Category Archives: Unfair Trade

I was reminded of “The Final Solution”

David Davis

Driving near Bootle this morning, I spotted a van of “some firm or other” (I can’t remember sadly what – and there was a police car nearby so I couldn’t lift my phone and photograph it) that said on its side:-


Since we have “Fake Charities”, whose site is at ,

then perhaps someone should set up a site called

I bet you all 5p that “WORKING  WITH  COMMUNITIES  TO  DELIVER  SOLUTIONS” gets about 100% of its revenue, to a first approximation, from the State.

Queen Elizabeth-the-Useless failed in the execution of her Coronation Oath. But I expect we will all cry sincerely when she passes on.

David Davis

I am not always precisely in tune with my colleague Sean Gabb, regarding the failings of Elizabeth-the-Useless. Although he is quite correct in stating that she _could have_ blocked Rome, the SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon at any time when these were issues. On any one of these – and the earlier the more chance of success – The Queen could have refused to assign her signature to any of this pretentious socialist rubbish, could have forced a General Election, and prevented the Franco-Collectivisto-Gramscian re-Nazification of Europe, saving her own subjects hundreds of billions of Sterling, not to say even trillions, in the process. We might even have got our managed-fisheries back before they were destroyed utterly (ask my father, who worked in the 70s for the MAFF, and who is now dead.). And at least up to Nice, she might also have got away with it. It would have been wise to resist early on.

But she continues to continue to soldier on, probably because she reminds the masses of their favourite great-aunt (I also have one, my aunty Betty who is actually a real aunt for I am rather old now and who even looks and sounds like the Queen a lot, and is only slightly older) or Grandmother.

As the Queen is old, and as she is a woman, and as it is not suitable to impeach or charge women for high treason – at least not “directly” – I would like to cleave to the position that “The Queen has been very, very badly advised, continually, for 61 years, in the matter of her constitutional dealings with the Continue reading

“Free markets” and “free trade” as a religion, by Robert Henderson – Replies, Anyone?

Anyone fancy responding to this? An obvious response is to ask RH to define the laissez-faire religion he is attacking, and to distinguish this from corporatism, and then to ask if he knows anything about the economics of public choice and regulatory capture, or about the effects on business scale and morality brought about by infrastructure subsidies and the tax and regulatory burden….SIG

Free marketeers fancy themselves to be rational, calculating beasts. In reality, their adoration of the market is essentially religious. They believe that it will solve all economic ills, if not immediately, then in the medium to long term. Armed with this supposed objective truth, they proselytize about the moral evils and inefficiencies of public service and the wondrous efficiency and ethical outcomes of private enterprise regardless of the practical effects of their policies or the frequent misbehaviour of those in command of large private companies. Their approach is essentially that of the religious believer.

Like the majority of religious believers, “free marketeers and traders” are none too certain of the theology of their religion. (I am always struck by how many of them lack a grasp of even basic economic theory and are almost invariably wholly ignorant of economic history). They recite their economic catechism sublime in the concrete of their ignorance.

The religion has its roots in the first half of the 18th century when there were occasional attempts to suggest tariff reform, but the idea only became a serious political policy in the 1780s with the advent of Pitt the Younger as Prime Minister in 1784 who long toyed with “economical reform”.

The 18th century also provided the religion with its holy book, The Wealth of Nations by the Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith. This strongly argued for “free markets” and “free trade”, but Smith also recognised the demands of national security, the need for government to engage in social provision such as road building and maintenance which would not otherwise be done and, must importantly, the nature of a society and its economy. Here is Smith on the Navigation Acts: “…the Act of Navigation by diminishing the number of buyers; and we are thus likely not only to buy foreign goods dearer, but to sell our own cheaper, than if there were a more perfect freedom of trade. As defence, however, is of much more importance than opulence, the Act of Navigation is, perhaps, the wisest of all the commercial regulations of England.” (Wealth of Nations Bk IV. ch ii)

But Smith and his book suffered the fate of all those who found religions, secular or otherwise. As the decades passed Smith’s cautious approach was redrawn in the minds of his disciples to become a surgically “clean” mechanical ideology in which all that mattered was the pursuit of profit and the growth of trade and industry through the application of the “holy edicts” of open markets and comparative advantage. The disciples, like other religious believers, avidly quoted the passages from their holy book which suited their purposes and ignored those which did not. They also found a further holy text in Thomas Malthus’ Essay on Population of 1802, whose predictions, although unproven by events, could be used to demonstrate that economic expansion was vital if widespread starvation was not to occur.

The clinical, soulless and inhuman nature of the laissez faire idea as it evolved is exemplified by the English economist David Ricardo. Here is a flavour of his mindset:”Under a system of perfectly free commerce each country naturally devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most beneficial to both. The pursuit of individual advantage is admirably connected with the universal good of the whole. By stimulating industry, and by using most efficaciously the peculiar powers bestowed by nature, it distributes labour most economically, while increasing the general mass of the production it diffuses general benefits, and binds together by one common tie of interest and intercourse the universal society of nations”. (David Ricardo in The fall of protection p 174).

The Napoleonic wars largely foiled Pitt’s wish for broad reform and placed “free trade” in suspended animation as a serious political idea until the 1820s, when cautious attempts at tariff reform again were made. But underneath the political elite was a radical class who were very much enamoured of wholesale economical reform. With the Great Reform Act of 1832 they were given their opportunity to become part of the political elite. They took it with both hands, their most notable and extreme proponents being John Bright and Richard Cobden backed by the intellectual power of David Ricardo – all three became MPs.

Within a dozen years of the first election under the Great Reform Act’s passing, Parliament had been captured by the disciples of Adam Smith and the pass on protection had been sold by of all people a Tory prime minister, Sir Robert Peel, an action which kept the Tories from power for most of the next 40 years.

Such was their religious credulity that the “free traders” advocated not merely opening up Britain’s markets, both at home and in the colonies, to nations who would allow Britain equivalent access to their markets, they advocated opening up Britain’s markets regardless of how other nations acted. The consequence was, as we have seen, disastrous for Britain.

Disraeli in a speech on 1st February 1849 cruelly dissected this insanity:” There are some who say that foreigners will not give us their production for nothing, and that therefore we have no occasion to concern ourselves as to the means and modes of repayment. There is no doubt that foreigners will not give us their goods without exchange for them; but the question is what are the terms of exchange most beneficial for us to adopt. You may glut markets, but the only effect of your attempt to struggle against the hostile tariffs by opening your ports is that you exchange more of your own labour each year for a less quantity of foreign labour, that you render British labour less efficient, that you degrade British labour, diminish profits, and, therefore, must lower wages; while philosophical enquirers have shown that you will finally effect a change in the distribution of the precious metals that must be pernicious and may be fatal to this country. It is for these reasons that all practical men are impressed with a conviction that you should adopt reciprocity as the principle of your tariff – not merely from practical experience, but as an abstract truth. This was the principle of the commercial negations at Utrecht – which were followed by Mr Pitt in his commercial negotiations at Paris – and which were wisely adopted and applied by the Cabinet of Lord Liverpool, but which were deserted flagrantly and unwisely in 1846″. (The fall of Protection pp 337/8″).

Ironically, the “free traders” make the same general errors as Marxists. They believe that everything stems from economics. For the neo-liberal the market has the same pseudo-mystical significance that the dialectic has for the Marxist. Just as the Marxist sees the dialectic working inexorably through history to an eventual state of communism (or a reversion to barbarism to be exact), so the neo-liberal believes that the market will solve any economic problem and most social ills. Neither ideology works because it ignores the reality of human nature and its sociological realisation.

The one track economic mentality of the early “free traders” is well represented by the father of J S Mill, James Mill:”The benefit which is derived from exchanging one commodity for another arises from the commodity received rather than the from the commodity given. When one country exchanges, or in other words, traffics with another, the whole of its advantage consists of the in the commodities imported. It benefits by the importation and by nothing else. A protecting duty which, if it acts at all, limits imports, must limit exports likewise, checking and restraining national industry, thus diminishing national wealth.” (The fall of protection p 174). And to Hell with any social or strategic consideration or changing economic circumstances.

After the Great War and the fall of “free trade” as public policy in 1931, the religion went underground for nearly fifty years. When it re-emerged as a political idea in the 1970s the politicians who fell under its spell were every bit as unquestioning and credulous as those of the 1840s. Tony Blair’ statement on Globalisation, ie, free trade, at the 2005 Labour Party Conference shows that it is alive and kicking today. Scorning any attempt to discuss Globalisation, Blair said of those who wished to oppose it “You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer”. (Daily Telegraph 1 10 2005.)

None of this would matter very much now if those who believe in “free markets” and “free trade” were without political power. Unfortunately, theirs is the elite ideology of the moment and the past 25 years. In Britain, the Tories may be more fanatical in their devotion to the market as panacea, but Blairite Labour have caught more than a mild dose of the disease. A good example of this is their response to house price hyperinflation where they desperately and futilely attempt remedies within the constraints of what they perceive to be “free market” disciplines rather than opting for the obvious state generated remedies such as restricting immigration, building a great deal of social housing and forcing developers to release land for building.

Both the traditional Left and Right have been duped by globalisation. The Left initially welcomed globalisation as a dissolver of national sovereignty, but they are discovering by the day just how restrictive international treaties and membership of supra national groups can be. As things stand, through our membership of the EU and the World Trade Organisation treaties, no British government could introduce new socialist measures because they cannot nationalise companies, protect their own commerce and industry or even ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent in Britain with British firms. A British government can have any economic system they like provided it is largely free trade, free enterprise.

The Right are suffering the same sickness with different symptoms. They find that they are no longer masters in their own house and cannot meaningfully appeal to traditional national interests because treaties make that impossible.

But there is a significant difference between the position of the two sides. The traditional Right have simply been usurped by neo-Liberals in blue clothes: the traditional Left have been betrayed by a confusion in their ideology which has allowed their main political vehicles to be surreptitiously by the likes of Blair.

The left have historically objected to “free-trade” on the grounds that it destroys jobs and reduces wages. But what they (and especially the British Left) have rarely if ever done is walk upon the other two necessary planks in the anti-”free trade” platform: the maintenance of (1) national sovereignty and (2) a sense of national cohesion. The consequence is that the Left has been and are still struggling with two competing and mutually exclusive ends: internationalism and the material improvement of the mass of the people.

UN Global-Warm-Mongerators…always wrong, all the time

David Davis

We’ve come to expect it, since they do it on purpose.


The pretence, of course, of appearing manfully to try to shore up a wrong position (although based on falsified data – a fact still not widely known or believed, despite the Climate-Gate scandal) is a good position for them to take. It makes them look like heroic, altruistic martyrs in the service of “The People”.

These droids are very, very clever, far-seeing, and have planned their strategic and fundamental assault on civilisation for a very, very long time.

WE must never, ever underestimate their resourceful and ferociously-focussed pursuit, in the face of all opprobrium, of their objective of irreversible enslavement of all people: this will be in a living hell encompassing the Whole Earth, where all except the bastards themselves will endure the torments specially reserved for the damned.

Informers and Benefit Fraud: A Libertarian View. by Sean Gabb

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 189
9th February 2010
Linking url:

Informers and Benefit Fraud:
A Libertarian View
By Sean Gabb

I have just been sent one of the most disgusting newspaper articles I have seen this year. It is from today’s issue of The Guardian, and describes how the British Government is considering a scheme to reward those who inform on benefit cheats. Astonishingly, the Ministers seem to think this will make people more inclined to vote Labour at the next general election. If they are right, I am not sure how much longer I want to live in this parody of a country.

But, now I have said enough about the proposed scheme, let me explain what I find so disgusting about it.

The first is that, while every respectable person has a duty to report crimes against life and property, and to bear witness if required, there is much difference between this and calling into being an army of paid spies and police informers. Such people are not needed to report genuine crimes. Their general use is to act as the eyes and ears of an oppressive state. Established for one purpose, their use inevitably spreads to other areas. There is a natural temptation for paid informers to become agents of provocation. There is an equally natural temptation for them to become blackmailers. The resulting culture is one in which friends drop their voices when discussing anything in public that might be overheard to their disadvantage – and where new acquaintances, and even old friends, are viewed with suspicion. My wife grew up in Communist Czechoslovakia, where all this was a fact of everyday life. It was this, far more than the police and security services, who were responsible for a collapse of trust between ordinary people that has outlived is cause by twenty years.

It may be argued, that unlike drugs and prostitution, benefit fraud is not a victimless crime, but is theft from the taxpayers – but that, while they may be expected to report burglaries, individual taxpayers have no incentive to turn in someone who is claiming while working on the side. This is true, but needs to be seen in perspective. No one knows how much benefit fraud actually costs – the figure of £1 billion is believed to be a gross underestimate. However, even if the cost were five or ten times this figure, it would still amount to barely two per cent of total government spending. Most of this goes on paying for services that, where not useless, are harmful to life, liberty and property. Look, for example, at Trevor Phillips. In 2006, he was appointed Chairman of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights at a salary of £160,000. Doubtless, this has since gone up. Even so, his initial salary was equal to more than 2,488 weekly payment of jobseeker’s allowance at the maximum single rate of £64.30. In return for this, his most famous achievement to date has been to hound the British National Party into not insisting that its members should be white – while doing nothing to stop the various Black Police Associations from insisting that their members should be black. As if his published salary were not enough, Mr Phillips was revealed in 2008 to be the majority shareholder in Equate Organisation, which offers a “discreet, customised service” on how to handle the sort of equality issues that are investigated by his Commission. Oh, and the man who is employed to make then nearest things acceptable in public to puking sounds every time the name Nick Griffin is mentioned apparently keeps a bust of Lenin on his desk.

But if more loathsome and better paid than most of the others, Mr Phillips is just one among hundreds of thousands of New Labour apparatchiks given our bread to eat in return for oppressing us. I have no doubt these people collectively earn more than the £116 billion that is paid out every year on benefits. According to the probably fake statistics that attended the informer proposal, benefit fraud may cost every taxpayer in this country £35 a year. Well, I for one, can live with that. Once all the excise duties are paid, it is much less than a single tank of diesel for my car. The New Labour State costs me upwards of half my income, plus my liberty and my sense of nationality.

The only people who are really harmed by benefit fraud are those committing it. They lose yet more of their self-respect. This being said, the benefit rates are so awful that I fail to see how anyone can feed himself and his children without some cheating. Certainly, those on public welfare should not be able to buy cars and flat screen televisions. But they should be able to pay their heating bills and afford Christmas presents for their children without putting themselves into the hands of loan sharks.

And I do not believe that this sort of benefit cheat costs me anything approaching £35 a year. Everyone knows that the benefits system is being systematically milked by gangs of – usually foreign – criminals. Everyone knows that key parts of the system have recently been captured from the inside by organised criminals. Twenty years ago, a friend mine worked behind the counter of a Post Office in South London. He told me at the time how workers from the local benefit office used to come round to cash cheques they had written out to each other. I shall be most surprised if this turns out now to be the worst manner of inside fraud. And these are frauds that can and should be detected by ordinary policing. They do not require the machinery of a police state.

This brings me back to the informer scheme. I cannot help mentioning that it has been by Jim Reid, the Scottish Secretary. He is said once to have been a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Trust a Labour politician to have dropped all his proclaimed ends of raising up the poor – but not the police state means these ends were supposed to justify. I hate everyone of my generation who went into politics. Thirty years ago, they sneered at me and people like me as “selfish” and “abhorrent”. They spent the next twenty years insisting to each other and anyone who was stupid enough to listen to them that, when they came into their own, ordinary people would live in dignity and want for nothing. They have since then matured into the worst ruling class this country has seen since the Normans assimilated. The expenses scandal is nothing compared with how they have governed the country in public.

Now, I suppose I should offer some positive recommendations of my own for dealing with benefit fraud. I doubt anyone important is listening to me. But let it be supposed that some political party were to consult me on welfare reform – what would I suggest?

In the short term, I would set the police on catching the organised gangs of benefit cheats. Once these were in prison or deported to their countries of origin, much of the problem would have been solved. For the rest, I would advise looking the other way unless some minor fraud came to the attention of the authorities in the normal scheme of enforcement.

In the longer term, I would try to make most of the state welfare system redundant by lifting the tax and regulatory burden that stops the poorest people in this country from looking after themselves. And this is not – let me say at once – some soft version of the neo-liberal gloating about forcing welfare recipients into work by cutting their already pitiful benefits. Though it may always exist in a free society, the wage system as we have known it during the past few centuries is neither natural nor desirable. It is a cleaned up version of the bottom end of the feudal system, transmitted to industrial society via the management of domestic servants.

Middle class people often moan about the surly attitude of the working classes – about their unwillingness to do as they are told unless they are banned from union membership, or unless their unions can be taken over by middle class bureaucrats who then sell their members out. But I can think of no middle class person who would like working class conditions of work. I remember reading some years ago of a B&Q warehouse in Bristol. The casual workers employed there were electronically tagged. If anyone stopped moving for more than ten minutes, a computer shouted a message into his earpiece to report to the management office. No one does this sort of work unless he is desperate. No one who does it can have any pretensions to dignity. To say people have a choice whether to work for B&Q is a patronising joke. It is B&Q or Tesco, or some other demeaning job. It is like saying a man has a choice of meals if the menu shoved under his nose offers turd sandwich or snot pizza.

What I have in mind is letting poor people start their own micro-businesses in the manner described by Kevin Carson. Let someone start a coffee shop in the front room of his house. Let a family brew beer and sell it. Let people open little schools to teach reading and writing. Let them look after other people’s children. These things are currently not permitted. Or they are prevented by taxes and regulations that raise the fixed costs of doing business to the point where unreasonably large revenues must be generated year after year. Some people may get rich from doing this. Most will not. But enrichment is not the purpose. The real purpose is to give people the ability to survive without having to rely for all their income on salaried work.

It goes without saying that all subsidies to existing large businesses should be cut off at once – no more transport subsidies that allow goods to be moved about at less than full cost; no more interventions abroad to stabilise export markets, or secure access to artificially cheap goods and labour; no more taxes and regulations that can be carried by big business as cartellised costs, while flattening new entrants to the market; above all, no more limited liability laws that foster the growth of huge joint stock enterprises that are little more than the economic wing of the ruling class.

Where welfare is concerned, people should be enabled to join together in free mutual societies, accepting members and offering such benefits as may be agreeable to the relevant parties. This means no more taxes and financial regulation, and no more money laundering laws that, again, are little more than state cartellisation.

One of the failings of libertarianism – and I do not exempt myself from past guilt – is that we have too often argued as if actually existing capitalism was the free market. We may have conceded that business was too highly taxed and regulated, and that this frequently was turned to the advantage of the bigger firms in any market. But the assumption has too often been that a free market is effectively Tesco minus the state – that the wage system and big business were both natural and desirable institutions. As said, they are neither. The state capitalism that, in the 1980s and 1990s, we called Thatcherism or Reaganism was nothing approaching a free market. It was better than state socialism. But that is not saying very much. It has to some extent been our fault if ordinary people have been offered an apparent choice between a system in which a lucky few grow gigantically rich through connections and the ability to shuffle paper in the accepted ways, and ordinary people cannot buy houses and have children without going head over heels into debt – and sometimes not even then – and the present system of shadow boxing between multinational corporations and a huge superstructure of at best intrusive and at worst corrupt officials.

I might end by accusing the present Government of moral and intellectual bankruptcy. But this would be to absolve the equally if differently useless Tories. It would also be to concede that any of these people ever had anything good to offer. They are evil. Never mind the ideals they still sometimes ritualistically claim to guide their actions. All they have ever had to offer is a land fit for police spies and agents of provocation. They must all be destroyed – politically and financially.

NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from

Climate terrorism is the next thing

David Davis

I warned people, time and again, about things like ALF, IFAW and the RSPCA. These were the breeding-grounds for the next big fashionable murder-scheme: climate terrorists. Much the same people frequent both camps.

One never, also, really fully bought into the “Islamist” scare. Apart from 9/11 and a few other obvious big set-pieces, the foot-soldiers of that movement are not serious at all. Some of their priests, “scholars” and imams – yes: they’ll get a lot out of a Universial World Caliphate, including all the virgins while they yet live too (when virgins are of most use to a man.) But the footsloggers and suicide bombers: no, to the drivers of this, they are just expendable scum.

Islam will soon learn that it’s been set up as a patsy. It’s not a religion – and that’s a different discussion we will have with it when a more relaxed time comes, and it has grown up a bit. Having read the Koran and commentaries, I can see that it’s a fairly nifty way of husbanding chattels, animals and women, in pre-Enlightenment Lands of harsh climate where there is nothing. But as I said, we’ll have that discussion another time.

For the present though, the Bramwello-Ehrlichite GreeNazi movement is much more dangerous and immediately harmful: all of those in it all seem to believe with messianic fervour what they are saying. They really are prepared to murder, starve and freeze millions to death, down to the meanest polytechnic student among them: there must be some attraction towards violence associated with the promotion of opinions, among this class of person. In time,  I prophesy that they will learn from their mates in ALF how to go about “targetting” private named individuals too.

Liberal rhetoric does not, somehow, carry within it the same degree of utterly certain conviction of rectitude that the GreeNazis’ sort does. Even Islamists of the militant kind appear to be quaking nervous bags of jello by contrast.

These are the dangerous ones of the next generation, following in a grand and highly-studiable tradition of anti-liberal protest followed by “action”. Just watch.

LiberaLaw: Gabb on Carson


LiberaLaw: Gabb on Carson

Review by Sean Gabb of Kevin Carson’s “Organization Theory”

Free Life Commentary

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 184
18th June 2009
Linking url:
Book Review by Sean Gabb

Organization Theory
Kevin A. Carson
Booksurge, 2009, 642pp, $39.99
(ISBN 9781439221990)
Available from Amazon


I will begin my review by stating its main conclusions. These are that Kevin Carson has written one of the most significant books the libertarian movement has seen in many years. I do not agree with everything he says here. I do not suppose any libertarian will unreservedly accept what is said. Even so, I doubt if there is a libertarian who can read this book and not, in some degree, have his vision of a free society enriched and even transformed by it.

Summarising an argument that is worked out over more than six hundred pages is not easy. However, Mr Carson begins by observing that, while economic theory seeks to analyse the behaviour of individuals and small groups within a market system, the economic reality is a world dominated by large corporations within which prices are largely administered and there is an absence of competition.

He asks why this should be so. Why is there so much substitution of hierarchy for individual contracts? The standard answer, provided by Ronald Coase, among others, is that large firms are more efficient than small firms. The further the division of labour is carried, the larger the potential economies of scale. In an open market, however, the division of labour involves transaction costs – these being the costs of negotiating exchanges between many different suppliers of goods and services. Within a firm, these costs are not abolished, but are much reduced. Therefore, a firm will expand to the point where the cost of organising one more transaction within itself is equal to the cost of letting that transaction be made on the open market.

According to this analysis, firms grow large so far as their lower internal transaction costs make them more efficient than their smaller competitors. And there is an obvious temptation to regard size in a market economy as evidence of greater efficiency.

Against this analysis and its conclusions, Mr Carson argues that the point at which internal transaction costs become equal to the costs of transactions via the market has been artificially raised by state intervention. There are few objective benefits in size. Lowest long run average cost is often achieved by rather small scale production methods. There is little evidence that large factories are more efficient than small factories. There is little evidence that large firms are more innovative than small firms. Anyone who looks inside a large firm will see information and management and resource allocation problems similar to those described by Hayek and von Mises in their work on socialist calculation.

For two hundred years, economists have been content to repeat and elaborate on the example of the pin factory described by Adam Smith – in which the operations of making a pin are divided among many workers, thereby raising average output. In fact, these efficiencies can be realised just as easily by dividing the operations so that individual workers perform them one after the other.

If large firms predominate, it is not because they are the outcome of free market forces. Rather, they are called into being by systematic distortions of the market that amount to a subsidy on size. These distortions include the following:

First, there is subsidised transport and communication infrastructure. According to Mr Carson,

[i]t’s… important to remember that whatever reductions in unit production cost results from internal economies of large-scale production is to some extent offset by the dis-economies of large-scale distribution.[p.34]

The British and American railway networks, for example, were built in the nineteenth century by private companies. However, investment was only made profitable by

Continue reading

If in doubt….PAYRISE!

Fred Bloggs

In the face of the current economic crisis (some might say fiscal armageddon) the goverment has devised a plan, which consists of, briefly, giving themselves a 60% pay rise. No doubt this “plan” will solve all the economic problems in the world, feed all the starving Africans, raise Atlantis, and with all its well-crafted majesty, scare the Russians so shitless they’ll give Lenin a haircut. Or, well, maybe not.

Apart from the Atlantis bit.

Find out more Here.

Derek Simpson, UNITE, pig-troughs and Animal Farm

David Davis

Well, well, well. What a surprise. And I thought trade Unions were to help the low-paid against their faces being ground by “wicked capitalist running-dogs and lackeys of the Boss Class”.

So who’s in the “Boss Class” now, eh, Derek? And what about your members losing their jobs then?

What Greens are really up to…..

…..and Simon Heffer on Victorians. (Just incidentally so right, that one.)

David Davis

But I quite accidentally chanced on this stuff today. We all know that most GreeNazis have been articulating their beliefs with quite disarming frankness for decades. So it’s good to find more people (b)logging their progress for the rest of us, sadly too busy to do much about it.

As Auberon Waugh would have said, “I’m not suggesting that we should arrest, tie to MacDonald’s restaurants and then publicly tar-and-feather all lovable sandal-wearing-greens; but  more does need to be done to combat the Green Terror”.

It won’t let me paste any links, not get rid of the bloody italics, so here they are:-

GAS: RUSSIA. North Sea. Britain should just turn it off. Do not masturbate in front of Russia while talking about gas.

David Davis

I hear a nasty rumour that “the EU” will take “our” gas. This is because the EUmonsters masturbated with Russia the USSR on screen, and have come unstuck. Do not masturbate with Russia the USSR on your screen. Bad things will come to you. Russia the USSR is not exactly anybody’s friend at present, until we have done régime change there, and it has become liberalised and Putin is out of office.

Press ENTER to liberalise Russia the USSR. This may take some minutes, and you will need a paypal account.

In the meantime, go to and give us some money. In the long run (very long I fear) this will help us to liberalise Russia the USSR. Then, the gas won’t be turned off by them, just because they think we don’t like them – or because they think we might just slightly like Israel.

As it gets colder, and sterling becomes toilet-paper, we shall be glad to be able to have chip-butties.

David Davis

I have even met builders, with whom I worked a bit last summer as a second-fix trade-polisher on a housebuilding job, who had crisp-butties for their tea-breaks (many.)

The Landed Underclass tells us, I am happy to relate, that the Vegan stuffed vine leaves are off in 2009 because of Sterling’s continuing fall. I can’t say I’m very sorry about that, although I do like stuffed vine leaves, preferably full of a nice lemony mixture of minced lamb, rice, pine nuts, coriander and other poncy (but scrumptious) Wireless Tele Chef type comestibles. However, his main point is the most cunningly marvellous exposition about foods in general by a proper doctor, the kind who knows about war and stuff. We’d all really prefer to get treated by guys llike that whom he describes, if push came to shove: and not the sneering hectoring sub-types of “professionals” like State “dieticians” whom I met in a certain famous children’s hospital not 30 miles form here, a few years ago when our new-born (now five) was rather less well than he orta-av-been.

The problem arises of course where the State, whether nanny, jackbooted or otherwise (I can’t tell the difference) steps in. I quote from landed’s quote from the Daily express:-

Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum said …: “As prices rise and incomes fall, people will be drawn to the cheaper, less healthy processed foods, which are precisely the sort of things we are trying to wean people away from. Once habits change, it becomes hard for people to go back, especially because cheaper junk foods are so seductive.”

I have not previously heard of the “National Obesity Forum”, but I bet it’s (a) not a national movement and (b) it’s anything but a forum in which people engage in civilised discourse.

The libertarian issues are as follows:-

(1) If people are to be “weaned” off certain foods, and forced to eat others which they desire  less, then they are the state’s farm animals. I do feel quite sure that this is what “Tam” “Fry” does truly intend, although he’d not see it like that. he’d be “helping” people. Like Stalin did.

(2) If there was a real market in food, then the price of Vegan stuffed Vine Leaves would reflect demand and also the affluence (or otherwise) if the clientele that would go for it.

“Organic” Death-Farming was always a criminal fraud, and now it is exposed in its obscene nakedness

Although a not-very-nice subject for Christmas, this organic-socialist-farming nonsense needs to be nailed through the heart, where the nail belongs, or it will kill more people. Let’s do it now.

It also causes death to starving millions labouring under socialist paradises, reducing as it does on purpose the total gigatonnage of foods that could otherwise be grown using fertilisers, pesticides and other modern conveniences necessary for the large-scale mechanised farming that humans require, and therefore driving up the price.

David Davis

Thanks to Obnoxio (again) for the hat-tip to this marvellous and uplifting news……

They want to….what? Let’s get this right…..“They want to establish new organic ground rules before the market becomes even more depressed next year.”

Oh. They want to do capitalism! Good. Serve them right. Like the cockroach Castro (who is still sadly dead) should have been condemned to be the MD of a small private company in the USA, making stuff in difficult times. For ever!

I feel better about the recession now, than I did.


Peter Davis

Within the last hour of this post, the value of the Pound Slerling has gone below the value of the EURO!!

this is a terrifying prospect, but as of 23:11 GMT, £1 is worth 0.72 Euro cents (my keyboard cannot do euro signs, funny though, because it can do everything else though, even these: Ψ Φ ♦ ♣ ← ↑ → ↓↔ θ Ξ ¿)

This man has been directed, by The Onebama, to nail jelly to the ceiling.

David Davis

Again, if it was not pathetically sad, it would be humorous.

This is a model of an “Award-winning environmental policy professor”.

The Atlas of the Real World….

….was probably meant to be a new-lefty-bible, and was almost certainly drafted by them, but Free Market Fairy Tales has kindly gutted-and-filleted the crux-or-nub of the liberal Classical Free Market case, yea, even from its maps (very clever they are too….wish I’d thought of viewing the world’s movable parameters in that way.)

I hope that Strange Maps picks it up soon.

David Davis

Four cheers for the devil …

David Davis

… for standing up for individual property rights. More important, even, than clean drinking water for all the world’s children, as advocated nobly and forcefully by Bjørn Lomborg (or is it Lombørg? I don’t know.)

The Devil was merely getting at Private Eye. But the strategically-underlying point he makes is seminal (this is a un-PC banned-word now.)

Sean Gabb on the Financial Crisis (Yawn!)

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the
Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 175
19th September 2008

Free Markets and the Financial Collapse
by Sean Gabb

I was called earlier today by someone at the BBC to comment on the collapse of the financial system. I have no particular qualifications for commenting on this. I do not know how long it will last, or how the recovery will begin. I certainly have no detailed advice on what should be done by anyone during the next few days.

The reason I was thought worth contacting, though, was obvious. The narrative in the establishment media is that markets were too lightly regulated after about 1980, and that the consequences were a ruthless and short term greed that has now reached its natural conclusion. This being so, the answer is how much regulation should now be introduced to prevent all this from happening again. I am a libertarian. I believe in markets. If markets are now being denounced, I am the right sort of person to approach for a defence.

The problem, the researcher discovered, is that I was not the right sort of person to approach. I think, for most people, it is a matter more of ignorance than of intellectual dishonesty. But there is a general tendency to identify free markets with any set of institutional arrangements that allow things to be bought and sold.

When it comes to the Private Finance Initiative, or the privatised utilities, or the internal market in the National Health Service, I do grow impatient. These are not examples of free markets, but of corporatism: they have been called into being by the State, and are at every step regulated and privileged by the State. Where the financial markets are concerned, the identification is more reasonable. After all, these are dynamic and highly efficient markets. Perhaps more so than any others, they conform to the neoclassical concept of perfect competition. Many people who work in finance are sympathetic to libertarianism. The markets are often discussed and defended in libertarian terminology.

What I tried to explain to the researcher was that, for me and for many other libertarians, markets are to be defended not according to how efficient they may be, but according to whether they are or would be part of a voluntary order.

What libertarians want is a society in which people come together only in uncoerced relationships. Some of these � marriage and partnership agreements, for example � might be hard or even impossible to dissolve. Some others � the main example being parents and their children � might involve some coercion for a limited period. But we do require, so far as reality permits, that no one should be compelled into any relationship.

When we defend markets, we mean those relationships, outside the circle of our friends and loved ones, than involve exchanges of legally binding promises, usually with a price attached. We do not defend priced relationships that are based on any degree of coercion. Therefore, we denounce slavery and trading in slaves. We denounce the collection of taxes to pay for services provided by the government. We denounce regulations that limit the range and nature of relationships that people can choose.

And we denounce patterns of indirect coercion that herd people into relationships they might not otherwise have chosen.

The financial system, as it currently exists, is based on this last type of coercion. Consider:

First, we have taxes and a monetary framework that make prudence, as traditionally known, unwise. It used to be that people would save for emergencies by putting money into savings accounts or contributing to mutual insurance schemes. For their old age, they would save money for purchase of annuities on retirement. But we have long had levels of inflation that eroded capital values, and taxes that depressed real returns. We can respond to this by playing the markets. But this requires more time and understanding than most people are willing to give; and there is the problem � at least in Britain � of capital gains tax when securities are sold at a profit.

The answer has been to put our savings with groups of professional speculators. These claim to understand the markets better than ordinary people. Undoubtedly, they have more time to follow the markets. And there are tax laws that privilege such companies.

The result has been to concentrate most savings into the hands of people whose job is look out for short term profit, and who are inclined to welcome exotic new products that no ordinary investor would ever dare touch.

Second, there are the company laws that allow easy incorporation and limited liability for debt. These have allowed giant business organisations to rise up and flourish. The result here has been to increase the number of securities that can be bought and sold, and to call into being whole armies of professional speculators, employed by multi-national banks and other organisations.

Third, there is fractional reserve banking and fiat money. Ever since the development of modern finance, bankers have been tempted circulate more notes than they could honour. What kept this in bounds was knowledge that the monetary base was a certain amount of gold that would not quickly be changed in size. Nowadays, if bankers cannot finance all the lending they would like to make at prevailing interest rates from the stock of savings, they can simply create more money. They still have an obligation to redeem their promises. But they operate in circumstances where the monetary base can be increased at will.

I do not say that there would be no financial markets in a voluntary order. There would be intermediation between lenders and borrowers. There would be trade in bonds. There would be securitisation of debt. There would be speculation on future values of commodities and securities.

I do not even say that the financial system we have is wholly useless or malign, given the highly corporatized nature of business. Fears of shortselling or takeovers provide a check on corporate sloth or greed. The endless speculation enables those of us who have some money not to have it all stolen by our government through taxes or inflation.

But the financial system, as it does now exist, would not exist as part of a voluntary order. It would not be the huge global casino that it is. It may be efficient. It may be plausibly claimed as an instance of the free market in action. But it is not part of a voluntary order, and therefore has at best only partial legitimacy to libertarians.

Moreover, if the financial system is a creature, directly or indirectly, of government, its current problems have been wholly caused by government. I do not know when the inflation started. It may have been to float us out of the last recession, back in the early 1990s. It may have been to avoid the expected panic of the Millennium Bug. It may have been to pay for the War on Terror. It may have been the product of all of these and others. But for many years, money has been lent that was not first saved. The gap between savings and loans was bridged by money creation. It is testimony to the skill of regulators and the sophistication of the markets that the speculative bubble was able to grow so large. But, however long delayed, its bursting was inevitable. The media can blame crooked mortgage sellers in the American ghettoes, or coke-fuelled graduates in the London dealing rooms. But financial collapse was always a matter of when and not if.

When I gave a potted version of this to the BBC researcher, I could almost hear her eyes glazing over. For the second time this year, I was not called into the studio to defend the City. I understand why I was not called in. What I am saying does not fit into the establishment narrative of what has happened.

And though I never got to tell the researcher, I also have no idea of what should now be done. Perhaps the bank of England should raise interest rates sharply and stand back while much of the financial system goes insolvent. This would get things over and done with, and move us reasonably fast into the recovery stage of the next bubble. Or perhaps it should flood the City with fresh money, in an effort to bring about a soft landing. I really do not know.

Something I do know reasonably well, however, is how to stop these bubbles from starting. If I ever came to power as the front man for a military coup � somewhat unlikely for several reasons, but still worth hoping for � I would do the following:

First, I would cut taxes and government spending by at least two thirds. The remainder should pay the interest on the national debt and honour the pension commitments made to those over about the age of fifty. I would then end the tax privileges of the investment funds. This would, among much else, allow people to plan for their future without having to sit behind the institutional equivalent of a compulsive gambler.

Second, I would repeal the Companies Acts and make the declare the directors of existing corporations the true owners with joint and several liability for their debts. This would put an end to the impersonal, bureaucratic nature of modern business. It would also reduce the number of securities to be bought and sold and reduce the number of people employed to buy and sell them.

Third, I would move to a fully-convertible gold standard, with the heads of every bank made jointly and severally liable for redemption in gold of all obligations, unless contracted otherwise

As said, even a stateless voluntary order would still have financial markets. And the semi-statist system I am recommending would have not only financial markets, but also some room for speculative bubbles. But neither would be anything like the world in which we actually live.

The shame is that what we have is largely what we shall have. Sooner or later, the present collapse will be over. Then, whatever �tough regulation� the politicians may have brought in will be circumvented by a new generation of clever speculators, and the next bubble will begin to inflate.

It could be worse, however. We are not talking about Soviet Communism here, but a corporatism that, if neither stable nor just, does enable the creation of vast amounts of real wealth. And, I might say, I have done rather well personally out of the late bubble. I am assured I shall not lose disastrously now it has burst. This means I am well placed to benefit from the next bubble.

As the Good Book says: �Unto every one which hath shall be given �.�

NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from

Wicked climate-change fraud properly exposed, in plain langauge, at last.

David Davis

Excellent exposé by Bishop Hill, about the carefully-diguised but fraudulent manipulation of data and preocessing, used to convince gullible people or those with little free time and a lot to do. Lots of useful embedded links to primary sources. Hat tip Samizdata, courtesy of Brian Mickelthwait, and I think the Englishman’s got his teeth into its ankle also. (Useful but slightly irrelevant, although amusing, links to all about Richard Dawkins included free if you see him.) You’ll all be pleased to see that The Devil has picked it up, too, and is somewhat less amused by the scale of the fraud even than I am!

And for some real dunking in proper coloured graphs and all that stuff, go to John Daly, here.

The great global warming con is starting to unravel … in the Nottinghamshire Times …

of all places! Perhaps we are starting to beat the UN-IPCC-liars, and Gore and his deceivers, after all.

David Davis

The Purple Scorpion does very good extra new stuff about global warmnazi-ing

David Davis

Here. Good new commentary about stuff form the Observer; that is to say, a “News Paper”, mostly read by pseudo-intellectual British lefties, with names such as Deidre Dutt-Pauker. These are a declining breed happily, but sadly with an ability to “punch above their weight”. we shall have to see about that when we set up “Libertarian re-reducation camp sites”; These might be called “free markets”, in stuff such as “journ-al-ism”.


Libertarian Alliance Showcase Publication No-16:

David Botsford

Why the Right to Armed Self-Defence Against Criminals Should Not have Been Suppressed in Britain, and How It Might Gradually Be Re-Established.

Great move, socialists! how to increase “binge-drinking”, and the volume of secondary crime, in one hit!

David Davis


Not only do these people not care what human beings think or how they actually behave: they also conform to the dictum of :-

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, the solution to every problem has got to be a nail.”

I can see corner-shops and off-licences being broken-into or held up not just for cigarettes, but now for beer and alcopops too. Great move, Zanu-Laborg!

“Fourth-higest rate of binge-drinking among under-15s in Europe…” yeah, that’s a real real problem, to be solved by some more draconian measures. Yeh. How about building a couple of frigates, or some anti-missile defences instead? (But no, that would have some positive results…)

GUNS telechefs food gordon ramsay jamie oliver rick steyn garry rhodes delia smith that other chap whose name I can’t remember two fat ladies diet stalinism

David Davis

The gunnery-director of REVENGE will, in due course, “shift target to next-ahead”, from telechefs to, er, something else. Not quite sure what, yet, I have not decided. But they are food for thought for some posts yet. 

I really do feel like savaging these guys (and they mostly are guys, God Blast them) for some days. Poor old Delia Smith, and all she wants to do is tell you how best to boil an egg, for God’s sake, is sheer harmlessness by comparison.

Long live female telecooks. Great chaps they are. (Not that Tamsin-thingy-woman who is a poseur, because she has a rather large garden which telly-wireless queers want to wet themselves in, while filming, and thinks she can tell people what to eat as she is quite rich, like poor mad tortured Prince Charles who is a socialist although he genuinely believes that he is not. I don’t know what to suggest that we do about him: poor, good-natured and honest, tortured man that he is. He can’t be engaged as a KIng, for sure, it would be too dangerous in the present world political climate. His mind is not focussed on real threats to the Anglosphere.)

Sorry. I don’t really watch the wireless tele vision. I don’t even remember what these people are called. She might not even be a Tamsin, even.

Fog and smoke in battlefield area. Probably not any good to poor sad dead Heath Ledger, though, for you can “search site” for that one post where we got roasted by someone who said “f*** you!!!!!!” (We don’t print 4-letter-words on this blog. I don’t allow it. No. Not. Nada. Zilch. Only in the comments, put in by others, to show who we are, and who the enemy are.)

Oh, and “Two Fat ladies” are great, even though one of them is dead.

Oh, and look at this about Gordon Ramsay (posted about yesterday.)

This is what we said yesterday.

David Davis

Here in the Guardian some new stuff about his antics and “leger-de-main” about “ingredients” “sourcing”. (Great newspaper, the Guardian, often but not always. how can it be so socialist, and yet so self-examining?)

Telechefs are cooks. Cooks may be great and marvellously skilled individuals, and probably mostly are. I do not know. But if they choose to cook for money, they then ought to show humility towards the people which pay them, and not the other way around.

I blame “wireless tele vision” [that's what it really is] , currently being used as an instrument of mental control by stalinist guvmints, including this one.



I have been wanting to slag off telechefs for years, they being the epitome of what makes thinking people hate the West. Someone got there first, what a bummer, I am a lazy thicko.

David Davis

Samizdata does a keenly-written and thoughtful hatchet-job on Gordon Ramsay. Wish I’d thought of that attack myself, it’s good and to the point, specially in the persent planetary climate of global cooling and impending famine-disaster, and how globalisation could save whole populations of humans (who then would not die) in return for money. AttaPerry!

I have, as it says, been becoming increasingly irritated, and hurt also, by “telechefs” and their policy-positions (which they affect to have, as is strange) for some years. There is no wikipage for these people which I also find strange, given the effect they seem to have on the political life of the nation as regards food and consumption patterns.

On the one hand, they (seem to) seek to spice up our gustatory lives and palates, with delectably-prepared and televisually-fondled stuff that looks scrumptious, and sounds even better. They use all sorts of materials that seem exotic and come from faraway places, like Peru (strawberries and asparagus in the Northen Hemisphere winter – grand! Why the f*** didn’t we think of that years ago?)

On the other hand, having got famous and affording Ferraris and other restaurants, they are thus therefore available to be brown-nosed by Al Gore and other pop singers and film stars of his ilk. Gore and the othet film stars and pop singers are of course all great scientists and logicians, and so “telechefs”, falling under the baleful influence of these devils in return for money, seek to do these things:-

(a) ruin any pleasure gained from authorised-daytime-eating-activity for British schoolchildren, and

(b) support the pre-capitalist and barbarian notion that all food ought to be “locally grown or raised”. EU grandees, who do and support nothing of this kind whatever (or they would get bored and therefore starve), eat at their restaurants.

My own comment on the samizdata post, about what could be done to telechefs, seems to have been removed. Perhaps I will decide not to offer to write for them after all….Or, perhaps their spam-filter took out “television-cooking-pron”. I really thought “pron” would get through. Oh well, never mind. Perhaps they will de-censor it for you, I hope so (see comments.)

No more “global warming”? That’s a problem for “policy makers” (what are those, please?)

David Davis

Here we discover what has happened to “Global warming’s missing heat”. It was never going to arrive in the first place. “Reason magazine reports Reuters commenting on an article in “Nature”.

When I were a nipper, “Nature” was globally regarded as a sound and objective science journal. The school paid for us to have it in the Chemistry library, along with the new Scientist – another one that’s gone to the Gore-dogs. It seems no longer. When great and old journals, such as this and the scientific American, spend more and more pages trying to lobby “policy” “makers”, for left-popular political strategies, and less and less time doing real-science-reporting, it’s time to build libraries, and stock them with hard knowledge.

As the planet cools (as it will when the Sun’s radiated output starts to fall to another Maunder minimum in about 100-150 years) and as the great global warming scam-scare unravels bloodily in public, what are the greenazis going to think of next, to hobble Man in a pre-capitalist barbarian time-warp, again?

WHAT, I ask, WHAT? WHAT is it about the socialists, global-warm-mongers and Gaians? Why, exactly (for I do not know and can’t tell) do they hanker for a mythical, pre-modern, supposedly neo-pastoralist “golden age”, in which Man was “in harmony” with “his” “environment”? Which is to say that his life was risky, often brutal, hard, painful and fairly short, and he had to spend 97.2%+++ of his time trying to simply grow (if lucky) (or find) food and eat it.

What, I beg to ask, is wrong with simply agreeing that the Christian West, liberalism and Hard Science have – in that order – won the battle for Human Survival? And not only that – they have won it for All Mankind? Look guys. we offer you all this knowledge, and for nothing!

We even gave you the internet, so you didn’t have to get out of your chairs or sign anything, to see that we are right. You don’t even have to go to a sodding library, where all the useful books have been cleaned out because they are written by dead white bourgeois male mysogynist conservative Christian twats.

Get out more. Get a life. Do some work (and stop singing work-songs.) Stop wearing Che Guevara t-shirts (no, you must not, really! It’s even less cool than when I criticised you before, and I think even the Guardian and the Indymoney will look down on you now for that.)

Bioethanol crime burning food atrocity murder children corn life

David Davis

Libertarian Alliance quote of the day….from our good and right friends at Delaware Libertarian…

The Stupidity of Ethanol in a single sentence

Peg, at A Secondhand Conjecture

, finds a sentence that cuts to the heart of the matter:


Every fill of the tank with ethanol uses the same amount of corn a child would eat in a year, and let’s not even talk about the amount of potable water used to grow the corn in the first place.

Sort of makes fossil fuels seem more rational, huh?

Plants, animals and “Climate Change” – two ruminations on the environment, published by the Libertarian Alliance

David Davis

Good paper by Joe Peacott, in 2006, now in the Libertarian Alliance archives of free publications.

A number of years ago I wrote a couple of pamphlets

about the politics of AIDS.




At the time there was a (read more at the above link)

There’s another good one here:

This is called Global Warming: Inventing An Apocalypse, 1994, 4pp by Kevin McFarlane.


Whose side exactly is the “News of the World” on? In a socialist world, it would be closed down, the male journalists shot and the female journos (many, many I think) raped – and then shot.


I do not think that North Korea, Red Ken’s favourite country after Venezuela (pretty girls and oil to seize for his heavies’ limos) and Cuba (pretty girls for the price of a Pepsi but no oil to seize for his heavies’ limos), and the objective toward which he ploughs, using the money of Londoners, has many newspapers like the “News of the World”.

David Davis

This afternoon I chanced on this:-


I do not know who “Lord Laidlaw” is – never heard of him. Apparently he has a “Sex” “addiction”, and has had it for years.

What a great guy! How lovely for him, and for the rest of us as human beings, for it to be realised that sex is so nice.


He’s learnt what it’s about.

He has had the good fortune to chance upon the knowledge, sufficiently early in life to come to a fixed policy-position which he has clearly followed to the end of his strength. That is to say, that the exquisite thrill you get when having sex, with a girl – as is natural. I mean, who else, as a Man, can you have sex with?


I'm not denigrating homosexuals, who may very well be sincere human beings, and many are indeed libertarians, but what they (say that they) are having is not actually sex, which is strictly defined by Scientists - is, er, ummmmm, great.

Apart form anything else, no functioning or living Libertarian would kill, stone-to-death or sacro-religiously push walls over, onto anyone who described himself/herself as a homosexual/lesbian. It's your choice, people, coz' you said so, and it's your lives and not ours.]

But anyway, to business: this “Lord” has decided he likes sex with girls. A lot. Wonderful!  (They might even be pretty – I do hope so for his sake, and for their earning power….) Why does he have to apologise, and to whom, and what business is it of a British “national” “News” “Paper” what he does in his spare time?

And all this sad business about praising his “long-suffering wife….” ….they all do it. Why? Is that what the PR firm tells them to do, to hide the hypocrisy of the report being in the open in the first place?

As the great departed comedian Benny Hill, the greatest debunker of “political correctness” since Churchill or Dave Allen, said once (if not more often that that even):

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. If you enjoyed it today, then you can always do it again tomorrow.”

It is not exactly clear to me what business it is of “The News of the World”, or indeed its readers, how “Lord Laidlaw” spends his money and his free time. They ought not to be execrating it. They should be extolling it. 

If “Lord Laidlaw” (must be a made-up name, unless he is from the Scottish Lowlands) wants to shag several “working girls” at once, or even invite his friends to help out, and pay for them like a good host ought, then should not the paper then be declaiming the delights of this activity, and its rewards (a lovely feeling for a few seconds at a time, for the man, every few hours, and lots of money for the woman/women) to the “deserving poor” – so that they can aspire towards something to achieve in this life, and to work for? 

A point that ought to be made about “Sex Addiction” is that, unlike (arguably) Alcohol, Drugs or Tobacco addiction, it disadvantages nobody and has no ill-health effects, not even for the people nearby to the addict. The “addict” is very happy all the time because he has a lot of sex, he suffers no bodily ill-effects (quite the contrary in fact) and the other participant, if of the right sex, get a lot of fun too, if willing. (If not, then it’s called rape, and we have lots of laws about that, so there!)

Moreover, if the “News of the World” wants to continue to sell copies of its “News”  “Paper”, then it ought to be promoting the benefits of “Sex Addiction”, particularly in “Tories” – and especially near election times – otherwise it will have nothing for its journos to write about on the dead-tree-material it uses.

I hear about all this stuff, and I really get PISSED OFF, that the entire world gets to think that the British people, the progenitors and originators of the idea of liberalism, and the idea that nobody else ought to interfere in your life’s arrangements unless you hurt them, actually get exercised about this sort of news……

…..After all, aren’t we, according to the same paper, supposed to be having acres of delicous sex, all the time, with all sorts of people? So if so, what’s the news in this report?

“Join British Army”

A search-engine string that hit us today, suddenly, on the port beam, in a heavy following sea……they do that, you know. You just don’t see them coming, the radar’s sort of quiet, but then you find you have to say something, to plug the hole in the hull. Hard business, running a Ship. Better call the Pusser to issue Grog to the Men. Everyone in the port/after-PO’s mess is soaked through, and angry.

The point about the British Army is that, if one is into armies and is either a libertarian, a liberal or a conservative (what is the practical difference in political terms?) and therefore knows truly what armies are for in this new, slightly un-nerving 21st-century world in which humorous but badly-challenged mountebanks like “Al” “Gore” and somebody else called “Putin” or “Ahmadinejad” or “Mugabe” or whatever it is, are disporting themselves for the benefit of the wireless tele bumboys at the BBC,  then it is the real thing.

Sorry, that sentence was too long. I will re-edit it. Later.

David Davis

Now I wonder why anybody, today, would want to do that thing, given the following:

(a) No body-armour (not like working for proper Defence-Ministers like in the USA or France)

(b) Calumnical criticism by non-combatant Maxist turds and toads, masquerading as “teachers”, who go round schools telling you how nasty and horrid the British Army is.

(c) No proper American or South-African vehicles (I bet the Israelis have got some too, God bless them! Let’s make them an offer) to protect you from “mines” (MINES for God’s sake? How low-tech can you go? No t*******d’s mine can be THAT big, even if bought from North Korea and pretending to be nuclear) or IEDs – I thought these were contraceptives until I listened to that Iranian madman who captured our whole navy last year.

More about “Fairtrade is a fraud” – nice pamphlet by the Institute of Economic Affairs

David Davis

Last month one of our experienced writers said that “Fairtrade is a Fraud”.  While this IEA pamphlet here today does not deny the inherent and (very) inconvenient truth of this statement, it enlarges on some of the relationships involved in the whole “Fairtrade” scam, and explains why the entire “Fairtrade” flim-flam-branding exercise has the welfare of the “growers” as the least of its concerns.

Or you can see it here.

Of course he got fired. What else would you expect nasty Gramscian neo-Marxists to do to one who tells it like it is, not like they want to want you to want it to have been?

David Davis

Hat tips from Free Market Fairy Tales, and Kathy Shaidle.

David Bullard was fired from the Times for saying the following:



Uncolonised Africa wouldn’t know what it was missing


So David Bullard the ‘controversial’ Sunday Times columnist has been given the boot. Turns out the bad boy of South African writing ruffled a few feathers with his column “Out To Lunch” on Sunday. In his last offering of Out to Lunch, Bullard graphically detailed how Africa had “benefited” from colonialism, an argument that drew criticism from readers and social commentators. “He wrote a racist column on Sunday. I had a conversation with him on Tuesday, I told him that what he wrote was unacceptable,” Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya said last night. “It went against the values of this newspaper. “He told me he believed what he had written. I took a decision as editor to discontinue his contract.”


Business Day Friday 11/04/2008


& here is the piece in question


Imagine for a moment what life would be like in South Africa if the evil white man hadn’t come to disturb the rustic idyll of the early black settlers. Ignored by the Portuguese and Dutch, except as a convenient resting point en route to India. Shunned by the British, who had decided that their empire was already large enough and didn’t need to include bits of Africa.

The vast mineral wealth lying undisturbed below the Highveld soil as simple tribesmen graze their cattle blissfully unaware that beneath them lies one of the richest gold seams in the world. But what would they want with gold?


There are no roads because no roads are needed because there are no cars. It’s 2008 and no one has taken the slightest interest in South Africa, apart from a handful of botanists and zoologists who reckon that the country’s flora and fauna rank as one of the largest unspoilt areas in a polluted world. Because they have never been exposed to the sinful ways of the West, the various tribes of South Africa live healthy and peaceful lives, only occasionally indulging in a bit of ethnic cleansing.

Their children don’t watch television because there is no television to watch. Instead they listen to their grandparents telling stories around a fire. They live in single-storey huts arranged to catch most of the day’s sunshine and their animals are kept nearby.

Nobody has any more animals than his family needs and nobody grows more crops than he requires to feed his family and swap for other crops. Ostentation is unknown because what is the point of trying to impress your fellow citizens when they are not impressible?

The dreaded Internet doesn’t exist in South Africa and cellphone companies have laughed off any hope of interesting the inhabitants in talking expensively into a piece of black plastic. There are no unsightly shopping malls selling expensive goods made by Asian slave workers and consequently there are no newspapers or magazines carrying articles comparing the relative merits of ladies’ handbags.

Whisky, the curse of the white man, isn’t known in this undeveloped land and neither are cigars. The locals brew a sort of beer out of vegetables and drink it out of shallow wooden bowls. Five-litre paint cans have yet to arrive in South Africa.

Every so often a child goes missing from the village, eaten either by a hungry lion or a crocodile. The family mourn for a week or so and then have another child. Life is, on the whole, pretty good but there is something vital missing. Being unaware of the temptations of the outside world, nobody knows what it is. Fire has been discovered and the development of the wheel is coming on nicely but the tribal elders are still aware of some essential happiness ingredient they still need to discover. Praying to the ancestors is no help because they are just as clueless.

Then something happens that will change this undisturbed South Africa forever. Huge metal ships land on the coast and big metal flying birds are sent to explore the sparsely populated hinterland. They are full of men from a place called China and they are looking for coal, metal, oil, platinum, farmland, fresh water and cheap labour and lots of it. Suddenly the indigenous population realise what they have been missing all along: someone to blame. At last their prayers have been answered


Published: Sunday Times Apr 07, 2008

AND… on Kathy Shaidle…






For having the nerve to actually say it…

“Columnist David Bullard made a good point, and one

we have made here in the past: compared to the

stone age – or to anything else, Western civilization

is a gift.”



Ethanol burning food … more food burnt

David Davis

Well, there you go. I finally, finally work out how to upload video to this blasted blog, and Youtube take the video down….my apologies; “Normal Service will be resumed as soon as p-p-p-possible.” In the meantime, it was on Youtube as “biofuels, backlash” or something like that. You guys may be able to locate it again, or find it elsewhere and tell me?



“What about the poor?” At last, a masterful rebuttal of socialist claptrap in under 300 words…awarded “Quote of the Day” status.

David Davis

Everybody ought to read Samizdata every day. “That’s how it’s done, that is the real thing” (as an Israeli General said while regarding British squaddies quelling unrest in somewhere-or-other by simply looking smart, well-turned out, polished and armed, very businesslike, and nice to the locals – and no poncy sun-specs!) That red stuff’s not a link by the way – I could not find one in time, I just wanted to say it loud.

Jonathan Pearce does what is needed for dealing with the “what about the poor starving in the streets” obstacle, which lefties – and even those good-hearted people who you could never describe as “left”, just “worried by inherent uncertainty” – will always begin with whe  they encounter you, and find you are some disgusting cold-and-bright freemarketeer capitalist toad.

Good for you. Quote of the day coming up:

As history has shown, mutual aid and philanthropic societies typically thrive because of, not in spite of, a powerful pro-freedom, pro-free enterprise culture. The belief that we are entitled to pursue our self-interest (so long as it does not involve aggression, theft or fraud) does not clash with the idea that it is good to be generous and helpful to those who have been dealt a crap hand in the cardgame of life.

As we in the Alternative Bookshop used to say: “Liberty is the mother, and not the daughter, of order.”

I have been worrying about Australia for some time since that funny little Kevin-lap-dancing-chappie took it over, so I do hope it is still all right.

How does a person elect a Prime minsister called Kevin?

How does that stand up, presentation-wise, in say Russia or North Korea or ….. Indonesia, where certain people take their opposition to Australia and Australian men and women rather more seriously…..? What were you Okkers thinking, for f***’s sake?

They have to be “John”….. (what you lot dun wivv’ ‘im by the way?)

…….. or “Margaret” or “Winston” or I would even buy a “Harold” or a “James” but the trouble is these two were socialists, so it won’t do either. “Benjamin” or “Willliam” or “Robert” perhaps? Or “Boris”? Certainly not a “Gordon”, not “Ed”, not “David the milliperson” or a “Nick”, all utterly wrong for the role. Another “David” might just cut it, or else the other “David” (no not me….)

Sorry, I’m talking as if we were but one country, not two….

David Davis

From Moonbattery:

Here it is in original.

Here’s an exerpt from Moonbattery:

Posted by Van Helsing at 9:25 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

<!– –>

Australian Environazis Employ High-Tech Garbage Monitoring

In Australia, Big Brother has begun to equip trash cans with radio frequency identification tags, to determine whether citizens are recycling sufficiently. [This is called "RFID", and I thought it was only us in the UK who were suffereing. Is it the whole Anglosphere then, and if so, then what has gone wrong? Why are our own firms selling this technology in order for it to tyrannise, against our own people? What is in it for them, except money, which I could forgive? Why do they take a wrong moral position just for money? Or do they believe it is right to profit from tyrannisation, and they do not then care? - Ed.]

The bizarre and frightening phenomenon into which environmentalism has deteriorated really does create economic opportunities. Soon we will have businesses that deliver recyclable garbage to your bin in time for the government to pick it up. That way, you won’t get in trouble for not recycling when you go on vacation.

On a tip from Oiao.

I was worried enough by the rubbish-spies here in the UK, but I thought that our Children-across-the-World were still free. Maybe not. 


Sean Gabb, talking about “OBESITY” in the BBC – interesting comment

David Davis

I don’t know anything about this idea, but it sounds interestingly plausible. Would any bloggeeks who inhabit this place like to give it “peer review”?

G E Alderson

(the above is where you can go to talk to the guy who commented what follows):

The Government are taking advice from a section of the medical profession who (as Prof. Mann’s review has determined) has a 99% failure rate. We had an obesity incidence in, say, 1960 that occurred in ‘NOCTURNAL HUNTER PHENOTYPES’ who inadvertently overate when eating in daylight.

With the diet of 1960, the ‘DIURNAL HUNTER PHENOTYPE’ eating in daylight did NOT overeat and become obese.

NOW there has been a significant (for the HUNTER PHENOTYPE) change in the British diet.

On an exponential curve (I think he’s being a bit hyperbolic here – no pun intended! – Ed.) over the last 40 years or so, the SOURCE of the fat content has switched from FAUNA to FLORA. The metabolism of the HUNTER PHENOTYPE does NOT recognise FLORA fats when swallowed (at any time of day) and therefore nowadays the DIURNAL version (still eating at the correct time – daylight) are inadvertantly overeating FLORA fat and gaining weight increasing the INCIDENCE of obesity.

REVERSE the fat source switch and not only do the DIURNAL stop overeating and therefore gain no more weight, the position could not be better. Any weight gained through inadvertant overeating which is designated by the body as ’surplus to requirements, is AUTONOMICALLY REMOVED via thermogenesis in Brown Adipose Tissue. This is the theoretical explanation of the Atkins weight loss but it is NOT necessary to avoid the carbohydrates.

The HUNTER PHENOTYPE perceive FAUNA fats to ‘taste nicer’ than FLORA fats. Until the medical profession decided to ‘demonise’ animal fat, this taste prefernce was enough to keep the HUNTERS shunning the FLORA fat as it began to arrive and take its place in the British diet.
The ONLY thing that is needed is to tell the food industry that they must use a ‘Hunter friendly logo’ that guarantees the food has a fat content that is entirely from a FAUNA source with NO FLORA fat content. The STORK TASTE TEST of about 40 years ago (6 out of 10 ‘can’t tell Stork from butter) gives a ‘ballpark’ figure of approx. 40% of the British population being HUNTERS. The food industry SHOULD be willing to produce this food when they are informed that the GPs are about to tell 40% of the population to only buy food with this logo.
When the CORRECT advice is to tell people to eat food that they will find ‘TASTES NICER’ than what they are currently eating (once this food becomes available) that is advice THEY WILL GLADLY FOLLOW.
They do not need to take any exercise unless they want to. The ONLY other thing they need to do to let the weight loss occur AUTONOMICALLY is to wean themselves slowly (to avoid withdrawal symptoms) off caffeine.
The DIURNAL HUNTERS, as a generalisation will ignore all this current advice anyway but will continue to get fatter (some dangerously so) due to the omnipresence of the FLORA fats and the ever diminishing FAUNA fats in the current diet.
The full theory is available on serious request.

BURNING FOOD … How biofuels will break banks and harm people

David Davis

Well, (some of) you read (some of) it here first at the LA. I recall that we were lambasting “Bio Fuels” before the mainstream media did (can’t put my finger on hte excat post right now.) But here’s a little taster (sorry!) of developing opinion:

Rioting breaks out over food price rises – biofuels are to blame say World Bank, FAO, UNHCR and IMF

The FT reports that food price rises are wiping out a decade of efforts to combat global poverty, according to the World Bank, IMF and the Food and Agricultural Organisation. The organisations were unanimous that biofuels were part of the reason for the price rises, which have increased 45 percent in the past 9 months. The conclusions were echoed by Gordon Brown, who yesterday called for a review of the effect of biofuels on food prices: “For the first time in decades, the number of people facing hunger is growing.” As the FAO issued another warning about the threat of social unrest in developing countries, riots have broken out in Haiti over soaring food prices, claiming five lives. Unrest is also reported in West Africa and Egypt. The BBC Today Programme reports that the army is now involved in food distribution in Bangladesh – a major food importing country.  Meanwhile, AFP reports that price rises are pushing unions in Europe towards confrontation and strike action against employers.


Antonio Gutierrez, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, interviewed on the Today programme, said that targets for biofuels “need to be reconsidered, because it is having an unexpected but meaningful negative impact on the food markets”.

FT Collier & Spence BBC BBC 2 BBC Today AFP AFP 2 FT

How much Gold is £100 billion? What do you lot think?

David Davis

I calculated it at 5,370 Imperial Tons. Any better offers? Northern Rock, eat your heart out.

Seriously, ecforster who commented in the major Gold Post below, is right. We would not need that much – let alone the 60,000-odd-tons theoretically required to back a rough £1-trillion of M1/M2/M3. There is not even 250,000 tons harvested in the history of the world. Read the story of Kadmiel the Jewish moneylender, “The Treasure and the Law”, in Puck of Pook’s Hill. (Better read “Old Men at Pevensey” first, so you know what the Treasure was and whence it came.)

Also, legislation to allow the issue of private Monies might also help. Hayek said it all a while ago. Those which are underwritten by a marketable security in the event of devaluation will rise, and those which are not will fry.

Look, I still can’t paste in bloody videos. Don’t know what to do, had a good one for you here. Any ideas? 

Kevin Carson replies to Paul Marks

Further Thoughts about “Contract Feudalism”: A Response to Paul Marks
Kevin Carson

Economic Notes No. 109

ISSN 0267-7164                   ISBN 9781856377560

An occasional publication of the Libertarian Alliance,
Suite 35, 2 Landsdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6HL.

© 2008: Libertarian Alliance; Kevin Carson.

Kevin Carson lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  He works as a hospital orderly and operates a lawn-mowing service.  He belongs to the Voluntary Cooperation Movement (a mutualist affinity group), and the Industrial Workers of the World.  He also maintains the Mutualist.Org website and recently published the book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy.

The views expressed in this publication are those of its author, and not necessarily those of the Libertarian Alliance, its Committee,
Advisory Council or subscribers.


The Response of Paul Marks

The Libertarian Alliance was kind enough, in 2006, to publish my pamphlet Contract Feudalism: A Critique of Employer Power over Employees.1  Since then, Paul Marks, a Conservative councillor on Kettering Borough Council, has taken the trouble to reply to it with a pamphlet of his own: A Critique of a Critique: An Examination of Kevin Carson’s �Contract Feudalism’.2

As grateful as I am for the attention, I hesitate to undertake a response.  Mr Marks’ effort has been lionized in the libertarian blogosphere.  For example, Stephan Kinsella of Mises Blog calls it “a brilliant, solid, and interesting analysis” of my pamphlet,3 and Perry De Havilland of Samizdata praises Mr Marks for being “in splendid and splenic form.”4  One of the commenters at Samizdata dismisses me as a “yapping Pomeranian” in comparison to Mr Marks’ “English mastiff.”  Nevertheless, even though I take my life into my own hands in confronting this formidable mastiff, I feel I owe him some sort of response as a matter of courtesy.

Contract Feudalism Restated

Toward the beginning of his critique (I say toward the beginning because it’s the first substantive comment following a rambling dissertation on assorted topics like the semiotics of the Voluntary Cooperation Movement emblem), he asks just what “contract feudalism” is supposed to mean (followed by another rambling tangent on the historical meaning of the term “feudalism”.)  Contract feudalism,” put simply, refers to the persistence of superior-subordinate relations reminiscent in substance to those under previous regimes of status, but under the guise of a de jure regime of contract.  Lysander Spooner put it pretty well in Natural Law::

“In process of time, the robber, or slaveholding, class – who had seized all the lands, and held all the means of creating wealth – began to discover that the easiest mode of managing their slaves, and making them profitable, was not for each slaveholder to hold his specified number of slaves, as he had done before, and as he would hold so many cattle, but to give them so much liberty as would throw upon themselves (the slaves) the responsibility of their own subsistence, and yet compel them to sell their labor to the land-holding class – their former owners – for just what the latter might choose to give them. Of course, these liberated slaves, as some have erroneously called them, having no lands, or other property, and no means of obtaining an independent subsistence, had no alternative – to save themselves from starvation – but to sell their labor to the landholders, in exchange only for the coarsest necessaries of life; not always for so much even as that.

These liberated slaves, as they were called, were now scarcely less slaves than they were before.  Their means of subsistence were perhaps even more precarious than when each had his own owner, who had an interest to preserve his life.  They were liable, at the caprice or interest of the landholders, to be thrown out of home, employment, and the opportunity of even earning a subsistence by their labor”.5

Although Spooner’s primary focus was on agricultural wage labor, rather than the industrial and service kinds that predominate in our economy, the basic principle of labor’s dependency when it has been separated from the means of production and subsistence is essentially the same.  A worker who is utterly dependent on employment, in a market where those in search of employment outnumber the available openings, is dependent on the whims of an employer for his food and shelter.  The greater his dependence, the greater the degree of his subjection to his employer’s whims, both on and off the job.

At one point in his critique, Mr Marks sums up my article in these words (p. 4):

“Some employers even demand that their employees do not express opinions that they do not like – otherwise they fire you and you have to go and work for less money”.  Err yes, and Mr Carson’s point is?”

My point, the central theme of my original pamphlet, was to examine the reasons that employers are in a position to make such demands in the first place.  My point was that the state intervenes in the market to make the means of production artificially scarce and expensive compared to labor, so that workers are competing for jobs rather than the reverse, and employers rather than workers have the primary weight in setting the conditions of the employment relationship.

Mr Marks goes on, in the following passage, to betray even further his almost total incomprehension of what he has chosen to “critique” (p. 4):


“…[Life] sucks….  It even “sucks” for Prince Charles and other people of great inherited wealth–they still age… and go through all the pain and humiliation that this means.  And if they live long enough they get to see all their closest friends (as well as their parents and other relatives–sometimes even their own children) die� 

As for people who are born without wealth and can think of no way of making a lot of money, their lives tend to be even worse than the lives of people who are neither born with a lot of money or who think of way [sic] of earning a lot.”

Calling it “irrelevant” begs the precise point at issue.  But this is hardly cause for surprise, since Mr Marks shows an almost total unawareness, anywhere in his “critique,” of the actual points made in the paper he is critiquing.  His reference to “irrelevance” is in fact quite ironic, given that most of his own paper is completely irrelevant to any of the points made in mine.

On the latter point, the utter irrelevance of his “critique” to any actual arguments in my pamphlet, he spends almost an entire colum – in a pamphlet of three two-column pages–analyzing the hidden meaning of the Voluntary Cooperation Movement’s logo.  He devotes an even larger number of column inches to an amateur diagnosis of the temperamental or psychiatric causes behind my views – most of them, apparently, boiling down to a feeling on my part that “life sucks,” or a Gnostic predilection for assuming that, behind any unpleasant state of affairs, there lurks an injustice.  My alleged response to all the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, to the impossibility of our both eating and having our cake, is the spoiled child’s lament that “life isn’t fair,” that therefore “it must be someone’s fault” – and my solution is to “plot against the owners of the means of production.”

So what is the central point of my original article?  Let’s go back to Mr Marks’ concession in the quote above, that even if life sucks for everybody (p. 4):

“As for people who are born without wealth and can think of no way of making a lot of money, their lives tend to be even worse than the lives of people who are neither born with a lot of money or who think of way of earning a lot.”

The point of my original article was precisely why this state of affairs is relevant – which relevance Mr Marks simply denies, with almost nothing in the way of substantive argument to support his bare assertion. 

Whether the fact of being born without wealth, or the scarcity of means of making money, is “relevant” (although Mr Marks uses the term without an object, I assume he means “relevant to questions of justice”), depends on the cause of that state of affairs.  Most of my original article was taken up, not with mere assertions that life sucks worse for the non-wealthy, but with substantive arguments as to how most people came to be born with little wealth, and why they face limited opportunities for obtaining it, and the injustice of the process by which their lives were thereby caused to “suck.”  I’m amazed that Mr Marks would take it upon himself to write a “critique” of an article whose central arguments he made such manifestly little effort to understand.

Libertarianism and Scarcity

The reason that things “suck” (as Mr Marks puts it) for the average person even more than for the wealthy, I argued, is that the state intervenes in the economy on behalf of the owners of land and capital, to make land and capital artificially scarce and thereby to enable their owners to charge artificial scarcity rents for access to them.  I did not simply assert this, but devoted some space to detailed arguments in support of my thesis.

Mr Marks’ entire response to this argument, on the other hand, amounts to little more than a simple gainsaying, coupled with a straw man characterization of my position (p. 2):

“Neither land nor capital are [sic] “artificially scarce” – they are just scarce (period).  There are billions of people and only a certain amount of land and machinery�  .[T]he idea that land and capital are only scarce [emphasis mine] compared to the billions of people on Earth because of either wicked governments or wicked employers (or both) is false.”

First, simply to get the second part of Mr Marks’ statement out of the way, I nowhere asserted that all scarcity of land and capital is artificial.  I argued only that they were more scarce, as a result of state-enforced privilege, than they would otherwise be, and that returns on land and capital were therefore higher than their free market values.  In any case, as Franz Oppenheimer observed, most of the scarcity of arable land comes not from natural appropriation, but from political appropriation.  And the natural scarcity of capital, a good which is in elastic supply and which can be produced by applying human labor to the land, results entirely from the need for human labor for its creation; there is no fixed limit to the amount available.

But getting to his main point, that land and capital are not artificially scarce, I’m not sure Mr Marks is even aware of his sheer audacity.  In making this assertion, he flies in the face of a remarkable amount of received libertarian wisdom, from eminences as great as Mises and Rothbard.  As a contrarian myself, I take my hat off to him. 

Still, I wonder if he ever made the effort to grasp the libertarian arguments, made by Rothbard et al, that he so blithely dismisses.  Is he even aware of the logical difficulties entailed in repudiating them?  Does he deny that state enforcement of titles to land that is both vacant and unimproved reduces the amount available for homesteading?  Does he deny that the reduced availability of something relative to demand is the very definition of “scarcity,” or that the reduction of supply relative to demand leads to increased price?  Or is his argument rather with Rothbard’s moral premises themselves, rather than the logical process by which he makes deductions from them?  I.e., does he deny that property in unimproved and vacant land is an invalid grant of privilege by the state, and thereby repudiate Locke’s principle of just acquisition?

It seems unlikely, on the face of things, that Mr Marks would expressly repudiate Mises and Rothbard on these points.  After all, elsewhere in his critique he cites Human Action and Man, Economy and State as authorities.  Perhaps he just blanked out on the portions of their work that weren’t useful for his apologetic purposes.

In any case, if he does not repudiate either Rothbard’s premises or his reasoning, Mr Marks has dug himself into a deep hole.  For by Rothbard’s Lockean premises, not only the state’s own property in land, but “private” titles to vacant and unimproved land, are illegitimate.  Likewise, titles derived from state grants are illegitimate when they enable the spurious “owner” to collect rent from the rightful owner – the person who first mixed his labor with the land, his heirs and assigns.  And the artificial scarcity of land resulting from such illegitimate property titles raises the marginal price of land relative to that of labor, and forces labor to pay an artificially high share of its wages for the rent or purchase of land.

Time Preference and Capital

Likewise, in the case of capital, Mr Marks asserts that interest rates, “[i]n reality… are determined by time preference” (or, he adds, by risk premium).  In stronger terms, he characterizes as “bullshit” the argument that interest rates, absent the licensing of banks, would fall to a “very low level.”  (I can’t resist pointing out, by the way, that Mr Marks conflates time preference with abstinence and sacrifice in a way that surely has Bohm-Bawerk spinning in his grave).

Now, in the past I have specifically acknowledged the existence of time preference as a component of gross interest.6  But time preference is a dependent variable, depending on the wealth, and the economic security and independence, of the individual.  The person who owns his own home and means of livelihood free and clear, and possesses sufficient savings as a cushion against economic uncertainty or temporary unemployment, will have a time preference far less steep than that of another person who owns no property, has no savings, and will be homeless and hungry if he misses next week’s pay check and is unable to pay rent and buy groceries.  Thus, the distribution or concentration of property ownership will affect the prevailing time preference among laborers, and with it the originary rate of interest.  Any state policy that affects the distribution of property, therefore, will affect the level of time preference.  And it is my belief that in a society of widely distributed property ownership, with high rates of free and clear home ownership, and with high rates of self-employment or cooperative enterprise ownership, the steepness of the average worker’s time preference would be much, much lower.

But even aside from the steepness of time preference itself, on what grounds can Mr Marks deny that the gross interest rate includes, in addition to time preference, monopoly premiums resulting from state-enforced entry barriers in the credit industry?  Such a denial is – what’s the word? ah, yes – bullshit. 

Murray Rothbard himself pointed to exactly that kind of monopoly premium, resulting from precisely analogous entry barriers, in the life insurance industry.  By mandating levels of capitalization beyond those required by purely actuarial considerations, the state reduced the number of firms competing to supply life insurance and enabled them to charge a monopoly price for the service.  That’s exactly what Benjamin Tucker described the effect of state banking law: by mandating capitalization requirements for institutions in the business of making secured loans, over and above the collateral provided as security of individual loans, the state enabled banks to charge a monopoly rate of interest for secured loans.  That seems fairly straightforward and simple to understand – but perhaps not.

The Historical Record in Fact and Fiction

In some cases, Mr Marks displays an almost preternaturally poor level of reading comprehension.  For example, my original article (p. 4) included this quote from Albert Nock:

“The horrors of England’s industrial life in the last century furnish a standing brief for addicts of positive intervention.  Child-labour and woman-labour in the mills and mines; Coketown and Mr Bounderby; starvation wages; killing hours; vile and hazardous conditions of labour; coffin ships officered by ruffians – all these are glibly charged off by reformers and publicists to a regime of rugged individualism, unrestrained competition, and laissez-faire.  This is an absurdity on its face, for no such regime ever existed in England.  They were due to the State’s primary intervention whereby the population of England was expropriated from the land; due to the State’s removal of the land from competition with industry for labour.  Nor did the factory system and the “industrial revolution” have the least thing to do with creating those hordes of miserable beings.  When the factory system came in, those hordes were already there, expropriated, and they went into the mills for whatever Mr Grad grind and Mr Plug son of Undershot would give them, because they had no choice but to beg, steal or starve.  Their misery and degradation did not lie at the door of individualism; they lay nowhere but at the door of the State.  Adam Smith’s economics are not the economics of individualism; they are the economics of landowners and mill-owners.  Our zealots of positive intervention would do well to read the history of the Enclosures Acts and the work of the Hammonds, and see what they can make of them.”

Here’s what Mr Marks (p. 2) gets from it:

“Mr Nock does not mention any real industrialists (at least not in the quote given) there is no mention of (say) Mr Wedgewood or Mr Arkwright, instead Mr Nock mentions Mr Bounderby, Mr Gradgrind and Mr Plugson – all of whom were characters from Dickens (not real people).  I suppose this is done to generate hatred of factory owners and their “starvation wages…””

Surely anyone with a normal capacity for reading comprehension would infer that Nock intended this paragraph as a critique of Dickens.  The evils of the factory system, and of the colorfully named characters associated with it in Dickens’ fiction, were not the result of “laissez-faire,” or of “rugged individualism,” or of the political economy that Dickens so despised.  After all: where, as Nock asked, did those things even exist in England?  Even the factory owners, Nock argued, were guilty only of taking advantage of a pre-existing situation: the creation of a propertyless class of wage laborers by assorted land expropriations of early modern times.

The closest Mr Marks gets to directly addressing my arguments in a substantive way is in a brief allusion to my discussion of primitive accumulation, the process by which (among other things) “the land in England was stolen from the peasants.”  While conceding that it “may be true,” he challenges its relevance on the basis of the Norwegian example.  Nothing like Enclosures or other abrogations of traditional peasant land tenure occurred in Norway, he says, and yet wage labor came to predominate there.

I can’t speak to that specific example, not being sufficiently familiar with Norwegian history to comment on issues of land tenure in that country.  I will point out, though, that one swallow does not a summer make.  And I did not argue that land expropriation was the sole cause of the wage system’s predominance.  In denying that land expropriation alone was responsible for the wage system, Mr Marks resembles Lincoln’s Jesuit who, accused of murdering twelve men and a dog, triumphantly produced the dog in court.

In any case, even if I can’t competently address the Norwegian example, I do at least know something about the history of land tenure in Great Britain – the original seat of the Industrial Revolution from which industrialism spread to other countries (including Norway).  And in that country, the predominant sentiment of the propertied classes of the time (the “owners of the means of production”) was clearly in favor of land expropriation as a way to extract more effort from the peasantry on terms more favorable to the owning classes.

The contemporary literature of the propertied classes’ was full of explicit commentary to that effect. 

“It would be easier, where property is well secured, to live without money than without poor; for who would do the work? … As they ought to be kept from starving, so they should receive nothing worth saving. If here and there one of the lowest class by uncommon industry, and pinching his belly, lifts himself above the condition he was brought up in, nobody ought to hinder him; …but it is the interest of all rich nations, that the greatest part of the poor should almost never be idle, and yet continually spend what they get… Those that get their living by their daily labour… have nothing to stir them up to be serviceable but their wants which it is prudence to relieve, but folly to cure… To make the society happy and people easier under the meanest circumstances, it is requisite that great numbers of them should be ignorant as well as poor..”.  [Mandeville, Fable of the Bees]


“… to lay them under the necessity of labouring all the time they can spare from rest and sleep, in order to procure the common necessities of life.”  [1739 pamphlet]

“That mankind in general, are naturally inclined to ease and indolence, we fatally experience to be true, from the conduct of our manufacturing populace, who do not labour, upon an average, above four days in a week, unless provisions happen to be very dear… I hope I have said enough to make it appear that the moderate labour of six days in a week is no slavery… But our populace have adopted a notion, that as Englishmen they enjoy a birthright privilege of being more free and independent than in any country in Europe. Now this idea, as far as it may affect the bravery of our troops, may be of some use; but the less the manufacturing poor have of it, certainly the better for themselves and for the State. The labouring people should never think themselves independent of their superiors… It is extremely dangerous to encourage mobs in a commercial state like ours, where, perhaps, seven parts out of eight of the whole, are people with little or no property. The cure will not be perfect, till our manufacturing poor are contented to labour six days for the same sum which they now earn in four days”.  ["Essay on Trade and Commerce" (1770)]

“[E]very one but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.”  [Arthur Young]

“…the use of common land by labourers operates upon the mind as a sort of independence.” [The Board of Agriculture report in Shropshire (1794)]

“[Leaving the laborer] possessed of more land than his family can cultivate in the evenings [means that] the farmer can no longer depend on him for constant work. [Commercial and Agricultural Magazine"  (1800)]

“[Among] the greatest of evils to agriculture would be to place the labourer in a state of independence”.  [Gloucestershire Survey (1807)]

According to other commentary in the Board of Agriculture reports of the time, Enclosures would force laborers “to work every day in the year,” and cause children to “be put out to labour early”; the “subordination of the lower ranks of society… would be thereby considerably secured.”7

Those are all pretty frank admissions of purpose.  In a Scooby Doo cartoon, this is about where the villain would add: “…and it would have worked, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.”  This commentary came, I stress once again, not from followers of John Ball and Wat Tyler, not from True Levelers, not from the partisans of Thomas Paine, but from the propertied and employing classes of the time who carried out and directly benefited from the Enclosures.  The propertied classes clearly believed that they were robbing the peasantry in order to make them work harder, while paying them less.

Legitimate and Illegitimate Ownership

Mr Marks also concedes, half-heartedly, that some “taxes and regulations” might act as partial barriers to self-employment (although he denies in the next breath that “it is just these taxes and regulations that lead to most people working for wages”).  But he asks, rhetorically, how employment regulations could be the fault of the employer, when such regulations are all the work of tree-hugging hippie types who “are under the delusion that there is or should be something called a �balance of power’ between the buyer and seller of a good or service, and that if there is not a contract is �unfair’.”  I wonder if Mr Marks is familiar with Adam Smith’s dictum that “[w]henever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between the masters and their workmen, its counselors are always the masters.”  Those tree-hugging hippies merely illustrate the “Baptist” side of the classical “Baptists and bootleggers” paradigm; or as Roy Childs put it, liberal intellectuals are the running dogs of big business.

Mr Marks also asserts that “action against the owners of the means of production [would] make life even more shit than it is now.”  Apparently Mr Marks is either assuming the justice of those owners’ property, or simply glossing over the whole question of justice in ownership.  As Karl Hess pointed out almost forty years ago, libertarianism does not defend property as such. 

If Mr Marks’ policy is the reflexive defense of all property titles without regard to questions of justice in acquisition, then he might just as well have made the same argument in the context of the state-owned means of production in the old USSR.  After all, wasn’t that exactly what privatization amounted to: action against the (state) owners of the means of production?  If Mr Marks means to say that a just basis for property rights is no better, in its effects, than an unjust basis, then that’s a remarkable assertion indeed.

Rothbard himself, whom Mr Marks is so fond of quoting, took in contrast something of a ruat coelum approach – “Let justice be done, though the heavens fall” – to “action against the owners of the means of production,” when those owners’ titles were illegitimate.

But in fact, in the majority of cases, I favor no action against the existing owners of capital.  I prefer simply to open up the capital markets to free and full competition, and eliminate the scarcity rents accruing to the present owners’ property.  The result will be that the portion of current profits which are a rent on artificial scarcity will evaporate; and the portion of their assets’ present value, which is the capitalized future earnings from such rents on privilege, will simply drop through the floor.  When they are thus cut off from monopoly profits and from direct infusions of cash from the government teat, and the value of their assets falls to reflect the loss of their monopoly returns, it is they who will be selling off those assets. 

Excuses, excuses�

I’m not surprised at Mr Marks’ reflexive defense of all de jure property titles, without regard to their justice.  In numerous online venues, following the publication of his “critique,” he ventured gratuitous assessments of my motives, speculating that whatever changes were made in the current state of affairs, I would still be looking for excuses to blame the wealthy for the plight of the poor.  For example, he writes in the commend thread to de Havilland’s Samizdata post,

…we… know… that Carson and co would be denouncing contract feudalism… regardless of whether there was a government subsidy for the company or not. 

And again:

If the land could be proved to have been passed down (or sold) from the first occupyers… [sic] Mr Carson and co would still find some reason to attack business enterprises over the “wage system”.

I am tempted, in similar spirit, to speculate on Mr Marks’ motivation.  I am tempted to speculate that he is constantly on the lookout for “excuses” to defend the justice of property titles held by the existing propertied classes, to defend their profits as the result of superior productivity in the competitive marketplace, and to defend their wealth as the result of past superior virtue.  I am tempted to speculate that he would “find some reason” to do so regardless of the facts of the case.  That would be a reasonable assumption, given that one of the major constituencies of the Tory Party he has been elected to represent8 is the several thousand people who own most of the land of Great Britain.  It’s tempting to suspect that he would “find some reason” to wax eloquent over the sanctity of “private property rights” even if the current landlords could be shown to have inherited the land in unbroken succession from one of William the Conqueror’s barons, and that their tenants could trace an unbroken ancestral line to the peasants who worked the land at the time of the Conquest.  I could engage in such speculation – but, as Richard Nixon would say, that would be wrong. 


(1) Kevin Carson, Contract Feudalism: A Critique of Employer Power over Employees, Economic Notes No. 105, London, Libertarian Alliance, 2006.

(2) Paul Marks, A Critique of a Critique: An Examination of Kevin Carson’s �Contract Feudalism’, Economic Notes No. 108, London, Libertarian Alliance, 2007.

(3) Stephan Kinsella, �A Critique of Kevin Carson’s Contract Feudalism’, Mises Blog, 21st June 2007, retrieved 25th February 2008,

(4) Perry de Havilland, �A critique of a critique’, Samizdata, 21st June 2007, retrieved 25th February 2008,

(5) Lysander Spooner, Natural Law, 1892, retrieved 25th February 2008,

(6) Kevin Carson, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Booksurge, 2007, chapter 3.

(7) Carson, ibid., ch, 4.

(8) �Councillor Paul Marks’, Kettering Borough Council website, 2008, retrieved 8th March 2008,



POOR SAD OLD Dr Rowan Williams … it gets worse … not only am I a Christian but he is wrong again and is scragged …

Read this!

David Davis

I think Rowan Williams has missed the salient point…“What’s our oil doing under their sand?”
Posted by Cliff on March 24, 2008 4:46 PM
This is taken out of the comment thread from the Telegraph, on his “sermon” yesterday. How is it that the religious chappies who claim to be on our side, always shoot US in the foot, and not the enemy?Apologies, I have no blinking clue why it’s formatted itself like that. Not the usual small stuff. It’s not even that important that it needs to be so ultra-typoe’d in 196-point.

Wish i could learn how to blog.

British Stalinist government, in bed with the media, now interfering in voluntary contractual shopping arrangements. 13 reasons why you should demand free plastic carrier-bags.

David Davis 

And those were just the 13 I could stump up with in as many minutes of typing. You ‘orrible lot will want to add more – so, comments please! 

Today, we have this splashed all over the Daily Mail. The Dear Leader, Gordon Brown, has “thrown his weight” behind the Daily Mail’s landmark campaign to “banish the bags”, with an “impassioned plea” to retailers.

Here are some extracts;

 Gordon Brown gives supermarkets one year to start charging for plastic bags … or else…..

The Prime Minister is lending his voice to the Daily Mail’s campaign against the blight of “plastic poison”.

Supermarkets will be forced to charge their customers for disposable carrier bags under plans for a new green levy drawn up by Gordon Brown. They will be given a year to end their reliance on single-use plastic bags or face a legal requirement to introduce a charge and reveal how much it raises.

Gordon Brown: Plan for action in war on plastic

The Prime Minister will introduce legislation next month to impose a charge of 5p or even more on all giveaway bags next year if they fail to comply.

And today he throws his weight behind the Daily Mail’s landmark “Banish the Bags” campaign with an impassioned plea to retailers.

Writing exclusively for the Mail, he urges them to follow the example of Marks & Spencer by calling time on the wasteful culture of free single-use carrier bags that is fouling the planet.

And he reveals that like millions of families each week, he and his wife Sarah are left with a “binful of plastic bags” from their supermarket delivery to remind them of the scale of the problem.

The Mail campaign, and its shocking image of a majestic giant turtle swathed in deadly plastic, has triggered an unprecedented response from readers clamouring for action to end “plastic pollution” caused by 13billion bags handed out by shops each year.

Film stars, environmental groups, academics and politicians have rallied to the campaign.

Last night, Tesco and Sainsbury’s responded to public pressure by confirming that they are drawing up plans to reduce the amount of plastic bags they give away.

And yesterday, the trade body which represents 33,000 convenience stores said they are ready to accept a plastic bag tax in a bid to reduce the number handed out.

There are suspicions that many major chains have been dragging their feet on the issue.

Threats of force if non-compliance ensues do not, to me, sound like an “impassioned plea”. This is, in semantic terms, what is called “ruling by decree”. 

Furthermore, if   Film stars, environmental groups, academics and politicians   have all “rallied” to this cause, then, like Margaret Thatcher used to do with each morning’s Guardian newspaper (she read it and decided to do exacty the opposite of what it recommended) we ought to run a mile from these people.

And…..John Band of bantitry has also just ripped the pants off the greenazis here. (Hat Tip from the Devil.)

And not, here are MY thirteen reasons to use and praise the polythene carrier bag:

(1) it uses less than one cc of cheap, burnable hydrocarbons – it is the singel most efficient and cheapest method of bulk carriage on the planet, or ever.

(2) it requires little energy resources to make, per unit bag, and can be burnt afterwards, to release its carbon back to the air where it correctly belongs.

(3) you can clear up child-vomit into it and bin it for no money.

(4) you can carry stuff home on the bus easily in it.

(5) making it gives employment to thousands of people, here and in LDCs.

(6) you can recycle bulk amounts of them, if you really really must, into low-grade plastic goods.

(7) it sets man apart from the “animals”, who have foolishly, and to their eternal mortal peril, not studied chemistry and so not developed means of moving bulk goods; so they go extinct, or starve in the dark when food is scarce (and then greenazis make us run along and jump about and get them out of their mess.)

(8) you can wrap stuff in it for storage for long periods, and unlike paper or “natural” products, it stays waterproof, does not go mouldy, and does not degrade.

(9) you can hurl in-car-rubbish wrapped in one, into a passing litter-bin, without getting out of the car. You have only to wind down the window, park within 5 feet of the bin, and aim well.

(10) you can line the inside of the roof of your thatched caveman’s hut with lots of them (laid like slates, start at the BOTTOM, overlap triple in thirds just like slate (as used to be) row by row, and work UP!) when the greenazis stop you from building proper houses that you can live in. The handles even act like hooks and can be hung over the projecting twig-ends, so you don’t even have to use the nails that they won’t allow you to anyway (too much “carbon”.) Then, when you can’t replace the rotting thatch as the greenazis won’t let you cut any more reeds from the new wetlands where Cambridge used to stand, the water still won’t get inside.

(11) Gordon Brown, the dear leader, and Sarah, the Mother of the People, have decreed that those with whom you would voluntarily do business, may not offer you, of their own volition, a convenient way to carry away your just goods, for nothing. This last alone is good and sufficient reason for at last standing up to the Nazi leftist control-freakish moonbattery of our Dear Leaders and their unconscionably wicked (they KNOW they are doing it, it is deliberate) film-star friends.

(12) you can put ot over your head in bed while shagging the slightly rough bird you picked up in the disco after the students’ uni-meeting; or you can do the “double-bag-job” – she wears one too in case yours falls off.

(13) you can vomit into it on those long bus-journeys the greenazis will make you take everywhere, using your “internal passport” (see MEG HILLIER MP  (Lab.) ) after cars are banned. Then, stow it surreptitiously between the broken and parting plastic wall-plates of the bus, just before you queue off.

If the grocers cave in, we are truly lost. Not just this, everything.

The British “national curriculum” syllabus for “Geography” … Have you ever wondered what it contains?

David Davis 

This evening I went with my boy (year 9) to discuss “options” for his GCSE years. below is some exerpts of what the school’s batty-chatty moonbattery leaflet says about this grand and formerly rigorous subject, in which we learned where everything was, how to use (proper) maps, how to draft same, and how the surface of the planet got like it did.

I quote:

….. Geography tackles the big issues ; (1) Environmental responsibility, (2) Our global interdependence, (3) Cultural understanding and tolerance, (4) Commerce, trade and industry (but not in the way you think, people…)

…. Geographers can ;

Make a consice (SIC) report; Handle data; Ask questions and find the answers; make decisions about an issue; analyse material; manage themselves; solve problems; independent thinkers (what does this mean here? sic, again). The results show (source: AGCAS):

* 40.6% “management and administration”

* 24.8% “further training” (inc PCgE/teaching)

* 11.4% “financial sector”

* 10.4% “retail”

* 10% “other professional inc “media” “

I leave you all to decide what part of the Public Sector socialist salariat each of these percentages corresponds to!

In fact very little “classical” Geography is now taught at all. There is a token amount of “map reading”, in which you find the 100-m OS reference for the wind-turbine, and you still have to know what an oxbow lake is. You’ll never visit one (you might fall in, “Health and Safety!”) You may even do a project about “How effective are the new (expensive!) flood defences in York” (but you don’t know where York is, because you were just bussed there) or “How effective are the congestion control measures round Beatrix Potter’s house?”, or “Is Kirkby Stephen a “honeypot destination?” (you don’t know where that is either nor care what its “CBD” is, for you were just bussed there too…I’m sure its august residents would not agree, and I’d support them – it’s very nice – but your lot just think it’s a boring little hole coz’ you are 15-y-o-cool-dudes.)

You also learn about “TNCs” and how they exploit “local labour, often women and children” for “low wages” in “LDCs”, where “social legislation is not strong”, making stuff like “NIKE trainers” (whatever those might be) for sale for “profit” in “MDCs”.

‘Nuff said.

“COMMUNIST WORLD WITHOUT TESCO”. SCARY IDEA. Yeah, I thought you’d wonder about that one.

David Davis 

This missile (see above) collided harmlessly with the armour-belt abutting the port-side of the blog yesterday, in a heavy following sea. It was swiftly and quietly made safe by a bolg-operative (able, second class) who climbed out to the stats page and retrieved it for examination, under enemy fire. He will be mentioned in dispatches (from a dying country.)  (Check this one out.)

What is it, exactly, about TESCO, that upsets and riles lefties? I’d love to hear one of them actually tell us something about this matter. After all, Wal-Mart (American) and Carrefour (French, I think?) are both bigger in global sales value terms. I do not find on the internet, unless I have been purblind and stupid, Walmart (say) coming in for the execration that Tesco gets, daily, in the British media. If one is a fascist-lefty-food-denier-to-poor-people all over the planet, such as certain British male tele-chefs make themselves out to be, then surely one ought to attack the biggest target first?

The identified poor-people may be schoolchildren in Scunthorpe who just want their native foods, or sub-Saharan sand-scrapers (who’d like any food at all) suffering from a surfeit of Bob Geldof, various other “pop singers”, and their friends the Jerks-in-Mercs (they may be wearing sunspecs and medals, so approach the “jerks” with caution.)

Is “cheap food” a problem – as the Prince of Wales is on record for describing this as an “obsession”? (It’s all right for him as he runs a large commercial concern very well and properly(and there’s nothing wrong in that) in which many of the operatives are his colleagues and friends, and who will not let him and his starve – nothing wrong in that either….but he is insulated, sort of, from the consequences of his own statements.)

If the Market can produce cheap food, then why ought it to be made more expensive by decree? Perhaps I will soon have to write that people who want to prohibit, or ban, or otherwise inconvenience supermarkets, are actually mass-murderers (not only murderers of Scunthorpe kids who want to eat chips, bacon-barms and butties for lunch, but also are murderers of Africans.)

Perhaps I will anyway, to see what happens.

AND…………..your Che Guevara T-shirt is EVEN LESS COOL than I said it was yesterday, so take it off and burn it, you immature ass.

The assault on food: humans should go extinct in order to save corals, and Jamie Oliver, ethical Paragon, celebrity role model, and “chef”, thinks meat should be costly.

David Davis 

I bet you didn’t watch Jamie Oliver, a “chef”, who used once to be a nice scally London oik, who probably ate burgers with relish in both senses, on the Wireless tele Vision last night. Nor did I: but, just like theoretically shagging Elizabeth Taylor (when she would have been rather younger) I could imagine EXACTLY what it would be like.

He and Hairy-Hugh Frightfully-Posh are the latest useful idiots recruited by the Leninist caucus which is assaulting people’s right to buy what food (specially meat) that they want, at the lowest prices that a Market Civilisation is prepared to offer.

I was particularly upset by a phrase I had never seen before, in the Sunday Torygraph’s Wireless tele Vision pages a week or so ago – “The Ethics of Eating Meat” – to do with a trailer for these progs. I mean, meat is food. Man requires it, preferably as nearly like his onw as possible and preferably cooked so as to be able to shorten his gut and look like a man on two legs, in order to keep and run a very expensive brain, that requires 22 times more energy per gram per unit time than skeletal muscle.

Because the state “school” “syllabus” is itself so gutted and contains no scientific knowledge whatever that’s worth the name, plenty of people will have been taken in by his antics, himself electrocuting and blood-draining a chicken on live Wireless tele Vision. (At least he electrically-stunned it first unlike some protected classes of people I could mention.)

Furthermore, if a “super market” offers 3p for a chicken, and a putative farmer is disposed to take it, and no weapons are involved and they either continue to deal or agree to part company, than what business is it of Jamie the “chef”? Is it better that more people should eat animal protein, or fewer? the problme comes when the state interferes and causes the prevailing economic conditions to disadvantage the farmer when he sells at 3p. (I also think a particularly extreme example of one instance has been chosen, to make a documentary paoint.) He’s taking £1.2 million a year from one outfit too, so what is he up to? Distancing himself ready to run? Showing only what he thinks ought to be the right oikish attitude? PLaying to the Gallery? Or does he actually believe what he’s saying – in which case he ought not morally to take the money?

People who don’t like battery farming of meat, essential to Man’s diet or he will die, need not buy the stuff. Meat-eating is not and has never been compulsory – unlike many things under socialism that we could all mention. If enough people want it, then as now there will be a Market created and suppliers will find it profitable to supply expensive, free-range beasts. One great pillar of the modern Western world (not the only one) is the banishing of starvation and famine, substantially, from most of it, most of the time. Although we ought to bear in  mind Edward Spalton’s post of yesterday about the threat of global cooling and the tragic harm already done to millions, and more coming, owing to the depradations of the global warm-mongers and biofuel production at the expense of foodstuffs and animals.

We’d all do well to watch carefully the sinister machinations of statists. Remember, how only a few years ago, people were being “encouraged” to “recycle”? Even in 2005/6 the bus-side ads were positive and cheery; “Do it in your pyjamas! Do it while walking the dog!” Now look what’s turned out. we don’t have long to save our food, if the last example is anything to go by.

Oh and corals? There’s a report that “up to 80%” of Caribbean coral has disappeared “in recent decades” (how many?) according to the Royal Society, and “population control” is “needed”. I have nothing to add (as President E Benes said in October 1938 in Prague.)

Sean Gabb on Limited Liability

Free Life Commentary,
an independent journal of comment
published on the Internet
Issue Number 152
26th September 2006
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Thoughts on Limited Liability
by Sean Gabb

I was approached yesterday—Monday the 25th Deptember 2006—by an American friend who had just read a piece I wrote in 2005 against limited liability (Free Life Commentary, issue 135: Because his enquiry was private, I will not give his name. But I feel it would be useful to make my reply public.

I will begin with an edited publication of his enquiry:

“Sean, I read some of your passionate remarks on joint stock companies. I See you were endorsed by Kevin Carson (

“…I agree with much of what you say but am on the other side of the issue on whether aspects of limited liability could be formed on the free market by means of contracts�.

“I am curious why you say shareholders should be liable in tort—presumably automatically, or necessarily.

“Of course the concept of ownership just means the right to control, and in a corporation the right to control is divided in complex ways. Just as it can be in any business or in other situations.

“We Austrian libertarians ought of course to realize that just because The law draws a bright line of ownership and non-ownership (and relegates various property rights or interests to definitions other than “ownership”) does not necessarily make a difference morally or praxeologically.

“For example, suppose you start a business, and you take a loan from a bank. Does the bank not contribute money to your endeavor (like a shareholder)? Does the bank not impose conditions on what you may do with the property you Use in the business (covenants, warrants), and exert practical influence Over your business (if they insist on  something you might listen—want to re-do the loan later, or not have them call it now). What about employees, and contractors? They are economically supportive of the business. Why are they not responsible too?

“My point is that libertarians seem to jump to some kind of  black-and-white strict liability type rule, that they want to apply from their armchairs. I am all for attributing liability and responsibility to the causally responsible actor. But I am not sure why you assume that a shareholder is necessarily causally responsible for torts committed by employees of a company in which they own shares.

“This rule has to assume respondeat superior, first; it has to assume some kind of strict liability; it has to assume some kind of necessary causal responsibility on the part of shareholders for the actions committed by employees (despite the fact that the shareholder might not even have given money to the company—he might have bought the shares from a previous shareholders; despite the fact that the control of directors, and managers, and employees, is in the chain of causation between shareholder and employee; despite the fact that the shareholder may never have voted and even if he did, his vote may be minuscule, or he may have voted against the managers who allowed the tort to occur); it has to assume shareholders are for some reason more causally responsible than the umpteen other economic types of actors who interact with and have an influence on and give assistance to the company (employees, creditors, suppliers, customers, contractors).

“I write not to attack but out of curiosity if you have addressed these issues or think there is a good response to them.”

Bearing in mind the eminence of the person making this enquiry, I feel some embarrassment at the shortness of the reply that I shall make. But it is better to make some response than none. And I feel it useful to make the response in public so that others may also have the chance to bring to my attention defects in my approach to an issue that I have come to regard as one of key importance.

I will begin by stating an approach that is probably common to many other libertarians whose works I have not read or have forgotten, but which I picked up from the Roman lawyers. This is to ask whether any particular institution could exist without a state to uphold it.

Now, I am not a committed anarchist. But I do regard the likely shape of a stateless society as a partial basis for judging the legitimacy of actually existing institutions. If something could not exist without a government, that is not necessarily a reason for it not to exist. There must, though, be a presumption against its existence. Nothing can be desirable that involves a violation the rights of individuals to life and property acquired by consent. It may be necessary for the prevention of greater evils. But it must, to be accepted, have its case for existing made out on at least the balance of convenience�and perhaps even beyond reasonable doubt.

Marriage, family life, common politeness, most property rights, and so forth � these could exist without a state. They might exist with greater security. They would certainly be different in several important respects. But they would exist. As such, they can be regarded as legitimate institutions. Any laws regulating them can, therefore, be judged on the extent to which they give just protection.

Where limited liability is concerned, I am not so sure. I can imagine a contractual limitation of liability. I might, for example, rent a shop that I own to Boots plc, on the understanding that I am dealing with a joint stock corporation with which ultimate liability rests. I shall have accepted that Boots exists as an artificial person. If Boots is then unable to pay the rent, I shall have no just right to expect any other person to pay the rent.

But suppose you rent a neighbouring shop to Boots, and supposing some negligence of Boots causes damage to my property. Suppose then that Boots is unable to pay whatever damages may be awarded by a court. I see no reason why I or any court should respect an agreement private between you and Boots. The owners of Boots are those who own shares in the company. They appoint the directors. They receive the profits of the company. They must be regarded as ultimately responsible for the torts of the company.

In places where registers of shareholders are inaccurate, or where the shareholders are collectively without sufficient assets to pay damages, this may be a worthless claim in practice. But it was the practice, I think, followed by English courts in the railway bankruptcies of the 1840s. It would also be the practice followed by the courts of an anarcho-libertarian society.

Thus, while a kind of limited liability might arise in contractual arrangements, it would not be recognised in tort.

My correspondent raises doubts about the effective control that shareholders have over their companies, and wonders if they should not rather be placed in the same category as employees or lenders or contractors.

My answer is to assert that they are the natural owners of their companies. They have not lent money to them. They are not providing paid services. They are the owners.

And this is regardless of how much actual control any one shareholder may have. I own shares in various banks. I never ask myself what those banks are doing on my behalf. I never attend the annual general meetings. If I fill out a proxy form, I never give the matter more than the most casual attention. If I did attend a meeting and try to impose my will, the institutional shareholders would flatten me when it came to voting. But that is my choice.

Now, I am thinking at the moment of buying shares in Sainsbury, the supermarket chain. This is so that I can at least attend the annual general meeting and ask awkward questions. But if I do buy shares, I shall not have provided capital to Sainsbury plc. And my correspondent asks if that ought to give me any reasonable liability for the torts of Sainsbury in a world without government. My answer again is yes. I may not be providing fresh capital to the company. But I am stepping ultimately into the shoes of someone who did. I am taking on that person�s rights. I must also be regarded as taking on his responsibilities.

As said, just because it could not exist without a state, an institution does not become absolutely illegitimate. I am not convinced, for example, by arguments that defence of an extended territory could happen without the compulsory taxation of its inhabitants, or that unexpected natural disasters could be handled. The State is legitimate so far � and only so far � as it provides necessaries that will not be otherwise provided.

So, is limited liability one of these necessaries? It may not be a necessary in the strict sense I have laid down. But an argument can be made on the grounds of its convenience, and this may approach to a necessary.

Could railways and motorways be built without a large corporation to mobilise the necessary capital, and to provide the necessary term of existence for the capital to provide a return? Possibly not. Could these corporations raise capital without being able to sell shares to the public? Again, possibly not. Would anyone buy shares in such corporations if he knew he would have no immediate control over the use of his investment, but might be held personally responsible for its use? Probably not. Do you know enough about the transportation market, and about the competence of the Directors, to risk what may be all your possessions in buying shares in Eurotunnel? I hope not.

It may then be convenient, if we want large infrastructure projects and large scale manufacturing, to cap the liability of shareholders to the value of their shares.

I grant it may not be convenient. I am told that such ventures could by financed by the sale of bonds, in which case the providers of capital would be lenders with a liability naturally limited to the value of their bonds. Otherwise, I am told that things like telecommunications networks could be provided by subcontracting and franchising and other free contractual arrangements between sole traders and partnerships.

I have also read the claims by Kevin Carson, among others, that such ventures would not without a state be profitable. Mr Carson says, for example, that the relevant economies of scale are much overstated, and can generally be achieved only by coerced externalisation of many costs. The result, he says, is a “capitalism” that may be a net consumer of capital, and that has little in common with patterns of activity that would emerge in a truly free market.

I will not develop these points. I do not accept all of them in an absolute sense. I have much respect for Mr Carson. But I do not follow him in his rehabilitation of a semi-Marxist economics. I also believe that large corporations do produce things that people want to buy, and may do so better than smaller organisations.

What I will say now about the utility of limited liability laws is that, even if not to the point of consuming capital, they do distort economic activity. And, perhaps more importantly, they are morally corrupting.

They are morally corrupting because they allow the emergence of a ruling class in which political and economic power is as impersonal and as interlocked as in the despotisms of the ancient world. Unlike in early modern English � a place for which Mr Carson has no time � the political wings of these elites have no roots among those whom they govern. Their economic wings enrich themselves by the creation and manipulation of controls that cartellise activity and externalise costs to the systematic disadvantage of outsiders.

The majority of ordinary people find themselves gently conscripted into large organisations that strip them of autonomy and suppress any natural desire for self-direction. They also find themselves locked into patterns of immorality that they would never dare choose for themselves.

Look at the Virgin Group, which is one of the smaller and less horrible of these organisations. I cannot believe its railway and air franchises were gained by wholly non-political means. Its workers are encouraged into a cult of personality of Richard Branson that must strike any person of individuality as unhealthy. And, as said, the Virgin Group is by no means the worst corporation. Look at those corporations that police the actions of their employees both on and off the job. Look at those increasingly common variations of contract that tell workers not to smoke at home or not to engage in dissident politics.

Or, turning to those patterns of immorality, look at the rapacity and corruption of oil companies and other large corporations in poor and barbarous regions of the world. I would never for myself build factories in places like black Africa that sprayed poison in all directions. Nor would I look the other way when politicians I had funded silenced anyone brave enough to object to my actions. But I probably own shares in such corporations. I probably know people who work in them.

Anyone who works for any length of time in one of these big corporations tends to become just another “human resource” � all his important life decisions made for him by others, encouraged into political and cultural passivity. He is essentially a bureaucrat. He knows nothing of how real business is transacted. He cares nothing about laws and taxes that stop others from transacting real business, and so consents to the further expansion of an already bad system.

The British and American peoples, who together have created the world�s only real attempt at a liberal civilisation, have been turned by a century of corporatism into nations of sheep. We have different prejudices. The decay of our national characters has not been uniform in all respects. But we are by the standards of our ancestors almost equally degenerate. It is surely less remarkable that our rulers have gone as far as they have in abolishing our freedoms, than that they have shown such forbearance as they have. We are so corrupt as nations that our rulers are still heaping less misgovernment on our heads than most of us would be happy to accept.

This is largely the effect of a corporatisation of economic activity that would have been impossible without limited liability laws.

I accept that, in a world without limited liability, certain desirable things might not happen. On the other hand, I do not believe there would be no extended patterns of commerce. As said, there is the financing of ventures by bonds, or their organisation through the voluntary clustering of small businesses. And there is the known tendency of individuals to bring wholly unexpected and elegant solutions to problems when they are free to associate as they please.

At the same time, many undesirable things would not happen.

In conclusion, I am against limited liability because it could not exist without a state � and because its actual existence it attended by at best doubtful benefits and by undeniable evils.

That leaves the further question of what is to be done today about it. Parliament should never have passed the first Companies Act. But that was in the 1850s. What should be done now?

I know I should stay with my first conclusion and leave further discussion to another essay. But I will give a brief answer.

Let us suppose I were to come to power as the front man for a military coup in this country. What would I do about the big corporations? Just pulling the plug on them. By giving full liability to the shareholders, would not be an option. Those corporations would be delighted if I were wicked enough to build giant concentration camps up and down the country and fill them with my opponents. They would probably fall over themselves to sell me the necessary cattle prods and barbed wire. But they would soon shut my revolution down if I overtly tried to shut them down.

The answer is that I would keep on a vast mass of intrusive regulation of limited companies—and even increase the burden of corporation tax, and continue the present trend to thinning the corporate veil where certain torts and crimes were concerned � while exempting unincorporated businesses from all such regulation. It was the growing attractiveness of that veil that encouraged small businesses to incorporate in large numbers after about 1880. It must be a growing unattractiveness that will encourage modern business to unincorporate.

But this is a matter to which I have given little thought, and that really does take me beyond the limited answer that I promised to my correspondent.  

NB—Sean Gabb’s novel The Column of Phocas (£8.99)is ready for dispatch. Buy your copy now from or via Amazon:
You can download the first three chapters free of charge from:

GOOD NEWS, EARTH IS NOT FLAT …. More on ” Global Warming as political hoax ” … how wonderful.

David Davis 

Got this today from Christina Speight.

I meant to comment plangently and intellectually on it, and did, but aol signed me off in the middle (and I lost everything) as it transpires that my wife’s cousin’s son in |Poland (a student) has cloned my aol account, and so aol sometimes thinks I am signed on in “two locations”.  Never mind, I’m too tired to re-imagine everything on line now, and you’ll just have to imagine what my comments were. I’m sure you can.


Good News! Earth Not Flat

 Melanie Phillips FRIDAY, 21ST DECEMBER 2007

 And now for some good news. Geophysicist David Deming writes that parts of north and south America and the southern hemisphere, from California to Korea, have been experiencing freezing weather of such unusual extremity and harshness that crops have been devastated and states of emergency declared. (NB: I have removed the quotes from this article because the author has objected to their being reproduced). 

However, maybe at long last the penny is dropping. The New Statesman, no less, this week publishes a piece by sensible David Whitehouse which says flatly:  The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased. Temperatures across the world are not increasing as they should according to the fundamental theory behind global warming – the greenhouse effect. Something else is happening and it is vital that we find out what or else we may spend hundreds of billions of pounds needlessly. … For the past decade the world has not warmed.

Global warming has stopped. It’s not a viewpoint or a sceptic’s inaccuracy. It’s an observational fact…. So we are led to the conclusion that either the hypothesis of carbon dioxide induced global warming holds but its effects are being modified in what seems to be an improbable though not impossible way, or, and this really is heresy according to some, the working hypothesis does not stand the test of data. 

It was a pity that the delegates at Bali didn’t discuss this or that the recent IPCC Synthesis report did not look in more detail at this recent warming standstill. A pity indeed, that the entire western ruling class has been taken in by this scam.But now the cavalry appears at last to have arrived.

According to this story, a US Senate report documents the opinion of hundreds of prominent scientists from around the world who say global warming and cooling is a cycle of nature and cannot legitimately be connected to man’s activities. The report compiled observations from more than 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen nations who have voiced objections to the so-called ‘consensus’ on ‘man-made global warming.’

Many of the scientists are current or former participants in the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose present officials, along with former Vice President Al Gore, have asserted a definite connection. The new report comes from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP ranking member, and cites the hundreds of opinions issued just in 2007 that global warming and man’s activities are unrelated. …‘Many scientists from around the world have dubbed 2007 as the year man-made global warming fears “bite the dust”’, the introduction said.

And there probably would be many more scientists making such statements, were it not for the fear of retaliation from those aboard the global-warming-is-caused-by-SUVs bandwagon, the report said. 

And it details some of this intimidation. (Details in article.)

 Looks like man-made global warming theory is melting away faster than you can say Al Gore. A lot of reputations are now going to disappear along with it: all those who were part of the famous ‘consensus’ (not). Those people should never be taken seriously again. It’s over, guys. Reason, truth and real science are fighting back.

GLOBAL WARMING AS POLITICAL HOAX …. NICE search-engine string that hit the side of the blog today!

“global warming as political hoax”

 I love the smell of cyber-napalm in the evening.

And, the latest post about (not anthropogenic) global warming is at the top of the blog tonight, 29.12.07, about 10.15pm GMT.

Christopher Monckton, his take on the fairy-tale global greenazi zombifest in Bali, and strategies for what we deniers do now that we are going to win.

David Davis

I was fortunate to be alerted to the passage reproduced below. It’s longish, but warblog-readers have, as is widely known, all the time in the world. I didn’t know that the neoCommunist (that is to say, Nazi) assault on the West via anthropogenic global-warm-monger-lying is actually coming apart at the seams quite so soon.

This is rather good news. But as their story unravels into chaos, doubt and untruth, we are therefore allowed by Providence to go one more time around the Jolly Carousel of Armageddon. This is an extra ride, paid for by Capitalism, an unmuzzled Western Press and Media, and the forces of truth, which we have been given a last opportunity to take with our mortal Enemy, to see who will get thrown off into the dust 

This time, we liberals must not relax our grip on the windpipe of anti-human protopastoral huntergathering darkness-nonsense. At the end of this post I will hazard a few guesses as to what liberals ought to do. But for now here’s Chris Monckton:-

A readable but revealing summary of what really happened at the UNFCC meeting on climate change in Bali. And why the ordinary people of the world should be very, very afraid.Bali diary
Fortnight Of The Undead
By Christopher Monckton in Nusa Dua,

Down the Poxy, our local fleapit late on a Saturday night, voodoo flicks like Night Of The Undead were always popular when I was a lad. To shrieks of scornful merriment from the teenage audience, mindless zombies would totter aimless across the clumsily-constructed sets with lugubrious expressions frozen on their messily-made-up death-masks until the hero, with the lurv interest wrenched screeching from the clutches of the late Baron Samedi and draped admiringly on her rescuer’s extravagantly-muscled arm, triumphantly saved the day.

Thus it was in Bali during the Fortnight Of The Undead. There was surreality in the air. The overwhelming majority of the governmental delegates, journalists, quango stallholders, fortune-hunters and environmental lobbyists who attended the UN climate conference in the soulless Nusa Dua conference centre tottered aimlessly among the clumsily-constructed sets with lugubrious expressions frozen on their messily-made-up death-masks. Monckton’s Rule: the further Left, the tackier the make-up. The only laughter came from our gallant band of doubters, the heroes of this otherwise gloomy production.

I nearly didn’t go to Bali. The UN, which had not wanted any dissent at this carefully-staged event, rejected my journalistic credentials out of hand, and without explanation. However, a non-government organization came to the rescue and the high priests didn’t dare to say No a second time. That would have looked too obvious. I proved my journo-cred by writing a major article in the Jakarta Post on day 1 of the conference, cheekily claiming my share of the Nobel Prize because the IPCC had made a correction to its latest Holy Book at my suggestion, and concluding that, since our influence on the climate is a non-problem, and the correct approach to a non-problem is to do nothing, my fellow-participants should have the courage to do nothing and push off home.

The Post circulated the article to all delegates and syndicated it worldwide, provoking weeping and gnashing of dentures among the zombies at my challenge to the scientific accuracy of the Holy Books of the IPCC. I don’t think the UN will dare to question my journalistic credentials again.

The UN’s sinister bureaucrats were furious that their attempt to stop me writing in the newspapers from the conference had failed. So they interrupted a presentation by me to delegates, threatened to have me thrown out by Security if I addressed any meeting open to the Press in the conference venues, and cancelled without reason a room they had previously booked for our team’s daily conferences. The room wasn’t even needed for someone else: it stood empty. So we mounted a demo outside the conference: half a dozen scientists (and me) in white lab-coats and (for some reason) wrap-around shades, holding a banner saying, “New science drives out old fears: Kyoto 2 is not needed”.

The UN, whose pot-bellied goons had taken over the entire Nusa Dua conference zone from the leaner and more competent Indonesian and Balinese security forces, moved us on within minutes, while allowing anti-nuclear protesters, Greens and even Hilary Benn, described as a UK Minister, to mount demonstrations for hours on end.

The official propaganda mantra at the conference, first suggested by a UK pressure-group last year and now enthusiastically adopted by the UN, was that “The Science Is Settled”. The zombies, led by the outgoing and incoming conference chairmen, recited this mantra with glazed but increasingly desperate pietism.

An IPCC lead author came to one of the press conferences we managed to hold before the UN showed its alarm at our effect on the delegates by shutting us down. He said a mere layman like me had no business challenging the supposed “consensus”. And he tried to maintain that a table of figures in the latest Holy Book had been added up correctly when, as a slide I was showing made quite clear, it had not added up to within a factor of two of the right answer. In the land of the zombies, two plus two equals nine.

Outside the conference hall, I went up to a fragrant Japanese lady manning one of the exhibits set up by the ever-growing number of taxpayer-funded quangos with bewildering but important-sounding initials that are profiting by the lavish State handouts available to anyone willing to proselytize for the cult of the wrathful God Siotu. “What disasters?” I enquired, with an expression of shambling, potty-Peer innocence. This usually provoked a lurid list of plagues, droughts, floods, deaths, cataclysms and mass extinctions worthy of St. John the Divine at his most hyperbolic. The UK High Court judge who condemned Al Gore for exaggerations of this sort would have locked up most of the stallholders and sent me the key.

But this lady had somehow escaped the zombies. She drew me to one side and whispered, “Don’t tell my boss, but two-thirds of the delegates here are mad.” They would have been mad, if they’d had minds at all. One of the most enduring impressions on all of our team was that the Enlightenment has been switched off. Enter the Dark Age of Unreason. Ever since the high priests tampered with the scientists’ text of the IPCC’s 1995 Holy Book, deleting multiple references to the absence of credible evidence for any anthropogenic effect on climate and inserting the directly contrary statement that there was now a discernible human influence, anyone who dares to check the science is regarded as a heretic for daring to question the Holy Books of voodoo. Never mind the facts: just believe the nonsense, even when it doesn’t add up.

I couldn’t resist baiting the stallholder at the stand run by a certain national weather bureau. This particular tax-gobbler, reliably Messianic in its Siotological fervour, had a childishly imaginative poster that ramped up the imagined disasters as global temperature rose by each additional degree Celsius. At just 2 degrees, the poster said the Greenland ice sheet would be permanently destabilized. Oo-er. The message was illustrated by the usual picture of a glacier calving spectacularly into the water.

“‘Scuse me,” I said, Earl-of-Emsworth expression in place, “but isn’t that a picture of a glacier that cuts across a freshwater lake in Argentina?” For it wasn’t Greenland. It looked suspiciously like a grainy vid-grab from the traditional collapsing-glacier footage shown every few minutes on the unspeakable BBC. As the waters of the freshwater lake build up behind the glacier, it breaks apart spectacularly every eight years. Or rather, as I pointed out to the stallholder, every five years these days, because much of the southern hemisphere is cooling. This image did not demonstrate “global warming” but regional cooling.
The stallholder robotically reached for the IPCC’s latest Holy Book and showed me graphs of sharply-rising temperatures in South Africa, Australasia and South America. She didn’t show me the Antarctic, of course: that has been cooling for half a century. It had not occurred to the poor dear to wonder why the IPCC’s temperature graphs for all continents but one were shown as rising steeply in recent years, when the global mean temperature has not shown any statistically-significant rise since the IPCC’s previous Holy Book came out in 2001. The thing about stable average temperatures is that if some have risen others  must have fallen. Or so it seems to me. But then I’m not a zombie.

“Anyway,” I said, “doesn’t the 2007 rewrite of the Holy Book say that the Greenland Ice Sheet would only lose significant ice-mass if a temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius or more were to be sustained for several millennia?” That, after all, was what a UK High Court judge had recently found, when he condemned Al Gore’s ludicrous hundredfold exaggeration of sea-level rise as alarmist and told ministers to correct this and eight other flagrant errors in Gore’s rocky-horror movie before exposing hapless schoolchildren to it.

Here’s a question. If the science behind the scare is as certain as the zombies say, why are they so terrified of a few doubters? Google me and you’ll find hundreds of enviro-loony websites, such as Wikipedia, now an international music-hall joke for inaccuracy, that call me a fraud (for writing about climate science when I’m not a climate scientist), a plagiarist (for citing learned papers rather than making up scare stories), and a liar (for saying I’m a member of the House of Lords when – er – I’m a member of the House of Lords, though, being merely hereditary, I don’t have a seat there).

One of these bedwetting sites even has a “Monckton Watch” page, with a hilarious collection of colourful stories, including the story of how I told the stallholder that much of the southern hemisphere was cooling. No mention that the location of the BBC’s favourite glacier has indeed been cooling. And, of course, no mention of the elephant in the room – that a national weather bureau had flagrantly exaggerated the Holy Book’s official ramblings about Greenland on its silly, taxpayer-funded poster.

You’ll find precious little science on the zombie websites. They specialize in global whingeing ad hominem, rather than scientific argument ad rem. The frenetic personal assaults have become so self-evidently ludicrous that I’m getting an increasing number of emails from people who have first heard of my work from the Kool-Aid slurpers and have gone on to find, to their surprise, that the peer-reviewed science to which my climate papers politely draw attention does suggest that the Holy Books have exaggerated both the influence of Siotu over temperature and the consequences of warmer weather.

An example. A couple of months back I posted a paper citing peer-reviewed evidence that the fingerprint of greenhouse-gas warming – temperature rising over the decades at a rate three times faster six miles up in the tropical troposphere than at the surface – is absent from all of the real-world records of actual temperature change throughout the past half-century. During the Bali conference, I presented my own linear regression analysis going back 25 years and demonstrating that the rate of change in temperature falls with altitude, while the IPCC’s models predict that if CO2 is at fault it should be increasing with altitude. Two days later our team of heroes had the pleasure of circulating to delegates a paper just published by the formidable John Christy and his colleagues, spectacularly and definitively confirming this result.

We circulated a one-page summary of the Christy paper showing the tropical upper-troposphere “hot-spot” as predicted in the Holy Book, and the total absence of the “hot-spot” in the observed data. We explained that, in the words of Professor Dick Lindzen of MIT, who knows more about the bad behaviour of the atmosphere than anyone, the missing “hot-spot” means that the IPCC’s estimate of the impact of greenhouse-gas enrichment on temperature is at least a threefold exaggeration.

As I was handing our flyer round the Press tent, a “development journalist” angrily said: “How dare you criticize the IPCC’s scientists?” I sat down and said: “I don’t attack the scientists, though they certainly attack me. I attack the bad science.”

“Well, then,” he said, “how dare you substitute your judgment for that of thousands of climate scientists?” I said that the crucial chapter in the Holy Book attributing rising temperatures to Siotu had been written by only 53 people, not all of whom were scientists, and that – by coincidence – 53% of the comments by 60 reviewers had been rejected by the authors of the chapter. Not exactly the 2,500 scientists claimed by the high priests, and not exactly a consensus either.

I explained that I was an old-fashioned scribbler who had been taught to be sceptical of all sides of every debate, and that the authors of the Holy Book were obviously not good at sums. “Give me an example,” he said. So I did.

The Holy Book saith: “The CO2 radiative forcing increased by 20% during the last 10 years (1995-2005).” Radiative forcing quantifies increases in radiant energy in the atmosphere, and hence in temperature. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 1995 was 360 parts per million. In 2005 it was just 5% higher, at 378 ppm. But each additional molecule of CO2 in the air causes a smaller radiant-energy increase than its predecessor. So the true increase in radiative forcing was 1%, not 20%. The high priests have exaggerated the CO2 effect 20-fold.

“So how are you so nauseatingly certain that you’re right?” he asked. “Well,” I said, “because I worked out that the proportionate increase in CO2 between 1995 and 2005 was 5%, not 20%, and then did a simple calculation from this to work out the radiative forcing. It’s called ‘checking’.” He looked baffled. Voodoo has indeed replaced science, and the paradox is that the new religion claims to worship science.

The zombies seem listlessly incapable of checking even the most elementary facts. Take Yvo de Boer, the UN archpriest at the conference. He made an impassioned speech saying that the sceptics had had their day and that everyone now accepted that, for instance, the island nations of the Pacific were facing an imminent threat from rising sea levels. Er, no. Corals have been around for 275 million years. They’ve survived temperatures up to 7 degrees Celsius warmer than today’s. And has it never occurred to the poor sap to wonder why, after a rise of 400 feet in sea level over the past 10,000 years, the sea has – by some startling concidence – exactly reached the surface of all the coral atolls?

No, it’s not a coincidence, because corals grow to meet the light. They can outpace at least ten times the Holy Books’ high-end estimate of sea-level rise, which is anyway down by a third since just six years ago. We know this, because the mean centennial rate of sea-level rise since the end of the last Ice Age has been – get this – at least double the high priests’ highest estimate of future sea-level rise. Nine-tenths of the land-based ice sheets of the world have already melted. There’s so little left that even if it began to melt (which it won’t) the rise in sea level would be very, very slow.

The new Australian prime minister got a dutiful round of applause from the zombies when he announced that his first official act had been to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. He didn’t tell them that back home he’d also let it be known that Australia had not the slightest intention of complying with the protocol. But then, practically no one else is complying with it either.

For me, it was this laughable disconnection between rhetoric and reality that was the most striking feature of the conference. Anyone with half a brain can see, after making the most elementary of enquiries, that greenhouse gases can’t have all that much effect on temperature, that even if they did the consequences would be minimal and largely beneficial. For this reason – since Heaven has a sense of humour – global temperature has now been stubbornly failing to rise for the best part of a decade, and (unless you’re James Hansen, who started the scare in the first place) 2007 will yet again fail to be a “record year for temperature” – and the zombies go back only 150 years.

Since CO2 can’t be exercising more than a minuscule influence on temperature, and since the temperature is accordingly failing to rise as predicted (or, in the past seven years, at all), the entire conference was unnecessary, but the zombies didn’t know, and they didn’t care, and – either way – they were getting rich at taxpayers’ expense thanks to the most elaborately-conceived scare of modern times.

Bryan Leyland, the leader of our delegation and an engineer far too highly-qualified to be an IPCC reviewer, asked the IPCC lead author how many more years of temperatures failing to rise as predicted would convince him to give up the pretence that the IPCC’s predictions have any connection with reality. Answer came there none.

I had a quiet word with the US delegation before the conference began, just to confirm that they were not about to go soft and goofy as Australia has done. A solidly-constructed Congressman gave me the clear message that as long as George Bush was in the White House there would be no nonsense. That meant that both this conference and the next one – at Poznan in Poland this time next year – will merely mark time until President Bush isn’t. Nothing can happen until Copenhagen in two years’ time.

I also said Konichi-wa to the Japanese delegation, whose members diligently turned up half an hour before each session, while the rest were still drying out their hangovers. They politely read our daily messages to delegates, and joined the US and Canada as the pariahs of the conference, refusing to shuffle along with the zombies.

The Luxembourgeois delegation were not so polite. A peasant-faced minister took one look at the High Court judge’s list of the errors in Al Gore’s movie and rudely tore it up in front of me, throwing the pieces on to the floor. Not enough Luxe, too much bourgeois, one feels. Unusual animation for a zombie, though. One of his colleagues began collecting up copies of the judge’s list of Gore’s bloopers as I was distributing them. I remonstrated politely and she desisted, deciding to go and complain to Security instead. On the way, she murmured that she had a black belt in karate. “So do I,” I said, with equal mendacity, trying my geriatric best to look like James Bond.

Back at the Poxy, the only time the zombies used to show any animation was when Baron Samedi came on set. They would set up an eerie, unpleasant keening, and would jerk chaotically in their frenzied excitement. So it was in Bali when, on the eve of the closing Friday, not so much Baron Samedi as Baron Thursdi, Al Gore private-jetted and motorcaded in with his vast retinue to receive the plaudits of the faithful, and to hell with the carbon footprint. Gore did what I had been taught never to do. He attacked his own country for withstanding the voodoo cult. The zombies loved it. The keening and screeching and jerking were exactly as I had remembered them.

Gore needs to pretend that the situation is urgent when it is becoming increasingly plain to everyone that it isn’t. The robust corn-stalk chewers of Iowa, polled recently about election issues, ranked “global warming” so low that fewer than one in 200 thought it mattered at all.

Therefore, to whip up the flagging panic that keeps the gravy-train of “global warming” rolling, Baron Thursdi came up with a new, improved list of 50 errors and exaggerations:

•    Floods in 18 countries, plus Mexico: Four errors in one. First, individual extreme-weather events cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Secondly, the number of floods is not unprecedented, though TV makes them more visible than before. Thirdly, even if the floods were caused by warming, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause. Thirdly – and it was astonishing how few of the zombies knew this – there has been no statistically-significant increase in mean global surface temperature since the last IPCC Holy Book in 2001. “Global warming” has stopped.
•    The Arctic ice-cap will be gone within 5 to 7 years: Six errors in one. First, as a paper published by NASA during the conference demonstrates, Arctic warming has nothing much to do with “global warming”: instead, as numerous studies confirm, it is chiefly caused by decadal alterations in the ocean circulation affecting the region. Thirdly, it was warmer in the Arctic in the 1940s than it is today. Fourthly, thinner pack-ice is surprisingly resistant to melting, so the ice-cap will probably be still there for many years to come, even if (which is unlikely) the warming trend resumes. Fifthly, the ice-cap was probably absent during the mediaeval warm period, and almost certainly absent during the Bronze Age climate optimum, when temperatures were higher than today’s for almost 2,000 years. Sixthly, the Greenland ice sheet melted completely away 850,000 years ago. There cannot have been an Arctic ice-cap then. So the disappearance of the Arctic ice-cap, even if it occurred, would be neither unprecedented nor alarming

•    Forest fires are causing devastation: Five errors in one. First, most forest fires are caused by humans – power-lines sparking in the wind, carelessly-tossed cigarette-butts, or even arson. Secondly, individual events of this kind cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Thirdly, warmer weather is generally wetter weather, because – as the Clausius-Clapeyron relation demonstrates – the space occupied by the atmosphere can carry near-exponentially greater concentrations of water vapour as the weather becomes warmer. Fourthly, it has not got warmer since 2001, so there is no factual basis whatsoever for attributing more forest fires to warmer weather. Fifthly, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.
•    Many cities are short of water: Four errors in one. First, water shortages arise from too much demand on too little supply. Secondly, one cannot attribute individual events of this kind to “global warming”. Thirdly, there has been no “global warming” for the best part of a decade. Fourthly, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.
•    There are more severe storms: Six errors in one. First, the scientific literature is divided on the question whether warmer weather will intensify storms. Secondly, the scientific literature is unanimous that the warmer weather which stopped happening in 2001 has not in fact caused more severe storms: the number of landfalling Atlantic hurricanes shows no trend for 100 years, and, in the 30 years for which we have records, the number of tropical cyclones and of typhoons has actually fallen steadily. Thirdly, outside the tropics warmer weather is likely to mean fewer severe storms. Fourthly, even if there had been more severe storms, they cannot be attributed to “global warming”. Fifthly, there has not been any “global warming” for the past seven years. Sixthly, even if there had been any warming, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.

  • West Antarctica has lost an area the size of California: Four errors in one. First, the bulk of Antarctica is cooling (Doran et al., 2004). Secondly, Gore’s movie says there were seven areas the size of Rhode Island that had melted (in total, 1/55 of the size of Texas), so his figures are inconsistent. Thirdly, Antarctic sea-ice extent reached record levels in September this year. Fourthly, even if Antarctica had warmed, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.
  • Deserts are growing: Three errors in one. First, some deserts are growing; others are not. Secondly, Gore’s movie says the southern Sahara is plagued by new drought, but the Sahara has shrunk by 300,000 square kilometres in the past 30 years, giving place to vegetation. Nomadic tribes are returning to territories they have not occupied in living memory. Thirdly, the fact of warming does not tell us the cause.

•    Sea level is rising: Eight errors in one. First, sea level has been rising ever since the end of the last Ice Age. Secondly, it has been rising at a mean rate of 4 feet per century, more than double the latest Holy Book’s highest estimate of future sea-level rise. Thirdly, Gore himself does not believe his ridiculous estimate that the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets will raise sea level by 20 feet imminently: he has just bought a $4 million condo in the St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco, a few feet from the Bay. Fourthly, the Holy Book shows that the combined contribution of these two ice sheets to sea-level rise over the next 100 years will be just two and a half inches. Fifthly, most of the 1 ft 5 in sea level rise that is the IPCC’s best estimate over the coming century will occur not from ice-melt but from thermosteric expansion of sea-water. Sixthly, Nils-Axel Morner, the world’s greatest expert on sea level, says even the IPCC’s forecast is exaggerated. Seventhly, the UK High Court judge condemned Gore for his “alarmist” exaggeration of sea-level rise, yet Gore seems unwilling to accept that he has erred. Eighthly, even if sea-level were rising at record rates, which it is not, the fact of the warming that caused the increase does not tell us the cause of the warming.
•    CO2 is “global warming pollution”: Seven errors in one. First, CO2 is a naturally-occurring substance, not a pollutant. Secondly, CO2 concentrations, in geological terms, are at record low levels – less than 400 parts per million compared with 7,000 ppm in the Cambrian era. Thirdly, CO2 is food for trees and plants. With chlorophyll and sunlight, it is an essential constituent in photosynthesis, without which there would be no plant life as we know it. Fourthly, CO2 is harmless to animals even at very high concentrations – indeed, the concentration in the room where Gore spoke, with a thousand zombies yelling lustily, is likely to have well above 1000 ppm, but none of the zombies came to harm. Fifthly, CO2 is harmless to plants even at concentrations of 10,000 ppm, as laboratory tests have demonstrated. Sixthly, you breathe out CO2 every time you exhale. Seventhly, CO2 forms the bubbles in sparkling drinks like Coca-Cola and champagne, and it also forms the spaces between the solid matter in bread. For all these reasons, it is not a pollutant, and we are doing no more than to restore to the atmosphere the normal levels that have harmlessly prevailed in the past, playing their part in the emergence and development of life itself.
•    Venus has experienced a runaway greenhouse effect, and the EU says Earth is the sister planet of Venus: Four errors in one. First, Venus is much closer to the Sun than the Earth is, and the incoming solar radiation of 236 watts per square meter at the surface is far too little to create a runaway greenhouse effect. Secondly, the surface temperature on Venus, chiefly because of its proximity to the Sun, is 455 degrees C, compared with the Earth’s 15 degrees C. Gore mentioned these figures, but led the audience falsely to imagine that the difference in temperature is chiefly attributable to the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere of Venus. Thirdly, CO2 concentration reached 7000 parts per million in the Cambrian era, compared with less than 400 ppm today, and temperature rose only to 22 degrees Celsius, so Gore’s comparison with the 455 degrees C obtaining on the surface of Venus is a 20-fold exaggeration of the maximum temperature likely to arise on Earth. Fourthly, a concentration of 7000 parts per million could only be reached if today’s concentration were to increase 18-fold. In 1994 Gore said that there were canals on Mars, with water in them. Best not to take his word on other planetary bodies. He would have been more to the point if he had admitted that warming has recently been observed on Mars, on the surface of Jupiter, on the largest of Neptune’s moons and even on distant Pluto. All those SUVs in space, one supposes. Or could the guilty party, perhaps, be the Sun, which has been more active in the past 70 years than at almost any similar period in at least the past 11,400 years?
•    The IPCC’s 2007 Holy Book is “unanimous”: Five errors in one. First – and this cannot be repeated often enough – science is not a democratic process, and it does not matter how many scientists reach a conclusion if that conclusion is contrary to the objective truth. Secondly, the Holy Book is in fact very far from unanimous: it quotes numerous peer-reviewed papers that disagree with its conclusions. Thirdly, the Holy Book fails to quote many hundreds of further peer-reviewed papers that disagree with its conclusions. Fourthly, the IPCC’s Holy Books are divided into chapters, each with about 50 authors, and the authors sign off only on their own chapters. Fifthly, the high priests of voodoo try to secure unanimity by rejecting the nomination of authors, such as Paul Reiter, who knows that malaria is not a tropical disease and would not be spread by “global warming”, whose views are known to be contrary to the teachings of the Holy Books. Fifthly, Chris Landsea, an expert on hurricanes, resigned from the IPCC process, condemning it as unduly political, when Kevin Trenberth, his lead author, appeared on a public platform advocating the notion that “global warming” causes more frequent hurricanes. He is by no means the only resigner from the supposedly “unanimous” IPCC process.

*      Svante Arrhenius made 10,000 calculations 116 years ago, demonstrating that temperature would rise “many degrees” in response to CO2 doubling: 4 errors in one. First, Arrhenius’ paper making that erroneous claim was published in 1896, 111 years ago, not 116. Secondly, his calculations are now known to have been inaccurate, since he had relied upon lunar spectral data that were defective. Thirdly, Arrhenius could have spared himself the trouble of his 10,000 calculations if he had used the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation, which integrates radiant-energy emission spectra across all wavelengths and converts the energy to temperature. In 1906, once he had come across the equation, he wrote a little-known paper in German, in which he revised his calculations and concluded that the warming in response to a CO2 doubling would be 1.6 degrees C, or exactly half the IPCC’s exaggerated current central estimate. Fourthly, even this estimate is probably too high.
As with the 35 errors in Gore’s movie, so with the 50 in his speech to the zombies in Bali, comfortably exceeding his personal best – all the errors tend towards an extreme and scientifically-unwarranted exaggeration of the imagined threat posed by “global warming”. The zombies, of course, lapped up every word handed down from on high by Baron Thursdi, for Bali was a science-free, fact-free zone, question-free zone. The probability that all 43 of Gore’s latest errors could have pointed by mere accident and ignorance in the direction of excessive alarm is less than one in a million billion.

Therein lies a danger that Gore has not yet seen. For he failed, yet again, to declare his financial interest before whipping up worldwide alarm with his trademark errors and exaggerations in Bali. He is a director of Lehman Brothers, a global finance house that wants to control the worldwide managed market in carbon-emissions trading. He founded his own “green” corporation, Generation Investment Management. He is a paid member of the Board of a renewable-energy company. In the UK, if he made a speech containing so many deliberate and unidirectional errors as he did in Bali, and if he failed to declare his financial interest, he would be committing a criminal offence.

It is surely only a matter of time before a complaint is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that, through the numerous, extreme and scientifically-unwarranted exaggerations which Gore has relentlessly continued to peddle notwithstanding the warning in the UK judge’s verdict, he is in effect fraudulently promoting a false prospectors to potential investors. Indeed, his exaggerations are on such a scale, and have commanded such attention, and have done so much damage, that he may even have committed an offence under the Federal racketeering statute. I wanted to ask Gore about his failure to disclose his financial interest, but – as usual – he does not dare to take questions.

The day Gore spoke in Bali, I received an email (one of hundreds from all over the world in response to my article in the Jakarta Post) from one of the Port Commissioners of Washington State. He said his fellow-Commissioners, solely on the basis of Gore’s rantings, were proposing to increase the height of the sea-walls by 20 feet. Real economic and environmental harm is now being caused by these unscientific exaggerations, which have gained credence among the zombies merely by their repetition on the lips of a former Vice-President of the United States.  

The US delegation did not crumble in Bali. It stood firm in the cause of right and truth and common sense. So it was not possible for the zombies to go as far as they wanted in inflicting pointless, economically-disastrous and climatically-irrelevant policies on the world. For the sake of being seen to do something while they wait for Copenhagen, they have laboriously drawn up a “Bali Roadmap”. Like the Middle East Roadmap, the Bali Roadmap is a non-map of a non-existent road to nowhere. Meantime, we have alarmed the alarmists, and that is a first step towards the dawn of truth.To view the original article

So what ought adult human beings to do now? Kevin Rudd at least, it seems, went home saying to the Australian people that he and they would have no business trying to comply with all  communist/west-hobbling, African-killing Kyoto nonsense, or any sort of “Road Map”, and thank goodness for that – it’s a start.

The main danger I see from where I am is residual effects of the near-dissastrous attempt to shut dowm the planet, which could last for decades, in the minds of impressionable students of today. I’m afraid that nearly all teachers in British schools will, if they don’t agree to attend re-education camps run by the erstwhile “deniers”, have to be gassed and incinerated in concentration camps. Given however that it’s Christmas, I’m feeling merciful, and all I would do is force them to live normal lives in a liberal polity, driving 4×4 SUVs and relying on nuclear power stations, until they die.

There is another problem, which is what to do about state policies that decree unrealistic and unachievable percentage amounts of energy to be produced by “renewable” means. There is of course no such thing since substantially all the earth’s energy input derives from the Sun, which is itself not renewable – and on a Cosmic scale the Universe is running down, according to the Laws of Thermodynamics (a part of science which is substantiually settled, at least for the forseeable future.) As realisation of the vast degree to which populations have been “had” percolates into the body-politic, it will become easier and easier to throw out either sitting MPs or whole guvmints which persist in cleaving to wrong notions of reality.

 Like “multiculturalism”, which is now formally discredited although still being taught in nazi schools, anthropogenic global warming will go the same way. The remaining problem is a legal one, which will centre on how much money to sue Al Gore for, in return for his deliberate falsehoods and for substantive damages to be awarded against him, for actual revenue losses or even avoidable deaths, caused by his vaporous orations. He’s quite rich, I am told, and could pay.

The final strategic peg must be private-sector plans for further development of known (and  exploration of unknown) (non-)fossil fuel resources (most of it is abiogenic) together with a private-sector commitment, unshackled by hippy-anti-fears, of nuclear power.

Energy transforms people’s lives, and it transformes the lives of poor-people most, and first.