515 days ago
The argument for the biggest assault on our civil liberties since World War Two and for actions that are wrecking the economy, causing suicides and job losses to soar and bankrupting businesses across the land is that we must act now to save lives. The monumental folly of this is demonstrated in this one chart below with data sourced from the ONS. Read it and then I challenge any one of you to disagree with me that all those responsible for lockdowns and other measures should be put on trial for their crimes.
600 days ago
There is no empirical evidence for the raft of civil liberties crushing and economy wrecking measures Boris Johnson announced yesterday but yet folks still want more. A YouGov poll showed 13% of us thought Boris had gone too far, 32% thought he had it about right but 45% wanted more restrictions, saying that the most illiberal Government in modern British Government had not gone far enough. Cripes, as Boris might say. Why am I not surprised?
601 days ago
If you thought Simon Hoare was a one-off liberty hating halfwit within the Tory party, think again. It seems par for the course. Meet Councillor Fran Carpenter.
604 days ago
The announcement that Boris Johnson wanted to introduce Covid Marshals was seen by many of us that, combined with lockdowns, curfews and compulsory face nappy wearing, the Tory party had stopped caring about civil liberties and freedom. Rather Dim Tory MP Simon Hoare then confirmed this with his historically illiterate attack on those of us who do believe in freedom. But today it got worse.
610 days ago
As you know, my admiration for civil liberties and LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell knows no bounds. A photo of the Great Man with daughter Olaf sits in my study. However, on the subject of how not to catch Covid and still have sex, he offers us a binary choice, as you can see below. I suggest that there is a third way.
753 days ago
We were told by ALL the politicians, nearly all the media, by many scientists, including the world famous virologist Piers Morgan, that we had no choice but to respond to Coronavirus with a draconian lockdown that has smashed our civil liberties and hurled us into the worst recession since the 1930s. Sweden is the one Western country to have gone down a different route despite immense media pressure and threats from the World Health Organisation. But the bodies are not piling up in mass graves in Malmo, they are not running out of death carts in Stockholm or Gothenburg. And that exposes the GroupThink driven calamity we are now all suffering for what it is. The media still thinks the scandal is that we did not lockdown earlier or provide enough PPE. But data analysis or logic is not something anyone at the BBC seems to understand – they don’t teach that sort of thing on liberal arts courses at Oxbridge. The real scandal is that we have blundered into a policy which will, in the end, show that the “cure” was not a cure at all but was in fact worse than the ailment. Time once again for our leaders to read the last work by my late uncle, Christopher Booker, on GroupThink (available here).
1314 days ago
As I have noted before, the LGBTI and civil liberties campaigner Peter Tatchell is a national treasure. I don't always agree with him but today he again showed why he is a man of absolute principle. The case is Ashers, a baker in God’s chosen lands of Ulster, which refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding. A lower court ruled that it was wrong to do so but at the Supreme Court today the bigoted bakers won their case. Step forward Tatch, a man who helped found the Pride march in London and who has been at the forefront of the gay equality movement for decades, in their defence, Tatch says:
1413 days ago
In thirty years time we will look back on the transgender and gender wars of 2018 and ask what on earth were the experts and the screaming, if small, mobs of virtue signallers hoping to achieve. I hope we will look back with a sense of shame.
1427 days ago
I am confused. This morning the Peter Tatchell Foundation run by the great and heroic civil liberties campaigner Peter Tatchell has launched a new report and sent out the following tweet. Of course Tatch is right that any tourist spot that is homophobic is kicking itself in the gonads and it is also acting in a way that is morally unacceptable. However it is the claim that the LGBT community has far more dosh to splash than we poor straights that interests me.
1476 days ago
Normally if it is a group of smelly, workshy, tree huggers up against a PLC in the Courts I back the PLC all the way. Capitalism rocks and most protesters should just go get a bath, get on their bikes and get a proper job. But this case is different and we should all support the smellies.
1896 days ago
Emmeline Pankhurst, Countess Markievicz, hell even Germaine Greer, these were feminists who fought for something important and fought bravely. And still the struggle is not over. In many parts of the world women are treated shamefully, as sex slaves, as second class citizens as folks who have no rights. Think of FGM, think of the battles of Saudi women to have a voice and to avoid execution for crimes that are not crimes if you are a man, think of the way ISIS treats female captives. Gosh there are some real battles feminists - whether male or female - still need to fight.
1937 days ago
I would be lying if I said that I agreed with everything that Peter Tatchell said or wrote. I do not, for instance, believe that cottaging is a basic human right which the State should allow. Have sex with whom you want but whether you are straight or gay you should, in my view, not engage in sex in public as that infringes on the rights of others. Having said all of that, freedom of speech is what makes living in Britain vaguely tolerable and over the past forty years Tatch has used that freedom to great effect campaigning not only on LGBT issues but on exposing the actions of Robert Mugabe and many other good causes.
1962 days ago
Peter Tatchell has the odd whacky old view but surely no-one can doubt his heroic work as a civil liberties campaigner over many years. many of his bones have been broken as he put his body on the line for his beliefs and, for me at least, he is one of the great heros of our age. Tatch has been offered a new year's gong several times but as a man of rigid principle he has refused on exactly the same grounds as I would refuse in the, exceedingly unlikely, event that I was offered a gong.
2034 days ago
God only help me but I am watching Nick Clegg on the Telly and I find myself agreeing with him. Not once but twice in ten minutes. This is a first and almost certainly a last.
2594 days ago
None of the British parties has the slightest intention of eradicating the UK budget deficit - they are all Money Tree worshippers. And our record on free speech and civil liberties over the past few years has been dire. Rand Paul ( son of Ron Paul) is different and yesterday announced he was running for US President.
Come January this website will be edited for a short while from New Hampshire as I pay a holiday visit to experience the primary there - West Wing junkies will know how exciting that can be. All supporters of liberty and sound money should stand with Rand. This website does. Watch him announce his candidacy yesterday and compare his message with the banal issue evading words of our own leaders. Rand Paul for President!
2675 days ago
On both civil liberties and on economics/business matters David Cameron has recently shown himself as an opportunist but not a conservative. I refer to his email snooping demands and to his obscene suggestion that business passes on a (temporary) dip in oil prices to its workers with a (permanent) hike in wages. I despair and I despise the man ever more
3045 days ago
I just spotted that my profile still describes me as, among other things, as Clinton loathing. I wonder, is it time to move on. Old Billy is now out of politics allowing to spend all his time raking in the cash a la Blair, groping interns or whatever turns him on the most. That would be a hard call I suspect. Surely I should move on to loathing Obama for his economic recklessness, love of the Big State and of illegal wars and crushing basic principles of civil liberty?
Hmmmm. I thought about this for a few seconds. Clinton covers not just old Bill but his loathsome Mrs as well and she spouts more than her fair share of total hogwash on issues like women’s rights and global warming (oops I meant climate change). She is even more into involving the US in illegal, unafordable and in the end disastrous Middle East military ventures than her old man and I have not heard her speak up much about the Big Brother tendencies of the Obama regime.
And Old Bill still pops up now and again to rouse the faithful to go vote for folks who love trees more than unborn kids, argue that every welfare programme is a way to create jobs and who think that Big Government is the solution not the problem.
I rather hope that after his second term ends in shambles Obama will head off into the sunset. I rather fear that the Clinton’s will be around for a while to come.
No need to change my profile then.
3231 days ago
I see that my recent articles on Bulletin Board Morons have unleashed a firestorm of anonymous abuse various from Bulletin Board Morons. As I wandered along the beach and enjoyed a very nice grilled octopus lunch I pondered whether the morons have a point? For about five seconds.
The morons of course never post under their own names and then proceed to say whatever they wish. If I had a penny for every time I had received abuse from the morons over the years I could buy half of Greece. Perhaps these days I could pick up the whole country. Hidden behind the mask of anonymity they say what they like.
That is fine by me. Airstrip One is a free country. Well sort of. But please do not expect me to regard dishing out abuse without revealing your identity as courageous in any way.
Among writers (i.e. those who earn money from writing in their own name) I am a little unusual in that I am happy to dish out the abuse back. I do so in my own name. And sometimes in quite a witty manner. The BB Morons however think that this is all shocking.
Some feel I should show bravery by going onto BB threads and posting as myself. Hmmmmm.
3354 days ago
I am not sure what the Lib Dems are meant to stand for these days and in a couple of years’ time they will be an electoral irrelevancy anyway. But I always thought that a party with the word Liberal in its name might have some sort of core beliefs in the liberty of the citizen against an all-powerful state. Unless I have read my John Stuart Mill very incorrectly I think that should be the case.
However, under current plans which the Lib Dems in parliament have largely supported, the law will change to extend secret hearings across the civil justice system. In a secret hearing defendants or claimants will not be allowed to be present, know or challenge the case against them and must be represented by a security-cleared special advocate, rather than their own lawyer. Right now these procedures are used in tiny numbers of immigration and deportation hearings, but the Government wants to extend them across the civil courts in cases deemed to involve national security.
Now, I am sure you can spot the flaw in this proposal. It is the State that decides when the security of the State is threatened. In a country where burning a poppy on twitter and where calling a police horse “gay” have both been deemed by the State to be offences, I simply do not trust the State.
That may trivialise the point. What about the whistleblower? The David Kelly figure. As the law stands now he is just murdered in the woods, sorry I meant allowed a public trial if charged. But as the law may stand in future someone who exposed how a crazed leader started an illegal war with a pack of lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction
3455 days ago
So the Leveson Report is out. And it is pretty grim reading. It will delight Hugh Grant, Max Mosley, Nick Clegg and the other illiberal folk who want the press muzzled. It will delight the political elite who resent their sins being revealed. And it will, I suspect, hasten the demise of the traditional newspaper industry.
Leveson proposes legislation which will see a body containing no MPs or journalists but a fine body of establishment grandees there to ensure that newspapers do not breach certain rules. If they do they will face crippling fines Ofcom will review how this body works every two years. The information Commissioner will be given greater powers to prosecute newspapers for breaches of data protection.
Hmmm. Ultimately who appoints these independent grandees…politicians. David Davies MP (the man who should have led the Tories rather than Call Me Dave) is spot on:
3472 days ago
Kent Police have arrested a man for posting a picture of a burning poppy on twitter. This is fascism. It is not what folks died to protect in World War Two. It is not justifiable and if Kent Police wish to arrest me as well for calling them Fascists I shall be at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1r 5BX on Wednesday at noon. I shall see you then.
The Fascists, sorry Kent Police force, released an official statement saying that the man, from Aylesham, was detained on Sunday night on suspicion of making malicious telecommunications and that he was in custody awaiting interview.
You will note that burning a poppy, though distasteful, is not illegal.
3473 days ago
We seem to see a new Downfall parody video every couple of months. The Gordon Brown ones were excellent. Some of those since have been weaker.
Well here is a corker on the subject of “plain packaging cigarettes” and the lies and campaigns of the, er…Health Nazis.
Hat tip to the excellent Velvet Glove Iron Fist blog for this.
3483 days ago
Almost everyone outside Moscow agrees that the jailing of the incredibly untalented Russian all girl punk band Pussy Riot for producing music (I use the term loosely) that attacked President Putin and the Orthodox Church was wrong. No arguments there. But arguably back here in Airstrip One we are guilty of the same sort of behaviour. I refer to Trenton Oldfield, the Aussie born dickhead who swam in from of the eights to disrupt the 158th Oxford Cambridge boat race. I do not agree with what he did but a six month jail sentence raises alarming issues.
Oldfield was protesting against elitism. Having read his political views I disagree with almost all of them. He is a moronic middle class lefty and he deserves to be punished for an idiotic act. But six months?
3486 days ago
I am indebted to a the Pride’s Purge blog for a story from South Wales which should strike a chill in your heart if you give two hoots about free speech and civil liberties. It is the sort of thing that Orwell might have written about as a warning. But that the increasingly authoritarian British state would have taken as a blueprint.
I start with Pride’s short article.
3521 days ago
I am sure that Gladstone and John Stuart Mill would be terribly impressed at the dynamic policy initiatives dreamt up this week by the Lib Dems. Actually I have not watched any of the Lib Dem conference and I suspect that neither has anyone else. A party that faces electoral obliteration discussing dull as ditchwater policies that will never be implemented cannot hope to compete in terms of TV time with catching up on missed episodes of the new series of Dallas. Nick Clegg you are no Bobby Ewing although I hear that after lunch Charles Kennedy can do a good impression of Digger Barnes.
I have, however, picked up on the news that the Lib Dems plan to reconnect with the public with dynamic policy initiatives to impose taxes on plastic bags and fizzy drinks. Heck, I bet that’s got Ed Milliband running scared. While it is easy to dismiss these plans as irrelevant I fear that they are not as they are exactly the sort of things that all three of the mainstream parties (plus the Greens) agree on and as such are bound to become law. The problem in both cases is that such laws are regressive (i.e. they stuff the poor) and also illiberal.
3525 days ago
This is novel. Uruguay has today announced that it wishes to nationalise the cannabis industry. That is to say all production and distribution of weed will now be handled by the State and thus it will be completely legal to smoke dope. Half way there.
The Government of this country is described as left wing and progressive and argues that the measure is necessary to combat rising drug-related crime, decrease health risks for users, and counter ineffective US policies on drugs.
“We’re putting this forward as international policy,” says Sebastian Sabini, president of the parliamentary commission created to debate the bill. “The war on drugs has failed. There are more consumers and more violence.”
Spot on Seb. Your analysis is bang on the money. But…
3525 days ago
No new laws have been passed in Parliament but the law has changed says Nick Clegg to allow the State to dictate how you and your partner behave in a relationship. You can now face criminal charges for stopping your wife/partner/husband from opening a bank account or stopper her/him seeing friends and family – this is a crime known as “coercive control.” It has been welcomed by the usual bunch of big state losers in the Labour party, the BBC etc but it is actually very sinister.
For a start it has not actually been brought into being as a result of legislative change.
3527 days ago
The European Court has today ruled that the UK has breached the human rights of prisoners by handing out “Indeterminate” sentences – i.e. ones where the crim is not actually released until he is shown to be reformed. The legislation was daft ( it was a Labour Act) since it created a bureaucratic nightmare and it does seem unfair not to tell a crim when he is going to be set free. For once Europe has got it right. Well done the Evil Empire. Busted clocks, twice a day and all that.
But as it happens the UK was going to scrap this legislation anyway.
And it is when you get to the detail of this case that your blood starts to boil. The Telegraph reports:
3536 days ago
I sense that I am a bit off the pace here but I have only just twigged that David Cameron is attempting to pass the most illiberal piece of legislation in British history. Indeed, The Communications Data Bill is the sort of fascist measure that East Germany’s Stasi would have found of great interest.
3540 days ago
If someone tries to burgle your house you should have the right to shoot him. If you do, it is his lookout not a cue for the Old Bill to arrest you. The law should be on the side of the victim not the criminal. Yet once again we have the case of homeowners being persecuted by the British establishment for simply protecting what was theirs. Andy and Tracie Ferrie faced four night-time intruders at their isolated cottage and Andy fired a shotgun injuring two of them. Diddums. But who is banged up for three days? The burglars or the poor Ferries? No prizes for guessing.
3551 days ago
If you have a spare few minutes this is a fun little quiz to take. Answer 20 questions and you will be ranked on a liberal to conservative spectrum on a) social issues and b) economic issues. It will not surprise you that on economic matters I came out on the extreme conservative end of the spectrum (in fact right on the end of the chart). On social matters I came out almost at the other end.
The quiz is here.
Incidentally, I have worked out why I failed to get a perfect 100% non correlation. That is to say why I am not classed as extreme liberal on social issues.
3553 days ago
Prince Harry appears to have enjoyed himself in Las Vegas. I am sure that 40 years ago his uncle Andrew (then also third in line to the throne) would have enjoyed himself in similar ways. But that was before mobile phone/cameras and the internet. Harry is perhaps not the brightest spark on this planet and so should have known that one day such antics would have been spread all over the nation’s breakfast tables c/o Fleet Street but is it really that important?
It would be a tragedy if Harry became King. Not because he is a bit of a lad and a bit (okay, very) dim but because it implies unfortunate events (or lack of them) elsewhere in the house of Windsor. The odds are that he will not be King and as such he faces restrictions on what he can do without opportunity to do things he may wish to do. That is his lot. Of course he has numerous compensations but
3565 days ago
For me the dual highlights of the week were Madonna taking on Putin on civil liberties and the hilarious reaction of Russian church and state and my visit to the best bakery in Greece, indeed my whole time in Zitsa.
This is the penultimate video of this series. There will be one next week and then a two week break as I head slowly back to England. The book will, by then, be almost finished. And I have almost decided on my next move. So it is time to go back to the UK and sort that out.
On the Agenda
3572 days ago
If you are registered with this site (use the box near the top right hand corner) you are sent the Tomograph automatically once a week with a recap of the most viewed articles of the past seven days plus a bit more including one article exclusive to the Tomograph.
This week’s issue carries a piece on another mad nanny state proposal from someone who should know far better.
You can access the latest edition by clicking here.
You can access archived editions by clicking here.
Feel free to forward the Tomograph onto a friend who might be interested.
3575 days ago
Albeit with a delay, I pick up on the news that back in Airstrip One the old bill have knicked some 17 year old saddo from Dorset for tweeting to Tom Daley ( a flop for Britain in the men’s synchronised 10 metre diving) that he had “let his father down.” Daley’s old man died of cancer last year.
I agree that the comment was tasteless. But on what grounds was the saddo knicked and let off with a caution? That he had hurt Daley’s feelings? That he had shown a lack of taste? Well if this is the case might the old bill launch a dawn raid on the small number of folk who under numerous aliases post comments demanding my complete ruin on the ADVFN/iii Bulletin boards? Hoping for someone’s demise is tasteless and I might claim that my feelings were hurt. Tell no lies: sometimes they are.
Before the Old Bill gets ready to launch that Dawn Raid ( and of course they would not bother because I am not a celeb and the laws on these sort of things – well there are not actually any laws but the ones the Police create by using an incredible interpretation of laws meant to tackle real issues – are only for celebs), I am kidding. I cannot see that any actual crime has been committed by the saddo. When a country gets to the state where you can be knicked and cautioned just because the authorities deem what you say to be tasteless if not illegal, or because they just do not like what you said, it is time to get very worried indeed.
3582 days ago
Louise Mensch MP is thick as two short planks. That should be obvious to anyone who has heard her talk about her life with Charlie and her thoughts on drug use that resulted from it; or about how falling petrol prices were down to Tory rule or indeed to anyone who has investigated quite how truly dreadful her books are. I promised that I would have just one more look at the sheer inadequacy of what passes for her thought process and so we turn to her suggestion made on April 25th this year that the grateful taxpayer needs to subsidise local papers.
Where do you start with such utter cobblers?
The Mensch thesis is that local papers closing is a “threat to democracy.” Er… please go on. This is because only local rags will cover expense fiddling by back bench MPs and scandals in the local town hall. And so Mensch seems to think that without the local rag, the electorate will not get to hear what a bunch of crooks we have representing us? It appears so.
3583 days ago
It is no secret that I regard our Prime Minister David Cameron with open contempt. I cannot remember ever thinking that he stood for much and as time has gone by what little he once stood for has been forgotten and abandoned. There has been so much that Cameron has done or not done which leads me to view him with contempt, but on Sunday his reaction to the victory of Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France really just summed it up for me.
But before we turn to Cameron and Wiggins I ask you to humour me and watch Howard Roark speaking in his own defence in his trial in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
I assume since you are reading this blog that you believe in the freedom of man
3594 days ago
The biggest driver of traffic here this week was the article discussing the views of the late Ayatollah Khomeni on bestiality. But it is hard to think of a suitable caption competition which might not offend just too many people. And so, with regret we return to dumb and dumber, drug obsessed and uber-authoritarian, MP Louise Mensch. The picture is below and always tweet your entries to @tomwinnifrith by 4 PM Monday to win one of our Piss off Argentina mugs.
My entry: Kid One: “So where did you put the dope then?” Kid Two – “she’s standing at the back”
Last week’s I asked for a caption for this photo
Our Judge, a man who is shown to have excellent judgement because he says I “look good” decided that the wittiest entry was Yes, I did say that Barclays was number one for fixed rates, which came from your very own travelling correspondent in the Balkans. And so no prize awarded.
Better luck to you all this week
3598 days ago
I have been wanting to write about Louise Mensch MP ever since I pointed out what a daft bint she was (here) a couple of weeks ago. I am delighted that she has presented me with an opportunity so soon. My desire to have another crack is partly driven by just how silly a person this MP is and partly because I was accused of misogyny in having a pop at her and Chloe Smith MP last time around.
3602 days ago
The reasons Obama deserves not to be re-elected are legion. Sadly he is running against Mitt Romney who offers no real hope for change (change – why does that ring a non liberty bell?) and so America’s worst President since Coolidge will probably get another term. Ongoing illegal wars, continuing suppression of civil liberties via the Patriot Act; a ballooning deficit, crackpot healthcare plans…do I need to go on? But hoisting hopey change by his own petard, we turn to the issue of jobs, or rather the lack of them.
As we all know, Obama has a grandiose 5 year plan to create jobs. So far the only jobs created are for beltway insiders and otherwise unemployable liberal arts graduates.