Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Rose and Crown meet up August 6th

The South East Branch of the Libertarian Party will be having their monthly meet up at the Rose and Crown in Southwark on Thursday, August 6th.

As normal we will be there from 6:30 onwards and we are praying for sunshine as the July meet up was wonderful.

The meet is open to everyone. And if it is your first time or you can't find us when you arrive ask at the bar -- the landlady will point you in the right direction.

Here's a map and we hope to see you next Thursday...


View Rose and Crown -- Southwark in a larger map

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Something you wouldn't see on TV in the UK

You can tell how far we're down the road of statism in this country by just looking at the difference between American and British TV.

Would you ever see anything similar to the above on a British news channel?

Probably not.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Last Veteran of the Trenches passes away

Harry Patch, the 'Last Tommy' to have served in trenches of WWI passed away today, just a week after Henry Allingham, the last surviving veteran of the Battle of Jutland.

I don't think this is a time for political commentary on that war, current wars or the nature of war, it is a time for a few thoughts for the passing of a generation who quietly and honourably served their country. For several years a small handful of increasingly frail supercentenarians have had to shoulder the burden of being the last living representatives of a generation of young men who were sent to fight a war - sometimes pointlessly, sometimes necessarily, but always honourably.

We will remember them, and those in Afganistan and elsewhere who have paid the ultimate sacrifice today.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Jim Rogers Printing Money is not the solution

Inspiring stuff from super investor Jim Rogers.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

BoE to continue typing numbers into computers

This is a rather interesting development. And suggests the BoE has no desire to stop with it's Zimbabwe policy...
The Bank of England today indicated it is ready to print more money to boost the economy after inflation fell below target for the first time in nearly two years.

Deputy governor Charlie Bean and new recruit Adam Posen, who joins the Bank's monetary policy committee in September, said last week's decision not to extend quantitative easing beyond £125 billion did not mean the programme was finished.

"Much too much has been made of this so-called pause," said Posen.
...
Posen said: "The risks right now are more about deflation than inflation. Once you fall into a deflationary situation, it is very hard to get out.

"Interest rate cuts and quantitative easing combined with the fiscal stimulus is the right way to face this."

The point everyone should remember about 'typing numbers into computers' is that while you destroy debt you also destroy savings. Or in other words you destroy the investment capital that will help us get out of this mess.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

IanPJ speech to Parliamentary Conference on Global Economic meltdown

As Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, I had the pleasure yesterday (Monday 13th July) to spend the day at Westminster, attending as a speaker the Parliamentary Conference on Global Financial and Economic Meltdown.
 
This lively event, hosted by Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich was held in Committee rooms 3 and 4a in the House of Lords, and was organised jointly by Global Vision 2000 and the Universal Peace Federation UK.
 
There were a variety of speakers at this conference, including:
Dr.Nafeez Ahmed : Director, Institute for Policy Research and Development
Anne Belsey: Monetary Reform Party                                                                                
Canon Peter Challen:Chairman, Christian Council for Monetary Justice                                                                                       
Kelvin Hopkins MP - Labour, Luton North
Ian Parker-Joseph   Leader,  Libertarian Party
Daud Pidcock: Global Vision 2000                                                           
David Triggs: Coalition for Economic Justice & Executive Chair, Henry George Foundation
Dr.Adrian Wrigley Systemic Fiscal Reform Group     
The full text of the 10 minute speech given by myself is below, although much of the presentation was interspersed with ad hoc examples and comments,
the Monetary Reform solution was presented in the Q&A session due to time constraints.
 
 
At no time in history has any individual had such a wealth of information at their fingertips.  With this in mind, you would think it would be easy to take the pulse of the global economy but at no time in history has the global economy been so rich, varied, and rapid.
 
Business systems of increasing complexity govern our lives in ways the classic economists could never have envisaged.  Entire industries collapse without anything tangible ever disrupting supply chains and nations fall bankrupt on the "market confidence" of Wall Street traders.  We live in a world of inconceivable numbers and we live in blissful ignorance of business and financial practices we never knew existed… until they go spectacularly wrong.
 
No government can ever control an economy.  All those who have sought to do so have destroyed it.  One can only manage ones' responses to events in it.  While we may like to gear our economy in a certain way, our economies do not run in isolation of each other. Thanks to globalisation and the internet we are inextricably linked and we cannot pretend otherwise. Which is why the proposals that I will put forward later will cover both domestic and international economics.
 
As world leaders try to move us ever closer towards international  regulations and international bodies of control, there is only one constant. 
 
Systems,
 
Systems of whatever type, inevitably fail… be they computer systems, regulatory systems or currency systems. This presents the immediate reality that if we use only one system then when it fails, we all fail. And we all fail at the same time.
 
Undeterred by this reality it has not prevented our leaders from seeking to standardise, make uniform and equalise our systems.  But each society has its own unique perspectives and interests, any such common systems require either a democracy bypass or compromise which fundamentally weakens the basis of the system.  In global banking we have seen both. 
 
We have also witnessed institutional schizophrenia whereby one regulator does not know what the other is doing or even what it is for, and our  politicians do not know the extent of their powers or to whom the real power belongs.
 
What we saw last year was the culmination of national, regional and global government intervening in things they do not understand and cannot control. 
 
The oft quoted cause of this crisis is "irresponsible lending" and "excessive risk" by "greedy bankers".  But that is only half way to the truth. 
 
The credit crunch is a failure of global regulation as a tool, leading to the construction of castles on a foundation of jelly, such international regulation is now wholly discredited.
Risk is its own regulator when governments do not seek to meddle, and had we retained control of our own regulation, the crisis here need not have hit us as hard as it did.
 

We are all aware of the disposal of the assets that US banks were legally obliged to create under the Community Reinvestment Act, creating loans worth more than their balance sheets. This put a direct freeze on interbank lending. This subsequent freeze in capital flow sent shockwaves through the markets resulting in instant paralysis.
 
Subsequently we were forced by circumstance to take a leap of faith that bailouts would restore market confidence and jumpstart interbank lending.  Whether or not this has worked is, frankly, anyone's guess.
 
There are conflicting signal signs and while there may be room for optimism we have been warned by the IMF this week that Britain cannot afford another bailout, which may yet be necessary. Among all the talk of "green shoots of recovery" the fear is that we will enter a double dip recession.  The contraction of the job market further could lead to bigger credit defaults, not least on credit card debt which is now outstripping our GDP.
 
Our present administration has taken it upon itself to bailout everything that so much as squeaks. This is a path to economic suicide. 
 
 
Even if such measures worked, this is all a sticking plaster at best. Present policy is predicated on the idea that a debt based economy is sustainable and desirable. It is not. UK Plc needs to be producing and exporting, earning money from overseas.
 
The Domestic Economy needs to be stimulated from the bottom up not the top down. Economies are sustained by the ability of the purchasing public to earn, save and spend, consuming the products that the factories produce.
 
There is little point in bailing out a failing car manufacturer to see them make cars that they cannot sell.
 
Put simply it is not capitalism that has failed, it is creditism. Capitalism was designed to work on capital, but it has been distorted and altered to rely on credit, spend now pay later.
 
It is that this debt based economic model that has now found its way into every layer of society from consumer, retailer, producer to government, all totally reliant upon credit, is the primary reason why a single system failure, in this case interbank lending, stopped everything dead in its tracks.
 
Having sold off our gold reserves, raided our pension funds  and squandered the money, there was nothing to fall back on, and we have allowed the backbone of the country, the wealth creators, the small to medium enterprise to be drowned in a sea of compliance, regulation and taxes which are crippling our ability to compete, and consequently we have a shrinking productive sector in a country that is spending ever more.
 
Nations, markets and individuals are stronger through diversity than homogenised cultures, regulatory systems and governments.With this in mind we must reform to ensure our money is real and that our future is built on more than just an I.O.U note to the world bank.
 
Real Money, not borrowings, is the core of the economy. It belongs to those to earn and spend it, the wealth creators, not merely to those who currently create money or manage it.
 
But that is only a beginning.
 
Total Reform of the monetary system, I propose Three planks – Sterling, Sovereign and Free Banking
 
Firstly, we will return the sovereignty of our national currency—pounds Sterling—to the Crown, removing the privilege of creating money from the private banking industry, with new Sterling being created, debt-free, by the government, and thence spent into the broader economy. The amount of Sterling in circulation will be prevented from being expanded through FRB, stopping bank generated inflationary spirals developing, and keeping the value of your savings safe.
 
Secondly, we will create a new currency, pounds Sovereign, to be 100% backed by gold. Still vital for international trade, a gold-backed currency will be immensely strong, and help protect the UK from the storms and squalls that sometimes rip through international markets. This kind of currency will also attract investment from overseas into the UK.
 
Thirdly, allow for the creation of free banks. Free Banks would be completely free of any government interference or regulation. If these prove popular with the market—the citizens of our nation—they will grow and prosper, choosing to embrace FRB if it wished with their own currencies (HSBC peso or Natwest dollars) possibly supplanting Sterling as the primary means of exchange on a day-to-day basis. However, and should they fail, such failure will not impact on anyone who chooses to keep their banking facilities purely denominated in pounds Sterling. In this way a genuine free market in banking will be able to be tried, without the risks being spread over the general population, or the nation as a whole.
 
I believe that the proposals outlined above are sound and necessary. Our existing banking system has been creaking from one crisis to the next over many years, and has only remained unchallenged because of the enormous influence that those who most benefit from it—the private bankers—wield over our elected politicians.
 
I am happy that some of the Libertarian Party policies outlined in our manifesto (http://lpuk.org/pages/manifesto.php) are beginning to find traction in Westminster, and that my contribution reaffirmed the consensus view with those voices who shared this platform with me yesterday.
 
 
.
 

Private schools on the way out...

I never enjoyed the wonders of an independent school education. However I must admit I am rather concerned about the government's crusade to abolish them. Or at least bring them under state influence...
Independent schools in England are protesting about "too narrow" rules for charitable status - as two out of five test-case schools fail to qualify.

The loss of charitable status threatens tax benefits for independent schools.

The Independent Schools Council says the rulings rely too much on the number of bursaries, with fees likely to have to rise to fund subsidised places.

The Charity Commission says charities must "demonstrate how they bring real benefit to the public".

You'll note the very vague goal posts set by the Charity Commission -- "demonstrate how they bring real benefit to the public". Which basically means we'll decide whether we like you or not.

In addition as Fake Charities point out there are plenty of 'charities' that are just paid up Government mouth pieces. So quite how you can criticise private schools is beyond me.

The only explanation for this behaviour by the Government is control. They want complete control of the education system.

It can be seen in their policies against home educators. And it's clearly the driving force behind their independent schools policy.

The reasons for this should be obvious. It's because one of the greatest threats to the statist agenda comes from independent schools promoting independent thinking.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Brighton Campaign Day -- August 1st

After the success of our campaign day in Norwich the South East branch are organising our second campaign day.

The campaign day will be held in Brighton on Saturday August 1st. It is set to coincide with the Gay Pride festival and parade.

We believe this event will provide us with a great opportunity to promote and discuss our liberal policies and ideas.

Obviously we will need as many helpers as we can get. So if you want to find out more about helping and having a fun day out in Brighton please contact robert.waller@lpuk.org.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

South East Members in Norwich North


Yesterday members of the LPUK from the South East went up to Norwich to help Thomas Burridge with his campaign.

We had a great day out and got some good responses from the residents of Norwich.

Thank you to everyone who came and helped. And good luck to Thomas for the rest of his campaign.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Hertfordshire -- Police for hire...

In a worrying development Hertfordshire police are trialing a rent-a-cop initiative...
A police force is hiring out uniformed officers to businesses wanting more patrols.

Traders have joined together to pay for extra police to look over their premises.

But critics claim the rent-a-cop plan is a move towards a two-tier service.

Police Federation spokesman Metin Enver said: "It's a worrying trend to get groups effectively buying policing.

"Is this a stepping stone to a two-tier policy so those who can afford it get one service and those who can't get another?"

And Mr Metin said of Hertfordshire Police's initiative: "This is a dangerous path. You can imagine a ripple effect as more people ask for extra patrols."

There are a number of issues with the above that raise concerns. First as tax payers we have already paid for a police service. So quite why we should have to pay again is beyond me.

However more worrying is the mixing of business and state. We should all be deeply concerned and suspicious of business being allowed to purchase and deploy the resources of the state. Because ultimately it gives businesses power they would not normally have.

For me this seems to be another sign of the development of the fascist/corporatist state in Britain. And we should all be concerned by it.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

LGBT and the dangers of socialism

I was over at LabourLost yesterday when I noticed this rather amusing piece of Fabian internationalist nonsense from Kevin Peel.

It encapsulates the idealistic but authoritarian thinking that many socialists follow...
[F]or the most part, the decades of struggle by committed LGBT activists has paid off. We’ve got an equal age of consent, gay couples can adopt children, homophobic discrimination at work and in the provision of goods and services has been outlawed, the gender recognition act means trans people can have their true gender recognised under law, civil partnerships give lesbian and gay couples (almost) equal rights as heterosexual married couples, lesbian couples have equal access to NHS fertility treatment and we’re currently putting a shiny new Equality Bill through Parliament to tie it all together with a big bow on top.

We now need to be looking to other countries and saying ‘Why haven’t you got that?’

67 countries (don’t quote me on that) have now signed the UN’s Declaration on the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality, a groundbreaking (but nonbinding) measure put forward in December 2008 which condemned human rights violations based on homophobia. I was proud that the UK led the charge on this. It was the first time gay rights have ever been discussed in the 192 member General Assembly of the UN and marks an important point in the recognition of the world wide struggle for LGBT equality. However, it had to be proposed as a nonbinding measure because there was not enough support for an official resolution. Homosexuality is still banned in nearly 80 countries and punishable by death in 6. Including Saudi Arabia, a country I’m ashamed that we call an ally.
...
But we can’t just pass the buck to the UN or to Europe. Our own Government needs to be speaking out more against countries oppressing their citizens and stifling basic freedoms. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is doing some great work through the diplomatic service and I was proud to see our embassies flying the pride flag on 17th May (International Day Against Homophobia), but we need to start getting tough with countries who think it is ok to treat LGBT people as second class citizens. The softly softly approach only works if you can back it up with a big stick.

The question one must ask is, how on Earth does Kevin Peel think we will achieve this? How do you stop the whole world being homophobic?

Historically speaking no-one has achieved anything like this. Not even the British Empire managed to end slavery. And they were willing to point the 19th century's version of a nuclear arsenal at people.

So if the Royal Navy -- which was the biggest stick at the time -- were unable to impose a world view on everyone. How precisely are we going to end homophobia worldwide?

Are we going to point guns at people? Or even nuclear weapons? How far would we have to go to achieve this objective?

The worrying thing about Kevin's view is it is inherently authoritarian. Because there is no way we could ever achieve such a ridiculous goal without resorting to controlling or violent measures.

And that is why everyone should be wary of socialism. Because despite the good intentions the only way to achieve their goals is through violence or control.

Liar! Liar!


shopped from an original Nicholson in Australia and courtesy of the Red Rag

From the Times this Morning:
Mr Brown should engage with reality



How long can this go on? Every week Gordon Brown is presented with new numbers, taken from the Treasury’s own documents, showing his government is planning to cut public spending from 2011. Every week he denies it, repeating the mantra that voters have a choice between Labour “investment” and “Tory cuts”. Last week he gave us a phrase that will surely enter the political lexicon: that Labour would achieve “zero per cent growth”.

Commentators compare Mr Brown with Richard Nixon, who acquired the nickname of Tricky Dicky. In fact, the late US president’s dissembling was much more skilful. No 10 advisers are getting uneasy, as are cabinet ministers, at Mr Brown’s inept efforts. He has not yet promoted a horse to the post of consul but his detachment from reality is growing daily.


Love the Caligula reference.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Norwich campaign day

As you may be aware, there is an upcoming parliamentary by-election in Norwich North.

It's not in our region, but a number of Libertarian Party South East members will hopefully be traveling up in one of the upcoming weekends to campaign for the LPUK candidate Thomas Burridge.

This is a landmark moment for the Libertarian Party- it is the first time the Libertarian Party will have contested a parliamentary constituency, and Thomas will likely be the youngest ever parliamentary candidate.

If you would like to join us on the campaign trail, please email me at richard.williams@lpuk.org. If you cannot spare some time, please donate to our election fighting fund at the link to the side of this blog.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Swine Flu -- London DOOOOOOOOMED!!!

This is becoming really tiring. When are the MSM going to realise that Swine Flu might be a non-story that doesn't deserve so much attention?

How is a story about a very ill man being pushed over the edge by Swine Flu anything other than a personal tragedy...
A teenager has become the first London patient to die after contracting swine flu.

The 19-year-old man, from Lewisham, died on Wednesday after complaining of flu-like symptoms. It is understood he was already seriously ill with a rare long-term health
condition which left him with serious chest infections.

Paramedics took him to Lewisham hospital by ambulance after his family called the emergency services but doctors were unable to save his life and he was confirmed dead on arrival at accident and emergency.

Test results last night confirmed that the teenager was infected with the H1N1 virus and an inquest into his death is now expected to be opened.

Swine flu is just flu. If you're already ill or frail it might kill you -- like a lot of other things. But it's not as if HIV has become airborne. We really aren't all doooooomed!!!

But reading the MSM it makes you wonder whether they're in cahoots with the government to scare the... out of us all the time.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

ID cards on the way out?

Some people seem quite excited about Labour's back down over ID cards...
Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, has announced the death of compulsory ID cards in a significant Government climbdown over the controversial scheme.

He said the cards will now only be issued to Britons on a voluntary basis meaning no one will ever be forced to have one, effectively paving the way for the scheme to be scrapped altogether.

However I'm not convinced. This isn't really the "death" of ID cards at all. They're not being scrapped just made 'voluntary'...

And as we all know, something doesn't have to be declared compulsory to be made compulsory.

All the government would have to do is force banks to demand them when people set up a new account -- and what do you know.

Let's be quite clear, we should not be content until ID cards have been scrapped completely.