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Oscar Wilde Syndrome.

I trained as a Lawyer and my advice to anyone who is thinking of suing any person or organisation for Libel, even if you have been libeled, but especially if you haven’t, is don’t. Take it on the chin, ignore it and move on with your life. Under British Law it is much to much of a gamble either way, as the outcome of this court case today shows.

I have no idea whether Mitchell called the PC a fuckin pleb or not, and could care less. It is not a criminal offence after all. By all accounts Mitchell is a nasty piece of work who is ideally suited to the job of Chief Whip where being a bully is an absolute plus. He was nicknamed “Thrasher” Mitchell when he was a Prefect at Rugby Public school (yes the same one as the fictional Flashman… you just can’t make it up can you?). But there are some very disquieting aspects to the whole “Plebgate” affair.

First; there is the fact that one Police Officer has been jailed for obstructing the course of justice (presumably the one who pretended to be a member of the public who was just passing by and was “shocked” by Mitchell’s language, and just happened to email the Cabinet office using almost word for word what PC Rowland says Mitchell ranted at him, when he wasn’t there at all). Second; that three other Protection Officers have been sacked. And third; that another five are on gardening leave and under investigation, yet the Honourable Justice Mittings finds that there is obviously no conspiracy against Mitchell. Oh fuckin really??

On the balance of probabilities (not beyond reasonable doubt) which is how this case was decided, the good Judge found that…

‘I am satisfied at least on the balance of probabilities that Mr Mitchell did speak the words alleged or something so close to them as to amount to the same including the politically toxic word pleb’.
And the Judge then goes on to virtually insult the PC again…

Pc Rowland was ‘not the sort of man who would have had the wit, imagination or inclination to invent on the spur of the moment an account of what a senior politician had said to him in temper’

So which do you prefer then PC Rowland, being called a fuckin Pleb, or thick and unimaginative by a High Court Judge?

And the High Court Judge in question, has a bit of form for being an anti establishment dripping wet Liberal.

Oscar Wilde was a bloody fool to sue for Libel, it destroyed him, and the same has happened to Andrew Mitchell. The court costs are going to be eye-watering. And all he had to say in the first place was… Yes I called him a fuckin Pleb, because he is a fuckin Pleb! What of it?

Nasty politics

We’ve see some pretty nasty and hypocritical politics this week from the Labour Party, this time in the form of Tristram Hunt. You rather get the sense that Tristram doesn’t like private schools which is a bit surprising really.
Tristram is the son of Julian, Baron Hunt of Chesterton who was the Labour leader of Cambridge City Council in the early 1970’s. Now despite this, Julian seems to have decided to send Tristram to University College School in leafy Hampstead. UCS as its known is in the Eton Group of schools which includes Eton, Westminster, and Marlborough. You get the point; it’s one of the elite of UK independent schools.
Obviously having enjoyed such privilege, the clear thing to do would be to write a biography of, er, Friedrich Engels. Anyway, the various goings on self-hating champagne socialists who enjoy easy lives in broadcasting aren’t terribly interesting.
However, what made me sit-up was the proposal that independent schools must “earn their way” This was rather baffling because I thought they already did. Now it’s true they enjoy charitable status which means the fees are a bit lower than they would otherwise be. This puts some of the schools in the range of ordinary people as well as Barons. Perhaps not the near six grand a term UCS want for their senior school, but some of the schools are do-able.
So what do independent schools actually do? Well they educate about 7% of UK kids. That alone you might think would justify the charity status. The UK state system would simply be overwhelmed if all of these kids entered state schools. This won’t happen. The proposal won’t finish off UCS or other elite schools, but it might hit the more marginal ones who charge lower fees. So parents poorer than Tristram’s dad would lose this option and be forced back into the state system.
They educate the children far better than the state manages, thereby raising general educational standards. Another benefit you might imagine. They educate children from abroad which is in a sense, a type of export (as it brings in foreign currency) so this helps the balance of payments, another benefit. Private school kids despite being 7% of the population accounted for 50% of gold medals at London 2012 and that was apparently a big deal to government types for some reason.
For me anyway, most important of all, they offer an escape route for people who see the state system and think “not in this fucking lifetime” And that’s what they really don’t like. The independent sector puts parents in control, not politicians.

Dolores of — Lures? A “What I Should Have Said” Story

Over at Libertarian Home, Rocco has put up “The Parable of the Lures and Fishes.” This reminded me of a hook that has been stuck in my craw for some years, and I find myself lured into venting. Hence this infuriating tale. Fellow Felines, sharpen your claws and gather round.

For close to a score of years I have had occasional bouts of war with hordes of vandalistic raccoons who think it clever to tear holes in my roof and set up housekeeping in my attic, destroying whatever is up there, including the insulation. This would have resulted in Total War, except that there are very important laws prohibiting Total War against raccoons, the poor defenseless things. I mean, I certainly feel for the homeless, some of them anyway, but, well, think 410 A.D. & ff.

As a result, there are ongoing great waves of invasion. At one point the Licensed Trappers put a trap (enclosure trap, cage snaps shut if critter isn’t careful, no harm to coon, who then enjoys a pleasant stay of several days at a lovely Sanitarium and Spa — observation, medical treatment if necessary, company’s own water, meals free, all mod. cons. — before being released into the wild, at least 50 miles away) — Ahem. Yes, put a trap right next to the entry the latest gang had torn into the roof. One of them took the bait and was trapped, I tell you, TRAPPED!!! He disapproved of this and sent a loud SOS to Dolores Umbrage, who has resided next door for a quarter century (seems like a quarter of a millenium) and whose raison d’être is to Snoop & Snitch. Antennae quivering with excitement, she got it loud & clear, and when the trapper came to remove the raccoon, she came over and gave him jolly what-for.

I discovered this as she was walking down the driveway toward her own place. I asked the trapper what was going on. He explained.

As this was the third or fourth instance of Dolores’s executing her mission at our expense, and creating entirely unnecessary legal troubles — one of them seriously damaging — I thought I should have a talk with her. I went and asked her wotthehell. She said, I kid you not:

“That poor thing was screaming in that cage, which is too small for it, and the trap was put there to LU-U-URRE him! He wouldn’t have been there otherwise. It never should have been up there in the first place.”

This left me utterly nonplussed. I wish I could report that I replied assertively with something intelligent, but as she is a vindictive b**** who loves causing real trouble for people (and not just us!), I didn’t want to tell her exactly what I thought of her. I should have told her the obvious: The trap was THERE because it’s directly in front of the door to the current Raccoon Hotel. “How about I send ‘em over to your house, honeylamb? How about you house the poor dears for awhile. I hope you know a good roofer.” Good grief!

I delivered a brief statement on the necessity of tolerance when people must live close to one another (well, it IS related!) and went back home. The trapper was just finishing up. He says their company gets calls every day from Animal Control, who have been notified by one or another of Dolores’s spiritual brethren of just such dreadful acts by the trappers. He said Animal Control is used to this and doesn’t take it seriously.

What a relief.

Ghastly and futile

The latest killings in the Synagogue in West Jerusalem are profoundly depressing. It goes without saying, (but say it I will), the acts were evil acts of nihilistic murder, wholly without any justification. Anyone sane condemns this kind of thing without qualification as I do.

Neither do I shed any tears that the perpetrators were killed at the scene by Israeli police. This act, and those like it, do present a serious problem however. The perps were clearly prepared to die, indeed in the death worship cult that is radical Islam, a martyr’s death is seen as a reward in some way.

So what can the state do about this phenomenon? Well they can tighten security to a degree, but as I understand it, it’s already pretty tight in Israel. A determined, armed man who is prepared to die will almost always be able to take out a few people before he dies.

And so, there is talk about re-enacting the old house demolition policy that was abandoned in the mid 2000’s. The argument now goes “Well Saddam isn’t around to fund the rebuilding of the family houses and it may act as a deterrent against future attackers if they know their family will suffer”

I don’t believe in collective punishments, but setting aside the argument for a moment, there maybe something to this as a deterrent concept.

I make no judgment, but I do have a question. Should the law apply to everyone equally or not? Should some people be above the law ?

You may remember Mohammed Abu Khdeir the Palestinian teen who was kidnapped and murdered in a revenge attack against an earlier kidnapping of three Israelis. Should the killers of Mr Khdeir have their family homes destroyed? Yes or No?

The top management of Tesco supermarkets are cowards who have given in to demands for censorship.

The often attacked British press is, in reality, one of the glories of this country. In the United States the normal pattern is for there to be a single dominate newspaper in a town or city and for it to reflect the “liberal” left ideology of the education system (the “Schools of Journalism” and so on) – with, by and large, the only choices being to read the leftist line, presented as “objective, scientific, journalism” or read no newspaper. There is the New York Post, which gives an alternative view of New York and other matters, and the financial and business newspaper the Wall Street Journal (both owned by Rupert Murdoch – which is why the totalitarian left hate him, as he is basically all that stands in their way of gaining a leftist monopoly in the press), but there is little other dissent. Just as on television basically the only dissent from the leftist line is “Fox News” (also owned by Mr Murdoch) with all other television stations reflecting the leftist line.

In the United Kingdom things are very different. There are many newspapers on the left – such as the “I” and the “Independent” and the “Guardian” and the “Daily Mirror” and the “Financial Times” (anyone who thinks a financial and business newspaper can not be on the left has never met the “FT”), but there are also many newspapers on the “right” (in the conservative or old style liberal sense – not the socialist Fascist sense) – such as the “Daily Telegraph”, the “Express”, the “Daily Mail” and the “Sun”. However, annoying the press may be at times this diversity in the press is one of the glories of this country and people who hate it are like people who hate the Queen or Winston Churchill – they really hate Britain.

The left, at least the totalitarian left, seek constantly to destroy the free press in the United Kingdom. For example with the financial backing of, son of Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, Max Mosley (who won a libel case against being accused of being involved in a Nazi themed prostitute event – although he was involved in a Nazi themed prostitute event, work-that-one-out), the left ran a campaign against the newspapers. The left also used a claim in the Guardian newspaper that employees of the Sun newspaper had deleted messages on a murdered girl’s mobile telephone (a claim that turned out to be FALSE – they did “hack” the telephone, in the hope of getting information that would help them crack the case, but they did NOT delete any messages) to get Prime Minister Cameron’s government to impose some censorship on the press. “Hacking” mobile telephones was already illegal (and was done at least as much by Daily Mirror people as by Sun people – but the left does not care about that), and the new censorship rules will not make “hacking” any more illegal – but the left’s objective is censorship, the case of the murdered little girl was just a means-to-an-end to the totalitarian left. And Mr Cameron went along with some of what they wanted (partly because he was embarrassed at employing a person who had once been involved in telephone “hacking” himself) – and he should be ashamed of that.

It should be pointed out that the “Sun” and the, now closed down,”News of the World” are-were Rupert Murdoch newspapers. The leftist campaign against them was nothing to do with them “hacking” telephones more than the leftist “Daily Mirror” people did (they did not “hack” more than Daily Mirror people did) – it was a way of attacking Mr Murdoch, whom (as I have already pointed out) the left see as the main barrier in their way of creating a leftist monopoly in the media of the United States – yes the campaign in Britain was really, in part, about the United States.

However, evil never sleeps and the left have moved on. Far left activist groups have now pushed the management of Waitrose and Tesco supermarkets to physically cover up newspapers.

What exactly has the Tesco chain of supermarkets agreed to do? They have agreed to cover up all but the titles of newspapers that are on sale. The totalitarian leftist activist groups have claimed this will “protect” children (it is always “the children”) from seeing bare breasts. However, women with no tops on are a tradition of page THREE of the Sun newspaper – not the front page, there are no bare breasts on the front page (although there are bare breasts on show in art galleries – no doubt the totalitarian left will now try and get paintings and statues banned, at least if “the children” are their real concern……..).

The cat is let out of the bag by the boasts from the totalitarian left of getting “offensive” headlines covered up – not “just” photographs, HEADLINES.

This makes it clear what this campaign is really about – it is about suppressing, literally “covering up”, any OPINION the left does not like. It is the same sort of thing as the Frankfurt School of Marxism “Political Correctness” or “Critical Theory” that now dominates the education system – turning students into brainwashed zombies who will not tolerate any non “Progressive” opinions.

The evil groups behind the censorship of the press campaign are tiny – organisations such as “Child’s Eyes” and “Stop Page Three” have few members, they could not win any elections. But they do not have to enforce their totalitarian desires by winning elections – not when they are dealing with spineless cowards.

Tesco supermarkets, like so many corporations, is a bureaucracy without any real powerful individual share owners any more. The hired managers are responsible to other hired managers (at Pension Funds and so on – institutional share owners) and they basically want a “quiet life” – they have no passion for what they do, and they have no courage, no principles for which they will risk their jobs. Besides they are mostly ex university students – with all the leftist indoctrination (brainwashing) that a modern school and university “education” implies.

These hired managers at Tesco face ruthless leftist fanatics – who are prepared to do anything, anything at all, to enforce their desire for censorship, so the easy thing to do is to SUBMIT. And, besides, with their “educated” background a lot of the managers half agree with the leftist fanatics – with the totalitarian bullyboy (and bullygirl) censors.

It is difficult not to despair.

Sir William Blackstone – the beginning of the intellectual collapse of liberty?

However, good an 18th century university administrator and judge Sir William Blackstone may have been, and however personally well disposed he may have been to liberty and property, the rights of the latter being the essential foundation for the former, his doctrine of the Sovereignty of Parliament was radically subversive of the principles of liberty – leading, in the short term, to war with the American colonies, and, in the longer term, the undermining of liberty in Britain and elsewhere.

The central “Whig” principle is that there are some things that the ruler or rulers, Kings or Parliaments, may not do – that natural law – natural justice to-each-their-own-liberty, expressed in the Common Law and other traditions, forbids fundamental attacks on liberty and property, either by private criminals or by the government.

This was the position of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke in “Dr Bonham’s case”, it was the position of Ralph Cudworth and others against the unlimited government doctrine of Thomas Hobbes (whose mentor was that servant of unlimited government “The New Atlantis” Francis Bacon – the great enemy of Sir Edward Coke) who held that humans were not moral agents, and it was the position of Chief Justice Sir John Holt and the other “Old Whigs” of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Sir William Blackstone’s doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty destroys this Whig foundation stone of liberty – destroys it utterly. Blackstone might pay lip service to the principles of natural law, the legal principles of Cicero and the view of humans as moral agents of Aristotle, but his doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty negates them. If the “legislature” can do anything it likes – then liberty is naught, and natural law is just an empty term. Things are reduced to the level of the Roman Empire – where no legal thinker denied, in theory, that liberty and natural law, natural justice – to each his own liberty, existed, but held that positive law, the will of the Emperor, trumped them – which was the same, in practice, as denying that the rights of liberty and property existed at all.

Blackstone may be held up as one of the great Common Law thinkers – but his fundamental conception of law was essentially Roman, and that of the Roman Empire, just with a Parliament in place of an Emperor.

Many Americans, holding to old Whig principles, were profoundly shocked and rejected the principle of Blackstone, and those who held the same view, – but in Britain it carried all before it.

The principle of Blackstone simplified law by holding that, at a fundamental level, law is whatever Parliament and Francis Bacon “lions UNDER the throne” style judges say it is – with no appeal to natural law, natural justice (to each his own – liberty) principles against them.

It also flattered Parliament (Thomas Hobbes had always said that the supreme unlimited ruler could be one person or a group of people – thus hedging his bets in terms of the Civil War by trying to flatter both sides, like Francis Bacon before him, he would be a lickspittle apologist for whoever was in power) – it gave them delusions of grandeur, indeed of infallibility, and made them unwilling to compromise with the American colonists. After all the law was whatever they, Parliament, said it was – they were Gods upon this Earth who could do no wrong. At least that is how his doctrine was, inevitably, interpreted. So war was made inevitable – and with war the division of the English speaking peoples, a division that continues to this day.

The tradition of the Bill of Rights, American or British, runs directly counter to this doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty – which is why the British Bill of Rights, oh yes it once existed, is not much talked about any more. What is the point of talking about the right to keep and bear arms – if Parliament can take away this right with a statute? It means that the right, for all practical purposes, is negated. Ditto freedom of speech or anything else. If Parliament wishes to, for example, “redistribute” the property of the Duke of Portland this may be sad – but he has no rights against the “legislature”. As Mark Twain was later to say, but not as PRAISE, that “no man’s life or property is safe when the legislature is in secession” the legislature being the only true “criminal class” in United States – the fact that British opinion would have been shocked by a statement like this in the 19th century shows how much damage the doctrine of Sir William Blackstone and others had done – spread by Victorian legal writers such as Maitland, who pretended (with breath taking dishonesty) that not a single Act of Parliament in history had ever been fundamentally unjust or irrational.

By the 19th century more and more people were starting to use the words “the State” in the same awe struck way that German philosophers had in the time of Frederick the Great and before. The State seen as some sort of God on Earth, with, in this case Parliament, being seen as at least semi divine – infallible.

Sir William Blackstone may not have shared some of the “new”, there are actually ancient precedents for its errors, philosophy that was bubbling up like a witch’s brew in his time – but he opened the door for it. David Hume had made his name by being “sceptical” about everything (whether he really was, or whether it was a performance, to wake people from their dogmatic slumbers, is something I will not try to answer here), even the most obvious self evident things such as the existence of the self (the “I”) as a moral agent. If nothing was secure, if there were no principles that one could “prove”, if even the existence of oneself, as a moral agent free to choose to do otherwise than we do was in doubt, what would step into the chaos? Why the state of course – “the euthanasia of the Constitution” the end of “Whig”, Old Whig, principles. This philosophy horrified some Tories – such as Dr Johnson, who expressed his horror when someone said to him that both he and David Hume were Tories. Dr Johnson believed in the principles of Church and King because he believed they were true, objectively true, not because he believed that nothing was objectively true – that is why the Tory Dr Johnson was more of a friend of the Old Whig Edmund Burke than he was of political “allies” such as David Hume.

Jeremy Bentham, and the rest of the “Bowood Circle” of Lord Shelborne (Lord Shelborne, Sir William Petty kinsman of that other Sir William Petty – the friend of Thomas Hobbes, who wanted to mathematically “plan” Ireland in totalitarian fashion) had nothing but contempt for the principles of the Old Whigs – which were “nonsense on stilts”.

13 departments of State should control most aspects of life, according to Bentham – in this way the “greatest happiness of the greatest number” would be achieved, and pleasure and pain (not traditional right and wrong) should be the only guides to policy. If wickedness produced more “pleasure” than “pain” then it was not evil it was good – so if, according to Bentham, control of most aspects of life via 13 departments of State produced more pleasure than pain then it was to be done – and no silly “old rights” allowed to stand against it. The interests of “the people” trumped the silly (indeed “nonsense on stilts”) old rights of individual persons. The fact that this is a “category mistake” that, for example, one does not work out whether rape or gang rape is morally wrong by sitting down with a “calculator of pleasure and pain” to try and work out if the pleasure of the rapist or rapists was greater or lesser than the pain of the victim, escaped Jeremy Bentham. He made the elementary mistake, which would be shameful even in a young child, of mistaking “good” as in pleasure, with “good” as in moral (as they are the same word they must mean the same thing – NO THEY DO NOT). Just because it may be pleasant to torture someone to death it does not mean that it is morally good to torture someone to death – and this has nothing to do with the pain of the victim being greater than the pleasure of the murderer.

This is the principle of the French Revolution, of Rousseau – not of the Old Whig American Revolution. It is why the French Revolutionaries did not believe that their murdering, plundering, rape and other crimes were crimes at all – as the “welfare of the people” trumped, negated, everything else.

And the belief of Bentham and others in intellectual government administrators taking control of various aspects of Civil Society harks back to Sir William Petty and Francis “The New Atlantis” Bacon, and may even have been foreshadowed by Thomas Cromwell in the reign of Henry VIII – although his schemes, on education and so on, came to naught.

The “liberals” who followed Bentham, there were other factions of liberals of course, included people such as James and John Stuart Mill who endorsed the views on land of David Ricardo, which led to people attacking the rights of property – down with the Duke of Portland and other “Old Whigs” I bet he did not “justly acquire” his property, and he expects rent and rent is evil. This view was refuted by Frank Fetter a century ago, but one still hears it – just as one still hears demands that the state expand the money supply to maintain a “stable price level” as if Frank Fetter had never refuted Irving Fisher (let alone the absurd Lord Keynes).

And there was the Labour Theory of Value, also an interpretation of Ricardo, that holds that factory workers and so on are “exploited” – if private landed estates are, somehow, wrong and large scale non-landed property (factories and so on) are also, somehow, wrong – then the old Whig principles have been utterly destroyed there is nothing left, apart from empty chanting of the words “freedom” and “liberty” (as “liberals” still do today) based on no foundations, philosophical or other.

Of course there is a good side to both James Mill and to John Stewart Mill – but there is also a bad side, a very bad side. And it must not be hidden away – because it did great damage.

A liberal of the 19th century “Westminster Review” type (not other types) may have hoped if nothing is objectively true then there is no justification for state attacks on liberty, and may have held that denying everything, including selfhood, is the ultimate freedom – but, in reality, someone who believes that nothing is objectively true is likely to seek the STATE to fill the void (the “myth” of William James, Sorel or Mussolini). Besides the state NATURALLY expands (those who have power seek to use it – the “Dark Side” tempts them) – and if there are no principles to oppose them with……….

And Sir William Blackstone, whatever his intentions were, has in practice helped get rid of the principles limiting the state – by getting rid of all principles limiting Parliament.

“Ah but Paul – Blackstone trusted Parliament to limit the state” – then he was profoundly foolish and also ignorant, not understanding the typical nature of such statutes as the one that Sir Edward Coke struck down in “Dr Bonham’s Case” – where it was held that someone practicing a trade without a piece of paper called a “license” could not be a crime, because it was not aggression against anyone. The fact that the “Royal College” had both King and Parliament backing it, being irrelevant. If this is a crime whose person or possessions has Mr Bonham attacked? He has attacked no one – so him not buying a “license” CAN NOT be a crime.

Ditto the “Stature of Labourers”, seeking to enforce serfdom, and a thousand other wicked, and unlawful, statutes of Parliament.

But it is more than this – the decline of the respect for Parliament, and there has been such a decline, has not led to the restoration of the principles of the Old Whigs – far from it.

The worship, and “worship” is the right word, has been transferred from Parliament and Congress, Prime Ministers and Presidents – to an ideal state, the public power, “the people” which will impose “Social Justice” (the opposite of real justice – to each their own). Modern “political philosophers” say that they DO believe in liberty, in freedom against elected politicians – but, it turns out, that their “rights” are like the “rights” of the French Revolution, under the mask of “freedom” terrible tyranny, plundering and murder. The words “freedom” and “liberty” chanted endlessly – but divorced from their foundations.

When American judges, and the university class generally- the Harvard Law School, the Imperial German loving Johns Hopkins, the Frankfurt School of Marxism Columbia and on and on, first started to turn against the Old Whig principles of the Founding Fathers they first held that rights and natural law were nonsense (perhaps nonsense “on stilts”) – beasts such as “Justice” O.W. Holmes jr were open friends of Harold Laski and other totalitarians, they held (Buck V Bell) that a screaming woman, who had committed no crime, could be held down and cut up by the servants of the state – because they judged her to be “inferior”. But at least such beasts did not pretend to serve “freedom” “liberty” – they were open followers of Thomas Hobbes and other such creatures.

This sort of “judge” did not, for example, in the gold confiscation and voiding of contracts cases of 1935, hold that they were serving “liberty” and “freedom” when they tore up the Constitution of the United States.

Today Blackstone may be discredited – few would pretend that Parliament, or any other institution of government can do anything it likes. But the Old Whig principles that he helped to undermine have not returned – instead the forces of evil (for that is what they are) have taken the words “freedom” and “liberty” for themselves, and use them to force politicians to expand statism (tyranny) even when they do not wish to do so.

The book shelves groan with books on legal thought that seek to twist the concept of liberty 180 degrees – using it as a justification to destroy liberty, to expand the size and scope of government. The “intellectuals” can get away with this because the old principles have been forgotten – even the very word “right” is no longer understood to be a limitation on government power (under the natural law principle of to each their own – as the late Ayn Rand put it “hands off”), rather a “right” is now seen as an invitation for government to intervene – to enforce “anti discrimination” doctrine (that to “discriminate” is another way of describing freedom of choice, the right to associate or refuse association, is forgotten) and to give people their “rights” to goods and services at the FORCED expense of others.

This is because the old principles are out of sight and forgotten – and, however good his intentions may have been, Sir William Blackstone was one of the people who started to bury them.

Weekend Humour

 

Take Down the Royal Standard Phillip - We dont want Labour MPs sneering at us

The above is in relation to a UK political storm in a teacup where the nominally socialist Labour MP’s are charged with looking down on the working class, ergo “Snobbishness”.

Labour’s Emily Thornberry quits over ‘snobby’ tweet

What if Nixon had won in 1960?

Kennedy versus Nixon TV Debate

“Only Nixon could go to China”

Old Vulcan Proverb

As is his want, Paul Marks of this place was trying to sell the idea that the United Kingdom was a far better place in 50-years ago, it got me thinking about the implications of what the world would have been like if Kennedy had lost the wafer thin election in 1960.

Instead of a hazy idealist with lose morals, crippling disease and a drug problem we would have got an invigorated Nixon, one not broken by the loss of the 1960 election – a committed anti-communist who was not afraid of the Soviets and quite prepared to push Nikita Khrushchev a lot harder than Kennedy ever did.

Would the Bay of Pigs situation have been such a disaster as it was under Kennedy? Probably not as I doubt that Nixon would have undertaken the foolish errors that Kennedy did which hamstrung the anti-Castro forces at the Bay of Pigs, although I doubt the invasion as a whole would have succeeded as it was too optimistic, relied up Cubans turning against Castro and that just wasn’t going to happen without troops on the ground.

Assuming that the Bay of Pigs was still a failure, how would Nixon have dealt with the Cuban Missile crisis? The point at which the Cold War nearly went pretty damn hot? I doubt that he would have bothered with the collectivist drama of involving the OAS as Kennedy did, suspecting that Nixon would have recognized the obvious dangers of open confrontation and used his preferred method of establishing a back-channel to threaten, cajole, negotiate with Khrushchev.

So on the main points, I suspect that the early part of his term would have achieved pretty much the same stalemate over Cuba, except by different means.

Where he would have differed substantially is in Vietnam which would have been supported much more covertly as had been successful elsewhere with primarily CIA involvement but little in the way of ground troops, Nixon didn’t give a damn about the Vietnamese, that was Kennedy and Johnson’s war, not his.

However, equally, I doubt the NASA Moon Landings of 1969 would have happened under Nixon as unlike Kennedy, he would just have seen massive expense for prestige without power.

As for the initiatives of the Civil Rights movement or the Great Society, these weren’t going to deliver any votes to the Republicans so although there might have been some measures to restore civil order, the vast swathe of legislation passed under the guidance of Bobby Kennedy and LBJ would never have been considered under Nixon.

Would Kennedy have fought again in 1964? probably and he would have lost, so Nixon would have been re-elected in 1964 without any of stains of Watergate or impeachment that stained his actual second term and largely arose from the loss in 1960.

It would have been a more conservative and still divided society that would have probably been handed over to the Democrats in 1968.

By avoiding Vietnam, I suspect that a Nixon administration would have bypassed much of the malaise of the late 1960′s and early 1970′s, but I doubt that the Democrats would have handled China as well as Nixon and Kissinger did.

Oh, the irony…

It’s a bit like bronzey or Goldie (looking chain). I need some dental work doing. So this is how it works out. My dentist says she could do it but it is potentially complicated (nudge, nudge, wink, wink – oh I get you). So she could do it but if she boots me upstairs to the clinic either in Manchester or Macclesfield it counts as a hospital referral and is therefore free. Otherwise her or her partner could do it but they aren’t quite as specialist as the dental hospitals mentioned so it would be best for me to see them. OK, I trust her judgement. Fine, cool, we are all the Fonze here. But there is a kicker to the deal. If she treated me further I’d be on the hook for GBP219 to the NHS but if it is done in a hospital it is buckshee and paid for with fairy tales.

I shouldn’t mock. The Disney Company made a lot from fairy tales. So, let’s get this straight? If I opt to see a specialist rather than a local GP-type dentist I get this free? I guess it makes sense in the sense that getting it done by the top folks probs saves on further dealings (and this is a crown on a front tooth so we are not currently at home to Mr Cock-Up). I mean definitive treatment by the best place is a good thing and all and saves further costs either to the system (or me) not that “the system” comes free…

The last time I bought a computer with VAT at 20% I… Well, it’s hard to say what I thought (for the bill specifies VAT). For a normal human to even pronounce what I thought it would require vastly more extensive dental surgery than I am looking at. It would require a quart of Strangeways toilet-bowl gin and a windy-pick. And it would sound something like an Oompah Loompah yodeling a One Direction medley through a National Distress bus station urinal. Whilst it was on wobbly eggs. And with a banjo up the arse, sideways and lubed with R Kelly’s baby-fruiting juice.

Anyway. /rant off. But it is bizarre that the potentially better treatment (which admittedly isn’t too local – more on that later) is free whereas the treatment at my local dentist is GBP219. There is something wrong with this but I’m not entirely sure what it is. Perhaps that is how they get away with a profound capuchin-jockeyed donkey-derby. But if I get the tooth re-capped on the nowt this way then OK. I mean “on the nowt” with the above cacophonous caveats noted. As it ain’t free is it? But if I’m not charged again for it that is good.

I got a letter today from the local dentists with the NHS form for my ref to one of the above clinics. I had to sign a form – a blue form – Gods help us! A blue form!!! It came with another blue thing – a 2nd class stamp. Now seeing as the nearest post-box (which is gold – thank you Barney Storey*) I hand delivered the form. Less hass than posting it. The first girl I ever snogged was a Brosette** and she used the phrase “mass hass” a lot. Not that that ever involved me. I was a cipher. Run fast and low. Keep supersonic and off the radar.

I hope I made some sense here.

*That lycra-clad assassin nearly killed me once. I would have been dead’d and he’d have been in the paralympics for real.

**Yes, she had Grolsch bottle tops in her shoes and wore a red neckerchief.

They are barely even pretending these days

We are entering a very interesting period in public life.  Now I am not one that looks back to a halcyon golden age when government reports always held government to account.  The infamous Widgery report is proof of that.  But it seems that of late, the whole thing is getting more shameless.

Cameron recently claimed that the Wanless report into historic abuse cleared the Home office.  Of course it did no such thing.  It merely said they could find no evidence that the missing files had been lost deliberately.  I’m not sure what they were expecting to find.  MI5 couldn’t find any evidence either.  Considering the suspicion was that MI5 were using video footage to blackmail senior political figures, its unlikely the spooks would have said “Yes, we knew these cunts were raping kids, but god it was a useful stick to beat them with, so we thought – fuck it”

In the USA we had the ludicrous situation where the IRS, when accused of serious wrongdoing ‘lost’ two years’ worth of e-mails.  Try that as a defence if you aren’t the government.  Do we really think they would have lost two years of records that completely exonerated them?

Then we had the FIFA report that clears FIFA.  Only the report’s author said it was a travesty and disowned it.  So now what?  Well probably nothing.  I heard a senior football administrator type figure saying it was time to “move on”  Code for’ ignore’ obvious criminality.  UEFA could of course say “Publish the full unexpurgated report or we are leaving.  Try even staging  world cup without the Europeans.

And now we have Mr Cameron’s latest anti-terror proposals.  I had always thought of him as a fat social democrat, turns out he’s a creepy fascist.  The Government wants to stop British jihadists returning unless they agree to strict conditions.  Mr Cameron said that British nationals would be unable to return to the UK “unless they do so on our terms”. If not, they will face a temporary exclusion order of two years, with the possibility of another being imposed after that.  This is utterly remarkable.  It amounts to “if we suspect you do something (ill-defined) abroad, that we don’t approve of, you are guilty of it and aren’t coming back, unless you confess”  So let’s examine this:

Does this apply to anyone who joins a foreign army/fighting force?  Okay ISIS bad, got it.  What about the FSA fighting Assad (the people we wanted to arm last year?) Criminal or not?  What if you join the FSA as a medic?  What if a Brit of Syrian origin from an Alawite family went join the Syrian army against ISIS, what if they joining Hezbollah also fighting against ISIS in Syria?  What if you joined HAMAS, notionally the government army of Gaza, would this be okay?

What if a British/Iranian joint citizen did a year in the Iranian navy?  I was in school with a Welsh kid who went to Afghanistan in the 1980’s to fight the Russians (really), is he liable to arrest?  Is it only a religious thing?  If you go to join the (secular) Tamil tigers should you be arrested?  Should Mahal mums be worried?

Unlike some other countries, Britain does not have an effective law prohibiting its citizens from fighting for foreign armies, so as far as I can see, joining any state organisation from the IDF to the Syrian army is okay.  The latter being particularly mad, because you could be doing more or less exactly the same thing Hezbollah is doing in Syria, but in the latter case, I think you could face trouble under this new proposal.   This proposal seems chaotic and liable to random and subjective application. Far better as Dominic Grieve suggests, to prosecute people if they break the law and release them if they are found not guilty.  (And it will be very interesting to see how this new law is drafted, will it specifically apply to war, or will it be a catch-all “anything we don’t like” clause?)

The whole rational basis for public life seems to be imploding. It was always implicit that the law was rational and it applied to everyone.  If this ceases to be the case, it ceases to be law in a meaningful sense and becomes rule by fiat edict.

And now we have this (very vague) Met police statement that suggests senior figures in the 1980’s weren’t just raping kids, they were killing them as well.  We can really trust this who government thing huh? Never mind, there’ll be another report along in a minute.

The West, not just the United States, faces an Obama crises in 2015 and 2016 – what can be done?

The years 2015 and 2016 , and onward, will see something of a perfect storm – a perfect Barack Obama storm, not just for the United States but for the whole Western World.

“Oh Paul is going to go on one of his Chicken Little “the sky is falling” credit-bubble-is-about-bust things”.

O.K. let us ignore the credit bubble – although it must burst one day, and when it does burst the world economy will come crashing down. Hint – do not be near any city dependent on banking and so on, such as New York, when this happens.

There are many other things that are going to happen, on clear dates.

For example more and more of “Obamacare” is coming into effect, based on the lies of Johnathan Gruber and other Obama employees. These costs will massively undermine American industry in 2015 and 2016 and when the United States catches a cold the rest of the West comes down with influenza.

Also Mr Obama, and co, is pushing increased State and Federal minimum wage edicts. Which, whatever phony “empirical studies” say, greatly increase unemployment – even if it is hidden by people no longer looking for work. The work participation rate is already at a low level in the United States, but this does show up in the official unemployment rate, in fact it masks it.

Mr Obama is also going to, illegally and unconstitutionally, “legalise” millions of illegal SOCIAL JUSTICE immigrants to act as part of his private army to “fundamentally transform” America. Sorry “free migration” fans – but it is not an automatically good thing to let people into the gates or stay within the gates, not if they want to help “transform” the city by burning it to the ground in the name of “Social Justice”.

Mr Obama is also going to use the unconstitutional powers of the EPA to continue to attack American industry – he has agreed with the Chinese regime to cut American C02 production by 28%. Not by deregulating nuclear power, which is massively overregulated by endless red tape that does NOT improve safety, but by crucifying American industry with high energy costs, destroying the relatively low energy costs that have maintained some American industries thus far.

And China has agreed to? China has agreed to NOTHING – this deal with China is nothing to do with reducing world C02 emissions. It is an illegal and unconstitutional agreement motivated by a deep hatred of the United States and the West generally – not just a hatred from the People’s Republic of China regime, but a hatred from Mr Barack Obama himself.

President Barack Obama is also continuing to destroy the United States armed forces – basically doing to the American military what Wilson and Healey did to the British armed forces in the 1960s. Soon the U.S. Navy, and so on, will be at 1930s levels.

This is at a time when the Chinese armed forces are vastly improving and the PRC regime is making endless new claims on lands and seas in Asia and the Pacific – places that have nothing to do with China are being declared “always part of China”.

The nations of Asia and the Pacific can not stand against the increasing military might of the PRC regime – especially as it is allied to Mr Putin’s Russia and the soon to be nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran regime.

And neither can anywhere else stand up to the alliance of China and Russia – with the Iranian regime tagging along behind, in its own vicious way.

The only force on the planet that might have deterred the alliance between Putin’s Russia and the PRC is the United States Armed Forces – the very force that is being undermined by President Barack Obama.

The same President Barack Obama who is going to destroy the American economy in 2015 and 2016 – for example in the ways described above, but, no doubt, in other ways also.

What can be done?

Do not talk to me about “impeachment” – it is impossible to get two thirds of the U.S. Senate to vote guilty in relation to Mr Obama – regardless of how obvious his treason is. At least a third of the Senate will support Barack Obama – regardless.

So what can be done?

I DO NOT KNOW – that is why I am asking you.

The United Kingdom in 1964 – a big government country that was O.K. ish (well perhaps).

Anti big government people often make the assumption that life gets worse as government gets bigger. It is true that if government grows, in size and scope, things will not be as good as they could have been – but life can still, for a while anyway, get better for most people.

Take my home town of Kettering, Northamptonshire. Government started to grow here in 1875 (in other towns it was after 1870 – but we did not vote for an Education Board here), with the rise in national taxation and the increase in functions pushed on local government by the Disraeli Act of 1875. Yet life still got better here till at least 1960 – and government was big indeed by then.

I am not just talking about real wages – but general life also. For example Wicksteed Park (the first amusement park in the country) did not exist in the 19th century – but it was a national institution by 1960, although it has sadly declined in recent years. Also ordinary people were better dressed in 1960 than they were in the 19th century (when some children did not even have boots or shoes – even in a town famous for making them) – although, again, one could hardly call people in 2014 well dressed, or well behaved.

And the buildings were fine (or at least O.K.) – the destruction of so much of the “town that Gotch built” did not really begin till 1960. And the town was not too big with endless housing estates eating the fields and the bluebell woods. It was still the Northamptonshire of the writer H.E. Bates and others.

In 1964 there was full employment and historically high wages, no welfare class (of any size) unlike today. But people were also mostly well behaved, polite, well dressed and so on.

“That is trivial stuff Paul” – perhaps. although I do not think so, but there is rather a lot more.

I have already mentioned the lack of a welfare class in 1964 – there were people who could not take care of themselves, but there were not millions of healthy working age people who had never worked and never would. Is this not important?

Also non state institutions were vastly less unhealthy in 1964 than they are now. “Oh Paul is going to obsess about the Churches again” – actually I was thinking of the family.

In 1964 most people still lived in stable families – now we do not. Is this not an important change – and not for the better.

In 1964 the fertility rate was positive, we could replace ourselves as a nation – now it is negative, we can not. We have vast immigration instead of our own children.

In 1964 most shares were still owned by individuals (there was no Capital Gains Tax) and the City of London was matter of self employed stock brokers and stock “jobbers” (wholesalers). The brokers worked for individual clients who still owned most shares (the “Aunt Agathas”) and stock jobbers worked selling shares for the companies.

Now most shares are owned by institutions (hired manages in control of other hired managers – with real owners a thing of the past) and private investors are taken to the cleaners by faceless organisations in a post “Big Bang” GOVERNMENT DOMINATED City of London.

Even Ulster (Northern Ireland) was quiet before 1964 – the main news stories there were about lost cows and the latest attractions at Port Rush. Not how the IRA (Sinn Fein) was running the government and destroying education.

Indeed education was much better in England and Wales also – Grammar Schools were common, intelligent children could get a good education (at the expense of taxpayers). Qualifications meant something – not like now. And the universities were only just starting to over expand.

And the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was an independent nation in 1964 – not a slave of the European Union, we were are own masters.

Also the British armed forces were still a real force in 1964 – the Wilson-Healey gutting of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (reducing Britain to a token power dependent on others) had not yet happened. Britain was not a joke – we still mattered. Yes in spite of Suez, and in spite of the pathetic “Super Mac” we still mattered. And there was no conscription – getting rid of conscription was about the only good thing that “Super Mac” ever did.

And there was still freedom of speech and freedom of association – the 1965 (and all the later Acts) had not yet been passed.

“We get it Paul – in 1964 everything was wonderful – everything now is awful”.

No I am NOT saying that.

The advance of technology in the last 50 years has been a good thing (yes I find the internet time consuming – but the advance of technology has been a good thing) – and that has enabled higher living standards, for most people.

And government in 1964, although much smaller than now (the Welfare State has exploded since 1964), was still vastly too big – unsustainable big in the long term, all the seeds of our present and future societal crises were already long planted before 1964. Government dominated health care and education and old age provision (at least for the poor) and none of these things is good – although the old traditions of the pre government dominated schools and hospitals (the grammar schools and hospitals were still private in the 1930s) still dominated the government services of 1964, teachers, nurses and doctors still acted like dedicated professionals (not dominated by endless government rules and union practices).

However, it was a good country in 1964 – it was a better place to live than Britain had been in (say) 1874, when government was vastly smaller.

I am not saying that if government had been kept to the level, size and scope, it had been in 1870 or 1874 that Britain in 1964 would not have been an even better place – of course it would have.

But Britain in 1964 was an O.K. ish place in 1964 – in ways we are not now, and this should not be forgotten.

Battles…

This is a long term pet hate of mine. I hate it when people use military language such as “fight” or “battle” outside of context.

I have long hated it in sport. Since at least Euro ’96 and The Mirror mocking-up Stuart Pearce in a Tommy hat before England played Germany in the semi. It is crass at best.

Now The Mail reports on a study that such language is often unhelpful to many cancer sufferers. The implication due to a study by linguists at the University of Lancaster is that people who succumb to the disease haven’t “fought” hard enough. I get that.

So a thumbs up to The Mail for reporting this point.

And two thumbs down for following it up days later with this.

I hate this metaphor of battle. Ms Gibbs died because she was unlucky or the diagnosis was made late or the treatment wasn’t good enough or some combination of the three. I lend clock-cycles to the likes of Folding@Home. I lend my Intel Core i5s. I am part of 164,000 giving a little bit of tame lightening to help provide 38,000 Teraflops of computing to help cure or treat (note I don’t say “defeat”). Flops are floating point operations per second. And that is 38 Petaflops or 38 quadrillion sums per second. Or 3.8 x 1016 calculations per second. Not even Michael Gove demanded that many using times tables and slide-rules. It is quite possible the sum total of human endeavour in the field of arithmetic is greater since 1950 than since those folk in Sumeria all those millenia back invented place system arithmetic.

Forgive my emotion here but I watched Rosetta/Philea touchdown on Churyumov–Gerasimenko. I had to go to the dentist this morning to see about a crown being replaced which was not the start to a day I wanted but by about 4pm when we got the news from Darmstadt that Philea had landed I was marked this day with a white stone. Sometimes we slip in the bathroom and crack a tooth and sometimes we have petaflops and land on a comet half a billion km from home. That is about 30 light minutes away. My degrees are in physics and astrophysics. That was my Apollo moment. Neil and Buzz of course did their thing before I was born. For me this was better and even more awesome than Voyager 1 hitting the heliopause. And that was awesome. Some of the US Christian Wrong objected to the images of naked people on it. Well that is 15 billion km away and doing 17 km a second so they can pick-up our interstellar porn. Because that has like so gone.

We can be magnificent. And Rosetta has been. ESA landed something the size of a washing machine 500,000 km from home and it worked. I wish (in a frivolous sense) they’d landed that bloody dreadful Hotpoint from my kitchen in outer space. That thing once went completely tonto and lifted the kitchen work-top about 3cm. The sound was awesome. I thought Al Queda had bombed my kitchen – possibly because I had bacon in the fridge. The kitchen work-top is solid granite. It was like having R2-D2 break dancing.

I’m just (for once) in a good mood with my species. ESA got it there within 2 minutes over a ten year mission covering billions of km (it did gravity assists on the way). The dentist was twenty minutes late. The train from where I live is never on time. That mission is awesome. Yeah it cost GBP1.1bn but somethings are worth it. The dentist cost GBP18.50 (well cost me that directly). I am a happy camper today. And I hate seeing the dentist – does anyone like it? ESA – I salute you.

We are a mixed species. We can make TVs (amazing) and then make shows like Geordie Shore to show on them. Have you seen that? Don’t. I’m a Geordie and my heroes are folks like George Stephenson and not some slag (not a word I use lightly) crawling across a bathroom-floor whilst venting urine in a desperate bit to get to the toilet to vomit. She was out in time and distance by more than Rosetta and she hadn’t gone billions of km.

You want something done spot on get a physicist. Richard Feynman once compared his theory (Quantum Electrodynamics) in accuracy to measuring the distance from LA to NYC and getting it to within the width a human hair. Just ponder that.

Update: Philae is not out of the woods yet. But even getting it down is magnificent. I so hope it works. This is as important as Viking or Voyager.

This is Fermilab with a jetpack. This is the reason I still trog on. I recall the discovery of a quark and this guy run into Lecture Theatre B1 – University of Nottingham told us that at CERN they had confirmed it. And we all (and there was a lot of us) spontaneously cheered. That was the Standard Model down.

I just love science and techie stuff. I had a flatmate doing English Literature and he wound-up (through no fault of his own) doing “Old Icelandic Edda and Saga in Translation”. He hated it. I was in the second year lab with interesting kit and the preserved blackboards of some fellow called Albert staring down at me. Can’t imagine who he was. It was all Greek (and German) to me. But I wound-up knowing both the Special and General theories of relativity. How cool is that!

I am going into rhapsodies for it is late.

I am going to contradict myself (but as a physics grad I have earned the right – Nick has a cat – Timmy – and so did Erwin Schrödinger).

I don’t do weird things with Timmy in a box but he has to go in one to go to the vet sometimes. That is fun.

Turn Left…

That is a Dr Who ref, not a political one…

The KKK (you know those fun-lovers) have decided to embrace diversity…

The Ku Klux Klan opens its door to Jews, homosexuals and black people in bizarre recruitment drive
White supremacist group Ku Klux Klan is re-branding as ‘the new Klan’
Founder wants Jews, black people, gays and those of Hispanic origin to join
Rebranded ‘Rocky Mountain Knights’ claim to stand for ‘a strong America’
New recruits will have to wear the white robes, masks and conical hats

From the Mail.

I think this is either real or I am going mental.

Obamacare Architect: Passed by Voter Stupidity

Now this remarkable piece of left, or Dim, or both, honesty, 52 sec., from The Blaze. Video of the commentary, 52 seconds’ worth, is there too; per Blaze, it’s been pulled from UT.

If anyone anywhere on the globe doesn’t see that these slimeballs think they have the perfect right to absolute rule because of their moral superiority (and, of course, way superior smarts) — he or she needs to check into a home for the severely retarded.

Obamacare Architect: We Passed the Law Thanks to the ‘Stupidity of the American Voter’
Nov. 10, 2014 9:47am Zach Noble

One of the architects of Obamacare said the law was written in a deliberately “tortured” way and relied on the “stupidity of the American voter” to ensure its passage.

In a newly unearthed 2013 clip, Jonathan Gruber, the MIT health economist who helped craft parts of the Affordable Care Act, got fairly candid about the tactics used to get the Affordable Care Act passed during a panel at the Annual Health Economists’ Conference last year.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber said in one 52-second clip. “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. OK, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.”

Gruber then trumpeted the value of a “lack of transparency” — and called American voters stupid.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass.”

Better for the American people to be saddled with a law they don’t understand, Gruber claimed, than for them to understand the law and rally against it.

“Look, I wish … we could make it all transparent,” Gruber said, “but I’d rather have this law than not.”

[Original introduction edited slightly. --J.]

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