Sunday, 27 September 2009

With friends like Molyneux, who needs enemies?

According to Canadian anarcho-capitalist Stefan Molyneux, the election of any Libertarian political administration will be a "disaster" that will set back the cause of liberty by decades, if not hundreds of years.

If one thing is obvious from this video, its that Molyneux loves his Straw Men. He has to draw an absurd caricature of Limited Government advocates in order to convince us to give up politics and start wagging our fingers at politicians instead.

As we all know, finger wagging and saying "YOU'RE EVIL" in a really stern voice is the best way to combat the police state.

He admits candidly that we are "not going to see anarchy in our lifetimes". So far, so good. If you he would just admit that we are not going to see anarchy anytime before the sun expands into a red giant and scorches the Earth into a burnt cinder we would be in complete agreement.

In order to arrive at absurd conclusions, Molyneux needs to start with some absurd and counter-factual premises:

1. Limited Government advocates want to use government to reduce government.

Apparently, Molyneux has never heard of the Militia Movement in the United States.

He chooses to ignore the fact that private citizens in America are arming themselves at record levels since Obama was sworn in. They are not planning to initiate force against the government, but they are ready to actively resist any dictatorial measures imposed.

Molyneux forgets that the militia and "WE THE PEOPLE" are specifically mentioned in the US constitution as THE check on government abuses. The separation of powers within government is only a minor detail by comparison.

As Thomas Jefferson pointed out, when the people fear the government there is tyranny, but when government FEARS THE PEOPLE there is liberty.

Resistance to government itself must lie OUTSIDE government and translates itself into civil disobediance (e.g. nonpayment of taxes), peaceful protest (demos) and (in extremis) armed resistance.

2. Government hasn't got any smaller anywhere, ever.

Strangely enough, there was no mention of the Soviet Union and its east European satellites in Molyneux's rant. I wonder why?

In terms of "big government" you can't get much bigger than 100% of all legal commerce, right?

Yet the almighty Soviet Bloc collapsed. The state actually GOT SMALLER.

It is also really odd that Molyneux never mentions Somalia in his diatribe. If any country has come close to having "no government", the post Siad Barre chapter in Somalia's history is a fascinating study of what happens when a power vacuum arises.

3. "Kindergarden Ethics" is a guide to human behaviour.

Don't initiate force against others. Don't steal. If only everyone would live by those two maxims, there would be no need for a state, opines Molyneux.

Quite so, and if my uncle was a woman, he would be my auntie. What does that prove?

Anarchists forget that Kindergarden Ethics didn't even work in Kindergarden. Ethics is the benchmark of human behaviour, not an analysis of how people actually behave.

MOTIVE and OPPORTUNITY are the key principles for understanding human behaviour. Not ethics.

If I am determined to steal Molyneux's wallet, no ammount of moralising will persuade me not to.

He can wag his finger at me, tell me not to steal, look me in the eye and call me "EVIL" all he likes, but unless he PHYSICALLY PREVENTS ME from stealing his wallet or there is some other form of SANCTION or countervailing THREAT, I'll do it.

For all the flaws in this video, he does make ONE very good point. That point is that the existing state institutions have embedded themselves so deeply in society that reform is no easy task.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Abundance Manchester

"Abundance Manchester is a project which picks surplus or unwanted fruit from gardens and public trees around South Manchester and distributes it to local groups and communities. We also collect and distribute surplus vegetables from allotments and we have started our own Abundance allotment to grow our own food to donate to groups who can make good use of it."

I saw this group featured on the local news last night. This is the sort of local, voluntary initiative that libertarians tend to be quite keen on promoting. It seems that the generally good weather this year has led to a bumper crop of fruit and veg, so it seems a good idea to help to distribute some of the surplus to those who can make use of it. And it's the kind of thing that has to be done by private citizens independently of the state - if someone had gone to Manchester City Council with a proposal for scheme like this, I'm pretty sure they would have spent weeks - or even months - debating what to do, while the fruit and veg rotted. Instead, these guys have used their initiative to set up a potentially useful service. Their politics seem to be coming from a "green" angle, but they are giving food to outfits like the Salvation Army, so who cares? Good luck to them. If you want to know more about them, click on this link to visit their blog. There also seem to be "Abundance" groups set up in a few other cities round the country, maybe it's an idea that will catch on.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Independent Safeguarding Authority

The Independent Safeguarding Authority is the government's latest tool in its imposition of a police state. It was set up in response to the Bichard inquiry into the Soham murders which means that the gullible will fall for it assuming it will protect children. It won't, but will further increase the surveillance/database state that is slowly imprisoning us.

To put it into some context here is an article in The Times by Chris Stevenson, a senior detective in the Soham investigation. He has a sense of perspective on the current paranoia that those of us fortunate enough to have never seen the things that he had to see, could learn a great deal from. Especially the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear' brigade.

It means that anybody wanting to work or volunteer with vulnerable people, children or adults, will have to be registered with the ISA as well as having a police check. Here is how the ISA website describes it:

The new Vetting and Barring Scheme will operate under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and under Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007 in its application to Northern Ireland. It will replace the current List 99, PoCA, PoVA, POCVA, Unsuitable Persons and Disqualification Orders regimes.

Once the scheme is fully rolled out (there will be a phased introduction), it will be illegal to hire in regulated activity someone, who is not registered with the ISA. The new scheme will cover employees and volunteers in for example the education, care and health sectors who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults on a frequent or intensive basis and, when fully implemented, will affect some 11.3 million people.

This document is particularly worth looking at:

Guidance Notes for the Barring Decision Making Process

Even an acquittal in court can be ignored if the ISA decide they don't like the cut of your jib:

5.6. Acquittals


There could be any number of reasons why a person charged with an offence is acquitted: perhaps the victim decided not to testify and the CPS (Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Northern Ireland) had to withdraw the case; perhaps the acquittal was based on a technicality; and even where a jury has found someone not guilty of having done something, you must always remember that, at most, this means is that the court did not find that someone did something “beyond a reasonable doubt” (the criminal standard of proof). The test applied by the ISA in relation to barring considerations is ‘on the balance of probability’ (the civil standard of proof). Therefore, even if there has been an acquittal, the ISA must still consider the case for itself on the basis of the balance of probabilities. A barring decision can, therefore, be made, having regard to all the circumstances, if the ISA is satisfied that the events concerned happened, on the balance of probabilities, notwithstanding an acquittal at court. This could become even more relevant where the substance of the offence or the attendant circumstances give cause for concern.

There is also a facility for people to report others to the ISA if they think they may be 'a bit dodgy' and it will be investigated.

The problem is that under the scheme almost everybody is classed as 'vulnerable'.

Under the scheme anybody not registered with the ISA will not be allowed to even apply to work with 'vulnerable people'. That means doctors, nurses, youth workers, social workers, charity workers etc., etc.

Even if a school has organised an exchange visit, the school will have to ensure that at least one parent hosting a foreign pupil is registered with the ISA.

I suggest, if you value your freedom, or what's left of it, you support No2ID.

No2ID is an excellent campaign but there is also a political party fighting to restore our freedoms, the Libertarian Party.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

North West Meeting

Just a reminder that our next North West meeting is on Sunday (27 Sep) in Carnforth at the Royal Station Hotel, Market Street.

We will be joined by new Libertarian Party councillor Gavin Webb from Stoke-on-Trent.

We start at 12-30 and the Station Hotel does good food so feel free to bring friends, loved ones and others. All are most welcome, not just party members.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Gavin Webb crosses floor to join Libertarian Party



Gavin Webb, who was selected as the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Burton in 2008 and elected as a Lib Dem councillor on Stoke-on-Trent City Council in 2007, has today announced that he has resigned from the Liberal Democrats.

He says: "I have made a good many friends in my fourteen years of activism in the Liberal Democrats and I hope that those friendships will continue, but regretfully I have decided to resign from the Liberal Democrats.

"The party, like the Conservative and Labour parties, has become a party of the establishment. It has unfortunately firmly wedded itself to the belief that there are primarily government solutions to the problems facing our country, and in the process, they are adopting policies that undermine our rights and freedoms as individuals.

"As far as I can see, most political parties in the UK appear to trust individuals when it comes to voting for councillors, MPs and MEPs, but once comfortably in power they are reluctant to trust individuals when it comes to them making choices about their own lives.

"There is however one political party - the Libertarian Party - that believes in giving responsibility back to individuals over their own lives and their own finances; and it is this party that I have now decided to join.

"We are on the road of authoritarianism, where government is our ruler rather than us being the ruler of our government. It is time for each and every single one of us to make a stand against government and those who feed off it, and demand the reduction of its size and scope.

"From what I've seen from many Lib Dem parliamentarians and councillors I don't believe the Liberal Democrat Party has the inclination to argue for smaller government in defence of our individual rights.

"Though there are some good classical liberal and libertarian types in the party, with whom I hope to continue to have a good relationship, their voices are crowded out by people who believe it perfectly okay to dictate to people how they should live their lives. I don't wish any longer to be a part of that.

"As an active member of the Libertarian Party, I will campaign to inform people that there are more voluntary, rather than coercive ways in which to influence positive outcomes for themselves, their families and the wider community. I hope to impress upon people that though there may be a need for government of some sort, it doesn't have to be government of the size and expense we see today.

Libertarian Party Leader Ian Parker- Joseph said

It has been a pleasure over the past months to speak with Gavin on numerous occasions, and following a meeting with him last month can attest to his personal commitment to the libertarian values on which he was elected, a man of honour, integrity and a passion for doing the right thing for his constituents.

I am therefore very pleased on behalf of The Libertarian Party to welcome Gavin Webb into the only party that wholly and uniquely stands for libertarian ideals in the UK.

I know that there is a great sadness from Gavin that the Liberal Democrat leadership were unable to rise to the challenge of veering away from the belief that the State has the answers to all our ills. It is a sadness shared by many.

In that light I hope that there are many more who now see the time as right to make the same changes that Gavin Webb has undertaken, not just from the Lib Dems but also those in the Conservative Libertarian wing who are unsuccessfully looking for reforms that will never come, and instead to look to a party that believes in libertarianism as a way of life, rather than one which merely gives lip service to it.

The Libertarian Party is here to stay, and new members such as Gavin Webb can only enhance the message that his constituents so clearly wanted to hear, and that Gavin Webb is living on their behalf.

Libertarian Party Chairman Andrew Withers said-

"Whilst we have a number of Parish and Town Councillors, Gavin is the first City Councillor that has crossed the floor to a truly Radical Party, one that wants to change the relationship between State and the Individual to the point where the State is subordinate to the will of the people, not the people subordinate to the will of the State.

Furthermore, the Libertarian Party argues that State should be small and accountable.

"We welcome Gavin, and hope that his decision will galvanise other Libertarians in other parties to join with us on the long march back to individual Liberty."


Gavin Webb Can Be Contacted On 07949 026660

Libertarian Party (LPUK) 0845 299 7650



I have long maintained that the doors of LPUK would remain firmly open to anyone who wanted to stop, take a step back and realise that trying to reform the existing Big Parties in the ways of Libertarianism was like banging ones head on a brick wall.

This is a door that Gavin has chosen to walk through, and I sincerely hope that with his brave first move, it will galvanise others who have been sitting on the fence watching, waiting to see who would be the first.

We have well formed policies, we put the people before vested interests, we put people before the wishes of the establishment and the EU, and the consistency of our policies means that we will not be issuing new policy documents every week as we see from the Conservatives and LibDems.

We are not fooled by the PR work of Cameron, the flip flopping of Clegg nor the increasingly desperate pronouncements from Downing St. We are clear and concise in what needs to be done for the UK, for its peoples to be free from government interference, to be free of daily suspicions, to be free from surveillance, to be free from privateers acting under legislative protection to levy and fine for every infringement of draconian rules, but to be able to live their lives as each sees fit to do so.

Gavin Webb has taken the first steps, we will be looking to you, your friends, family and neighbours to follow him in taking the next steps and making the Libertarian party a real political force in the UK.