Friday, 23 January 2009

Free Speech? Not Bloody Likely

I've written elsewhere about the need to teach children how to reason from cause to effect rather than applying the pseudo-scientific 'let's start at Page 259' mimetic approach to learning: it's like coming in on the punch-line of a joke. Now, though I'm a fan of Conservative Home and the 'better' kind of Conservative values - privacy, small state and proper competition within a free market (rather than corporation-dominated laissez faire) - certain things have shown up recently which I find extremely worrying because they're so lacking in basic logic that they'd make the average child ashamed to be associated with its elders. So lacking that they've made me change my (already trembling) political allegiance altogether; as of this afternoon, I am a proud member of the Libertarian party.

The first of these is Cameron's meeting with DEMOS. Cameron's now talking about 'progressive Conservativism' to a group of Liberal/Leftwingers. 'Progressive' and 'conservative' are antonyms. Contracting them effectively removes the possibility of any meaningful dialogue whatsoever. You either support personal freedom or state interference: there is no middle ground. You might as well abolish politics altogether. Of course, this was noted back in the US in the 1970s when the prospective Communist Party candidates gave up because all their socialist ideas had already been seamlessly worked into the Republican and Democrat party lines.

'Red Toryism' is the second: a bizarre contradictory conglomeration of principles including a challenge to 'centralisation, monopolisation and speculation' which might alienate some Thatcherites (how? How could this possibly be?); an assertion that the Left stands for atheism, statism and individualism (there are plenty of c(C)onservative atheists; allow each to their own, as long as they have learnt about thoroughly that against which they are fighting), three things that ought to be examined separately; a break from neo-Thatcherist economic policies (without which we would not have had the years of relative financial comfort after the previous disastrous Labour government) and then, defying all logic, a promise to create a living wage rather than a minimum one! Minimum wages are exceptionally bad for the economy because they prevent the creation of jobs; what on earth will a living wage (and who is to determine what comprises it) do? 

All these projects seem designed to do are to confuse one part of the electorate and cosy up to the other. Conservatism and Liberalism don't go together - if they do, then neither are holding to their original political positions and are, instead, toeing a Third Way. The Third Way, if you recall, was popularised by Blair. It has created the kind of creeping strangulation of civil liberties and privacy against which so many angry Britons are justifiably militating against. Clause 152 of Part 8 of the Coroners and Justice Bill seeks to make data-sharing 'easier' - as if RIPA didn't enable diverse government bodies to snoop at will - and to allow private as well as public bodies to access the most personal information about us. This must not be allowed to happen under any circumstances. If you value your liberty, write to your MP today and demand that the Bill be scrutinised. And keep a close eye on the Conservatives; they could represent a greater nightmare than that which we face already.

6 comments:

  1. Welcome Trembling Libertarian, made mental note not to call you Mara as it is one of you pet hates !

    Andrew Withers Chairman LPUK

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  2. Welcome Mara! LPUK is the last bastion of articulation* (and a few other important things), so you will be in the right place. On the subject of language, your post illustrates how we liberals (yes that's liberals), are challenged by others' misappropriation of language; the word libertarian is a case-in-point - awkward, but one of only a few still remaining to us.

    * Actually, this isn't true, I just wish it was: in fact, virtually nobody in Britain can speak English anymore.

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  3. Ah... Thank you for the welcome! And, of course, you may call me by my given name (please) - I just think it's nice to be given permission to do so! (Frightfully old-fashioned.) And I can't bear it that all our politicians are Tonys and Gordons and Davids etc., like a inglorious collective of cocktail waiters.

    I agree with you entirely re the inarticulacy of the British public and the bastardization of meaningful phrases into senseless media-speak. Much like taxation laws defining two classes of persons, the (L)iberal party has made the idea of anyone seeking self-governance laughable.

    I'm extremely worried about Part 8, Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill (and have set up a FB group to that end); any official party line on the matter?

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  4. Trembling Libertarian, we certainly welcome you into the LPUK.

    This post highlights the realisation that the Tory Party is now little different from those they are supposedly opposed against in Westminster. A realisation that we fervently hope others will see and follow your lead.

    Every day we read of abuses of power, especially at the local level, using the nearly 30,000 new laws overseen by Blair and Brown during their tenure in No.10, by local authorities. In over 90% of those abuses they are committed by Tory and LibDem controlled councils who are capitalising on the tools now available to them.

    If ever returned to power, it is clear that the Tories will inflict only further pain on the long suffering citizens of the UK, something that we here in the Libertarian Party hope in some way to mitigate.

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  5. Thank you so much; I've just seen your article on the lpuk blogspot; very well said, that man. Should get through to a lot of people but, I fear, not enough: there's far too much of a 'what's it got to do with me?' nature, rather than 'what *hasn't* it got to do with me?' Our media has a lot to answer for; every news channel and newspaper broadcasts exactly the same stories at the same time, the only deviations being the personalities who are presenting/writing the articles in question. If I have a bit of time, I'll set up a website containing all those 'alternative' stories 'they've deemed unnecessary for the general public to see, in true Edward Bernays fashion.

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  6. I too am glad you've joined the LPUK.

    Good blog, by the way!

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Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison