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Libertarianism and Conservativism – foes or friends?

F.A. Hayek at the end of his “Constitution of Liberty” (1960) wrote “Why I am not a Conservative” – which is odd as Hayek had (perhaps without knowing it) a good grasp of what actually is a positive conception of conservatism, and a poor grasp of libertarianism.

Hayek rejected the word “libertarian” as “artificial” which is just as well as he was not a libertarian – philosophically or politically.

Philosophically Hayek was a determinist (like so many 19th century and early 20th century thinkers, he assumed that “science” mandated determinism). Hayek took David Hume literally (whether Hume should really be taken literally is a hotly contested issue), the “I” (the human person) is an illusion, as is human choice – a thought does NOT mean a thinker (a reasoning “I”) and as there is no agent (no human being – no reasoning “I”) there is no agency (no free will), actions are predetermined by a series of causes and effects that go back to the start of the universe – and humans (who are not beings) can do no other than we do (we could not have done otherwise – as choice is an illusion).

Politically Hayek claimed to an “Old Whig”, but is hard to see how his philosophical views are compatible with the Whig point of view – which was based on the MORAL value of human free will (it is not an accident that David Hume was not a Whig) . The determinist (such as the Thomas Hobbes) holds that “freedom” is just an absence of external restraint – for example when a dam fails the water is “free” to rush out and destroy towns and so on. “Freedom” (in the determinist view) is not a matter of moral choice (remember choice is an “illusion”) so “freedom” is like taking one’s hand off a clockwork mouse and letting this clockwork mouse go around on the floor. It is hard to see how this “freedom” can be of any moral importance at all – if any view of politics can be based upon it would be a politics of tyranny (exactly the politics that Hobbes did base upon it), after all walls of water from broken dams (and so on) does not sound very nice.

Still does Hayek say anything else about his politics? Yes he does – again in the “Constitution of Liberty” we are told that he supports the “limited state” not the “minimal state”, because (according to Hayek) the minimal state can not be defined and the limited state can be defined.

Hayek is just wrong – the minimal state is easy to define (although very hard to achieve or maintain – an anarchist would argue impossible to maintain or achieve). The definition of a minimal state is one that just uses force only against the violation of the non aggression principle (attacks on the bodies or goods of people or groups of people). It is actually the “limited state” that is hard to define. Limited to what?

Hayek does make some vague efforts to define the “limited state” – for example he says that such a state applies “general rules” that apply to everyone.

O.K. then – everyone is to have their head cut off. Is that a good example of a “limited state”?

Hayek also says that a limited state does not seek to have a monopoly of any service.

O.K. then – everyone but the children of Mr Smith of 25 Silver Street to go to a state school?

Unfair example? O.K. – how about the state hands education and healthcare “free” (at the expense of the taxpayers), but you are free to pay twice (i.e. pay again on top of taxation) to go private? Is this the limited state?

How about you can go to any doctor you like and send your children to any school you like, but the state pays the bill (no matter how big it is), is that the limited state?

Such a state (one that seeks to provide or pay for education, healthcare, old age provision and on and on) will end up spending half the entire economy (and still fail). That does not sound very limited or sustainable – and Hayek (in his attack on the Welfare State) shows he understands this. However, his “limited state” is not defined in a way that prevents it.

Oh dear this post seems to have turned into “why Hayek is crap” which is unfair as anyone (even the best of us) looks terrible if one just concentrates on errors and weaknesses. I will leave the above out if I ever give a talk on this subject (because it sounds terribly negative) – but it needed to be put on record.

So why is Hayek (perhaps without knowing it) insightful about Conservatism?

Hayek’s own definition of Conservatism (given in “Why I am Not a Conservative”) is not good. He just defines it as being opposed to change – so (for example) a North Korean conservative now would be a socialist (or that is the system they have) and a British conservative I (say) 1870 would be a free market person – as this was the system of the time.

Whatever Hayek may have believed that is not a serious definition of Conservatism. But Hayek (again perhaps without knowing it) does give a description of Conservatism – in “Constitution of Liberty”, “Law. Legislation and Liberty” (and other works).

Cosmos not Taxis – spontaneous order (evolved over time) not top down planning. What Hayek called the results of “human action not human design” (it would be have been better to say the results of voluntary action not forced action – but Hayek had philosophical problems with even voluntary design).

Or (in the language of the conservative writer M.J. Oakeshott) a Civil Association not Enterprise Association, a Societas not a Universitas.

Institutions and customs that evolve over time often without people knowing the reasons they are useful – till they are broken.

As Tolkien’s (Tolkien being a Catholic Conservative) character “Gandalf” puts it in the “Lord of the Rings” – “he who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has left the path of wisdom”.

This is what Conservatism is about – a preference for evolved custom and ways of doing things (ways of living) over imposed “rational” planning by the state.

The state (in the Conservative view) is like the Thrain of the Shire (Tolkien’s) and the Mayor.

The Thrain does nothing in peacetime (in war it is different) – he just farms his estate. And the Mayor is the leading figure at formal dinners (like those of the old Closed Corporations that were the only “urban local government” before the Act of 1835 in England and Wales), he does not order folk about. Families govern their own affairs and do not attack each other (police forces were not compulsory on the counties of England and Wales till 1856). There is plenty of (moral – traditional) authority, but little naked “power”.

I think it is obvious show this view of Conservatism is close to libertarianism (hence “Tory Anarchist”) – a friend not a foe. But is it tied to Hayek and his philosophical opinions?

No it is not – which is why I mentioned Oakeshott and Tolkien (two Conservatives with very different philosophical opinions to Hayek). Both Oakeshott and Tolkien believed in free will (agency – moral responsibility, the ability to choose to do otherwise).

Even in the 18th century Conservatives did not follow the philosophical opinions of David Hume (again IF they were his opinions – I repeat this is hotly contested). Neither the Tory Conservative Dr Johnson or the Old Whig Conservative Edmund Burke (a real Old Whig – unlike Hayek) accepted determinism and the denial of human personhood (moral choice – the ability to choose to do otherwise). Edmund Burke and Dr Johnson (the Whig and the Tory) both believed in free will (agency – moral responsibility, the ability to choose to do otherwise) and were moral universalists (not just Dr Johnson – but Edmund Burke also, for the T. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson view of his is totally wrong, to Burke it did not matter if something happened in the Middle Ages or right now, in India or America – right was right and wrong was wrong).

Is this the only view of Conservatism?

Of course not – there are other views of Conservatism. For example the statism of Disraeli (with his life long commitment to “social reform” – yuk).

However, that is hardly “doing nothing” (against those who do not themselves aggress against others). The Tauist Old King Log sitting in the shade – rather than Young King Stork “helping” his subjects by eating them.

Excuse me Officer…

“Could you tell me the time please?”

“Certainly Sir, it’s 11.38am precisely”

“Er… are you sure Officer… It’s pitch dark?

“Are you calling me a lying effing Pleb sir? You are so bleedin nicked!”

Remember, The Government is not your friend, and that goes double for its enforcement arm.

Posthumous Execution – A modern slant on an ancient tradition

“You asked a question two days ago that I will now answer for you. You are quite right, Mademoiselle. You cannot libel the dead.”Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile

Since ancient times, it has been seen as a symbolic but rather futile gesture to seek final retribution upon your enemies by digging up their rotten corpse and undertaking the ritual steps of execution albeit with rather less effect than usual as the offending enemy has already escaped and is now thumbing his nose from the safety of the Halls of Mandos or your own particular incarnation of Mozart’s “Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis…” (“When the accused are confounded, and doomed to flames of woe…”) (more…)

Neighbourhood Watch RoP Style

The dhimmification of Birmingham’s police force is on track.

Two brothers in law who went on a sponsored walk wearing comedy mankinis had to be picked up by police – after they were pelted with stones and eggs by residents who told them ‘this is a Muslim area’ and demanded they leave.

Yes, you read that right.  Two people who were going about their lawful business were prevented from doing so after coming under a cowardly attack.  They committed the crime of wearing silly swimwear on an English city street and walking their dogs for charity.

WTveryF?

Shome mishtake shurely?

This is Britain!  Things like that don’t happen!

But they do, don’t they.

Be accused of “islamophobia” and you can all too quickly become acquainted with the inside of a police cell.  Display overt racism Anglophobia by throwing stones, other missiles and verbal abuse at filthy kuffar innocent members of the indigenous public gets your law abiding victims removed from the area they were inno0cently passing through by the very agency that should have protected them by controlling a lawless mob – West Midlands Constabulary.

Your extorted jizyah taxes at work.

Steven Ellis, 41, and Jason Hendry, 22, wanted to walk eight miles from Solihull to Birmingham city centre wearing the outfit featured in 2006 film Borat to raise money for Birmingham Dogs’ Home.  But they ended up being escorted by officers after they were attacked as they passed through the Sparkbrook area of the city, claiming police said they had offended local Muslims during Ramadan.

Offending Muslims by pursuing a harmless and lawful enterprise during ramalamadingdong?

Is that a crime?

Hurling stones and racial abuse?

Isn’t that a crime?

They were driven through the area as locals hurled abuse at them – calling them paedophiles. Mr Ellis’s wife Victoria, 36, had followed the pair’s journey in a car, with the couple’s five young children.

Public order offences and hate crimes committed by a favoured and protected minority, thy instances are legion and thy law enforcement officers devoid of testicular body parts.

She said: ‘We were basically run out of the area. We had stopped at a supermarket car park to give the dogs a drink as it was a hot day, and we were suddenly surrounded.

The men were taking off their jackets and threatening to fight Jason. I have seen nothing like it in my life before. The children were terrified as within minutes a crowd of 30 or 40 men assembled.
‘They began throwing stones and eggs at us. They were shouting at Jason saying that he was a pervert and a paedophile, and one of them called me a dirty white s***.

‘They told us that they hated dogs and told us to get out of the car park. The children were petrified and asked why these people were calling me a s***.

‘One egg narrowly missed hitting my 12-year-old son, Jason, leaving him petrified and even passing cars ended up being hit by the eggs and stones. The abuse was appalling.

Menacing and threatening behaviour and incitement to commit violence.  Throwing missiles with intent to intimidate regardless of what injuries may occur.  Racist and sexist abuse.  A breach of the peace at the very least.  The arrests will come thick and fast as soon as the cops arrive at the scene.

Whoops!

‘We called the police and they came straight away. I asked the police what they were going to do to help us but they just said it was because of sensitivities over an EDL (English Defence League) march and Ramadan.

It wasn’t the Muslims.  It was the fault of the EDL.  Well of course it was!  Who else could possibly be blamed for Muslims behaving in a criminal fashion?  Certainly not the Muslims.

Face/palm interface.

Of all the police’s feeble excuses for ignoring criminal behaviour from RoPers this has got to be the most spineless one I’ve heard in some time.  Surely that’s the job of the left leaning, muslim apologists?

‘We didn’t even know there was an EDL march planned for that day – we had nothing to do with it. Our family just love dogs, we’ve homed a rescue dog and we wanted to raise money to help the charity.’

It shouldn’t have mattered.  Neither should the attire of the two men doing the walk for charity have mattered.

But local butcher Irshad Armani, 22, said: ‘It was disrespectful for the men to come here half-naked. This is a Muslim area and we don’t want to see that.

Then turn away and mind your own damned business you intolerant buffoon.  And WTF is a muslim area?  Since when did Sparkbrook relocate to Pakistan?  If I told a tabloid journalist  I live in a “white area” and then accused muslims passing through of “disrespect I’d be hauled before the local beak and charged with a hate crime faster than Irshad could howl “Islamophobia!”.

‘People were fasting and we do not want to see anything considered impure or dirty during such an important month. That is why people were so upset by it.’

So that gives muslims an excuse to intimidate and assault people does it?

Bullshit!

Islam does not put muslims above British law even if they think it does.  Islam does not make muslims special even if they think it does.  We don’t give a kippers dangly bits how offended muslims are by Brits doing lawful Brit things on Brit streets during ramalamadingdong.  Most certainly not when muslims do things like this and this on the streets of Britain in the name of their intolerant and hateful religion.  They turned being offended into a fascist industry.

Iqbal Khan, 25, a carpet shop owner, added: ‘They came here saying it was for charity, but what they were wearing barely covered their private parts.

Muslims do tend to get rather agitated when it comes to dress code, don’t they.  Suggest that burqas should be banned because many Europeans find them offensive and oppressive and all hell breaks loose.  Muslims seeing a couple of Brummies wearing swimming cozzies for charity and, you’ve guessed it, all hell breaks loose.

‘We see people come and go doing charity around here – black, white, Asian – but it is not appropriate to do it in a bad way, dressed as they were, especially when this is mainly an Asian and Pakistani area.’

Black, white, Asian?  So Asian is a colour now is it?  As a point of interest how many Asians of Chinese or South East Asian extraction were part of the Sparkbrook Massive?  And where the hell does Iqbal Khan and his ilk get off telling people how they should dress when they don’t like the same authoritarian pointy stick thrust up them?

Mr Hendry said: ‘A man who was in a nearby hairdresser came over and started having a go at us and then a guard at the supermarket and the manager came out and joined in.

I take it we’re not talking Morrisons, Tesco or Asda here…

‘It was disgusting behaviour. I was furious. I was angry with the local people for how they reacted and we tried to explain it was just a bit of fun, to raise money for charity.’

You’d get more sense out of a brick wall than try to reason with minds deeply entombed in a psychotic religious cult straight out of the Middle Ages Middle East and unpolluted by enlightenment.

The police escorted them all back to Birmingham Dogs’ Home because there were two groups of men waiting at the end of the road.

Because religious mob rule on the streets of Birmingham isn’t in the politically correct public interest to stamp out.  Unless it is a mob of one Bible thumper handing out leaflets about how gay sex is sinful.

He added: ‘But it was also frustrating to have to be escorted as it made us feel like we had done something wrong. I am shocked and disgusted that this should happen in our city.

A shame West Midlands Constabulary don’t feel the same way.  They should be scammelling embarrassed at being so useless.

‘It was like something you see on TV. The idea behind the mankini walk started off as a dare and then we decided to make it a reality and do it to raise money for charity.’

‘We have a love and passion for dogs and we both wanted to do it to raise money for Birmingham Dogs’ Home.’

Mrs Hendry added: ‘I grew up to respect people irrespective of colour or creed as have my children. But this was totally appalling and has made me so angry that this should happen during an event to help a charity.’

Unfortunately Mrs Hendry and her group broke a cardinal rule – you cannot offend or disrespect muslims.  Ever.

However Raja Ahmad, 46, a local shopkeeper, said: ‘The men were partially dressed and it’s not really appreciated around here by the Asian or the English community.

So how many white faces were part of the Sparkbrook Massive then?  Or on the streets hurling abuse as their victims were driven away under police escort?

‘The police moved them on and they said they were covering their modesty but it upset a lot of people in the community.’

Diddums.  Grow up and get over yourselves.  Your regressive religion and aggressive arrogance makes me want to vomit like Mr. Creosote.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: ‘Police were called to reports of tensions on Stratford Road in Sparkhill at around 2:50pm on July 20 due to a group of men wearing fancy dress whilst on a charity walk.

‘Officers attended and worked closely with those at the scene to resolve the situation peacefully in order to ensure no unnecessary or unintended upset was caused.

Resolved the situation by appeasing the aggressors.  West Midlands Constabulary thy name is dhimmi.

‘Police left the area around 25 minutes later and there were no further calls to the location.’

Because arresting muslims for criminal behaviour is racist and likely to cause unnecessary and unintended upset to religious bigots who recognise no law but sharia?

So West Midlands police punish the victims instead by restricting their freedom to walk certain public streets.

You useless, lazy bastards!

Killing the Good Samaritan

Wendy McElroy is a long-time activist within the American libertarian community. Her piece here uses the example of an innocent young man accused of stalking to make her point and to particularize it to the dangers of being found living while male, or indeed while being a member of any number of suspect “classes.”

But the principle applies much more broadly, to the fact that private snooping, spying, and snitching to The Authorities seem to be more and more common in our U.S. society at least. This kind of thing can destroy a person: his bank account, his job or career, his family relationships, his friendships, his reputation, his very sense of himself…. And some of these people are so eager to find fault and, in some cases, to just plain make trouble, that they will not take the simplest, safest steps to see if there are valid grounds for their suspicion.

Herewith what I consider the meat of the article. (The boldface is mine.)  Better yet, read the whole thing (kidney basin in hand) at

http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2003/1021.html

Killing the Good Samaritan

October 21, 2003
by Wendy McElroy, mac@ifeminists.net

The incident reflects how paranoid our culture has becomeafter decades of political correctness that defines and divides us into categories eternally at war: female against male, whites against minorities, heterosexual against gay.

I was once asked to describe the devil. (I interpreted the question to be about the general nature of evil in man rather than about religion.)

I replied: If the devil is the living flesh of evil, then here is who I think he is. …[H]e is the average-looking person who walks into a room and shakes your hand with a smile. By the time he leaves, the standards of decency of everyone within that room have been lowered ever so slightly.

Perhaps he offers general statistics on divorce or child abuse to convince you to suspect your husband of infidelity or your neighbor of molestation. No evidence of specific wrongdoing is offered, of course. But since such “crimes” do occur, you are advised to be vigilantly on guard against them in your personal life. And so, you begin to view your spouse and neighbors with a bit more suspicion, a little less trust and with the tendency to interpret every action as possible evidence of wrongdoing. The very possibility of an offense is taken as evidence of its presence.

…[Y]our co-worker is no longer an individual….

Slowly, you come to view the world through the eyes of the devil. People are guilty until proven innocent. Acts of kindness and common decency are meticulously dissected for hidden motives and agendas. People are not individuals but categories. Those closest to you — family, friends and neighbors — do not receive the benefit of the doubt; they receive the “benefit” of your suspicion.

With no religious implication, I say: a devil is at large. He tells us that acts of kindness and common decency do not exist; the worst possible interpretation should be placed on acts that appear to embody those values….

In short, the Devil is the one who is selling us on the evil of others.

Fiddling with your hair.

Now a little known fact about me is I have a visceral love for the the concerto. Especially the violin concerto. As a certian (forget the name) English conductor once said “Madam, you have an instrument between your legs (she was a cellist) capable of giving pleasure to millions but all you do is scratch it”. OK, that was very off. Perhaps it she had thrush. I don’t know. But this is Soyoung oon plying the Sibelius concerto in D-minor Op.47. Now she ain’t quite as good as the utterly incomparable Kyung Wha Chung but she is pretty bloody good and the whole thing is on Youtube. Enjoy

Those bloody Koreans! When they aren’t doing top-flight violin-work they make my TV or my computer. Ok, she ain’t Kyung wha Chung but she is bloody brilliant. And that is not an easy concerto. Jean Christian Sibelius was oddly enough a fiddler. He just missed on being a soloist and had to to settle for being a composer instead. It is a harsh life at times. I guess it shows that something good apart from phones and Stalinist rhetoric comes out of Korea. And Kim’s dreadful haircut. But that is the Nork regime which is totally fucking mental. What is it about totalitarians and hair? And this odd idea of “Western haircuts” that Norkland opposes. But it isn’t just them is it? When my parents worked in Zambia in the early ’70s haircuts were proscribed in a neighboring state (forget which one) and if a man had long hair (this was the early ’70s when that was common) then to the barbers with them! And yes the border post had a place for bribing with 200 Marlies and a bottle of Scotch getting your visa stamped in your passport with a barber’s shop. And that mentalist in Iran had a campaign against hair-gel and the Taliban had rules on beards. Didn’t Peter the Great of Russia tax beards? Obsessed with hair the lot of them.

Why? Might it be that whilst folk will risk everything for freedom (some people, some of the time) and are prepared to take the risk of the secret police (or whatever) hanging them by the ankles over the scorpion-pit (or whatever) they aren’t prepared to go round looking like Just-in Beaver to make a political point. Or is it a savvy realization by despots that if you can control something as personal (and essentially unimportant) as a hair-style you have total control over your subjects?

Jimmy Saville Joke.

I bet Gary Glitter regrets not asking Jim to fix it instead of taking his computer to PC World.

That is a terrible joke, via Sickipedia.

But there is a sub-plot. I fix computers. I don’t care what is on the HD(s). If there is obvious criminality there then expect a call from the dibble. If not I don’t care. It’s like a confessional but more like a doctor. I frankly don’t give a damn about your Frankie Vaughn or whatever. I’ve seen it all by now. What interests me, what interests the client is getting it to work. That is all. I love machines and what you do with them is your look-out, not mine.

By the way I wouldn’t take a pair of counting sticks to PC World. If you are in the North West of England speak to me or see the folks at Aria Tech.

The Vile Persecution of Tom Daley.

Tom Daley the British Olympic diver has been persecuted with nasty tweets and a 17 year old boy has been arrested and held by the rozzers who clearly have no muggers, rapists or murderers to chase. He is being questioned which is odd considering there will be a digital record of whatever he said – apparently he was taking the mick about om Daley’s father who died of a brain tumour not long since so he is clearly a vile piece of work.

But is this really a police matter? There seems a stunningly obvious solution to this that does not involve the gigantic apparatus of the state. Says Mum or Dad, “I’ll have that phone – you is telephonically grounded (and yes, no “Angry Birds”) for a month”. Because if I know anything about teenagers (I was one once and had an Amiga) it is that depriving them of their phone is similar to standing them bollock-naked but for a blind-fold in a bucket of luke-warm piss in Gitmo and having Cuban prostitutes mock their penis-size. Job done.

Of course the real disgrace that adds insult to injury is the BBC carried this as a big news item. Tom Daley is one of our officially sanctioned heroes of course. If this happened to Bob or Sarah down the road nobody would give a toss but Daley is a “hero”. No he isn’t. He is quite good at jumping into water. This is a hero. I think unless you have dragged the wounded back from 25yds of the enemy lines under withering fire and then gone back to do it again you are not a hero. Not in my book anyway.

But the BBC decided this story was more highly newsable than the current battle for Aleppo.

Push-me Pull-me justice

If you’ve been paying attention over the last few years, it is clear how the elite see the rest of us.  We are little more than farm yard animals to be cajoled and compelled and banned from doing things, lectured and hectored at will, and above all taxed.  We maybe shot if it suits the government as poor old John Charles De Menezes found out, or slung in jail as any number are now finding out for speaking words the government don’t like, and above all we are to be frightened by bogey men.  Mencken once said “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

 

And thus the whole security theatre at airports (which I will take a bit more seriously when I see Obama’s daughters being abused by the TSA or Cameron being subject to a body search ~ hey who has killed more people after all?).  Terror threat?  For someone who grew up in the 1970’s when the IRA were planting actual bombs regularly, it’s hard to take this seriously.

 

But you might have hoped for some kind of intellectual consistency, if not from politicians then at least from the judiciary.

 

But in one of the most convoluted and tortured contradictions ever to vomit forth from a British courtroom, the residents who weren’t thrilled with having anti-aircraft missiles on their roofs (and from what I can make out, out there without permission, notice or compensation of any kind) have lost their case against the deployment. 

 

A judge ruled the Ministry of Defence was legally entitled to decide there was “no credible threat” and the siting of the missiles was both “legitimate and proportionate” because of the “unprecedented” circumstances of the Games.

 

Yep, you read that right, there is no credible threat and it is so severe that we need to put missiles on your roof. 

 

One of the residents has caught on, he said the clear implication of the judgment was that “the MoD now has power to militarise the private homes of any person” even when there was no war on, or state of emergency declared.

 

Yep.  Free speech is gone, the right to own handguns long gone, self-defence, forget it, wer are taxed* and regulated to death, albeit inconvenient regulations are done away with for the elite**.  Now property rights are crushed at the whim of the state because they find it convenient.

 

The Romans used to say Fiat ‘justitia ruat caelum’’ meaning “let justice be done though the heavens fall”  Not anymore. 

 

* Not for the elite obviously, for you.  They pay 8% tax on the money they extract from you at the point of a gun, while they make you pay 45%.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/331884?tw_p=twt

                                                                                                    

** I’ve read, (but cannot find a link) that some of the speed bumps in the Zill lanes are being removed, does anyone know if this is correct?

A classical education is clearly not required by the Met.*

While London looks increasingly like a city under martial law it is nice to see the Met still have time for pursuing nonsenses as well as going round looking like characters from some post-apocalyptic FPS game…

There were no complaints from the public when a Mayfair gallery exhibited a dramatic modern rendering of the ancient Greek myth of Leda and the swan in its window.

But the sensitive souls of the Metropolitan Police took a different view when they spotted Derrick Santini’s photograph of a naked woman being ravished by the bird.

Personally I quite like the picture and I think it’s a bit more “artistic” than “ravished”.

An officer took exception as he passed the Scream gallery in Bruton Street on a bus. He alerted colleagues and two uniformed officers from Harrow arrived to demand the work be removed.

“Alerted”? I mean this morning a copper in Leeds on his way into work spotted and then alerted his colleagues and then apprehended a double murder suspect. That’s “alerted”. And why two coppers? I dunno though in the current climate of Olympic and Jubilee paranoia I guess it’s lucky they didn’t send a SWAT team.

Jag Mehta, sales director at the gallery owned by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s sons Tyrone and Jamie, said: “We asked them what the problem was and they said it suggested we condoned bestiality, which they said was an arrestable offence. The show, Metamorphosis, had been running for a month and was really well received.”

Now that is the nub of it is it not? Bestiality is illegal though to be fair I’ve always tended to see it as it’s own punishment. But is “condoning bestiality” or indeed condoning anything actually illegal. Or did the cops just take offence and make it up? Like when they made-up a death penalty for being a Brazilian electrician in South London?

The final day of the exhibition was on Saturday and the gallery was taking down the artworks when police arrived. Ms Mehta pointed out that for prim Victorians, the myth of how Zeus, in the form of a swan, raped young Leda and produced Helen of Troy, was an acceptable form of erotica. But the explanation that the picture was based on a legend that had inspired countless generations of artists failed to cut the mustard with the police, she said.

They didn’t know anything about the myth. They stood there and didn’t leave until we took the piece down. They asked us whether we had had complaints and we said quite the contrary. Lots of people were intrigued by it.

As I said I rather like it. What is this about, really? I suspect at some level the cops were acting due to the our old friend – the absurd and illiberal Violent and Extreme Pornography Act. To summarize. This act potentially makes almost any image deemed pornographic potentially illegal. Everything from an old copy of the Sun (with Sam Fox aged sixteen back when that was legal) to this rather famous example of Japanese art**. Yes, it is retroactive and yes it applies to paintings or drawings or CGI as well. It is not just victimless thought crime (though it is) but it’s a also a strict liability which means that if a court decides it is Frankie Vaughn or could be construed as such you’ll be taken up the Gary Glitter.

It is understood that the incident was not recorded by police as a crime.

Because it wasn’t one. Or shouldn’t be. God knows. The law doesn’t.

*Or even a passing aquaintance with English law or Peel’s Principles of Policing. Or a Terry Pratchett Watch book.

**A peculiarity here is that this image would be regarded as very naughty by the Japanese due to the depiction of pubic hair. In comparison here it would appear now that a shaven woman is more likely to get you into trouble for making the image look child-like. Yes, an image seen to be of a child regardless of the model’s actual age can be illegal. Yes, the actual age of the model is no defence. And neither is the purpose for which the image exists. Here is a theoretical example. Let’s imagine my wife (33 – but still sometimes gets IDed for buying wine which like nude modelling is an 18+ thing) and I take some foxy piccies of her in the buff. I have potentially committed a child pornography offence even if it is entirely for private purposes. Of course if this photo-shoot ends with us having sex that is OK but filming or photographing it might be illegal if it was deemed by a court as a representation of a minor. The fact that this was an entirely consensual act between a married couple for their own fun with no intent to sell this is as kiddie-porn would not be a defense. This is strict liability recall.

Raoul Moat – Folk Hero.

David Rathband, the copper blinded by Raoul Moat, has hanged himself.

There are many reasons I’m proud to be a Geordie. We gave you the industrial revolution (yeah, there were some Mancs and Brummies involved but…) and Newcastle is a fine city (it wouldn’t be if T Dan Smith and Poulsen hadn’t been jailed before they’d wrecked the entire gaff – this does matter to me because their “planning” happened largely before I was born so it narks me when my Mum or Dad talk about what was – I never saw it) anyway, enough on that!

There is “Geordie Shore” (have you seen it? I have because my mother taught one of them at a school run by evangelical Christians – so that worked out) – most of the staff don’t even drink let alone “tash on” – whatever that means but it all pales compared to the despicable criminal antics of Raoul Moat. And moreover the reaction to it.

The copper he shot in the face and blinded has killed himself. What sort of utter cunt shoots a man in the face for no reason other than sheer evil. I guess it’s a hell of a thing to be blinded and I don’t think I could cope either. But no, it isn’t even “Moaty” himself but the general air at the time of him as some kind of latter-day Robin Hood – there was even a facebook page. No. He. Wasn’t. He was an utter scrote. I have met people like him – ripped to the tits on steroids and hard as nails but utterly amoral. Viv Graham once threatened to kill me. That was because one of my mates was a little Stella-ed and singing “Love Bomb Baby” by Tigertailz. This apparently annoyed the ear of maestro Graham. Perhaps in much the same way a poorly tuned piano made Chopin physically ill on Majorca. Except Frederick Chopin merely made immediate travel plans back to Paris and is not on the record as chinning anyone and if you ask me there is a hell of a difference between fecking off to Paris and engaging in violent stomping. Viv Graham was shot dead in Wallsend buying dog food. He had a Rottie. Of course he did! And a Sierra Cosworth.

Moat was of that ilk though and if he is a folk hero then he isn’t mine. This is what he did… Two days following his release from Durham Jail for assaulting a nine-year old (my fucking hero – I mean I’ve seen Clint Eastwood clear a street of scumbags but they were all adults and armed – oh and it was a movie so not real) he shoots his former girlfriend and her new geezer. She was by all accounts terrified of him – even he had said he meant her specific harm shortly before release but the cops did nowt. She was seriously injured and her new boyfriend died. He then shoots PC David Rathband in the face with the same shotgun and goes on the lam. At this point another folk hero emerges. I have never read the adventures of the knight of the sad countenance but what happened next was utterly quixotic. Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne pitches up. He has had a cunning plan you see. “Moaty” will give himself up honest injun and all that if only Gazza can bring to him (and God bless Paul Gascoigne) a fishing rod and a KFC bargain bucket. The idea being that after a stint on Northumberland’s (admittedly top-notch) trout streams and a few chicken nuggets “Moaty” will see sense. Well, understandably Northumbria Dibble told him to fuck off. They may or may not have availed themselves of the hot wings – I dunno. I wouldn’t. There are few things I can be proud of in my life but never having darkened the doors of KFC is one of them.

Moat, surrounded by cops, shoots himself in the end (well in the neck but it is an end for him). It was never going to end quietly was it? The cops were going to shoot him anyway. An officer down so cruely, so pointlessly and they’re not? I would. That cunt had wrought death, wounding, misery and terror across my home-town to the uttermost and if anyone ever deserved 7.62mm justice he did.

My thoughts are with the survivors and the friends and family of the dead. Apart from Moat, obviously. He can rot for all eternity in the lowest oubliette of Hell for all I care. Worse than that he can dine eternally on KFC – now that’s a fate worse than… He is not a folk hero. He was not misunderstood (except tragically he was, wasn’t he? – he did say he meant harm to his ex and then two days out of chokey he shot her). Moreover his war against Northumbria police was based on a lie his clearly terrified out of her mind ex had told him. She said she was dating a copper in an attempt to put him off trying to find her. She was actually dating a karate instructor who came out to see Moat and tell him to piss-off. A fatal lesson was learned in terms of the open hand (however well trained) not being a match for the hand that wields a shotgun. I guess the poor fellow felt he could handle himself. And he sure could in most circs but I guess he wasn’t planning on coming up against a mad man with a gun.

I dunno about you but I’ve had some painful splits with girlfriends but I have never shot anyone over it – I went out with my mates, got pissed and bored people. But then again I have never gone to jail for assaulting a 9 year old child. What sort of cunt does that? OK. I probably have had fights with 9 year old children but that would have been thirty years ago so I can’t really recall. Not as a great heffalumping bloke though.

From wikipedia:

In The Daily Telegraph, Theodore Dalrymple wrote “The late Mr Moat was a brutal sentimentalist. He used the extremity of his behaviour to persuade himself that he felt something—supposedly love—very deeply, and that this was the motive and justification of his behaviour. Surely, if he was prepared to kill not only his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, but also her new lover and anyone who looked like him, he must have loved her very much? He also persuaded himself that he was the victim of this terrible episode. ‘They took it all from me,’ he said, ‘kids, freedom, house, then Sam and Chanel [his daughter]. Where could I go from there?’ It was only natural that he, an innocent, or at least a man not seriously at fault (‘I’ve never punched her but have slapped her’), should have taken a gun and killed one and injured two: any man treated in this way would have done the same. What is alarming is that substantial numbers of people take this self-serving sentimental nonsense seriously, at least if the thousands of postings on the Raoul Moat Facebook tribute page, which was deleted on Thursday, were anything to go by. The logic seems to be as follows: Mr Moat called himself a victim; victims are heroes; therefore Mr Moat was a hero”

Exactly. Or another way is to consider what I regard as the libertarian movie par-excellence – “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. He is a victim and a hero. Union troops murder his children, rape and then murder his wife and burn his house down (is that perhaps echoed in “Unforgiven”?) and yet he remains a decent man despite the ultimate betrayal of his commander being complicit in the slaughter of his platoon. Yes, he kills Captain Tyrell (disembowels him with his own sword – kerching!) but he only goes on the lam because he genuinely has no choice and he settles and finds peace without killing anyone he didn’t strictly speaking need to. Along the way he also befriends a Cherokee chief, saves people from rape and slavery and sets up a ranch. Oh, and it is ultra-libertarian because all the folks he hooks up with are random sorts who are united only by outlook. His family was butchered and raped by Kansas Red Legs but he winds-up “adopting” a family from that very state. He defends them. in trade they do make him stop spitting baccy on the floor. Fair exchange is no robbery and it is a disgusting habit. It is an awesome movie. Now you could read the excruciatingly long speech from “Atlas Shrugged” or you could watch Josey Wales. Your choice. I know which I preferred. That coat, that hat, that swagger and the click of the spurs on those boots. And the dead guys he left behind.

Moat was a “victim” because he was dumped by his girlfriend for beating her up – that’s class that is! It’s really not the same thing. Moreover his activities after his release from Durham Jail can hardly be termed heroic. He shot three unarmed people and then went camping.

This is a genuine (if sort of fictional) hero (and I have posted this before and make no apology) because it is awesome…

Real men are bad-ass enough to conclude a peace-treaty with Comanche chiefs (and spit baccy before starting their spiel). Scrotes like Moat assault small children and shoot their ex-girlfriend. But then Clint Eastwood is a genuine hero who should not be mentioned in the same post as that obnoxious former-scrote. I guess the movies gained what the US Presidency lost. Imagine President Eastwood… A real libertarian in the White House and one of the genuinely hardest men ever. A self-made man of wit and intellect who grew-up in the depression riding the rails and playing piano in brothels. If he’d been president we’d have no more issues with those mentalists in Iran – other than having to export a lot of Tena Lady there.

Instead we have Mitt Romney…

Lord help us!

PS. The press coverage of former PC Rathband’s suicide revolts me. Let his friends and family be. I can’t imagine what they have been through or what he went through and neither can the Daily Mail so just let it lie.

Hip-Hop Diplomacy and the War on Cameras.

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time:”Send an American rap crew on a tour of Pakistan to help build bridges between two countries whose relations have plumbed new depths this year”.

But after being detained by security officials in Rawalpindi and then seeing a major concert cancelled by a venue in Lahore at the last moment, the FEW Collective’s attempt at cultural diplomacy has backfired, emphasising the frosty feelings between two awkward allies.

Well, let’s call a spade a manual earth-removal tool. The most absurdly obvious derangement in international relations is the idea that Pakistan is an ally of the USA. Bridges perhaps need to be built but from Pakistan and not the USA.

On Wednesday, the hip hop troupe from Chicago, was in Karachi preparing for a concert after being forced to abandon its Lahore gig amid allegations the venue had come under pressure to cancel the event.

Only the Telegraph could refer to rappers as “a troupe”.

The Al-Hamra Arts Council claimed US officials had not produced a No Objection Certificate from the Pakistani government.

A what?

However, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Islamabad insisted that the paperwork was in order.

Paperwork from the embassy for a rap gig? How very rebel!

“We don’t know whether there was pressure or not to hold it or if they just felt uncomfortable,” she said.

While America’s image through much of the Muslim world has been dominated by war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the music that sprang from its inner city black populations in the 1980s is popular everywhere from the West Bank to Kabul.

You got to love the Telegraph for feeling the need to explain what rap is. I mean it’s not like it’s the most dominent form of popular music for the last 30 years.

Rappers such as El General in Tunisia have even helped spread the message of democracy during the Arab Spring this year.

Hip hop diplomacy has become an increasingly important plank of American foreign policy during the past decade as officials try to tap in to the worldwide popularity of rap – just like the jazz tours of the Cold War when Dizzie Gillespie and Benny Goodman were dispatched to counter Soviet propaganda in Africa and the Middle East.
Nowhere is the effort needed more than in Pakistan.

Or more wasted.

In January, a CIA contractor shot dead two men in Lahore.

Then a secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden on Pakistani territory sparked a fresh wave of anti-US anger in May.

Meanwhile, CIA drones continue to pound targets in the country’s lawless tribal belt.
The result is that only 12 per cent of Pakistanis have a favourable opinion of the United States, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center.

Is that really cause and effect? I mean let’s face facts the USA has indulged Pakistan for various reasons over decades and all they got was… Well bin Laden got safe refuge for a decade in Pakistan walking distance from that country’s top military academy. I mean really. It is taking the piss. I am no great fan of Obama but he had to send the SEALS in because the USA’s “key ally in the war on terror” was doing less than nothing. He also has to have the drones prowling over Pakistan’s tribal areas. Basically if Pakistan can’t be arsed to keep it’s house in order then somebody has to. Or perhaps more to the point if they can’t (for whatever reason) deal with their own gaff then they shouldn’t bitch about violations of their sovereignty should they? They can’t have it both ways can they?

In response, the US embassy has hosted a string of touring musicians in order to show a different side of America.

And this worked out…

But within days of their arrival the FEW Collective fell foul of the country’s beady-eyed security services last week when a band member was spotted taking photographs from a US embassy vehicle in Rawalpindi, home to Pakistan’s military headquarters and Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Yeah, the police state that can’t find in a decade the World’s most wanted man when he’s spitting distance from their foremost military academy but can nick a rapper for taking photos.

They were released only after deleting images from their cameras.

I would argue that the litmus test of freedom is the attitude to cameras. Objections to them are the stock in trade of pecksniff jobsworths. In this respect the UK is going south. The dibble a few years ago caused a German tourist hell for photographing a tube station. The man had an interest in LRT architecture. OK, a minority pursuit but so what? Minority pursuits are what makes our species so magnificent. They are also something despised by the gits that be. They hate everything they don’t understand (and that could fill a Zeppelin Hanger) because they don’t have the understanding to understand that we are all individuals.

Then there is Greece. Recall the plane-spotters a few years back? You know what got me about that one? They were scrobbled on espionage charges (aren’t we both NATO?) for photographing F-16s. Now who might want to know about Greek F-16s… Turkey might. But the Turks oddly enough also fly almost identical F-16s. Turkey also builds F-16s. If there is one thing the Turkish air force know it’s F-16s.

One thing that I hate (no, I despair about) this country is we are heading down the Greek road of anyone with a camera being suspected of something. Anyone with a camera in the vicinity of children is clearly a pervert. But what really bugs me is there is no rhyme nor reason to it – it’s just arbitrary because they can and they need no reason because they are the state. It’s like enforcing a law that bans the wearing of purple hats on Tuesdays. Trust me you would get the likes of PCSOs to hand-out fifty quid fixed penalties without questioning. They might even walk past someone being murdered or raped to do it.

And it isn’t just state-sanctioned. It is pervasive. Ten years ago I could trot around with a camera and nobody would care. Now I get “looks”. I get looks because I use a DSLT (if you don’t know cameras the same as a DSLR which means it looks like a “proper” camera) to take piccies so I am clearly up to no good. Only spies, terrorists, peadophiles and the paparazzi who so cruelly hunted down Diana need a lens that size. We should all make do with the much more discreet camera on our phones. I love that Sony because it’s a cracking camera and I take photos to look at and not upload to Facebook LOL! Anyway, phone cameras are shite. I mean they’re OK for what they are but…

What they are ain’t much.

Of course what has also happened over those years where the private individual has come under increasing suspicion for even carrying an obvious camera the state has rolled out CCTV to an unprecedented level. Odd isn’t it? The private individual is an automatic suspect for having a camera but the state can video you with full impunity from the law. And yes, I meant that carefully. A rational and just polity would not put the state above the law it imposes on the rest of us. It might even obey it’s own laws.

I am no terrorist or spy. I’m just a bloke who is a bit of an f/stop philosopher (a minority hobby like golf or angling but a common enough one – anyway if it was an utterly peculiar one then so fucking what) . I like taking piccies. And I ought to post more. But…

The Great Famine In Ireland – whatever the government was it certainly was NOT “laissez faire”.

Perhaps the the title should read “the mass death of the 1840s” – as people tended to die from sickness rather than actual starvation (although they were weakened by lack of food, or lack of good food) and there had been other mass death events in Irish history. Some people claim that the mass death event of the 1730s, in an Ireland where the war confiscations and post war Penal Laws had done much of their work (and a lot of government action hit nonconformist Protestants as well as Roman Catholics – which is why so many of the “Scots Irish” went to the American colonies – where these Protestant folk took their dislike of the British government with them) actually killed a larger percentage of the Irish population that the crop failures of the 1840s.

However, whatever one calls it – the mass death and emigration event of the 1840s (during which about a million people died before their time) has been used as the great argument against “laissez faire” (leave alone in French – the government staying out and letting people get on with things). This evil ideology, the world is told endlessly, meant that the government stood by and “did nothing” whilst vast numbers of Irish people died.

But what would things have looked like if one had been in Ireland in the 1840s?

Well there were lots of road (and other) construction projects that did not seem to make any economic sense (roads from nowhere to nowhere – and so on) – hard to believe that private companies were paying for them. And in the work camps people were spreading sickness to each other – because of the concentration of population.

Also people were being handed large amounts of Indian Corn (from the United States) that gave them dystentary and killed them. Hard to see why private companies would sell such stuff to consumers – would it not have a bad effect on their commercial reputation with customers?

Then there were these state schools in so many parts of Ireland – in the days of Edmund Burke such places had not existed.

Also one would have seen policemen (in much of England and Wales there still were no government police in rural areas in the 1840s) – and riding round in groups and with firearms on their backs (oh yes – the Royal Irish Police were armed).

These people seemed to spend a lot of their time riding up to farms (and other places) and demanding unpaid “rates” (local property taxes) for such things as the “Poor Law” (which had not existed only a few years before), smashing down doors and waving weapons about. Hard to see how farms (and other enterprises) could take on more employees – when they were being treated like this.

However, one would indeed see a lot of poor tenants being evicted from their homes – the potato crop had failed and they were not given a chance to grow anything else, because they were being kicked off the land.

At last! Evil capitalist bloodsuckers – destroying the poor. Accept…..

Most of those evicted seem to be from holdings under Four Pounds in rateable value. That “rate” thing again – and the little provision that for holdings under Four Pounds in value the landlord was responsible for the rates, for the property tax.

Clue – “greedy capitalists” do not tend to like unoccupied ground. Unless tenants actually cost them money. And many of the “rich” Irish landlords were on the verge of bankruptcy themselves.

“But food was exported during the famine” – so it was (although nothing like the amounts the stories claim – the same story tellers who will tell you that the Ottoman Turks sent relief ships), and so were people – to earn wages to pay for food.

They went to work in (for example) the factories of Britain and in the railways that were linking up the industrial areas of Britain.

But why had not the greedy capitalists built lots of factories in Ireland? It could not have been because of many decades of government regulations could it?

And government regulations (the 18th century Penal Laws) could not have been the reason that most of the people were reduced to uneconomic peasant plots (wildly different from English farming) in the first place. Any more than government confiscations of land had created the class of absantee landlords – many of whom had harldy ever even seen the estates they owned.

In an sane economy if an estate is badly managed other people will come along with money to buy it (believeing they can manage the land better) which is why even if land is handed to useless warlords it will eventually get into the hands of sensible folk. But in much of Ireland (not all of it) few locals seemed to have the money to buy land (even when they were eventually allowed to), almost as if something had being undermining the Irish economy for a long time, such as a large interventionist state…….

Surely not, that could not possibly be true – it would not be “laissez faire”.

Any more than armed men riding all over the place and collecting taxes (by violence and the threat of it) was “laissez faire”. Even in Edmund Burke’s day he had warned that whilst taxes per person were lower in Ireland – if one measured things in relation to size of the Irish economy, taxes were much higher (again – clue, things had not got better in terms of taxation).

But let us shut up about all this (and so much else) – it spoils the nice simple morality play.

So move along people, no state interventionism here. Just “laissez faire”.

Equality before the law

So, if you are a Muslim, and you are also paranoid about a hypothetical anti-Muslim sentiment having been stirred up by previous Islamic violence, then you can get away with a whole lot these days:

A MUSLIM terror suspect who wounded a policeman in a gunfight escaped conviction on serious shooting charges after a judge found "anti-Muslim sentiment" made him fear for his safety

“I am not satisfied that he put the Browning in his pants because he was planning to shoot his arresting officers, rather he did so because he was concerned for his safety, and the state he was in brought about his illness, his concern that he was going to be arrested, and the climate of anti-Muslim feeling in the community at the time, he believed that he might be harmed by the police."

There you have it; in Oz it is legal for a Muslim to shoot policemen. That make you feel all sort of warm and fuzzy and multicultural?

Gollywogalypse

Jena Mason, 65, is accused of placing the controversial black doll on her window sill (a Gollywog) following an argument with her neighbour Stephen O’Donnell. Mr O’Donnell made a complaint to police after his wife Rosemarie, who is Jamaican, and their mixed race children were offended by her actions.

He said: “I am pleased the police are taking this seriously.

I’m not. For starters the cops ought to be looking into rapes, murders and stuff like that. You know crimes. Now obviously it was deliberately offensive but it is only PC culture that makes it so. As a small child I had a gollywog. I loved that toy and would really like to know where it went. So I’m a kid thirty years back and I’m out in my wellies with my Golly (and no I’m not shortening that because it is racist – I’m shortening for the same reason I’m “Nick” and not “Nicholas” – a term of affection – I loved that thing). Gollies have only been constructed as racist because it was decided they were. Like any symbol. A Swastika used to be a Hindu thing. Ain’t now is it?

The PC bunch assumed a child’s toy (my toy) was a racist icon. The display of such was probably a racist act but only because they invented the sin. They made it so.

As I said, I loved my Golly. I thought it a toy because it was. Even as a kid I didn’t think it a patronising representation of black people. Nick Griffin might think that. I didn’t, I don’t. You do wonder at the mindset. It is very similar.

It doesn’t see black people as people. I do. What is your major malfunction? Why do you need to demonise a toy that no one had a problem with until they were told they ought to?

And I am amused The Terriblegraph has to point out the white bloke and his Jamaican wife have “mixed-race children”. Well if they didn’t there would be one hell of a load of Barney Rubble at the divorce court.

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