Archive for December, 2012

More to it than meets the eye

When the likes of CBI Director-General, John Cridland, say of the UK’s membership of the EU that it is ‘essential that we stay at the table to bang the drum for businesses and defend our national interest’ there is always a vacuum where evidence of any successful defence of our national interest is concerned. The UK is expected to sacrifice for the greater good of the EU whole.

Similarly, when the likes of rabid europhile federalist Lib Dem MEP, Andrew Duff, argue that the UK should be offered ‘associate membership’ of the EU in a move that would see the UK lose all its MEPs, its commissioner in Brussels and its right to veto decisions in the European Council you can be sure the plan is designed to ensure the UK is even more seemlessly controlled by Brussels.

The effort to sow confusion and scare people in equal measure continues apace, given unquestioning column inches and an easy ride by our unthinking media.

As the media will not do it for us, because digging to deep may reveal facts that are unacceptable to the electorate and inconvenient to the europhile cause, we cannot take things at face value.  We must continue to ask ‘why’ these things are being promoted and work out ‘who’ stands to benefit.

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Eric Edmonds: UKIP MEP musical chairs

2. Your Freedom and Ours: As the debate goes on

3. Ironies Too: Curtain Raiser to the 2013 Constitutional & Currency Crisis

4. The Slog: The Euro Fathers: Stupid or cunning?

5. Ambush Predator: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

That Leveson assertion that media has a ‘powerful reputation for accuracy’ again

levesonWhen the great Lord Justice Leveson attacked bloggers and social media and declared the mainstream media has a ‘powerful reputation for accuracy’ he didn’t do the so-called ‘fourth estate’ any favours.  It was inevitable some bloggers would use some of the multitude of glaring examples to the contrary to demonstrate what utter rubbish m’lud spoke.

Herman Van Rompuy is the President of the European Council.  Would someone please tell the Barclay Brother Beano‘s editorial staff..?

For the benefit of the Telegraph’s editorial team, with their attendant powerful reputation for accuracy, the Council of Europe has a Chairmanship which is held by a member state.  At this time it is Andorra (until May 2013).

Pleased that this ‘electronic version of pub gossip’ is be able to help the oh-so-grand font of truth!

h/t The Boiling Frog.

His masters’ man

Profoundly disappointing, but unsurprising, to see Andrew Gilligan using his platform at the Telegraph to perpetuate a demonstrably untrue assertion about the kind of relationship the UK would have with the European Union if we managed to leave.  Gilligan is, after all, his masters’ man.  He takes the Barclay Brothers’ coin and follows their pro-EU lead, as he shows with the following comment:

Yet the British impetus for full withdrawal may be dangerous: in the modern world, the very idea of “UK independence”, as promoted by the eponymous Eurosceptic party, is surely an illusion. Even if we left, given the amount of trade we do with the EU, we would still have to follow most of its rules – while no longer having any role in setting them.

This is the same fallacious tosh knowingly spun by the Norwegian foreign minister last week in spite of the reality he is completely aware of.

For a journalist who boasts a reputation for ‘investigative’ ability, Gilligan has failed to investigate the truth before doling out the sort of lie that helped Edward Heath Harold Wilson secure his EEC referendum victory (Apologies – in my rush I conflated the 1975 referendum with Heath’s 1973 parliamentary action).  Members of the EEA/EFTA do have a substantial say in the trade rules.  To suggest otherwise is an outrageous lie.

The tactics of the europhiles remain the same.  The truth is not their ally, but something to be concealed from the populace.  Instead of matters of substance on the subject of EU membership we are subjected to a narrative of superfluous nonsense, which Gilligan resorts to at the end of his article to underpin the europhilia that inspired it:

On that day in 1973 when we joined, an opinion poll asked the British people whether they wanted to see in their country Common Market “customs” such as “regular wine with meals”, “more pavement cafes”, “more shops open on Sunday”, “pubs open all day” and “coffee and a roll for breakfast, not bacon and eggs”. The poll respondents said no to all these dangerous foreign innovations (apart from the wine), but now, of course, along with Polish waitresses in London and British pensioners in Spain, they are standard parts of national life. For all our professed hostility to the EU, we are in some ways far more “European” than we were.

To expose how shallow the justifications for EU membership truly are, there’s two questions that eurosceptics should continually keep asking the europhiles to answer:

  • Why does it require the surrender of control of our country, identity, money and self determination to an unelected and unaccountable power overseas to realise any supposed benefits?
  • Why can’t benefits be achieved through cooperation and agreements, without rule from Brussels?

Another example of Nigel Farage’s poor judgement

Many people who still hold faith in the political process, but are disillusioned by the three main parties, are looking for a home. A number of them may be looking at UKIP as a party they might support and want to know a bit more about its autocratic leader, Nigel Farage.

But if their search is for a political figure who offers reassuring gravitas and comes across as steady, measured and in possession of good judgement then a spotlight piece about Farage published in the Daily Wail last night is likely to have left them feeling disappointed and frustrated in equal measure.

Britain needs a serious politician for serious times and the dross offered up by the political party nursery production line of grabbers and troughers isn’t providing it. So Farage had clear run to conduct a clinical public relations campaign that confounds the ‘ordinary bloke, cheeky chappie’ image which prevents him being taken seriously and instead positions him and his party as leadership material.

However Farage’s ego has seen him walk straight into a hatchet job by the broadly pro-EU media which continues to present him as something of a lightweight prat. It won’t put off those people who are already sold on Farage, but it will do nothing to attract serious floating voters who take issues seriously and want to see a credible alternative they can lend their support to.

The Wail is expert in this kind of thing and played its hand well. It sent along a not unattractive female journalist, Jane Fryer, to smile and bat her eyelids at Farage in the knowledge that with his lothario-like reputation he would be disarmed and play up to her – resulting in him saying daft things and giggling away like a hormone-filled teenager. The resulting output could then be assembled into a harmful piece and that is what has subsequently hit the printing press. He may try to laugh it off and bluster past it, but this Mail piece has landed a blow.

Farage has been in politics long enough to have known better. His public relations advisers should have insisted he do a different kind of interview in which he could still display an easy charm while showing the public he is the kind of serious man for serious times alternative they are craving.

Whether his PR did advise this but Farage’s famously ‘my way or the highway’ approach took over, we will probably never know. But we can be sure he won’t be attracting the kind of supporter he and his party desperately needs. UKIP will continue to be viewed as the party that draws the slightly off-the-wall kind of person to it. Farage is more likely to get the nose-pinching desperate voter than the kind of voter who will only go out to vote positively and enthusiastically for a party’s candidate.

As with so many cock ups Farage has been at the heart of, it was completely avoidable. Another golden opportunity presented at an ideal time, utterly wasted. I often wish I could support Farage and the party he has moulded in his image, but this is another reminder of why I don’t.

Update: Richard has seen the Wail piece and has drawn the same conclusion, only with additional context and background. Well worth reading in full here

New Year Honours farce

There’s no point even picking out individual examples to dissect.  You can see for yourself which honours have been doled out to people who in no way deserve them and frankly should have been sacked for their incompetence.

The honours system was there to serve a particular purpose, to reward those whose selfless work was not rewarded with great pay and perks.  Now it is just the establishment awarding gongs to their fellow chaps and gals simply for being part of the gang and because it’s their turn, while chucking in a few worthies they’ve never heard of on recommendation to maintain some veneer of respectability.

It’s now an expectation that if you manage to slide into a cushy, lavishly remunerated top rank role, make a name for yourself on the sports field while managing to secure acres of media coverage, or win a medal at the Olympics, a gong of some kind will follow.  If you’re just an ordinary, selfless, community minded individual your only hope for an honour is to be noticed by the establishment or its lackeys – but then, people like this don’t give of themselves in the hope of reward or award.

To say the honours system is wholly devalued is an understatement. Like the Nobel prize, it has been hijacked by establishment hooligans and left burned out by the side of the road.

A vital lesson for campaigning bloggers

Following the recent furore over gun ownership in the USA as a result of the mass murder in Newton, Connecticut, and the clarion calls to ban firearms, the Junk Science blog has a post that caught my eye which begins thus:

Since England has banned gun ownership, violent crime is on the increase. Because kitchen knives are now supposedly used in half of all stabbings, the BBC News reports that some are now calling to ban pointy kitchen knives.

Doctors’ kitchen knives ban call

A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing. A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings. They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon. The research is published in the British Medical Journal. The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all….

Being sure such a current story would have had a prominent billing I was surprised not to have seen it.  A quick Google search however showed a range of odd, extremist and hate sites, such as Stormfront and Rense running the same story in recent days.

Curious, I followed the link into the British Medical Journal website to delve deeper.  It was there I found the article was actually published back in May 2005 and the most recent comment left on it is more than four years old.  The article is hidden behind a paywall, but a full copy of it, date stamped, can be read below for interest:

The problem here is many decent people who are making valid points about gun ownership and liberty in general are having their arguments undermined by reactionary, axe-grinding conspiracy theorists and bigots jumping on the bandwagon to advance their own twisted ideology.  Sadly Junk Science seems to have been caught out by this sudden focus on a story so out of date it actually made the news two years before Tony Blair left office.  It is a sad and credibility-harming error.

There’s a very important parallel point that needs to be made here.  When it comes to the politics of EU withdrawal we often see a similar thing.  A lack of knowledge or attention to detail by some who sensibly want the UK to leave the union can lead to mistakes that actually lump the rest of us in with those who make plainly outlandish claims referencing Magna Carta or claiming treason or demanding the Queen take on Parliament etc.  Such nonsense is seized upon gleefully by the EUphiles to discredit all those who wish to see the UK leave the union in the eyes of the electorate.

While apparent crowdsourcing and repeating a story that is doing the rounds may seem an appropriate thing to do, bloggers need to take care to check the sources and dig for the full story rather than accept things at face value.  Only then might people develop confidence in blogs as an accurate source of information that challenges the mainstream media and becomes a reliable alternative to the establishment narrative.  If we are to wage a successful campaign to extricate the UK from EU control we need to provide a trusted alternative to the EU-supporting mainstream media.  Building that trust starts now.

EU scare stories now coming thick and fast

Earlier today Richard explained over at his EU Referendum dominion that:

A little while ago, we identified a three-legged europhile strategy – “renegotiation-reform-scare”. The three legs are intended to blunt calls for a referendum or blur and confuse the issues so that any result is indecisive. And Van Rompuy is doing the scare bit for us.

It’s not just Van Rompuy doing the scaring, now Viviane Reding has weighed in with a EUroscare of her own concerning a British opt-out from EU crime and policing laws, including the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

La Reding says in an interview given to the Barclay Beano:

“Do you want criminals and paedophiles running around freely on the streets, is that really in the United Kingdom’s interest? It is crazy.”

The meme is clear, without the EU there will be no law and order in Britain, which therefore cannot survive without the EU. This laugh-out-loud fallacy is presented as a reality by a true believer who is desperate to see the EU become a United States of Europe. Reding clearly fails to recognise it is law from Europe incorporated into this country’s legal system that keeps criminals and paedophiles running around freely on our streets on the spurious basis of protecting their human rights.

The fact Reding cites British police forces as desperate to keep some of the EU’s proposed powers should be reason enough for us to be gravely suspicious of the package.  But the real issue here is that the EU crime and policing package dispenses with protections that are essential in a society where people must be considered innocent unless proven guilty.  The package does not require police in other EU states to present any evidence that there is a case to answer before this country’s citizens can be put into custody and shipped overseas without any recourse.

No doubt the BBC will faithfully report the EU viewpoint on this and perhaps pull in a EUphile Lib Dem to explain why we absolutely must opt-in to EU crime and policing laws, while doing the bare minimum to provide a platform for the opposing viewpoint.

If they were minded to impartial coverage they should give a platform to Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick, who have been convicted of fraud in Hungary only in the last month having been whisked off and detained for four months in a judicial process that began in 2009 with the processing of a questionable extradition under the terms of a European Arrest Warrant.

Cameron listens again. Democracy alive and well. Pigs fly past upstairs window.

Cameron: UK has a ‘moral obligation’ to help world’s poor – David Cameron has defended Britain’s £11bn foreign aid bill saying the UK Government has a “moral obligation” to help to the world’s poorest people.

Ignored UK People: Cameron, as this country’s Prime Minister, and the rest of the moronic political class have a ‘moral obligation’ to help the UK’s poor – David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have no defence for their shared action and cravenly skirt around the fact the government is sending £11bn of our money overseas without our permission while vulnerable people on these shores go without heat, food and shelter despite having contributed something to this country.
Random snippets from hardpressed Britain

This is an example of what ‘Bullshit’ Brucie Anderson would describe as people only having a vague idea as to who Cameron is or what he stands for.  On Planet Brucie, politics, apparently abhorring a vacuum, often fills it with a four-letter word – Eton.

So there we have it.  Proof from Mr Anderson – for his noble word is all we need – the reason so many of us cannot stand Cameron is because of his privileged upbringing and education.  Clearly is it nothing to do with the nakedly obvious fact he is an obnoxious, arrogant and ignorant moron who treats the people of this country with undisguised contempt; just so he can satisfy his gargantuan ego by posturing on the world stage as a man of virtue as he doles out our scarce cash to people whose kleptocratic governments prefer to spend their money on space programmes and arms procurement rather than health, education as assistance for their vulnerable.

In Britain the views and wishes of the people do not matter. The political class does what it wants. Like dogs returning to their vomit, millions of Britons keep going back to the polling stations to vote for more of the same in a variety of colours and flavours. And the establishment have the gall to call this ‘democracy’.

That’s us told…

The Daily Wail has regurgitated a story that has been doing the rounds on the internet for a couple of days, about a man in Tunisia who died in an attempt to eat 30 raw eggs in a single sitting as part of a wager.

There is nothing in the space filler about the cause of death, just that the man was dead before he could be taken to hospital after downing 28 of the eggs.

Nevertheless, Sara Malm, fearless hack for the noted media campaigner against the nanny state, deigns to round off her incredibly short ‘story’ thus:

Whilst eggs cooked properly are a great source of protein and part of a healthy diet, raw eggs could cause food poisoning and may contain salmonella bacteria.

If you are making food demanding raw eggs, such as mayonnaise or ice cream, use pasteurised eggs to eliminate risks.

Well that’s us told, and without a trace of ‘we know best’ hectoring in sight… not!

Perhaps this signals the Mail’s crusade against the nanny state is at an end?  Efforts to discover if Malm is related to Edwina Currie have so far drawn a blank.

5 Star Blogging – Christmas interlude edition

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. Subrosa: What is normal anyway?

2. Counting Cats: How to be a dictator (UK edition 2013)

3. Longrider: Except, they ain’t actually crimes

4. The Boiling Frog: 118 707

5. Nourishing Obscurity: Death of a pension plan

Establishment arrogance redux

It never gets old, but by God it’s bloody boring. Once again the establishment is indulging itself with a substantial dose of hubris, with Bruce Anderson leading the charge.

His op-ed in the Tory Wet propaganda sheet Barclay Brother Beano says it all, ‘Until David Cameron learns to explain himself, voters will not trust him – Many natural Tories are losing faith in a party that appears to ignore their opinions’.

Apparently the focus is on those people Anderson and CCO label as ‘potential’ Tory voters. By that logic however those people are also potentially voters for every other candidate and party, but that kind of common sense eludes them.

But the real issue here concerns the assessment of Anderson and his puppet masters in Cameron’s office; it’s not that Cameron is wrong, oh no, it’s just people don’t understand what he’s getting at because we’re presumably too thick.

It’s obviously a simple communication problem and nothing to do with the fact many of us don’t agree with Cameron’s viewpoint and direction. After all, how could anyone possibly disagree with the supremely educated, all-knowing and all-wise Cameron? Ungrateful rabble of serfs. By now we should all get that the benevolent political class know what’s best for us. No need to think, just get on with life, work your fingers to the bone, hand over your money for them to spend as they see fit and do what they tell us. It’s all so easy really.

Which is why Anderson writes complete and utter bullshit, such as this:

To think about David Cameron’s premiership is to ponder on paradox. Although he is the dominant figure in British politics, he has only shallow roots in public affection; sometimes, it seems, in his own party’s loyalty. Although he will always rise to a big occasion with a big speech, most voters have only a vague idea as to who he is or what he stands for. Politics, abhorring a vacuum, often fills it with a four-letter word – in this case, Eton. That is the one fact which everyone knows about the Prime Minister: where he went to school. It is not a helpful fact.

Cameron can deliver a big speech, you know… You just don’t know enough about him… Therefore your criticism and dislike of him is just all so jolly unfair… blah blah blah. The problem for Bullshit Brucie’s ludicrous little strawman is that we do know what Cameron is for. We see his direction very clearly. We see our interests are plainly not his interests. We can see power seeking for its own sake for what it is. We get it when we demand to make our own decisions and he refuses because it doesn’t fit with his wishes. It’s just we happen to know best what is good for us and what we want.

To suggest anything other is exhibit unbelievable self delusion and an incredible kind of arrogance – two qualities that exist with staggering abundance among members of the establishment. It all makes for thousands of column inches of wind, noise and bluster. Increasingly is it that which is being ignored. Far from not knowing or understanding, it is because more and more people know and understand far better than ever before that the bubbleista find they are communicating with themselves.

They are now totally irrelevant. Soon they will be wholly illegitimate too. Then things will start to get interesting.

European gun buyback hype vs American Mainstreet reality

The gun buyback scheme in Los Angeles has received international attention in the wake of the Newtown shootings.

While one can identify with the sentiment and the ideal, particularly following the massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut, the organisers are howling at the moon if they think the criminal fraternity who use guns and cause law abiding people to own them for self protections, is going to hand over its weapons in return for a few hundred dollars.

The queues of largely hard up gun owners seeking a quick handout of Ralph’s vouchers have already demonstrated the exercise is futile. As a snippet in the LA Times makes clear:

“That young guy shot up all the kids and they blamed the mama because the mama had the weapons in the house,” Valerie Butler said, in explaining why she was waiting in line two hours in South Los Angeles to get rid of an old handgun.

Yet Butler, 50, said she was not getting rid of both of her guns.

“Just one,” she said, and laughed. “There’s a bunch of nuts out here, and they’re coming in when you’re sleeping. You got to protect yourself.”

For all the hype little will change. And as Ms Butler’s comments prove, it’s mainly the law abiding and financially struggling desperate for sme vouchers who are reducing the number of weapons they hold, not those who most frequently use weapons as part of gang and drug activity and are responsible for the vast majority of homicides and gun related crimes. There is no seachange here. These amnesties and buybacks have happened before and shootings have still happened.

The enfeebling and spiteful condition of learned or shared helplessness that permeates much of Europe, which for ideological reasons is the desired state among a number of people in the US, is being rejected by a majority of Americans outside the virtuous circle of metropolitan do-gooders whose default position is to demand a ban for anything that falls outside their approved list of acceptable items.

While anti gun sentiment is being whipped up by the usual ‘liberal’ statist authoritarian bansturbators at The Independent, on Mainstreet USA the sentiment, driven by reality, is very different. As that paper itself added – typically hidden right at the very end of its article – more in frustration and disdain than surprise:

A Gallup poll published yesterday found a record 74 per cent now support the right to own a handgun. Even in liberal LA, the amnesty met opposition. According to the press agency AFP, a poster displayed near a second buy-back location in Van Nuys read: “Get $$ for your gun… We buy your gun to donate it to a woman in danger. An armed woman will not be a victim.”

It’s a message that resonates in mainstream America. Without effective forms of self defence a woman, or anyone else for that matter, is forced to depend on state provided protection – a protection that is all too often far too little delivered far too late and which increasingly seeks to excuse rather than punish offenders.

The shared helplessness concept is not just an evil method employed by the state to guarantee it has the sole ability to use force and thus control its supposed masters, it is failing to appeal to the self reliant majority of the US population. It seems, for now, set to remain the preserve of decaying socialist entities, such as European states caught in the anti-democratic EU web.

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all the joy of Christmas and hoping this special time is blessed with peace, health and happiness for you and your loved ones.

Norwegian Foreign Minister lies about EEA to help British ‘in’ campaign

There is only one kind of person who is even more enthusiastic about the EU than the legion of EUrocrats, and who will say anything – even blatant lies – to advance its agenda.

That person is a furiously frustrated member of the political class who is a wannabe EUrocrat, but is trapped outside the doors of the Brussels/Strasbourg gravy train by the voters in his/her country who are determined to remain independent.

One such EUthusiast is the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide.

Like the rest of the political class in Norway, Eide is desperate to take his country into the EU.  Although Norwegian voters continue to return socialists to office in Oslo, they savour their independence and do not want to be part of the EU.  It is a classic political class/electorate disconnect.  The political class see they can do nicely out of the EU, the voters see it will be a bottomless pit into which they will be required to pour their money while at the same time giving up tcontrol of their own laws and regulations.

As an EU wannabe, Eide is keen to suck up to the EUrocrats at every opportunity in the hope of some financially lucrative reward later down the line.  This explains why Eide lied shamelessly in an effort to con Britons into thinking that leaving the EU and becoming part of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) – which along with the EU makes up the European Economic Area (EEA) – would strip Britain of any remaining influence in Europe and lead to ‘regulation without representation’.

Eide knows it’s a lie.  The EU knows it’s a lie.  And thanks to this clinical dissection by Richard over at EU Referendum, you too can now see for yourself that it’s a lie.

It’s interesting to note that the BBC was very keen to promote these lies.  Where was their fact checking?  Where is the evidence of their duty to impartiality and accuracy? This is another glaring example of the ludicrous nature of Lord Justice Leveson’s assertion that mainstream journalists enjoy a “powerful reputation for accuracy”.

Clearly Leveson’s cocksure comments were just another steaming pile of establishment-generated bullshit.  Once again it has taken the blogosphere to uncover the truth and publicise it in the face of concerted political and media deception.  Let the good Lord Justice hold a lucrative enquiry into that and force the BBC to be held to account. We won’t hold our breath for that to happen.

Real Economics blog – technologically literate, historically informed, politically progressive…

That is how the Real Economics blog describes itself on its title banner.  It goes on to explain to those who stumble across the blog that it ‘is about the economic and technological facts every Progressive needs to know–the neglected stories of the real economy’.

Like most immodest and self-regarding progressive sites in actual fact it is a complete pile of utter bollocks.

Being ‘progressive’ the author, Jonathan Larson, gravitates today to the German publication Spiegel as an authorative source for ‘news’ and impartial ‘commentary’ about energy and environment.  There Larson discovered a lead story: Poland wages war on efforts to save the climate and has unquestioningly used it as the basis of a blog post he titles Polish coal-aholics. Very witty, no?  His lengthy cut and paste job is preceded by his incisive observation and commentary thus:

It is abundantly clear that the Poles have ample historical reasons to hate all things German.  But just because the Germans believe burning coal is a disaster for the environment does not make it untrue—no matter what you believe about about German thought processes.

One more time.  The reason that Peak Oil and climate change are not being meaningfully addressed is because they are problems of applied science—Producer Class problems.  It doesn’t matter IF Al Gore is fat or is a mega energy hypocrite, climate change is still a fact beyond rational debate.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the Germans who want you to phase out coal-fired plants, it’s still a good idea.  There is nothing quite so strange as hearing political arguments being used to try to discredit hard science—it’s like children debating adults.

We really must work on this problem.

In the meantime, I would like someone to explain to me how the people of NW Denmark just went ahead and built a remarkably sustainable infrastructure while less than 500 miles away, a country actually chooses to invest in the most dirty lifestyle imaginable with no “reason” for doing it except to make a statement about an historical outrage.

If Larson – writer, inventor, builder and history buff that he is – had an ounce of the technological literacy or informed historic knowledge he claims, he would have spared himself the humiliation he deserves to have heaped on him for relying on Spiegel to provide balanced material about energy policy and environmentalism, upon which he based his anti-Polish rant.

I would like Larson to explain to me how he can write an ad hominem attack on the Poles for their desire to continue using coal, citing their apparent hatred of the Germans as their rationale, yet completely ignore the fact Germany is leading the dash for coal in Europe.  The chronically deluded and ill-informed Larson doesn’t mention it because Spiegel makes no reference to Germany’s coal rush in the article, let alone any explanation about why Germany is doing so as its renewables revolution collapses into costly abject failure.

So here’s some technological literacy and historic information for Larson to take onboard before someone sues him for misrepresentation in his blog title… As of the end of 2012 Germany has plans to build more than two dozen (that’s more than 24 if you didn’t know, Larson) coal fired power stations.  These are in addition to the eight stations that were fired up in the last couple of years that we have referenced previously.

So where is the formidably-informed Larson’s criticism of the Germans?  Is Germany’s dash for coal without reason?  Perhaps they are only doing it to make a statement about historical outrages they committed?  More likely though they are doing it to address their economic reality, a topic something Larson clearly remains in stunning ignorance of.

One of the labels applied to Larson’s blog post is ‘Abject Stupidity’.  With no sense of the delicious irony he served up, how right he is.

Shameless opportunists are seizing upon the murder of innocents to advance their ideological objectives

Following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the loudest voices have, predictably, belonged to those with a gun control agenda.

In all the column inches that have been written, only a tiny percentage have tried to focus on what prompted Adam Lanza to murder his mother, then go to the school where she had taught and murder as many of her colleagues and pupils as he could, before killing himself.  Much more of what has been written has been about gun control.

Surely it is more important and valuable to explore the significant mental health problems experienced by Lanza and how these were being dealt with.

It is essential to understand what exactly happened prior to the mass murder, where reports have suggested there had been an altercation at the school involving Lanza.  That incident and what either happened after it, or what interventions should have happened, are far more pertinent to this tragedy than the availability of guns.  But instead of focussing on an analysis of the risks caused by Lanza in his prevailing mental state and how these could and should have been mitigated, the anti-gun lobby is focussing attention purely on the risks of the availability of guns and how these risks must be removed by taking away the guns.  And the media is providing them with acres of copy to do that without any balancing argument.

So it was pleasing to see a more level headed analysis of the politics of risk is provided by Charles Crawford today at The Commentator.  While the focus is on one narrow element of the whole terrible incident in Newtown, Crawford reminds us about other issues this raises, and references comments about the morally corrupt encouragement of learned helplessness, which were made by Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic.  Crawford’s piece prompted the following comment from me:

Worse than the kneejerk reaction we are seeing from some in the US – cheerled from parts of the commentariat on this side of the Atlantic – are the opportunist efforts of those whose political ideology esposes learned helplessness in order to restrict self reliance and individual responsibility and press for conformity to the structures they and their ilk have put in place. We need the kind of reasoned responses you have written to try and hold back the statist tide.

The usual argument in response to such challenges is for the anti-gun lobby to declare that without the guns he used Lanza could not have killed as many people as he did.  Their argument therefore boils down to nothing more than a simple matter of scale, while doggedly avoiding any focus on what led to the attack and how that could or should have been tackled.

The difficult point that needs to be accepted is that Lanza could have still killed many people with knives or other weapons.  Being as fiercely intelligent as he reportedly was he could have even chosen to rig an explosive device.  Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and injured over 800 and didn’t use a firearm.  But there is little in legislating against those things beyond what has already been done that extends the government-preferred condition of learned helplessness – something that has infested western Europe – and which increases the power of the state over the people as they are forcibly made dependent on the often ineffective state sanctioned provision for their protection.

Having a disarmed population suits the establishment and ensures they have their desired monopoly on use of force.  But it doesn’t tend to work out well for ordinary people who try to tackle criminals and assailants but are denied the right to participate in their own defence.

Nevertheless there is a shameless opportunism at play, where the use of guns in the murder of innocents is being used as a reason to advance an ideological objective that is alien to the American cultural norm of self reliance and personal freedom; and used as a reason to maintain the learned helplessness in the UK we should be throwing off.  When will there be a focus on that story?

Afterthought: Think back to 1994 and the genocide in Rwanda where around 800,000 civilians died at the hands of government-backed militias.  The vast majority of the killings were carried out with machetes, not guns.  The international community stood by.  Some allege some international actors assisted the slaugher.  The UN troops in the country witnessed the slaughter at first hand, but were barred from intervening and preserving life.

This was one of the most graphic and extreme examples of learned helplessness in action, shaped by the rules handed down by the political class.  The fact is the slaughter only ended when a rebel force, armed with guns, fought their way across the country and forced the militias to flee.  One can’t help but think things would have been very different if the Tutsi population had been able to protect themselves.

Important question – If this is such a problem for Cameron, why isn’t this a problem too?

On Friday night the Telegraph ran a story about David Cameron’s comments to a group of factory workers in Wales, about food prices being increased to subsidise cheaper alcohol, explaining:

The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with a reasonable drinking habit” was “actually subsidising the binge drinker” because supermarkets were increasing the price of food to fund cuts in the cost of wine, beer and cider.

Tim Worstall challenges this by asking, ‘Even if it’s true, so what?‘  But there is a much more important question that should be asked.  If that increase in cost, to subsidise a real terms benefit to a minority of people who don’t need it at the expense of the majority, is such a problem for Cameron then why aren’t we reading something like the following in the papers…?

The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with reasonable energy consumption” was “actually subsidising super wealthy landowners and profitable renewables companies” because energy providers were increasing the price of electricity and gas to fund excessive tariffs that are paid for energy which is generated by wind and solar power.

If it is so outrageous and unacceptable for binge drinkers to benefit from food price subsidies footed by responsible ordinary consumers, why isn’t it equally outrageous and unacceptable that a small cabal of opportunist subdidy farmers benefit from artificially high tariffs for energy, also footed by responsible ordinary consumers?  If he feels so minded to have a cause, then why isn’t Cameron focussing on something almost identical that costs families significantly more money each year?

Perhaps the problem is that Cameron is a stinking hypocrite who not only exhibits the worst kind of moral equivalence but is also in thrall to environmental lobbyists; not to mention a band of influential wealthy people who play host to lucrative wind turbines while gifting money to fund his rapidly shrinking party.

5 Star Blogging

An occasional piece offering you a selection of five great recent posts by independent bloggers that are heartily recommended for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing. We hope you enjoy…

1. The Boiling Frog: Government by fax? Norway has a veto

2. A Tangled Web: Pat Finucane – an alternative view

3. Ian Parker-Joseph: Biggest social media sites censor alternative news

4. EU Referendum: EU Defence: another ‘accurate’ report?

5. Samizdata: The free-marketeers who favour monetary socialism

   As a weekend bonus, two more great posts you don’t want to miss…

6. Adam Smith Institute: We really do need to lower UK corporation tax rates you know

7. A Place to Stand: 28gate the Foreign “Aid” Advertising Agency Behind the Curtain

David Cameron’s ‘fax democracy’ lie nailed by the facts

If you read about this

Then please do take a few moments to read this by Witterings from Witney, followed by this from Richard at EU Referendum.

It might not please some of the Cameroon true blue Tory partisan party animals but the truth, rather than Cameron’s shameful lies, should be told.  When you see the scale of the deception you have to ask what other lies are being told.

Similarly it might not please some of the Farage fan club in UKIP but the content of those two blog posts, rather than tweets such as the one below a day after the lies were told, is how you tackle and defeat Europhile untruths.  It makes one wonder whose side he’s on.

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