Monthly Archives: April 2012

Slow and painful death

David Davis

I did warn people about the Euro in the late 1990s, when it was all new and what a previous boss of mine called “so shiny”. Rashly, I even took on a £25 bet with a young YEM fellow whose name now escapes me, and which I lost: what was that the Euro would fall irreversibly below 50p within a year of issue. I lost, and paid him.

I think he was called Nick something or other. If you’re reading this, Nick, then you’ll know who you are, and I’d like to talk to you again about the Euro although you might not want to as it seems to have hit on some inconveniences and embarrassments. And no, I don’t want the money back, it’s quite all right: anyway, I expect you and your bureaucrats have probably spent it long ago.

Perhaps the EUSSR founding fathers made an error in their strategic plan, when, due to the time when they set us all off on our journey to their Promised Land, the overt use of terror-police was, er, sort of slightly out-of-favour for the present, as there Continue reading

Feeding Medieval European Cities, 600-1500

Note: This has nothing to do with libertarianism, but it is a subject I sometimes find of compelling interest. SIG

Feeding Medieval European Cities, 600-1500

Derek Keene (Centre for Metropolitan History, UK)

1. The medieval city: a problematic concept

I’m taking it as axiomatic, first that the large city cannot exist without a fertile and productive hinterland (which is itself a characteristic commonly praised in medieval descriptions of cities); and second, that whatever the natural endowment of the hinterland, its productivity will to a large extent be shaped by the growth of the city. A third axiom overrides the first: namely, that at a certain level of a city’s power or wealth, and given the appropriate transport and institutional infrastructure, its demand for supplies transcends the pedological limitations of its immediate hinterland, so that that the interplay between city and country can take place at a great distance from the point of consumption. Thus we enter the world of the Kenyan mange tout, an image not entirely inappropriate for understanding at least some aspects of the feeding of medieval cities. Continue reading

Medieval England Twice as Well Off as Today’s Poorest Nations

Medieval England Twice as Well Off as Today’s Poorest Nations

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2010) — New research led by economists at the University of Warwick reveals that medieval England was not only far more prosperous than previously believed, it also actually boasted an average income that would be more than double the average per capita income of the world’s poorest nations today. Continue reading

Freemen of the Land: A Barrister Writes Again

by F. Gibbons

I’ve just noticed the comment some way above by suedenimon, which strikes me as extremely bizarre indeed.

‘…I find it very difficult to square the logic that ANY barrister can actually lay claim to being a libertarian unless it is done in the same way as wearing a fashion item like a Prada handbag to proclaim ones credentials to be in ‘the’ set!, for barristers are almost to a person inclined heavily towards the conservative, though I do allow that singularly unsuccessful ones who are unable to put forward cogent arguments and thus fail miserably to impress ‘chambers’ into giving them work may pretend to be libertarian to impress others who do not take the time or trouble to think for themselves.’

This is a completely outdated and cartoonish view of the Bar that is undoubtedly shaped by nothing more than fantasy and watching far too many period dramas. I, for one, know many members of the Bar (and of my own Chambers) who range from everything from conservatives, to liberals, to socialists, to communists and beyond. There are some sets that are completely dedicated to left-wing law and politics: take a look at leading chambers Garden Court ( and Doughty Street ( and their members’ profiles if you don’t believe me. Loads of chambers have dedicated asylum, immigration and human rights teams that are far from conservative, and some chambers are almost entirely dedicated to the practise of such law (for appellants as opposed to the state). Yes, many sets are conservative too, but the strength of your statement above is an extreme exaggeration to the point of absurdity.

‘If Mr Gibbons were to hand such rubbish in at court he would be disbarred and thrown out of the Law Society pretty damn sharpish I would think, if not slung into the cells for contempt (disturbing the proceedings of the court).’

Please. This doesn’t even make sense. Barristers aren’t even regulated by the Law Society.

In my initial comments, where I sought to warn laymen off copying Mr Barry’s behaviour in the video, I expressed a genuine view that such behaviour was likely to see people convicted of contempt of court. I can see that some supporters of the FoL movement have taken this as some sort of insult as opposed to the genuine, practical experience of someone who practises in these courts regularly and knows how judges apply the law there. As such, on both threads, I’ve been met with quite some venom as well as personal insults, which I hasten to add I have not made against anyone else on either of these threads.

That said, if some people are simply approaching this debate from the childish viewpoint that all barristers are ultra-conservative monsters incapable of independent thought, purely by virtue of their profession, I suppose there is little chance of any actual discussion, sans name calling and insults.

The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG

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My novel, The Break, is a story of largely supernatural catastrophe. No shadow people here, but plenty of action, various scummy politicians, and a happy ending. SIG

Note: Will it bring men in white coats knocking on my door if I say that I “saw” such creatures when I was a very young child? That doesn’t mean I believe in their existence. Seeing things that aren’t there and can’t be there may be a part of tuning the human mind. But it’s interesting to read that others have seen them. Mr Blake describes one in his Blood of Alexandria. SIG

Second Note (26th April 2012): I’m reblogging this because people won’t stop looking at it.

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The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism — Newly Revised!

by Kevin Carson

People raise the question of whether the network revolution, in one area of our common life or another, will be coopted by the old forces of hierarchy. Will the old institutions manage to hang onto life by incorporating network elements, and thus survive the transition to the new society — with themselves in charge of it? Continue reading

The Churchill Memorandum, Reviewed in The Quarterly

I get off luckier than poor Keats did!

The Churchill Memorandum – gift of the Gabb

EDWARD DUTTON visits a noted libertarian’s alternative universe

(Quarterly Review – Autumn 2011)

The premise of Sean Gabb’s novel is certainly imaginative. The year is 1959 but it is an alternative 1959. Hitler died in a car crash 20 years ago, there was no World War II, Churchill is dead and never became Prime Minister andEnglandis the land of the free while theUSA has become a totalitarian state. Continue reading