After rooting through several blogs, i found a brilliant post on the UN report which says that 300,000 deaths are caused by Jolobial Warmin’ every year.
Oh, one other thing, every time you think about free speach, a leftie dies.
After rooting through several blogs, i found a brilliant post on the UN report which says that 300,000 deaths are caused by Jolobial Warmin’ every year.
Oh, one other thing, every time you think about free speach, a leftie dies.
He claimed £5 for money he put in a Church Collection. Has to be Labour of course. Even the Tories would not do that.
Frank Cook. Hmmmm. Does not think people should have guns…unsound a priori.
This is a sort of roundup…
…I wonder what other countries think of us these days.
But it will get lost, in the media-furore against the Tory claimers….true that their claims have been bizarre and astonishingly ill-judged against the possibility that they might all come out, but I think the general principle holds still, that GramscoMarxiaNazis still have their hands more firmly rooted inside the back recesses of the till than Tories do, or have done. Tory MP-scammism was, rightly and originally, about getting lovely sex with younger women, who posed as “parliamentary secretaries”, since young Tories all wore pinstriped suits, Bengal Shirts and silk ties all the time, and were estate agents and could not therefore pull girls. But in default of being able to do that, what was needed could be called in anyway just over the phone if you were an MP: I don’t know why they could not have stuck to the model (in a manner of speaking.)
No averagely-pretty young woman would, I feel sure, agree to be shagged by a socialist in any case, and assuredly not even for ready money or expenses. the current appearance of “Blair Babes” corroborates this hypothesis.
I can’t think people like Keeley Hazell and all her clones would be so base.
Woz it really that Reynhard Heydrich fellow in the audience? I thought he’d been wasted by those Czechoslovak chaps.
MP’s expences can now be seen from space. They realy can’t hide from the taxpayers any more.
When Frankie uttered these famous words it was a cue. A hint that even though he appeared to be discussing/taking something very, very seriously, it was expected that you, the punter, should look a little deeper, chuckle at the humour that was thrown your way and wait patiently for the punchline. His true art was to play with words. He could turn an innocent statement into a comedy classic with out blinking.
Today the Squids and I went to an open day at a local Marine Barracks. Doing assault courses. Watching loonies in full Marine kit drop to the ground (via a 200ft long rope) from a helicopter. Climbing all over tanks and vast quantities of sunshine, sea air, fizzy pop, ice cream and face painting made for a fantastic day out – not sure what the Squids got up to but I’m sure they enjoyed it too.
When we got home, in the post, I had received a flyer. It contained a ‘personal letter’. In the interests of (attempted) accuracy, I have included all CAPITALS and bold highlighting. I have changed the (Labour Candidates) name to protect the innocent. As for the other (do-nothing) guy, the flyer doesn’t actually mention his name.
The flyer was titled
COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTION SPECIAL.
Thursday June 4th Time To Choose Between JOE BLOGGS OUR ALL YEAR ROUND HARD WORKING COUNCILLOR or the stay-at-home do-nothing Tory.
Local Mummy’s Town resident Joe Bloggs is the Labour Candidate at this election.
This is followed by Joe Bloggs’s CV guff. Then it says,
JOE BLOGGS believes in:-
Lots of Nu Labour guff such as cleaner greener, by-passes, glass recycling, tough policing, economic development,young people and of course value for money.
Then it says :-
Do you realise that at many Council Meetings many Councillors NEVER speak and sometimes NEVER even bother to turn up?-You can rest assured that JOE is always there speaking up for our local residents.
Then it says:-
4 THINGS TO REMEMBER AT THIS ELECTION……………………….
1. Joe Bloggs is the only only candidate at this election with a proven track record of service and action. Joe is respected for not indulging in the lies, smears and innuendos so common in local politics.
2. Joe LIVES IN MUMMY’S TOWN and is aware of local issues that affect you.
3. Everyone knows that Joe Bloggs works hard all the year round NOT JUST WHEN HE WANTS YOUR VOTE.
4. Joe Bloggs is the Candidate with the MOST EXPERIENCE STANDING IN THIS ELECTION
So that’s the front page – same old, same old. The back is filled with 4 or 5 sections highlighting important things going on in Mummy’s Town that have pissed all the residents off (big stylee) and what good old Joe would do about them.
So is this worth a titter – well a little. There are a couple of quirky bits, like well, being him being a Labour Candidate, plus his statement Joe is respected for not indulging in the lies, smears and innuendos so common in local politics - having just slagged off the local Tory Candidate and stating that most Councillors were lazy bags of shite. Joe you is Red, through and through.
How ever. Inside this flyer was the personal (see standard computer print out) letter. It was in an envelope and everything. The letter was filled with pretty much the same guff as the flyer but with one extra special bit. Like all classic comedians Joe Bloggs saved his punchline till the very end. It was classy, to the point but very understated. Right now, I am having visions of Frankie, Eric Morecambe and Les Dawson giving this guy a spiritual standing ovation.
Right down the bottom it says:-
Please remember you are not voting for the Government today. You are voting for someone to speak up for you on the County Council.
Now it may be the sun, it may be the fizzy pop, it may even be close proximity to a bunch of sweaty Marines, but I found this simple statement that funniest fucking thing I have read in ages.
Yes this is a double post – again – I’m sorry.
What is the Ruling Class?
By Sean Gabb
A Paper Given on Sunday the 24th May 2009
to the Fourth Annual Conference
of the Property and Freedom Society
in the Hotel Karia Princess in Bodrum, Turkey
In giving this paper, I make no pretence to originality of thought. Everything I am saying today has been said already – usually better, and always in greater detail – by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, by Roderick Long, by Kevin Carson, by Christian Michel, and by many others. If I can contribute anything to the libertarian analysis of class, it is brevity alone.
Libertarians often define a ruling class as that group of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, businessmen, therapists, educators and media people who derive income and position from the State. By definition, so far as such people operate as members of a ruling class, they are parasitic on the efforts of ordinary people. Their position comes from forcing others to act as they would not freely choose, or by excluding them from activities they might freely choose. Their income is based on forced transfers of wealth.
The size and activities of a ruling class will be determined by the physical resources it can extract from the people, by the amount of force it can use against them, and by the nature and acceptance of the ideology that legitimises its existence. None of these determinants by itself will be decisive, but each is a necessary factor. Change any one, and the working of the other two will be limited or wholly checked.
Of these determinants, the ideological are the most open to control and change. In the short term, resources are fixed in quantity. At any time, the amount of force available will be limited. What will always interest ruling classes, therefore, is the nature and acceptance of its legitimising ideology. This will vary according to circumstances that are not fully within the control of any ruling class. It may involve averting the Divine Wrath, or promoting acceptance of the True Faith, or protecting the nation from external or external enemies, or raising the condition of the poor, or making us healthier, or saving the planet from us. The claims of the ideology may, in other times and places, seem unfounded or insane. What they generally have in common is the need for an active state directed by the right sort of people.
Since the function of these ideologies is to justify theft or murder or both, they need to be promoted by endless repetition – which is a valid form of argument if truth is less important than winning – and by at least the discouragement of dissent. Efficient promotion will produce a discourse – this being the acceptance of a language and of habits of thought in which dissent cannot be expressed without also conceding its immorality. Efficient promotion will also produce a state of almost universal false consciousness – in which ordinary people are brought to accept ideological claims as true that are opposed to their own interests as these might be reasonably considered.
Now, to speak of ruling classes, and in these terms, will often produce a strongly hostile reaction from libertarians and from conservatives. In the first place, it sounds like Marxism. Indeed, in summarising my own beliefs about a ruling class, I have deliberately borrowed terms from the Marxist theory of class – “discourse”, “false consciousness”, “class consciousness”. This is sure to disturb many – and perhaps many in this room. For at least three generations, our movement was at ideological war with Marxism. We did all we could to refute its claims and to spread the truth about its consequences wherever it was tried. To use its language to express broadly similar concepts will appear to be making concessions that amount to intellectual surrender.
In the second place, many libertarians deny that the concept of a ruling class has any meaning in our own world. In 1605, for example, Guy Fawks and his fellow conspirators tried to blow up Parliament while it was being opened by the King. If they had succeeded, they would have killed the King and the whole of the senior aristocracy and the leaders of the Established Church and – give or take a few nominees – the leading men of every shire and town in England. At one stroke, they would have killed around seven hundred men, and this would have snuffed out the whole of the English ruling class.
And this was a ruling class. Its members were largely there by virtue of birth. They were often related to each other. They shared a common education. They dressed differently and spoke differently from those over whom they ruled. Generally, they were cleaner. They were committed to the Protestant faith and to the land settlement of Henry VIII. Their class consciousness was expressed in countless ways, and was reflected in their language. They spoke of “persons of quality” or “persons of gentle birth” or of “gentlemen”.
In England or America today, whatever I call the ruling class is far larger and has far less apparent unity. I have defined it as a group of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, businessmen, therapists, educators and media and business people. Perhaps I should just call these a gathering of groups, united only in their competition for power and income via the State, and each with a different legitimising ideology. Perhaps they are best compared not to the undoubted ruling class of Jacobean England, but to the members of a French bus queue. The common defining characteristic of these latter is that they all want to get on the bus. But it plainly serves no analytical or propagandistic purpose to define them on these grounds as a class.
Then there is the problem of collective action. Members of a supposed ruling class, for example – just as of a cartel – have personal interests as well as group interests. The former will often be more pressing than the latter; and the tendency over time will be for the rich and powerful to preach class solidarity while undermining it in their behaviour.
I will deal with the second of these objections in a moment. The first is easily answered. There is nothing specifically Marxist about the analysis of class and of class conflict. The Wealth of Nations is largely an exercise in class analysis. In France, J.B. Say was the father of a whole school of classical liberal class theory that was developed by, among others, Charles Compte, Charles Dunoyer and Augustin Thierry. In England, Cobden and Bright conceived their struggles against the corn laws and against war in terms of a class struggle. Marxian class theory, when it emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century, was one theory among many, and not at all the most prominent or most widely accepted.
This being said, Marxian class theory has, since then, received by far the most attention, and has been most fully developed. It is natural for many of us to feel uncomfortable about accepting any parts of this theory. But, if understandable, this is to be regretted. Marxism is false as a theory of human behaviour. But it has been developed by men of sometimes considerable talent and insight. To reject the incidental truths found by these men is rather like denouncing motorways because the first person to build them was Hitler. Astrology and alchemy were false sciences. Their claims about prediction and transformation were long ago falsified. Even so, the real sciences of astronomy and chemistry owe many incidental debts that no chemist or astronomer is ashamed to admit.
It should be the same with libertarians and conservatives in their view of Marxian class theory. Marx himself, together with Marxists like Antonio Gramsci and Louis Althusser and even Michel Foucoult, have much to tell us, and I am not ashamed to use Marxist terminology when I think it suits the needs of a libertarian class theory.
The main difference between Marxist and libertarian theories of class is in where each side locates the source of class power. For the Marxists, class power derives from ownership of the means of production. Standing in the tradition of Rousseau, Marx and his followers believe that mankind lived at first in a state of primitive communism, in which the means of production were held in common. This ended with the rise of a class that was able to take the means of production into its own possession. This class then set up the State as an executive committee to assist in its domination of everyone else. Since then, there have been successive revolutions as changes in the means of production have raised other classes to wealth, and these classes have then consolidated their own leading position by taking over the State.
According to this theory, therefore, the source of class power lies in wealth, and political power follows from wealth. This explains the Marxist belief that a communist revolution, by abolishing class domination, will rid the State of its oppressive nature. The State may then be dispensed from the liberal requirements of limitation and due process, and can be safely used as an instrument for ending such class power as remained. It will then, of itself, wither away.
This theory is manifestly false. Even without the thirty or fifty million corpses piled up by Marxist tyrannies in the twentieth century, it shows a terrible ignorance of human nature. Whether we dismiss the Marxists, in their main theory, as idiots or as villains depends on who is being discussed. But this is not to deny the incidental truths uncovered by Marx and his followers.
And these can be fitted into a libertarian class theory that locates the source of ruling class power in the State. For us, the State is not something created by the already powerful. It is, instead, something captured by those who want to become powerful – and who cannot become powerful by any other means. Without a state, there can be no exploitation. Without a state, the only transactions would be exchanges of value between free individuals from which all parties benefit according to their own conceptions of their interests. It is the State that can steal and kill. It is the State that raises up or calls into being groups that hope to benefit from the use of these powers, and that then constitute a ruling class. Abolish the State – or severely limit its size and power – and class domination will fall to the ground. The groups that comprise the ruling class will either die like tapeworms in a dead rat, or will be forced to offer their services on terms attractive to willing buyers.
I will now deal with the second libertarian objection to the concept of a ruling class. I accept that there is a problem of collective action. But this does not make an absolute refutation. For some purposes, group solidarity may be weaker than the pursuit of individual interests – but not always. Anyone who doubts this has only to look at the large number of young men in every generation who allow themselves – or volunteer – to be put into uniform and sent out to die for their country. Cartels are generally accepted to be conspiracies against the public interest. Class solidarity – so long as based on a legitimising ideology that is as firmly accepted by rulers as by ruled – can generally underpin collective action for many purposes and over long periods. Indeed, one of the sure signs that a ruling class has lost its will to rule is when significant numbers of those within it make fun of their legitimising ideology, or merely cease in private to believe in its truth. It is then that class solidarity becomes a sham, and the rulers begin to act like members of a cartel.
I also accept that ruling classes are, in our societies, much larger and more diverse than in the past. But accepting its size and diversity does not refute the claim that there is a ruling class. It is not necessary for the various groups I have mentioned to agree with each other in all respects. There is no reason for the ruling class to be monolithic. The medical establishment and tax gathering bureaucrats do not agree about state policy on smoking. Big business may disagree with the education establishment about what and how children are taught. Just a few years ago in England, the Government and the state-owned BBC fell out very bitterly over the Iraq War. During such disputes, different groups within the ruling class may even turn for physical or moral support to groups far outside the ruling class. They may even, from time to time, recast themselves – by accepting newly attractive groups, or expelling groups that no longer contribute to the class as a whole, or that endanger the continued existence of the class as a whole.
Even so, there is a general solidarity of interest that holds an effective ruling class together. No matter how they argue over the details of what the State is to do, its constituent groups will extend each other a mutual recognition of legitimacy. They agree that the State is a force for good, and that they are the right people to direct it. Their disputes will not be carried to the point where they knowingly undermine their overall legitimacy as a class – or the legitimacy of any of the constituent groups. Roderick Long has likened modern ruling classes to Church and State in old Europe. For the better part of a millennium, these institutions fought – and often bitterly – over which should be the predominant force in their societies. They hardly ever lost sight of the fact that they had a common interest in keeping the rest of the population subject to authority.
Sot it is now. Anyone who has ever taken money from big business will surely have noticed how his paymasters have been willing to use weakened forms of libertarian ideology to make specific points – but have never shown interest in promoting libertarianism as a full agenda of attack. In all cases, libertarian defenders are brought in to argue for concessions from the taxing and regulatory groups of the ruling class. They are never permitted to argue against the general legitimacy of taxes or regulations. That would risk undermining the system from which all groups –even if they might lose out in the short term – derive income and position in the long term.
This may be the common defining characteristic of a modern ruling class – a belief in the State and in the right and fitness of the groups I have described to direct it, and to gain income and status from their positions within the State. And, as in the past, class consciousness is reinforced by more than commonality of interest. I grant that, in America and to a lesser but similar extent in England, individual position is no longer rigidly fixed by birth, and it is common for people, wherever they start in life, to rise or sink according to their abilities. Nevertheless, we can still see families and networks of families that, in generation after generation, turn out individuals who occupy positions within the ruling class. Remember names like Toynbee and Gore and Kennedy and Cecil.
Otherwise, members of the British and American ruling classes share a common outlook on the world that is gained by attending the same schools and universities, and that is maintained by small but significant movements from one group to another that comprise the ruling class. In England, for example, it is common for politicians to begin or to end their careers in the more privileged big business corporations or in other agencies that look for their existence to the State. And it is fairly common for people from these groups to be recruited into senior political or administrative positions. There may be cultural differences between these groups. But these are not so great as to endanger close cooperation between them in the common project of exploiting ordinary people.
I agree that this is not an entirely satisfactory account of the ruling class. If I were a Marxist, it would be much easier. A member of the ruling class is someone who owns the means of production. I cannot supply an equally clear common defining characteristic. I cannot even put too much emphasis on the parasitic nature of a ruling class. The groups comprising a modern ruling class are parasites so far as they act as a ruling class. But they will often act both as members of a ruling class and as members of the productive class.
Companies like Wallmart and Tesco, for example, are privileged organisations. They benefit from incorporation laws that let them exist in the first place, from transport subsidies that externalise their diseconomies of scale, from taxes and regulations that disproportionately harm their smaller competitors, and in many other ways. At the same time, they provide cheaper and better food than their customers might once have thought possible. The media may be a producer or and conduit for propaganda. At the same time, it provides entertainment that people appear to enjoy. The medical establishment wants to coerce us into giving up probably harmful things like tobacco and probably beneficial things like vitamin pills, and procures laws that limit patient choice. At the same time, it does appear to be encouraging rapid medical progress in at least some areas.
Western ruling classes are not like the Soviet Nomenklatura. Many of the groups within these ruling classes have double functions inside and outside reasonably functioning market systems. Their activities are illegitimate only so far as they take place outside the market.
And so, while I do believe that the concept of a ruling class has meaning in our societies, I cannot dispute that it has problems. Nevertheless, in spite of all reservations, I do believe that the concept of a ruling class is not wholly useless, and I do suggest that those of us who have so far paid it little attention might do well to give it some thought.
NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3
If all these trough-piggers are “going to stand down” at the next election, then that could be a year away, or even never if Gordon Brown got his way. So why not now?
If they wozz fascist nazi Tories (CUTS!!!!! Schooools -n-hospitals!!!) it would be now. So why not for these people?
But they are not Tories … they are GramscoFabiaNazis. So it’s all right to stay on then. Follow the money.
Or does not Gordon Brown want 600 by-elections right now, then?
What is all this pretentious tripe, about “standing down at the next election?
Why not today? Here is just one. Pity about Julie Kirkbride though: she is probably the least cretinous of the current crop of megapiggies, and Cameron probably wanted to use her after the election, and she probably had nice boobs once (what a waste.) Never mind, there are plenty more fish in the sea.
UPDATE1:- NB!!! This does __not__ mean that we don’t still look kindly upon the LPUK.
It’s just that your lot ought to take lessons in resolution and moral fibre, and knowing how and when to Do The Right Thing, before you go onto the ice properly, from The Lady. That she was a Conservative was actually a tragedy: it was a waste.
Poor sad defeated and miserable Gordon Brown ought to have taken lessons, when he invited The Lady for tea. I found this while idly trawling:-
Daniel Hannan has got seven+ times more views in a twentieth of the time, but that does not alter the clear skill of The Lady’s perfromance on this video.
Thatcher is an Oxford chemist. This tells you something about what clever and upwardly-mobile girls from poor and/or FabiaNazically-despised backgrounds ought to be encouraged to do.
She will go down in history, which will be kinder to her than Tony Hollick is now going to be, as one of the three greatest and most important women who have ever been (so far of course.) Sorry, Tony, but you probably have some dirt about the woman!
(The leftiNazis is 1971 called her “Maggie Thatcher, milk-snatcher”. So she must have been right then….mostly we tipped the stuff down the plug-hole, while the teacher wasn’t looking – in 1950s-winters it was frozen solid anyway by the time you got it, so you wozz on a n’-hiding-to-nothing”…) (Here’s an interesting take on 1950s free milk given out by governemtns.)
Interestingly, if you wiki “milk snatcher“, you get Margaret Thatcher herself. What a surprise.
This is what wiki says:-
When the Conservative party under Edward Heath won the 1970 general election, Thatcher became Secretary of State for Education and Science. In her first months in office, Thatcher came to public attention as a result of the administration of Edward Heath’s decision to cut spending. She gave priority to academic needs in schools, and imposed public expenditure cuts on the state education system, resulting in, against her private protests, the abolition of free milk for school-children aged seven to eleven. She believed that few children would suffer if schools were charged for milk, however she agreed to give younger children a third of a pint, daily, for nutritional purposes. This provoked a storm of protest from the Labour party and the press, and led to the unflattering moniker “Margaret Thatcher, Milk Snatcher”. Of the experience, Thatcher later wrote in her autobiography, “I learned a valuable lesson. I had incurred the maximum of political odium for the minimum of political benefit.”
She successfully resisted the introduction of library book charges. She did not volunteer spending cuts in her department, contrary to her later beliefs. Her term was marked by support for several proposals for more local education authorities to close grammar schools and to adopt comprehensive secondary education. Thatcher was determined to preserve grammar schools, which prepared more students for admission to universities. She abolished Labour’s commitment to comprehensive schooling, and instead left the matter to local education authorities.
I don’t know – do you? Please tell….
But the longer Gordon Brown stays as PM, the longer Labour (and GramscoFabiaNazis in general) will be out of power, and less able to do hurt to people.
I believe that Labour will do several things on 4th June:-
(1) Rig postal voting in rotten boroughs full of poor and easily-bamboozled people who will act as fall-guys,
(2) Stuff ballot-boxes,
(3) Procure the mis-counting of ballot-papers on the night,
(4) Lose much less badly than is predicted,
(5) Get the BBC to present it as “the public sending a message of support for this government’s overall strategic policy”.
I reproduce this comment in full, as a post (I have other stuff to do today, most of it challenging and exhausting)
“The particular brand of venom which the ruling class reserve exclusively for the BNP is nothing to do with the BNP’s left wing policies.
The reason why the ruling class despises the BNP so much is the latter’s impetus to resist a central part of the strategy of the Gramscians: the cultural and ethnic destruction of the United Kingdom and the conversion of these islands into a collection of un-countries dominated by a regional government.
If the BNP suddenly decided to promote policies to legalise drugs, support free trade, privatise the NHS and shut down most of the public sector, it would still receive a hostile reception from the powers that be on account of its racial and cultural conservative leanings.”
I am quite certain that the LPUK, in the event of increasing electoral success, will come in for the same treatment, and more especially as it is not leftist – or any “ist” for that matter.
He’s not sound on drugs, but at least he gets what Parliament is for.
I have little time to write anything else today: perhaps you others can do somethng.
The above title alone should be enough to get Tony’s goat up. I bet you all 17p Tony’s got some paleogeological gripe about Heffer (probably supported waterboarding in the Glorious revolution of 1688 or something, and the “evidence” was posthunously covered up be Sir Francis Walsingham and Robert Cecil – http://www.agentsfor1688truth.org … ) – he seems to have one about every other individual to whom I make even a tangentially-euphemistic reference!
UPDATE1:- Heffer is still “considering” standing against the gardening heffalump. Good thing too: put the wind up the shysters it will, since we need to “send a massage” that we have allowed too many of the wrong sort of people into the Houses of Parliament, while our back was turned to deal with other matters – and we need more non-careerist-charity-shop-type-old-ladies (to whom £65,000-odd with no “extras” would feel like riches), retired-Field-Marshalls-who-don’t-need-the-money, successful ex-tobacconists-who-have-risen-to-run-multiple-chains (and who don’t need the money) and the like.
Iain Dale, who ought to know better on this one, and who is too close to the current Political Class for my liking (he may catch an infection if he’s not careful) had a go at Heffer a few hours ago. Who cares? If Heffer starts a trend, there can be plenty of local people in the constituencies of others. Like Hoon, Darling, Kirkbride, Mackay, and any other scumbag grifters and graspers who refuse to fall on their swords (as they can’t afford to yet, for there may be as much as £150,000 still to be troughed before June 2010.)
I am afraid Iain has misjudged the mood: he is too close to those who still plan to gain, even a little bit, while they can. keep away from them, Iain: we will need your powerful voice to rip the pants off the next lot of mountebanks, who will also be no better than they ought to be, and will if we are not careful, become what they are.
Not time to think about what sensible and topical stuff to write…so I may just broadcast some music later. Or possibly the expanding young writers will just weaponise another dustbin for you lot. Wish they’d do a proper socialist wheelie-bin.
They’ll probably all have to go, except for about three. What is to become of us?
The Independent tries, flailingly and hyperglycaemically, to stop the BNP from winning, er, what? A couple of council seats, and maybe one at Brussels. Or even not. The BNP. Oh, come on, and think of the BNP: thikn what they are, and think what they say. Thibk, after reading their stuff, how socialist they are. So! Why do British lefties fear them?
Who cares? Those of us who can read, and who therefore can analyse parties’ policy, can see that the BNP is an Old Socialist Party. It competes with the “modern” Stalinist or Hitlerite or Pol-Potian-Left, for the votes of what it thinks, still, is the “old white working class”.
The “modern” lefties, which is to say, the british Stalinists, of which there are a few too many in the £”public sector” and elsewhere, and some are in Parliament, think this class has disappeared. Not. Not quite yet. Thye have shot their semen too early, while wanting a Stalinistically-beautiful orgasm, into the **** of global-one-nation-socialism based on the AnnaBramwelliaNazi-interpretation of how things are.
Look at its policy position on the railways for example. That’s just one. “British jobs for British workers” – that’s another: what’s the diff between that and North Korea? We are no better or worse off with the BNP in power here (and there) than we were with ZanuLiebORG – but all that we could hope is that we may get a few more years of time to mitigate the worst excesses of Stalinism, ‘coz the BNP are “not very serious at all” (ask Stalin if they shoot priests. As far as I know, they still do not do so.)
Now, it does not mean that an being [or even aspiring to be] an old fascist-lefty, as opposed to a new one, or a “Labour Party Supporter”, or a “Liberal Democrat”, is a wrong thing to be in a liberal democracy (although actually being an old-fascist-lefty is indeed wrong objectivistically and will lead to tears, famine, death and an Extinction Boundary.) You could even be a “Conservative”, and old-fascist-leftyness – unless you have your thinking-cap about your person – cannot be far from your pledge-list.
No. The problem about the BNP is that the wrong people think it stands for the wrong things. It is _not_ a “right-wing”, anti-government, anti-socialist party. It is a temporary repository for the votes of people (who would norlally be socialists) who have not thought things through properly, but who are rightly angry about what’s been done to them and theirs, by people whom they thought were on their side. In this respect it is precisely like Hitler’s NSDAP: it is the cradle of the franchhise of all those people who have felt let down by those whom they thought they trusted.
There is nothing that can be done about this matter for now, for the UK’s governing party has done all that it can – via its own policies – to bring about a great result for the BNP. This will be sad but I am afraid inevitable.
We will have to Drain The Bitter Cup. For now.
The ultrabrite red diode is too bright. That is why there is masking tape over it, he does not like it (it’s fixable)…And I must try getting the meters to deflect.
The sound quality of this posting does not reflect what you heard in the room. It was saved on a rather crap 7.1MPxcl camera, with crap sound recording, and at VGA – 640 x 480.
The “sound stage” really does work. Stuff actually comes from where it’s supposed to, in the room. I had not experienced this, with nearly all the transistor amps I have built, expcet one, which approximated electrically to a valve amp and used power N-JFets.
You can have one for £2,750.
It says at The Landed Underclass (how often can you use a perfectly functional introphrase, before it gets trite? ["it says at..."] 100 times? 1,000 times? For ever?) that people in the UK are more-than-quite fed up with the gallivantings and gallimauphryings of our Enemy Class, not just in detail but in general. I think on first sight that this is good. But being an “optimist who is in possession of all the facts“, I want to look further.
LUC indeed quotes Legiron on some points here, which is fine, and indeed I hope legiron is right about this: that people have had enough bullying, being patronised, and pushed about like livestock (his words, ibid.) and being used as a “resource”.
But Dick Puddlecote, of whom I am utterly ashamed to say I have never heard (God knows how I have missed stuff like that: I will rectify it straight away on the bog-roll, for I have no money!) says this:-
Apologies for simply pasting it , but the effect would be lost if I edited his argument, and I want those of you who do not know him to understand about this writer:-Musings on yesterday.
As mistakes go, the expenses scandal is perhaps the most blunderous in parliamentary history for MPs. The financial minutiae are paltry and largely irrelevant. A moat cleaning here, a bag of manure there, is small beer in the scheme of things, especially in such times of trillion pound debt.
The problem for Westmonster is that a spell has now been broken. Animosity is united from the full spectrum of political viewpoints.
For 12 years, Labour have ridden the wave of public trust in passing a swathe of laws which were allowed simply because MPs were respected (that, and their predilection for bent consultations, of course). One cannot subscribe confidently to the thought, though, that the previous administration were any less dismissive of the electorate, but Labour have taken the almighty piss, as discussed atthe Telegraph.
Overall, more than 3,000 new criminal offences have been created by Labour – 1,000 of them punishable by imprisonment.
Here are just a few of the things you could do before 1997 but can’t now – many of them, it must be said, forced on us by EU directives, though our government in most cases agreed them.
- Smoke in a pub or on a railway platform in the open air in the middle of the countryside, or at a covered bus stop, or in your own car if it is used for work, or in your own house if it is used as an office where outsiders may come.
– Own a horse, donkey or Shetland pony without possessing a passport carrying a picture of the animal.
– Ride off with a pack of hounds in pursuit of a fox or stag.
– Play the piano in a pub without an entertainment licence.
– Stage more than 12 events a year at, for instance, a school or church hall at which alcohol may be served without a full licence.
– Set off a firework after midnight or be in possession of a firework if aged under 18 at any time other than the period around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve.
– Own a pistol for any purpose, including sport target practice.
– Stage a protest of any sort, even if alone, within 1km of the Palace of Westminster, without the authority of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
– Fish in the River Esk without authorisation.
– Enter the hull of the Titanic without permission from the Secretary of State.
– Import into England potatoes which a person knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes.
– Obstruct the work of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
– Imbibe an alcoholic drink on a London Underground train or bus.
– Keep a car on your own driveway without tax, even if it not being used, without filling in a form.
– Sell a grey squirrel (though you can kill one).
That’s a hell of a list, and not exhaustive.
One would assume then, that yesterday’s small protest, described as a ‘flash mob’ by the BBC, would be a right of centre action.
Unfortunately for Labour, it wasn’t. The Socialist Workers Party were in prominent, as were the Jury Team, and a sprinkling of Libertarians. The prime movers were far left and angry in their own way.
This is the problem for MPs now. They had a great little scam going which has been busted by their own greed. It has destroyed them entirely – left, right and centre.
The list above has angered just about every citizen of this country to some degree, and that is only a small selection. It makes no mention of the lies that led to the Iraq war, the ignored Number 10 petitions, the hypocritical global warming rhetoric prior to expansion of runways etc. – but no-one raised too much of a protest.
The only thing that held the whole cobbled nonsense together was that MPs were honourable and beyond reproach. That has been shattered and therein lies the anger.
Not that someone claimed for dry rot, but that they had lectured others on how to live their lives while doing so. Not that an MPs husband was wanking off to porn for a tenner, but that £5bn was being spent on ID cards which no-one wants. Not that a few thousand is being claimed by the schools minister, but that the schools are shit while he is trousering the cash.
The leftists were there yesterday, incandescent that a supposedly leftist party were acting like their mortal enemies, the rich. Capitalism may have been dealt a mortal blow by the banking crisis (according to them), but MPs have shown morals that are equally in the gutter. Those on the right are angry that their profits are being ripped to pieces by a taxing government which is populated by troughers intent on taking as much as they can get without recourse to the same system.
It is akin to a hypnotist clicking his fingers and us all wondering what we were doing by eating that onion. It’s us and them now, there is no middle ground, they are hated by every political persuasion for a variety of differing reasons. If they had only resisted the temptation, the scam could have been perpetuated for another decade or so.
As it has transpired, it’s the first time in living memory that left and right are united in protesting about the whole lot of them. They have abused their power and dumped on every single one of us. We may disagree about which aspects we dislike, but all are in unison that their positions are untenable.
The veneer of respectability has been wiped clean by a former SAS guy with a disk and there are only two options. A general election may regain a smidgeon of trust, but, as with the Poll Tax, we know now how to object and we may learn to like it.
For a future administration to reclaim public trust, an extensive roll-back of intrusive and illiberal laws is going to be required. The magic has to be re-invented by those in Westmonster, and for that to happen there will have to be a few rabbits pulled from self-serving hats.
It’s difficult to ascertain which party is brave enough to try it at the moment. The first to break rank and admit that their policies have been out of step with their voters may well steal a march.
Or are they too far gone? Too enamoured with their own self-worth to change? Probably. But unless someone reverses out of the damaging cul-de-sac into which they have navigated, the spell that politicians have enjoyed for years may be gone forever.
We are truly f888*ed, it is true. We are. Just look at the numbers. Numbers are king.
Nobody can pay back the dept that Gordon Brown has racked up. We shall be pariahs in the world, and nobody will sell us anything. Not even Mexico, or Venezuela, or Southern Rhodesia will sell to us then.
We shall have to make do with old Motorola phones, which only vibrate and have stopped ringing, and we shan’t be able to afford to “upgrade”.
We shall have to keep our Direct-X-10 graphics cards, for a few years…. (horror)
The lights may even go out. For some houtrs a day. We shall have to reboot every so often. There may not be petrol on some days.
But at least we shall have our pride and self-respect.
And some of us know how to grow stuff.
Good old boys! (And why does not WordPress let me edit the typeface or even put in more text, if I have gone Italic, or vice versa?) David Davis (so I will have to go down here. Bum.) I can’t even get a new paragraph here now, (to the left of “I”, and I wanted to say something else a bit different. You’ll all just have to wait, then.
Unless you can help. (Oh I got that one, but it was an “inside para”. Not wanted. As you can all see, I’m not a geek at all, you can see my Y-fronts.)
Ideas, anyone? Oh and Bodwyn expands his ideas here.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The Terror of Constantinople, by Richard Blake
Richard Blake. The Terror of Constantinople (London: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2009).
The book, Blake’s second, is set in early seventh century Constantinople. Although a play-by-play of all the plot permutations would take up a story’s worth of space in its own right, the general outline can be summarized fairly simply. Kentish scholar Aelric, the hero of Blake’s earlier novel, is commissioned by the papacy on what is officially a research junket to Constantinople aimed at scouring the patristic literature for thelogical ammunition against the Arian minority in Spain—and unofficially a quiet diplomatic mission to secure the Emperor’s recognition of the Pope as as supreme head of the Church.
The environment into which he is thrown is suggested by Aelric’s description:
“According to what I’ve picked up on the Exchange, …the Danube frontier has collapsed and Slavs are pouring into the Balkans. The Persians have invaded Mesopotamia and may already be in Syria. The Exarch of Africa is in revolt against the Emperor, and his people have taken Egypt. These are all converging on Constantinople and it’s an open bet who will get there first. Whoever does get there will find an emperor who is incompetent for every purpose but murdering anyone who might have some ready cash to steal, or who may have given one of his statues a funny look.”
The imperial capital is torn by struggle between the papacy and the emperor, between the emperor and the Exarch of Africa, and the Machiavellian maneuvers of the old eunuch Theophanes (a high official to the Master of Offices—in contemporary terms something like chief of staff to the chief minister) to play all the factions against one another in pursuit of his own shadowy agenda. Before the story concludes, we see Constantinople terrorized by the emperor’s secret police, wracked by civil war, and captured by the forces of Heraclius, Exarch of Africa.
Like any good spy novel, Blake’s work offers many layers of intrigue. Every seeming resolution of the mystery on Aelric’s part, no matter how plausible and seemingly conclusive, turns out to have been either a dead end or only a partial understanding. Every time Aelric seems on the verge of a “locked drawing room scene,” he finds there is a larger plot in the background.
Aelric’s character is not calculated to evince sympathy on initial acquaintance. To a superficial first (and maybe second and third) glance, he is a superficial libertine and a vain clothes horse, in search of nothing but a good party. But by the fourth glance or so, we begin to suspect there is more than meets the eye. By means of a series of hints from incidents minor in themselves, and from showing Aelric’s reaction in a variety of circumstances, Blake shows us an unsuspected depth of character. Aelric reveals himself as a man of principle, not only through many small acts of decency, but through his efforts to behave justly even when it is costly and inconvenient—not with idealistic speeches or even with any particular attempt to make a point of it, but just doing it. The parallel of Oskar Schindler—who in his “real life” was a Sudeten German nationalist, Nazi collaborator, and opportunistic war profiteer—comes to mind.
Perhaps the most complex character in the book is Theophanes the eunuch, the cynical and amoral master of bureaucratic in-fighting. Despite his seemingly total lack of moral scruples regarding torture and assassination, and his willingness to do whatever is necessary to promote his ends, he comes across as remarkably sympathetic. First, we see that much of his character is not of his own making. Through his colorful history, starting with his capture as a young Syrian shepherd, and his odd detours as nursemaid and entertainer before entering imperial service, it becomes clear that if Theophanes has survived forces beyond his control, those forces have also stamped their imprint on him. Second, among all the maneuvering factions, he alone seems motivated by anything even vaguely resembling principle—in his case, an attachment to the Roman imperial ideal and a desire to preserve a polity capable of preserving order in a disintegrating world. That was his motivation in putting Phocas on the throne, and his motivation in handing the City over to Heraclius. And finally, through all else, Theophanes is displays a genuine attachment and sense of loyalty to his friends, and an appreciation and yearning for companionship. As amoral, indeed wicked, as were many of his actions, Theophanes comes across as one who has suffered much, and been hammered and twisted by the world into a monstrous form—and yet remains very much a human being. Looking on Theophanes’ severed head at the end of the book, Aelric finds himself of violently mixed feelings, and grieving despite himself.
While you shouldn’t weep for a man like that, I had to fight myself not to. How he must have dreamed of a return to the burning wilderness of his childhood—free to pass the remainder of his life without lies or betrayal. He’d come close to that. Then he’d given it all up for the child of his worst enemy and for a barbarian who’d tried his hardest, without knowing what it was, to wreck his plan.
I reached forward and pulled the eyes shut.
I suspect many readers will have similarly mixed reactions.
Blake reveals some libertarian sympathies, without hitting us over the head with them.
Aelric, taking advantage of the opportunity to read near-lost works of the classical age in the imperial library, mourns for the “vanished age of light and freedom.” Having dug out “the complete letters of Epicurus on government,” for example, this was Aelric’s reaction:
I’d guessed right about his political opinions. A wise man, he said, is one who wants to be left alone, who wants to leave others alone, and who wants others to be left alone. Therefore, the sole functions of government are to secure individuals in the possession of life and property.
“Most unlike our own dear world of universal love and justice,” I muttered….
Aelric also cherishes the surviving poetry of Sappho, and tries to recapture what the words meant to the world before the Old Faith was supplanted by the New Faith of the Jewish carpenter.
It was impossible to know how these words had sounded amid the fountains and perfect buildings of ancient Mytilene when they were first written. But they could still be appreciated by those prepared to make the effort.
And beyond the words, the stars on which she had looked remained. They were the same stars on which the first rational being of all had looked in some remote past. They were the stars on which the last rational being would, in some perhaps still more remote future, choke out his final breath.
They had shone for Sappho. They shone for me.
Or as Robert Penn Warren would say, “…nothing is lost, nothing is ever lost…. And all times are one time….”
The Empire resembles the contemporary United States in some ways. Weakened internally by corruption and exhausted by foreign wars and provincial revolt, it comes across as a hollowed-out state. As Theophanes says to the papal legate,
Can you imagine what it’s like to collect taxes when there are no taxpayers? To direct armies and ships that have their only existence on a sheet of papyrus? To govern cities that are for the most part become heaps of smoking ruins?
It is also terrorized by the kind of police state—in particular, the “Black Agents”—that Bush didn’t quite manage to foist on us, even after “9-11 changed everything.” Here are the words of the Tall Man, chief of the Black Agents, holding Aelric at his mercy in the immense labyrinth of dungeons under the Ministry:
“I will show you how pain is very like pleasure. It too has its rituals and instruments. It too has its orgasms. It too can be prolonged by those who understand the responses of the body.”
In another dialogue a police agent, with the chilling frankness of O’Brien in Room 101, describes the real purpose of the police terror:
“Why do you suppose we do this, day after day?” he asked….
“The official answer, I said, … “is that they are traitors. Really, of course, none may be guilty of anything at al. It’s really a matter of keeping control, isn’t it?”…
If I’d annoyed Alypius by draining the surprise out of his answer, his face said nothing.
“The function of terror is to break up all the guilds and clubs and professional groupings of the City into an agglomeration of individuals, each looking over his shoulder to see what the others might be saying about him. If no one speaks his mind, no one joins forces….
“How anyone gets on our death-lists is left to chance. The use of those lists, though, is wholly deliberate. Kill enough people and you can announce that the sun rises at dusk and wait for the applause.”
The followers of the African Exarch resemble the true believers of twentieth century totalitarian ideology, referring to their leader as “Blessed Heraclius,” and looking forward to the days when Heraclius rules the world as God’s Universal Exarch and “Justice and Peace and Glory will be restored.”
Blake brings to the story the obvious erudition of a classical education—but with his gift for complexity and realism of character, he makes his characters seem as real as people we know.
I highly recommend it.
These are exclusive interviews with the entirety of the British army (Hint: Red team are British). Viewer discretion is advised. some content may be inappropriate for children, or anyone for that matter.
Harry Djanogly (never heard of him, so he must be an eminently sensible and ordinary guy, but how can you give a job to someone called that?) is on the carpet for his gates.
In fact I have __so__ never heard of him, that he is in fact called “Jonathan”. Sorry, man. Yo.
I think this was the most sensible use of State Money. Very sound idea and to be applauded.
We should all have some, now. Better and more safety-conscious than Duck islands. (How, oh how, could this bugger not __see__ how utterly, utterly crass and stupid and cretinous that would look, if it came out?)
How can we avoid sharing in the staggering humiliation that all this stuff heaps on us as a nation, in the eyes of, say, Latvians? For example? Or even Koreans? (I leave you to judge which sort.)
And……eating 5 pounds of onions a day for a month “may” make you feel ill.
Someone please tell the buggers to f*** off and drink tasteless, low-Potassium drinks. Then, happily, there will be less of those left for the rest of us.
In the late 1960s, “scientists” fed rats 350+ beverages-equivalent-amounts of cyclamates per day, to try to prove that artificial sweeteners were bad for people. They succeeded in making the rats sick….but then rats don’t really weigh that much.
The libertarian issue at stake is the presence of an Enemy Class, which latches onto initially-harmless and boring mountebankianism of this kind, turning it into part of the Green ValitudinariaNazi Human-Restricticon.
Helllllllooooooooooooooooooooo Peeps. I have recently suffered a major embuggeration. Tis now sorted. Puter is back and so am I. Goddamn it, I have soooooo missed ranting/moaning. Puter broke just as all the shit (that you, me, them, everyone has been Blogging about for ages) hit the fan – Big Time.
My last post (from the Library of Old Peeps) was on the 6th of May and to be quite honest the last 2 weeks and 1 day have been the longest, most boring, most frustrating, most annoying, most……well, everything really, of my life. I have been reliant on Sky News and the BBC for TV coverage (YAWN !!!!!) and have spent so much money on ‘Dead Wood’ I could have bought a lap top.
So what have I missed?. God knows. I have a lot of reading/catching up to do. How ever I will give you some observations to be going on with.
1 – Acer are very good at fixing Puters.
2 – Having no T’internet sucks – Big Time.
3 – Spain GP was Fan-Bloody-Tastic. Go Brawn. I wanted Barrichello to win but Jenson got it instead. I Hope Brawn don’t cock it up big time. I am looking to them to make F1 fantastic again but I can see Barrichellos’ point. Ferrari lost their appeal against next seasons 40 million cap. LOL. They are threatening to leave GP. I thought they already had.
4 – Expenses Row – Loving it. Snuffle – gobble – snuffle – gobble – KerrrrrrrrrrBang. Byeeeeeeee.
5 – Mr Martin. Best you get your missus a bus pass. Oh, and best you inform her that next year it’s Skegness.
6 – Gurkhas – Welcome Home. Jeremy Clarkson for Prime Minister and Joanna Lumley for Minister of State for Borders and Immigration.
7 – Dizaei – Can you turn this one into a racist slur on your character and save your career yet again. Time to bugger off, me thinks. It is bad enough that the public dislikes you, but when your own Police Force hates you with a passion, it really is time to leave. Think of your pension man – tis better to resign than get the sack (see 5) above) – Ta ta.
8 – Baby Peter mother offers apology – Yep I’m sure you do. You have just realised that when you go to prison, every one, FUCKING EVERY ONE, from the lowest scummy druggy crim to the Board of Governors is going to want you dead – ASAP. You didn’t just allow your ‘Boyfriend’ to kill your son but you also allowed him to rape a 2 year old girl, who I suspect was your daughter. If I am wrong here, fucking sue me you piece of shit sucking scum.
9 – Some one, some where, last week, wrote (in the papers) a quote that made me laugh out loud. It went something along the lines of ‘ People stopped by to visit and offer their condolences to the smouldering wreck that was The speaker of the House’. Feel free to let me know who it was, it was classic.
10 – It is much safer to get bolloxed and rant on/in t’internet/blogosphere. Getting wankered and letting rip in local pub/with friends/with family is not the same. It also gets you in Deepo Shitto!!!!!!!.
Am off to check out my favourite Bloggs. Will be leaving copious pissed up comments. Please bear with me. It’s good to be back.
* If you don’t know what an embuggeration is, well to be honest, I am disappointed in you.
Now that this blog seems to be attracting attention from important people, I have taken certain steps regarding the comments.
No comment moderation is in place. But a robot now scans the entirety of all comments for certain keywords, the list of which may change on a one-time-pad basis, or it may not.
The Robot will decide whether to let such things on, or not, in ways which from time to time may vary.
This blog like others is private property. We are pleased to let people onto it, at our pleasure.
This will maximise the enjoyment that readers get out of it.
The Enemy Class will not take any notice of us if we keep going on about their fripperies. Who cares if £100,000 is spent on ferrying two Enemy-Warlords from the train to the office? Small-change, and won’t convince anybody.
This is not the point, and The Enemy Class knows it. The danger is that we will miss it (the point.)
Anyway, if they dared to rub shoulders with the starving, thirsty, sweating mobs on The Tube, they’d get scragged: and even __we here__ don’t want that: not really. It’ll just make the place harder to turn into a peaceful liberty-loving libertarian civilisation than it’s already going to be.
The issue is about whether there ought to be a poll-tax-funded-State-Nazi mouthpiece at all. The entire organisation has become iniquitous, in that it’s now quite cheerfully and openly partial to the objectives of the GramscoFabiaNazis. It needs just to go, like poor Michael Martin – who, now he’s toast, looks just like he always was: a rather dim and useful idiot-fall-guy who drew convenient flak, and was ultimately for use by the real Enemies of Liberty.
We should assault the structures of The Enemy Class head-on, from now on. We must question the need for these structures’ existence at all times. We must take each chance to abolish something they have made, as it comes, not waiting a second. We must never miss the chance to deliver boot-kicks to the head, until total dissolution, to anything of theirs we have managed to destroy.
They will never give up: they are incorrigibly evil and anti-human, and want a permanent-world-in-aspic, of cowed /Humiliores/ serfs slaving for a patina of /Honestiores/. They _must_ be stopped, and prevented from ever re-arising, or we are doomed. We _must_ treat infestation by their philosophies as a notifiable and infectious disease, like malaria or the Plague. (So the Universities have got to be fixed quite soon then.)
Charles Moore often champions the BBC-license-fee-refuseniks. You can follow links to him out from here.
Here’s a good one:-
It confirms all I have ever suspected about GreeNazis and environmentalists.
This is what we thought about an hour ago. In the Duty-Chimpanzee Type Writers’ Hut.
Prayers answered. My oh my, how things happen quickly these days.
Here’s the link for what they had, for the “second homes” shown below. I can’t be arsed to type or copy-paste all the figures. Anyway, the takings by these clowns don’t appear to be worse than any other MPs’ claims, and certainly less shamelessly-vast than ZanuLieBorg.
But their houses are much more interesting, and quintessentially English – almost like the sort I’d have loved to own, had I been luckier or more competent in my life. Oh well never mind.
I, Fred Bloggs, officially present the award for the 500,000+ Words-per-Comment Grand Challenge Cup to….
All the actual troughing issues have been more-than-adequately discussed, and we all want to know what will happen now. Perhaps The Queen, at last, will intervene as she ought to have done many years ago, or more likely perhaps not. This is important, Especially as the fate of Parliament as an institution may even be up for grabs.
But this is just the tormenting of a poor, poor sad man.
On the video is a man who is entirely inadequate for his actual job – let alone for political watershed moments like this – and is now merely an embarrassment. Whatever happens, this is a good day to bury a piece of walking bad news, and get rid of him. Anna Raccoon, like us, finds it all so internationally humiliating.
(Tony Hollick, post-doctoral-essay-strategies-research-fellow into commentator-subject-diversity, and this year’s winner of the Libertarian Alliance 500,000+ Words-per-Comment Grand Challenge Cup, does not feel quite 100% as positively as I do about Frank Field, so he will shortly regale you extensively about somethinng else: but actually the Peaker can be anybody except Michael Martin.)
ID cards could grant the taxman access to your bank records
We can’t allow the government to introduce legislation which allows the ID card database to be used for tax enforcement
Campaigners against ID cards have warned for years that the ID verification process will give the authorities power to monitor a person’s spending and draw conclusions about their tax declarations and real income.
These fears were dismissed by government supporters and journalists as hysterical but now they turn out to be rather well-founded.
Secondary legislation laid before parliament last week reveals that the taxman will have access to the log of a person’s major transactions, hotel bookings, airline tickets, holidays, car payment plans etc. Naturally the subject of this inspection will have no idea that HM Revenue and Customs is examining their spending log or what deductions, false or otherwise, will be made.
As the Daily Mail pointed out this legislation was quietly introduced to parliament at the very moment that MPs’ fraudulent and tax-avoiding affairs were being revealed by the Daily Telegraph. A piquant detail in the long story of how parliament has come to revile the ordinary member of the public.
It is absolutely essential for civil society and the conduct of our democracy – or what remains of it – that faceless bureaucrats are not given the power to look into individuals’ spending. It is another line drawn in the sand that we allow the executive to cross at our peril. I suggest that we should regard it as part of the battle to equalise the power of the government and the people.
But there are many who do not see the threat and indeed argue for even greater intrusion and data collection by the state. David Goodhart, the editor of Prospect magazine, wrote recently: "If there is too much suspicion of the state and too many data protection rules the state cannot give us what we want. It might be useful if we started to see out data as similar to tax, something we willingly surrender to the authorities in return for various benefits."
In this newly announced piece of legislation, tax and data become intimately associated in a way that Goodhart no doubt applauds. But it never seems to occur to critics that the state has no natural right to either tax or information. Both are given up only with our consent, which depends on the demonstrable competence and propriety of the state, something that none of us could swear to today.
Goodhart’s is the argument of tyrants and slaves, it urges us to trust the state regardless of the evidence of its fallibility. Incidentally, it seems ironic that this statist line appears in a magazine part–owned by two wealthy financiers, one of whom, George Robinson is a hedge fund manager who made £18m in 2004 on a turnover of £74m, income that no doubt benefited from the favourable tax environment devised for hedge funds by Gordon Brown.
The supporters of state databases are going to have to campaign very hard over the coming months, not just about intrusion, but also data security. It will be interesting to see how they propose to guarantee the safety of our data after the 11th day of revelations by the Daily Telegraph, which of course all come from a breach of an official database, just like the one that will monitor our spending.
A Political Class is Blown Away:
by Sean Gabb
My British readers will need no reminding of what has happened during the past few weeks. However, most of my readers are not British, and many will be coming on this article several years into the future. So I will begin by saying that The Daily Telegraph has “acquired” a disk that contained about a million pages of expenses receipts put in by Members of the House of Commons, and has been publishing its findings day after day. Many of the receipts show a scandalous indifference to the niceties of honesty and proportion. There has been one resignation from the Cabinet so far. Several other Ministers are at least tainted, and may not survive much longer even in Gordon Brown’s apology for a Government. Dozens of letter political careers have been blighted. The Police have now been called in, and we are waiting to see who will be charged and with what.
It is very funny to watch these creatures squirming – rather like bugs in the sunlight when the stone under which they were sheltering is pulled over. The general defence is either to blame accounting carelessness. Otherwise, when this defence cannot reasonably be made, they blame “the system” that never stopped them from slipping their hands into the till. That the sums involved have not usually been that great makes it all the funnier. These people have, since 1997, burned their way through about two trillion pounds of our money. Most of this has been used to buy Labour votes or to oppress us – often for both at the same time. If they are now on the brink of political oblivion because of a few thousand pounds here and there spent on tampons and television sets, it is because these are things that we can comprehend. A trillion begins with one digit and is followed by twelve zeros. Claiming back £65 for a summons for non-payment of council tax is much easier to imagine.
Various further questions arise from the scandal. The first and most obvious is how anyone could be so careless in his accounting – especially when he has spent decades advertising his peculiar fitness to govern this country. Then it may be asked how so many politicians can afford to write out repayment cheques for what the rest of us might think substantial sums of money. I am not poor, but would have to wait a while before signing a cheque for £20,000. Have these people additional sources of gain that have not so far been revealed? But the question I want to ask today is why has The Daily Telegraph seen fit to expose all this dirt?
One answer is that this is the sort of thing the media of a free country exists to do. But this is not a satisfactory answer. I have been watching the British media at work for about thirty years now, and I can say that – weather reports and cricket scores aside – nothing is published in the way of news that does not serve some agenda of the great and powerful. These expense claims show at worst rather petty corruption. There are much larger scandals that are not covered by the mainstream media – and certainly not by The Daily Telegraph. There is, for example, the former police chief who used his position to stop his mistress from being blackmailed. There is a senior judge who was arrested for exposing himself to little girls in a bus shelter. There is the whole background to the Dunblane massacre in 1996. There is much else that has never found its way into the newspapers. So why this?
Another possible answer is that The Daily Telegraph is supposed to be a Conservative newspaper, and that it should, therefore, do whatever it can to hasten the end of this Labour Government. However, it has done very little against either Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. Most of the dirt published on this Government has been in The Daily Mail or The Independent. In any event, if the worst abuses have been by Labour politicians, these expenses claims have damaged politicians in all the main parties. Using them for party political purposes is much like using atom bombs to win a trench battle.
No – I believe that this wind that will blow away much of our political class was produced for – if not by – Boris Johnson. He is not currently in the House of Commons, but is Mayor of London. He has obvious ambitions to be at least the next but one Conservative Prime Minister. He is, so far as I can tell, the only person of significance likely to benefit from this expenses scandal. He benefits so far as he is untouched by it, and so far as many of those who do or might stand in his way will be discredited.
I have no direct evidence of this claim. But I can supply what I regard as reasonable inferences from past behaviour that stand beside estimates of present interest.
To begin with past behaviour, it may be recalled that, around the turn of the century, I ran the Candidlist Project. This provided information about the stated or likely views of Conservative politicians about the European Union. It was a very feeble thing compared with what has since been achieved by Guido Fawkes – or even by The Daily Telegraph. But it scared the life out of several hundred normally shameless politicians, and destroyed about a dozen careers. I may have unseated one Member of Parliament. During the approach to the 2001 General Election, I put the Candidlist Questions to Boris Johnson, who was at the time the Conservative candidate for Henley and a senior journalist at The Daily Telegraph and Editor of The Spectator. At first, he refused to answer my questions. Then he gave some very unsatisfactory answers. I made great fun of him, and this was picked up by several newspapers.
What I did next was to start pressuring the directors of companies that were funding a campaign for Britain to join the Euro. This pressure included a threat to publish the home addresses of directors who refused to stop funding what I regarded at the time as treasonable propaganda. Almost at once, I found myself on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, for two days running accused of what would nowadays be classed as terrorism. The journalist concerned managed to claim that publishing the home addresses of people like Fred Goodwin was tantamount to putting dynamite through their letterboxes. I was outraged by the claims, and it took me several days to appreciate the funny side of things. Back then, though, this was still a free country, and everyone else had a good laugh at me and then forgot the matter. It is unlikely that the Police even read the claims, let alone considered how many dozen officers they could fit through my front door before shooting me.
Now, it might have been some alarmed company director who had me done over. More likely, it was Boris Johnson, calling on his friends to punish me for what I had done to him. This was his newspaper. He has always had a reputation for bearing grudges and for a ruthless viciousness in advancing his own interests. If so, it may be relevant that the journalist who defamed me in 2001 was Benedict Brogan – and that it is Benedict Brogan who is now supervising the publication of the Commons expense claims. It may also be relevant that no claim submitted by Mr Johnson while he was in Parliament has yet been published or commented on. Perhaps Mr Johnson ran his finances as a Member of Parliament with more attention to the proprieties than he did his private life. We may one day learn the truth.
As for present interest, I have already explained this. At the beginning of the present month, Mr Johnson was an important elected officer. But he was out of Parliament, and had dropped out of competition with a leadership that growing in confidence with every downward step of the Brown Government. He is now the one leading Conservative who has not been tainted by allegations of fraud or allegations of having tolerated the frauds of others. It still looks as if the Conservatives will win the next election – even they cannot managed the incompetence and cowardice now needed to save Labour. And it looks as if David Cameron will be the next Conservative Prime Minister. But Boris Johnson has grown in public stature during the past fortnight, and he may be able, after the next election, to come forward with claims to preferment that cannot be denied.
I have no reason for not wanting Mr Johnson to succeed in politics. He is no worse than anyone else, and has given the occasional sign of being better. He was beastly to me a long time ago, and has almost certainly been beastlier to other people who have got in his way. I say what I have said because I believe it to be true, and because, if it is true, I might pick up some credit for having said it first.
NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3
(I originally wrote this on 18th October 2008. But some of the points raised deserve a new airing in the light of recent events in Parliament and how these relate to fascism and the Enemy-Class-Hatred of all things moral and English.)
The EU, with its usual disarming frankness about objectives, has gone on record as saying that it’s not really important if people here (or by inference elsewhere) go on using pre-metric, which is to say “Imperial” measurements. For one thing of course, these are still commonly encountered in all sorts of places on the continent of Europe.
The real subtext of the assault on “Imperial” measurement use in the UK is of course, and always has been, ideological and manichean. It is obvious, now that we know the facts. Those kinds of people who so publicly have championed “metrication” (and that also included the quite un-necessary and politically-motivated “decimalisation” of our currency) share a fully philosophical objective: what is this objective, then?
It is the exemplary punishment of Britain: especially, it encompasses an objective of the destruction of a place which they view as “England” – together with all its customs and traditions which act as a sort of conservative glue. The whole idea of “England”, historically, is essentially conservative. England’s history returns almost like clockwork, to a theme of looking to tradition and custom (as understood at the time of decision about the future) to decide what to do. This is mortally dangerous to gangsters like Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Gordon Brown, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il (who will continue to remain dead), Huggy the Chav, Ken Livingstone, Castro (who has been dead for some time) and whoever that bugger was who ran the Sendero Luminoso (I hope there won’t be a pop group called that any time soon.)
This stuff, this conservative glue, hard to create over the centuries, but easy to abolish with a Gestapo-sweep of A4 paper containing “enhanced statutory requirements”, holds a free people in friendships and relationships in a comfortable place, and confers order on civilisation. This of course is quite inimical to the fascist/stalinist concept of “more and faster change”, beloved of “management” “consultants”, or one of the other ones, which is “best practice in health and safety”.
Most importantly, it is because an essentially conservative civilisation is all that stands in the way of the intended destruction of what helps ordinary people to live and get better and better as time advances – that destruction which is crucial for the survival of wreckers, murderers, fascists, socialists and other theoretical idealists who have never inhabited anything more important (such as a factory or a mine or a ploughed field) than a room at a university. These latter groups know, with every fibre of their being, that their usefulness and significance diminishes visibly and fast, with the arrival of every person who can make his own way and decisions in his life.
You can’t, if you are a statist, allow people essentially to better themselves and their lives…and then you just go home and grow stuff or watch TV. The hog won’t slaughter itself.
There will come a time when they won’t need you or your “help”, and they will be able to know it. If they are armed, then you are toast already (so you’d better have got their guns off them quite early on.) If they are unarmed, then you will still have a difficult time, and you may have to shoot the right people (they didn’t in this case), but you may get through if you can manufacture a scare or two, preferably together, and hobble them further.
I think that British statists, being cleverer and more (what Stalin called) “serious” than continental ones (their weather is better and the food and girls are nicer, so they don’t really have to concentrate so hard) are far, far more finely-tuned to the threat of incipient liberty arising in a population, than their European conterparts.
I shudder to think with what ruthless efficiency the Police authorities in the UK would have complied with Nazi orders to round up people and have them “resettled”. Anti-Imperial-measure-police-and-Soviet-staff are merely taking a “directive” at its face value, and applying it to the letter, together with their own ingrained (ought I to say “institutionalised”?) racism against a civilisation which they (rightly) see as the one which has done most to try to make them as redundant as possible.
I’m feeling rather facetious today, and I feel like taking the piss out of the Greens.
Here I go:
World War one is often seen as one of the worst and most costly, in terms of lives, wars of all time, but many people do not realize that whole new enviroments for great bio-diversity were created in those four fateful years.
To name a few of these habitats of indigenous widlife is quite easy: the vast amounts of shell and mine craters were turned into artificial lakes, which housed all kinds of life, such as frogs, newts and, in some cases, cod. The vast amout of trenches were in turn repurposed into interconnecting rivers, which created vast wetlands which were a safe haven for endangered birds and wildlife.
Also the craters mangled the farmland so much that it was unusable to grow crops, due to the fact that farmers’ tractors would repeatedly fall into, and get stuck in, the large pits, so all of the land was used to plant trees, which in turn created the Ardennes forest specificaly so that in WW2, German troops could use it as a recreational area, as it was ideal for long walks.
On anoter note, horses were widely used instead of cars, because the Allied Command and Centeral Powers Command unamiously agreed that the fact that horses create very little CO2, was very desirable.
During the Battle of Jutland many artificial reefs were created for the wildlife of the North Sea.
UPDATE1:- It seems that The Queen may “suggest” to Gordon Brown, some remedies, to his Parliament’s predicament. I can’t guess what those might be, but we live in hope.
Libertarians disagree in friendly ways all the time about the correct constitutional structure of a limited or minimal state.
Presently, here, we have what is increasingly inaccurately called a “Constitutional Monarchy”. I think most British libertarians are prepared to live with this arrangement, if it would merely deliver its supposed advantages. I have just been to The Last Ditch where I found an admirable call for The Queen to do what she is entitled under our constitution to do:
dissolve this Parliament, and call a General Election.
This particular Parliament, unprecented in nearly 400 years, has lost such meagre respect as it still retained after, among other sins, handing, entirely unauthorised and incidentally to the extreme detriment of The Queen’s own position as Head of State of the United Kingdom, nearly all its powers to a junta of unelected foreign potentates with which it has wished to make friends, for what are merely personal pecuniary reasons.
We here may quibble internally about whether the UK ought still to exist – I know that Sean Gabb and I would not lose any sleep if it broke up tomorrow. But most libertarians would be on the same side about the modern inability of the people of these Islands – however they might wish to describe themselves – to arrive at their exiercise of their own sovereignty, by themselves.
(I have just hit “publish” by mistake, but have not finished….)
Mr Eugenides thinks (or perhaps his post implies that) the problem might be soluble merely by bringing about the resignation of the Speaker and his replacement by someone who believes in the idea of parliamentary authority based on the inherent morality of the individuals who (ought to be) in that institution. We here do not agree. The rot has set in too far, and short of a Revolution, which might be destructive and would call down the ire of the present administration which is just _aching_ to invoke the CCA, the best solution is for The Queen to actually exercise the real powers that she has, designed for just this eventuality.
Afetr all, has not this government truly f*****d up? Has it not f****d up the Banking system (on purpose) so as to faux-nationalise it, and decide who gets money and who does not? Has it not f****d up British agricultural and fishery production, so as to hand over at least partial control of our food supply to others as a way of initiating rationing? Has it not f****d up “public education”, so as to deliberately create an uncurious race of compliant helots? Has it not f****d up the Armed Services, so as to eliminate – by calumny, depression and indignation – from their ranks those who would not cheerfully agree to orders to fire upon their own people?
That lot is enough, for a start. Time the buggers went. I doubt very much that The Queen reads this blog, but perhaps someone who knows someone who speaks with her, does.
Please, Ma’am, just do what you were brought up to know how and when to be able to do.
Please also do it, sort of now. it can be combined with the trouser-ripping that’s already scheduled for 4th June. It’s also “Founders day” – David Cameron and Charles Moore will be pleased.
It’s true. I lie awake at night sometimes. During this time one cogitates, and one wonders about the sort of people that want to become in charge of bullying others, via what they call “laws” or “statutes” , but which mostly bear no resemblance to Natural Law at all. The bullying is ostensibly promoted as being for “your own good”, but as J S Mill stated, this is “not good and sufficient reason”. But what motivates a human being to be a Statist, and then, worse an employee of the same? And then, n the end, what ought we do do to deter this kind of behaviour afterwards?
One day, far in the future but sadly not now and not in the waning afternoon of my life, some country’s electorate somewhere will elect a reasonable libertarian administration. I don’t think it will be here. This is of course despite the youthful ardour and enthusiasm shown by the admirable LPUK, which is eminently worthy of your support. Perhaps it will be somewhere in Chindia: I do not know. Or even Argentina or Brazil, or parhaps Iraq or even Russia? (A long shot, that last one.) Miracles have been known to happen.
But there remains the problem of what to do about people, probably a large number, who consciously and on purpose believed, and will continue to believe, in the role of a State being large and powerful. Many of these will not be persuaded in the slightest by the evidence around them of the superiority of Classical liberalism. Obviously, many if not all departments of State will be closed down, their rcords all destroyed, the buildings sold or demolished, and the “staff” turned out into the street to survive or starve as destiny dictates. But you can’t change the minds of some of these people overnight: they will suffer “We Wuzz Robbed” moments.
One would be willing I suppose, as Sean Gabb always advocates, the forgiveness of many – mostly those in very minor positions – who may well decide to publicly abjure their former beliefs, or as will often be the case, recognise their failure to self-articulate the case to themselves for what they were previously doing to others. But To save trouble later, the non-return of fascism as a meme has to be ensured. It must be associated with personal shame, deep perversion, unfathomable wickedness and shocking deviancy, for so long into the future that there should be no memory of it or wish to re-adopt it.
Here’s a draft list of measures to be appplied to the recusants:
(1) No appearance in public without a bright yellow, high-visibility-jacket of the type beloved of |Statists, which says on the back “Former Bureaucrat”.
(2) Must carry an approved form of identity at all times, which may be demanded summarily by anybody at all who’s not obliged to wear one of the above jackets. Approved identity can only be obtained by not having been a bureaucrat previously.
(3) Must be made to sign the Bureaufenders’ Register for varying periods to be decided (Brown will be on it for life. Castro will sign the list posthumously, which can be done now.)
(4) Will not be allowed to venture within 150 feet of ordinary human individuals.
(5) Will have to inform the Police of any address change on pain of a fine (oh, sorry, I’ve just realised the Police won’t have such a range of powers any more…)
(5) Non-statist individuals will have the right to demand the addresses of former bureaucrats who live locally (for the children.)
(6) No puchases allowed without the presentation of approved identity. Special shops more than 150 feet from where people are present will have to be set up (see (4) above.)
(7) Any travel will have to be on “integrated public transport systems”, which of course will be not required, and must be applied for in advance in triplicate stating reason for journey. No cars, bicycles, motor bicycles or any air transport whatsoever will be allowed. They’ll have to go on the bus, but not with other people.
I’m just watching the Eurovision thing now, and Russia will win
OR THERE IS NO OIL!
(They didn’t win – wonder what went wrong? PD )
(Seriously, Norway’s song was fun, but the Iceland girl was prettier. -ED- )