Libertarian meat eater, right wing in the sense of conservative with a small c.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Neil Harding is an idiot

Over at this post the mumbling idiot that is Niel Harding really outdoes himself. The Devil has made a decent fisk of this but I would like to add my tupennyworth on Neil's comments below the article:

"Sam, thanks for that. However I don't think it is very libertarian to say to people who want a smoke free environment - 'I'm sorry but if you want to drink in a pub you have to stink of smoke, or if you want to go to a concert or gig ditto.. get used to it'. That does not sound like their liberty is being taken seriously."

Yes Neil you fucking spacktard, it is being taken seriously. Before the smoking ban, if people wanted to have a non smoking event they were free to organise one. That was their liberty to do so as the owners of the event. If a group of smokers want to have a smoking event they are no longer allowed to do so.

Now you may think the above is proof enough of the power of Neil's cretinous, decayed excuse for a mind but it gets much worse:

"I really don't see how I am any less libertarian that anyone else on this - in fact I think the enhanced liberty of non-smokers is greater than the loss of liberty of smokers (who only have to step outside - it is only polite really) - so I am the one being MORE libertarian."

How much of fucking moron to you have to be to say that Neil? Taking away people's liberties makes you more Libertarian? The non smokers could always go to places that didn't allow smoking, it was their choice to make and many of them went to places that allowed smoking because they weren't that bothered by it. It was their CHOICE fuckhead.

How does the stupid, dog rimming cunt think this makes him "MORE libertarian"? (Takes deep breath). The twat continues:

"Nearly everything we do needs regulation of some sort. Getting rid of regulation does not necessarily improve anyone's liberty - sometimes quite the reverse. The 'fraud libertarians' out there think any reduction in regulation increases freedom of choice - it quite plainly does not - they have just fallen for cheap right-wing propaganda. The market is not always right - it is full of inbuilt imperfections and corruptions."

Now there are two possible interpretations for the above:

1). Neil really is so thick that he has no understanding of Libertarianism.


2). Neil is trying, poorly, to change the meaning of the word to fit what he would like to happen.

Most Libertarians recognise the need for some forms of regulation, a hell of a lot less than we have now but a few things would be required. Nor would many claim that the market is perfect, just that it is the most effective way we have and automatically deletes failures over time. Still, what the hell, I'll be charitable and assume that it's option 1.

So we reach the final part of Neil's blathering:

"I think one of the most powerful arguments for not having the smoking ban - was the inertia of the status quo or 'tradition'. Well, the tradition argument is the weapon of choice of the reactionary Tory (when frankly he hasn't got much else of an argument). That is all the pseudo libertarians are frankly - whether they understand this or not."

Hmm, we've got it all here. There's the crap argument, the straw man and even the "made up name to make people look bad"TM. Not to mention the old lefty connection of "it's what the Tories do so it's evil, EVIIIIILLL I tell you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (Yes I know only the insane use more than three exclamation marks, that's the point.)

In conclusion the authoritarian felch dripping that is Neil Harding is, idiot or not, a total cunt.


Neil Harding said...

I meet people every day so thankful for the smoking ban. It has liberated so many lives - i.e. their liberty has been improved. People with respiratory problems who couldn't go out for a drink/concert etc. and the millions of people who found stinking of smoke both nasty, unpleasant and most importantly bad for their health. Do you agree these people existed?

I for one, had to endure working in an office that was full of smoke and found it deeply disturbing and damaging. Should I have been forced to quit my job to have a smoke free environment? Yet before a massive change in societies attitudes or in legislation, the market somehow ignored these people. Before the ban, you and I know it was a practically impossibility to find a pub nearby in most places that was smoke free. Your theoretical solution (that people set up their own smoke free establishments) is fine in theory but somehow it was not working in practise (the reasons are manyfold - I won't go into them here).

Your argument seems to revolve around your assumption that regulation always reduces liberty and is therefore the work of eeeeeevil lefties. But you accept yourself that regulation is needed in a lot of areas. Have you heard of positive and negative liberty? You seem to think that only negative liberty is important. Is it wrong to have health and safety rules at work? Is it wrong to force car manufacturers to fit seat belts? Yet both these actions improve the choice of workers (to have safer work conditions) or consumers (to have less dangerous car journeys). A choice that the market would not provide. Like I say, the market sometimes need regulation to work better and the smoking ban is a classic example. it is a good law for liberty and even the vast majority of smokers think it is right. Any slight inconvenience for smokers is more than made up for by the improvement in everyone else's liberty to have smoke free nights out.

Falco said...

Neil, have to hand you kudos. You took this much better than I thought you would.

However, you still miss the point. It is your choice to go into a smokey environment or not. That choice has now been taken away and that is a reduction of freedom not an expansion.

I accept that regulation is needed in a number of areas. For instance, people need to have confidence that when they buy something it is the genuine article. hat does not mean that I approve of extending such regulation to all the unnecessary areas that it has weaselled it's way into.

Oh, please do go into the "manyfold" reasons. I shall be pleased to debunk them.

Lastly, I must reiterate that the smoking ban is not a "good law for liberty", it is liberties antithesis. Banning things that do little harm is authoritarian not libertarian.

Neil Harding said...

Is it a choice to say - 'you are free to go out for a drink, but I am going to punch you in the face every time you do and the law is going to turn a blind eye'? You have the choice. You do not need to go out for a drink do you?

That is what you are calling a choice for the millions of people that wanted to enjoy a drink or concert smoke free, but had to put up with smoky establishments, i.e. no real choice at all.

The market tends to be all or nothing in this area and that is why it doesn't give real choice (the same for seat belts and health and safety). It only takes a very slight financial advantage in the market one way, for effectively all establishments to be forced to follow suit. A lot of landlords wanted to be smoke free but the financial loss was too crippling. The difference between smokers tolerance of smoke free and those that reluctantly tolerated smoky pubs was marginal but it worked across the board to ensure there was no choice (there are cultural reasons of not wanting to offend smoker friends, the fact that people largely visited pubs in groups of four or more so usually had smoker friends in their group These are powerful cultural influences - the fact it was finely balanced is demonstrated by how easily the legislation has been enforced - smokers knew that smoking indoors was not polite, healthy or right for others to suffer).

Ahh, I hear you say, that is the market talking...But the same market would lead to a race to the bottom in health and safety at work without legislation. Is that right as well?

Falco said...

Imagine I'm speaking slowly:

Before the smoking ban some venues had smoking, others didn't. There was a choice of which to attend and more and more options were becomming available for those who prefer to avoid smoke.

Now that the ban has come in there is nowhere to go out and smoke. There is no choice at all.

This is taking liberty away, not increasing it.

How can you possibly fail to grasp that?