Cliff Richard: A Brief Comment

According to the BBC, Cliff Richard’s home has been searched in connection with claims of a sexual assault committed in 1985 against a male who was, at the time, under the age of sixteen. They entered his property while he was away, and he appears only to have heard about the search via the media.

I comment as follows: Continue reading

Libertarian Sociology: Family Structures

Libertarian Sociology: Family Structures

Curt Doolittle has spent a lot of time writing about family structures and their significance to politics, but, and I take full responsibility for this, I never could grasp his meaning. Perhaps part of the blame lies with him for not writing up enough of his thoughts in the form of articles or essays; Curt usually posts his ideas in summary form on Facebook, which is useful for those who already ‘get it’, but not for ‘outsiders’. Yet, he never fails to present all those who don’t understand him with a comprehensive reading list of articles and books. And it is a very intriguing list of titles. 

But, just this morning I was thinking – God forbid! – for myself on this matter and I seem to have come to similar conclusions to Curt, but in my own time and in my own way. Curt’s methodology, I often hear, is different from many of his fellow PFS attendees and so I expect it will be different from mine too. Thus, while Curt may applaud me for having come to some of these conclusions, he may criticise my reasoning. But, here goes. 

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A Word on Teachers

The below is from the comments section of this post by Swithun Dobson. Aside from the layout making it a challenge to read, I found it highly enjoyable. It’s an important article. It’s an important issue. And if articles like this are not written or read or shared then things like this will happen without our even noticing them. I then thought about my own schooling. Not private, but state schooling. I don’t know all that many people who went to private schools, but the general feeling I get from those who have experienced both is that a) private schooling is immeasurably better, but b) that it can succeed in being rather more subtle in its indoctrination or dumbing down than state schooling. The replacement of that subtlety itself may indeed be imminent. Anyhow, what I’ve just said may be rubbish and what I write below actually has very little to do with the article in question. However, Sean thought it warranted a separate blog post and so this is it. I have omitted some of it and expanded in parts. 

Those of a certain age who perhaps attended a grammar school and have done moderately well ought to be forgiven for believing that, while the state system is now grossly inefficient and obviously dumbed-down, the students have never had it so good. They, after all, didn’t get the leisure that children have today. And the computerisation of at least one lesson per week cuts down on the amount of writing they are obliged to do. Not only this, but those on the outside of a state school are under the frequently given impression that the lessons are “fun”, the teachers are “caring”, and that the continual research into the special and varying needs of some students has made all “equal in opportunity”.

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Education: Another Step to the Total State

by Swithun Dobson

Independent Schools: Arms of the State

The Proposed New Independent Standards for Schools (PNISS) are a bigger threat to educational liberty than the National Curriculum and will effectively mean all independent schools will become arms of the state.

Here are the most egregious passages with some brief comments. Continue reading

Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz


Blacking up on the Road to Auschwitz
By Sean Gabb

On Friday, the 25th July, I was called by a female researcher at BBC Radio Ulster for a comment on a story in Northern Ireland. Several members of the Rugby Team there had been photographed at a fancy dress party, with their faces blacked up and wearing chains round their necks. All hell had broken loose on publications of the photographs, and grovelling apologies from all concerned hadn’t been enough to settle things. The local anti-racism bureaucracies were calling for resignations from the Team. Would I, as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, care to make a comment on this?

I could have come out with the boilerplate libertarian reply – that it’s not our business if someone paints his face black or green at a party, or puts on an SS uniform, or hangs himself, or consumes recreational drugs. I could also have said what I do believe about this incident, or what I know about it: that, if the politically correct hegemony makes it almost irresistible not to make jokes, it is uncharitable to laugh at black people in this way. However, I was in a bad mood that day, and so began the following conversation with the researcher: Continue reading

Salmond is a chancer in the mode of Paterson and Law

by Robert Henderson

Alex Salmond is a chancer in the mould of Paterson and Law

Robert Henderson

William Paterson was the main mover of the Darien disaster which bankrupted Scotland in the 1690s through a mixture of ignorance, general incompetence and embezzlement; John Law was the Scot who ruined the currency and economy of Louis XV’s France through the use of paper money backed by land. The men had something in common with Salmond: they were both hideously reckless. This disastrous trait was evident in spades during the first of the debates between Salmond and Alastair Darling on 5 August 2014. Continue reading

Shared Information: What’s Its Real Purpose?

by Stewart Cowen

Shared Information: What’s Its Real Purpose?

Police want greater access to our medical records (and ‘other information’), as discovered by JuliaM. The Guardian reports,

Police want new and expanded rights to access medical records and other confidential data without an individual’s consent, a senior police chief has told the Guardian. Sir Peter Fahy, the Greater Manchester chief constable, said the extra access to sensitive data was needed to help police cope with growing numbers of vulnerable people.

Citing the usual care-and-concern-for-the-citizen line we have come to rely on as the excuse to trample over our rights.

Even the British Medical Association is against it as it breaches confidentiality and trust. As Julia writes,

…you know you’re on the wrong path when the BMA are saying ‘Woah there! That’s a bit too strong!’, don’t you?

If the ‘system’ was trustworthy, it might be a good idea, but unscrupulous officers could do a lot of damage with such information.

If someone is mentally ill, it is easier to pin a crime on them if the police are under pressure and the real perpetrator cannot be found?

That’s what happened to Barry George, who was found guilty of the murder of Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando.

But even before the case got to court there were concerns that the police, under immense pressure to catch Miss Dando’s killer, had been so desperate to secure a conviction that they had fallen into the trap of making the facts fit into their hypothesis, rather than forming a hypothesis based on the facts.

Whereas, previously:

He was immediately ruled out as a suspect, because police were certain the killer was a professional hitman hired by a jealous former boyfriend or gangster with a grudge against Crimewatch.

More recently, of course, it has been suggested that she was about to blow the lid off a BBC paedophile ring.

Mr George spent eight years in prison before finally being released for wrongful conviction. He was refused compensation ‘for not being innocent enough’!

I am also reminded of ‘social misfit’ Stefan Kiszko, who was jailed for sixteen years for a crime he could not have committed and sadly died the year after his release.

There have been calls for the past few years to make climate change ‘denial’ a mental illness.

In the future, anything could be reclassified as a mental disorder and people locked away, as happened in the Soviet Union to political dissidents. Access to medical records and ‘other information’ will only aid in that process of political persecution, which is almost certain to happen the way things are going.

Knowledge is power, so why do they really want to know our medical history? Why does the Government really want every one of our telephone calls recorded and emails and visited website URLs stored? Why has the Scottish Government really initiated the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill which means that all Scottish children are given a “named person” as a sort of State guardian and information can be shared?

I have to shake my head at these privacy laws (the ones designed for us, not them). I have to abide by privacy legislation as a retailer and am obliged to have a company policy on it.

Obsession with privacy has become so ridiculous that people who work for the government are scared to tell you anything.

For example, until recently, a friend used to go to the same church as I used to, where half of the members work for the NHS. After the service, people congregate for up to three-quarters of an hour (or more) chatting over tea and biscuits (I’m sure that’s the main reason a fair proportion attend).

My friend asked a fellow church member, who is a physiotherapist, about how another church member was getting on. She replied that privacy laws meant that she wasn’t allowed to discuss the matter. A friendlier response, even if it had been a refusal to give details, might have been more appropriate.

Maybe we’ll have to start issuing freedom of information requests to our friends!

Even crazier was when the same friend went to the surgery so he could collect a patient friend to drive her home. He asked at reception if she was out of the doctor’s yet, to be told, “I’m not allowed to give you that information”.

Yet they want to know all about our lifestyles, so they can nanny us. A few years ago I decided to refuse to cooperate.

Maybe it’s not only to nanny us (shepherd us in the direction in which they want us to go). When you register at a new practice and they ask if you smoke and drink and if so, how much, maybe it’s to deny us treatment in the future, because it is clear that the money is not there to sustain the NHS, even in its current state of disrepair, for much longer.

Today, Frank Davis has a post about a department of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, “If You Don’t Quit, We Won’t Operate?

Similar reports have been around for a few years now, yet in 1999, Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer decided,

SMOKERS WILL start contributing directly to their own healthcare through an NHS tobacco tax….

Smokers are surely legally entitled to treatment or they have been defrauded?

As an aside, Breitbart took up the Scotsman’s story and added,

Despite the best endeavours of the anti smoking lobby, what is little known is that the only objective research done into the lifetime costs of treating smokers compared to other lifestyles was completed in 2008 by the Dutch Health Ministry.

The results calculated by actuaries found the lifetime cost from the age of twenty was the following:

Healthy: €281,000

Obese: €250,000

Smokers: €220,000

Yes, smokes (sic) are 22 percent cheaper to treat throughout their lifetime, mainly from premature mortality.

That’s not to mention the extra huge savings in pensions and care home costs for all the smokers who allegedly croak from a “smoking-related illness”.

But as is perfectly clear, the anti-smoking agenda has nothing to do with health, just as I am sure that the data-sharing schemes are not for our benefit.

The Problem of Democracy

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UKIP Reminds The Coalition How A Free Society Works

by Dick Puddlecote

UKIP Reminds The Coalition How A Free Society Works Today is the last day of the government’s second plain packaging consultation exercise, so if you were planning to submit something you have until 11:45pm tonight to do so. You can find the online submission form at this link and some suggestions from me in this article from last month. Continue reading

Wendy McElroy: “I will leave the movement if thick libertarianism prevails…”

by Wendy McElroy

Note: I agree with Wendy and with Keith. A libertarian is someone who a) wants to be left alone, b) wants to leave others alone, c) wants others to be left alone. All else is a matter of details. SIG

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Politics in the Ukraine: Ars Speculum Vitae