Margaret Thatcher – New Labour’s Midwife


Sean Gabb
Director, The Libertarian Alliance
(Carbon-positive since 1979)

30 Years After: I reject Margaret Hilda Thatcher and Most of Her Works

 Since everyone else is boring on about the 30th anniversary of her first election victory in 1979, I was until ten minutes ago disinclined to say anything of my own. However, I have now promised to put something on the Libertarian Alliance Blog. Therefore, having nothing else to write, I will say why Margaret Thatcher was a bad thing for the cause of liberty in England.

Here goes:

She started the transformation of this country into a politically correct police state. Her Government behaved with an almost gloating disregard for constitutional norms. She brought in money laundering laws that have now been extended to a general supervision over our financial dealings. She relaxed the conditions for searches and seizure by the police. She increased the numbers and powers of the police. She weakened trial by jury. She weakened the due process protections of the accused. She gave executive agencies the power to fine and punish without due process. She began the first steps towards total criminalisation of gun possession.

She did not cut government spending. Instead, she allowed the conversion of local government and the lower administration into a system of sinecures for the Enemy Class. She allowed political correctness to take hold in local government. When she did oppose this, it involved giving central government powers of supervision and control useful to a future politically correct government. She extended and tightened the laws constraining free speech about race and immigration.

Her encouragement of enterprise never amounted to more than a liking for big business corporatism. Genuine enterprise was progressively heaped with taxes and regulations that made it hard to do business. Big business, on the other hand, was showered with praise and legal indulgences. Indeed, her privatisation policies were less about introducing competition and choice into public services than in turning public monopolies into corporate monsters pampered by the State with subsidies and favourable regulations – corporate monsters that were expected in return to lavish financial rewards on the political class.

She virtually began the war on freedom of choice where smoking is concerned. She started the modern obsession with health and safety as an excuse for controlling our lives. She vastly expended state powers of supervision and control over parenting, and immensely expanded the numbers and powers of social workers.

She made the environmental nonsense politically fashionable. She was the first senion British politician to start wittering about climate change and ozone holes. She doubtless thought she was further stuffing the coal miners. In fact, she was a useful idiot for the ideology best suited to replace socialism as an excuse for Enemy Class domination.

She hardly cut taxes. She ruthlessly pushed the speed of European integration. Her militaristic foreign policy and slavish obedience to Washington mostly worked against the interests of this country. The one war she fought that might have some justification was only necessary because her own colleagues had effectively told the Argentine Government to invade the Falkland Islands.

Even her reforms of the trade union movement had malevolent effects. Before her, trade unions were run by ordinary working class people who used the strike and violence to achieve their ends. She ensured that the unions were taken over by the usual Enemy Class graduates. These were the only people capable of using the health and safety and workplace discrimination laws and so forth that were brought in to replace the older methods of advancing working class interests. The result has been the co-option of the trade unions to purposes that have done nothing at all to advance working class interests.

Forget Margaret Thatcher as some hero of our Movement. She was at best the midwife of the New Labour Revolution. She did not just make the world safe for New Labour – she created New Labour. Without her precedents and her general transformation of our laws and institutions, Tony Blair would have been impossible.

I am inclined to wish James Callaghan had won in 1979. If things had turned nasty thereafter, it would at least have been an honest despotism. No libertarians or genuine conservatives would have been making idiots of themselves nearly a third of a century later trying to tell themselves and everyone else that it was other than it was.

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22 responses to “Margaret Thatcher – New Labour’s Midwife

  1. [ FX: "APPLAISE, SEAN!!!" ]

    Ever,

    Anduril

  2. “Even her reforms of the trade union movement had malevolent effects. Before her, trade unions were run by ordinary working class people who used the strike and violence to achieve their ends.”

    How should they have been reformed then?

    • Sean Gabb replies using the Blogmaster’s computer. I would have removed their immunity for tort and put them on exactly the same footing as all other organisations. I would never have presumed to lay down the law regarding the election of their officers or their general internal workings. What MHT did in effect was to nationalise the trade unions.

      Changing the subject a little, I am no longer that sure the unions were such a bad thing in themselves. Their militancy was largely an effect of useless management. Since the unions were smashed, British business has not become notably better than it was. It has mostly become more exploitative.

      There are worse things about a country than an overmighty trade union movement. much worse is overmighty government.

  3. Simple!

    Give the mines to the mineworkers, pit by pit.

    At a strole, the Mineworkers’ Scargillite Union becomes utterly useless.

    The mines can invest their funds in local electricity generation for sale directly via the National Grid.

    Mondragon’s worker-owned Co-operatives started in 1947 with five workers forming a co-op to produce inexpensive paraffin lanterns, then paraffin stoves.

    The Mondragon Group now has 240 diverse Co-ops with 67,000 workers selling over $10 billions of goods and services; a Bank Laboral with almost no Toxic Debt overhang; and every kind of expertise to help new groups start up new businesses — all this in the Free Market. And to top it all, an audited average 8% — TWICE that of Spanish “Capitalist” investor-owned businesses.

    Give me Co-ops in a Free market over Crony-Capitalism any day…. 8% growth per annum, and everyone can get all the support they need to form successful self-employed groups.

    [ FX: "Go For It!!!" ]

    Anduril

  4. Bodwyn Wook

    Good God, /nothing/ — and no one! — is sacred.

  5. Westerlyman

    Sean. I read with interest your views on MHT and find little to argue with especially with regard to the increases in the repressive power of the state.

    However you say hardly anything about the changes to the economy. One comment about how she hardly lowered taxes was all and you did not really expand that idea.

    For me the over-riding feeling that I had during this time was that the country moved from being an international joke with an economy in tatters, 3 day weeks, high taxes, inefficient state run businesses to almost the opposite. I see your point about corporatism but if Jim Callaghan had won the 1979 election where would we all be now?

  6. The country also moved from having a “workforce” (detestable word: Remember ‘Morpheus’ holding up a dry battery in ‘The Matrix’? Remember ‘Neo’ saying “That’s impossible!!!’/

    A steady shif from free contracts to slavery and coercion.. Just what the sharehilders “need”???

    I don’t. angry slaves can “monkey-wrench” a high-tech society…

    Anduril

  7. I knocked myself out in April 1979 as a Toryboy canvasser. I really thought at the time I was fighting to get my country back. I now realise I was helping make the country safe for BP/BAe.

    I shan’t be had again so easily….

  8. Good analysis.

    See also Simon Jenkins’ piece from a few years ago, where he says “I once interviewed Thatcher shortly before her fall in 1990. I asked about the paradox of her yearning for more control and the Tory tradition of laissez faire. She exploded. Never call me laissez faire, she said, dreadful French word. “There are always things to be done!” she shouted. “There is always more to do!” “

  9. Pingback: The crimes of Thatcher « The Landed Underclass

  10. Sean:

    Me too, mate. At the “Freedom Association” at that time, I thought that the Liberal Party manifesto offered the nearest to our stated aims. Everyone told me not to be ao stupid; and ‘let Labour in.’

    Sir Karl said this:

    “It is often said that we are clever — perhaps even too clever — but we are wicked; and it is this combination of cleverness and wickedness which is at the root of most of our problems.

    As against this, I would say that we are good — perhaps even too good; but we are also rather stupid; and it is the case that this combination of goodness and stupidity which is the cause of most of our problems…

    This approach of mine has the considerable merit: that we know a great deal more about correcting ignorance than we know about correcting wickedness.”

    If it’s any consolation, Sean, Sir Karl voted for her too… Smiles…

    Anduril

    ———— * * * * * ————

  11. Ouch! help! Can’t argue too much. So how on earth can we actually get out of this mess?

  12. sjs:

    “So how on earth can we actually get out of this mess?”

    Easy!!! Like this (as I will keep on saying!)

    —————————————————————————

    AGORA5.TXT: Fifth Revision: Discussion Document Revised on 10 June [2008]

    —————————————————————————

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    DEMOCRATIC AGORISM

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    A Liberal Democratic Representative Open Society

    ————————————————

    FOREWORD

    ========

    In Classical Greece, the Agora was the public place where free

    citizens met spontaneously to transact public business, to trade, and to

    exchange news, views and information. Increasingly, our world is becoming

    an Agora (or a series of interrelated Agoras across different

    cross-sections of society)).

    Liberals, individualists, democratic socialists, social democrats,

    free-marketeers, classical liberals, conservatives, anarchists and others

    of no party may all find some merit in these ideas. They outline entirely

    feasible arrangements for an Open Society affording variety and freedom of

    choice, as well as more nearly spontaneous orders in political services.

    These would be social, but not statist. Democratic Agorism can operate in

    whole or in part, and in any country.

    Democratic Agorism is very practical (and eminently practicable). All

    elements of each of the proposals are presently in use somewhere, and can

    therefore be studied, evaluated, compared, criticised and discussed. The

    purpose of Democratic Agorism is to make available the best opportunities

    for citizens qua electors with differing preferences to choose, support

    and benefit from representation and programmes which most nearly fulfil

    their requirements and wishes. As well, people will enjoy increased

    freedom to make their own arrangements for a better life with the funds

    which are made available.

    (These proposals should — I hope! — appeal to everyone, except

    perhaps for those seeking power over other people, or those wanting a

    highly-stratified ‘verticalist’ society where a few are rich beyond dreams of

    avarice, whilst the many suffer from poverty and the denial of access to

    life-chances).

    American writer Jerry Pournelle in his essay ‘The World As It

    Could Be Made’, in Dr. Robert Prehoda’s “Your Next Fifty Years” [1980],

    has pointed out that some people deliberately opt for poverty (for other

    people), because they dislike seeing other people living as free,

    independent, self-confident individuals).

    THE PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED

    ————————-

    How can we provide maximal individual freedom (both positive _and_

    negative: freedom-to-act as well as freedom-from-coercion) to each and

    every individual, so that we may live our lives more nearly as we wish?

    And how do we enable ourselves to enjoy access to the widest range of

    ‘life-chances’?

    How can we ensure that — in the rapidly-transforming world economy —

    people can choose (and look forward to) a future human and economic

    environment which is the best we can achieve?

    And how can we make sure that everyone has a real incentive to choose

    the best systems providing opportunities for maximal economic growth?

    Insofar as economic systems are ‘Wertfrei’ (value-free) abstract games, as

    the economists tell us, people have the right to choose the most

    favourable ‘game’, and to receive full payment for their consent to the

    game’s taking place. Too often, some neoconservatives and others take the

    _particular_ game (and its income and property distributions) for

    granted, as a — somehow — given ‘background’. Not so. As Robert Nozick

    points out, the better-off tend to be the descendants of the beneficiaries

    of past injustices, while the less-well-off tend to be the descendants of

    their predecessors’ victims. Justly-due restitution is not

    ‘confiscation’, nor is it ‘redistribution’ either.

    The monopoly supply of “public” services by the State, which (in

    democratic theory and principle at least) we as the electorate “hire” to

    improve society by solving various problems for us — and the consequent

    disputes over which services are to be supplied, by whom, under whose

    control, by which criteria, how and in what quantity, and at what cost —

    is problematic.

    One purpose of these proposals is to outline the possibilities and

    advantages of simultaneously-available, pluralistic, more nearly

    market-like arrangements, which will expand and enhance the range and

    quality of social services. And this should happen in ways which are

    consistent with the best features of representative democracy and the

    better, more responsive forms of non-profit voluntary groups and

    for-profit commercial enterprises. The implementation of these systems

    can be realised gradually, and will be easier for people to put into

    practice, and adjust to, than many proposed transitions to more fully free

    arrangements.

    Democratic Agorism owes much of its inspiration to the late Agorist

    theoretician Robert LeFevre and to the late Karl Popper. To Robert

    LeFevre it owes the insight that there is no basis for property rights

    which does not entail the possible initiation of aggression to assert

    those rights — which aggression is morally forbidden to consistent

    individualist anarchists, or indeed anyone morally or practically opposed

    to the initiating of aggression.

    I see no viable alternative to Milton Friedman’s view, expressed in

    “Capitalism and Freedom”: “Just what constitutes property and what rights

    the ownership of property confers are complex social creations rather than

    self-evident propositions.”

    To Karl Popper is owed his analysis of the achievement of

    intellectual, moral and practical advance by means of the Open Society of

    free and democratic institutions. ‘Democracy’ to Popper means the ability

    to change the governing order without violence; and — to this end —

    for people to be free to hypothesize, research, discuss and advance

    proposals for improving the ways people live.

    Any free society must ultimately depend on the broad assent of its

    citizens, which can only be practically demonstrated by democratic

    arrangememts. Even in an anarchy, people might prefer to have a vote on

    the system they live within…

    Democratic Agorism proposes a fundamental transformation of the nature

    of the State, into a form of Property Management Company.

    The process is fairly painless.

    The State will own the underlying Strata Title of its present territory.

    The citizens will own the State itself in equal shares.

    They elect a Board of Directors to manage the Company.

    Taxes become User Fees; Laws become Terms and Conditions of Use.

    Revenues from User Fees after “operating expenses” will be returned

    to the citizen-owners in equal dividend payments.

    This process effectely “marketizes” the State.

    The essential elements of Democratic Agorism are modular and synergistic:

    They include:

    [A] A contractually-based day-by-day electoral system – Vectored Politics

    [B] Full-Liability Personal Indemnity Insurance, enabling full restitution.

    [C] Personal Radio Alarms: for event-driven and customer-driven policing

    [D] A Restitutive Legal System, with online ‘courts’ and arbitration.

    [E] Good Basic Income Provision for all — independent incomes for all.

    [F] Networked information services and library facilities

    [G] National Health Insurance chargecard and online diagnostic facilities

    [H] Online education and skills-development facilities

    [I] Tradenet buy/sell/swap/finance/work transaction services

    [J] Packaged ‘political’ services provided via elected representatives

    It has been estimated (David Friedman’s Law, in his ‘The Machinery of

    Freedom’, 2nd edition) that state services typically produce about one half

    the value to consumers of voluntary (non-profit or for-profit) provision, at

    up to twice the cost. He also espouses Robert LeFevre’s Agorist ideas:

    “My own preference is for the sort of economic institutions which

    have been named, I think by Robert LeFevre, agoric. Under agoric

    institutions almost everyone is self-employed. Instead of corporations,

    there are large groups of entrepreneurs related by trade, not by

    authority. Each sells, not his time, but what his time produces. As a

    freelance writer (one of my occupations), I am part of an agoric economic

    order.” [1st ed. p. 199, [1973] and [1978]].

    A two- to four-fold misallocation rate may be an over-estimate;

    still, the costs of misallocated resources, conflict, inflation, excessive

    regulation, waste, bureaucracy, maltreatment and lost opportunities are

    not always amenable to precise estimation, but they have certainly lowered

    living standards for most people. The problem to be solved is that of

    making funds available for different purposes for people to make good use

    of, by their own lights, with the fullest possible informed consent of

    those participating in generating the funds..

    CHOOSING REPRESENTATION: BOLD STROKES AND INCREMENTAL CHANGES

    ————————————————————-

    Rather than having periodic general elections, with very limited

    choice as to candidates, each elector is at any time free to choose any

    person of his or her preference (who must of course be willing so to act),

    to be his or her elected representative, always on a revokeable basis.

    Each day is a possible ‘Election Day’ for each elector and each

    representative.

    Representatives can then delegate their work-load as they see fit, to

    those they have confidence in. In this age of easy communications, there

    need be no restriction on the total number of elected representatives

    meeting in Assembly by means of electronic and tele- conferencing. The

    emphasis shifts from ‘winners and losers’ to ‘market shares.’

    The relationship between elector and representative is a standard

    civil-law contractual one (offer -> acceptance -> performance (->

    payment)). Representatives may form mutual-interest groups, which might

    in some respects approximate the present political coalitions. New

    patterns of support will emerge. They will not be beholden to political

    parties. Elections will cease to be periodic all-or-nothing affairs, and

    will reflect and accommodate gradual shifts in opinion and support, as

    electors change and develop their preferences between representatives –

    and their policies – over time.

    (A variant of modern public-key/private-key security cryptosystems

    can easily be arranged, to ensure a secret ballot for those preferring

    such an arrangement. It should be pointed out that most of the present

    ‘secret-ballot’ electoral systems are only as ‘secret’ as the authorities

    running them want them to be).

    The legislative functions of the elected assembly will be carried out

    by means of the representatives voting on measures, each casting that

    number of votes corresponding to the sum of contracting electors they

    represent at the time of the vote. Public laws would require the assent

    of a real majority — preferably at least 50% of the electorate’s votes

    (after subtracting ‘votes-against’ from ‘votes-for’). I expect this to

    result in many fewer — and clearer — statute laws.

    It should be worthwhile to introduce ‘sunset’ review provisions for

    existing legislation, (as distinct from the body of civil law), so that

    pre-existing legislation (much of which is dated, inappropriate, corrupt

    in origin, harmful or poorly-thought-out) will be subject to review and

    re-enactment or repeal.

    A Written Constitution, setting out the basic principles of universal

    human rights — to facilitate formal and legal enforceability of those

    rights by means of accessible _trial by jury_ — is both educational and

    advantageous for liberty, with entrenching clauses barring attacks on key

    individual rights and liberties, and forbidding cruel or unusual

    punishments, and so on. Every country in the world _nominally_

    subscribes to these principles already, in the 1947 Universal Declaration

    of Human Rights:

    http://www.hri.org/docs/UDHR48.html (UDHR Attached)

    (The drafting of this document _preceded_ its adoption by the UN,

    and acceptance of the UDHR does not imply endorsement of the UN variant).

    It is usually easier to convince people (and governments) that they

    should _respect_ what they’ve already _actually assented to_.

    Representatives may go on to appoint an Executive to deal with

    defence matters, external affairs and so on. There may also be a second

    (non-spending) oversight and revision chamber, or Senate, with

    representatives especially chosen for their wisdom, knowledge, character,

    standing and so on – as electors and their representatives may wish.

    For the honest and ethical political representatives, there are many

    advantages to be had from Democratic Agorism, and few disadvantages. Each

    can work to build up their electoral constituency (‘market share’), and to

    offer the most attractive and worthwhile programmes, to ensure ongoing

    support and revenue. Each can look forward to promoting their preferred

    objectives. Each can have some security from the domination of party,

    leader or faction. Every shade of opinion can be proportionally

    represented.

    For the elector, the available opportunities will be very considerably

    improved over the present unresponsive legislatures and government

    monopolies. There will be a whole new series of market-places, offering

    packaged choices of services with strong incentives to be efficient and

    attractive. Programmes compete for electoral support on a basis which

    facilitated comparison for quality and value over time. The existence of

    a variety of simultaneously available alternatives will considerably

    enhance individual freedoms and reduce social conflicts arising from

    monopoly provision.

    It should be noted that Democratic Agorism can be built up gradually

    (or even covertly, or clandestinely) in non-democratic societies, so as to

    supplant and replace undemocratic systems by more representative – hence

    more legitimate – fully democratic ones.

    And Democratic Agorism provides very useful ‘benchmarks’ against which

    any existing social arrangements and situations may be appraised. “What

    would be happening in this situation within the parameters of Democratic

    Agorism?”

    INSURING JUSTICE: CRIME PREVENTION, COMPENSATION AND RESTITUTION

    —————————————————————-

    The maintenance and furtherance of individual liberties, and the

    prevention of criminal acts (violence, coercion, malicious damage and the

    deliberate infliction of harm), and provision of full compensation or

    restitution for anyone who has suffered loss or injury, are the moral and

    logical functions of a rational and humane justice system which is founded

    on principles of delegated self-defence and equality of protection within

    the Rule of Law.

    Most people who have suffered from crime would rather receive full and

    prompt compensation, than only the remote and uncertain possibility that

    the actual malefactor might be caught and perhaps punished. In the past,

    the problem has been that offenders have been unable to compensate their

    victims adequately. It is time to return the protection of the law from

    the abstraction of “state” to the reality of persons.

    Consequently, if each person and association is required to hold

    public liability insurance (reinsured for complete reliability), full

    compensation could always be made available to recompense anyone who has

    suffered loss or who has been harmed. An arrangement similar to the Motor

    Agents Bureau Agreement in the UK would also operate, to ensure

    compensation from a ‘pooled’ fund under all circumstances (i.e. if the

    offender cannot be immediately found).

    This insurance would be very inexpensive for people who do not harm

    other people.

    (Further, if each citizen is offered and provided with a miniaturized

    _user-activated_ radio emergency ‘panic’ search-and-rescue alarm,

    preset to transmit a uniquely-coded personalized alarm signal which

    could be triangulated for exact source position location and

    identification, then rapid-response medical, legal, police and rescue

    services could be made immediately available on demand. This would

    also help greatly to deter malefactors, improve peoples’ sense of

    safety, reduce the costs of crime, and assist the prompt arrest of the

    actual offenders).

    The basic principles and procedures of English Common Law _can_

    (among other systems of law) provide a basis for sensible adjudication

    services, provided that there are much better administrative arrangements

    to assure the ready availability of arbitration in civil courts at _no

    cost_ to the participants.

    However, as Hayek and others have pointed out, the English Common

    Law needs extensive revision to correct the unfortunate results of judges

    over the centuries having been drawn from a social class made up of

    creditors rather than debtors, landlords rather than tenants, masters

    rather than servants, vendors rather than customers. It might be added,

    that there has been a warping of the law caused by the ascendancy in the

    courts of those with deep pockets and the option of patience resulting in

    case-by-case decisions favouring them.

    In a restitutive paradigm, the costs of crime would be more accurately

    appraised and obvious; insurers and others would have incentives to

    restrain the incidence of – and thus reduce the costs of – infractions.

    In all but the most violent and destructive cases, ‘House Arrest’ should

    provide sufficient ultimate ‘damage limitation.’

    Personal security and property protection costs, including national

    defence provision, can be funded by a ‘ring-fenced’ pro-rata tax on all

    personal property and wealth owned, so that protection can be more nearly

    fairly priced according to the worth of the holdings which are being

    protected. In the UK this might approximate 1% of the value of all

    property holdings per annum. Policing services must be pluralistic —

    those performing policing functions should have no special privileges,

    and monopolies in this area are unacceptable.

    PLURAL SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES

    ——————————

    Modern governments take up to 50% of GDP in costs and taxes. These

    government revenues will become “operating revenue” to be disbursed

    according to the preferences of the electorate, as expressed in the

    “board decisions” of their chosen representarives.

    This expenditure will include a Guaranteed Basic Income to support

    the economic and social requirements of those with incomes below a

    decent threshhold which enables a reasonable degree of positive as well as

    negative freedoms.

    Representatives will receive voting powers over funds in direct proportion

    to the numbers of electors supporting them, enabling them to finance the

    programmes they undertake to provide for their electors and others.

    Each elector will likely choose the representative whose range of

    programmes and legislative stance best meets their preferences for

    representation, and for possible provision of personal social services

    (health, education, additional income etc.: the present “public”

    services). To ease the transition, and to allow reconsideration and

    amendment as and if problems are found, the funds may be transferred from

    government to electors gradually, over – say – a three-year period.

    Representatives may offer various mixes of “local” and “national”

    services. Some representatives will offer services directed more to

    helping the disadvantaged, while others would be directed more towards

    enhancing the life-chances of the elector.

    In the UK at present (2008), under these arrangements, around ten

    thousand UK pounds per elector per annum is available from an equal-shares

    reapportionment of tax revenues, and their return to those electors

    who are below a qualifying income, with another two thousand pounds available

    for each child. This should be more than sufficient to cover the great majority

    of electors’ situations. It would provide a family income of twenty-four thousand UK

    pounds per annum for a mother, father and two children, before any

    additional income is earned. This amount should also constitute the

    Personal Income Tax Allowance.

    A flat-rate yearly risk-sharing national medical-expenses insurance

    premium of around four hundred UK pounds should be sufficient to cover all

    medical expenses (including disability and geriatric care expenses), by

    funding a risk-sharing Universal Health Insurance chargecard for each

    citizen, which is used to settle voluntary-sector bona fide treatment

    charges for bona fide illnesses (thus enabling funds to ‘follow the

    patient’). De-cartelized medicine is much less costly.

    Evidence-based medicine will grearly reduce costs.

    A NETWORKING SOCIETY

    ——————–

    Each elector’s household will be provided with an easy-to-use on-line

    computer with keyboard or touch-screen or voice input – a terminal connecting to their TV set (or as they wish), to enable access to a wide variety of services and facilities.

    Network connections will be via the public telephone system (PSTN) at no

    charge, or via a national hard-wired or fibre-optical data highway, with

    data-radio facilities provided where there is no existing wired

    connection. (Handicapped people unable to use the equipment properly can

    of course be helped to do so, by their friends and relatives,

    representatives, healthcare professionals and volunteers, neighbours and

    others). Voice input is now readily available for those preferring it.

    Network services will include:- electronic mail; news; selecting and

    appointing democratic representatives; conflict investigation, resolution

    and legal ajudication services and arbitration facilities; travel

    facilities; medical diagnosis and treatment advice ladders and outcome information services;educational facilities; employment and trading opportunities; consumer information and advice; housing opportunities; library and information resources; social events and community facilities; financial services; and many other resources.

    EMERGENCY MEDICAL, POLICE, FIRE & RESCUE SERVICES

    =================================================

    It is now technically and economically possible to provide each and

    every citizen with a uniquely coded personal miniature radio ‘panic’

    alarm. When activated _by the citizen_ in an emergency situation, the

    unit transmits a coded signal which identifies the citizen and their

    location, and summons immediate assistance to those GPS coordinates. This

    can be medical, policing, fire brigade or other disaster assistance. The

    signal can be instantly triangulated to pinpoint its source, and Global

    Positioning Coordinates provided, so that emergency rescue service

    can be provided by the fastest available route. This would substantially

    reduce the incidence of crime, and reduce its cost to individuals.

    SUMMARY

    =======

    The sought-for advantages of the systems proposed here include:

    [ 1] Improved responsiveness & responsibility of those elected or appointed

    [ 2] Reduced deficit spending, less inflationary money-printing & borrowing

    [ 3] Funds go to those programmes which those paying actually approve of

    [ 4] Reduced forward commitment of future revenue resources

    [ 5] Channelling of chosen kinds of help to those chosen to be helped

    [ 6] Social acquisitions by persons and groups rather than nationalisation

    [ 7] More variety, better value-for-money, less “red-tape”, wasted resources

    [ 8] New employment opportunities and service industries

    [ 9] Better allocations as between local and national services

    [10] Incremental change rather than “U-turns”, with better adaptation

    [11] More nearly market-like, with multiple simultaneous choices

    [12] Smaller, less monolithic administrative bureaucracies

    [13] Better opportunities for involvement for those wanting to participate

    [14] Less bitter rivalry when all “sides” can win; not a zero-sum situation

    [15] Maybe a political currency for spending in the political marketplace

    [16] Resolution of Kenneth Arrow’s voting Impossibility Theorem

    [17] Resolution of Condorcet’s voting Paradox

    [18] Encouragement of individualism & responsible voluntaryist co-operation

    [19] Encouragement of new thinking in policy formulation and presentation.

    AFTERWORD

    =========

    From longer-term free-society perspectives, these ideas offer good

    prospects for building up a broad range of free and independent groups and

    social institutions providing personal and welfare services, each largely

    funded by its own supporters. Representatives would progress by

    fulfilling their electors’ requirements. The struggle for political

    advantage or domination would be replaced by more constructive activity

    more nearly voluntarily-based. Rather than the usual futile or

    domineering zero-sum and negative-sum political struggles, just about

    everyone could win.

    There would be more participation in worthwhile ongoing activities,

    and better understanding of the virtues and advantages of a more fully

    free society. Representatives would be more accountable, and electors

    would have incentives to be responsible. The redistributive elements of

    revenue-sharing and apportionment would become more obvious and more

    nearly subject to rational and humane considerations. Poorer people

    frequently bear a disproportionate burden of ‘social costs.’

    ( This presentation is an outline of some ideas for a more fully free

    liberal and democratic Republic — a free society; it may also help provide

    a better understanding of freely-chosen plural social welfare provision.

    Written comment is always welcome. -TH Bristol, England, 10 June [2008] ).

    All Best Wishes

    / /\ \

    –*—-*–

    Tony Hollick, LightSmith

    http://www.STARGATE.uk.net (Agora Home Page, Rainbow Bridge Foundation)

    http://www.aclu.org (American Civil Liberties Union)

    http://www.amnesty.org (Amnesty International)

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    ! http://stargate.uk.net/agora/ * Anduril@STARGATE.uk.net |

    – ————————–* * * *————————– –

    | Rainbow Bridge Foundation * * Centre for Liberal Studies |

    – ————————–* * * *————————– –

    | 4 Grayling House, Canford Rd: * Bristol BS9 3NU Tel: 9504914 |

    “These are the Warriors who have the power to create Paradise.”

    MOTTO, FIRST EARTH BATTALION FOUNDATION

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    NEW YORK 10 December 1948

    Contents

    PREAMBLE

    Articles

    G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948).

    On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted

    and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of

    which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the

    Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the

    Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and

    expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions,

    without distinction based on the political status of countries or

    territories.”

    Final Authorized Text

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    PREAMBLE

    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has beep proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights

    should be protected by the rule of law,

    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

    Now, Therefore, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims

    THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

    Article 1

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights

    They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act

    towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    Article 2

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth

    in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as

    race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other

    opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other

    status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis

    of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the

    country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be

    independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other

    limitation of sovereignty.

    Article 3

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    Article 4

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the

    slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    Article 5

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or

    degrading treatment or punishment.

    Article 6

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person

    before the law.

    Article 7

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any

    discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled

    to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of

    this Declaration and against any incitement to such

    discrimination.

    Article 8

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent

    national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights

    granted him by the constitution or by law.

    Article 9

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or

    exile.

    Article 10

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public

    hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the

    determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal

    charge against him.

    Article 11

    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be

    presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a

    public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary

    for his defence.

    (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account

    of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal

    offence, under national or international law, at the time when

    it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than

    the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was

    committed.

    Article 12

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his

    privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon

    his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the

    protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    Article 13

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence

    within the borders of each state.

    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his

    own, and to return to his country.

    Article 14

    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other

    countries asylum from persecution.

    (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions

    genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts

    contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 15

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor

    denied the right to change his nationality.

    Article 16

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to

    race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to

    found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to

    marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

    (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent

    of the intending spouses.

    (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society

    and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    Article 17

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in

    association with others.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

    Article 18

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and

    religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or

    belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others

    and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in

    teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Article 19

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;

    this right includes freedom to hold opinions without

    interference and to seek, receive and impart information and

    ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 20

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and

    association.

    (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

    Article 21

    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of

    his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in

    his country.

    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority

    of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and

    genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal

    suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free

    voting procedures.

    Article 22

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social

    security and is entitled to realization, through national

    effort and international co-operation and in accordance with

    the organization and resources of each State, of the economic,

    social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and

    the free development of his personality.

    Article 23

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of

    employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to

    protection against unemployment.

    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to

    equal pay for equal work.

    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable

    remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence

    worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by

    other means of social protection.

    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for

    the protection of his interests.

    Article 24

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable

    limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Article 25

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for

    the health and well-being of himself and of his family,

    including food, clothing, housing and medical care and

    necessary social services, and the right to security in the

    event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age

    or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his

    control.

    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and

    assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock,

    shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Article 26

    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be

    free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.

    Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and

    professional education shall be made generally available and

    higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the

    basis of merit.

    (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the

    human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human

    rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding,

    tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious

    groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations

    for the maintenance of peace.

    (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education

    that shall be given to their children.

    Article 27

    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the

    cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share

    in scientific advancement and its benefits.

    (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and

    material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or

    artistic production of which he is the author.

    Article 28

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in

    which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can

    be fully realized.

    Article 29

    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the

    free and full development of his personality is possible.

    (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall

    be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law

    solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect

    for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just

    requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare

    in a democratic society.

    (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised

    contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 30

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for

    any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity

    or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the

    rights and freedoms set forth herein.

    ——————- * * * * * —————

    From the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.

    Wednesday, 27 September [1995]

    Original Source: gopher://gopher.undp.org:70/00/unearth/rights

    .

  13. I agree too Sean, and keep trying to convince libertarians in general of much the same via my irrelevant comment box witterings.

    I’m also interested to see that Anduril is suggesting something I’ve said for a while and thought I was the only one, at least on “our” side, which is that the mines should have been handed to the workers as co-ops. Give ‘em the means of production, and all that.

    However much Thatcher may have claimed to understand The Road To Serfdom, the centralised corporatist state she created was far removed from liberalism/libertarianism. I’d go on, but you’ve already said all I would say.

    Now can we get past believing there’s some kind of congruence between libertarians and “conservatives”?

    I’m seriously starting to think Charlotte Gore’s got the right idea of trying to take (back) the Liberal Party. The Tories are a dead loss, and a dead horse, and always were. Let’s be radicals again.

  14. [ FX: "APPLAUSE!!!" ]

    Anduril

    Created to be Free, and to fight for all our Freedoms where appropriate and/or necessary…

  15. I agree with Tony that the mines should have been handed over to the miners. In 1979 and for a decade after, socialism as it had so far been understood was dead, and the public was willing to give crushing majorities to a party that promised to roll back the frontiers of the state and make us free again. And this decade was dominated by a woman whose main legacy has been a corporatist police state. At the least, i expect an apology from her after 30 years!

  16. Sean:

    THIS is what she acrually deserves…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE89vJTmaEM

    BUT — as a member of the ACLU and Amnesty I would have to oppose execution…

    Self-defence or an outraged parent, on the other hand,,,

    Anduril (reading Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Western Way of Warfare”).,,

  17. John Blainey

    I accept that Margaret Thatcher was a compromise between those for truth and reality, and those for whose intent was to preserve lies and larceny, but in context it was the best one could do. Her ‘administration’ was flawed with its own seeds of destruction which would eventually spit her out. The point is that it did turn back the tide of anihilation that was rampant in GB at the time, and that is now all the rage again, and gave you a chance to get a university education.

  18. jonnynewton

    Thatcher compromised. That’s what politicians do. They have to, otherwise nothing gets done.

    To me it seems tenuous to suggest that without Thatcher, that without the incremental gains made by liberty and liberal ideology in the 1980s, that without the enhanced prosperity that benefited so many people, – that without all that liberty would be in a better position in Britain nowadays?

    I agree that liberty is in a terrible position, but surely the mistake was not to take the fight properly to the educational institutions and our cultural institutions. This was not all Thatcher’s job, so I guess maybe she can be accused of choosing the wrong time to implement her reforms. But what would the right time have been? I still don’t see the fight against leftism in our universities going anywhere fast.

  19. Thatcher compromised. That’s what politicians do. They have to, otherwise nothing gets done.

    To me it seems tenuous to suggest that without Thatcher, that without the incremental gains made by liberty and liberal ideology in the 1980s, that without the enhanced prosperity that benefited so many people, – that without all that liberty would be in a better position in Britain nowadays?

    I agree that liberty is in a terrible position, but surely the mistake was not to take the fight properly to the educational institutions and our cultural institutions. This was not all Thatcher’s job, so I guess maybe she can be accused of choosing the wrong time to implement her reforms. But what would the right time have been? I still don’t see the fight against leftism in our universities going anywhere fast.

  20. John Blainey

    I agree, jonnynewton.
    It weren’t done fully nor proper but was a whole lot better than terminal death.
    I think the establishment back then panicked as it saw the surge of support for the National Front and gave Margaret Hilda the okay to counter that. Then some years on they gently gave her the heave ho and brought the old guard back in, such as Heseltine & friends, that over the next few years made the CP as unappetising as possible. Young Tony was brought into Labour as a fresh faced Tory lookalike and got everyone to go for him, making all the vaguly right noises about enterprise, etc.
    Then they slowly ditched Tony and, Voila!, we are now back on track to hell.