THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
What libertarianism isn't
Faces of fear amuse the Guardianisti

I wish I had said that...

Spare Me – and Walter Williams – Your Self-Serving and Insulting Sermonizing

...because I have often thought it.

I respect ordinary thieves much more than I respect politicians. Ordinary thieves take my money without pretense. Unlike typical politicians, these thieves don’t bore me with silly explanations of why their thievery is for the greater good. Nor do ordinary thieves insult my intelligence by proclaiming that they’ll use the money that they steal from me to make my life better than I would have made my life had my money not been swiped from me.
Don't get Professor Williams or me wrong. For my part, I hate criminals. I want fewer laws partly because the ones that matter - against violence and fraud - could then be enforced more vigorously. Criminals have stolen from us not just our property, but the sense of personal security I remember growing up. No-one locked their doors in our street, because no-one had to. How many of us feel as safe in our own homes today?

But at least, as Professor Williams points out (and as I experienced directly when I practised criminal law) thieves don't ask to be respected by their victims. In this respect, they are more honest than politicians.

It is possible to be a decent politician if you go into it to get the state off people's backs and are able - in the face of all the temptations on offer to the masters of a state spending half what its citizens earn, to remain true to that purpose. Margaret Thatcher was one such, but then look what a revealing rage she inspired in regular politicians.

h/t the most excellent Café Hayek