Friday, 21 December 2007

Harman is no friend of women's rights

Harman wants to make it an offence to pay women for sex. Let's imagine for a moment that this risible naivity makes it through to a legal draft. Is payment both in cash and in kind to be illegal? Clearly, dinner for two at the Ivy and a show as a prelude to seduction wouldn't count. What about the gift of a piece of jewellry as advanced foreplay? Clearly not.

No, in order to be able to prosecute a man for paying a woman for sex it's clear that she must be recognised as a prostitute. In the bad old days certain women were registered as 'Common Prostitutes' - common not in the sense of vulgar, you understand, but in the sense of public. The police kept lists. Such women could then be easily prosecuted in the police courts for loitering or soliciting. Such registers were dropped because they stigmatised, for example, single mums who'd turn a trick from time to time to pay the gas bill.

The only way Harman's proposal could have legal effect would be to make it an offence to pay a Common Prostitute. Thus the police registers of Common Prostitutes would be reintroduced and be filled with the many women of all classes - students, housewives, mums - who may have recourse to a period of casual prostitution to cope with a financial crisis.

Harman proposes, in other words, for the State to take control of a woman's property in her own body. Whilst I expect nothing less from New Labour, it's hardly a woman-friendly policy, is it?

Thursday, 20 December 2007

We're drinking too much, and ...

As a dog returns to its vomit, Labour ministers can't resist missing an opportunity to have a pop at the English middle classes. In years past, a Prime Minister might encourage us to enjoy Christmas, our families, our friends and gird our loins for the year ahead, which is going to be tough.

Now the entire cabinet, dosed up on Prozac, reassures us that all's well in the garden, but that we should not enjoy ourselves over Winterval, that we should avoid any alcohol in particular, that families are the primary cause of the violence and abuse that only the State can solve by abolishing them, and that any mention of 'loins' is out of the question and probably loinist.

A drearier and more tedious odium of Puritans than this lot would be hard to find.
..... Nanny is getting cross

News this morning that car drivers caught using a mobile phone will face two years in jail because "using a mobile is more dangerous than drunk driving" brings a smile to my face. When Nanny brought in the law requiring us to wear seat belts in the back seats, as a nation we ignored it. Except for strapping in the kids. The police can't be bothered to enforce it.

The same has happened with mobile phone use. We've just carried on using them, perhaps tucking them out of sight if a police cruiser passes. The British people have made their own decision about the risk. Nanny isn't happy.

The reaction of an authoritarian regime in decline is always the same; a spiral of ever more repressive government measures is met by an increasing public determination not to recognise their legitimacy. They're braiding the rope for their own nooses.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The filth of corruption at the heart of Livingstone's London

The 'Standard' has been doing a sterling job over the past week or so in exposing the filth of corruption at the heart of Livingstone's London. The millions in 'lost' public money, the siphoning of public funds by Lee Jasper to Livingstone cronies, and the attempted obstruction and cover-up of a public audit of this squalid malfeasance has been overshadowed by the woes of the New Labour Reich, but this story will run and run.

This blog has further evidence of this dirty trade that will be passed directly to the Standard.
The progressive collapse of Brown's Statism

The past week or so have been rather like watching a car crash in slow motion. The government's spin machine continues to weave its web, the ministries continue to churn out new restrictions, the killjoys at the heart of government continue to research what the people of Britain enjoy doing and develop policies to stop them, but somehow the power is not there any more. Statism is not resilient. Statism depends on a massive confidence trick that bewilders and emasculates most of the people most of the time. As Ceausescu found, once the mirror cracks and the smoke clears Statism is about as resilient as a chocolate fireguard.

Yeats got it wrong. "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world". The progressive collapse of Statism, despite what Brown believes, will not lead to anarchy. Instead, the intermediate institutions, the local institutions, communities and families will step forward to fill the gaps left by the retreating State. All have a real resilience and a solid legitimacy that Brown's State could only ever create with smoke and mirrors.