What else are they keeping from you? I now discover that I am almost the only journalist who didn’t know that Jimmy Savile was a child molester. If they all knew, why didn’t they tell you? And what, exactly, is the point of the police investigating the misdeeds of a corpse? … What’s much, much more important is that you now know that there is a lot going on that nobody tells you.
They don’t tell you because they’re scared that very rich men can use the libel courts to ruin those who tell the truth about them.
Remember Robert Maxwell? He’s dead, too. But do you think he has no living equivalents? They don’t tell you because there are powerful commercial or political interests involved. Or because journalists themselves have bad consciences. Or because a lie is much more comforting and convenient than the truth.
… It is why our political parties, fraudulent, bought-and-paid-for and secretly scornful of their own voters, repeatedly betraying their supporters’ dearest wishes, survive long after they should have been used for landfill. It is why the country is carpeted with worse-than-useless windmills, and why the fanatical false religion of man-made global warming is the faith that nobody dares to question.
If Jimmy Savile’s long and uninterrupted career of despicable crime teaches us anything, it is to hold hard to that old but reliable motto ‘Never Believe Anything Until It Has Been Officially Denied’.
Yes, yes, some rather good points there.
If you want to increase the incomes of the poor then just stop taxing them so bloody much.
What on earth is moral about paying tax? A greedy, slovenly state forces you to hand over roughly half your money every year, by threatening to send you to prison if you don’t.
“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”
Capitalism harnesses greed to socially productive ends. The way to become rich in a free economy is to give others what they want, not to suck up to those in power.
He still generally gets it and today he has some words of advice for the Prime Minister. In addition to those words I recommend the piece for his enlightening anecdote about the Indian Ocean tsunami and a challenge to MEPs to donate some of their own money.
The commonest error in politics is sticking to the carcasses of dead policies. When a mast falls overboard, you do not try to save a rope here and a spar there in memory of their former utility. You cut away the hamper altogether. It should be the same with policy, but it is not so. We cling to the shred of an old policy after it has been torn to pieces, and to the shadow of the shred after the rag itself has been torn away.
It’s fair to say a few old policies have been torn to pieces these last few years, yet still the politicians cling to their carcasses. Hannan’s point refers to the EU, the proper response to which is “we would not adopt it for our government now, so it should be rejected now”. In economic policy too we see a slaughteryard of Keynesian policies, ripped to shreds by reality, yet still the legions of discredited drones tell us ‘the government must spend to boost demand’.
But then there’s nothing quite so conservative as the modern British left, is there? If it exists it must be preserved.
In fact we have three; one for England and Wales, one for Northern Ireland and one for Scotland. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise really. There are lots of these soviet bureaucratic outposts still out there despite the Thatcherite revolution. Predictably, they came about because of Clement Attlee’s collectivisation of so much British commerce and industry. Despite Traitor Heath and Gordon Brown it’s still possibly the most economically damaging regime in modern British political history with its mass state looting of property and soviet control of much of economic life.
Much of the collectivisation was undone during the 1980s but we can see what a task still lies ahead. Unions are gearing up for a battle over the likes of the Agricultural Wages Board and some people kicked up such a stink over the plainly sensible plan for the state to sell off forests a year ago those plans were dropped, so goodness knows how other soviet remnants like the NHS will be demolished.
It’s all quite depressing really, but it demonstrates the incredible reach of central state control into British civil society.
The state as a band of robbers:
“Without justice – what else is the State but a great band of robbers?”, as Saint Augustine once said. We Germans know from our own experience that these words are no empty spectre. We have seen how power became divorced from right, how power opposed right and crushed it, so that the State became an instrument for destroying right – a highly organized band of robbers, capable of threatening the whole world and driving it to the edge of the abyss.
Frankly I would be delighted to pay ten times as much for the Royals if I could pay 1/10th as much tax for all the other oh so modern things the state does.
- Perry de Havilland, in this thread at samizdata.
What a thoroughly sensible and splendid idea.