Monthly Archives: May 2007

Food for all, planning ocntrols, and the “countryside”.


An exchange occurred on the yahoo group eurorealist last week, about the effect of “out-of-town shopping centres on the countryside, land use and small urban businesses. A gentleman from
Bristol posted the following,

“I used this as my sig some years back. Given the Labour intention to
destroy sensible planning constraints, maybe it’s time to bring it back:

“Out-of-town shopping centres are the retail equivalent
of slash-and-burn agriculture.”

If you agree, please share widely. Regards,   Simonm.” 

We are doubtless by now all aware of the orchestrated hate-campaign against the “Supermarkets”; that is to say, the most successful providers-to-the-UK-poor-and-working, of cheap food of all kinds and seasons in all history. We are now encouraged to think that they do us all a disservice thereby – mostly by people with more than one home, who work in the public sector, have no real duties that matter, and can afford to shop elsewhere through availability of time or privilege. 

I replied as follows;
“Out-of-town shopping centres are the result of two socialist measures.
These are being forced through in the TEETH of ordinary people and their normal ingrained habits, which are (a) to drive, because it’s nice and convenient, and (b) to want to shop within towns, because it is a natural and social thing to do in free liberal societies.

Out of town shopping centres are the only way that “ordinary working people” with “families”, who have not time to scratch their sodding arses, can buy any bloody stuff whatsoever.

(1) The first socialist measure, that has caused out of town shopping centres, is the destruction of English Farming, thus “releasing” “land”.
Cheap mechanized food for all (is gone) and an example of how to farm, for all the world to follow (is gone.). Kulaks, natural enemies of the socialist regime in power here ( are gone). Free people (are gone). Natural conservatives and therefore anti-socialist Voters (are gone, to
Canada or somewhere else anyway.) In the words of Herbert Morrison, they will have been able to “BUILD THE FARMERS OUT OF THE COUNTRYSIDE”. (They can then pretend it has to be used for something else such as “farm theme parks” like Farmer Ted’s at Downholland, http://www.farmerteds.com (clever man! Shallow glossy place! EU funding!) and naturally also “developers” and “industrialists” will schmooze them up the arse like they did to the socialists in power in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s.

(2) The second socialist measure is to hate “The Private Car”. Thus, they make it impossible to park (or now, with “street furniture” and “traffic calming measures”) even ENTER your average town centre except in the small hours, when you would not want to anyway. At this time all the “smallbusinessmen who are the “backbone of our towns and a major strategic focus of our planning” (of course they are! they are for paying through the nose until they are gone!) are knackered and in bed, or else just defending their properties against marauding hoodies who walk (stagger) everywhere and only use “public transport” as a mobile robbing-arena.

The solution to “out of town shopping centres” is;

(a)   Abolish ALL parking and driving restrictions in ALL urban areas.
(b)   Remove ALL “calming measures” in same.
(c)   Take the bloody (empty) buses away.
(d)   Abolish opening hours legislation, especially Sundays.
(e)   Let the Market discover how many drivers and when, can get into such places. Congestion is good; it indicates desire for facilities presented to customers (or no desire, if it does not occur) and it signals to drivers about when to drive and not to drive. It will force the extension of opening hours (good), plus an increase in employment of staff (good), and it will drive prices down at congested times.
(f)    Abolish DEFRA and close it down, so farmers can be allowed to be paid by customers, to grow a bit of mechanised food now and again that someone will want to buy; not this earthy, mudspattered, emaciated, expensive organic animal-food. This will get the price of agricultural land up high enough so “developers” (whom I guess Simon does not like!) can’t make a “turn” from it so easily.”
(g)   Allow traffic wardens to “seek for opportunities for retraining”, or “look for work” (in a Stalinist way I am meaning) as farm hands.
(h)   Abolish “planning departments”. These are just machines for finding out what “local people” don’t want, getting bribed by “developers”, and forcing the “local people” to have what is bribed for. I like Tesco; maybe you do not. but Sir Terry Leahy would find it much harder to build so many superstores if the decision really was in the hands of “local people”. They mostly want their countryside to be working agricultural, and mostly want to be able to drive and park easily in their nearby towns and cities.

My measures above would satisfy all these points at once, while at a stroke abolishing  up to 100,000 “jobs” in the socialist “salariat” that Gordon Brown hopes will vote for him in perpetuity.
Two or three times more, if you shut down DEFRA  and the DoTER in ther entirety, and shredded the records and malleted all the hard disks. DD

 

Northern Affairs (no, not THAT kind!)


To my delight and surprise, I find myself offered the directorship of the Alliance’s Northern Affairs. Shades of the long-surviving Old Kingdom of Northumbria come to mind, and when you drive inland a bit, and climb the straignt and narrow roads, and gaze over the long dark hills that in geologically modern times but in humanly ancient ones the Roman legions exhaustedly tramped, it’s very nice to be such a director. Yes, the North is good, and I cannot thank God enough that we now live here, that He was pleased to show us this place in time for our children to enjoy it properly, and for me to find such charming people (mostly) living here.

 So that’s what I will principally write about, but also always with a global and liberal perspective. I want to share with you a thing we noticed on moving up here to the North West some years ago. The people I ask here can’t answer the question sufficiantly articulately for me, becuase the emotion that gave rise to the phenomenon is just, sort of, in their blood.

I refer to the predilection for personalised car number plates. It fascinates me as a native Londoner, where you had to be as anonymous as possible. Discounting the few dozen Big Men who live around here, whose wives don’t work (locally unusual) and who “run” the clubs (and other matters) in Manchester and Liverpool, about one in four cars sports things like BI6 RJD, BI6 PAM, JB41, A4 NDD, 26L, LOV3 X, T700 RON, A1 (yes, really, me, I saw it on Saturday), M155 SXY,  

X 4 DC X,  T8 5EXY, W16ANM, W16ANW (one behind the other in a traffic queue) etc etc.

 When I ran my business in London, and if I had purchased a “private plate”, three things would have happened simultaneously;

(1) All my 5 staff would have complained that I could therefore easily afford to pay them more, and some might have given notice. this would have been an inconvenient pain, and hurtful.

(2) Customers on noticing, would have stated that I was clearly making too much profit, and would have demanded discounts.

(3) Local nameless hoods would have keyed the side of the car.

Yet here, it seems the “thing to do”. Students of mine, even, get prsented with their own plate on their 18th birthdays or similar. I have discussed the matter with some of the more approachable parents and students, who say “it’s cool!”. And….”People will know who we are!” And….”It’s the next best thing to getting my “pic” (sic) in the paper!”

From where I am coming from, that sums up the very risk and the exact problem of having such a plate. Plus the increasingly important fact of not thereby being able to deny a charge of speeding through a camera.

Is it something to do with being near Liverpool? Is Boris Johnson a reader of this? Can readers help me here with an insight or two, about the differential psychologies of the South and the North-West?

8 June 2007 LA Putney Debate: Brian Micklethwait’s Thoughts on the Surveillance Calculation Debate


The speaker at the LA Putney Debate on Friday 8 June 2007 will be the British libertarian activist and blogger Brian Micklethwait who will talk about his ‘Thoughts on the Surveillance Calculation Debate’.

Today, Britain is awash with private and publicly funded cameras and surveillance. As technology abounds and individuals and institutions are increasingly able to watch and spy on each other what does the future hold for traditional notions of freedom and privacy?

As important a debate as Ludwig von Mises’s Socialist Calculation Debate of the 1920s and 1930s what insights and lessons can libertarians offer for this most pressing of contemporary debates?

For more information email tim@libertarian.co.uk

Education, education, education


Hey all you libs out there.

 Diddy David has just shot himself in the foot today and yesterday about education, again, being the Heir of Blair. It seems that education is still going to remain nationalised, even under a conservative-New-Labour Gumment,  in spite of Blair-the-Slair having “renounced Clause 4″ some time in the dark ages before we all collectively wet ourselves, in August of Year Zero, over the death of the poor, sad tormented Witch Diana.

It seems that “poor-people” and their children are still to be regarded as grateful-voting-fodder, under whichever socialist adminisration wins the next election. Does anybody reading this (does anybody read this?) have any views about how parents could be incintivised to put more pressure on our oppressors so that they would introduce more “selection”, preferably earlier like age about 7? Or about 6? or 5? (We need to hammer home the need to socialise children early, in liberal Christian principles and the educational patterns that will define this, for capitalism to survive.) 

 I thought that libertarianism was all about maximizing individual responsibility. The state is not only not your master, but it also does not exist! Or, at least, it ought not to be Very Big. Certainly, it ought NOT to educate; I think this is terribly, terribly dangerous, don’t you all…………? You are ON YOUR OWN. YOU Must Make Shift For Yourself, And Yours Who Come After You.

 If so, then this move would show up bad parents quicker, who have simply sat their children – sons especially – in front of plasma sceens and playstations at the age of 18 months just to keep them quiet?

I meet young boys of 3 on the street, with hard-no-hair haircuts, wearing “Foot  Baller’s shirts”, who swear, and point things at you and shout “you’re dead!”. You could just roll on them accidentally and squash them if you could get away with it, and they would learn, but what about in 11 years’ time?

 Does anybody have any views about re-socialising people, preferably before the time they go to school, in supposedly civilised countries?

Radicals for Capitalism:


I have just read Brian Doherty’s ‘Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement’. A truly great book that examines the rise and development of the American libertarian movement during the twentieth century I cannot recommend it too highly.

Touching on the personal lives and ideas of leading libertarians including Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman the book not only examines what is after all a broadly based intellectual movement but it provides many insights into the characters, love affairs and flaws of its key leaders and players.

Ultimately, this is a unique, brilliantly researched and well written book.

Brian Doherty (2007) Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, New York, Public Affairs Books is available from Amazon 

LIBERTARIAN INTERNATIONAL SPRING CONFERENCE BERLIN 2 – 3 JUNE 2007


SPEAKERS

Johnny Munkhammar, author of European Dawn: After the Social Model, who will be speaking on The EU’s Cancer: the welfare state and the decline of Europe.

Prof. Marie Theres Tinnefeld, professor emeritus, Department of Informatics/Mathematics, FH Munich, who will speak on “Security Laws: A Challenge to Privacy Rights.”

Prof. Christian Kirchner, Humboldt University. Topic: The European Constitution – A Failed Project?

Ernst Beck, Biologist and member Europäisches Institut für Klima and Energie who will speak on The Falsified History of European CO2 in the Global Warming Controversy.

Edgar Gärtner, director of the Centre for New Europe Enivornment Forum. Topic: Ecological Nihilism.

Shane Frith, managing director of the Stockholm Network, a network of free market think tanks in Europe. Topic: 

“Better Health Through Freedom”.

Sascha Tamm, Liberales Institute of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Topic: “Sin Taxes – Immoral Government Action in the Name of Morality.”

Kristian Niemietz, Graduant of Economics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, who will speak on “From Bismarck to Friedman: Privatizing Pensions.”

Total cost for conference plus tea breaks, two lunches and one dinner: €124.95. Scholarship for students, of up to €100.00 are available. Non-students in need of financial assistance to attend should email. All scholarship requests, including students, can be made to peron@orcon.net.nz

All presentations are in English

Additional information including hotel options, public transit in Berlin, conference location, schedule, and how to register can be found at www.efs2007.blogspot.com  and at www.libertarian.to Or call +49 30 8187 47824 or email info@iuf-berlin.org

Location

IUF

Hackesche Höfe

Entrance 5

Rosenthalerstraße 40/41,

10178 Berlin, Germany 

Tonight’s Putney Debate: Antoine Clarke on Nicolas Sarkozy


The speaker at tonight’s Putney Debate – Friday 11 May 2007 – will be Antoine Clarke who will give a talk on the ‘Nicolas Sarkozy and the Future of France.’

With the incoming French President being increasingly strident in his comments on the need for France to liberalise and change what can we expect in the months and years ahead? Will he lower taxes and abolish the 35 hour week as planned? Will he usher in a range of free market reforms put France on track for a better future?For more information email tim@libertarian.co.uk

Buy the real “Column of Phocas” while all you still can!


Sean has not asked me to review his book, and anyway, being an uneducated bumpkin I am by definition no good at such a thing, but it was a rollicking good read all the same. I mean, you either enjoy a book or you don’t; what else is there to say about the blasted thing? If you do, it gets read and recommended. If not it goes in the bin. 

 

Please see the link below, and I RECOMMEND YOU ALL TO

buy the existing edition of “the Column of Phocas”, if you have not yet done so, before the expurgated/revised version hits the planet. The sex, violence, blood, vomit, corruption and various psychoses therein shown by some of the characters – all perfectly in context of the plot, unlike all the gratuitous nudity by very very unprepossessing and non-fanciable actresses and also the violence, so often portrayed in the lower class of “High-brow” “intellectual film” (not to mention the very interesting and instructive pasage about mediaeval bookbinding – you could almost do it yourself after reading it) are not to be missed. The Americans will regret the day they failed to buy copies of this current edition. But I have GOT one, so there…..ner-ner- na-ner-ner!

 

(Sean writes; “The original edition will be taken off the market in the

next few weeks. If you want to buy a copy, do go here:”)

 

http://tinyurl.co.uk/3g3e or http://tinyurl.co.uk/z31v

Sean on Telly


Several things to report:

1 – I’m on telly this evening. I shall be broadcasting from 18 Doughty Street, the remarkable Internet station. I shall be on at 9:45pm or thereafter. The url is http://www.18doughtystreet.com/

I shall doubtless be singing a most unpleasant Nunc Dimittis over the departure of Tony Blair from office. Please do try to watch, and do feel free to comment via the e-mail links.

2 – Thanks to a very generous grant from what Madsen Pirie calls on his blog -

(http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/index.php/blog/chris_tames_library/) -

“some friends”, I have been able to donate the library of Chris R. Tame to the Economics University in Prague. This was an exceptional library of perhaps 20,000 books, which are now to be of use in a part of the world where funds to buy English-language books are not abundant, and where the classics of our movement are in even shorter supply.

3 – I am just finishing the last revisions to “The Column of Phocas” for my publisher. This is very exciting, as there is to be an American edition next year, and translations into French and German. The revised edition has been pruned of the unrestrained sex and violence and excretory functions, and the long digression on bookbinding has been shortened. This is all for the American market, where readers are apparently more squeamish about such things.

The original edition will be taken off the market in the next few weeks. If you want to buy a copy, do go here:

http://tinyurl.co.uk/3g3e or http://tinyurl.co.uk/z31v

Best Wishes,

Sean

What can be done about the statists’ long march through the institutions?


This morning I had one of my most pleasant students over for an A-level Business Studies tute. we drank lots of coffee and talked about the definitions of many “business terms and buzzwords” that he needs to know of and use in the correct contexts when he writes his exam papers. (He hasn’t even been told except by me, to read the business pages of his newspapers, whatever ones they may be, even the tabloids, every day.) 

This is an entirely amiable, “nice” young man, with a “normal” family background, and what he and his peers see as all the advantages of life in Blair’s New Britain currently going for him. He is averagely intelligent, whatever that means; but that is to say, that in my view he is capable of everything that a proper, rigorous pre “British-socialist” (as opposed to the much more rigorous socialist ones that existed and still to some extent exist behind the Iron Curtain) 1950s style education system can bowl at him. His horizons are only averagely narrow, and wider than many of his age group.

But something seems to have gone wrong with the amount of actual crunchy “hard” knowledge of the world that children are now expected to be aware of.  It’s gone down. I see two strands of strategy at work here. Firstly, the “curriculum” has been progressively and continuously truncated. For example, the latest GCSE “science” syllabus for 14-16-year olds, in operation this year, is hard put to contain any actual science. This is just the example that I know most about, although you would be scared at what’s in – and also what’s NOT in - the current Geography syllabus. Secondly, the “institutions”, by which I guess I mean the “universities”, have for about four decades been turning out the kind of graduates that think individual people are a “Resource”, that they ought to be told what to think, and that the curriculum and popular media (including the content and presentational style of the “Wireless  Tele-  Vision” News) ought to reflect the world-view of the coterie that’s running the institutions.

 This generates a population of  people who, on the threshold of adulthood, have to be told what simple words and terms of description mean. Or, they “sort of know” what stuff means, but “can’t put it into words” (his and their phraseaology, not mine.)

Am I alone in thinking that the destruction of the most beneficent and powerful engine of education that has ever existed in the world – the broad universe of British schools and universities up to about 1960 both here and overseas - is under deliberate assault? And if I am right, then what is “their” motive? What is the use of a population whose members have lost the ability to articulate thoughts and abstractions? I know that statists hate us for inventing liberalism, and for degrading the realisable frontiers of tyranny through the ages. But, couldn’t they just “lie back and think of the Gulag”, and allow themselves to be carried along, glowing with self-satisfaction and prosperity, on the swelling tide of riches that will percolate down to them from the many crackpots who will harmlessly prosper in a capitalist civilisation, and in which their rantings will be of negligible account?

The Beast is Fallen!


I’ve just heard the good news re Tony Blair. Ten years I’ve waited for this moment. In a minute, I shall have a drink.