December 31, 2006

new year's fisking

Polly's at it again with a new year's wish list of statist twaddle. The Devil also has a fisking, but it is just calling out for another.
Start with acts of contrition for past political sins committed by all parties.
Well that isn't going to happen, and why do I think that you actually mean past political sins committed by all parties except Labour? Labour being the party with by far the most political sins. Bishop Hill's big long list for a start.
Bring in state financing of parties
No. Never, no matter how much they may want it the only thing that this will do is increase the separation between electorate and elected. It will do nothing to stop corruption (look at Germany or France), just create a new avenue for it. Suddenly instead of having to crawl up to the people that their decisions effect the parties will be jumping through hoops for some bureaucratic quango setting the current ideological status quo in concrete.
with a strict cap on all spending over the electoral cycle
OK. That (unlike state funding) might actually do something to prevent corruption by meaning that the parties would need less money.
a ban on all money-raising except from fixed individual membership subscriptions.
That also has some promise. But why supplement it? The parties having to listen to their members is a good thing, it puts them more in touch with the people that elect the MPs that they are formed to support. Mass membership political parties happened in the past, and political interest hasn't really changed just the interest in party based politics since no individual party member has any influence over party policy.
Give each voter the power to allocate their share of party funds by ticking a box on the ballot paper to stop a carve-up by the main parties
There would still be a carve up because the small parties do not have the funds to contest all seats. And guess what the funding cap and state subsidisation of the big parties would make it even harder for the small ones to break through reinforcing the status quo and alienation from party politics that has lead to them getting in such dire financial straits in the first place.
Encourage citizens to vote with a bonus off their council tax
In other words reduce the local revenues of areas where the population is politically active and make them even more reliant on the grant from central government. If we had a government that was making every preparation for creating a police state that kind of proposal would have some very seriously scary undertones about keeping the more rebellious elements in line. Oh, come to think of it we do.
if they still won't turn out, make voting compulsory
Why not fill the ballet papers in as well Polly? For Labour of course. If somebody thinks a candidate does not represent their views then it is there right not vote for them as a representative, and if that means voting for nobody so be it. All compulsory voting would do is get a whole load more people into the voting booths that don't really care and will simply vote the way they have always done without thinking. Again a recipe for preventing change.
Make it more enticing with the alternative vote, letting voters put their choices in 1, 2 ,3 order, choosing small parties closer to their views, while still using their second choice to keep out the party they most fear
I think that you mean Single Transferable Vote there. That is the only voting system that means there are no safe seats and so the representatives really have to work hard for the people that send them to Westminster, with all the attendant perks, in order that they will be sent back.
If any party fears losing out under the alternative vote, let it support full proportional representation.
Full proportional representation? You mean get rid of any connection between representative and represented so the one and only way that they can maintain their perks is to work hard for central office even at the expense of the people that they are supposedly there for. Under PR you might as well not have MP's at all you need are the party bosses who can work out a series of compromises in the back rooms based on their respective proportions of the vote. They have no need to worry about persuading MP's that it is a good compromise, if they even hint of rebelling it is strait to the bottom of the list and out at the next election. Again transferring power away from the people to reinforce the party system. A pattern seems to be emerging here.
· Prove British democracy is not in hock to press barons, despite the humiliating courting of these political thugs. Restore the laws limiting media ownership by any one magnate, abolished by Margaret Thatcher to let Rupert Murdoch acquire his empire, so that he now owns over 40% of the press plus ever more dominant Sky.
· Fix the BBC's future with a legal guarantee of at least inflation-proof rises in the licence fee, free of political intervention in perpetuity. (Tessa Jowell should resign in protest if she fails to secure the BBC steady state funding as a bare minimum.) The licence fee is a bargain.
The licence fee is a bargain to lefties like polly who get the single largest media group, far larger than anything Rupert Murdoch has, without having to pay for it by forcing everybody to cough up whether they want to or not under threat of fines or prison. Get rid of the TV Tax entirely, let the BBC compete on its merits and then see how good it really is. These two paragraphs simply say that Polly wants a lefty monopoly on all media, and that it be paid for by taxation. I'm glad I don't own a TV.
Turn the Low Pay Commission into the Pay Commission, with a duty to recommend not just the minimum wage rate but to comment on the dysfunctions and dislocations caused by out-of-control pay at the top, now fracturing middle pay rates, inflating house prices, raising interest rates and harming all.
Yet another quango sticking it's nose in where it has no reason to be, and has no power to do anything. Unless Polly actually means, and she probably does, that it such be able to cap wages, like Mao did in China. Which since we live a world where people can easily move from country to country all the high earners will, taking the livelihoods of many less well off people with them. Which brings us neatly on to Polly's nationalist socialist bug bear, all those nasty eastern europeans since:
It should comment too on migration and its effect on pay rates
Screw you Polly. Immigration is a good thing, and the evidence is that the effect that is has on wages is minimal. When you try to claim that somehow all the nasty Poles are keeping the feckless and idle natives feckless and idle then you are speaking out of your enormously distended arsehole. The feckless and idle are that because we pay them to be thanks to the Welfare State, they where before eastern europeans came here to work they will be after the eastern europeans have moved on to better things.
Create a standing tax commission to expose who pays what and how fat cats squeeze through loopholes.
How about simply get rid of the loop holes with a flat tax? But no that would mean less waste and bureaucracy and in the Polly-verse the creep of bureaucracy is like entropy never to be reversed.
Bring a top tax band at £100,000 as an opportunity tax
The laffer curve exists, as does international migration. Slap a super tax on them and you will find these people will take their highly demanded skills elsewhere.
earmarked to pay for new life chances for left-behind children.
There is not and never has been any hypothecated taxes. once the money gets into the bureaucracy you can never know where it will eventually end up. But we can know that most of it will stay in the bureaucracy.
Make Every Child Matters a reality, with Sure Start a genuine universal guarantee that every child gets wrap-around help from well-qualified professionals to rescue all at risk.
Haven't you noticed that Sure Start is actually a failure? Or that the more the state intervenes with a child the worse they end up? Or perhaps you just noticed that that would mean lots more pointless bureaucratic none jobs to fill the Guardians advertising pages and so pay for your massive salary (itself admittedly a testament that sometimes the high salaries that some people command are simply not worth it).
Labour's great idea, 10 years on, is still often only a half-fulfilled promise.
Half-fulfilled? Well then you should be happy Polly! That is much better than most of their other promises.
Cut crime at a stroke: let clinics prescribe enough heroin to addicts daily to stop them mugging, stealing and turning to prostitution to support a habit. Lives can be stabilised on regular heroin and that is also the best hope of getting chaotic addicts into rehab.
Finally another haft sensible point glints amongst the muck. But why prescribe it? Just legalise the stuff and let everybody get whatever amount suits their fancy. For me that would be none, for others more. It is the muggings that are the problem not the drugs, so how about criminalise mugging instead the drugs? Oh yes mugging is a crime, but you wouldn't believe it given the way that the police react.
Begin again on foreign policy and, as Chirac departs, turn back to the EU.
Why? I know it is chock full of the pointless bureaucracy that Polly loves so much but really when has the EU actually done anything good in the area of foreign policy. In fact when was the EU given the power to do anything to do with foreign policy at all? It hasn't been other than to do with trade where it's last major achievement was to derail the last round of trade talks that where finally supposed to give the third world better access to first world markets and so make everybody better off. All to safeguard the indefensible CAP. Wow what a triumph.
Europe is the world's best hope on climate change
We're screwed
the only grouping of nations with the power and intent to tackle it
Intent? Where does that come from. The only country that is even close to being able to meet it's Kyoto goals is Britain, not that meeting these goals would actually do much about climate change anyway. Even the US is doing better with reducing CO2 emissions than the EU because it's economic growth has allowed it's citizens to freely choose less pollution, which many have done because energy costs money.
Make carbon trading work
You mean unlike what it does at the moment which is simply to be a way for anybody that takes it seriously (the UK) to subsidize everybody that does not (everybody else).
invite in the rest of the world
Great so we have to subsidise the rest of the world as well as the rest of the EU.
create and donate clean technologies to China and India.
And whom is going to do this, since your taxation will have already scared everybody with the skills away. And why donate? Why not sell?
Give the climate change bill teeth. The public is ready to change its habits, but is waiting for strong leadership to say what everyone knows must be done.
Yes the people are just ready and eager for the smack of strong leadership to tell them exactly how and what they can do at all times. Shiny boots really are back in fashion around the Toynbee household aren't they.
Merger and acquisition mania is back in the City with renewed ferocity. Boasts about "inward investment" to Britain are often just a sign on the borders saying Britain for Sale, in ways that amaze other countries.
Yep, great isn't it? If something would be better run with somebody else in charge then that somebody should be able to get in charge. That is the reason for the mergers mania, British companies are better when not owned and run by the british. If that where not the case then the stock price would not go up because of a merger. The old owners get cash, the new owners get a business they can run better than the old, and we get services from a better run business than before. Like in all free trade, everybody wins.

December 30, 2006

A few quickies

Bishop Hill with a long list of Labour achievements. Something to bookmark and come back to whenever anybody tries to argue that Labour isn't terrible.

Gene at Harry's Place has a quick list of how the Palestinians are treating their 'cease-fire' for when they do something really stupid and Israel finally hits back.

French dislike the Euro

It looks like the EU really could be coming to it's natural end, disolution, within a few years. The motor of the EU has for a long time been the French trying to create &eaccute;urope &aaccute; la fracais but now even the French are getting fed up with it. Not only having rejected the EU Constitution last year (which is still being implemented) but more than 50% want to get rid of the Euro as well.

Blears protest

Over christmas while I was indulging in the fruits of trade (literally) a little storm blew up about Hazel Blears and a few other cabinet members protesting against the policy of their own government to close hospitals in their constituencies, one of the few Labour constituencies affected. I guess I should lambast the hypocrisy of Ms Blears for supporting a policy for everybody else, but then squealing like a piggy when it affects her in the normal socialist way. But I'm not going to. In this case her protests are exactly the right thing to have done since she was elected not to serve the interests of the Labour party but to serve the interests of her constituents. It is actually good to finally see this coming through, to finally find a Labour minister that seems to have more than just contempt for the people that elected them. It is a promising sign both for democracy, that our elected representatives might actually start representing us again, and for that it shows that Labour MP's are worried about their seats and the perks that come with them so despite the Boy King's best efforts Labour could actually face a fight next time.

ding dong the witch is dead!

Good riddance to the murderous old bastard. If hell existed (which it doesn't) here is one prime candidate for a seriously nasty roasting.

December 23, 2006

happy holidays!

No blogging for a week while I go off for a week and celebrate capitalism, the free market, and materialism with my family.

Repeal the EU

The Serf has had his suggestion accepted onto the short list of the Today program's competition for the law that most people want to repeal. Quite a list it is too:
Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
Human Rights Act 1998
European Communities Act 1972
Hunting Act 2004
Act of Settlement 1701

Repealing the Hunting Act 2004 is still the second most popular issue on the Government e-Petitions site, and SOCA is a serious issue. However since whatever is chosen will have no effect what so ever I went for the European Communities Act 1972. Partly because Britain must get out of the EU, and partly because the europhiles on the Today program will hate that one winning.

Before there has been an equivalent competitions where once an MP offered to put the winning idea into a private members bill before Parliament. However the winning idea was that householders would be able to use whatever force they felt necessarcary to defend themselves so long as it was not grossly disproportionate. Needless to say the MP reneged on his promise and that was never put before parliament. However there is now a similar private members bill that is going to be put forward. While it will not become law it would be nice to see the law on the side of the generally law abiding rather than criminals for a change.

December 21, 2006

It is time for the annual CFP negotiations. Once again fish quotas have been cut. Once again the enviromental groups say (correctly) that it is not enough to preserve the fish stocks. Once again the fishermen say (correctly) that the further cuts will damage their industry even more and lead to even more people being forced out of business. And once again there is no such problem in Iceland, Norway or the Faroe Islands where stocks remain healthy since they use a system for managing them that actually works, unlike the Common Fisheries (or Failure) Policy.

Between them the CFP and CAP account for 60% of the EU's budget. Well they probably do, but since the EU's accounts are riddled with errors and have never been signed off since they where first submitted to the court of auditers 12 years ago we cannot be sure about that. However what we can be certain of is that they are both failures, like most EU policies.

The CFP has no preserved either fish stocks or the fishing industries, something that is not impossible since Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands have managed it.

The CAP is responcible for both the destruction of small farming in the EU at the expense of the largest argi-businesses while forcing up costs for consumers twice. Once thanks to the more expensive food, and then again because of the more expensive taxes needed to pay for it. It has also helped to cripple the third world by dumping subsidised food on their market in the only industry where they could compete against the west thanks to their natural comparitive advantage in this field. This is while the third world is denied selling their cheap food into the EU, as opposed to expensive CAP subsidised food, in order that they can get the western hard currency to buy the things they really want (which isn't CAP subsidised food).

The free movement of people is good thing, and so the ability of the people from the accession states to come and live and work in other EU countries is also a good thing. Unless they want to come and live and work in France, or Germany, or Austria, or most of the EU since most countries (the UK being one of the few acceptions) have opted out of their requirement. The accession states however are not allowed to opt out of any of implementing all of the EU's red tape.

Single market could have been a good thing, free trade being good for everybody involved in it. However even by the EU's own admission it isn't. Since the wieght of regulation that the EU has seen fit to encumber it with completely swamps any benefits.

Where the EU has meddled in tax policy it forced the creation of VAT. Horrifically complicated, expensive to manage, and a fraud magnet with the treasury losing billions every year because of it. Yet we aren't able to do anything to prevent this fraud because we have no control over VAT since it is a requirement of the EU.

How about foreign policy, clubing together in order to gain more weight on the world stage. Well the only area that the EU has a ligitimate say is in foreign policy is trade, so lets have a look at it's most recent achievement in that area, destroying the Doha round of international trade talks, in order to preserve the indefensable CAP. This round was supposed to be about specifically aiding the third world and giving them greater access to our markets, the americans even offered a complete removal of all their agricultural subsidies if the EU did as well, safe in the knowledge that the EU would never agree to getting rid of CAP. Yes, the EU managed to get out smarted on foreign policy by George Bush, a guy with the intelectual prowess of a sea slug who cannot even remember to chew before shallowing.

More Islamism in the Guardian

The guardian's Islamist writers seem to be getting better at disguising their Islam Uber Alles rhetoric. This one by Salma Yaqoob almost seems moderate. Most of it is wrong and based on lies but compared to what has been published it is a great impovement. Lies such as:
The freedom for Muslims to express their identity in Europe is today under attack.
No it isn't. They are completely free to practice their religion, to build Mosques, to wear ridiculous religious dress, and not to have to take it off even when other people in equally obsuring clothing would be told to. So much so that the suspected murderer of a police woman was able to stroll onto a plane to Somali simply by pretending to be a Muslim woman in a niqab.
Implicit in this attack is the view that Islam is intrinsically repressive, and embodies values alien to western values of liberty, tolerance and democracy.
Well Sheikh Mohammed al-Tabatabi said: "The west calls for freedom and liberty. Islam is not calling for this. Islam rejects such liberty." And Islamic countries are not noted for there tolerance, such as Saudi Arabia where "tens of Christians who were apparently detained solely for their religious beliefs" according to Amnesty International. Then there are the rival Islamists to Salma Yaqoob in hizb'ut tahir who say "western democracy is unacceptable to Muslims". So could that people are worried that Islam is alien to western values of liberty, tolerance and democracy because of Islam is alien to western values of liberty, tolerance and democracy?
for many Muslims, arguments about the specificity of the Holocaust are not the main reason they are uneasy about participation in memorial events. The main reason is Palestine.
The creation of Israel was mandated in 1922 by the League of Nations to secure a homeland for jews, it was not created in response to the holocaust. And is the pliat of muslims kept in a harsh life principally because of the actions of Muslims really worse than the murder of 11 million people, 6 million of whom where Jewish? Maybe to an Islamist it is
We should be part of it because our refusal merely gives succour to those who peddle prejudice and lies about the Holocaust.
Like Iran? Or Hamas? Or Hezbollah? No, I didn't think so.
One objection has been outlined by Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain. "There have been many further instances of genocide and mass killings since we vowed 'never again' in response to the Nazi crimes," he has pointed out. "Do the innocent killed in those horrific episodes not equally deserve to be commemorated in a more inclusive and aptly titled Genocide Memorial Day?"
Holocaust memorial day is not exclusively Jewish, just as the Holocaust was not exclusively Jewish. Nor is it even exclusive to the Holocaust, many other genocides have been the focus for it over the years such as Rwanda.
It is significant because it represented the culmination of a political philosophy which labelled Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, Africans and many others as "subhuman"
Note the no mention of homosexuals in there, probably because Islam still labels them as subhuman worthy only of being killed in the worst, most severe way.
As fascists once again make political inroads across Europe - increasingly with Muslims as their target
To compare today with Nazi Germany is a joke, unless Salma Yaqoob means that Jews are disproportionately the target of attacks, which of course she doesn't. She means that somehow Muslims are treated like Jews where in Nazi Germany. Obviously because Muslims don't get their businesses systematically burned down, unlike Jews in Nazi Germany. They don't have their books burned, unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany (though there is one group in Britian that has a tendency for buring books and issuing death threats against artists, Muslims). They have full political participation including Islamist parties such as Respect, unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany. The only debate about Islamic dress is that it might be better not to wear such an extreme identifier of faith in order to diferentiate themselves from the majority, unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany who where forced to wear an identifier of their faith to diferentiate themselves from the majority against their will. A huge Mosques are springing up all over the place including the largest in europe which is planned for the London olympic site, unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany where their synagoues where destroyed. And currently the state bends over backwards to acquiese to every Islamic whim, unlike the Jews under Nazi Germany.

Islam is a religion, you can change it simply by changing your mind. Other Muslims may seek to kill you if you do, but nobody will consider you to be Muslim when you say you are not. The Jews did not have that option, they where considered a race and they where killed whether they practiced judaism, where secular, or had even converted to a different faith. Even just having a Jewish relative was enough.

Virgin Birth

Rejoice! Rejoice! She may have been forced into living with animals but a miraclous birth of children born of a virgin mother is going to happen in december. Wise men and shepards come with your gifts of lambs. Which the mother will eat, whole. The miraclous female is Flora a Komodo dragon and I, for one, welcome our scaley Messiah.

December 20, 2006

Naval base closures

This morning on the radio I heard that Labour is not happy with with current state of the navy. It might still be big enough to defend the home islands, and they cannot have that. So one of the current three naval bases. So which one? Well obviously it's time to look at the most important issue first, will they be risking any Labour seats?

Devonport - Alison Seabeck MP (Lab)
Portsmouth - Mike Hancock MP (Lib-Dem)
Rosyth - Willie Rennie MP (Lib-Dem)

So Devonport is safe. And Rosyth went Lib-Dem in a byelection having been Labour before that, plus it's in Scotland home to the next Prime Minister (no matter who Labour choose) so that is probably safe. So it looks like Portsmouth is going to go, it may be the historic home of the navy but there are more important matters in this decision than naval history. There is also Labour's short term electoral prospects, which is far to important.

December 19, 2006

Single Transferable Vote

Here is an introduction to Single Transferable Vote, my perfered option for any change to our current voting system. Not because it would lead to a more equitable distribution of votes but because it means that there are no safe seats, so everybody that gets elected has to work hard for the benefit of their constituents rather than working hard just for the benefit of their party.

Polly almost gets a clue

I haven't 'done' Polly in a while. Quite frankly it gets boring, she is wrong. You almost know she is going to be wrong before reading what she has written. Most people will already know that she is wrong without me having to write anything.

In this latest peice she appears to have got back on her old nationalist socialist hobby horse about how all the nasty foreigners are taking jobs from the poor benighted natives. Bilge. Immigrants from eastern europe are coming here because there are oppertunities to work, oppertunities that the poor benighted natives have already rejected. It makes us, the people that their hard work aids, happy to get this valuable work done. It makes them happy to get our cash. It matters not a jot to the feckless since they had already decided that they didn't want the work anyway as it was not in their interest to work thanks to the Welfare State.

This final point she actually skirts around.
The social contract says work is the best welfare, but for some it isn't. One reason why is housing benefit - the glitch in the system. Beveridge never solved it, Labour promised a review but abandoned it; yet losing housing benefit on taking a job is a great disincentive to work.
It is as if she knows it at heart, but cannot bring herself to acknowlege it. And then goes back to blaming everything on those nasty Polish people.

Yes Polly losing benefits are a great disincentive to work. If when you do £100 more work and yet only see £8.52; because of the benefits system then quite clearly there is no point in doing all that extra work. The workshy are not vegetating in front of their huge plasma TV's because of all the nasty Poles but because the Welfare State pays them to live that way.

December 18, 2006


Socialism in one country, meets National Socialism. Well it had to happen, both are authoritarian, socialist, and so have no respect for individual liberty.

H/T Harry's Place

The Islamophobia Myth

After the Islamic Terrorist attacks on 7/7 the media was full of how it was terrible that there would be a backlash against Muslims. It didn't happen. Harry's Place points to an article in the Telegraph about faith hate crime and in absolute terms there where just as many Muslim victims as Jews, 107 anti-Jewish offences against 109 anti-Muslim offences. However there are far more Muslims than Jews in the country so the chance of being attacked based on religion is far far greater if you are a Jew than a Muslim. Four times greater in fact. The fact that there was no particular reaction against Muslims for the Islamists terrorism, and that Jews are still the most likely victims, was also recorded in the USA. Expect some Islamist group to claim that this just shows that arithmatic is institutionally islamophobic.

December 17, 2006

Crime round up

The police are in the news a lot at the moment, and for once doing a very good job. It is a shame that they are not allowed to pursue ordinary crime with determination. Most of the time it is not the criminal that has to worry, but the ordinary citizen as the police seek to improve their detection statistics. It is much easier to hand out a dozen tickets for victimless 'crimes' such as driving without a seat belt on.
Where are the police? Preying on the law-abiding. Tax collecting. Ignoring crimes that shatter lives, destroy peace, and get fathers killed and children imprisoned for being stupid young men with testosterone coursing through their veins - but nothing wrong that a clip round the ear wouldn't fix.

Where are the fucking police? Ignoring the yobs, and sitting in a layby on the bypass by the town where I live, right now, with special camera equipment to check for invalid tax disks on passing cars.

And it kills fathers, it ruins lives and it makes us hate them. And we pay their fucking wages.
We have got to the stage where the law has simply lost the respect of the citzens that it should be there to protect. A quote by Frederic Bastiat found by the England Project sums it up nicely:
When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law - Frederic Bastiat
And to the credit of the peoples of these islands it would appear that we are losing our respect for the law rather than for morality. The third of Peel's nine principles that worked so well in reducing crime during the victorian era to haft its present level has been completely forgotten
The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
Something that they are rapidly losing.

Not that the police could do much to deter crime, which according to Peel is their primary duty and his first principle, there are simply too few of them capable of being put on the street and patrolling at any time. Raw Carrot calculates it could be:
100 officers policing 2,100,000 people. Put another way, for every police officer engaged in pro-active policing there are 21,000 people.
And PC David Copperfield said in his book that normally as a serving Police Officer when anybody tells him an estimate of the number of officers they think are on duty they will have overestimated by a factor of ten. The stations might be full, but full of people for dealing with the bureaucracy rather than people for deterring crime.
Not that the bureaucracy cares about deterring crime. How can it? How can you measure, and therefore plan, crimes deterred? Unable to get any idea of how things are at the local level all the centralised planners of the police can do is count the number of crimes detected and so base there plans around that. That this causes massive distortions in the way that policing is conducted with things like administrative detections used to boast the numbers sent in to the central bean counters in order that the layers of local bureaucracy can look good to the layers of centralised bureaucracy that are in control. A remote centralised bureaucracy that is not going to get any better should the EU get it's way and gain control of justice matters. But like everything the EU touches it will get more corrupt.

For every action, or inaction in this case, there is a reaction. Since the police no longer provide the deterrent to crime that they should the people that they are supposed to protect have begun to take it upon themselves. This could be by buying in a private street patrol like the police used to do, but don't anymore. Or just tooling themselves up for self protection (H/T Bag's Rants).

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on The Holocaust

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on why Iran is having it's holocaust denying hate-fest, and why they can get away with it
Could the answer be as simple as it is horrifying: For generations, the leaders of these so-called Muslim countries have been spoon-feeding their populations a constant diet of propaganda similar to the one that generations of Germans (and other Europeans) were fed — that Jews are vermin and should be dealt with as such? In Europe, the logical conclusion was the Holocaust. If Ahmadinejad has his way, he shall not want for compliant Muslims ready to act on his wish.
I fear that sooner rather than later Ahmadinejad and the mad mullahs that pull his strings are going to get their wish and wipe Israel off the map destroying the only true democracy in the region and the only country in the region that gives a damn about it's citizens freedom. What was the 'left' will be cheering them on when they do.

December 14, 2006

Socialism is Selfish

Chris Dillow of Stumbling and Mumbling points out just why Guardian writers don't get it about trade, they simply operate with a different basis of rationality.
Bibi’s question is about symbolic utility: what can we do to signal that we are not exploiting people? Tim’s is about causal utility: what can we do to help the poor? These are two different rationalities.
So the guardian writer is interested in image. They come with the mindset 'what can I do to increase my utility', by increasing their own personal social status in a game of who can be the most right on socialist. The classical liberal is interested in results. They come with the mindset 'what can I do to increase their utility' by helping the poor people get out of poverty. Or in other words Guardian style socialism is selfish and greedy. But we knew that already.

real politic

At the start of the month there was a little spat overt the shocking revolation that the US does real politic in its relationship with Britian. Well yes, of course it does. That is what all states are supposed to do, to maneuver to try and get the best possible deal for the citizens. That our own foreign office may have forgotten this does not change the fact every other country hasn't. This does not change the fact that a good relationship with the US is a good thing for us, nor does it change anything about our relationship with the EU.

Political maneuver might happen with most issues in the EU, but this is because most issues are simply decided and implemented by the bureacrats without any possibility of them being examined for how they will effect the interests of the people that they will be forced on and negotiated about. Sometimes an issue might be held back out side of EU control, such as fuel tax on boats, but eventually the bureacrats will get their hands on it and take it out of democratic control. This is one of the reasons that make the EU unreformable, it can never acheive proper subsidiarity because of the way that it has been constructed through the steady chipping away of power from it's members never to be returned under the principles of Aquis Communitaire. THe Aquis makes the talk of subsidiarity irrelivant as it does not and will never come into being as it against basic structures that created the EU.

However for the rest the same real politic happens as in any other international agreement, such as the current row over how Britian implements it's tax code so as to try and give rid of the fraud caused by the EU required VAT. But should Britian really have to negotiate as to how it implements it's internal taxation?

repeal the law

The BBC is looking for the most damaging or useless law. After nearly 10 years of Labour there are a lot to choose from, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the Serious and Organised Crime Act, the Civil Contingencies Act, the various terrorism acts. But the Serf has a request to submit the European Communities Act 1972 the repeal of which would allow us to actually take back control of the UK and put it in the hands of our elected representatives. Sounds a good enough thing for them to ignore.

December 13, 2006

Castro might be dead

It looks like Castro might have finally died, and I doubt that he will be particually missed by the people of Cuba if he has. Western lefties on the other hand could be a completely different matter and if he is dead then it will be rather revealing as to the way that his death is treated compared to that of Pinochet, seeing as Casto killed many times as many as that other south american despot.

December 12, 2006

carbon ration cards

David Miliband is at it again, the carbon ration credit card has come up again. So let me get this strait you horrible little (soon to be endangered) toad, you want me to carry a card around with me all the time so that you can monitor every single time that I do anything that uses any energy, such as by doing, well ... anything, to be logged onto a big centralised government database? Simply so that you can work out the correct extra amount of money to extort from me, while as a little side effect creating a record of me and everybody else in the country that would make the Stasi green with envy? I take it the polish you use on your big shiny boots is fair trade Mr Miliband you authoritarian bastard. But don't worry should you force one on me I shall be disposing of it in a good and enviromentally friendly way. By nailing you to the wall and then ramming it up your arse with a couple jalapeno Chili peppers, organic ones of course.

radical Islam can fuck off

I believe that the free movement of people is generally a good thing. More to where you will be happiest and prosper. To those that think the British way of life is for them, welcome! To those that don't, why not try somewhere else? And if you want to live in Britain take all it's advantages, such as piles of cash thanks to the Welfare State, but want to destroy British culture (what we have left after the ravages of socialism) then you can fuck right off. Or as the daily pundit says:
If a Muslim doesn't like our way of life they should hand their passport in on the way out. If a Muslim has a problem with British foreign policy and wishes to use it to excuse terrorism, they should hand their passport in on the way out. We're sick and tired of their radicalism and hatred for Britain and the British people.

The victorians did some good

Many people really do think that the victorian times where in some ways better, and Martine Martin ask's why? I can think of several good things to have come out of that period, despite its problems. The industrial revolution brought more wealth to more people than ever before. The great scientists like Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell tamed the Electromagnetic force, while Charles Darwin published On The Origin of Spieces bringing the concept of evolution by natural select to the world. The abolition of the Corn Laws, sadly now back in place thanks to our membership of the EU, and a rolling back of protectionism so that by the end of her reign global free trade was in almost as an advanced state as it is today. Plus of course some very nice housing stock. But for me the single most appealling feature is that everything from Cannabis to Heroin and Cocaine was legally available at the local apocathary.

Bu I think the real reason that people look back with nostalgia comes down to two simple things. During Victorias reign britian was the most powerful country on the planet. And by the end of her reign there was significantly less crime than there is today.

state education like totally sux

The current State education is bad for those with special needs, the double binds inherent in the system mean that it will always work against the interests of the child if they are not in tune with the interests of the bureaucracy as even writers for the Guardian are now willing to admit openly.
Every child with real educational difficulties has a right to a statement. But there is an inbuilt conflict of interests. It is the local authority that must both assess the need and pay for it. Some meet their obligations, but others delay, ignore and obstruct statements, so thousands of parents struggle to get them. Even those who succeed often find that the reality doesn't match the theory.
That this is seeping into acceptable debate on Planet Guardian is good but I am certain that many, like Polly Toynbee, will have already known and made sure to get their children into the kind of selective school that they have sought to deny others. As by ignoring those in need of more assistance to concentrate on those that are more likely to help them meet their government mandated targets state schools are still unable help the more able. The favorite wheeze of the socialist not wanting to look like a complete hypocrite as they seek to do the best by their own children, while refusing to continence the less fortunate getting the same chance, is by sending them to a faith school.

The Pub Philosopher has unearthed a paper about the reasons that the faith schools so beloved by Tony Blair and crew perform better than the average bog standard comprehensive. And it has nothing to do with faith.
Any benefit of attending a primary Faith school is linked to the more autonomous admission and governance arrangements that characterised ‘Voluntary Aided’ schools during the period covered by our data. Pupils in religiously affiliated schools where admissions were under the control of the Local Education Authority (‘Voluntary Controlled’ schools) do not progress faster than pupils in Secular primary schools.
So why not give every school the kind of power to serve the needs of it's pupils in the best way for that particular set of pupils by setting them free of government control? And why not set he parents free to choose the school that will cater best for the particular needs of their children by letting them apply anywhere and having the funding follow the pupil (by a voucher system, as used in Sweden)? It does not necessarily take more money, it just needs that that money is spent on the needs of the children not the needs of the bureaucrats
While the best performers in the OECD survey were the highest spenders, overall there were no correlation between expenditure and literacy. Rather, the problem is in a system that lumps children of all abilities into one, uniform type of school, prioritises the choices of bureaucrats over those of parents, stifles innovation among teachers creates no incentive for success.

Io Saturnalia

I've just added another line to the header for some seasons greetings as we celebrate the fact that we're reached mid-winter, a festival that predates Christianity by a considerable margin. However I will not be doing naked carol singing.

We really must shrink the state

J Clive Matthews brings this wonderful little nugget of gloom to light, Home Office is now so huge and inefficient that it cannot even figure out how many people it employs. If there is anything that must finally get them to understand that the state has simply grown too big this must be it. OK maybe not as this is the second year running that it has happened. However it is a good thing that the DTI is finally going to be abolished, being completely useless as trade is not even something government can effect as we are part of the EU. Or it would be if it where finally going to be abolished rather than just renamed and moved to a different part of the organisational structure of the state.

December 11, 2006

Suffolk killings

With three women dead and another missing it looks like there could well be a serial killer at work in Suffolk. Looking at the BBC's Have Your Say section on this something particually pleasing comes strait to light, the number of people complaining about the media always making sure to mention that these women where prostitutes. Like this comment that has the second highest recomendation at the time of writing:
Having just listened to the news I could only wonder at how many times it was possible to use the word "prostitute" in one article. It seems that the occupations of the victims is being used to qualify the crime. After all the Yorkshire Ripper "only" killed prostitutes and it was only when he mistakenly killed "innocent" victims that the public started to demand action.

Anne, Cambridge
With the highest at the time of writing being a positive recomendation to try and stop this happening again:
If brothels were legalised, prostitutes would be in a safe environment, off the streets, and with security, and the killing and attacking of prostitutes would stop.

Michelle, London

no compulsion in religion

In Islam there is no compulsion in religion.

Underclass entertainment

Just a couple events from the last few days. A Bishop was mugged on his way home from a church event. They grabbed is phone, breifcase, even his glasses. Or maybe he was just drunk, again, and fell over. Then in Henley-on-Thames a man kicked to death just yards from on a police station. "A shopkeeper said a CCTV camera is trained on the spot where the attack happened.". The police finally dragged themselves away from their desks after being informed about the murder going on under their noses. They where, of course, too late. One of the youths has now been arrested and may even one day be prosecuted. Maybe.

Some predictions. The killers will live in council houses, they will not be at school, nor will not be working, nobody in their immediate family will work. They will claim poverty but seem to have plenty of money for designer goods and drinking.

There will be many explanations floated for their behaviour. It will be caused by poverty, by family break down, by low esteme. But you will hear nothing through any mainstream chanel that the reason is they are horrible little scrotes that kill because they enjoy it having no understanding of the value of human life, and no fear of the consequences of their actions. And given that they could kill a man just yards from a police station this lack of any fear of the authorities is completely justified.

December 09, 2006

Cameron, maybe he's just lying?

There has been a lot of criticism of 'Call me Dave' Cameron. But maybe, just maybe he is actually just a lying little shit that would pimp his own grandmother if it got him a millimeter closer to power. Maybe he doesn't believe, and more importantly has little intention of implementing should he get power, the gash he is dribbling over the press. I give you a couple bits of evidence to back this up, first Steven Pollard quoting part of a Cameron speech:
Well, I've read David Cameron's remarks in Brussels, and credit where it's due. It's superb stuff - spot on in most respects:
Last year the EU made helping lift Africa out of poverty a priority. But many of the EU's policies are making poverty in developing countries worse. The EU remains committed to a largely unreformed CAP, an economic and humanitarian disaster which pushes up food prices for the poorest people in Europe and helps lock the developing world in poverty. And the EU still has higher trade barriers against poor countries than it does against rich. That's not good enough and it needs to change.
Great stuff, if so glaringly obvious that even the more pro-EU consider CAP to be something akin to a "pus-dribbling wart on the face of a beloved aunt" that needs to be got rid of.

Then there is this by Johann Hari on what the experience of lefties that Cameron is using to get his media buz and generate his 'not the conservative party' image.
Given that there are so few policies to assess, it’s tempting to rely on anecdotes to assess Cameron’s true nature.

I have spoken to two of the most famous left-liberals who were invited to speak at Cameron’s first Tory Party conference. One of them says, “I think he’s a very good PR man, but on the basis of what I saw I don’t think he means a word of it. He didn’t know what he was talking about when he was trying to praise my work. He kept making pretty basic mistakes. He didn’t even seem particularly intelligent.”

Another – brought in to speak on one of Cameron’s headline rebranding issues – says, “To be fair, they didn’t even really pretend to be interested. There were no questions, no intellectual curiosity. And as for the members in the hall… at several points I was worried they had actually died.”
So a lying shit with the moral inhibitions of Hannibal Lecter that will do anything for column inches? Or Blairite true believer that has seen the light and is boldly leading his party into a Blue Labour future? He still has three years till the general elections so perhaps it is still too early to tell.

December 06, 2006

Brown's law

A small question, which is worse? Copying some music, or grinding a glass into another mans face. Bit of a no brainer really, especially if you are Gordon Brown. Brown is proposing 10 years in jail for copyright infringement, while the thug in my second scenario got just 6 months (reduced to 200 hours community service on appeal).

The Prebudget report, fuel duty

As I've said before I like Pigrouvian Taxation and think that it is a good way of dealing with Climate Change. So obviously I am glad that Gordon Brown has taken them to his heart as also the best way of dealing with climate change. I am however a little unsure about his grasp of mathematics.

Petrol has a density of 737.22 Kilogram per Cubic Meter. There are 1000 litres to a Cubic Meter and 1000 kilograms per ton. So the density of Petrol is 0.00073722 Ton per litre.

Fuels like petrol are 85% carbon by weight so one litre of petrol will release about 0.000626637 tons of carbon. According to the (very high) estimates in Gordon Brown's own Stern Review 1 ton of carbon has a cost of $85. That means that 1 litre of petrol will have an environmental cost of $0.053264145 or 5.3264145c. Using the exchange rates according to Google that works out at £0.0269609967 or 2.69609967p at the time of writing.

To act as a Pigouvian Tax 2.7p per litre is what fuel duty should be, in order to exactly internalise the externality of it's Climate Change's effects. It is was 50.9p per litre in 2005, 18 times more expensive than it should be, and Mr Brown has just increased it. But you cannot really expect a socialist like Mr Brown to be able to add up correctly.

December 05, 2006

Reductio ad Absurdum

Yesterday When Ellee Seymour proposed banning knives one of the commenters used the reductio ad absurdum that it could lead to the banning of cricket bats or pumbing pipes since these too could be used as weapons. Then today Tim Worstall links to a story where a man carrying a cricket ball was accused of having an offensive weapon. Which shows how the precautionary principle leads to absurd actions.

December 04, 2006


Ellee Seymours wants a ban on knives to try and reduce the danger of being mugged, and being on the right of the political spectrum has been mugged by her Commentariat. We on the right don't particularly go for banning stuff. By knives she probably means knives that look ’scary’ rather than the potentially lethal cutlery in my kitchen. But this is not clear as rather a lot of cutlery being, as I recall, sold in shops and used in attacks.
I obviously didn’t mean kitchen knives, just the weapons sold in shops, the type used in these attacks.
However where you to try and ban knives that look scary the underclass will simply start using cutlery. Even if all pointy objects are banned all that will happen is that the underclass will be able to get hold of them as easily as ever (as they can with guns) with everybody else being forced to carve their roasts with a spoon. Something pointed out in the comments and at length by l'Ombre de l'Olivier.

50 years ago a group of youths with knives wouldn’t have been chavs out to mug you, they would have been the local scout troop. This is because 50 years ago there was much less crime. The difference is cultural and until the culture changes then banning anything will not work. It will probably make muggings and violence more likely as there is no longer the risk of a potential victim being armed in self defence. Personally I agree with Bishop Hill when he quotes AV Dicey saying 'Discourage self-help and loyal subjects become the slaves of ruffians' which is exactly was done, and the result that we are seeing.

Religion is Stupid

This is so wrong it's funny. Islamic support of creationism, where apparently it is a known 'fact' that the world was created by Allah and evolution is a mere theory (why won't these people get over the nomenclature, there is no higher scientific designation than theory). Also apparently evidence is going against evolution and towards creationism, so all the transitional forms that pop up are just little devine jokes then? But don't worry according to the website rejecting evolution does not mean rejecting science, it's just that according to it good Muslims can only support those bits of science that are supported by the Koran.

Carbon Credits

I have already written about why I prefer Pigouvian taxation to carbon credits. In that I ignored the obvious problems of the bureacracy that will have to be built to allow the carbon trading system to work at all, such as it will be inefficient and become a massive political pork barrel. Dr Eamonn Butler writing on the Adam Smith Institute Blog outlines them and also presents another possible problem:
And, as a political scheme, carbon trading is also prey to non-market influences. Pure – the Clean Planet Trust, for example, is a charity which plans to raise money to buy up carbon credits and simply take them out of use. If it were successful on a big scale, that would drive up the price of the permits even higher, forcing businesses to cut back even further.
Well that isn't really a problem, if a greater utility is caused by reducing the amount of carbon that industry can produce then it is good that there is a mechanism for this. However there should also be a mechanism for allowing industry to generate more carbon if that is what maximises utility, they should be able to buy extra carbon credits from carbon offset companies planting forests or running carbon sequestration facilities. The same way that the market will always respond to a shortage by making new sources viable. If it is not possible for additional credits to work their way into the system from the offsetters then carbon credits simply become another tax on industry.

Road Pricing

Just a quick note on road pricing. All the main political parties support it in order to deal with various the externalities. Such as:

Congestion is worse for climate change as cars are less fuel efficient in traffic, even though this is already dealt with by fuel duty.

The particulate dirt that messes up buildings. Which can also be dealt with easily by fuel duty and most of which come from Diesel engines, as used by buses. The number of buses having to increase if the desire to get less cars is forfilled.

The externality of the frustration caused by being stuck in traffic. But is this really an externality? Does your being stuck in traffic really make no difference to you, just everybody else? No I didn't think so. The frustration of being stuck in traffic is already internalised, as you are just as stuck and frustrated as everybody else.

It should also be remembered that road pricing itself contains an undesirable side effect (particually under Labour's favoured scheme) of a giant database of everybodies current and past movements, an absolute boon to anybody who's polical goal seems to be setting the ground work for a police state. Ah ... now the reason becomes clear.