Friday, 30 November 2012

What is Freedom?

I think this week is a good time to review the current threats to freedom, as its being attacked from a number of directions.

The big story of the week is the publication of the Leveson report and its insistence on an "independent" body to regulate the press. The famous faces, the great and the good, the victims of press "hacking" (for want of a better description) are happily braying away insisting on full implementation of the report's recommendations. Emotions are running high and are being directed towards press regulation.

Those in favour of Leveson say that the "independent" body is necessary and will be independent, so thats ok. The government won't control it, so what's the problem?

The problem is that it will be MPs (Parliament, AKA The Government) who will have the power to appoint the head of the body and by doing so, they will set the agenda. That is state regulation. Never before have so-called independent bodies with Government appointees actually been truely independent. The body suggested by Leveson whatever it gets named, will be no different.

Even more importantly for internet users is the fact that Government never misses an opportunity to widen the remit of legislation, so its entirely plausible that powers to regulate social media would be incorporated into the powers of any body created, as well as visual media such as television. After all the elite always conflate social media with publishing and from publishing its not a big jump to media; any media, like radio and TV.

Would you like the freedom to buy alcohol at whatever price you and your local stockist agree on? Well, this is another freedom under threat, with the announcement this week of minimum alcohol pricing. Yet another freedom under threat: the freedom for companies to set the price at which they sell their goods and the freedom of customers to choose at what price they buy goods.

The common thread with those is the suggestion that entire groups of people (drinkers and journalists) should be subject to increased Government legislation and reduced freedom because of the acts of a infinitesimally small proportion of those groups (News of the World Journalists and Binge Drinkers). But of course lets stir up the emotion and demonise them all to push through some overbearing legislation.

Would you like the freedom to buy energy at as cheap a price as you can? The Government have plans to stop that, by adding yet more tarriffs to our energy bills to subsidise supposed green energy projects.

Would you like the freedom to continue to live your life unhindered whatever political party you support? It seems in Rotherham that's not the case. As in Marxist countries, you need to support THE party in order to live an unhindered life. To support any other condemns you to pariah status. And you just know that behind closed doors, many in government think the same way.

We've already lost countless freedoms, but these assaults, all in the space of a week show the quickening pace of which erosion of freedom is happening.

The chipping away of freedom has now changed into a flood. Its done in plain sight thanks to previous unhindered acts: the freedom to smoke indoors in public denied, the freedom to freely associate denied, the freedom to have a jury trial denied,  denied, denied, denied, the freedoms fall as so many dominoes.

The thread underpinning them all is Lazy Legislation. Lets regulate the whole press because its too difficult to write legislation to attack the small proportion of miscreants. The same for alcohol: lets artificially inflate the price and affect all drinkers, rather than legislate to attack the binge drinkers and drunken trouble-makers. We already have laws to deal with them on an individual basis, but I guess it must be too difficult or too expensive to do that, or the government isn't collectively intelligent enough to use existing laws, or draft targeted new ones, so they go for ill-conceived blanket legislation.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Rotherham Council UKIP Fostering Fiasco.

Any sane person would deride the decision of Rotherham council to remove the children from the UKIP supporting couple. My personal opinion is, whether the children were Eastern European, blue, black, or any other non-British White person, foster care by an experienced couple is a magnitude far better than being taken back into council care.

Even if the couple supported UKIP's policy to control immigration into the country, that doesn't make them racist.

Even if the children were of Eastern European origin - exactly the group of people UKIP would like to control the immigration of, UKIP's policy is to abide by all current open immigration laws, whilst stating its a loony policy and it needs changing. That's not a racist policy, just a policy that would allow more control over our own labour market.

However, there is one aspect of this story that hasn't been picked up by the media: Just how did Rotherham Council Find Out the Foster Parents Were UKIP Members?

I mean, were they tipped off? Did they go snoop on the couple's mail and see the membership info? Did the couple themselves volunteer the information?

I don't think the couple would give out the information as its not something you'd consider relevant. Nor would anyone report the couple for being UKIP members for the same reason. So what means did the council use to obtain the information on which to base their decision? Are we looking at another abuse of anti-terror laws?


Reports state it was an anonymous tip-off, but who would feel the need to report such a fact? Who, of their neighbours would assume UKIP membership is just cause to have the children removed? And especially why would the council agree with that opinion and take the children away?

Personally, I don't buy it. We now have two excuses from the council: A judge said they needed to consider the children's ethnic needs and now it was a tip off that led to the removal.

I'm reminded that under cross-examination, people caught out often change their stories.


Trawling the internet it seems Joyce Thacker is linked to other stories. In Rotherham and also Bradford where she worked before she moved to Rotherham. Interesting stuff and seems to show her calibre and competence.