Both the law firms where I was a partner had anti-nepotism policies. We couldn't employ our own or each other's relatives. If we married someone from the firm, one of us had to leave. Why? I am sure it was often the case that, as these MPs who have never been in the real world say, that we could have trusted our wives or husbands or sons or daughters "over anyone else". It would always have been true that "...it is far easier to employ someone you know that get someone else in...".
Our legal advice to ourselves was that as predominantly white males, if we recruited our own families we would be liable to be accused of race discrimination, for example. Our business advice to each other was that the inconvenience of being forced to look outside our family circles would be balanced by an increase in mutual trust, an ability to critique each other's teams when necessary for quality control and a generally higher standard of staff to better serve our clients.
So we went to the market and tried to find the best candidates we could regardless of race, colour, creed or sex. Meanwhile, our legislators carry on as if they were unaware of the regime they imposed on British business. They behave like the parodies of cruel Victorian employers they seem to have in mind when they 'regulate' us. And it goes without saying, isolated as they are from the realities of a competitive market place, that they don't give a tinker's curse about quality. If they would even recognise it that is. From what I see of them, when they are not actually being malicious and/or corrupt, they are mostly just bumbling narcissists.
Were they just taking the piss when they passed these laws? Or when they enacted a minimum wage but pay any staff with whom they share no DNA carrots or hire them for nothing as 'interns'? It's hard to believe they are sincere about their laws when they flout them at every opportunity when their own financial interests are at stake. They love to pontificate about celebrities and sportsmen being 'role models' when that will get their ugly mugs on the goggle box, but what about the example they set? Hypocrites to the bone, the lot of them.
I can't say this too often. It's not a bug, it's a feature. Everything funded by force - and that includes Parliament - tends towards corruption. Only those who can't be a successful beast in the jungle of the real world are attracted to the parasitic delights of living on the jungle fauna. And usually only those with serious character defects are attracted to the exercise of power over others, rather than freedom in their own lives.
Chris Huhne demonstrates once again that anyone who wants to join the Westminster Club is not fit to be a member. Note the Huhne-centric view of the Universe here. Note the astonishing sense of self-importance. He committed a crime. He involved his wife. He lied about it consistently. He made his own son hate him with his selfish, dishonest behaviour. He was caught out and mild justice was administered. Yet all of this was not his fault. It was all about him though, in that it was a wicked conspiracy by his political foes to bring him down from the dizzy lows of Lib-Demmery.
Please apply palm to face and repeat after me: 'Only vain, wicked people want a job taking others' money by force to spend on buying votes'
Once again politicians are floating the idea of more state funding for their conspiracies parties. There is a reason political parties are losing members. They do no appeal to ordinary voters, but only to fanatics and obsessives. As long as they have alternative sources of funding, they will never look to build their memberships because, in a true mass party, the majority would oppose those now in control.
I am rarely in favour of banning anything but I believe no political party should be allowed to receive money from non-members. Anyone giving to a political party, whether they are a corporation, trade union or individual, will expect some return. That is corruption and should always be a crime. As for the current state funding - running to millions for the established parties - it is also intrinsically corrupt. It excludes other parties and anyway the people in power should not be abusing their position to vote themselves taxpayers' money.
The only income available to political parties should be from membership dues, constituency fund-raising events and sales of publications and memorabilia. Would they survive if such a system were adopted? Yes, but only by turning their backs on corruption and extortion and building mass memberships again.Why does that prospect sicken them so?
I do not agree with the basic idea behind the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Compensation is a private, civil matter. The only crossover should be that the guilty verdict in the criminal court is accepted by the civil judge, so that he can move straight to deciding the amount of damages. There will also be cases where civil claimants can succeed despite the defendant's acquittal in a criminal court, because of the lower burden of proof.
It's simply immoral that money should be taken by force from honest citizens to compensate victims of crimes in which they played no part. Millions of wrongs do not make one wrong right;That the system should compensate the family of a terrorist killed by other terrorists merely illustrates the stupidity of it all.
Tell a statist that the government spends too much of GDP; that the state should be scaled down and taxes reduced and the response is highly predictable. He will start talking about doctors and nurses, teachers and policemen. Within minutes, unless we are battle-hardened by many years of political debate, he will have established an apparent moral ascendency. Onlookers will wonder how we could be so cruel.
But that's not just, or even mainly, how tax money gets spent. For example, I was horrified to learn from Chris Snowden's linked report for the Institute of Economic Affairs that an estimated €1 billion of the EU's budget is handed over to "sock puppet" charities, NGOs and other fake "civil society" actors in order to promote the political objectives of the EU Commission.
Most of these "civil society" organisations would not exist at all if it were not for EU funding. So far from being genuine expressions of voluntary, non-governmental and non-corporate opinion, they are mere political creatures. It is astro-turfing on a massive scale. The table below (from Chris's report) takes the list of the EU Civil Society Contact Group's members from its own site and shows both the income each receives from the European taxpayer and the percentage of its funding that represents.
Nota bene that much of the remaining funding for supposedly independent "civil society" groups is received from taxpayers at the national level! For example
Women in Europe for a Common Future received an EC grant of €1,219,213 in 2011, with a further €135,247 coming from national governments. This statutory funding made up 93 per cent of its total income while private donations contributed €2,441 (0.2 per cent) and member contributions just €825 (0.06 per cent).
In what universe can even the most dewy-eyed believer in the essential goodness of the state justify such a monstrous lie? If an organisation raises just 0.06% of its funding from its membership dues, it is not independent. If it gets 93% of its money from the state, it is the state's creature. This is taking money by force from the masses to tell them what to think - most notably about money being taken from them by force!
This is not about being pro- or anti-EU. It is not even on this occasion about being pro- or anti-state. Democracy is supposed to be about the people agreeing what they want done by state bodies and appointing public servants to get on with it. The servants are not supposed to steal their masters' money in order to promote their own objectives. That they do so is corruption, pure and simple.
Come on, statist readers. Justify this gangsterism if you can. And spare us the "doctors and nurses" bullshit for once.
The video is a little ropey but please persist and view the whole thing. As ever, Dr Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple) is both interesting and darkly amusing.
He reports that, under a threat of violence (50% of doctors have been assaulted in the last 12 months) most general practitioners in Britain are routinely filling out fraudulent certificates enabling fit individuals to go "on the sick" where benefits are 60% higher than for unemployment and there is no need to pretend to seek work. More than 2.5 million people have such certificates and he claims that "the great majority of them are fraudulent or at least untruthful." More than a million people have them for "depression and anxiety" alone. He comments wrily that it is an achievement of the British welfare state that it has "created more invalids than the First World War".
Another achievement of the British welfare state is an enormous growth in heroin use. In the 1950s, when heroin addicts were registered with the Home Office, there were known to be about 60 in the whole country. It is now thought that there are about 300,000. He describes an official ideology that heroin addiction is a sickness beyond the addicts' control, which renders them unable to work and drives them to crime. An ideology he says is "completely and obviously wrong."
Every user chose freely to take heroin the first time and most use it intermittently for up to a year before beginning to take it regularly. Most users live in a sub-culture in which the consequences of taking heroin are far better known, as he puts it, than "the dates of the Second World War".
He says it's untrue that medical or other support is necessary to give up heroin. He jokingly calls Mao Zedong "the greatest drug therapist in history" because he told China's heroin addicts that if they didn't give it up he would shoot them. 20 million duly did. Without recommending such a radical approach, he points out that this clearly proves a "conceptual difference between, say, rheumatoid arthritis and drug addiction." Mao's approach, after all, would not have "cured" the former.
For so long as users don't give up heroin he says that's no reason for them not to work. Research shows that in the fifties most American addicts worked normally and indeed most of our own users now lead very active working lives - except that their "work" is burglary.
The growth in heroin use is therefore driven, he seems to suggest, by the needs of the "bureaucracy of care" serving the addicts. Its members need a passive population that takes no personal responsibility in order to secure their jobs. He believes that "at some level" these public employees know full well that they are playing games. In his words;
I would say the addiction services need the addicts more than the addicts need the services.
That's a more shocking critique of welfarism from an insider that I would ever have dared to offer from the outside. To suggest that an army of "carers" has, in effect, steadily built heroin use from 60 to 300,000 to give themselves jobs seems so wicked as to be scarcely believable. But then who would have thought the learned members of our medical profession could be recruited to knowing, if not willing, participation in frauds worth billions of pounds?
For all that its servants justify their jobs by droning on about the supposed immorality and greed of their bogeymen in business, only the state, ladies and gentlemen, can corrupt on such a massive scale.
Where do the men and women responsible for the institutional child abuse that is state "care" for children get their arrogance? Even leaving aside the extreme examples of the North Wales childrens homes or those in Islington under Margaret Hodge, people who, confronted with allegations of abuse, call in the police to find - not the abuser - but the whistleblower are not my first choice to look after vulnerable, unfortunate kids.
We do not need state employees selecting foster parents or other carers for their political views. Still less do we need them (as has been alleged in the comments here) threatening employees that if they so much as mention grooming by Asian men they will be dismissed for racism. The abuse of 'kuffar' girls by Pakistani gangs in the North-West went undetected for so long precisely because of such leftist wickedness by state employees.
And before I am accused of racism, let me remark that it took the appointment of a Muslim head of the local Crown Prosecution Service to overturn the previous decisions not to prosecute. Most Muslims in the area are just as shocked as you or me by what happened. They are no more to blame for those crimes than they are for the episodic nonsense (no doubt soon to be revived) of Christmas celebrations being banned as potentially offensive. Those at fault in such cases - from the vile to the trivial - are the politically-correct Left, most of whom are white and middle class.
With such people as the odious Joyce Thacker in charge of social services across the country, I have no doubt that the Rotheram case is quite usual. Few such stories make the papers (usually to be scorned as Mail-reader bigotry) but does anyone doubt that behind the scenes all children in care are subject to indoctrination; probably not all as subtle as rejecting foster parents who vote for the wrong party? God knows my own experiences in a state school in the Labour North did not expose me to any ideas beyond the leftist spectrum. There was the same smug assumption of moral superiority as can be detected in Rotheram council.
Let charity live again in Britain. Give meaning back to the word "care". Close all social services because, as bodies funded by force, they are intrinsically immoral.
I applaud the BBC's decision to allow Panorama to investigate what it knew about Jimmy Savile's misconduct and why the Newsnight story about his alleged paedophilia was pulled. The video is available for a while to UK residents on the BBC iPlayer here:
Any organisation that is not dependent upon its customers, whether a state or private monopoly, will eventually become self-serving. During my career I was party to many conversations about how to maximise profit for the owners of our businesses and provide attractive employment terms for our staff, but they all turned in the end to what our customers would want, or at least accept. We spent much more time worrying how to please customers than please ourselves. Satisfied customers who choose to come back are the only guarantee for owners, managers and workers in the private sector that they can achieve their personal goals.
As will all state enterprises funded by taxation, the BBC has become, in effect, a worker's co-operative. The "customers" have to pay regardless, so they become irrelevant and the focus turns to the interests of its own people. No private business would survive the shit storm that is heading the BBC's way. The share price would now be collapsing as investors tried to get out before the lawsuits begin. I confidently and sadly predict however that the BBC will survive. It has the coercive power of the state behind it and will simply take your money to settle the cases. It is the left establishment's propaganda arm and they will rally to restore its reputation.
We are about to have an instructive, but depressing, demonstration of the realities of modern Britain. We will be able to compare and contrast the BBC news and current affairs teams' handling of this story with their campaign against News International. Just imagine if the phone-hackers had worked for Newsnight and Savile had worked for Sky News!
Predictable though it all was, it was still disturbing to follow Panorama's account of the decision-making process within the Corporation. There was lots of high-falutin' stuff about editorial independence and a clear concern for the BBC's reputation. There was also some po-faced nonsense about depending on the trust of a public that, trusting or not, it will continue to plunder by use of state force. Not one person (apart from those making official statements once the story was out and the lady reporter from Newsnight who will no doubt pay for it when the storm has passed) expressed any convincing concern for their customers-by-force. Some of whom have, it seems, been abused by members of the collective and friends under their protection.
I watched the faces of the people making the allegations and it brought back another memory from the days of watching Jim'll Fix It. I found a girl from my school in a drunken heap at the side of the road on my way home from a date with my girlfriend one night. I tried to help her to go home. It turned out she was in social services care and lived in a nearby childrens' home. When I offered to take her there she begged me not to. She offered sex if I would take her somewhere, anywhere, else. Indeed, "offered" is something of a euphemism. If I had a victim mentality, I would say she attempted rape. I was able to restrain her and decline her offer.
I asked if she had relatives and she told me about an uncle who lived in the area. In retrospect, I worry that she made him up or that her relationship with him was rather different, but I was a naive teenager. I took her to a nearby pub and gave her the money to call him. I left her in the care of the publican, once assured her uncle was on his way.
I later found out that she lived in one of the homes at the centre of a notorious scandal. It rather explained both her reluctance to go there and her use of sex as a currency. I now dread to think what she was going through while I was enjoying a safe and happy childhood. I am ashamed to have ever thought myself hard done to by my strict parents, when I consider what that girl had been put through by the "caring" state professionals paid to look after her.
Here is the fatal flaw in all collectivist thinking; the reason why public service organisations are all more or less corrupt and can never fully be trusted. Here is the reason why Britain's public intellectuals are not merely gullible, idealistic, fools but a serious threat to our welfare.
All organisations funded by force are essentially immoral.
In their detachment from the relentless reality of having to satisfy customers and in their assurance that livelihoods do not depend upon that satisfaction, selfish, abusive behaviours will grow among their staff. Whether in care homes for the elderly, childrens homes, the Parliamentary expenses office, army barracks or police stations bad things will happen not by accident but flawed design. To be clear, I am not saying that public sector workers are all, or even mostly, evil or ill-intentioned. I am just saying that a disproportionate number of the lazy, greedy and wicked in any society will be attracted, as Savile was, to positions they are able to abuse. Nor am I saying there should be no public sector. I am not an anarchist. I accept the need for a state. But here is a strong argument for it to be kept to an absolute minimum.
There is a reason socialist states have always had to resort to prison camps and shootings to maintain discipline and reduce corruption in the ranks. At least, that is, within limits that don't threaten the corrupt gains of their ruling elites. In the absence of Stalinist discipline, what happened at the BBC - the way the collective closed ranks to protect an insider - is not a sad exception to the rule. It is the rule.
I have never smoked (apart from the occasional celebratory cigar). However I do not understand the current campaign to denormalise (or is it demonise?) those who enjoy a legal, if dangerous, pleasure. Lots of pleasures are dangerous. I never know why smokers choose bungee-jumping or mountaineering as examples when they want to make this point. Going for a walk is dangerous. So is sex. Most accidents happen at home, so we should probably all go out for a drive. Except that driving's dangerous too. Essentially life itself is dangerous and ultimately 100% fatal.
The plain packs project is a particularly dumb example of the campaign's tactics. For once even the police, who are normally enthusiastic about any initiative that brings them closer to the role of their Saudi Arabian colleagues the mutaween, are pointing out the assistance it will give to forgers and smugglers.
More sinister however is the insight it gives into how our modern "democracy" works. The campaign to resist a damaging new law is understandably led by the trade associations for the shop owners and the manufacturers of the products concerned. This is sneered at as interference in the democratic process, though it's a weird democracy where people are not permitted to speak up in their own interests as long as they are open about their funding so that a suitable discount can be applied to their views.
The campaign for the law, however, is paid for by the taxpayers - including those whose commercial interests are to be damaged, those whose freedoms are to be curtailed and those of us who simply don't want our tax money wasted on lobbying for more laws! And the Minister concerned has been so indiscreet in expressing his own views during a public consultation as to which he claims to have an open mind that the campaign group we are being forced at not-entirely-metaphorical gunpoint to fund is boasting of his support.
As Lenin said, the only question is Who? Whom? I am pretty sure I am among the Whoms here. And so are you. And the Who in this case is not a rock band, but a bunch of self-interested statists whose contempt for us is total.