by Sean Gabb
Note: I am, of course, not referring to our own David Webb in this annoucement. The last time I noticed, he was alive and well. SIG
It is with the deepest regret that I must announce the death at 3pm today (30th June 2012) of David Webb, well-known and much-loved actor on stage, screen and television, and Director of the National Campaign for the Reform of the Obscene Publications Acts (NCROPA).
It is partly thanks to David’s tireless, and often thankless, campaigning over the years that we enjoy our present semi-relaxation of the laws against sexual expression. I helped publicise his campaign against the Customs and Excise in the 1990s, when he challenged their use of the Customs Consolidation Act 1876 to seize a mass of pornographic videos that he had imported from Holland and declared on arrival here as “for personal use!” Though his challenge failed on a technicality in the Court of Appeal, the 1876 Act is nowadays used far less aggressively than in the 1980s and 1990s. I also fondly remember joining him on the platform at the NCROPA fringe meeting at the 1992 Conservative Party conference in Brighton. Otherwise, David was a frequent speaker throughout the United Kingdom on issues of sexual liberation, and he stood for Parliament on more than one occasion.
David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. Though his doctors believed he had another year of life, his health began to fail a few weeks ago, and he died today peacefully and in his sleep at Trinity Hospice in Clapham.
He was 82. He was unmarried and without children.
I will make a further announcement when I know details of the funeral. His obituary will be written by Edward Goodman, his friend and associate of many years.
All who were privileged to know him will agree that David was a good and generous friend, with a fine sense of humour and an endless fund of anecdotes about his main career as an actor.
We will remember him.
by Nicholas Dykes
I hope all is well with you and yours.
This is just to let you know that I have recently published two new (non-philosophical) novels on Amazon’s Kindle: a mystery/adventure story called Black Cliff, about three very different people caught up in the consequences of the importation into Britain of alien customs such as arranged marriage and honour killing; and Hopeless: Death of a Fawn, a psychological detective story in which a disabled, poetry-loving police inspector and his highly educated lady partner strive to prevent the murder of a young girl.
My earlier book, Old Nick’s Guide to Happiness: A Philosophical Novel is also now on Kindle. Since the intellectual aspects of the book fall naturally into two halves, theoretical and practical, I republished it in two volumes, Book One: Why, and Book Two: How.
If you don’t have a Kindle, I believe it is possible to download the books for reading on Ipads, PCs, etc.
I would be deeply grateful if you could pass this information along to your wide Libertarian acquaintanceship, though I should perhaps point out that O’ism/Libertarianism underlie the new stories rather than being spelled out as in ONGTH.
Many thanks, all the best, Nick
I don’t think that was in her Coronation Oath either.
In my view, the best film of the 1980s – a philosophical and technical masterpiece.
by D.J. Webb
Dear all, no time for a long post, but I was amazed, at a time of cuts, to read that clinical negligence payments by the NHS rose by £10bn over the past five years to total £16.6bn! [See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9353443/Comment-The-spiralling-cost-of-no-win-no-fee-lawyers.html%5D This is not a small amount of money. Continue reading
by D.J. Webb
1. Privatise the whole education system
2. All teachers’ salaries set by the schools
3. A voucher system instituted allowing parents choice, but the vouchers set at a level that does not cover the full cost of education (e.g. requiring a top-up co-payment averaging 10% of the cost of attending an unglamorous school from the parents, and much larger top-ups to attend better schools). Unmarried mothers with five children would still have to find a certain sum for their children’s education. Continue reading
Michael Gove hints at dropping CSE plans
There was a time when these people used to wait until we’d forgotten their promises before walking away from them.
I have bought an Arnova 9 G8. Its 10″ backlit screen shows pdf files shows pages about as well as if I had the original book in front of me. Battery life is less than wonderful at about 6 hours. But the advantage of viewing pdf versions of the sort of books I read is that the text suffers none of the corruption that is always potential in even the best scanning and OCR conversion. Also, old books generally look better than machine text, and often carry interesting comments from past owners.
I shan’t give my Kindle away. Even so, I see little use for it at present, now this wonder of technology has come into my hands.
Here are some pictures;
arnova 9 g81
arnova 9 g82
arnova 9 g84
This last is from a book printed in 1647. Praise be to Google!
by Dick Puddlecote
Such has been the success of the tobacco control industry in bastardising science by pandering to the fears and prejudices of the most intolerant in society, it’s fascinating to watch health-obsessed fruitcakes of all stripes attempt to copy their methods. Continue reading
Looks like I got this one right! SIG
Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 204
12th February 2011
on the Revolution in Egypt
by Sean Gabb
I have been asked to comment on the revolution in Egypt. Every newspaper is already filled with commentary. Every time I switch on the television, no one seems to be discussing anything else. All this may be very good for sales of Mr Blake’s novel, Blood of Alexandria. But I am already bored with Egypt. For this reason, I will try to be brief. Continue reading
by Brett Stevens
Note: This is an interesting case against the argument that we tend to roll out. I do think the argument we put contains more truth. However, it is also true that we are astonishingly free to rattle our chains, and even to fight back. SIG
The little guy never had a chance in this world.
He is hopelessly manipulated by a media owned by criminal elites, pushed around by government with its paramilitary police, and his fortunes wax and wane at the whim of the sociopathic banksters who control Wall Street and the value of our currency. Continue reading
by Archbishop Cranmer
Ed Miliband is apologising today for Labour’s open, generous and unlimited immigration policy, which saw millions of foreign nationals flood into the country ostensibly to meet the needs of the economy. Forget how many billions it cost the taxpayer in housing, welfare benefits and translation services. Forget how many schools have been forced to employ dozens of ‘support staff’ in order to deal with half a million children who do not speak English as their first language. Forget how many indigenous Britons were bypassed for council housing in favour of ‘higher priority’ immigrants with greater needs (ie more children). Forget the impact on hospital waiting lists, or to getting an appointment with a GP or dentist. And forget how much irreversible damage all this has had on community cohesion. Continue reading
Note: If there must be political power, let it be hereditary. When rulers are selected by accident of birth, rather than by the sort of talents that gave us Tony Blair and all the others, there is some chance of being ruled by normal human beings. SIG
by Kevin Carson
In one of the most bizarre displays of authoritarianism since Filmer’s Patriarcha traced the divine right of the Stuart absolutist monarchs back to Adam, David Brooks (“The Follower Problem,” New York Times, June 12, 2012) recently launched into a wholesale diatribe against the “adversarial culture” and its skepticism toward “just authority” — a phrase which he uses no fewer than six times. Continue reading
Mrs Gabb bought me one for Christmas. Within a month, I was whining to my optician about eye strain. The problem is that most of the things I want to read are pdf scans of books from before 1900 – see this, for example: http://books.google.co.uk/books/reader?id=gKwPAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader
So, I’m now looking for an e-reader that will show pdf text readable as full pages. My 28″ monitor does this very well. But is there anything smaller and more portable?
Grateful for any advice.
by Robert Henderson
The gratuitous denigration of things English – the reign of Elizabeth I
Allan Massie, a Scot be it noted, decided to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with a deprecating piece on her great predecessor and namesake, Elizabeth I designed to pour cold water on the idea that hers was a glorious reign. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9307110/Lets-not-overlook-the-gory-details-of-Gloriana.html). He complains of the general treatment of Catholics, the use of torture on Catholic priests and those who harboured them, nudges the reader to consider the likes of Francis Drake to be hovering on or going over edge of piracy and in best liberal bigot fashion invokes the ultimate condemnation of English adventurers of the time by dwelling on Sir John Hawkins’ involvement in the slave trade. In addition, Massie belittles the defeat of the Amada and Elizabethan military exploits on the continent, bemoans English involvement in Ireland and stands aghast as he considers the Earl of Essex’s execution of one in ten of his army after they failed to press hard enough in battle. As for the great intellectual glory of the reign, the sudden flowering of literature symbolised by Shakespeare, this is dismissed of being only a tailpiece to the Elizabethan age. Continue reading
by His Grace the Devil
After the expenses scandal a couple of years ago, the few actual convictions belied the fact that the entire body of our lords and masters were engaged in widespread fraud, in a scandalous conspiracy against the taxpayers who they are supposed to serve.
Further, all three major parties in this country have proposed spying on our every communication for no good reason at all, something that surely breaks the Data Protection Act’s provision that all data held should not be excessive. Continue reading
by Thomas Knapp
Note: For all the braying pride expressed in it, the American federal system is one of the most contemptible political achievements on record. It is a third rate system devised by third rate people. It was soon colonised by fourth rate people just bright enough to realise its potential for corruption.
I don’t know whether the Israelis are as powerful in Washington as we are told. But I wish them the very best. Just think what a ghastly place the world would be if the Americans were left to run their foreign policy without the steadying influence of foreign bribes. SIG
I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has his knickers in a twist over “foreign money” influencing US elections. Okay, okay, not really. Hypocrisy is one of McCain’s most prominent character traits, so it doesn’t surprise me at all.
“Foreign” money from the terrorist “Kosovo Liberation Army” (funneled through US front groups) didn’t bother him when it was flowing into his senatorial and presidential campaign coffers as payback for his support of “foreign” (US) meddling in the former Yugoslavia. Continue reading
Jock Coats has pointed out that today is actually the 797th anniversary. A mere slip of the keyboard, I assure you!
I believe today is the 897th anniversary of the acceptance of Magna Carta by King John.
It was nice while it lasted.