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Tory Zac Goldsmith admits he is a non-dom

Tory Zac Goldsmith admits he is a non-dom - Times Online.

Another headline lusciously loaded with malevolent meaning. An "admission" carries the unspoken connotation of guilt, as in this headline we shall sadly never see;

"Labour Gordon Brown admits whole life warped by envy" 

Labour has not learned from Crewe & Nantwich. How could it? It is a party founded on an ideology of class hatred. "New" Labour's only real political innovation has been to create new classes of people to hate. They have added spice and variety to the embittered vocabulary of Leftist hate speech, but they still relish attacking their traditional foes; the successful, the prudent and their heirs. Unless of course, like Tony Benn in his day and the Milliband brothers in ours, they are Labour too. Their family trusts and tax structuring (not to mention their dynastic tendencies) are perfectly fine, of course.

The quality of political debate in Britain drives me to despair. The blogosphere has not really helped in that respect. Given the regularity with which classical liberals are venomously smeared and ridiculed in the mainstream media, it's perhaps not surprising that, given an outlet by blogging, some sought to give as good as they get. Not surprising, but disappointing. It has escalated the war of insults, which increasingly alienates reasonable people from political life, leaving the field to bruisers and back-stabbers.

Much as I enjoy his blogging and recognise the wit behind his delicate use of foul language, I worry about the election of Chris Mounsey of Devil's Kitchen fame as the new leader of the Libertarian Party. I know, like and respect Chris, but I feel he has queered his political pitch with his blogging. Not only will we, his readers, now lose the original (and best) swearblog, but his past writings (of which he has every reason to be proud) will give his opponents every excuse selectively to lower the tone of debate even further.

A recent casualty of the declining standard of public discourse is Anna Raccoon, who has thrown in the towel at her popular blog. I enjoyed her writing very much, but I also enjoy the writing of the gentlemen who stand accused (not by her, but by some or her readers) of "bullying" her into silence. I always enjoyed (though I often disagreed with) both blogs; while always knowing I would prefer to have lunch with Anna.

In her parting post, she wrote;

It seems to me that the world of blogging is fuelled by petty jealousies, vitriol, feuds, unsubstantiated allegations, apostrophe police, and a whole host of people who in another age would have been happy twitching their curtains and writing letters in green ink. I have watched in horror as several new forums have descended into a cesspool of hatred and nastiness, and you know what? I got up this morning and decided that I just didn’t have the energy any more, or the thick skin, to do it any longer.

Save as to the thinness of her skin, as to which she is best able to judge, she is quite wrong. There are many corners of the political blogosphere where civilised debate is attempted. Her bitter words will help mainstream politicians and journalists build their dismissive stereotype of bloggers. As if the professions that spawned Lord Mandelson and Alistair Campbell had any moral standing to criticise.

A sad week then. One more reasonable voice falls silent, enemies of libertarians are licensed by the party to call us all c***s, and the political charlatans mob the toff de jour as if it were still the 1950s. I have been both poor and prosperous in my life and I can't correlate the contents of my bank account to my wisdom or morality at the time. The only remarkable part of Zac Goldsmith's story is, though even better placed than Anna to kick back and enjoy life, he is prepared to give up his non-dom status to become an MP.

Even those who envy his wealth certainly can't fault the man's enthusiasm.


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Young Mr. Brown

"The LPUK has to become a party of radicals, we have to take risks."

I suppose that you are right. For if there is one thing worse than Chris having the words of his blog quoted back at him ad nauseum, it is for him to be ignored.


I entirely agree with your assessment of Chris and will support him as leader. He's an intelligent guy and will have realised all this himself. I wish him luck. I merely observe that politics is a nasty game. His words from his blog are going to be quoted back at him until he is tired of them.


As I proposed Chris for Leader I would to explain why, I proposed a man of great talent who could easily secure a more established route to political influence, however I prefer somebody who would rather say publish and be damned, than come out with banal platitudes that pass for politics these days then slide the knife in the shoulder blades.

The LPUK has to become a party of radicals, we have to take risks. I know both the 'gentlemen' and Anna, herding cats is not easy, especially those who hold passionate views.

Young Mr. Brown

Another interesting and thoughtful post, Tom.

I'm particularly interested that you wrote: "I worry about the election of Chris Mounsey ... as the new leader of the Libertarian Party. I know, like and respect Chris, but I feel he has queered his political pitch with his blogging. "

You know, I wondered if I was the only person who thought that.

He is hugely able, but I must confess that I feel that it will do the credibility of the party no good at all to have a leader who has publicly called pretty well every major figure in British public life a @#&%ing *@#$.

On the other hand, perhaps we don't have enough credibility to make it worth worrying about.



There is a whole area of study to cover how these politicians, and other wordsmiths like the media and barristers twist what they say while mostly technically telling the truth.

I don't mean statistics and just plain lies.

I am talking about semantics.


the successful, the prudent and their heirs

Nicely put.

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