Friday 27 April 2018

Count Dankula and the Scottish press

I posted a link to my Monday Airdrie photos and now wish to give some observations on the whole Dankula affair. 

What was particularly fascinating was the reporting and commentary in the Scottish media.

Take for example this piece in the Herald.

Haggerty acknowledges that she is "leaning more favourably towards the free speech side" but that "context is everything". She goes on to discuss the "far right" but gives no definition of that term. She states that legacy publications like the Herald "understand the need to balance freedom of speech with responsibility" and compares that process to how things are done on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, their processes supposedly allowing the "far right" to dominate the digital space

What's completely missing here is any acknowledgement that the big digital platforms are dominated by cultural Marxists who hate not just the "far right" (however defined) but also traditional conservatives, classical liberals and libertarians. That's why so many on the "right" have had their digital platforms removed without further ado. How many leftists have been similarly targeted? Not many.

The idea that Trump became President by using social media "in the darkest way that we have ever seen" is bizarre in the extreme. He became President by campaigning strongly in the key swing states that determine the outcome in the electoral college. Hillary Clinton ignored those states and even referred to their inhabitants as "deplorables". That one word probably cost her the election. Simply put, she was a terrible candidate despite having overwhelming support from the legacy media in the US and indeed over here in the UK. The Herald itself loved Hillary and still does.

Haggerty misses out a hugely important point. Mark Meechan (Dankula) used to have a picture of Lenin on his wall. Meechan was a communist, not a nazi, and communists murdered many more folk than even the nazis. We libertarians are opposed to both international socialists like Lenin and national socialists like Hitler. Why can't the press distinguish between freedom and tyranny? Using terms like "left" and "right" is so last week...

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Rules of the road

Last week I attended an event in Edinburgh. After dinner there was discussion about prisons and their role in society. One of our number suggested that unnecessary drug laws were responsible for many folk ending up in prison. I agreed and also made the point that the state was far too intrusive generally. For example, pub owners should be allowed to decide whether smoking should (or should not) be allowed in their premises.

I was asked whether it should be compulsory to wear seat belts and I replied in the negative. Afterwards I realised that I’m far too used to discussing such matters with fellow libertarians. I would have elaborated further had there been more time.

The correct answer is, of course, that it should be up to the owner of the road to decide.

A farmer who has a private road running to his farm should be free to make the rules for that road, including whether or not someone should be obliged to wear a seat belt.

Similarly, the private owners of Silverstone allow Grand Prix drivers to go at rather more than the “national” speed limit of 70 mph. I don’t think that any of those drivers get speeding tickets.

My questioner was no doubt thinking about state owned roads. As always, the owner gets to set the rules. Including when the owner is the state. Whether or not the state should own roads is quite another question…

If I owned the M8 or Lothian Road I’d set rules for users. Those rules may well include the use of seat belts and speed limits. In fact, they probably would.

We libertarians must remember that not everyone spends all day studying the finer points of our philosophy.

Count Dankula

You can see my photographs taken at the Count Dankula sentencing over here:

Starting again..

I've decided that it's time to restart this blog.

The very first post in 2002 started as follows:

Welcome to this new blog. The title Freedom and Whisky links the two themes of this blog: libertarianism and Scotland. The libertarianism will, however, sometimes extend beyond events in Scotland and I shall also be covering non-political news of interest to me north of the border.

There's really nothing to add to that. 

Freedom and Whisky will continue just as before.

So why the long gap?

In the lead up to the 2014 referendum I had entered into semi-retirement and was able to spend a vast amount of time following the national debate. Like most Scottish libertarians whom I know I voted for Scottish independence as the more decentralist option. Similarly I voted for Brexit, also the decentralist position. Needless to say this doesn't mean that I support the current extraordinarily authoritarian Scottish government nor indeed the utterly incompetent UK one. After the Scottish referendum I'd just become totally "blogged out", and since then have spent far too much time reading other folks' online pronouncements.

Now mine will start again...

Sunday 22 April 2018