Friday, 28 April 2006

Next Thursday


I have, as I have mentioned been a member of the Conservative Party for a long time, punctuated by only my brief regular military service. I have knocked on doors on behalf of the party for over a decade* - and I am finally noticing an enthusiasm for the party - as well as disgust for the other lot. A diminutive asian gentleman rushed out of his house yesterday clutching a leaflet I had just stuffed through his door.

"I will be voting for you", he shouted. "I want you to know I just want to get this bloody government out. I've voted Labour all my life, but no more. I'll vote for you!"

That makes it all worthwhile - the hours of grinning on steps as doors get shut in your face, the miles walked, the uncomfortable feeling you get when a voter says something appalling about immigration, the endless repetition of the same message. At last a converted voter!

Nevertheless, the polls make worrying reading. The Lib-Dems are taking the disgruntled labour voter that cannot make the idealogical jump like my friend yesterday. There are people who are Tories in all opinions but their vote. We still have an image problem, which leads people to vote for the anti politics party. They agree with us, but cannot bring themselves to vote for us.

We are running against the Lib Dems in my ward.

How they have the audacity to say that they are a positive party. Their Local election campaign has been relentlessly negative. Yet people still think they have a positive message. They don't - they are against whoever is in power, be it the district council or the Parliamentary Constituency. They'll frame their message according to their opponent and say totally contradictory things on two sides of the same small town. They are dishonest, mendacious and unscrupulous. Yet the lentils, sandals argyll socks and beards make people think they are fluffy. All they want is power and and they are happy with whatever scraps they can get from the grown-up parties.

Politics is in an unidealogical age. Yet politics without an Idealology is just managerialism. It leads to the kind of excess government meddling that is disfiguring the British economy and body politic. We need to go out, repeat our message of lower, flatter fairer taxes, smaller government, euro-realism, support for the family and the individual which are policies with which the voters concur - especially when they are not told it's Conservative.

By constant repetition, hard work by everyone who agrees with the above and above all, honesty by Conservative politicians of all levels, we can win the next election, by getting the Electorate to see through the spin to the policies they like. It starts next Thursday. In fact it started for me, yesterday when that small, angry man gave me his support.

*Indeed the first time I was about 10 years old when I canvassed for Michael Morris (now Lord Naseby). I thought it jolly unfair of one voter to ask detailed questions about interest rate policy of a small boy, but there you go.



Thursday, 27 April 2006

Homeless observations

When I present my solution to my impending homelessness to people, the reaction divides neatly along gender lines.

Boys: That's cool, man. Can I come too?
Girls: I'll help you find a house. Have you tried looking [insert name of town, website, friend].. (Even "you can live with me" awww thanks L).

This is the total opposite to the ususal gender role. Normaly men offer advice when a sympathetic ear is all that is needed!

My hammock arrived today, and I'm jolly excited! I'm going to try it out tonight!



Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Drippy lefty feminist - go on have a laugh.


I went on a blog ramble from a the devil's kitchin (of all places) and found this, (via this and this)which would be funny if it wasn't also deeply, deeply pathetic. Read it and see how some drippy lefties think. Pure victim mentality. Everything is someone else's fault. No-one should take responsibility for their own station (except company directors - who shall personally take responsibility for all of society's ills). Look at the address for pity's sake! God, she makes Polly Toynbee look like Adolf Hitler. I would post a comment, but such is the left-wing commitment to free speech, I would be censored.



Homeless


The* Very British Dude is homeless. I have only been in my new gaff a week so God knows what I have done to offend them, but it followed a celebratory drink with a friend of mine who insisted that we drink champagne and watch Korean language war movies - bear in mind I live with girls - when we returned from the pub. The next morning while canvassing - "... Therefore I am giving you a month's notice..." By text of all things (does anyone else find that an innapropriate medium to deliver such a message?)

I cannot however be bothered to find another flat, instead I'm looking to buy which can take months. I will therefore actually be homeless. All my stuff will go into storage. And I will be living in the woods in one of These. I will shower at work and keep everything I need in the boot of my car. (a Fiat stilo which I nicked off my mum, for anyone who's interested after being offended this post.)

So, I've just turned 29, I'm a stockbroker and I may yet be a Tory councillor. And I'm looking forward to the freedom of sleeping out in the wilds of the English countryside. I will catalogue the trials of being without fixed abode, yet solvent, employed and without catastrophic mental health problems. It will be interesting to see whether we atually need all that crap we accumulate....

Hopefully I will have better things to write about rather than the drivel which has passed for blog content over the past few weeks. (I am blaming the fact that I have been extremely busy canvassing). And I'm not doing this as a journalistic comment on the plight of homeless people. I just think it might be fun!

* I've started referring to myself with the definite article in the third person - traits I've always associated with twats up till now. I'm worried that it's a sign of incipient megalomaina.



Tuesday, 25 April 2006

David Cameron's Response to the Very British Dude

A couple of weeks ago I wrote to David Cameron, the text of which can be found here.

This is his (Okay his office's) response. (I wrote to him before his conference speech promising to abolish any ID card scheme). He has actually done a fair bit to answer the criticisms of the libertarian right of the party, though I still disagree with any increase in state funding of parties.

Dear ***** ******,

Thank you for writing to David Cameron – I’m replying on his behalf. I apologise for the long delay in my reply, as I am sure you can appreciate there has been a massive increase in the volume of correspondence coming into the office since David took over as Leader.

Thank you for taking the time to email and express your thoughts on the Party’s progress. We have fully taken on board the points that you have raised.

We voted against the ID Cards Bill on Second Reading and have maintained our opposition to it at all subsequent stages in the Commons and the Lords. Due to the parliamentary arithmetic, we were never going to defeat the Government in the Commons but in the House of Lords the Government had to make a key concession. The Home Secretary wanted ID cards to be compulsory for everyone applying for a new passport from 2008 but, thanks to the Lords, the cards will now not become compulsory until 2010, by which time we expect the next general election to have taken place. This means that ID cards and the NIR remain an election issue on which we will fight hard. Moreover, David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, and Edward Garnier, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, have both made clear that under a Conservative Government, this expensive, illiberal, impractical and unnecessary scheme will be scrapped.

Regarding Party funding, if we are to be a credible alternative Government we need money in order to build and to campaign. One of the reasons people have become cynical about politics and politicians is the impression they have that large donors and lenders can wield disproportionate influence, effectively buying power and patronage. We recognise that the current arrangements have to change - and are the only party to have set out clear and positive proposals to achieve this, and to restore trust in politics. In December last year, David Cameron asked Andrew Tyrie MP to draw up proposals to reform party funding. We published these proposals recently. They include a cap on donations, an extension of state funding and a ban on all future loans except from financial institutions on fully commercial terms. This package will form the basis for our approach to cross-party discussions on this issue. We have reluctantly concluded that introducing a cap will mean that a modest extension of state funding would be unavoidable.

The Government claims that the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill is designed to reduce regulation, red tape and bureaucracy. We would all support this aspiration, however, unfortunately, the Bill fails to deliver. There is no reference in it to deregulation. Instead, a wide power is granted to Ministers to amend, repeal or introduce new law, using a fast track Order making power. It extends the powers available to Ministers, whilst relaxing the constraints of Parliamentary scrutiny.

Conservatives have been dominant in the debates in Parliament about this Bill. Oliver Heald MP, Shadow Constitutional Affairs Secretary, has called for clear safeguards, so that the Bill concentrates on deregulation and only allows Ministers to use the powers in the Bill for non-controversial changes. Mr Heald has described the Bill as “a major move away from primary legislation towards Government by Ministerial edict”. That is why our Team has put forward dozens of amendments to the Bill and argued strongly for their inclusion.

Mr Cameron believes the Bill must be amended to provide the necessary safeguards. Firstly, order-making powers should only be used for specifically deregulatory purposes. Secondly, the powers should not be used to push through important or controversial changes, particularly those with constitutional implications. Finally, it is important that a procedure whereby Committees or either House of Parliament can veto an order is built into the legislation.

Following concerted pressure from Oliver Heald in Committee, the Government has agreed to amend the Bill to write in a clear veto for the Regulatory Reform Committee over any order. This was described by the Minister in charge of the Bill, Jim Murphy MP, as a “great concession”, and certainly goes some way towards allaying my concerns. Unless further safeguards are built in, the Bill would have profound implications for democracy and would be a move towards government by Ministerial fiat.

I can assure you that we are continuing to work hard to ensure that the necessary safeguards are built into the Bill and that Parliament is not sidelined. Oliver Heald has tabled several new amendments to the Bill and will be pressing for their inclusion when it is next debated.

Finally, I can assure you that David is absolutely determined to hold this government to account for its many failings.

Once again. Thank you for your email.

Yours sincerely,

***** ********

Correspondence Secretary

David Cameron’s Office

House of Commons

London SW1A 0AA

www.conservatives.com

Anyway, Here's a picture of David Cameon in a little electric car. The chap next to him is a friend of mine. Just a question, ladies... Would you go out with a man who drives one of these?



Friday, 21 April 2006

Her Majesty is 80 today.


The Queen is so cool, she deserves two birthdays. Happy birthday Ma'am. Incidentally one of her titles is "Lord of Man"* so perhaps everyone (even treasonous colonials across the pond) can still feel proud of their rightful sovereign.

*I know it's the Isle of Man, but hey she's still got "Fedei Defensor" and that isn't exactly being used in the manner it was given any more, is it?



Thursday, 20 April 2006

For Whom the Bell Tolls


"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..." John Donne

Perhaps Donne's meditation presages the sinister New Labour project. "If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less". Yes - but it will be deposited elsewhere, it's known as longshore drift. Dynamic creation and destruction - the secret of life. "Any man's death diminishes me". I disagree. (John Prescott, for a start), but Donne's really arguing that if someone suffers ill, then it's society's fault, and by extension, yours.

People die, and death gives life its vibrancy. If your time wasn't limited, you wouldn't have an incentive to get up, would you? Perhaps the ennui of western civilisation is our desperation to prolong life without a thought for the intensity of that flame. We revere the "live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse" rebel, but few have the courage to persue that path, and most of those are mentally ill. Instead we retreat into our homes and build fortresses against an outside world that socialistic ideas of state-sanctioned solidarity have created.

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind." Donne appears to be arguing that the sadness of death diminishes him because he blames himself for not doing more for his fellow man. When that's engagement with people - great, but the sugestion that you are to blame for the way others live and die is dangerous. That idea leads to the temptation to protect people from themselves. This is the heart of socialism. The state through taxes takes responsibility for your fellow man and discharges your own duty to society for you. This frees you to sit in your home fearing the outside world your own disengagement has created. Worse it gives you someone - the state - to blame for your own miserable life.

Donne's argument is therefore circular. No man is an Island - But in doing anything other than taking responsibility for your own actions, you'll end up destroyning everyones' freedom and willingness to engage.

Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..." Death should remind you of your mortality and the imperative to do what you have to do and do it NOW. It needn't be depressing, if the life in question was well-lived. Therefore do send for whom the bell tolls - be curious, but it doesn't toll for thee.



Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Interdiction of Supply

In the Eighteenth Century following Waterloo, Much of the Royal Navy's power was engaged in the war on slavery. Whilst the atlantic slave trade was not stopped totally, this vigilance was made possible by one simple fact. The navy's men could get rich doing it.

The brightest and best of British society were prepared to endure the hardships of naval life to officer the King's ships. Serving on a Frigate on anti-slavery duty was not "rum, sodomy and the lash" of popular myth - What made this work acceptable in the heat and disease of the West-African coast was the chance of riches - dynastic wealth for a Squadron commodore or Ships captain sucessful in taking prizes. Even the ratings shared lump sums worth several months or years salary. The Payment of prize money allied the motives of the Men conducting the anti slavery patrol to its ultimate end. Even so - it took an entire navy, heavily incentivized, built up during a world war to stop a comparatively clumsy trade on a few routes.

Compare this with the war on drugs. Cocaine is easier to ship than a slave and only imagination limits the routes and hiding places. Even so, If navies and law enforcement personel recieved a share of the street value of their busts, then I bet the seizures would increase. What you have now is overstretched border police or customs officials trying to stem the tide in Drugs, Prostitutes, Economic Migrants, Cigarrettes (in the UK), Booze, Cars, Animals - not to mention guns and explosives, these men get little more than a pat on the back for a sucessful seizure. Therefore vast majority of all of these illicit traffiked goods and people will get through - especially drugs.

Of course paying the customs the street value of the drugs they seize would inevitably prove ruinously expensive, and the street value of illegal drugs would go up. The incentive to increase supply would therefore increase, more drugs would come this way and more and more money would flow to the customs from the exchequer.

Interdicting supply is therefore ineffective, wasteful, pointless and expensive and merely increases profits for the importers. Release the customs officials to find stuff that matters - guns and bombs. There is only one way to mitigate the effects of illegal drugs. Legalise all of them.



Monday, 17 April 2006

Community

Walking through English towns, I'm appalled at how badly designed most modern housing is. Mile upon mile of identical, low cost homes who's prices are set by factors like proximity to the station (so you can get to london) and car parking rather (so you can get out of town) than the quality of the dwelling. I even looked at moving into a development on the outskirts of a town recently, until I realised it was 45 minutes walk to anything like a pub or shop.

No wonder British people don't excercise. Everyone's got to use a car to get anywhere. No wonder there's no community. Evyone's marrooned in their horrid little hutches - instructed by the daily mail to fear eveyone who has the termerity to knock on your door.

We need better designed housing. We need mixed developments - flats, houses and shops; all local and together. Houses should also look a bit different from its neighbour. High-density living may be opposed by the denizens of detatched houses, but it is better at creating community than mile upon dreary mile of barratt estates, which tie people to their cars and (how do I put this without sounding like a hippy?) have no soul. You look at magnificent, desirable property (with the exception of some 18th Century developments like Bath and Pimlico) and you'll notice that people want "character". That means "a bit different". Do you think acres of Barrat homes add to a town's chartacter? Desirable towns are those who's development is a bit more piecemeal.

That said it is possible to design housing developments which meets the requirements of people (rather than the need to stuff as many boxes onto the tiny piece of land that the developer has actually got permission to build on). Poundbury may be derided by the architectural elite, but it's popular, because it's designed around people. Milton Keynes and Stevenage suck because they're designed around the car. If only the future King Charles could have more say over planning legislation.



Thursday, 13 April 2006

What your car says about you

Citroen 2CV

You are the kind of person who gives your car a girl's name, probably "Sally". You still sleep with a teddy bear and anthropomorphise pets and livestock. You're a vegitarian who can't hold down a relationship with a Man. You have a sexual fantasy about being gang fucked by bikers.

Range Rover

Your gut hangs over your penis, which is very small and you haven't seen it in years. You wish you owned 1,000 acres. You think the poor are "inconvenient".

Ferrari

You want to have your cock sucked by someone younger than your wife (daughter, if you're over 60)

Lamborghini

You either made your money from football or a protection racket. You think lots of gold is stylish.

Vauxhall nova 1.1

This depends on the size of the body kit. If there's a big body kit, you're the kind of person for whom a supermarket car park is a key social venue. You have a girlfriend called "Chardonnay" (sic) and you go to Weston-Super-Mare for your holiday. You work (if at all) in a mobile phone shop.

Rally Homologation car (Saubaru Impreza WRX or Mitsubushi Lancer EVO)

You can't afford a Ferrari and have a small cock. You have 9 points on your licence. You are very good at Gran Turisimo 3 on the Playstation. You are the only person on this list to have killed anyone on the roads, back when you owned a 1.1 Nova. With a big body kit.

People carrier.

You live in a Barratt breeding hutch somewhere provincial and have had the same job since you left school, which is where you met your wife. You're probably happy - you smug git, and you don't mind who knows that YOU don't fire blanks.

Porshe Cayenne

This car is demonstration that money cannot buy style.

BMW

BMWs are cunts' cars and anyone who drives one is a cunt. Black BMWs are driven by the kind of man that even other BMW drivers think is a cunt. There should be a question on the vehicle tax questionnaire "Do you own, or aspire to own a BMW?" If the answer is "Yes" then you are clearly unsuitable to drive and should be summarily executed.

Kit Car

You got intimate more recently with the contents of your cars' bonnet* than with your wife. You have rusting car parts on your lawn. You think engine oil is a suitable alternative to Cologne and Swarfega arouses you.

Classic car.

If i'm feeling charitable, then you're too mean to pay insurance. If not, then see kit car.

Bentley

Your london address is "the Park Lane Hilton" and your first name is "Sheikh". You spend more on prostitutes than most people spend on their mortgage.

Audi TT

You're a woman, otherwise See BMW.

Smart Car

You're an estate agent. You think the car is a perk of the job because it's "funky". Everyone else thinks you look ridiculous.

Aston Martin vantage

You clearly are a man of impeccable taste, style and breeding (if it is in BRG**, otherwise see Bentley)


*(hood for Americans - though I should point out the language is ENGLISH so we are right)
** British Racing Green.



I'm not prejudiced but...


Lawyers. Some of my best friends are lawyers.

But within this story there is the kernel of the seed of the death of western civilisation. The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) collapsed 15 years ago - and its still in the courts. Hundreds of Millions of pounds have been run up in costs. If the money is there to pay the Lawyers, why is it not available to refund BCCIs investors?

You buy a house, you instruct a lawyer, die a solicitor does your will and probate. There are even doccuments that only a lawyer can make a copy of and charge you £50 for the privelege.

Lawyers. They have their fingers in every element of society, which appears to be run for their benefit. With lawyers infesting the house of commons, is there any wonder the legal system is becoming increasingly byzantine? They are seeing to it that only lawyers can negotiate the arcane mystery of THE LAW. The fact is we live in a theocracy - and the legal profession is the Priesthood.

Societies that devolve all decision-making to one self-selecting caste - especially a bureacratic caste like china's mandarins, Byznatium's bureaucrats, Aztec priests and western Lawyers - ossifies society and stifles creativity - eventually a more dynamic society comes along and breaks the sclerotic. The Byzantine were roundly smashed by the Doge of venice who abused his followers' crusading zeal to further his eastern mediterainian trading interests and who regarded rules as flexible. The Chinese were smashed by a morally ambiguous campaign by free-trade Britain who whished to sell hard drugs. Western society with its fetish for international law could fall to a more dynamic Islam, who's wariors certainly do not subscribe to the geneva convention.

The rule of law is a means to an end - freedom and equality. The rule of law, like democracy is not an end in itself and the lawyers need to be reminded of this fact. The law needs to be simplified. If a case cannot be dealt with in a reasonable time, then there's clearly no crime been committed. Move on rather than have someone paid £3,000,000 essentially to argue the toss.

If a law doesn't seem sensible to "the man on the clapham omnibus" then the chances are it's opressive - and most law and regulation fits this category.



Wednesday, 12 April 2006

The Italian Elections


There's no doubt that the choice before the Italian electorate : A monstrously dull federast and a magnificently corrupt Media Tycoon (plus assorted commies, facists, greens and other loons) was an unappealing choice. Nevertheless, 83% of Italians voted.

With the passing of Berlusconi's reign, politics will be a little greyer. Part of me is sad that another legislature has fallen to a dull, worthy technocrat - and one that thinks that "Europe" is the future, not the essence of the problem and representitive of a dirigiste past.

What's happening in Italy shows the silliness that Proportional Representation generates: Small, fringe parties are given disproportionate power to influence government with their ideaogical diahorrea. The Italians though, could teach us one thing about Democracy: maybe, just maybe the British state will learn that traditions can go hang when they only achieve malign ends. Why the hell are our elections on a Thursday? Maybe we could get a respectable turnout if we had elections on a weekend too?



Wednesday, 5 April 2006

A letter to David Cameron

Dear Mr Cameron.
I am 29, and I am standing in my first election as a District Councillor in ************. I have been a member of the Party (on an off) since before I could vote, and knocked on my first door in 1997 in Edinburgh. I have been dedicated through our wilderness years. I believe in Freedom, individual responsibility and respect for democratic institutions are core values of the Party. I supported your leadership bid and was delighted by the way you and Mr. Davis conducted the contest.
As a Conservative, I am getting a very good response on the doorstep, and I recognise this is more your doing than mine. Your move away from "yah-boo" politics is playing well, and I enjoyed watching Blair and co. wriggling on the hook over education.
There are times however when an opposition must oppose. There are four issues which have caught my eye.
  1. Your compromise on ID cards is shameful.
  2. Parties are not vital to democracy. If we cannot enthuse our members to give us money, even the Conservative party should be allowed to whither away. Increase transparency by all means, but make a socialist pay for the Tories? Me pay for Labour's spin Machine?... No thanks! State funding will play very badly on the doorstep. Everyone (outside the party hierarchies) agrees that state funding will increase corruption, weaken legitimacy and reduce the esteem in which politicians are held. We should let Labour stew in their own juice - you are letting them off.
  3. I'm scared by the Legislative and Regulatory reform bill. Why are you not doing everything in your power to bring this pernicious piece of legislation to the public's attention. What's your position on this?
  4. The Police have new powers of arrest since the New Year. These, to my mind go way beyond what is necessary. The PCP did little to oppose these.
If a Conservative does not stand for the Individual's freedoms from the state, then we are nothing. It is time you used your popularity for a principled stand. It will help us in our fight with the Liberal Democrats and appeal as principled to the swing voter against Labour (especially being against state funding). But it is more than psephology. It is the right thing to do.
Evil only happens when good men stand idle, and at the moment, we are standing idle.
Yours Sincerely
A Very British Dude



Britain. A free country?

  • ID - Cards "I take the view that it is part of being a good citizen, proving who you are, day in day out" Andy Burnham MP
  • The "end of Parliament" bill
  • Police's powers of arrest - now on a whim for anything
  • The end of habeas corpus
  • The end of the right to trial by jury
  • The state is going to approve (through party funding by the state) what you can do with your leagally earned cash and what political parties are acceptable to the state.
  • Gordon Brown in the recent budget introduced retrospective taxation again, on trusts this time.
  • Gordon Brown's Kafka-inspired tax and benefit system in general - making everyone a client of the state.
  • An end to effective oversight by the Lords (elections and a weakening of powers)
  • A slow ebbing of power to an unaccountable European Union.

We are moving in the direction of an elective dictatorship and a police state. There's no longer effective safety in the constitution. Even the human rights act is opressive. David Cameron seems uninterested in extreme right-wing ideas like freedom, so we can't even hope for a Conservative party to sort out the mess after an election.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary." James Madison

There's only one hope now: The Queen must refuse assent to the Laws in the Government's velvet Facist agenda. Petition anyone?



Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Spare Organs

A spare bladder would be useful*, but imagine having a spare liver. Or even better one that you could "plug in" that was able to cope with a big night - making hangovers a thing of the past. I'm thinking of a liver that you keep by your bed in case of over indulgence. Simply plug the bastard into your veins, take 2 alkaseltzer and pass out. When you wake up, hey presto - run a marathon.

That will only happen when science is allied to market forces. Never mind that boring old "Nanny state" transplant nonsense - we need sensible products that help us in the way we live in the UK today.

*especially to 'dre with his history of nocternal incontinence...



State Financing of Political Parties

NO.

It's wrong on so many levels I don't know where to start. So I'll just bury my head in the sand and hope it goes away. Meanwhile... here's a good opinion piece on the subject.



Monday, 3 April 2006

South America - Back down the Toilet.


Let's take two countries - middling in size with ostensibly democratic Socialist Presidents: Bolivia and Venezuela. Both have presidents who are showing worrying signs that in their zeal for reform, they are prepared to ride roughshod over checks and balances in their countries' constitutions.

Both are using the leftist rhetoric of "refounding" along socialist lines. Both are in favour of nationalisation of assets - particularly resources. Both have made comments along the lines of "the market doesn't work for Bolivia/Venezuela"

What's most worrying is their willingness to go way beyond the mandate of a democratic socialist in introducing marxist inspired reforms. This is what happened when Allende won an election in Chile, propmting a military coup (CIA backed, naturally). This gave pinkos the world over the chance to cry "foul". The fact remains that the average result of a communist/socialist takeover in South America was a 10% depopulation of the country - Pinochet was definitely the lesser of two evils. After all, he only killed a few thousand commies, not a number of people measured in percentages of the population. That is why the majority of the population supported him, despite his undoubted nastyness.

When socialists are elected, they seem to be of the belief that the election gives them the right to do whatever they want. Elections are a source of legitimacy - but not its be all and end all. They do not give governments the right to Arm thuggish militas to harrass journalists (Venezuela), or use security forces to break up strikes when your own policies are destroying the economy (Bolivia). An election is certainly not just cause for you to smash your countries' constitution and break the delicate system of checks and balances (Boliva, Venezuela, the UK). They certaily don't give the government the right to impose collectiviation on a powerless peasantry and turn the country over to an alien political creed (Chille under Allende).

Because socialists believe that they, uniquely in the political menagerie, hold the moral high ground, they believe that anyone who gets in their way is "lower than vermin". Combine this with an attitude that major reform is needed, and a belief in central planning as the solution and you have the reason why socialists of all stripes destroy the countries they rule. They crush the ambition of the most able, tax the poor into the ground and inhibit enterprise and civil society at all levels through the creation of an overmighty state, crowding out economic and social alternatives. That is what socialism is, and explains why it is so Drab.

What's going on in the increaingly leftist continent of South-America is a return to Old-Style socialism along Trotskyist lines: Get control of a country by whatever means possible (elections if nessesary) then go way beyond your mandate in imposing collectivisation (under the guise of land reform), nationalisation of industry (using nationalist rhetoric if nessesary) and grab control of all the levers of power to make this permenent.

I would not be surprised if economic collapse prompted a refugee crisis in Bolivia's and Venezuala's neighbours in the next couple of years as citizens flee increasingly dire economic opportunities and an increasingly oppressive security forces squash dissent.

Any such problems will be blamed on the USA by the worlds left-wing dominated media, but the real culprit is the evil creed of socialism.



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