Oh do fuck off you patronising git

Yet government is nothing if it is not asserting moral imperatives and if it is not trying to act in a moral way

Government is a method of working out who empties the rubbish bins not a form of moral imposition.

As long as it\’s consenting adults and they\’re not frightening the horses the morals of the populace, the actions of the citizenry, are not the concern of government in the slightest.

It\’s one of the reasons I despise conservatives: they\’re just as eager to impose their strictures on us all as the socialists, the puritans and the various flavours of moral idiots are. It\’s just that they are different strictures.

Fuck off will you, we\’re free people in a free land.

9 comments on “Oh do fuck off you patronising git

  1. That may be an interesting statement of belief, a desirable state of affairs even, but as a practical description of reality is it all that accurate? Is this the French fallacy – it works in theory, so practice is irrelevant?

    Those who think that the government ought to be limited, much less limited to technical issues like taking out the garbage, have been steadily losing the argument for the past 100 years. Especially among the educated. As a second best compromise – because we cannot agree all that readily on what the moral good is – we tend to agree to limit the government to the technical issues and those moral areas we agree on, but pretty much everyone has their own private Crusade they would like the government to take up.

    The reasons for this are, presumably, obvious – no one in their right mind wants to stay up to 3 am debating committee resolutions. The only people who do are Trots or Islamists. Thus they tend to win by default because the rest 0f us are at home in front of the fire with a cup of tea. We are slowly losing to those who think that politics ought to be about Crusades. Step by step.

    Nor do I accept that taking out the rubbish is morality-free. It isn’t. Living up to your freely entered into obligations is a good thing. One of the benefits of capitalism is that it does reward good reputation and good behaviour. Most of the time. Emptying the rubbish bins involves dozens of moral choices. We do not shoot people who don’t recycle. Nor should we. As a kind of stupidly extreme example.

    Finally, as someone with a tendency to think people should be bossed around just a little, the liberal ideal is a nice one. Certainly one of the least unpleasant to live under. But it is proving to be a one-generation thing. Because if you deny that the past has any claim on you, that you do not owe the dead anything, then you are likely to reject the idea that you owe the future anything either. Like having children or leaving them a richer world. We have spent the grand children’s inheritance. Why not? If it is not a moral issue, it is not their money after all. And none of us will have any anyway.

    I also object to Anthony Giddens being called any sort of conservative. He is being published by the Guardian for crying out loud. They do like conservatives, but only if they want to murder Jews and execute rape victims.

  2. I take it you’re not a fan of Rick Santorum, then, Tim?
    Maybe you’re a fan of Ron Paul? He starts from the same principles as Santorum (anti.gay, etc) and draws the opposite conclusion: to do nothing about it. He has quite a fan base among noisy minorities, I’m told.
    Santorum looks like getting impeached for confounding church and state even before he gets behind the desk.

  3. Those who think that the government ought to be limited, much less limited to technical issues like taking out the garbage, have been steadily losing the argument for the past 100 years.

    Why have we been losing the argument for the past 100 years? Well, mostly because we have given the vote to people who enjoy largess from the state without having to contribute to it.

    There are all sorts of justifications as to why this is the case, liberal welfare, etc. but the simple fact is that it is easy for those who are net recipients of the state to vote for politicians and political parties who will impose tax rises on those who work for themselves or private companies (i.e. not state, quasi-state or local government) as they don’t have to pay for the largess they receive.

    This is the opposite of the old warcry of the American Revolutionary War “No representation without taxation”. Quite simple really, if you are a net recipient of the state (unemployed, disabled, central, local government or government agency + QUANGO worker) then you have no right to a vote.

    Another alternative approach would be to give a single vote to everyone over the age of 18, but additional votes to those who contribute more taxes to the treasury.

    That would have the effect of throwing Labour and the Liberal Democrats into the wilderness for all eternity.

    We might actually get a REAL conservative party as opposed to this genetic deformity that we have at the moment.

  4. Yeah, while we are at it, we should bar women from voting. And gays. And Jews. And non-Tory voters. Sorted.

  5. Stephen – that whooshing noise was you missing the point… JG is absolutely right – when so much of government is about spending other people’s money it is morally imperative that some system is put in place to prevent the 70% voting to steal the income of the 30% (roughly what happens now.

    Until not so long ago there was a general concensus that the welfare state was a good thing (and I am sure JG himself would agree that a hand-up IS a good thing) and governments tended not to abuse it and indeed under Thatcher debt was even repaid – in the Blair years (let’s say for the sake of convenience) this turned into hand outs used essentially to buy votes, the unwritten compact was broken.

    The EU too is all about paying off producer lobbies with consumers’ tax money taken at gunpoint.

    You doubtless made your comment with lefty sarcasm, however it is a fact that extending the vote to women has not improved the quality of the governments that get elected. Why? because at the end of the day men and women want the same things, and government hasn’t improved because governments want something different especially now they are basically all the same.

    People frequently decry the US system, and indeed it has a knack of throwing up terrible candidates and poor presidents, think Bush, Obama, my god. But at least there they have managed to ignite a debate on the proper size of government and they also have the state governments who protect their sovereignty and are more responsive to the culture of the individual states than is the centre.

    in this sense they are years, and possibly (depending how long it takes to get out of the EU) decades ahead of us.

  6. and I am sure JG himself would agree that a hand-up IS a good thing

    Yes and No. I have no problem with compulsary unemployment insurance, provided it is exactly that and the insurance companies are not-state institutions.

    The difficulty that we have is that all of the payments that are made to the state go into the pot of general spending and therefore are lost.

    The advantage of the compulsory private insurance model is that it is segregated from general spending of the state.

    This is also a good model for health insurance as followed by the Swiss and even (god help me) the French I believe.

  7. “we’re free people in a free land”: I’m glad to hear that you Portugese feel that way – I suspect that few here do.

  8. Cuffleyburgers: “however it is a fact that extending the vote to women has not improved the quality of the governments that get elected.” A fact? How so?

  9. cuffleyburgers – “You doubtless made your comment with lefty sarcasm, however it is a fact that extending the vote to women has not improved the quality of the governments that get elected. Why? because at the end of the day men and women want the same things, and government hasn’t improved because governments want something different especially now they are basically all the same.”

    I disagree. Male and female voters do not fundamentally want the same thing. Every single election in the US since the 1970s would have been won by the Republicans if women did not vote. In the 1950s women were marginally more conservative than men. By the 1970s that was not true.

    The reason is, I would think, that politics is about buying whole groups off. Women are a reasonably identifiable group and they have been bought off. What they have largely voted for is for the State to step in to support women instead of men. They have voted for their husbands to be replaced, or at least made replaceable. The State now exists largely as a means to transfer wealth and power from men to women.

    This has, I would think, considerably worsened everyone’s lot right across the Western world.

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