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Lloyd George’s liberalism

This quote by Lloyd George has been suggested to me. It’s from “Carving the Last Few Columns out of the Gladstonian Quarry: The Liberal Leaders and the Mantle of Gladstone, 1898–1929”, in David Bebbington and Roger Swift (eds.), Gladstone Centenary Essays, p 253. The doctrine of Liberalism is a doctrine that believes that private property, as an incentive, as a means, as a reward, is the most potent agency not merely for the wealth, but for the well-being of the community. […]

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Poster of the week – 1929, “Socialism would mean inspectors all round”

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From the Conservative Poster Archive, poster 1929-31, “Socialism would mean inspectors all round”. Too true, unfortunately: see Harry Snook’s Crossing the Threshold – 266 ways the State can enter your home from the Centre for Policy Studies (PDF) and my related question in debate.

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What is “reasonable force” in a riot?

As Londoners take to defending their own lives, property and communities, it seems the state is failing in its first duty: to defend life, liberty and property. A good number of my constituents have written — dismayed by the shameful, reckless behaviour they have seen on TV — demanding that tougher action be taken with rioters. My understanding of the law (and I am not a lawyer) is that “A person may use such force as is reasonable in the […]

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Debate on the Protection of Freedoms Bill

The Protection of Freedoms Bill is radical only in its moderation and extreme only in its conservatism. Nevertheless, it has been and remains a privilege to serve on the Bill Committee, for which you can find Hansard here. I have made a number of contributions but I think I most enjoyed saying this: Steve Baker: Following the exchange of interventions, which I very much enjoyed, and reflecting on the amendment, I am aware of a principle that comes out, which […]

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Rousseau’s Form of Socialism – Alexander Gray – Mises Daily

A fascinating article on Rousseau’s Form of Socialism, discovered today, which reproduces this quote: The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say: “This belongs to me,” and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would have been spared the human race by him who, snatching out the stakes or filling in the ditch, should have cried to his […]

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The hopeful path between denial and despair is the reinvention of Britain

Via BT ruling could open pension claim floodgates – Telegraph: Taxpayers could be on the hook for tens of billions of pounds to cover a string of privatised companies’ pension schemes after the precedent set by BT’s landmark “crown guarantee” victory. What next, I wonder? Between the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute, The TaxPayers’ Alliance and The Cobden Centre, it is pretty clear that the British State owes trillions of pounds. Yes, trillions of pounds. Somewhere between £4,800,000,000,000 […]

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Rivlin, Understanding the Law

I first mentioned Understanding the Law by Geoffrey Rivlin after observing the proceedings of Wycombe Magistrates’ Court. At last, I have finished it. The book is a tour de force covering the law and its importance, the courts, the constitution, Parliament, the police, the judiciary, human rights, discrimination, the legal profession, the work of the courts and various historical, practical and ancillary subjects. At 370 pages, it is a considerable read but a triumph of brevity and wit in view […]

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On self-ownership – whose property are you?

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In response to my remarks on the illegitimacy of banning particular items of clothing, I have been criticised for asserting the concept of self-ownership: the idea that each of us has an inviolable property right in our own person. It turns out this is a difficult concept: Property is the most fundamental and complex of social facts, and the most important of human interests; it is, therefore, the hardest to understand, the most delicate to meddle with, and the easiest […]

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bella gerens: That’s right, whip the libertarian

From bella gerens, an excellent explanation and defence of libertarianism: The truth is that advocates of freedom are found all over the political spectrum, but the only true libertarians are the ones who advocate it at all times in all circumstances, from the bedroom to the wallet – who believe that ‘freedom from’ is the only state of being consistent with the dignity and majesty of humankind. ‘Freedom from’ is the most important part of that ideology. Freedom from coercion. […]

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Telegraph — Labour planning secret tax on ‘nice houses’

Predictably: Millions of middle-class home owners living in desirable neighbourhoods are facing higher council tax bills after the next election following a secret Government exercise to assess the “niceness” of different areas. read more | digg story

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