COVID-19: The Beginning of the End?


COVID-19: The Beginning of the End?

By Neil Lock

Today, I’m going to look in a bit more depth at the COVID situation in the UK. And I’ll contrast it with the differing situations of some of its neighbours.

At the outset, I’ll say that the UK right now appears to be at least as well positioned against the virus as any other major Western European country. My informed gut feel is that we’re now not so far away from reaching herd immunity, and so beating the damned thing. Oh, and European countries like Germany, Austria and France, that have implemented high lockdown strategies recently, are starting to look a bit silly.

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COVID-19: Omicron Reaches Europe


COVID-19: Omicron Reaches Europe

By Neil Lock

For my latest COVID rant, I thought I would return to the 14 countries, including the UK, which together form the core of Western Europe. First, because I wanted to see whether there was any evidence in the data that the “omicron” variant in the UK, and perhaps some other European countries, has indeed – as is claimed – a lowered risk of requiring hospitalization. If so, that will be good news. Second, I noticed that different European countries have often been taking completely different attitudes towards lockdowns over the last six months, and I wanted to compare and contrast both these differing attitudes and their results.

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“Climate Change” – An Austro-Libertarian Analysis


“Climate Change” – An Austro-Libertarian Analysis

By Duncan Whitmore

In my most recent essay posted on this blog, we noted that the COVID-19 hysteria is giving way to a ramping up of climate alarmism of the kind on full display at the recent United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow (“COP26”). (Or at least it was until the so-called “Omicron” variant ignited a fresh wave of viral panic).

Needless to say, like most of those who value prosperity and freedom, I do not waiver from the view that the trumpeted calls for “action” to abate human-induced climate change (once known as “global warming”) are scarcely concerned with protecting the planet as such; rather, they are little more than a ruse to expand state control over industry and lifestyle choices, a convenient excuse that has become more prominent since the economic case for such expansion died along with Soviet communism. In a handful of previous essays, I have outlined both the fundamental misanthropy of the environmental movement and the epistemological errors of what passes for “The Science”, in addition to demolishing the underlying, Malthusian myth that human overpopulation is driving us to the brink of disaster.

However, much of what else could be said with regards to the facts of climate change has been said elsewhere, and in a way better than what I could reproduce here. Thus, to do something different, we will look not at whether human-induced climate change (through carbon dioxide emissions or whatever) is happening. Instead, let us take as our starting point the notion that is, indeed, happening – in other words, for the sake of argument, let us concede absolutely every climate related disaster for which eco-fanatics claim human industry and prosperity is responsible. Is there anything within libertarian theory that would grant anyone the right to curb industry and private decision making in the manner in which states are seeking to do?

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COVID Follow-ups: The Four Countries of the UK


By Neil Lock

It’s been a few months since I last looked at COVID statistics. This time, I thought, I’ll get the figures for the four constituent countries of the UK, and present them against each other for comparison. I chose to look at cases, deaths and lockdowns, and to leave testing and vaccinations for later.

This exercise may also help to give some insights into the effectiveness, or otherwise, of various lockdown measures. This is because, for the last four to five months, England has been under a significantly lighter lockdown régime than Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Update, December 2nd: This is no longer the case, at least as far as face masks are concerned. See here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measures-against-omicron-variant-come-into-effect-30-november-2021. All this, so we are told, is due to a new variant, of which there have been a total of 22 cases in England and Scotland up to November 30th, compared with a UK new case count that day of almost 40,000. Yet again, the political class are missing no possible excuse to violate our rights and freedoms, even without any proven evidence. But, as I’ll explain towards the end, I think they’re going to find it hard to get away with this one.

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Central Bank Digital Currencies – A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing?


Central Bank Digital Currencies – A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing?

By Duncan Whitmore

The past twenty months or so of COVID hysteria have seen a rapid increase in the destruction of what remains of Western liberty. Those controlling the present political and economic order are desperate to steer us out of its irreversible demise into a replacement system in which their own power, control and wealth will be maintained. Regardless of whether one regards the emergence of COVID-19 as a planned event or merely an opportune occurrence, there is now little room for believing that public health is the primary motivation behind the smorgasbord of lockdowns, restrictions, vaccine mandates and COVID passports. We are being herded into a digital straitjacket of regimentation and control, a process, which, if left unchecked, could see state/corporate surveillance monitoring our every waking thought, movement, purchase, utterance and association.

However, as readers of my work during this time may recall, I have always doubted the ability of the COVID panic to accomplish all of this in one go, if only because people expect pandemics to wane after a year or two. Thus, unlike the bogeymen of yesteryear – Soviet communism and Islamic terrorism – viruses are difficult to paint as a permanent threat necessitating an ongoing sacrifice of freedoms in exchange for security. At the beginning of this year we suggested that governments would eventually begin to haemorrhage public trust over their policies on vaccines and restrictions. The reason this has come to pass is not merely the mission creep of shifting goalposts or the haphazard instatement, dropping and re-instatement of measures left, right and centre. Rather, it’s that governments are trying to square the circle by selling vaccines as a golden ticket back to freedom on the one hand, while, on the other, demanding that we suffer repeated “booster shots”, vaccine mandates and vaccine passports – all of which suggest that vaccines don’t actually work that well in the first place. Indeed, governments are having to admit as much when justifying these additional measures. Moreover, if restrictions are re-imposed regardless of vaccination status, or if “booster shot” requirements cause one to slip in and out of the category of “fully vaccinated”, governments themselves simply annul any propaganda aimed at blaming the whole saga on “the unvaccinated”. Thus, the notion of there being some other agenda of permanent regimentation and control has seeped into the public psyche. All of this is comes in spite of the fact that governments have, thus far, managed to prevent the possible extent of vaccine injuries from being examined in the full light of day.

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Time to take back our civilization from the parasites and pests


Part One: Indictments

By Neil Lock

Political governments all over the world today are treating people as if we were mere animals to be exploited, or even objects to be used and manipulated at will. And this is the case even in so-called democracies.

In the United Kingdom, from which I write today (and which is neither a kingdom nor in any way united – but I digress), levels of taxation are now higher than at any time since the immediate aftermath of the second world war. Bad tax laws have been made and used to ruin the careers of many innocent people, including my own as a one-man software consultant. And those same bad laws have recently been used to disrupt the lorry driving industry, precipitating a national supply chain crisis. Meanwhile, taxes are heading higher yet.

Our rights and freedoms were already being routinely violated, even before the arrival of the COVID virus. For example, for many years now there have been cameras watching our every move to catch us out in the smallest indiscretion. There have been data snoopers watching what we do on the Internet, and tracking the movements of mobile phones. And our freedom of speech is under serious threat. We are in constant danger of being accused of nebulous “hate crimes.” And there is a bill going through parliament to allow bureaucrats powers to order removal of on-line material they consider to be “harmful misinformation,” with huge fines for non-compliance. Even if the material is simply telling factual truth! Moreover, they are proposing to exempt officially sanctioned “news publishers” from these rules.

Since COVID arrived, the establishment and its political class have missed no excuse to lock us down, or to take away our right to choose, or to disrupt our economy, or to put obstacles or formalities in the way of people simply going about our lives. They have been particularly hard on the “little people,” such as small business people. The more independent you are, so it seems, the more the establishment hate you and want to hurt you. Meanwhile, they award their cronies multi-million-pound contracts without any proper tendering process. And our right to protest has been seriously curtailed. But most of all, they have continued and even accelerated their green agenda of draconian – and totally impractical – energy, transport, environmental and taxation policies, that go against the needs and the well-being of ordinary people. Meanwhile, we are assaulted by barrages of lies, scares and hype intended to “nudge” us into conformity, or propaganda about “staying safe” or “protecting each other.”

On the day I began this essay, tens of thousands of delegates were flocking in to a United Nations “Conference of the Parties” (CoP) meeting in Glasgow, Scotland. Many were from governments, internationalist organizations and green or “woke” pressure groups all over the world. A lot of them arrived in private jets, and the more pretentious among them travelled from the airfield in huge motorcades. The UK had even relaxed COVID restrictions for high-ranking attendees at the conference: [[1]].

This gabfest lasts (by the time you read this, lasted) 13 days, beginning on Sunday October 31st 2021. Its stated purpose: “to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.” And its theme statement: “uniting the world to tackle climate change.”

That theme statement is in George Orwell’s Newspeak. So, let me translate it into English for you. “Uniting the world” means setting up a Big Brother style world government of unelected, unaccountable élites, with absolute powers to do anything to anybody. And “to tackle climate change” means to take actions up to and including the destruction of human industrial civilization, for the sake of nothing more than an unspecific, unproven and unlikely-to-be-true accusation that humans are causing some kind of big problem with the Earth’s climate.

This will be a long, long essay. It will also be provocative! To make it as readable and easy to understand as possible, I’ll divide it into three parts. This first part, Indictments, covers the woeful tale of what is being done to us today under the banner of climate change and other aspects of today’s political agenda. Because it is very much an evidence-based essay, this part will include many external links; skip them if you wish.

In the second part, Diagnosis, I’ll tell you what I think is going on underneath. And in the third, Cure, I’ll offer some (radical) suggestions as to how we might start to move things in the right direction.

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How to Fight For Liberty, Part Seven – Decentralisation and Secession


How to Fight For Liberty, Part Seven – Decentralisation and Secession

By Duncan Whitmore

In the six, previous parts of this series of essays, we have considered a wide range of factors relevant to our attempts to devise a successful libertarian political strategy. In Part One, we explained the difference between libertarian theory and libertarian political activism, and how each was a somewhat separate endeavour that required its own, specialist attention. In Part Two, we looked in detail at the nature and ambitions of the enemies of liberty so as to gain a better understanding of how we should confront them. Part Three demolished some of the obstacles that are often cited as roadblocks towards achieving a freer world, concluding that the task ahead of us is squarely one of motivating people away from social structures such as the state – the power of which is sustained not by guns and gallows but by the perception of its legitimacy. In Parts Four and Five, we assessed the value of radicalism and of conservatism to the libertarian movement, before concluding that our approach requires a synthesis of the two: radical through our uncompromising rejection of state power, but conservative through our efforts to achieve this rejection from the bottom-up rather than imposed from the top-down. Part Six, the most recent instalment, elaborated on the necessity of this bottom-up approach.

In this seventh part, I wish to come full circle by crystallising all of this analysis into a particular concrete component of a political strategy that we first mentioned in Part One: decentralisation. While, at the conclusion of Part Six, I stated that this would be the final part, I will make some concluding remarks in an epilogue subsequent to this instalment.

Decentralisation and Liberty

It cannot be repeated often enough that the primary element in any libertarian strategy must be an uncompromising commitment to the decentralisation and the de-homogenisation of power. This is true almost by definition: the libertarian ideal of every person having complete self-ownership over his body and the property that he has either homesteaded or received in voluntary transaction is itself the ultimate form of decentralisation of decision making power to each and every individual. Thus, anything that moves us away from a greater concentration of power towards its dispersal and diffusion is likely to be a boon for liberty, while, conversely, anything that reverses this process will put us on the path to despotism.

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