Happy (and peculiarly late) Easter to our readers

David Davis

It’s 2014, and almost four years after (some of us) elected a load of self-regarding cheapskate tightwad moochers who were thought to be slightly less venal that the previous thirteen years of identical moochers.

In reality little has changed: the moochers and the bureaucrats are still in charge, but mostly busy trying to defame, talk down and generally smear another lot of wannabe-moochers. Although the ferocity with which this is being conducted suggests that the parvenu-moochers aren’t quite like the incumbent moochers, and may actually reduce career-mooching opportunities if allowed to get near the “destruct” levers.

We can but hope: it’s all there is now.

Review of Dr Nigel Gervas Meek’s book on the Conservative Party

Review of Dr Nigel Gervas Meek’s book on the Conservative Party

Libertarian Alliance editor Nigel Meek’s book on the Conservative Party is favourably reviewed in the forthcoming issue of Political Studies Review, one of the four journals of the Political Studies Association, the UK’s leading academic politics association.

Buy it on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/d8dzgy2. Continue reading

Living Standards in England – A Stimulus for Discussion

by Sean Gabb

One of my interests is long term movements in living standards. I have the full Phelps-Brown and Hopwood Index for the 12th to 20th centuries, but not in a form that can be easily republished. Here is a graph showing movements between the 15th and early 20th centuries.

The problems with making a long term series ought to be obvious. Even for England, we don’t have the complete data. The prices commonly used are for wholesale goods, and the most complete series of wage rates we have are for building workers in London, which may diverge for long periods from the wider average. Until fairly recently, money wages were supplemented by shifting degrees of payment in kind, and this is hard to take into account. Then we have unknown degrees of substitution between goods. Continue reading

Next Novel by Sean Gabb – any help on improving this blurb appreciated

aaaaThe Break
by Sean Gabb
Copyright Sean Gabb 2014
Pre-order here

No one knows what caused The Break eleven months ago, but there’s no sign of its end.

England is settling into its new future as a reindustrialising concentration camp. The rest of the world is watching… waiting… curious…

It’s Wednesday the 7th March 2018 – in the mainland UK. Everywhere else, it’s some time in June 1065.

Jennifer thinks her family survived The Hunger because of their smuggling business – tampons and paracetamol to France, silver back to England. Little does she know what game her father was really playing, as she recrosses the Channel from an impromptu mission of her own. Little can she know how her life has already been torn apart.

Who has taken Jennifer’s parents? Where are they? What is the Home Secretary up to with the Americans? Why is she so desperate to lay hands on Michael? Will Jesus Christ return to Earth above Oxford Circus? When will the “Doomsday Project” go live?

Can the Byzantine Empire and the Catholic Church take on the British State, and win?

All will be answered – if Jennifer can stay alive in a post-apocalyptic London terrorised by hunger, by thugs in uniform, and by motorbike gangs of Islamic suicide bombers.

From Reviews of Other Novels by Sean Gabb

“Vivid characters, devious plotting and buckets of gore are enhanced by his unfamiliar choice of period. Nasty, fun and educational.”
(Daily Telegraph)

“He knows how to deliver a fast-paced story and his grasp of the period is impressively detailed.”
(Mail on Sunday)

“A rollicking and raunchy read . . . Anyone who enjoys their history with large dollops of action, sex, intrigue  and, above all, fun will absolutely love this novel.”
(Historical Novels)

“It would be hard to over-praise this extraordinary series, a near-perfect blend of historical detail and atmosphere  with the plot of a conspiracy thriller, vivid characters, high philosophy and vulgar comedy.”
(Matt Coward, The Morning Star)

The Best Book on the Market

John Say

The Best Book on the MarketIf you enjoyed Freakonomics or The Undercover Economist, you’ll love The Best Book on the Market. Written by Eamonn Butler, best known as the Director of the Adam Smith Institute – and published by a Wiley imprint – it is set to shake up how the public thinks about economics.

Witty an easy to understand, it challenges the mathematic, quasi-scientific way that economics is often taught and gets back to a more human-centred way of thinking. It trashes the idea of “perfect competition”, often used as a stick to beat the market with, saying that: “the perfect world of the textbook explanations, where markets always balance, is a strange place indeed”.

The book covers everything from black markets to the futility of soldering up the price mechanism, from why speculators are good to the role of entrepreneurs and creative destruction. It says that “competition isn’t wasteful – competition is absolutely vital”. Auctions, honesty and trust get a look in too. Markets and the environment are covered – including how to deal with overfishing – and so is the morality of the market.

This is no dry book though. Dr Butler fills the book with stories – such as about the “black-haired Lanzhou seamstress” who he can’t speak to, and how his car mechanic dad dealt with stressed customers. This is an ideal gift for all those confused friends who just don’t get how markets make the world a better place.

The book can be purchased on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Terence DuQuesne: Another Obituary

by Daniel Jacobs
Terence DuQuesne, 1942-2014

The brilliant if unorthodox poet, classicist and Egyptologist, Terence DuQuesne has died at the age of seventy-two.

Born in 1942, Terence was educated, as he always said, “despite scholarships to Dulwich and Oxford”. By the age of thirteen he was reading Greek poetry in the original, and claimed that one of his main motivations for learning ancient Greek was to be able to read Sappho in her own language. In later life he translated her works into English, having rejected earlier renditions as “dull and distorted reflexions”. At school, it was not long before he was in trouble for correcting the translations of her poems made by his classics teacher, but this failed to thwart his love of Greek or of poetry, of which he published several collections in his lifetime. Indeed, to the end of his life, he would celebrate each Celtic Pagan festival of the year by writing a new poem and circulating it to his friends.

Terence’s first book, published under the name “Terence Deakin” in 1964, was a study of sexological source materials, the Catalogi Librorum Eroticorum, still an important bibliographical resource. Terence also took an interest in pharmacology: his Handbook of Psychoactive Medicines was aimed at the layperson who needed to know more about the drugs they were being prescribed, but also with the fair claim that health professionals could benefit from the book, which criticized the over-prescription of psychotropic drugs. His knowledge of clinical pharmacology, self-taught, enabled him to contribute to journals such as Psychiatry in Practice and even The Lancet.

The cause of freedom was one that Terence espoused wholeheartedly, often working with the Libertarian Alliance. In 1986, Terence published Illicit Drugs: Myth And Reality for the Libertarian Alliance, who presented it as evidence to a House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on the use of illicit drugs. At the same time, with his friend and solicitor Edward Goodman, he published Britain an Unfree Country, a detailed critique of the erosion of personal freedom under the Thatcher regime. Yet all of this was really by way of an aside from the detailed academic study which dominated Terence’s work, namely that of the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.

Terence’s love of and fascination with dogs combined with his interests in ancient Egyptian religion and led him to specialize in studying ancient Egypt’s jackal deities, of whom he himself became something of a devotee. He was also interested in Osiris and Ptolemaic religion. He published a number of short works on Egyptian religion which were soon out of print, but which became classics in their field, and now change hands on ebay for extraordinary prices, but his long-term project was a wide-ranging survey of Egypt’s jackal gods. In 2005 he produced the first volume of this, covering the Old Kingdom. Two further volumes (for the Middle and New Kingdoms) remain unpublished.

Terence was far from being a chair-bound Egyptologist, and each year he would travel to Egypt to undertake research, mainly in the basement of the Cairo Museum, although he also travelled frequently to Asyut and Abydos in Middle Egypt. He particularly loved being with his adopted family in Abusir, and playing with their dogs, whom he always spoiled with large presents of fresh meat. His access to the vaults of the Cairo Museum, envied by many colleagues, enabled him to study and catalogue the amazing trove of devotional stelae – most of them dedicated to local jackal deities – which had been unearthed in the XIIth Dynasty Salakhana tomb in 1922, and had then been all but forgotten when Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered only weeks later. After fifteen years of studying this amazing trove, Terence eventually published his work on it in 2010, finally doing justice to one of the twentieth century’s most important Egyptological finds.

Although he was critical of much of British Egyptology – and always felt more at home within European, particularly German Egyptology – his contributions to ancient Egyptian religion is immense. His publications on the Salakhana trove and the jackal divinities of Egypt in particular will remain as lasting monuments to his scholarship.

An accomplished linguist and poet, Terence translated poetry from languages ancient and modern, in addition to publishing several books of his own verse, much of which was inspired by works in anything from Sanskrit to classical Hebrew. Terence was a kind and gentle man, who inspired friendship in many quarters, from glamorous rock stars to undergraduates with whom he would freely share his great knowledge. A self-professed (and provable) eccentric, who belonged in a different century. As a practising pagan, he directed in his will that “on no account shall my body be buried or the ashes from my cremation be place in ground consecrated to the Christian religion”. Terence was also a strict vegan. Although he had at least one long term relationship, he never married. He will be missed by his many friends, but will be greeted with open arms by his patron deity Anubis.

At the time of his death, Terence was working on a new edition of The Poems of Sappho, on a Geography of the Landscape of the Underworld, and on a second volume of The Jackal Divinities of Egypt.

Seven Consequences of an EU E-Cig Ban

7 Consequences of an EU Ecig ban

Terence DuQuesne: Obituary for a Pagan

by Alexander Baron

Terence Duquesne (1942-2014)Egyptologist, classical scholar and author Terence DuQuesne died in a Croydon hospital, Thursday, April 17; he had been ill for some time. The following obituary was compiled with some assistance from his executor.

Born at Cambridge in 1942, he won scholarships to Dulwich and Oxford. He was the author or co-author of more than a dozen books including the 1964 critical bibliography Catalogi Librorum Eroticorum, and the 1986 study Britain: An Unfree Country, which he co-wrote with Edward Goodman. His expertise led to his being invited to write the entry for imiut in the on-line UCLA Encyclopedia Of Egyptology. He also published three volumes of his own poetry including Caduceus.

By the age of 13, the young Terry Deakin was already reading Greek poetry in the original. He is said to have claimed that one of his main motivations for learning ancient Greek was to be able to read Sappho in her original language. In 1990, he published a translation of her works after rejecting earlier renditions as “dull and distorted reflexions”.

Terence Duquesne was active in the Libertarian movement; in 1986 he published Illicit Drugs: Myth And Reality for the Libertarian Alliance. This was presented to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.

He was also a practising pagan, and in his will dated June 8, 2004, he directed “on no account shall my body be buried or the ashes from my cremation be placed in ground consecrated to the Christian religion”. His patron deity was Anubis, the jackal-headed God of the Dead, and it is hardly surprising that he should have published a new translation of the Egyptian Book Of The Dead. Continue reading

If there had been no post-1945 mass immigration into Britain …

by Robert Henderson

Without mass immigration we should not have ….

1.. A rapidly rising population.

2. Ethnic minority ghettoes. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100047117/britains-ethnic-ghettos-mean-liberals-can-wave-goodbye-to-their-dream-of-scandinavian-social-democracy/

3. Race relations legislation, most notably the Race Relations Act of 1976. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1976/74

4. Gross interferences with free speech such as those in the 1976 Race Relations Act and 1986 Public Order Act arising from the British elite’s determination and need (from their point of view) to suppress dissent about immigration and its consequences. Continue reading

Burn The FT Heretics!

by Dick Puddlecote

Burn The FT Heretics! The FT yesterday produced something of a rarity these days, an editorial which ignored tobacco control industry bullshit and told the truth! Continue reading

Why Do the Poor Demand the Rich Pay More Tax, Rather Than They Pay Less?

by Stewart Cowen
Why Do the Poor Demand the Rich Pay More Tax, Rather Than They Pay Less?

The answer might seem obvious, that the more the rich pay the less the poor have to pay.

Let’s get one myth out of the way. The one which says that taxing the rich ever higher amounts leads to greater and greater tax being collected. When you keep increasing tax on the ‘rich’ your total tax take falls, because the seriously rich will live in another country or find another solution to escape the robbery. Continue reading

The Most Corrupt And Anti-Democratic Movement In Post-War History

by Dick Puddlecote

The Most Corrupt And Anti-Democratic Movement In Post-War History Further to my piece on Monday about the World Health Organisation’s plan to class e-cigs as tobacco products – and consequently subject to crippling taxes, display bans, graphic warnings etc – former ASH supremo Clive Bates has obtained a leaked copy of the minutes which reveal it, and written a comprehensive article on how criminally misguided this approach is.

I would highly recommend you read it in its entirety as Bates lifts the veil on how crooked and unconcerned with health the WHO really is in relation to e-cigs and harm reduction products such as snus. Continue reading