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You! Yes, you with the Murray Rothbard badge. You’re under arrest.

Via the Adam Smith Institute, the latest target of the British police:

I’m not quite an anarchist – although some of my best friends are, and the works of people like David Friedman (PDF) and Georgetown legal philosopher John Hasnas (PDF) make me unsure. But saying that “anarchists should be reported to your local Police” is a pretty extraordinary command that should worry everybody. Disliking the state is now enough for your neighbours to report on you, and for plod to take notice.

Per the comments over at the ASI they probably are just referring to those who are mostly pretend anarchists, who are really just socialists, Marxists and other collectivists with perhaps the odd Bakunin type here and there, and who attempt advance liberty by smashing up other people’s property. Even so, they’ve defined anarchist well, and it’s the definition that would cover anarcho-capitalists as well as anarcho-collectivists, and possibly minarchist libertarians as well. Alarmist? Possibly, but does anyone really think inconceivable that a conversation along these lines might occur?

“Well, you see, officer, that Exile bloke I told you about keeps saying how the State is nothing but bad news and even the handful of bits worth keeping are more a necessary evil than anything else. Yes, I do know where you can find him on a Tuesday afternoon.”

This is thought-crime, no more and no less, and the worst part of it is it isn’t a first. It’s just the latest opinion that might just get you watched and spied upon, investigated, arrested, charged and even convicted. Welcome to modern Britain, the world’s first nation sized Orwell Theme Park.

‘Kinell!

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The times are a-changing.

When I was a child I had more freedoms to look forward to as I grew up. Some were freedoms my parents decided I was ready for, such as crossing the road to the park on my own, riding my bike on the road, going to the local shops, sometimes with a signed note from Mum or Dad asking for a packet or two of Embassy since I was some years off 16 – I doubt many shopkeepers would do that now for fear that it was a local Trading Standards op or even that someone would simply dob them in. For others I was automatically considered ready by the state, such as buying and using my own tobacco, having sex, driving, buying alcohol* and standing for Parliament (which doesn’t come with the freedom to do all the rest simultaneously although the behaviour of some MPs may suggest it comes with the misapprehension that it does). It would be a pretty depressing state of affairs if the reality was that you’re born free** and then grow up looking forward to your freedom being progressively infringed and eroded, wouldn’t it? Nah, surely not… that’s just ol’ Angry Exile’s deeply ingrained cynicism, right?

Wrong, because thanks to a revoltingly authoritarian head teacher there’s one neighbourhood here where kids can look forward to losing the freedom of association when they start primary school.

Students at [Osbourne Primary School in Mount Martha] on the Mornington Peninsula have been banned from congregating in groups of more than three in a bid to stop gangs of children teasing and upsetting their classmates.

In the latest edition of the school’s newsletter, principal Liz Klein wrote that the rule was introduced to stop “gangs of students wandering around the schoolyard teasing and upsetting others for their entertainment”.

The newsletter states that students are not permitted to walk around the school in groups larger than three.

What a stroke of fucking genius! Why bother teaching children right from wrong? Why go to the trouble of actually dealing with teasing and bullying as it happens? No, far easier just to ban groups larger than an arbitrarily chosen number in the knowledge belief hope that the problem will just magically go away. Oh, for fuck’s sake, where do I begin with this kind of utter fucktardary?

Well, for starters there’s the point that some of the parents have made:

The controversial rule … has been criticised by some parents for punishing the whole school rather than just those students doing the wrong thing.

Quite, and doing so is not simply unjust but fucking lazy, which would be the second point. I can’t imagine how the principal can even begin to justify it unless she was to suggest that it’s a valuable lesson about what to expect when they’re older since governments at every level will take the same lazy route of punishing largely innocent groups of people, and incidentally taking a huge, diarrheic shit all over their liberties – which is the third point – in order to get at a small number of trouble makers. Could this be the idea?

Yeah, I doubt it too. So what does the principal – and am I just being a pedantic pom approaching middle aged fartihood or does anyone else prefer ‘head teacher’? – have to say for herself?

Ms Klein told 3AW today that certain students had made a habit of walking around the school in a pack aggravating others.

Certain students, yet Liz’s response is a measure targeting all students.

Despite being spoken to by teachers, the students had persisted with their behaviour.

Well stack me, who’d have fucking seen that coming? And now those self same little shits can congratulate themselves for continuing to make their fellow pupils’ lives at school just that little bit more miserable than they need be, all thanks to Liz Klein and her policy of don’t-know-what-to-do-now-so-punishment-for-all. Fucking hell, Liz, whose side are you actually on here? The poor bloody kids who were on the receiving end are now being bullied by you and the fucking school instead of, or more likely as well as, the original bullies.

Because that’s the fourth and final problem, Liz. As well as being lazy, unjust, and authoritarian your policy is going to fail as soon as the bullies work out that they only need to split into pairs and target lone kids, which I suspect they might be able to do faster than you did. You’re assuming that in a group of three bullying can no longer take place, and simple mathematics – do you teach that at Osbourne? – should be enough to work out that in such a group two children can still gang up on the third. Fucking hell, woman, that’s more or less how democracies function. Another lesson, perhaps?

Yeah, right.

* Yes, I realise this means that they are not really freedoms as such, but I’m in a bit of a rush and a discussion on freedoms, liberties and negative and positive rights wasn’t the point of this post.
** If you have now got Matt Munro singing in your heads, I have an idea how old you are.*** And if you think beauty surrounds you as well then I also have an idea that you may be on drugs. Or just bloody lucky.
*** If you also have a cat it knows. Trust me, it just does. And its contempt for you has just doubled.

Myself, I’d have plastic surgery done.

Funny, up to a point.

US POLICE raided a bar in Ocean City, Maryland, over the weekend after customers there confused a female drinker for Canadian teen heartthrob Justin Bieber.

Regulars at the Mug and Mallet bar confirmed police entered the venue Saturday night, following reports that Bieber, 16, was drinking underage inside reported TMZ today.

Instead, they found a 27-year-old female Bieber lookalike, with the same petite frame and tousled short brown hairstyle as that of the pint-sized pop sensation.

The woman, known only as Katie, told TMZ she was mistaken for Bieber all the time – and was forced to produce her ID card to police to prove she was not him.

Actually I thought it was hilarious, except for the poor girl. And then I remembered trips to the US and being asked for ID in every pub and bar at a similar age to her, and I’m damn sure I didn’t look 16 at the time (my face acquired it’s lived in look fairly early). Unless they’ve suddenly stopped doing this or it’s just not a Maryland thing surely the bar stuff asked Biebalike Katie for proof of age, especially since she clearly looks like a sixteen year old boy. Which in turn kind of suggests the cops, who had “had reports”, turned up because some concerned citizen busybody called them in.

Lovely.

If they were really that concerned why not simply ask the staff if they’d checked? Because they’ve got the same attitude as the sort of person who complains that someone’s selling takeaways and porn to get them shut down, I reckon. Even if it’s not harming them or anyone else the thought process is that it’s bad, it’s wrong, it shouldn’t be allowed, there ought to be a law against that sort of thing.

Why can’t these self righteous pests fuck off and leave other people alone?

Blogosphere power at work?

This morning I noticed that this year old story in The Australian on the ‘soft totalitarianism’ of modern Britain, which has had a permanent link on my sidebar for ages, is suddenly the 8th most read article. How come, wonders I. Could it be that the news of Gordon Brown’s ‘bigot’ gaff and the talk of the TV debates has generated a renewed interest in what’s going on in the old country among British expats and Aussies of British descent? That was certainly my first thought, but then I over at Leg-iron’s blog I noticed that his blogging on the Australian federal government’s plan to de-brand tobacco packaging had attracted this comment.

It’s a shame there aren’t more writers like this bloke in both countries: Thought police muscle up in Britain

Since it made the most read list during the night while most here would have been asleep I’m now wondering if Leg-iron, his smoky drinky blog and readership, and an anonymous commenter gave it a boost, especially as two hours later it’s no longer on the list. I’ll never know but I hope so, because I still feel that it’s an article everyone in Britain should read before they put an X on a bit of paper this coming Thursday. There might well be nobody on most people’s ballot papers who wants to do something about it but that’s not going to change unless many moree become aware of the creeping influence of the real life Thought Police and are prepared to shout:

“Enough!”

Last orders.

Oh for fuck’s sake, is this serious?

Having noticed that rural pubs are closing in droves, the Government has rallied round, offering to match funds raised by local people to support efforts to run such places themselves as community enterprises. Picture Gordon Brown, pint mug in hand, swapping wit and wisdom with the village elders, while the horse brasses twinkle in the firelight.

Fucking hell, it’s enough to drive a man away from drink, which is possibly the whole idea. But how come the writer, Clive Aslet, isn’t pointing out the obvious flaw in this lame idea: that as with any form of apparent munificence on the part of the government any money it provides must first be taken away from someone else. Pub going volunteers trying to save their locals will certainly be among those who contribute towards this and every other daft scheme these power hungry authoritarian twats come up with.

Still, Aslet gets at least one hugely important point in, though he’s missing something there as well.

There is a tiny irony in this.

Tiny? I hope the use of that word was, uh, ironic.

Not only might it be argued that the Government itself has precipitated the closure of many pubs by making it illegal to smoke in them — a blow to the traditional boozer, where sons of toil would spend all evening, perhaps several nights a week. Without this trade, licensees have only been able to survive by reinventing their establishments as gastro pubs, serving meals at prices that few locals could afford.

True, Clive, go on.

I shouldn’t worry; I don’t smoke. I like the fact you can get a decent meal on your travels.

Then I should worry even less as I don’t smoke or drink, right, Clive? No, wrong. Very, very wrong. Actually, Clive, we should both be very fucking worried indeed because, like you, I like a good meal. But unlike you I’m painfully aware that it hasn’t stopped with the smokers. Unless you’re living in a fucking cave it’s beyond belief that you could have failed to notice that what was being done to tobacco smoking twenty or thirty years ago is being done to alcohol now, so if you like a drink it might not be too many years before you find yourself being treated like the kind pariah a smoker is now. And it’s not just drink, Clive. Those good meals you like may contain things the government decide is bad for you. Niemöller, Clive, Niemöller.

First they came for the smokers,
And some drinkers like those twats from CAMRA didn’t stand up because they didn’t smoke and got à la carte menus instead of table d’hôte

The sauce béarnaise that you might be thinking of asking for could one day cause raised eyebrows on the waiter and hysterics in the kitchen where, thanks to the decrees of the fucking fat police, nobody’s had the bad taste to ask them to make it for a few years. Eggs and butter? Doesn’t the sick bastard know that we get children in this place? Oh, you might think of making your own at home and taking a little pot of it out with you, but make sure you do it somewhere safe where you won’t be seen and later denounced.

But now the Government is considering making it impossible to get into a car if you’ve had so much as a single pint of bitter. That means they’ll lose my custom too.

Clive, have you been paying attention? Yes, that’s stupid and annoying and won’t significantly, perhaps even noticeably, improve road safety. Doubly so because it’s being touted that it’s all to bring the UK into line with Europe, but the reality is not only that there’s a lot of variation there but in places you only get a fine and points for levels as low as the proposed new limit (they do ban and jail people too, but at levels of blood alcohol around that of the present UK limit*). But you can always get a cab or share a car. Not a biggie. Far more relevant is that there are people, or things that look just like people do, that would cheerfully welcome a return to prohibition. Only this time they’re not going to make the mistake of banning what people want without first trying their damnedest to make people not want it any more. The good news is that they won’t actually win since, as with tobacco, the government’s (any kind, any party, just about anywhere) addiction to the revenue surpasses that of smokers and drinkers by many orders of magnitude.

The bad news is that they can and will fucking ruin what was once a pleasant evening at the pub for everybody, including non-smokers and non-drinkers.

* Though as I’ve said more than once before hard limits are often full of problems. As a non drinker I expect a pretty small amount of alcohol to impair my driving, so I could be below the limit and drive as badly as someone who’s half a pint’s worth over. Someone with a high alcohol tolerance could have drunk twice as much as either of us and be in better shape to drive. Inflexible alcohol limits are a very coarse tool when you’re dealing with individuals. The solution is not to look for a certain level of alcohol but a certain level of impairment, no matter whether it’s caused by five pints of Wife Beater, two big cones of Moroccan Black, an inadvertent extra dose of prescribed dihydrocodeine, a medical condition, age, tiredness or just being a shithouse driver. Seen those Police, Death, Crash, Ccamera shows? Seen the American cops making people walk up and down lines, stand on one leg and touch their noses while their eyes are shut? Not remotely as silly and primitive as they look.

All are suspected. All must be checked.

The latest phase in the Government’s overbearing, nannying, risk phobia cum war on basic freedoms such as presumption of innocence has arrived. Even if your job doesn’t involve working with kids they must still do kiddy fiddler checks to make sure you’re not a nonce.

Employers will come under pressure to register staff with the Government’s anti-paedophile database even if they have little contact with children, the head of the scheme has said.

Surprise surfuckingprise. The bastard’s barely been in the job long enough for his arse to warm up his office chair, and already he’s looking to massively extend his agency’s remit and the database for which it’s responsible. Eleven million people, almost 100% of which are entirely innocent of any child abuse – indeed,any crime – are on this egregious übercunt’s computer and that isn’t enough for him.

But Sir Roger Singleton, the chairman of the Independent Safeguarding Authority, said the scope of the database could increase significantly because companies would fear losing business if they did not have their employees vetted.

What? What? You think that they think they might lose business? You don’t think that some of the farcical problems that have been reported in the past might balance that, even if it was true in the first place? What an utter crock of shit! I’d call this just a thinly veiled attempt to prep the entire country for the day when everyone will have to be on the database no matter what.

Sir Roger also disclosed that the sensitive information gathered about those on the database would be kept indefinitely, even if they left the relevant professions, because it could be useful for any subsequent applications.

Oh really? What a fucking revelation that is! You astonish me.

His warning raises concerns that hundreds of thousands of workers could end up having their backgrounds checked even though there was no obvious need to do so as companies insisted that staff be vetted to reassure customers.
Those with a criminal history could face losing their job if it prevented their employer gaining accreditation.

Then companies need to harden the fuck up and tell Sir Roger, the ISA, the Home Orifice, the government and both the Nu Laborg cock sockets and the Tory fuckwits that will no doubt be replacing them shortly, to go fuck themselves with the business end of a belt sander. We all know that the paranoia levels are such that it won’t be those with just obvious paedo related offences on their records that will be affected, and it is neither right nor just that someone might be unable to get or keep a job because of some petty offence years before. But it will happen, you can bet on it. And this bastard wants nearly the whole workforce on his books?

Fuck him. Fuck him right in the eye.

>Times poll.

>Has Britain become a surveillance society? 96% think so. I wonder why that is.

UPDATE: Massively out doing the Chinese at it too and, not to put too fine a point on it, the very idea would probably have given Erich Honecker such a hard on that the bastard’s bell end would have invaded West Germany on it’s own.

>Denormalisation.

>An Orwellian sounding word if ever I heard one, and if the Devil is right I reckon will be heard more and more in the UK as the government’s war against it’s own citizens’ freedoms continues. The Devil focusses on smokers, drinkers and fatties but let’s be blunt, it won’t end there. Not with a word like denormalisation being used to describe the process. Anything that doesn’t meet the government decreed definition of normal is a target, simple as that, and once something is considered to be un-normal it begins. And when you think of it in those terms you realize that denormalistion, recent though the term may be, is a process that’s been going on for quite a while. What are now illegal drugs were once legal to own and use was largely left to individuals, but since they were never that widespread they were easily denormalised and banned. This took place before I was even born. The denormalisation of private gun ownership in the UK goes back further still, roughly to the time of my grandfather and great grandfather. Here in Australia bikie gangs are a target of denormalisation, though I’ve not heard it called that. The principle is the same, however: most normal people are not in bikie gangs, therefore bikie gangs are not normal, therefore freedom of association can be dispensed with.

I think in many respects the UK is probably further down this slippery slope to the almost complete loss of individual freedom, and it’ll always be harder to enforce in a country like Australia with large relatively unpopulated areas. Smoking for example – I don’t know if it happens but where there may be outback pubs hundreds of miles from the nearest cop I wouldn’t be surprised if the ban is quietly ignored when it doesn’t suit. In the cities some bastard would probably dob them in, which I find a little sad as it doesn’t live up to the mental image I had of Australia and its people before I made the move here. But compared to the UK? Where an army of busybodies, paid for by the long suffering and repetitively fucked taxpayers, have been hired to police the ban. Where even children are recruited to serve as “eyes and ears” of the citizens’ masters in town halls and ultimately Westminster and Brussels. Where the legal mechanisms for the Big Brother state are largely in place, where vast numbers of citizens’ DNA – including that of children and even babies – is kept on record despite never having been found guilty of a crime. Where there are now millions of CCTV cameras monitoring the populace (it’s recognised that they have almost fuck all effect on crime). By comparison the control freaks of Australia are rank amateurs. They need to be watched if you ask me, but not as much as we need to watch Europe in general and the UK in particular. I’m afraid that’s the model that many supposedly democratic governments want to follow. I hope the British people wake up in time to pull back from the Orwellian brink that the country is teetering on, but faling that the people of other countries should take whatever happens there as a warning.

When they came for the gun owners,
I remained silent;
I did not own a gun.

Then they came for the drug users,
I remained silent;
I did not take any drugs.

Then they came for the smokers,
I did not protest;
I did not smoke.

Then they came for the drinkers,
I did not speak out;
I was never much of a drinker.

Then they came for the bikies,
I said nothing;
I was not a bikie.

When eventually they came for me,
nobody spoke out;
there was no one left to speak out for me.

The future’s dark. The future’s fucking terrifying.

>Frank Skinner – one of nanny’s little helpers.

>”We must poke fun at the overweight for their own good” writes Frank Skinner in The Times.

Being fat needs to get uncool again as soon as possible. It’s a matter of life and death.

Oh Christ. Skinner can be quite funny but it sounds almost like he’s given up and become one of Alan Johnson’s crew of fuckhead busybodies mentors instead.

We bullied and nagged smokers, made adverts that said they smelt so awful they were unkissable and finally, with the smoking ban, we literally turned them into shivering outsiders – all because we knew it was for their own good.

Yes, I suppose you did, but do you have to sound so fucking proud of it? You’re a cunt, Frank. A revolting, paternalistic, patronizing, finger wagging cunt who should be nailed up in a box with a ball gag and a drip feed until you learn to fucking live and let live. I’m just saying this because it’s for your own good.

Strength through joy.

>Nanny’s little helpers.

>I want to smoke until my lungs fall out. I want to drink until my liver explodes. I want to eat fatty food until I’m almost spherical. I want to have loads of salt on it too. And then I want to take many, many drugs to blot out the thought of Alan bastard fucking Johnson and his public health mentors roaming Britain lecturing people.

Public health “mentors” will be enlisted by the NHS to offer ‘on the spot’ advice in their local neighbourhood when they see people smoking, eating or drinking too much.
The Government hopes that the volunteers will help to get across its messages on healthy living in a new and influential way but the plans have been criticised as evidence of the creeping ‘nanny state’.
Speaking at the Royal Society of Arts yesterday , Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, said mentors could be “amazingly successful” and that he hoped that they could revolutionise the nation’s health.
The mentors, who as volunteers are not paid, are expected to work to influence the people around them, offering advice to workmates, family and friends about how they should change their unhealthy habits.

And it’s no surprise that this bunch of joyless bastards are involved.

Martin Dockerell, from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the anti-smoking charity, said: “If you get the mentoring scheme right and if you manage to turn things around so it seems that healthy behaviour is not abnormal then that can be very powerful.”

Point of order: anti-smoking charity? Or a bunch of busybodies funded largely by the government with taxpayers money? You know, when pricks like this start up I really want a cigarette. Partly to calm me down, partly to wind them up, and partly for having a handy hot object to grind into their eyes.

Look ASH, or can I just call you CASH? It’s my body and I’ll fucking decide what to do with it, and unless you want my body to decide to do something horrifc to your body I suggest you take it and it’s wagging fingers somewhere else. Preferably the bottom of the ocean or another planet.

But back to the architect of this scheme:

Mr Johnson said that while employers could offer incentives to help people be more active “there will always be some people who will be immune to these opportunities, because they don’t see exercise as something they do, or because the messages they get from their peers are more influential”.
To improve people’s health “we must also look at mentoring schemes … where primary care trusts recruit people from disadvantaged communities to give health advice to local people setting goals on reducing smoking and increasing physical activity”, he said.

Rar rar. Strength Through Joy!

Cunt.

But then there’s this little gem:

“If the Government is seen to be hectoring it won’t work.”

Then what the fuck are you hectoring everybody for if you think it won’t work?

>Become a government informer, betray your friends and family, fabulous prizes to be won.

>From the Telegraph, an article that reminded of the Red Dwarf episode where they find themselves in a totalitarian fantasy world where dobbing people in is officially encouraged.

Villagers are being encouraged to inform on speeding drivers so that police can send them warning letters.
Residents in Swarland, Northumberland, have been asked to note down registration numbers of cars they think are over the speed limit.
Northumbria police will then issue a letter to the alleged offender, and store their details on a database.

Lets first get the obvious point out of the way. Northumbria Police obviously can’t be arsed to enforce driving standards in the village themselve, I mean it’s not like they’re paid to do this sort of thing is it? Oh they are? Well fuck me, who’d have thought it? Then there’s the issue of handing it over to untrained and unequipped locals. Christ Almighty, when it comes to speeding offences the word of a single copper isn’t taken even if they’re a traffic officer with twenty years of experience. I was once told (by a traffic cop) that when it’s down to human judgement and its subjective nature two officers must agree that a car is speeding, which is why they’ve been given all these gadgets for determining speed – to take error prone human judgement out of the loop and bring in mechanical objectivity that will stand up much better in court.

An aside on this point – one thing that I believe the judgement of a trained traffic cop does much better than radars and lasers and cameras is assess whether or not someone is driving like a twat. I feel that there’s an over reliance on gadgetry related speed enforcement which is starving genuine traffic policing of resources. Apart from the fact that the accuracy and use of various speed guns and other devices has been called into question (and if you want to know more about it Google is your friend) it’s pretty clear that someone can be driving badly well below the speed limit, or for that matter over the limit but still safely. Too often speed enforcement is treated as a panacea – get people to stop speeding and the roads will be safe for everyone. It’s politically attractive, but unfortunately it’s bollocks when in practice the guy driving a 10mph over the limit on an empty motorway may be fined while the retard tailgating you at 65mph in the rain is generally left to get on with risking everybody’s necks. When someone invents the twat camera then traffic policing can be left to automata. Until then trained professionals should be the backbone.

However, not content with concentrating mainly on speed at the expense of all the other forms of bad driving this bunch of knobs wants to get citizens involved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against someone ringing up the old bill and letting them know the reg of a car that’s being driven badly – I’ve done it myself once – but for fuck’s sake don’t fucking turn it into something the police rely on. If there’s a traffic polcing issue somewhere stop polishing the chairs, get out there and fucking police it. Don’t wait for a registration number to crop up a certain number of times before you tackle the issue, and don’t tackle the issue by writing a fucking letter. If I tell you that XYZ123 is hairing round the neighbourhood like the driver has a death wish I want you to come out and fucking stop ’em, not wait till two or three other people have called and then send the cunt a postcard. And finally, as the Telegraph points out, don’t rely on untrained unequipped people who might have an axe to grind over the height of someone’s hedge to not use this as a means of carrying out a petty vendetta, and for that reason alone don’t keep a permanent record of it on yet another fucking database. Let’s get this absolutely clear, when there is nothing more than an allegation of something that isn’t even sufficiently serious to get the police of their arses to investigate it is plain fucking wrong to make a permanent record of the supposed crime. Put down the donuts and do what you’re fucking paid for, and if there’s something to it then go to court with it and make a record if you get a conviction. But only for serious stuff, right? Let’s remember that even speeding fines are forgiven and drop of your licence after a few years… or are they? Who knows these days?