The Harrogate Agenda: The Wife Test

Many of us gathered yesterday at a conference centre in Leamington Spa for the follow up meeting to ratify The Harrogate Agenda; I need not cover the contents as it has been more than adequately covered by Autonomous Mind, what remains unsaid will be revealed in short enough a time to all.

It was 9.30 by the time I got back from the meeting and, with a young family waiting and a wife who had lost her husband for a third weekend in a row* there was obvious interest in why I had spent a lot of money and time travelling to random towns to sit in hotels and talk for hours on end.

So I showed her the draft pamphlet with our six demands.

And these are her observations:

Observation 1. My wife is a very clever lady - a science teacher of several years, but she will be the first to admit that she hates reading; beyond the bible and her text books when preparing or studying for lectures she avoids it like the plague, maybe managing 1 book a year if the mood takes her, so getting her to read a 30 page pamphlet was just not going to fly - will need to be shorter and punchier if it is to appeal to the "man in the pub". Probably more visual too.

Observation 2.
"So your grand idea is to let everyone do what they want regardless of the consequences?" "What?!?" "This but here: pt.1 talking all about sovereignty..."

pt1. deals with individual sovereignty and whilst I understand it to mean that we are ultimately the masters in our relationship with the state and that our demands make this implicit notion (well to most of us) explicit; for the record we are not inviting anarchy to reign, merely that the mechanisms in society be firmly in our grasp rather than a self-selecting elite.

Observation 3.
"ye gods you expect people to turn up to multiple referendum on every piece of legislation?" "No sweetheart that's not what pt.4 actually means and you can read about what it means on page..." "Sod that give me the abridged version." "Okay well [here follows a 5 minute dissertation on the difference in negative and positive ascension of laws, statutes and treaties in parliament and our proposed changes]" "sorry I kind of zoned out there, can I finish watching Transformers 2 now?

Definitely need to make this point visually and as simple as possible.

There would probably be more but sadly Optimus Prime had jus risen from the robot-dead and was kicking ass so had to leave it there.

But it is a good start to getting a view external to our talking shop.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Albert The Anaconda

So old Billy Hague has been given a monumental kick-in by the MSM and bloggers alike...over a stuffed snake; it's as if we have descended into an episode of Yes Minister.

As the FoI request shows this is a historic snake; it was given to Colonial Secretary in the 19th Century and represents a piece of history; I believe we need to preserve artefacts like this for all our benefits and wonder if the simplest solution to this embarassing problem is to ask for donations to Alberts upkeep? Am sure Billy can set up a Just Giving account?


Sir Jimmy Saville.

Some moons ago I was watching an episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks presented by Simon Amstell (so somewhere between 2006 - 2009, or was it earlier and Mark Lamarr?)  where the general dirge of conversation turned to a still alive Jimmy Saville.

After a few mandatory funny jokes about the weirdness of Sir Jimmy I noticed that the show had been cut and pasted to a different point in the episode; panel contestants had shifted in their seats massively, their character and behaviour having gone from lively to calm and sedated; the conversation that had started on Jimmy Saville had been promptly cut short and the take restarted at the next round of the quiz.

Whilst I am certain cutting panel quiz shows down to size is common practice I have never in several years seen it so obviously done.

Aunty Beeb knew about this. A huge number of entertainment professionals in the industry knew about this (hence the redirection of the panel from engaging in mere innuendo about Mr. Saville's proclivities to something more meaty) - the scandal was big enough for a relatively minor BBC2 panel show could get some exec/producer killing the unsavoury bits (and as any avid watcher will know this show can get unsavoury) before broadcast.

More to come methinks.


A Reminder

That our lords and masters really think their turd smells of warm cinnamon rolls with gold nuggets in it:

“Open these gates, I’m telling you – I’m telling you, I’m the chief whip and I’m coming through these gates. Best you learn your f***ing place. You don’t run this f***ing government. You’re f***ing plebs.”

Don't for a minute think the last lot were any more dyed in the wool - they just wore a different rosette.


Quote of the Day

Via jgm2 on the following Guido article; the following cannot be said enough.

jgm2 says:
August 22, 2012 at 11:13 am
Biggest insider dealing scam of the last 10 years? Labour politicians using ‘expenses’ to do up multiple properties knowing full-well that the government would do everything possible to maintain runaway house pr*ices.

Turn a blind eye to reckless lending? Oh yes.

Ignore house price inflation to justify low interest rates? Oh yes.

Change from RPI to (lower) CPI to justify lowering interest rates? Oh yes.

Employ one million bedwetters, box-tickers and bastards on job-for-life deals and set them loose on the limited housing stock available? Oh yes.

Reduce interest rates to 0.5% to artificially prop up house pr*ices even more. Oh yes.

Guarantee mortgages to the (newly) unemployed for two years. Oh yes.

No wonder the likes of Alistair Darling flipped five (was it?) flats.

C*unts. Destroyed the UK economy so they could make a few quid in property speculation.

Darling, Balls et al, not to mention the Bory's, were all at it - whilst I think this was merely a symptom of a deeper malaise it is but a gold seam to add to a rather thick and luxurious noose we should be hanging the lot of them by.


Victory For The 99%, Or 15% As It Stands

My ward results: 2686 votes, or 62% for the Labour Suit, on a turnout of less than 25%, meaning 15%, or 3 in 20 residents wanted this councillor.

Me? I voted for all of them, but undoubtedly the fact that I care enough about the democratic process to partake but register my distaste and non-acceptance of the status quo for what is offered yearly will be counted as little more than a "spoilt vote", and probably not even reported.



Politics 2.0

This is a post a long time coming, but following The Good Dr. North's post this morning I promised, in the comments, to post some contrarian discourse and it it here; partly so I can chalk up the number of posts on my completely atrophied blog and so, maybe, some folks can pick these ideas up and the meme can spread. In any case I believe they might get purchase at this event.

But as Doc. North points out the current constitutional wrangles that are preventing Obamacare from taking hold are indicative of a system, faulty as it is, that works.

In a system riddled with faults, this principle is a shining beacon, and one which we would do well to follow, but to make it happen, we need some baseline changes. First of all, we need a formal, written constitution (approved by a national referendum), and a Supreme Court charged with defending it. No longer can we trust politicians to honour our informal constitution.

Secondly, I would suggest, we need an elected prime minister. That is not wholly linked with the above, but it seems to make sense. On the US lines – and recognising the predominant role of the prime minister in our system – we should as a nation elect our premier, who should not then be an MP, and nor should any of our ministers.

Thirdly, we may assert that no law shall be passed without the active consent of our parliament (requiring thereby a vote), and that no treaty or other device shall obtain which prevents parliament amending, changing or even rejecting a law or a proposal for a law – and that no law, even when passed, shall stand unless also it is constitutional.

I addressed my concerns with these comments on the forum but a brief breakdown by the numbers.

1. The very fact that we see these types of constitutional assaults constantly suggests that the political elite have no problem regularly taking a squat on any piece of paper we put in front of them as a defence, irrespective of how old that piece of paper is.

I feel, by and large, the problem has come about because, if the American experience is anything to go by, the document, with its myriad amendments, feels less like an enduring, physical icon of freedom and more like a rule book hastily annotated with a biro.

2. To verge mildly into pedant-territory the US President (and his Vice President) aren't actually elected to their post by plebiscite. Historically the trend is with the electorate but not always.

In any case what we see in elections is the lightest-weight scum rising to the top of a very, very low lying latrine; I don't see how adding a new echelon to our current rotten state will help.

3. This point I largely agree with, bar the constitutional bit which I mentioned above.

And I think this leads handily into what I feel would work better.

My central thesis is thus: much of politics, politicians, leaders, conquerors and despots is about imposing rules, laws, bye-laws, petty patronage and picking winners; this is all happening in a world in which the very foundations of our society change on a daily basis.

As a libertarian I believe strongly in negative liberties; freedom to do as thou wilt up to the point where it interferes with someone else's means of doing just that - whilst I am certain we would all be much better off if we could live like this I have come to accept that the human condition is much too powerful to allow us all to live in peace, an over-riding passion for interfering in others' lives' and generally thinking a situation isn't made better by tweaking it till its purple and falling off.

I would say that, in a theatre of ever-changing views and opinions of an increasingly distant electorate (whether due to opulence or to a political system that distances the electorate from any fundamental control of how they are governed) we need a system that is as accepting of the fast pace of society. Secondly, in order to overturn the incumbent system that thrives on the status quo and a disinterested plebiscite it needs to be simple and easy to engage with.

That is why I propose the following: the only elements contained in any british constitution should be fundamentally reductive - ideally the following:

- An expansion of officials who derive their power and livelihoods via plebiscite.
- An unreserved right to recall any elected officials.
- Sunset clauses and dates on all future laws, by-laws and statutory instruments and a retrospective element on existing laws set to the end of the next parliament.

The purpose of the above may not appear immediately obvious but I still believe it addresses many of the current shortfalls, particularly the final point on sunset clauses on all laws; we are still working in regulatory frameworks, under laws designed to protect us from crimes that can no longer exist (or are not effectively covered under existing laws) or are poorly written and have unintended consequences that have existed for decades in a world changing at an ever increasing pace - if history, ancient and recent, has taught us anything it is that governments ossify and kill real growth; particularly when they grow distant from their original purpose (as a trade-off of some freedoms to enjoy the others more effectively) and we need to address this.

Incumbent governments would no longer enjoy the vast autocratic power and ability to build new layers of laws on bad old ones; there would be a very limited time to debate adding a new sedimentary layer of waffle to the statute books rather than correct older laws; environmental laws double taxing consumers and acting beyond their necessary scope? Repeal or amend it accordingly, minimum pricing turns out to be an asinine idea that impoverishs, miserabalises the poor? Let it die after a term.

What's more this would appeal to the natural rationality in the public; to take stock of what your doing when it isn't working is at once one of the most innovative and smartest aspects of human thinking that has seen us to the top of the food chain - you can convince people of all creeds to take stock of decisions they make a lot easier than showing them where they went wrong - you could just as easily be wrong too.

And it is naturally reductive in the size of the state, encouraging a naturally happy medium of social and economic freedom and oppression which would naturally adapt to the nature of our culture - no government will focus on the minutiae of reactive politics, the preferable size or shape of fruit and veg or want to intrude into people's personal business without just cause if they become the government who then allows actual criminals en masse walking free because they didn't table a review of a particular law in their parliament - ultimately it would focus the mind of what must be some very bored mps.

The argument for a smaller, better state which reacts to a changing world in a measured and controlled way by naturally reviewing and discarding laws as they become obsolete and tweaking them as they go is an idea that is sellable to the public and a simpler way of getting the state to do its job and stay off our collective backs; no need for rebellion, blasé political manifestos from minority parties or unreasonable demands for fundamental changes in the makeup of our political system - just a call to add a use-by date on our political elites and, more importantly, their laws.

Bad ideas tend to outlive there creators - lets put an end to that.


Related To My Last Post...

Disclaimer: I am not a smoker, just consistent in my being pissed off at freedoms being poo-pooed on by our freedom-loving coagulation.

Master Snowden has a wonderful anecdote on his recent experiences trying to traverse the new "tobacco shutters" that have sprung up at every major supermarket across Britain; a similar thing has been seen at my local ASDA, Tesco and Morrisons lately, but as I don't (at least haven't for a decade or more) smoke I have not had the privilege of being denied tobacco from any of these establishments.

That said I am naturally all for this and, as with my last post want to see it applied elsewhere.

Yes I think this might work in the tupping, grot and saucy movie industry too.

To be enjoyed, but from behind a piece of white MDF.

I mean after all men do sexually assault women; all the time in fact, the news is rife with stories, and I'm guessing most men got the idea that women were all up for it from sexually charged literature and films giving that obviously false impression. Clearly this is entirely down to what people have access to and not down to the individual in question and we should puta stop to it so I put forth the following suggestions for your consideration:

- We place a 6ft tall barrier along the route through Spencer Place in Leeds with a 1ft gap at the bottom so punters can see the ladies of I'll reputes' legs and pick one on that basis; I know we run the risk of exciting sexual ardour by showing the legs but by god man, we aren't living in North Korea.

- The top shelf front bracket gets higher; I would suggest at least reaching the ceiling. It's contents can only be accessed by answering a number of elaborate questions to identify if your a sex fiend, a pervert or a 15 year old boy with a libido the size of a walrus.

- DVDs will naturally have white covers and plain DVDs which give no indication as to there contents.

In fact it be best to package these up at random in packs with blank DVD cases; that way potential perverts are forced to buy large numbers of Blank DVDs until they find one, potentially giving up in the process and instead recording a nice episode of Gardeners World or A Place in the Sun instead.

or they could tape Fireman Sam for the kids.

I'm certain this idea will protect children and women alike from the dangers of passive grot-enjoyment; it'll be several years before third-hand grot enjoyment is eliminated but those crested uplands are on the horizon.


Forget A Minimum Alcohol Price, Let's Put A Minimum Price On Paid-for Tupping

Yorkshires finest sex workers of Spencer Place

I've been thinking a lot about this minimum pricing lark and I've reached a conclusion; I like it. I fact I like it so much I can think of a number of other area we could apply it to:

- Receding hairline matt varnish.
- Vaseline intensive care eye-lid moisturiser.
- Cocaine and related products.
- Samuri swords.

For as you know a minimum price will have the following effects:

- it dissuades frivolous uses of those products it's applied to, leading to a much snazzier kind of user.
- it leads to better quality product as providers of poorer versions quickly go under.


Receding hairline matt varnish

Ye gods the light! It burns!

VIC eye-lid moisturiser


And clearly the last 2 examples never saw anything crop up as a consequence of raising the minimum price to, say, ooh 5 years in jail minimum.


Well never mind that I have a rather elegant proposal we could apply minimum pricing too which would kill 2 (fat) birds with one stone.

We legalise prostitution and apply a minimum price for services rendered by sex workers; I can see it now (or hypothesise on the impact as my wife doesn't let me out after dark; it's scary out there) - beautiful, scantily clad maidens fair wandering the darker reaches of Leeds' Red Light District scanning for work, Roxanne will put on her red light tonight.

But wait Tom it just won't be that way you say? Why not - surely higher quality poontang will be in the offing if we raise the minimum price Bertha charges versus some lithe eastern European competition; it'll be safer too - the bottom-dwelling echelons of the market for sex will no longer have the cash to partake, prostitutes will be cleaner and safer as their violent cheapo-stinko punters disappear.

What do you mean that will put Bertha on the dole? She was on there already - why does it matter if she can't afford that Sky TV anymore? She was already finding it difficult to attract punters as it was, particularly since you banned smoking in her work place.

And wait your telling me those violent, dirty disease riddled punters just found other ways of getting rowdy, assaulting folks, drinking alcohol hand gel and sniffing glue? What - they managed to shack up with one another?


For what reason do you think pricing the violent, unwashed masses out of the drinking market will have an impact on their behaviour?

And even if it did why would you allow the purveyors of alcohol to keep the artificially raised profit from this activity?

There is no economic justification for creating a minimum price; there is no legitimate moral argument ultimately - your just spreading the misery on the lowest earners from the top.

But, by forcing the revenue onto the industry, which will see some companies who went for premium product not affected by minimum pricing, whilst killing other groups who sold alcohol to the lowest paid (and I believe we would be lucky to see this be neutral in aggregate on the alcohol industry) you create the least good, most destructive justification of them all: a political one.

Raising taxes is always unpopular, artificially raising prices further along the supply chain (whether it be money, booze, fags...) mitigates the effects of that unpopularity, moving it onto other groups (read big alcohol/tobacco/finance etc.)

Time we started focusing blame where due.


The Left Have Set The Bar

But Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg said on Tuesday he was a "strong supporter" of the cap, as were the "vast majority" of people, because it was "fair to say you can't receive more in benefits than if you were to earn £35,000 before tax".

And for one of those rare fleeting moments Mr. Clegg is right.

Still when all is said and done the question I will be asking to my mp Rachel Reeves and what I urge you to ask your own mp and assorted lefties will be this:

If £26,000 is not enough in take-home benefits to support those on welfare then why is it more than ample for a taxpaying worker?

Divvy up that figure into 2 people working and you get a minimum £13k income untaxed that Labour and associated peers say is desperately not enough to support a household; current standard tax free allowance is ~£6.5k for most folk.

So why is it ok to tax twice as much income from a hardworking taxpayer as it is to cap double that in benefits to someone who isn't working?

Blogging light for the foreseeable future; work heavy. Will try to get more in but money and patience in short supply. Stay safe and eyes open!