Tuesday 27 April 2010


It's not just me.

For example, Doctor Vee has written this:

The observant among you may have spotted that it is a month since I wrote a post for this blog. It is interesting that I have not even found the motivation to write about the General Election. This is not a conscious decision — I genuinely have not been moved enough to put finger to keyboard.

This is due to a combination of factors. Partly, I became disillusioned with politics a couple of years ago and have not felt the need to write about it for a long time now. But it goes beyond politics writing.

With me too there are several reasons for the lack of blogging. In addition to dealing with my own financial and business matters there is a general feeling of being "blogged out". Believe it or not, it's now eight years since I started writing Freedom and Whisky and when I look at the state of the world, of the UK, and of Scotland I can't help wondering whether anything's been achieved at all. Throughout the West the political class seems determined to wipe out the prudent and to subsidise the feckless. And the term "feckless" obviously includes plenty of businessmen (sic) as well as the more conventional candidates for that description. The lack of any clear plans from the establishment parties to cut the national debt is a disgrace. They all deserve to lose.

But perhaps all is not lost. We now have a Libertarian Party in the UK and I would certainly vote for them if they were standing here. And the Libertarian Alliance goes from strength to strength. Indeed, it takes me so long every day to read other libertarian blogs that there's no time left to write this one...

Like folks elsewhere I get the distinct impression that we are heading for some kind of bust up. I don't believe for a moment that the financial crisis has been solved. As to why, I suggest getting this new book from the IEA. Then read the hard core stuff.

I'm kind of tempted just to settle back and see how it all pans out. I'm certainly going to enjoy the general election and hope to see lots of the bums (from all parties) thrown out.

But afterwards it'll be back to the intellectual struggle. That's what really matters in the long run. I expect that I'll still be part of it.

Friday 16 April 2010

Old Devil, New Devil

After this appearance on the Daily Politics show, Chris Mounsey has deleted his Devil's Kitchen blog and is now writing as a much toned-down Devil's Knife.

An explanation of the rebranding can be found here:

My boss was phoned by a very unimpressed friend who had recognised me on The Daily Politics. My boss—who, whilst knowing that I blogged, has never let it concern him—phoned me and expressed some disquiet. I should point out that he did not tell me to do anything and nor has he tried, in any way, to force me to do anything about this situation other than talk it over tomorrow.

However, it took me only a few minutes to make this decision...

The simple fact is that I love my job and I am now in quite a high-profile position: as the company grows, I am going to become yet more exposed. And the fact is, I want to be exposed.

Chris Mounsey is the newish leader of the Libertarian Party and that explains why this whole affair has been all over the British blogosphere for the last couple of days.

I guess that I'm one of the old guard of the British libertarian movement. It's close to 40 years since I first discovered libertarianism and the entire movement could have fitted inside a telephone box back in the early days. When the Libertarian Alliance was founded its purpose was to change the intellectual climate, not to run for office. And now we have a Libertarian Party in the UK.

I was skeptical at first. I haven't joined the LP, partly because I'd probably want to devote myself to making sure that the manifesto was absolutely 100% sound in terms of libertarian theory - the theory that I've been studying for over three decades. Frankly, I haven't got the time, or the energy. But I hope that the new generation of libertarians makes sure that they do read the great classics of our movement. Party politics isn't enough: ideas are more important. But politics does have its place in libertarianism and so I wish the LP well. I have sent a donation to the "F***ing Hellski" fund and I urge others to do the same.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Cameron is an idiot

That's it then. Any slight chance that I'd give my vote to the Tories has gone down the plughole.

Cameron is an idiot

Why, oh why, don't the Tories call Brown out on this?

Not collecting £6 million in tax is not the same as "taking it out of the economy". It means removing it from the state's (proposed) spend and retaining it in the private sector where it belongs and where it will be more productive.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Discriminating behaviour

I posted the following reply to one of Jeff's postings over on SNP Tactical Voting:

There should be a crucial difference between being a Christian owner of a hotel and a Christian owner of a B&B that is effectively your own home.

Utterly wrong. The keyword is not home but property.

In a civilised society, owners of property have the absolute right to determine how their property is used. The only exception is when such use involves the initiation of physical violence against another person or his property. There is no right not to be offended. And this rule applies to discrimination against blacks, Irish, Scots, or even against people called Jeff or David.

See here.

It shouldn't need to be pointed out that none of the above means that I'm in favour of such discriminations. But I totally support the right to carry them out. And of course the right of those who disapprove to carry out retaliatory discriminations.

Saturday 3 April 2010

Wet or Dry?

In response to this post of mine, Subrosa asked:
David, if the SNP privatise Scottish Water they'll lose so many votes in this area anyway. What would be bound to happen is that prices would go sky high.
Well, yes and no. I've no doubt at all that such a move would cost the SNP votes. But that's because of the almost universal lack of economic understanding here in Scotland. Not that it's much better elsewhere of course.

Earlier today I bumped into historian Michael Fry, formerly a Tory candidate and now a supporter of the SNP. Michael has an article about water privatisation in today's Scotsman but unfortunately it's behind the subscription wall. However I have the paper edition!

Michael explains that English water prices shot up after privatisation as a direct result of years of underinvestment by the state:

We might pause to reflect that no other country follows the precise Scottish model of regulated public ownership, whereas all over the world countries have adopted the English policy of straightforward privatisation. One of the reasons is that the English have succeeded in improving the quality of their water, and far faster than we have for all our babbling burns and limpid lochs.
For me the issue is primarily a moral one. The state is the only body in society that can initiate force without attracting the attentions of the police. If there is to be a state at all (arguable), it must be limited to protecting us from aggressors. Everything else, including water, should be provided by the private sector.

Michael concludes his article by asking:

People often ask me how I, a cold-hearted capitalist, can bring myself to support the bunch of wooly lefties who now rule us from Holyrood, as I will again on 6 May.

Here is my answer: reality makes capitalists of us all. It is like nothing so much as a douche of cold water.

I agree with that, except for calling capitalists "cold-hearted". Capitalists are warm-hearted folk who provide people with goods and services without the support of taxation extracted from others.

I really do look forward to that "douche of cold water" being piped, perhaps, directly from Loch Katrine to the Glasgow City Chambers.

Is this a scam?

From: HSBC BANK UK [ add to contacts ]

Date: Saturday, April 03, 2010 02:29 pm
Subject: Re-Verify Your Lloyds TSB Online Banking Account Status.

During our regularly scheduled account maintenance and verification procedures we have detected a slight error in your account information.

To securely confirm your personal information please click on the link below:

My account activity

Confirm Your Login Information now to enjoy the benefits of online banking and finance to avoid identity theft and fraudulent activities on your account. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………............................................................................................. Programs and data held on this system belong or are licensed to HSBC BANK UK. It is an offence to access the programs and data unless you are doing so through your own account using the Passwords and User ID issued to you by HSBC BANK UK in an authorized manner and in accordance with all applicable laws.

The US spelling of "authorized" is a bit of a giveaway, is it not?

But how about an a-mail from "HSBC" warning me about an account with "Lloyds TSB"!