Quote Of The Year

Totalitarianism is the invention (by which I mean the betrayal) of reality.

From the excellent NickM at Counting Cats; put another way the acceptance of the acceptance of unreality, like the one presented to us by politicians and the media, is manifestly evil - to notionally and continually accept their bilge when events and reality start to bite and tell you differently is not only idiocy but also inherently evil by this measure.


Cable's To The Metro

Zippy, yesterday.

An email I wrote to the Metro this morning on the peasant wagon to work, saved here for posterity:

It is heartening to hear that Vince Cable has been censured from the enquiry and business case of Rupert Murdoch's desired takeover of BSkyB, a company his group has effectively revived from it's pre-Murdoch state; it is repugnant that so much can be made of other established competing media groups complaining of monopoly when at best this will give him a 25% share of the UK media market; in context the BBC enjoys over a 40% share of the market backed up by it's licence fee we are forced to pay like it or not; an advantage Rupert Murdoch's group doesn't enjoy.

What has garnered less attention though is still as incredible is some of Mr. Cable's other activities as business secretary, namely to do with my own political party, The Libertarian Party.

At our last Annual General Meeting we elected a new party leader, Andrew Withers; he has been pursuing a legal battle with the BIS for some time now; the content of which he is documenting in his blog and a book.

His official recognition in the role (something which needs to be registered by the state) was challenged by the BIS with a legal injunction direct from Mr. Cable's office before being thrown out by a court judge as outside of the BIS's remit.

In case this needs laying out more clearly: Mr. Cable used his political position to try and stop legitimate election proceedings for a minor political party who targets the liberal base of their party; are these the benign actions of a secretary of state or that of a politically motivated electioneer?

So Cable 2 words: zip it.


Getting NHS, Heck, Any Service Reform, On Peoples Minds

Why didn't I think/remember/bleat about this before?

Reading this on the peasant wagon home I've stopped to mention one surefire, simple way of getting people talking about real reform of the NHS.

First what are the main wildly wrong views people have of the NHS?

- That it is free.

- That it is fair.

- That it is the envy of the world.

Now I won't try to fisk these particular points about the NHS; they have all been done better elsewhere and by smarter people, and I'm sure that, for it's faults, it does still do it's job as good as it can, however all the points made above do not address one aspect; that the current free at the point of entry scheme need be collected as it currently is.

So my suggestion is this: National Insurance should be collected in the same way any private insurance policy is: by going direct to the consumer with an invoice/bill*.

Would you really be as disinterested in how much your national insurance premiums were value for money if you had a bill came through your door or a debit left your account at month end?

People forget where they should look on their pay slip; it's not the "Net" box at the bottom right highlighted but the "Gross" pay amount normally hidden above.

Can you imagine what would happen if they did this to income tax?

* = Taking it further why not have a part-fund mechanism for NICs? Your unemployment and pension become linked with a minimum annuity guarantee on the pension- if your unemployed the fund kicks in to pay for it until you find work whereby it fills back up again; if you drain the fund it defaults to your pension pot - if you live a life on benefits you drain your pension pot to it's insurance backed minimum which provides a lower annuity threshold than would be got for paying in normally - if the unemployment pot fills you pay a lower rate of national insurance than you would filling it.


Forest, Trees.

Been reports over the last few days of this sorry individual and the Hooman Roits crowds success in keeping him in this country and how this is, apparently, a. bad. thing.

Me? I can't but help thinking that the focus on deporting him is a little perverse; what angers me about the whole case is that for painfully ending the life of a twelve year old whilst banned from driving, without insurance or a licence, a life that would hopefully had had several more decades sadly cut short, this equated to 4 months in jail:

Lifetime of Amy Houston = 4 months locked in here:

One long playstation/hooker/drug holiday at her majesty's pleasure.

If that doesn't anger you- that you can be put away longer for smoking in a pub than for running someone over- more than whether we should send him back or whether we need a piece of legislation from Brussels you really need your head examined.

Course, the prescription in either case is the same; we need to democratise the judiciary and elect our officials in all fields we consent to be governed by - it is a lack of this assent to be governed that is causing this disenfranchisement and sadly there are few people who are successfully advocating this.

Until this changes, that the judiciary's minds are concentrated on the justice we want as a people, everything else is just window dressing and will change little.

Judicial activism needs to be destroyed.


Malcontents & Chaos

From my post yesterday morning I see some more folk have enforced my very low opinion of humanity; my growing misanthropy is being fed daily.

They defiled a statue of Winston Churchill by urinating on it, ripped flags from the Cenotaph – the nation’s sacred memorial to those who died in the name of liberty – then lit fires and sprayed slogans on the ground in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament.
Windows were smashed at the Supreme Court building. Even the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square – a symbol of peace and goodwill – became a focus for senseless vandalism.

These are not the actions of urban warriors fighting against apartheid; they are not followers of the spirit of great men like Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jnr fighting against the injustice of state-mandated segregation, racism or imperial oppression - if anything they are arguing for more of the latter - and they are certainly not Anarchists (capital A) in the honourable sense; anarchy is the noble belief in absolute liberty and freedom of the individual to rise or fall by their own merit and to contract as they like with whom they like. These are Chaotists and malcontents and are not fighting for a noble cause but against one; they could strive to achieve great things in later life, be entrepreneurs and donate their wealth to real charities helping give poor kids their "right" to a decent education; instead they moan about being forced to make difficult decisions about where totals their life- in effect, being forces to grow up and face reality*.

My company took us on a retreat this week in thanks for all our hard work making it profitable year on year; they hired a motivational speaker who told us that FEAR is 2 acronyms- the first: False Evidence Appearing Real- these demonstrators would do well to understand that this is not the collapse of a "right" but it's genesis.

Me? I prefer the second acronym: Fuck Everything And Run.

* = yes I did get my education "free; I consider it a "privilege", not a right and the following points should be made:

-6 years on my pay is only now coming to levels where I am asked to pay for it; a consequence partly of events in my own life and the New Labour experiment choking the life out of every job market in the country.

- I pay in excess of at least 40% of my wage in taxes of one form
or another, a third being lifted before I even get my weekly pay cheque, the rest extracted by billed taxes like council and road tax. It is probably above the 60% mark in terms of taxation when you consider VAT and ancillary costs of regulation on consumer goods & services which are passed on to the consumer.

- Are education system is incredibly closed down and illiberal; I can download top American university lecture series onto my iPhone for free and learn but how would I get accredited learning this way? Whilst the cost to the education supplier is actually going down due to technology, the cost to the consumer goes up; this is a direct result of a government monopoly in education.


Giving Back

A Major Hunt, Yesterday.

Waking up this morning to Jeremy Hcunt hectoring the middle classes to donate more of that shrinking disposable income to charity.

A millionaire minister has risked angering the middle classes by lambasting the better-off for not giving enough money to charity.
Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, also believes they should do more to help their communities by volunteering.

I am too tired and cranky this morning to deconstruct this bilge, but it does bring up recent feelings that have been fulminating recently.

When the youth group I give my own time voluntarily to came back from the half term break I was told that at least several members that we knew of had been involved in criminal acts, had vandalised others personal property or bullied them, and, somehow worse, had been a little forthright about how they felt about the various youth group leaders who had been selflessly giving their time (and in one very dramatic case their health) to try to make their lives a little bit more comfortable.

Last week, when the snow was at it's worse, I dropped the car at the bottom of my hill (which becomes impassable once the ice sets in) only to have it broken into, 2 windows smashed, one which was electric, so some crack head could steal my 16-month old daughters toy, which they later abandoned down the street; the cost of repairing the windows (luckily) was less than £150 - the cost of cleaning the glass, snow and water damage out of the car, nor the emotionally tiring arse-ache of ringing the (frankly useless) police or my insurer (who dutifully informed me I could claim for the damage after much the runaround, but would lose my no-claims and crank up my premiums massively next year) hasn't been ascertained yet.

These 2 events, and the fact that the impetus towards and ever expanding state hasn't slowed, have led me to a somewhat depressing conclusion: the people of this land don't want change.

As such I am beginning to come to the same conclusion of Rand's character John Galt came to: that we are a nation of looters and mediocratists, and that the only way this will change is to stand well back and let it play out to the inevitable conclusion.

I will not be helping out at my youth group anymore; right or wrong to inflict collective punishment on innocents these are the product of multiple generations of looters who continue to perpetuate the current kleptocracy rather than take the grips that need to be got; civil society is collapsing and sadly nothing I have seen, nor seemingly that of my betters is indicating otherwise.

That's not say good things aren't still happening; my wallet fell out of my pocket and a school child turned it in to his teacher who handed it to my bank nearest me. It is just that for every good thing I am seeing 20 bad.

We are at a false dawn; Cameron promised much but appears to be as venal and corrupt as his new labour predecessors. I'm going back to bed; I've been working all night long.


Happy Christmas

So how's everyone first day of December treating them?

Having trudged back 6 and a half miles from the centre of Leeds after my bus got caught in the mother of all traffic jams due to several inches of global warming bringing traffic to a near standstill I now have to work on metrics for the last year's work based on incoherent figures pulled together haphazardly from my predecessors notes, organise a mass cleanup of my department area remotely for an impromptu VIP visit for which I have had my boss "delegating" tasks to me, and entertain my 16 month-old daughter whilst she is teething and feeling extra-clingy.

This on the back of a dose of norovirus last week in which I shat and vomitted myself half a stone lighter along with my wife, daughter and immediate family, and having to sort out a car insurance claim after someone smashed my passenger-side electric window so they could steal my baby-girl's broken phone we gave her to play with.

Couple that onto the fact that my car, now full of broken glass and unable to get to my driveway for the global warming, will now almost certainly be breaches past my imperfect cardboard and plastic bag seal to let huge mounds of snow and ice in.

How's your December starting out? Good?