all alone?
Norman Wells, the director of Family Education Trust, said: "To tell guest house owners who object to offering a double room to a same-sex couple that they must offer only single rooms is in effect to tell them, if they won't conform to the Government's new morality, they must face going out of business."

Effectively, yes. However, since this law exists that is a personal choice for the owner of the guesthouse.

The law, however, should not exist. It is not the government's place to dictate what private individuals do with their private property. Fuck you, NuLabour.

Go to Nation of Shopkeepers for more enraged blogging.

Neil Harding: still unable to understand logic

Neil Harding shows, once more, just precisely why nobody takes him at all seriously in this little post about problem boozing.
The proposals to regulate supermarket deals on alcohol, increase taxes on alcohol and increase the age to 21 for off-licence purchases are the right way to go if we want to tackle problem drinkers (retailers would then have no excuse whatsoever for selling to 16 year olds and the pub trade which is struggling (due to cheap take home booze, smuggling and smoking ban) would not be further harmed).

Quite apart from the fact that Neil proposes punishing the majority for the sins of a minority—it is only to be expected of control freak socialists, after all—he asserts that retailers will have no excuse "for selling to 16 year olds" if the age of buying is uppped to 21. That's right, Neil, but they may well sell to 18 year olds instead. And 18 year olds have more money.

But that isn't really what I wanted to point out. Now, in the above, Neil is proposing more restrictions on selling booze, OK? Now, see what follows...
The review called by Brown is ok if it is just to examine the evidence which will highlight all of the above, but if it is just to appease the Daily Mail, it is not only wrong, like the backwards step to reclassify cannabis to class B (cannabis use has dropped since laws were relaxed) - it is a dangerous political trap Brown has fallen into.

OK, so cannabis use has dropped since the lowering of restrictions. So, obviously, the way to tackle abuse of alcohol is... That's right, to put more restrictions in place! Quite, quite brilliant!
Doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons is always bound to lose votes.

It is also... well, wrong, Neil. Can you understand that the concept of wrong exists outside the party political game, Neil? Can you?

Actually, if you think that there is problematic binge-drinking amongst 16 year olds, the correct thing to do is to ensure that retailers ID anyone that they might have any misgivings about. And the best way to ensure that they do so is to make the fines for knowingly selling booze to underage people so crippling that no shopkeeper would even risk it.

The point is—and, for fuck's sake, I have lost count of the number of times that I have had to say this under NuLabour's tenure—not to make more laws, but to enforce the ones that we already have.

The Constitutional concept

As the name might convey, EU Referendum was set up to debate the issues surrounding a referendum on the EU Constitution. Once that was killed by the unequivocal "no" votes in the Dutch and French referenda, EU Referendum started to concentrate on other things, mostly military in nature.

However, now that the Constitution is back—stumbling along with alarming alacrity and positively screaming for a diet of "brains"—in the form of the EU Reform Treaty, Richard and Helen have been doing sterling work in examining what our EU comrades and traitor politicians have in store for us.

So devious are the misdirections and so convoluted the lies, your humble Devil is unable to pay attention to all of them; thus it is fortunate that we have these two to unravel the deceit. So, let's have a look at the Constitutional Concept, especially as this particular entry involves everybody's favourite Batshit; and, as fugly and irritating as Batshit is, I have yet to lay into the wee fuck in his new role (apart from noting that we will probably have to pay another six grand for his new fucking blog, bespectacled cunt that he is).
Of special importance was a question posed by William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, who challenged Miliband on the comments of Giscard d'Estaing.

He, as readers will recall, had declared, of the European Council's "mandate" that: "This text is, in fact, a rerun of a great part of the substance of the constitutional treaty", adding, "the public is being led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly."

So, by Giscard's own admission, we are being deliberately lied to. Who would'a thunk it? And do you think that the noble policians of this great country are just going to go along with this lie? Er, yes.
In was in the answer, however, that one sees the government's strategy, in holding the line against such assertions, maintaining that the "mandate" is not a re-run of the constitution.

Miliband refused to be drawn on the Giscard statements, but instead referred directly to the first clause of the "mandate", which "clearly states":
The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing treaties and replacing them by a single text called "Constitution", is abandoned —

"Not reformed," said Miliband, "not amended, but abandoned. The constitutional treaty has been abandoned. That is not just my view, nor is it just the view of our Prime Minister - it is the view of the 27 Heads of Government who signed the document."

Really? That doesn't seem to be anyone else's view, you lying little shit.
The Irish Prime Minister describes it is "90 per cent" the same. Open Europe, after exhaustively analysing the 277-page text, which is still only officially available in French, says "96 per cent". Spain's foreign minister says "98 per cent". The Prime Minister of Luxembourg says "99 per cent".

You are a deceitful little cunt, aren't you, Batshit? Still, enough of the insults, much as he deserves them, and on to the deception.
The exchange continued but it need not trouble us, as we have the bones of the argument. It is developed by sleight of hand and relies on the substitution of one word with another. To see how it works, we have to note how Miliband refers, in the first instance, to the "constitutional concept", calling in aid the "mandate" as his authority.

OK, but isn't this correct? What's the difference?
Now, this "concept" was an innovation in producing treaties. All previous affairs had taken the form of amendments to the original Treaty of Rome. It was these amendments, and only these, the formed the basis of each subsequent treaty, until the constitutional treaty. Then, it was decided to absorb all the treaties and the proposed amendments into one consolidated text, which was to form the new treaty. That was the "constitutional concept", as indeed the "mandate" indicates.

So, all of the Treaties and their amendments were to be collated into one big document, an ubertreaty, and this was to be the Constitution.
The trouble with that was people - many for the first time - were able to see the full text and take on board how many powers had been ceded to the EU. Not a few of the complaints over the text actually related to powers handed over in previous treaties.

Thus, the "colleagues" decided to abandon this "concept" and revert to producing another amending treaty, only this time they would call it a "reform treaty".

So, they have separated out virtually all the new material from the constitution and are offering it as amendments, which will form the basis of the new treaty. Crucially, the effect of the amendments will be, when re-integrated with the existing treaties, a document very similar to the failed constitution. The "reform treaty" will turn the existing treaties into the constitution, in all but name.

And there we have the slight of hand. Miliband takes the phrase, "constitutional concept" and changes one word, to produce "constitutional treaty". In one fell swoop, the "treaty" has been abandoned. Except that it hasn't.

In this way, the EU Reform Treaty does not collate all of the Treaties and amendments into one document; instead, the EU Reform Treaty references the other Treaties and thus looks like merely one big amending treaty.

Except that it retains almost all of the power transfers that the Constitution had. And this is what commenters mean when they say that, whilst the form has changed, the substance of it has not.

And precisely as the whole exercise intended, it allows the liars who rule us to quite honesty declare that this is not the Constitution, merely another amending treaty. And we have never had a referendum on any other amending treaties, so why this one?

For fuck's sake, what a bunch of evil, lying traitorous shits we have running this country. What a bunch of scheming, tossbag bastards infest our parliament. The revolution is long overdue; when shall we enact it and toss the lot of them out, hang the corrupt cunts from the lamp posts and tell our Continental cousins to stick their empire up their collective arse?

More importantly, when will the British people wake the fuck up and understand that our birthright—the freedom that they lend to the government to do those things that we cannot do individually—is being given away for personal gain by those self-same governors?

Listen, you venal fucks: that power is not yours to gift! It belongs to us, the people who lend it to you. And, by god, if you cannot return it when we come calling, you are going to find that we will take more than a pound of flesh in compensation.

Well, one can dream...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Harry Potter advocates gun ownership

Following on from my post about the Harry Potter books' attitude to the state and authority in general, The Remittance Man points out that the boy wizard also encourages weaponry.
The Harry Potter books are very, very in favour of the private ownership of deadly weapons.

Now before you all think that RM has finally lost his marbles, stop and consider this:

Right from the first book one learns that wizards and witches carry wands. Indeed the whole Hogwarts experience seems designed to teach young magical types how to use these things. Yet as the stories progress we learn that not only do they help with the washing up and doing one's homework, but that wands can and are used to stun, maim and even kill. Yep, that's right: In Harry's world the entire population is permanently packing heat. Even the kids are tooled up.

By the end of the series we have a full scale battle between the baddies and their allies in the corrupt authorities on one side and the citizen's militia on the other. Both sides merrily blasting each other to buggery and back with the wands they have carried since age 11.

I dunno whether this was Ms Rowling's intention, but to my mind, not only does her story encourage scepticism of authority and steafdast resistance to state control; it also supports the notion that an armed citizenry is the last bastion of democracy when all else fails.

Firearms have never been a part of my life, so it is not entirely surprising that I should have missed this, but RM is, of course, quite correct. How can our state tolerate such attitudes? I fear that it will not be long until Ms Rowling is sent to the gulag (after all, with the state of education in this country, she is unlikely to be imprisoned for her awful use of the English language—who in our government would notice)?

Bullied to death? No, premeditated murder

A trio of evil bastards who are not fit to live.

Via Mr FM, there are some stories that makes one despair of people.
A 17-year-old girl and two men have been jailed for "bullying to death" a vulnerable man in Cornwall.

Steven Hoskin, 38, of St Austell, was tortured and then taken to a viaduct and forced to hang from railings.

Sarah Bullock, who stamped on his hands causing him to fall 100ft to his death, was detained for 10 years for murder.

This man wasn't "bullied to death"; he was tortured and murdered, plain and simple. Don't try and dress this up in infant concepts, you fucks; that just gives the impression that these fucks were anything other than completely responsible for their actions.
The judge also expressed "grave disquiet" that the gang had lived in Mr Hoskin's flat for 15 months without the knowledge of Cornwall social services department.

What's that? A government department hasn't done its job properly—why am i not fucking suprised?

As for these three murdering fucks, I hope that they have a bloody awful time in prison. Since their victim had a "the reading ability of a six-year-old" I do sincerely hope that the other inmates treat these evil bastards as they would child-murderers.

And because, as a libertarian, I cannot condone state-sponsored murder via the death penalty, but I do hope that Bullock, Stewart and Pollard do the decent thing and kill themselves. Painfully.
Dr Rant continues to chronicle the fuck up that NuLabour has made—and continues to make—of the NHS. And there's a nice quote...
Let’s not fool ourselves that NHS management is anything other than a DH outpost. Remember that primary care trusts are not primary, don’t care, and aren’t trusted.

Why not go and have a glance at the catalogue of disaster...?

Climate Cuttings #7

Bishop Hill continues his Climate Cuttings, with the seventh edition now up. Points of interest include a continued and sustained fisking of the Lockwoode "no solar warming effect" paper from many different scientists and commenters, yet more criticism of temperature measuring stations, and these...
Roger Pielke Snr continues to post on the failure of the IPCC to address the issue of land use and its effect on climate. This post has a huge list of papers that were ignored.

Next week should see a lot of interest in a new paper from two German scientists, Gerlich & Tscheuschner. They claim to have refuted the greenhouse theory of climate change once and for all.

Finally, a letter on a familiar theme in the FT.
From Mr Ake Nilson.

Sir, In your editorial "It's time to plan for the next deluge" (July 25) you say that "it is now scientifically incontrovertible that global warming is making heavy rain fall more frequently across the world's temperate latitudes". But less than a year ago, on August 10 2006, you reported: "This year's hot, dry summer will be repeated many times in the future and will become normal in the next 40 to 50 years if climate scientists are correct."

Please could you make up your mind as to the effect of global warming?

Ake Nilson

The reason for the confusion, of course, is that all of these ignorant commenters are merely parroting the reports that they get from a bunch of liars and it is no wonder that the liars cannot be consistent from one month to the next, let alone from one year to the next.

All together now...
Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

Lies are so very difficult to sustain, aren't they? So why not irritate the shit out of those anthropogenic climate change enthusiasts liars, and buy this film today...

Summing up Brown

Just because Jackart and I have the occasional contre temps over the fitness to govern of the Conservative Party doesn't mean that The Dude doesn't have a very neat turn of phrase and a talent for summing up the iniquities of The Gobblin' King, in particular.
Welcome as this change in style is, it is just that. The electorate will realise soon enough that this Prime Minister is the man who has been responsible for the biggest rise in taxation in peacetime history. The man responsible for ensuring that those on the minimum wage are taxed to penury and see almost no benefit from increases in the minimum wage, almost all of which goes back to the exchequer. The man responsible for ensuring that the already generously pensioned public sector are now paid more than the private sector and have grown shockingly in useless, parasitic number. The man responsible for an explosion in the state's size and reach, sucking the oxygen out of the economy. The man who has strangled innovation in red-tape (the tax book is now three times the volume it was in 1997). The man responsible for giving very poor people money, and then demanding it back, with menaces, once they had spent it.

They will realise that the much vaunted "stability" the UK has enjoyed under his watch is a remarkable piece of economic luck - the world has boomed due to former commies opening their markets and we have benefited. Brown's grotesque, criminal overspend during this globalisation boom means that when the downturn comes, UK PLC has much less in reserve to ride out the storm. In short in the good times, when we should have been laying down surpluses, Gordon has been spending extravagantly. And spending in an inflationary and profligate way, to the Joy of Fuck-wits in the public sector unions and to the mute, dumbstruck horror of anyone who knows anything about economics and the business cycle.

Eventually the inevitable Taxes and stagflation will be what drives the electorate away from the Labour party, who remain a bunch of spiteful, spivvy wankers. The nanny state, the thought police and the interfering, nosy officialdom which has grown up in the last decade as a result of Brown's policies will become the remaining epitaph of this regime. People will realise what they disliked about the Blair government was not the Liar at its helm, but the socialist first mate. It is only now he is steering the ship, that we will be able to see that it has been him doing so all along.

I would love to believe that people will realise all of this but there are few things so stupid, and tribal, as the British public, some of whom would still vote Labour even were they having to eat their own turds to curb the knawing craving in their empty stomachs.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More meme things

Via Strange Stuff, some more of these self-scoring tests promulgated to promote the latest book by someone or other.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are a Free Marketeer, also known as a fiscal conservative. You believe in free-market capitalism, tax cuts, and protecting your hard-earned cash from pick-pocketing liberal socialists.

Take the quiz at www.FightLiberals.com

Fair enough. I think it would be far easier if there was just a test that said that everything that I believe is entirely correct and socialists can all fuck off, but there you go: one can't have everything...

Top 20 political blogs

Your humble Devil would like to point out that young Master Dale is compiling another list of the top 100 political blogs, and this will be published by Harriman House as a Definitive Guide to British Political Blogging.

Instead of compiling them himself, Master Dale would like readers to submit their top 20. Obviously, it would be lovely—and, in a moment of naked honesty, thoroughly deserved—for your humble Devil included; it would be even more gratifying to reach a higher position than the last time!
In September Harriman House will publish the 2007 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK. It will contain articles on blogging by some of Britain's leading bloggers, together with a directory of UK political blogs, and a series of Top 20s and Top 10s.

Instead of me picking my Top 100 UK political blogs (as I did last year) I'd like fellow bloggers and blog readers to send me their Top 20 UK Political Blogs by email. I'll then compile the Top 100 from those that you send in. Just order them from 1 to 20. Your top blog gets 20 points and your twentieth gets 1 point.

The deadline for submitting your Top 20 to me is August 15th. Please email me your list to iain AT iaindale DOT com and type Top 20 in the subejct line. Or you can of course leave your Top 20 in the Comments on this post. UPDATE: You don't have to send 20, but try to do 10 as a minimum.

I always think that it is a good thing to keep pushing blogs in the more traditional media so, please, do submit your list...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Quote of the Day from a mate...
i like to call drinking making 'journeys'. that way i can say i like travelling when i meet new people.

I like to call drinking consuming 'literary classics'. That way, when I meet people...

Friday, July 27, 2007

CiF Watch

Following a conversation with Matthew Sinclair, I am considering setting up a Comment Is Free Watch blog, so that those fucking loonies at The Grauniad would have a one-stop shop to find out precisely where, why and how often they are wrong-headed, mistaken or just plain stupid.

Would anyone like commit to contributing?

UPDATE: of course, cross-posting articles from your own blogs is allowed, nay, encouraged...

UPDATE 2: I notice that there is already a CiF Watch blog. I'm not entirely sure that another, big, team blog would not be amusing though. So, any takers?

Why we don't want Continental Law

Notwithstanding Timmy's terse fisk of this Times article, your humble Devil thought that he too would lay into it, since it illustrates some things that I have talked about before. Here's a relevent passage.
While we agonise about 28 or 56 days custody, it is not uncommon for terrorist suspects in France to be held in preventive detention for four or five years before their case goes to court.

Michael Burleigh's tone indicates that this is something that he approves of, and neatly illustrates why we cannot trust media cunt-rags like him to help protect our rights.

Yes, Michael, you fatuous, fascist arse-crumpet, we used to do that in this country a few hundred years ago. Then we introduced a rather nice little concept called habeas corpus which, as Wikipedia puts it so succinctly, is...
... an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action.

Of course, Michael thinks that it is OK for him—as long as its little brown people, evil darkies and uneducated nignogs getting locked up, Michael couldn't give too shits. But perhaps Michael should be careful: historically, under any tyranny, it has always been those non-compliant people in the media who have been amongst the first to find themselves on the train to the gulag.

Hyperbole and scaremongering aside, why the fucking hell does Michael Burleigh think that it is entirely reasonable that someone be locked away "for four or five years" before their case gets to court? How is that reasonable or fair, you fucktard? Even if the accused is found innocent, the state has still destroyed his life.

I happen to think that the justice system in this country—Common Law, burden of proof on the state, habeas corpus, etc.—is far superior to that of our Continental cousins; this is one of the reasons that I am not happy about the increasing encroachment of EU corpus juris.

Unfortunately, this is, of course, the ultimate aim of NuLabour's attacks on our fundamental rights in law—they are preparing our legal system for the adoption of the Roman Law system of the EU. And the Tories will be no better.

Fucking hell, but I loathe our leaders.

Harry Potter and the State of Evil

Prodicus is talking about the Harry Potter books.
Just when the marxoid bastards thought they had old-fashioned middle-class ways all but stamped out by their elimination of schooling, destruction by dilution of the academy, official endorsement of illiterate, antisocial 'pop music artists' and stupefaction of the masses through Big Brother, up pops a reincarnated Angela Brazil with tales of a group of literate, brave, sparky and very 3D children who, among a long list of unacceptable characteristics, do not speak estuary English, do not mouth politically correct crap, and do not watch TV or play computer games all day. Oh - at a very selective boarding school.

The left violently disapproves of Harry Potter because the books' popularity represents the resurgence of everything they hate and have struggled for decades to suppress. No wonder they and their friends among the literati are howling.

Long may their howling continue. It's music to my ears.

There is, of course, another great aspect to Harry Potter and that is the attitude to authority and especially the state. Harry and his friends constantly break, or bend, the rules and are proven to be right in doing so; that much is obvious.

However, even more evident is the iniquity of the state. Throughout the books, the state—in the shape of the Ministry for Magic—is resistant to change, moribund in the extreme. When Voldemort returns, the Ministry manipulates all of the news outlets to ensure that it is their agenda that gets through, as opposed to the truth. Sound likely?

It is the Ministry of Magic that sets all the rules as to what people are allowed to do, even to really quite intimate levels. The Ministry is also happy to collude with the evil Dementors as long as they serve the Ministry's agenda. Sound likely?

The Ministry's most prominent representative in the books, Dolores Umbridge, is a deeply unpleasant, rapaciously ambitious woman with a perverse attachment to petty and irritating rules, the breaking of which she rewards with sadistic and disproportionate punishments. Given all this, it is no surprise that she happily colludes with Voldemort in the final book in order to further her own personal ambitions. Sound likely?

And of course, it is the staff of the Ministry who are constant and dishonourable double-crossers, weak-minded traitors and selfish-regarding meglomaniacs. Most pertinently, it is the Ministry that falls, early on in the last book and with barely a struggle, to Voldemort. The purest evil in the wizarding world is allowed to overtake the Ministry of Magic through the collusion of evil people within the state and also by the state's control, for its own ends, over the media. Sound likely?

I have noted, with a great deal of glee, these not so subtle pointers that the state authorities, and those in power, are simply not to be trusted. It's good to teach our young people these eternal truths...

UDATE: an edited version of this article appears at LibertarianUK.net.

UPDATE 2: there's another good article on the same theme (but concentrating more on markets and government) over at The Taxpayers Alliance. [Emphasis mine.]
It is in these cases of market failure that the government often intervenes on the grounds that it will be able to achieve better results than unfettered markets. This is where the unfairness lies. The behaviour of markets in reality (i.e. with imperfections) is compared with an ideal about how politicians, bureaucrats and planners behave (i.e. as enlightened, public interested servants). Reality is compared to a hypothetical. It is this imbalance public choice seeks to reconcile by assuming that government agents are self-interested individuals seeking to maximise their own budgets and power. This leads to Parkinson's Law and the associated Empire Building that is so common in large organisations. As such, government failure occurs just as surely as market failure, and its results are frequently far worse than market outcomes.

Rowling starts the series of Harry Potter novels by describing a bumbling but well meaning bureaucracy, with numerous departments with ludicrous names and dubious raison d’etre. However, as the series progresses the ministry uses its power to cover up the rise of the villainous Voldemort, often by mobilising its full range of coercive power: detention without trial, torture (of children), altering the educational curriculum and turning the press into a propaganda rag. Furthermore, the “Ministry for Magic” is shown to have institutionalised previously sympathetic characters turning them into ambitious pen-pushers with no loyalty, whilst those characters who maintain moral worth are unable to progress up the government ladder. This is an unelected, overtly bureaucratic government that operates without a free press, and uses all of these advantages to pursue its own (damaging) agenda.

Go and read the whole thing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Galloway too far

The Flying Rodent speaks truth.
It seems like everybody's queueing up to put the boot into George Galloway these days.

Personally, I've always regarded him as a shameless, self-promoting opportunist with no more a sense of morality than an alleycat, attributes that he has found endlessly useful in politics.

Oh, and the money shot. As it were.
In fairness though, he's skyrocketed in my estimation after becoming the first Member of Parliament to speak the phrase "Spunk-Loving Sluts" in the House, an act that could only have been more amusing had he thrown a few copies of that publication down to the front bench for Cabinet perusal.

But, primarily, Galloway is still a mad, staring, lying, hypocritical cunt who, frankly, seems to be over-reacting to being banned from the House since he is never actually bloody there anyway.

The fucking twat.

The money shot

Yes, here it is, ladies and gentlemen; the money shot and the answer to one of my longest-standing questions: why are our politicians selling us down the river to the EU. Over to EU Referendum. [Emphasis mine in all cases.]
[L]ook to the European Council "mandate" where, in paragraph 12, we find the dense but superficially anodyne statement that:
The institutional changes agreed in the 2004 IGC will be integrated partly into the TEU and partly into the Treaty on the Functioning of the Union. The new Title III will give an overview of the institutional system and will set out the following institutional modifications to the existing system, i.e. the Articles on the Union's institutions...

The reference to the "2004 IGC" is of course the code for the EU constitution and the important modification here is to the "Articles on the Union's institutions".

To find these, we have to go to Article I-19 of the failed constitution where we see the definition of the "institutional framework" and a statement of its aims. These are expressed in terms of the "Union" telling the institutions that their aims are to: "promote its values; advance its objectives; serve its interests, those of its citizens and those of Member States; and ensure the consistency, effectiveness and continuity of its policies and actions".

Now, the crucial point here is that the first three of these objectives are entirely new. And, of these, the third is especially important: to: "serve its interests, those of its citizens and those of Member States".

OK, clear enough? The Institutions of the EU serve the EU first, the citizens of the EU second, and the interests of the Member States last. This is important. Why?
However, this is but a curtain raiser to another short insert in paragraph 12, which states (by way of one of the institutional changes): "the European Council (transformation into an institution…)".

OK? The European Council is to be cemented as an official EU Institution (beyond its formal recognition in Article 4 of the Nice Treaty). And I have just explained what the priorities of EU Institutions are, above.
This is of huge significance. Originally set up in 1972 by Jean Monnet, the European Council was presented, during its first meeting under president Pompidou as a "fireside chat" between the heads of states and governments of the then nine members of the EEC.

Indeed, the first meeting was in fact held in Pompidou's private salon, with members lounging in armchairs and even sitting by the fire, but Monnet had far greater ambitions for it. He styled it as nothing less than a "provisional government" of Europe, its task being to steer Europe though the "transition from national to collective sovereignty" (Memoirs, p. 503).

Now, with this proposed change, the European Council is being defined fully as an institution. Furthermore, its aims have been set out, which it shares with the Commission, the EU Parliament and the European Court of Justice. It now will have developed into Monnet's "provisional government", acting, to all intents and purposes, as the "cabinet" of Europe.

The problem, of course, is that the members are still made up from the heads of state and governments of the member states. But, rather than representing their respective nations, they now act as a corporate body – an institution – the aims of which are, in respect of the Union, to: "promote its values; advance its objectives; serve its interests, those of its citizens and those of Member States; and ensure the consistency, effectiveness and continuity of its policies and actions".

Crucially, the requirement to serve the interest of the Union comes first, the "citizens" come second and the Member States come third. The order is neither accidental nor without significance. The European Council has to put the Union first.

Serving the EU is, de facto, what the European Council already does, but this is now to become de jure.

So, under the EU Reform Treaty, the European Council—which is made up of the leaders of our government—will be legally bound to serve the EU first, EU citizens second, and the interests of the Member States, third. In return, they become the effective Cabinet of the EU. What a prize!
It also represents a very significant transfer of power from member states, our leaders having been hijacked and impressed into the service of the Union – all the more dangerous because, as far as the media and the general public is concerned, they are part of an invisible institution, one that will, to them, remain a "summit".

In other words, with the signing of the Reform Treaty, our heads of state and other EC leaders will be legally co-opted into an Institution of the European Union and will be legally bound to serve the EU over and above the interests of British citizens and the British state. And hence, the question of why our politicos would drive us into this entirely non-beneficial (to Britain) superstate is answered.

Every politician wants power, otherwise they would not stand for election. That is a self-evident truth. A minarchist libertarian may stand for election to reduce the power of the government but, ultimately, he stands in order to gain the power by which he may enact his views. So, all politicians desire power, quod erat demonstrandum.

Just imagine! Were you to rise sufficiently, you would not be in the Cabinet of a small—though disproportionately powerful—island of 60 million souls off the north coast of the nearest largescale landmass: you would be on the Cabinet of the entire European continent and over 450 million people. Even were you not actually to sit on this Cabinet yourself, you could be an advisor, someone of influence.

And so it becomes more and more difficult to leave as our own leaders are co-opted, turned and bribed to work against us, their treachery paid for in the oldest coin there is: power. And so we have it: the interests of ordinary people sacrificed upon the altar of ambition by selfish, avaricious politicos.

Suddenly, it all becomes clear.
An email correspondant points out that everything is going wrong because... Well, just listen to the song.

I laughed!

"I'll take the least smelly turd, please."

Once more, Jackart is laying into people who would like to vote for something rather than against it. As Jackart once said of your humble Devil, he is starting to sound a little shrill.
By far the easiest way to get called a twat by all and sundry usually by UKIPers, assorted Monday club types and other ex-Tories, is to say anything positive about David Cameron.

This is, of course, something of a straw man argument, but I'll let it go for the moment. I, for instance, have said good things about Cameron, not least over the whole grammar school row; however, Jackart would be quite correct in thinking that, generally, I think that Cameron is an idiot.
Sure he's not rushing around saying "Withdraw from the EU, Abolish the welfare state, scrap the NHS and all tax is theft". He would not have a hope of being elected if he did.

Yes, we all understand that. The real question is whether we think that he actually believes all that: I don't think that he does, Jackart takes the opposite view.
UKIP have a bee in the Bonnet about the EU.

Well, given that it is the reason for their existence, one can hardly be surprised.
I think the whole thing is about as damaging to the UK as, say the NHS or the Welfare state.

A patently ridiculous view, and also hugely simplistic. The NHS is part of the Welfare State anyway, and I would say that the Welfare State is, indeed, extremely damaging. Indeed, I have called explicitly for its abolition, illustrated the evil that it does and then called for its abolition again. But the Welfare State is not a thing in isolation.

It was the poor economic performance of Britain and loss of Empire that drove our politicians to join the EEC in the first place. It was the desire to abdicate responsibility that has kept Britain in; this abdication of responsibility is engendered by the Welfare State. So, yes, the Welfare State is awful and needs to be substantially reformed (and shrunk) but there is a problem.

How does one carry out wholesale reform of one's country (even assuming that one can get elected) when between 70% and 80% of your legislation is not made in the Parliament that you represent? Does Jackart seriously think that our comrades in Brussels, whose countries and views are in accord with the soft socialism peddled in this country, would let us do so?
That is to say "very damaging", but it's not the only issue.

No, it's not. Which is why UKIP are developing other policies. Which is why UKIP are the only party—since Cameron explicitly dropped it—that support a Flat Tax and high Personal Tax Allowance.

Can Cameron really not reveal that as a policy? Come on, seriously? NuLabour might steal it? Don't make me fucking laugh; NuLabour wants state clients, not fairness. In fact, a high PTA would be a massive stick with which to beat Brown; as I pointed out to Neil Harding, if Brown (or Neil) really cared about the poor of this country, then Brown would have raised the PTA.

That he has introduced the Minimum Wage, and racheted it up, whilst barely raising the PTA (from what? £4.5k to £5.3k in ten years?) is one of the most disgustingly cynical ploys that the one-eyed fucker has indulged in. This would be a brilliant ground on which to attack Brown.

It is not as though the Flat Tax and high PTA is a secret fucking policy: it was Alex Singleton, now President of the Globalisation Institute, who commissioned the Adam Smith Institute's first report into A Flat Tax. He intended it to be for the Tories' use; instead, it was UKIP who took it up (in a form slightly modified by economist and UKIP Chairman, Dr John Whittaker).

The failure to adopt—in fact, to explicitly discount—this idea that puts a massive black mark by Cameron's name. It is a tax strategy to help the poor. It does not need to cost much. It is a vote-winner.
It is not as if, as UKIP claim, the UK is about to become embroiled in an unescapable political superstate against its will.

Erm, yes it is.

We can just pull out. Constitutional treaties notwithstanding.

Just because we can withdraw, does not mean that we are not "embroiled in an unescapable political superstate" against our will. We are and we have been since 1973; EU law already has primacy over our own and this fact alone makes us little more than a vassal of an unelected power. Simply because the EU chooses not to flex its muscles as much as it could, does not mean that it will not do so.

Jackart is happy to use the "we should not trust future governments" argument with something such as ID Cards: why on earth should he be happy to trust the EU. (As an aside, is our government not convened by an Act of Parliament, i.e. a law?)
If there was a political will in the UK, then withdrawal would happen.

Ah yes, political will; that is what we want. Unfortunately, our corrupt politicians are all too busy feathering their own nests to worry about what is actually good for the country.

If any of our politicians had political will, we would not be in the EU; there is no economic, environmental or political argument for being so. Unfortunately, our politicians reply with "we'll have to agree to differ" when faced with cold, hard facts.
After all, in limp-wristed Europe, who's going to stop us?

Let's not be in any confusion here: our politicians are even more limp-wristed than those in Europe. You see, our European cousins are moving towards a greater goal, oh yes, whilst our politicians are too fucking pathetic to believe that we could stand on our own two feet. How Jackart could have observed EU politics for the last ten years and argue that our politicians are stronger than those of our Continental comrades—especially the French, who have won every battle that they have fought—is beyond belief.
They need our markets, so even a reasonable negotiator would be able to deliver a pretty decent trading position - at least as good as Norway's.

Quite, so why don't we? Because our politicians, especially the fucking Conservatives, are cowardly cunts. Or, of course, they actually believe in the EU project, a theory that their past actions—and by their actions shall ye know them—would entirely support.
So UKIP scaremongering is a bit excessive. There's no lines in the sand that we cannot quietly pick up our ball and return to, should we not want to play any more. We are after all net contributors.

Not if we want to remain in the EU. And, as I have pointed out, either our politicians actually believe in the project, or they are too frightened to pick that ball up and walk away.

Neither scenario is flattering to our elected classes, but then I view them as the worst sort of shits anyway.
What we need to do is create that political will.

Why don't you tell Mr Letwin that, Jackart?
That's a long-term aim. My view is that the whole pointless, costly edifice will fall over soon enough.

This is a view that my father, drawing conparisons with the Soviet Union, also takes; unfortunately, the USSR lasted for over seventy years, I have no wish to live out the rest of my life under the soft-soaped jackboot of its successor.
The voters in the UK will consistently reject any position on Europe they regard as strident.

Really? And yet most are EUsceptics. At the very least, a large majority want a referendum.
For the Tories in particular there's a very good reason to brush this issue under the carpet.

As, apparently, there is with any other vaguely principled view. "The voters may not like it", is the constant cry from the Tories, Jackart and their ilk. Which rather precludes any strong position on anything, doesn't it now?
The EPP fiasco booted the Europe issue into the long grass, and good riddance. A small number of highly recognisable Tories, some of whom are well liked and respected by the electorate are federasts.

Who? Heseltine? Ken Clarke? Both are cunts, neither are really Tories and both are redolent of the now-hated Thatcher years.
Having them on board means the electorate is satisfied that the Tories are not Swivel-eyed loons. Something they suspect UKIP, with good reason, to be.

Ah, got to love those ad hominems, eh? Don't like someone's position? Just call 'em "swivel-eyed loons" or "swivel-eyed fuckers". I am not saying that many UKIPpers aren't a bit loony, to be honest, but in this case, Jackart appears to be equating principles to craziness. Which, of course, he constantly does.
Almost all Tory activists and an overwhelming majority of MPs are Eurosceptic. by the measure of signing "better off out" perhaps not...

Of course not: under Cameron that would curtail their careers and, by extension, prevent them from insulating themselves from the concerns of everyday life with taxpayers' cash.
... but there's certainly a deep and heartfelt resistance to further integration and desire to repatriate powers.

Which isn't going to fucking happen, no matter how much Cameron burbles about it.
Something which, when refused, could trigger a more openly withdrawalist position.

Don't be naive, Jackart, for fuck's sake. You have just spent a long time arguing why the Tories do not presently take a withdrawalist position (they would be perceived as "swivel-eyed loons", they would be seen as "strident" by the electorate, etc. In other words, you have argued that they would lose power) and now you have decided that they might actually do so.

You are a fantasist. Either that, or there is some part of your argument that is deeply fucking flawed.
So even someone like me who loathes the EU and all its works can comfortably vote Tory.

Jackart, you would vote Tory even if their officers came to hang your first-born from your own rafters; this much is becoming clear.
To my mind keeping the sceptics on board means a cabal of fererasts is less likely to hijack the Tory party, and the ultimate end of EU can be hastened from within a party likely to get power one day.

And we want the federasts on board... why? Why not junk the federasts: they do not, after all, represent the majority of the voters.
Sure, I could get together with some chums, pay £300 and call ourselves a party. It would be an idealogically pure expression of my favoured policies. All that would do is cost me £300, and the only party with a significant Eurosceptic libertarian wing, votes.

In the name of fucking cunt-ripping toss-shits, Jackart; listen to yourself, will you?

If the Euroscepticism of the Tories does not translate into EUsceptic policies, then what is the fucking point?

If the libertarianism of the Tories does not translate into libertarian policies, then what is the fucking point? Apart from anything else, the Tories are not libertarian! They are—and in their modern incarnation, i.e. for about a century, always have been—socially authoritarian. Aaaargh! For fuck's sake!
UKIP is no more than a pressure group.

Yes, and if this is so, what is the single most efficient and effective way to bring pressure to bear on a political party? To steer them in a certain direction? How do you scare a politician into doing something? Stop them ignoring your views?

That's right: you take votes from them. You stop them getting their grasping, greedy, power-hungry hands on the levers of power.
On domestic policy, the choice is even more stark. You either have a Conservative government committed to cutting taxes when it can, abolishing ID cards, repealing 90-day detention if introduced and scrapping the hunting ban and being in general less interfering and nannyish.

And I will believe it when I see it happen. For instance, just because a Conservative government wants to force charities to do its job rather than civil servants makes it no less nannyish: the vehicle is merely different.
Or you can have a Labour party whose incompetence, hectoring illiberality and unsuitability for office have been demonstrated repeatedly over the last decade; a party whose soul aches for higher taxes and punitive redistribution and whose activists rejoice when our allies' and sometimes even our own troops are killed in action. Or you can have a Liberal democrat third party forcing Federasty and the abortion of Proportional Representation on anyone who wishes to share power with them. Heaven forbid they ever win.

Well, I can't argue with you there.
For a libertarian, the choice is clear.

No, it isn't, as I have pointed out. And I shall reproduce the excellent comment from my Kitchen (and ideological) colleague, The Nameless One.
Not so sure, however, that the choice is as clear as you think for a Libertarian. The Tories may be the best of the main parties, but it really is the case of being the best of a piss-poor bunch. Cameron wants smaller government, perhaps cutting back on the welfare state, and giving some of what the government does now to charities and other voluntary organisations. This is a long way away from cutting back drastically on the state and fundamentally redressing the balance between government and citizen - which, surely, is crucial to any Libertarian.

This is also the time for Cameron to be having the debates about the fundamentals of Tory policy. Instead of brushing some of the more controversial or right wing parts of Tory policy under the carpet, he should be trying to convince the British people of the merits of the case for reforming the outdated NHS, for a smaller tax burden, for a better education system. I think we can both agree that Tory policies like these are right, so Cameron should have the balls to take them to the electorate. He is an eloquent chappie, surrounded by other eloquents chappies, so he should have few problems in persuading an electorate dog tired of Nu Labour guff that the Tory policies are right. He could still steal parts of the centre ground and gain some of the middle of the road voters but he would be getting less carping from the right about abandoning Conservatism.

Cameron almost seems to want us to have faith in him - that he is a strong Tory, that he is right wing. His position seems to be "I can't tell the electorate what I am really like ideologically but trust me - if I get in, I will reward you". The upshot is that he doesn't seem to stand for very much at all, other than liking the idea of a fairer society and being pro the environment.

I understand what you are saying, and I would love to see than smug bastard of a Prime Minister thrown out of Number 10. But I want to vote for someone, not just against someone.

What David Cameron is doing is obvious to me. He's repositioning the party's rhetoric, without mentioning policy (especially European policy), because the policy ain't changing much, if at all. The more some Conservative activists squeal, the better this looks - after all the electorate think that Tory activists are loons too. If Cameron can make the Tory party look like a Normal bunch of people, with whom they feel safe, Like Labour appeared in 1997, then he's in with a shout.

Conservative policy isn't changing much? From when? From Thatcher's government—if so, what era? From Major's government? From their Opposition years? To me, none of those are reasons to vote for the Tories. The Major government was a major fuck up. The Opposition years have also been characterised by crap (apart from the Flat Tax and Education Vouchers, both of which Cameron has explicitly dropped). Even the great and necessary economic reforms of the Thatcher years were accompanied by a crackdown on social libertarianism.

It is not enough—it is not libertarian—to say that everyone should take responsibility for their own economic well-being but not for their own social well-being. This has always been the ideological disconnect on the Tory Party. The perception is of a bunch of people who are happy to crack down on you if you do things, e.g. drugs, of which they personally disapprove, but if you make a financial mistake then you are on your own.

If you are to encourage people to take personal financial and economic responsibility, as Cameron encourages, then you have to allow them to take social responsibility too. If you do not trust people to be responsible to take reasonable decisions regarding their own body then how can you trust them to be responsible enough to take reasonable decisions regarding their finances?
He can then use that position of trust so engendered to persuade the electorate that they do, in fact want lower Taxes - "Sharing the proceeds" is just a start. Osbourne's instincts are sound. They do want a slimmer, less obscenely unfair welfare state - IDS favouring marriage...
Why is that less unfair, for fuck's sake? Less unfair than what? Eh?
... and an end to the 92% marginal tax rate for people on the minimum wage for example.

I'm not sure that such a thing actually exists. Perhaps you are referring to this illustration?
Perhaps sense may be finally dawning on the British people that the structure of the NHS is outdated.

Yes, in the same way that it is dawning on people that tax increases do not automatically mean better public services. They are ready to hear the tax cut argument now (see the PTA rant above).
That LEAs are populated by left-wing morons and that's why people's children are uneducated.

Absolutely, abolish them and the massive amount of money that they waste.
These are debates for a later date.

No, this is the fucking point, Jackart; they are debates for now, damn it! Dave has shaken off most of the Conservative Party's "nasty party" image and those that haven't come around to this way of thinking never will; this is as much as he can do. It is now time to wheel out some policies.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that the Tories actually know what their policies are; insiders that I have spoken to recently have confirmed my suspicions. And they need to sort out what they are soon. And I pointed out why only a couple of days ago.
Those who vote like to know vaguely what they are voting for; the Tories may well have hoped that they have ditched the "nasty image" but, in the absence of anything to put in its place, people will revert to the default. In other words, with no concrete "nice party" policies, the Tories are still the "nasty party".

This is important; many people who loathe the Tories assume that they are doing precisely what Jackart has said they are doing: trying to gain our trust whilst slipping through all the old "evil Thatcherite policies" by the back door. The Tories need to say what, precisely, they intend to do and they need to start making the case. People in general, i.e. all those who are not like Toynbee and Neil Harding, are ready to hear the arguments now.
For heavens sake, whatever the Boy Dave is doing, it's got to be better than five uninterupted years of grasping one-eyed socialism.

Although, from a personal point of view, Jackart, you are entirely right, I am not sure that you are from a tactical point of view. Whether we know different or not (we do), the majority of people still think—often in the face of personal and overwhelming evidence—that Gordon Brown has done a wonderful job economically. The Gobblin' King has inherited the mantle of competence that the Tories wore for so long. If he loses the next election, he will not lose that reputation.

To allow Gordon another five years to really and truly fuck up the economy would actually strengthen the Tory position, allowing them to be much, much bolder. They won't be able to put through decent reforms in five years: allow Gordon enough rope to hang himself and the Tories might well get two terms will ease, riding on the back of a resurgent anti-Labour feeling.

But, whatever, the Tories have to actually get some policies out there and, more importantly, they have to communicate why those policies are right correct. And if the rumours that I'm hearing are correct, they may have very little time to do it in.

In the meantime, when confronted with a choice of three massive fucking turds, Jackart urges us, once again, to choose the least smelly and be fucking grateful for it.

Smoking once more

I do like this article by Rod Little, which is worth reading; whatever your views on the man, he can write most delightfully when he tries.
Standing outside a London mainline station, waiting for a taxi, I lit my first cigarette for three hours, leaned back against the wall and inhaled a lungful of cool grey smoke and felt an agreeable tingling spread throughout my body. Do you smoke? You really should give it a go. Very agreeable experience.

“Excuse me,” the voice said, with studied politeness, “would you mind putting out that cigarette.” The absence of a question mark in that sentence is an accurate reflection of the tone in which it was said.

I looked up. It was a short, bearded cock of a man, swathed in self-righteousness. More to the point, he was an American.

“My family doesn’t care to breathe in your second-hand smoke,” he added. I looked around in mystification. What f***ing family? There was no-one in sight.

“Um, I’m sorry, “ I said. “but what family?”

He turned and pointed about forty yards away where two spoiled sub-teen female brats were sitting sulkily on a collection of luggage. This arsehole must have espied me lighting up and immediately sprinted the distance between us out of a sort of burning hatred or, as Slavoj Zizek puts it, an incalculable narcissism. Whatever way you look at it, his action was deranged. How on earth should one respond to people like this?

“F*** off.”

Only language they understand, really.

Bravo, Rod, bravo. Oh, and thanks for the drink you bought me at that FOREST dinner a few weeks ago...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Referendum List

Your humble Devil is involved in a new little project with the good gentleman over at England Expects: The Referendum List. The Press Release that we have put out runs as follows:
ReferendumList.org goes online today. The brainchild of two British political bloggers, ReferendumList.org will canvas MPs on whether they support a British referendum on the so-called EU Reform Treaty and display the replies online.

Chris Mounsey said, "We all know that the main parties are utterly split on the subject. Though Gordon Brown says 'No', there are Labour members who say 'Yes'; though David Cameron says 'Yes', there are Conservatives who say 'No'. Although everybody knows that most of the Lib/Dems want greater integration, Ming Campbell used to support a referendum."

"With all the rumours suggesting an early election it is imperative that the British people know where their own candidates stand on this vital issue", said Gawain Towler, "The ReferendumList.org website will allow individuals to know exactly where their politicians stand. What is more we will also be asking all selected candidates for their opinion."

In December Gordon Brown will be signing what the Brussels calls the "Reform Treaty". This is accepted by its supporters across the continent as being, in all but name, the European Constitution so definitively rejected by both the French and Dutch in referenda in 2004.

The Referendum List will provide a service to all citizens, allowing them to know more fully what their elected representatives, and those who aspire to election, believe on what is perhaps the most important question facing the country today.

This is aiming to be non-partisan in terms of whether we might want a referendum and in terms of political party.

Please do give it a mention on your blogs: you might even display one of our attractive wee buttons.

In Prison. Indefinitely.

Christ. It had to happen – Brown had to, at some point, start foaming at the mouth over security. And lo and behold, it has happened. But it is so disappointing as he was doing so well. As Mr E noted, Brown's reaction to the failed car bombings was actually quite mature and restrained:
“What was noticeable, over the weekend, was not so much the reaction of the government as what they didn't do. There was no quivering-lipped emoting from the PM; no Home Secretary touring the TV studios like a drunk looking for a brawl, all barely suppressed anger and dark, muttered threats; no unattributable leaks to the News of the World hinting at further legislation to curtail the rights of suspects, or increase surveillance on our streets. Some thought Brown's statement on Saturday was underwhelming. Wooden, certainly; but I quite like being underwhelmed in these situations.”

But now he’s gone for it. Detaining people for months on end is the way forward. ID cards represent out salvation. Hoorah! Actually, no. Fuck the fuck off Gordo, with your desperate attempts to get your grubby talons on yet more power for you and your government of jibbering, dribbling mongs.

Apparently he has:
“He has challenged David Cameron to “put party politics aside” and act in the national interest to strengthen police powers.”

Love it. Classic Blairite argument. Increasing police powers is in the public interest. No need to question around it. It it the truth. Sorry, but is it? When did that become an ironclad fact? When did that become an indisputable fact that more power for the police is in the public interest? Because some people would argue that reducing police powers is more in the public interests that giving some of those fuckers more power!

Brown says:
“We are facing an al Qa'eda who are trying to cause carnage.”

And, barring the terrible carnage of 7/7, trying and failing. No, really they are. 21/7, the would be plane bombings, the car bombings – they are coming across more as “Carry On” style terrorists than capable jihadists. Why the panic?

“We will agree to protect the public’s civil liberties.”

How? By reducing them? Go get a strong coffee, Gordon, syringe your Gollum like ears out, come back, sit down, and fucking listen. ID cards damage civil liberties. Increased detention periods damage civil liberties. Are you such a slack jawed spastic that you cannot digest these two simple as fuck facts?
“We have to show we are resolute and strong and steadfast in tackling what they are determined to do.”

And how is a knee jerk reaction showing we are determined? Ah, wait, it doesn’t, Gordon, you bastard son of Satan and a wolf whore. The whole point of fighting terrorism is you don’t let them think their odious acts can have a massive impact on the way we live our lives. Not panic and force through ill thought out policies that give more power to the control freaks masquerading as a government.

David Davis speaks something approaching sense. He is:
“…insisting such a move risked alienating local communities and “driving young Muslim males into the arms of extremists”.”

Yep. But losing more civil liberties to the Nu Labour cock headed fuckwits who run this country alienates not just local communities, but anyone in this country who values their freedom in any way. It should appal all right thinking people everywhere in this country.

Davis again:
“He said: “We have an alternative proposal - in the event of a national emergency the Government can give police the power to detain suspects for an extra 30 days, on top of the 28 day limit, under the Civil Contingencies Act.””

For fuck's sake no! No! We don’t need to detain people for more than 28 days! The police should be able to build up cases in much less than 28 days!

And how *precisely* would an extended detention period stop the terrorist attacks? Most of the bombers have only been on the periphery of the radar of both the police and the security services. They would have had ID cards. And they wouldn’t have been detained for more than 28 days or less than 28 days as, more often than not, the police don’t seem to have a clue what these people have planned until after they have tried (and often failed) to implement their plans. Shitting hell, why can’t our politicians note the very simple fact that ID cards and extended detention periods would not have stopped 7/7, 21/7, etc etc? Can they really be that frigging stupid? Have I missed something? Has it suddenly become a mandatory requirement of MPs to have an IQ of less than 70?

Jacqui Smith is backing Brown. Hardly surprising I know – she (like the rest of the nation) is probably still incredulous that Brown knew who the fuck she was a few weeks ago. She knows that she keeps her role and therefore maintains her career by sucking on the proverbial(?) cock of the new PM. But the Telegraph points out something very interesting:
“Her position contradicts that of her predecessor, John Reid, who said earlier this year he had not seen evidence which showed it was necessary to extend the 28-day limit.”

That’s right, John Reid – the man who gave the impression that he wanted to prevent crime by headbutting everyone in the UK into a bloody paste – the man who would not look out of place in the fucking SA – thought 28 days was enough.

That is how draconian our government has become. They make John “Rambo” Reid look fucking liberal.

Our government is apparently fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the bastard hell are they going to start fighting for freedom in the UK?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Privatisation's Borodino

Had it not been for the events of September 7 1812, it's likely that the name of the otherwise unremarkable Russian village of Borodino would have been completely forgotten by history; but on that day, in that place, the Grande Armee clashed with the Imperial Russian army - producing the greatest single bloodbath that the world had, to that point, ever seen.
For Bonapartism, it was not the end; it was not even the beginning of the end - but it was perhaps the end of the beginning.
Last night, the Gloucestershire village of Walham might just have become the Borodino of another great ideology, one which, once it had lit a fire in the minds of men, swept the globe - that of so-called 'privatisation'.
If one believes that nationalisation is theft (as I do), then it only takes a very short logical leap to conclude that privatisation is on a par with handling stolen goods - both economic policies demand that a third party, the state, interfere in economic affairs; the state steals businesses; and the state then sells those businesses to third parties, without returning them to their original owners.
Niether policy can exist without an interventionist state.
One of the great failings of 24 hour news media is its inability to control its irrepressible reflexive impulse to collapse up its own backside when there isn't really too much new news to report. It's at this point it starts asking stupid questions about the government's responsibility for flooding.
I know Brown's full of himself and all but I don't believe even he thinks he can go one better than King Canute.
But the actual significance of what happened in Walham last night was most certainly not missed by tonight's 'Channel 4 News'.
The Internet report does not do justice to its television counterpart.
The TV report stated that army, fire and police services worked 34 hour shifts to prevent flood water reaching the switching gear in Walham's electricity sub-station; if it had, then as many as 500,000 people, and the GCHQ listening station, would have been without power.
The really crappy question for its owners is, as a privatised utility, just how much they had invested in flood defences.
The concomitant really crappy question for all of us on the right is whether we can restrain the spastic impulse to run spastically about spastically squawking like spastic chickens and old women at the merest suggestion that in a nation, you know, a country, one of those things whose existence was today denied by the Leader of the Opposition, some things are best left to collective government management - such as the responsibility for telling half a million people that they can't cook their dinners or flush their toilets.
And as an aficionado of the works of Correlli Barnett, it was with very great satisfaction that I saw that the machine that actually pumped the water out of Walham, a big mother that can pump the equivalent of 10 fire-engines' worth, is, by manufacture, German.
As Napoleon might have said- plus ca change...

NHS Fail Wail

I think that we can all agree that the UK's response to coronavirus has been somewhat lacking. In fact, many people asserted that our de...