Monthly Archives: November 2012

In Defence of Loan Sharking

Loan Sharking: A Brief Defence
By Sean Gabb

The British Government has announced it will cap the rates of interest on the loans people take out to tide them over till payday. It will amend the current Financial Services Bill to give the planned Financial Conduct Authority the power to limit charges.

Now, some of the interest rates charged do look astonishing. The loan companies that advertise on Channel Five all charge about 2,000 per cent. Others are said to charge as much as 4,000 per cent. The last time I borrowed money, I paid five per cent. I avoid going into debt on my credit cards, because of the 22 per cent charged on them. It may seem heartless to defend the right to charge very high interest rates – especially as these are charged to the very poor, who then have trouble getting out of debt. However, limiting the rate of interest they can be charged is not the way to help the poor. Let me explain. Continue reading

A celebration of the backward welfare state or a new crisis in it?

by David McDonagh

On Monday of this week, radio 4 had a special three-hour programme on the welfare state that was worth heeding. We were told that seventy years ago William Beveridge wrote a report that was to lay the foundations for the welfare state. He identified the Five Giants that society needed to slay: Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. Using archive from the time, Jane Garvey and Julian Worricker took us back to that extraordinary moment in wartime Britain that has proved so pivotal to the shape of the welfare state today. Continue reading

Cameron’s Minimum Alcohol Pricing Car Crash

by Dick Puddlecote

Cameron’s Minimum Alcohol Pricing Car Crash So the rumours were true, today was the day the government announced it was going all-in on minimum alcohol pricing.

It has been reported that this is despite stiff opposition from many areas in Westminster, including the cabinet itself. In fact, it would appear that this policy is being forced on us simply because David Cameron is obsessed with it. Continue reading


David Davis

I accidentally typed that (in the title) on someone’s facebook earlier today. Perhaps Ian B might appreciate the birth of a new word to describe, er….

Indeed, another internal spoonerism might be “NamscoGrabiaFartzis”.

Cannabis Users: Stop With The Smug, Already

by Dick Puddlecote

Cannabis Users: Stop With The Smug, Already When viewing articles about smoking – particularly at the Guardian, funnily enough – I’ve always found it quite baffling to see some of the most vitriolic anti-smoking commenters are avid fans of cannabis. Continue reading

‘Thackerism’™ and the ‘Long March’.

by Anna Raccoon

‘Thackerism’™ and the ‘Long March’.

Rudi Dutschke coined the phrase ‘Der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen’ – ‘The Long Walk through the Institutions’ to describe his desired outcome of governmental institutions being infiltrated by those who shared his belief in Marxism and would be in a position to influence future generations; eventually you would end up with a society where all ‘thought’ was uniformly Marxist. Continue reading

The “wrong” sort of indoctrination (for the left)

by Robert Henderson

An unnamed (because they did not want the children identified) Rotherham couple experienced in fostering have had three of their charges peremptorily removed by Rotherham social services Continue reading

Ferdinand Ries, Piano Concerto No.5 in D. op.120

Until recently, one of the shortcomings of the market in recorded music was that a buyer could be led into believing that the great composers were the only composers of their age. Of course, Beethoven wasn’t the only composer in Vienna during the first twenty years of the nineteenth symphony. He was the head of one school among several, and his own students were often men of reputation. Until recently, though, men like Ferdinand Ries were often just names. This is a pity. He’s no Beethoven, but his works are generally graceful and well-constructed. Here is the first movement of his Piano Concerto No.5 in D, op.120.

State-Regulation of the British Press: So What?

State-Regulation of the British Press: So What?
By Sean Gabb
Published in The Libertarian Enterprise
25th November 2012

At the moment in England, our masters and their clients are discussing censorship of the newspaper press. After months of submissions, a government inquiry into newspaper conduct has finished, and its report will almost certainly call for what is called “a rule-based framework of regulation.” The surface argument is between those who want controls backed by the law, and those who want “voluntary self-regulation.” No one who matters, though, disputes that something must be done. Continue reading

Klaus fears no one will protect Czech interests when he leaves

Note: I feel sorry for the Sudeten Germans. They had lived there for a thousand years. Only a century before they were kicked out, Bohemia and Moravia had been largely German areas. Granted, most of the famous Germans from there were Germanised Czechs – eg, Stamitz, Benda, Vanhal, Krommer, et al. But the Germans have every reason to feel put out by the Benes Decrees.

However, I do like the Czechs. They have the most attractive culture in all Central Europe. Their music is a fine appendage to the German tradition, and has outlived it. Their films are a continual delight. I like even the dumpier parts of Prague, and have fond memories of visits to places like Olomouc and Stary Smokovec. For this reason, I think they should keep the Sudetenland.

And that’s as good a reason as any for taking personal sides in a foreign territorial dispute. SIG Continue reading

Laus Deo!

My friend, Richard Blake, has just reached 200,000 words in his latest novel. Only two more chapters to write, then he can be free of it.

Those Who Control the Past Control the Future

by Roderick Long

Those Who Control the Past Control the Future

There’s a popular historical legend that goes like this: Once upon a time (for this is how stories of this kind should begin), back in the 19th century, the United States economy was almost completely unregulated and laissez-faire. But then there arose a movement to subject business to regulatory restraint in the interests of workers and consumers, a movement that culminated in the presidencies of Wilson and the two Roosevelts.

This story comes in both left-wing and right-wing versions, depending on whether the government is seen as heroically rescuing the poor and weak from the rapacious clutches of unrestrained corporate power, or as unfairly imposing burdensome socialistic fetters on peaceful and productive enterprise. But both versions agree on the central narrative: a century of laissez-faire, followed by a flurry of anti-business legislation. Continue reading

Freedom of speech

David Davis

Despite the lapse of the 1695 Licensing Act, the “press” in Britain, although being called “free”, has enjoyed a large but nominal degree of freedom, limited by such ordinary and perfectly reasonable devices such as the libel laws, and so on.

Fraser Nelson of the Spectator wrote something apposite just now.

However, “la Trahaison des Clercs” has now finally got a jaw-grip into people’s ankles, and recent assaults on the doings of MPs, footballists, “famous actors” famous for being famous, have galvanized the legislature into wanting to “regulate”. I bet it’s for “social” reasons…as Enoch Powell once stated, putting the word “social” in front of another word would (on purpose) completely reverse that word’s meaning.

Perhaps we all ought on here to comment on what we think about the clear desire of this administration (but I guess it wouldn’t matter what political colour it was really) to “regulate” published speech.

Church of England remains a bit more Catholic

by “Archbishop Cranmer”

Note: I’m a little disappointed the CofE didn’t take the plunge, and allow any of its ordained NuLab bureaucrats in dresses and lesbian wiccans to become bishops. It would have been the perfect excuse to bring forward my own conversion to Greek Orthodoxy. SIG Continue reading

The James Bond Myth

by Richard Spencer

 Note: I read Moonraker when I was a boy, and greatly enjoyed it. I then read all the Bond novels in quick succession, but found that diminishing returns set in after the third. Even when I was twelve, I found the claim – in Diamonds are Forever – that homosexuals can’t whistle a bit hard to believe. The only Bond film I’ve ever been able to watch more than once is the Roger Moore parody Live and Let Die, in which he was still playing Simon Templar. Richard has done a fine job on reviewing this latest instalment, but hasn’t persuaded me to wait for it to come out on DVD. SIG

PS – My friend Mr Blake wrote parts of Sword of Damascus in the same pub in St Margaret’s where Ian Fleming used to drink when working on Goldfinger! Continue reading

Transgender Day of Remembrance

by Nathan Goodman

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when people around the world gather to remember those who have been murdered because of transphobia. This is an opportunity for all people concerned with liberty and justice to come together around an extremely important problem. Violence against transgender, or trans, people, particularly transgender women, is pervasive. According to a 2011 study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 50% of LGBT individuals murdered in 2009 were trans women and 44% of LGBT individuals murdered in 2010 were trans women. Continue reading

The Continuing War on Motorists

by Rex Poulton

Are you aware of the following about the new (secretive) speed cameras ? See the item below

When speed cameras are widely known for failing disastrously in the purpose given them by an overbearing and dictatorial government, why are more types of camera being tried and installed?

We all know that speed does not cause accidents. Speed cameras do not pick up the inattentive, the drunken, those on drugs or the illegal immigrant drivers having no licence or insurance. And do not forget that 80% of road accidents occur at less than 20 miles per hour and 70% of accidents occur on urban roads.

As a mere 5% of main road traffic accidents are in any way speed related, why is Governmental fixation on speed control so manic ?

As a secretively employed and unmarked means of speed detection, isn’t this further proof of a burgeoning dictatorial police state where “We will catch you breaking the law no matter what it takes”. Isn’t it just to bring more stealth tax money into government coffers? That, and to remind us who is the boss?

And most importantly, funded ultimately by the motoring public, isn’t this most underhand secret criminalisation of drivers an illegitimate use of our tax money?

You may want to watch out for these rather sneaky new speed cameras. Two are already in operation on the A52 dual carriageway into Nottingham (I’m told), see attached photograph, and six further cameras became operational on the A1 between Great Gonerby, Lincolnshire and Oakham, Rutland on Monday 22nd October 2012. Take care.

Is English Common Law Libertarian?

by Stephan Kinsella

Is English Common Law Libertarian?

In a fascinating blogpost, Michael McConkey asks Is English Common Law Libertarian? Many libertarians tend to view the common law as being quasi- or proto-libertarian. McConkey argues, relying largely on Harold Berman’s classic Law and Revolution, II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformations on the Western Legal Tradition (v. 2), that, Continue reading

Don’t Mention Religion!

by Dick Puddlecote

Don’t Mention Religion! I understand that it’s usually considered inadvisable to discuss religion, but on a day like this … *

Long-standing readers will know that my respect for state education is pretty low. I’ve written extensively – from experience – about how poor some of its priorities appear to be. I’m not going to bore you again, just go click the education tag for back story. Continue reading

Review of “Back to Blood” by Tom Wolfe

by Foseti
Review of “Back to Blood” by Tom Wolfe

“Miami is the only city in the world, as far as I can tell—in the world—whose population is more than fifty percent recent immigrants… recent immigrants, immigrants from over the past fifty years… and that’s a hell of a thing, when you think about it. So what does that give you? It gives you—I was talking to a woman about this the other day, a Haitian lady, and she says to me, ‘Dio, if you really want to understand Miami, you got to realize one thing first of all. In Miami, everybody hates everybody.’”

. . .

try mixing the white, the black, the brown, and the yellow in a place like this! It wouldn’t last one hour! It would explode! Nothing left but blood and sexual debris—

. . .

“You will have a picture of mankind with all the rules removed. You will see Man’s behavior at the level of bonobos and baboons. And that’s where Man is headed! You will see the future out here in the middle of nowhere! You will have an extraordinary preview of the looming un-human, thoroughly animal, fate of Man!” Continue reading

Wages versus Austrian Economics and Wage Slavery

by Brad Spangler
Wages versus [Austrian Economics and] Wage Slavery

The following articles were written by Brad Spangler.

Wages versus Wage Slavery

One of the ongoing roadblocks to left and libertarian reconciliation, one which deserves more of our attention, is the matter of conflation of context with causality, an intellectual error committed by most on both sides.

Leftists typically blame markets for state-caused injustice that takes place in markets.

Free-market libertarians often apply a shallow analysis that causes them to defend state-caused injustice merely because its visible manifestation is in the marketplace. Continue reading

An HMRC ‘Wise Guy’ Calls

by Dick Puddlecote

An HMRC ‘Wise Guy’ Calls The oddest thing happened this morning.

Sitting at my desk, some woman just wandered in through our warehouse and asked to talk to a director. I replied that I’m one so how can I help. She tersely declared that she works for HMRC and demanded a payment of £15,000 for overdue corporation tax. Continue reading

Past Lives and Present Misgivings – Part Eight.

by Anna Raccoon

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy – this entire shebang grows more bizzarre by the hour, if not by the minute.

Overnight, a woman called Andrea Davison has emerged to claim that she was also at Duncroft, and there she first learned of ‘the existence of an Elite Paedophile ring reaching into the Government’. This is a story which has been gaining much traction on the Internet overnight.

I will take it one step at a time, otherwise I might fry your brains… Continue reading


Note: I’d rather be ruled by people like Lord Dyson than by the trash who win elections. SIG


Between at least the early part of the 20th century and about 1990, it had been generally understood that there was no right of recovery in restitution of money paid pursuant to an ultra vires demand by a public authority. This state of the law was overturned by the House of Lords in the great case of Woolwich Building Society v Inland Revenue Commissioners [1992] 3 WLR 366. One argument advanced against the recognition of such a principle was that to do so would overstep the boundary that we traditionally set for ourselves, separating the legitimate development of the law from legislation. As to this objection, Lord Goff said: Continue reading

Bodies in Deal?

Got home today at 6pm. Car park behind the Town Hall crowded with police buses, including several marked “Forensic Services.” Spotlights everywhere. Ditto officers. All clustering about an abandoned glass warehouse.

I’ll bet they’ve found a body in there. Murdered or natural causes, can’t say. But will make a point of watching the local news. Deal is not normally a town where the Plod have any presence at all.

Blair’s very, very long Journey

Note: I did see a copy in one of the local charity shops the other day. I was put off by its vast size and by the prospect of moral corruption from just having a copy in the house. Besides, I have a young child to consider. The front cover alone might damage her development. SIG Continue reading

The Baird of Northumbria.

by Anna Raccoon

Voice of the Baird! Who present, past, and future sees; Whose ears have heard, The voters word, That walks among the PCCs…
…with apologies to William Blake…

And so it came to pass that the Boiler-suit-in-chief, Vera Baird, was once more returned to paid employment. Continue reading

Left-Libertarianism: No Masters, No Bosses

by Kevin Carson

Left-Libertarianism: No Masters, No Bosses

In his contribution to the Bleeding Heart Libertarians seminar on left-libertarianism (“Query for Left-Libertarians,” November 11), Daniel Shapiro confessed to puzzlement over our prediction that there would be less bossism in a freed market. First of all, he argues, if workers were free to sell their shares in a cooperative, it’s unlikely that most workers would keep all their investments in the firm they worked for. They would likely sell some of their shares in the cooperative, to reduce the risk of having all their eggs in one basket. And retiring workers will cash out their shares. And aside from the creeping tendency toward absentee ownership and demutualization in cooperatives, Shapiro raises the further question of the firms that aren’t cooperative to begin with — even if they’re a smaller share of the economy than at present. What’s to stop either demutualized cooperatives or conventional business firms — both of which are presumably motivated primarily by maximizing shareholder value — from adopting significant levels of hierarchy and managerialism? Even if hierarchy carries certain inefficiency costs, economies of scale mean that bossism and hierarchy may be the least inefficient form of organization, given sufficient firm size for maximum efficiencies. Continue reading

First Rule Of #COP5 Is You Do Not Talk About #COP5

by Dick Puddlecote

First Rule Of #COP5 Is You Do Not Talk About #COP5 As mentioned last week, the tobacco control industry are currently throwing global taxes down the drain as they witter interminably in South Korea.

I pointed out that one of the items for discussion is a uniform global tax on tobacco products, something they have been very careful to keep as quiet as possible in the past few months. In fact, whenever the subject is broached, some WHO drone is rolled out to say that there is nothing to worry about. Oh no. It isn’t a command from global unelected dictators, at all. Continue reading

On the Shoulders of Giants

by Kevin Carson
On the Shoulders of Giants

I was pleased — not to mention honored — to see my work included in Vol. 3 (The New Anarchism: 1974-2008) of Robert Graham’s anthology “Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas.” It’s grouped together, in a section entitled “Libertarian Alternatives,” with Murray Bookchin, Graham Purchase and Adam Buick, among others.

But I’d hate for anyone to get the impression that my “free market anti-capitalism” is sui generis. In fact for well over a decade it’s been “steam engine time” for left-wing free market analysis. And the intellectual foundations of our thought go back very far indeed. Continue reading

Advice Wanted on External USB Sound Card for Voice and General Recording

I do quite a lot of speaking, and I like to record the audio to my notebook computer. When I had a Sony Vaio, the internal sound card did a very good job – certainly broadcast quality. However, since I bought a new Samsung notebook computer, the internal sound card is horrid for recording – far too much hiss. I can play about with settings and turn the hiss down, but the overall quality is not acceptable.

Therefore, I want to buy an external sound card. Sadly, prices range from under £1 to infinity, and I just don’t have time to look at them all.

What I want is something that costs about £40 and that will give reasonably clean recorded sound. I want good voice recording, but also want to be able to connect a record player and other external devices at some point in the future. Since this will be bought for me as a Christmas present, I want something that works out of the box and lets me look nicely grateful.

All advice gratefully received.


Letter to Roger Harrabin of the BBC

Dear Roger Harrabin,

Re-reading your memo below reminds me that there is now a considerable debate as to whether the BBC have been even handed, or not, regarding the all important issue of Climate Change, or more accurately the extent that CO2 emissions have on any such change.

In the interests of the impartiality that the BBC desperately wish to show, so as to be conforming with the Royal Charter that guarantees your independence, would you please give publicity to the following:- Continue reading

BBC Agitprop And Year Old “News”

by Dick Puddlecote

Note: I expect this will be brought in within the next decade. Our younger readers, therefore, may feel encouraged to drop whatever courses of study they are currently undertaking, and to look seriously at getting into cigarette smuggling and sale to known customers. If I could still be bothered to smoke, I don’t think I’d apply for a licence, and risk having the child welfare people smashing my door in one night, or being told by some grinning health bureaucrat that I’d have to pay for my own medical treatment. If Professor Chapman is not being bribed into preaching this evil scheme by some mafia boss, he is stupid as well as evil. SIG Continue reading

The Straw Man That Walked Into Conservative Home

The Straw Man That Walked Into Conservative Home Via Simon Cooke, I see Tim Montgomerie has read Wikipedia’s article on a Straw Man argument, and decided to write an article following their template.

The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:

Person 1 has position X.

This being the libertarian (person 1) idea of minimal state spending and interference. No libertarian party worldwide has ever advocated the eradication of the state, just a much-needed and radical reduction in its scope and influence. Continue reading

Beyond Bossism
Beyond Bossism

The following article was written by Gary Chartier and published with Bleeding Heart Libertarians, November 13th, 2012.

Professors Horwitz and Shapiro both raise helpful, thoughtful questions about the persistence of hierarchy in a stateless society.

I can’t, obviously demonstrate praxeologically that there will be significantly fewer hierarchies in the workplaces of a freed market—that we should definitely expect more self-employment and a greater proportion of partnerships and cooperatives in a free economy. But let me note some reasons to think this might be the case. Continue reading

The Conflation Trap

The Conflation Trap

The following article was written by Roderick T. Long and published with Bleeding Heart Libertarians, November 7th, 2012.

Left-libertarians differ from the (current) libertarian mainstream both in terms of what outcomes they regard as desirable, and in terms of what outcomes they think a freed market is likely to produce. Continue reading

Query For Left-Libertarians
Query For Left-Libertarians

The following article, critical of left libertarianism in the BHL Symposium, was written by Daniel Shapiro and published with Bleeding Heart Libertarians, November 11th, 2012.

I am puzzled by left-libertarianism’s prediction that a freed market will not contain a significant amount of “bossism,” to use Gary Chartier’s phrase in his BHL post. Alas, I have not read Markets, Not Capitalism, and perhaps the puzzle is something that is easily solved by reading the book. I offer the puzzle here because I suspect it may have occurred to other readers of this blog, and it may help elucidate important features of the left-libertarian view. Continue reading

It’s the Demographics, Stupid.

by Anna Raccoon
It’s the Demographics, Stupid.

It has been an interesting week for the Establishment. And a bad one for the Republicans.

The Republicans lost an election because there are too many Hispanic, black and female voters and too few white, working and lower middle class men. The so called Rainbow coalition will continue to grow. That is the nature of “the American Demographic” and it is irreversible. This is the nature of history. Continue reading

Why Obama is Good News For England

Why Obama is Good for England

by Sean Gabb

November 12, 2012

I can understand that American conservatives and libertarians are upset at Mr. Obama’s reelection. It means another four years of government by someone whowants to make their country into a Third World dump. But my view as an English libertarian and conservative is that he is very good news for England…..

“Free Syrian Army” Killing Christians, Burning Churches

“Free Syrian Army” Killing Christians, Burning Churches

A NUN who has been superior at a Syrian monastery for the past 18 years has warned that media coverage of ongoing violence in that country has been “partial and untrue”. It is “a fake”, Mother Agnes Mariam said, which “hides atrocities committed in the name of liberty and democracy”. Continue reading

You Call That Austrian?

by David Gordon
You Call That Austrian?

[The  Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure
Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope
• By
John A. Allison • McGraw Hill, 2012 • Viii + 278 pages]

This book contains the oddest sentence I have ever read about the current financial crisis, or for that matter about any financial crisis. John Allison, President of the Cato Institute, writes,

I also thought of titling the book How the Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (1783) Caused the Financial Crisis, but that was too obscure for most people, although it was more accurate, since Kant was the major philosophical opponent of reason who put an end to the Enlightenment century (1700s) that indelibly shaped the founding of the United States. (p. 255, n.3)

It is not enough that Kant lies at the origin of Nazism, as Leonard Peikoff so cogently demonstrated in Ominous Parallels. (It comes as no surprise that Allison admires this great contemporary thinker and scholar. “Leonard Peikoff’s book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand enabled me to integrate Rand’s philosophy and use it as a major competitive advantage for myself and for BB&T.” [p. 277]) No, he also caused the recession of 2008! The way in which this machine gunner of the mind brought about the catastrophe is not altogether apparent. Perhaps, by weakening confidence in reason, Kant’s destructionism made people blind to the errors of the inflationist doctrines that led to financial ruin. But were not inflationist and mercantilist policies popular long before Kant? Continue reading

The Road to World War II

by Ralph Raico

The Road to World War II

[Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal

Signing of the Treaty of Versailles (June 28, 1919), painting by Sir William OrpenThe war’s direct costs to the United States were: 130,000 combat deaths; 35,000 men permanently disabled; $33.5 billion (plus another $13 billion in veterans’ benefits and interest on the war debt, as of 1931, all in the dollars of those years); perhaps also some portion of the 500,000 influenza deaths among American civilians from the virus the men brought home from France.[1] Continue reading

We Know Someone Is Telling Porkies, But Who?

by Dick Puddlecote

We Know Someone Is Telling Porkies, But Who? Well, this seems pretty uncontroversial, doesn’t it?

[Jane Roberts, head of tobacco control with NHS Blackpool said] “The big concern is health – counterfeit cigarettes are not made to standards.

“Some have been found to have high levels of lead and cadmium”. Continue reading

So You Thought You Were A Moderate Drinker, Huh?

by Dick Puddlecote

So You Thought You Were A Moderate Drinker, Huh? If you want to truly imagine the paltry level of alcohol that prohibitionists consider acceptable, here it is from one of public health Australia’s favourite blogs.

Of people aged 18 years and over, 19.5% of drinkers consumed more than two drinks per day and 44.7% consumed more than four standard drinks at least once in the past year. These behaviours exceed the National Health and Medical Research Council’s lifetime risk guidelines and single occasion risk guidelines respectively.

The only surprising thing about those figures is how incredibly low they are.

According to the Australian government, a pint of Stella is the equivalent of 2.25 ‘standard drinks’, so it is contrary to their guidelines for anyone to enjoy two pints at a wedding, Christmas, birthday party, barbecue or even the Melbourne Cup … once a year!

This, apparently, is why minimum alcohol pricing is desperately necessary in Australia.

Please never be be fooled into thinking these people are sane or rational, will you? Because they aren’t.

The Ugly Truth Behind Daylight Saving Time

by Cody Dun

The Ugly Truth Behind Daylight Saving Time

As I set my clocks back one hour this past weekend to signal the end of Daylight Saving Time, I could not help but wonder why we do practice daylight saving time. Why does everyone (minus Arizona) set their clocks back and forth once a year? So I decided to take a brief look into the history of this peculiar annual routine, and the results might surprise you. Continue reading

On the Limits of Economic Thinking

by Stephen Moriarty


Note: This was posted as a comment to D.J. Webb’s latest, but deserves promoting to a post in its own right. SIG

Everything has been “sold in terms of economics” for a very long time now. Of course this has got something to do with politicians finding that elections are easier to win when times are prosperous, but some ideology had to fill the gap when the nation-state was abandoned. Both free-market and nation-state ideologies are half-truths, and there is the rub. When Roy Jenkins shook his head and said, “All that is finished with,” during the referendum on the EEC, he had a point: on both sides of the class divide appeals to loyalty looked like humbug. The Unions saw nationalism as merely an appeal to work for less, and the “capitalists” understood on some level that “socialism” was only possible in a nation state. Both sides, as it were, decide to shoot the horse they were both sitting on. And both sides felt able to adopt an ideology of “realism” based upon the idea that self-interest is the only reality: “To thine own self be true and thence thou can be false to no man.” Economics, or its vulgar version at least, is based upon this idea, in part because theorising about complex systems is only possible on the basis of simplifications. The great Victorian economists like Marshall probably never intended their ideas to be taken to the lengths that they have been, which has included trying to simplify the world to fit the model! Continue reading


by Thomas Knapp

That’s my tentative estimate (based on Google election result and population statistics) of the percentage of Americans who voted for nobody for President of the United States on Tuesday. Continue reading

News from the Paper Tiger that the Ignorant Claim will soon Run the World


Continue reading

Viva Obama!

I guessed he’d win. I wish now I’d gone and put some money on him in a betting shop. He won because, while they might not like the idea of being ruled by a black man, enough American whites looked at a the grinning neocon put up against him, and decided the black man was the safest bet. I don’t suppose it helped that the grinning neocon was a Mormon.

Though, normally, it would be none of my business who rules a foreign country, America is the historic enemy of England, and is currently in a dominating position. Therefore, I am very pleased that Mr Obama is back.

First, he openly hates England – something to do, I believe, with a grandfather who was a traitor in Kenya. This is a refreshing change from the patronising embrace of a truly American Anglophobe. Open hatred is easier to deal with. It disabuses most people who aren’t thick or haven’t been bribed into the idea of a “special relationship.” It encourages moves towards the reassertion of our national independence.

Second, he is less likely than his opponent was to start a big war. I think that stands by itself. No doubt, Mr Obama is a Marxist/Moslem with a dodgy birth certificate, and is committed to destroying the American way of life through radicalisation of every institution and through mass-immigration, etc, etc.  That only makes me laugh the more: America’s weakness is England’s potential recovery. However, his plain disinclination to invade Iran is a benefit for us all.

I will add that, awful as he may be in his domestic policies, the Americans deserve him. They supported Labour in this country from about 1993 onwards. I firmly believe they bribed or blackmailed the Conservatives to throw the 2001 and 2005 general elections. Well, they can have a further taste of the medicine they made us swallow. They gave us Tony Blair. They can now stick with their own copy of him.

We need to return to ‘real’ money to solve the economic crisis

By Dominic Frisby

Dominic co-wrote a feature documentary about the global financial crisis, ‘The Four Horsemen’ and his most recent short film, ‘Debt Bomb’, went viral with 250,000 hits in two weeks. He also has a column about gold and money for Moneyweek.

He has recently written a book looking at the mess the West finds itself in – he explains how changing our currency system could help us get out of the financial crisis… Continue reading