Phillip Hollobone can kiss my fat, hairy, freckled arse*

Enforced servitude is something this country stamped out a long time ago – although we kept the vile principle of national service long after we freed our slaves and stopped other people trading in them. The state, however, seems to think that slavery to the state is, somehow acceptable – or, at least, this particular state apparatchik does. It is not. It never will be and it should be opposed vigorously.

Damn right.

I own me.

Nowt else to say about the fat fucker’s idea, is there?

*Both sides and the middle.

43 comments on “Phillip Hollobone can kiss my fat, hairy, freckled arse*

  1. Where exactly does one draw the line between compulsory schooling and compulsory military service, just out of interest?

  2. Dave-

    We don’t have compulsory schooling, so the question is redundant. We have compulsory education but no obligation to have it done in a school.

    The second point is that compulsory military service requires getting shot at, shooting at other people, and a basic system of trying to kill each other. This is not a normal part of schooling, outside Liverpool anyway.

    The third point is that anyone who supports either is a nasty fascist shit.

  3. Ian>

    Your first point is merely semantic quibbling.

    Your second point is indeed where we draw the line. My first post quite literally assumed that went without saying. What I actually meant is left as an exercise for the reader.

    Your third point only has any meaning if you’re using ‘fascist’ in the sense of ‘anything I dislike’. Pretty much any system that allows any infringement of personal liberty at all will permit compulsory education. That we don’t do a very good job of it doesn’t stop it being one of those things that are as obviously good as, say, making murder illegal.

  4. “Obviously good”? To whom? You?

    Here’s a blog I wrote on the subject a while ago, the crux of which is, I don’t think schooling is obviously good at all. I think it’s rather obviously bad-

    http://www.countingcats.com/?p=3301

    So much for that then.

    But also your comment reveals a pernicious argument used by authoritarians- “We do A, A is good, B is just more A, therefore we should do B too”. Which is why liberty dies, because once you’ve done B, it becomes another A, and then there is another B…

    So anyway-

    Pretty much any system that allows any infringement of personal liberty at all will permit compulsory education.

    -is actually a good argument for not allowing any infringement of personal liberty at all, because “any”, as you admit, allows “all”. There is no justification for forcing children to go to school. There is therefore no justifcation for forcing “national service” of any kind either.

    In personal terms, if this shitty fascist plan had been in place when I was young, I likely would burn my draft card. What then? Send me to prison? See why this actually is fascist, Dave?

  5. So you’re seriously saying that you think only a fascist state forces children to go to school? As I said, that’s obviously untrue. Most (if not all) modern governments force children to go to school, and in our neck of the woods have done for well over a century. Are/were they all fascist?

    You’re just throwing words around. You’re also entirely ignoring the point I was actually making – and I made it because I wanted to talk about something interesting rather than wade through turgid shite.

  6. Fascist as a colloquial perjorative yes, and in the sense that fascism is just one form of a cloud of similar totalitarianisms. All modern governments are tyrannical to some degree, in various areas. For instance, the persecution of gays was tyranny, the persecution of drug users still is, etc etc. So, people often use the term “fascist” to mean some kind of nasty, vicious authoritarian state, so, it’ll do.

    Quite clearly, locking people in day prisons- even if purportedly for their own good- is authoritarian and tyrannical. If you don’t like “fascist”, just call it tyranny. That’ll do.

    I don’t know what point you’re trying to make anyway, other than that people in the military are killing each other whereas people in schools aren’t. This bill isn’t about military service, it’s civilian service involving compulsory labour for the government or approved NGOs, etc, so it’s a form of compulsory servitude, which is of course slavery. Not as an excitable perjorative, but literally.

    What’s your point Dave?

  7. Out of interest, has any ‘State’ actually kept slaves? (Not sure if I’d count what a previous German administration was perpetrating as slavery, in the strict sense, because it was more of a peripheral benefit of trying to eradicate the people concerned, altogether.) Some rulers have, of course, but they tend to be the sort of guys see themselves as owners of the nations concerned rather than administrators.
    As for the rights & wrongs of national service, it depends on whether you see the State as a separate entity or the collective expression of the individuals within it. As Tim often says, there are things that are better done by the State than individuals. Or collectively rather than individually would be another way of putting it. And those things have to be done irrespective of whether individuals want to do them. So if you take the latter view of the State, there’s nothing particularly unlibertarian in requiring individuals to do those things in return for the benefits the collective provides.
    This argument tends to be the dividing point between theoretical libertarianism, all very wonderful but as practical as chocolate teapots & something that’d actually work. It’s the presumption it’s OK to freeload on the benefits without discharging the obligations makes current society unlibertarian

  8. BiS
    > Out of interest, has any ‘State’ actually kept slaves?

    Yes – a servus publicus in ancient Rome was a municipal, publicly-owned slave and generally employed in civil administration.

  9. Gulag prisoners working manual labour were to all intents and purposes slaves, and collective farmers were basically state owned serfs, which amounts to more or less the same thing, except they weren’t sold (iirc they could be”transferred”to another collective farm without their consent though)

  10. You can apply much the same argument to taxation (along the lines of the Government making me give it more than half the wage I slave for is morally repugnant so it shouldn’t happen). So we accept that but also accept the unfortunate necessity of taxation (even if not at its current levels). Is National Slavery actually that much different, on a fundamental level?

    And I assume if it ever came back, it would be in a gender nondiscriminatory way?

  11. bloke in spain – “Out of interest, has any ‘State’ actually kept slaves?”

    You mean apart from people like Ronnie Corbett who was forced down a coal mine? In ancient Athens, the policemen were all State-owned Scythian archers. Tsarist Russia had State serfs as well as privately owned serfs.

    “So if you take the latter view of the State, there’s nothing particularly unlibertarian in requiring individuals to do those things in return for the benefits the collective provides.”

    I do not care for this argument because it suggests we all have to be good little bees if the Queen bee demands it. There is some sort of balance. But I still do not see what the difference is. The State requires much of us. It requires we pay taxes. Do jury duty. What is wrong with it also demanding some of our times? As it does with jury duty. Either all taxes are wrong, or they are not. If they are not, by what logic is conscription morally wrong?

    Also of course a lack of conscription is suicidal. We would have had to do it if we had a land border. Only the nuclear bomb saved us from retaining it post-war. Liberal democracies cannot survive without it in a world where other people do it.

  12. Ian B – “Fascist as a colloquial perjorative yes, and in the sense that fascism is just one form of a cloud of similar totalitarianisms.”

    But conscription is not totalitarian per se. So as the guy said, in the sense of “something you do not like”.

    “Quite clearly, locking people in day prisons- even if purportedly for their own good- is authoritarian and tyrannical.”

    Well maybe. But sometimes it is for their own good. Sometimes we have to do it. Sometimes we should do it. You can’t say that locking people up in every single case is wrong. Even if it is so very authoritarian.

  13. Out of interest, has any ‘State’ actually kept slaves?

    Yup, as already noted, the USSR. Even leaving aside the argument that suggests criminals being put to work does not constitute slavery, the USSR had quotas of people needed to fill the Gulags to provide the workforce for the state projects. If you had engineering, geology, or mining skills, chances are you’d find yourself arrested.

  14. There may be a case made in practice, as a necessity, for a form of conscription. For example, the state of Israel faces a permanent existential threat. When, however, a state assesses its threat and accoringly makes defense cuts, the practical case vanishes. Then we’re left with a point of principle. And then you can indeed all fuck off. My body, my life is mine.
    Two more things: there is no equivalence bewteen going to school and going to war. And sending children to school is not a libertarian issue because they’re CHILDREN.

    For Ian B’s benefit: 14 year old girls are still children.

  15. “For Ian B’s benefit: 14 year old girls are still children.”
    Not in Spain they’re not. They can legally fuck like the rest of us. Unless that’s not how you’re defining children?

  16. I am opposed to conscription, but I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to some form of enhanced rights dependent on voluntary service.

    And yes I am well aware that Robert Heinlein got there first.

  17. Dave>

    “Your first point is merely semantic quibbling.”

    No it isn’t. Education and compulsory schooling are not the same thing, for we have the former but not the latter. The Education Act acknowledges this, and this allows me legally to home educate my son; and while I am obligated to provide education for my son, I do not have to follow any curriculum or time table.

  18. SMFS,

    But I still do not see what the difference is. The State requires much of us. It requires we pay taxes. Do jury duty. What is wrong with it also demanding some of our times? As it does with jury duty. Either all taxes are wrong, or they are not. If they are not, by what logic is conscription morally wrong?

    I see your point of view, we already give up a day or two a week to the state for schools, hospitals, 5-a-day co-ordinators and so forth. So, arguably, they get some of our time indirectly.

    The benefit of taxation over conscription is that you retain specialisation. Do we want rock stars putting down the composing and playing in favour of wiping bottoms? Do we want chefs doing target practice? There are people who have the patience and the temprament for working in old people’s homes. There are people who like soldiering.

  19. One thing that troubles me with these kinds of suggestions is the motivation for it. Longrider quotes from the article that Hollobone thinks that some form of service “would help instil a greater sense of ‘self-respect, personal reliance, discipline and behaviour’ into society.”

    Proposals for national service that begin from that position of wanting to ‘improve’ society are verging on collective punishment.

    Most people possess the qualities Hollobone would like to instil in ‘the youth’. There are a relatively small number of people who take the piss – whether that is being a career criminal, a life spent on welfare being feckless parents and popping out babies or whatever – and the state is bad at dissuading that behaviour. It’s the state that needs fixing not society.

  20. Tax and military service are nit equivalent either. One is an taking (stealing) money, after you have earned it and to help pay for the services you enjoy. It is only money and can be replaced. The other is stealing, in ascending order, you time, your earning potential, your youth, youe life, your soul. Iriplaceable.

  21. What a depressing thread. I cannot help but suspect that the casual (and casuist) lack of concern for the rights of State slaves in this thread may be due to the contributors being well above the age of being slung in barracks as slave labourers proposed. Which really highlights this bizarre habit of using some arbitrary class characteristic to enable the removal of rights- which might be age, or might be gender, or might be race or religion, and so on. I can just see somebody in the 1930s saying “…and Auschwitz is fine because they’re JEWS[1]“. The problem is where you get from your “is” to your “ought”.

    Group A are distinct in some way therefore they don’t have general rights. Why? Children don’t have rights, Ironman? Why? Which brings us to–

    For Ian B’s benefit: 14 year old girls are still children.

    I look forward to seeing Ironman’s objective biological definition of childhood that will distinguish a 14 year old from a 16 year old. And how he then gets from that definition to the “ought” that the 14 year old has no rights but the 16 year old does. Or is that 18?

    See, the interesting thing for me is that we live in a society that obsesses about objectification (of one form) and yet as we see here, the casual reduction of other human beings to mere objects to be used– by the State, in this case– is commonplace. “Stop moaning, you haven’t got any rights anyway. Report to Kettering Work Camp Z4, wear this uniform, obey our rules, attend indoctrination classes, accept punishment when you don’t, you will be driven by truck to your labour assignment, slacking will not be tolerated”.

    Fucking Jesus H Christ. If there were ever a reason to repudiate the disgusting centralising ideologies of the 20th century- the ones remember that led millions of men to conscripted deaths on battlefields, that had untold numbers of young people locked up in institutions “for their own good”- it is this thread.

    [1] Contrary to BIS the primary purpose of the Nazi camp system to intern people as slaves was (a) removing them from society and (b) slave labour. The gas chambers didn’t come until the war was well underway. Auschwitz was a slave camp for industry.

  22. The other practical point about these repellent schemes as proposed is that there is bound to be enormous inequality. Jemima Wyndde-Turbyne’s daddy is well networked and will arrange for her a nice internship with an NGO, or a nice gap yah in the tropics. Wayne and Waynetta will end up skivvying for the NHS or on a work gang picking up litter in the streets and parks. For their own good, of course.

  23. Jemima Wyndde-Turbyne’s daddy is well networked and will arrange for her a nice internship with an NGO, or a nice gap yah in the tropics.

    Yes, but is she pretty?

  24. @ ian
    I was thinking of slaveholding as an ongoing economic activity. As such, you’d presumably want to have your slaves making new slaves by the time honoured process rather than go through the expensive process of enslaving some new ones. Not something Frau Merkin’s predecessors seemed much bothered about. The latest incarnation of Greater Germany is more forward looking.
    And there is a distinct difference between slaveholding & enslaving. Slaveholding’s the intermediate stage between the tribe & civilisation. The realisation there’s an alternative to just cutting your enemies’ throats & dashing babies’ skulls against rocks. Valuing the labour potential. And pretty well always ends in assimilation.
    Why I wondered about State slaveholding. The practice does seem to favour societies with strong individuals & concepts of property. States favour the work ‘em till they drop philosophy.

    “Robert Heinlein got there first”

    Starship Troopers. Well worth reading the book. Film should be avoided at all costs.
    Why not run a great deal of those things that are best done by the State as a form of national service? Take the police. Would it be that hard to train people for the general policing role in a relatively short period? If it’s that hard to understand laws & procedures, maybe we need simpler.laws & procedures. And a society where almost everyone would know someone who was doing or had done policing & a police who knew they’d be going back to being an ordinary member of the public could be a very different one.
    Heinlein’s society has the right to vote gained by voluntary service. Can’t remember if the right to stand for election depended on it as well, but you can’t imagine entitled voters voting for someone who hadn’t. Sounds a way of getting a responsible electorate.

    .

  25. BIS-

    Slavery is very simply defined. It’s a state of enforced servitude. It’s not defined by good or bad work conditions, or continuity. Some Roman slaves had rather good lives, they were managers, married and could own property and purchase freedom. Others were a disposable resource with a short survival time (e.g. in mines, etc).

    The only useful definition of slavery is whether you are legally entitled to walk off the plantation or not. If you are not- as in Hollobone’s Stalag Kettering, or in military conscription- you are a slave.

  26. Yes, unfortunately the Matrons are doing very well at spreading their ideology transnationally. It’s one of the best arguments for dismantling tranzi structures.

  27. “Jemima Wyndde-Turbyne’s daddy is well networked and will arrange for her a nice internship with an NGO, or a nice gap yah in the tropics.”

    It occurs to me that exposing the children of the Guardianistas to the realities of life (which as we know are predominantly right wing) might actually decrease the leftist tendency in this country, if one could be sure that the above situation with Jemima was not allowed to happen, and placements were totally randomised anonymously.

    Its odd that when conscription was last forced people from privileged positions to slum it with the masses, the elite was generally of a right wing/aristocratic flavour, but nowadays the elite is more of a socialist/leftist one. And just as the Bright Young Things of the 40s and 50s had their preconceptions about life altered by conscription, its possible that any future conscripts could come back with their Leftist ideals slightly tempered by real life as well.

    Thats not to say I’m in favour of conscription/compulsory community service, I’m not, but its potentially a small plus point, were it to be implemented.

  28. Yes depressing imdeed, from equating educating children with slavery to trying to argue that 14 years old girls aren’t children. I’m not going to honour that last claim with argument; psychiatry has a term for it.

    So they fuck 14 year old girls in Spain do they; well then, they fuck children in Spain. If you tolerate this…

  29. Ironman, are you going to tell us what your definition of childhood is derived from, or are you just making shit up, or what?

  30. Its odd that when conscription was last forced people from privileged positions to slum it with the masses

    Nope, sorry. You only slummed it for a brief while and then you went off to officer school. Professionally qualified and often other graduates went straight off to officer school.

  31. Ironman, old chap, just because you and I don’t want to know 14 year old Spanish girls carnally, it doesn’t mean that 14 year old Spanish boys don’t.

    And given that they’re going to anyway, I can’t see much point sending them to chokey for it, really.

  32. bloke in spain – “Not in Spain they’re not. They can legally fuck like the rest of us. Unless that’s not how you’re defining children?”

    Why would anyone define children that way? What you mean is that what we might call paedophilia is legal in Spain. That does not mean the biological fact of childhood has changed.

    ftumch – “The Education Act acknowledges this, and this allows me legally to home educate my son”

    Societies that conscript also usually allow some form of conscientious objection. Which is all the Education Act is allowing. Both, I would guess, for the same reason – that dragooning the small number of objectors looks bad and is not worth it. Although I note Germany sent in the goon squad this week to prevent someone educating their own children at home.

    Tim Almond – “The benefit of taxation over conscription is that you retain specialisation. Do we want rock stars putting down the composing and playing in favour of wiping bottoms?”

    Well yes. Are you sure that is a benefit? I would think that might be a cost. It is one of the reasons why national service was so broadening to the mind – for a lot of working class boys anyway. They didn’t get to go straight down the pit, they got to go to Kenya or Cyprus or Korea instead. Which they enjoyed a lot more.

    And frankly I like the idea of Elvis doing his national service in Germany. I admire the South Koreans because they still tend to take a tough line on this.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23256957

    “Do we want chefs doing target practice?”

    Well yes. Do we want people who have never seen much of the world outside Wapping, or Wolverhampton (plus, of course, these days, Ibiza) to see a bit of the world? In a safe and controlled setting? I would think so.

    Ironman – “Tax and military service are nit equivalent either. One is an taking (stealing) money, after you have earned it and to help pay for the services you enjoy. It is only money and can be replaced. The other is stealing, in ascending order, you time, your earning potential, your youth, youe life, your soul. Iriplaceable.”

    Conscription is largely a tax on a young man’s time. It is not exactly equivalent but it is close. I do not agree taxes are for services we enjoy. Not by a long shot. But then conscription is for the security we all enjoy so there still is an equivalence there.

    Your soul? They teach you to suck the blood of the living?

    Ian B – “I can just see somebody in the 1930s saying “…and Auschwitz is fine because they’re JEWS[1]“.”

    Can I just admire the speed and dexterity with which you have managed to violate Godwin’s law six ways to Sunday?

    “The problem is where you get from your “is” to your “ought”.”

    I would tend to think that is what your side is doing. In theory taking someone’s time is state-based slavery – even though no one except people in your and TW’s camp thinks so. But in practice, states that don’t do it disappear from the face of the Earth. By all means, it should not be this way, but it is.

    Ian B – “The other practical point about these repellent schemes as proposed is that there is bound to be enormous inequality.”

    I see that as an enormous bonus. Class divisions like this made Britain great and ought to be encouraged.

  33. sam – “And given that they’re going to anyway, I can’t see much point sending them to chokey for it, really.”

    But the point is that they are not. Not unless we normalise it. Not unless we encourage it. Civilisation has been based for some time on the need to keep 14 year old boys away from 14 year old girls. It has worked quite well. But then in the Sixties people decided that children should be having sex. And so we got an underclass.

    Plus of course the real suspicion that the Francophone ruling class in Europe has read de Sade and thinks Salo is an instruction book and they are fine with older men in positions of power sleeping with children.

  34. It’s threads like this that make me weep. It just comes down to a basic division in humanity, I guess. Either you respect other people as individuals, or you don’t, and as I said in another thread, I can never shake the feeling that being in the “don’t” camp verges on sociopathy. A genuine incapacity to quite grasp other people as being quite as human or real as oneself.

    Because once you’re in the “don’t” camp, you just start moving other people around like video game characters. They’re not people, just little bundles of behaviours that you need to manouever or outwit, or whatever. Some of them are enemies, and you need to destroy them to get extra points. Or something.

    So you’re happy to sling people in jails for non-crimes such as having sex when you don’t want them to, You’re happy to sling them in prison camps “for their own good”. Hell, stick ‘em in the army and when they come back from Towelhedistan in a body bag, you can tell their mum, “he was having a whale of a time up until the IED went off”.

    The funny thing is, we all accept that depriving somebody of liberty- sending them to prison- is a valid punishment for crimes. The proposed “National Service” scheme is identical; people must live in facilities away from home, they must do forced work, they must wear the clothes assigned them and have “smart hair”, they must attend “reform” classes.

    So, when you’ve got some lad in a buzz cut, uniform, living in a work camp and forced to do assigned manual work for a year, what exactly is the difference between this and a prison sentence? If it’s not doing them harm, why do we do it as a punishment for criminals?

    Maybe I should go and set fire to the local police station, so I too can experience the benefits of a compulsory mind-broadening sentence, eh?

  35. Ian B – “It’s threads like this that make me weep. It just comes down to a basic division in humanity, I guess. Either you respect other people as individuals, or you don’t, and as I said in another thread, I can never shake the feeling that being in the “don’t” camp verges on sociopathy. A genuine incapacity to quite grasp other people as being quite as human or real as oneself.”

    Given that pretty much the entire planet has no problem with conscription, the antis being, well, you and TW and some Quakers, it is a bit much to accuse 99.99999+% of the human race of sociopathy. Yes, other people are as real as I am. Your failure to understand is not evidence of my lack of sympathy.

    “Because once you’re in the “don’t” camp, you just start moving other people around like video game characters.”

    So it is one short step from conscription to Pol Pot is it? Britain managed to be both fairly liberal after WW1 and yet it forced people into the Army before and after. Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors did too and I don’t recall anyone calling them totalitarian. Genocidal? Now there’s a debate.

    “So you’re happy to sling people in jails for non-crimes such as having sex when you don’t want them to”

    Yes I am. But not casually.

    “You’re happy to sling them in prison camps “for their own good”.”

    We do not send the mentally ill to asylums often enough for their own good. And it is for their own good. We have this absurd rule that the chronically unhappy and inadequate have to be a threat to others – so if they want to split their tongues to look like a snake, or go the whole hog and become a tiger through plastic surgery, we have to stand back and let them. Bizarre.

    “Hell, stick ‘em in the army and when they come back from Towelhedistan in a body bag, you can tell their mum, “he was having a whale of a time up until the IED went off”.”

    I could. Seems better than asking all the IED makers to move to Tower Hamlets and blow people up in night clubs because they are slags.

    “The proposed “National Service” scheme is identical; people must live in facilities away from home, they must do forced work, they must wear the clothes assigned them and have “smart hair”, they must attend “reform” classes.”

    So nothing like prison really. But I accept the point. So?

    “If it’s not doing them harm, why do we do it as a punishment for criminals?”

    Good question really. But we are not trying to harm criminals.

    The State makes me work two and a half days a week to support their insane spending. It would be worse if I were divorced because at least the State let’s me retire or quit when it comes to their money. They might not if I had an ex-wife. We all accept this. Conscription seems so far down the list of things that are wrong with the world that it is not worth considering.

    And there’s that whole Survival-of-Britain thing.

  36. so if they want to split their tongues to look like a snake, or go the whole hog and become a tiger through plastic surgery, we have to stand back and let them.

    Well, it’s none of your business is it?

    Conscription seems so far down the list of things that are wrong with the world that it is not worth considering.

    Right – so let’s not bother having it then.

    And there’s that whole Survival-of-Britain thing.

    As if Britain’s survival is in question because we don’t have conscription. Don’t be a bell-end.

    We have plenty of volunteers and are actively shrinking the military. We don’t need conscription and at this time it would be wrong to have it.

  37. Ian B,

    It’s threads like this that make me weep. It just comes down to a basic division in humanity, I guess. Either you respect other people as individuals, or you don’t, and as I said in another thread, I can never shake the feeling that being in the “don’t” camp verges on sociopathy. A genuine incapacity to quite grasp other people as being quite as human or real as oneself.

    The view that “this category of human doesn’t merit personhood” that has caused so much harm throughout history. Sometimes sociopath does seem appropriate.

  38. ukliberty – “Well, it’s none of your business is it?”

    That depends. If you mean, should we leave the most vulnerable to harm themselves or, for that matter, to die in a ditch, well no, I guess not. But if we want to have a system where people who self-harmed are treated, comforted, protected rather than left to it, then it does become my business.

    It is interesting to see how the welfare state has become a self-righteous means for the middle class to enrich themselves, so that you object loudly to cutting the flow of money to lawyers. But when it comes to the sort of poor, sad, pathetic people who really need help and don’t get it, your solution is as callous as anything the Far Right could dream up.

    “Right – so let’s not bother having it then.:

    I don’t think we are going to have it any time soon.

    “As if Britain’s survival is in question because we don’t have conscription. Don’t be a bell-end.”

    It isn’t right now. But it was felt to be in 1915 and so they introduced conscription. Which they also felt the need to have during the Napoleonic Wars. And Britain’s survival was most certainly in question in 1939 when they once more conscripted. Notice TW and especially Ian seem opposed to each and every one of these instances of conscription.

    ukliberty – “The view that “this category of human doesn’t merit personhood” that has caused so much harm throughout history. Sometimes sociopath does seem appropriate.”

    I imagine it is a perfectly normal evolutionary response. And in many circumstances it is not only perfectly normal but utterly necessary. As with the criminal justice system for instance.

    However in this case you two are being the bell ends because no one is denying anyone’s personhood.

  39. SMFS,

    That depends. If you mean, should we leave the most vulnerable to harm themselves or, for that matter, to die in a ditch, well no, I guess not. But if we want to have a system where people who self-harmed are treated, comforted, protected rather than left to it, then it does become my business.

    No, it’s still none of your business. You can ask, advise, try to persuade them to seek help, but really beyond that – forcing help on them – is not your place.

    It is interesting to see how the welfare state has become a self-righteous means for the middle class to enrich themselves, so that you object loudly to cutting the flow of money to lawyers.

    Eh? You trying to win non sequitur of the day?

    But when it comes to the sort of poor, sad, pathetic people who really need help and don’t get it, your solution is as callous as anything the Far Right could dream up.

    Yeah, that’s me – Captain Callous. Try a bit of self-reflection pal. “Class divisions like this made Britain great and ought to be encouraged.” – talk about a lack of self-insight.

    I imagine it is a perfectly normal evolutionary response.

    So is murdering people from another tribe and stealing their stuff – doesn’t mean it’s right today.

  40. Oh, as a note – I would be vaguely supportive of a proposal for conscription in to the military if it were:

    a) a time of existential danger to the country

    b) that could be avoided with the use of a large number of troops

    c) even though they would only have very basic training.

    d) With medical or similar service options for conchies.

    This bill is nothing like that at all. And I can’t see such a situation arising in the future.

  41. Well, quite. Because whatever the merits of military conscription- whether it is acceptable in terms of a clear and present mortal danger- it has nothing whatsoever to do with sentencing people to a year in an open prison “for their own good”.

    And, it comes back to a rights thing. I might be the case that if I were to kidnap SMFS and force him to spend a year in a vegan hippie commune in California, he might at the end find he had rather enjoyed it and emerged a changed man with a love of tofu and tie-dyed clothing and a much “broadened” mind. But that is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether I have a right to do such a thing.

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