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

Friday, 14 December 2007

How the left was lost

The left have two basic problems:

1. They have a misconstrued view of humanity.

2. They find solutions and then go searching for a problem.

With 1 it is easy enough to understand where they went wrong. In viewing humanity solely from a collectivist viewpoint they missed the importance of the individual, not so much failing to see the wood for the trees as failing to see the trees for the wood. In doing things for the collective it is necessary to compel the individual to act regardless of whether it is in their interest to do so. This skewed viewpoint will, inevitably, lead to authoritarianism because compulsion is the very weft to the warp of socialism.

Point 2 happens because socialists seeing that humanity does not fit their ideal, see problems that need bringing into line with their vision. This take on life shows so many problems that any mechanism of change, however useless or inappropriate, is seized upon and touted round to see whether it is possible to shoehorn the solution into one of the problems. Using it in some way is far more important to them than making sure that it is the right one for the job.

Hence we have ID cards being touted for everything from fraud to scrofula, "Oh, OK it wont work for that but I'm sure it will help endangered bees if we all carry one.". The EU is another example where we have our agent of change, (moving powers from a national to supranational level), and this will cure all ills. No analysis of where each power should be located for the best effect, just wave your magic EU wand and all the little EUfairies will fix everything.

Then, when it has been shown beyond all doubt that their ideology is flawed and they have used solutions that only make problems worse they understandably, (given human nature), get miffed when you point this out to them. Well despite it being human nature to throw a tantrum when things don't go as you hoped it is time for them to grow up, stop sniveling and look at things sensibly.

I hold out little hope that they will though.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


I and some of my fellow masochists are going to attempt the summit of Ben Nevis on the Second of February. Apart from laughing and going, "Ha, ha, ha you're all going to die!", does anyone have some advice for this trip?


It's not been the best of years for the old scale and sword wielding lady. Battered by the loss of jury trials in some cases, infected with the venereal disease of detention without trial, shat on by those who would reverse the burden of proof and now Neil's got in a tiz about Clarkson.

I can sympathise with those who found jury trials for fraud too difficult, those scared of terrorists, those who desperately want to convict more rapists and even Neil being affronted by Clarkson being in the clear. However, the safeguards that were in place to prevent multiple trials, interminable detention, a reversal of the burden of proof and having no recourse to one's peers, were in place for very good reasons. Now we could go into each one but that is unnecessary, I trust the occasional perusers of this blog to be familiar with the issues and what it all boils down to is Murphy's Law.

With the best intentions in the world, if you allow a situation to exist whereby someone holds power over you without adequate safeguards, then sooner or later, with malice or without, you will be on the sharp end. Such safeguards must be built into the very bones of any power, adding them on as a last minute, Heath Robinson style "have a go" is insufficient.

There will always be difficult cases, rape victims who are denied the pitiful consolation of seeing their attacker locked up, trials that require jurors to think, suspected terrorists that you don't have quite enough on to hold and speeders who get away with it. There will always be a terrible temptation at such moments to discard the protections just this once but if they don't apply every time then they have no use.

We don't have perfect justice, we never will. What we do have is the law that puts the might of the state on one side and a defendant on the other and on the whole it works very well. Those times where the law fails justice, cracks open the door for our protections to be removed and tyranny ushered in. It is a sad fact that we have to accept that there will always be a few such failures but trying to prevent them by putting the defendant at an ever greater disadvantage will produce less not more justice.