This includes the Liberals (and goes back as my limited knowledge of political history does – Someone might have made a particularly good quip to Lord Palmerston but like whatever…)
Oh, God’s I’m also including the Alliance. Remember them?
But this is how I see it at the top…
Gladstone – A decent sort but a bit nuts round the edges. I have chewed that description over – 32 times. Especially the nuts.
He was OK
Lloyd-George – Randy Welsh git.
Nobody springs to mind…
Thorpe – Had a contract killing carried out on a dog.
Smith – I like my peados super-sized. Do they put something in the Rochdale water? I blame the CIA.
Steele – Whatever? Had an affair as well but nobody cared. Exactly.
Owen – The most arrogant and pompous tool of gittery since the fall of the Roman Empire. I once rolled a joint on his kitchen counter. That is true. My host – his house-keeper – a South African working on a pittance on a working holiday visa had invited me for the weekend whilst the Owens – as was their want – abandoned the gaff for their country place for the weekend and we all know what the mice do when the cats are away.
Ashdown – Became more popular after it turned out he’d been cheating on the missus because it meant he had some interest.
Ming – Anyone fancy a Werther’s Original? Thought not.
Hughes – Whilst getting his seat in Bermondsey in ’83 smeared his opponent (Peter Tatchell) with vaguely disguised homophobic rhetoric but himself turned out to be a life-long botter.
Oaten – Discovered the cure for anxiety over male-pattern baldness that has alluded the greatest minds since like whenever by deciding to have two rent boys defecate upon him. They have variously been reported as Polish or Ukrainian like it matters who shits on you. With science the devil is always in the detail. I ought to work in a Putin joke here but I can’t.
Huhne – The Jeremy Clarkson of windfarms. A chrome-plated bell-end on platinum roller-blades (or in his case a Ford Focus the badger-noodler he truly is) and a true servant of his own and every other cuntery.
Clegg – Saints preserve us from the cactus-arsonist of direville! A lying two-faced twat’s twat of the fuller monty. A twat for all seasons.
So that is the LDs.
I am a classical liberal. These people have sold me so far down the river that I am thinking deltas.
They are just such an unbelievable collection of cunts of every description.
Get the shotgun and start stock-piling tinned food.
A plague of mutant ginger rats first spotted in Scotland are feared to have made their way south of the border, it was revealed last night.
A shocking video taken by two revellers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne shows 60 large rodents scurrying down the street in a popular area of the city on Saturday.
Now, there are claims the rats could be the same giant ginger species recently spotted 60 miles away in Hawick in the Scottish borders – which were feared to be moving south.
Marc Donaghey, 22, and his girlfriend Brooke Salkeld, 21, captured the footage of around 20 rats – but said in total there were at least 50 or 60 of them running around the street.
Right… Well, “revellers” in tabloid-speak means “pissed” and the numbers seem somewhat fluid but certainly don’t constitute a plague as such.
But on a serious note the council has tried to palm the blame for the infestation on poor waste management of the local businesses but look at the dumpsters…
You wonder what Geordies (or any of us) pay their council tax for…
One of the perceived oddities of the Parliamentary system is that the PM is not directly elected by the people, but rather by the internal mechanisms of the party with the majority in parliament or in the case of a minority government, that party which believes it can bring together sufficient votes from other parties to remain in power.
Thus in the UK we have the Labour Party attempting to seize power from the Conservatives in the upcoming 2015 election, whilst simultaneously hiding their leader, who has become the party’s greatest electoral liability – thank god.
This peculiar aspect of party leader as electoral liability is not new to Britain although it does seem to be more a feature of Labour than the Conservatives (though lets not forget former Tory Leader Iain Duncan Smith)
If Ed Miliband had not shafted his brother David in the 2010 Labour leadership election by playing the union card, then I suspect that a Labour victory wouldn’t be quite so doubtful, but then again a David Miliband government would probably have been very different from an Ed Miliband one.
The point is exacerbated when in an apparent attempt to limit the Conservatives use of Ed Miliband as an electoral liability in their own
propaganda election literature, they have offered to not attack David Cameron directly if the Conservatives will lay off Ed Miliband.
Labour has promised not to use any pictures of the Prime Minister in election posters– in a bid to stop the campaign turning into a presidential-style run off between David Cameron and Ed Miliband.
The party said it would not use negative personal attacks on Mr Cameron – and would focus on policies instead of personalities.
It comes as the Tories attempt to use the ‘nightmare’ scenario of Mr Miliband becoming Prime Minister to scare voters off electing Labour.
The chances of Dave Cameron giving away such electoral capital given the wafer-thin chances of him retaining power are slim to none. As the old saying goes “If you’re taking flak, you’re over the target”.
* – From the Daily Mail so the usual caveats apply
A couple of the questions for the post Christmas period: Ancient Greek learning and English freedom – religious and political.
The Republic of Venice, like some other Italian States, was in contact with the Greek (Byzantine) Empire to the east, where Ancient Greek learning was preserved, from the most early days – contact was never lost in the Dark Ages. And the other states of Europe were in close contact with the Republic of Venice and the other Italian states. Yet the education system teaches that Greek learning came only from Islamic Spain. Is this theory really true?
Did, for example, thinkers in the British Isles such as the Irish thinkers from the 5th (indeed reaching back to Patrick and Pelagius [yes Pelagius, that free will scholar of Greek and possibly Hebrew, - of course I would drag him into it] of Roman Britain) century to the 9th century (before old Ireland was destroyed by the Vikings), or the English thinkers of the 12th century and so on (not just Roger Bacon there were other great Greek scholars and scientific thinkers also), really get their knowledge of Greek from Islamic Spain? Of course both the Greek Orthodox Church and the old Irish Celtic Church are not known for the delight in the predestination of Augustine – even if philosopher theologians do strange twisted gymnastics to try and reconcile predestination and moral responsibility (the reality of choice – of the existence of the human agent). Just as Judaism has always rejected predestination (unlike mainstream Islam) and stood for individual moral responsibility – the reality of choice, of the human person.
In almost every case the Reformation of the 16th century led to a Church that was committed to Predestination and was a department of State – after all Predestination was the central doctrine of Martin Luther and John Calvin (they both HATED freedom and reason), and Luther taught that the State should control the State and Calvin taught that the Church should control the State – the autonomy of Church and State was utterly alien to both these thinkers. In England it led, by the 18th century, to a Church that was far MORE in favour of moral responsibility, free will, (hostile to Predestination and so on) than the Roman Catholic Church was, and to a Church that was largely part of the landed interest (backed by local patrons and so on as well as being a, largely, independent landowner itself) rather than being a department of state – an “Established Church” rather than a “State Church”. A Church that was theologically and socially radically different from the rest of Protestant Europe. Why?
Even in the 16th century someone like Richard Hooker (the three legged stool – scripture, tradition, and REASON) seems distinctly English – distinctly “Anglican” (a possible misuse of language – but I hope you get my point), by the 17th century philosopher theologians such as Henry Moore and Ralph Cudworth, perhaps the greatest Greek and Hebrew scholar of his age, are quite acceptable in England, but would have seemed radially alien in the Protestant nations of Europe (and in the centralised Counter Reformation Catholic world) – with the possible exception of the minority tradition in Holland, the Arminian tradition (and remember it was the MINORITY tradition in Holland).
Why was England so weird in its Church development? Unlike both Catholic Europe and Protestant Europe.
I have asked these questions before – but just received utterly irrelevant answers such as “Ralph Cudworth believed in witchcraft”, yes he did (so did the great Common Law thinkers Hales and Selden), but why did the Church in England (both Anglican such as Granville Sharpe and William Wilberforce and Dissenting such as Richard Price [but also his Anglican political opponent Edmund Burke] – or a bit of both such as John Wesley) contain so many people, such as Cudworth and Moore and….., who believed in religious toleration and moral responsibility, free will – hostile to predestination. Why did the English Church turn out, in the main, so differently from the rest of Europe?
So was there no movement of Greek learning from the Byzantine Empire directly to the states of Italy? Was it all via Islamic Spain? Even though Venice was technically part of the Eastern Empire itself? The “Islamic Spain is what matters” idea seems like a unlikely theory. But I am willing to be corrected.
And why did the Church in England, certainly by the 18th century, turn out so different from both Protestant and Catholic Europe? I suspect that the answer to this question is the key to the different POLITICAL development of this land in the late 17th century and the 18th century, compared to the rest of Europe.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
I know that I shall meet my fate,
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
- WB Yeats
As I have mentioned previously, my family has strong ties to Northern Ireland, where my late mother was born and where some of my relatives still remain.
Having a large, mainly rural open border with the Republic of Ireland spanning 220 miles / 360 kilometres the opportunity for smuggling has existed since the border was created in the 1920′s and much of the local funding for terrorist groups on both sides came from smuggling goods across the border.
The trade was always bidirectional, but ebbed and flowed as duties rose and fell or items such as birth control were banned or rationed. With the coming of nominal peace to the region in the late 1990′s, it was hoped by the fiscal authorities on both sides that smuggling would be reduced, but in truth it just became much more mundane.
In a report out this week, The Independent Commission for Aid Impact has concluded that almost our entire ring fenced 10 Billion Foreign Aid budget is being wasted. Where it was hoped it would reduce corruption and support the most vunerable members of developing nations, they find that our hand outs are actually increasing corruption and never finding its way to those who need it most.
Well Doh! No shit Sherlock!! etc etc. We Kitty Counters could have told them that for virtually nothing. If you hand over large amounts of our cash direct to corrupt foreign Governments, all you are doing is topping up the regime and its cronies bank accounts, and providing the readies for their wives and families to go on a spending spree in Paris, London and New York. It does nothing for poor peasants whatsoever.
And I do not believe that iDave and the Coalition, or Mr Ed and Labour are naive fools, I believe they know exactly where the money is going. The money is a massive bribe for various services rendered, like voting the right way in the UN, not putting trade barriers up, buying a load of surplus weaponary that we can’t unload by legitimate means etc.
NickM of this Parish, has always been of the opinion that the only Aid that works is the money sent home by our various groups of immigrants, straight back to those who need it, their families and villages. It’s a shame that they are not spending their money in our country, but it beats the shit out of what the Department for International Development is doing, which is worse than nothing at all.
Add this to the 9 Billion net and rising that we give away to the EU every year, that is almost 20 Billion pounds. This is not chump change that has got lost down the back of the sofa, that is serious fuckin money! The only way to make a poor country less poor is to trade with it. So let’s can the Aid and fire up the trade.
You know they’ve run out of anything relevant to say, when they start going on about things which are:
(a) None of their fucking business
(b) Pretty much irrelevant
(c) Entirely optional and
(d) Arbitrarily chosen
Case in point, the ludicrous department of culture, media and sport’s intervention on the cost of tickets to football matches. It is not clear to me why a supposed conservative government thinks the market doesn’t work just fine when it comes to pricing tickets for premiership and championship football.
Presumably, if Arsenal or Manchester City or whoever quadruple prices, their attendances would drop. This is entirely a matter for them. Why Helen Grant thinks tickets should be priced below equilibrium levels is unclear.
Only it’s not. She knows a bandwagon when she sees one, so it’s all aboard. I’m not sure she will actually do anything. At worst, an enquiry with a few chairmen being shouted at during some grand-standing select committee. Would the tories really follow Miliband’s lead and decide they know what the price of something or anything “should” be?
And if they did say “Right boys £25 ticket maximum” is it impossible to imagine club revenues falling, higher profile, more expensive players leaving, TV viewing dropping and an overall decline in the standards on offer?
You don’t have to go to football of course. It’s expensive but not mandatory to keep life and limb together. And if football is too expensive, what about cricket or rugby? Should Helen tell us what those sports be allows to charge? What about cinema tickets? Dining out? Why not move to a command economy entirely?
Even if you take a statist view, you must surely agree, this is gigantic administrative over-reach and transparent tokenism in an attempt to seem relevant.