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

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Who serves whom?

We don't call them police forces any more. That's too explicit an acknowledgement of their role as the enforcers of our all-powerful state. Policing, God help us, is now a 'service'.

The question is; whom do our policemen serve? Is it us, the public, or the political class that guarantees their unfunded pensions from the incomes of taxpayers yet unborn? If, as they claim, it's the public, why does it sometimes feel they are serving us in the agricultural sense; as a bull serves a heifer?

Ordinary people don't believe the official crime figures because they don't accord with our experience. For years the Establishment line has been that the figures are accurate but that our fear of crime is the problem. We are neurotic and should be more trusting of our benevolent masters. Yeah right.

PC James Patrick, an analyst with the Metropolitan Police 'service' recently gave evidence to a House of Commons committee that the figures are improperly manipulated by senior officers to make police performance look better. He said

Things were clearly being reported as burglaries and then you would rerun the same report after there had been a human intervention, a management intervention, and these burglaries effectively disappeared in a puff of smoke.

How embarrassing for the political class that has used the rigged numbers to assure us it's doing its job of public protection! It seems our 'neurotic' belief that they were feathering their own nests while not giving a flying expletive about us except as sources of feathers was well-founded.

I have been waiting with interest for the state's response to this revelation. And, the Alistair Campbell approved interval for the story to die down having elapsed, here it comes. The Times reports this morning that PC Patrick has been placed on 'restricted duties' and forbidden to speak to public or media. The whistleblower has received his usual reward.

So that's clear then. Lying to make the state look good is fine. The public has no right to know the truth about the performance of the police service it is forced to fund. The career of any public-spirited person with a sense of duty and honour is unlikely to advance in the Met. In marked contrast to that of an officer who heads a botched operation that blows the head off an innocent man, for example.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along now please or you might just find yourself being served.


Left, Right, Wrong

The traditional political division into 'left' and 'right' must be used with caution. For much of Europe 'right-wing' refers to nationalist authoritarians seeking to impose traditional values on society at large. I would be uncomfortable in such company. No right-winger on the Continent and few in America would share my stance on what they would call 'social issues' and I would call 'none of your damned business.'

The 'good guys' of Continental Europe are usually called Liberals. The bad guys of American politics have made that glorious name unusable in English. In their constant gee whizz quest for euphemism, our American cousins have made a cuss-word out of a formerly-useful term. They do that a lot. How little of a life would you have to have to keep up with American fashion on what to call a black man or a red indian, for example? 

These labels matter more than they should. Serious political debate is of interest only to a minority. Most voting decisions are made on impressions rapidly formed by the free use of labels as either praise or abuse. How many voters analysed what Tony Blair meant by 'New Labour' for example? They simply thought of themselves as left, hated the mess Old Labour had made and welcomed a new brand they weren't embarrassed to be associated with.

For my part, I hate the Labour Party as I hate the very devil. Indeed I suspect Old Nick would make better company than any socialist and might actually have better intentions. Yet I hate the fact that saying so makes most Brits label me as what I am emphatically not; a Tory. I am, in truth, a Liberal. I happen to know from personal experience that there are gallant members of the Liberal Democratic Party in Britain still clinging to the true meaning of the L word, but they are out-numbered by leftists too snobbish (and who can blame them) to be in the same party as John Prescott. So the label I use in my head is no use in the wider world.

The conversations in my primary school playground were conducted in a higher register and exchanged far more complex information than most political 'debates' that make a difference to voting intentions. In the Labour heartlands where I grew up, calling someone a "Tory [Anglo-Saxon expletive of choice]" was all it needed to win an argument. I have never lived in a Conservative constituency until recently, and judging by the copies of the Guardian in evidence around here, I doubt it will remain one long. Perhaps there are Tory Shires where one could similarly raise the tribal flag to end all discussion? I don't know.

It's pointless to be a purist about this and dismiss the use of 'left' and 'right' altogether. They carry an emotional weight that cannot be denied. Just as every Brit knows which side he would have been on in the Civil War, he knows if he is left or right, often with an unjustified prefix of 'Centre-" to make himself feel moderate. It would be great to have more accurate labels, but we don't.

The easy route to explain my position to my fellow citizens is to say that I am socially-liberal and fiscally-conservative, but that doesn't tell the truth either. 'Social liberals' in Britain are highly illiberal. They are more like authoritarian Continental Christian Democrats in seeking to impose moral orthodoxy. Why, for example, was I expected to pay tribute to a dead foreign Communist before Fulham FC's game against Aston Villa yesterday? No similar tribute was offered when Margaret Thatcher died and rightly so. But a darling of the 'social-liberals' must apparently be lauded, however disgusting his political views.

For another current example, it's not enough that you don't give a damn who shags Tom Daley. They expect you to 'be supportive;' to 'ooh' and 'aah' sympathetically and tell him how 'brave' he is. If someone in my immediate circle is gay and wants to introduce me to his or her partner, I will buy them both a drink. If I liked him or her before the news, I will after (and will try to like the partner too). It's my business because I am a relative or friend and I need to know their situation so as to welcome their new partner into our family or group of friends. The sexual preferences of people outside my circle, however, are properly a matter of indifference.

Genuine liberals don't give a public damn what you consider to be right or wrong as long as you don't impose it on others. We only want laws to limit physical or economic aggression. As to the rest, go to it with a will and take all the consequences yourself. We afford you the tolerance we expect of you, but we don't demand or offer approval of private choices. The clue is in the adjective, 'private.' So don't be so needy. Shut up and get on with it. We will think what we please, to the extent that we become aware, and will factor it in in deciding whom to drink with or give the time of day to. Feel free to do likewise.

The right-wing and left-wing in Britain share a disgusting desire to shape thoughts and private preferences by law. They seek to pull in different directions. It's the pull I mostly resent. If they are of the Right seeking to reinforce traditional Christian views of marriage, they insult their God by thinking He needs the feeble help of Earthly powers to enforce His Divine will. If they are of the Left seeking to suppress the expression of 'inappropriate' opinion on Twitter, then they should have more trust in the ability of 'the people' to deal with such matters informally. Both expose the feebleness of their views by doubting their eventual triumph without misuse of law. Law is a blunt, violent instrument. It is not a teaching aid.

If you have a need for approval from strangers, I suggest you get professional help. You may think that's harsh but on the other hand, if you leave me to make my own life choices, I will happily take no interest in yours. Furthermore, I am remarkably unlikely to preach to you. Most likely, I will offer you no opinions on any subject not affecting my family's interests unless you are my friend and you ask me.

Does that make me right-wing or left-wing? You choose.


Voltaire's wisdom forgotten

BBC News - 'Troll' Gordon Mullen sentenced over April Jones web abuse.

It's hard to like Gordon Mullen. He posted nasty remarks on Facebook about a little girl who was missing. She was later, sadly, found to have been murdered. Not by him, I hasten to add.
 
I like one of Mullen's Facebook 'friends' even less.  

At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Mhari Mair, prosecuting, said one of Mullen's own Facebook friends alerted police to the comments he had made about the murdered schoolgirl.

Why did he need to 'alert' them? Because the remarks were made in a private text chat conversation. That's right. He did not publish them to the internet at large. He did not even post them to his 'friends' feed. 
 
The judge said that if the dead girl's family had read the comments
they would have been absolutely devastated.
I am sure they would, but the only reason they now know something nasty was said about their poor child is because of this stupid case. Law enforcement in this country now has the time and resources to monitor what stupid people say to each other and make an expensive fuss about it. Yet, to listen to our public servants, there isn't a single cut to be safely made in public expenditure. Hmm.
 
The family only know of Mullen's existence because of a disgusting law, a vile snitch and a body of policemen who have nothing useful to be getting on with. Scotland being such an idyllic place, populated with happy, caring hobbits and entirely free of crime of course.
The pair had been in a three-way Facebook conversation, with each "trying to be more shocking than the other", the court had heard.
In other words, they - and their snitch 'friend' - had been channeling Frankie Boyle in a competitive fashion. I think we can safely say the snitch lost that game.
 
The most shocking thing to me about this case is that not one word has been uttered in the coverage about freedom of speech. That's a forgotten concept in modern Britain. No-one in the media is remotely inclined to quote Voltaire's famous remark
I disagree wtih what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it
Even his defence counsel, a man entirely unworthy of his fee on this evidence, 
agreed with Sheriff McDonald's remark that Mullen's behaviour was "absolutely appalling"
Yes, perhaps, if you really have nothing better to do than go out of your way to be appalled.

Does Lord Lucan know where freedom of expression went?

BBC News - ITV's Lord Lucan drama criticised by victim's son.

I returned to live in Britain in April 2011. It was a while before I began to notice some of the changes since I left in 1992. Heraclitus said
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man
Healthy societies change all the time. It would have been surprising if I had found the place just as I had left it.
 
I had stayed in touch with the changes at some levels. At first I had read flown-in British newspapers at great expense. Then as online news sources developed I had become more involved, starting this blog in March 2005. Still, I had not noticed many changes in attitude and the linked article provides a good example. Here is a man who thinks it wrong to present a TV play based on real events because
The programme is not entertainment. They are profiting from my mum's death
Ignore for the moment the schtick about profit being intrinsically bad. Let's assume that he earns no money himself. Perhaps, for all we know, he lives on unicorn farts harvested voluntarily by fair trade fairies of working age. Perhaps he works for the super-ethical Co-operative Bank.
 
Please also ignore the weirdness of a middle-aged adult, adopted in infancy, speaking schmaltzily of a 'mum' of whom he knew nothing until he was 40. Indeed of whom he still knows nothing except for what he can learn from the writings of policemen, lawyers, journalists, authors and now playwrights all 'profiting' in his terms from her death.
 
Does he really believe that his private emotional response to a play he refuses to see is of any importance to the world? Does he really think free expression should be curtailed because of his feelings? Mary Whitehouse was laughed out of this life by people understandably amused that she felt her feelings gave her a right to prevent others seeing shows she didn't want to watch. How is his attitude any different? 
 
Yet he's part of a disturbing pattern. He belongs with the woman who asserted with menaces a right to prevent her car being filmed obstructing traffic. He belongs with the head teachers who prevent parents filming their children at school sports days for fear some pervert may get off on the images. He is at one with any group with a 'respect' agenda that seeks to curtail criticism of its beliefs or lifestyles. He is at one with the celebrities who want the law changed so tabloids can't service the public's salacious interest in their coke-fuelled encounters with whores. He belongs with the police officers who presume photographers are up to no good. Perhaps he even belongs with the men who murdered a disabled man because he took photographs of youngsters he suspected of vandalising his hanging baskets. 
 
This has been going on for some time. Margaret Thatcher sagely observed that
One of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.
I fear that those in power are merely responding however to the mindless sentimentalism of the masses. When I flew into London shortly after the death of Princess Diana I was sickened by the ludicrous emotionalism. How could ordinary people be so inarticulately distraught over the accidental death of an aristocrat? I remember gagging as I watched a woman vox popped on TV during the funeral coverage saying (I kid you not)
No-one can explain the deepness we feel
I was angered by Tony Blair shedding crocodile tears for "the people's princess". Yet his personal stock rose with the public, while that of the Queen fell because of her measured, more English, more rational response.
 
Modern Brits over-rate the importance of their personal feelings. They tend to sickly sentimentality unmoderated by reason, religion, taste or manners. They also dangerously fail to distinguish between the private and public domains. They demand new laws in response to any private misfortune - even if compliance with existing laws, prudence or plain commonsense would already have avoided it. Some of the most dangerous words in the British media come from angry parents demanding a change in the law so that their child "did not die in vain". That hard cases make bad law is a wisdom lost forever. That some misfortunes are mere accidents and do not justify violent restrictions on the lives of others (which is what all laws are) is never considered amid all the tearful emoting.
 
Where does this sense of entitlement to control others on emotional grounds come from? More importantly, as politicians increasingly strive like fakely-tearful Blair to capture the cry-baby zeitgeist, where will it lead?

Our Rubicon

Cameron warned against crossing the Rubicon of state control of the press. His Government is now preparing to cross it. | Conservative Home.
We are approaching a decisive moment. David Cameron nervously described Leveson's proposals to 'regulate' the British press as 'crossing the Rubicon' but as Paul Goodman says in the linked article his government is about to do it anyway. If people accept that government has a role in controlling commercial media (and 'regulate' is merely a statist euphemism for 'control'), then we are a blink away from wider controls. Already the daily fake 'scandals' about 'Twittter trolls' and 'Facebook bullies' are setting the scene.

Alea iacta est for freedom of thought in Britain. It seems the police are already more interested in what we say than what we do. Barely a day goes by without some schmuck on Twitter being interrogated by the police and it's already a worse crime to beat up or kill someone if thinking certain thoughts at the time.

The Left have been making 'social' excuses for non thought-crime for generations. Our judges, educated in our solidly left-wing universities, now routinely spout sociological clap-trap while handing out derisory sentences. The notion of personal responsibility is dead. In a telling moment for me an academic at a conference last year (he claimed not to be a Marxist, but admitted most of his colleagues were) told me that my personal achievements were 'pure luck' and that I was not morally entitled to the proceeds.

It's the flip side of the same coin. The evil that criminals do is 'society's fault' and the state must address not their conduct, but the 'social problems' that 'cause' it. The success of honest citizens however is to the state's credit and it is entitled to the proceeds. Socialism, despite the abject failure of the greatest political experiment in history, with more than half of humanity ruled by Socialists in the last century, is back. Watch out, because this time the Leftists have learned guile.

The leader of HM Opposition feels it aids his electoral cause to use 'the S word' openly and to dog-whistle even worse by defending the reputation of his proudly-Marxist father. Ironically, given the Left's fixation on 'hate speech' and 'hate crime' Socialism is a doctrine based on hatred; class-hatred and envy-driven hatred of success. It should provoke exactly the same revulsion as its cousin; race-hate-based National Socialism. That it doesn't is because the Left has infiltrated our education system and our state broadcaster (tell me again why a free society needs one of those) so successfully. Now it's coming for the rest of us.

The consequence will be just as it was in the Soviet Union. The more talented or industrious will either contribute less for lack of incentive, or will become the criminals these idiots already think they are. This phenomenon was illustrated by two Communist-era proverbs I learned in my years in Poland;
"Standing up or lying down, it's a zloty an hour" and "You are stealing from your family if you're not stealing from the State." 
Though I am sure the Labour Party will get most of the extra votes when we finally obey the ECHR order to restore the ballot to prisoners, that's not what the Left is up to. Nor are they claiming the credit for business-peoples' work just to damage our self-esteem. They are establishing as a 'given' in all political thought and policy-making the Marxist notion that individuals are mere flotsam on the tides of historical inevitability. They can only treat us as eggs to be callously cracked in their great steaming omelette of statism if they can convince themselves that we are trivial; that what we think, say and do and the choices we make don't matter. In short, that we are nothing in their great scheme of things.

To achieve the kind of sociopathic vileness that led their hero Hobsbawm (close family friend of the Millibands) to believe that twenty million deaths under Soviet rule would have been justified had the proposed communist utopia been created, or that it was sensible to drop a nuclear bomb on Israel (there's no anti-semite to rival a Marxist Jew) you need to reduce humans to ciphers. And to convince men and women that this is acceptable; that they really are mere pawns in a game that matters far more than the sacrifices made of them, you need to control their thoughts. It is no coincidence that the Left cannot abide the expression of non-Left views. It is not for nothing that they actively seek to make people fearful of non-Left thoughts. It is a Marxist necessity.

If our free will is irrelevant, our achievements mere luck and our wickedness attributable to our circumstances, then they are fully justified in using the immense power of the state to shape 'social forces', regardless of the human cost.

It is a short step from 'hate speech' to 'thought crime' and it's about to be taken. 'Regulation' of the press is just another brick in the wall.

The critical importance of football chants

BBC Sport - FA threat to fans over anti-Semitic term in chants.

Apparently it's a criminal offence in this country for football fans to call themselves 'yids'. Personally, I think the way Jewish and Gentile Spurs fans have together handled anti-semitic abuse by using and 'owning' the word 'yid' in their chants is marvelous. It's a great example of how to handle provocation gracefully and with good humour. Laughing at those trying to provoke you is just as - if not more - effective than responding with violence. Sadly, the Football Association begs to differ. Violence is apparently the only proper response in its view and if Spurs fans are not prepared to offer it then - via the legal system - it will.

This, says the FA, is because a 'reasonable observer' would find the word 'yid' offensive. I disagree. Frankly, even when its intended to be offensive (e.g. when other fans shout it at Spurs games) it's a mere breach of good manners, unworthy of criminal sanction. I actively prefer ignorant people to be as open about their nastiness as possible - wearing Ku Klux Klan robes or swastikas, ideally - so that I know not to buy them a drink, employ them or give them my custom. It would be just the kind of useful indication already thoughtfully given by wearers of Che Guevara T-shirts.

When I worked for a Jewish law firm, I refused to reveal whether I was Jewish myself because I learned so much about the occasional client or professional contact who really felt he needed to know. The more desperately he questioned my colleagues on the subject, the more I knew I didn't value him. It was very educational.

We have about 120,000 professional criminals who need to be locked up and about 80,000 places in prison. Is it really all that reasonable to set a criminal free to make space for a Spurs fan with a sense of humour?

Barackading the Manning

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison – live updates | World news | theguardian.com.

The Guardian suddenly seems to be my newspaper. Soon I will have to take back all those Guardian reader and Guardianista jibes over the years. Or perhaps not. At the moment it's doing a good job of covering the civil liberties crisis in America and the British state's toadying complicity. 

For example, it's reporting the swingeing sentence on whistle-blower Bradley Manning. I think the ACLU best sums up my own opinion on the subject;
...a legal system that doesn't distinguish between leaks to the press in the public interest and treason against the nation will not only produce unjust results, but will deprive the public of critical information that is necessary for democratic accountability. This is a sad day for Bradley Manning, but it's also a sad day for all Americans who depend on brave whistleblowers and a free press for a fully informed public debate.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Icelandic MP associated with Wikileaks, makes the killer point though;
...no-one has been held accountable for the criminality exposed in the documents for which Manning is standing trial - except him.
As modern statists continue to replace the rule of law with the rule of men that's not exactly surprising. Those walking free committed their crimes in the service of the state so of course they will not be prosecuted.

If the rule of law applied; if there was a brave prosecutor to say "Be you never so high, the law is above you" then the story would be different, but that's not the reality of the post 9/11 West. Manning's punishment is not for any harm he may have done to intelligence assets, but for letting the supposed owners of the state in question - the American people - know what it was doing in their name. So much for accountability.

Stories such as this that give the lie to the statists' deliberate blurring of the distinction between people, nation and state. Any notion that "the state is us" is ridiculous. It's a massive power centre that is supposed to be accountable to us, but which lashes out violently at any of its people naieve enough to behave as if that's true. Recently, the British state has even been caught boasting to the American state about how unaccountable its agents are. 

I suspect there has also been a pretty good (and incredibly hypocritical, given the American state's usual posture on sexual diversity) attempt to smear him. He has been made out to be a social cripple, a sexual deviant and a general nut job. This is what any of us can expect if we incur the wrath of the servants who think they are our masters. Is it any wonder I erupt when purveyors of horrific tosh emerge from behind the skirting boards to tell us these gangsters have "far more moral legitimacy" than private citizens?

Bradley Manning is a good servant of the American people. He was a bad servant of the American state. He knew the risks he took in blowing the whistle and he blew it anyway. Don't let a state that tells you - when it suits its purpose - that your colour, creed or sexual orientation are irrelevant then use sexual and other smears to mask the courage of what he did.

In which I praise a Guardian journalist

So the innocent have nothing to fear? After David Miranda we now know where this leads | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian.

The Guardianisti are the very people most likely to say that the innocent have nothing to fear. They are the very people most likely to sneer at those who think a state, however social-democratic, is a dangerous behemoth to be feared by the people in its path. Yet here, in the face of challenges to The Guardian's own conduct, is Simon Jenkins - one of their very own - expressing (even while taking an arrogant side-swipe at us out of habit) our views. These are views that most of its journalists and most of its readers on most other days would denounce as 'paranoid', 'right-wing' or - worst of all - 'libertarian'.

God help us, the dear dear man is even repudiating Godwin's Law; the politically-correct online paradigm designed to prevent an opponent of state power referring to the vilest historical example of misconduct by an elected government.
I hesitate to draw parallels with history, but I wonder how those now running the surveillance state – and their appeasers – would have behaved under the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. We hear today so many phrases we have heard before. The innocent have nothing to fear. Our critics merely comfort the enemy. You cannot be too safe. Loyalty is all. As one official said in wielding his legal stick over the Guardian: "You have had your debate. There's no need to write any more." Yes, there bloody well is.
In assisting the US government to silence those exposing its organisation of Stasi-like surveillance of its own people, the mask of the benevolent British state has slipped. It has put the frighteners on someone working informally for the leading press organ of the British Left.

He's an unlikely hero, our whimpering, compliant David. He's unworthy of his Biblical namesake, that's for sure. Faced with Goliath, he didn't reach for his slingshot. He handed over his gear, disclosed his passwords and fled gratefully when released. He didn't ensure that the state's hired thugs did their worst, alas. But, pathetic as he is, he's useful and - for these purposes - he's ours. And so, for the moment, is Jenkins. I can ignore his swiping at bloggers or his praise for the Left's broadcasting and online "news" arm, for so long as he writes such stuff as this;
GCHQ could boast to its American counterpart of its "light oversight regime compared to the US". Parliamentary and legal control is a charade, a patsy of the secrecy lobby. 
These are rare, wonderful days for British civil libertarians. Bask in them, by all means, but please take full advantage of this unusually sunny climate as it will not last long. If you blog, comment on blogs, belong to a political party or pressure group, chat about politics with your mates down the boozer, tweet or whatever, please spread the word. Please support straightforwardly Mr Jenkins' unaccustomed attack on state malevolence.

And whatever else you do please save a link to his article somewhere safe. You will be able to use it again and again in years to come to silence those slimy submissives to state power who claim you have nothing to expect but pleasure from their thrillingly strong Mistress.

My enemy's enemy is my friend - at least for now

BBC News - David Miranda 'feels invaded' after password disclosure.

For once, civil libertarians in Britain have had a spot of luck. Can you imagine what the coverage of this incident would be like if News International journalists were involved? Or if data had been seized in this outrageous manner from a political blogger? 

The BBC is a consistent opponent of free speech. Remember Leveson? It consistently span in favour of New Labour's trampling on liberty under the pretext of "anti-terrorism". It consistently sneers at bloggers who criticise and try to expose the malign behaviours of social democratic governments. Yet here it is inadvertently reporting objectively on the effects of its own authoritarian astroturfing. 

Let's be careful not to gloat too much, or visibly to enjoy the discomfiture of the Leftists as they are hoist by their own petard. They may be demons doing the Lord's work by accident, but their unaccustomed behaviour should be cheered. Nor should we miss the opportunity to link to BBC or Guardian pieces persuasive to the muddled masses who trust Auntie Beeb - even if we normally only link to them for fisking.

Emerging from behind the skirting boards...

Greenwald: If you choose to make enemies, what do you expect? | Trending Central.
Get your thinking gear around this horrific tosh (emphasis added);
As the elected representatives of the people, a government has far more moral legitimacy and indeed necessity than a newspaper like the Guardian, its hacks, or their self-aggrandising source networks. If people like Assange, Snowden and Greenwald were truly democrats, they would realise this. But the liberal intelligentsia’s worst kept secret is that they would far prefer governments run by themselves, for themselves, and without challenge.
This is all not to say that whistle-blowing as an activity should instantly be derided, or that governments should routinely target ‘journalists’, but in effect, the answer to this all is quite simple: if you choose to make an enemy of people (because governments are compromised (sic) of nothing less) then it is incomprehensible how you could expect no backlash.
Institutions have rights to defend themselves too, and while a nine hour detention of Greenwald’s partner may well be childish and crude, it is relatively easy to see how such a move is simply a ‘tit-for-tat’ gesture. If Greenwald and his army of outraged cyber-warriors expect ‘better’ from governments, then they forget what governments really are. People, elected by people, who behave and act like people.
Usually when you make an enemy of someone, there are proportionate consequences. Get over it.
Even the editor of the Guardian - usually one of liberty's most pernicious enemies - has a better grasp of ethics than this. 

I have no idea who is behind "Trending Central" but there could scarcely be a better example of the craven submissiveness longed for by authoritarian governments. Our liberty is in danger not just because of the evil of those attracted to "power" but because of the craven submissiveness of people like the author of this nonsense. He seems to believe that everything a government does, however morally despicable, is justifiable because it stands for "the people".

Only Godwin's Law forbids me from mentioning the best example of an elected government from whom "better" might reasonably have been expected. The British Government did not act for me in putting the frighteners on this Fleet Street Irregular. It did not, and rarely ever does, act in my name.