June 30, 2007

Tidal Power

Now there is a date for the beginning of the Marine Current Turbines 1.2MW generator at Strangford Lough, the week of August 20th. This is from a single unit making it as powerful as the largest wind turbines, but unlike a wind turbine it is reliable you always know exactly how much energy you will be getting at any time years in advance. It is the reliability that really makes tidal power important since it makes it is suitable for feeding into the base load of the electricity grid, unlike practically every other renewable energy source (except nuclear). They have high hopes for the technology with a company spokesman saying:
"We will build on the success of SeaGen to develop a commercial tidal farm, of up to 10MW in UK waters, within the next three years. With the right funding and regulatory framework, we believe we can realistically achieve up to 500MW of tidal capacity by 2015 based on this new SeaGen technology."

No Mr Gabb, tell is what you really feel

Sean Gabb does not like Tony Blair, not one little bit. None of the glowing eulogies from the relief that we have finally got rid of the fucker for him:
I wish him dead, but only after much suffering
A positive explosion of bile, absolutely wonderful.

the latest Islamic terrorism

Well it looks like Muslim habit of not getting on at school might actually be having a beneficial effect. If the assholes that tried to blow up all the infidel at Glasgow Airport had actually had an understanding of Chemistry their attack would have been much more dangerous (any GCSE Chemistry student should be able to brew up nitroglycerine if they really wanted to, which would have been perfect for this little jolly). As it is the Muslim fanatics in question had obviously substituted watching action movies for an actual education and where under the delusion that any burning car will always blow up in a huge telegenic explosion. I sincerely hope that the burns that they decided to inflict on themselves leave them in pain for the rest of their lives.

Likewise the car bomb in Piccadilly, again this is a bomb that simply would not have worked. Unlike the IRA these folk where in far too much of a hurry to meet their mythical 'god' that they forgot to do their homework. In a way this is comforting, that your average Islamic terrorist is so incompetent. On the other hand it is worrying, because these latest attacks have been so very badly planned they cannot be part of an organised campaign.

I can therefore only assume that the jealousy of the west is now so widespread within the Islamic colonies inside the UK that we are going to see more of this. There can be no negotiation as there is no central authority to negotiate with. It will simply be that every so often some Muslims will finally get off of their fat lazy arses in order to try and kill the people that pay for their dole money.

June 27, 2007

Tax cuts are good

Even the Scottish Socialist Republic gets it. Tax cuts are good for the economy. It's a shame that Gordon Brown does not.

Chicken Yoghurt � Bye then

Chicken Yoghurt has a nice long, but not exhaustive list of the bad things that the Labour government has done up till now. It covers most of the main points (and a few I don't agree with) but it also has some omissions. such as:

[1] Reversing the burden of proof.
[2] 7 days detention without charge
[3] 14 days detention without charge
[4] Internment in Belmarsh
[5] Setting up a system to track every single car journey everywhere.
[6] Extra judicial executions on the tube
[7] A voting system that would disgrace a banana republic

I've already added my points so perhaps people should try to make this the exhaustive list of Labour bad for future reference since it is such a good starting point.

June 26, 2007

Religion is stupid

not exactly topical but this tale from The Englishman is just too good an example of religious stupidity to not post:

In 1769 lightning hit the tower of a church in Brescia, near Milan, and blew up the 100 tons of gunpowder stored there. The explosion levelled one sixth of the city and killed about 3,000 people, possibly the world’s worst recorded lightning disaster. The church authorities had turned down the chance of fitting the newly invented lightning conductor on the ground that it was heretical to interfere with divine will.

Praising with faint damnation

There isn't that much Quentin Davies' resignation letter but in Ignoring the fluff about presentation and Camerons attempts to be media friendly there is only one major political issue raised in the letter, the EU.
"It was quite clear to me that you had no qualms in principle about tearing up this agreement [with the EPP], and that it was only the balance of prevailing political pressures which led you ultimately to stop short of doing so (though since then you have hardly acted in good faith in continuing with the agreement, for example you never attend the EPP-ED Summits claiming that you are "too busy" - even though half a dozen or more prime ministers are always present.)"
So Dave really does want to get out of the federalist EPP. A reliable source of mine has already told me dave was a secret sceptic, but it's nice to have it confirmed. It is also nice to know that Cameron isn't just against the EPP because it plays well with his party since he also snubs them when the cameras are off by not attending their summits.

Quentin Davies is obviously a Europhile and he also voted for the Incumbency Allowance a Lbour proposed scheme to get the tax payer to fork out £10,000 to sitting MPs in order that they can better propogandise to their constitunents. His voting record on other issues places him as strongly for the Iraq War and strongly against Gay equality. Quite frankly if Cameron's leadership really did force somebody like this to go then that should be seen as a compliment to it not a criticism.

Petition in support of Sir Salman

After all of those downing street petitions that you just knew where going to get ignored here is one that might not.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to accept our congratulations for recommending to the Queen that Salman Rushdie receive a knighthood
Nothing to do with Sir Salman of course, and more to do with the fact that it flatters the PMs already enourmous ego.

June 25, 2007

Size isn't everything Niall

Niall Ferguson has an article in the telegraph trying to defend the EU. I can't fisk the entire article, there simply isn't enough substance there to fisk. It is a lot of fluff and nonsense, then finally after haft an article of waffle he actually tries to lay out his argument, but does so in a way that is laugh-out-loud bad. Here it is in full:

"Admittedly, the new treaty is also designed to extend the competence of the EU, not least in the area of foreign affairs. But has it been such a disaster to hand over responsibility for trade negotiations to Brussels, which was the first crucial step in the process of European integration? If memory serves, the present Trade Commissioner is himself a Briton - and Peter Mandelson has been doing a first-class job in that role. Proof of this was the recent attack on him by the new French President, Nicolas Sarkozy."

So in the classic fisking style i'll start at the very first sentence:

"Admittedly, the new treaty is also designed to extend the competence of the EU, not least in the area of foreign affairs."

At least he is able to admit it, you won't find that coming from the political elites. This will not be a good thing though, given for example the EU's hardly sparkling record with for example Iran.

"But has it been such a disaster to hand over responsibility for trade negotiations to Brussels,"

Errm ... yes. We lost out on such things a free trade deal with the USA, or any attempt at one with the fast growing economies of India or Brazil. Plus the point less protectionist trade wars with China to try and stop us getting cheap stuff, were it is not even our UK industries that are being protected. The EU's trade barriers has cost us millions of pounds, and the third world thousands of lives by locking out third world products from our markets which they could trade for the capital (and capital that actually reaches people that will use it rather than being rerouted strait into a numbered swiss bank account like so much of hte aid we waste) they desperately need to grow their way out of poverty.

"which was the first crucial step in the process of European integration?"

Again good to see somebody admitting the EU as being a project for political integration rather than the purely economic matter that our political elites always try to make it out as. There is no indication that the various peoples of Europe actually want this, and it would be fair to say that the peoples of Britian certainly don't and would have never voted to stay in the EEC as it was then had this actually been acknowleged at the time. Ferguson even acknowleges this further down the article when he says "The true significance of Sarkozy's victory in France, it now becomes clear, was not so much economic as political ... It was his promise to rescue France from a "national identity crisis"." Well that is hardly a good thing (like he seems to be implying) and probably has rather a lot to do with the EU's continious attempts at harmonisation and denying national self determination. Perhaps if the peoples of Europe where able to freely choose for themslves in what areas they wanted closer relationships with everybody else, and which they did not, then we would not be facing a rising tide of nationalism in a backlash against the forced harmonisation. But onwards:

"If memory serves, the present Trade Commissioner is himself a Briton"

Not that he is allowed to let his nationality have any impact on his role having to put the EU first so Mr Mandelson's nationality is not exactly relevant. However nor is he allowed to say anything bad about the EU, ever, on pain of loosing his generous pension arrangements.

"and Peter Mandelson has been doing a first-class job in that role."

What have you been smoking professor? And where can I get some? That is quite clearly some very strong shit if it can make you think that pointless trade wars in order to make us poorer so as to protect other countries inefficient industries is a good thing.

"Proof of this was the recent attack on him by the new French President, Nicolas Sarkozy."

The EU is protectionist, and will alway be protectionist. As a Customs Union protectionism is part of its basic structure. Being attacked for not being protectionist enough by a French politician does change this simple fact.

Then a little later comes this jem:

"British Eurosceptics should remember that less power for Brussels means more power for Paris as well as for London. With the Doha round of world trade negotiations collapsing in Potsdam on Friday, that is a thought worth pondering."

Oh. My. God. Didn't he notice the little reason why the Doha round collapsed? That little thing called the Common Agricultural Policy? This was supposed to be the round for the developing world, and that meant that it had to include cutting back on the wealthy countries subsidies on agriculture. President Bush actually offered to scrap the US farm subsidies, so long as the EU did the same with the CAP. Bush could well have been too coked out of his tiny little mind to know where he was, what he was saying, or even who he was, but he did make that offer. The EU rejected it. It is the EU that is the reason that the he Doha Round has collapsed. Without the EU France could have tried its old protectionist tricks and been sidelined while everybody else opened their markets and become richer. It is only because of the EU that France was able to force it's protectionist crap on everybody else.

I guess he is just to obsessed with the supposed grandure of empire that he simply cannot see the EU as it really is, a ramshakle mess with no common purpose or sentiment that will fall apart sooner or later. For Niall Ferguson size matters, and size is all that matters. The EU is big, therefore it is better. That by any objective measure the nation states of Europe in their glorious diversity can beat the EU's stodgy harmonisied inertia is of no consequence. They are not big enough to satisfy him, so they must go.

June 24, 2007

Licence needed to wear clothes

You now need a government license in order to wear certain clothes. Yes, really, this is not a joke. This particular piece of madness comes thanks to the Scotish Parliament and following an EU regulation. Where else could it have come from?

June 22, 2007

Sir Salman Rushdie, and the spineless political elites

I haven't written anything yet on the demonstrations against Sir Salman's new knighthood. Basically I felt that the whole the Muslims are taking offence, again, thing was rather tedious and the unfortunately predictable response to this well deserved recognition of Sir Salman's importance to literature. I had expected it to have blown over by now with a few ritual flag burnings, before the fanatics in question went back to beating their wives or whatever it is that the Koran allows them for recreation (which obviously wouldn't involve literature, or music, or dancing, or painting, or flying kites etc.). I hadn't wanted to give them any more of the oxygen of publicity but I can't hold back any longer. As already we are seeing the lack of backbone of our craven political elite, I might as well add my couple of pounds of bile to go along with the wise words of others.

Luckily Sir Salman's honour cannot be taken away by the officious appeasing idiots because it is officially the Queen's, and not theirs, to take back so you get things like this:
Beckett has defended the knighthood given to author Salman Rushdie, but says Britain is "sorry" if the award has caused offense.
Speak for yourself bitch, the only thing to be sorry about is we didn't give him an honour sooner. If these idiots somehow think that they have any right to dictate what can and cannot be said because it might cast some doubt over the validity of what a pedophiliac warlord made up over a thousand years ago then they are living in a dreamworld (as was Mohammed).

To the people that somehow equate writing a novel to funding the murder of over three thousand people; screw you and the camel you rode in on (an activity which they themselves probably broke off from in order to make that statement).

Finally, Lord Ahmed. Stop trying to blame the victims you twat. People have died because of The Satanic Verses controversy, but they where killed by the religious fanatics. It is the religious fanatics that deserve the blame for the actions of the religious fanatics. Not the murdered, and not Sir Salman who lost ten years of his life to the cretinous fuckwits and was lucky to to lose it completely, like the other victims. To do otherwise not only insults the victim but also denies the humanity of the cretinous fuckwits themselves. They are people and therefore have the capacity to make informed choices. They choose the path of violent stupidity of their own free will. The responsibility for that choice is theirs and theirs alone. Now crawl back to rimming whichever Labour grandee gave you that title and please don't trouble us again.

No reason to stay in the EU

Via Bishop Hill the news comes that with this new "mini-treaty"
the EU is about to get rid of the only good reason for its existence, the referendum was sold on the lies that the EU would be a free trade area with no political implications. Now the EU is to become an antidemocratic supra-national political instrument with no commitment to free trade. We must leave immediately.

June 20, 2007

It's. Too. Big.

This time it is the Conservatives stealing an Labour policy. It won't work for them either. Patricia Hewitt is right on this one, the NHS is simply too big to be manageable. Handing it over to an independent board (and how independent they will be in practice is still anybody's guess) will not change that. The inertia of the huge bureaucracy of the NHS will still resist all attempts at change while sponging up any extra cash that becomes available so it never reaches the clinical professionals.

There are economies of scale, but there are also diseconomies of scale as the hierarchies of bureaucracy grow, and so efficiency against size forms a curve[2]. This happens in all organisations whether public or private. Any organisation as big as the NHS would be inefficient and there is absolutely nothing going to change that unless they also do something about dividing it up into more manageable sized chunks. Maybe still as a state run system, but run by local government as in Sweden. Perhaps a multi-payer/multi-provider system as in France[4] where the hospitals are all independent organisations and the state just provides a basic universal insurance. Or if you want to be radical get the state out entirely and just have it recognise that because some things are important they should not be taxed as in the Singapore system for healthcare. It is the NHS's obesity that is killing it. The crisises might individually be dealt with, but unless the root cause is too then they will just come back.

Socialists spotted ... still insane

There is a discussion going on at Stumbling and Mumbling that seems to have brought the old market denialists out of the woodwork, including this classic comment:

The key truth is that we don't measure private sector failure, so we have no idea if it is more efficient or not...

In order to argue about that you need a definition of the efficiency of an activity, how about these for a couple of starters:
The amount that a person wants something, relative to the resources it takes to do it for them. (Also called the profit margin.)
Or the absolute amount that the mass of people want something, compared to the total amount of resources it takes to do it for them. (Also called the net profit.)
Businesses worry about their efficiency a lot, if they did not anybody that did would be able to undercut them and drive them under. The market is an evolutionary system, it is subject to constant change and if you cannot keep up with the Red Queen's Race[7] you will not survive. The market is not some static unchanging thing created whole and entire by a cabal of Evil Capitalists/Sky Fairies at some point in the past never to change. The bureaucracies of the public sector might be static andunwieldy but everything exposed to the market cannot be if it wants to last.

When those who are so fond of private solutions produce detailed and plausible proposals for the privatisation of the armed forces and the police, I'll consider it worth listening to their analyses of how to improve education and health.

A bit of a nonsequenter there grouping some very different sets of activities, like saying "When those who are so fond of state solutions produce detailed and plausible proposals for collectivised farming (e.g. the Chinese Great Leap Forward or the USSR's attempt in the Ukraine) or nationalised industry (e.g. British Leyland), I'll consider it worth listening to their analyses of how to improve education and health." However if examples of private enterprise are wanted examples can be provided.

Mercenaries have been used since the dawn of recorded history, and probably before, such as Sir Francis Drake and other Privateers. The Royal Navy evolved from that built up around the prize system, and mainly crewed by volunteers drawn by the fact that in time of war capturing enemy shipping offered a good way of making money. Lord Nelson was of what would now be called middle class family but ended up reaching the very top of society, and making a ton of money, due to his considerable skill and the fact the navy promoted based on talent. Admirals got a cut of the prizes taken by those under their command to it was in their interest to promote the most talented who where therefore most likely to take prizes. It was during this period that Britain gained an undisputed dominance of the sea (paving the way for the destruction of the slave trade) that lasted for well over a hundred years.

Private street patrols paid for by the residents, gated communities again with their security barriers paid for by the residents[4], or for a bit of topicality the security fence and patrols employed at Glastonbury to try and discourage thieves and gate crashers.

Why not talk about health? The market based systems as in France regularly coming out as the best for outcomes of all the industrialised nations. The state monopoly in the UK comes out badly in comparison.

June 19, 2007

Climate Change

Unlike the Devil I am perfectly happy to accept that anthropogenic climate change is happening. What I am not willing to go along with are the standard big government socialist schemes rolled out as solutions. These are not something I can go along with as I don't want loads of people harmed, therefore the socialist claptrap normally spouted is simply not an option. These would be things like:

1. Shrink the economy
Because the Great Depression was soooo good for human welfare.

2. Back to nature
When the kind of happy-clappy live with nature substance farming ideas are tried on a large scale (or rather forced on people as it is never voluntary) then thousands die. When farm collectivization happens millions die. There is a reason that whenever it is possible people tend to move away from working the land, despite what the water melons would have us believe, urbanization is not some great conspiracy where the happy free range peasants are hunted down to be transported to the cities and put to work in the dark satanic mills. Urbanization happens voluntarily because the peasants do not want to have to work from dawn till dusk to eek out a living and actually find the mills are an easier way of making a living. Even when there are harsh penalties for coming to the cities in an effort to slow down urbanization it still happens, even under the communists in China it is better to live in the cities than off the land.

3. Kyoto
The Kyoto protocol which so many greens fetishise as the solution was signed in 1998. So far nobody is going to reach their agreed targets for cutting greenhouse gases.
from 2000 to 2004, Europe managed to increase its emissions by 2.3 percentage points over 1995 to 2000
Which isn't really surprising since most of the EU states are just using this as one big game to screw those that do take climate change seriously, which would be us, for even more money. Where as those nasty Americans who did not bow down before the carbon idol and decided to grow their way out of trouble had rather different results.
U.S. emissions from 2000 to 2004 were eight percentage points lower than in the prior period.

We cannot morally stop the third world from raising itself to our standard of living, nor can we expect the first world to lower its standard of living to compensate. A way of producing enough reliable carbon free energy to power the industrial societies of the future. The best option that we currently have for this is Nuclear power, but this is anathema to the traditional green world view. Nuclear currently has problems (mainly an image problem thanks to decades of anti-nuclear campaigning) but only way we are going to over come them is by allowing the technology to progress, not hobbling the economy and trying to squeeze everything into the confines of some government Plan.


oops, I didn't make it clear that I was talking about anthropogenic climate change rather than the natural climatic changes that have always, and will always, be around.

June 18, 2007

The political realignment

Via Craig Murray has an essay noting the political realignment that is happening
The most important rift in British politics today is not between left and right, it is between authoritarians and libertarians, between those who support human and civil rights, and those who prefer "Strong government".
The old alignment based around economics is not longer useful, quite simply free markets won. With nobody really arguing about whether markets should be free or not anymore the only other major argument is whether the people should be free as well. The new split will be fought on centralisation versus localism, targets and accountability versus professional autonomy and responsibility, the individual versus the collective.

There is no doubt about where Labour stands with its record of legislative diarrhea creating "more than 3,000 new criminal offences" and extending the state into areas of life that it has never ventured before. What is also clear is that it is in this area that David Cameron has found the clear blue water to separate himself from Labour. He explicitly stated it in his views on education
This is not something that requires central imposition: in fact it is centralisation that today stands in the way of the right approach.
And in his speech to the police federation:
You accept that responsibility when you choose to become police officers, and I believe it's time for reform to set you free to do the job you want to do and to give you the full professional responsibility you deserve.
Also in his latest speech
Parents know best what works for their kids. Doctors and nurses know best how to improve the NHS and give patients great healthcare. Residents know best how to make their neighbourhoods better places to live. We’re living in an age where people want to control their government, not have their government control them.
Cameron definitely seems to want to lead the Conservatives to the side of the Libertarians. Margaret Thatcher freed the economy, now David Cameron looks like he wants to do the same for the rest of society. Unlike all their other policies as the co-creator of the New Labour project this is something that Gordon Brown is not going to copy. Even if he believed it to be the right thing would the big clunking fist's Stalinist tendencies let him give up control? Unlikely.

June 17, 2007

Rushdie knighted

Salman Rushdie received a knighthood as part of the new years honours list, which pissed off all the usual suspects, and reminds me that I must get around to reading Midnight's Children sometime. I wonder if he will have any worries having to have a sword that close to his neck during the investiture.

June 14, 2007

more Labour attacks on 'presumed innocent'

Read, weep, then write. Please.

Outsmarted by Bush

It takes a lot to make George Bush look smart, this is the man that has trouble remembering to chew before swallowing, but the EU managed it. By refusing to hobble the US economy though the Kyoto system, which turned out to be just another way for the UK to get taken for a ride by our EU partners, he decided to let the free market work at it. The result:
from 2000 to 2004, Europe managed to increase its emissions by 2.3 percentage points over 1995 to 2000 ... U.S. emissions from 2000 to 2004 were eight percentage points lower than in the prior period.
Wow, out smarted by the shrub, that takes some doing. Then less government interference produces better results so often that even he could not miss it. I expect the EU officials probably saw it too, but they are too wedded to ever more centralisation in order to pursue their higher goal of ever more EU involvement in everything. They knew where their real priority was and it certainly wasn't climate change.

Fat Luck

Obesity has been a factor in at least 20 child protection cases in the last year, where the parents could find themselves having their children taken away into the 'care' of the state where far worse happens, such as when "as many as 40 care workers abused children at an Ayrshire school for vulnerable youngsters".

It is not like they are having chips rammed down their throats like some goose being fattened up for the slaughter, being fat is a choice. Maybe there will be difficulties in later life and they don't understand the consequences. Maybe they don't even understand that there are consequences to actions (because the state has done so much to make sure to try and claim that nobody faces the consequences of any action at any other time).

There is also the small fact that the state has been systemicatically making it harder and harder to provide any interesting activities that children would want to do to burn off this extra energy. Competitive games are frounded on as all must have prizes. Outdoor activities sacrificed to the god of 'health and safety', that is if you can even get anybody to run them with all the difficulties that the state has put in the way of voluntary organisations.

This isn't abuse, it is simply the consequence of the state trying to create a world without risk.

Another reason not to marry

A long term stable relationship is one of the best ways of encouraging happiness, Labour's extending official recognition of it for gay people was one of the (few) good things of their reign, but still the number of people deciding to form these kind of relationships continue to decrease overall. Chris Dillow outlines some of the incentives that are driving people away from long term, stable relationships but there is another one. The something for nothing Welfare State is firmly against marriage and two parent families, as has been show from research in, amoungst other places, the USA
There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation. Among the best of these studies is the work done by June O'Neill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Holding constant a wide range of variables, including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting, the study found that a 50 percent increase in the value of AFDC and foodstamp payments led to a 43 percent increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births.(7) Likewise, research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150 percent.
It has been for sometime, and continues to be with the Tax Credits system (that is if anybody can actually get through all the forms needed to claim tax credits, and then don't get them miscalculated so they can actually spend the money rather than just look at it then give it back). This isn't a problem with the system, this is the system working exactly as it should.

Single parent families are by their very nature harder on that parent than if there was somebody to share the load with. The Welfare State is predicated to giving based on what the political classes decide is need, and even they can see that a one parent family is a harder life than a two parent one, so the Welfare State gives more of its largess towards subsidising one parent families and creating another incentive against two parent families so, perversly, leading to more people in this situation that everybody recognises as worse than the alternative.

June 12, 2007

Things can only get ... worse

According to the Telegraph there are now some indications as to what Gordon Brown plans to do when then pry Tony Blair's fingers from the door frame of Number 10. It is not good news. Apparently he wants:
a blizzard of initiatives to mark his first 100 days in office.
Because loads of headline grabbing initiatives will really set him apart from his predecessor, and of course Labour hasn't already created enough legislation despite creating new offenses at ten times the rate of anybody before. As part of this he plans to "rewrite the constitutional settlement" ... again.

This rewrite will be from the suggestions of a "people's assembly", a phrase I find oddly familiar. Not just with the resonances to late nineties when Blair dubbed everything the "peoples" since he thought it gave a good headline; the Peoples Panels, the Peoples Peers, the Peoples Princess, the People's Democratic Republic of the British Regions. Oh that was it. The Supreme Peoples Assembly, the legislative body of North Korea. There is a difference, or course, between what Brown appears to be planning and the one that rules that murderous, famine ridden, despotism. In North Korea the Peoples Assembly is elected, which you can bet this one won't be. The "people" might accidentally vote for somebody that Gordon doesn't want.

The reason for this new super quango? The telegraph explains
The public will be invited to help write a new Bill of Rights to try to show that Mr Brown as prime minister aims to give more "power to the people" and reduce central Government control as he did when he handed independence to the Bank of England in 1997.
removing central government control from the Bank of England was the singularly most successful, and most out of character, policy of the present regime. Should Gordon Brown really want to reduce central government interference in other areas of life then that would be an extremely good thing. Unfortunately it is also an extremely unlikely thing, it simply goes too far against the grain of the petty micromanaging style of the Labour Party. You could try to argue that that was all Blair's doing under a new leader it will be a new party, but do not forget the architect of New Labour was Brown as much as Blair. Not only that the amount of power over the domestic agenda that Blair ceded to Brown at Granita in order get his claws on the keys to number 10 was unprecedented. You could even make a case that it was this inability to get his own way on the domestic agenda, because he had to OK any spending with Brown, that lead to Blair's focus on foreign policy and all those wars. We already know the style of leadership that we will be under since we are already under it.

What I would like a new Bill of Rights to be would be a Bill of Liberties. A bill for things like freedom of speech, of thought, and of conscience. A bill that restored to us the people the choice of when and about what we can speak, and when we choose to stay silent. A bill that gave us back our private lives, that restores the ancient custom of innocent until proven guilty, and stops the spread of the panopticon state. An act of parliament that says to parliament that we will allow it to stick it's nose into our business this far, but no further.

That is what I would want, but from the style of the last decade of labour misrule I can already guess the kind of 'rights' that this bill will enshrine; the 'right' to be ignored, the 'right' to privacy (but only if you are a public figure), the 'right' to prevent other people enjoying themselves, the 'right' not to have your superstition made fun of, most of all the 'right' to lots of other people's money.

June 07, 2007

Dave Does Europe ... kind of

To get past the gimick that the subeditors think will sell newspapers the only course of action is to go to the source and actually read the paper produced by the Democracy Task Force itself. Once again the actual paper is full of good stuff when it comes to liberty and reigning in the over mighty executive. Should these proposals actually get implemented hopefully it will make it more difficult should fascists, like Labour, gain power again in future to shred liberties at the same pace Labour is doing at the moment. Their findings include:
three huge deficiencies: the scrutiny of finance, that of EU legislation and Parliament's role in the Prerogative areas of treaty ratification and decisions to commit British troops to actual or potential combat.
Dave might not do. Europe, but his Democracy Task Force does. This should not be surprising as the EU is one of the largest sources of the current lack of democratic accountability since it is the source of up to 84% of legislation. That number is according the German President Roman Herzog the UK government preferring to keep rather quiet about the actual number for the UK. However for us the number could well be less, but only because of the legislative diarrhea from the current administration.
With regard to treaties, we reaffirm our belief that ratification should be removed from the Prerogative and made subject to Parliamentary consent. Those with significant implications - essentially those with financial, legal or territorial implications for the United Kingdom or its citizens - would require full Parliamentary approval, while the remainder would simply be laid before the Houses of Parliament with automatic approval if they were not challenged within twenty one business days.
This would not only scupper things like trying to slip the EU Constitution in through the back door without the promised referendum, it would also stop things like the abomination of an extradition treaty that Labour somehow forced upon us.

There are a lot of other good points in there as well such as taking more parliamentary functions such as Select Committees out of the hands of the Parties by giving the whole house a vote on chairs them and other measures to transfer power back to Parliament from 10 Downing street. If you want clear blue water between Dave's Conservatives and Labour then this is it. Giving power away from the executive is the one policy that no Labour government would ever contemplate, but it is something tha the conservatives are thinking about and might even actually do.

Detention without trial

Having doubled, and then doubled again, the length they can hold innocent people without trial, Labour are back to wanting to extend it further. Let us remember everybody is innocent until proven guilty, or at least they where until Labour assumed power and changed things. Why do they need to hold people for such an inordinately long time. During the IRA campaigne of terror a mere seven days was considered enough. Still worried that the bones might not have had time to heal?

June 06, 2007

The cult of celebrity

Most of the papers today carry some variant of this story, where one mentally unstable person attempted to attack another mentally unstable person. Would this have really made the papers had the latter not managed to turn the fact that he thinks the sky fairy talks to him into a cause for celebrity status? Probably not.

classification problem

if one in six adults classed are as a 'problem drinker' then the problem is with the classification system.

June 04, 2007

Pigdogfucker: Questions for debate

I'm going to answer Pigdogfucker's Questions for debate
1, that would be murder - so they should go to jail until they are no longer a danger
2, the person is not harming anybody, so no crime here
3, the person is not harming anybody, so no crime here
4, the person is not harming anybody, so no crime here
5, the person is not harming anybody, so no crime here. They should not even be on any watch lists. If they feel they want help it should be available, but since they have hurt nobody their liberty and privacy should not be curtailed.

In all the questions but the first the people who's actions are in question have not harmed anybody, or called for anybody to be harmed, therefore there is no crime to answer and the state has no place in these private.