THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
A revenue problem or a spending problem?
Limiting the power of government - money [Guest post by Mark]

In what mad world?

BBC News - Real IRA man's family to be compensated.

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.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Wow. I am pretty sure the UK Government could not organise policing, courts and state compensation bureaucracy at a price to compete with that. Thanks for the info. 


In the US, car insurance isn't compulsory in New Hampshire, Virginia, and Mississippi. And in some states where it is compulsory, Tennessee for example, plenty of people don't bother with it.

The last time I checked, getting uninsured driver protection added about $20-$50 a year to the cost of insurance.


It would be interesting to analyse the relative costs of the current system (where premiums are loaded to cover uninsured drivers and taxes are loaded to provide enforcement of compulsory insurance laws and compensation to victims of uninsured drivers' negligence) and a system where no-one was required to insure themselves when they drove, but accepted the risk themselves, insuring according to their needs.

Respectable people of moderate means - i.e. those worth suing - would insure anyway from self-interest. If they overlooked the premium and let it lapse, then they at least wouldn't end up financially penalised or in gaol so would be around and have all their income available to pay compensation - outright or in instalments - and curse their absent mindedness.

The very wealthy might not bother (rather like the Saudi princelings driving Lamborghinis around Knightsbridge at present). If you are lucky enough to be hit by one of those, he will buy your silence at present. Absent compulsory insurance, I guess he would just compensate you properly without the bribe. It can't be an argument for a system that it promotes crime from which you might benefit!

Underclass members with no reputation to lose and no aspirations to better themselves would still probably not insure. So there would be no need to load the premiums more for those two groups. The only question is whether the necessary loading to cover people who are only currently insuring under legal compulsion would be greater than the tax saved.

Bear in mind that the tax saved would not just be from the operational costs of the scheme but the capital costs of accommodation and equipment for the bureaucrats applying it and of course their wages and unfunded pensions (and those of the tax men no longer required to collect it, or the policemen required to pursue uninsured drivers).

In the UK the problem is that such analyses are only ever carried out by public servants who have a direct conflict of interest with taxpayers, or left-wing academics who have at least an indirect one - and are often funded by force themselves. To get to a freer society, we are going to need some institutions that are capable of doing unbiased research.

Those should have been the universities of course, but most in Britain have been fully captured by the State and set to work to justify its power. When one ponders an issue like this, one can see why.


Yes.. should we be compelled to have insurance?


I suppose the point is, if we all had to buy insurance, against other uninsured people, in effect, law abiding drivers will *still be paying* the cost for the non-law abiding ones. Each individual would however have an opt-out clause - on the other hand if sufficiently large numbers of people actually choose to opt out, the whole edifice would collapse...


Absolutely - what Tom Said.

Mark, A connected question you don't touch on. What should be done with the uninsured driver? I guess it must be known who they are as you know they are uninsured.


He should have sued the person who caused the harm. You may say that the person, being an uninsured driver, was probably not worth suing. That's true but that risk is itself insurable. If your cousin was not prepared to take such risks, he should have insured himself or, if he was a minor, his family should have insured him. It is a sad thing and I am sorry for him, but creating and staffing a bureaucratic apparatus to extort money by force in order to provide such cover at the expense of others is not a legitimate use of the state's dangerous monopoly power.


My cousin received "life changing injuries" when an uninsured driver running a red light hit him at speed.
He recieved compensation, funded, by force, from law-abiding drivers.

What should have happened?


If the state causes an injury through some action or by it's negligence is it right that the injured party be able to seek redress, say to sue the state?

Surely if the sate were to be negligent I should be able to sue for damages, just liike I could an individual?

Is this a situation where the state claims it has an ability/duty to protect and if someone suffers injury because the state does not protect then it must concede some compensation?

I am not saying it is right for it to claim that, just that is the logic.


Millions of wrongs do not make one wrong right. The Pope could not put it better!

The comments to this entry are closed.