THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
The limits of law
A new beginning

Goodbye and good luck

You cannot, as the man said, step in the same river twice. I was away from Britain for 20 years. The Britain I returned to was not the Britain I left. Even though I had visited often, kept in touch with friends and family and followed political developments assiduously while living abroad, it had changed in ways I had not grasped. Perhaps, to be fair, I had changed too.

To me, it now seems a strange, immoral place. For example, I read articles in The Guardian and The Times this week about the abolition of inherited wealth. The Economist also recently wrote about it. It did not even occur to any of these columnists that they were talking about the property of others. They did not create it. They did not inherit it. They have no just claim to it. Yet they have no moral concerns about proposing its seizure.

The vast majority of my fellow-citizens now have no ethical qualms about seizing any property that takes their fancy, as long as (with the exception of a few open criminals whose courage seems almost noble by comparison) they don't have to be violent themselves. Unlike their braver brothers, these cowardly thieves have outsourced their envy, greed and lust for violence to a state now seen as moral no matter what it does.

Political parties have dwindled, churches have lost all significance, charities have been subverted and institutions of "learning" are devoted to distortion. From all sides lobbyists demand that others work to fund their desires (and pay their wages to express them). The arts suckle at the state's teat and express little beyond a desire for "free" milk.

State might is now the only definition of what is right in Britain and democracy has nothing much to do with it. If a government were elected on a promise surgically to shorten the legs of the over tall, de-blubber the over-fat and euthanise the unduly long-lived would that justify those assaults and killings? Of course not. A mere majority vote cannot make wrongs right. This is no less true for robbery and enslavement than it is for battery or murder.

Until nationalisation at home and Communism abroad failed miserably, my fellow-Britons were - more or less - socialists. They now seem to be - more or less - fascists. They are content to leave capital with private individuals, provided that its use is directed (and its continued ownership licensed) by state power. Property rights now exist only at the whim of a state within which is all, outside which is nothing and which no-one can effectively oppose.

This is actual, not pejorative, fascism. It is clear that Britons now care far more about the elimination of "inequality" than they do about efficiency, justice or freedom. Day by day they make consistent choices to that effect. If I stay here, I must accept that my life is for others to direct in every key respect. I am free to choose only unless and until the state chooses "better" for me.

I have tried to make these points both here and face to face with people I meet in my everyday life. All I have achieved is an outward reputation for eccentricity and a powerful inward sense of alienation. As the next General Election approaches offering me no moral choices it is time, alas, to accept defeat.

Everything I might still want to say to you has been said better in this book and this one. I am wasting your time writing anything more than this heartfelt recommendation to read them.

Goodbye and good luck.