Archive for April 19th, 2010

Fairy Tales…

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Listening to the leadership debate and marvelling at the astonishing rise in the fortunes of the Lib-Dems following Clegg’s appearance with the two wolves –  I thought it might be useful to write something brief, but topical, on libertarian principle.

The quotation in the post header seemed to me a reasonable start and more important when coupled with this quotation:

“It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.”

Henry George

I may ‘outrage’ some who read what follows.  So be it.

The government banned Meow Meow last Friday following outrage in The Sun and elsewhere.  It will, of course, be a complete waste of time.  The chemists will simply produce another ‘legal’ and, in any event, those who want drugs will always be able to get them.  We waste fantastic sums of money – deficit increasing, industrial, sums of money fighting a pointless drugs war.  Much crime is driven by drugs.  If you don’t believe me have a look at the murder rate in Colombia and Mexico, the burglary and street crime rate in this country and in mainland Europe.

Will we ever win the drugs war?  I doubt it? Should we try?  I’m not so sure. Listen to my podcast with US federal Judge John Cane and consider the question after listening to it.  This experienced American judge has many years of judicial experience.  He is worth listening to.

I digress, but with reason.  I have one simple question:

What business is it of ‘Mythical Anecdotal Man’, cited by leading politicians to justify their governance over us, what I ingest, inhale, smoke, drink, eat  or do with my life so long as it does not do harm to others.

Maybe it is time for a smaller government, a government which does not respond to the dictat of tabloids, of banks, of corporate vested interests and which trusts people more to make their own decisions.  In the case of drugs, would it be such a terrible idea to address the drugs war by legalising drugs?  They may just reduce crime, reduce over regulation of people, raise additional revenue,  cut prison costs, allow police to be used to deal with the remaining crimes which worry people (much burglary and street crime may well be reduced as a result)  and trust people to make their own decisions.

Will any mainstream political party have the courage to trust people more and regulate less – and return to libertarian principles – by no means a monopoly of the Libertarians?  That is the thing about libertarians – they tend  to be tolerant of political views other than their own in so far as necessary government is concerned.

Jeremy Bentham had a theory of libertarianism… he called it a felicific calculus. it is worth looking at.

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Gordon Brown to take lead part in HMS Pinafore


CAPT.                    I am the Captain of the Pinafore;
ALL.                And a right good captain, too!
CAPT.                    You’re very, very good,
And be it understood,
I command a right good crew,
ALL.                     We’re very, very good,
And be it understood,
He commands a right good crew.
CAPT.               Though beholden  to a peer,
I can hand, reef, and steer,
And ship a Britstrandee;
I am never known to flail
At the fury of Iain Dale,
And I’m never, never wrong with stats!
ALL.                          What, never?
CAPT.                              No, never!
ALL.                          What, never?
CAPT.                              Hardly ever!
ALL.           He’s hardly ever wrong with stats!
Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
For the hardy Captain of the Pinafore!

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