THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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June 2008

UK Libertarians in SL

Lpuk_meetingYesterday Bag and I had the idea of opening a UK Libertarian Party office in Second Life. "No sooner said than done, so acts your man of worth;" within a couple of hours we had clearance from the party's Director of Communications, I had identified premises, Bag had rented them and we had furnished and equipped the space in time for the Director's first visit (click image to enlarge).

I have no idea how many UK Libertarians there are in Second Life. I guess we shall find out. Thanks to Bag's generosity in paying the rent, there's really nothing to lose. For those of you who are already SL'ers, this link will take you right there.

Good news!

This past week has been an excellent one for me. Firstly Ms Paine the Elder achieved superb results in her second year exams at Cambridge University and won another academic prize. Secondly, the Labour Party lost its deposit at Henley, which I have hopes is just the beginning of the political extinction of the greatest internal enemy the British People ever had.

They say good news comes in threes. Years ago, as an impecunious young married lawyer in need of money for furniture I tearfully sold my pride and joy. During University and Law School I had a 1957 Wolseley 15/50 which became more than a car to me. It was manufactured in the month I was born and was a familiar sight in my home town as I grew up. It was usually parked outside church when I went to Sunday School as the lady who owned it often "took care of the flowers."

Some of my early memories were of another 15/50 that had been my father's first decent car. He and I became classic car enthusiasts when he bought the car for me. We restored it to such a condition that it won the 1950's section Concours d'Elegance at The Wolseley Register's National Rally in three consecutive years in the 1980s.

Wolseley_15_50_vt5112I have always regretted selling "the Emperor Justinian," as the car was known. Especially as it changed hands again soon after and all trace was lost. I have not known the car's fate for 20 years and had sadly presumed it to have gone to the great garage in the sky. I have just had news that it is safe, after years off the road, and is back in the hands of a Dutch enthusiast who has carried out a full restoration. I even have a recent picture (converted to left hand drive and registered in the Netherlands).

I know it's only metal, bakelite and red leather and that I should not be sentimentally attached to an object, but you can't imagine how delighted I am to know "the Emperor" is still alive and well.

Whose side are the police on?

Link: Frank McCourt, a former soldier, charged for makling a citizens arrest - Telegraph.

The linked story illustrates poignantly what has happened to our nation under Labour. There was a time when youths would have feared to act in such a way, because the local community would have dealt with them and the police would have exercised common sense. Common sense in this case would have rejected the allegation of kidnapping, which was clearly part of a malicious campaign. But "by the book" bureaucratic Britain requires that common sense is not applied. The allegation was made and must therefore be given credence. Worse, the bureaucracy incentivises the police to pick low-hanging fruit and win a quick statistic, rather than actually tackle the crime that makes many parts of the country unliveable.

Mr McCourt did his country as much service here as he did when he served as a soldier. He is patently a good man; the sort any country should be happy to have as a citizen. He is even - amazingly - still willing to fight, saying he would do the same thing again. His wife's reaction is more typical - and heart-rendingly sad

"If I had to go through that again," says Mrs McCourt, "I would walk out. I back Frank, but I just couldn't face it again." Forlornly, she eyes her home. "We have been left defenceless."

Who can blame her? The state is not there to direct peoples' lives. It is there to provide a framework of law within which they can direct their own. It is also there to protect citizens from criminals who interfere with their ability to do so. In this story, as in so many, it has done precisely the opposite. It has done so under the direction, and with the approval, of the Labour government.

I would like to be like Mr McCourt, but if I am honest I am more like his wife. I once made a citizen's arrest myself, but I would never do so again. I would not act to prevent a crime, nor to protect a fellow-citizen from criminal attack. I am white, male and middle class. I am already guilty in the eyes of our politicised police officers, who are conducting a class war on their political masters' behalf. Regretfully, I must (and do) avoid them at all costs. Mr McCourt's story proves that my prudence, much as I despise myself for it, is justified.

Police force removal of English flags

Link: Wonko’s World » Blog Archive » Police force EDP to remove English flags.

If, as alleged, she said of the Cross of St George “we don’t want that flag here in Henley,” then Henley's town clerk, Miss Jules Samuels, is a disgrace. May Nelson's shade keep her awake at night for the rest of her miserable existence. As she is an humble Town Clerk and not a "Chief Executive", we can safely assume that Henley is not a Labour Council. Indeed all the members seem to be either Conservatives or members of the allegedly apolitical, but not obviously totalitarian, "Henley Residents' Group" We expect nothing but attempts at tyrrany from our Leftist friends, but how can seemingly respectable folk allow an official to order the removal of their nation's flag?

If the Scots can fly the Saltire and the Welsh can fly the Red Dragon (as they are most welcome to do) then how in the name of justice and decency can a jobsworth busybody speak in such terms of England's flag? In the town's "Best value peformance plan for 2007/2008", Ms Samuels wrote:

Partnerships continue to develop and play an important role in ensuring that Henley-On-Thames is a pleasant and rewarding place to live. If you believe you can help the Town Council in some way, or that the Town Council can assist you or your group, please do not hesitate to make contact with the Town Council office, where you will be assured of a warm welcome

I strongly suggest that any residents of Henley reading this post make contact with her at the Town Council office immediately. You might wish to let her know that the English Nation is a "group" which would appreciate some "partnership" from Henley Council. Or perhaps you could suggest that Henley would be a "more rewarding place" if she were not its Town Clerk. If you prefer you can write to the Mayor of Henley, Councillor Mrs G M  Zakss at [email protected]The contact details of all the Council members are here.

Finally, how can honest men and women in the police force continue to accept such orders as they were given in this instance? Did they join the force to fight crime, or to suppress political dissent? Frankly, it is high time for Britain's police officers, soldiers, border guards and secret intelligence officers to ask themselves the question; "is my job now compatible with my conscience?" It would certainly no longer be compatible with mine. They are there to defend our liberties, not subvert them.

I have supported the police my whole life. I have even made citizen's arrests. But I would not have accepted the instructions of these officers without evidence of the conveniently obscure "by-law" cited. If, as seems quite possible, they interfered with the electoral process on the basis of a lie, these officers should now be dismissed and barred from public employment forever.

Brown's first anniversary marked with humiliating defeat

Link: Brown's first anniversary marked with humiliating defeat in Henley byelection | Politics |

Img_0150Britain's ruling party lost its deposit. It was beaten so soundly that only the Guardian could be optimistic enough to speak of Brown's "first anniversary" as if there might be a second. To hell with blogging. I am off to have a very big drink tonight. I shall sip my g&t looking out over the Moscow rooftops with renewed hope in my heart.

Not undemocratic; anti-democratic

When pro-EU friends smile ruefully or shrug their shoulders at the democratic deficit and blame it on a lack of engagement by the European electorate, show them this video. The leaders of the EU do not merely lack any sense of democratic accountability, they despise it.

The Commissioners and their lickspittles in this film stand in the same psychological relationship to the peoples of Europe as did our Norman masters to the English after the Conquest. They brim with lordly confidence in the superiority of their wisdom. They believe without question in their entitlement to power and privilege. The best of them see us as children to be nurtured. The worst of them see us as cattle. Their comments recorded here reek of feudal condescension.

By the way, did no-one tell the gentleman who took the non-sequitur to new heights when he spoke of...

Those on the Right who speak badly of Europe because they fear it. But social decline and fear always lead to fascism...

That using the reductio ad Hitlerum to damn his opponents by association is a tactic quite likely to backfire on him?

h/t England Expects via Old Holborn

The really curious journey

Link: Marina Hyde: In bed with the DUP? This is the really curious journey | Comment is free | The Guardian.

If I had doubts as to David Davis's campaign, this Grauniad piece removed them. He has succeeded in starting a genuine debate even in Labour's Pravda. Marina Hyde's attack on Andy Burnham could scarcely have been more virulent had it been written by a libertarian blogger. I only hope that there are free historians to write as she predicts.

"When the history of this unedifying period comes to be written, it will ... speak of a ruling elite that never engaged in debate where character assassination would do. I suppose we should be grateful that they're currently limiting the personal attacks to public figures like Chakrabarti, who are practised enough to take it, as opposed to the likes of David Kelly, who patently wasn't."

Quite so.

The Peoples' Republic of Northern England

Mr Paine the Elder having reached his 70th birthday, I am back in England for a family party tomorrow. I arrived as usual at the municipal Airport of a Northern city. As we arrived at immigration, we found post office style posts and tapes over the whole area, but no queue ahead. Nimbler passengers started to duck under the tapes. I simply opened them in a straight line and walked through. A uniformed jobsworth shouted at me to stop. Irritated, I carried on. At the front was the usual sorry crew of gum-chewing, insolent scruffs. Their crookedly-worn new FBI-style badges did nothing to lend them the Bureau’s style.

Tyrrany_tapeThe slouched, slovenly, baggy specimen of officialdom to whom I presented my passport asked me to remove it from its holder (to swipe it through an identical machine to that through which a polite and well-turned-out Russian had earlier swiped it in its holder). I said that, as she had asked politely (an exaggeration, but she did say “please”) I was happy to comply. She said, officiously that there were signs “back there” asking me to do that. I replied that she was wrong, There were signs “back there” ordering me to do that and I didn’t take orders from anyone. She said that they were “requests, not orders”. I pointed out that, as they were in the imperative voice, she was wrong. She plainly had no idea what that meant. She rolled her eyes and said “whatever”. Persisting, I said it was not a matter of “whatever” but a matter of grammar. She plainly had no idea what that meant either. Rolling her eyes even more theatrically, she simply slouched and chewed her gum with her mouth even wider open.

These people are out of control. They are our servants, but they think we exist to obey them. The young official who moronically “whatevered” me has served her whole career under an increasingly authoritarian regime. How can she have any concept of proper behaviour for a public servant in a democratic society? 20 years ago, I would have said her attitude belonged in Communist China. Having recently crossed that country’s border in less time and with smiling words of welcome from a clean and well-dressed young official when the formalities had been courteously concluded, I now know that would have been an injustice.

David Davis’s campaign has begun some 10 years too late. I hope he achieves a spectacular result in his by-election. I hope he unites voters across the political spectrum who despise the authoritarianism of New Labour. I also hope that, as Home Secretary in the next government, Mr Davis will purge our immigration service completely. Only total de-Baathification will now do.

Are UK Immigration authorities racist...

... or is rape a less serious offence than insider dealing? Or perhaps UK law enforcers simply like soft targets? Or maybe the people planning to meet one American visitor are less likely to vote Labour than those planning to meet the other one? Or perhaps they care less about the safety of Glaswegians than Londoners?

Compare and contrast and then please, please tell me a more favourable way to interpret this. I hate it when the BNP links to my posts and I fear this will be one they like. But then I also hate it when I find myself fearing to post something because the BNP might link to it. It makes me feel so very unlike a freeborn, outspoken, Englishman.

MarthaMike Miss Stewart and Mr Tyson are equally recognisable. Neither could melt easily into into British society. Both are very wealthy and therefore equally unlikely to end up as members of our multi-million army of the "economically inactive". So on what basis can these two decisions be distinguished?

Surely the only sensible criteria are (a) their potential threat to our citizenry, and (b) the danger of their repeating their offences here? As to threat, I would rather bump into Martha in a dark alley after closing time than Mike - not (before any passing BNP members get excited) because of the respective colours of their skins but because of their known propensities for violence. As to the risk of repeat offending, let's assume it's equal for argument's sake. Are we really more afraid of shareholders being unfairly disadvantaged than of women being raped? Or of any of the other crimes in Mr Tyson's past being repeated?

Here, in the interests of fairness, are the details of Martha Stewart's crimes. You judge.