Monday, 18 February 2008

Quote of the day

“ The true danger is when Liberty is nibbled away, for expedients.”

Edmund Burke

" If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.”

Jacob Hornberger

A permit to allow you to do lawful things the ruling political elite disapprove of

It is arguable that Professor Julian le Grand a lecturer in social policy at the London School of Economics, is a very scary person.

Why? Because of some of the more sinister methods of state control of the individual that he advocates, coupled with the fact that, as a former aid to Tony Blair and chairman of Health England, a ministerial advisory board, he has the ear of those in power, so wealds undue influence.

He is advocating the introduction of licences to permit people to purchase perfectly legal goods.

He proposes that the licences should be made as difficult as possible to obtain, with complicated forms to fill out and that they should cost between £10 and up to £200 (presumably to penalise the better off) and be renewable annually.

You know it must be something to concern citizens of every political stripe when both the Telegraph and the Guardian have commented on it detrimentally.

He is talking about smoking in this case and the permit would be to purchase tobacco products – but the principle is dangerously easily applicable to anything the state, as the tool of the ruling political elite 'disapproves' of.

But hey! The money would all go to the good old NHS, so that’s OK then – Right?

Once the principle is accepted and applied to a limited hate group, who many non smokers will not worry about, it can be rolled out further.

Alcohol? All those binge drinkers disrupting society, it would keep underage kids away from the stuff right? Stop those middle class wine lovers inadvertantly drinking themselves to death right? Probably not…

‘Unhealthy’, ‘fattening’, food and drinks like burgers, or even tea? Apparently drinking bottled water is ‘immoral’ now. How about that?

A petrol/diesel permit?

What about certain activities like taking a cheap flight, or maybe taking a foreign holiday?

This is actually pretty scary stuff - and by no means beyond the realms of possibility.

In a truly bizarre piece of convoluted newspeak he attempts to brand this classic example of fascist thinking as “libertarian paternalism". An oxymoreon if ever there was one.

It is certainly a fine example of the Political Patrician classes mental processes at work. Showcasing the patrician view of the lower orders he feels and possibly intends this to impact more on poor and less well educated, justifying it on the grounds that it should contribute to a reduction in 'health inequalities'.

It clearly about as diametrically opposed to actual Libertarian thinking as it is possible to get.

One wonders if this may be deliberate on his part, in an attepmpt at black propaganda, targeted at the political ‘meat and two veg brigade’, to put them off realising what Libertarian ideas are really about, given that those ideas are such a threat to his way of thinking.

New Labour nationalises Failed bank Northern Rock

It’s the ‘general election that never was’ all over again. New Labour have spent so long pratting around, unable to make a decision over the inappropriately named Northern Rock (more like a millstone round all our necks) that they have now left themselves with no option but to nationalise it, ‘temporarily’.

Not content with exposing the taxpayer to £55 million liability, in a spectacular example of Nick Leeson-onomics, New Labour have gone double, or nothing - ramping the exposure up to £110 million!

This matter will no doubt see some considerable comment so I shall limit my myself to observing that this averages around £3,500 for each taxpayer. Personally, if I had any choice in the matter at all, I could think of a few things I would rather have spent £3,500 of my hard earned cash on.

Definitely something to think about

Beaman’s World had an interesting post the other day.

It articulated something that I had trying to formulate more concretely myself:

Probably a majority of any group wishes to live in peace and quietly get on with their lives - but a majority that will not police their fanatic minorities is in fact irrelevant, when it comes to the activities of the fanatics and extremists - when it comes to how that group relates with and impacts on, the greater world.

If the majority do not oppose them then if anything they become part of the problem as they provide a form of legitimisation, and/or a medium for the fanatics to move and conceal themselves within and a resource.

There will always be fanatics, of every stripe. If they are not opposed the chances of their reaching a tipping point in numbers and momentum where they then effectively ‘own’ the rest and can do untold harm are greatly increased.

Possibly a concrete illustration of where the phrase: “If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem” fits well…

Go read the post.