THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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May 2010

Drawing a (dotted) line

Until the Great Writ of habeas corpus runs again in the land that conceived it; until the presumption of innocence applies once more and "suspect" means only what the dictionary says; until the right of silence applies again, I cannot promise not to write here. But a line has to be drawn, at least for a while.

I can say nothing useful until the coalition government has had the chance to make those changes and many more. So far, they have spoken and written fair words, but handsome is as handsome does and they have already one very black mark against their name. I cannot quite believe that they have already used the very "control orders" (house arrests of innocents) whose introduction to Britain inspired me to start this blog.

As it happens, there are also changes in my own life I must deal with. Great, sad changes that make blogging - at least for a while - seem a very paltry thing. So forgive me if I fall silent for a while.

I have a new name for my pain

uknn: Now independent thinkers are considered diseased by psychiatry.

I am suffering from "oppositional defiant disorder," apparently. But it could be worse.

Children who exhibit unique eccentricities in accordance with their unique personalities, in general, would be categorized as having a mental illness. If this criteria had been used in past centuries to diagnose illness, there may have never been people like Mozart or Einstein who ventured outside the norm and came up with new or unique ideas.

Washington Post article captured the essence of this concept perfectly in the following quote:

"If seven-year-old Mozart tried composing his concertos today, he might be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and medicated into barren normality."


Motoring peace, cease-fire or truce?

Coalition will "end war on the motorist", Transport Secretary pledges - Telegraph.

This is a wonderful time for the optimist. New ministers set out their stalls in a positive light, saying the things we want to hear and - possibly - setting us up for disappointment.

One reason I may never return to Britain is that it is such a miserable place to drive. It is under provided with roads and bedevilled by speed cameras. The latter are a tax not a safety measure. They cause more accidents than they prevent, because they distract motorists from the job in hand. The speed limits were set in the days of the Morris Minor and take no account of the fact that a modern car can stop in the same distance from a higher speed than such a car could from 30mph.

In short, the British authorities' attitude to motoring is both puritanical and grasping.

I am no boy racer. I am a guy in my 50s with a clean licence and (touch wood) a good safety record. When the Maserati Corse team tried to teach me how to drive hard on a track, they couldn't overcome the safety reflexes instilled by 30+ years of staying alive behind the wheel. All I want is to have reasonable discretion in the use of my car on terms that I take responsibility for any mistakes I may make.

The test of the new Minister's seriousness is this; will he resist the special pleading of the puritanical single issue fanatic who will whine at him to "think of the children?" Or will he accept that accidents happen, people are best taking responsibility for themselves and that no-one wants children (or anyone else) to die?

Watch this space.

Camera, Cameron, Cameraout

City of London security guards told to report 'suspicious' photographers | UK news | The Guardian.

Under Labour's illiberal regime, cameras  - ludicrously - became suspicious objects at the same time as they became ubiquitous. I always have at least three with me (two on mobile phones and one "real" compact). At a weekend, I might also have my full SLR kit, as photography is my hobby. Dangerously, at least when I am in Britain, cityscapes are my favourite subject.

It is ridiculous to regard photography as a dangerous activity and (as there's no legal basis for the harassment that is now commonplace) it's easy for the Home Office just to tell the police to stop it. For the first time in 13 years, there are grounds for optimism that a Home Secretary might do the right thing.

Well, Theresa? This seems like low-hanging fruit to me.

For you, Mr Brown, the war is over...

This resignation is the real thing. Ding dong. Brown has been a low plotter and a vicious bully since his days in university politics. He is a man with a deluded sense of entitlement to power. The only open question is whether he has a warped moral sense or is a total hypocrite. I suspect the latter. Despite his infuriating (and ultimately self-destructive) claim to a superior moral compass, I believe he is not (like most of us occasionally, despite our best efforts) merely immoral, but actively amoral.


Now watch the left/liberal spin machine rehabilitate his reputation. John Major was a political failure, but is now a "statesman"; wheeled out on important occasions to lend "gravitas". If it can be done for him - a man who should be remembered only for abolishing the right to silence and launching the assault on liberty continued with such vigour by Labour  - it can be done for Brown. That would be hard to stomach.

There is still an outside chance (and here readers will say I am a foolish optimist) that he may do his country some good. If he can't let go of his sense of entitlement, despite having no hope of playing any active part, he may fall into the destructive role played by Edward Heath in the Thatcher years. John Major and Neil Kinnock, losers both, have at least had the sense to avoid that. Brown, however, will probably be well up for it. He could serve the nation immensely by undermining his left/liberal successors at every turn. Particularly if he continues to use smears as he did - through henchmen - throughout his career.

The problem with this happy thought is that, whereas the media were happy to facilitate Heath's sabotage, they will be less willing to help Brown. While some immediate practical action against the left/liberal bias of the media is possible (e.g. bankrupting the Guardian by cutting the government advertising on which it survives) the problem needs to be addressed at its roots - in the universities. The new government has fierce economic fires to fight. It may fall (as Margaret Thatcher did) into the classic leadership error of prioritising the urgent over the important. In all the cuts that must be made however, there will be ample opportunity to close the madrassas of the Left, entirely dependent as they are on state funding.

Who would notice amidst all the pain to come if funding for all but genuine academic disciplines at universities was slashed? Would the howls of the sociologists, political scientists etc. even be heard above those of front line public sector workers? Would any parents protest if the school curriculum was thoroughly de-politicised as part of spending cuts, refocusing resources on academic subjects? Please note, I am not advocating replacing left-wing propaganda with any other variety. I am advocating political neutrality in state education, which used to be taken for granted.

The poisonous priests of the Left in education have a fatal weakness. They are constitutionally incapable of making an honest living in pursuit of their "craft." Most couldn't even find a publisher without the status conferred by their academic titles. Denied a parasitical existence, some might even be redeemed by honest labour. Cut their subsidies and they are history. Continue to fund them however and they will rewrite history.

Blair famously (and dishonestly) promised to be "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime." Cameron should be tough on the consequences of leftism; tough on the causes of leftists.

Resigned to what?

Gordon Brown to resign: full text of his statement - Telegraph

I read the reports of Gordon Brown's "resignation" this morning with some amusement. In business when we resign, we hand over our responsibilities and walk away. More often than not, the "resignation" is a polite fiction to conceal that we have been fired. That is not quite what has happened here is it? The only sign that Brown has any real understanding of the election outcome is in this passage;

The reason that we have a hung Parliament is that no single party and no single leader was able to win the full support of the country. As leader of my party, I must accept that that is a judgement on me. I therefore intend to ask the Labour Party to set in train the processes needed for its own leadership election. I would hope that it would be completed in time for the new leader to be in post by the time of the Labour Party conference.

There is intent there, certainly, but intentions can change. If the deal with the Liberal Democrats (and the assorted fellow travellers they would need) can't be made, what then? The conference is not until the Autumn. Until then, Brown is not handing over to his deputy and going to Scotland on "gardening leave," "to spend more time with his family," or even "to pursue other interests." He is going to lead the country as Prime Minister and lead the Labour Party.

He goes on to say that the British People;

...want us to continue to pursue the economic recovery, and I will do so with my usual vigour and determination...

Vigour and determination are wonderful qualities, but only if applied to good ends. The Kray Twins, for example, were much noted for their vigour and determination. The Labour Party has vigorously and determinedly driven the nation into beggary. I loved the fact that The Guardian reported markets fell on news of his "resignation," as if even the wicked capitalists thought it a bad thing. At no other time in Brown's career, even when people and press were fooled by his Humpty Dumpty like redefinition of profligacy as "prudence," would the markets have trembled at his demise. They fell on fear of more Labour, not less Brown.

So Mr Brown is going months from now, perhaps. Between now and then, anything can happen. For all the grave-dancing in the excitable blogosphere, it's far too soon to celebrate. Not that celebration is at all appropriate neck-deep in the mess of debt in which Labour, true to historic form, has mired us. While the supreme proof of the mediocrity of Labour's apparatus is that Brown could rise as he did, the Labour Party is an evil in itself, not because it's led by him.

There was no hope of a positive result from this election. The only good outcome would have been the destruction of Labour. It didn't happen. It bred its client vote parasites on the body politic to such numbers, that it was simply not possible. Those blood-suckers are not even dimly aware that their future depends on the health of their host animal. So, while the politicians bicker over titles and ministerial Jaguars, the fight for our nation's survival is still on.

Scotland vs England

Election 2010: Scotland saw through the English public schoolboys | UK news |

The BNP is on the wane, but its spirit lives in Scotland. We knew the Scots were not fond of us, but who knew it was this bad? McKenna's piece is probably criminal, given the extent to which it incites the English to hate his fellow Scots. Not to worry. Spare yourself the cost of a lawyer, laddie. We are not the whingeing, easily-offended types. We have been hated by far better men than you, McKenna, and thrived.

You ask if Scotland and England have ever been farther apart. Aye, laddie. We have been at war far more times than you like selectively to remember. Usually with England's deadliest enemies as your allies, and you their dupes. It only ended when you bankrupted yourselves in a vain attempt to emulate us and came crawling to be bailed out. Of course, it's all forgotten now - South of the Border - but if you want to write fetid stuff like this...

I also detected a mounting fury among Scots voters at what they regarded as a very English election and the viciousness of the vendetta that was mounted against Gordon Brown. We believe that we share with him a sense of rectitude not apparent in louche England.

At times during this election he was like a dancing bear tethered to a wall and suffering the little torments of the mob. Many hearts bled for him, even those who had not previously been well-disposed to him. may expect even the relaxed English to remember their history. "Louche" are we? My dictionary defines that as:

disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way

I don't deny we have our black sheep, but I think you can give us a run for our money in the "disreputable and sordid" stakes. Good luck with the "appealing" part though.

By the way, no wonder you are so catastrophically stupid in your political judgements. You can't even distinguish pompous hypocrisy from rectitude. We don't hate him for being Scots, you ass. We hate him for bankrupting our country while (rather like you in this article) pretending to be our moral superior. We shall feel free to hate you, however, for thinking us as petty, tribal and class-ridden as yourself.

Before you get on your moral high sheep, please bear in mind that you have imposed a government on us we do not want - and not for the first time. Bear in mind also that we are well aware you have the irresponsible luxury to do it because a mere 163,000 of you are net contributors to the national Treasury. The rest of you are serpent-toothed ingrates, as you and your fathers have been since the Acts of Union they grovelled for. You tell us that;

An economic recovery programme that targets the public sector and thus the poorest and most vulnerable will strain the union to breaking point.

I have never read a more high-toned piece of self-serving pompous tosh in my life (and I am a regular reader of the Guardian!) You are hopelessly out of date if you think we give a drunken ghillie's fart for the Union. We are all for anything that will promote the Scottish non-dependence you bang on about, but never actually want. Face it laddie. You want to leave the Union as much as a flea wants to leave a dog.

Be off with you. Found your Socialist Republic. Try not to be shocked when the United Kingdom you have left vetoes your application to join the EU. After all, why should we let you continue your parasitism by other means? The best of luck bleeding white those poor, isolated 163,000! You might have to nail them to their office floors to do it. It might even be amusing, before the borders are closed, to offer them political asylum.

Perhaps that would even be the kindest thing to do? After all, it's about the only way you will ever learn to stand on your own feet and stop blaming everything on us.

What have we learned?

Have we learned much from this election? We already knew that, for most people, voting is about fear of worse not hope for better. We already knew that - for all the election time flattery about the wisdom of the people - most voters are political and economic imbeciles. We knew that, even though our government is borrowing 20 pence of every pound it spends, there is no national appetite for prudence. No candidates were ready to look us in the eye and say this can't go on. No candidates were ready (for fear of being thought "negative") to point to the markets jittering at every opinion poll and tell the truth that there is a limit to national credit. No-one was even putting forward a plan to reduce debt. The arguments were about when to start slowing the rate at which it increases. The economic debate stank to high heaven of irresponsibility, as the politicians peddled their old, powerful lie of "something for nothing".

We already knew that so few people care about habeas corpus, jury trial, the presumption of innocence, policing by consent or even respect for privacy or freedom of choice that these were not election issues. The parties banged on about what they could do for us if elected. What they could spend on us. They talked about tax credits, benefits, "investment" in education and health - all without any word about the cost or who would bear it. Except, of course, for the evil "rich". All three main parties despise those guys, yet all also seem convinced of their loyalty, patriotism and generosity. If you based your opinion on what politicians expect of the rich, rather on how they speak of them, you might think them wonderful.

Nor was there talk of reforming a "democracy" in which the Conservatives' electoral failure would, for Labour, have been a triumph. No-one mentioned the iniquities of a system that allows a Scottish led Labour Party to bribe Scots with English gold into imposing a socialist system for which the English did not vote.

No-one was promising to end the sickening waste of human potential involved in a state education system more Marxist than any ever implemented in the Soviet Union. No-one even hinted at a plausible plan for weaning corrupted millions from state dependence.

The outcome could scarcely have been worse. While the politicians squabble over their dunghills, the decisive economic action we need will never be taken and the cost, when it is finally forced upon us, mounts. This unstable situation will not last. We are stuck in a permanent election where no question is too dangerous to be ignored. The electorate has voted for denial.

The political mould was not broken. The number of Liberal Democrat MPs fell. They are now reduced to political whoredom, pimped by their lightweight leader. The Labour core vote - incredibly - held. I cannot imagine what Labour would have to do to a Glaswegian, Geordie or Liverpudlian before he would stop voting for them, but I am pretty sure - if filmed - it would get an "18" certificate. The Tories sold their souls, but the Devil cheated them of their price. If a two constituency sample is anything to go by, it seems that Britain has about 65,000 Libertarians. Even if all well-armed and fighting fit (and most of us are neither) it's barely enough for a coup d'etat, let alone an electoral breakthrough.

It seems the British people will sleep until external forces wake them from the childish dreams which comprise their political thought. They will believe in "something for nothing" until economic realities take that something away, a la Grecque. So much for the voice of the people then. We will hear the voice of money now. Don't expect it to sing lullabies.