February 28, 2006

Tony "doesn't understand English" Blair

If anyone out there hasn't seen this fisking of Tony Blair by Blairwatch go and have a look.

a little on the EU

I haven't posted much about the EU in ages, since the death of the Constitution it has slipped down the list of interesting political events. Way bellow New Labour's creating the conditions for a totalitarian police state, or Islamofascism's violent intolerance anyway.

A small note however is that EU seems to be further moving away from the few good things that it contains. The services directive was turned upside down, according to the German Socialist MEP Evelyne Gebhardt, so after 50 years there still isn't a free movement for people to live and work around Europe. France is becoming increasingly protectionist about it's industry stopping the free movement of capital, with Italy making some rather loud, and rather hypocritical, noises about this. But dispite this fairly obvious breach of the principals of the EU the Commision remains silent.

That said the bad bits are still there and growing, such as the ECJ making up the law as it goes along to further the aims of integration:
"The realisation of the European Project," says Cavada, "entails the creation of a single, judicial area … founded … on the primacy of Community law … conforming to the jurisprudence of the ECJ … and suppressing all penal provisions incompatible with it …

"However," he continues, "even in the absence of unequivocal treaty-provisions for interaction, between the EU's Judicial Order and the criminal codes of the nation-states … the ECJ has affirmed that nothing prevents the EU-legislator taking measures relating to the latter …"

Cavada goes on to "re-affirm … the urgent need to proceed with … the process of absorbing judicial and police-cooperation into the competence of the EU"

February 27, 2006

A note of caution

Based on their constitution, which country is this?

  • A country with universal suffrage, everybody over the age of 18 gets to vote for their representatives by secret ballot.
  • A country where no person may be placed under arrest without the sanction of a court or prosecutor.
  • There is freedom of speech.
  • There is freedom of the press.
  • There is freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings.
  • There is freedom of street processions and demonstrations.
  • A country where the citizens privacy is protected by the constitution, where the inviolability of their homes and correspondence are protected by law.
  • Judges are independent and subject only to the law.
  • Where church and state are separated, freedom to religious worship or abstinence from it is guaranteed by the constitution.
  • A federal country where every constituent state has the right to freely seceede from the union.

  • Yes that right. It's the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, the biggest mass murderer of the twentieth century. Which goes to show that there is more to how a country is governed by what is, or is not, in the constitution.

    Liberty Central

    Well liberty central is up and running ... now it just needs some content

    February 26, 2006

    Chained by whips

    Life and the World:
    "My own opinion is that party politics is part of the damn problem in the first place. When discussion and disagreement is seen as weakness, and whips hold all the power, then you get dogmatism and dogmatism is blind, deaf, dumb AND stupid."
    And she is absolutely right, there has to be a better way.

    EU Referendum

    Helen Szamuely of EU Referendum has a good long post on how the west still seems unable to denouce the horrors of Socialism for what they where.
    We have understood and tried to overcome the horrors of Nazism, though there is a sad reluctance to see its human causes; but not until the horrors of Communism are fully understood; not until its widespread influence is acknowledged; not until our leaders and our media stops finding excuses for the heirs of Stalin (as Yevtushenko called them) or, more precisely, the heirs of Lenin; not until then shall we be able to move on.

    Retracted Bible Quote

    A cautionary tale by The J-Walk Blog of a Retracted Bible Quote, if you have a church website using a random bible quote as a strap line might not be a good idea, especially if you are actually quoting Satan.

    February 25, 2006

    On Liberty, on Chavs

    This section reminded me of the work of another philosopher:
    If society lets any considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.
    In this he is saying the same as the later philosopher Bertrand Russell
    The civilized man is distinguished from the savage mainly by prudence, or, to use a slightly wider term, forethought. He is willing to endure present pains for the sake of future pleasures, even if the future pleasures are rather distant. This habit began to be important with the rise of agriculture; no animal and no savage would work in spring in order to have food next winter, except for a few purely instinctive forms of action, such as bees making honey or squirrels burying nuts.
    And as I have argued before the Welfare state not only makes such forethought, the rational consideration of distant motives, unnecessary but the way it is set up means that it is in fact undesirable.

    On Liberty, on Education

    John Stuart Mill considers education to be so useful that it is one of the few things that he would compel
    Is it not almost a selfevident axiom, that the State should require and compel the education, up to a certain standard, of every human being who is born its citizen? ... that to bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind, is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society; and that if the parent does not fulfil this obligation, the State ought to see it fulfilled, at the charge, as far as possible, of the parent.

    But Mill explicitly rejects that it should be the State that does the educating. This is partly to avoid the provision education becoming a turf war where various ideologies fight it out. In his words it would:
    convert the subject into a mere battle-field for sects and parties, causing the time and labor which should have been spent in educating, to be wasted in quarrelling about education.
    This can be seen as much a truth in our own time as it was in his. Examples of the politicised nature of state provided education can be seen in David Cameron's championship of Synthetic Phonics to teach reading in the UK and of course the ongoing battles in the USA by some fundamentalist nuts to try and stop the teaching of evolution.
    Mill also has a second objection to state control of education.
    A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government
    This would damage the glorious diversity that he, and I, feel is so badly needed for humanity to progress, as only by allowing many forms of living be tried can the best be found.
    Mill does have a solution to how education should be provided.
    If the government would make up its mind to require for every child a good education, it might save itself the trouble of providing one. It might leave to parents to obtain the education where and how they pleased, and content itself with helping to pay the school fees of the poorer classes of children, and defraying the entire school expenses of those who have no one else to pay for them.
    Or in modern terms education vouchers.

    On Liberty, on bureaucracy

    John Stuart Mill also warns against the growth of government and it's required bureaucracy
    Every function superadded to those already exercised by the government, causes its influence over hopes and fears to be more widely diffused, and converts, more and more, the active and ambitious part of the public into hangers-on of the government ... not all the freedom of the press and popular constitution of the legislature would make this or any other country free otherwise than in name.
    He then warns of all the things that could be taken into the maw of government. Things many of which where subsequently sucked government control, principally by the post war Labour governments; the roads, the railways, the great joint-stock companies. We did not even need the efficient and intelligent bureaucracy that he feared, just that they where under central control.
    Under this regime, not only is the outside public ill-qualified, for want of practical experience, to criticize or check the mode of operation of the bureaucracy, but even if the accidents of despotic or the natural working of popular institutions occasionally raise to the summit a ruler or rulers of reforming inclinations, no reform can be effected which is contrary to the interest of the bureaucracy.
    Not even violent revolution would be enough to shake off the clinging hands of the bureaucracy since any revolutionary taking the centre of power would still need the leavers of state to wield that power. With the bureaucrats the only people that knew how to operate them they would be to useful to him to get rid of and so the system of rule by the bureaucrats behind the thrown would continue unabated.

    On Liberty, On social rights

    John Stuart Mill does not have a very high regard to "social rights", and yes the scare quotes are in the original.
    A theory of "social rights," the like of which probably never before found its way into distinct language—being nothing short of this—that it is the absolute social right of every individual, that every other individual shall act in every respect exactly as he ought; that whosoever fails thereof in the smallest particular, violates my social right, and entitles me to demand from the legislature the removal of the grievance. So monstrous a principle is far more dangerous than any single interference with liberty; there is no violation of liberty which it would not justify; it acknowledges no right to any freedom whatever
    He is primarily concerned with the "social rights" proposed by the Temperance movement, but they could be any of the "social rights" that always seem to crop up frequently today when seeking to ban anything. He sums up the doctrine of social rights as follows:
    The doctrine ascribes to all mankind a vested interest in each other's moral, intellectual, and even physical perfection, to be defined by each claimant according to his own standard.
    This is a doctrine obviously followed by many, and probably most, of the totalitarian regimes of the last century (e.g. the Nazi's Master Race, and the New Soviet Man) as well as to a lesser degree the authoritarians of the nanny state.

    On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

    At the suggestion of MatGB of Not Little England I have been re-reading "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill. If you don't like reading large amounts of text on screen here are audio files for it in MP4 format;

    Chapter 1 - Introductory (5.22 MB)
    Chapter 2 - Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion (14.47 MB)
    Chapter 3 - On Individuality, as one of the Elements of Wellbeing (7.13 MB)
    Chapter 4 - Of the Limits of the Authority of Society Over the Individual (7.21 MB)
    Chapter 5 - Applications (8.69 MB)

    Ken Livingstone

    Ken Livingstone, the democratically elected mayor of London, has been suspended by a group of bureaucrats. Personally I could easily see how his remarks where anti-semitic, especially as he had already been told that the reporter was a Jew. They should be an issue at the next time he faces election, but that should not mean that he should loose his elected position because of them on the say so of a group of bureaucrats.

    1. it is an infringement of his right to (drunken and insulting) speech.
    2. it sets a dangerous precedent as to who rules the country. Are politicians accountable to their electors, or the bureaucrats.

    Europhobia has more. As does Notes from a Small Bedroom who points out the reason given for setting up the body that suspended Livingstone (fraud), and what it has been actually used for (harassing political opponents).

    The last bastion of Socialism

    The NHS, envy of the world (well the world that does not live in France, or Germany, or Canada, or Japan ...) has a new plan to get rid of waiting lists. Instead of using two waiting lists, the official one for the statistics and the unofficial one to get onto the official one, the NHS is stopping people from getting appointments at all. What an example of the masterly mind of the central planner! That is not the only benefit of this new system, not only does it stop the hospitals getting cluttered up with sick people it makes sure that anybody from consultant to hospital porter can get instant access to anybodies medical records in the entire country with no barriers other than an exhortation to be nice.

    February 24, 2006

    Is the EU the answers?

    The Data Retention Directive has finished it's passage through the democracy bypass that is the EU, so now New Labour gets the law on data retention that it could not get though the UK Parliament.

    This is one of the reasons that I disagree with Nosemonkey that the EU can be used to protect our civil liberties from predation by New Labour. They do not in practice seem anymore likely to protect our liberties from a sustained assault of the kind that is currently being pushed through parliament. They have already shown that they are not particually fussed about the freedom of speach, or the freedom of the press, especially when it is pointing up some ugly home truths that they would rather stay buried.

    Nosemonkey does not seem to think that the idea of a written constitution for Britian will work anyway, since parliament will just ammend it whenever it feels like it. Which is true, under the current constitution it can. But again the same could said for the EU, or any other supra-national entity. Does the solution to the problem of over-mighty and interfering government really lie in more government at a supra-national level? If the problem is too much government then surely the obvious solution is less government.


    An update on the progress of Liberty Central (it should go live today or over the weekend), which samizdata seems positive about even if rather depressed about the possibility of it making any effect
    The mass of the population of Britain is nescient, complacent, and has no interest in the abstractions of liberty, or the threats from power assumed only to be threats to others, to bad people. Many people are happy to claim the status of an 'ordinary' person, with "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" from officialdom, while being paradoxically susceptible to fears of everything else. Passively concerned with material welfare, security against virtual risks, and gossip, they graze and are milked as the livestock of the state.

    This is Foucault's concept of governmentality in action. Not, pace his fans on the left, a neo-liberal order, but a post-liberal order in which the foundational institutions of liberalism - liberty and individuality, rule of law, the separation of private and public life, a civil society and a political sphere distinct from one another - have ceased to have a meaning for even the bulk of the middle-classes.

    Alternative energy

    Climate change is happening so there is a need to subsitute oil for other technologies. So a couple reports on technologies that will form part of the mix of technologies that are going to substitute it.

    First a far cheaper way of making high efficiency solar cells, that does not require the high purity silicon needed in conventional solar cells being based on a metal alloy instead.

    Second progress in using genetically engineered algea to produce hydrogen using the sun as the energy source.

    Norwegian oil borse, in Euro

    I've posted before about the Iranians and their plans to open up an oil borse trading in Euro. It looks like they are not the only ones, the Norwegians also plan to open their own oil borse and it too will be trading in Euro.

    February 23, 2006

    everything begins with the individual

    seen on the EU Referendum blog's forum by SandyRham
    The rule of law, as described in this treatise, remains to this day a distinctive characteristic of the English constitution. In England no man can be made to suffer punishment or to pay damages for any conduct not definitely forbidden by law; every man's legal rights or liabilities are almost invariably determined by the ordinary Courts of the realm, *and each man's individual rights are far less the result of our constitution than the basis on which that consitution is founded*.

    It must, however, in fairness be noted that the invasion of the rule of law by imposing judicial functions upon officials is due, in part, to the whole current of legislative opinion in favour of extending the sphere of the State's authority. The inevitable result of thus immensely increasing the duties of the Government is that State officials must more and more undertake to manage a mass of public business, e.g., to give one example only, the public education of the majority of the citizens. But Courts are from the nature of things unsuited for the transaction of business. *The primary duty of a judge is to act in accordance with the strict rules of law. He must shun, above all things, any injustice to individuals.*

    Written in 1914 by A.V. Dicey, whom the lawyers quote when they bang on about the 'Sovereignty of Parliamenmt'

    The flat tax

    The Tax Payers Alliance has a new leaflet on the merits of the Fair Tax.

    Double devolution, double think

    Notes from a small bedroom looks at double devolution and finds that it is like some other forms of doubling. Such as double negitives, and double think. Not really about devolution and localisation at all be yet more centralisation, but with an extra layer of spin.

    February 22, 2006


    Mr Neil Harding seem rather upset that people are calling New Labour authoritarian, and is making some rather wild remarks that everybody that does not whole heartedly and absolutely surport everything that New Labour has ever done obviously wants the instant return of Margret Thatcher. Who is EEEEEVIL.

    There is plenty of bad stuff that Thatcher can rightly be blamed for, most of which has been picked up by New Labour and pushed as far further than she and John Major had been willing or able to go. But one of his claims, also used by Councellor Bob Piper, does not stack up.
    What about internment and shoot to kill policies in N. Ireland?
    Internment, ah yes. A policy created in 1971 by the Ulster Unionist Party headed by the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Brian Faulkner. Probably he asked Edward Heath if it was a good idea, who possibly said it was. At the time Thatcher was Secretary of State for Education and Science.

    There have been two other times that internment has been instigated in the UK, first was during the second world war when people like Oswald Mosley where detained under Defence Regulation 18B. Mosley was released in 1943 when the pressing threat of invation had passed. At the time the Conservatives where in power, but where sharing it with such Labour luminaries as Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin.

    The second, and much mor recent time, was by New Labour under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. This was ruled illegal by the Law Lords, so Labour had to rush through 'temporary' legislation for indefinite house arrest without charge or trial, so that the detainees could be released from belmarsh to be locked up in their own homes. Where they are still locked up.

    So on this issue which is worse?

    The Conservatives who might have allowed the Ulster Unionists to instigate internment 35 years ago, with nobody from that period still in a major position and most out of politics completely.

    Or Labour who definitely legislated to create internment 5 years ago, that is still going on, and where all the major players are not only still in politics but still in positions of power.

    Fred Phelps, shameless religous nut

    The religious nut, and decency free zone, Rev. Fred Phelps appears to be stirring up even more controversy than normal with his latest horrible stunt.
    Phelps believes American deaths in Iraq are divine punishment for a country that he says harbors homosexuals.
    and so he is staging noising protests at the funerals of dead servicemen. However he is being blocked by even larger numbers of counter protesters including a group of 5000 bikers
    The bikers shield the families of dead soldiers from the protesters, and overshadow the jeers with patriotic chants and a sea of red, white and blue flags.

    "The most important thing we can do is let families know that the nation cares," said Don Woodrick, the group's Kentucky captain. "When a total stranger gets on a motorcycle in the middle of winter and drives 300 miles to hold a flag, that makes a powerful statement."

    February 21, 2006

    English Bill of Rights 1689

    The Bill of rights, you can get the text here. If you don't like reading then here is the English Bill of Rights as MP4 (2.46 MB). The drafters really didn't like Roman Catholics, but there are also some bits that I think would be really good for maintaining liberty which I have extracted bellow.

    First is a set of things that lead to the removal of King James II and are therefore considered illegal for the government:
    By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of laws and the execution of laws without consent of Parliament;

    By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates for humbly petitioning to be excused from concurring to the said assumed power;
    So the government cannot simply make up laws as they think fit
    By levying money for and to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative for other time and in other manner than the same was granted by Parliament;

    By violating the freedom of election of members to serve in Parliament;
    or arbitarily creating taxes to fund government activity. It needs the consent of Parliament as a representative of the governed.

    On the way the governed themselves where treated
    And illegal and cruel punishments inflicted

    And several grants and promises made of fines and forfeitures before any conviction or judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied;
    You cannot punish somebody without a trail, and that punishment cannot be excessive compared to the crime.

    Then they get to spelling out some things that are explicitly illegal for government
    That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal
    Again the government cannot simply make up laws as it goes along without parliament, or make up taxes to pay for them as:
    That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal

    That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal
    I guess this in a modern context would be to give you the right contact your MP.

    That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;
    But interestingly not explicitly fair, perhaps they where worried about how fair would be judged?

    That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void
    So that is again no punishment before trial.

    Things are not all sweetness and light in this document, and not just the pervasive anti-Catholic tone. Anti-Catholocism is an artifact of the time this was written but it certainly stands out clearly compared to today. Some of the other more controversial parts will probably be the right to bear arms as spelt out by one of the fault found with King James
    By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law
    and more explictly
    That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

    The Magna Carta

    One of the priamry documents for the constitution of Britain is the Magna Carta. It was originally in Latin, but you can get translations here and here. Also available as an MP4 audio file here (4.1 MB). I have extracted the paragraphs that I think are most important to creating and maintaining liberty.
    (38) In future, no bailiff shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported words, without credible witnesses being produced to support his word.

    (39) No freeman shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised or outlawed or exiled or in any other way harmed. Nor will we [the king] proceed against him, or send others to do so, except according to the lawful sentence of his peers and according to the Common Law.

    (40) To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.
    This one also seems rather important to me, so it seems odd that it was removed from later versions of the treaty. Perhaps some later king needed some medieval John Prescot?
    (45) We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only those who know the law of the realm and who wish to observe it well.

    Free traders in the Middle ages? I never guessed that this was in the Magna Carta.
    (41)All merchants may leave or enter England in safety and security. They may stay and travel throughout England by road or by water, free from all illegal tolls, in order to buy and sell according to the ancient and rightful customs. This is except, in time of war, those merchants who are from the land at war with us. And if such merchants are found in our land at the beginning of the war, they shall be detained, without injury to their bodies or goods, until information is received by us (or by our chief justiciar) about in what way are treated our merchants, thence found in the land at war with us . If our men are safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.
    I would like it incorporated in any ideas generated by Liberty Central. But something makes me feel it will be a bit contentious.

    But I think that we can safely ignore the magna Carta when it says:
    (54) No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman, for the death of anyone except her husband.

    David Irving Gaoled

    David Irving Gaoled, and my first reaction is 'Good, you anti-semitic nut job'. But his crime was denial of the Holocaust, and this is were the problems come in. You see freedom of speech means that you should be free to speak, even if you are spouting nonsence. Even if that nonsence is insulting. Even if that nonsence is trying to paper over genocide. The best defence is to counter the nonsence with truth, so I have to say that Irving should not have been sent to gaol. He has managed to make me defend him, bastard. Now excuse me while I go and wash the keyboard.

    February 20, 2006


    One thing that we should try to make any proposed constitution is elegant.

    A few more ideas in the ring

    Outside Story has added a few more ideas into the ring, and an important point about the nature of any constitution.
    It comes down to how you view sovereignty. In a democracy the people are sovereign. However "the people" can mean two things - either the collectivist meaning that is usually used today or the original meaning used in the US constitution, that the people are individually sovereign. In the former, a constitution is part of the social contract which simply states what rights we are willing to collectively respect. In the latter case it is an empowering document that "loans" power from the people to the state.
    Which is also my view on things, but even if it where not I would go for the smallest state possible so that it would not be interfering with individuals as they maximise utility. And it can only properly be up to individuals to make the trade offs that will generate the greatest happiness for the greatest number, since it is only individuals what will make them happy plus they have the best viewpoint for analyzing all the factors in any given trade off. A state agent can never look inside any individuals head and know exactly what will make them happy. A state agent can never look at all the factors in a given trade off to see which way is best since they have to act in the abstract on a general category rather than the specific instance.

    Unity of TalkPolitics (and soon Liberty Central) comments on the blog as to the limits of what should be in the constitution itself
    I should note that up to last year I spent six years drafting constitutions for NGOs and am very clear what they are and aren't for - unlike the EU. The constitution should concern itself with the governance of the country, the separation of powers and the accountability of government, not with tax or economic policy, which is what democratically elected and accountable governments are for

    a couple of notes

    Good news on ID Cards, they could backrupt the government.

    Also a good peice by Johann Hari on why we should not be afraid of freedom of speech. In open debate liberty wins, because our ideas are better.

    February 19, 2006

    Reclaiming liberty

    Blogzilla has a list of the liberty destroying legislation brought in by New Labour. It is a long list.

    The new British Constitution

    Talk Politics is getting the ball rolling on the Grand Coalition to get rid of New Labour, undo some of their damage, and get ourselves a better constitutional settlement. OK lets get things started now. A few general ideas for the proposed constitution:

    1. Keep It Simple Stupid. Lets try for something simple and readable in the style of the US constitution rather than the EU constitution. A lay reader should be able to sit down with it after work and finish it before bed time. And they should be able to understand it.

    2. We are setting the rules of operation for the government ... and nothing else. Do not right any specific rules or models into it, they may seem like self evident Good Things now but will they in a hundred years time? Regulations belong as Acts of Parliament not in the constitution itself.

    3. Be careful about over broad emergency powers clauses. The USSR had the most liberal constitution ever written. However it also included a few little clauses that allowed the rulers to ignore it. The rest is history, as where about 40 million of it's citizens. Simplicity will help here by making any clauses like this readily visible.

    4. It must be able to amend itself. The world changes, things might need to be added and some things removed to deal with these changes. But any attempt to change things must be a very big deal, perhaps requiring a national referendum.

    5. There should be Parliament and Citizens. No further subdivisions. No special place for religion. No special place for gender. No special place for sexuality. No special place for ethnicity. No special place for class. We are all Citizens (or Subjects if you want) equal under the Law.

    Pete in Dunbar has flagged up a good thing, which I missed

    6. Separation of powers. Separate the judiciary from the legislature, and the executive from the legislature. But I would still like the executive to have to face something akin to Prime Ministers Questions on a regular basis as a formal way of the legislature keeping tabs on the executive.

    Now a few more specific things that must be included:

    1. Freedom of speech.

    2. Habeas Corpus.

    3. Presumption of Innocence.

    Peak Oil vs. Climate Change ... Fight!

    Climate change is happening. Peak oil could have already happened. Civilization is going to end. Twice.

    Climate change, which is part coursed by humans using fossil fuels, means that the global climate is going to become more unpredictable and because of this our industrial civilisation unsustainable. Nobody is going to invest the capital in the required infrastructure if it is likely to get wiped out by some freak weather event before generating a return on investment. So we are reduced to a pre-industrial exisence.

    Peak oil is that we are running out of oil, on which our economies depend, and so will no longer be able to power our economies and be reduced to a pre-industrial existence.

    The only way to stop climate change is to massively reduce the quantity of fossil fuels that we use. Peak oil means that there is going to be a massive drop in the quantity of fossil fuel available. In a free market economy when a resource starts to become scarce, the price goes up. As the price goes up people substitute that resource in various ways (often ways that cannot be predicted), so demand for the resource falls. This leads to the price finding a new equilibrium, and less of that resource being used.

    Thanks to the magic of the market Peak Oil nullifies Climate Change! The only question becomes is humanity inventive enough to be able to substitute fast enough? I guess that I'm an optimist, but I say yes.

    Poll reveals 40pc of Muslims want sharia law in UK

    The constant refrain of the Cartoon Wars hwas been how the extremists do not represent the majority of Muslims in the UK. So this poll from the Telegraph is a bit of a surprise
    "Forty per cent of the British Muslims surveyed said they backed introducing sharia in parts of Britain, while 41 per cent opposed it. Twenty per cent felt sympathy with the July 7 bombers' motives, and 75 per cent did not. One per cent felt the attacks were 'right'."
    So a very large number do share the objectives of the Islamofascists, even if the vast majority disagree with them on tactics.

    February 18, 2006

    Talk Politics - Leg & Reg

    An interesting post by Talk Politics on New Labour's Leg/Reg Bill, highlighting the problems seen in it by a group of Cambridge Law Professors.

    Islamofascists aiding the BNP

    By failing to take any action against the Islamofascists the police are playing into the hands of the original flavour fascists of the BNP. Just bloody wonderful.

    Coalition: Bringing the Right onboard

    Great Britain, Not Little England is continuing to build a blogswarm about a coalition of the willing to get blair out. The latest part is about how to bring the Right onboard, as part of the 'Right', or more accurately a frothing-at-the-mouth-libertarian here is my ideas.

    First why there will be friction in the first place. Below, if I can get blogger to do it, is a diagram to help me with this.

    The extreme 'left' often considers economic freedom completely separate from social freedom. The way that Socialism was supposed to work was that everybody would be free to do as they please but (or actually because) all economic structures would be controlled by society as a whole.

    The extreme 'right' often considers economic freedom to be an intrinsic part of social freedom. The way that Anarcho-Capitalism is supposed to work is that everybody would be free because they where all completely free economic agents to act and trade as they wished.

    The reality is that neither of these positions hold in practice. The horrors of Socialist China and the USSR need no further explanation. As do the horrors of Somalia.

    There is an intersect here on most areas of personal social freedom. If the campaign keeps to these areas then both sides can agree completely.

    There is also a third force that needs to be courted. Those too obsessed with the past to look at the present but it comes in two forms. People that want to return to the past, I could call this conservatism with a small c, and people that fear the return of the past, Thatcher-phobes.

    Conservatism is not the same as the 'right' but has a long standing alliance with it. For details as to why they are not the same have a look at this essay by F.A. Hayek entitled "Why I Am Not a Conservative". This is in a large part the politics of nostalgia, things where better in the past so we should return to the old ways. There is a large intersect with the politics of the 'right' since during the last century both where engaged in the fight against the newer doctrine of Socialism.

    The alliance here is simply due to the radical authoritarian nature of New Labour it has trampled over so much of the ancient customs of this country that anyone interested in conserving and restoring them will be anti-New labour. Here is the intersect, the restoration of the old civil liberties and constrained government.

    The Thatcher-phobes are a slightly different problem. There is an almost totally irrational fear here, perhaps pointing out that New Labour are generally continuing Thatcher's economic prescriptions (because they work). But by doing this they would just say that everyone else also follow these same prescriptions (because they work), and then go back to gently rocking in the corner. Noesmonkey has a suggestion for resueing these people from their phobia and so getting them on board our coalition
    if you push people these days to come up with what Thatcher did that was so bad (once they accept that our industrial sector was no longer viable anyway), the worst they can usually come up with is the Poll Tax. Give me that any day over Blair's ID card equivalent - because not only is that a shit-load more expensive, but what is it if not a poll tax?

    And Blair's version is a poll tax with nobs on. When did Thatcher suggest fingerprinting and retina scanning us all to ensure we paid?
    As you can probably tell I have less sympathy with them, and find it unlikely that they will be rescuable. The effort could well be distracting from building a broader coalition and our resources will be limited. The next election will anyway be the first with voters who weren't even born while she was in office. Time is probably the best healer for this type of irrational fear.

    The solution, as has already been pointed out.

    Simply to focus on the areas of agreement and agree to disagree on everything else. Make sure that it is not hijacked by wingnuts like myself from the 'right', moonbats from the 'left'. Concentrate on restoring the ancient civil liberties (such as Habeas Corpus and the Presumption of Innocence) that we had before New Labour started tearing up the constitution to get the small c conservatives on board. Remember that getting New Labour out is the important thing.

    February 17, 2006

    Getting rid of New Labour

    MatGB of Great Britian, Not Little England has some ideas on how to get rid of New Labour. Basically he wants everybody to acknowlege that the realignment of the political landscape is happening, and arguing over the old left/right ideas is not really that important anymore compared to trying to defend liberty from authoritarianism. Nosemonkey chips in in the comments with a Mill quote on the freedom to/freedom from debate
    "A theory of 'social rights' the like of which probably never before found its way into direct language: being nothing short of this - that it is the absolute social right of every individual, that every individual shall act in every respect exactly as he ought; that whosoever fails thereof in the smallest particular, violates my social right, and entitles me to demand from the legislature the removal of the grievance.
    Which sounds a lot like 'freedom from', you can only be free if you curtail others from doing things that interfer with you, but then Mill goes on with
    So monstrous a principle is far more dangerous than any single interference with liberty; there is no violation of liberty it would not justify; it acknowledges no right to any freedom whatever, except perhaps that of holding opinions in secret, without ever disclosing them: for, the moment an opinion which I consider noxious passes any one's lips, it invades all the 'social rights' attributed to me by the Alliance.
    Hence why freedom to is the important one, since freedom from is simply an excuse for removing freedom from everybody. Or to use the strap line of Harry's Place 'Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear'.

    Mat is proposing a general anti-New Labour, and pro-freedom portal to operate in a similar way to how MoveOn.org works in the US. This is something that I'm sure that many on the 'right' of politics would be willing to join in, so long as it remains about freedom and does not get taken over by the 'left'. What impact it would have si debateable since there was, and still is, Backing Blair trying to get rid of New Labour.

    On the old left D-Notice notes in his constituency that Labour support seems to go to the BNP when it abandons Labour, rather than the Lib-Dems. I guess this means that most of the old liberal left labour supports must have already left the party so any further reduction will be from authoritarians leaving.

    Stumbling and mumbling has some notes as to why New Labour, and in fact most politians, seem authoritarian, and one of his commenters, New Economist, adds some more:
    (1) quite cheap to implement but (2) attract lots of publicity and (3) accord with majority public opinion.
    Which is why it is going to be so hard to undo all the damage that New Labour has inflicted.

    murdered because of superstition

    Murdering women due to a stupid superstition has never been just a Christian trait, and unfortuantly in some cultures it is still practiced. Such as the 10 women murdered last year for being suspected of practicing black magic in Chhattisgarh region of India.

    February 16, 2006

    religious nutters are funny

    Now this one is good, and had he not survived an obvious candidate for a Darwin Award. A man decides to try and commit suicide by crucifxion. He had got one hand nailed to his cross then realised he needed it to hammer the nail into the other one!

    February 15, 2006

    Cartoons ... again

    When the artifical outrage over the Danish Cartoons was in full flow the Iranian government held a contest for cartoons that lampooned things that they felt teh West held dear. Unsurprisingly most of them where highly anti-semitic (not like you really need a contest to generate many of them in the Middle East). It was supposed to show that there where things that the West would not publish despite our freedom of speech, a concept which failed when the editor of the newspaper that published the original cartoons offered them a full page spread. Well it looks like a group of Israelis have taken up the ball whacked this right back at the Iranians. With extra spin. There is now the Israely Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest, yep they are calling for cartoons which ridicule themselves demonstrating both what freedom of speech and a sense of humour are. Something makes me doubt that the Islamofascist Mullahs in get the joke.

    MPs back thought crime

    They've done it, first ID Cards now thought crimes. New Labour is really cranking out the fascist regulations fast now. Talk Politics look a little deeper into the abyss that is New Labour's thought processes.
    Why are the government seeking to remove all those amendments which provide for judicial oversight of orders to close down alleged 'terrorist-supporting' websites and reinstate provisions which make ordinary coppers the sole arbiters in such matters, unless the website owner mounts an appeal after the fact of site being shut down?

    What possible justification can there be for such a process when, in a matter such as terrorism, the Police would surely have no difficulty in obtaining the necessary warrant for such actions from a Judge in a matter of hours?

    And what is a Police state if not a state in which powers which should rightly be vested in the judiciary in the interests of justice and the protection of the civil liberties of its citizens are, instead, vested in the Police?

    Chris Huhne

    Al Guardian has a good peice on the authoritarianism of New Labour by Chris Huhne as part of his leadership bid for the Lib-Dems. He seems to be saying a lot of good Liberal things:
    Each change that ministers propose is presented as a small step that only unreasonable people could find objectionable. Each concession is presented not as a diminution of freedom, but with Orwellian doublethink as freedom from a greater threat. Thus ministers argued that the ability to lock up people without charge or trial was an essential guarantee of the freedom not to be blown up.

    Slice by tiny slice, we are waking up in a society where our traditional freedoms are draining away. Surveillance and the Big Brother state are new realities.

    New Labour's abolition of parliament bill

    New Labour's abolition of parliament bill appears to be leaking out of the Blogosphere and into the dead tree media. Following Owen and Tim writing about it Daniel Finkelstein has a good article in The Times.

    New Labour's terror bill

    New Labour's terror bill is back before the commons. New Labour might not be trying to reinstate the section allowing the to hold people for three months in prison without charge (having settled for merely doubling the current period), but they do want to have the the offence of glorifying terror which was removed by the unelected toffs and cronies. The reason for this?
    Mr Blair said it was the government's "duty" to protect people.

    He told Labour's spring conference at the weekend: "Once we understand that providing security is our duty, we also see that to try to fight the new security threat of the 21st century without the new laws and resources that are needed would be an abrogation of that duty."
    Which doesn't really ring true when you realise that because of the unwritten "buy european" policy the primary means of providing security, the armed forces, is being given inferior equipment at over the odds prices. According to the Chief of the Defence Staff the Royal Navy is currently only just large enough to defend our coastline, and planned cuts will stop it even being able to do that. This is while being engaged in a very large number of conflicts, there never being a war that the Tyrant Blair didn't want to get involved in. From Hansard on 18 Jun 2003 we get a list:
    However, the Armed Forces have already been hit in recent years by major reductions. The problem is—and has been for a number of years—that our Armed Forces are far too small for the many tasks that have been laid upon them. They remain heavily over-committed. They have responded magnificently in the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, Cyprus over many years, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, the first Gulf War, Iraq and now the Congo.
    Many of these conflicts being long term commitments without any exit strategy, and I am not talking about just Iraq here. From the same Hansard as above:
    I was amazed to learn that somehow we have slipped into supporting the French in the Congo without any clear concept of operations and without any clear reinforcement or exit strategy. I hope that we are not doing so to please the French rather than to bring relief to that sad country.

    New Labour obviously does not care about the primary means of defending the realm, so what about from terrorists attacking from within the country? This particular bill is supposed to be aimed at them. Well, there are only a few terrorist groups that attack within the UK, the IRA, Islamists, and Animal Rights activists (in order of the number that they kill). The IRA have seats in parliament and their political wing gets funding from the government because of this. We have also seen clearly over the last few weeks how New Labour bends over backwards to appease Islamists. So again New Labour's retoric on being out to defend the citizens seems hollow.

    So what is left? Well there is the argument that this is about shutting down freedom of speech. Now that fits with New Labour's record.

    Smoking banned

    Smoking is banned in all pubs and clubs. They still allow you some freedom in your own property since you can still smoke at home and
    No decision has yet been made on whether smoking will be banned in cars carrying passengers.
    But as Samizdata notes there is one confined space where smoking will still be allowed
    The Home Office is not about to ban smoking in prisons.

    But what about the health of non-smoking prisoners in the confined space? What about passive smoking by prison officers, whose workplace it is? N'importe. The tobacco allowance in prison is a means of control used by the authorities. Removing it would remove something of their capacity for arbitrary reward and punishment of individual prisoners.
    So dangerous pleasures are bad. Unless they give the state leverage to control you, when they are good. Very New Labour.

    February 13, 2006

    MPs back compulsory ID cards

    The elected house has struck down the amendments of the unelected toffs and cronies so now we get compulsory ID Cards. Wonderful, the Fascist party in full flow. Everybody nicely registered on their giant, error ridden, massively delayed, and grossly over budget (should it ever actually work consistently) database. All your details in one place ready for the Dear Leader to decide who is off to the re-education camps, and neatly packaged up to be stolen for use in fraud. The only hope now is that the Lords amendment forcing the government to actually produce more credible numbers (which will turn out to be far lower than what is eventually needed) as to how much this monstrosity will cost remains in place.

    February 10, 2006

    New Labour

    With all the fuss going on about Islamofascism some of the legislation proposed the Fascist party that is actually in power has been rather neglected. They are planning on not holding local elections next year, because they will be loosing a large number of councillors if the latest by-election in Dunfermline and Fife West is anything to go by.
    Willie Rennie [Lib-Dem] overturned a Labour majority of 11,000 to win the Westminster seat in Dunfermline and Fife West by 1,800 votes.

    The constituency, which borders that of Chancellor Gordon Brown, was one of Labour's safest heartland seats.
    ID cards are still getting pushed through, even if they are now voluntary, and people are flying kites about using biometrics to ration drinking. The EU seems to be running in circles as to whether or not it is in favour of censorship, luckily New Labours Censorship Bill has been neutered by the Lords, and when the government attempted to remove these amendments in the Commons they lost again thanks thanks to a parliamentary rebellion. But now New Labour wants to get rid of Parliament entirely from the process of creating legislation, The Longrider is a bit angry about it, and Owen has some historical perspective on this. That people are willing to stand up to Islamofascism is a good thing, but we also need to continue to stand up to the fascists of New Labour.

    February 09, 2006

    artificial outrage

    So thoses cartoons are so offensive, I wonder what would have happened had they been published in an Egyption newspaper? The answer is absolutely nothing, via Samizdata.
    they were actually printed in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr back in October 2005. I repeat, October 2005, during Ramadan, for all the egyptian muslim population to see, and not a single squeak of outrage was present.
    Which proves, along with the need to add some additional fact cartoons since the originals where so tame, how artificial this outrage actually is.

    February 08, 2006

    the Jyllands-Posten cartoons

    The details are finally coming out about the Jyllands-Posten cartoons.

    Some fundimetalist Muslim Imams decide to stir up hatred, using the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. However they where not alarming enough so they make some up which can be perceived as more offensive, including a picture of a french comic dressed as a pig which had nothing to do with Islam what so ever. However the Danes do not, as had been expected, cave in over this artificial outrage and things spiral way beyond what had been expected. I doubt that the idiots ever thought that the Danes would not cave in. They just wanted to produce the correct mood music, expecting it all to settle down once an abject appology had been issued and a bit more self-censorship imposed.

    Unfortunately they had shown the wind, now it was time to reap the wirl wind. Five dead. Embasies burned down. One British protestor back in prison, he had been out on licence having served haft his sentence as drug dealer, as a scape goat for protesting in a stupid costume. The reputation of Islam once again tarnished as a bunch of raving lunitics unable to take any critisim what so ever. They even get themselves exposed for stiring hatred in the national newspapers, and there is no way that was part of the original plan.

    So fundimentalist Muslims picked a fight. They lost. Their backup got out of control, and ended in self destructive riots. The West did not start this, Islamofascism did. The West has no blame for it, quite frankly if a bully ends up getting hurt when their victim decides to stand up to them the entire fault lies with the bully.

    February 07, 2006

    More on patents

    Between 2000 and 2004 the entire Muslim world managed to produced just 611 patentable inventions. Over a third of these (266) where from just one country, Malaysia.

    Denmark produced 2284 patentable inventions between 2000 and 2004, 3.74 times the entire Muslim world.

    Israel produced 5014 patentable inventions in the same period, 8.21 times the entire Muslim world. This despite being constantly under attack from terrorists.

    The American Social Model

    Wealth or leisure that is supposed to be the choice. That is what the European trades off, you are not supposed to be able to be able to have your cake and eat it. Unless you follow the American Social Model instead.

    Enabling Jihadism

    Andrew Sullivan makes some good points on those cartoons.
    One massive supporting pillar of Jihadism has been the West's refusal to treat the Islamic world as it would any other part of the world. If Chinese radicals were ransacking Western embassies because of a cartoon, and were backed by the Chinese government, we would be outraged, demanding apologies, severing relations, and so on. But when Muslims do it, backed by Islamist governments, we are supposed to take it on the chin, to "respect" their religious traditions, issue mealy-mouthed statements, etc. In many ways, this is the real offense: treating Muslims as if their violation of global norms, and thralldom to medieval conceptions of politics and religion, were somehow acceptable.
    Exactly. Why should we simply accept that any mild criticism of Islam will always result in death and destruction, lives destroyed or ended? Yes, that this would happen is what we have come to expect, but that does not make it right. If the Islamic world ever wants drag itself from stagnating in the dark ages (and if Peak Oil theory is correct it is going to have to) it is going to have to grow up.

    Enabling Jihadism

    Andrew Sullivan makes some good points on those cartoons.
    One massive supporting pillar of Jihadism has been the West's refusal to treat the Islamic world as it would any other part of the world. If Chinese radicals were ransacking Western embassies because of a cartoon, and were backed by the Chinese government, we would be outraged, demanding apologies, severing relations, and so on. But when Muslims do it, backed by Islamist governments, we are supposed to take it on the chin, to "respect" their religious traditions, issue mealy-mouthed statements, etc. In many ways, this is the real offense: treating Muslims as if their violation of global norms, and thralldom to medieval conceptions of politics and religion, were somehow acceptable.
    Exactly. Why should we simply accept that any mild criticism of Islam will always result in death and destruction, lives destroyed or ended? Yes, that this would happen is what we have come to expect, but that does not make it right. If the Islamic world ever wants drag itself from stagnating in the dark ages (and if Peak Oil theory is correct it is going to have to) it is going to have to grow up.

    February 06, 2006

    The worlds most inovative religions

    I wanted to find out once and for all which religions encouraged innovation and which stifled it. These number of patents per million people for countries of different religions.

    1. Shinto 1336
    2. Jewish 799
    3. Buddhist 609
    4. Unaffiliated 134
    5. Christian 99.7
    6. Indigenous Beliefs 13.2
    7. Hindu 1.14
    8. Atheist (Socialist) 0.914
    9. Unspecified 0.489
    10. Muslim 0.427
    11. Zionist 0

    So there you have it the reason that Islamic countries seem to dislike Zionism so much, it is the only religion that invents less than they do! But that is still no reason want to destroy Swaziland when it has done nothing to them.

    Notes on the data:

    Patent data comes from the US Patent Office. The United States of America was NOT included in the data used to create this list, as the patents would have been both international and purely domestic while all other countries would have been just international which would have distorted the results.

    Religion is from the CIA World Fact Book using the religion which has the largest proportion of the population when all sects of the major religions are combined e.g. both Lutheran and Roman Catholic counted towards Christian, both Sunni and Shia counted towards Muslim. When the CIA indicated that I could have put a country in several religious categories I counted towards all of them.

    Islamic Blogosphere

    If you want to know what the Islamic Blogosphere is talking about the cartoons then you can find a few samples at Global Voices.

    The aftermath

    Some views on the police response to the Muslim protest over the Danish Cartoons. They all seem to come to the same view that as Harry's Place put it
    The Islamists who carried placards glorifying 9/11 and 7/7 in London yesterday and who called for further murders while dressed as suicide bombers must be prosecuted if the criminal law in this country is not to become a laughing stock.
    To which The Daily Ablution added
    Will our government and legal institutions continue the policy of craven appeasement, carried out under white flags of surrender bearing the legends 'inclusivity' and 'celebrating multiculturalism'? Or will they finally show the courage to fight the barbarism in our midst - courage that has until now been so sadly lacking?
    My guess, no they won't. They will just claim to be gathering evidence until the fuss dies down and they can quietly let the matter drop. The EU Referendum Blog then contrasts this attitude to the way that the police presecute others for far less.

    From the Muslim side of this we learn that most of these people where not extremists, even if their views where rather extreme
    almost all the banners and placards were HT, people were free to bring their own but HT had a big stack of them for people to take.

    however i would say the vast majority of the people there were not HT
    But since they did have the option of not using these prepared banners, or simply not holding any banner, it can be assumed that these people did believe that these slogans where justifiable. And these are people who do not consider themselves extreme and are not part of His Butt Tahir.

    Muslim protest in proportion

    The Devil's Kitchen is getting a a bit critised for not putting the Islamic demonstration into context, how they are un-representative and just a very small minority group. OK, lets put it into context.

    There where "more than 1,000" at one protest and 500 at another. Since they where on different days I will assume that everybody from the smaller protest went to the larger so that represents the total number of protesters in the population.

    In 2001 there where 1588890 officially in the country.

    So the protest represents 0.06% of the entire Muslim population currently in the UK. As has been pointed out a small percentage. However where a similar percentage of the entire population of the UK to stage a similar protest it would be 38,000 people.

    The largest protest in British history was the Anti-War protest that managed 750,000 or roughly 19 times larger proportionately. The pro-Hunt protest that held the record before that was 400,000 or 10 times larger proportionately. It is also good to contrast the behaviour of the police in these two cases.

    225,000, according to the organisers, where at the highly publisised Make Poverty History protest in Edinburgh, or roughly 6 times more proportionately.

    200,000 people rioted over the Poll Tax, which was enough to bring down Thatcher. This is only 5 times more proportionately to bring down a Prime Minister.

    These protests represent the equivalent of twice the total number of people involved in the the Battle of Orgreave during the miners strike. That is counting both sides.

    So these protest weren't huge. But they were a significant proportion of the Muslim population with this very extreme viewpoint.

    the welfare state

    Raw Carrot calculates the amount you can get for sitting on your arse and spreading your legs:
    Yep. Who would have thought: £18,441 per annum. To earn that much as an income tax (and National Insurance) payer you’d need to be earning £25,000

    Cartoon protesters killed

    The Religion of Peace continues to show it's peaceful ways, and now two protestors have ended up dead. Why is violence always the first response from Muslims? Asks the Toronto Star, but the author, a Muslim himself, could find no answer. Maybe the answer lies in self doubt. Knowing that Islam has added anything to human culture for several centuries now, other than perhaps some innovative uses of areoplanes or interesting health iniatives, there is a tendency to refuse any critisism. As there is no good that they can respond with.

    February 04, 2006

    Some religous nutters are just so funny

    Something that I'm not sure is a spoof or not. Definitely in the running for the cheesiest and most unintentionally funny god bothering site on the net. Have You Accepted Jesus Yet? Hawking such wears as the Baby Jesus Anti-Fornication Thong, which would probably work. On revealing all thoughts of the pleasures of the flesh will be banished. You will be too busy laughing.

    February 03, 2006

    Al Guardian

    The battle is set, of religious extremism versus freedom of speech. These are the lines drawn, or so we are told, in the escalating tensions worldwide surrounding the printing of images of Muhammad in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.
    So no suprise to see Al Guardian proudly in the vanguard for religious extremism.
    First, the easy part. Any depiction of Muhammad, however temperate, is not allowed.
    It is here.
    Muhammad as a symbol for Islam and Muslims. These are the stereotypes that, as Muslims, we face daily. The looks on the tube, the suspicion, the eyes on the bags we carry.
    I wonder why that would be? Perhaps that small issue of Islamic terrorist murderers who's favourite method of attack is the suicide bomb? Or perhaps it would be that little Islamic cultural issue of murdering, or forcing into hiding, anyone that dares critise Islam in any way.
    I have also been receiving other messages. These are the most worrying, and the ones of which Europe must take note. These are the messages of resignation. The messages that discuss exit strategies. The messages that question the very future of Muslims in Europe.

    How shall I put this? Good. There are plenty of Islamic countries out there, if you think you will live a happier life in one then go live there. If you cannot live in a tolerant 21st century country then by all means emmergrate to shit-heap-istan, nobody is going to stop you. But don't try and force your medieval supersitions on the rest of us. It is not like the Islamic world has produced any new ideas of significance in the last several hundred years.
    The messages to my inbox of resignation, of fear, come with good reason. Some countries that have reprinted the images - Spain, France, Italy and Germany - have a nasty history of fascism.
    Whereas most of the Islamic world is ruled by fascism in the present.
    Just last week we had Holocaust memorial day.
    Which the Muslim Council of Britian boycotted, again.
    The Holocaust did not occur overnight.
    No, Hilter and his entourage had to plan it, and based their plans on the genocide of the Christian Armenians by the Muslim Calphate during World War I.
    It took time to establish a people as subhuman, and cartoons played their part.
    like the cartoons that are still run daily against Jews, in Islamic countries.
    Does Europe not remember its past and the Nazi propaganda of Der Stürmer?
    Yes we do hence why we are standing up against fascism now.

    February 02, 2006

    Robert Newman, cretinous, ludite, twat

    With previously reliable Polly talking sense for once Al Guardian seems to have got desperate to fulfill its quota of nonsense articles they have decided to get someone new in. Robert Newman, who is an utter, utter moron. Tim Worstall already has had a go at him, but I was too incandesant to properly express my contempt before. But I've cooled down a bit now so here goes.

    There is no meaningful response to climate change without massive social change.
    Massive social change is something that humans are quite good at, change the incentives and we naturally change are behaviour to maximise the rewards. Something often called the invisible hand of the market. Even over just the last couple of centuries there have been several massive social changes. For example the rise and collapse of Socialism, with the millions of deaths that the Socialist states brought with them, or the rise and retreat of free-trade with the wealth and prosperity that it created. Massive social change isn't really a problem, they are simply something that happens. The problems come with if a society changes into a authoritarian hell hole.
    A cap on this and a quota on the other won't do it. Tinker at the edges as we may, we cannot sustain earth's life-support systems within the present economic system.
    And what economic system would he be suggesting? It's not Capitalism and the market, currently the most efficient way known of distributing resources as he says:
    Capitalism is not sustainable by its very nature.
    So what could it be? According to dsquared commenting on Tim Worstall's blog his description of capitalism is
    pretty clearly Marx's Capital, Vol 1, and since the term if not the word "capitalism" was originally defined by Marx
    Oh dear, alarm bells go off. Especially as he now veers off into an anti-captialist rant about the power of the big corporations. I guess he didn't bother listening to the news, probably a requirement for writing for Al Guardian, about the supposed unstoppable power of the big corporations. Yahoo being forced to hand over the emails of a journalist and Google being forced to censor itself by the Chinese, something that the bette noire of the anti-capitalists New Corporation has had to do for years. Microsoft's continuing battle with the EU that could mean it has to fork out 2 million euros a day. Why didn't the supposedly all powerful corporations just reach out their hand and smite these upstart governments? Well that would be because they are not all powerful and have to operate within the markets created by governments.
    the point is that supermarkets are over. We cannot have such long supply lines between us and our food. Not any more. The very model of the supermarket is unsustainable, what with the packaging, food miles and destruction of British farming.
    I very much doubt it, some people (like me) will choose to buy form small retailers and the Co-Op. Others will choose to buy from a supermarket since it is convenient to get everything in one place. Nothing is going to change that, the supermarkets may change their suppliers in response to the market but they ain't going away. Which is a good thing since the ruthless competition between them keeps food cheap for everybody. And here he drifts into more anti-captialist claptrap.
    Solutions need to come from people themselves.
    you mean small business startups to provide clean energy at economical prices? No that would actually work, my mistake.
    But once set up, local autonomous groups need to be supported by technology transfers from state to community level.
    that is they must take the government issue equipment, even if it is unsuitable, uneconomical, or simply unwanted. Because the State says that they must. No reason to let the market reduce the prices and increase the efficiency of the devices then let people decide what is best. No, the State knows best. You must do as the State commands. If the energy commissar says that your hilltop cottage is the perfect place for a tidal powerplant then that is how it must be. Shifting the burden over to specialist companies that can do it more efficiently is apparently not an option but since the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine all the time he is willing to allow some power grids, so long as they don't grow to big:
    back in the 1920s the London boroughs of Wandsworth and Battersea had their own electricity-generating grid for their residents.
    Yes they did, as did most towns and cities. There is a building on the road through Newton Abbot to Torquay that proudly boasts on it's brickwork that that was why it was built. Independently owned and run set up as the market for electricity demanded. They don't exist now of course. Having all been nationalised into a single State monopoly which ran them so badly that they then had to be denationalised into the eeeevil energy corporations.
    So long as energy corporations exist, however, they will fight tooth and nail to stop whole postal districts seceding from the national grid.
    You mean they will drop their prices and increase their use of renewables to keep their customers? And this is a bad thing?
    We have lived in an era of cheap, abundant energy. There never has and never will again be consumption like we have known.
    Wrong! Nukes are here and can provide vast amounts of energy. Waste is not a problem, you just have to store it for a few thousand years before it is no more radioactive than the ore it was mined from. Humans can already build structures that last that long, within a couple hours drive of where I now type there are many examples of structures that demonstrate this. And we have got better at building in the millennia since they where constructed.

    Nor do we have to rely on Fission, Fusion is coming. Iter is about to be built and Demo is scheduled for 2030, and fusion will provide far more energy than we will ever need. Even if there is no technological progress beyond Iter and Demo the fusion fuel in our oceans is more than enough for the next thousand years. Mining it from the gas giants would provide more energy than we are likely to ever need. Enough energy to take us well beyond even the death of the Sun. But Mr Newman does not seem to realise this, nor does he realise what his vision of self sufficiency would require, since subsistence farming simply cannot support the current levels of population. Millions will need to die if he gets his way, but being a Socialist I guess that is unlikely to trouble him. There is a better way. Progress happens, technology will save us. All of us. We haven't reached the end of the road, the ingenuity of the human mind means that we have barely even started.

    Selling your salvation

    People have sold their souls on eBay before, but this is the first time I have heard of somebody selling their salvation:
    So, here's my proposal. Everytime I come home, I pass this old Irish church. I promise to go into that church every day-- for a certain number of days-- for at least an hour each visit. For every $10 you bid, I will go to the Church for 1 day. For $50, you would have me going to mass every day for a week.
    The current price is $280.00, which compared to running a mission to the heathens is rather cheap. Hat tip, Alternative Religions blog.

    February 01, 2006

    The Lords are at it again

    The Lords are at it again, protecting our liberties. This time from a nasty bit of censorship that was being feed through by New Labour as part of the War on Civil Liberties. Luckily the unelected toffs and cronies where there to put a stop to it
    peers changed the Terrorism Bill to ensure police have to ask judges before telling internet providers that web pages should be removed.
    Yes the House of Lords was indefensible as a wholely heriditary chamber, until the tired tyrant Blair managed to find something even worse when he reformed it with. With all these defeats no doubt he is itching for some more 'reform' to turn it into the compliant yes men that his original reforms where aiming at. Quite frankly I agree with DK we cannot take the risk of letting him have another go with his reforms. One day he will be gone (unless New Labour decides to trigger the Civil Contingencies Act due to the national emergency of a possible electoral defeat), and then we can start to put things back in order. But to allow more constitutional change while New Labour is going to be the ones shaping it is simply too dangerous.

    Freedom and Whisky

    via the Pedant-General in Ordinary a post by
    Freedom and Whisky on education.
    It's quite clear that the state could pay for a private education for every child in Scotland for no more than it spends on its own Stalinist system:
    The figures mean that while taxpayers spend £5,160 on the average child's education annually, £1,700 is swallowed up by local government.

    Iran and the bomb

    If you haven't already read this piece by EU Referendum on Iran do so now. Very worrying. Some tasters
    Iran has already enriched enough uranium fissionable material to manufacture at least one or two atom bombs
    but luckily
    there have been doubts expressed as to whether the warhead dimensions of the Shahab 3 are sufficient even to accommodate a lightweight bomb, which raises further questions about Iranian preparedness.
    of the type that they do not have the technology to build yet.


    From Mystery Pollster

    the popularity ratings compared for three presidents.

    and Bush again in some more detail


    So Robert Mugabe has found his racist policies of confiscating white owned land in order to force his people to live as subsistance farmers is not working.
    Zimbabwe is expected this year to grow less than half of what it needs to feed the population and the rains have denied President Robert Mugabe his standard explanation of poor weather for slumping production.
    Strangely it appears that his preference of subsistance agriculture is not more efficient than the specialist agriculture that it replaced, something that even Marx knew, and have transformed Zimbabwe from a major food exporter to a country on the brink of starvation.


    Here is a new political word, Christianism. The Christian analogue of Islamism (with some free market economics thrown in, in contradiction to the appostles) and with a fair few adherants in the US. Basically Right-Authoritarian on the Political Compass, with some biblical mumbo-rumbo as a cover.

    Religous hatred

    Via Guido, here are the complete vote listings for the votes on the Islamist's Censorship Religous Hatred Bill. Mark Oaten, like a proper Liberal, voted against.
    Galloway, the dictator's friend, voted against freedom of speech and for the restoration of the caliphate.