Friday, 27 February 2009

Chris Huhne's 'Freedom Bill' is merely tinkering

It seems that we are to write yet again on this blog about the enigma that is Chris Huhne. Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, we challenged him last week to change the name of his party to the SDP to better reflect his illiberal views after he publicly backed the Home Secretary in banning from the UK an elected member of the Dutch Parliament, Gert Wilders.
Now we see that in a show of publicity, he is back in the news launching what he calls his 'Freedom Bill'.
Where do we begin to look at Mr Huhne's efforts, which on the face of it are a step in the right direction, which LPUK applaud, however, and with the LibDem's there is always an however...
I read the 'Freedom Bill' that was published on the LibDem site, then I re-read it because I thought that their published version was only a précis, but no, there it was in its entirety. Not once, not a single time does it mention the word Liberty.
This is not repeal being presented by Huhne, this is not winding back the injustice, this is just tinkering for political gain.
That indeed then prompted me to post the following comment on the presentation site: (which at the time of writing this post was still in moderation).

A start yes, however, simply removing 1 or 2 clauses in a number of Acts does nothing to remove the underlying evil behind much of this primary legislation, and can easily be put back in by a subsequent government.

I fear that this is merely window dressing in order to catch media and voter attention rather than a genuine Liberal attempt at restoring the Liberties to the UK population.

It is noted that it does not once use the words Liberty or Liberties, but Freedom. A strange choice of wording or perhaps not, as we know full well that the Acts will never be allowed to be repealed by the EU, of which your party is so fully supportive.

One item that I found both annoying and amusing was that it was so clearly obvious that the copy of 1984 that Chris Huhne received from the Libertarian Party had struck home. It had found its target as we had intended, as he used the very phrase that we placed on each book in his press briefing, when he said "George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, not a blueprint".
I suppose we should be flattered at the impact of the 1984 campaign, but the way in which Huhne is exploiting that targeting by delivering such a poorly constructed Bill just reinforces my view of him as a mercenary with statist ambitions.
My posting on the LPUK blog last week indicating that the Libertarian Party are leading the debate was spot on, definitely on the money. It is clear that Huhne is only FOLLOWING, but he is playing to the crowd with this gimmick bill, as he knows full well that he will not be able to implement one jot of it without also undertaking to leave the EU.

The EU will block every single item in Huhne's bill. I will reiterate again for the avoidance of doubt, the LibDems, or any other party, will not be allowed to undertake the repeal of liberty stripping laws whilst they support the EU.
Nearly every clause that Huhne was to remove through this Bill are included in the original Acts because they are fulfilling EU Directives. The only clauses that I am certain did not eminate from the EU is sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (c. 15) (which regulate demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament) which were only added to the Act in a vain attempt to silence Brian Haw.

At this point I am happy to boast that The Libertarian Party is the ONLY party to promise to undertake both the full repeal of such liberty stripping laws, and to extract the UK from the EU.
Moving on, several things have also crossed my mind at the timing by Chris Huhne of this particular proposal. Firstly we know that the Convention on Modern Liberty is on in London, so Mr Huhne obviously wants to present the LibDem's as a party that is 'doing something'. This only serves to hoodwink the voters who are starved by Government and the media of any general knowledge of the EU and how far it now has its tenticles into the UK and its government.
Secondly, the recent civil war going on within the party over Liberal Vision has reached a stage where they are losing members, so this is a sop to try to win back those disaffected members with strong Libertarian views, and prevent them from abandoning what is essentially a very social democratic party where their views are neither heard nor acted upon, and he desperately needs to repair the damage he caused to himself over the Gert Wilders affair.
Lastly, it is an attempt at one-upmanship. David Davis will be the politician carrying the Keynote speech of note at the Convention on Modern Liberty, therefore Huhne wants to grab the media attention to water down whatever it is that Davis will be delivering.
Overall, whilst I would have hoped that the right intentions were there in the presentation of this Bill, I cannot see it. It delivers far too little, it is much too late to be merely tinkering, and provides no more safeguards on the Liberties of the population of this country than the current Government have deprived us of.
If this is the best attempt by those perporting to be Liberal at 'Modern Liberty', if this is the very best that is likely to come out of that Convention, then this nation still has much to fear for its future.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Fred Goodwin and our naive Government

If this hadn't cost me money this would be one of the funniest unintended consequences of the bailout...
Sir Fred Goodwin, former RBS chief executive, refused to bow to government pressure to hand back some of his £16m pension pot on Thursday, as a row erupted over his claim that ministers approved the deal last year.

Sir Fred, 50, was said to be furious to find details of his pension arrangements made public, with politicians lining up to condemn his early retirement deal.

This just wouldn't have happened if RBS had gone bust. Or at least it would have been a whole lot more difficult for Sir Fred to claim his gold plated pension.

It's things like this that reveal our Government's mindless naivety. The whole point of bailing out a business is so they can continue to do...

What was that...

Oh yes... Business.

And that means they have to continue to service their contract obligations. Honestly, what precisely did our Government think was going to happen?

All I can say is that once again the Daily Mash have it down to a T...
AHA ha ha ha ha ha ha, aha ha ha, aha ha ha ha ha, former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin said last night.

The disgraced banker spoke out while bent over double in an Edinburgh street, slapping his knee as his cheeks took on a deep, rosy pink colour.

Becoming light-headed, he was then forced to crouch down with his head buried in his hands while his shoulders began to jiggle uncontrollably.

Minutes later the 50 year-old pensioner stood up and attempted to compose himself before his face erupted once again and he began waving frantically as if to stay, 'no, stop, stop, I can't take it any more'.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Reminder -- Alternative Convention on Modern Liberty

This is just to remind everyone that the Libertarian Party are meeting up this Saturday. We'll be convening at the Friend at Hand Pub in Russell Square.

This event is organised to coincide with the Convention on Modern Liberty taking place around the corner. It's basically for all those who cannot afford the real thing.

We'll be there from 12pm. And remember this is an open event so even if you're not a member you're more than welcome to come along and discuss liberalism with us.

Here's a map...

Hope to see you on Saturday.

P.S. for more info read the original post.

P.P.S. If you're worried about how to find us, don't. The Pub is not massive. And Mike has already said he will be wearing a libertarian shirt. Also you can see a picture of me here. Note -- my hair is a little longer at the mo though.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Quote of the day (and it's not a good one)

"Honestly, we should shoot one banker a week until the others improve".

What can I add to that?

Peter Schiff was right....

This is well worth watching if you haven't seen it before.

and now Ron Paul's economic eadviser may be running for Chris Dodd's Senate seat

Where are the British Ron Pauls and Peter Schiffs?

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Misdirection of Resources and the Current Recession

I read a great speech by Mario J. Rizzo over at today. So I thought I'd share it with you.

Also if you haven't come across the thinking of Friedrich Hayek before this provides a great introduction...
I have spent my academic career in the economic analysis of law and in the broad area of "political economy." I am not a macroeconomist. So why have I been writing and speaking on this subject in recent months?

The simple answer is that we are at a crossroads with regard to the role of the state in our lives. This is a matter that no political economist can ignore. The impetus for a vast expansion in the role of the state is coming from our current financial and economic situation mediated by urgent macroeconomic policy advice. This past Sunday's Washington Post proclaims that almost all economists agree that even a flawed package is better than none and time is of the essence![1]

So the political economist must now think about a whole new complex of issues.

Unfortunately, much of the policy advice offered recently by commentators, including many economists, is shockingly superficial. It is reminiscent of the simple prime-the-pump ideas of the early Keynes and does not acknowledge Keynes's own cautions and qualifications after the General Theory was published, especially in his advisory work for the UK Treasury in the 1940s.

Enjoy the rest here...

Saturday, 21 February 2009

BNP must be banned from using patriotic songs

I'm seriously beginning to question who is more fascist -- Labour or the BNP?

According to my local rag our Labour MEP wants the law changed so the BNP can't use patriotic songs for propaganda reasons...
ONE of St Albans' MEPs is calling for the law to be changed to stop the far right British National Party (BNP) using Dame Vera Lynn's famous wartime songs.

Labour's Richard Howitt said: ““It’s shocking that the BNP can use iconic songs like The White Cliffs of Dover without the artist’s permission and against her wishes.

“I am saddened that a song popular with a generation who fought Nazi ideology is now being used to raise money for people who share their politics.

“Dame Vera is right to seek action against the BNP and Labour MEPs will do our best to support her."

He and his colleagues will try in the spring to persuade the European Parliament to extend copyright to last for a performer's lifetime.

The BNP is raising funds for its European election campaign by selling a CD including Dame Vera's hits such as All Alone In Vienna and The White Cliffs Of Dover.

Only idiots support the BNP. But who on earth can support this fascist claptrap?

It's quite clear that large parts of the Labour Party are no better than the BNP. And this Richard Howitt seems to be a fine example.

The only problem is that the Labour Party are in power.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Peter Schiff tells the Saudis how to crash the Dollar

Supposedly Peter Schiff got in a bit of trouble for this...

However, putting my sensible hat on for a moment I think it simply shows what a perilous situation the West is in. Johnny Foreigner with his piles of cash could really f**k us.

Monday, 16 February 2009

How liberal are you? Take the test...

Created by LPUK

Want to know how liberal you really are? Head over to the libertarian website to find out.

You might be surprised...

The Alternative Convention on Modern Liberty -- Sat, Feb 28th

As some of you will be aware the Convention on Modern Liberty is occurring on the 28th of this month.

The event will take place at the Institute of Education in Russell Square. However, you may also be aware that it is a little expensive to attend.

So to make sure us poorer types don't feel left out we're organising an Alternative Convention on Modern Liberty.

It will occur just around the corner at a pub called The Friend at Hand.

We will be convening from 12pm. Which will also be perfect for those of you attending the real event as lunch begins at 1pm.

This is an open event so whether you're a libertarian or not you're more than welcome to discuss liberalism with us.

Here's a map...

And we hope to see you there.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Departing from the rule of law?

Are contracts worth anything?

I for one am extremely concerned when the party that will most likely form the next government are sending out nonsense like this-
"If senior traders and managers claim that they are contractually entitled to big cash bonuses, RBS should refuse to pay them, and fight them in court if necessary. A bonus is a payment given when the company does well. RBS would be insolvent without taxpayer support, and the company is projecting an £8 billion loss. Paying bonuses now would make a mockery of the system, and RBS should challenge the contracts on that basis."

Contracts are now (or will be after the next General Election) subject to the arbitrary whim of government.

Equality at the Olympics

This is an interesting story on the Olympics...
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell wants to change rules that bar women from competing in as many events as men by the 2012 Games, it has emerged.

Ms Jowell said it is wrong that under Olympic and Paralympic regulations men can take part in 40 more medal events than women - 164 compared to 124.

A rule change would allow women to compete in boxing and heavyweight wrestling and men in synchronised swimming and rhythmic gymnastics.

Ms Jowell and Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe have written to UK Sport chiefs asking them to investigate a "gender discrepancy" and to press for equal opportunity at the London Games.

I have to say I generally agree with this. But I do have a few points.

First -- what's the likleyhood of Labour being in power in 2012? I'd say highly unlikely. Therefore what's the likelihood of them seeing this through?

Second -- how much demand is there among men to do synchronised swimming or women to do heavyweight wrestling? Surely due to lack of interest there is going to be some discrepancy between the number of events carried out by men and women.

And finally -- what's the likelihood of getting this past the IOC?

I'd say it's about as likely as Labour being in power in 2012.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Events update...

This is just to let all you crazy libertarians out there know that I have now created an LPUK South East Events page. I've also placed some more info in the sidebar.

The list contains all the events that will take place in the South East over the next six months.

Hopefully it will help keep you all in the loop with what's going on. Especially when we experience technical errors with the main site and forum.

I hope you find this useful. And also hope to see you at some of the events.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The system can work for the people...

This made me laugh a lot yesterday...
A DRIVER who got a court judgement against Newham Council over his parking tickets hired bailiffs to take the London council's computer network in lieu of payment.

Z-Un Noon was awarded £5,000 damages for each of the four parking tickets he received after he appealed four £50 parking tickets.

The Council forgot to turn up in court and Noon was awarded a default judgement and a court order to collect the cash.

Noon sent around baliffs to collect goods to the value of £20,000 which in this case was council computer gear.

Read the rest at the Inquirer -- cos it so nearly has a happy ending.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Publicity Video

Thanks to Max Andronichuk for this via

Keep on Bailing

$1.5 Trillion. What next? $5 Trillion? $10 Trillion? $100 Trillion?

How much money can they print?

Unfortunately these sort of actions will only encourage our equally foolish Government. At least the Republican opposition are actually opposing this economic idiocy while Her Majesty's loyal opposition is loyally egging on Brown to spend more money.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Andrew Marr -- why won't you interview someone liberal?

Bit of a live blog here. Currently subjecting myself to the Andrew Marr Show -- again. And this week it really is the most bland, pro-state show I've ever seen.

I just wish for once he'd interview someone with a liberal opinion. Especially on the bloody economy. But considering he works for the state broadcaster I doubt he ever will.

So to make up for it here's an interview with Ron Paul from YouTube.


Friday, 6 February 2009

Last night's fun

Well, we got a few people down to the Rose and Crown last night. Not as many as last month. But I put that down to the weather and lack of forum.

Nonetheless there was some enjoyable company, plenty of interesting debate and it once again sparked off a few ideas.

Also one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening, for me, was spotting this quote on the wall of the pub...
If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving you don't actually live longer it just seems longer.

Observer 1964

Fine words -- the Rose and Crown in Southwark really is one of the best pubs around. And we hope to see you there next month.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

LPUK meet up reminder

This is a quick note to remind everyone that we are meeting up at the Rose and Crown in Southwark tomorrow night.

We will be there from 6:30 and all are welcome.

If you arrive and you are not sure who/where we are please ask at the bar.

For a map see the previous post.

We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Snow joke Gordon Brown

After a bit of snow has shown what a terrible state this country is in I thought I would lift the mood with a little joke.

A German doctor said medicine in my country is so advanced we can take a kidney out of one patient, put it in another one and have them looking for work in six weeks.

A French doctor said that's nothing, we can take a lung out of one person put it in another and have them looking for work in four weeks.

The English doctor said that's nothing we can take an arsehole from Scotland put him in Number 10 and have half the country looking for work in 24 hours.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Quotation of the Day

If an allergic man has been stung by a bee, I don't know what to do except rush him to the hospital and maybe scour the cupboards looking for Benadryl. But I'm pretty sure drawing blood from his leg, in order to inject it into his arm and thus "stimulate his immune system," is a bad idea on numerous accounts...

Robert P. Murphy of the Ludwig von Mises Institute