October 31, 2007

Religious Hatred

25% of mosques stock hate filled books including some of "the best-funded and most dynamic institutions in Muslim Britain - some of which are held up as mainstream bodies." Places recognised and visited by politicians and members of the royal family because of their status. However I would not seek to censor what they sell. That these works of violent fiction (much like the Koran itself) obviously find a market amongst many of those that have also chosen to believe in Islam tells us something the violent and hate filled nature of Islam. This is not the misuse or abuse of Islam. This is Islam. This is the reason that Islam managed to crawl to the top of the shit heap as the world's number one most violent religion, despite all the strong competition. What is needed is to challenge the hate filled cults of the world. To stand up to their threats and violence. To show them while their private views will be tolerated violence and intimidation will not. Rather than the fawning obsequiously as is all too often seen instead.

October 28, 2007

The elimination of freedom is a perfectly legitimate aim of a lefty

As Chris Dillow (who I found the story from) would say this this verifies one of my priors; the arts branch of academia is about being able to cleverly twisting concepts to mean their opposite.

In the piece Chris Bertram argues against Oliver Kamm's criticism of Labour's laws against 'hate' speech by claiming that by removing certain kinds of liberty you are actually increasing it. He doesn't exactly start well by trying to attack Kamm for saying something that is obviously and objectively true:
Kamm’s point is that hate speech—unlike, say, racist violence—doesn’t harm its victims, strictly speaking.
Oliver Kamm is completely correct in this, speech no matter derogatory harms nobody. Bertram then goes on to haft admit this point by claiming that the harm of free speech is that it can help create a climate in which people act in a way that does cause real harm. That the speech itself doesn't cause harm is never contested.

Bertram claims that there are two points which make it legitimate to ban 'hate' speech first:

where genocidal crimes have taken place, it is often against the background of such messages being prevalent.

Ergo, if you support free speech you are actually a Nazi: who banned free speech, burned books containing unauthorised speech, and hounded 'degenerate' artists out of the country.

He fails to mention that the largest case of mass murder in the last century did not come against a background of hate speech, it came against a background of speech exhorting Socialism (the Socialists having also who banned free speech, banned books containing unauthorised speech, and murdered those that spoke against them). Perhaps we should ban people from promoting Socialism then? Some certainly would want to ban the promotion of Socialism, with its proven genocidal tendencies, but of course Bertram would never think of that because he only wants to ban bad speech and for his prejudices Socialism is not necessarily bad. So why should his prejudices be held as a higher standard of morality than those who's speech he would seek to ban. In a a democracy of equal citizens it is important to see to it that the conditions are in place for people to participate as equals, which Bertram himself states. Before twisting the meaning of this by stating that some are more equal than others and so there are those that need special protections.

In a democracy we should have equality. Which would mean letting everybody speak their peace, rather than banning anybody that does not fit with the prejudices of the majority. Not twisting equality to mean putting some peoples (the fashionable minorities) interests above other peoples (the un-fashionable minorities) interests.

second, no-one has any legitimate interest in the protection of hate speech, as such.*

But everybody has an interest in the protection of free speech, because the next opinion that they seek to ban could be yours. If there are no protections on free speech the very first people that will get their right to try and persuade others of their case are those that need to the most. As Bertram says 'but most people will not listen to people like them' (emphasis in the original) without free speech most people will try and force the unpopular minorities shut up so that they don't have to listen to people like them. It is only by allowing debate and discussion that unpopular minorities can try to put their case. If they don't have one then that should put too by speaking against them, not by shutting down their right to speech at all.

Bertram then goes on to show how much he really values debate and free speech by ending with the following comment:

Self-denying ordinance: I anticipate a flurry of outraged comments by libertarians and similar to this post. Let me announce in advance that I’m too busy to respond.

there can be not legitimate counter arguments, Chris Bertram has spoken.

October 27, 2007

Lib-Dems to become Liberals?

Nick Clegg has given a long interview to the Telegraph, obviously hoping to start attracting support amongst the right-liberals that Cameron has also been wooing. That is people like me.

The solution, he believes, is for the Lib Dems to position themselves as the antidote to an overweening state.

OK, I'm interested.

"The starting point is that Liberal Democrats are in politics to give more power to families, communities and individuals," he says.

Politicians cannot give power to 'families, communities and individuals' because it is their power in the first place that has only been loaned to the politicians. If he is talking about politicians taking less power onto themselves and leaving it with the people that is a good thing. Not that this fits very well with the rampant EUphilia in the Lib-Dems, with the EU sucking power into itself (never to be returned under the principle of engrénage) from parliament, from local government, and from 'families, communities and individuals'.

We need to devolve power from central to local government, including, crucially the devolution of tax-raising powers,

Good, if local government is reliant on the people it serves for it's money it will be more responsive to their needs. Local government will jump when the people tell it to, rather than when central government tells it to as happens now.

in his view, the NHS would work better if it were broken up, with locally-elected commissioning boards which would make it more responsive to patients' needs.

Yes! Yes! Yes! And locally-elected commissioning boards are as good a way to do it as any. Kind of like what happens in Sweden.

The relationship between individuals and state has, he says, got out of balance. "There was a huge row in my constituency about a new parking scheme because people thought it was just a money-grabbing exercise - which it possibly was. That's indicative of a profound sense of alienation from the state in all its forms."

Nice that at least some politicians are starting to notice it.

The voters have, he thinks, reached their limit on tax.

Too bloody right.

The Lib Dems should talk about time breaks as well as tax breaks." Businesses, he says, need to do much more to help working parents. "You should have a right to demand flexible working, not just a right to request it.

"When people have a terrible crisis in their life, like a bereavement, they should be able to ask for time off, and if someone wants to take a career break, why can't they do that for a year then agree with their employer that they retire a year later?"

That is rather less good. No employer would agree to let an employee take a year off now and pay it back by retiring a year later (even if they would be a much more valuable employee by then) because they probably won't be with the same firm. There are no jobs where you can say for sure that you will be with the same firm until you retire anymore, at least outside the state sector. Even there they are getting scarce. In fact the only career like that is that of a politician and then only because nobody else will employ them. This sounds like a plan for reducing employment by increasing the risks and burdens associated with employing people.

Fathers should also get more time off when their children are born.

"When our first child was born my wife, Miriam, went back to work much more quickly than I did.

It's completely out of step with modern parenting to give women nine months paid paternity leave and fathers two weeks, I'd prefer a longer parental allocation which you can divide up as you like."

Again this could have problems by making employers less likely to employ people that are likely to become parents. It will to reduce the gender pay imbalance that polly is always harping on about, but by leveling down. Saying that the good of making everybody equal with no discrimination due to gender might outweigh this.

Drugs, though, he says must be much better controlled.

Meh, just legalise the lot of them.

In all some really good stuff, it looks like where he to gain leadership of the Lib-Dems Nick Clegg would steer it away from socialism and towards liberalism. The Conservatives are also making encouraging noises about liberalism at the moment, but it would be nice to have a truly liberal party around to keep them honest and help oppose Labour's authoritarianism.

October 26, 2007

56 days detention without charge

Great, looks like am going to have to revise my graph again. Brown is going for another double of the time he can hold people without charge. This time while proclaiming the name of liberty. Detaining the innocent for liberty is like fucking for virginity. So fuck you, you one eyed kilt snake.

HT to the Reactionary Snob

The religion of peace strikes again

Jack 'Boot' Straw

Jack 'boot' Straw shows once again why our liberty will never be safe while his ilk are in power. Ex-comies like him simply don't understand that liberty cannot be imposed by the state because liberty is freedom from the state.

Back in 1950, the aim of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was to protect the continent from ever again experiencing the horrors of totalitarianism.

Not all totalitarians wear uniform's from Hugo Boss. Some where suits, like you Jack 'boot' Straw. The ECHR hasn't been that good at protecting us from you, you just derogate from it if it becomes too restricting. Which is a shame because for all its problems it is just about our last best hope for liberty at the moment.

We must constantly reappraise the relevance of these rights.

Meaning that they are not the universal natural rights as originally proposed to be, those rights that we gain simply from being human. Humanity isn't being 'constantly reappraise' to keep it 'relevant' so any rights that have to be are not rights at all but mere laws. Just as Bentham meant when he called them "nonsense on stilts", so perhaps now we can get away from all this talk of 'rights' and talk of liberties and freedoms instead, which are never the gift of the state as they can only be taken away by it.

Our counter-terrorism legislation, for instance, must strike a balance between public safety and individual freedom.

Yes it must, its such a great shame that it hasn't maggot brain. Instead your counter-terrorism legislation has trashed individual freedom while doing nothing what so ever about public safety.

There is particular tension around the issue of the deportation of foreign nationals.

Not really every other country, except this one, happily deports foreign nationals. It was only this one where the likes of Bakri Mohammed where allowed to scrounge off benefits while you where too afraid to try to deport him back to his native land where he was happily taking holidays.

It is not possible to deport them to countries where there is a risk of torture or death, even if they're guilty of serious crime.

Well twatface, in the case of Bakri Muhammad you wouldn't have been had you been. You would have been deporting him to his favorite holiday destination. That is had you been willing to deport him rather than finding him and his Islamo-fascist comrades more useful as an excuse to wheel out yet more of your own-brand-fascist legislation.

The Opposition often cites this as an illustration of how regard for human rights puts the liberty of individuals, in this case undesirable ones, over the safety of the wider community. But we will not outsource murder and torture.

Oh, really?

To enjoy the benefits of a liberal democracy we must adhere to the letter and the spirit of human rights.

No, to live in a liberal democracy those we the people choose to elect must remember to adhere to our traditions of liberty, of the state staying out of peoples live unless absolutely necessary. Rather than taking every opportunity to tear them up like you and the piles of rancid yak vomit that you call your colleagues have done.

The price we must pay for freedom is not to debase our values

Like the Labour Party has done again and again.

it is to live with the circumstances it can throw up.

The thing that makes me most want to throw up is you, you shit eating pig fucker.

We will do our utmost to secure the safety of the British people

At least when you aren't letting innocent people get shot and killed by the police due to a bureaucratic fuck up.

and we are prepared to limit individual liberties as required

Why how noble of you! Such a sacrifice on your part, to be prepared to limit our liberties. It's not like you and your fellow fuckwits have not been using ever changing excuses for destroying our liberties every since you gained power in 1997. Oh no.

The HRA and an independent judiciary are in place to establish and marshal the lawful boundaries of our response.

Which will be one of the reason that the Labour Party has been setting out to reduce the right to a fair trial for so long. Not that it is too much of an obstacle so long as your fellow former communist comrades are there in the judiciary to help use it to trample on liberty.

The Conservative Party is wrong in its interpretation of the effect of the HRA.

Not really, they are right on the effect but wrong about the solution. Had you spent a bit more time on getting your legislation right rather than trying to shit out a tidal wave of crap laws then it might have been drafted better and had fewer bad effects. However trying to get things right, rather than chasing the next tabloid headline, isn't the Labour way.

Their position, to quote the Justice Spokesman, Nick Herbert, is that it "should be scrapped, and replaced by a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities that would enable us to take the necessary action against those who commit acts of terrorism".

He continues: "If we were to have our own Bill of Rights, the convention would be reinterpreted accordingly and the margin of appreciation would allow us to take more action against those who threaten our country." But, they say, they would still stick to the ECHR itself.

This "margin of appreciation" argument is often trotted out. But the truth is that the Conservatives fundamentally misunderstand this issue.

They often do, they didn't gain the name the 'Stupid Party' for nothing. However at least they aren't actively malevolent like the fetid shower of piss that calls itself the Labour Party. Though if having a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities is such a bad idea perhaps you should tell your Dear Leader who seems to think that stealing all the Stupid Party's ideas is far smarter than listening to anything that the dribbling morons around him could come up with.

They claim that those countries with their own domestic Bill of Rights are left alone by Strasbourg. David Cameron has said that a British one would have "a status similar to that of the German Basic Law and in so doing help restore British parliamentary supremacy".

And we all know what you lot feel about British parliamentary supremacy the Clunking Fist having just signed it away to the EU. Breaking one of your manifesto promises to do so.

But the standard of protection afforded to people by German Basic Law is greater than the HRA, and less flexible than the ECHR. Decisions in German courts are rarely overturned by the ECHR because German Basic Law is more stringent in protecting the individual in the first place.

So more protection for the individual is a bad thing? Nice to know where you stand on that one you syphilitic badger fucker, at least it means we can stand up wind.

In the UK, on the other hand, the courts are able to apply a different proportional test when rights conflict. The HRA allows judges to consider the interests of not only the individual but also the community. Repealing the HRA and replacing it with a Bill of Rights would restrict the flexibility and the application of balance within our courts.

You mean the stupid party might have accidentally figured out what liberty actually means? Protection of the individual against the collective, be it society or the state. Great, but I can see why you would be opposed, it goes directly against the basic thrust of your programme of these last ten years.

Instead of regressing to narrow xenophobia

Such as stealing policies from the BNP and demanding 'British jobs for British workers' like Gordon Brown did at your last conference. Perhaps he should stick to stealing off the Stupid Party, at least they are not racists.

The aim of our British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities will be to clarify and explain the obligations which come with rights, and examine whether there is a basis for making these clearer under the law.

We have no obligations to the state. The state is our servant to do those few things that can only be done collectively. It has obligations to us, which it is currently failing to honour, and we owe it nothing. This is not some kind of exchange between equals, we have lent the state some of our power and our rights simply set out the limits within which we are willing to see our power used.

The HRA has not become an iconic statement of liberty, like the American Bill of Rights, but this doesn't mean we value our rights any less

We value our rights but based on your legislative record the only value you place on them is as trophies; heads to line your walls once they have been shot and killed.

A British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities will help us find a clearer expression of our values as a society – and as a nation.

If it is to be more than a legal document and become a charter, it is vital that it is owned by the British people and not just the lawyers.

which is where the HRA went wrong. The HRA was owned by the lawyers lock stock and barrel, lawyers such as the wife of the Labour Prime Minister that placed it on the statute books.

This is why the development of the Bill will come with a full debate as part of a substantial programme of constitutional renewal.

So stand by for even more constitutional destruction.

As Gordon Brown said yesterday, this work will "found the next stage of constitutional development firmly on the story of British liberty"

At which point great gouts of flame where seen bursting from his turd encrusted y-fronts. The only thing that Labour has attempted to add to the story of British Liberty are two words:

The End.

Government stupidity

Putin is legislating to reintroduce soviet style queues and empty shops back into Russia. For the good of the people, of course.

October 25, 2007

Labour Peer Selling Access to Ministers

Labour might have been able to slide their way out of scandels before (like selling seats in the House of Lords) but hopefully this time it will stick.
A Labour peer has admitted taking money to introduce an arms company lobbyist to the government minister in charge of weapons purchases. The case of 'cash for access' in the House of Lords is likely to ignite fresh concern about ethical standards in parliament.

Groceries, Breasts, then an Abortion

Three posts about three related issuse; Breast size, groceries, and abortion. They may not seem that similar on the surface but really they all boil down to the same problem, who has the information to make an informed decision.

First comes Chris Dillow morning the imminent diminishment of Kerry Katona's breasts. This he argues is a case where a woman's self ownership over her body appears to be reducing utility. I would argue differently, it might appear that by reducing the ability of people to ogle her fine appendages you would be reducing the happiness felt (for possibly minutes at a time) by many men around the country. However this does not take any problems that they cause for her into account. The utility of ogling can, and is, easily aggregated by the markets in a way that Ms Katona can easily find out just by looking at how much she is paid compared to the less well endowed in her chosen professions. Those ogling however cannot find out about all the little problems that they cause for her. So in this case the only person in a position to have all the information to choose whether to keep her breasts the size they are or not is Ms Katona.

Next is Tim Worstall pointing to a Commie bastard professor that thinks we are all to stupid to decide what we want to eat from ourselves. He should not worry about the limited cognative abilities of us mere mortals compared to bureaucrats academics like himself though. Thanks to free markets workers wages, profit margins, transportation, packaging, raw materials costs and other resources are already compressed down to one single easily compared number. The price. Differences in price means that there will be differences in these various factors as each manufacture tries to differentiate his product from his rivals, differences that they will shout and scream about through the products branding. All that is left is is to decide which aspects you want to emphasize. Do you want a product that used the absolute minimum resources, or perhaps something else on top? If so which something else? Your sandals fair trade perhaps? Your brusectta organic? Which add on is best for which customer however is something that only the customer in question will know.

Then comes the much more serious question of abortion. This might not seem like something that can be compared to something frivolous like breast reduction, but really they are the same thing. Who has the best information with which to make a decision. I am personally firmly pro-choice, the reason for this is simple and very similar to Ms Robinson when she says
that to speak about abortion in generalised statistical terms, to even attempt to do so, is frankly missing the point. And the main point is that abortion is not the government's decision to make.
Short of a medical miracle I will never know what it is like to have a fetus growing inside me. I can never know what that feels like, I do not even have any idea what the psychological, physical and financial pressures would be like and since everybody is different, every pregnancy is different and in constantly changing circumstances the only person that truly does know what that situation is like is the person in it. Tell them about all the options, including adoption, but in the end it has to be the woman's choice so all the choices must be open too her. I would personally hope that abortion were a rarely taken choice, but it is still the woman's choice alone to take.

Most hard problems come down to weighing various choices and to do that you have to have a clear understanding of the repercussions that these choices will have which means you need to know the individual circumstances that the choice is being made in. Even in our panopticon state the only person that truly knows this is the person making the choice, so it should be made by them not some distant and disinterested lawmaker.

October 23, 2007

The War on Liberty

Labour still wants to be able to lock people up for even longer without charge.
28-day limit on holding terrorism suspects has been met with "some scepticism".
No shit there is scepticism. The IRA where setting off bombs left right and centre, and two days was sufficient. They very nearly blew up Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and two days was sufficient. They mortared downing street while Prime minister John Major was there with his cabinet during the first Iraq War, and two days was sufficient.

Yet for Labour 28 days is not enough after only one successful attack in the UK and a bunch of failures ranging in incompetence from the pathetic to the laughable. The IRA where efficient organised terrorists, unlike your average Muslim fanatic, yet dealing with them did not take the wide ranging attacks on civil liberties that Labour have committed over there last decade in power. Labours attacks having started before the Islamic Jihad against the west had reached these shores and even before Al Qaeda's atrocity in New York had brought the Jihad to public attention. There is absolutely no evidence of any need to extend the period beyond the current 28 days, there wasn't that much evidence of a need to extend it to 28 days, yet still they want more.

Since coming to power Labour have doubled the length of time people can be held without charge, then doubled it again, and again. They introduced internment on the British mainland, the first time ever in peace time. They gave themselves the power to place people under house arrest forever without charge or trial. A policy of shoot to kill was introduced under their watch, the only victim of which so far has been an innocent man. They have introduced identity cards, again a peace time first. They have vastly increased the number of CCTV cameras (useless for crime prevention, but great for monitoring the populace). They have allowed gossip to be used as evidence in court. They have introduced laws that lets them take peoples property without proving that they have done anything wrong. They have introduced laws where the burden of proof is reversed. They put in place their Enabling Act and attempted to get their Abolition of Parliament Act.

After 10 years of Labour's War on Liberty we have every right to be more than sceptical as they demand yet more power for themselves.

Labour's revenge

He lead the inquiry that dared question Labour's right to sell seats in the House of Lords to fund their party machine. That selling seats in the House of Lords is against the law doesn't matter to them, they are 'pretty strait sort of people' so what does having to follow the law mean to them. They are there to create the law, not to follow it. Arms where twisted and the CPS refused to take up the case, so now time for Labour's revenge.

October 22, 2007

Labour's vote factories

7 people have been charged in relation to Labour's voting factories of the last general election ... finally.

Proscription Charges

When the NHS was founded it was supposed to be comprehensive treatment free at the point of delivery, everything was supposed to be free, including proscriptions. However this was found to be unaffordable so small proscription charges where introduced a few years after the founding and they have been there ever since. Now Scotland has decided to get rid of proscription charges, and are confident that the money will not be a problem. They could be right, because it will not be their money that they will be spending it will be subsidies from down south.

October 21, 2007

Trafalgar Day

I have just been celebrating Trafalgar Day by knocking back a couple rums in memory of Lord Nelson. Nelson was one of only three commoners ever to be given a state funeral in Westminster Abbey, and who's memory is still incorporated into the Royal Navy's uniform to this day with the three white bands on the collar said to represent Nelson's three major victories (Copenhagen, the Nile, and Trafalgar) and the black silk scarf that goes under the collar being said to come from the ones like by the sailors who attended Nelson's funeral to show that they where in morning for the very popular Admiral. Obviously drinking rum would be considered part of the hazardous drinking that the state is so worried about. Though perhaps not as hazardous as that conducted in the navy itself on Trafalgar Day, where it is sometimes joked that the best day to launch a sea assault on the UK would be the day after as the entire fleet would be too hung over to mount an adequate defense.

October 19, 2007

The last bastion of socialism

The NHS is simply too big. You cannnot have an organisation that big without huge diseconomies of scale.

A big organisation means a big hierarchy, a big heirachy means big waste. Break things up into smaller chunks, responsible to the patients that they serve, and you can reduce the amount of bureaucrats in the heirarchy while making no difference to the amount at the front line. Less hierarchy, less waste.

Any increase in funding has to filter down through, and get dispersed amoungst, few layers before it reaches the front line, and any new ideas have to filter up through fewer layers of people who's job it is to say 'no' before it reaches the person that can say 'yes'.

Defenders of the NHS always wave the straw man that you can either have the NHS or the american model, and nothing else. There is not a black and white choice between the centralised state controlled model of the NHS, with centralised and state controlled system having been proven to fail in every other field they have every been tried, and the US system of a majority private system with the problems apparent there. There are many ways to break it up and make it managable, for example:
The Singapore model where the state will pay for the big stuff but leaves financing the small stuff up to the individual.
The Swedish model where healthcare is part of local government.
The Social Insurance schemes used elsewhere on the continent, such as in France.
Contracting clinics from external organisations, as is used within the NHS for GP clinics and Prosthetics.

Big centralised state controlled monopolies have been shown to be a very bad way of organising in every other field they have been tried when compared to the alternatives. Why should healthcare be any different? Don't like the US system? Try a different one. Perhaps if it where patients that where the most important thing, rather than government dictats, there would be more done based on clinical need rather than in order to massage the figures to fulfill the required quotas and so less patients dieing because of it.

October 18, 2007

Dr Watson I presume

A quick note on Dr Watson and his research on intelligence and the PC shit storm it has stirred up. His research may be irrelevant but he should not have his freedom of speech contravened in this way.

It is not the first irrelevant research to be done, neither is it the first to be done by somebody that had previously made dramatic discoveries, nor is it the first time that a scientist has wanted to talk about their irrelevant research in public. Normal human variation is far to large and will swamp any signal that might be there. In normal interactions between individuals, whether or not it is true, it is simply not useful data.

That it is not useful to everyday life and goes against certain PC shibboleths however should not stop his freedom to talk about this research. If further data shows it to be untrue then he will have made a fool of himself in public, and he won't be the first person to do that either. To be at liberty to make a fool of yourself is a liberty that is fundamental to the human condition. If it turns out to be true then perhaps it will spark off some further avenues of research expanding human knowledge, knowledge is always in itself good even if it can be twisted by people in order for them to pursue goals which are bad.

The reaction to bad research should be better research, not attempting to gag the researcher, because better research will always overwhelm the worse.

The road to hell

Looks like the motorist is in Labour's sights, again. Now they want further arbitrary speed restrictions, obviously the fines aren't rolling in fast enough at the moment. If you use the same statistics in the same simplistic way as the proponents of ever more restrictions on motoring then yet more speed restrictions will be a bad thing for safety.

DfT figures for 2006, which show that there were more people killed or seriously injured in 20mph zones than 30mph zones

One thing this measure will certainly be bad for is privacy. Having just placed road pricing on the back burner. This probably more because thanks to EU directives on road pricing it was to have used the Gallileo system which may never now get built rather than the massive popular resistance. Another scheme to tag and monitor everybody as they travelled must have seemed desperately needed in Labour's continuing War on Liberty. This new speed limit can be used for just that.

The number of roads would make standard Gatso type speed cameras impractical, maybe even cost them money and they would much prefer the cattle pay for their own tags, so they are going for a system based around recording and tracking every
single car in the area using an Automated Number Plate Recognition system and then calculating the average speeds. This system will have to track journeys, if it did not it would not be able to calculate the speed and therefore send you the correct number of fines. The chances of the security services getting hold of this data is basically zero, they already have 24 hour access to the congestion charge data. Even during the weekends when the charge is not in place and so legally the cameras should be off.

I can already see Jack 'boot' Straw lubing up the Big Truncheon in anticipation of the pleasures to come when he can add tracking every single car journey in London to his files. Thanks to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act he can already track every mobile phone, but not everybody has one of those an even worse they are carried only voluntarily. Phones can be left behind, or switched off and that isn't enough for Jack. Jack wants it all and Jack wants it when Jack wants it. Having to get a bit of consent really takes the fun from it for people like him.

Smoking, healthier than fascism.

Want to know how to get a team of police officers rushing to your aid? No, don't try reporting a burglary. Report somebody for smoking.

Perhaps smokers should claim that they have no responsibility over their actions and claim that everybody else must take responsibility for them, they would have a better case for this than people that are merely fat. Then they could enjoy a, carefully monitored and proscribed, puff measured out for them by a government official just as the state is edging towards the careful controlling of the food we eat as we are no longer deemed responsible enough to do it ourselves. Queue up a 6 pm for your standard issue of gruel (you wouldn't want any food inequality now would you?) Everybody getting the same carefully calculated measure of slop. Unless the slop slingers have decided to go on strike in which case you would have to go hungry, or face being arrested and face the next few days having every inch millimeter of your anatomy intimately recorded in a government database, and then taken by identity fraudsters because the database contract didn't include any security at all. Every citizen having to dine in a government sanctioned mess, fanciful? Not with the way that Labour pries deeper and deeper into peoples private lives. Not unprecedented either, it was the system used by the Spartans and as one Athenian once noted the reason that they where so unafraid of death, death was better than a life of socialist cooking.

October 16, 2007

Expect more tax on booze

In Labour's continuing War on Liberty their successful of their campaign against smokers looks like being followed up with one on drink, and it appears that the first salvos have started to fall. The research may junk but I think that we can expect this to be used as an excuse for a substantial tax increase on booze next budget. However they may find this a rather harder target than smoking because here in the west drinking is such a deep part of our culture. drinking is in our DNA. Literally in our DNA, the peoples that purified their water by using alcohol have a gene to offset some of its effects not present amongst those that boiled it instead. When booze is prohibited people quickly find a way around it, everybody knows about the US example but there are also the secret bars even in Saudi Arabia and with the large taxes on booze in scandinavia the Swedes pop over the border to Denmark or the Norwegians creating up a truly venomous homebrew. Trying to take away the effects of the demon drink could prove to be the bridge (over a wine lake) too far. Quite frankly without dionysus' gentle embrace to numb the pains inflicted by Labour's nanny state who would want to live in their proscribed and pleasureless world? Take away the comforting fuzz of alcohol and there will be a social revolt which they simply will not be able to handle.


Yes, this was blogged drunk. Simply to spite them,

October 12, 2007

Dissolving democracy

Harriet Harman wants MPs to have the final say over when elections are called. This is not a good idea. With the MPs living their careers under the power of the whips, and loving it, all that would mean is that the leader of the party with the most MPs would call the election as and when they felt like it. No different than what happens now. At best this change would simply mean that even greater stasis and careerism than there is now. This is because it will mean elections only being held when the the MPs consider there to be the least chance of them losing their seats and so reducing their need to represent their constituents well.

The Assets Recovery Agency

The assets recovery agency is to be scrapped, or rather it is to absorbed into the Justice Ministers private police force the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. The reason given was its waste and incompetence. However the waste and incompetence, while impressively large even by government standards, is not the reason that this agency and the legislation behind it must go. Waste and incompetence is simply to be expected from any government agency. The basis of this legislation is an attack on one of the most basic liberties that we all have, the liberty of not having your property confiscated unless convicted of a crime at a fair trial.

The purpose of the Assets Recovery Agency and The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 that spawned it is to impose fines on people who may never have been proven to have done anything wrong, but just seem to have more assets than the State decides that they could have gained without doing something illegal. What they have or have not done is not important, just that some spiteful bureaucrat somewhere thinks they look a bit dodgy.

Once the ASA has a victim in its sights their assets are frozen while it tries to get a court to agree with them. Not prove beyond reasonable doubt, just decide that they might be a bit dodgy on the balance of probabilities. The ASA then takes the money for itself and its master, the government. This is literally the way that the witch mania of the middle ages was fueled, letting the prosecutors take a cut of their victims wealth as an incentive to find more victims. Luckily, unlike in the middle ages, they are not the judge as well as the prosecutor and the judicery seems to be doing a good job in protecting people from this form of legalised mugging, which is why they have 'recovered' so little. Even with the lowered level of proof required the ASA still finds that it is difficult even to reach that.

October 11, 2007

Adrian Sanders is my bitch

Adrian Sanders is my bitch. Actually he is the bitch of everybody in Torbay, getting out and hustling hard (politically) on the mean streets of Westminster so that we can chill out under the palm trees. He does this not just because he's a kind dedicated sort of person, but because he's scared that if he doesn't we will give him an almighty slapping at the ballot box.

Sanbikinoraion is looking at an examination as a qualification for standing for office, which makes me think of the claustrophobic stasis of Imperial China. Such complexities are not needed, we just need to get a parliment of people like Mr Sanders. Really, that is all there is too it. A parliment of MPs that know they have to represent and if they don't ... well ... Treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen.

What is needed to make every MP as good as Sanders is to make their position as uncertain as his is. There is one electoral system that will do that by producing no safe seats. Single Transferable Vote.

October 10, 2007

free speech vs. hate speech

I agree with Peter Tatchell completely. The proposed laws incitement of homophobic hatred represent a dangerous dilution of free speech, and will do nothing except further damage our civil liberties. We do not need to single out special victim groups for protection, we need equal protection for all under the law. We do not need new laws on hate speech, we need to enforce the existing ones on incitement to violence and murder.

The same goes for all prejudice, whatever the motive and whoever the perpetrator. The best way to tackle prejudice is by presenting facts and using reasoned arguments, to break down ignorance and ill-will.

All incitements to hatred should be treated with the same zero tolerance. But not, in my opinion, by means of criminal sanctions. Free speech is precious. It should be limited only in exceptional circumstances - when it slips into inciting violence and murder.


Introducing legislation prohibiting the incitement of homophobic hatred seems a bit amiss when already-existing laws are not being enforced against the much more serious crimes of inciting violence and murder. Please, Mr Straw, ensure the enforcement of the current laws before you start introducing new ones.

spending review

During the last election policy anouncements followed a rigid pattern. The Conservatives would release a policy, and they would be slated for it by the BBC and everybody told how nasty it was. One or two weeks later Labour would release a policy that sounded almost exactly the same as the conservative one, but normally missing a few vital points, this time with no critism from the BBC. Exactly the same think happened over the death tax, except that for the first time the media seem to have actually noticed that Labour where blatantly stealling Conservative policy. The MSM may well go to sleep again but if they don't my bet is the next instance where this will come to light will be when they try to claim ownership of another peice of Conservative home turf, law and order.

Crime is one of the preanial problems of politics, especially since the introduction of the Welfare State crime rates have soared. The police are completely out of their depth and have fallen back on padding their statistics with un-crimes to try and make themselves look less incompetent. But unlike most areas of state incompetence they are not having cash sprayed at them, funding is now going to enter a stagnant period. He also said:
"The notion that this is still an inefficient public service is wrong,"
That they are inefficient? Or that they are a public service? Given that the evidence from the front line shows that they certainly are inefficient I guess that he was talking about the police not being a public service, which also fits with the evidence.
"The notion that this is the last bastion of unreconstructed 1960s public service, again, couldn't be farther from the truth."
Again he's not wrong. As already stated they are not a public service, and they have certainly been reconstructed since the 1960's. The problem is the way that they have been reconstructed according to the managerialist dogmas of performance metrics, and targets, and piles of paper work. The police might be a bit less likely to bring people to court that they have fitted up for crimes that they didn't do, but they are also less likely to bring anybody to court. Especially if they are engaged in real crimes that course real harm to other people such, as burglary, rather than simply un-crimes that harm nobody but help them get keep to their quota.

This is not what people want or expect. They want to be protected from those out to harm them but otherwise left to go about their business. At some point the fact that this expectation is almost the exact opposite of what actually happens is going to work its way up the political agenda.

What would be good is if they where reconstructed again in order to keep the laws for there to protect of the public from the police (and reinstate some that Labour have taken away), while also making the police protect the public from the criminals. A new form where strong civil liberties where combines with incentives for the police to actually catch criminals, but that is not on offer from any of the political parties. The only thing that could be done is to try and put a stop Labour's sustained attack on civil liberties, while not allowing the police to slide any further.

October 09, 2007

finally tax cuts

Labour have bitten the bullet on tax cuts, not the best tax cut they could have gone for but at least it is a cut. They will no longer be able to scream that all tax cuts automatically have to mean cuts in services as they have now cut taxes and will be claiming that services are improving. This could well be a tactical mistake tax cuts will always play well with the electorate, and tax cuts are an area that is associated strongly with the Conservatives. In the past they could always use the claim that any reduction of taxes meant a reduction in services to neutralise this. As an excuse this is already wearing thin, money has been poured into services with no discernible improvement but now it will become hard for them to even field it.

October 08, 2007

CCTV is a placebo

Under Labour the number of CCTV cameras has increased 8 times from 67 schemes with approximately 5,238 cameras in 1997 to an estimated 500 systems with 40,000 cameras in 2002. The problem is that CCTV is a placebo.

CCTV makes people feel safer but has no impact on actual crime levels or crime clear up rates. This is an overconfidence that has lead to real miscarrages of justice, luckily this is rarer than it might be because even with high quality systems it is hard to identify people from CCTV that you are not already familar with, and CCTV is very rarely of high quality.

Then there is the small matter that almost all of these supposed crime prevention schemes are themselves illegal. Real criminal know how useless they are though and have absolutely no fear of them. The law abiding however are not so lucky, CCTV may not be any good for reducing crime but they are perfectly good enough to let the operators play the peeping tom.

free the porn

A very good piece on Comment is Free by Mr Pike Bishop about the legislation coming in the next parliament to attempt to ban more naughty thoughts. I particually liked this line as it sums up the the nasty moralising nature of Labour and many if its supporters very well.
Labour wouldn't recognise their actions as curtailing freedom of course - they never do - they're simply doing what's right. Uhuh.

October 05, 2007

cyber warefare

Rather an interesting story about the recent Israeli airstrikes on Syria, if true then it sounds like they where engaged in something that could have come strait out of Neuromancer.

October 04, 2007

A crack of light

There are cracks of light are appearing as the free market is slowly creeping into the last bastion of Socialism.

The old rationing system of you would get what you are givern, normally nothing, has started to change so that relatives can barter amoungst themselves to try and set up exchanges of organs in order to get one that will match what they need. The first such exchange has just taken place. Like in all free market exchanges both parties benefited.

The next step will probably be to allow multiple exchanges between multiple people to try and get the right organ to the right patient. Working across this kind of mesh of exchanges to try and find the optimum configuration is a difficult problem which would be greatly aided by using software to do it. Luckily such software already exists and the NHS could start using it now[2]. Not that they would on past experience preferring rather to spend millions and fail miserably, but with the NHS' record on data security this might be a good thing.

However there is a way to make this even more efficient. This way would be able to handle a potentially infinite number of exchanges simply and without the need of lots of computing power to run complex algorythms. Instead of bartering organs directly you can use an intermediate form that does not have to be exchanged for an organ, something that can be exchanged for whatever the person in question thinks will make them most happy. Something called money.

October 03, 2007

You are now a criminal

By reading this post you are a criminal. You are now liable to be sent to prison for 5 years. It is up to you to prove that you are innocent.

The reason that you are now a criminal? Here it is:


Part 3 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act came in over the weekend. So long as that is on your computer you are caught in the RIP trap and is up to you to prove your innocence. RIP gives wiretapping power to just about everybody form the police, to the local council, it was even propoesd to give your postman these powers in one of the ammending acts to RIPA. If you are having your communications are being intercepted and you know about it you are not allowed to tell anybody. If you know that somebody else's communications are being intercepted you are not allowed to tell anybody.

RIP hasn't been the only time that Labour have reversed the burden of proof, but I believe that it was the first. The arguments happenned all the way back in 1999 after only two years in office before 7/7 and before 9/11 while the IRA was on ceasefire. It disproves the myth that Labour are not really out to destroy civil liberties but have been forced into these tough measures because of Islamic terrorism. Labour set their course almost as soon as they took office long before the Islamic threat reached public conciousness.

Perhaps you think that you can get away with it by shutting the browser and clearing the cache. Not so fast, by clearing the cache removes the references that your opperating system using to find the data on your hard disk, but it does not remove the data. It is still there and still recoverable so you are still a criminal. The only way to get rid of it is to overwrite that area of the disk enough times to make it unrecoverable, and then hope that the virtual memory system that you operating system will be using hasn't stashed it elsewhere as well, so you had better secure erase all the 'empty' space on your hard drive if you want to be sure of really having got rid of it. On a Macintosh this can be done with the Disk Utility application that comes with the operating system.

The message was encrypted with AES in Cypher Block Chaining mode and then encoded into Base 64 using the standard Python base64 library to comply with web standards. You know the key. But if you don't, prove it.

October 02, 2007

Wonder of the world

After years of the NHS being hosed down with money you would expect that it wouldn't be too bad any more wouldn't you? Funding has reached the European average, so where it just funding that was the problem then it should be producing results of about the European average as well. A new report has come in comparing the health systems of 29 European countries. Guess which one comes a little above the NHS? ... Estonia.

When comparing outcomes the NHS is 17th out of 29 countries, lagging behind all its northern European neighbours. When value or money is taken into account things get even worse with the UK coming out 26th out of 29 - above only Bulgaria, Poland and Latvia. The NHS is structurally unique, and uniquely bad. Like every other experiment in centralised state control it has failed. Money is not the issue, more money has not and will not provide the kinds of outcomes as good as those could the acheived with any other European health care system. Time to change the system.