They're all at it.
But of course they are! Anyone who fills in a tax return is at it. We all claim the maximum we can get away with under 'The Rules'. This wouldn't happen in the private sector... oh no? Any salesman will submit an expenses return, which will only be checked in detail if he's taking the piss, or his sales numbers aren't up to scratch, in which case, whatever reason he is actually given, he won't have been fired for petty fraudulent expenses, but for missing his target. That blind eye turned to a pack of fags on his petrol receipt, becomes a major issue when he's not making money for his company.
We don't hate politicians therefore because their snouts are in the trough, though they are, but because they are doing a bad job. They are selling our freedoms, strangling our business and profiting while they do so - and because of what they have done, we are not profiting. We hate them because of envy: our snouts are no longer in the trough of a booming economy, whilst theirs remain firmly in the swill.
The problem is not immoral, avaricious politicians, who are subject to incentives, just like us, but the rules which allow them to claim that their sister's spare room is a primary home, thereby claiming the second homes allowance for their first home. I would certainly make the same call, were I allowed to. And so would you. Yes. You would.
The problem with the rules is that they free politicians to say "I didn't break the rules" and thereby get away with what is essentially corruption. And the same is true of regulation of business. If banks can get immoral, borderline fraudulent off-balance sheet financing past the regulator, or stretch their finances to the max, and risk depositors' money in order to make empire-building acquisitions of more glamorous businesses, they will do so. Whereas such behaviour would have raised an eyebrow in the past, because it is within the rules, anything goes.
In this, New Labour's corruption of the body politic has the same underlying cause as the collapse in productivity in the public sector and the failure of the banking sector. Rules. Rules. Rules. Everywhere, with principles nowhere to be seen. New Labour's lasting contribution to British public life is the elevation of rules above principles. This is allied to the idea that central government targets are the route to improve service, and Gordon Brown's pathological believe that because he announces something, it magically happens.
So it is not the reform or strengthening of the rules which is needed, it is their removal. The system needs to be massively simplified, and many ideas are good ones - the central employment of researchers for example, and allowances based on the distance between London and the Constituency. Making expenses dependent on receipts will bring Politicians in line with the private sector. But don't imagine a big expenses claim is going to be fraudulent. Scottish MPs are going to rack up massive travel costs, because it costs to get up to
civilisation London from Tartanistan. They should not be excoriated for this. John Thurso for example, whose constituency includes John O'Groats does deserve a London Pad. Were he to travel by public transport weekly from London to his constituency (and I do not think it excessive to allow first-class travel) he would easily rack up an annual £11,440 bill for rail travel alone. The journey takes 13 hours. Is it unreasonable therefore for him to fly this distance? Eric Pickles' 37 miles, on the other hand should not qualify him for a big allowance - enough for some of the cost of a small pied-a-terre in pimlico, as the journey is impossible by car during the day, and public transport cannot be relied upon late at night. The taxi fares alone between there and Westminster would start to look like John Thurso's rail fare. On this basis, a bit of mortgage interest is cheap by comparison.
Some idiots are calling for politicians to be housed in some luxury barracks in central London to prevent them profiting from a second home. This is exactly the same as the anti capitalists demanding banker's blood at the G20. There are calls for retrospective legislation for every fiddle and fudge to be paid back, just as the 'court of public opinion' is calling for the mythical bankers' bonuses to be retrospectively taxed. Neither is a good idea, and says more about the speaker's class envy than it sheds light on what we should do.
You may argue that many people commute into London. The crucial thing is choice. MPs need to divide their time between 2 locations whereas few other people do. Your commute is a choice between quality of life outside the smoke and time spent getting twixt the twain. MPs cannot make that choice and should be compensated for it.
The solution is politically unpalatable: Pay Politicians a bit more, to compensate the removal of some of the tax-payer funded perks of office: allow official transport, and (or some of, depending on distance) mortgage interest and that's it. These should be subject to maximums but should not be niggardly, as is the case in the private sector, where generous allowances for relocation or time away from home are the norm (yes they are - have any of you stayed in a hotel on business?)
Make politicians' affairs accountable to the 'market', rather than the 'court', of public opinion. They submit themselves to election every 5 years, and you will know whether they are taking the piss, if you take the trouble to think about it. Don't let them get away with fleecing us - vote them out and keep an eye their spending, but don't, for goodness sakes force them to cheesepair their travel, or the amount of the time they spend in their constituencies, or indeed the chamber, because of some mean-spirited penny-pinching. Do you think a 13 hour train ride, or crossing London in rush-hour or late at night is fun? You, as the electorate, are the arbiter of this principle. It worked in the past, and it can work again. We just need to get rid of 'The Rules' - because it is these the politicians are hiding behind.
Oh... And we need some new politicians. And that too, is in your power, or will be in 435 days...
Tuesday, 31 March 2009
They're all at it.
Its always fun to see how people end up on this blog, and in honour of our wanker politicians and their spouses, I feel this deserves a mention.
I especially love the search term “sex and porn men with women in international cricket”. As you could guess this search came from a lady or gentleman in Pakistan. I have to admit that sex and cricket would be an unusual search for an Englishman. All true blooded Englishmen and women believe that a love of “cracks opening up” and “Facing a couple of balls” should be kept separate from sexual intercourse. It somehow seems a natural fit for those Cricket doolally chaps on the Indian Subcontinent.
Oh and good luck to the Pakistan Armed Forces in their continued fight against the Taliban and their own ISI; who wish to drag your country back to the dark ages and who don’t like Cricket one little bit.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Is up over at the fragrant Trixy's. Contrary to my explicit instructions there were no Pro EU nominations this time. Shame on you, my vast army of trolls and myrmidons.
Anyway. Next week we're over at Charles Crawford's place and I think he'd appreciate lots of stuff in favour of Central Asian despots to get his gander up.
Meanwhile, to entertain you and completely off topic, here is what further regulation of the banking sector will look like to you and me....
A report on the Protest in Parliament square against Jacqui Smith’s expenses…
The protest started off as a flaccid and lethargic protest to Jacqui Smith and her outrageous expenses which would be called theft if they happened in a private company. What started as a small piece of protest began to enlarge, gaining vigour and vitality as it pointed in a fierce yet longing way towards 10 Downing Street. The Political will seemed to welcome its own surrender, as it looked forward to the pleasure and excitement of the moment. Swept up in the embrace of the crowd it seemingly melted as it surrendered to the virile and manly protestors. The mass of the crowd grew in its excitement as others joined in. The pulsing throbbing masses pushed through the moist and dark, yet surprisingly warm passageways through to the House of Commons. Whilst the barrier of “The Fuzz” posed a problem to begin with, the rigid and muscular force penetrated this barrier of resistance as the Police almost willingly surrendered to the excitement of the moment. The crowd’s breathing grew heavy and horse from the effort of pushing through this willing obstacle. Heaving, groaning and sweaty the crowd finally exploded in their excitement. They then went home and had a Cigarette.
The Prime Minister is reported to have said Jacqui Smith is doing a “great job”. The Prime Minister is a dick.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
This is the most popular video in Britain. How long can he take these kickings? Surely Brenda and Merve the Swerve can collude to demand Brown call an election?
Because the country cannot take 442 more days of this hopeless Government.
For those of us who occasionally debate Labour "people", the mantra that this is economic crisis is Global, and therefore not the fault of New Labour's policies over the last 12 years, will be heard. Now certainly there is a global ill wind whistling through the economy, which makes life difficult for everyone. Certainly manufacturing, export-led economies are doing just as badly as the Anglo-Saxons, but the UK is not in a good position.
I am not convinced that doing more than bailing out the banking system to prevent its collapse, and allowing the automatic stabilizers to do their thing is going to do any good, (and in this I agree with, for example the admirably restrained German Government) but if you're a Labour "person", the you probably believe that a "fiscal stimulus" is in order, whilst you may like to think that this is economic in motivation, but actually it represents a power-grab by your beloved state. St. Barack of Obama agrees, mainly because he's a socialist too, and is urging governments at the G20 to borrow of their electorate's grandchildren in order to ensure that the recession is over slightly quicker. There is certainly a political imperative to be seen to be doing something, whatever the economic merits.
Such stimuli may indeed hasten a recovery, but belief that this is the case is hard to prove - would the economy have recovered anyway, or will the electorate eschew spending in order to save against the inevitable future tax-rises? What is more certain than the stimulus working as intended is that the kind of deficit currently being racked up both in the USA and even more egregiously in the UK, will ensure high tax rates for a decade or more. This will certainly hamper the recovery from the recession. So Gordon's stimulus must be seen in the context of borrowing from future growth, even if we could afford it.
The UK, however cannot afford another fiscal stimulus, because we went into this crisis with a budget deficit - that is we (or more precisely the Labour Government) was spending more than it took in taxes, even at the top of the cycle. Then tax receipts collapsed, especially from the financial services industry who have made such losses that it will be decades before some companies pay any corporation tax again, and the Government's Profit and Loss account started to look a bit Enron. In a highly unusual move, the Governor of the Bank of England (who, incidentally lost control of bank regulation under Gordon Brown) suggested that the Government has to stop spending. He also agreed that time was needed in order to allow the stimulus packages already enacted, to work. To put it simply, because of Gordon Brown's stewardship of the economy over the last 12 years, Britain simply cannot afford any more initiatives from Gordon Brown, however much he needs them to sure up his client state vote.
The charge that we on the Anti-Labour wing of the British People have been making for years: that our Ex Chancellor is a useless, incompetent, reckless spendthrift, entirely devoid of any sort of financial responsibility, whose endless initiatives are political rather than economic in motivation and who is beholden entirely to his political movement over the good of the country, appears proven.
Put simply, Gordon Brown is so incompetent that his continued Prime Ministership is an act of Treason on the part of the Labour party, and if he actually wanted to help the country get out of recession, he should do the honourable thing and lock himself in his office with a bottle of Whiskey and a revolver.
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Political betting has covered the rise in Private Firms who have taken over dealing with postal votes in Elections. Naturally this was done by Labour whose voters were too bloody idle to crowbar their arse off the sofa, and record the half an hour of Jeremy Kyle they would miss walking to and from the poling station. Funny how they can still manage that walk to the pub/football ground/dole office. My take on this is simple, unless you’re in a FOB in Afghanistan you have no reason why you can’t get your butt down to the polling booth and vote. Those of you who know me will attest that I am quite a lazy man; but even I can make it the 400 yards it takes to make my little cross on a piece of paper.
We all know why Zanu-Labour introduced this “innovative” change to the voting system. It made it easier to cheat (as if an inbuilt 7% advantage thanks to the Scottish and Welsh Rotten Boroughs wasn’t enough), as exhibited here and here.
Britblog roundup #214 is up over at Suz Blog. Next week we are at the fragrant Trixy's place. I want you to overload her with posts of questionable merit, all lauding the EU, by sending them to the usual address britblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Chris, over at stumbling and mumbling makes a good point in his review of the 'Rotten State of Britain' by Eamonn Butler.
Butler complains:Butler clearly blames New Labour, but Chris sees it more subtly as...Everyone is expected to fit in, to conform, and to rejoice in their conformity. Those who do not conform are thought immoral, scorned and vilified.But government on its own does not have the power to do this. Pressures to conform come also from HR departments and from the media. It’s here too that we find the ideology of hierarchy, centralism and distrust of true diversity.
...rather the natural result of that vulgar libertarianism which sees only government as the enemy of freedom, whilst failing to see that its enemies can also exist in the private sectorI agree. Though I think the pro-corporation, anti-state vulgar libertarian is a figment of left-wing imagination. I, for example am self employed precisely because I'm the kind of Bolshy twat who cannot take orders from righteous drones, and would almost certainly get fired for what I write here. Indeed I have a string of "this is what I said to my boss when he fired me" stories. I agree therefore the company for which you work often has more totalitarian power over you than the state, and it is something I have been railing against for a while.
The first crucial difference between company and state totalitarianism is that employment is voluntary. Either you accept the kind of conformist, 'safety first' bullshit or you can leave, as I did. You cannot, in contrast opt out of the police state. The second is the ultimate cause of a company's savage assaults on individualism: The Rules. Failure to comply with rules - particularly the ones concerning discrimination - can lead to the ruin of a company as disgruntled women, or members of ethnic or sexual minorities can sue for harassment, or wrongful dismissal. If you ever want to fire members of these groups (white, middle class males, cannot of course be discriminated against and can be fired at will) then you must obey The Rules or be described as a 'racist company'. Institutional racism is defined for example as an organisation 'not having a sufficiently complete thought police'. Therefore there is a 'safety first' attitude towards the expression of political opinion, and an almost total criminalisation of what a biologist would describe as 'normal male mating display'. So yes. Companies are complicit in enforcing sterile conformity because 'The Rules' make them so.
Who is responsible for The Rules, though? The state, of course.
So companies are evil to you because the state makes them be so. I don't know whether Dr. Butler explains this, but Chris Dillow is intelligent enough to see it. No doubt, as a Marxist, Chris will suggest that companies have an incentive to have a compliant, and obedient workforce without too many troublesome opinions, and he's probably right. But in giving 'The Rules' such complete backing, the State is making it far too easy for them to oppress.
The fact is what Chris describes as "vulgar libertarianism" is pretty rare. Many libertarians are opponents of the corporation as well as the state, it's just that the state has the power to change the rules, and the corporation merely operates in them. So in terms of who's to blame, I and most libertarians are with Dr Butler. New Labour made the rules, and they've made life horrible for everyone with a job. It is (as always) Gordon Brown's fault.
Still, only 443 days till they're gone.
Monday, 23 March 2009
The traditional May Day London Underground strike is on track, with 10,000 workers being balloted to see if they want a day off in the sunshine. This annual event is
usually always held to coincide with bank holidays or other periods of time where there is a good chance of the temperature breaching that little 25 line on the thermometer. Those of you that can’t work out when the next one will be, there’s a chap called Mr Hibbib who advertises in the back of the Metro who says “With his spiritual power he can predict your love life, speak to the dead and predict Tube Strikes”. He reckons the next one will be due around the August Bank Holiday, although if there’s a BBC 5 day forecast of 30 degrees there could be an emergency strike ballot sooner.
Those fans of Bob Crowe, head of the RMT and tireless worker for a Soviet future can sing along here.
Friday, 20 March 2009
I recently commented on the fact that an Ex Labour MP had her collar felt after being “Tired and Emotional” in a pub called the Old Soaks bar. It gets better though, it has been revealed *in Court that after calling the Police “Pigs” they dragged her out of her home in last nights clothes, probably whilst she was screaming "Do you know who I am!" (she claims she was completely sober yet slept in her clothes, I see a flaw in the Defence’s case you Honour). The ex-MP was then strip searched and put in a suicide suit. “I had to take my knickers off in front of police officers – they had to pick them up from the floor. I was in the third circle of hell.”
And my response A-ha ha ha ha, HA Haa Ha Haaaaaaaa, Ah Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh he he he he. Ah Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh. Ah Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ahh ha te he. Bet you wish you hadn’t stood for the 42 Day detention & ID Cards party now don’t you. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear eh?
She must have been really unpopular, she can't even get Keith Vaz to send a letter to the Judge telling him that he should get the Police to apologise and give her a taxpayer funded "compensation" package. She's getting treated like Joe Public. Jeez! Her Colleagues must have really hated her.
*Warning This link again contains distressing images.
It seems the bnp* are using the image of Winston Churchill on their campaign literature. Naturally the family are more than a tad miffed ; with Tory MP Nicholas Soames (Winston’s grandson) taking all possible steps to remove the image. I'd suggest suing them down to their last pair of leather shorts and bottle of Blonde hair dye personally. The bnp claim that rather famously Anti-National Socialist MP Churchill would be a big fan of the party. Simon Darby, the deputy leader of the bnp* claims “… if he were here today and had a choice of voting Tory or bnp I think he’d vote for us”. Somehow the words “I REALLY DON’T FUCKING THINK SO” just don’t seem to be enough to express the level of doubt I have with this statement by Mr Darby.
To those in any doubt of Mr Churchill’s feelings on the subject, I refer the honourable gentlemen to the statement made by the afore mentioned Prime minister “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons”.
*I have decided not to capitalise such a trivial organisation.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Dizzy Thinks has covered the fact that Gordon Brown’s medical records have been hacked. A very British Dude has managed to obtain parts of these notes thanks to their crack commando contacts in the Los Angeles underground who are still wanted by the government and who survive as soldiers of fortune.
File notes on Patient GB. By Professor Carl Frasier Niles Pavlov-Freud
The Patient has recently developed a meme about the fact that he is the “Saviour of the world”. I have upped his meds.
Thurs 6th Patient GB has started smoking Bananas. Every Wednesday GB seems to suffer a weekly humiliation on what he refers to as PMQ’s. I suspect that this is a weekly ritual involving some sort of submissive S&M scene, maybe due to an unloved childhood. The experience leaves him twitching and weeping in the corner. When asked to return to the couch he started to run round the room stating that he is “the Saviour of the world”, and tied his blazer round his neck in the fashion of a makeshift cape and then tried to leap off the footstool. Unfortunately he failed to see my Yucca plant for some reason and suffered a sprained ankle.
Wed 5th Patient GB must be escorted straight through to the Patient room after he continues to throw his mobile phone at my secretary. How he managed to get out of his restraints today is a mystery that must be solved. I tried to make Patient GB apologise to my secretary Mrs Price at which point he says “I dinnae apologise to nae Sassenach Bitch”. We must try and work out these anger issues in our subsequent sessions.
Friday 7th Patient GB continues to rave. I have advocated bi-weekly injections of Ziprasidone in addition to the orally taken Lithium as this no longer seems to be having any effects on its own.
Patient seems to be developing some sort of Religious Fervour. Claiming “The G-20 will save me, you’ll see”. I assume he is referring to some sort of God Figure represented in the figure 20. Mentions his new invisible friend "Obama".
Thurs 12th. Patient GB worse than ever after his “PMQ session”. Keeps muttering meaningless figures Ad Nauseum. Mentions the name “Cameron” whilst twitching. When I bring up the name he has mentioned Patient GB flies into an inconsolable rage. I have to get two male nurses to restrain him with a straitjacket. All further sessions with patient GB will be carried out in a room with no sharp objects.
Mon 15th Patient GB claims to have had a plane chartered by the British Government so he can meet his invisible friend Obama. Comes back and shows me a rather sweet but sad collection of DVD’s that he claims his invisible friend gave him. When I asked him if he had a lovely time and whether the Americans listened to what he said he goes back to twitching and mentioning his new God “G-20”.
Tues 16th Patient GB continues his delusions of visiting America. He says he gave a nice speech to a lot of young people. He said the old people would have been there but they had something better to do. Starts twitching again. I have advised his GP that he be prescribed a course of SRM Carisoprodal 350mg every 8 hours to control the muscle spasms.
Thurs 18th Another dreadful session at PMQ’s. Patient GB spent entire session curled up in a ball in the foetal position weeping and wearing only a pair of Blue Coloured Y Fronts. I must ask him about the choice of colour as Blue - usually a soothing colour -seems to upset the patient (see notes Thurs 11th – The scissors incident).
Mon 22nd Patient GB starts talking about a boost in his fortunes. Saying the Figures are looking up. I have asked previously how the Manufacture of Tractors will save him and Patient GB then continued to spout fanciful and meaningless figures at me in a trancelike state. I cannot get any breakthrough whilst Patient GB has closed me out in this way and replace myself with one of the Resusci Anne Dolls and get a cup of coffee. Oddly patient GB does not seem to mind that I have replaced myself with a CPR Mannequin. Whilst not a solution to the issues of Patient GB it seems spouting meaningless numbers to an object that does not answer back seems to please him.
Wed 24th Patient GB misses session.
Fri 26th Whilst out of the Patient Room Patient GB manages to find my stethoscope and examining equipment and starts attacking the large stuffed toys I have for my child patients with them in the waiting room. I find him trying to stab one of the bears he called “Harriet the Traitorous Bear” with my Medlight Ear Examiner. All the while swearing and cursing in some strange Scottish dialect. This was very upsetting to my patient Harriet Pinsker Aged 9 who witnessed the assault on the stuffed toys. Note to self, must pop down to Hamleys to get a replacement.
This is a great story regarding an ex-Labour MP being drunk and disorderly in a Pub ironically called the Old Soaks bar. Its fantastic stuff and illustrative of how chippy and spiteful the Labour Party really is. I hope we will be greeted to many further stories in the future of equally “Tired and Emotional” Labour MP’s who have also lost their jobs in the future. (Warning this article contains an image at the top which readers may find distressful).
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
In case you missed it, and judging by the lack of coverage from the MSM, you probably did! You will have woken up this morning and found yourselves in the 1980’s - and not in a Margaret Thatcher we’ve just kicked some Dago arse in the Falklands kind of way. I’m talking the “Solidarity Brother”, Donkey jacket is Haute Couture, Michael Foot, Workers in support of the heroic Soviet brothers Brown Coal production sort of way. Gordon Brown screwing up the economy may deliver where the KGB funded useful idiots in the “peace movement” failed, it might actually unilaterally disarm Great Britain.
During the Cold War it could be argued that our Independent Nuclear Deterrent was merely icing on the cake in MAD terms. It would simply rearrange the rubble formerly known as Moscow that the Americans would have already destroyed. Indeed when I wrote my university dissertation on whether NATO could defeat the Soviets in MAD terms (destruction of 1/3rd of the Warsaw Pacts population and 2/3rd of its industrial capacity) Britain was a brief addendum on page 140 to the destructive power of the US arsenal. However in this multi-polar world with every lunatic with a Koran planning on obtaining Nuclear Arms it would be very arguable that the need for a Nuclear deterrent has gone up not down. And as the Times argues Gordon giving away our nuclear deterrent is hardly likely to encourage other leaders to do so.
What is not arguable is that this is in any way a re-adjustment of the UK’s defence priorities. It is a cost cutting exercise pure and simple. It is merely an extension of the sort of Labour defence screw ups that send our soldiers to battle in Landrovers rather than Armoured Vehicles, that sends them without Helicopter support, and that gives them duff ammo because we can buy it cheap from the Czech government. It is nothing to do with an idealised la-la land where everybody sings the Diet Coke Song; and Nuclear Weapons have been turned into Uranium Depleted ploughshares to get through those tricky mounds of earth so we can plant organic hemp peace crisps. At least Foot was a principled moron, he was planning on giving away our deterrent because he believed the Gulag Archipelago would follow suit. Our monocular fucktard of a PM is giving it away to spend the money on couple of Labour voters in their box ticking job, whilst the world became even less stable.
Zanu-Labour can’t be trusted with Culture, Media and Sport, never mind the Defence of the Realm.
The Blue Sky Thinking Local Councils have rebaselined their verbal functionality across the piece in order to engage and interface with the sustainable community more successfully. After a Symposium of Thinking Outside the Box it was decided that Increasing functionality within the Small Area facility providers with a Top Down redress was a key improvement lever. They have normalised interface with the service users in order to maximise coterminous stakeholder engagement*.
In short the councils have been ordered to stop talking Bollocks and start talking English. Now whilst nobody should be told what to say, if the drones in Local government do this then at least we will understand what the hell they are saying. The downside of this as far as the councils are concerned is that once we do know what they are saying they could all end up “worklessness” as we’ll now understood what they have screwed up.
I will say however – what the hell is wrong with the word Tranche? I don’t think they needed to ban that particular word.
*You can translate this paragraph here
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Firstly, like many great things - the gourmet foodstuff known as corned Beef was invented by an Englishman named John Wilson. Secondly this food is not an Irish staple in any way since they disbanded the Connaught Rangers. And thirdly the only Irish food I know with Cabbage in it is Colcannon. Sure if they were celebrating Russia on St Andrews day then Cabbage would be an excellent choice, but if you want to go Traditional Irish you have to be eating Potatoes. Apparently Cabbage & Corned Beef is a meal served in the Republic, but then so are Sushi & Tacos, doesn’t make it Irish. And to put it on a Pizza is quite frankly ridiculous, and probably a health hazard to boot. Have these people not heard of Irish Stew?
Monday, 16 March 2009
So... Within minutes of my publishing, Gordon Brown stomped on his own "expert's" opinion about what to do in the face of the now catastrophic* binge-drinking crisis, It now appears that the Scottish Government's proposals are illegal under European law, and it is Westminster who would face the responsibility as the competent authority. Oh... the irony. Labour having to lay down the law to an uppity and (if at all possible) even more hectoring and nannyish Scottish parliament about what is and what is an acceptable competence of a Government. They even had the Chutzpah to describe the draft legislation from Holyrood "Ill thought out" and unworkable because a "change of culture" was needed instead.... No mention was made of previous Westminster Government schemes to raise the duty levels to control smoking and drinking. Nevertheless, it is an admission that price is a blunt tool to control behaviour, and risks penalising the law-abiding along with the problem abusers of legal drugs. It's also nice to see the first constitutional clash between Westminster and Holyrood being on a "why can't they both lose, the bastards" basis.
It's rare you see two decade-old policies collapse under the weight of their architect's hypocrisy in a single day.
*as measured by 'Today' programe minutes
The Scottish "Government" is going to do it. And it seems New Labour also thinks it is a good idea: To set a legally mandated minimum price per unit of alcohol. This is in order to tackle the "crisis" of "binge drinking" which has cropped up daily on the today programme as a scourge of life in Modern Britain. I am against the Government interfering in the price of goods in the market - no good ever comes from it. But I think the Government's attempts to control people's private drinking habits are not only wrong on a philosophical level - what business is it of theirs what I drink - but also on a practical level.
I believe the British pub to be one of the finest institutions in the country. At its best, it is a place to meet people from all walks of life, exchange views and engage in light-hearted banter with people you would otherwise not meet. It roots you into your community, and is a place to meet your neighbours. At its worst, the Gastro-pub for example, it is a tribal watering hole, threatening to outsiders as the denizens retreat into class-based prejudice. "No workwear or football strips" may be different in target to "No Blacks, Dogs or Irish", but the sentiment is the same. The Hampstead 'Liberals' of New Labour are demonstrating their contempt for this institution, and the people who go to them, by explicitly targeting the drinking habits of those whom they are supposed to represent. Repellent, patronising and totalitarian. I say again: What business of Government is it how much people drink?
Puritanism is defined as the nagging fear that someone, somewhere might be having fun, and such people frown on pubs and people who go to them. Earlier attempts to police people having a few drinks have included ever greater duty on beer so that now a third of the price of a pint goes to the Government. A further precedent was set with the smoking ban. People who didn't go to pubs thought that banning people smoking in them was a good idea. That "might" encourage them to go to the pub too, and the revenue effect would be negligible, as a new class of people would go to the pub, drink sensibly and Britain would overnight become a Mediterranean cafe culture. This, of course did not happen. The people who thought they "might" go to the pub, realised that if they went to the pub, they might have to mix with the working class, which is ghastly. Working class people, who smoke, started drinking at home and the result is that the entire pub industry collapsed.
Now those working class people, chased out of pubs by the smoking ban, whose local has closed as a result, have nowhere to go, even if they wanted to get out of the house for a drink. To what end? So that the town centre was no longer a "no go area" at night, for people who had no intention of going there anyway, and whose perception of it was based entirely on TV shows called "Police! Stop! Kill!" or something? Well there are still pissed-up people getting nicked for D&D on a friday night. Though the problem anywhere near as bad as our elected leaders would like you to believe, life has got a bit worse with the death of the community pub: Now that local pubs have closed down, all that is left is the kind of Leisure park barn, pumping out loud music, cramming thousands of boozers in on a weekend, and pouring watery lager into them. The extended licensing hours law, of course is interpreted so that only venues with "entertainment" could stay open after 1am, meaning that you can go and get your ear-drums perforated in a club piping canned music, but you cannot continue the discussion with your friends in your local over a few more pints beyond 1am.
Fuck it, people say. Let's just get a slab in and go home.
Now the Government has decided that people who drink at home must also pay pub prices, in case they "binge" - defined according to entirely arbritary criteria. Certainly increasing the price of a good reduces its consumption. But addictive substances tend to have very inelastic demand curves, especially amongst problem users. That is those addicted tend to prioritise their drug over other spending. So in using price to tackle "problem" drinkers, you will end up reducing their consumption of food, or heating and making their already miserable lives that bit more grim. Everyone else, it's true buys less booze, which means less profit for the retailers, pubs and brewers, and less revenue for the exchequer, but no diminution of the problem.
Of course the Government is openly saying that this would only affect the kind of cheap alcohol that ghastly working class people buy, not nice peoples' bottles of wine. This is bollocks. First, because of the glories of the Market economy, it is perfectly possible to buy a drinkable plonk for £4.50 a bottle. This is around the minimum price for wine being suggested. Now alcohol is a positional good - and this is especially true of wine. So, by hitting the price point, everything else must rise in relation. If Tesco's own brand red Corbieres at £3 a bottle (surprisingly good, actually) must rise by 50%, then a bottle of Napa Valley Merlot, must likewise rise to £5.50 or more in order to maintain "premium" status.
Everyone is going to have their pockets picked pointlessly in order to salve a Government target about something over which it has no control. Of course the same is true for Beer and spirits. There will be no more cheap Gin to pour over sloes, for example. No more cheap slabs of stella for a 6-nations weekend with the boys. And alchies will still sit in pools of cheap lager piss begging for small change. It's just they will have to beg a little harder and forgo their trip to the chippy in the evening. And everyone else's life is just a bit greyer and more miserable.
Of course, like any Government proposal, there is a Fake charity, Alcohol Concern in this instance, on hand to say that though these plans to kick you in the bollocks are a step in the right direction, because you are not to be also pelted with turds, they do not go nearly far enough. Who'd have thunk it: A "charity" which recieves 99% of its funding from the Government, supports government policy.
You may complain that prices for booze have "not kept up with earnings", as
pravda the BBC did this morning, when talking to the former boss of Majestic wine. Neither have the prices for Cars, washing machines, televisions, computers, bread, meat, oranges or anything except housing, the supply of which the Government controls. Complaining about prices not rising with wages is complaining about the chief virtue of the market economy. It frees resources from alcohol to other goods and services, and makes life better for people. The Government should not step in to control prices. It is being tried elsewhere - to control inflation and it doesn't work in Zimbabwe and Venezuela. Why think it will control deflation here? Anyone fancy a booze cruise?
This illiberal, nannying proposal is even being spun as support for the pub industry, which is like an anal rapist saying that at least he didn't wipe his huge, shit and blood covered cock on your curtains, after ripping your rectal sphincter asunder when he went in without the common decency to spit first. And just for the avoidance of doubt, he's already taken the dry cleaning bill for his trousers from your wallet.
I loathe the way this Government does business. They are truly beneath contempt.
Update: Gordon Brown has Squashed Liam Donaldson's proposals, for now. I am sure that these proposals will resurface, just like every other illiberal suggestion which has ever come out of the Labour party, as the pressure from their client state of prodnoses gets overwhelming
Friday, 13 March 2009
The next person to argue to me that this recession is happening because of "deregulated" banks is going to get a carefully gift-wrapped punch in the face.
It is the rhetorical equivalent of shouting "I DON'T KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT" at the top of your voice. Anyone with sufficient wit to avoid voting for the Labour party can see that banks and financial institutions were extremely tightly regulated - what they could sell to their customers, how much they could charge, and everything would have to be correctly documented, on paper with signatures. Heaven forbid a financial advisor would be caught offering an opinion to someone who hasn't signed the right form, and every single transaction came with an eight-page "key features" document as laid out in some detail in regulations designed to deal with 'misselling'. So day-to-day activities of the banks were, and are extremely tightly regulated. What about their balance sheets? Well there was the Basel II standards, which when combined with mark-to-market accounting and the fact that everyone was using the same, regulator-approved models, basically ensured that in a financial crisis, all banks' assets would collapse together (because no-one would be in a position to buy them), preventing a market recovery and guaranteeing widespread contagion. So their balance sheets were tightly regulated too. All the Banks did is obey the incentive to take a bit of risk, and empire-build; for in this regulator-guaranteed world, scale was everything.
So.... The regulators were ensuring boxes were correctly ticked at great cost, I may add, the cost of compliance tripled since the FSA took over from the bank of England, but despite (or probably because of) the vast explosion in bureaucracy, no-one appeared to have any view of Systemic risk, apart from.. um... the bank of England, who lost responsibility for it.
Gordon Brown's lovely shiny modern system failed at the first test. But it is merely the most prominent failure of the last decade. The banking regulatory system, just like everything designed by New Labour is an expensive, divisive failure. Tax Credits, The New Deal, Sure Start, The NHS, state education. All of these have had taxpayers' money shovelled at them for very little improvement. Schools have even gone backwards. New Labour are only interested in their client state of compliance apparatchiks and local council diversity prodnoses - not for any good they might do, you understand, but because state spending is morally better than evil selfish business who must be checked that they are employing enough
labour voters minorities. So long as the state is doing the spending investment, in Labour's world-view, that can be measured and reported for party-political advantage against the charge of Tory "cuts".
If this crisis is a demonstration of the failure of anything, it certainly is not "deregulation". Indeed I argue that this crisis is a failure of big-state, deficit financed economics. It is a failure of tightly-regulated quasi-state oligopolies who operate as an undiversified government guaranteed cartel. It is a failure of economies which are nearly half state-run. If the people were not taxed so much, savings ratios would be higher. People would have reserves to fall back on, and would not have need of 125% negative-amortisation mortgages.
John Maynard Keynes, of whom much is made in this crisis thought that any state expenditure over about 25-30% of GDP was excessive. We are now at 40%. Secondly, if you are to boost the economy by state spending, you have to be running surpluses in the good times, otherwise people will assume higher taxes later and save any "stimulus". Oh dear, Gordon; Ricardian equivalence bites you on the bum. By appealing to Keynes to "rescue" the world economy, you are selectively using the theories of a great economist in order to make a massive state power-grab. For mark my words, the Labour party and the Democrats in the USA and the EU leviathan are not interested in you, dear voter. They see this as an opportunity to increase the scale, power and reach of the state into your lives. The system failed; their prescription: more of the system.
McDoom is the architect of a whole failed philosophy of Government who's been sitting for a decade like baron Greenback* at the centre of the organisation which has been reaching its counterproductive tendrils into every aspect of national life, during which we haven't got much richer, and we have become a lot more stressed, put upon, fined and taxed. Now we're broke and he still doesn't think he needs to say "sorry". Fuck me, but the man's a useless, fat one-eyed joy-vacuum, intent only on keeping Labour in power with no regard to the huge damage his reverse-Midas touch has on the country. If he loved the country, which the treasonous toad clearly doesn't, he would do the honourable thing and go and have a word with Brenda, call an election, then shoot himself. But I doubt he'd even manage that. The useless cunt.
*Doesn't Alastair Darling look like Nero too?
Thursday, 12 March 2009
The Pro-EU MSM has gone ape because David Cameron did something he has promised he would do – leave the pro-Federalist EPP. Obviously this is a great shock to the British press after 11 years of Labour – politicians doing what they said they would do. There is a further shock in that there is a principle involved. Nevertheless the Conservatives will leave this group before the EU elections, teamed in a new group of Eurosceptic members the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation will be keen to portray as being one step shy of being SS-Einsatzgruppen.
It is argued that this will split the Conservative party, and bring a return to the fratricide of the major years. But the Conservative party of today is not the Conservative party of John Major. Other than Ken Clark I can’t think of a single pro-European in the Shadow Cabinet, indeed I’m pushed to think of another one in the Parliamentary Party (although like the handful of Conservatives that voted to keep their expenses secret, I am sure they exist). Naturally on the other side of the divide, you will have those who say “Now that he’s doing it, I still don’t believe Boy Dave, its all part of an EU plan backed up by Black Helicopters to sucker the British people”.
You get the usual point about loss of influence from various parts of the MSM and the odd blog. Funny I don’t seem to remember we had any influence in the EU except the “influence” to do exactly what our European overlords told us to do whilst paying them huge amounts of money for the privilege. They sure listened to our slavishly pro-European Labour party when we asked the EU to stop killing African farmers through EU subsidies. Or when we asked them for soldiers to do some actual soldiering in Afghanistan. Or when we asked them not to invite Dictators to EU conferences. Or when we asked them to cut down on the army of pen pushers they employ. Or when we asked them to stop shuffling Parliament around. Even the slavishly pro-European Lord Mandelson of Rio was roundly blocked when he tried to do the right thing and stop protectionism – one of the founding tenants of the EU. Some influence.
But we can gain influence by being awkward buggers, by getting quid pro quo for our money. We can gain influence by giving our people the right to make their own decisions. The influence may be only the moral high ground of trusting our own people, but it is surely more influence than doing what we are told to do. And once we allow people to make their own decisions I believe it will be an irresistible force to other EU nations.
As you can imagine this blog holds no candle for either Trade Unions or the Pope. Indeed I was critical of the Catholic Church a few days ago. Nevertheless both of them deserve a hearty well done for their support and organisation of the peace marches in Northern Ireland. They gave a focal point to those who don’t want to go back to the bad and pointless old days of the province. Obviously the other well done goes to both sides of the Sectarian divide for coming together in this march, and I hope their wish for an end to the bloodshed is granted. Obviously the nasty bigoted tosspots who caused this grief won’t listen. Here’s hoping the Police cause them to listen PDQ with a 30 year stretch in the nearest available gaol. The forced, unwanted and repeated loss of their rear facing virginity should concentrate their minds on “getting along” with their fellow man.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Barack Obama has not got his foreign policy off to a flying start. Whether or not you think there is a special relationship between the UK and the USA depends upon your politics. The Atlantic alliance is just a marriage of convenience to the Left wing though it is rather more axiomatic in military circles. Whatever bien-pensents think, it is the English-speaking world which is bearing the brunt of the fighting in Afghanistan alongside American troops - is that special enough for you? Thus many conservative commentators in the USA have deplored Obama's gift of a DVD box set in return for The HMS Gannet pen holder which Brown brought with him to Washington. Most Britons were not offended on the simple grounds that Brown is a political dead-man-walking and rather enjoyed the snub. Fucking snot-gobbler off with a pool spray and lunch may be reasonable, but unforgivable was the misspelling on the Reset button, which Hillary Clinton brought with her on a recent visit to Russia, another key strategic country.
Misspelling the word Perezagruzka? Overcharge not Reset? On what was already an naff gift, even by American standards.
This is straightforward incompetence and if these thoughtless gaffes are a foretaste of what's to come, I am not optimistic. I'm not wildly keen on Obama's policy to spend his way out of the recession anyway, but I think he will disappoint mainly because he lacks attention to detail. He even appears to be struggling to fill his treasury roles. He's coasting on a wave of goodwill that will run dry when people realise that he does not have all the answers. He will not be able to use rhetoric to get Wall St. to rise anymore than he can charm German troops into southern Afghanistan. He will not be able to goodwill Hamas and Israel into co-existence. He will do well to remember the friends of America who stand by her when the going gets tough, and eschew 'friends' who are merely glad he's not Bush. Whatever Obama thinks now, he will come to trust the 5-eyes alliance in this dangerous world, just as he may need some small-government thinkers in to help him deal with the economy.
Maybe he will learn the lessons and become a great President. Probably he won't. He is a left-wing leader, like JFK, Martin Luther King, Che Guevara and Mahatma Gandhi. What to these Gentlemen have in common? None lived long enough to disappoint with the grubby compromises of Government, which is fatal to the idealism of their supporters. These leaders therefore all owe some of their iconic status to the assassin's bullet. Obama is a socialist in a crisis crying out for conservative* policies of spending restraint and sound money. He is an internationalist leader in a world of deeply entrenched and irreconcilable conflicts, crying out for an America to show leadership, not beg for forgiveness. Obama will probably disappoint, and be as loathed as Blair at the end. It will be worse because of the pathetically inflated expectations with which he entered office.
Unless... He is in a job with a mortality rate of a street drug dealer. Between 4 and 6 (depending on whether you think numbers 12 and 29 copped it due to foul play) of the 44 presidents of the USA have been killed in office, and there have been a further 19 attempts. Assassination before they make a mess of things is, for all left-wing leaders, the only way to immortality.
*Please note: 'conservative' not 'Conservative', or indeed 'Republican'
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
"There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment." Comment from a rather undiplomatic diplomat in the US State department. The response from a decent American chap can be found here.
As you know I think Gordon Brown is about as much use as Jade Goody’s hairdryer. And I quite (no make that really) enjoyed the fact that he was sent home with his tail between his legs when he was clearly trying to bask in “The One’s” glory. Nevertheless Obama could have been a bit more graceful to one of America’s longest and most loyal allies ; Brown is a prick with Oak Leaf Clusters and Swords, but he represents the government of the British People (thankfully he’s not our head of state). I realise Obama is scrambling round to glad hand America’s enemies – all of whom are spitting in his face, but he really should make a bit more effort with his friends, especially not deliberately sell friends like the Eastern Europeans out to the Russians. Whilst he personally might not like us, or the Czechs for that matter, he has to remember that Brits and Yanks get on very well indeed - even the Democrat ones that vote for him (we provide them with soft furnishings and husbands). And as such he has to represent the will of his people, not the will of his Grandfather.
Even whilst Britain is in its current enervated economic position in the world - mostly thanks to our idiot Prime Minister - it would be wise not to make it official government policy to piss us off completely. We still count as the largest economic investor in the US, and the only real investor of infantry with the US. And if Obama looks around he will see that its not just Britain who is in a lousy state economically either – do you want to know how much it costs for a shipping container from China at the moment? Zip Nada, Nothing – you just pay for the fuel. Ditto Ze Germanz – Think people will be queuing up for a Porsche in this economic climate?
We gave Obama a pen holder made from the wood of HMS Gannet (a Royal Navy anti slaving ship and the sister ship to HMS Resolute – the wood from which the Oval Office desk is from. I think you can guess the symbolism, Obama also got a set of first editions of Winston Churchill’s biography (mother was American) and a picture of HMS Resolute. His kids got nice dresses with matching jewellery. Practically blind Gordon Brown got 25 DVD’s from the bargin bucket of Circuit City that won’t work over here unless you have a multi region DVD player. His kids got a couple of White House gift shop Helicopters (which I guess symbolises the fact that the Democrats are going through one of their petulant, throw the teddies out of the pram protectionist phases, and will be cancelling the purchase of Anglo-Italian Presidential helicopters).
Give Brown his due – he accepted the gifts with a level of dignity; unlike when he was back on the plane and started yelling at the press corps. Maybe he actually liked the gifts or thought them useful – the fact that Blockbuster is loosing a ton of money combined with the fact that he’ll be out of a job soon. Maybe Gordon Brown has seen a gap in the market running a video rental store (naturally with him running it the chances are it will go bust fairly quickly). The Americans are divided on the treatment of our mentally unstable Prime Minister; the Democrats can’t see the problem. Susan Sarandon told them that Obama would be more sophisticated than George Bush, this isn’t a Diplomatic error, “the one” couldn’t possibly make a mistake in international relations. The Republicans (who tend to have a natural affinity for a people who consider throttling Italian football fans a recreational activity despite, or maybe because of, the fact we burnt down Washington) are either in despair or laughing their arses off that the “Diplomatic” Democrats have made such idiots of themselves so soon.
Monday, 9 March 2009
One of the more frustrating things about the "hang them all" approach to politicians is best summed up by a question: what else is there? And if you're damning them all, what incentive is there for one lot to improve behaviour?
Let's ignore the economy for a minute. I think we can all take it as read that the Labour party has been a disaster for the civil liberties of this country. They have systematically removed most of the freedoms previously enjoyed by a Briton, and comprehensively expanded the state's ability to intrude on our lives. I think most sane people, capable of walking and chewing gum simultaneously can see this, and disapproves. Furthermore, they've extended the powers to tax, fine and otherwise interfere with members of the public to include, it seems almost anyone with a high-viz vest. So the average law-abiding subject gets hassled, whilst the police do almost nothing to deal with the crime and disorder which blights our lives. We do not have the usual trade off with a police-state. It is not safe to be out, nor do the trains run on time.
They're all the same... I hear you cry! But I think most people will be pleasantly surprised by the Conservatives in office, but you have to be realistic. They're not the Labour party, and they're not a Revolution, which just sucks for most people. They're somewhere inbetween.
We are about a year from an election campaign. Which means we have a choice in who gets to make the rules. You may have a distaste for the Conservatives. You may think them "europhile" because they do not advocate withdrawal from the EU as party policy. You may think them "statist" because of some illiberal utterances from a backbencher. You may think them stupid, for some of them are religious nutters. You may think they have been ineffectual for failing to oppose many of Labours more savage assaults on our Freedom. You may be right, but at least they're not the Labour party.
Whilst we are all merrily excoriating the political class, have any of you written to your Local Conservative MP or candidate and asked him what his view is of a particular bill? Have you suggested courses of action which will lead to a freer UK. And I don't mean courses of action as clearly absurd as Reg in the Life of Brian suggests to the Commandos of the People's Front of Judea, when discussing the plan to break into Pilate's villa and kidnap his wife.
We're giving Pilate two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the Roman Imperialist State, and if he doesn't agree immediately, we execute her...So demanding the immediate repeal of all acts of Parliament enacted since 1997 would be nice, but puts you in the political equivalent of a Monty Python sketch. It is up to forensically-minded bloggers to come up with a list of acts or sections of acts which need repealing, like, yesterday.
Things Like Regulation of Investigatory Powers act, and the powers it formalises need to go. We need to repeal the civil contingencies act 2004 and get some proper checks and balances in. We need to get the concept of "an arrestable offence" back into the police's thinking so they have to concentrate on serious crime, by repealing Serious and Organised Crime act 2005. We need to allow people to film the police, by repealing the Counter Terrorism act 2008. That's just a start. Come up with some more.
When you've done that, write to your Local Conservative, and offer your services delivering for him or her. You may not like the Tories, but they're better than Labour, and they are the best we've got for the Time being. Get out there, hold your nose, influence policy while it is still being written and offer your door-knocking skills as an incentive. You may be whoring your political principles to the highest bidder, but at least there is some hope that they may listen.
And they are not the Labour Party. Get writing people. If you haven't even written a sternly-worded letter to your elected representatives perhaps I can suggest a suitable letter here, then you've no right to spear them on a pitch-fork. It may come to that, but surely isn't it better to try the constitutional approach first?
Zanu Labours' determination to try and create a consequence free world marches on with proposals to slow down and overcharge the poor British motorist even more. They plan on reducing the speed limit on 60 mph roads to 50 mph. It is claimed with approximately zero evidence to back it up that this proposal will save between 200-250 lives per year. So would the slow and messy death of the idiot that thought up this proposal. The stress related deaths from seeing row after row of revenue gathering “next generation*” speed cameras would be greatly relived. There would be lower blood pressure throughout the nation - the motorist in question knowing that the person responsible for putting the Cameras in front of him was later bludgeoned to death by a lead weighted traffic cone.
“It would be irresponsible not to do something about it” said Roads Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, before muttering “Will someone think of the children”. He then said “I'm sure that the vast majority of motorists would support the proposals”. Do you want to put money on that, dickhead?
* These annoying (but suprisingly vulnerable to a good wallop with a sledgehammer, shotgun blast, tire set on fire or a chain attached to a car bumper) cameras measure average speed.
The “Liberal” “Democrats” have come up with a new way to get Britain’s economy moving. It seems that they have an alternative to the much criticised VAT reduction in order to boost the UK economy. It has nothing to do with cutting EU Red Tape (they’re big fans of that), increasing money supply, reducing the barriers to employment, fiscal easing or any of the other factors that will get the British economy moving. Nick Clegg’s solution is loft insulation for hospitals. Of course! Why didn’t anybody else think of that!
The fact that the UK economy hasn’t cut debt in the good times due to profligate State Spending is mostly responsible for the mess that we’re in. The Lib Dums want to increase that spending in even more extravagantly pointless ways – rather than giving the money to the people who really get the economy moving - British taxpayers. And as we all know, there hasn’t been enough money spent on the NHS. They wish to boost this as part of increasing Britain’s “Green Economy”. An economy which in times of recession - when people are more interested in feeding their family than feeding a dolphin - will be about as permanent an economy as investing in Tulip Bulbs.
Loft insulation, the apparent reason why we should “take a chance” on the “Liberal” “Democrats” to get us out of this economic mess. The Press Association describe Mr Clegg’s speech as “an address devoid of jokes”. Don’t be too sure on that.
Friday, 6 March 2009
I've often pointed to the Shibboleth of the left which believes that uniquely in human experience, procreation is immune from economic incentives. It is obvious to me that the reason that we have such a huge number of teenage single mothers, is because the incentives in the system are to get pregnant as soon as possible.
It is simple. You're a 16 year-old girl living at home and going to a crap school. Neither you home life or education has equipped you for anything other than the most mundane employment. Home is a cramped, state-owned property which you share with a number of siblings and unfortunately a series of your mother's boyfriends, some of whom are abusive.
By getting pregnant, you will have access to
- Your own flat
- Independence (of a sort)
- The unconditional love of another human, over whom you have complete control.
- An independent, secure income for life, albeit a small one.
- If you're lucky in the source of sperm, access to his income too.
- A sense of meaning for your life
- The prospect of waiting a few years before procreating more attractive
- Doing so whilst in a stable loving relationship less financially punished
- The financial outcome for early single parenthood a little worse.
They become pregnant because they have absolutely no ambition for themselves. They have been indoctrinated with the lie that they’ll never amount to anything, and have fulfilled that prophesy by making no effort to achieve any qualification. Very often they live with parents (or a parent) who have no jobs themselves, who are setting the example of benefit dependency for all their offspring.Naturally this has provoked widespread applause from the right, and a great wail of betrayal from lefties, who accuse him of pandering to right-wing "Bullying". Donpaskini, for example says
Such young women see parenthood as one way of achieving a level of independence and self-worth. And they’re right, because that’s more or less what they get: a flat and therefore some privacy, an income for the first time in their lives
There are several words for powerful, middle-aged men who choose to pick on teenage girls, but the one which best sums up Tom Harris is bully. You will never, ever read him use this kind of language about anyone who has any kind of power or influence, it's always those who can't answer back who he chooses to pick onBut this fails to address the salient point. How is it moral for us to have a system which encourages a caste (for it is determined by birth) of people for whom a state-dependent lifestyle is taken, quite literally, with their mother's milk? That is other people are forced, by law, to pay for the lifestyle of this caste. The left, however do not see it this way.
[Tom Harris] doesn't seem to know that a majority of lone parents work, that 60% of young women felt more positive about education after they became pregnant than before or that 79% said that motherhood had increased their determination to get a good job....40% of lone mothers did not "feel more positive about education on getting pregnant, Meanwhile 79% of young women told a researcher they "wanted a good job". This is hardly hard evidence that single parenthood is brilliant for society, or indeed the young women in question. Donpaskini is really scraping the barrel, and retreats into a vindictive orgy of play-ground name-calling, and describes the Labour MP, effectively as a class-enemy, because he's white, rich and middle-aged. This is the ultimate insult on the left, because it is an a-priori fact that wealthy white people cannot know anything about anything.
Even Unity is usually forensic in demolishing arguments - he takes issue with the idea that number of teenage births has risen - He says they haven't much, but I would counter that they've been very high for a long time, and fertility rates amongst non-working sections have gone up, as those hard-pressed tax-payers have gone down (pdf). Consistently poor statistics does not absolve a system from blame. But in the issue of choice he merely states that single parenthood on benefits is not voluntary, no evidence: he merely states his opinion. He challenges...
...the myth than suggests that people actively choose to live on welfare benefits - which the vast majority of them don’t. Living on the pitiful sums that we pay out to individuals and families in order to keep the wolf from the door is NOT an active choice, its something that people resort to when they believe, rightly or wrongly, that they have no other viable choices open to them, or at least nothing by way of an alternative that would improve their lives sufficiently to make it worth their while.Whether or not it's voluntary is mere semantics: It's a trap, which young women walk into willingly for the reasons I outlined at the start of this essay. Whether walking into a clear trap against advice of teachers, government etc... is 'voluntary' depends on whether you think a 16 year-old girl is a rational, free person. Unity clearly thinks not.
We are not talking about beating up single parents, or removing their right to a family life. We on "the right" are talking about improving the opportunities for young women so their options include waiting for a better time to give birth. We are talking about removing the huge incentives to get pregnant as soon as possible, perhaps by not putting single parents at the head of the queue for social housing. We are talking about improving the incentives in the tax and benefit system for couples to stay together. That is changing the economic and social incentives in favour of later childbirth, within, where possible, a stable relationship. In truth this encompases a complete redesign of the Tax and Benefits system and a comprehensive overhaul of education. And that's just the start. To address these issues will be a project which will require Thatcheresque doggedness in dealing with the entrenched self-interest of the Labour client state, which will be all too willing to rally together under the banner of "fight Tory cuts".
The left hates the nuclear family, because it turns out healthy, well balanced, self-reliant people who have little need of social services, state benefits or the work of other Labour-voting professions. Whilst all evidence points to the nuclear family being the best place to bring up a child, socialists would rather create a caste of ballot-fodder serfs without employment or hopes, in order to rot society from within. That is the real reason for the reaction Tom Harris has provoked. It certainly is not concern for the poor, benighted single, teenage mum: Marxist cant and crocodile tears.
A 9 year old child, who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather, who made her pregnant with twins, which threatened her life,had an abortion to end the nightmare. Pretty logical, caring and straightforward you would think… Not for the Catholic Church in Brazil it wasn’t, at least not in the way you would think. They promptly excommunicated her, her mother and the doctors who performed this grizzly but necessary operation. The Left Footers said that the operation was against the “Law of God”. Now I’m no Biblical scholar but I suspect the one breaking the “Law of God” was the evil bastard who raped her, the nasty pathetic excuse of a man who put her in this position is responsible for the destruction of several lives – not the doctors.
Personally I’m a bit squeamish about abortion, but this poor girl ticks every bloody box on when abortion should be allowed. Instead of showing kindness, understanding and a bit of Christian forgiveness the Catholic Church has a hissy fit. Quite rightly the Brazilian Health Minister has castigated them for the uncaring and inflexible fools that they are. Perhaps if the Left Footers spent less time designing ridiculous hats for themselves; and actually talked to women they might find that they could dredge up some sympathy for this girl who has had her life ruined. And if I was a Protestant priest I’d be round there like a shot. I suspect their message would receive a receptive ear to any religious person who actually practiced what they preached in terms of sympathy and Christian charity.
I have noticed the increased desperation of Tree Huggers to get their hirsute visages (and that’s just the women) on the electric fish tank. Perhaps this is because the economy has tanked? Since everybody is loosing their jobs (mostly thanks to Mandy’s chums - to be fair on the Eco-Weenies) people don’t have time for the “Global Warming Faithful” lecturing them on how their farts needs to be recycled to power a “Dream catcher” manufacturer. In a recession people care more about the welfare and feeding of their family than the good of the Tasmanian dung beetle. And if they have the good fortune to be able to get a break they don’t want a moron in a mass murderer Che Guevara t-shirt blocking the runway they are taking off from.
Student activism is back according to the Times. This means we have to put up with a bunch of badly dressed morons blocking access to university ablutions and Vice Chancellors stationary cupboard throughout the country in the belief it will bring Peace to the Middle East. Is there any larger group of know-nothing fuckwits than a bunch of students with more piercings than a French Knight at Agincourt munching their organic fair trade peace crisps in the belief it will stop poverty and hunger? I quote “There's a vegan sushi-making workshop from six to eight,” he says, “then a class on how to engage with the Israelis*. After that I'm working on getting a band together.” God I REALLY hate these people.
“It's quite clear, “that capitalism, globally, has failed us. There's definitely a feeling that there must be another way”says Lucie Kinchin from the activist group Plane Stupid (The title is half right). She also criticises Democracy because it fails to do what she thinks it should do. There isn’t another way you bloody retard, if there was don’t you think they would have found it by now you window licking fucktard? Are you that self absorbed to think that you have been given enlightenment that 2500 years of political thought has managed to miss? Capitalism and Democracy hasn’t failed, its what has given you the well fed privilege to spout bollocks and lie down on runways on your parents dime, instead of being sent down a mine at 9 years old or being sent to a re-education camp.
I will leave it to the inimitable Paul Calf to sum up my thoughts on that collective group of Soap dodging morons collectively known as “The Student” …“I want to live in a world where we can have a pint without fear of being nudged by a student. I that a crime? Is it a crime to want to live in a world of peace and harmony? Is it a crime to live in a world of love? Is it a crime to hit a student across the back of the head with a snooker ball in a sock?"
* I would have thought it blatantly bloody obvious how you can engage with the Israelis, stop calling them Nazis and actually listen to their point of view. It’s something Hamas might consider whilst they’re at it too.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Chris Dillow, never afraid of unfashionable causes, gives us a defence of Gordon Brown's speech to Congress. Now he's normally good at demolishing arguments of convenience from wherever they come, but I think his arguments here against Brown's critics are weak in the extreme.
1) “Brown put the wrong regulatory regime in place in 1997.”But in this instance, he's shooting down a straw man. Yes, we think that the Bank of England would do a better job, but many of us (loony) libertarians think that the tight regulation and deposit guarantees are the problem. That is the very principle of tight Government oversight of financial institutions is the systemic problem. Here's why: Onerous regulation ensures an oligopoly of tightly regulated institutions, perceived by depositors as so safe, there's no need to consider deposit safety when choosing your bank. Banks therefore compete on returns only, which increases the risk, and have short-term incentives to take risks, like buying ABN Amro. These oligopolies are so big, the Government cannot afford to let them fail - and we're where we are now. Better instead to have many smaller institutions, none of whom have any explicit guarantees and let the market keep 'em safe (imagine advertising "we've got the best balance sheet, with nothing but AAA Government debt and 10% capital adequacy"), with the bank of England standing by to provide emergency liquidity only, and a regulator stepping in to break up any company which gets "too big to fail". Then Governments have no need to step in to "save" the system just because one bank gets itself into trouble. True this is not a criticism of Brown per se, but Can you concive of him Deregulating? Neither can I.
But if we’d had a different regime we’d probably be asking now why that one failed. Banking crises are common around the world and over time. They are an “equal opportunity menace (pdf)”. That they happen so often, despite so many different regulatory regimes (including freeish markets) suggests that regulatory failure is common.
Banks would have circumvented regulators, by offshore or off-balance sheet vehicles.
What’s more, there are two groups of people who have overseen banks over the last 10 years who could have but didn’t see the crisis coming - equity investors and non-executive directors. If they failed, why should we assume that regulators could have done better?
There’s something paradoxical about Brown’s critics, who are usually so (rightly) sceptical about the competence of the state believing that, in this instance, the state might have had sufficient competence.
2) “Brown’s lax fiscal policy in the good years means we can’t afford a sufficient stimulus now.”Fiscal policy doesn't work in itself, but lower taxes do, over the long-run. This is because private spending is directed more efficiently than public, and leads to higher productivity. Fiscal stimuli doesn't work because of ricardian equivalence, as Chris says, but it could if people could see taxes going down over the long term - meaning people's expectations were not for that spending to be paid back, and that requires balanced budgets. No-one believed Gordon's "end to boon 'n bust" story and knew his spending was unsustainable. People will save any "stimulus" now to pay for the inevitable taxes later. If we had had balanced budgets prior to 2007, then people might have been in a position to spend a stimulus if they believed that taxes would not go up immediately to pay for it. That is if borrowing was under control, which it isn't.
But it’s not obvious that fiscal policy would work even if it were bigger and starting from a smaller deficit; Ricardian equivalence would not be much less powerful then than it is now.
What’s more, any stimulus now can only ameliorate the recession. To have prevented the recession, we’d have needed a stimulus a year ago. But no-one was calling for one then. A big problem with fiscal policy - getting the timing of the stimulus right - would apply, whatever position the public finances had been in.
3) “In pursuing inflation targeting without asset price targeting, Brown put in place a policy framework in which low interest rates allowed a house price bubble to emerge.”No-one is seriously suggesting that asset price targeting is a good idea. Having a measure of inflation which takes into account housing costs like mortgage interest, like RPI rather than the CPI, chosen for european political reasons, would be. The upshot would have been to limit the boom, and therefore lead to a softer bust. Macroeconomic policy should reflect the economy the way it is, not the way euromaniac politicians think it should be.
But let’s say interest rates had been used to limit house price rises. Manufacturers would then have been screaming about their pain, and those people fretting now about the perils of deflation would have been doing so back in 2003-04. And if house prices are not net wealth - and have little impact on consumer spending - what would have been the offsetting gain? Macroeconomic policy should not be organized so as to protect a particular industry (banks) from its own stupidity.
4) “The macroeconomic stability Brown crowed about so much when Chancellor led, in Minskyan fashion, to banks becoming too risk-tolerant.”Yes. I don't think beating up grannies is a good thing either. He concludes that
But Brown didn’t create that stability - he just took credit for what was just luck (pdf). And, surely, no-one thinks any Chancellor should destabilize the economy merely to rein in future animal spirits.
It’s not obvious, then, what charge against Brown can stick...Which isn't true if even you accept the premise - tight regulation is a good thing - on which Brown was working; as Chris Dillow does. All Chris's post has done is set up a number of straw men. Many of Brown's critics say do in fact say "most regulation is pointless", because regulators are rarely more competent than the people they're regulating. If you're going to regulate, don't take regulatory responsibility away from an institution which has done a good job for hundreds of years and give it to untested tyros. Second, if you're inflation targeting, don't pick a measure of inflation which leaves out housing costs in the economy with the greatest exposure to housing costs in the world. Third, don't run a perpetual budget deficit during a long and sustained boom because you will be fucked when the music stops.
The charges against Gordon Brown do stick. He's a hubristic, incompetent fool. An embarrassment to the country and the only reason I can think for Chris to let him off the hook is that Chris is a Marxist - ever ready to absolve Gordon Brown of personal failings out of a misplaced sense of tribal loyalty, though he'd call it a "Bayesian Prior".
Women think they're in control of their emotions, but their 'emotional intelligence' really means that they say whatever they feel without a thought to the consequences. It's not 'emotional intelligence', it's 'emotional incontinence'. Men think 'honesty' is a considered opinion to which he sticks. Women think 'honesty' is changing her opinion as frequently her knickers because it is how she 'feels' at that second.
Which is why we fellas don't think women are actually capable of understanding 'principles' such as the rule of law. So, when we say women are 'equal', it's because we're forced to by law and society. Very few men actually believe it.
"Women. They're just not like proper chaps".It is with this in mind, that I look upon Harridan Harperson-Dromey. Just what does she think her "court of public-opinion" would do to her?
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
It seems Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy is to be given an honorary Knighthood for “Services” to Anglo-Irish relations. Why not give one to Gerry Adams too whilst you’re at it? Ted Kennedy is to Peace in Ireland what his brother was to the sale of convertibles. Lest it be forgotten Teddy was one of the Americans most vocal gobshites on “Ireland for the Irish” in the US Senate. He was the mouthpiece that gave tacit support to the IRA front Noraid to shake its tins in the Plastic Paddy bars of Ireland. As Anne Applebaum says it in her article “…if Irish American pressure had been applied much earlier, the whole thing might have been over long ago”.
The simple fact is that Teddy cheered on these particular Terrorists because that worked to get him re-elected. When the IRA finally killed one too many of “their own*” people and he saw which way the wind was blowing, he put down his drink and gave support to the peace process. He didn’t do it one second before it was politically expedient for him to do it. And just like Mary Jo, Teddy came in way - and I mean way - too late to help the innocent.
I’m all for forgive and forget. I’m not for Forgive and Ennoblement.
*I of course don’t think that the IRA was representative of good ordinary Catholics, just as the UVF was not representative of good ordinary Protestants.