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

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The BBC is a worker's co-operative

A-JIMMY-SAVILE-640x468I applaud the BBC's decision to allow Panorama to investigate what it knew about Jimmy Savile's misconduct and why the Newsnight story about his alleged paedophilia was pulled. The video is available for a while to UK residents on the BBC iPlayer here:

Any organisation that is not dependent upon its customers, whether a state or private monopoly, will eventually become self-serving. During my career I was party to many conversations about how to maximise profit for the owners of our businesses and provide attractive employment terms for our staff, but they all turned in the end to what our customers would want, or at least accept. We spent much more time worrying how to please customers than please ourselves. Satisfied customers who choose to come back are the only guarantee for owners, managers and workers in the private sector that they can achieve their personal goals.

As will all state enterprises funded by taxation, the BBC has become, in effect, a worker's co-operative. The "customers" have to pay regardless, so they become irrelevant and the focus turns to the interests of its own people. No private business would survive the shit storm that is heading the BBC's way. The share price would now be collapsing as investors tried to get out before the lawsuits begin. I confidently and sadly predict however that the BBC will survive. It has the coercive power of the state behind it and will simply take your money to settle the cases. It is the left establishment's propaganda arm and they will rally to restore its reputation.

We are about to have an instructive, but depressing, demonstration of the realities of modern Britain. We will be able to compare and contrast the BBC news and current affairs teams' handling of this story with their campaign against News International. Just imagine if the phone-hackers had worked for Newsnight and Savile had worked for Sky News!

Predictable though it all was, it was still disturbing to follow Panorama's account of the decision-making process within the Corporation. There was lots of high-falutin' stuff about editorial independence and a clear concern for the BBC's reputation. There was also some po-faced nonsense about depending on the trust of a public that, trusting or not, it will continue to plunder by use of state force. Not one person (apart from those making official statements once the story was out and the lady reporter from Newsnight who will no doubt pay for it when the storm has passed) expressed any convincing concern for their customers-by-force. Some of whom have, it seems, been abused by members of the collective and friends under their protection.

I watched the faces of the people making the allegations and it brought back another memory from the days of watching Jim'll Fix It. I found a girl from my school in a drunken heap at the side of the road on my way home from a date with my girlfriend one night. I tried to help her to go home. It turned out she was in social services care and lived in a nearby childrens' home. When I offered to take her there she begged me not to. She offered sex if I would take her somewhere, anywhere, else. Indeed, "offered" is something of a euphemism. If I had a victim mentality, I would say she attempted rape. I was able to restrain her and decline her offer.

I asked if she had relatives and she told me about an uncle who lived in the area. In retrospect, I worry that she made him up or that her relationship with him was rather different, but I was a naive teenager. I took her to a nearby pub and gave her the money to call him. I left her in the care of the publican, once assured her uncle was on his way.

I later found out that she lived in one of the homes at the centre of a notorious scandal. It rather explained both her reluctance to go there and her use of sex as a currency. I now dread to think what she was going through while I was enjoying a safe and happy childhood. I am ashamed to have ever thought myself hard done to by my strict parents, when I consider what that girl had been put through by the "caring" state professionals paid to look after her.

Here is the fatal flaw in all collectivist thinking; the reason why public service organisations are all more or less corrupt and can never fully be trusted. Here is the reason why Britain's public intellectuals are not merely gullible, idealistic, fools but a serious threat to our welfare.

All organisations funded by force are essentially immoral.

In their detachment from the relentless reality of having to satisfy customers and in their assurance that livelihoods do not depend upon that satisfaction, selfish, abusive behaviours will grow among their staff. Whether in care homes for the elderly, childrens homes, the Parliamentary expenses office, army barracks or police stations bad things will happen not by accident but flawed design. To be clear, I am not saying that public sector workers are all, or even mostly, evil or ill-intentioned. I am just saying that a disproportionate number of the lazy, greedy and wicked in any society will be attracted, as Savile was, to positions they are able to abuse. Nor am I saying there should be no public sector. I am not an anarchist. I accept the need for a state. But here is a strong argument for it to be kept to an absolute minimum.

There is a reason socialist states have always had to resort to prison camps and shootings to maintain discipline and reduce corruption in the ranks. At least, that is, within limits that don't threaten the corrupt gains of their ruling elites. In the absence of Stalinist discipline, what happened at the BBC - the way the collective closed ranks to protect an insider - is not a sad exception to the rule. It is the rule.

Is this government stimulating the economy?

'Online snooping' scheme expected to cost at least £1.8bn | Technology |

The national debt continues to rise, yet the Tories have £2 billion to spare to snoop on our online activities. It will cost much more in the end no doubt, as government IT estimates usually bear very little relation to reality.

The government is very welcome to inspect my private communications if it has sufficient prima facie evidence of criminal activity to persuade a judge that it should be able to do so. That's how the law stands. For all the moral panic that the Home Secretary and senior policemen are trying to create and for all their bullshit about "total war on crime" no change to that position is necessary, desirable or affordable.

Theresa May can call us conspiracy theorists to her heart's content, as long as we retain the freedom to call her an authoritarian disgrace to a party that claims to believe in liberty. OK, Theresa? Of course, it might be better if we could converse about it intelligently. Some hope.

Incidentally, our leftist chums over at the Guardian's site are remarkably sound in their criticisms of the plan now that it's coming from the vicious, right-wing Tories. Check out the comments and you may find yourself amazedly applauding. I don't remember them being quite as vocal when this authoritarian twaddle was coming from the Labour Party.

What use is eternal vigilance if you're unarmed?

Sean Linnane: GUN CONTROL.

As a man who never saw military service, I can only be respectfully grateful to men like Sean who have put themselves in harm's way to protect us. Orwell said "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Those of us who chose other occupations have much cause to thank those men (and now women) in the military, not to mention the police and other emergency services.


There's no reason however, if the laws permitted, why we couldn't take more responsibility for our own everyday protection. In Britain, the laws sadly don't permit. With an estimated four million illegal firearms in circulation we don't so much have gun control as a state guarantee to armed criminals that they will meet no resistance. Yet I never meet more horrifed responses than when I tell British friends we should have the right to bear arms.

Why is it, do you think, that the arguments presented in the linked post carry so little weight this side of the pond?

Addled thinking on allowing and approving

UK secretly allowed pirate ransoms | The Australian.

The linked story says a lot about how lost we are to liberty. The government, under various pretexts, monitors how we spend the small portion of our own money it does not wrench from us to squander. For example, I recently had to suffer the indignity of explaining to the lawyers acting on my home purchase where the money came from. The honest answer is "30 years of hard work." That, apparently, is way too suspicious.

The state has made secret policemen of our bank managers, accountants and (God forgive us) our lawyers. Many of you will feel this is a justified intrusion into liberty; necessary to defend us against terrorism and organised crime. I disagree, and this story illustrates why.

Stephen Askins, a maritime lawyer involved in more than 30 hostage and kidnap cases in Somalia, said that each ransom payment out of London had been approved by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), a Home Office police unit, and the UK Borders Agency (UKBA).

He said the law on money laundering required every company, lawyer and middleman involved in the payment of ransoms to declare them to the government.

Well, quite. But how do the press get from that to saying;

The government has secretly approved the payment of millions of pounds in ransom money to Somali pirates despite stating publicly that it opposes such deals.

How does Keith Vaz get from that to this;

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said he would be writing to the chief executive of Soca to demand an explanation. “I am very concerned that the public position of the government seems to be at odds with what it is doing privately. I’m very surprised to hear about this. Soca is designed to tackle organised crime, not to keep organised crime going,” he said.

Can no-one else see the difference between checking that a payment is not from the proceeds of crime and "approving" an innocent citizen's reluctant payment of his own money to criminals? Can no-one else see the difference between being unhappy about people having to do something and prohibiting them from doing it with the full force of the law? No? Well then you see why I don't want government involved at all in things that don't concern it. Once the government is in the picture, mini-minds such as Keith Vaz (and most British journalists), believe that all must do exactly as it orders.

The pirates are the criminals here, not the hapless business people ransoming back their own employees and vessels. If you were being mugged on the street, how would you feel if the government wanted to make your handing over your stuff illegal? Especially if the government in question had taken the muggers in question into custody and released them again as the Royal Navy did on government orders with the Somali pirates it captured?

If it were not for the offensively intrusive money laundering laws which make all transactors guilty until proven innocent, these transactions would take place entirely off the government's radar.

Rather like the piracy in fact.

Murderous logic

Ambush Predator: The Paper Says ‘Drama’, I Say ‘Attempted Murder’….

JuliaM posts about so many of these stories that it's impressive she can maintain her outrage. Sadly the problem is more profound than a few misguided judges or social workers. In current political thinking, these are not miscarriages of justice but examples of social justice. There is no notion to which the statist left in Britain is more hostile than personal responsibility. Since the leftists' agenda is to promote social 'solutions' to all life's ills, they need us to believe that we are not free men and women, but victims of forces beyond our control.

Even the meanest intelligence can refute this. During two years of my young life spent working as an unskilled labourer I often heard colleagues say, when confronted with "social" excuses for misbehaviour, that their lives had been just as hard but that they didn't do such things. They could distinguish between an excuse and a justification, even if our intellectuals could not. Now however, as documented byTheodore Dalrymple and others, criminals are well versed in socio-babble and ready to portray themselves as society's victims, rather than predators. 

That journalists, social workers, judges and even some senior policemen believe this drivel is mere proof of George Orwell's sage dictum that:
"There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them"
Until there is a fundamental shift in Britain's ideological alignment, JuliaM's outrage will never have chance to subside.

Not 'Christian rights' but 'human rights'

Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death: Nadarkhani Refuses to Convert - International Business Times.

Why does this story gain so little traction in the media? Why do only 'Christian rights' groups seem interested in the plight of a pastor who will not - even to save his life - renounce his beliefs? I can understand why libertarians are silent. We don't like it of course, but it's in Iran and therefore a matter for the Iranian people. But where are all the bloodthirsty statists who usually call for our soldiers to be used as armed educators?

I don't believe opinion or its expression (by anything other than deeds having serious adverse impact on others) should ever be punishable by law. I have heard many a leftist call for bloody revolution in my time. So what? Unless and until he actually starts to kill those who disagree with his views on control of the means of production, he's no problem. At least he's forewarned us of his predilection for violence. If someone calls for violence against Jews, immigrants or climate change deniers that's equally fine by me. As long as he doesn't act on it.

I wouldn't invite such nut jobs to dinner, you understand. I would be very concerned if one wanted to marry one of my daughters. But I have no desire to strike them with with that blunt instrument known as 'law'. There was a time when that was the typical British view of such matters. The last government's obsession with 'hate speech' however, and the Coalition's failure to repeal any of their stupid laws, has knocked us off that moral high ground. Perhaps that explains the silence of the usual suspects? It's not as if something important like this chap's 'right to work' is being threatened. Or his 'right' to an alternative sexuality. It's only his freedom of thought (and his thoughts are not like ours) so don't worry.

This story also strengthens my suspicion of all who preface the word 'rights' with any qualifier but 'human'. There are not nearly as many 'human rights' as are claimed, but one characteristic of a real one is that it is for everyone. For example, the 'right to life' or, more precisely, the right not to be wilfully killed by another human should apply equally to all. If any so-called 'right' is expressed as specific to a particular group, you will usually find that group (or someone seeking some benefit from that group) is on the make.

So I am disappointed (but not surprised) that few rights activists and advocates have had anything to say about Pastor Nadarkhani's imminent demise. A fellow-human is going to be killed for standing (rather impressively) by his beliefs. If that does not concern us, do we really care about 'human rights' or are we just hypocrites waving that flag in to obtain more privileges for our own favoured group?

What kind of country?

Vincent Cooke's plea for family to flee before 'stabbing burglar Raymond Jacob 6 times' | Mail Online.

White trash Time will tell if justice will prevail for Vincent Cooke. I hope so. He resisted a forced entry to his home; protecting his family as best he could. We all hope we would have the courage thus to act if occasion (God forbid) arose. As a probably unintentional result of his bravery, there is one less villain for the decent people of England to provide for at the behest of Westminster's gangsters.

More shocking than Ray Jacob's banal evil is that his friends had the temerity to lay floral tributes at his victim's home. They have no shame, apparently, in being photographed doing so. Could the moral collapse of England be more complete?

h/t Nourishing Obscurity


Footnote: The Maserati GranSport (not a Granturismo) on the victim's drive might have cost £70,000 new, but it's not a current model and is now worth far less. How odd that the Mail concentrates so much on the apparent wealth of the victims, as if it somehow excuses a violent invasion of their home. Has socialism taken such root in Britain that right-wing newspapers now favour redistribution of wealth; even of the amateur variety?

See how the state defends you

London Riots: Shop-owners defend their businesses in east London - video | UK news |

So far, the only 'community' to emerge with credit from the London riots is that of the Turkish shopowners who banded together to defend their businesses from the thieving mob. Despite the weaselly attempts of the Guardian's reporter to get them to self-incriminate or make racist remarks they quietly stood their ground, commenting mildly that 'there are not enough police' and 'they can't do nothing about it.' Many are saying that. Only they chose to act. Good on them.

Meanwhile, while amused by the panicky left calling for water-cannons (presumably so they can cry 'police brutality' later) Inspector Gadget is on the scene as part of the emergency support drafted in from country forces. He reports watching a branch of Mothercare burn and informs us 'we don't need the army; we need the order to charge.'

Many people are becoming very angry that we refuse to move our lines and baton charge the rioters. I have run around like a blue arsed fly trying to understand why we are being ordered to stay static; the only explanation I can find is that Gold Command are concerned about the sensitivity of the target group.

Despite all the evidence before their eyes of how little pandering to 'community leaders' has achieved, the Met's leadership is more afraid to hurt criminals from ethnic minorities than it is concerned to protect the lives, limbs and livelihoods of Londoners. If you are genuinely concerned about racism, gentlemen, stop doing it. Because your stance is racist. Not holding certain ethnic groups to the same standards of behaviour is racist. If Dr Martin Luther King were here to comment, that is precisely what he would say. So cut it out right now and let your men do their job.

Pace the tedious thought-free commentators who are bollocking on about social exclusion and poverty, we are dealing with groups of people who have been encouraged by the political establishment to believe themselves above the law. They have been taught, over and again, by the courts that the consequences of real crimes against person and property are trivial. Any punishment will be minor and softened by lots of 'social work' from people who imply that it's all the fault of honest, decent people who are trying to pay their own way through life; not of the entitlement-drugged, parasitical criminal himself.

Vigorous defence of life and property is what the police are for. In a libertarian society, they would not have lost public support by being made to enforce politicians' ideas for social change. In a libertarian society, they would not have to ask if any social or ethnic group enjoyed the protection of those in power before they dared to enforce the law. Meanwhile, in the 'social democrat' society we have now, the same old endlessly opposing, blinkered, views are 'confirmed' by the riots. Different sides of the political debate jostle to use the suffering of those losing their homes and businesses to justify their old ideas.

In the end, I predict that the saddest thing about these events will be that nothing is learned from them.