Friday, 2 November 2007

Of course he must go

Sir Ian Blair might perhaps learn something from the experience of his namesake in clinging on to public office long past the point when the public, the media, colleagues and staff have all decided you should go.

Londoners in particular are heartily sick of their Commissioner. Executing one of our overseas visitors didn't improve his standing.

But Sir Ian is New Labour to his bones and will cling to office as grimly as Blunkett, Byers, Mandelson, Prescott or any of the roll call of Labour sleazeballs over the past few years.

His tenacious and obstinate stance will undoubtedly lead to voices calling more loudly for the Met Commissioner to report to London's Mayor and not to the Home Secretary; if Boris were in post with such authority, Sir Ian would be marched smartly up to the Mayor's desk, stood at attention with his cap under his arm, and be summarily dismissed for gross misconduct. About turn. Bugger off.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Lying is the new black

The comments of a few non-political acquaintances yesterday evening on the news that a top cop has been caught speeding are revealing. Meredydd Hughes, Chief Constable of Yorkshire and a committed proponent of speed cameras, was caught doing 90 in a 60 zone, and already has six points on his licence. Speculating on whether the case would be prosecuted, and whether Hughes would lose his licence if convicted, it is clear that deep cynicism reigns.

"It will have been a 'training drive'. Just 'honing his skills'. He won't get done."

I find it deeply disturbing that the ordinary public's expectations of the behaviour of those in positions of authority are that lying, distortion, avarice, misrepresentation and omission are wholly unexceptional and are indeed the norm.


From Sir Ian Blair's oafish, porcine cupidity to the snortling indifference of Tony Wright MP to suggestions that there was anything wrong in selling honours, to give just two examples from the past week, the public has reason enough for this view.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Gove gets it absolutely right

If you haven't done so already, I urge you to read Michael Gove's speech to the Bow group on Gordon Brown. It strips the dour one bare down to his centralist Statist bones.

This is a real intellectual tour de force. Brown's 'Liberty' speech, like his 'Courage' book, was nothing more than an incoherent jumble of jejune borrowings.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Brown speech reveals the autocrat within

Brown's recent speech on Liberty is applauded in today's papers as an intellectual tour de force; it is nothing of the sort. I would urge anyone tempted to believe this nonsense to read it. It seems the one philosopher closest to Brown's dark heart, that rogue Rousseau, is the only one he fails to accord a gratuitous mention. Rousseau it was who so believed in the supremacy of the State over the individual that he wanted to remove children from their fathers lest the authority of the family challenge that of the State; Rousseau it was who proposed that each individual should have a direct and immediate relationship with the State, without any intervening institutions. This is still the core of Brown's corrupt and dangerous philosophy - and it emerges in this speech.

It was only in the second half of the twentieth century that Parliament took action to combat discrimination against women and ethnic minorities and there is still much work to do in these areas and against discrimination on the grounds of sexuality, disability and religion.

Ah yes; this is Brown's belief that the British people can't be trusted not to be bigots without the State making it illegal. Only the State can be trusted to get it right.

.. freedom could only be fully realised when society was prepared to overcome the barriers that prevented people from realising their true potential. Hobson put it as a question when he asked: 'is a man free who has not equal opportunity with his fellows of such access to all material and moral means of personal development and work as shall contribute to his own welfare and that of his society?'.

And Brown mistakes the lesson here; he believes it is the duty of the State to take from those that have and give to those that have not to achieve this. The fallacy that only the power of the State can level the playing field is entrenched in his belief.

Yet all too often on the political right, liberty has been reduced to a simplistic libertarianism in which freedom and licence assumed a rough equivalence, and the absence of government from public life seen as essential to maximise liberty

And here is his defence of Big Government - only a strong, centralising and powerful State can free the people. What specious nonsense.

This will only be possible if we face up to the hard choices that have to be made in government. Precious as it is, liberty is not the only value we prize and not the only priority for government ... to ignore the duty of government to protect its people - and to be unwilling to face up to hard choices - is the politics of gesture and irresponsibility.

The truth comes out, doesn't it? Arrest and detention, the 'Security of the State', repressive laws are all 'the duty of the government to protect its people'. You witless ass; the people don't belong to the State - the State belongs to the people.

Alongside this it is important, as the Government has made clear, that charities are guaranteed the independence and the right to have their voice heard and to campaign on the issues that matter to them

Ah, and this is the get-out clause for Brown's Sith Institute to use its funds to campaign for the Labour Party. Guido will be chuffed.

No one wants to see criminals profiting from publishing books about their crimes.

So that's Blair's autobiography banned, then.

At the same time, a great prize of the information age is that by sharing information across the public sector - responsibly, transparently but also swiftly - we can now deliver personalised services for millions of people

Ah, pure Rousseau - that IT can deliver the authoritarian dream of a direct relationship between the State and the individual.

And as what is possible changes, so the protections we afford to individuals must change, and we must respond to the need for a more secure way of establishing and protecting people's identity; to the new opportunities to use biometrics to identify false passports or DNA to solve crime; to the need to deny terrorists and criminals financial freedom and the ability to move across borders; to the pressure to provide more personalised public services.

And here is the justification for compulsory ID, compulsory DNA and biometrics sampling - only Slavery to the State can bring freedom. That Brown actually believes this is chilling.

So we must always ensure that there is - as we have legislated on ID cards - proper accountability to Parliament.

Making the State 'accountable to Parliament' - now that's a novelty. And there was me thinking it was something that was established in the 17th century.

At all times in our history we have had to debate how the need for strong and effective government can be combined with the pursuit and preservation of liberty. Such debates are both inevitable and desirable.

No, No, No. What is debatable is the extent to which we need 'strong and effective government'; it is the very role of the centralist State, and not how long we can be held in concentration camps, that needs to be discussed.

Don't be fooled. This man is not only intellectually bankrupt, he is a danger to freedom and liberty.
Unfortunate terminology

I had to chuckle this morning at the news that a judge has issued a 'gagging order' in the case of a member of the Royal family allegedly being video-recorded receiving oral sex. Sorry, I'll get my coat ....