THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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November 2011

October 2011

RIP Steve

Tributes to Steve Jobs | Technology | The Guardian.

Steve Jobs managed to live just two years longer than Mrs Paine. Cancer cut him down in the end though his wealth gave him unrestricted access to the best medical care in the world. I feel for his family today. They will feel that all their wealth and all their luck is in vain. I hope they will soon be able to look back with gratitude on a life lived well and thoroughly.

He was a business genius and - like all despised businessmen - did more good than any do-gooders. He was not really a technologist at all. Unlike his geeky competitors, he loved not the hardware or software, but what it could do and how well - if beautifully designed - it could enhance our lives. He made the world a better place, while making his partners, employees and family richer. This video is the closest he got to articulating what motivated him.


He was lucky, not because he was rich, but because he found what he loved to do. It's instructive that wealth can't buy you health and safety, but it's encouraging that you don't need it to be lucky. Passion, love and family life are available to all, rich and poor. 'Don't settle'. It's good advice.

RIP Steve.

The Boy King's Speech

Conservative Party conference 2011: David Cameron's speech in full - Telegraph.

I could quibble about some of his sentiments; on the importance of government leadership for example, but essentially I agree with every word of David Cameron's conference speech. The problem is I don't believe he does. At least, he lacks the will to make it happen. The Conservative Party, as presently constituted and led, is a dog with no fight. It's a poodle of the liberal left. It might yap irritatingly occasionally, but it's never going to bite them and - most of the time - it wants them to stroke it.

The Conservative Party used to be the political rotweiler of Britain. It was an election-winning machine; a mass movement - and the most important dating agency of the middle classes. It was the largest political party in Scotland (can you imagine?!) and was briefly, under Margaret H. Thatcher, an intellectual hotbed. Sir Keith Joseph (a far better man than our leftist historians will ever admit) had the Centre for Policy Studies shaping national thought for a while. Those were the only times in my life when I had hope for our country's future.

I was never really a Tory though. I don't hunt or shoot, never wear tweed and feel no need to be paternalistic to the poor. I have no desire to tell other adults (unless and to the precise extent that they threaten person or property) what to do with their lives. I didn't give a damn if Cecil Parkinson bonked his secretary, any more than Margaret did. Once I got past my Che Guevara and Mao Zedong-worshipping teenage years (give me a break, it could have been drugs) it seems I was always a classical liberal.

The Conservative Party was only welcoming to the likes of us under Margaret. Daniel Hannan and other sound thinkers now look like Jews in Woody Allen's unkindest caricature of a 1950s country club. I admire their gall and persistence in joining, but frankly what do they hope to achieve? I don't think Mr Hannan has anything more in common with David Cameron's thinking (as opposed to his rhetoric) than with Gordon Brown's.

We need a Broad Right alliance in this country. The BBC's hysteria today about the suggestion people should pay off their credit cards (more sensible advice than which is scarce possible to conceive) suggests that the prudent are dangerously close to becoming an enslaved minority. They can't afford to be divided.

The likes of Dan Hannan are widely respected within UKIP and libertarian circles, for example. They could broker, if not a merger with the Conservatives, at least an electoral pact. The Eurosceptics have been proved right in the most convincing manner. The Tory hush puppy tendency of woolly-thinking wets are as weak as they have ever been since Thatcher's day. Now is the hour, for the good of the nation, to give the electoral quietus to Labour; the greatest divider of communities, destroyer of wealth and pimp to failure and degradation in our country's history. For David Cameron never spoke truer words than when he said;

We must never let these Labour politicians anywhere near our economy again.

If only he had the manhood truly to believe that could be achieved, it just might be.