Friday, December 31, 2004
One thing I'm continuinaly struck by is the extent to which modern Liberalism exists in the abstract. Large numbers of L3 seem unable to process information at anything other than the most detatched level. They're the type of people who when they heard about the Harold Shipman case, their first thought was worry that it would strengthen the case against the NHS. Or, in the case of the tsunami, they worry that US aid may be weakening the UN. Yes, that's the first thing everyone thinks of when they hear about a tidal wave deverstating large parts of south-east Asia - the risk to the UN.
The Cracker Barrell Philosoper is all over this, with a good link explaining just what the UN offers the victims. Now that's moral authority in action!
Excellent article in the Spectator about Nazi Nick's Yorkshire misadventures. The whole thing is well worth reading, but there are a couple of issues Rod Liddle touches on in passing that I think are well worth expanding on. First up there's this:
This programme was shown in July last year and, in a statement following the arrests, West Yorkshire police proudly announced that it had deployed a team of officers on the case ‘five days a week, ten hours a day’ ever since. Now at this point in the article, a really good journalist would tell you how big that team of policemen was. And how much the investigation had cost the taxpayer. And also cross-referenced it with how many burglaries, muggings, etc., had been carried out in the West Yorkshire area from July to 12 December. Especially unsolved ones. But I haven’t been able to find that stuff out: the police won’t tell me.This is increasingly true these days - public bodies telling the public to shove it. Given the pressure on business to be more transparent, we may know more about how BP operates than the average police force. Yet journalists, with honourable exceptions such as the above, raise nary a peep. They'll go to court to assert their right to tell the public about bonking goalies, while passing on verbatim Islamic propagancda is apparently a vital function of a free press, but reporting what public servants do with all that money ? Pssss... they've got shagging strikers to cover.
Of course, the press never were big on principle, but check this out:
Curious to find out a little more about the mechanics behind the arrest of Mr Griffin, I spoke to the magistrate who signed the warrant for his arrest. That’s Mrs Valerie Parnham, who lives near Bradford.Their Lordships can't hardly get out of bed without giving a long speech about the sanctity of the judicary. Well, here's a judge who admits to feeling under pressure following a decision. Can we be sure that this pressure only occured after the decision was made ? How does judical independance stand now with a judge admitting to feeling intimidated ?
A man answered the telephone. I told him I was a journalist and wanted to speak to Mrs Parnham. He shouted down the hallway: ‘Valerie? VALERIE? I told you this would happen!’
Then a timorous Mrs Parnham came on the telephone. ‘I can’t say anything about this. I could get into trouble.’
Well, I just wanted to know if you were happy to sign the arrest warrant, I said, as plaintively as possible.
‘(Long pause) I can’t say anything about this. I’m sorry.’
Similarly, what of the old cliche about justice needing not only to be done, but seen to be done ? An arrest warrant has been produced with even the woman who signed it refusing to discuss it, so where are their Lordships now ?
It's only a couple of weeks since Lord Hoffman became the toast of the chattering classes for claiming that the government's refusal to grant Access All Areas passes to members of the Islamic Popular Front of Egypt was more of a threat than Islamic terrorism. Well, if the principles of British law are so precious as to require that we allow Khalal D'infidels to enter the country, score full welfare benefits and a taxpayer-rented house next to a synagogue, they surely must have something to say about people being arrested on nonsensical charges. Where are the ringing declarations in this case ? Or, if judges don't have a problem with government steamrollering through cases against people who aren't PC enough, why exactly should we take them seriously on any question of principle ?
I don't know what's most characteristic of the Nu Police in the latest goings on at Canning Place, as pointed out by PC DC. Is it the fact that Merseyside Police ("Cops for hire or rent") have had the bright idea of forming a specialist squad to target criminals (as opposed to who ? Mimes ?), or is it that this idea appears to be such a hot potato that they've got to try and hide it under some truly Sir Humphreyesque English ?
As for the name, well, it's as good a metaphor as any for modern policing.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
December 25, 2004. An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the richter scale strikes deep in the Indian ocean, moving the entire island of Sumatra 100 feet southwest and sending 50' tidal waves crashing into Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Thousands of muslims die in Indonesia alone, saving Bush the trouble of bombing them. Thousands more perish as waves hit the poor fishing villages of Tamil, where dwell the peaceloving Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In the wake of the disaster, thousands of Christian missionaries posing as "relief workers" descend upon South Asia to convert the survivors. Bush and his cronies, in a thinly-veiled effort to hide their involvement in the catastrophe, pledge over $15,000,000 in aid.
The always interesting Majority Rights brings us news of the latest developments in the culture wars. Schools are being 'encouraged' - as a precursor to 'the voluntary option has failed' no doubt - to promote Gay Pride. Incidentally, that's all schools - so now nursery schools will be forced to promote the gay agenda. Hey - is it just me, or does it imply a certain self-awareness amongst the L3 of how awful their doctrines are, when they seem obsessed with trying to indoctrinate people earlier and earlier. Bad enough though it is that six year olds are being taught about felching, rimming and golden showers, note too that special schools have also been targeted. Don't these people think that the staff have better things to do ?
No, they don't. It is entirely characteristic of both the narcissism and the arrogance of these loons that they really don't believe that even people dealing with seriously disabled kids should be allowed to get on with their jobs without having to prostrate themselves at the altar of gay self-aggrandisement.
Needless to say, the excuse is what it always is - yep, 'homophobia'. Speaking personally, I remember back in the day when you often couldn't get across the playground for all the bodies of dead La-Las, cruelly murdered on the way to Maths. As ever though, the Pink Posse is too busy goose-stepping around to get their story straight. In fact, the feline exits the bag spectacularly at one point. Recall that gay activists have always tried to portray their situation as being roughly equivalent to that of blacks in Alabama in the 1950s (funnily enough, never while blacks are around) with their critics being equivalent to the KKK, mindless bigots persecuting the innocent merely because they're different. The implication is that homosexuality is a mere quirk, part of life's rich tapestry and the Gay Right's agenda is just an unobjectionable attempt to clamp down on stupid prejudice, to which those of us on the Right reply 'come off it!'. From the start, the Gay Rights mafia has had an agenda to both promote a very specific lifestyle and to delegitimise criticism of that lifestyle. To return to their own metaphor, it's as if someone tried to claim critics of the Yardies must be motivated by racism. These people have been quite successful pushing that line, so it may be over-confidence that led them to include in these new guidelines the suggestion that schools should invite in gay visitors and speakers to act as ‘sexual minority role models’. Ah, huh. Sure sounds like a matter of lifestyle to me. After all, to take their own rhetoric at face value, a bloke may be born gay but it's just a quirk so why does he need role models, if not to give him something to, well, model himself on ?
Gay Rights activists were only transiently, if ever, concerned with lynch mobs prowling the streets in search of hairdressers. From the start, the idea was to promote a specific lifestyle. Never mind that this lifestyle is at odds not only with that of the vast majority of the population, but also that of a good many of the people they claim to represent. Could anyone, outside the Pink Wedge, find common ground between Freddie Mercury and Nigel Hawthorne ? More to the point, there's no doubt who's lifestyle these people aspire too. Yet, despite promoting a way of life which most people reject, these people have managed to infiltrate themselves into the education system to such a degree that not only do they get public money to try and indoctrinate kids barely out of nappies, but they are allowed to harass those who don't drink the Kool Aid.
You'd think someone would have said something. Wait….now I remember. We did say something., in fact there was even a law passed to prevent this very issue. When clause 28 was repealed, Social Conservatives across the country predicted exactly this sort of thing, and were told at great length what a bunch of brain dead Nazi morons we were. Our alleged intellectual betters amongst both Tory modernisers and Libertarians rolled their eyes and told us that government couldn't dictate morality, they wanted government out of the bedroom and people had to be free to live their own lives and blah, blah, blah. You've heard it all before, no doubt. Well, here we are today. Those naughty old Social Cons turned out to be bang on, after all.
So, here's where we are today. Youngsters whose parents are attempting to bring them up in accordance with any of the major religions are now to be subject to disciplinary measures in school. Money is being coercively extracted from nurses in Nottingham and security guards in Scunthorpe to pay for activists to talk dirty to six year olds. . Teachers are to record the names of pupils expressing the wrong opinions. This is freedom ? Where stands the supposed Libertarian objective of limited government now ? What form of Conservatism is it which supports the overt harassment of the religious and forced endorsement of particular ideologies ?
Doubtless, we'll soon be hearing from Libertarians why promoting leather biker wear is a core government activity, just as Tory modernisers will be telling us all that there is no freedom more basic than freedom from dissenting views. Still, it's to be hoped some of them have absorbed the more general lesson: the L3 mean what they say, they have set out their agenda and the Social Conservatives have set out ours, choose whichever you want, but don't try claiming that you didn't know that Kool Aid can give you one Hell of a hangover..
Monday, December 27, 2004
Ah yes, Christmas: traditional season of goodwill and bad news burying:
THE Inland Revenue is considering recognising polygamy for some religious groups for tax purposes. Officials have agreed to examine “family friendly” representations from Muslims who take up to four wives under sharia, the laws derived from the Koran.Well, let's not go over the top with that last little bit. The breakthrough was when the Government decided not to prosecute these bigamists in the first place. After all, given that the DSS pays out welfare benefits to them on the basis of marriage, it can't hardly be argued that the government doesn't know what's going on. So this latest outrage is just another attempt to chip away at the secular basis of British law.
Existing rules allow only one wife for inheritance tax purposes. The Revenue has been asked to relax this so that a husband’s estate can be divided tax-free between several wives.
The move is bound to create controversy if it leads to a change in the rules. It is seen as a breakthrough by Muslim leaders who have been campaigning to incorporate sharia into British domestic law.
Sadiq Khan, a leading Muslim politician, said: “I am pleased to see the Inland Revenue applying common sense to the application of Islamic law on uncontroversial matters such as inheritance.No, it's getting pretty thick right now, so I'm hope the exploding classes won't be offended if I take their assurances about not aiming at full sharia with a large pinch of salt.
“There are some other uncontroversial areas of Islam law which could easily be applied to the legal system we have in the UK.”
He insisted there was no question of pressing for the introduction of sharia’s criminal code “where people are flogged or have their hands chopped off”. He said: “This is not the thin edge of the wedge.”
Here's the bottom line: the idea of incorporating sharia into British law makes about as much sense as Kosher black pudding. There are the obvious diffrences, for example the concept of equality under the law is central to our legal system, while sharia overtly discriminates against women and infidels. Equally, British law is passed by a democratically elected parliament and refined by the judicary, while sharia - supposedly - sprung fully formed from the mouth of Allah, perfect and immutable, about 1400 years ago, and so on... But this all avoids the central issue. Islamic law can't be incorporated into British law because Islam doesn't recognise British law. Islam is the law. Secular law is a factor to be worked around or with on a purely tactical basis until sharia can be imposed on Britain.
There it is right there in the article. This is just another step towards bringing Britain into the Dar Al Islam. No doubt, some L3 will regard this latest move as a fair attempt to meet Islam's 'last territorial demand', to coin a phrase. Well, this is about as likely to be successful as Munich, and for the same reasons.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
You can always rely on Channel Four. These people really are the poster boys for Liberal Tourette's Syndrome. Other folk - the Beeb for one - can at least simulate normality when tactically necessary, but with C4 they just can't help themselves. Take the question of Christianity. Everyone knows the Left hates it, but try getting them to admit it. OTOH, you just know C4 can't let Christmas pass without unleashing its inner Linda Blair. Yes indeed - at 20:30 on Dec 25 itself, C4 will screen a program called 'Who really wrote the Bible' ? I mean, really. Yes, the exact provenance of the Bible is a subject worth discussing, but choosing that date to air the show is just an delibrate attempt to offend.
As it happens, the revelations themselves are asinine. Not for the first time, C4's revelations turn out to include nothing that anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the field in question didn't know anyway. C4 expects us to be shocked by the idea that the New Testament isn't a contemporaneous report. So the gospels aren't admissible in court ? Also, Church doctrine doesn't necessarily always reflect the contents of the Bible - although if people making bizarre interpretations of original texts offends Liberals so much, why aren't they protesting outside the High Court ?
Based on the trailers, there's little reason to suspect that C4 will actually be offering anything particularly enlightening - all of which just supports the suspicion that this program is being produced for no better reason than that Liberals enjoy beasting Christians. No surprise there, but the real question d'jour is this: if some nutball decides to cap a C4 scheduler, will Fiona Mactaggart be sure to point out that it's actually a good thing in the long-term ?
Or, to put it another way, how to go from a rag-tag bunch of unhinged idiots to a sinister conspiracy to pervert democracy. But, for now, sit back and enjoy the idea of Nu Lab's house journal coming out against excessive marketing in politics.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
JohnJo has set us his 1952 Committee - bloggers who refuse to vote Conservative because of the Party's support for Walking Licences. I can well understand that, but what I can't understand is why anyone would see this as a reason for voting Lib Dem.
About the only evidence in favour of ID cards as a weapon against terrorism is that the Treason Party opposes them. Nevertheless, as Lib Dem Watch reminds us, t'was not always so. I'm sure the Lib Dems actually support the principle of ID cards, it's just that they're uncomfortable with the idea of trying to defeat terrorists and criminals. If the cards were being brought in to nail Christians or entrepreneurs, then I'm sure the Lib Dems would be all for them.
As it is, Lib Dem opposition is something of a mixed blessing. The Lib Dems think we don't need ID cards to win the war ? Well, yeah, but they don't think we need to fight in the first place. A party whose policy boils down to 'Surrender Now!' is not necessarily the best ally for those who seek to prove that you can win the war on terror without beasting old ladies who pop out for cat food without carrying their Walking Licence.
Meanwhile, if you really are teed off with the Conservatives support of ID cards, there is a party which opposes them and really is serious about national defence. So if you want to remind the Conservative Party that freedom covers more than mere economics, without giving aid and comfort to the residents of Moonbatia, you know what to do.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
To paraphrase St Ann, it must be great being Liberal. Whereas those of us on the Right wake up in the morning able to predict 90% of the day's event in advance, for the L3 every day is a journey into the unknown. Take the knuckle-dragging Marxist thugs at Searchlight: they've recently made a shocking discovery - the BNP is doing best in traditional Labour areas. What ? You mean Burnley isn't a Conservative stronghold ?
Of course, the Yin to the Yang of Liberal's goldfish memory is their gold star inability to learn from experience. The self-same article accuses Conservative voters of voting BNP as an 'anti-Asian protest vote'. Anti-Asian ? Conservatives have a downer on the Druze ? We terrorise Taoists ? Or possibly - and I know this is a stretch - it's not actual Asians per se that we oppose, it's just that minority of them who are members of a certain Religion of Peace. But the L3 won't admit that. They won't admit that there are legitimate grounds for anyone to oppose the death cult (y'know trivia like murder, slavery and the like). That's your answer right there, the doctrine of the modern Left: people who fly planes into buildings need to be understood while people who vote the wrong way need to be exterminated. Gosh, anyone know why people aren't buying into the L3 version of equality ?
The Left's support for overt discrimination against native Britons is just a symptom of a wider change in the modern Left . Compare and contrast the differing treatment of concerns about phone masts and paedophiles. A bunch of middle-class ecoloons decide to take against phone masts - without, in the technical sense, any actual evidence - but we're all supposed to take it seriously. Meanwhile, the chattering classes are outraged that folk on the council estate don't like the way their alleged betters have not only conspired to allow child molesters to infiltrate their estates, but they then deny parents the right to know if the bloke next door is a convicted killer. There's no junk science required here. WARNING! - 100% of child molestation is carried out by paedophiles. Even the psychodrivelers - the blokes who make a life and a living out of the alleged rehabilitation industry - will admit two things: paedophiles usually offend again, and when they do they usually escalate the severity of the offence.
What is true of paedophilia is true of crime generally. The Left is unable to process crime as anything other than a purely abstract phenomenon. That real people are having their lives destroyed by crime - both literally and figuratively - doesn't feature on their radar. Ditto education. Bright kids with massive potential are being screwed over almost from birth because the local schools are awful. The Left's response is to strangle school choice even further - while actual Leftists pull strings for their kids, hire tutors or go private. Und so weiter….
A man from Mars would conclude that, quite simply, modern Liberals hate the working man. The non-working man they love. Provided he's prepared to be a good Underclasser, they'll go the extra mile for him, but woe betide any bloke from Burnley who wants something better for himself. For proof of that look no further than Nu Lab's enemies list: farmers (of course), gun owners (always), truckers…..Truckers ? No matter how much Kool Aid you've drank, there's no way a guy who works sixty hours a week driving from Glasgow to Milan and back counts as a bloated plutocrat, yet the mere thought of men with HGV licences turns the L3 purple with rage.
So ordinary, decent working folk are abandoning the party of scumbag lawyers, prancing thespians, thuggish union bosses and lardarsed bureaucrats. Kein scheisse, Herr Einstein. People are starting to realise that if they want to get anywhere in life, they're not going to get any help from a group of people who think everywhere outside the M25 is the Cursed Earth. That's a failure of Nu Lab - albeit a failure of their ability to keep fooling folk. But it's also a failure for the Conservative Party. There was a time when people didn't have to flock to a bunch of Neanderthals to protest L3 scumbaggery, when the Conservative Party provided a natural home for those who wanted to escape socialism's big plantation. Of course, that was under the woman who got fired because she was an embarrasment.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
In a stunning rebuttal to those who suggest near-monopoly control of Britain's institutions is having a negative effect on Liberal debating skill, Charles Falconer warned that the people who oppose the Human Rights Act support "the legal values of the dark ages". So that's us Conservatives - no longer just Nazis, but also Vikings. Viking Nazis, like in the well-known Wolfgang Peterson film Das Langboot.
Not that anyone would support going back to the dark ages. Just think what that would mean - we'd have a King appointing barely-competent cronies to top jobs and wasting public money on huge vanity projects. Let's hope that never happens. Then again, of all the many things wrong with the dark ages, the lack of town cryers shouting 'Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Hast thou been injured by means of witchcraft ? Call upon Jack D'Weasel and partners this very morn for no win, no levy legal advice!' probably wasn't one of them.
In actuality, the main objection to the Human Rights Act was illustrated perfectly by the self-same conference Fatty was attending in the first place:
A research fellow from the thinktank Frances Butler said: "It's hardly known that the Human Rights Act can be applied outside the courtroom to help vulnerable and socially excluded people. Voluntary organisations are well placed to seek changes from public authorities on behalf of vulnerable people without necessarily having to go to court.
The Human Rights Act is a misnomer - it should be the Human Entitlements Act. You might be entitled to something, under some arrangement or other, but to assert a fundamental 'right' to coerce someone else into buying you something is to destroy the whole meaning of the word. Or to put it another way, the right to press freedom doesn't mean the newsagent has to pay for your newspaper.
The HRA is an attempt to outflank democracy. There are a whole raft of policies the L3 support but know they would never be able to achieve via the ballot box. By asserting these things as rights, the Left manages to move the issue under the aegis of, reliably Liberal, judges. PC victim groups get to assert their supply of free money as a right, while those less favoured get to pay for it.
Of course, this sort of thing is hardly limited to the HRA. There is a whole raft of laws which would be radioactive at the ballot box, yet have been foisted on Joe Public by activist judges. Which brings me onto self-defence.
Liberals can have no illusions about public support for the current law, otherwise why else have such Liberal face cards as Sir John 'Sock Puppet' Stevens at the Met and the DPP claimed to have had road to Damascus conversions on this issue. Gosh! The Liberal Establishment aren't a bunch of effete snobs after all.
But wait…. What's this ? Attorney General Goldsmith must not have got the memo. Here he is frankly admitting that HMG's review of the law is a farce:
Goldsmith, the Prime Minister's chief legal adviser, said he was obliged to carry out the review, but remained unconvinced of the need for new legislation.
Newsflash! - member of Liberal Establishment finds that Liberal Establishment approach to home invasions is perfect already. There's a certain irony here, of course. The slightest suggestion that the courts may like to restrict their rulings to stuff that's actually on the statute books, rather than what they think should be, provokes the lawyers into a hissy fit about the sanctity of judicial independence. Similarly, these weasels justify the ever-expanding reach of the courts with a load of sub-Marxian drivel about 'standing up for the little guy', 'protecting people from big corporations' and other emetic phrases. The courts, they scream, provide an independent tribunal where justice can be pursued free of vested interests. Well, there are few corporations or bodies which are richer or more powerful than the legal establishment, yet when questions are raised about whether they are truly serving the public interest their response is to appoint one of their own to oversee the review.
That's the bottom line. Our system of checks and balances is broken. Our hyperactive courts are supposedly checking the power of Parliament, but who checks them ? No one. The power of the courts is growing like turvy and with less oversight than is required for an ordinary citizen to obtain a shotgun licence. We can't do anything about the judges, but we can do something about the people who acted as a deaf-blind watchman while the judges carted away the store. Why do we pay for 650+ MPs when they just sit there like lemons ? Actually, it's because most of them are all in favour of outsourcing imposition of the Liberal agenda, but what of the Conservatives ? Do they really intend that a future Conservative government should acquiesce in a situation in which it is, once again, in office but not in power ? And why exactly would anyone want to vote for them if they did ?
The issue of judicial activism is a perfect litmus test for the modern Conservative Party. As long as they refuse to address this issue, they refuse to seriously confront one of the major - even the major ? - issue which a future Conservative government would face. The Conservatives can babble on all they like about policy, but the refusal to take on these people betrays either a chronic lack of vision or a lack of courage. Either explanation speaks badly of the modern Party.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
The BBC's political bias is proverbial, but equally annoying is the ubiquitous cultural bias, the unthinking regurgitation of the attitudes and prejudices of north London as though they constituted the laws of physics. As far as this form of bias goes, there is no greater exemplar than Jeremy Vine's eponymous show on Radio Two. Five days a week, poor, dumb country bumpkins from small villages such as Leeds and Glasgow have the chance to learn from their betters how to make their hamlets every bit as civilised as Islington.
Take Friday for example: there was a debate on jury service. On one side there was a barrister who, staggeringly enough, thought that allowing him and his fellow cultural Marxoids the right to seize formerly free citizens and coerce them into to taking part in bizarre State worship ceremonials was just ducky. On the other side was…. Well, no one actually. Then again, to judge by Jeremy Vine's opening comments, there was nothing worth discussing after all. Apparently, jury service is 'our most important civic duty'. Also, forced labour in the service of the State is a 'vital role'.
Given that opening, you may wonder what they managed to talk about for nearly a hour. Indeed, even Auntie appears to recognised the essential difficulty in holding a debate where all the main points are ruled off limits. While occasional comments from actual, real citizens were allowed into the bubble, the main momentum to the piece was provided by - I kid thee not - an actress reading out what opponents of forced labour might say. Needless to say, a convention of scarecrows features less straw men, but that wasn't the worst part of it. Nope - what really grated was that each straw man was introduced by means of the actress saying 'Why do I have to do jury service [when I might get abducted by killer dwarfs or some such nonsense] ? in such a whiny, teenage brat kind of voice as to suggest that those of us opposed to slavery were only against it because we think that forced adoration of the State is, y'know, kind of a drag, and like we were hoping to go and get our nails done, and it's soooooo boring, dude…… That there is a moral case against the right of the State to seize individuals and force them to take part in ceremonial worship of its own power is apparently inconceivable at the Beeb.
The Beeb might not have allowed dissenting voices, but at least Jegsy was prepared to go for the throat with questions such as 'do you think it is a good system or is it a little cumbersome' ? Can you imagine a Conservative getting that kind of question ? Scratch that - can you imagine an adult getting that question ? Nevertheless, under the pressure of no opposition at all, our barrister friend still managed to collapse into a heap of absurdities.
We were told that the jury system was the 'last protection against an authoritarian state'. Really ? Does Cromwell know that ? To say nothing of Ghandi and George Washington.
Also, forced labour is justifiable because it's important to have a complete 'cross-section of society'. As it happens, in 1987 Lady T won by a landslide. What proportion of judges voted for her ? The legal establishment ain't saying. Apparently, the need for a complete cross-section justifies slavery, but there's no need to go as far as hiring anybody to the right of Tony Blair.
But surely some people just aren't suited for the job ? Ah yes, but a 'jury is often greater than the sum of its parts'. But if that's true of a group of twelve, how much more so for a group of forty million, so how come the legal profession isn't clamouring for more democratic oversight ? How about confirmation hearings for High Court judges, mandatory sentences and the like ? Hey - it would mark a great improvement if these people could just stop with their whining every time the press exposes their latest insane decision. Apparently, random people seized off the street is a fine way to staff a jury, but laws passed by the democratically elected tribunes of the people are mere suggestions. There is no greater proof of the ineffectual nature of the jury system than that this bunch of elitist snobs support it.
The essential snobbery of these people was shown by the truly Antoinettesque approach of said barrister to the question of people who simply can't take time off to take part in their little pantomimes. A dental technician phoned in, he was part of a two man practice that would be unable to operate while he was being forced to attend these stupid ceremonies. Of course, he and his partner would not earn any money during this time - that's bad. Equally, the public would be deprived of the services of a vitally needed dentist - or to put it another way, people in pain were being refused treatment merely to satisfy the megalomania and arrogance of our legal system. Ratboy's answer to that was to claim the victim could apply to defer his service so he could do jury service instead of taking a holiday - the sort of suggestion which when uttered by a CEO to an employee usually results in one of ratboy's colleagues ramming in a £10 million lawsuit. Another listener pointed out that her husband had been forced into bankruptcy by being enslaved by the State. The barrister in question responded that this was 'a tough one' - you are invited to consider the media reaction if a Conservative MP had come out with something so blindingly insensitive.
As ever, the S-Switch was in full operation - the deliberate confusion of the State with society, such that anything which the State needs - or claims to - is by definition good for society at large. History suggests the opposite is more likely to be true. Then again, what can be said about people who can state without any apparent shame that jury service is the 'most important civic duty'. For these people, the Battle of Britain was kind of important, but only in the sense that it offered opportunities for suing on behalf of Luftwaffe pilots shot down without due process.
Then again, let's take these fiends at their word. They claim forced labour is the price of a free society - much as chain smoking is the price of health. Let's go the whole way and adopt the Starship Troopers model: two years military service as the price of citizenship. After all that pious rambling about 'our (ie other peoples) duty to society', doubtless the lawyers will be first into the recruiting office, no ? Or at least, given that lawyers find nothing strange even in members of our volunteer military suddenly claiming to be pacifists when the shooting starts, allow those of us who think the courts need reforming with a flame-thrower to register for our own form of conscientious objector status.
The reason why these people feel the need to babble on about 'service' - even while bending over backwards to shaft those who really do serve - is to distract from the threadbare nature of the arguments for jury service. Hypocritical moralising drivel aside, there are really only two excuses for it. One is the belief that a representative sample of slaves will serve better than a group made up of volunteers. Or to put it another way, the State believes that no one, on an island of sixty million, with an IQ above fifty, would ever want to support our court system - which clearly means that there's a problem with everyone else in the country. Funnily enough, there is an organisation that is staffed entirely by volunteers, and socialists do indeed claim that it's full of the dregs of society, so that's what we're risking: a court system that only works as well as the British Army. Quelle horror!
The other argument is even stranger. The idea is that the jury acts as a brake on bad laws. Jurors supposedly refuse to convict and the law is subsequently overturned. The obvious flaw in this cunning plan is that juries can just as easily strengthen bad laws by convicting as vice versa (see Martin, Anthony for further details). Leaving aside that, isn't there something fundamentally bizarre about all this ? Some of the most elitist trash in the country go all misty-eyed at the thought of Joe Public striking down laws ? No, the whole thing is profoundly undemocratic. The best defence against bad law is an alert and active legislature - the very thing the legal establishment fears most. Bad laws should be ruthlessly enforced - let the error of those laws be seen clearly and unequivocally.
Still, the idea of jurors ignoring the law of the land does hint at one of the real reasons why lawyers really support the jury system, it's the random element. Try this little thought experiment: the Truthomatic 2010 system is invented, providing 100% accurate judgements - in this scenario, what role is there for lawyers ? Nada - the whole point of hiring a lawyer is to tilt the system your way. As long as the jury stem exists, they'll be hope for even the most blatant of felons (and fear for the most honest of citizens).
The other reason though is even more sinister. Quite simply, the coercion of individual citizens into performing roles in legal ceremonies is a blatant exercise in judicial supremacism. The seizure of innocent citizens to serve at the behest of the judiciary is an exercise in ramming home the point as to who really runs Britain. Judges will whine about terrorists being held in Gitmo while waxing lyrical of their own ability to seize citizens for their own needs, with no appeal, accountability or anything else these people claim to find so vital when dealing with paedophiles.
To return to an earlier point, what of the Army ? One of the arguments for a volunteer army is that it acts as a brake on the excesses of foreign policy. A ready supply of slave soldiers would make it all too easy for government to ignore the consequences of fighting the wrong war, in the wrong way or for the wrong reasons (e.g. Viet Nam). The analogy is obvious. Is it any surprise that the arm of government that jealously protects it's ability to abduct members of the public is also the one that is the most corrupt, the most worthless and the most conspicuously contemptible of the self-same public ?
At best, the jury system is an inadequate and untrustworthy safeguard against the excesses of government. More commonly, the jurors simply act to conceal just how little input the public has into the judicial system. The Hell with it all. There's plenty wrong with the judicial system (in much the same way that the Sun is somewhat hot), but the first step to fixing it is easy enough. Let's not pretend that the jury system is anything other than a farce. Let these scum know they can - for now - seize citizens, but the citizens themselves at least have no illusions about what's happening. We should be prepared to say it out loud: if you're an ordinary, decent member of the public, then the courts are the enemy.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
The annoying thing about Liberals is…
No, wait, everything's annoying about the L3. Nevertheless, one of the most annoying things is their habit of tormenting kittens while loudly proclaiming that they're taming lions - perfectly exemplified by Sock Puppet's latest effusion.
The Filth are under pressure. For some reason, the yuppie scum have stopped proclaiming that crime is an invention of the tabloids. Meanwhile, the Bill are under pressure for their own, unique, interpretation of reasonable force. There's an election coming up and Nu Lab's strategy is to pretend to be 'tough on crime' - to coin a phrase. Against this background, Sir John Stevens calling for the law to give more rights to householders is about as daring as criticising Dubya at the Guardian Winterval Party - and that's even without taking into account the fact he's retiring anyway.
It is the perfect metaphor for Sock Puppet's career that even while attempting such a blatantly tactical manoeuvre as this, the changes he advocates are so limited as to be pointless. Here's the nub of it:
My own view is that people should be allowed to use what force is necessary and they should be allowed to do so without any risk of prosecution.'Necessary' rather than 'reasonable'. Not exactly the latter day equivalent of the Emancipation Proclamation. Even Sock Puppet can't hide the basic problem with that approach:
The test at the moment is that you use reasonable force in the circumstances. You do not use excessiveness."Indeed. 'reasonable force' wouldn't be so bad if it was interpreted, well, reasonably. On the contrary, since virtually the day the statute passed, the legal establishment has been tightening the ratchet until now where we've reached the point that failure to offer intruders a range of beverages and a light snack constitutes a criminal offence.
He said that was too imprecise for people to consider in extreme circumstances, when they needed to be clear about their legal rights.
Yes, it would be a good thing if an incoming Conservative government restored the right of citizens to defend themselves against members of the Criminal Community, but it would be little more than a gesture without a determined effort to root out the type of Neo-Marxist culture warriors perfectly exemplified by Sock Puppet.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The prohibitionists have won a significant victory recently. Not only that but it's a textbook example of how these people argue. What's happened is best summed up in the quote below:
Local councils take responsibility for licensing from February and are keen to introduce "saturation zones" in areas that are already packed with bars and blighted by trouble...Yes, indeed. One objection. It's a fanatics charter. But even if it were not so ludicrously unbalanced, it would still be objectionable, both practically and morally. If we believe in the free market, then we believe people have the right to trade. To announce that this right exists at the whim of politicians is to announce that it's no kind of right at all.
Within a saturation zone, no licence will be granted unless the applicant can prove that they will not contribute to the violence blighting many city centres.
One objection, from the public or the police, would be enough for a refusal.
As for the practical objections, this kind of system exists in Sydney and it has produced all the effects basic theory would lead you to expect. Artificially restricting the supply of something far below demand simply means two things: the price will shoot up and consequently, once obtained, the resource must be ruthlessly exploited. So expect to see the landlord of the Red Lion sell out to the big pub chains. Or to put it another way, this legislation will see the market tilt even further towards exactly those 'drinking factory' establishments where trouble is most likely.
But that's not what really annoys me. Look at the headline and text of the story that quote came from. The word 'implied' is not strong enough to describe the suggestion here that drinking and violence are inevitably linked, as though it's an outrageous demand for people to be expected to have more than two drinks in the same week without glassing someone.
No wonder the prohibs are in the ascendancy right now. Their rantings mesh perfectly with modern Liberalism: the demon drink climbs out of the bottle, hurls itself down someone's throat and forces - forces! - them to give someone a good kicking. The L3 were never big ones for personal responsibility anyway, even without considering the embarrassing fact that many more plausible causes for the current wave of urban chaos trace back to policies vigorously advocated by the L3.
Not only does the demon drink make a good scapegoat for personal failings, it also takes the rap for corporate ones. As if to prove the hypothesis of a direct correlation between how awful a public service is at its real job, and the readiness of its top brass to pontificate on side-issues, here's Steve 'Gunsmoke' Green, the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire and the chief member on licensing for the Association of Chief Police Officers:
We are in favour of saturation zones as I am not satisfied that the industry will restrain itself, because its intention is to make a profit.Is there no end to this evil ? The brewers are giving the public what they want and getting paid for it. How do they sleep at night ? Ol' Gunsmoke may not be able to do anything about Nottingham's high-velocity lead pollution, but he's sure got whining about the demon drink off to a fine art.
But this is the genius of the prohibs position. On the one hand, just as the anti-smoking fanatics - many of them the same people, of course - had to pull a passively-smoking rabbit out of the hat, so the prohibs have realised that they can't lead the public on a witch hunt against boozers without convincing the sane majority that some blokes down the White Lion constitute a grave threat to all right-thinking people. It works - consider that the article above is from the Telegraph, supposedly a Conservative paper, yet the terminology used seems to border on the hysterical. Too many G & Ts down the nineteenth hole and your family GP will be roaming the streets torching cars.
Yet, amongst the hysteria, there's something fundamentally reassuring about the prohib's position. Let's not worry that our society really is becoming more violent, let's not worry that increasingly large parts of the public think it's OK to behave like animals. Nope - it's all the fault of Scottish & Newcastle and the rest of their fellow low-lifes. They make people put shop windows through. Let's not blame the criminals. They're victims too. They need lurrrrve, and a big hug, and a ….
No, enough already. Let's hear no more about the epidemic of 'binge drinking'. Contrary to enemy propaganda, there was never a time when working men went out for a night and returned home after two lager shandys. The story of Britain is a story of collective drunkenness. We could have stayed sober, we could have built the kind of exemplary society now to be found in Iran, but we didn't. We got hammered, but never in their most drunken moments did our ancestors think that downing a few pints was a reasonable excuse for getting together with six mates and kicking some guy to death. Now, it appears, we increasingly do. Yet, staggeringly, violence has gone through the roof. Who'd have thunk it ?