Saturday, May 31, 2008

LPUK to stand in Henley

Ian Parker-Joseph: LPUK candidate for Henley.

Although we felt that the Crewe and Nantwich contest was too soon, as has been highlighted on UK Polling Report, the Libertarian Party will be fielding a candidate, Ian Parker-Joseph, in the Henley by-election (whenever that might be).

Ian has a campaign blog, as well as his usual place; he has been an enthusiastic supporter of LPUK from the very beginning and is a thoroughly nice chap too. He has been in Henley this week, doing the rounds of the pubs and gauging opinion: apparently, "the message seems to be going down fairly well, especially with the younger crowd."

As always, we need help and support from anyone who would like to help us spread the libertarian message: we reckon that we need a minimum of £4,000 to get any kind of campaign going. Please feel free to donate to the party over the coming weeks; however, please note that we do not accept donations from companies (we are no fans of corporatism), only from individuals on the Electoral Register.

If you can donate time that would be fantastic. More importantly, we need a premises in Henley (or any of the surrounding constituencies: Buckingham, Aylesbury, Wycombe, Maidenhead, Reading East, Reading West, Newbury, Wantage, Oxford West & Abingdon, Oxford East, Banbury) that we can use as a Registered Office for an election agent (it can even be a private residence). This will save us a considerable amount of money, and you will earn undying gratitude. And, of course, if you live in Henley, please read our manifesto, talk about us and vote for us...

If anyone wants to help, please email me using the address at the top of the sidebar. It's time for all libertarians to stand up and be counted: do you believe enough to make it happen, or are you happy just to talk about it?



UPDATE: thanks for all of the offers of help: we now have an address! Obstacle #1 conquered...

UPDATE 2: a revised caption...



Paternalist twat of the week: Alex Singleton

I know that it is probably bad form to launch an attack on someone who has bought you wine, but this article by Alex Singleton, doyen of the utterly ineffectual and irrelevent Globalisation Institute, constitutes a first strike, as far as your humble Devil is concerned.

You can tell, as soon as you see the title, that it is going to be an article of quite staggering stupidity.
How Libertarians undermine liberty

Oooookaaaay; this is going to be a cracker, isn't it...?
What is it that encourages ordinarily sensible people to start niche political parties?

Well, I know that this may seem difficult for you to understand, Alex, but it may just be so that they can vote for a political party that they actually believe in. You alien-voters may be morally bankrupt, but that doesn't mean that all of us are.
I can see the merit in independent candidates fighting local elections—they can bring together communities wanting the fixing of a local problem which has escaped the view of the national parties.

What the fuck? Seriously, Alex: are you really this fucking thick?

Why the hell should someone campaigning for one, local cause have the power to change the way of life of everybody in the country? Why the fuck should they want to? Should they not lobby their local councils, or their MP? Isn't that what these bodies exist for?
But when people come up with the idea of establishing national parties to be more ideologically pure than the main ones, I roll my eyes.

That's because you are a smug, treacherous cunt.
Why didn’t their friends advice them to set up a campaign instead?

Because, you fuckhead, unlike your guy campaigning for one, local issue, we want to change the entire country, not save one cottage hospital or stop a new development being build in our nice village.
Then, rather than wasting their time on futile elections, they would have an opportunity to influence the mainstream just as groups like the Countryside Alliance, Liberty and the Taxpayers’ Alliance have done.

Oh yes, the Countryside Alliance did really well, eh? I haven't noticed the fox-hunting ban being repealed, nor your precious Tory Party pledging to do so.

What the fuck have Liberty achieved? Precisely fuck all. Every now and again, the laughably inept Shami Chakrabarti gets wheeled out to make some fatuous statement, or make an arse of herself on Have I Got News For You, and they have achieved...? Nothing.

The Taxpayers' Alliance have been rather more successful, it is true; they are hitting around four hundred media mentions a month, which is none too shabby, but ultimately they are motivating ordinary people, not politicians.

And this is the point: the TPA have motivated ordinary people, who now feel that they are paying too much tax and that the "nanny state has gone mad" but there is not one single party pledging to do anything about this. Maybe they would like to vote for a party that will?
After all, small parties do not do well in British politics, even when they have deep pockets like James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party which fought the 1997 General Election.

That is a very odd example to choose, Alex; the Referendum Party actually achieved its aim, i.e. all of the main Parties were forced to pledge a referendum on joining the Euro. And how did the Referendum Party do this? By securing enough votes to have the three Statist Parties running scared.

But generally, you are correct: small parties don't do that well. However, that is at least partly because of moronic Tories like you wailing that "a vote for what you believe in a niche party is a wasted vote". You are a cunt, Singleton; you and all your ilk.
Unfortunately, such advice does not seem to have been given to the Brits who have been to the Electoral Commission and registered the Libertarian Party.

Actually, it was, tit-face. You yourself advised me to go down the campaign route: is this article born out of sour grapes because I didn't follow your advice? I explained to you some time ago why we were going down the party route (and I shall expand on it later).
Yes, a party with the same name is the third-largest in American politics, but it has been getting nowhere:...

Apart from being the third largest party in American politics, you mean?
... its best showing in a presidential election was in 1980 when, with the financial support of its billionaire vice-presidential candidate David Koch, it secured a little over 1 per cent of the vote.

But the Presidential election is not everything; the Libertarian Party has a couple of hundred of elected local representatives and, as we all know, those representatives hold more power in the US than their rough counterparts here.
The British version of the party does not have that sort of money, relying on the support of a small number of members and a following on the blogoshere.

Quite so. Because, you see, we realised that the reason that there were so many libertarian bloggers, railing against all parties, was because they had no one to represent them. Do you see?

LPUK member locations, determined by the first part of their post code (outcode). See here for more detail.

So, why not use this new(ish) medium to start a party? And it is the reason why, despite our lack of funds, we have members all over the country, from Nothern Scotland to Northern Ireland; from Cornwall to Kent, from Wales to York. As we draw near to two hundred members, what has it cost us? Time and the price of the membership packs: nothing more.

What it will do, like the Libertarian Party has done in the United States, is to tarnish the libertarian brand, allowing the crazier aspects of libertarian thinking to come to the fore, and achieving nothing of any merit.

What, crazy libertarian ideas, you mean? Ideas like the legalisation of drugs—that that crazy Camilla Cavendish put forward in that well known crank-rag, The Times—and prostitution (both of which are also supported by those loonies at the Institute of Economic Affairs)?

Or maybe you speak of our insane pledge to abolish Income Tax—that temporary tax introduced on the very rich in order to fund the Napoleonic War—even though your old boss, Dr Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, pointed out that lower government spending over the last ten years could easily allow that abolition?
If the government sector had grown only in line with inflation, rather than far above it, taxpayers would be £200 billion better off – enough to abolish income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. Just think what that would do for our international competitiveness.

Is it those kind of lunatic policies that you mean, Alex?
Libertarian thinking is already a force in party politics, as one of the strands of thinking in both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats.

Oh, do fuck off. The Conservatives are not, and never have been, libertarian: they are social authoritarians. Now, I know that you are interested in their keenness on economic freedom, as evinced by your Globalisation Institute, but I couldn't really care less: economic freedom without social freedom is not fucking freedom, you moron.

The trouble is that you are a typical Tory paternalist: your "libertarianism" only goes as far as tax cuts so that you, personally, will be better off.

My libertarianism (for all that readers here might disagree with it) is based on the belief that more freedom will make everyone better off. I believe that the poor are fucked over by disporportionately high taxes, that they are infantilised by the Welfare State, that children raising children is a stupid thing to encourage, that the benefits trap that keeps people on benefits is deeply immoral and unproductive (not just because it costs the economy, but because those people never have a chance to better themselves), that people who take drugs are harming no one but themselves and should therefore not be criminalised, that people should be free to live their lives without constant government surveillance or social engineering.

You, on the other hand, are an arsehole, out for nothing but his own gain; and that makes you a mirror of the majority of those in the Tory Party (and certainly of the leadership).

Further, I believe that the EU controls so much of our legislation that any party that pledges to remain in it will be unable to deliver any significant change in British policy.

So fuck you, and the Eurostar you rode in on, Singleton; fuck you and your EU supporting chums. It is you who reduce liberty.
The objective of libertarian campaigners ought to be to strengthen those strands.

Yeah? I know poeple in the Tory Party who have tried this: I know of at least one Tory MP who have turned down a front bench position, i.e. a position in which he could get anything done, because he didn't want to be forced to toe the party line. Good for him, but that is what happens to libertarians in the main parties: they never get a chance to enact their beliefs.
The lesson from American politics is that when libertarians create parties, they end up undermining liberty by diverting campaigners’ efforts way from the mainstream.

Seriously, Alex, really go fuck yourself.

No one is stopping people like you and The Dude campaigning for Libertarianism from inside the Tory Party except that... well... I don't see much campaigning going on, frankly.

And I don't see much sign of libertarianism coming from the Tories, or from the LibDims. In fact, we can see precisely the sort of libertarianism that is coming from the Tories in the actions of Cameron's creature, Boris Johnson, i.e. less freedom and more nannying.

Fuck campaigning: how best to drive the main parties towards libertarianism? Well, as the head of an economic think-tank, Alex, you will know that incentives matter, right? Good. How do we give the Big Three an incentive? We show them that people are willing to vote for libertarianism: in short, we take votes from them.

Now, you alien-voters can bitch and moan about "wasted votes" and "ensuring another term of Labour" but you know what? Fuck you.

I am sick and fucking tired of voting for a pro-EU, socially-authoritarian, corrupt bunch of bastards: I want to vote for a party that I believe in.
Perversely, the Libertarian Party in the United States has undermined liberty: if it becomes a noticeable minority party, the British equivalent will do the same.

That is a total non sequitur, Alex, and you fucking know it. This is what has dimished liberty in America.
In The Simpsons ‘Treehouse of Horror VII’, one of their annual halloween specials, one of the shorts involves two aliens from outer space. After kidnapping Homer, they learn that to conquer the Earth,all they need to do is kidnap the two presidential candidates, emulate them, and then take over the world.

On the eve of the election, both doppelgangers are stood before a crowd.

‘From the sky comes a scream, as Homer is crashing right into the
Capitol. A few footsteps later, he comes running down the stairs.

Homer: America, take a good look at your beloved candidates. They’re nothing but hideous space reptiles. [unmasks them]

[audience gasps in terror]

Kodos: It’s true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us.


Man1: He’s right, this is a two-party system.

Man2: Well, I believe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.

Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.

[Kang and Kodos laugh out loud]

[Ross Perot smashes his "Perot 96" hat]‘

It is that attitude that has dimished liberty in the US and, thanks for fuckwit alien-voters like you, it is what is diminishing liberty in this country too.

Because, fundamentally, you have three main parties: all are pro-EU, pro-state funding of parties, pro-Welfare State and pro-infantilisation and control of the population. All that they quibble about is what massive fucking proportion of your hard-earned money they should take.

If people like Alex fucking Singleton got their way, those would be your only choices, folks: does that feel like liberty to you? Because it doesn't to me.

And, do you know what, Alex? I'm not alone.

We are not the ones undermining liberty, you stupid cunt; it is people like you, Alex: Tory stooges wearing libertarian pants on the outside of your trousers, in order to disguise your lack of balls.

So, one last time, fuck you, Singleton: you are an enemy of liberty and a total tosser to boot.

UPDATE: entirely coincidentally (even though Singleton is one of the writers there) his article is quote of the day on Samizdata. I am glad to say that the actually libertarian Perry de Havilland does "disagree with Alex completely".

UPDATE 2: Harry Haddock (who is a Libertarian Party member) parodies the article rather well.
‘Why do sensible people start niche parties? For instance, in the UK we have the ‘don’t murder me’ party, when there are already non-murdering sentiments in the mainstream parties. The Tory’s only want to murder your mum, and the Fib Dems promise to think about only murdering your dad. Fringe parties such as this only tarnish the brand with crazy ideas such as ‘let’s not murder anyone’.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Isolationism's Time Has Come

(Note- as will become clear, I am not 'The Devil's Kitchen')
The worldview expressed by Sir Simon Jenkins is often so soggy and precious that it's tempting to have a go at the old Establishment quangocrat, but not today. This is one of those 'more in sorrow than in anger' posts, because Sir Simon seems to be watching that very cultured worldview fall to bits around his ankles.
Perhaps the very title of his piece, 'Once, 'international' sounded saintly. Now it means bureaucracy and waste' should give some idea as to where not only the poor chap's coming from, but where he's going to. 'Saintly', the adverb he deploys so casually, is hardly one suited to the doings of those most beastly and pragmatic entities, nation-states. That I do something with my fellow man for the greater good is a good thing - that I do something with a North Korean solely because I am British and he is North Korean does not necessarily make it a good thing.
Internationalism of the kind Sir Simon describes is a disease. The nation state has been the foundation of all international relations since the Peace of Westphalia. It is here to stay, and the anti-nationalism, either hatred or loathing or despair for one's own nation, which is synonymous with 'internationalism' cannot, will not, ever undermine it.
The British problem is that we have had allowed too many Sir Simons and their ilk to wring their hands about how bad Britain is, and refuse to permit any sense of common civic British identity to develop. This is the real root cause of every significant social problem we face, from the drugs to the knives to Islam. The British are the one people in the world whom you can guarantee will stab each other in the back for a penny; 30 years of multiculturalism, 40 years of religious decline and 150 years of free trade have combined to flush any sense of community out of our souls.
Everything that the British have ever been told about 'free trade' is a lie. It is not a win-win game. It does not make everyone richer. It is ideology, pure and simple. It started off with free trade in corn, and soon became free trade in sugar. All that happened was that slave-produced Cuban sugar was cheaper than that produced by emanicipated Jamaican slaves. Everyone bought the Cuban sugar, the Jamaicans' standard of living fell, and this drop in living standards was one of the main causes of the Bogle Rebellion of 1865.
Oh, but tariffs are bad! Bad!
Tell that to the guys who passed the Safeguarding of Industries Act 1921, a pretty solid plank in the foundations of the country's economic recovery after The Great War.
But, hey, we abandoned it, so that in 1940 the Spitfires that won the Battle of Britain largely flew with American instrumentation.
Now, no doubt some expat libertarian will expat away about 'The Road to Serfdom'. I do not care either about Friedrich von Hayek or his 'Road to Serfdom'. I prefer history to ideology, and the history of free trade as practiced in the United Kingdom has been one of industrial decline married to stupid 'internationalist' sentiment.
Sir Simon and his pals, probably all great globalists (without being able to tell anyone what globalisation actually is), are 21st Century Jellabies. They much prefer to discuss how we must have peace with Bujumbonia through free trade, rather than break a sweat to try to clean up the mess they've helped to make in their own backyards. No more.
Let's have a period of isolation, a period when we can get the both the national head and the national act together. That means getting of Iraq, leaving NATO, stopping mass immigration, leaving the EU and erecting a 25% tariff wall. This will not result in war, calamity or catastrophe, but may result in 'import substitution' - what we can no longer import, we make ourselves; precisely what happened when Malysia refused to heed the IMF's advice during the Asian banking crisis of 1998.
Of course, there are those on both the left and the right who think that the British are either too stupid or too lazy to pull off an economic miracle. Me, I have more faith.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Their Contempt For You Is Total

Author's Note: The author of this post is not The Devil's Kitchen

laws aimed at protecting the consumer from 31 types of scams and 'unfair practices' came into force this week; but no such protection of the taxpayer from the thieving cunts they get to choose between every four years or so looks to be forthcoming.

In fact, there exist among their number members who are so fucking brazen that, following the outcry over the scandalous abuse of expense claims (which, thanks to the tenacity of campaigners like Heather Brooke, were made public in full last week), they are calling for a £23,000 tax-free pay rise to save them having to make expense claims which would then be publicised.

Mr Eugenides' response to the announcement sums my feelings on this up exquisitely:
But I think they do realise. I think they know full well that the cork that keeps our anger in is held in place by the rustiest of wires; that the public see their taxes and cost of living rising, inexorably, like a tide of sewage, threatening to overwhelm them at any moment, while at the very same time our political class is demanding a tax-free, audit-free bung to keep their property portfolios ticking over, and people make the fucking connection, because they - we - are not stupid, and can see that we are being taken for a ride by people whose interest in themselves far outweighs their concern for us. They see this, but they go ahead and ask for the money anyway, because they don't give a flying fuck about you, your anger or your problems, and they don't even care if you know it, because their contempt for you is total.

Their contempt for you, us, "the electorate" is indeed total. Whether it is awarding themselves a pay rise that equates to just under the median yearly salary* of a full-time employee, or selling our sovereignty down the river against our will, or treating us like complete idiots who can't make our own decisions without Government prying on us and/or coercing us to change our behaviour all the fucking time, contempt oozes from about everything they do.

The fact that MPs voted to give themselves more money and to protect themselves from public examination of what they spent all those thousands of pounds of taxpayer's money that they manage to fucking spend above their £60,000+ wage on is no surprise. That the cunts have no fucking shame whatsoever in this regard is hardly headline news, though it is ample justification for the righteous rage the Greek one expresses.

What astounds me, what has me in absolute disbelief that anyone could be taken in so utterly, is that there are people in this crazy community we call the blogosphere that actually think that MPs deserve to be paid more. OK, the 56% on PoliticsHome voting that MPs are paid too little may be a little bit of a red herring - as Guido points out, the poll was of 'political insiders'.

Paulie: What fucking planet are you on? "Do MPs make the right decisions?" Well, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they make quite extraordinarily stupid decisions - taking us into the Iraq war, for example. More recently, the spectacular stupidity of Nadine Dorries MP has been on display for all to marvel at. You think paying MPs more would lead to fewer Nadine Dorries in the House of Commons? Give me a fucking break.

What do MPs do for their employers (the electorate, in case you've forgotten)? Not represent them, that's for sure. The Lisbon Treaty debacle puts paid to that particular myth. 88% of people in favour of a referendum, a referendum that even pro-EU commentators admitted would be lost by the Government. So what do they do? Give 88% a great big middle finger. We don't give a shit what you think, we're going to go and sign it anyway. Because we're your elected betters. Fuck off.

Their contempt for you is total. Never forget that.

* £457 * 52 = £23,764

Europe United

This video gave the normally placid Matthew Sinclair "rage blackouts".

Personally, the whole thing made me want to fucking vomit. And then it gave me rage blackouts. In the spirit of their much vaunted Europe United, I now share this video with you so that we can be united in rage.

And since everyone else is quoting this, I too shall throw it in.
"Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."—Horatio Nelson, to a midshipman aboard the Agamemnon (1793)

Murder them all, the nauseating French bastards...*

* Not because they are French, you understand, but because they are nauseating, fucking naive federasts. I mean, what kind of stupid cunt would associate "democracy" with the European Union?

Sometimes, I wish I was a debt collector

There are times when even contemplating a particular outcome is just too, too beautiful and the possible bankrupting of not only the Labour Party itself, but also the Labour NEC, is one such thing.
Senior officials in the Labour party, including Gordon Brown, could become personally liable for millions of pounds in debt unless new donors can be found within weeks, the Guardian has learned.

The party has five weeks to find £7.45m to pay off loans to banks and wealthy donors recruited by Lord Levy, Tony Blair's former chief fundraiser, or become insolvent. A further £6.2m will have to be repaid by Christmas - making £13.65m in all. The sum amounts to two-thirds of the party's annual income from donations.

The figures are a conservative estimate as they do not include interest that will also have to be paid. A Labour source said that although the total debt was listed as £17.8m on the Electoral Commission website, the true level, with interest, was nearer to £24m.

The possibility that party officials and members of its national executive committee could become liable is being taken seriously by union leaders, and has been underlined by the decision of equity fund chairman David Pitt-Watson not to accept the post as Labour's general secretary.

Though he was Brown's candidate for the post, he declined the offer after receiving independent legal advice that he would be personally liable for repaying the loans and could be bankrupted if Labour's finances collapsed.

The advice from City solicitors Slaughter and May said unequivocally that leading party officials and members of the NEC would be " jointly and severally" responsible for the party's debt.

There are currently thirty-three members of the Labour Party NEC, which means an average possible liability of nearly £730,000 per person. Now, I know that there will probably be a bail-out—the lenders will extend the loan terms, there will be a donation drive or the party will negotiate some bank loan or somesuch—but wouldn't it be fucking amazing to see these arrogant, evil bastards slapped with a debt of nearly a million quid each? It would certainly release some much needed housing into the market, I would imagine.

Now, if the Labour Party goes bankrupt, I don't believe that it has any effect on the government. But let us contemplate, for a moment, the effect on the personal fortunes of people such as Gordon Brown, Economic GeniusTM; could the Gobblin' King stump up £730,000 at short notice, I wonder?

What if the Gobblin' King was forced to declare himself bankrupt? Does anyone know if an undischarged bankrupt is allowed to hold public office?

And—should any of this actually happen—if anyone has any experience of stitching sides back together, could they get over to my place as soon as they hear...?

Brooker on Miliband

Via Politicalog (welcome back, Allan!), I find Charlie Brooker writing his usual tripe, but contained within said excretion are a few lines of amusement. [Emphasis mine.]
According to tradition, you're supposed to get more rightwing as you grow older, as wide-eyed youthful idealism is gradually replaced with growling, frightened, fat-arsed self-interest. I say "gradually", but what worries me is the thought that such a transformation could occur with terrifying speed, a real Damascene conversion. I came close once after glimpsing David Miliband on TV: I couldn't hear what he was saying, but something about his face—just his sodding face—revolted me on a deep and primal level. It was chilling, unsettling—like watching a haunted ventriloquist's dummy slowly turn its head through 360 degrees. "Who is this grinning homunculus," I thought, "and what does he want from me?"

This either means my genes are shifting, or Miliband is a rightwing imposter. Or maybe he's simply not of this world. Perhaps I merely behaved like a farm animal reacting to an extraterrestrial intruder—howling in distress without knowing why.

Ghastly and nightmarish though Miliband may be, he's got nothing on gloomy Gordon Brown, who increasingly resembles a humourless, imposing old butler slowly creaking the mansion door open in a Frankenstein movie. Prime Minister Igor, the shuffling fun-free zone.

Strangely—although it is hinted at in the article's title: "Labour leaders are starting to revolt me as much as Tories always have. Am I becoming rightwing?"—young master Brooker makes no mention of the many rumours of Miliband challenging the Gobblin' King for the leadership of the Labour Party.

But should that day come, I look forward to Charlie's fucking head exploding...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jackie Ashley: stupid, deluded cunt

I found this piece of shit article by the awful, awful Jackie Ashley and contemplated fisking it. I mean, there's so much to rage about in this one paragraph alone!
A perfect chancellor would have seen some of it coming sooner. Perhaps it would have been better to hold more money back for hard times. But almost nobody was against the desperately needed extra cash for schools and hospitals when Brown found it. Everybody wanted to let the good times roll. Consumers and voters of every party - we were all at it. Turning round and pointing at Brown is a little childish.

Fortunately, for I am still a busy little Devil, Prodicus has spent some time ripping Ashley to shreds.
You need to broaden your dinner-party list, Jackie. Include some of the people you patronise, you overpaid, arrogant, insulting, blinkered, out-of-touch, know-nothing-actually, socialist, collaborating, casually-vicious, pathetic, crap-scribbling producer of utter fucking arse-gravy.

Oh, and you can convey the very same sentiments to Polly, next time you two do lunch.

Rather well put, I think...
I have switched back to allowing Anonymous comments.

If the spam keeps coming in again, then I may have to switch it off yet again but I want to continue to make it as easy for people to comment as possible...

Smoking: the new paedophilia

The Flying Rodent asks a very pertinent question...
Do you think that the government could announce an anti-smoking initiative so utterly cretinous that anyone would object?

If, say, a politician suggested that shopkeepers be legally required to deny the existence of tobacco three times before they can sell a pack of cigarettes, would the resultant bill face any opposition in Parliament? I wouldn't be surprised if any politician voting against it found themselves on the front of The Sun under the words Cancer MP Wants To Kill YOUR Children.

Any politician struggling for policy ideas is on a surefire winner with a crackdown on smokers. When the previous government all but promised the country that the ban on smoking in public places would cure death, the newspapers ate it up. Hell, every smoker I know believed it and repeated it with a straight face.

Thus it is with the Scottish Government, who have ensured their popularity throughout their first year by passing practically no legislation at all... But now the pundits have started to ask where the policies are, and as surely as the bus you've spent twenty minutes waiting for follows the click of the lighter, they've coughed up some shiny new anti-smoking proposals.

And—fuck me—they are really fucking stupid bastarding proposals. Do go and read the whole thing.

And drink's next, of course...

There shall be no dissent

Trixy is suitably outraged at the continuing contempt for democracy in the European Union continues, with that odious little cunt, Richard Corbett MEP, leading the charge.
The European Union assembly’s political establishment is pushing through changes that will silence dissidents by changing the rules allowing Euro-MPs to form political groupings.

Richard Corbett, a British Labour MEP, is leading the charge to cut the number of party political tendencies in the Parliament next year, a move that would dissolve UKIP’s pan-European Eurosceptic “Independence and Democracy” grouping.

Under the rule change, the largest and msot pro-EU groups would tighten their grip on the Parliament’s political agenda and keep control of lavish funding.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, claimed that the move goes hand in hand with the denial of popular votes on the new EU Treaty.

”Welcome to your future. This shows an EU mindset that is arrogant, anti-democratic and frankly scary,” he said.

This is utterly unsurprising to those of us who have studied the EU grand projet for any amount of time, of course.

Even Iain Dale seems to have realised that this is a fairly fucking shitty move.
At the moment you need 20 MEPs from one fifth of member countries to form a group and thereby gain the grants. Labour MEP Richard Corbett is proposing a change to increase the threshold to 30 MEPs from a quarter of Member States.

Needless to say the EPP think this is a thoroughly good idea and will no doubt be whipping Tory MEPs to vote for it when it comes before the Parliament on 9 July.

To their credit, the LibDems and Greens are opposing the move. Wouldn't it be nice to think that British Conservative MEPs might also do the same?

Fat fucking chance, Iain; barring a couple of decent people—Helmer, Hannan and Heaton-Harris—the Tory MEPs are absolutely behind the EU project: they would probably still vote this through even if they were whipped to oppose. But then, David Cameron has expressed enduring enthusiasm for the EU—albeit usually couched in economically illiterate terms—so these MEPs are, after all, merely following their master.

Let me emphasise this: a vote for Labour or Tory at the Euro-elections is a vote for the EU; and a vote for the EU is a vote for losing the point of having a vote.

The EU wish to silence those parties which you elected to oppose the EU project; really, don't think that they will think twice about silencing you.

Get used to totalitarianism, people, but make sure that you take advantage of the eventual EU dominance: invest in gulags!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh, here we go again...

Ladies and gentlemen, as a prelude to this post, may I commend to you this video (filmed by Guido, on his mobile) of our ex-DEFRA minister and current Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, at the New Statesman New Media Awards 2006.

Batshit is, of course, quoting this post from The Kitchen and, believe you me, this was a proud moment for your humble Devil (it was at about this time that my head started to swell to its current giant proportions).

I was, of course, ridiculing Batshit's absurd idea of personal carbon points, and I thought that we had heard the last of this poisonous idea. But no, apparently the idea is rearing its ugly head again.
The government should go ahead with a system of personal "carbon credits" to meet emissions targets, MPs have said.

Fuck you, you bunch of corrupt fuckers.
The Environmental Audit Committee said the scheme would be more effective than taxes for cutting carbon emissions.

Under the scheme people would be given an annual carbon limit for fuel and energy use - which they could exceed by buying credits from those who use less.

Naturally, administering this system would entail civil servants prying into every, single aspect of our lives: everything has a carbon cost, everything. For fuck's sake, even breathing has a carbon cost, since we exhale CO2.

Do you really want the government knowing precisely what you buy, when you buy it? Do you want them knowing where you travel, how far and when?

Or do you, like me, have the urge to use some carbon points to get to Westminster and kick the fuckers in the knackers, before hanging all of them using whatever comes to hand?
Ministers said there were practical drawbacks to the proposal...

No shit.
... but they were looking at other initiatives.

Oh, whoopee-fucking-do! Look, this idea was absolutely fucking batshit mad when Miliband proposed it and it is still absolutely batshit insane now.

Longrider comments on this piece of crap too.
Quite apart from the matter of carbon emissions being a disputed cause of the equally disputed anthropogenic climate change, the idea would have been unwieldy and unpopular – and, frankly, it is not the place of government to indulge in social engineering. A quaint idea, I appreciate, but my life is mine, not theirs, I do not report to them, they do not have the authority to decide how I should live my life.

Anyway, enough of the ranting, one of the problems with the idea of carbon trading is that the exiting schemes have already foundered due to collapsing prices. The committee acknowledges that such a scheme imposed on individuals might be unpopular with voters:
The MPs admitted members of the public were likely to be opposed to the move, but urged the government to be “courageous”.

I’m sorry, but what part of “representing constituents” do these people not understand. If their constituents don’t like it—indeed, prove to be vehemently opposed, for instance, then MPs should stop being courageous and listen to the wishes of their employers and do as they are told.

Quite. But, what's this?
Committee chairman Tim Yeo said it found that personal carbon trading had "real potential to engage the population in the fight against climate change and to achieve significant emissions reductions in a progressive way".

Ah yes, Tim Yeo. You might recall that, in January 2007, this fucking little cunt had some more green proposals for us all.
What we should be doing is tackling the domestic flights first. There is no reason at all why people should fly around the UK, fly from London to Edinburgh, London to Scotland, London to Glasgow, London to Manchester, London to Newcastle. Those flights should be knocked out. What we should do is tax domestic flights so heavily and use the money to improve the railways so that in five years time everyone is choosing to go by train within the UK.

I’m not saying they should be banned, but I certainly don’t think we shouldn’t be using them in anything like the volume that we are now.

But I honestly do believe that within ten years there should be virtually no domestic flights.

For fuck's sake, Tim, why don't you just go back to fucking people who aren't your wife and stop screwing the rest of us, you odious little turd?

Because, the thing is that we all know that no matter how expensive Yeo and his cunty mates made internal flights, they would change their habits not one iota: after all, they'd just charge it to the poor fucking taxpayer.

Similarly, you can fucking bet the last penny that Gordo has left in your pocket that MPs would be exempt from these personal carbon points because their work is so very important, you see.
[Hilary "wetter than a really wet thing"] Benn said that the report found the cost of introducing the scheme would be between £700 million and £2 billion, and would cost £1bn-£2bn a year to run.

Does anyone believe these figures? This would be even more far-reaching than those bastard ID Cards and the LSE put a figure of £18 billion on those. For fuck's sake, the government can't even sort out a bloody medical records database for less than £6 billion (and it's going to be nearer £12 billion before it actually gets working).

But what the hell? It's magic money that just falls from the sky, ain't it? You know, it isn't as though we poor bastards have to actually work for it, is it? Oh, just fucking wait a fucking minute...
Environmentalist George Monbiot applauded the scheme.

Well, if ever there were a reason to believe that the scheme is not only unworkable but also morally wrong, it's that George Monbiot—that disgusting little Champagne socialist (he was involved with Gorgeous George Galloway's Respect Party amongst other things)—believes that it's a good thing.

George Monbiot is a cunt of the very first water and he should have a stick shoved up his arse until it is coated in faeces and he should be beaten to death said shitted stick. The same goes for Tim "love child" Yeo.

Fuck, I loathe them all so very much...

The Devil rides out

Your humble Devil has been showing his face at various events recently. In April, I spoke at the Libertarian Alliance's Gold Subscribers Dinner in the private room at Shepherd's Restaurant which, despite its unremarkable exterior, is actually rather good (and co-owned by Michael Caine, I believe).

Guests included Dr Sean Gabb and Dr Tim Evans (both of the LA), Matthew Elliot of the Taxpayers' Alliance, Cara Walker of the Stockholm Network, Dr Richard Wellings of the IEA, Brian Mickelthwait and others. I gave a brief talk on the UK Libertarian Party, why we had formed and what we wanted to achieve, and we then came to a question and answer session. I always enjoy these things and it was a pleasure to be in the company of those who knew where I was coming from: indeed, it was a pleasure to be in the company of those who had heard the word "libertarian"!

"And for my next number, a song originally performed by Westlife..."

Next up was a totally different experience: taking the libertarian view point (and being the "opposer") at a Synergy Project debate on the 1968 riots. This was somewhat unusual, not only because the others onstage had actually taken part in said riots, but also because it was held in a massive club—SEOne in London Bridge—full of slightly weird events. There were bands, people making clay sculptures, a nightclub and a lot of hippy types. The debate didn't start until midnight and your humble Devil must confess that he found the whole thing slightly surreal...

"All your minds are belong to us." Your humble Devil performs an impromptu introduction, extolling the joys of libertarianism to Oxford students.

Finally, the LPUK leadership were in Oxford on Thursday, having been invited to speak at the Trinity College politics society. Your humble Devil had taken the whole day off work (what a treat) and spent much of the day, with the lass, sampling the pubs of Oxford. I had, in fact, forgotten that my favourite brewery, Wychwood, was in Oxfordshire and I spent quite a bit of the time being excited at the beautiful Wychwood ales, including Hobgoblin (possibly my favourite ale), that were on tap in nearly every pub. Hoorah!

As the hour of the debate drew near, Andrew, Tim and myself congregated at the gates of Trinity and made our way to the room in which thirty or so (I guess) students were gathered. Patrick was, alas, slightly delayed and we three had to make an impromptu presentation for a few minutes. Inevitably, your big-mouthed Devil decided to stand, the better to gesticulate wildly, and then our glorious leader arrived and we got properly underway.

Having a bad hair day is not compulsory in LPUK, but it helps...

Notwithstanding my earlier scorn, and ill-prepared though we were, the attendees all listened attentively (or at least politely) and the questions that they asked were sensible and intelligent. Further, there were more than a couple of googlies that were simply were not well prepared enough for; thanks for those, chaps: you have helped us to identify a few areas of policy that we need to think about a little more than we have previously. We finished up at about ten and then few of the students accompanied us to the pub afterwards, where we continued the discussions.

All in all, it was an interesting, informative debate: we learnt a lot! No, seriously. Due to the way in which the party has grown up and developed, i.e. on the web, it is rare for the leadership to all be in the same room: this was only the third time, I think, that this has happened and the first time that it has taken place in a formal environment. Personally, I got a lot out of it; although I may have railroaded the discussion somewhat, I did so in the knowledge that I had people who could take up the slack or fill in the details. I found it an immensely heartening and reassuring experience.

Thanks to Trinity for having us, and thanks to all those who attended...

The Libertarian Party's next appearance will be at a "Day of Freedom" on 23rd June at Farnborough Sixth Form College.
It will be a series of talks on the values of a Libertarian society, and I would be elated if a member of the UKLP could attend, and perhaps give a speech or field a few questions.

The gentleman who invited us runs the formal debating society and brightened my day with this part of his email...
Our motion last week was 'this House would vote UKLP' and me and my partners succeeded in securing a unanimous verdict in favour from the twenty five people in attendance.

If only it were so easy in real life!

Anyway, we—by which I mean myself, Andrew and Simon—shall be there from about half ten in the morning, taking part in various activities and debates for a few hours, I believe. As usual, I am looking forward to it...

My (now deceased) maternal grandparents lived in Farnborough and I haven't been back there in many years; I may have to visit some of my old stomping grounds...

Yet more corruption

Iain Dale has picked up yet another abuse of taxpayers' cash by those absolute fuckers in Westminster.
Imagine you are an MP and your spouse is also an MP. Imagine you get a life insurance policy worth a potential £430,000, which costs £867 per month. Each. Is your first thought...
  1. to get a direct debit from your own bank account like any normal person

  2. to bill the taxpayer

Alan Keen and his wife Ann took option B. The real scandal is that the House of Commons Fees Office approved this transaction. Mr & Mrs Keen will no doubt defend themselves robustly, but whatever their defence is, I suspect it won't wash with their respective electorates.

This is, as far as I am concerned, nothing less than fraud and these fuckers should be prosecuted and imprisoned for the rest of their natural lives.

The other option, of course, would be to hang the venal bastards simultaneously to ensure that neither of them get the payout.

What is so absolutely irritating about this kind of thing is that they will no doubt say that "under the rules" this was entirely legitimate. But the point is that we shouldn't have to have such rules: is it really too much to ask that those who rule us actually don't defraud the taxpayer?

These utter, utter bastards constantly lecture us on how to behave, bitch and moan about "anti-social behaviour" and about "broken societies" and all of that sort of shit; and what kind of example are they setting?

Further, these cunts waffle about how Pete Docherty and Kate Moss are role models for the young and are setting a bad example by very publically taking fuck loads of drugs and that they should think of the chiiiildren and stop. But these scum-sucking cunt-fuck MPs are also leading by example: and their example shows us that fraud and theft are perfectly fine.

I say that we should prosecute both of these cunts and the fuckers in the Fees Office who decided that the Keens' entirely private life insurance payments should be billed to the taxpayer. It is the only way that we are going to put a stop to this disgusting fraud.

This is by no means the only revelation that is going to come to light now that we are going to be able to examine all of their expenses. And no doubt people will whine about how we need to "tighten up the rules"; Iain, for instance, leads with the title, "The House of Commons Fees Office Needs Complete Reform".

No. Fuck that.

Prosecute the bastards: prosecute every single one of them, taking into account that they abused a position of trust, and then flog them through the streets of Westminster before putting them in prison for fucking years.

These people are absolutely fucking disgusting and I hope that they get painfully gang-raped and slowly murdered; they are total bastards.

It is at times like this that I wish that I was a multi-millionaire and I would spend my fortune privately prosecuting people like Alan and Ann Keen. I just don't have the words to express my hatred and disgust for these loathsome people.

I shall, I think, quote the last part of the speech that Cromwell made when dismissing the Rump Parliament, for the words are as relevant today as they were then. [Emphasis mine.]
"It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

"Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

"Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone!

"So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!"

I would make a fantastic dictator and I would be considerably better than the venal, endemically corrupt cunts that currently rule us: I hope that they all die of cancer. And soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eurovision: what a gas!

Although your humble Devil did not watch the whole painful exercise (or even part of it), I see that Russia's entry won the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.

Well, that'll keep the gas flowing for another year then...

I'm a little confused

I'm a scientist by training, so I find the economy a little hard to understand and one aspect of it is confusing me particularly at the moment.

According to Labour the economic prosperity that the country enjoyed following Labour's return to power was all down to Gordon Brown's magical tinkering, I'm not quite sure how raiding our pension funds helped but hey ho.

Now according to Labour the current economic crisis is nothing to do with Gordon and the government, it's all down to global factors that are completely out of their control.

Something does not quite add up to me here, as I say I'm a scientist ignorant of economics, but that does not mean I cannot spot big fat porkies when they're being told.

If it's sunny then it's Gordon's doing, while if it's raining it's the weather that we cannot control, maybe some people just see what they want to see.

On an unrelated topic, I just saw Alan Johnson on the BBC openly stating that polyclinics were not a national initiative, that's strange Alan when it is commonly known that all PCTs have been ordered from above to set up their Darzi polyclinics or else.

I wonder why no one trusts this government. It's raining today, I wonder what Gordon's been up to.

Although it pains me...

... to agree with any Labour minister, "Red" Dawn Primarolo's assessment of Nadine Dorries, whilst necessarily restrained, is entirely accurate.
The hon. Lady has asserted many things to be facts that are not.

In other words, Red Dawn is politely pointing out what we already know to be true: that Nadine Dorries is a fucking liar (and pig-shit thick to boot).

And if you want a comprehensive fisking of the shameful load of old bollocks that Dorries spouted during the abortion debate, I highly recommend that you hie thee over to the Ministry of Truth.

Biting at the ankles of Nadine Dorries and desperately trying to get the taste of stupidity, hypocrisy and dishonesty out of my mouth...

And now, having been utterly defeated, the lying whore-bitch for Mid-Bedfordshire has found that she just cannot stop lying: Bookdrunk reports...
As cheerfully predicted, here's the Daily Mail's Amanda Platell repeating whatever Nadine Dorries has told her without any regard for something so boring as fact-checking:
Mr Brown's whips dragooned their MPs into opposing the change and in one of the more shameful moments in the history of our democracy, Labour

MPs linked arms and formed a human barrier to stop their MPs voting for a reduction. Frank Field was one of the few Labour MPs with the guts and the decency to cross the line and vote with his conscience.

Yes, Frank Field.. and another 40-60 other MPs and junior ministers (including several Labour whips, depending on the vote).

Once more, ask yourself why only Nadine Dorries—and those gullible enough to believe her—is pushing this version of events, and that not a single, solitary other person has yet come forward to support her. On the contrary, we've heard from a pro-life MP who voted with Dorries stating that her claim of a three-line whip is "completely false." Could it be that she is some kind of liar?

Nadine? A liar? How dare you suggest that... Oh, no, wait... Ah, yes, you're right: she is a filthy, stinking, near-pathological liar.

More than that, Dorries really needs to get out more.
Almost everyone I know believes in a God. It may not be the same God as mine, they may not go to the same Church as me, but they do believe in something.

Strangely, Nadine, almost everyone that I know is a committed atheist. Ain't it odd how one tends to associate with people who share one's views...?

Although, of course, she might simply be lying.


P.S. As has been noted elsewhere, Iain Dale has taken to repeating Nadine's lies.

Now, I am sure that Nadine is a wonderful theatre-going companion, Iain, but do yourself a favour and don't believe a word that this moronic fraud utters: you're just going to end up looking silly...

Oh, very unlikely. Er...

UKIP Lord Pearson of Rannoch has attempted to insert an amending clause into the current EU legislation going through the House of Lords.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch (UKIP)

moved Amendment No. 129:

After Clause 2, insert the following new Clause

Notwithstanding any provision of the European Communities Act 1972 (c. 68), nothing in this Act or in the Treaty of Lisbon shall create an offence of xenophobia under which United Kingdom citizens may be prosecuted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere."

Vindico notes that not all of our noble representatives are so decent or, indeed, far-sighted.
Lord Williamson of Horton shows himself to be a despicable creature of monstrous proportions...
I recall that I made a declaration of interest at the beginning of the Committee stage. I intervene briefly on Amendment No. 129 on xenophobia. I think that I have always been very careful and courteous in my interventions during this long Committee stage, but I am inclined to say that this amendment verges a little on the bizarre. The suggestion here that an offence will be created does not seem to me among the more probable events which may result from the ratification of the treaty of Lisbon. If that is the case, as I believe it is, I think that we should abstain from inserting new clauses. We are in the period of discussion in the Committee where we insert new clauses, some of merit and some of less merit. This clause is certainly among the least probable results of the treaty process.

Yep. He thinks it is not really probable and thus we ought not to bother defending the freedoms absolutely. What a wanker.

Not only is he a total wanker, but he is also an uninformed cunt-biscuit; if only Lord Williamson bothered to read The Kitchen (or, indeed, The Telegraph), Lord Williamson might have been aware of the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia.

So what was that again, Lord Williamson? Here's Lord Williamson...
The suggestion here that an offence will be created does not seem to me among the more probable events which may result from the ratification of the treaty of Lisbon.

... and here's the Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia [PDF].

And, once again, here's Lord Williamson...
The suggestion here that an offence will be created does not seem to me among the more probable events which may result from the ratification of the treaty of Lisbon.

... and here's the Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia [PDF].

Do you see what I did there?

Gang warfare

Apparently the odious Jacqui Smith—how is it that I find even her tits offensive?—decided that she'd try to placate the police by announcing a crack-down on gangs. Over at the ASI, Eamonn Butler identifies a few more gangs that the government might consider tackling.
Mind you, there are a number of slightly older gangs that the government could usefully tackle. Like the legal profession, for example, which succeeds in extorting vast amounts of cash from their clients, making it impossible for people to get real justice these days, unless they are very rich (or very poor and eligible for Legal Aid). By restricting the supply of lawyers, they can charge what they like. And the fact that the courts are a state monopoly doesn't help either. Sure, you can go to arbitration on contract disputes. But if someone owes you money, for example, you don't have much choice.

Doctors are another gang that should be tackled. Again, they decide how many people should qualify as doctors. So they don't go out of their way to pass too many. And again, the medical system is a state monopoly. People might not have to pay cash, but they certainly do pay in terms of reduced access, poor service, and lower recovery and survival rates than in many other advanced countries (and some non-advanced ones).

I could go on. There's the Health and Safety gang, which cancels village duck races and stops firemen from using ladders. And another shady group, known as the Quangocracy, which has all sorts of powers to regulate and fine people, without any democratic control. Not to mention the Westminster Gang itself, which is adept and robbing ordinary people in order to line the pockets of their own supporters.

Quite. Especially that last one: the state—the ultimate monopoly...

UPDATE: Martin Kelly (occasionally of this parish and who happens to be a lawyer) in not too impressed...

Breakthrough or broken

I am happy to note that Dizzy has a piece in The Times, which is very lovely.
The Government is planning to introduce a giant database that will hold the details of every phone call we have made, every e-mail we have sent and every webpage we have visited in the past 12 months. This is needed to fight crime and terrorism, the Government claims.

The Orwellian nature of this proposal cannot be overstated. However, there is one saving grace for people who fear for their civil liberties. The probability of the project ever seeing the light of day is close to zero. This proposal - like so many grandiose government IT schemes before it - is technologically unfeasible.

It's rather a pity that I should have come across it via Unity's comprehensive fisking of the piece at Ministry of Truth.
Dizzy’s article is, not to put too fine a point a on it, an embarrassment from start to finish; and I say that not just as a political blogger but as an inveterate techie who’s worked, in the past, as a system administrator for a multinational corporation.

It could, conceivably, have been a good, informative piece on the proposed Communications Data Bill, which Gordon Brown announced last week as part of the government’s draft legislative programme for 2008/9, and perhaps it would have been had Dizzy managed to do even the most basic research into the background to the bill. But, as often seems to be the case with Dale and his little coterie of party hack bloggers, concepts like doing research and backing up your arguments with evidence are of little consequence when there’s a seeming opportunity to get in a cheap shot at the government. As a result, Dizzy’s big break turn out to amount to nothing more than a by the numbers exercise in overblown rhetoric, tendentious speculation and cod science fiction which describes an ‘Orwellian’ database system that exists only his own febrile and increasingly erratic imagination.


The central contention that Unity puts forward is that the database, that Dizzy dismisses as "a pipedream", is far from being too complicated to implement.

Your humble Devil would, of course, never describe himself as sys admin or even a techie, and Unity may well be right that this project is, essentially, nowhere near as complicated as Dizzy makes out.

However, I'll still go with Dizzy's contention that this government would still bugger it up...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Whither now (upon the vine)...?

Gordon Brown: "I am in control. I am in control! Shut up, shut up, shut up! I AM IN CONTROL!"

It has taken ten of hours for me to stop laughing at NuLabour's absolute fucking kicking at the Crewe and Nantwich bye-election, when their turkey-necked toffee-nosed liar presided over a substantial swing to the Tories. Whilst I hold no candle for the blue-rosetted bunch of lying cunts, it has been delicious seeing NuLabour get a good un-lubed seeing-to.

But now people are speculating that Gordon Brown cannot continue and, indeed, his position looks pretty darn rocky. But let's face it, in order for the dour Scots cunt to be forced out, someone is going to have to challenge him for the leadership—and who the hell is stupid enough to do that?

NuLabour are up against it; they have spent money like a drunken sailor on ten years shore-leave and now, as the economy takes a downturn, there's nothing in the kitty. Far from "putting an end to boom and bust", the Gobblin' King has (like most previous Labour governments) bankrupted the country.

Even the sheep that make up the general British population are starting to wake up to the continual assaults on their personal freedoms—especially as the state cracks down harder on their past-times, i.e. booze and fags—and there are mutterings of rebellion even in "safe" Labour seats (as we have seen).

Challenging to lead the Labour Party at this stage would be like volunteering to eat a turd sandwich: it going to be deeply unpleasant (and possibly dangerous) at the time and afterwards you are never going to be kissed ever again.

Your humble Devil reckons that no one will challenge Brown and he will limp on until either he reaches the end of his term. No one in the Labour Party will force an early election: they know that many of them will lose their seats and those in most danger will now dedicate their remaining months in Parliament to filling their boots from taxpayer funds and lining up cosy sinecures to keep them in champagne after they are forced from office.

The whole situation would be unbelievably entertaining were it not for the fact that they will probably manage to do an awful lot of damage before they are finally beaten from their cosy Westminster Village.

Oh yes, and the shits who will replace them will be little better...

UPDATE: The Daily Mash nails the mood beautifully...

BRITAIN last night told the prime minister it was getting really quite late while making a big fuss of cleaning up the living room.

As Gordon Brown started yet another story about meeting Bono, Britain put its hand gently on his back and laughed saying, 'well that's just great - did you have a coat, by the way?'.

But despite Britain's wife collecting the empty glasses as noisily as possible, Mr Brown continued to sip slowly at his white wine before suggesting Britain put some more music on.

Britain has now spent the last two hours looking at its watch and pointing out that it has to be up at 6.30.

A guest who stays too long at a party? Yep, that sounds like Brown...

Iz not the teechaz folt. Itz de langwage.

I can't seem to find it online, but The London Paper carried a story yesterday on the inbility of Britons to spell common words, such as "embarrassed", "liaison", "separate" and "friend".
Half of all Britons can't even spel [sic]

... screamed the headline, wittily.

Naturally, the usual suspects—such as computer spell-checkers—were held up for blame, but the really stupid fucking comment came from John Gledhill of the Spelling Society (of which, more later).
"It's not the fault of the teachers, nor of the students, but of the archaic spelling system which they have to learn," he said.

"In effect, we are still using 16th-century spelling for a 21st-century language."

John Gledhill is a stupid fucking cunt; of course it is the fault of the teachers and of the students that they are unable to spell their own language: in fact, it's a fucking disgrace.

Amongst other things, Samuel Johnson published the first English Dictionary—in an attempt to standardise spelling—on 15 April 1755, so, whilst there may have been some changes, it isn't as though the students are being caught out by a mutable standard, is it?

So, yes, it is the fault of teachers and students.

However, all is not as it seems. You see, I thought that John Gledhill might simply be a disingenuous prick, frightened of annoying the teaching lobby. But no, John Gledhill has an agenda.

"How so?" I hear you ask. After all, from its monicker, surely one would assume that the Spelling Society is dedicated to ensuring the correct construction of the English language?

Um, no. For the Spelling Society is not quite what it seems.
The Spelling Society started in 1908 (as the Simplified Spelling Society), and has the aim of raising awareness of the problems caused by the irregularity of English spelling and to promote remedies to improve literacy, including spelling reform. The Spelling Society publishes leaflets, newsletters, journals, books and bulletins to promote spelling reform of the English language.

Or, to put it another way, the Spelling Society is an organisation with a vested interest in "proving" that the people of Britain cannot spell their own language.

I am pretty sure that many of them cannot, but this is a failure of our education system, not of our language. Further, your humble Devil does not support imposed systems of language any more than he does of government; the near-infinite subtlety of the English language is, in part, derived from the roots that influence the spelling of words.

The Spelling Society argues that, without our somewhat idiosyncratic constructions, children (won't somebody think of the children?)—especially those who are dyslexic (won't somebody think of the disabled children? If only our spelling was different, maybe Tiny Tim could be saved...)—would no longer have to be taught spelling (why?) and they could do more constructive things instead.

Thus, the SS argue for a simplification of the language. But, on the flipside, I have not needed to spend my precious time expanding my vocabulary by rote, for my knowledge of Latin and Greek allow me to ascertain the likely meaning of complicated words without actually having to sit down and learn them. Hence, our spelling system has saved me time.

Thus, I believe that the fulfillment of the Spelling Society's aims would, in fact, directly lead to a debasement and contraction of the English language and thus conjure a far duller world described with a paucity of linguistic allure.

And, at any rate, the SS should certainly be declaring their interest in an article such as that which appeared yesterday, rather than using a name that deliberately gives the impression that their perceived aims are the very opposite of the actuality. So fuck you John Gledhill, and fuck the Spelling Society.

Oh, and teachers?—don't think that you are off the hook, you useless fuckers...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Achmed The Dead Terrorist

This is deeply, deeply wrong but also very funny...

"Silence! I keell you!"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

There's a lot of spam around at the moment, so I am temporarily disabling Anonymous comments. Apologies to commenters: I shall reinstitute open access when things have calmed down slightly.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Libertarianism 101

Falco lays out the principles of Libertarianism very clearly. Like your humble Devil, he tends to concentrate on the Consequentialist argument, rather than the Rights Theorist argument.
Libertarianism is grounded in the belief that Negative Liberty is paramount. You are free to do as you wish, use and dispose of your property as you wish, (including your body), provided that you do not interfere with the Liberties of others in the process.

The result of this is that you are both free to act and responsible for those actions. You are free to get drunk for instance but if you hit someone while inebriated you are just as guilty as if you had done so while sober.

Libertarianism, almost by definition, requires a small government. Large enough to enforce justice and defend against those who would interfere with your rights but not so large as to spend its time interfering itself.

Do go and read the whole pithy post...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Food for a foolish thought

What the hell? Are these people moronic idiots or total fucking chimps? In other words, are they fucking thick or fucking thick?
They observe that "petrol tanks and stomachs were competing well before biofuels were proposed to tackle climate change," since transportation and industrial agriculture are both premised on cheap fossil fuel.

Well, yes. So far, so good. But the following is quite simply so staggeringly ignorant that it's bordering on the insane...
One way to tackle the competition for a scarce resource is to change transport policy—a shift towards walking and cycling would reduce both the demand for fossil fuel, and secondarily mean that there were fewer overweight people, thus driving down the need for food.

Um... No.

Look, the body is a machine: like any machine, if the body needs to do more work—walking, cycling, juggling puppies whilst riding a unicycle up a slight incline, or whatever—then it is going to need more fuel in order to power the machine to do said work.

Now, one might argue that obese people could use their greater reserves of stored energy to power that work—although, actually, one has to ensure that they are doing the right sort of work in order to utilise energy through the desired metabolic pathway—but the chances are that they will not (or not to a greater degree than before).

However, unless one targets only fat people—by banning them from driving or taking the bus or something equally illiberal, unworkable and generally fantastical—you are also going to be encouraging—or, knowing this bunch of fuckers, forcing—those who are not obese (still the majority of the population, believe it or not) to do more work and they will need more food in order to fuel the increased level of work.

Given the current conflicts between food-growing space and that turned over to biofuels, in practice, this actually means more starving Africans. Further, it also means yet more environmental damage (if you are a climate change alarmist).
In fact, there’s been one researcher who claims that using your car to go to the shop is "more efficient" than walking, as the calories you need for the walk take more emissions to create than the petrol gives off.

So I’m a little confused here. My understanding is that farming plus the inefficiencies of human conversion of food into energy mean that exercising, that walking and cycling, will increase food demand, not reduce it. If that’s correct, then what are these people talking about?

Well, quite. Morons.

Tube philosophy

Here's a photo, taken by John Band, at King's Cross St Pancras.

As John says, I'm not sure that Boris would approve. Mind you, none of our politicians would...

Why don't you voluntarily fuck off?

I'm a bit late on this but it seems that this kind of bullshit just won't go away.
A voluntary code of conduct for bloggers and internet commentators is supported by almost half of all internet users, a survey has claimed.

The researchers said 46 per cent of web users believe bloggers should agree to a set of guidelines which reflected the laws on defamation, intellectual property rights and incitement.

Four per cent strongly opposed the suggestion and 15 per cent had no opinion.

Well, fuck me ragged: a whole bunch of people who use the internet think that gagging free speech is a good thing.

Well, you can count me—like The Englishman and Longrider (both of whom are worth reading)—amongst the 4% who strenuously fucking object to this. I cannot make this any clearer than I did last time, so I'll spell it out.

Fuck. Off.

Quite apart from the survey's suspect provenance—it was funded by a law firm, surprise sur-fucking-prise—we don't need a "voluntary code" that reflects "the laws on defamation, intellectual property rights and incitement" because, you see, we already have an involuntary code: it's called "The Law" and we are subject to it as much as any other publishers are.

As we all know, British libel law is a fucking joke anyway; Britain has now become a haven for "libel tourists" and, as many people have pointed out, we have no Constitution protecting our right to free speech in this country (meaning, of course, that we don't have that right at all).

Plus, naturally, the media have presented this report in a thoroughly disingenuous way: head over to Ministry of Truth for the full evisceration...

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...