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

Monday, 26 November 2007

How fucking dare they

They're at it again. Does anyone in the Labour party imagine for a moment that a single person in Britain will think that it's all sorted because Peter Watt has resigned?

The bint, (didn't notice who, I hadn't had wake up juice by this point), they threw onto BBC breakfast obviously didn't care that everyone knew she was lying. There was the air of a tired old lag up in front of the beak for the 100th time, knowing how obvious the lies were but unable to stop themselves going through the motions yet again.

Following this post over at Mr E's, I hope this turns out to be an example of what I am tentatively terming Eugenides' Law of Political Idiocy:

"However bad the situation a cover up is more likely to kill your career but despite this politicians will almost always try it."

Claiming that Peter Watt was the only one to know about this is evidently untrue. You don't have big donors being schmoozed by just the one schmuck, you get in the big guns to keep them sweet. I hope that there is proof that several cabinet ministers knew about this, including the OEGK, but even if there were it is unlikely to be found, you can almost hear the shredders from here.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The joy of stats

I wrote in the post "The poor are stupid..." that I would come back to this when I got a reply. Well, to give them their due a lady at the RCP has replied to my question of where they got the data for the "alcohol related deaths double" statement and it's here.

Now there is of course more than one way of looking at statistics. On the basis of their figures it is legitimate to say that of the proportion of people dying, the number of men doing from alcohol related somethings has, (roughly), doubled.

Of course it is also fair to say that the percentage of men dying from alcohol related somethings has gone from 0.009% to 0.018% and that for women the change is from 0.005% to 0.008%.

I may be doing something wrong here but that doesn't seem like a significant change to me. This is however, not the only issue. There is a question mark over the reporting due to a change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes in 1999, (it doesn't seem to have any immediate effect on the stats but I hope to find the raw data at some stage and I mention it for the sake of completeness at the moment).

There are, at least, two other possibilities for the increase. The first and most likely is reporting bias. As people, particularly the medical profession, have become more obsessed with the dangers of alcohol, they are more likely to report a death as alcohol related. What may once have been put down as a heart attack, may in a few instances become part of the alcohol rated statistics. This is not to say that it is not alcohol related but that it would not previously have been considered so. The second is related to immigration, if your genetic background does not include those who drank beer because the water was foul you will be badly affected by alcohol. We have had rather a lot of such people come into the UK and it would be surprising if some of them didn't have a few problems in this area. (No idea if stats are even collected on this but it is an example of how other possibilities can account for small changes in reported incidence).


Any ideas, further data or ability with statistics is welcome.

False Dichotomy

This is a favourite tactic of many debaters but does seem more prevalent on the left. The basis is to give a two horned argument and in doing so make it so that refuting one horn gets you speared by the other. For example:

"If you care about people you must be a socialist"


This gives you two options, grasp one horn and declare that you care about people and are therefore a socialist or go for the other and state that you disagree with socialism and therefore do not care about people. It is of course bollocks because of the excluded middle, it is not only possible to care about people and not be a socialist, it is entirely possible not to be a socialist because you care about people.

However, this false dilemma, a Morton's Fork if ever there was one, has had a profound effect on our society. The reason that so many people are so hostile to the right is because we have failed to deal with this issue.

There is an instinctive feeling that the typical lefty solution, (hand over cash), is nicer than the right's way of doing things, (create conditions so that it is possible to earn cash). The thing is that only one way works, (no prizes for guessing the obvious). I recommend that you go and have a look at this Samizdata post for another example of the problem and also a solution:

Don't let them set artificial terms of debate.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The poor are stupid....

....according to the Alcohol Health Alliance, (AHA), anyway. I have a number of problems with this lot but lets just have a quick look at their solutions:

1). Dedicated funding for alcohol treatment and prevention strategies
2). Increased taxation on alcohol
3). A ban on alcohol advertising before 9.00 pm and in cinemas apart from 18 rated films
4). Promotional material to carry information on health related harm
5). The drink driving limit to be reduced to the EU standard of 0.5g/l and a near zero limit for new drivers

1). Is simply a plea for more money by the organisations involved in such work, (check the member list at the bottom of the link). Most of these are charities and it is entirely reasonable for them to get involved in fundraising, it does seem like a cheeky way of doing so though.

2). You can just see the meeting can't you;

"There's terrible problems with pissed people!"
"OMG what can we do?"
"Lets raise taxes, that'll stop the proles in their tracks!"
"But I thought middle class drinkers were the problem, a bit more tax won't stop them drinking!"
"Never mind that spurious bollocks, the proles are too thick to think for themselves. We must do so for them!"

3). Will make sod all difference to alcohol consumption. We already have very tightly controlled regulation of this. People do not drink because they have seen a sodding advert.

4). Bollocks. We know that alcohol can harm us, not only is all the information freely available but hangovers are rather indicative. We do not need "YOU ARE EVIL" shouted at us every time we have a beer.

5). It makes no sense to have two separate drink drive levels. There is a possible advantage in having a zero limit in that it would at least be easy to work out how much you can get away with drinking. However, any reduction would also require justifying, (some data showing that such a measure would reduce accidents). As our abilities to regulate anything are going to be taken away by the EU ratchet clause it seems a bit pointless to bother though, the EU never requires that an idea be sensible to think that it's a good.

The AHA have kicked all this off with a startling statistic:

"Alcoholic liver cirrhosis has increased by 95% since 2000, and by 36% over the last two years to 2006 and is still increasing"

Now this gives rise to a few questions of the lies, damn lies or statistics sort. I can find no link to anything other than the above statement about where the above numbers come from so no reliability, methodology etc assessment can be made, (I have e-mailed the Royal College of Physicians, (RCP), who seem to be coordinating the AHA for further info).

Well, I will let you know if and when I get a reply but I would like to leave you with a quote from this study, (pdf), by the RCP from 2001:

"By historical standards current levels of consumption are not remarkable....."

UPDATE: I do like the Daily Mash's take on this one.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Driving can be fun...

...but not in the UK.

They seem determined to kill any joy that can be had from the evil motor car. They claim that "speed kills" and to some extent this is true. Get into an accident at vastly increased speed and you are far more likely to get someone hurt than if you were going slowly. This argument is missing several factors though:

Speeding, in and of itself does not cause accidents. People driving like total numpties is what causes accidents. One of the ways that they act in a numpty fashion is to drive faster than they and the car can cope with the circumstances but this is going to vary with the different combinations of circumstances, drivers and cars. It's not easy to police the actual problem so they just try to police something else and do so in such a way that it raises rather than costs money to enforce.

Does this deal with the problem of dangerous driving? Fuck no. It catches one or two dangerous numpties who could be caught in more sensible ways and penalises everyone who goes over the arbitrary, (most of the speed limits we have don't make a huge amount of sense due to bad planning, changing technology and idiots in charge syndrome), limits.

What's the alternative though? Well, go and have a drive in Italy. It is bonkers in many ways, speeding is ignored and people drive like maniacs but on the whole they are better drivers, (nothing like necessity to teach you lessons quickly), and, by ceiling cat, driving in Italy is so much fun.

I would never expect the new puritan socialist cunts to take any of the above into account though. Doing something is important to them regardless of whether its a sensible idea or not, add in ruining peoples fun and they positively cream themselves over it.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

BBC - please learn how to do news

I am pleased that the BBC covered the creation of the UK National Defence Association which is calling for increased spending, (so far the only area I've noticed where the government don't describe spending as investment), on the forces. There are several good reasons for bringing spending up but they boil down to being asked to do too much with too little and it's time to bring the forces back up to full capability.

What did piss me off no end though was BBC breakfast. I watched the program for about two news cycles from 7.15ish and after a brief introduction regarding the UKNDA they launched straight into the MOD response and spewed it out verbatim. No attempt at criticism was made, not even to mention that the "sustained investment" period has included two wars, (these tend to be a tad expensive). Nor was there any interpretation of the 7.7 Billion rise in expenditure by 2011. Now call me a cynical bastard but given Labours record on promising the earth and then quietly reducing what said they would provide a question there might be in order.

The other thing about the 7.7 is that at the current rate of inflation the government would have to increase spending by about 6 Billion pounds just to maintain the same level in real terms. This leaves you with a promised 1.7 Billion extra with a purchasing power of about 1.4 Billion in todays money.

It has not taken long to work this out, it's not that complicated. So why didn't they report what the figures meant and take the government to task over their lamentable treatment of the forces?

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Party political braodcast by the conservatives

Well, according to the "Yes Minister Rules" The Conservatives are going to be doing some radical stuff. They're sitting in a dark wood panelled office with leather bound books behind them wearing dark suits.

Interesting times ahead then?

Update: My God they must be strapped for cash, sixth formers would do more a professional production. It looks like they filmed it with a mates camera.

Liberal Conspiracy

The other day I wrote a sweary ripping into the new blog Liberal Conspiracy. However, I decided not to publish it on the basis that it was unreasonable to simply launch into the attack on the basis of the words Libertarian and Left being combined so I decided to wait for a bit to see if the articles would convince me I had been wrong.

So did they? Did they bollocks. They are not Libertarian, they are left. I thought that the combination would be odd but it's not a combination at all, just lefty wibbling.

Authoritarianism and leftyness go hand in hand of necessity, (taking peoples money away and controlling their behavior "for their own good" requires compulsion).

I genuinely do not understand why they have adopted the Libertarian label since it seems antithetical to their views.

An excellent article for your perusal

This article by Matthew Sinclair, provides a very useful framework for seeing how Libertarianism and Conservatism can work together. There will always be a certain amount of tension and I cannot see how how pro-EU Conservatives can fit into the mix of a small government ethos but the best hope we have is to bring some radicalisation, (what an ugly word, suggestions for a better one gratefully received), to the Conservatives. Perhaps the Conservatives can in turn stop things being messed up by the socialists again.

Questions for the left.

How many times do you have to try big government solutions that suffer from massive dis-economies of scale before you realise they don't work?

How can you justify social engineering? In other words, what makes you so sure that your ethical position is correct that you are able to justify imposing it, (in a jolly hockysticks authoritarian way), on others?

Monday, 5 November 2007

Mwhuhh

With the shower of shits governing us it's no wonder that swearblogging has become ever more popular as a way to mock and vent one's feelings. However, this Grauniad piece, (via Chicken Yogurt), leaves me not so much wanting to swear as strap Gordon "protector of your freedoms" Brown to a chair and force him to watch as I make faces and gurning noises as the only way sufficient to demonstrate the level of contempt in which I hold him.

The particular object of my ire is this:

"But a number of ministerial sources did confirm that the PM was concerned enough about introducing such a huge multi-billion pound scheme to insist that the technology must work before it is introduced."

Unlike every other thing he has ever done he's finally going to start doing using a process known elsewhere in the world as "being even slightly sane", (his methodology, not introducing ID cards which is a ludicrous idea). Well, it is a start I suppose but after a decade of this nauseating bastard we deserve better. Listen up Gordy:

MGHHNNNGGG, HUNUKKKKGNNN, WUHHHGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

England, my England

There are times when you just have to sit back and wonder in the joy that is winning the lottery of life. I have come back from the pub to have a treat of jam and butter on bread. Those who don't understand this never will, to those who do; I salute you sirs.

Sincerely,

Falco

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Different Strokes

I have been reluctant to comment on this story without finding some more detail but the Hate Mail, (a despicable rag if there ever was one), seems to have the most information on this, (reliability not withstanding).

The major hu ha has been about the "downgrading" of Christmas by giving religious festivals from other religions the same weight and importance. It doesn't seem to occur to this think tank, (using think in loosest sense possible), that there are very good reasons why we don't. Christmas is, for better or worse, a long established tradition in this country and the origins of a celebration at the dead of winter have rather older roots. Christian festivals are part of the history and fabric of our society, (please don't get the idea that I'm getting soft on religion), and while change may come eventually it will be a gradual evolution rather than yet another top down socialist piece of idiocy. These other celebrations do not have the same value for the UK and trying to force such things invariably give people fantasies about lampposts, rope, politicians and think tanks, (so not a total loss then).

The rest of the proposals apparently include:

1. "Birth ceremonies", at which state and parents agree to "work in partnership" to bring up children

Fuck off, no really fuck off and insert rusty razor blades up your urethra before sinking 5 pints in two minutes. The state should only intervene between parent and child if the child is being abused. It is not a cunting partnership you driveling schmucks.

2. Action to "ensure access" for ethnic minorities to "largely white" countryside

Clearly it's a damn good thing that we have these large walls around the ghettos that we keep the darkies in. If people don't go to the countryside it's because they don't want to. The moron who came up with this one should have a fox disemboweled over them and then have a bit of a cross country race with some hounds.

3. An overhaul of Britain's "imperial" honours system

Change it to what? To be honest I'm sure that there are a number of problems with the current system but the only one I've noticed is that you get loads of civil servants getting honored for "services to paper clips" etc. Even that is not too much of a problem, a short ceremony that makes people feel valued can be very cost effective. In short if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it, (not that Labour would know anything about fixing honors).

4. Bishops being thrown out of the House of Lords

Yes, good idea. There is no good reason to have the ceiling cat nutters having special access to positions in the legislature, just make sure that when chucking out the bishops you don't end up swapping them for people who believe in a different ceiling cat.

5. An end to "sectarian" religious education

By this I assume that they want multi faith religious education, moronic little shits that they are. The reason that religions don't tend to get on with each other is that they have fundamental disagreements about what they believe, (because ceiling cat has told them), are absolute truths. You can have non-religious education or religion specific education. There is no way to have nonspecific religious education.

6. Flying flags other than the Union Jack.

I would say great idea but I have a nasty feeling that they are talking more about a blue background with gold stars than the Cross of St George.