Saturday, 28 March 2009

Water, Bread and Margaritas

There are so many great clips from this episode of South Park. In this one Cartman refers to a "Secret Jew Cave" as the location of the bankers hidden wealth.

A hilarious satire on public perceptions.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

This guy's wasted in the European Parliament

This being a Libertarian Party blog, I wouldn't normally use it to give a free plug to a member of one of the establishment parties that we're trying to bring down, but just now and again individual politicians give me a pleasant surprise. Here's a video of Daniel Hannan MEP letting Gordon the Klepto know exactly what he thinks of him:

Really, instead of being tucked away out of sight in the European Parliament, Mr Hannan should be on the Tory front benches, making Gordon's life a daily misery. That one speech knocks spots off the sum total of everything that David Cameron has ever said in public.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The EU's power is easy to miss

Perhaps something that people who are considering voting in the EU elections in June should consider.

Europe's power is easy to miss. Like an 'invisible hand', it operates through the shell of traditional political structures.

The British House of Commons, British law courts, and British civil servants are still here, but they have all become agents of the European Union implementing European law.
This is no accident. By creating common standards that are implemented through national institutions, Europe can take over countries without necessarily becoming a target for hostility… Europe's invisibility allows it to spread its influence without provocation.
- Pro-euro author Mark Leonard

The quotation above might sound like something out of a theory. But Mark Leonard – a passionate advocate of deeper integration - makes an astute observation.

That is why Labour, Conservative nor LibDem will not discuss the EU in the debating chamber, nor in Newspapers or the Internet. We all know its there, but non shall speak its name. Keep the people ignorant of this all pervading hegemony until it is too late for them to do anything about it is the agenda of the ruling elite.

Again I ask the question: What riches have been promised that our MP's act like traitorous thieves in the night.

The Libertarian Party however will speak its name, and continue to warn of the dangers of this ever so slow slide into an unelected post democratic EU empire.

Last week I warned of those who would attempt to trick the British public into believing that they can swap real party led democracy for a post democratic era, yet pretend that this was real democracy in action.

The kind of politics that Jury Team are presenting is clearly the next step in the EUropeanisation of the UK. They have pretty much destroyed our National identity, they have worked well to destroy the national will and fabric of our heritage, and now they will destroy our ability to speak out, to challenge, to defy, to oppose through government by destroying the Party Political system.

Jury Team are there to further the interests of the EU, to neuter any coherent challenge to the working of the unelected in Brussels who would rule us, and the words of EU president José Manuel Barroso make abundantly clear who rules in Europe.

"It is the main political parties and the main political families that really shape the European agenda... Of course these are the most influential families in Europe."

Not me, not you, not our elected representatives, but the most influential families in Europe. The voice of Independents would be blown away in the wind, yet this is the EU that the LibDem's and Conservatives are committed to.

The future of Britain should not be decided by influential families, or by political parties who would collude with them, this is not democracy in any way shape or form. Beware those who would have you believe otherwise.

The Libertarian Party will not be participating in the EU elections, we believe them to be a sham, an elected house of those who are there merely to rubber stamp the decisions made by these influential families, to give the impression of democracy.

The EU parliament cannot make law, only approve that which is already written and laid before them by the EU Commission, which now accounts for over 80% of new laws in Britain.

The Libertarian Party is committed to pulling Britain out of the EU, a position that the British people clearly want, to develop a future outside of the influence of these empire builders, to develop a future for the British people in the best interests of the British people, free from Authoritarian rule.

The LPUK Manifesto is a manifesto for Britain, for the people of Britain, and for the British people to decide their own future. The Libertarian Party is committed to reassert the primacy of our Bill of Rights and Common Law system over the Napoleonic system that has encroached from the continent in recent years.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Abuse of Power by Greater Manchester Police

Via our colleague Matt over at Woking Libertarians comes a recent news story about a man in Manchester who was arrested by the police for allegedly using his mobile to take pictures of sewer gratings! Yes, apparently it is now possible to be arrested for this under our wonderful "anti-terrorist" laws. When they couldn't find any pictures of sewer gratings on his phone, they arrested him anyway and held him for two days while they searched his phone, his home and his computer.

Finding nothing incriminating, they had to release him, but have kept this innocent citizen's DNA on file, as he is now listed as someone who has been accused of plotting a terrorist act. See the Channel M news report below:

Do you feel like these "anti-terrorist" laws are giving you any extra protection? Or do you now feel that the police now have a license to harass anyone they don't like the look of, lock them up and sully their good name?

This is what nearly twelve years of Labour misrule have brought us to - but do you really expect to see any improvement under the Tories?

We don't just need a change of government, we need a change of attitude when it comes to the relationship between the citizen and the state. The state needs a certain amount of power to carry out its core duties - protecting people from crime and suchlike - but it's unhealthy to have too much power concentrated in the hands of the state, including the police. Excessive power always gets abused. The police already had all the power they needed to fight terrorism, they didn't need the extra powers recently given to them.

The Libertarian Party supports the police in carrying out their duties of protecting the general public from criminals, but no-one in their right mind can support this kind of behaviour. The police need to be more accountable. Under a Libertarian government, chief constables would be democratically elected by the local population. I'm not saying that would put an end to all abuse of power - human nature isn't that enlightened - but at least there would be a way of holding them to account.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Shared Space

I wrote the following piece just over a year ago, but I think it is just as relevant today and will continue to be as long as our roads are so badly congested.

One of the main reasons I wrote it as because I like the idea, but also I was trying to spread a little libertarian thought to a wider audience, on an issue that most people recognise needs seriously addressing. As a result it was reproduced in a national newspaper and I first came across Martin Cassini's Fit Roads campaign. When asked what libertarianism is, I find using this as an example very effective, people immediately identify with it.

ROAD RAGE features all too frequently in the media because, sadly, somebody is badly injured or sometimes even murdered on a seemingly regular basis. There is no doubt that there are severe problems with traffic in the UK and elsewhere throughout Europe. At the moment the green/environmentalist lobby is at the forefront of the campaign to ease traffic related problems, but their proposed solutions are a sham, based on quack science at best, pure anti-capitalist venom at worst. The more they tinker and restrict, with bus lanes, chicanes, speed humps and traffic lights, the worse the problems become.

We need to put forward the case for liberating our roads, and our motorists, as a start on the journey to personal freedom and liberty removed by successive governments and the EU.

There are three examples of attempts to ease traffic problems by using common sense, rather than pure, misguided political or ideological dogma or authoritarian paternalism.

The oldest and most studied is in Drachten, Holland. The second is in Bohmte, Germany, only introduced in September 2007 so still being closely monitored, but the results so far are extremely encouraging. The third, and least comprehensive, is Kensington High Street in London. The schemes are called “Shared Space”.

In Drachten the experiment involved the removal of traffic lights in the town, as well as removing painted lines on the roads and other traffic signs. The aim was actually to create danger, which may sound strange, but that sense of danger then encourages personal responsibility, awareness and concentration to protect oneself and to avoid injuring others, a very libertarian approach – and it works.

The main square, and biggest junction in the town, is the Laveiplein, which sees well over 20,000 cars pass through each day, as well as having the town’s bus depot on one side. The traffic lights have gone, replaced by a roundabout. Where there used to be huge traffic jams there is now rarely a tailback, and waiting time for a bus has dropped from 49 to 9 seconds. Indeed traffic lights have been removed throughout the town, not just the Laveiplein.

There used to be one road death every three years in Drachten; there have been no road deaths the since “Shared Space” was introduced nearly nine years ago. That is a singular lesson for those convinced that street signs and oppressive measures against motorists are a solution to the problem.

The scheme in Kensington High Street falls short of the full version of “Shared Space” implemented in Drachten, the scheme envisioned by a forward-thinking councillor being blunted by the vested interests of local bureaucrats, perhaps a reminder that it is not always the politicians who get things wrong, but they invariably get the blame. Regardless, the scheme has won awards but the results reflect its limited nature with accidents dropping by “only” some 40%. Get rid of those traffic lights and who knows?

There has recently been a great debate in the local papers in my area about cyclists using the pavements and I was instinctively on the side of the cyclists, partly because, in my neck of the woods, the choice is for cyclists to use sparsely populated pavements or to share the busy A6 trunk road with 40 tonne juggernauts. And in our very minor way we already have “Shared Space” on our nearby canal towpath, where cyclists and pedestrians happily share the space without cyclists causing mayhem and injury to pedestrians.

I think Drachten, Kensington and Bohmte prove the case for the “Shared Space” lobby.

And finally, I can’t help wondering about the benefits to be gained by taking the philosophy behind “Shared Space” further into our lives. Giving decision-making and responsibility back to the people, be they motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, has proved spectacularly successful in these examples. Just think how many other areas of our lives could be similarly liberated using this philosophy.

Perhaps the roads can be the start of the real drive to freedom.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Jury Team - The Verdict

Today sees the launch via the Times of a new concept in politics. No Parties, No policies, just lots of 'Independent' MP's and MEP's.

The Jury Team, as it is to be known, is the brainchild of former Tory grandee and captain of industry Sir Paul Judge. He has written a book, 'The End of the Party', railing against the abuse of democracy and government by the partisan system.

The concept is an interesting one, lots of independents representing the people rather than a Party. So what exactly will these 'Independents' be representing, themselves or the wishes of their constituents?.

Those who vote for them will know that 1 individual at least has put up a platform, but 1 out of many hundreds of other independents who may have, or probably will have other interests, will have put up a completely different platforms. I am afraid that 1 MP or MEP will never be heard, will never change anything, will never have an impact on, anything.

We know within the Libertarian Party, and I suggest that it is no different in other Parties, that to coalesce thoughts and ideas into policies that can be presented to the electorate is a difficult path. With so many strands of Libertarianism it has been likened to herding cats, but we have managed to put together a manifesto that reflects good Libertarian principled values, and we can speak with one voice in explaining those values.

Jury Team tell us that beyond signing up to the sleaze busting, "our candidates pick their own policies and would be completely un-whipped". So what exactly would voters be voting for?.

Have we grown so used to government lacking policy ideas that we want to create just that on purpose?. Looking at Westminster, 646 Independent MP's means 646 different ideas on how a country should be governed, but then maybe that's the idea. Divide and Rule is very EU.

Surely this is the dawn of post democratic Britain, a communitarian dream, and to leave it totally open to 646 MP's who don't have a clue where they are going beyond transparency is a recipe for sheer chaos, vested interests and corruption.

I could not support someone who didn't know where they were going, could not tell me why, but only wanted to let me know that when they got there, wherever that may be, they would like to let me know they did so honestly.

Their initial stance of cleaning up sleaze, making politicians more accountable, making the system more directly democratic, and trying to make government more transparent, are all policies to be found in the Libertarian Manifesto, and whilst for Jury Team this is very admirable, then what? This is surely the same problem that UKIP has always had, out of Europe, then what?

After cleaning up Westminster, do they just sit around twiddling their thumbs? Waiting for the EU to tell them to rubber stamp some more legislation, providing the now leaderless, rudderless British with a continual stream of ever more regulation, ever more costly solutions to problems that don't exist, that lines the pockets of the vested interests of those who have lobbied the EU Commission for the next set of rules. Whatever the EU commission wants, it will get. I will let Gunter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission explain.

The kind of politics that Jury Team are presenting is clearly the next step in the EUropeanisation of the UK. They have pretty much destroyed our National identity, they have worked well to destroy the national will and fabric of our heritage, and now they will destroy our ability to speak out, to challenge, to defy, to oppose through government by destroying the Party Political system.

Is this to be the future, powerless individual figures who will, because they do not have that strength of unity or purpose, merely have to enact whatever is put before them.

Without a purpose, without a coherent vision that the voting public can debate and support, and without a single collective voice these 'Independents' may just as well take a fishing boat into the North Sea and shout the odds in every direction from afar, because no-one in Europe will be listening.

MP's following party policies you can vote in, and you can vote them out again if you don't like how they govern, but the EU you can never vote out.

It should be remembered that within the EU it is the EU Commission that draws up legislation, not the EU parliament. Even with the strongest of Party blocs in the EU parliament it is difficult to oppose and debate to raise amendments, but without that Party system, without policies that guide that Party and the governance that they represent, you are no longer governed at all, you are ruled.

Yes, it is an interesting concept, but a concept that is founded in Communitarianism, a concept that means you will lose your freedom to choose the way that Britain is governed in the way you want it governed, this is a concept that is to surrender to the will of the EU forever.

Sir Paul Judge tells us:
We need to make our democracy more open, our politicians more accountable, and our government more transparent. That won't happen as long as the party oligarchies retain a stranglehold on our democratic choices.

Yes Sir Paul, we do need to make our democracy more open, yes our politicians need to be more accountable, but surrendering our ability to protect our democratic choices to the EU is not the way to do it.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Do you dig gardens?

I don’t, not particularly, but I saw this letter in today’s Manchester Evening News, and I really dig this guy’s way of thinking:

Help me transform neglected gardens into a community resource

I understand that there is a huge waiting list for allotment space all over the country and there is an awful lot of garden space attached to homes that is not being used.

I was recently taken seriously ill and thought an allotment might be a good way to help build my strength again and give me something to do between hospital appointments.

However, I found that there are over 100,000 people on allotment waiting lists all over the country and in my area the waiting time is about two years.

Although I am not able to work in full-time employment I am able to devote some of my time at home to organising. So I decided to try to organise a national garden-sharing scheme.

I would like to bring as many would be gardeners together with as many garden owners as possible.

Thousands of properties have gardens but many are too large for the home occupiers to maintain themselves or they are simply not interested in gardening.

As payment for use of the garden, the gardener would provide a range of fruit and vegetables free to the occupiers throughout the year.

Unsightly and overgrown gardens will be given a new lease of life and much needed garden space will be made available for people who are not fortunate enough to have gardens of their own.

The scheme would closely vet all gardeners, provide a written agreement between the gardener and the occupier, provide free food to the occupier throughout the year and as a community scheme would increase land usage, community involvement, local education and much more.

Surplus produce could be sold to schools, colleges and nurseries for their kitchens. The rest could be donated to and used by local community and church organisations for distribution to needy groups or sold to local retailers or on local markets.

I know the idea is not particularly new and organising a national campaign is not easy. But if anyone wants to contact me, I can explain more. I don’t yet have a website but I am trying to find someone to produce one for me, so in the meantime I can be contacted by email only.

Steve Garratt
(homegrownuk[at], (skgarratt[at]


I don’t know what Mr Garratt’s chances of success are, but it seems like a good idea to me. If he manages to set up the scheme, not only would it increase food production, but it would have all kinds of other benefits, some of which he points out in his letter. For instance, it’s a deterrent against burglars if you’ve got someone working your garden while you’re out, and I also imagine that the scheme would appeal to housebound people who want some company. I’ve no idea what his politics are, but this is exactly the sort of bottom-up community-based initiative which libertarians tend to be in favour of – one guy has a good idea, persuades others to join him, and they co-operate so as to help themselves, each other and society in general. Good old basic capitalism, in other words. Note that at no time does Mr Garratt suggest that there should be any government involvement, whether national or local. He does mention that gardeners would be vetted, which I assume would mean a CRB check, but that’s it. No need for local councils or any other part of the State to be involved. Just free people, acting on their own initiative. It’s not something I’ll get involved in myself, but I wish Mr Garratt well. The fact that our society still has people like him in it proves that we’re not finished yet.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Thoroughly modern masons?

Here is a remarkably candid article from the "North West Business Insider":

"Common Purpose" seminars sound very expensive, secretive and exclusive. I wonder if membership has hidden perks?