Saturday, 20 March 2010

Send Us Your ******* Money !

To Quote Saint Bob Send Us Your ******* Money!

We are looking to open a permanent office and employ a part time paid member of staff.

We doubled our income in 2009, and I would like to see if we can do this again in 2010.

Two donors have agreed to underwrite the costs, which will take the admin load off the volunteer members of the NCC and ensure a friendly voice at the end of the telephone for members, supporters and voters.

Please email for a Standing Order Form or pay direct to
Sort code 40-28-20
Account number 92635313
giving your membership number as a reference, as Donation- (membership number)

If you are are Supporter- just put Supporter.

Cheques can be sent to Libertarian Party, 33 Castle Road, Walton St Mary, Clevedon BS21 7DA .

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Labour's Election Leaflet – Sponsored by Manchester City Council!

The local election campaign's been going on in these parts for several months now, at least as far as the “Lib” Dems are concerned. I've been receiving one of their Focus leaflets once a month like clockwork since about the middle of last year – plus a Christmas card, plus a calendar. They're really determined to get their man onto the City Council this May. But at least they (or their rich backers) are paying for their own propaganda, which is fair enough. The incumbent Labour councillor seems to be taking a more laid-back attitude – all I've had off his lot lately has been a letter from the local MP. Nothing else until yesterday.

Yesterday, a copy of “Manchester People” landed on my doormat. This is a “newsletter” published by the Labour-dominated Manchester City Council, supposedly to keep the local population informed about what's going on, and also supposedly non-party political. The headline was “Warm welcome for council tax freeze” - unbiased or what? Especially as the “freeze” in council tax that the council is bragging about is nothing of the kind – if you look way down towards the bottom of the front page (Paragraph 7) you'll find the admission: “Although the Council's element of your council tax bill is frozen, there may be slight increases in the smaller police and fire precepts.” Expect a rise, in other words – maybe 1 or 2%. In these times of hardship, the council should be going all out to cut council tax by getting rid of unnecessary waste and focusing on core services – scrapping “Manchester People” would be a small step in the right direction.

The other major story on the front page and continued onto Page 3 is about the upcoming Manchester Day Parade – another expense that we can do without. The rest of the publication is mostly upbeat filler about how well Manchester's doing (despite the massive unemployment and unacceptable crime levels) and how we all love recycling. Page 15 is given over almost entirely to the decision by the council to allow an outfit called Goals Soccer Centres to demolish part of Heaton Park and build a sports complex there. To those readers who live outside the area, Heaton Park is a huge area (actually the grounds of a stately home) on the north edge of Manchester that was sold to Manchester City Council in 1902 to be kept for the enjoyment of the general public. It's a lovely place, very popular in the spring and summer, the place is full of people in the good weather. Now the council wants to vandalise it. Not surprisingly, there's a lot of opposition to this proposal, in fact I haven't met anyone who's had a good word to say about it – you wouldn't think so from reading “Manchester People” though – I couldn't find one word questioning any council policy in the whole rag.

Instead of “Manchester People” it might just as well have been entitled “Vote Labour” - but then the Labour Party would have had to have paid for it themselves, wouldn't they? Easier just to charge it to the taxpayer.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Andrew Mwenda Verbally Bitch Slaps Bono

The reality of aid from taxpayers in developed nations to the incompetent, dictatorial and corrupt governments of third world nations is pretty gruesome.

Ugandan entreprenuerAndrew Mwenda tells the unvarnished truth in a remarkably tactful and diplomatic way.

To be honest, if he wanted to shout "WTF have you done to my continent you stupid bastards?" I think he'd be perfectly justified in doing so. I think that's what I would do in his position.

Foreign aid has an awful way of enlarging government in the poorest countries. It rewards precisely those nations that are the furthest away from "good governance".

I'm strongly reminded of Nigerian singer Fela Kuti's words in You Be Thief (Authority Stealing).

Instead of workers
We have officials
Instead of buses
Them dey ride motor-car
Instead of motorcycle
Na helicopter
Instead of them waka
Na worker go waka for them

Authority people them go dey steal
Public contribute plenty money
Na authority people dey steal
Authority man no dey pickpocket
Na petty cash him go dey pick
Armed robber him need gun
Authority man him need pen
Authority man in charge of money
Him no need gun, him need pen
Pen got power gun no get
If gun steal eighty thousand naira
Pen go steal two billion naira

Effective Civil Disobediance

I promised Gregg a post on the subject of effective civil disobediance. We both think that the LPUK needs to choose its battles carefully.

Which laws deserve to be broken and which ones upheld?

There is also the question of "should the law be broken publicly or privately?"

In Nick Hogan's case, I don't know the specifics of the "mass light up" he organised. Did he invite the media? Shop himself to the authorities? [EDIT: Nick expected to be fined and expected to be able to pay.]

Refusing to pay the fine was definitely an act of civil disobediance. [EDIT: Apparently not! The judge just gave insufficient time for Nick to pay the fine.] Is it one that the public would support?

I'm guessing that it might be very popular with some and very unpopular with others. Is that a good thing or a bad thing at this stage of the game?

In the end, his fine was paid by well-wishers on the blogosphere. I'm sure that Nick had no desire to spend the full six months inside to make a political point so I'm just glad he's not in prison.

Should we put the freedom to smoke in pubs at the top of our agenda or are there other more pressing issues?

So far, I've just asked questions. No definte answers yet. I'd be pleased to read some helpful comments on this topic to help clarify the issue.

UPDATE: Thanks to Guthrum for filling in the blanks.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Faux-Libertarian Muppetry

Last night, a faux-libertarian muppet on a Ron Paul message board accused me of "advocating government" because I defended libertarians who are active in the legal political processes.

I was defending people who:

1. Vote.
2. Support political candidates.
3. Join political parties.
4. Donate money to campaigns.

Bear in mind that Mr Muppet wasn't saying "don't vote for this party" or "don't vote for that candidate". It was just a blanket condemnation. Don't vote for ANYONE. Don't support ANY party, movement or campaign. If you do, you're "part of the problem".

O.K. so we've established that Mr Muppet didn't just think that the political process was futile, he thought that any participation in it was actively evil.

So you can probably anticipate my next question for Mr Muppet.

What action do you advocate against the state?

Apparently, the answer was "NONE".

Well, isn't that absolutely flaming marvellous?

I bet the leaders of the banking cartel and military industrial complex are shitting their pants at the prospect of "do nothing" politics catching on.

Oh already has caught on. Most people are not politcally active at all are they?

The only difference between Mr Muppet and your average apolitical person would be his misplaced sense of personal superiority.

Let's be clear, this wasn't just a case of "I'm not doing anything personally". It was more a case of "no action is required by anyone to combat the state".

He didn't advocate agorism either.

I wish I could say that Mr Muppet was just an isolated case. But he isn't.

As much as I enjoy visiting Libertarian websites and reading sensible articles on the police state, economics, etc. the Faux-Libertarian Muppetry keeps popping up.

Even Canadian cult leader Stefan Molyneux advises his acolytes to pay their taxes in full and on time.

So this particular brand of "anarchism" and "resistance to the state" ammounts to:

No political process. No agorism. No civil disobediance.

Just lots of holier-than-thou cockwaffle and finger wagging.

UPDATE: Faux-Libertarian Muppetry is becoming so popular with children that a Tickle Me Anarchist Toy has been released.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Keep your curtains closed? Pay with cash?

According to this government ad on Talksport radio, I'm already a terror suspect.

I don't even live on a bus route!

So if you have a score to settle with your neighbours or you just want to wind up the spooks a little, give the anti-terror hotline a call on 0800 789 321.

Personally, I suspect that the shooting of an innocent electrician wasn't just some outlandish cock-up on the part of the authorities.

I don't have conclusive proof of that.

But then using cash and keeping my curtains closed isn't very substantive either is it?

More on Nick Hogan

As there doesn't seem to be a comment facility on the Nick Hogan post I am commenting this way.

I oppose the smoking ban and would advocate its complete withdrawal. However, we cannot pick and choose the laws we obey. There is a difference between campaigning against and flouting the law.

If you choose to flout the law you take the consequences and if you choose not to obey the laws you dislike you take the punishment. If you don't pay the fines you go to clink.

To take this stand over the smoking ban makes Nick Hogan a clown in my view, not a hero.

Civil disobedience is a last resort in extreme circumstances.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Help Hogan the Hero Get Out of Jail for £1!

Copied from the national Libertarian Party Members' Blog:

This is a Libertarian issue if there ever was one, for the sake of £1, you can get a man released from prison. Old Holborn is running a campaign to raise £10 000 to get his fine paid.
As of 18.00 Hrs Tuesday 2nd March the amount raised was £5693

Over Five Thousand Pounds Raised in Thirty Six Hours

There has been a fair amount of comment in the blogosphere regarding the six month jail sentence given to Nick Hogan for flouting the 'no-smoking ban'.

Outrage has been duly expressed, here, there, and everywhere. Perhaps we can do better than just express outrage?

Nick was actually jailed for non-payment of the fine originally imposed for a 'mass smoke-in' on the day the ban came into force in 2007 in his pub, the 'Swan and Barristers' in Bolton. He no longer has that pub. He was fined again when council inspectors walked into his present pub and discovered a group of customers smoking - Nick wasn't even on the premises.

His wife, Denise, is now managing their present pub in Chorley herself. Their trade is so low that they don't even bother to open the downstairs bar. Nick is bankrupt, and had gone to court intending to argue that he could not afford the £500 a month payments demanded by the council towards their £11,600 bill for prosecuting him. He has already paid off £1,600. The court gave him a six month sentence instead, and he is currently in Forest Bank prison in Pendlebury, unable to help to earn the money which would ensure his release.

Denise has not even been able to speak to him since he was sentenced. She has merely been told to phone the prison on Monday to enquire when she might see him. She is confused, frightened, and feeling very lonely.

If all the people who disagree with the no-smoking ban contributed a few coppers, then Nick would be released. If you can't afford £1, then at least drop Nick a line and let him know he is not forgotten - not surprisingly, he is feeling very depressed.

Denise has just said to me 'all the people who disagree with the ban - where are they now? - and my Nick is in prison'. Quite.

Denise has no idea how to use the Internet, she has no idea how many of us are against the no-smoking ban. Let's show her.

£1 each - just 10,000 of you - let's see if the blogosphere can do more than merely rant in unison. Once the amount received totals the outstanding fine, they have to release Nick.

Nick's address is:

HMP & YOI Forest Bank
Agecroft Road
M27 8FB

OH UPDATE: Under the health act of 2006, it is the responsibility of the owner or the controller of "smoke free" space to uphold the law. It is not illegal to smoke in a shop or on a train. It is illegal for the owner or controller of the space to allow you to smoke.

Reprinted from the OH site


The Libertarian Party is utterly opposed to people going to jail for offences such as this.