On Convivials and Politicals


Today, I’m going to compare and contrast the two sides in the big battle of our times. I call them Convivials and Politicals. Much of what I say today, I’ve already said in earlier essays. What is new, though, is how I choose to organize it. Think, if you will, of a large, milling mass of people, which re-arranges itself before your eyes into two opposing armies.

The word “convivial” means living together, and in particular living together well. Convivials, or convivial people, conduct themselves in a convivial way. Convivial conduct is treating others peacefully, tolerantly, honestly and civilly, and respecting their rights – as long, of course, as they do the same for you. It is the habitual behaviour of those who are, generally speaking, good people to have around you. It can be summed up as: “Don’t be an asshole.”

The word “politicals,” on the other hand, is one I haven’t used before. I’ve often referred to some of them loosely as “the political class.” But I also include as “politicals” those that hang on to the coat-tails of the political class. Politicals are those that promote, support or take profit from damaging, unjust or rights-violating policies of political governments. They include those that seek to impose ideological, religious or lifestyle agendas on others; to unjustly enrich themselves or their cronies; or to use government power to get away with acts that, objectively, are crimes.

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Globalisation – the Baby and the Bathwater


Globalisation – the Baby and the Bathwater

By Duncan Whitmore

If the liberal-left was hoping that the recent state visit to the UK by Donald Trump would provide the perfect opportunity to (once again) castigate him for his supposed “racism”, “misogyny”, and a fervour for “nationalism” that apparently puts him on par with Hitler, they have probably been left disappointed. In fact, the visit seems to have come off rather well for the 45th President. Sadiq Khan, London’s leftist mayor, succeeded only in burying himself in a Twitter spat that began before Air Force One even touched down on the tarmac. The anti-Trump protests in Parliament Square – at which, for want of imagination, the Trump “baby blimp” was re-deployed (and subsequently burst by a Trump sympathiser) – failed to attract the anticipated attendance. Instead, news reports of Trump being received warmly by the Queen, behaving graciously and courteously at the state banquet, and delivering a positive and optimistic joint press conference with the Prime Minister about the future of the US-UK relationship, have most likely lent him an air of statesmanship that he has previously lacked. Even the BBC was forced to concede that the trip has, somehow, “normalised” Trump, and that, rather than banishing the orange-faced “fascist” from our shores forever, we should probably recognise that he is “here to say and [so we] had better get used to him”. Read more

The Conservatives: Useful Idiots or Unfit for Purpose?


The Conservatives: Useful Idiots or Unfit for Purpose?
Sean Gabb
15th June 2019

One of my Books – a Brexit Parable
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When the 2016 Referendum went unexpectedly to the Leavers, the Conservative Party was handed a golden opportunity. It had only to manage a reasonable withdrawal, and it could look forward to a generation of electoral hegemony. Three years later, we have still not left, and it is possible we shall not, and the Party is hovering on the edge of electoral oblivion. The question I find most interesting about these events is whether they can be explained as intended or as an effect of political incompetence.

I will begin with what I believe has been a loose Project unfolding through my entire life. Since about the 1960s, we have seen the rise of a new ruling class, committed to the transformation of Britain into a new sort of country. Because I have discussed the Puritan Hypothesis at some length here and here, I will now give only a summary. In short, the new ruling class wants to reshape our thoughts into its own conception of The Good. This means a long-term project of securing cultural hegemony through control of education and the media, and a shorter-term project of compelling us to act as if we already believed in the new order of things. Though I will emphasise that it is in no meaningful sense either Marxist or socialist, the overall Project has been carried through by a careful use of what Louis Althusser called the ideological state apparatus and the repressive state apparatus. Read more

On the Troubles of our Times


Back in January 2008, I took a verbal snapshot of the many bad things the UK government was doing to us at the time. Today, I’ll carry this forward to the present. My purpose is to gain a better understanding of the troubles we suffer under today – and not just in the UK. And thus, to try to fathom what is going on underneath. Read more

Brexit: What happens next?


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

I was recently interviewed by Klaus Bernpaintner and Jesper Bleeke at Mises Sweden, on the subject of Brexit.

Alas, during the one hour and twenty minute interview, when asked about what drives the Remainers in the UK, I absolutely failed to mention ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. A classic opportunity spurned!

Anyhow, if you’re interested in what else we spoke about, here’s the introductory text to their interview:

“How Nigel Farage and Brexit are the nail in the coffin for the EU, how the British once again save us from a European Empire, how British politicians and civil servants tried to stop it – and can Boris Johnson manage it, with Andy Duncan from Mises UK.”

And here’s a link to the interview:

Screenshot 2019-06-01 at 23.16.19

Fortunately, despite my valiant attempts to demonstrate my perfectly fluent Swedish, we quickly switched into English after a brief introduction.

I haven’t spoken so much for years. They really are hardcore when it comes to doing long podcasts, up there in Viking-Land!

 

The backstory behind the war on cars in the UK


On May 20th, 2019, I gave a talk to the Libertarian Alliance about the damaging political policies being imposed on car drivers in the UK, and the history behind them. Normally, these talks are recorded on video. But on this occasion, an unfortunate combination of circumstances prevented a recording. As this subject is a topical one – and becoming more so by the day – I thought it appropriate to create a “transcript” of the talk, re-constructed from my notes.

Introduction

On April 8th, 2019, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) went live in the Congestion Charge area in central London. It now costs the driver £12.50 a day, on top of the congestion charge, to drive in this zone a diesel car built before September 2015, or a petrol car built before 2006. This is an outrageous amount; and it also has to be paid at week-ends! This scheme is planned to be extended to all of the area inside North and South Circular Roads in October 2021. And after that, who knows?

Beyond this, there is talk of charging drivers of diesel cars to enter any of 35 or so cities around the UK. Some cities, like Southampton, have decided not to do this. Others, like Birmingham, are pressing on. Meanwhile, on May 9th the Times began a campaign claiming that “air pollution on the streets is poisoning 2.6 million schoolchildren,” and that this is due to “clogged roads”.

And yet, a recent (May 2nd) Sky News poll showed that more than 50 per cent of a random sample of people in the UK were “unwilling to significantly reduce the amount they drive, fly and eat meat,” either to combat climate change or to protect the environment in a more general sense. This is evidence of a huge disconnect between the political classes and the people!

There is a long backstory behind all this, which not many people seem to be aware of. In the last two years, I’ve managed to pull a lot of this backstory together. So, tonight I’ll bring it out into the open for you. In the process, I’ll identify what I call the Ten Deadly Dishonesties. These are attitudes and ploys that anti-car and other green campaigners have used, many of them more than once, in the course of their political machinations. Read more

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