October 30, 2008

ID Cards won't save us from terrorists

Another state official has come out and said what just as anybody that has ever looked at Labour's plan to brand us all like cattle has realised ID Cards will do absolutely nothing to help with whatever the Government excuse-de-jour is.

Mr Mattinson [former senior official at the Cabinet Office who now advises GCHQ's Communications-Electronics Security Group] said, the cards would only be useful for "everyday issues" when Government departments needed to transfer information about people and dismissed claims that they would help the fight against terrorism as "absolute bunkum".

October 29, 2008

Labour wants to nationalise whole of .UK

Just as the train wreak that is the NHS super computer slowly shudders to a permanent stop the government is looking for some other IT project to play with. They are unlikely to be able to make a bigger failure than the NHS as far as new system is concerned, since it was the largest IT procurement (failure) ever, this time they are after a working system built be somebody else to wreak. What bigger IT disaster then than taking over the entire UK domain name registry? With so much reliant now on the internet the loss of this service would be a catastrophe, and so it's lure proves irresistible. They already have plans to log every action passing across the UK networks, censor every webpage, and for the identification of everybody wanting to by a mobile phone, so why not take over the top level DNS as well. Other than they will drive it into the ground like they do every other IT project it touches, of course.

October 27, 2008

First Passed the Machete

Thanks to the First Past the Post voting system in many ways our system of choosing the government is not unlike that of a failed state where warlordism has taken over.

There are a number of powerful established bands, and every so often one will mount a daring raid into enemy territory to capture certain strategic assets. This shifts the balance of power allowing them a period where they are dominant when they get to distribute largess amongst their followers and allies. The difference is that for us the territory is ideological and we use words rather than machetes. Plus less cannibalism, unless you are in Cornwall.

It is certainly true that Cameron does not offer anything radical, that he does not even try to present that arguments about how the Welfare State has corrupted this country and the EU has made our democracy a shame. It would be completely accurate that he presents himself as some kind of Blue Labour of the soggy centre. Of course he does, and that is why he is going to win.

Cameron does not care about True Believers like DK. They are lost to him anyway howling at the moon for ideological purity. He does not care about libertarian pragmatists like Jakart or myself either, he owns us already for the simple reason that he offers the least worst option. The people that he is after are those floating voters in the soggy centre that decide elections. It is they who are the important strategic territory that wins elections and so Cameron has mounted his raid beyond traditional tory territory in order to capture as many of them as possible.

It might be good if the Libertarian Party could win power (though I'm not sold on their Income Tax policy), but they can't. Which is why I hope that the Conservatives win (preferably with the Lib-Dems displacing Labour as the opposition party). I would prefer that a party that at least has some respect for the ancient liberties of this country be in power rather than one that has spent its period of power systematically trashing them. In this way I am a pragmatist, which is why Cameron does not care about me either.

October 04, 2008

Brown wants more EU corporate welfare

So Gordon Brown wants the EU to set up a fund to bail companies out during the current financial difficulties. Will it happen? Probably, handing out other people's money as corporate welfare is one of the EU's primary functions. The EU is a customs union, it is inherently protectionist. The EU's basic foundations have been laid on the idea of forcing the people in the countries that belong to it to pay more so that favoured industries can be handed an invisible regulatory subsidy. On top of these corporatist foundations comes more structures for corporate welfare have been built.

The programme that the EU spends the most money on, the CAP, is nothing but corporate welfare handing out vast amounts of money based on whom has the most assets, in the form of land, to begin with. The current biggest recipients in the UK are Nestle, the Duke of Westminster, and the Queen, hardly people on the poverty line.

The second largest item on the (un-signed off) accounts is the CFP, a mixture of corporate welfare and the mismanagement of an important natural reserve. The amount spent on modernisation and renewal of the fishing fleets is greater than than the amount spent on decommissioning or reallocation of the vessel to waters outside the EU. Every country in the EU except Greece, Italy, Holland, the UK and landlocked Austria receives more money for modernisation than it does for adjustment of fishing efforts. Of these the country with the worst ratio of money for modernisation compared to adjustment of fishing effort is the UK.

This brings us to another of the major results of EU programmes to date. Screwing over the UK.

The UK joined partly in the desperate hope that by joining the other countries in the EU would help to pull us out of our post war decline. This didn't happen, the decline continuing until Margaret Thatcher's reforms transformed the UK economy through the brutal amputation of all the dead areas, but that was still ten years away. What was hoped was that through access to European markets and hopefully some aid money the sick man of Europe, as we were then, could be cured through the standard statist medicines, but the money never came. The UK has always been a net payer, even when Thatcher managed to beat the British Rebate out of them we were still a large net payer. Before her it was in a desperate attempt to at least get something back from the EU that the regionalisation idea was thought up by Edward Heath, which didn't do much good either being at the time only 2.8% of the budget with the largest part of it going to Italy.

The UK has never got much from the CAP, always the biggest item on the bidget, and it was never supposed to. The CAP was created in the late sixties to try and lessen the blow to French farming and smooth the transition to a more urban and industrial society from a more rural and agricultural one in the hope of avoiding a full communist revolution. Countries like the UK which already had shifted to being industrial and already had efficient agriculture sectors where expected to pay for this, which we did. It began as a way of getting everybody else to pour money into France, and has continued in the same vain with France still the main beneficiary even though since then it has steadily evolved into the system of naked corporate welfare.

Then there is the CFP. When the UK joined the EU suddenly the CFP sprang into existence based on the demand that all EU countries gain an equal access to everybody else's fishing grounds. This hadn't been the actually been case before and it just so happened that the UK had fishing grounds that where considerably bigger and considerably better than those anybody else that was already in the union. The Norwegians and Icelanders where also to join at this point, but refused partly because of this new demand would have also opened up their fishing grounds. They understood that giving away control of a large natural asset probably wasn't a good idea and today Norway and Iceland have sustainable fishing grounds. Those that used to belong to the UK are heading for collapse after 50 years of mismanagement from the EU.

If most EU programmes tend to screw the UK perhaps this one will be different? We are after all heading into difficult economic times. That is true, except that the rest of the Eurozone countries are already in deeper economic trouble than we are. All of the other large economies in the EU have already had a quarter of negative growth when we just had no growth. Germany and some of the smaller Eurozone economies are already technically in recession. Not being hobbled by the one-size-fits-none interest rate of the Euro we are likely to come through the present difficulties in better shape than the Eurozone, just as we came through the bursting of the Dot Com bubble better than they did. So in all likely hood the people most likely to dip into Gordon Brown's £12bn fund will be businesses in the Eurozone rather those in the Labour heartlands that he is hoping to use this as a bribe for.

Will this fund come into existence? Probably. Will Gordon use it for all the propoganda value he can? Definitely. Will it actually do any good? Almost certainly not, it will just be yet more EU corporate welfare at the expense of hard pressed tax payers.

I agree with Chris Huhne

While I certainly do not agree with what he said I certainly beleive that it is important for a free society that he be allowed to say it. The use of the EU arrest warrant to stifle free speech and bring all the EU members down to the lowest common denominator of censorship is just wrong and for once I agree with Chris Huhne on this.

While stressing that he was completely opposed to anti-semitism, Mr Huhne said: "We don't in this country tend to prosecute people for issues that we regard as issues of freedom of speech."

Chris Huhne is exactly right, holocaust denial is not a crime in the UK. We do not have any rules about making a fool of yourself in this way. If somebody wants to try and deny the incontrovertible truth of the industrialised murder of eleven million people (six million of whom where Jews) then they should be perfectly at liberty to speak their peace, just as we should be at liberty to ignore or point and laugh at the idiot. Freedom of speech is too important a liberty to be meddled with, even if it is sometimes used to propagate views that are false and unpleasant.