Let Us Leave the EU – But Not Yet! (2013), Speech by Sean Gabb


On Saturday the 14th December 2013, Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, spoke at the Intellectual Minds Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Syon Park, “The European Union and the New British Constitution. Here is a brief summary of what he said:

Part of the consensus within the libertarian and traditionalist movements in England is that membership of the European Union is destroying our free institutions; and that, to recover these institutions, our first step must be to leave the EU.

This claim is not wholly supported by the evidence. For example, many of us blamed the EU for the loss of our protection against double jeopardy at law. Yet Germany and many other EU member states do not allow people to be tried twice for the same offence. Australia, on the other hand, has brought in the same deviation from the rule as we have, and the statutes use the same wording. Australia is not a member state of the EU.

Even very bad things like the European Arrest Warrant are not applied in other European Union countries with the same wooden stupidity as in Britain. In Germany, for instance, it is still not legal for citizens or even residents to be extradited for trial elsewhere. And the most vexatious part of our modern extradition law is the 2003 treaty that allows our fellow citizens to be entrapped and then dragged off to be gang-raped in American prisons.

The EU does not require the British Government to censor the press, or collect DNA samples on us, or to spy on us with millions of cameras. The EU did not require the Essex Social Services to arrest and sedate an Italian visitor, and steal her unborn baby by caesarian section. We are not becoming a totalitarian police state because of the EU. If there is an “Evil Empire,” is is based not in Brussels, but in Washington and London.

The main disadvantage of being in the EU is that it enables our own ruling class to govern by decree. British ministers and civil servants push for certain things behind closed doors in Brussels, and then tell us, when we complain about the resulting laws rammed through Parliament, that is it all the fault of those beastly Europeans. As a prime example of this, see the history of the rise and progress of the money laundering laws.

Of course, this is to be deplored, and a decent government – assuming we ever get one – would leave at once: its rules would prevent or delay policies of radical reform. Until that day comes, however, British membership gives us certain offsetting advantages. These are:

1. Oppression has to be co-ordinated between several dozen governments, not all of them run by certifiable lunatics. See, for example, the block so far on minimum pricing for alcohol. Or see the compelled harmonisation of our porn laws with those of more sensible countries. Without that brake on action, I have little doubt we would by now have bar codes tattooed on our foreheads and on the spot castration for suspected child molesters.

2. The supremacy of European Union law, and our associated importation of the European Convention on Human Rights into our domestic law, have empowered our courts to stage a slow-motion coup against the absolute legislative sovereignty of Parliament. This was just about acceptable when the country was run by a committee of hereditary landlords. It became an unmitigated evil once Parliament was filled up with scoundrels.

I was one of the few people on the right to welcome the judgment in Thoburn v Sunderland City Council. This is the 2002 Court of Appeal judgment in which the Judges announced out of thin air that there were two classes of Statute – “constitutional” and “ordinary,” and that constitutional Statutes were not subject to implied repeal or amendment. This has prevented the politicians from abolishing fundamental rights without first looking us in the face.

In this judgment, membership of the EU was used as the rock on which to base the attack on parliamentary sovereighty. The Common Law itself would not have been politically sufficient. Other judgements since then have continued the limitation of sovereignty.

I thoroughly approve of the transformation of judicial review from a yapping at Parliament’s heels into an increasingly powerful weapon of control over legislation. It would be nice to go back to something like the 18th century constitution. Since that is not possible, the new constitution emerging round us is an improvement on what we had until recently.

Leaving the EU would not sweep away the present ruling class in this country. Leaving would simply give absolute and arbitrary power to that ruling class. Therefore, while not regarding the EU as good in itself, it is a useful means of reestablishing constitutional limits on government in England. We need to choose very carefully when we should leave, and should ensure that the development of our new constitutional safeguards is not damaged.

46 responses to “Let Us Leave the EU – But Not Yet! (2013), Speech by Sean Gabb

  1. I have to disagree. The EU has proved a very effective tool which has enabled our politicians to reverse the relationship between citizen and state. To some extent it has now served its purpose, and if we were to leave tomorrow – well, I was about to say that little would change, but in fact there would be utter legislative chaos. All EU Regulations would immediately cease to apply, while the Directives would have to be repealed one by one (I presume my readers know the difference). Nobody would have a clue what is legal and what is illegal for years to come, as the law would be constantly shifting on a day to day basis.

    You speak of EU ‘law’. ‘Law’ is not a word I would use, as EU Directives and Regulations are not imposed by any legislative process we would recognise. Regulations and Directives are proposed by the unelected EU Commission, meeting in secret behind closed doors, and they in turn are ‘advised’ by some three thousand secret committees whom nobody seems to know anything about. The Regulations and Directives then either automatically become ‘law’ (Regulations) or must be passed into domestic law by national Parliaments (Directives), or rather by civil servants in the form of Statutory Instruments. The stream of Regulations and Directives continues unabated whether Parliament is sitting or whether our elected representatives are sunning themselves on some foreign beaches during the summer recess.

    You imply that the EU Arrest Warrant is a form of extradition. It is not. It describes the ‘surrender’ of a citizen. There is no requirement for any ‘prima facie’ evidence; the only role played by the British courts is to ensure that the paperwork has been filled out correctly. Just ask Andrew Symeou. You say that this is not as bad as extraditing British citizen to be “gang raped in American prisons”. Deplorable as the Anglo-American treaty may be, it does not provide for that specific punishment. You are just contaminating your argument with this rather graphic piece of sensationalism. I have no idea, and no desire to find out, whether my prospects of being gang-raped are any worse in an American prison than they would be in, for example, a Polish or Bulgarian one.

    You imply that Australia has compromised the double-jeopardy rule. That may or may not be the case, but it is not an argument for us to do likewise.

    You say that British ministers and civil servants “push for certain things behind closed doors in Brussels”. Quite true, but what is more sinister is that ‘big business’ also promotes much of what emerges from these secret meetings. For example, if I am in the business of manufacturing surveillance cameras, or ANPR cameras, I can go to the Commission and say what a wonderful idea it would be to install these cameras everywhere and think how many lives we could save and by the way here’s a little brown envelope to help you think about it. And before you know it, we have a Directive requiring cameras everywhere and I have a villa on Miami Beach with a nice new yacht parked at the bottom of my garden crewed by a bevy of topless girls to tend to my every need. No minutes of the meetings, you see.

    Finally, it might pay you to read the ‘Corpus Juris’, the embryonic new legal code for the EU, published in 1999 if I remember correctly. Corpus Juris is rather unfortunately described as a ‘swifter, more efficient form of repression’, and talks of creating ‘a new world order’.
    What was that you were saying about an evil empire, Dr Gabb?

  2. I think you have missed the point, Hugo which, in the general sense, is that the source of these nasty things is not the EU, but our own politicians, activists and State. As such, the EU can act as a brake, since these things require consent from other continental governments who may on some issues be less vile than our own.

    The reality is that the forms of oppression of most significance to us at this point in time, which are driving the State forward and have already destroyed most of our liberties, are driven by Anglospheric ideologists, pursued by Anglospheric activists and implemented gleefully by Anglospheric politicians. PC was not invented by the French or Romanians, but by academics in America and England, and secondary Anglo-states, entirely disconnected from the EU, such as Australia and Canada, are enthusiastic implementers of it. The USA has been the primary source, overwhelmingly, since the 1960s with enthusiastic encouragement and “me first” implementation from the UK.

    I think Sean is absolutely right in what he says. This is not about nasty foreigners doing stuff to a “free” Britain, but a sinister police state attitude within Britain and similar countries being gradually exported to the rest of the world.

    As to the barbarity of the American legal system- whether its joyful approval of prison rape, its mediaevalist “perp walking” or its monstrous usage of routine plea bargaining to avoid fair trials, these are well known and supported by fact.

  3. “The American legal system[‘s] joyful approval of prison rape” is “well known and supported by fact”? Are you able to back up this seemingly wild assertion?

    I was not denying prison rape goes on in America, merely that it (I assume) is not a peculiarly American institution.

    You say that ‘Anglospheric ideologists’ are responsible for most forms of oppression, citing ‘PC’ as an example. Well, leaving aside that the Frankfurt School was not what I would call ‘Anglospheric’, I regard this as an inversion of the truth. Just because something happens in England, or in the English-speaking world, does not make it part of Anglospheric ideology. In fact I would argue that most of the things you describe have been part of a deliberate attempt to undermine and destroy the values of the Anglosphere.

    Nobody loves to attack ‘Anglospheric values’ more than the EU. You must have heard the French denounce ‘Anglo-Saxon values’. With our system of justice going back to the Common-Law, our freedom to do as we please as long as there’s no law against it (when I was a lippy teenager I remember our stock response to being told what to do
    was “It’s a free country”), our system of trial by jury and all the other values going back to Magna Carta and beyond, we are like a fish out of water in the Napoleonic EU, where, as the Russians used to say, “Everything is forbidden except that which is compulsory”.

    I am frankly mystified as to where you get the idea that anything from the EU requires “consent from other continental governments”. The EU is made up of Member States and Regions, and as such there is no such thing as a ‘continental government’. And have you never heard of Qualified majority Voting?
    As for your suggestion that the EU has acted as a brake on British politicians, again I am at a loss to understand your meaning. Ok, I know what you mean, but can you give me an example where this has happened?

    • Minimum pricing on alcohol – possibly illegal under EU law. Bans on the import of blow up rubber sex dolls from other member states – certainly illegal under EU law. Limits on the import of cheap booze and fags for personal consumption – illegal under EU law

      I’m getting to the point where I’d welcome being put under direct rule from Brussels, with a governing elite drawn at random from any member state where English wasn’t the official language. It couldn’t be worse than government by girlie men and raddled hags.

  4. This I fear is a major problem. There are just too many romantics who think that Anglo countries stand for whatever was written in Magna Carta or the US Constitution (Jeffersonian interpretation), when in fact our elites have done nothing but dismantle such ideals and principles for the past two centuries.

    And taking the Frankfurt School as an example, in their home nation (Germany) they were just a bunch of crazy Marixist Jews with no influence. It was only when they imbedded themselves in America that their ideology was found useful- to already existing forces determined to introduce a coercive ideological State.

    Look, I really do not know what the problem is here. PC was born in America (and to a lesser extent England). It simply was. It came out of the Civil Rights movement and generalised American Left. The French didn’t invent the thoughtcrime of racism, the Spanish didn’t invent the thought crime of homophobia, the Italians didn’t invent Hate Speech and Radical Feminism (the invention of a coterie of New Yorkers and Berkleyites), the Portugese didn’t decide to mount State jihads against smoking tobacco. This is Anglosphere ideology. The history overwhelmingly tells us this.

    You can carry on pretending we live in the America of Jefferson and the England of Pitt the Younger, but it won’t get us any closer to the heart of the problem. Because the people who came after them have turned those nations into something entirely different. And it was Americans and Englishmen who did it, not the EU.

  5. As for the “brake”, Sean already mentioned alcohol minium pricing being in violation of EU rules. Temperance being another fetish of the Anglosphere, particularly the USA, who let us remember, banned beer. Land Of The Free? My arse.

  6. The European Union is an extra layer of government, both in terms of tax and spend and (far more importantly) regulations.

    It is true that the E.U. sometimes (very rarely) acts as a break on national regulations – but (far more often) it imposes extra regulations. This has been explained (at great length) in the works of Christopher Booker and Richard North (and many others). So (sadly as is often the case) Dr Gabb’s case is not only false – it defies common sense (I believe he intentionally defines reason – out of a desire to be “naughty” which may go all the way back to his childhood).

    On Political Correctness – this was invented in Europe (not the United States) ad much of Europe is at least as P.C. as the United States. Everything from anti free speech obsessions, to “group rights” (such “Gay Rights”).

    On Ian’s specific point about booze. Actually anti booze stuff is common in Northern (non English speaking) Europe were taxes and regulations are actually worse than they had here. Even Prohibition lasted longer in such countries as Iceland than it did in the United States.

    Actually Ian should know this – as the key point is not the language people speak, but an oddly toxic mixture of post Protestant religion (certain forms of post Protestant religion) and a “Scientific Progressivism”

    Perhaps the most extreme example of “scientific” Progressivism is Sweden – where “scientific” fads led to people being sterilised for such crimes as having brown eyes as late at the 1960s – and now…..

    Well now Sweden has gone to the other “scientific” extreme – by going to great expense to import Islamists from the Third World.

    I have watched Al Jazeera television – where Syrians and others keep saying “we want to get to Sweden – Sweden wants us”, and Swedish officials and media folk certainly do seem to want an unlimited number of Islamists (from Syria and everywhere else).

    Well if they really want them (so much that they spend a fortune trying to attract them to come) then they can have them.

    Although I suspect that the “Swedish Democrats” would have a different opinion.

  7. On Political Correctness – this was invented in Europe (not the United States) ad much of Europe is at least as P.C. as the United States. Everything from anti free speech obsessions, to “group rights” (such “Gay Rights”).

    No it wasn’t Paul, you should know that (as I should have in a more comprehensive comment generalised to post-Protestantism). It’s entirely a synthesis developed in the USA (and UK) by the New Left in specific universities, predominantly combining Marxism with the civil rights movement.

  8. Concerned Briton

    This taps into one of my concerns about UKIP and many organisations and parties on the more ‘radical right’ (to which I suppose I belong).

    You see, I tend to agree with Sean in that not everything being done to us is at the full force of the European Union, although I do believe that the European Union has a particular agenda which unites with what the government are pushing anyway. The world is being shaped a particular way, regardless of who is at the helm.

    There is a lot of talk about leaving the EU (and I would certainly support that) – but too many seem to believe that if we left the EU tomorrow that our “leaders” and our whole society structure and mechanisms will somehow be reformed, be made more accountable, be made more democratic and take on new ideological and operational directions that are more in tune to their/our liking.

    I do not see why this would be the case. The same people and same interests would be pulling the same strings. The same docile mass will lap up whatever the BBC chooses to serve as a diet of “issues”, the same cultural and societal rot will still envelope us, and the same old newspaper outlets will be pushing the same old narratives.

    Until we have an alternative “cultural hegemony” ready in the wings to overthrow the levers of power in this country, until we have built those trade-links (or strengthened trade links) with the commonwealth or other nations as an alternative to the EU, until we have working positions already in play as to how to smoothly retreat from it, (or to be ready for their sabotage for being insolent enough to do so) etc, then I cannot ever see it being done – even if the governments of the day wanted to, which of course, they do not.

    As there is no apparent groundwork for this to be done, I cannot see the Conservatives ever fulfilling their pledges on the EU referendum or genuinely extracting themselves from the EU. Such a move will take planning and foresight, neither of which is being done to my knowledge.

    If UKIP were to enter power next week and stuck two fingers up at the EU and said “that’s it, we are leaving, we have taken our ball home and you can skrike all you want” – how do they plan to overthrow the kind of establishment and thinking that runs most of the nations institutions, whether it be teachers, police, courts, immigration ‘control’ – and how long would it take?

    If we are still dealing with supranational organisations, particularly in finance (such as the world bank and the IMF), and still bound by various European Court rulings (which I was once told has nothing to do with the EU) and are thus still being led by globalists, Marxists/International Socialists, and, in my own case, still having my own people “nicely” ethnically cleansed from their own homeland – and if we have a party like UKIP in charge that cares not a jot for who “occupies the house” (and thus only who runs it) – then leaving the EU may not be quite the panacea many people, including myself, may hope it to be.

    I do think the Labour/Tory ‘tag team’ needs to come to a close though. The Conservatives are nothing but an utter failure as they have ‘conserved’ nothing for the last 80 years and have always ultimately given in to the ideologies of their opponents. They need to die off as a party, as does Labour, who no longer represents the kinds of people that they claim it was set up for.

    The whole lot of them stink to high heaven as far as I’m concerned – and I also think that in the present order of things “democracy” is a sham of false choices that are all based on the same concepts and foundations.

    • Of course, I agree. Leaving the EU would change nothing in our direction. It would simply take what brake there currently is off the usual suspects. We’d have drink at £5 a unit, and plain packaging and maximum lengths for cigarettes, and ludicrous controls on porn. I comment John Kersey’s speech of a few months ago to the TBG. Since we are in no position to stage a revolutionary capture at the top, change must begin at the bottom. Leaving the EU is part of what will attend the recovery, not the preparatory step to that recovery. Until we have a shared vision of what we want of an independent country, agitation to leave the EU is increasingly a diversion.

  9. Agreed Sean!

    It’s too easy to blame the EU for all our woes. Yes it is ghastly for all kinds of reasons, and yes we should leave, but the worst things that are happening here are 100% home grown by the UK political class.

    Eg double jeopardy, all kinds of thought crimes, internet censorship, barmy political correctness and so on…

    Getting out of the EU would not change any of that.

  10. Sean, in order to be able to buy cheap booze and to import rubber sex dolls courtesy of EU rules, we pay a heavy price indeed for those freedoms, precious though they may be to some.
    For starters, we have to endure government by diktat from unelected (foreign) rulers who meet in secret. And these diktats extend to the most minute details of our lives. For instance, to take your example of cigarettes, the health warning is dictated by the EU. The size of the lettering on the health warning is dictated by the EU. The font of the health warning is dictated by the EU. I have no idea about the regulations governing rubber sex dolls, but the mere act of complying with these detailed regulations in all areas of business costs us billions of pounds each year in this country.

    Let me give you some examples from my own industry: – I am a coach operator, and not only do we have to contend with a mass of incomprehensible, illogical and constantly changing rules on drivers’ hours, we now have to super-impose the Working Time Directive, which is a completely different set of regulations governing how many hours drivers and others may work.
    When I took my PSV driving test, you took the examiner for a drive, answered a few simple questions on the Highway Code etc, and that was it. And it didn’t cost a penny. If you wanted to drive a double-decker, you had to take your test in a double-decker. And you had to wear a badge with an identifying number all the time you were at the wheel.
    Today, if you want to obtain a PCV licence (what used to be a Public Service Licence has become a Passenger Carrying Licence under EU rules), there are three ‘modules’; two computer-based and one practical driving test. If you pass these you are given a licence with the EU flag on it which says you are licensed to carry passengers ‘for hire or reward’. Except you can’t. It doesn’t mean what it says any more. The EU has now added a further two ‘modules’, which you must pass before you are entitled to do what your licence says you are entitled to do. These get you a ‘Certificate of Professional Competence’ (CPC).

    Please stay with me, as it starts getting interesting now; as an ‘existing’ driver (whatever that term means in law), I am not required to take these two extra modules. But I am required to obtain a CPC. Except that paragraph eleven of the relevant Directive (2003/59/EC) says that I don’t need to, since I held my licence before the Directive came into force. I am alone in taking this paragraph at face value, and I am refusing to obtain a CPC, for reasons which I will explain in a moment. Everybody else in the industry, without exception as far as I know, has been scared into submission by the bullying and threats that are constantly thrown at them by the various government agencies, who themselves are obviously sh*t scared of Brussels and are desperate to fend off a rebellion by people like me.

    Now, to return to the CPC; the requirement for ‘existing’ drivers is that we undergo 35 hours of ‘training’ every five years. This is what the government euphemistically calls ‘attendance based’. In other words, there is no test and you can’t fail it. You pay your money, sit in a classroom for 35 hours reading a newspaper, and get your CPC. It is a qualification which is bought, not earned. It is, in effect, a tax.

    What is worse, you can, if you wish, elect to take a driving ‘assessment’ (although the assessor need not ever have driven a bus). No matter how incompetent you are, you will be given a Certificate of Professional Competence. If I send one of my drivers for ‘assessment’, and he is deemed to be a danger on the roads, he will still get his CPC, and the ‘assessor’ will not be allowed to tell me how dangerous his driving is. Stuff like this can ONLY emanate from the EU, and I’m damned if I’m going along with it.

    In practical terms, driving in the EU has become like Africa. The ‘authorities’ will stop you and fine you for non-existent offences, and if you don’t hand over the cash, they will confiscate your passport and impound your coach. I refuse to go to mainland Europe any more. At least in England you have recourse to a court of law. In the EU you do not. Under the EU Arrest Warrant you can be detained indefinitely for an unspecified offence – something which is anathema to the Anglo-Saxon system.

    I don’t know about you, Sean, but I believe trading that privilege for cheaper booze, fags & rubber dolls is a very bad trade.

  11. I forgot to mention that there is a Foreign Office document (FCO 219/71 or something like that) which dates from our accession to the ‘Common Market’. It says that there is bound to be an adverse public reaction to some of the edicts from Brussels, and it urges politicians not to ascribe any difficulties to ‘Europe’, adding that it will take the public 35 years to figure out what is going on, & by that time it will be too late.

    Also, Mr Concerned Briton, I think it was you who said there is no connection between the EU and the European Court. You are referring to the European Court of Human Rights, which predates the European Economic Community (Common Market), and enforces the European Convention on Human Rights. Strictly speaking that is correct, it is a discrete organisation, but all EU Member States are required to subscribe to the European Convention on Human Rights, for all Mr Cameron’s tough talk. The ECHR is also physically connected to the European Parliament via an underground tunnel, for reasons which I know not.

    Just to clarify, the EU court is the European Court of Justice, which is quite separate from the ECHR.
    We also have the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is nothing to do with the European Convention on Human Rights. When the Charter of Fundamental Rights was first promulgated, Keith Vaz MP stated that it had “all the constitutional significance of a copy of the ‘Beano'” .
    Nonetheless, the Charter of Fundamental Rights forms an entire section of the Constitution for Europe a.k.a. Lisbon Treaty, and just the other day, a High Court Judge ruled that the Charter of Fundamental Rights was now justiciable in British courts.

  12. For instance, to take your example of cigarettes, the health warning is dictated by the EU. The size of the lettering on the health warning is dictated by the EU. The font of the health warning is dictated by the EU.

    All of which are ideas from the Anglosphere (predominantly American) Temperance movement.

    See, I think the basic thing here is that the model for how the EU operates is the technocratic managerialism developed by us, and all that you are suffering as coach operator you would still suffer, in some form, without the EU, just as smokers would suffer without it, in our countries. Which brings us back to the central point, which is that this model of governance is not some alien thing being imposed by foreigners, it is of our own design and tranzi organisations simply enable its global distribution. There is no grandly liberal England. It’s already gone. And we did it to ourselves.

  13. Again, I have to disagree. I have no idea whether the idea of putting health warnings on cigarette packets originated in this country, or America, or where. But it is not an ‘Anglospheric’ concept. It is a complete aberration from the idea of individual liberty under the law, and the Common Law tradition which is the heritage of the Anglosphere.
    It is rather like saying Dutch Elm disease is a feature of Elm trees. It may be found on Elm trees, but it is a deadly parasite, not part of their genetic make up.

    But all of this is to miss my central point, which is that we, and our elected government, have to follow these diktats down to the minutest details, with no say in the matter ourselves. Is it really desirable to have every detail of our lives dictated to us by a bunch of foreign unelected bureaucrats?

    If we were to leave the EU tomorrow, we would at least be free to choose the font of the health warnings we put on fag packets. We would even be free to choose the wording. And, dare I say it, we might even be free to take the damned warnings off altogether. I doubt whether it’s official UKIP policy, but I’ll bet Nigel would be sympathetic to such a move.
    That only leaves another 180,000 regulations to go.

    Talking of PC, and on a completely un-related topic, I am launching a campaign to re-claim the word ‘Negro’ from the PC fanatics who claim to be offended by what is the correct term for those we are encouraged to call ‘blacks’. Martin Luther King described himself and his brethren as Negroes, and if it’s good enough for Dr King it’s good enough for me.

    • “But it is none the less relevant to remember that, as his masters have already proved that alcohol is a poison, they may soon prove that nicotine is a poison. And it is most significant of all that this sort of danger is even greater in what is called the new democracy of America than in what is called the old oligarchy of England. When I was in America, people were already “defending” tobacco. People who defend tobacco are on the road to proving that daylight is defensible, or that it is not really sinful to sneeze. In other words, they are quietly going mad.”

      -GK Chesterton, 1922

  14. I repeat Ian – Political Correctness was invented in Europe (by the Frankfurt School) and the cultural weaknesses it exploits are as common in Europe as they are in the United States (indeed there are areas of the United States which are strongly resistant to P.C. – I can not think of any area of Europe that is, not even Ireland these days. although there is a bit more resistance in Ulster than in the Republic). And not just in Post Protestant Europe – after all, since Vatican II, the Catholic Church has been in a state of chaos (even the absurd “Honest to God” written by an Anglican Bishop was more popular among Dutch “Catholics” than Dutch Protestants – indeed old-school Dutch Protestants are the last counter-establishment social force left in that country). I would love to see a great cultural push-back in places like Bavaria – but I do not see it (at least not yet).

    “Group Rights” (for example “Gay Rights”) is even pushed in France (about the last place in Europe one would expect to find P.C. in charge). As is an odd (and contradictory) form of puritanism (yes even in France – see the latest proposals on prostitution). It is also strong in Italy – now that the you know what magazine has managed in its (decades long) campaign of driving Mr B. out of politics (the major figure in Italy to stand against the international establishment)/ “Why do not the rich stand against the intellectual establishment which does NOT (contrary to Kevin) govern in their interests?” – because even if you are a billionaire with your own newspapers and television stations, the international establishment will get you in the end if you go “too far” (hence Mr Murdoch dropping certain people including a certain friend of mine now in Dallas).

    The basic point remains – the E.U. is an extra lawyer of government, it (as Christopher Booker, Richard North and many others have explained in book after book) adds to and pushes regulations.

    The idea that the E.U. generally acts as a “restraint” on statism is not just wrong – it is absurd. The basic point of the E.U. (as with all modern continent sized governments – including the United States Federal government) is to act as stimulant and encouragement to statism.

    Sean Gabb (as so often) knows what he is saying is not true. He does not even have some sort of dark purpose for his false statements (as I once. foolishly, believed).

    He (Dr Gabb) is simply saying false things (things he knows to be untrue – indeed the reverse of the truth) out of a desire to be “naughty”.

  15. Paul – you talk of certain areas of the U.S. being ‘strongly resistant’ to PC. I think that’s an understatement! I divide my time between the South of England & the Deep South of America. I was discussing politics with an old boy from Virginia once, and he said (of Obama’s re-election) “Well, the niggers got what they wanted”. His view, and his means of expressing it, were fairly unremarkable. In this country it would be shock horror all round, but in the US they have the First Amendment. You can say what you like, and if people don’t like it, they can, well they can not like it.
    Another friend is a ‘born again’ Christian, youngish chap, early forties, with a stunning 21 year old girlfriend. He believes that Negroes were quite literally descended from Noah’s son being sent into the jungle to consort with chimpanzees. And his views on homosexuals would get him locked up in this country in no time. He can express these views, eccentric though they may be, openly in the U.S. without fear of reprisal.

    You can say what you like about the U.S, but it has one essential difference from Europe, – the law is dynamic, rather than being set in stone. I shall give just one example; – in 1974 Britain introduced the compulsory wearing of crash helmets on motorcycles. That, incidentally, is the very first instance I am aware of where a law was passed to protect the individual from his own actions rather than from the actions of others. Most if not all of the States of America did the same (I have no idea who did it first). In Britain we are stuck with that law forever. There is no prospect of getting it changed – in fact it is being extended to all sorts of protective clothing. In America, however, the law-makers are elected, and in State after State ‘WE the people’ demanded that this law be repealed. And it was. Most States no longer have a helmet requirement.

    And I remember eating in Teddy’s café in Florida a short while back, chatting to Teddy who was leaning up against the wall behind the counter puffing contentedly on a cigarette. Most Brits have been conditioned to be horrified at such a sight, but I found it pleasantly refreshing (not the smoke, which didn’t bother me, but the fact that he was able to do so without reproach)

    The truth is that Britain, and Europe, belongs to the politicians, whereas America still belongs to the people.

    • “That, incidentally, is the very first instance I am aware of where a law was passed to protect the individual from his own actions rather than from the actions of others.”

      Then you must have forgotten the bans on drink and drugs, and the prohibitions of sodomy and restrictions on gambling.

      • No doubt as the rest of us lose the last of our personal freedoms due to American ideologies imposed upon us, Hugo will be standing on his porch singing The Star Spangled Banner with tears streaming down his face.

  16. Ian that is exactly my point; American ideologies are not ‘imposed’ on us; EU ideologies are.
    And Sean, yes I had forgotten those you mentioned – thank you for correcting me. The crash helmet law is the only one to have been imposed in my lifetime – I grew up with the others so didn’t notice them. You could of course argue that drug use leads to crime against others – and I do accept your argument that what is describes as ‘drug related crime’ is in fact prohibition related crime. As for sodomy, unless you are extraordinarily prehensile, that also involves another person. The crash helmet law involves only oneself – the argument of course is that if you injure yourself you are costing ‘the government’ money through NHS treatment, the logical extension of which is that we must be prevented by law from doing anything remotely dangerous. Do I hear ‘Health & Safety’ anyone? Incidentally that is a phrase which is completely unknown in Florida. Thank God.

  17. The EU hasn’t got an ideology, other than being the EU, and being more EU every day.

    Okay, take tobacco prohibition; America idea. The introduction of smoking bans in a great tranche was entirely due to the UN Framework Convention On Tobacco Control. Who authored it? Americans did; noticably, Ruth Roemer, lawyer wife of Milton Roemer, a WHO bureaucrat displaced temporarily during McCarthyism, so probably a communist then, whatever. The convention thus implements an American ideology (Temperance) globally; nations are required to sign it and implement it as part of trade treaties; this is used by America, as a dominant economy, to get their way. Did the USA sign the convention they’d written? No. America was put on the planet by God to tell other people how to live their lives (they are, after all “Exceptional”), not to be bound by treaties with lesser, inferior nations. Right?

    So, do we credit this to the USA, or the EU? Quite obviously, to the USA. The EU is the tool that directly imposes the legislation, but the USA is the source of it, and that is what matters if you want to beat someone; you need to get the organ grinder, not the monkey. So what we’re doing here is the useful thing of saying, “who are driving this bullshit?” on some issue. And over and over, you find yourself looking at the USA, the land that honed the crafting of “blue laws” into a fine art.

  18. Ian, having been referred here by you (from Tim Worstall’s blog), one thing that troubles me about your analysis is the corporatist aspect of it: corporatism, shurely, is continental European in origin.

    • Corporatism is about making sure there is only one vacuum cleaner company, and that it’s run by your friends. Forcibly sedating pregnant women almost at random, and stealing their unborn children by caesarean section isn’t something you associate with corrupt Eurocrats. Corporatism is something we can easily sit out. What we actually have is far more destructive.

  19. Ed Lud-

    Yes, fascism and all that. Though who really invented such a thing is more about tendencies. The USA has been steadily more corporatist since its formation, following a Hamiltonian rather than Jeffersonian path. But it’s really about, who is the driving force now of whatever Bad Thing we may be discussing, rather than where some idea may have originally come from; indeed I’ve argued before that the problem with the USA is that it takes crazy ideas from elsewhere, amplifies and modifies them, then spits them back out again.

    Take psychotherapy as an example; it was invented by an Austrian, Freud. But it rooted most successfully in the USA and there- in California particularly[1] developed into the State-driving form we now have, adopted by legislatures via Oprah Winfrey and an endless parade of “traumatised” attention seekers spilling their sorry pasts on TV.

    So yes, the EU is certainly corporatist. But what perhaps matters is what kind of corporatism, and what the ideological goals of the corporate state are.

    [1] Indeed, for half of what I’m writing, one may as well cross out “America” and write “California”.

  20. Ian – you’d better sit down, because I’m going to agree with you – America has indeed become more corporatist in nature down the years. The blame for this, in my opinion, can be laid squarely at Lincoln’s door. Free trade vs protectionism and Big Government was the cause of the Civil War, or at least it was why South Carolina seceded – as Jefferson explicitly said any State had the right to do if it so wished, much as he would regret such a course of action. Lincoln thought otherwise, and the rest is history.

    Back to the present day; California is not America. Indeed I think Californians are all nuts.

    ‘American Exceptionalism’, by the way, does not mean that “America was put on the planet to tell other people how to live their lives”; it means that America is exceptional, unique in fact, in that the country was founded by “We the people”, and it is run by the People for the benefit of the people, as Lincoln put it. It is not ruled by kings, emperors or any other superior beings; in America the people reign supreme; the only authority they recognise is God.

    Your assertion that the EU doesn’t have an ideology is, I’m afraid, nonsense. It is about re-distribution of wealth from the richer northern Member States to the poorer southern ones. It is about ridding Britain of its Anglo Saxon values, and about destroying every vestige of our traditions. Why do you think Britain is the only country on the entire planet where it is a criminal offence to trade in traditional measures? It is about tearing us away from our Commonwealth and our Anglosphere kith and kin (and that includes America) and completing the job Napoleon failed to do. It is about punishing us for our Empire, and for our role in WWII. It is a re-incarnation of the Soviet Union.

    Vladimir Bukovsky, the Soviet dissident, once remarked that the only difference between the EU and the Soviet Union is that the KGB never enjoyed immunity from prosecution, unlike Europol and the EU Gendarmerie. The idea of having an armed paramilitary police force on the streets who are themselves above the law may not bother you, Ian, but it sure troubles me. The only thing Europol can be held legally liable for is if they damage your car in a road traffic accident. They can arrest you on a whim and shoot you if you ‘try to escape’ and, well, that’s just too bad. It is not America that is putting armed cops on our streets Ian, it’s the EU. It is not America that has made our Queen a US citizen subject to US laws; it is the EU.

    Incidentally, you may or not be aware that almost everything that is causing our government such grief at the moment stems from the EU; homosexual marriage; HS2; you name it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised, although I don’t have a scrap of evidence to prove it, if that enforced caesarean has its roots in EU adoption targets.

  21. Hugo, I don’t have the time for a long reply but I will note that the flap over homosexual marriage is, er, American. The ramming it through here was to support the campaign in the USA.

  22. Mr Gabb,

    A decent article, but I think you give the EU a bit too much credit for the new constitutionalism of our judiciary. Stephen Gaudbaum in his book The New Commonwealth Model of Constitutionalism has identified similar trends to what happened in the UK in Canada, NZ, Aus, and Israel. The situations of those countries are not identical, but I think what we’ve seen over the past third of a century is the reassertion of the common law in the commonwealth and common law countries.

  23. Sorry Ian, you are wrong – homosexual marriage is an EU requirement. Why do you think Cameron would push through such a contentious measure which is going to alienate so many of his natural Conservative supporters? Homosexual marriage is outlawed in many if not most States of America – they are certainly not trying to ‘ram it through’ here; indeed they have no mechanism for doing so.
    Same with HS2. A real vote loser, but Cameron has to push it through because he is under orders from the EU; HS2 is part of T.E.N.S., the trans-European rail network. I believe this section is part of a route from Berlin to Edinburgh or something like that.

    I forgot to mention a lot of things earlier – I could write a book in fact – but one of the most egregious is our utter inability to deport dangerous criminals from this country, due to the European Convention on Human Rights. We are bound by the ECHR as a condition of our EU membership. America takes quite the contrary position – I am what they call a Resident Alien in the US. If I break the laws of the United States they will have no hesitation in deporting me double quick time. That is how it should be. No human rights act there.

    And it is not America who is compelling us to open our borders to Romanian and Bulgarian criminals in January.

    There are many things wrong with the United States, but they have no legislative authority over us. The Treaty of Rome, on the other hand, places EU law above domestic law. We have to do as we are told. That is the reality, much as you may like to pretend it isn’t.

  24. I just looked it up, and there are only fifteen States in the US which permit homosexual marriage.

  25. Oh, I nearly forgot – a trivial point, but relevant since the justification for our EU membership seems to be cheap booze and fags; I smoke a pipe. Condor tobacco. A while ago I noticed the quality had deteriorated considerably. It had become like tree bark – very coarse and almost un-smokeable. The bigger lumps went in the bin. I thought I’d try something different – St Bruno, and that’s no better. Blow me down, what do I see on the packet; “From January 1st 2011, the cut width of pipe tobaccos will increase to a minimum of 1.5mm under EU legislation.” They can’t keep their meddling fingers out of any damned thing.
    That regulation didn’t come from America either Ian.

  26. Hugo,

    I don’t think you’ve grasped what I’m talking about. It’s the Anglo (primarily American) reform/progressive movement we’re talking about, not the government. They decided they wanted to make an issue of gay marriage in the USA, so they marshalled international NGOs to push it through elsewhere (in our case, via the EU) so as to be able to use the “everyone else is doing it” argument, and because they think their values should be international values anyway.

    Same as the Temperance movement. Overwhelmingly, anglospheric, but again they push it internationally. Or, indeed, radical Feminism; same thing.

    It goes like this; once a reform movement has captured the US government for some policy, the US government will start internationally pushing that policy (e.g. drugs laws). In the event that it hasn’t yet done so, it works via networking with other international reform groups and transnationalist organisations (the EU, the UN). So looking at the current state of affairs at the government level in the USA is missing the point.

    Okay, here’s a general example (I happen to have been reading up a bit about this over the past few days); here’s the question: how come legal brothels and other prostitution businesses all rapidly became prohibited globally? It went like this; the Feminists- an Anglosphere phenomenon (primarily, US/UK) adopted social purity as a campaign. They wanted to make prostitution illegal, everywhere. To support this campaign, they developed a conspiracy theory called “white slavery”; prostitutes were really all abducted slaves, they said. Now they had success in their own nations in this case (prohibition of brothels and business in the UK, a more patchy state-by-state success in the USA, but also the Federal government’s Mann Act, all justified by the myth of “trafficking”). But, what about the international scene? Without internationalisation, the prohibition may collapse (as it did later with alcohol prohibition- note, that’s the USA and the suffragettes again).

    So, they kicked the door in at the League Of Nations and got themselves a permanent committee and rapidly, by 1921, the dear ladies had got a “Convention on Trafficking And Prostitution”. With the standing committee in place at the LoN and its successor, the UN, they have been able to further this campaign and produce a further series of conventions. Thus, shortly after the war and with USUK the dominant allies in the West, a wave of prohibition is enacted (including a bizarre prohibition of brothels in France in 1946 fronted by an ex-spy and prostitute; think about this, Europe in ruins, people starving, and there are people sitting around in Paris worrying about banning brothels. There must be a deeper story behind this oddity. But it’s hard not to see, with Europe crushed by war, a classic bit of “shock doctrine”. An even weirder example is General Macarthur’s administration in post-war, subject Japan, worrying about banning porn, which is why Japanese girls are pixellated to this very day).

    And that’s pretty much how it works; what starts out as a campaign running out of Anglospheric puritan movements gets globalised via tranzi networking. So really the thing here is not to concentrate on the tranzi network, which is a tool, but to ask who is in the driving seat and, over and over again, we find Anglo (these days, predominantly US, being the superpower) campaigners and NGOs. Indeed, the NGO/campaigning charidee is itself an Anglosphere invention and fundamental to the Anglo model of modern governance, in which reformers bully legislatures into legislation.

    Another example is Greenism which, though strongly Germanic in origin, has only risen to global power due to its adoption by Anglosphere reformers- all the main front groups (Greenpeace, Friends Of The Earth, the Sierra Club, WWF etc) are Anglo organistions.

    So the point here is, we can’t fight the enemy until we identify the enemy correctly; and if we keep blaming the wrong people, we aren’t going to get anywhere. The central point I’m making (and I think Sean is) is that we have to recognise that our governments are not being pushed into anything by foreigners; they are the most enthusiastic implementers and promoters of these policies, because these are policies generated by native reform movements, not “the EU”.

  27. Also, on your pipe tobacco and smoking, I refer you to the GK Chesterton quote already posted above.

  28. I wasn’t actually talking about pipe tobacco and smoking – I was just pointing out the minutiae of our lives which are dictated by the EU. I will bet you a hundred Euros that if you asked every single MEP whether they had actually voted for this, they wouldn’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    Yes, America has always been puritanical in nature – this stems from the days of the Pilgrims. For instance, they still today avoid the use of the word ‘cock’; a cockerel is a rooster; a tap (or cock) is a faucet; and a cockroach becomes a roach. But it is a land of such contradictions; if a girl is showing a bit of bottom cleavage it will be pixelated out on tv; yet they show adverts for condoms at teatime and you can walk the streets naked in San Francisco.

    I didn’t know brothels were illegal in Europe! They certainly aren’t illegal in America. Most States prohibit them, but this is a matter for the individual States, and I am a passionate advocate of States’ Rights. Incidentally, the US government once owned a brothel – it was to part of property seized from criminals by Federal agents.

    The reason the federal government enjoys such power today is due to the unfortunate outcome of Lincoln’s war against the South. But when you say ‘America does this’ or ‘America wants that’ you are ignoring the fact that ‘America’ speaks with a thousand voices. De Tocqueville made this point in ‘Democracy in America’. It is not a unified country except in its allegiance to the flag and above all to the Constitution.

    Washington State, for instance, has no law against cannabis. Nevada has brothels. And gambling. Motorcycle crash helmet laws vary from State to State, as do speed limits, as does the minimum age for obtaining a driver’s license.

    The EU, by its very nature, has to enforce uniformity throughout its realm.

    To answer your very important point that most of the ills I have mentioned stem from the Anglosphere in general and America in particular, when poor old America is not getting criticised for being isolationist, it is condemned for being interventionist. The average American couldn’t give two hoots about what other countries do. True, the ‘Progressive’ movement has taken root in sections of the government, but that is not a feature of Anglospheric thought, it is an aberration – a contradiction of it.

    And with respect you seem to have failed to notice that the British government and the EU are one and the same. Our politicians’ allegiance, almost without exception, is to the EU, not to their own country. We have only had one patriotic Prime Minister in my lifetime, and look what happened to her – when she threatened to block the Maastricht Treaty she was stabbed in the back by the ‘men in suits’ who are the true government of this country.

  29. Prostitution in the United States is illegal, except in some rural counties of the state of Nevada.

    The USA is in general more strict than Europe and even Britain, though as discussed above, we are being dragged onto the American model (via the pilot project in pietist Sweden). For instance, prostitution is still legal in Britain, subject to numerous constraints (no brothels, no proper business arrangements, “immoral earnings” etc) compared to the draconian suppression in the USA (except those few Nevada counties).

    I think the problem here is you are using a typically American and not entirely useful model which confuses freedom with anti-federalism; interestingly, a model common among anti-EU conservatives (NB I am not a Europhile and I vote UKIP; the issue in this thread is the actual effect of Europe rather than the ideological independence question)). The anti-federalist approach defines “freedom” as being the case when your local State government passes laws rather than the Federal one. This debate is central to the USA (Jeffersonians vs. Hamiltonianss) but not entirely useful to questions of liberty; from a libertarian perspective it makes no difference if cheese is prohibited by the EU, Westminster of the local parish council, it is still a lost liberty. An anti-federalist on the other hand says, “I am free because cheese is prohibited by my own state government rather than the nasty federal government”. I’m pretty certain I recall Sean saying after a run-in with UKIP (correctly in my view) that many UKIPers just want to get out of the EU so they can concentrate on banning everything they dislike without higher level interference. This is as much use as a chocolate fireguard to those of us seeking actual liberty.

    The other problem I have is that you seem to be deploying a variant of the No True Scotsman fallacy regarding what is “American” or “British” or “Anglospheric”. So people or policies you don’t consider fit to your definition are by definition “not British/American/Anglo”. What I’m interested in is what we actually are, not what some of us might think we ought to be. And the reality is that the political charge for 200 years has been not Anglo-Saxon liberalism or whatever, but the imposition of bloated, tyrannical government based on a moral reform agenda, driven by campaigns, pressure groups, charities, etc.

    We might go back 300 years and see a very different England and say, “this is the real England” if we like, but that is not the England we now live in, and the same is true of the USA or Anglosphere or any other definition. It is not even true of 300 years ago in the USA, where the earliest (and glorified) settlers in New England were the most insane of the puritans that England herself had got shot of (what a pity the Mayflower didn’t sink half way) and whose local regimes are recognisably the template for the modern moralist state; jump in your time machine and head back to that era, and if you light your pipe in the street they’ll throw you in the stocks for it. And God help you if you dare celebrate Christmas. So much for liberty as the default value.

    So the Anglosphere as it is rather than how we imagine it should be or once was, is a governance system in which it is considered the duty of the State to prohibit smoking, prostitutes or, indeed, cheese, if the State can be persuaded by its moral guardians that any one of these things is detrimental to the common good, and has been for a very long time. And that template of governance did not come from the EU or anywhere else abroad (though much, particularly in terms of socialism, was copied from Prussia, I’m sure Paul Marx would correctly remind us). It was enthusiastically put in place by native English and American social reformers who are to this day lionised as “the best of us”.

    It’s illegal to sell a dildo in Texas. That this is not a federal, but state law, does not stop it being illiberal and illibertarian, and neither does it stop it being singularly and demonstrably American. America, as you say, is not is government. It is its people. And it is its people who, in different ways in different states, have created such laws at whatever level of governance they could get them implemented at. There was a time when the world leaders of this Anglo-reformist model were us; Britain. But the Americans rapidly overtook us in fanaticism, and are the world leaders today, with Britain and Canada and Australia very much junior partners. That’s how things are, regardless of what a Jeffersonian interpretation of the US constitution might imply that they ought to be.

    • Apologies in advance once again to Paul for my hasty typo of “Marx”. I really should profread.

    • We differ on gay marriage and Kevin Carson. On this matter, though, Ian B and I are at one. We are not romanticising the European Union as anything good. But the Evil Empire is based in Washington, with a branch in London.

  30. Ian – “from a libertarian perspective it makes no difference if cheese is prohibited by the EU, Westminster of the local parish council, it is still a lost liberty”. It makes all the difference in the world – If cheese is banned by Westminster or the local Parish Council, the authors will be held accountable by the electorate, and the law can be reversed in due course. If it is banned by the EU, the regulation will have been issued behind closed doors by a bunch of foreign bureaucrats whom we neither elected nor can dismiss. And cheese will never be seen again in the shops of England, because under the Acquis Communautaire, once the power to ban cheese has been ceded to the EU, it can never be returned to our elected politicians. If you have enough money to bribe the EU Commission to allow us to eat cheese once more, that might work, other than that it will be a cheese-free world for us.

    I think I see where we might be at cross-purposes (I’ve never heard of your ‘true Scotsman, by the way); If America, and the Anglosphere in general stands for anything, it is individual freedom under the law. That is the ‘Anglospheric ideology’ in a few words. Now you may well be correct that there are things coming out of America and Britain which are contrary to this principle. What I am saying is that these are aberrations, rather than representing ‘Anglospheric ideology’.

    Why do you think the French hate the ‘Anglo Saxon model’ so much? It is because this is the ‘Anglospheric ideology’ which clashes and grinds against the EU model all the time. The two are simply incompatible, which may explain why so many of our own politicians wish to destroy it so we can fit seamlessly into the new country called Europe which is being created.

    Is it really illegal to sell dildos in Texas? Is it illegal to buy them? You can get a very impressive selection in Miami – I bought a very nice battery powered one once …. sorry, I seem to be veering off topic.
    If it is indeed illegal to sell dildos in Texas, that is because the good people of Texas wish it to be so. You can, incidentally, have terrific fun looking up the odd State laws that exist – such as it being illegal to fart in church in, I believe, Ohio.
    My point is that America, unlike the EU, is a dynamic society as far as legislation is concerned. Laws are passed, people object, they are repealed. This happens constantly under the surface of what appears a very stable society. In fact it is very stable, for that reason. In the EU, Directives are issued, er, that’s it. There is no mechanism, for changing or repealing them (as David Cameron is about to find out).

    I am what they call an Originalist. In other words I fight for the Constitution to be observed and preserved in its original form along Jeffersonian principles. When I say ‘fight’, that is exactly what I do, along with tens of millions of other Americans who hate to see their precious Constitution trampled on by the likes of Obama (who wants to turn the country into a transatlantic model of the EU). There is a tremendous involvement in politics among the American people – if they don’t like something they will damn well fight it. Here we just do what we are told. It’s all very depressing.

    Just a quick point about ‘freedom’. In Florida I can buy a motorcycle and ride it. No crash helmet, no insurance, no MoT test, no speed cameras, nothing. That is what I call freedom. Girls ride Harleys in shorts & bikini tops with their hair blowing in the wind. British bikers think they’re mad (much too dangerous!), I once set off from Miami in just a pair of shorts & it was so damn hot I had to keep putting clothes on to stop being burned by the sun – by the time I got to Sebring I was poncing about in a bright yellow ski suit.

    I just bought a Beretta 9mm pistol from one of my neighbours. Buy a gun, shoot it, that’s all there is to it. And if you shoot a burglar you will be congratulated by law enforcement, not prosecuted.

    Yes Ian, I will grant you there’s a lot of sh*t comes out of America. But that’s not the America I know and love. And “we the people” are fighting it every inch of the way.
    By the way that’s a very pretty cat – I only just noticed it – what’s her name?

  31. I repeat that the problems of the United Kingdom are ADDED TO (not diminished or limited) by membership of the European Union.

    The Sean Gabb that I was knew understand this perfectly well – he was certainly not ignorant of the works of Christopher Booker and Richard North (and so on).

    So there are only two logical alternatives……

    Either Sean has forgotten everything he used to know, or Sean is being “naughty”. I think the latter alternative (“naughtiness”) is the more likely. As with Kevin Carson (a person who has dedicated his life to the cause of collectivism and the destruction of what good remains in the world) and so much else, Sean knows the truth but chooses to say the opposite of the truth our of a sense of “naughtiness”.

  32. Attacks on the United States are, of course, irrelevant to this discussion – apart from (as Sean knows well) the American government has always been a strong SUPPORTER of British membership of the EEC-EU.

    So someone who believes that the American government (government – not people) is evil – would (if anything) be even more determined to get the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland out of the E.U. – right now (at once).

    As for prison rape – full disclosure I am former employee of the prison service of England and Wales.

    Rape in the American Federal Prison system and in some (not all) State prison systems is indeed common – it always existed (crime has always existed), but only became endemic after the breakdown of the control of prisons by the authorities.

    For this breakdown blame the “civil rights” agenda of the 1960s – with endless newspaper stories and Hollywood films about brutal prison guards and noble prisoners.

    They guards were indeed brutal – because they had to be, as the prisoners were anything but noble.

    Without harsh control the prisons naturally fall into the hands of vicious gangs – and weak or unconnected prisoners are indeed raped and otherwise abused.

    The misty eyed “liberals” of the 1960s (and later) have so much to answer for – for example the insane homeless people that one finds on the streets of American cities.

    Before the 1960s these people would be in mental homes (some bad – some not bad) – but then (thanks to Hollywood films and so on – which taught that insanity did not really exist) these were largely closed down, and “care in the community” arrived, at the very time (the social revolution of the 1960s) when communities were in terrible decline (they are still declining – things carry on getting worse and worse, in terms of the decline of independent institutions such as Catholic schools and so on).

    This means (in practice) a cardboard box in the snow (the homeless shelters are out of control – in the hands of vicious gangs, as with ….) with no one to check that the person is taking their medicine to keep “the voices” at bay.

    “But at least they are free” – only for periods of time.

    The largest concentration of mentally ill people in the United States is found in the county jails – the biggest being Cook County (Chicago).

    The insane homeless people commit minor crimes (often not even knowing they are committing crimes – or what day it is) they are then dumped in the local prison (there being few mental homes any more) – and when the prison is finished with them, they are dumped back on the streets again, till….. (well work out the rest).

  33. Texas law.

    Texas actually has fewer silly laws than most American States. This is not because Texas politicians have been historically more sensible than other politicians (they have not been).

    It is because of a feature of the Texas Constitution of 1876.

    The State Legislature of Texas only meets a few days a year (barely enough time to agree on a budget) – this has meant that historically that they simply have not had time to pass laws supporting eugenics (and all the other stuff that so many other States have done).

    The lesson is clear – and not just for the United States.

    The Parliament or Congress (or whatever) should meet one day a year – and one day only.

    This to agree a budget – or not agree one (in which case the government would have no tax-and-spend for that year).

    And their should be no “delegated legislation” – only things formally passed by the Legislature should have legal force in addition to the Common Law of nonaggression.

    “But they would have no time to pass anything to add to the nonaggression principle of Common Law”.


    And, almost needless to say, people who only serve one day a year do not need payment (or “expenses”).

    After all members of the State Legislature of New Hampshire (meeting in the oldest still standing Parliament building in the world) are not paid much.

    And (I am told) members of the State Legislature of New Mexico are paid nothing.

    As British MPs were before 1911.

  34. Texas law; – I seem to remember a few years ago the Republicans or Democrats (doesn’t matter which) in Texas were trying to block some law or other. They did this by buggering off somewhere & denying the legislature a quorum. They were discovered holed up in a Holiday Inn in Oklahoma. The State governor sent out the National Guard to round them up & bring them back. But the Texas National Guard has no jurisdiction in Oklahoma, so the politicians told them to go away. Only in America!

  35. Some States have quorum rules that are much too high – a simple majority of the State legislature should be enough.