Monthly Archives: June 2008

Nearly bed-time, but I see that the Stalinist DEFRA anti-traders have struck again.


David Davis

They have struck here. What a bloody saddo shower of nerdy (no, not nerdy, just evil and wicked) these “people” are. How can we share a planet with these buggers? They do not see the world, and existence, through our prism.

I’d really, really, really, sometime before I die, like to know something. It’s this:-

What under Heaven is it, that causes otherwise outwardly human beings to (a) want a job like a “DEFRA inspector”, (b) actively go out and get that job (for it does not come to you, you have to want it and ask for it, like any other job) and (c) then go about joyfully “delivering consumer confidence” by threatening a retailer with bankruptcy or a criminal record?

Are there actually real, living, breathing human beings on this planet, nay, in this nation (worse) who are actively anti-Libertarian? And who actively torment others, using the force of “law” with the “it’s not our problme, it’s yours, matey” line?

Perhaps I really am autistic. Because I can’t understand why anybody would _want_ to behave, and would _wilfully_ (and in public) behave like these people?

OK, so a EU-directive says something? Disobey the f*****g thing, like everybody else. It’s what it’s for. The EU has corrupted the very idea of “law” so let’s just go with the flow and get on with our lives, get out more, and sell the kiwis whatever. Who cares, for f***’s sake?

Why not either let him give them away, if it’s so crucial (then all the “consumers” have lost is nothing at all) or sell them to poor people for less?

 

Subj: [eurorealist] Fw: EU rules ban sale of ‘too small’ kiwis 
Date: 30/06/2008 14:03:34 GMT Daylight Time
From: peter@pwwatson.co.uk
Reply-to: eurorealist@yahoogroups.com
To: EUroRealist@yahoogroups.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

—– Original Message —–
From: “Bill & Ann Woodhouse” <office@tidemaster.co.uk>
To: “Ann Woodhouse” <office@tidemaster.co.uk>
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 12:50 PM
Subject: EU rules ban sale of ‘too small’ kiwis

> If you tried to dream up anything so silly to denigrate our new
> government in Brussels, no one would believe you but complain you were
> instigating another Euro-myth. B&A
>
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2199214/EU-rules-ban-sale-of-‘too-
> small’-kiwis.html
> EU rules ban sale of ‘too small’ kiwis By Richard Savill 26/06/2008
>
> A wholesaler has been banned from selling a consignment of kiwi fruits
> because EU laws deemed them too small.
>
> Tim Down, a market trader for 25 years, said he was not permitted even
> to give away the 5,000 Chilean fruits, each of which is about the size
> of a small hen’s egg and weighs about 60g.
>
> Mr Down said his family run firm would lose several hundred pounds in
> sales because of the ban.
>
> “It is bureaucratic nonsense, they are perfectly fit to eat,” Mr Down
> said at his stall at the Wholesale Fruit Centre in Bristol.
>
> Inspectors from the Rural Payments Agency, an executive agency of the
> Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), made a
> random check on his stall, and found a number of his kiwis weighed 58g,
> four grams below the required minimum of 62g.
>
> Mr Down said that 4g in weight was the equivalent of about one
> millimeter in diameter.
>
> He said: “They (the inspectors) went through a lot of my stock using
> their own little scales.
>
> “These regulations are enforced in the United Kingdom with a higher
> level of rigour than is applied in mainland Europe. There is not a
> level playing field.
>
> “This fruit will now go to waste at a time when we are all feeling the
> pinch from rising prices.” He said there would also be the
> environmental cost of taking the fruits to a landfill site.
>
> Mr Down said he was not permitted by law to give away the kiwis to a
> school or hostel and faced a fine of several thousand pounds if he did.
>
> Barry Stedman, head of the Rural Payments Agency’s inspectorate, said
> the consignment had failed to meet the minimum standards for saleable
> produce, in contravention of EU grading rules.
>
> “The inspector’s decision is consistent with RPA’s commitment to
> protect consumers, who must feel confident that the produce they are
> buying is of the right quality,” he said.
>
> “RPA’s role is to work with traders to provide advice and assistance
> to ensure that this happens and to help traders carry out their
> business within the law.”
>
> The agency said Mr Down has been given a number of options, including
> sending the fruit back to the importer.
>
> The European Commission said recently that it wanted to relax the
> regulations which prevented misshapen or underweight fruit and
> vegetables being sold.
>
> The rules have previously banished curved cucumbers, straight bananas
> and skinny carrots.
>
> “The inspectors visit us on a random basis, probably two to three
> times monthly and select items at random that they wish to inspect,”
> said Mr Down.
>
> “The latest inspection took place subsequent to the announcement by
> the EC that the regulations are being modified.
>
> “We have had many items rejected over the years, but this, for a
> variety of reasons, is one of the most nonsensical.”
>

__._,_.___

Does anybody here know what this means?


David Davis

I find this picture staggeringly distressing, and I can’t fugure out why. Perhaps the poor terrified bird has just shat on the Headette-of-State’s hand?

Yes!


You can take that as agreement with the Devil, about this stuff here.

David Davis

The sooner the better it will be, when “politicians” are identified, by real-people, for what these things really all are: which is poor, sad, to-be-pitied candidates for some sort of charitable outdoor-relief-system which channels their energies in a harmless and civilisation-enhancing way.

One which gives them meaningful, useful and mind-improving-work to fill their days (such as growing organic produce by hand, within … a two-hour bicycle-ride … of its place-of-consumption) plus emotional comfort and shelter to cover their nights.

Their lives will then gain meaning, and will be followed in their satisfied Old Age (NOT our Dark Age thank you!) by Christian burial in Consecrated Ground (as befits the innocent and harmless intellectually-challenged among God’s creatures.)

I had thought that they could perhaps build a bridge over the Bering Strait. But on second thoughts they are perhaps better to be shielded from real problems, which they could only make worse, and learn to grow turnips instead…

Thank you, Devil! You said it first.

 

 

David Davis, liberty, the stalinist-surveillance-state, and reading for a Sunday afternoon


David Davis

Here’s some fun stuff:-

  [eurorealist] Fw: Truly extraordinary times!! 
Date: 29/06/2008 08:30:33 GMT Daylight Time
From: terry.pendrous@btinternet.com
Reply-to: eurorealist@yahoogroups.com
To: eurorealist@yahoogroups.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Received this from an expatriot who lives in New Zealand!
Terry Pendrous
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2008 8:22 AM
Subject: Re: Truly extraordinary times!!

Left supports Right defending liberty

By Tony Benn
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 29/06/2008

Libertarians from the Left and Right sometimes meet in the middle against
an authoritarian state. In 1961, having served for 10 years as an MP for
Bristol South East, I was declared disqualified because my father had been
a peer and he had died. It was argued that I had inherited his peerage.

A by-election was called, and, despite my disqualification, I decided to
contest it to argue a point of principle. Winston Churchill, the former
Conservative Prime Minister, sent me a letter of support for which I am,
this day, most grateful.
I must be the only Labour candidate who has ever circulated 30,000 copies
of a letter from a Tory leader to my constituents. The law that prevented me
sitting in the Commons was later changed as a result of that by-election. So
when I heard that David Davis was standing in the Haltemprice and Howden
by-election, I decided to support him. I hope the Government’s move towards
42 days’ detention without charge, recently passed in the House of Commons,
will be stopped as a result of his campaign. The civil liberties issues on
which Mr Davis stands are important to the future of this country. Last
Friday I attended a conference organised by Lincoln Cathedral on Magna
Carta, an original of which they hold. Magna Carta had nothing to do with
democracy, but one phrase in it has registered worldwide: “no man shall be
taken [and] imprisoned. except by the lawful judgement of his peers.”
For many years the Labour government has boasted about the traditional
values and freedoms of this country; and yet, when its MPs voted to amend
the Terrorism Act and permit 42 days in prison without charge, they
effectively repealed Magna Carta. Such a law would mean that people could be
imprisoned for six weeks, then released without charge or trial but also
without ever being properly acquitted: a cloud of suspicion would remain.
It is also clear that anyone released after such a period would almost
certainly find their life destroyed, with their job lost and real risk posed
to any prospect of future employment.
There are two other critical ways in which liberties are being eroded,
both highlighted by Mr Davis. The first is identity cards. I have no
objection to them in principle,
because in the course of my life I have held many cards with my photo, name
and profession printed on them. What matters more is the huge database being
established in concert with ID cards, on which will be gathered every bit of
information that it is possible to collect. It may contain your financial
status, political opinions, email contacts and more – no one will really
know what is on that database.
Indeed, the information held may be inaccurate. When I recently renewed my
passport, I noticed that I am still described as a Member of Parliament.
If the Government does not know that I am not an MP seven years after I
stepped down, it does not inspire confidence that a more wide-ranging
identity database would be very reliable. The information may leak, and it
would be valuable for commercial and other purposes, including fraud and
terrorism. Despite the guarantees of
ministers, and regardless of whatever safeguards are promised, we know from
recent examples that information held by the Government can escape. Second,
the Lisbon Treaty diminishes the sovereign powers of British democracy,
which belong to the people and are lent to MPs. MPs have no right to dispose
of them to the EU.
The Irish have defeated the Lisbon Treaty democratically, and Britain was
denied a referendum on the Treaty only because it was clear that the
Government would be defeated on it here. Because the people are sovereign,
governments get their powers from us; we do not get our rights from them.
This issue is becoming crucial because the centralisation of power to
political elites is a threat to our freedom and democracy.
The Haltemprice by-election is taking place because Mr Davis gave up his
seat and possible position in any future Conservative government to seek his
contituents’ verdict on these issues.

The fact that the Labour party has decided not to contest the seat
indicates that it knows that it cannot win the argument on 42 days. I
believe that Mr Davis’s stand may do something to restore public confidence
in politics and politicians. If, as is expected, he wins, it will confirm
the judgment he made on the 42 days and will also destroy the argument that
the public really supports these oppressive measures. If the Lords, as
expected, also rejects 42 days, it would be a constitutional outrage to use
the Parliament Act to enforce the will of the Commons on the second
chamber.
It is on the single, but vital, issue of civil liberties that I decided to
support David Davis.

__._,_.___

 

More progress regarding the “Mouse that can’t get cancer”


David Davis

We reported this a while ago, under “The mouse that can’t get cancer”. Now, in today’s dead-tree-copy of the Sunday Telegraph there is a report that human tirals will shortly be used on transfused granulocytes, a variety of lymphocyte, that appears to be involved. I can’t find the online link to this yet.

As and when this is found to work, as I think it will, it’s probably too much to hope that the England-despising liberal-haters of the NhS and “N.I.C.E” (a good acronym) will allow people to be treated using it.

No blogging today, saving the world instead.


David Davis

I have to mow the lawns, and also build an amplifier for a man. Then I am working tomorrow Sunday 29th, so I may possibly hand down some Godly per-oration (on Sunday 29th June) pm but I don’t yet know what, so I don’t promise anything yet.

It does rather depend on what aspects of applied Gramsco-Marxianism (as applied daily by the British State to the people which are elected and dismissed periodically by it) that I decide to be irked by on the day. I may even then write about it, and about what ought to be done with the buggers, to ensure their re-socialisation as individual human beings living in a Market Civilisation.

BUT…………………………….

If you want a Rolls-Royce-version of a Williamson Amplifier, for your Hi-Fi, or if you would like a couple of single-ended 300B monoblocs, then talk to me. I will build them for you, by hand. And, you will love them.

Here are the comments on the BBC website, about Gordon Brown’s first year in office.


Most of them hope it’s his last, but that’s a vain hope. (Dark Ages etc.)

Here.

Strong language from the start….see my earlier post here.

A Libertarian Government of the UK will arrive to find many problems to fix. Of course, the first one will be to (a) take away or destroy all political machinery which could ever be used by ANY party (especially socialists) to regain control of people’s lives, and (b) deprive socialists of any Nazi persuasion, which is all of them, of the ability to proselytize or organize.

The following bit is censored: Ordinary people are all in favour of free speech, but not where it means the ability to deny the use of words, language and thought-forms to others (see “political correctness”.) Libertarians may here disagree with my “Boromir” moment, but there may be an instant where we have to “take the ring”.

Returing to reality: I would like a Libertarian Administration to not have to do those things which I described in the above (blue) paragraph. It is non-Libertarian, which is the point that Tolkien was making, by using Boromir for a very important purpose. But the central problem for Mankind to be able to proceed form here, rests on not being burdened, ever ever ever ever again, by collectivist Utopians and their pre-capitalist-barbarian nonsenses.

These buggers must accept, publicly, for many many years until all are gone, that they are useless wastes of space, with ideas which don’t accord with reality, and which nobody wants to follow. “The Science is Settled” – after all, they said it, not us. If they are very good and submissive and consent to either perform second-order-partial-differential-equations in front of students at circuses, or break rocks in the Pamirs on wireless tele vision, (they will be fed and clothed!) when paid so to do, then we will feed them and pay them.

 

The pot calls the kettle black: … The EU comments on the Southern Rhodesia elections


David Davis

Ho ho ho ho ho.

The EU is not currently known for its propensity to agree to the results of plebiscites, which are elections in all but name.

The Irish People recently trashed, comprehensively, the EU’s plan to abolish their country. But they are to be given a “period of reflection” while “Europe” proceeds with ratification of Lisbon. Hmmmmm.

And this is very very funny and mendacious, and worthy of John Cleese (a rather strange man whose “humour” I could never get to grips with) from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (sic.).

Where did it all go wrong? … cry the Polly Toynbees and other stalinists…


Here’s where. ZANU-Laborg made the deeply, deeply iniquitous moral choice to be, at one and the same time, deliberately-wrong-and-evil, plus listening-to-metrosexual-PR-men-and-other-spin-doctors.

David Davis

We however are now, at one and the same time, both heading for a New Dark Age in Britain (especially and deliberately caused on purpose by the above buggers (q.v.) if we are not careful and vigilant, and also possibly for the first true Libertarian Government of a state … if they play their cards right and don’t tell lies in manifestos. The mob in the link are my friends, ideologically-speaking, so I’m sure they won’t do porkies.

But they will have, from about 5.00 am on DAY ZERO (socialist imagery, but the Devil has all the best lines) a hard task of pruning, or perhaps chain-saws would be better. the New-Laborg-Votariat of state-stipendiarized dictocrats will have to be neutralised before any state-reducing-measures can be effctively carried to competion, or they will be stopped.

Yes, you can close and lock their buidlings, shred all their records (of themselves - and of us, created by themselves) steam-roller all their hard disks, terminate their “salaries”, and the like. But insurance has to be taken out against not just a socialist party and executive coming back (ever), but also a socialist mind-set (perhaps we’ll have to clear out the school and minicipal “Libraries” and start again?)

You see, the eternal back-and-forth ratcheting-and-reversing, between socialism advancing and a sort of Heath-Robinson-temporary-reversal of (some of) the damage done by the lefties, that we have to devote resources to and allow for, is just so damaging and wasteful. Worse, it interrupts and degrades, over time, English liberalism - the only civilisation and culture that properly reflects what human beings are and how they behave in co-operation, and which teaches the world how to live.

Even a few, desultory, Heath-Robinson liberal measures to mitigate the baleful results of 70-odd years of socialism, as under Margaret Thatcher, show how effective liberalism, liberty and the Market can be. But it’s all so distressing, time-wasting and unnecessary. This time, a final reckoning has to be had, and socialism has to be rubbed from the face of the planet (along with Al Gore’s paperwork, copies of his silly film, and records. the gold from his Nobel “Peace” “Prize” medal could be recycled into teeth, for poor-people who have to drive cars for a living.)

No, the first task of a Libertarian Administration will be to zap away the levers-of-power which can be used by the opposition.  The second task may be to agree an enlarged Defence budget, as I don’t expect that these measures will go down well when viewed by collectivist states in the light of their own foreign policy. But I hope that’s not the case: however, we should Praise the Lord, and Keep our Powder Dry.

ThEU mEUst astEUnishing VidEU I sEU tEUday


Please note: if this video gets taken down by the EU commissars, then there’s another copy on a US server on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iLMHYP3Gfk&feature=related

The important thing to remember about the EU is that (as Sean Gabb often says) although it could be a real problem for liberty, it is not THE _main_ problem for liberty in the UK – or Britain, or England, or whatever might survive as the residuary legatee of liberalism in these Islands.

No, liberty’s problem in these Islands is different. It is the burgeoning-and-over-burgeoned bureaucratic socialist class (which Sean Gabb correctly calls “the Enemy Class”.) This class lives by Gramsco-Marxian analyses of what it sees as “our” problems, and therefore it is utterly inimical to English (in _particular_) culture, historiography and civilisation. It therefore _uses_ the EU (a specially-created weapon to oppose individual liberty, following as a quick emergency-measure after the unplanned defeat of Hitler) as a convenient battering-ram to undo centuries of built-up consensus about how people ought to live, and thus to continue the “project” (that is to say, international socialism.)

But this is a fun video, hilarious if its implications were not so sinister. I don’t like the look of the security men. I would have to kick their teeth in, in a dark alley, to get away. (Or not.) They look a bit like I imagine Stalin’s boot-boys did at Katyn, and other such places. I am not suggesting, like Auberon Waugh would happily have done, that we should have all these EU guard-buggers shot today, but perhaps Libertarians might agree to deprive them of the Franchise for the rest of their lives in any country or jurisdiction whatsoever where they might flee to (even in Venezuela and Southern Rhodesia) as a public penalty – to bear in front of others - for agreeing to take such jobs in the first place.

God gave Men free will. Men did _not_ have to serve socialists: they were _not_ forced to, nor were these guards, or the MEPs who hid from the camera, etc.

People who love liberty, even libertarians, who love it quite a lot, _must_ in the end, come to terms with what I want to call _the will to inflict defeat_ … People who have deliberately chosen the path of socialism will need “purgatory”, which is to say: to suffer, in life, a kind of moral living death: the sort of things their philosphers have inflicted on countless millions of others, even unto physical-death.

I would not do the physical-death thing: apart from anything, as I do not have the right to inflict it on anyone, then I believe that no Libertarian State (a tautology?) could exercise it on my behalf. It is more important to have all prominent socialist “proselyt-izors” suffer social and interactional humiliation, throughout artificially-prolonged lives, medically if necessary, for the harm they have done.

Libertarian Alliance Showcase Publication no 17: Animals don’t have rights


http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/philn/philn062.pdf

Ingemar Nordin, Animals Don’t Have Rights: A Philosophical Study, 2001, 14pp
ISBN: 1 85637 526 9

mEUre abEUt the EU, and the position of hEUr mEUjesty the quEUn


I came across this letter earlier. it won’t make any difference of course, and i’m sure the writer and his blogosphere all knew that: it would just make them feel a little bit better for a day or two. The time for pointing out in a civilised manner to otherwise-civilised heads of state with no power, and the crazed Stalinist mountebanks which are currently manipulating them, is past.

David Davis

It’s quite good and to the point. Why indeed did the Queen (should she, perhaps, be a quEUn now?) have to assent the Lisbon Treaty into law so fast? Was she told something we were not? Or was a gun put to the head of William’s chances of “succession” (succession to…what?)

From: britsattheirbest@comcast.net
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:15 AM
Subject: LETTER TO THE QUEEN

This is the letter I sent to the Queen yesterday.

Madam,

I was surprised that Your Majesty gave your Royal Assent to the Lisbon treaty bill so hurriedly.

When Your Majesty swore the Coronation Oath in 1953 before God and nation, Your Majesty pledged to defend our laws and customs. This is because Your Majesty is a constitutional monarch and part of that constitution is the Coronation Oath. Consequently Your Majesty has a constitutional duty to defend our laws.

The Lisbon treaty is a very contentious issue. Your Majesty must know from all the letters and postcards and from reading the newspapers that there is informed and passionate opposition to it across the nation. Your Majesty must also be aware that all three political parties promised a referendum on the EU constitution, which is virtually identical to the Lisbon treaty. Furthermore, I am sure that Your Majesty was told that Stuart Wheeler had challenged Your Majesty’s government over not providing the promised referendum, and that High Court judgment had not yet been given.

No matter what Your Majesty may have been told, the Lisbon treaty will take away the last vestiges of Britain’s sovereignty. Many of us had thought that under these circumstances Your Majesty would have taken the Coronation Oath seriously and would have refused assent to the treaty, or at least have delayed giving assent. That is Your Majesty’s constitutional right and duty and would have defended the people’s constitutional liberties. That you have not done so sabotages not only our freedoms but Your Majesty’s right to serve us.

Hitherto I have been a loyal subject and a great admirer of Your
Majesty’s grace and fortitude. Your Majesty’s action has placed me in an untenable position. I cannot be either loyal to or a subject of a

constitutional monarch who has contributed to the destruction of the constitution which she swore to defend, and which is the Sovereign’s source of legitimacy and purpose.

I am sincerely yours,
David Abbott
Kingsmere Meadow
Shawford
Winchester S021 2BL
http://www.britsattheirbest.com/
Copies:
HRH The Prince of Wales
HRH Prince William

EUseful EUstuff frEUm the EU


David Davis

For those of us who don’t read Private Eye, here’s a couple of goodies:-

(Here’s their own site too.)

PRIVATE EYE 1213    27/6-16/7.08
==============================
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+
Number Crunching
47.9% Vote against Mugabe in Zimbabwe elections, which EU described as ‘travesty of democracy’ and supported MDC decision not to stand in second round.
53.4% Vote against Lisbon Treaty in Lisbon Referendum , which EU ‘regrets’ and would like them to run again a second time
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+
EU-phemisms
“Well, of all the EU member states only Ireland voted ‘NO’”
Translation:- “Of all the EU member states only Ireland voted”
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+
BRUSSELS SPROUTS
It seems our MEPs are so busy amassing personal fortunes they have forgotten the reason they were elected in the first place.
Having successfully blocked attempts to publicise their own dodgy expenses estimated at around £140m, they are now hastily trying to wipe out the last vestiges of dissent among their ranks. 
Not only did they vote to ignore the Irish vote on the Lisbon treaty , but they have refused to allow an independent MEP even to talk about it.
Although MEPs are allowed at least one minute to voice their opinion, MEP Ashley Mote was almost drowned out completely as he tried to talk about bullying and intimidation before the Irish vote on 18 June.
Undaunted, Mr Mote strove on with a quote from Edmund Burke, “The people are the masters – not you.  You ignore that – and ignore the rule of law – at your peril”. 
Needless to say, his words fell on deaf ears.  And next month MEPs will vote on the Faustian proposal of Europhile Richard Corbett to wipe out all independent MEPs and minority parties by raising the threshold for political groups in the parliament – that way everyone will agree about everything!

More on compulsory voting: who actually ought to be entitled to vote?


David Davis

Sean Gabb earlier debated with Simon Hughes here, about the matter of state-forced-voting. Some of the commentariat rightly raised the point about, not only the whys and wherefores of compuslory voting, but if all persons ought to be allowed to vote at all, without preconditions.

In my humble opinion, the following ought to be the case:

(1) NO person in receipt of all his received money from the State (either) in the form of “benefits” (or) “salary” can be allowed to vote. (This is no different from MPs “having to declare an interest” in a firm for instance.)

(2) NO person (either) employed directly by the State (in any capacity at all) can vote while so employed.

(3) NO private subcontractor, however libertarian in outlook, may vote, while discharging contracts for the State.

Additionally, it would be right and proper to restrict the franchise to those (in private employment only, of course) who actually own taxable property. NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, and also its true corollary, ought to apply. This stricture would apply only so long as any kind whatever of State taxation is in force. Once all of it is abolished, this limitation on the Franchise can of course be removed, and “everyone can have the vote” again.

I would not favour discriminating about the franchise on the basis of IQ, race, religion or any of those eugenic-hingy-stuff-whatsits like that. Bozos, terrorists, gamma-minus semi-morons, nazis, trotskyists, gramsco-marxians and other forms of mentally-subnormal droids ought to be allowed to vote, exactly like anyone else who owns taxable property for the duration of statehood on earth. I’m not sure that, under such a civilisation, there would be any parties standing that would please them. they might have to invent one: it would be called the Monster Raving Socialist Party, and it would lose its deposit every time.

Poor old Martha Stewart barred from UK (she’s a criminal, you see, thicko!)


David Davis

Can’t see why. All she did was take some good decisions about buying and selling shares. In the meantime, real ones get in. About 15 years ago, I had a Moroccan lodger, called “Toby”. “Toby” was an agreeable, funny, and rather flaky guy. He’d had a run-in with the French authorities (he had somehow acquired a French passport, possibly by “Marriage”) He finally disappeared in Brixton in mysterious circumstances in 1995, but it turned out that he’d got “previous” in France for buying video machines from their equivalent of Dixons on credit, and then not paying for them…and that he’d been doing the same thing here too. It took me months to sort out the credit rating on my address.

Is this worse than “insider trading” – a state-manufactured-crime if it’s anything? Discuss.

Oh, i know – I forgot – silly me! We have to make room for all those convicted terrorists!

Sean Gabb debates with Simon Hughes, about compulsory voting


David Davis

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2008-06-24-vote-sig.mp3

I didn’t listen to it, but i can’t imagine that Sean was in favour of making ballots compulsory. The idea stinks.

More about capital punishment


David Davis

My esteemed LA colleague from Scotland wrote a piece the other day, here. This was, _inter alia_, referring to the issue of capital punishment as ought to be able to be inflicted on unfriendly intruders onto one’s property, none of whom can have one’s interests at heart while they are where they are.

He and I are both iffy about the possibility of the “State” being able to dispense such punichment. History shows that in almost all cases, we are right. This is of course, as everyone will agree, with the absolute exception of Britain and the British Empire and the Anglosphere. Elsewhere, this dispensation has been unsuccessful as the buggers-in-power have never been able to be trusted not to abuse such a delegated right. Or, indeed not to simply usurp that power unilaterally, for various spurious doctrinal Utopian reasons.

However, “polls” show a consistent majority of British people in favour of a return to capital punishment. This is all very well, but they want the wrong solution to the wrong problem, although they think currently that it’s the right solution to the right one.

The problem is that violent and “medium” crimes are out of control because the British socialist state does not want to reduce or control them. It is convenient for it to have a monopoly of force and power of arrest, and for no weapons of any consequence to be held by anyone who cowers in terror, which is most of us – excepting real criminals who don’t mind hurting people in the course of ordinary business.

This is excepting knives, which will be hard to eradicate and ban the possession of, given this British Socialist State’s obsession with forcing us all to eat what my wife calls “unprepared food” – that is to say, stuff that you have to peel and boil (without salt) or even grow, if you are unfortunate enough to be a farmer. Apart from knives, everything else has effetcively been cleared away from all those who most need the gear. I expect that compressed-air-weapons will be next. The number of staged “accidents” involving “boys” is rising.

The State made a contract to propect individuals from harm, crime and loss of property or llife, in return for us surrendering our right to exercise force in the defence of those rights. It has failed, and has signed away our right (delegated to it on our behalf) to kill serious evil-doers. I am therefore not (at this time) in favour of the death penalty returning, unless the reciprocal right to harm or even kill an assailant (vested in an individual) is returned to individuals.

Then, we can properly re-delegate the exercise of that right to a State, in absentia. but we can’t do that, unless we previously have that right ourselves. Discuss!

 

To cut accidents, cut driver confusion! (Obvious, really.)


David Davis

I saw this just now. Frankly, being expected to drive exemplarily well, while also paying heed not only to myriads of road signs, state-commands, barriers, sleeping policemen and other “street furniture” such as cameras which fine you for sneezing while your foot in on the accelerator,, is now a chore and a bore.

I seem to remember that there was a Dutch town which tried the same thing a few years ago. i wonder what happened to that?

“Conspiracies of Rome” … referred to earlier this year on this blog. Positive review by “little man what now?”


http://www.littlemanwhatnow.com/2008/06/book-review-conspiracies-of-rome-by.html.

 

We also spotted it, here.

Capital Punishment


I’m a wee bit ambivalent about capital punishment. I’ve got no problem with a householder using lethal force against a violent intruder. And, like in Texas (I believe), the said householder should be regarded as a hero. Furthermore, I’d suggest a suitable reward like not being liable for Council Tax for ten years.But I’m not so sure about the state using capital punishment. It’s not like the state gets most things right. Perhaps an exception could be made when the accused has been caught in the act by a large number of very reliable witnesses as well as being recorded on CCTV. It’s not like we’re short of cameras…But here in Edinburgh I note that someone has evaded our local form of capital punishment:

A BUILDER of up-market flats has sparked protests by moving the social housing element of its scheme two miles down the road to Leith.Council housing chiefs have been criticised for allowing Dutch developer MaB to build the affordable flats near the dock’s former red light district rather than in Trinity.

Note the weasel words.By “social housing element of its scheme” they really mean the properties that will probably be used to house unsocial people. And what about “affordable”? This is code for affordable to those who vote the right way. The houses in Trinity are affordable. To their buyers.In fact, I’m beginning to think that use of the word “affordable” may justify capital punishment.Along with “appropriate”.This nonsense is even affecting Ayr United’s plan for a new stadium:

A spokeswoman for South Ayrshire Council said the council was “fully supportive” of Ayr United. She said consent had been given for the Heathfield stadium but complications regarding affordable housing provision due to be built on the Somerset Park site had delayed the signing of the legal agreement.

Enough of this.Jane Jacobs explained why the state should be kept quite separate from the market. Let the state catch the criminals and let the market house the people.

Royal Ascot is over but I promised you all a post the other day (I had to earn a living in the meantime.)


David Davis

For the benefit of overseas readers, “Royal Ascot” is a particular race meeting that traditionally takes place in about the third week of June each year, at a course that is owned by the Queen. The land is one of the few pieces of personal property she or her family owns (another is the country house and small estate at Sandringham, Norfolk, purchased by her great-grandfather, Edward VII) and passed to her forebear George I (as Elector of Hannover) from Queen Anne as one of her legatees.

 Although the racecourse at Ascot is a 1711 foundation, the tradition of the Sovereign inviting his/her friends to a private race meeting is younger, only about 100 years old in its present form.

 Racehorse owners and trainers from all over the world now take part as this is a very well-broadcast and prestigious meeting. As a visitor, you can attend in one of three capacities: firstly, the Silver Ring is fully open to the public, and the composition of those present is “democratic” in the extreme. Then, there is Tatersall’s or “members” as per any other racecourse, where you might go to (a) get a better view of the actual racing, and (b) to talk “horse” more seriously and perhaps make more money rather than consume so much alcohol while seductively underdressed (see the Silver Ring for that.) Then finally there is, only here, the Royal Enclosure.

 Traditionally, the Queen attends all four days, and before the start of each day’s racing at about 1.30 pm, arrives by horse-drawn carriage with her personal guests of the day, from Windsor Castle, parading down the straight of the course in view of all spectators.

 The Royal Enclosure is open only to those who have attended it before. You can’t just turn up, pay up and attend: if you desire to be there, then you have to be proposed by someone else who knows you well, and who has attended at least four times previously in his/her own capacity. A sponsor is limited ordinarily to proposing a maximum of two persons per year.

 It is indeed remarkably difficult, if not impossible, to persuade a mere acquaintance with the right credentials to do sponsor one, on the spur of the moment, say at a city drinks party. The system which therefore controls who has actual physical access to the Sovereign in this recreational environment is therefore a prime example of a spontaneous and self-regulating institution, involving some private property (that is to say, the sovereign’s in this case) which all libertarians ought to be pleased with.

 Libertarians will also be pleased that divorced persons have been able to be present in the Royal Enclosure for some time, since HM the Queen Mother chose not to exercise her veto on this matter any more, about 1980.

 Furthermore, it is entirely possible for a deserving or otherwise-clever-person, who does the right things (such as being a supermodel, or pop star, or merely a cleverish middle-class and sociable individual – of either sex – with a good education and non-stalinist-social-graces) to get into the Enclosure. This is a positive vindication of the sheer level of mobility that is present in liberal English society, even today, under Gordon Brown and a level of state fascism not seen since, er, I can’t remember when.

 So actually, Royal Ascot, far from being a preserve of “toffs” in top hats (an anachronistic  pejorative only really used in anger these days by Stalinists and Nazis and other pre-capitalist-barbarians with no manners or socialisation-skills) is actually highly democratic, libertarian and inclusive. You can even get to rub shoulders with people like the Queen Mother (until 2002) and so on. I can’t think of any other race meetings where this is so clearly the case, and you have to go to F1 meetings to get the same cosmopolitan flavour.

 

 

There’s something about politicians


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”.

 

Sixty Years On – Who Cares for the NHS? Institute of Economic Affairs publishes a ‘must read’ book by Helen Evans of Nurses for Reform


Dr Tim Evans

The Institute of Economic Affairs has today published an excellent new book by Dr. Helen Evans – the director of Nurses for Reform called;

‘Sixty Years On: Who Cares for the NHS?’ this excellent work lays bare the private views of a large number of the country’s most senior health politicians, advisers, academics and journalists.

It makes clear that when speaking off the record a substantial majority of Britain’s health elite no longer believe in nationalised healthcare. Instead, a huge majority accept a much greater role for markets and private sector solutions.

While the NHS is now charged as being ‘inequitable’, ‘two tier’, ‘rationed’ and ‘costly’, a majority also believe it is far too ‘monopolistic’ and want to see a much greater role for private funding. Examining private funding versus state, an overwhelming majority of respondents surveyed (65%) believe that because people’s healthcare is unpredictable, some of its costs will have to be covered by private monies: ‘government arrangements such as taxation cannot do it all’

This is a must read for libertarians because it shows that many opinion formers are much more aware of the in-built failures of the NHS than might otherwise be imagined. It makes clear that as people’s expectations outpace what the state can deliver, behind the scenes, opinion formers are starting to seriously consider radical market alternatives.

Royal Ascot


David Davis

A think-piece about this quintessentially English institution, and its significance, will have to wait until Sunday 22nd June, as the Domestic Directorate (household affairs division) will not allow me to finish it tonight.

Sean Gabb Video on Ancient Financial Markets


Here is a Great Slab of Text from Sean


Market Behaviour in the Ancient World:
An Overview of the Debate
Sean Gabb

This is the text of a speech given to the
Third Conference of the Property and Freedom Society
held in Bodrum, Turkey, in May 2008

 There is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some Philosophers have not maintained for Truth.[1]

Introductory

It is a settled assumption among most libertarians, classical liberals and English-speaking conservatives that market behaviour is part of human nature. Whether or not we care to make a point of it, we stand with John Locke and, through him, with the men of the Middle Ages and with the Greeks and Romans, in trying to derive what is right from what is natural.[2]

We believe that there is a natural inclination to promote our own welfare and that of our loved ones. We further believe that, given reasonable security of life and property, this inclination will lead to the emergence of a system of voluntary exchange. That is, we will seek to trade the things we have or can create for other things that we regard as of greater value to ourselves.

In doing so, ratios of exchange that we call prices will be revealed. These prices, in turn, will provide general information about what should be produced, in what ways and in what quantities. Furthermore, changes in price will provide information about changes in preferences or in abilities to produce. Custom will set aside one or more goods to serve as money. Institutions will emerge that channel savings into productive investment, that spread risk, and that moderate expected fluctuations in price. Laws will develop to police the transfer of property and performance of contracts.

We believe that market economies emerge spontaneously and are self-regulating and self-sustaining. This is not to say that all market societies will be the same. Their exact shape will depend on the intellectual and moral qualities of the individuals who comprise them. They will reflect pre-existing patterns of trust and honesty and the general cultural and religious values of a people. They will also be more or less distorted by government intervention.[3] But we do say that market behaviour is natural – that, in the absence of extreme government coercion, or extreme disorder, buying and selling to increase our own welfare is what we naturally do.[4]

The Power of the Naturalist Apologia

It is not necessary for us to believe this. We can take a purely utilitarian view of social and economic arrangements. We can ignore whether markets are natural, and only ask whether they maximises human wellbeing. But, as said, we do tend to believe it. And it is perhaps the most powerful long range weapon in the libertarian and conservative arsenal. This is because our whole civilisation stands within the natural law tradition. For all it is ignored where not denigrated, this tradition shapes the assumptions of common debate. Show that marriage and the family are “natural” institutions, and they are much harder to attack. Let it be shown that slavery is “unnatural”, and its defence must rest on purported arguments of utility or on cultural acceptance.

In our civilisation, therefore, it is a very strong defence of market behaviour to say that “capitalism is what people do: socialism is what governments do”.

Not surprisingly, this naturalistic claim has been subject for at least the past two centuries to systematic and continuous attack. For much of this time, the strongest attack has been in the counterclaim that, whether natural or not, markets lead to avoidable inequality and to economic instability. More recently, we have been told that they damage the overall environment of our planet.

These kinds of attack have been refuted or are in the process of being refuted. This does not prevent them from being endlessly repeated in different forms. But I will say no more about them. I will instead discuss the more subtle form of attack, which is to deny that market behaviour is natural – to claim that it is a product of specific circumstances, which have not always existed and need not always exist.

Relativism

The most notable philosopher in this tradition was, of course, Karl Marx. He argued that the values of any civilisation – prior, at least, to the socialist culmination – are determined by its mode of production. He says:

In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations. The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill society with the industrial capitalist. The same men who establish their social relations in conformity with the material productivity, produce also principles, ideas, and categories, in conformity with their social relations. Thus the ideas, these categories, are as little eternal as the relations they express. They are historical and transitory products.[5]

This is a radically subversive claim. It allows any institution, any custom, any set of beliefs – no matter how obviously right or true they might appear – to be dismissed as “ideology” or “false consciousness”. Let this claim be accepted, and our own claims about the naturalness of market behaviour fall to the ground.

With the remaining exception of North Korea and perhaps too of Cuba, the Marxist political experiments of the twentieth century have all long since collapsed, and, bearing in mind their known record of mass-murder and impoverishment, there are few who will admit to regretting their collapse. But Marxism as a critique of the existing order and as a theory of social change, remains alive and well in the universities. In its reformulation by Gramsci, as further developed by Althusser and Foucault among others, it may be called the dominant ideology of our age. Its hold on the English-speaking world has been noted by both conservative and libertarian writers, and is subject to an increasingly lively debate.[6]

What I wish, however, to discuss in this speech is the rather less well noted hold this line of attack has acquired in the field of classical studies. Though Marx was himself a classicist of some distinction,[7] his followers have said little of interest about the ancient world. His influence, though profound, has been indirect. It passes, with much alteration, through the work of Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) and Moses Finley (1912-86).

The Polanyi Attack

Karl Polanyi was born to a prosperous Jewish family in Budapest. After studying Law and Philosophy, he was called to the Bar in 1912. He served as a cavalry officer in the Austro-Hungarian army during the Great War, and was invalided out after fighting on the Russian Front. After the War, he supported the first republican government in Hungary. When this was toppled by the Communist revolution, he fled to Vienna. Here, he edited Der Oesterreichische Volkswirt, a socialistic newspaper, between 1924 and 1933. He then moved first to England, and then to America, where he taught and where published his most important works – some posthumously. These are:

  • The Great Transformation (1944)
  • Trade and Markets in the Early Empires (1957, edited and with contributions by others)
  • Dahomey and the Slave Trade (1966)
  • Primitive, Archaic, and Modern Economics: Essays of Karl Polanyi (1968).
  • The Livelihood of Man (Studies in social discontinuity) (1977)

There are two essential arguments in this body of work. The first is the familiar socialist claim of the 1930s and after, that the Great Depression was a systemic and universal market failure from which the market economies of the world would never recover. The second is that the market economy itself was only a recent and passing phase in human development. He argues that

[t]he concept of the market economy was born with the French Physiocrats simultaneously with the emergence of the institution of the market as a supply-demand-price mechanism…. This was, in the course of time, followed by the revolutionary innovations of markets with fluctuating prices for the factors of production, labor and land.[8]

That is, the patterns of market behaviour, which economists from Adam Smith onwards have regarded as natural to man, are barely as old as the classical economics that seeks to analyse them. For the rest of history, he says,

no economy has ever existed that, even in principle, was controlled by markets…. Gain and profit made on exchange never [before the nineteenth century] played an important part in human economy.[9]

In place of the market, he argues,

[t]he outstanding discovery of recent historical and anthropological research is that man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships. He does not act so as to safeguard his individual interests in the possession of material goods; he acts as to safeguard his actual standing, his social claims, his social assets. He values material goods only in so far as they serve this end.[10]

This is not to say that there was no market activity before the end of the eighteenth century. There have been production and trade and money and prices throughout recorded history. People have often been ruthless in their pursuit of self-interest and the interests of their friends and relatives. But market behaviour as we would recognise it was always peripheral to the main organising principles of society.[11] These principles were Reciprocity and Redistribution.

The meaning of reciprocity is that, in pre-modern societies, people specialised in the production of goods and services that they were best able to provide, but did not do so with any thought of trading these for money with which to buy other things. They did this instead to share with those around them. Those around them did the same. The outcome was societies in which prices might exist, but in which prices gave no indication of what and how to produce.

Redistribution takes place when the authorities take possession of harvests or other social gains and share these among the people according to their needs or status. Once more, this left no room for competitive pricing of goods in order to maximise individual welfare. The function of prices was to provide “[s]imple quantitative equivalences for grain, oil, wine, and wool [to] allow the staples to be substituted for each other”.[12]

In evidence for these claims, Polanyi appeals repeatedly to the civilisations of the ancient Near East – Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt and so forth. Take, for example:

Even in highly stratified archaic societies such as Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, the Hittites or Egypt, storage economies prevailed; and, in spite of a large-scale use of money as a standard, its use for indirect exchange was negligible. This may, incidentally, explain the complete absence of coins in the great civilizations of Babylonia and Egypt.[13]

There was, he does not deny, considerable foreign trade in these civilisations. Very little timber was grown in Egypt, and so this had to be imported. There was much export of luxury goods from Egypt and of corn. But this trade, according to Polanyi, was always directed through “ports of trade”. Here, prices were set by treaty, not by supply and demand; and care was taken to insulate these ports from the main territories that they served. Within these territories, no external influences were permitted on either prices or production decisions.

Polanyi dismisses the work of earlier economic historians – Henri Pirenne,[14] for example, or Michael Rostovtzeff[15]as biased by “economic solipsism”.[16] These did believe that ancient civilisations were based on market behaviour. Their claims were largely worthless, however, because they brought to their examination of the evidence the assumptions of modern economics. They supposed no discontinuity between earlier civilisations and our own. And because they never doubted that it must have existed, they found evidence for market behaviour where none in fact did exist.

Moses Finley

Though not a disciple – he was influenced at least as much by Max Weber[17]Moses Finley carries this sort of analysis into the civilisation of classical antiquity. Educated at Columbia University in New York, he became known as a Communist sympathiser. He moved to England, and became, among much else, Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge.

In his most important work, The Ancient Economy, published in 1973, he argues that considerations of status and civic prestige determined the allocation of resources among the Greeks and Romans, and that modern economic analysis is either useless or misleading as a guide to their behaviour.

Together with Polanyi, he did not deny that the men of classical antiquity produced and consumed goods, engaged in various forms of exchange including long-distance trade, and developed monetary systems employing coinage. But all economic activity took place within a culture that stressed the welfare of the community over that of the individual. Economic activity took place in so far as people had to provide income for themselves and their families. The main source of income was from the land, and most farming was for immediate consumption, not for the market.

He says:

[T]he prevailing mentality [in the ancient world] was acquisitive but not productive.[18]

Indeed, the Greeks in particular had a low opinion of any economic activity that was not connected with farm management and getting goods and services for immediate consumption. They despised commerce and industry. If there was ever a surplus, its purpose was not to be invested in further production, but to make time for the leisure necessary for participation in the political and military affairs of their city states.

These states were not centres of commerce and industry. Much rather, they were places for people to lead pleasant lives, or from which a territory was governed. They had market places, but were not central points for extended market behaviour. Unlike modern cities, they were parasitic on the agricultural territories, consuming much and contributing nothing in the tangible sense.

Moreover, their specific motivations aside, Finley argues that the Greeks and Romans could not have been rational economic agents in the modern sense. Even had they wanted to be other than they were, they lacked the conceptual and organisational tools without which a market economy is impossible. They had no idea of how to determine what was economically rational. They were unable to distinguish between capital and income. They were unable to measure profitability. They had no functioning markets for land or capital. Savings were mostly coin hoards. Most lending was for consumption by the rich or to exploit poor farmers pressed by the tax gatherers. Most labour, outside the smallholding, was performed by slaves; and, as with other capital goods, there was no way of calculating what, if any, net contribution they made to total output.

In support of these claims, he notes that the title of Marshall’s Principles of Economics is made up of words derives from Latin and Greek, but cannot itself be translated into either language. He continues:

Neither can the basic terms, such as labour, production, capital, investment, income, circulation, demand, entrepreneur, utility, at least not in the abstract form required for economic analysis. In stressing this I am [not suggesting] that the ancients were like Moliere’s M. Jourdain, who spoke prose without knowing it, but that they in fact lacked the concept of an ‘economy’, and, a fortiori, that they lacked the conceptual elements which together constitute what we call ‘the economy’. Of course, they farmed, traded, manufactured, mined, taxed, coined, deposited and loaned money, made profits or failed in their enterprises. And they discussed these activities in their talk and their writings. What they did not do, however, was to combine these particular activities conceptually into a unit, in Parsonian terms into ‘a differentiated sub-system of society’
 

It then becomes essential to ask whether this is merely accidental and intellectual failing, a problem in the history of ideas in the narrow sense, or whether it is the consequence of the structure of ancient society.[19]

And so they lacked the concepts of economic analysis because they had no economy that could be analysed. Therefore, he says,

no modern investment model is applicable to the preferences of the men who dominated ancient society.[20]

Who Controls the Present Controls the Past….

The debate over the Polanyi and Finley view of ancient economic organisation – or perhaps over the Marx and Weber and Polanyi and Finley views – does not seem to have been followed with much attention by libertarians and conservatives. It is worth following, even so. Beyond a very basic level, history is as much about the present as the past. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a glorious work of pure history. But it is also an account of what he saw as the long night of reason – and its attendant nightmares – between the golden age of the Antonines and his own age, and an anxious search for reassurance that there would be no second sleep. Macaulay’s History of England is in part an attempt to legitimise the Victorian settlement as the culmination of historical processes that had their local origin in the 1680s. How readers can be brought to think about the past will insensibly affect how they see the present.

Now, if it could be shown that the Aztecs had no concept of market behaviour, and that they were motivated by considerations wholly different from our own, it would be of little consequence. Everything we know about Aztec civilisation raises doubts whether it was worth calling a civilisation. The Aztecs had no writing and were ignorant of metal working and wheeled transport. Their cultural values were expressed in ritual torture, mass human sacrifice and cannibalism. The Mayans and Toltecs and all the others of their sort seem to have been no better. We may deplore the brutality of the Spanish conquest, but still conclude that it was, on balance, a blessing for the peoples of South America.

But it is different with the empires of the ancient Near East – and very different with the Greeks and Romans. These latter races are our intellectual fathers. Everything we ourselves have achieved is built on the foundations they laid. They gave us the names of all our arts and sciences. Eighty per cent of the English vocabulary is derived from Greek or Latin. Knowledge of these languages may be less widely diffused than it was until a century ago. But the general prestige of the Greeks and Romans is barely less now than it was among the mediaeval pilgrims who gaped at the crumbling remains of the Colisseum and the Baths of Diocletian. If it can be shown that they were wholly unlike us in their economic motivations, that would surely place in doubt the notion that market behaviour is natural to us.

And if few people outside the relevant university departments have read Polanyi and Finley, their conclusions are transmitted through popular histories and newspaper articles and television documentaries, and through large numbers of students who, however superficially, are exposed to these conclusions.

Moreover, Polanyi has had an often pervasive influence in social science departments throughout the United States, and on certain kinds of archaeology. According to Peter Sawyer,

Polanyi’s analysis… has been enthusiastically accepted by some archaeologists who think it provides a basis for reconstructing social, economic and even political phenomena in periods for which only material evidence survives.[21]

We need, therefore, to know about these writers, and – if not quite so much as in the case of the climate change propagandists – to know in what manner their claims are best refuted.

It is not enough to insist that market behaviour is indeed natural, and that all evidence from the past must be interpreted in this light. The reply, as said, will be that we are guilty of “false consciousness” or of “economic solipsism”. Just because we cannot imagine a viable civilisation without market behaviour does not mean that such has not existed.

Ad Hominem Replies Rejected

Nor is it enough to show that Polanyi at least had an obvious polemical interest in making his claims about pre-modern economic behaviour. For all his differences with the Bela Kun Government, he was a socialist, and he was convinced that our future development should be in the direction of a gentler, wealthier repeat of the reciprocity and redistribution that he believed he saw in the past.[22]

His wife says of him:

It is given to the best among men somewhere to let down the roots of a sacred hate in the course of their lives. This happened to Polanyi in England. At later stages, in the United States it merely grew in intensity. His hatred was directed against market society and its effects, which divested man of his human shape.[23]

Speaking more bluntly himself, he says:

In order to comprehend German fascism, we must revert to Ricardian England.[24]

But we would all, I hope, agree, that a man’s motive for putting an argument has no bearing on the validity of that argument. Let us suppose letters of Ludwig von Mises were discovered, in which he claims that the text of Human Action was dictated to him by the Archangel Gabriel – would this invalidate his economics? I think not. Nor do Polanyi’s socialist beliefs in themselves invalidate his answer to the question:

What is to be done, though, when it appears that some economies have operated on altogether different principles, showing a widespread use of money, and far-flung trading activities, yet no evidence of markets or gain made on buying and selling? It is then that we must re-examine our notions of the economy.[25]

Problems of Definition

A better approach is to ask what Polanyi and Finley really mean by a market economy. They were both socialists. With few exceptions, socialists are better at denouncing than understanding market behaviour. Not surprisingly, their definitions are eccentric.

For both of them, it seems, a market economy exists in any society where everything is bought or sold. Polanyi comes close to this caricature view of markets:

All transactions are turned into money transactions…. All income must derive from the sale of something or other, and whatever the actual source of a person’s income, it must be regarded as resulting from sale….[26]

Let there be – or appear to be – a society in which there is evidence of reciprocity and redistribution, and it becomes, by definition, not a market economy. Let other evidence be shown in the same place for market activity, and it can be dismissed as “peripheral”.

If this is a fair reading of at least Polanyi, we can deny that there has ever been a market economy. In modern England and America, for example, probably most services are not exchanged by way for formal market transactions. And I am not referring to the very large amount of state activity. My wife does not expect payment for ironing my shirts. I do not expect payment for changing my daughter’s soiled nappies. Friends do favours for each other. People give to charities. Even many goods are exchanged within large business organisations at prices that are administratively convenient rather than determined by demand and supply.

Even so, just because it is grossly overstated, or made to rest in part on false definitions, does not in itself invalidate a case. The claim is that market behaviour was alien to earlier civilisations than our own. The only proper way to test the truth of this claim is to look at the evidence alleged in its support.

The Appeal to Evidence

Here, we reach a notorious problem. If someone were to claim that market behaviour was peripheral to life in eighteenth century England, it would be easy to laugh at him. This is not to say the claim has not been or will not be made. But if it were made, it could be refuted with a mass of government and private statistics, of newspaper reports and law reports, of high literature, of sermons, speeches and letters, of descriptive and analytical surveys, of biographies and novels, and of physical remains. Ludicrous claims can always be based on selective and misread evidence. In this case, the weight of the evidence must be decisive.

If we turn, however, to the ancient world, the evidence must almost always be indecisive. Very few ancient writings have survived. Obviously, two thousand years are a long time; and ancient civilisation did collapse. Add to this that far fewer documents relating to economic matters were produced or could be preserved than has been the case with us. There was no printing: everything had to be copied by hand. The best writing material was papyrus, which was both expensive and fragile. The normal writing materials for accounts and administrative documents were waxed tablets, which were scraped and reused, and thin wooden sheets, which were thrown away once they had served their purpose.

The literary remains of Greece and Rome which have come down to us through generations of copying and recopying are the products of a rather snobbish culture, and contain little direct information about economic behaviour. The great writers, as Finley observes, do seem to have lacked the conceptual framework for intelligent discussion of finance and commerce. Even otherwise, these were matters they regarded as beneath the notice of history. Thucydides, for example, gives full discussion to the political causes of the Peloponnesian War, but says nothing of what we know from the archaeological evidence was the complete Athenian displacement of Corinth in the pottery markets of the Western Mediterranean world.

During the past century or so, the rubbish dumps of Egypt have revealed a mass of the everyday documentation we have for no other area of the ancient world. There are tax records, and commercial correspondence, and administrative commands, among much else. The problem here is that Egypt was always an exception. From its earliest history, its geography opened it to capture and exploitation by rent-seeking elites. The Pharaohs were worshipped as gods and given whatever they demanded. The Ptolemies organised the country into one gigantic state enterprise and used the proceeds for making a big noise in the Hellenistic world. The Roman Emperors kept up the monopolies and requisitions, treating Egypt as their personal property, and so far as possible isolating it from the rest of the Empire. The documentary evidence, therefore, we have from Egypt may not be representative of the ancient world as a whole.

But all this, plus the material archaeology, is all we have. And if we want to know anything for economic motivations and behaviour, we must press the evidence we have as hard as we can. The history of the ancient world is, in many important respects like a mosaic that has been broken up with many of its tiles thrown away. The whole must be reconstructed from the parts remaining. It is a difficult enterprise, but it can be attempted.

If there is little direct, there is much indirect evidence. This is scattered through the surviving body of ancient literature. It consists of casual remarks, illustrations to arguments, even comments that are in themselves foolish. It is a question of looking for this, and of knowing how to use it.

An interesting example of how evidence can be extracted and used comes not from our own ancient world, but from pre-Columbian South America. Deirdre McCloskey has looked at the geographical distribution of Mayan obsidian tools. She notes that, the farther from the sources of their obsidian, the smaller was the ratio of blade weight to cutting length. She comments:

By taking more care with more costly obsidian the blade makers were earning better profits; as they did by taking less care with less costly obsidian.[27]

What we have here, then, is evidence that illiterate, stone age toolmakers were at least as conscious of opportunity cost as any Victorian mill owner, and rather more so than the average socialist planner of the next century. So long, of course, as this is evidence – this is, so long as the tools are distributed as claimed – we have empirical reason for doubting the Polanyi claim that,

previously to our time no economy has ever existed that, even in principle, was controlled by markets…. Gain and profit made on exchange never [before the nineteenth century] played an important part in human economy.[28]

But what of our own ancient world? What of all the indirect evidence that can be extracted from the surviving writings of many civilisations over about three thousand years? What can this show us about economic motivations?

Morris Silver: An Economist among Classicists

An answer is given by Morris Silver, who is now Professor Emeritus of Economics at City College of the City University of New York. He appears to know something of Greek and Latin, though nothing of the ancient semitic languages. However, he does understand economics, which is more than can be said for most other contributors to this debate. Using the most authoritative translations, he has extracted and interpreted what may be a sufficient amount of the indirect evidence.

The Abstract from his first main contribution to the debate reads:

The essay challenges Karl Polanyi’s position – that ancient Near Eastern economies knew state and temple administration but not price-making markets. It is found that the prerequisite functions of a market economy listed by Polanyi – the allocation of consumer goods, land, and labor through the supply-demand-price mechanism; risk-bearing organised as a market function; and loan markets – were all present in the ancient Near East. Although Polanyi criticised stage theories with their ‘predilections for continuity’ he imposed his own version of continuity on history in lumping together many thousands of years under the rubric of ‘archaic society’. This perspective prevented him from recognising that ancient Mesopotamia experienced lengthy and significant periods of unfettered market activity as well as periods of pervasive state regulation.[29]

The next thirty four pages are a step by step demolition of Polanyi. Professor Silver organises the Polanyi case into fourteen assertions, expressed as quotations from his works. He refutes each in turn, thereby establishing his own case that people in the distant past had exactly the same motivations as we have, and responded with frameworks of customs and institutions quite similar to our own. Anyone who comes to his work from reading Polanyi and his various disciples will appreciate just how deadly – and often how funny – his demolition is. He established beyond reasonable doubt that Polanyi and his followers either knew nothing about the ancient Near East or cared nothing about the truth.

To take just one example of what the evidence really suggests, there is this letter of about 2000 BC from an Egyptian farmer called Hekanakht. He is writing to his family. The letter says:

You shall only give this food to my people as long as they are working. Take care! Hoe all my fields, sieve (the seed grain…) with the sieve and hack with your noses in the work. If they are energetic, you will be thanked, so that I will not have to scold you…. Be energetic! You are eating my food…. Now I have caused 24 deben of copper for the rent of land to be brought to you by Sihathor. Now have 20 (?) arouras of land cultivated for us in the Perhaa beside Hau the Younger by (paying) the rent with copper, clothes, northern barley or any[thing], but only after you have sold the oil and everything else there….[30]

It could be that ancient Egypt was a place without significant market activity, and where the pursuit of profit through trade was unknown. If so, no one appears to have told Hekanakht.

Professor Silver is mostly interested in the semitic civilisations of the ancient Near East. He says little in his main works about the Greeks and Romans. What he does say is usually to express his contempt for Moses Finley. And it does appear to be a justified contempt. Finley may have been a good writer and a competent classical scholar in the technical sense. His claims about economic motivation, even so, are about as worthless as those of Polanyi, but never made with the same boldness and openness to refutation.

I have been able to find only one attempted answer to Professor Silver. This is a seven page article from 1985 by Anne Mayhew, Walter C. Neale and David W. Tandy. These writers claim that Polanyi has been misunderstood, that the translations used are the wrong ones, and that Professor Silver is guilty of the usual “economic solipsism”.[31] Professor Silver’s response fills only two pages, and does no more than point out that his critics have not understood him, and repeat the arguments that seem to have caused most difficulty to his critics.[32]

The Uniformity of Human Nature

And this should be it. The argument should have been settled in 1983. We can argue over the meaning of words, and cast doubt on a writer’s impartiality. But there is no reason for doing so. During the past few hundred years, economic theory has done well enough to analyse our actions, and in a sense to predict them. If it can be shown that the same economic theory can be applied without absurdity to people in the distant past, the Polanyi and Finley arguments collapse. The main difference between people now and in the distant past is that our market institutions enable a pace of material improvement that seems to be unique in human history. Because of that, we are richer. Our motivations, though, are unchanged.

Finley is mostly right when he says that the Greek and Roman intellectuals had no concept of market behaviour. But this is not because they lived in a world of reciprocity and redistribution. It is instead because they were members of ruling classes that were more than usually parasitic. Wealth for them was something to be seized from the merchants and workers and peasants and spent on wars of aggression. When they eventually found ways to destroy wealth faster than their victims could create it, their civilisation collapsed.

There is nothing original in this point, however. It was clear to J.B. Say over two centuries ago:

The literature of the ancients, their legislation, their public treaties, and their administration of the conquered provinces, all proclaim their utter ignorance of the nature and origin of wealth, of the manner in which it is distributed, and of the effects of its consumption.[33]

But if ancient ruling classes were parasitic, the civilisation of classical antiquity did last for well over a thousand years. This length of parasitism requires a fairly sturdy host. While there is no direct evidence for the nature and extent of market behaviour among the Greeks and Romans, there is some indirect evidence of considerable sophistication.

Forward Contracts: Thales of Miletus

Let us take the case of Thales of Miletus (c620-c546 BC), one of the earliest of Greek philosophers. This story is told of him by Aristotle:

There is the anecdote of Thales the Milesian and his financial device, which involves a principle of universal application, but is attributed to him on account of his reputation for wisdom. He was reproached for his poverty, which was supposed to show that philosophy was of no use. According to the story, he knew by his skill in the stars while it was yet winter that there would be a great harvest of olives in the coming year; so, having a little money, he gave deposits for the use of all the olive-presses in Chios and Miletus, which he hired at a low price because no one bid against him. When the harvest-time came, and many were wanted all at once and of a sudden, he let them out at any rate which he pleased, and made a quantity of money.[34]

Whether this is a true story about Thales, or even of market conditions in Miletus, is of no importance. What is important is the unvoiced background to the story. It cannot easily be taken as an instance of the predatory capitalism that Polanyi and Finley are willing to grant to the ancient world. Thales decided that there would be a good olive crop. He did not buy olive presses. Instead, he took out options on them. He and those who dealt with him, seem to have understood the nature of the deal made. When it turned out that Thales had predicted right, he seems to have had no trouble with enforcing his contracts. This assumes a familiarity of the courts with such contracts, and a commercial state of mind either among the peoples of Chios and Miletus, or – assuming the story is apocryphal – among Artistotle’s Athenian audience.

Many of the Greek city states were considerable trading centres. They lack any detailed commercial histories. Certainly, no ancient writer thought it consistent with the dignity of history to describe their economic structure and the causes of their commercial greatness. But this casual anecdote must stand in place of the unwritten histories as evidence for thriving and sophisticated financial economies.

Integrated Markets in Capital and Land: The Financial Crisis of 33 AD

Let us next take a brief but important notice in Tacitus, for the year 33 AD:

Meanwhile a powerful host of accusers fell with sudden fury on the class which systematically increased its wealth by usury in defiance of a law passed by Caesar the Dictator defining the terms of lending money and of holding estates in Italy, a law long obsolete because the public good is sacrificed to private interest. The curse of usury was indeed of old standing in Rome and a most frequent cause of sedition and discord, and it was therefore repressed even in the early days of a less corrupt morality. First, the Twelve Tables prohibited any one from exacting more than 10 per cent., when, previously, the rate had depended on the caprice of the wealthy. Subsequently, by a bill brought in by the tribunes, interest was reduced to half that amount, and finally compound interest was wholly forbidden. A check too was put by several enactments of the people on evasions which, though continually put down, still, through strange artifices, reappeared. On this occasion, however, Gracchus, the praetor, to whose jurisdiction the inquiry had fallen, felt himself compelled by the number of persons endangered to refer the matter to the Senate. In their dismay the senators, not one of whom was free from similar guilt, threw themselves on the emperor’s indulgence. He yielded, and a year and six months were granted, within which every one was to settle his private accounts conformably to the requirements of the law.
 

Hence followed a scarcity of money, a great shock being given to all credit, the current coin too, in consequence of the conviction of so many persons and the sale of their property, being locked up in the imperial treasury or the public exchequer. To meet this, the Senate had directed that every creditor should have two-thirds his capital secured on estates in Italy. Creditors however were suing for payment in full, and it was not respectable for persons when sued to break faith. So, at first, there were clamorous meetings and importunate entreaties; then noisy applications to the praetor’s court. And the very device intended as a remedy, the sale and purchase of estates, proved the contrary, as the usurers had hoarded up all their money for buying land. The facilities for selling were followed by a fall of prices, and the deeper a man was in debt, the more reluctantly did he part with his property, and many were utterly ruined. The destruction of private wealth precipitated the fall of rank and reputation, till at last the emperor interposed his aid by distributing throughout the banks a hundred million sesterces, and allowing freedom to borrow without interest for three years, provided the borrower gave security to the State in land to double the amount. Credit was thus restored, and gradually private lenders were found. The purchase too of estates was not carried out according to the letter of the Senate’s decree, rigour at the outset, as usual with such matters, becoming negligence in the end.[35]

So far as we can understand what was happening, the passage largely explains itself. An old law restricting the rate of interest is suddenly revived. This invalidates a large class of loans above the official rate made on short term but renewable contracts. An indulgence is given of eighteen months, during which the now illegal loans are systematically called in. The result is a liquidity crisis in which land prices collapse. The crisis is dealt with by emergency lending by the Emperor.

There is nothing unusual about this sort of crisis. We are passing through something similar at the moment. What Tacitus is showing is a developed economy with much integration of capital and land markets. We can see how easily land can be sold, and how responsive prices are to the forces of demand and supply. Again, special pleading can be brought to bear on the story to try and minimise the extent of market behaviour. But, so far as this crisis can be analysed in terms of standard economic theory, the simplest explanation is to conclude that the economy of the early Roman Empire was, in its essentials, like that of the modern world.

Conclusion

I repeat: the argument should have been settled in 1983, with the publication of the first article by Professor Silver. Perhaps it should never have been suffered to begin. Sadly, though, there is a bitter and unending hatred among the intellectual classes of our civilisation for market behaviour that will be manifested in any subject. The only answer is continual policing and continual refutation.

Our duty, as libertarian and conservative intellectuals, is to be aware of the relevant debates outside our own subjects, and to join in the applause for those who stand subjectively or objectively on the side of truth.

Notes

[1] Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Part III, Chapter VI.

[2] “To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.” (John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government (1689), Chapter II, Section 4)

[3] “The RHINE flows north, the RHONE south; yet both spring from the same mountain, and are also actuated, in their opposite directions, by the same principle of gravity. The different inclinations of the ground on which they run, cause all the difference of their courses.” (David Hume, A Dialogue (1748?), published in Enquiries Concerning the Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals, Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition 1902, p.333)

[4] “THIS division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.” (Adam Smith, An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), Book I, Chapter 2).

[5] Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (1847), Chapter Two: “The Metaphysics of Political Economy” – available on-line at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/ch02.htm  (checked May 2008).

[6] See, for example: Paul Gottfried, After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1999; The Strange Death of Marxism: The European Left in the New Millennium, University of Missouri Press, Missouri, 2005; Sean Gabb, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, Hampden Press, London, 2007. By complete chance, copies of this last, and very significant, book are available for sale at the back of this room.

[7] He wrote his doctoral thesis on The Difference between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature (1841). It can be found on-line at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1841/dr-theses/index.htm – checked May 2008.

[8] Karl Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, Academic Press, New York, 1977, pp 6-7.

[9] Karl Polanyi et al (eds) Trade and Market in the Early Empires: Economics in History and Theory, The Free Press, Glencoe, Illinois, 1957, p.43.

[10] Karl Polanyi, Origins of Our Time: The Great Transformation (British edition of The Great Transformation), Victor Gollancz, London, 1945, p.53.

[11] Ibid, pp 41-50.

[12] Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, p.61.

[13] Ibid, pp 119-20.

[14] See, for example, Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne, Allen and Unwin, London, 1935.

[15] See, for example, Michael Rostovtzeff, Historv of the Ancient World, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1926; Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1926; Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World,. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1941.

[16] Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, pp 14-15.

[17] Hinnerk Bruhns, “Max Weber’s ‘Basic Concepts’ in the Context of his Studies in Economic History”, Max Weber Studies (2006 Bhft I) 39-69.

[18] Moses Finley, The Ancient Economy, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, (1973) 2nd edition 1985, p.23.

[19] Ibid, p.21.

[20] Ibid, p.144.

[21] Peter Sawyer, “Early Fairs and Markets in England and Scandinavia”, in B.L. Anderson and AJ.H. Latham, (eds), The Market in History, Croom Helm, London, 1986, p.61.

[22] He says: “In the receding rule of the market in the modern world, shapes reminiscent of the economic organisation of earlier times make their appearance. Of course we stand firmly committed to the progress and freedoms which are the promise of modern society. But a purposeful view of the past may help us to meet our present over concern with economic matters and to achieve a level of human integration, that comprises the economy, without being absorbed in it.” (Polanyi, Trade and Market, ‘Introductory Note’, p.xviii).

[23] Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man, “Introduction”, p.xvi.

[24] Polanyi, The Great Transformation, p.30.

[25] Polanyi, Trade and Market, p.xvii.

[26] Polanyi, The Great Transformation, p.41.

[27] Deirdre N. McCloskey, “Polanyi was Right, and Wrong”, Eastern Economic Journal, 23, 1997, p.484.

[28] Polanyi, Trade and Market, p.43.

[29] Morris Silver, “Karl Polanyi and Markets in the Ancient Near East: The Challenge of the Evidence”, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLIII, No.4, December 1983, p.795. This article was greatly expanded and published as Economic Structures of the Ancient Near East, Croom Helm, London, 1985, and then as  Economic Structures of Antiquity, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1995. He maintains a website on ancient economies at http://sondmor.tripod.com/index-html – checked May 2008.

[30] Quoted in Silver, “Polanyi and Markets”, p.826.

[31] Anne Mayhew, Walter C. Neale and David W. Tandy, “Markets in the Ancient Near East: A Challenge to Silver’s Arguments and Use of Evidence”, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLV, No.1, March 1985, pp127-34.

[32] Morris Silver, “Karl Polanyi and Markets in the Ancient Near East: A Reply”, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLV, No.1, March 1985, pp135-37.

[33] Jean-Baptise Say, A Treatise of Political Economy, translated by C.R. Princep, American edition, Grigg and Eliot, Philadelphia, 1836, p xxviii.

[34] Aristotle, Politics, Book 1, part XI, translated by Benjamin Jowett, available on-line at: http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.1.one.html  – checked May 2008.

[35] Tactus, Annals, Book 6, 16-17, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb [1864-1877], available on-line at: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/index.htm ?checked May 2008.

Petition 10 Downing Street to abandon ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.


David Davis

Here.

 

This is a good Australian Blog…


and he said this about David Davis.

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.
http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/polin/polin133.pdf

Good stuff


Here.

The EU, the parts of “No” which broadcasters not understand, President Klaus, and truth.


I have to print the whole thing in full. the contrast between Pres. Klaus’s spokesman’s brightly-clear answers, resplendent with truth and meaning, and the implications behind the fatuous questions asked of him, are really fun:-

Prague – Wednesday 18 June 2008


N.B.:  The Director of the Political Department in the Office of the President, Mr Jakl, was interviewed on  Czech TV yesterday, and asked
“How come that President Klaus can have such an opinion that the ratification cannot continue?”
His response was: “Madam presenter, that is not an opinion, that is a fact.

__________
 
 
Interview with President Klaus for Lidové Noviny, Prague – Tuesday 17 June 2008 
 
What do you think about the Irish No?
The whole of Europe should thank the Irish people for slowing down current erroneous processes towards more unification, the suppression of nation states, towards a ‘Europe of regions’, and towards greater centralization from above of which the Lisbon Treaty was the embodiment. Thanks to the Irish referendum this was a perfect example of what the common people think about this development – contrary to the politicians supporting the EU who are motivated entirely differently. I thanked a few Irish people personally.

What does the Irish NO mean for the fate of the Lisbon Treaty in your view? What will be its impact for the entire EU?

I cannot imagine any other development besides recognizing the fact that this is not the way to go. Let’s seek a different European model than a supranational state with its seat in Brussels. Let’s come back to the community of friendly, effectively cooperating states. Let’s keep most of the competencies on the level of states. We should let people living on the European continent be Czechs, Poles, Italians, Danes and not make Europeans of them. That is a wrong project. The difference between a Czech, a Pole, an Italian and a Dane (as random examples) and a European is like the difference between Czech, Polish, Danish and esperanto. “Europeanness” is esperanto; an artificial, dead language.
 
What follows from the Irish No for the Czech Republic? Should we continue in preparing the ratification under these circumstances, or is it not necessary? E.g. the British declared that they are going to continue in the ratification, despite the results in Ireland…
The ratification cannot be continued, the Treaty can no longer come into force. To continue as though nothing has happened, would be a pure hypocrisy. This would be worse news about the “state of the Union” than the Irish NO. The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in the Czech Republic ended last Friday. To pretend something else is undignified – at least if we are in a world where one plus one equals two. I think that the British didn’t declare anything. It  was the Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown who declared something. The British democracy is much more complex.

Does the Irish NO change your attitude towards the option of having a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in the Czech Republic? And if so, how?

The referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in our country is not necessary today;  there is nothing to vote on. The only possible question would be: “Do you, the Czechs, want the Irish to vote again and differently?”. It is not about us today.

Should the European Union attempt to create an entirely new document after the Irish NO, instead of dusting the Treaty off or revising it?

Any document is only the last step. We need a new perception of the European integration process. It is necessary to explicitly repudiate  the post-Maastricht development towards an ever closer union. The resulting document is then only a composition exercise, but it must be written on a different basis and by different people.
 
It cannot be written by a German politician who thinks in federalist terms and has been in the European Parliament for the past 30 years. It can neither be written by a Frenchman for whom “Europeanisation” is a way to increase the greatness and importance of France. It can neither be a representative of a country which wants to solve some of its historical traumas “via Europe”.
 
It requires an unemotional consideration about the right administration of “public goods” – which of them belong at the level of towns, regions and states and which at the level of the continent. And above all, which of them do not belong anywhere, because the issue is not about public goods but about “private goods” which must remain subject to the decision-making of free individuals.

What will be the impact of the Irish decision on the Czech EU Presidency in 2009?

We will have a little more competences than we would, was the Lisbon Treaty valid. The Treaty substantially weakened the states and therefore also the presidency of any one of them. But let us not live in illusions. I know well, that the entire concept of a rotating presidency is to a certain extent just a game pretending to represent a real democracy.

The bastard donkeys pretending to lead our Lions, don’t think about their use of language.


David Davis (no, I was NOT in the SAS, and I’m NOT that one, I just write on here.)

Read this report from the Barclay Bugle, which contains disgustingly ill-thought-out language from politicians in Westmonster, about the latest preventable military deaths in Afghanistan, which were sustained by the soldiers of an advanced nation, against pre-capitalist barbarians who were getting their (“improvised”) weapons from people whose arses we ought already to have kicked first.

“Deliberate operation” …. if the guys were there “accidentally”, does that make it different?

“….and that the woman soldier, who was serving with the Intelligence Corps, may have been taken along in case female suspects had to be searched.”

This is war. Who the f*** cares who searches you? The bastards are trying to overturn Western Civilisation. (I believe this about them – you may not. So we may have to agree to differ.) Do we owe the politeness of Western Sensibility to our enemies in the minutes when we are trying to kill them for opposing our way of life, so that “female suspects” will be searched by a woman? That bit comes after they have surrendered, as has always been understood in moral polities.

Also, it is not suitable to send women into combat areas. I have always thought this.

Broadly speaking, the governmentist-release-bits could have been written by leftist hand-wringing-bozos who (a) don’t want to be associated with this business, and (b) agree with the “Tali Ban”, whatever that might be (I don’t know anyway, but if it shoots at us, then it’s the enemy as that’s a sort of definition) and seem to think its acts to be a sort of unavoidable plague.

Libertarians are of course not in favour of “State” armed forces, knowing these to be less efficient and more badly-planned and led than proper ones. However, the British version is the nearest in most circumstances to the real thing, with the possible exception of the Israelis. If the British are doing some fighting, even under Zanu-Laborg (which has not yet fully managed to trash the Forces as an Institution but is still trying hard even at the end of its life) then we are probably in the right.

 

 

 

Burger King from Satan?


David Davis

Good search-engine string this morning. God knows what they were looking for…(actually, He probably does.)

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


David Davis

Here.

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…)

Robert Nisbet: The nemesis of authority


http://www.mmisi.org/ir/08_01_02/nisbet.pdf

If government people and their staff keep getting robbed of their laptops, then they should not be trusted with them.


David Davis

This just in:-

[eurorealist] Hazel Blears’ stolen laptop 
Date: 17/06/2008 19:17:39 GMT Daylight Time
From: muirsimon@yahoo.com
Reply-to: eurorealist@yahoogroups.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

“Police cannot confirm or deny that extremist information was stored on
the computer.”

I can help on this.

Hazel Blears is a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet, so it is therefore
100% certain that she has extremist details on her laptop.

Regards,

Simonm.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, when the laptop of a governmentist-person is stolen. I do not know how many laptops are stolen in the UK but it cannot be many for we are mostly careful about not leaving them in cars etc. Moreover, don’t these governmentists all have drivers who sit there with their car and their stuff? What can be going on?

These people in Westminster are clearly children and need to be protected. I propose a “LAPTOP CZAR”, who has all the state laptops, and nobody else who is either an MP, or a government employee, have any of them at all. then, none of them will be stolen.#

As Auberon Waugh would have said, “I am not suggesting yet that we should shoot all state personnel who take laptops out of the building, but they need to be taught to economise.” A nice idea.

Also this:-

Last week a Cabinet Office official was suspended and an investigation launched after secret papers featuring details of al Qaida and security in Iraq were left on a train.

 If these people can’t be trusted not to get drnk and leave their stuff on trains, then they SHOULD NOT GO BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT, even in a REGION WITH STRONG TRANSPORT LINKS. they should be ferried everywhere by their minders and nannies.

 

 

Can this be true? Or am I in a waking horror-story? The British Prison-Planet’s “Eco-towns”


David Davis

I don’t usually read the Times Online, but not being temporarily ablt to get the Barclay Bugle, I found THIS.

The line about “30% of the homes being affordable” was especially nice. Go read the whole thing – the monumental contempt for the standard details of individual human beings’ lives in a modern country is so staggering that it almost rears up to space, in monumental invisibility.

The comments are really fun too.

The EU: Why does it want or need Ireland?


David Davis

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 6:23 AM

Subject: Irish Times – Mood of fear in Brussels turned into depression, anger and dread.

“An Italian journalist, who has worked in Brussels for more than a decade, asked how we could have thumbed our noses at the Union after all the cash handouts? Irish officials in Brussels immediately went to ground. One senior official I spoke too said she was too depressed to talk. When I finally caught up with another Irish EU official, who had travelled back to Ireland to vote, he entered into a 20 minute tirade against the Government, the farmers, the Opposition, the No campaign and the Irish.

“We’re going to be forced out,” he literally shouted down the phone in exasperation.
Politicians in Paris, Berlin and Madrid quickly confirmed his worst fears as statement after statement castigated the ungrateful Irish for torpedoing the treaty.Even the staunchly pro-European Spanish public aimed a kick at the mongrel Irish telling a radio journalist that we should repay some of the €55 billion from Brussels”.
 
I think this illustrates perfectly the vast divide between the EU perception of democracy and the real thing.  To the continentals, it seems inconcievable that it can’t be bought.
Here’s some stuff I posted in reply, which may help forward some analysis by our foreign readers:-

WHY do they want Ireland in anyway?

 Ireland is nothing to do with continental land-border-warmongering-and-bloodshed, which is what landlocked pre-capitalist barbarian lands have to worry about and talk about. Ireland, even more than Britain, is an integral Atlantic Nation. Happily, for Ireland, it is on the outer edge of any fallout from strife and trouble all caused by the Continent and its internal ogings-on – which have never, never, never (even now) settled down to peaceful pursuit of individual self-interest by individuals (except by the appication ov bribery) unhindered by a Big State.

 All, absolutely all, of Ireland’s troubles, ever, have arisen from outside interference on the “European Land Border Model” (as I have just termed it now.) Look at Norman and Angevin interference; the Thirty-Years’ War, fought all over again in Ireland, long after the European Main Event; the IRA – as European a Stalinist putsch-outfit of socialist gangsters as it’s possible to get – even funded for years by the Kremlin! (Forget Noraid – that was a Kremlin plot to persuade opinion in the West that the main cash was coming form the USA – it killed two birds with one stone! It deflected attention from the uSSR and discredited America in London – nice work, lads!)

 The same as above can be said about the UK. All, absolutely all, of our troubles have arisen from either Europe’s intentions to overwhelm us about two things:-

 (1) – we being all at the same time rich, free and a threat to the underlying planks of their “neo-Imperial-Roman” philosophy of Statehood and state power over individuals -

 (2) – as our understanding of Foreign Policy matured in liberty and free thought and democracy, our consequent trying of natural defensive attempts to ensure that no paramount continental power could dominate the others and get at us with the combined stolen resources. ( = “The Balance of Power in Europe” – as necessary todya as it’s ever been, or even more so.)

 The buggers ought not to try to browbeat Ireland. Only evil, (more) bloodshed and trouble will come of it, probably worse than before, and we shall this time be caught in the middle.

 The buggers ought to let the WHOLE of the British Isles go, and go now. But they won’t coz’ they izz bust.

 

  

 

ROYAL ASCOT … the week to get out your top hat.


David Davis

Good place to order one that’ll fit you.

The EU … let’s “shift target to next ahead” for a moment. EU arrogance and supercilious disdain for “the People” (who will have to be dissolved and re-elected.)


David Davis

The UK Libertarian Party has a marvellous appreciation of the present turmoil of the EUrocrats over the exposure (by the Irish People, thank God for them!) of the EU’s dangerous isolation and lack of support among ordinary electorates. these electrorates think – perhaps mistakenly – that they have been living in “democracies”, since World War 2. I blame fascist nazi pigs like Monnet, Spinelli and that other bugger whose name I can’t remember, I think he was a composer of music and stuff.

Here it is.

But a quote of the day is in order, as it’s just, er, so…….. predictable:-

 The arrogance with which the people of Europe are dismissed as irrelevant by this ruling elite beggars belief.

This quotation from the European Weekly, an official EU publication, is stunning in its contempt for the citizens of Europe.

The security, liberty and prosperity of hundreds of millions of
European citizens ask for complex leadership actions, which
cannot be appreciated by heterogeneous populations, from the
point of view of the information level and the education one.

They think we are stupid, they assume that we cannot read such treaties and understand what they are doing, and further assume that because most politicians across Europe do not bother to read them, the populous should not bother either – we should leave it all up to the unelected ex-communists and Maoists in Brussels (yes, did you realise that Barosso was a Maoist?)

Many Labour MPs rally to support David Davis in 42-days campaign


Here.

www.daviddavisforfreedom.com launches tomorrow, 17th June 2008


Bookmark it. Tip from Guido Fawkes.

http://www.daviddavisforfreedom.com/

(This is our 700th post.)

ITEM:- On David Davis’s Facebook proifle, it says “David Davis has no friends.” Can we all do somthing about this please?

 

Philip Johnston in the Telegraph, on David Davis


 

Good commentary here from Philip Johnston of the Barclay Bugle, covering in particular how the MSM mediarati and coming round to Davis, now thta they see his stand to be popular, and nothing to do with their own wish to sunder the Tory Party, coz they are evil socialist bastards.

The comments, unless deleted by the paper later (as has happened before over Islamic stuff) are alone worth a read.

Why We Support David Davis


Sean Gabb (not David Davis this time…)

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the
Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 172
15th June 2008
Comments | Trackback

 

David Davis: Why Libertarian Alliance Support?
by Sean Gabb

Since most of my readers are American, I will for the moment give up on the pretence that I am writing for a British audience. This means that, when I discuss the David Davis campaign, I must explain what it is all about.

The Debate over Internment

Last week, the House of Commons, which is the lower – and elected – chamber of Parliament, voted to extend the period of detention without charge “for terrorist suspects” from 28 to 42 days. This followed its doubling, two years earlier, from fourteen days..

Everything about this vote is scandalous. No one has so far been held for the present maximum of 28 days. Not even all the police are in favour of the extension. Those who are in favour have never been able to explain why they should need to arrest someone if it then takes over a month to find evidence enough to justify a charge.

In the Commons, the majority was against the extension. The vote was won by the Government only by lavish and indiscriminate bribery of its weaker critics and of the Irish Members.

And, while all talk is of men with beards and brown faces, who can be deterred from blowing themselves up on the Underground only by fear of six weeks detention without charge, this is not a law for use against terrorist suspects. In 2000, Parliament passed the Regulatory of Investigatory Powers Act amid promises from all the Ministers that the massive surveillance powers contained in the Act would be used only to protect national security. It now turns out the Act is being used by local authorities throughout England to spy on people who might not be recycling their rubbish in the required manner, or who might be letting their dogs foul the pavements.

What we already have is a law permitting internment of anyone who upsets the authorities. These authorities have not yet advanced far enough in moral corruption to use the law for its only likely purpose. But their advance is quickening by the week.

It will soon be a routine use of state power to approach middle class protesters against airport extensions, or farmers complaining about the random destruction of their livelihoods, or strike leaders, or anyone else who is making a nuisance of himself. The warning will be: “If you don’t shut up, we will have you arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity. You will be held without charge for 28, or perhaps even 42 days. At the end of this time, you will be released without charge. Your life will have been turned upside down. If you have a business, it will have been destroyed. If you have a job, you will have lost it. Our media friends will be encouraging all your neighbours to mutter that there is no smoke without fire. Do as we say, or we will ruin your life.”

The law as it stands is quite bad enough. It does not even prevent rearrest after release without charge at the end of the detention period. The new law will allow internment for six weeks on the same basis.

Anyone who doubts that these powers will be an abused needs to be ignorant of human nature in general and of the kind of people who rule this country. The powers are not so much open to abuse as an abuse in themselves.

A Referendum on Liberty

That is the background to the David Davis story. Mr Davis is Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party, and was expected, assuming the Conservative won the next general election, to be a senior Minister. He led opposition in the Commons to the 42 day internment proposal. The day after the vote, he announced his resignation from the House of Commons. This will produce a by-election in his constituency. He will then stand for re-election on a civil liberties platform.

He will oppose the 42 days that provoked his resignation, but also identity cards, and political censorship, and the DNA database, and the fact that there is now one surveillance camera in this country to every fourteen people.

As his constituency is pretty typical of lower-middle class England, this could be the nearest we shall ever get to a referendum on liberty. In most elections – and particularly in general elections – people vote on a balance of issues. In this one, the question will be “are you happy to see your country turned into a panopticon police state?”

If returned to Parliament, Mr Davis will have the moral authority to speak against our further descent into authoritarianism.

The Liberal Democrat and British National Parties have said they will not put up candidates against Mr Davis. They broadly agree with his stand. We can hope the United Kingdom Independence Party will also not put up a candidate – this being said, its only Member in the House of Commons, Bob Spink, voted with the Government for the 42 days.

Given its disastrous rating in the polls, and fears over the popularity of our police state, the Labour Party also will not put up a candidate. This is unfortunate, as we do need another candidate. If, at the close of nominations, only Mr Davis has put himself forward, he will be returned without a poll. So much in that case for a referendum on liberty. If only fringe candidates come forward, a victory over the Monster Raving Loony Party will not mean very much.

For the first time in his life, however, Rupert Murdoch might be about to do something useful. With his blend of sordid soft pornography and low puritanism, and with his amoral endorsement of whatever lets him grow richer and more powerful, he has spent the past half century corrupting everything he touches. Now, it seems he has instructed Kelvin MacKenzie, a former Editor of The Sun, to put himself forward as a candidate to defend no limits on internment, and compulsory identity cards for all, and probably universal inclusion in the DNA database. If Mr MacKenzie does stand, he can count on unlimited funding and solid media support.

That will give us the battle between light and darkness that Mr Davis said he wanted when he announced his resignation, and that I and many other people also want. I think the Libertarian Alliance was the first civil liberties body to give unconditional support. And we were the first to pledge funding in the event of a poll. Tim Evans, I, and most of the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Alliance have spent the past few days more excited than at any time perhaps since the late 1980s.

Objections to Libertarian Alliance Support

Now, some of our friends and supporters have questioned our position. Either they have not understood that position, or they have understood it but disagree. Let me deal with the most important of their objections.

“Leave it to the Lords”

The first is that there was no need for Mr Davis to provoke a by-election. Just because the Commons have voted for something does not make it the law. The Bill must still go through the House of Lords, which will probably throw it out, or send it back heavily amended. Then there are the courts, which will use the Human Rights Act and their own creative interpretations to nullify any change in the law. If Mr Davis is making a tremendous fuss, the argument goes, this is because he has gone mad, or is getting ready for some attack on David Cameron, his Party leader.

Our reply on this second point is that motivations in this case are less important than what is being done. Mr Davis wants a referendum on civil liberty. That is what matters. As for the Lords and the Judges, they are not wholly reliable. They have allowed much evil in the past decade, and they may let this past them. In any event, we in the Libertarian Alliance are only interested in what the balance of the Establishment thinks about civil liberties when there is no other test available. A referendum is far more important than a debate in the Lords that will be fitfully reported and generally not followed, or a legal judgment that may be fully reported and fully not read.

The opinion polls say that around two thirds of the electorate support internment, and around half support identity cards, and so forth. According to these polls, most people have no great objection to the police state growing up around us. But that is only what the polls tell us. The answers people give on a street corner to questions that may be structured in a particular direction may not explain what people really think. If we have a by-election – and remember, this is in a representative part of England – in which people are asked to vote for liberty or for a police state, and in which adequate arguments are put on both sides, that will do much to reset the thinking of our political class. If the people vote for liberty, the politicians will need to rethink their rhetoric and their actions. In particular, the Conservatives will have every reason to drop their drop their policy occasional and almost furtive opposition to tyrannical laws in favour of something sharper.

If, on the other hand, the people vote for the police state, that too will have its uses. It may tell us that the country is truly lost. Or it may tell us to change our strategy of resistance. So far, many of us have been appealing to or speaking on behalf of the silent majority. Well, that majority now has its first chance in generations to speak loud and clear.

David Davis: Not a British Ron Paul

The second objection is that Mr Davis is not a libertarian. He has in the past supported some very bad laws, and is, even now, rather limited in his opposition to the police state.

This is an objection we have already answered in our news releases. We have no illusions about Mr Davis. He is no British equivalent of Ron Paul. We do not expect him to take the Libertarian Alliance line on freedom. He will not argue for the relegalisation of drugs and guns. He will not argue for repealing the Proceeds of Crime Act. He is a moderate at best. He wants to take us back to the same degree of freedom we enjoyed in the 1990s.

And so what? We are not supporting Mr Davis for everything he has said and done to date, or everything he might say and so in the future. We do not expect that he will take up the radical libertarian case. We note that he has put liberty on the agenda of British politics. And we support him in that.

Funding the Conservatives

The third objection is from some of our Liberal Democrat supporters. They accuse us of endorsing and giving financial support to the Conservative Party.

This objection is based on a misunderstanding of our position. We do not support the Conservative Party. We support David Davis. There is a difference. Indeed, so far as I can tell, the Conservative leadership does not support Mr Davis. He has been replaced in his Shadow Cabinet position, and we are told that he will not get it back after the by-election. We know that many Conservative politicians have no regard for civil liberty, and would have been happy to vote with the Government on the 42 days. Norman Tebbit, in the Lords, will vote with the Government. Ann Widdecombe was the only Conservative in the Commons to vote with the Government. But there were many others who voted as they did simply because Mr Davis would have set the whips on them had they not. About half the Parliamentary Party seems to be in favour of identity cards.

David Cameron believes the opinion polls, and wants any campaign for liberty to be the minimum needed to distance him from Gordon Brown and to keep liberal opinion from crying out against him. He was not told by Mr Davis about the by-election until a few hours before we were told. He tried to dissuade him from it. His support, on the day of the announcement, was tepid at best. If his support does become firmer, it will be because he is dragged along by events.

Rather than supporting the Conservative Party, we are supporting a split in that Party – a split that may make it into a more libertarian political force, and that may also make it less electable.

But this is for us not about the Conservative Party at all. We are supporting someone who just happens to be a Conservative in his attempt to call a referendum on Liberty. If Diane Abbott of the Labour Party had resigned her seat, or Chris Huhne of the Liberal Democrats, our support would be of the same nature.

Harming the Conservatives

This brings us to the fourth objection, which is from our Conservative supporters. The Davis campaign may damage the Conservative Party. At last, Labour is in apparently terminal decline. The Lisbon Treaty is still to be ratified, and the Irish vote has raised the chance that ratification may be put off. Now is not the time for supporting self-indulgent campaigns that can only risk bringing Gordon Brown back from the dead.

Our reply is again so what? It may be that the Conservatives are less evil than Labour. But so are the BNP and al-Qa’eda. George Galloway would make a less ghastly Prime Minister than Gordon Brown. But the Conservatives are less evil, I suspect, largely because they are not yet in Government. The last time they were in government, they cheerfully laid the foundations of our current police state.

Unless it is driven by something like a Davis victory to become firmer in its defence of liberty, we as libertarians owe the Conservative Party nothing. And if what Mr Davis is now doing should lose the next election for the Conservatives, that is their problem.

I turn now to the European issue. And, for those allies who may not have noticed, I will clarify my position and that of the whole Executive Committee of the Libertarian Alliance. We are libertarians first, and Eurosceptics second. So far as membership of the European Union would stop a liberal-minded British Government from rolling back the state, we are in favour of getting out. Let it be shown, however, that there is no chance of a liberal-minded government, and that the people really do want a police state, and we become as Europhile as our libertarian friends in Greece and Bulgaria.

Therefore, this by-election is for us more important than the Treaty of Lisbon. And there is nothing to be done about this here. The Irish have voted no. The Europhiles are all angry and shouting at each other. It could now be months before a common position is agreed – to press ahead without Ireland, or to bully the Irish into a second referendum. That gives us plenty of time to concentrate on our own referendum on liberty.

This, then, is why the Libertarian Alliance is supporting David Davis. When I sent out our first press release,

 NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded free from http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3. You can help by contributing to publishing and distribution costs

Good stuff…


…From Lew Rockwell, about the ineffably pompous leftie Arianna thingy woman, whatever she calls herself now. I remember when she was an almost equally pompous student.

Could the fact of the new “EU Interior Ministry” just be noted here please, and passed round before the original ref is deleted by the EU?


It’s very very VERY secret, you are NOT supposed to know!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/foreign/brunowaterfield/feb08/cosi.htm

Fuels, Petrol. Biofuels, Starvation. Awfully useful and interesting. I am particularly struck by the picture of AL GORE SHITTING CRUDE OIL TO HELP MANKIND


David Davis

The Last Ditch says it here, and he got it from here. Al Gore can shit oil: this shall be for Mankind to live and breed and go forth and multiply in the Universe (where we shall find even more, as Titan has oceans of it the size of the Black Sea and almost inevitably more undiscovered since Titan is bigger than the Moon or Mercury.) The Wahabists can return to their roots, and their (respected) culture, which we have so rudely and impolitely disturbed, for them, being inferior to them in all ways possible, as we of course are.

Apologies for that sentence (above) being so long in the first draft. I was thinking and not writing. I have broken it up a bit now.

Liberty: Briefing materials from the Libertarian Alliance, in the light of our support for David Davis.


 Sean Gabb

NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International

PLEASE NOTE:- This list of links is primarily intended as a resource of materials about liberalism and liberty, and the Principles that Inform It.

It will be useful for Editors and Producers, who will or may be working on stories to do with David Davis’s resignation on principle, over the “42 days detention” affair, currently in the news. The current British Government proposes (and has made Parliament vote in favour of, by just 9 ( = nine) votes) to lock up people for UP TO SIX WEEKS, without trial or charge (this is unprecedented in the last 800 years) for “suspected terrorist offences”.

Release Date: Sunday 15th June 2008
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Tim Evans on 07956 472 199 or via tim@libertarian.co.uk
Dr Sean Gabb on 07956 472 199 or via sean@libertarian.co.uk

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/news/nr067.htm

Libertarian Alliance provides background reading on UK Civil Liberties

In light of David Davis’s decision to stand down as a Member of Parliament the UK’s radical free market and civil liberties think tank, the Libertarian Alliance, today launched an online publications list tailored to inform journalists and ordinary people on a range of key civil liberties issues.

LA President, Dr. Tim Evans, said:

*With more than 800 publications freely available on www.libertarian.co.uk it is only right that the LA now steps up to the plate and widely circulates intellectual ammunition designed to inform people on a range of civil liberties issues.�

LA Director, Dr. Sean Gabb added:

*The publications promoted in this release are just a taster of what the LA has on offer. Today, more than ever, it is vital that friends of liberty in Britain circulate this list as far as possible.�

Why we Support David Davis: http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc172.htm

Introduction to LA material on civil liberties:

Dr. Sean Gabb, Against Identity Cards (pdf)

Dr. Sean Gabb, A Libertarian-Conservative Case Against Identity Cards (html) – (pdf

Antony Grey, Why Pornography Should Not Be Censored (pdf)

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
(pdf

David Botsford, Fear of Violence and the Current Britsih Anti-Gun Hysteria: Blaming Objects Instead of Criminals For Crime (pdf)

Brian Micklethwait, Why Guns Should Not Be Illegal (pdf)

Simon Birch, The Censorship of Films on British Television: How It Works and Why It Should Stop (pdf)

Dr. Nigel Ashford, Human Rights: What They Are and What They Are Not (pdf)

Russell Whitaker, Against the Censorship of Electronic Communication: A Libertarian Argument Against All State Interference in the Provision and Transmission of Pornographic Imagery on Data Networks, Computer Bulletin Board Systems and Information Services, and Public Switched Telephone Services, 1994, (pdf

Tom Burroughes, Free Speech, Privacy, Property and Contract in the Electronic Age: A Journalist’s View (pdf

Brian Micklethwait, How and How Not to Achieve Good Taste in Advertising: Free Market Regulation is Better Than Government Regulation (html) – (pdf

Dr. Sean Gabb, The Case Against Sex Censorship: A Conservative View (html) – (pdf)

Matthew Parris, On the Need to Allow People to Harm Each Other (pdf)

Paul Staines, Acid House Parties Against the Lifestyle Police and the Safety Nazis
(pdf)

Tim Evans and Helen Govett, Big Mother’s Deadly New World: How The Government is Going to Destroy Patient’s Health Records and Kill People (pdf)

David J. K. Carr, Don’t Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer: The Operation, Scope and Possible Effects of the Government’s War on Money Laundering (pdf)

Dr. Sean Gabb, The New Tyranny of Global, European and British State Control of Financial Transactions (pdf)

Dr. Sean Gabb, The Full Coercive Apparatus of a Police State: Thoughts on the Dark Side of the Thatcher Decade (pdf)

Mark Roberts, Related To Bigotry: The Repression of Swingers in Early 21st Century Britain (html) – (pdf)

Avedon Carol, The Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill 1994 Is Undemocratic, Unjustifiable and Dangerous (Submission by Feminists Against Censorship to the Home Affairs Committee) (Published jointly with the British Association of Libertarian Feminists) (pdf)

Avedon Carol, Censorship Won’t Reduce Crime: Submission by Feminists Against Censorship to the Home Affairs Inquiry into Computer Pornography (Published jointly with the British Association of Libertarian Feminists) (pdf)

Avedon Carol, How British Broadcasters Are Promoting the Unjustified Censorship of Pornography: An Open Letter (To The Independent Television Commission, The Broadcasting Standards Council and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission) (Published jointly with the British Association of Libertarian Feminists) (pdf)

Other Material by Sean Gabb

Freedom of Speech

Free Life Commentary 159 24th April 2007 Defending the Right to Deny the Holocaust,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc159.htm
Free Life Commentary 157 2nd January 2007 More on the Persecution of the BNP,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc157.htm
Free Life Commentary 145 16the April 2006 Emma Chamberlain and the Astor Theatre: How Dissidents are Treated in Modern England,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc145.htm
Free Life Commentary 140 28th September 2005 The Difference between Doing and Looking: Reflections on the Case of Subhaan Younis,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc140.htm
Free Life Commentary 37 14th November 1999 Reflections on the Gary Glitter Case
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc037.htmCivil Liberties

 

 

Free Life Commentary 155 26th October 2006 On Opposing the DNA Database,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc155.htm
Free Life Commentary 138 16th August 2005 The Reform of Alcohol Licensing in England: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc138.htm
Free Life Commentary 131 14th March 2005 The Jaws of the Trap Are Closing: Hunting, the Courts and the Constitution, by Sean Gabb
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc131.htm
Free Life Commentary 120 27th April 2004 Fat Children: Sad, but not Our Problem,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc120.htm
Free Life Commentary 116 28th November 2003 In Defence of the Right to Encourage Gross Fatness,
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc116.htm
Free Life Commentary 88 17th January 2003 Hunting Paedophiles in England: Present Madness, Future Shame
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc088.htm
Free Life Commentary 87 16th January 2003 Identity Cards: Some Brief Objections
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc087.htm
Free Life Commentary 81 4th December 2002 A Record of a Debate Held by the Local Government Association on Wednesday the 4th December 2002 on the Motion: �This House Believes Promoting Diversity Causes Discrimination�
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc081.htm
Free Life Commentary 75 6th November 2002 The Conservatives: Will They Surprise Us?
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc075.htm
Free Life Commentary 73 25th October 2002 Saving the Kiddies, Enslaving Adults
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc073.htm
Free Life Commentary 67 26th June 2002 Why the Double Jeopardy Rule Should not be Changed
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc067.htm
 

END OF COPY

Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. His latest book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, may be downloaded for free from http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3. It may also be bought. His other books are available from Hampden Press at http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.

He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean@libertarian.co.uk

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Mayfair
London
W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – http://www.libertarian.to – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – http://www.seangabb.co.uk – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.

Hampden Press – http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.- the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – http://www.liberalia.com – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.

Libertarian Alliance home

THE EU WANTS TO REGULATE BLOGGERS … of all the people in the world whom this could have come from, ESTONIAN politicials ought bloody well to know bloody better…


I would have thought that there could not be a single Estonian person in the world, let alone an Estonian Bureaucrat, who could have the brass-neck or immortal rind or crust, to even think what this bastard has suggested about free speech, let alone say it out loud.

I wonder if Marianne Mikko can ever show his face again in Tallinn, and even under an assumed name, and with a false beard?

If he does, then I hope his Estonian compatriots beat the bloody (literally0 crap out of his intestines, before lynching him, and then kicking his head in for good measure.

David Davis will of course, being a student of history, be as upset as we are about the very fact that this post had to occur at all.

David Davis

TODAY is Magna Carta Day, how appropriate for the following:

 

Subj: [eurorealist] EU TURNS ITS SIGHTS ON BLOGGERS 
Date: 15/06/2008 14:52:26 GMT Daylight Time
From: peter@pwwatson.co.uk
Reply-to: eurorealist@yahoogroups.com
To: eurorealist@yahoogroups.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

No, they don’t like it up ‘em.
Your prediction is closer to the mark than you think.
According to the Infidel Bloggers Alliance – link – the EU wants to regulate bloggers.

Here is part of that article:

“…Blogs. Apparently MEPs, those people with all that cash, are worried about them. You see it is all a bit of a free for all. People can write blogs without applying for a licence or being approved by the proper authorities. Shocking isn’t it?

Euro-MPs want action: blogs with “malicious intentions or hidden agendas pose a danger”. Marianne Mikko, an Estonian centre-left MEP, is calling for something to be done in a report.
“Blogs are publicly available web pages, with personal views and links expressing the opinions and observations of a particular person, usually on a specific topic or theme and are usually updated regularly reflecting the personality of the author,” so says the Parliament’s website.
How terrible. Just imagine, anybody can think what they like or say what they like, and all by themselves too. People can (easily, what’s worse) publicly write what they think online. And, what is really worrying is that other people might read it…”

So, not only do they want to steal our democracies, our freedom of expression is now to be subject to their approval.
Thanks, Ireland, for holing the bastards below the water-line.

Posted by Cheeky Monkey on June 15, 2008 1:02 PM 

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