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

Monday, 29 October 2007

Fuckwit

It's not often that I get to correct idiots for misspelling condescension but even if you forgive the spelling EvilEuropean has got the wrong end of the stick.

I don't believe that I have ever given a lefty the impression that I have sunk to their level.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Wrong way

Once, in an argument with a lefty, I managed to gain a small amount of ground by the process of beating him over the head with something so obviously true that eventually he had to admit it. This took some considerable time as my statement was very controversial.

"The government should have to justify every penny they take from us."

If the above seems so fundamental an axiom on the relationship between people and government that it does not even need to be stated that is because you have never had to deal with the rantings of a socialist. We, (my libertarian fiends), accept that some government is necessary, (and therefore easy to justify), some may be necessary, (possibly justifiable on case by case basis) and then we have the dross, slag and waste, (examples of which can be found in the Grauniad jobs section).

The left wing view is that the government are the people, there can be no conflict in taking money from your wallet because it was never yours in the first place. Everyone should pay and anyone who earns more than average should not object to having their wages brought down to the average through punitive taxation and if they do then they're evil. There is then no need to justify expenditure and we end up with Grauniad jobs.

It's your money and it's time for a smaller government.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Sleeping Giants

On the edition I have of Leviathan by Hobbes there is the image of a giant, the Leviathan, made up of many people. This giant wears a crown and represents the necessity of monarchy to direct the mass of the people. Hobbes’ view of people, however accurate for the time, was not charitable. He considered them and their lives to be “nasty, brutish and short”, needing the guiding light of the monarchy to steer them from abject stupidity and misery.

The Leviathan is a powerful image, capturing the might of a nation of people united under a common purpose. The crown however, is no longer the right icon, with the monarchy having only a shadow of their former power and the executive having taken their place. Another thing that has changed in this country is that the lives of the people are no long nasty, brutish and short. We may lament the standards of education and that there are still people “under the poverty line” but both these things must be seen in relative terms. Life expectancy has never been higher, we are richer than ever before, anyone who wants an education has the opportunity to have it and most have done so. Even the poverty line is ridiculous, being defined not as being poor but as having less than others. No one has to starve to death in Britain but because the top has got richer faster than the bottom we hear pleadings for those with less.

Today people are in a better position to look after themselves than ever before so why do we suffer under more and more government? Why do we ignore politics and let voting turn out slip lower and lower each election?

There are conflicting reasons for this. One of the side effects of an education in the working of democracy is that you learn how little your vote counts in a country of 60 million. Another reason is that because we are better able to deal with things ourselves there is less motivation to get involved in group. The other side of the problem is that any apparatus of power will tend to try to extend its competencies further. We can see this clearly with the EU, once simply a free trading block and a way for the Germans to make reparations to the French, the EU has branched out, taking control of aspects of our lives that we never envisioned. When the referendum on joining was made I doubt even the most radical sceptic thought that the EU would ban smoking and Routmaster buses. It wasn’t simply the power needed to do that, it was the fact that there was no good reason for the EU to have an interest in those areas.

This is not just a problem with the EU, any power structure will try to expand, as our own government has done. Petty rules are created to keep us safe that end up treating us like children and taking away the responsibilities that should be ours. We have allowed this to happen because we barely noticed each little salami slice of our freedom taken away. In a cry for something to done about the latest crisis, each time we have thought, “Well it’s only a tiny bit of freedom that I’m giving up, it doesn’t matter there’s plenty left.”. This is tragic because bit by bit we have lost it. Few have even noticed and it’s shameful because never before have we been more able to govern ourselves.

The struggle to take back what we have lost has begun though. The internet has allowed those with a common interest in fighting back a fantastic means of communication. Those who have the slightest interest now know each time another freedom is reduced or removed and their anger is starting to spill out into the world at large. One of the most encouraging changes that I have seen in a long time was the incredulous reception the MSM, (including the BBC!), gave to today’s announcement that smoking in cars was evil, wrong and to a certain extent illegal, (it is not actually banned but if you have an accident it will fall under “lack of due care and attention”).

It may sound desperate to be so pleased over a change in attitude over such a silly policy but it is a start. Our freedoms were taken away with salami tactics, maybe we can start to take them back the same way. What I hope for is that soon the Leviathan will wake and see how little government it needs.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Tax

The Tories have finally come up with a policy that doesn't involve taxes for breathing but the abolition of the loathed death tax. Although they haven't quite abolished it, leaving those with estates above £1M still liable. A bit pointless that though, anyone with that much dosh can afford to use a tax planner and get round most of it anyway. I am willing to bet that the proposed system will raise less than the cost of administering it, so why not abolish the tax altogether and get rid of the raft of civil servants that have to be payed to take our money away? A few more savings to got there then.

As any fule no, the death tax is particularly hated for 3 reasons:

1). It is a tax on previously taxed income.
2). It is a tax on a gift, why should there be taxes involved when you want to give away your hard earned dosh?
3). Grieving people tend to be a tad upset. The death tax, like kicking a man when he's down, is just fucking rude.


Apart from the obvious* the motive behind the death tax was to break up the big estates and whether you agree with this motive or not, it was fairly successful. We have now reached the point that none of the few surviving grand estates are going to be affected by IHT and so that purpose has been served as far as possible.

However, the lefties, as exemplified by the otherwise excellent Chicken Yogurt, are far from happy. CY complains that the Tories are happy for "Ike" to inherit whilst lambasting "Mike", (great names), for daring to be on the dole. This exposes a fundamental difference between the left and right that in one sense I am happy to see. A bit of clear water makes the choices we have that much easier. However, that doesn't make me think any more of the left's position which is that all money belongs to the government and those who have earned it are just holding it on a contingent basis. In contrast, the right wing view is that if you have earned something, especially if you have already paid tax on it, then it's yours and the state should fuck off.

Ike is inheriting because his mother wishes to dispose of the property she has built up and has chosen to hand it over to her son. Mike is getting money forcibly taken from others.

I hope that squares the circle for CY but somehow I doubt he will be willing to change his views on this.

* The government being money grabbing bastards.