It\’s precisely because I believe freedom of speech so important that those who discredit and abuse it have to be constrained

A possible translation: those who say things I don\’t like should not have free speech.

40 thoughts on “Guess!”

  1. It’s got to be Ritchie. I can’t think of anybody else with the perfectly honed combination of fascistic control-freakery and a complete lack of self-awareness.

  2. @Frances – I saw his interchange with you too; when you perfectly politely and reasonably pointed out that he had achieved the trifecta of error, stupidity and ignorance he banned you, closed comments and then started giving you grief on Twitter.

  3. All my fault I’m afraid – I asked Richie whether he believed in free speech (this was in the context of advertising – the great man was being deliberately obtuse).

    What he failed to appreciate that I still have free speech to be racist or sexist – but there are consequences. He seemed to think this was the same as yer actual banning of advertising to kids.

  4. I seem to recall that there was once an editor of the Guardian who said that the truth was so precious that it should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

    I believe that the difference between that editor, and our favourite Wandsworth-based retired Tax Accountant, is that the former was aware of the irony of his statement…

  5. I did wonder whether Ritchie was a knave or a fool and then I thought, “Hang on! There’s no reason the nasty little prick can’t be both.”

  6. The Pedant-General

    Go on, let’s have a link to the original so we can see it and ensure we get the screen captures for later.

    Tim adds: Just look through his Twitter feed.

  7. I think a better translation would be “I think freedom of speech is so important that only trusted people such as myself should be allowed to have it.”

  8. I still don’t see the problem with moderated blogs. If you don’t want unproven guff from known arseholes on your site then why shouldn’t someone block them?

    Fact is, you spend most of your life having a go at him, so fuck yeah, shut up, seems a reasonable counter.

    You all pretend to know better in the most pedantic and cocksure manner, picking up on tiny slices of rushed output, then proclaiming, ad hominem, that you can recognise ignorance and stupidity, when really tossers like Worstall make as many factual and judgemtal errors as Murphy.

    In fact, for pure crassness and idiocy Worstall wins hands down.

    But don’t let your arses get in the way of campaigning. At least Murphy’s doing something. It’s better than the golf club pissing that happens here.

    As Gilly says, “the innumerate Wops” are on here. No vision, no balls.

  9. “when really tossers like Worstall make as many factual and judgemtal errors as Murphy.”

    If Tim lived for another 100 years, and was a world-class cretin to boot, he’d still never catch up to Murphy.

    And it’s spelled ‘judgemental’, which, in Murphy’s case, deserves the accent on the ‘mental’…

  10. The Pedant-General

    “In fact, for pure crassness and idiocy Worstall wins hands down.”

    Doubtful, in that Worstall is at least consistent in his approach and argument, where our favourite WGCE barely gets out of bed without espousing three mutually contradictory opinions.

    However, this is irrelevant. The key here is not whether our genial host wishes to control what is said on his own blog but whether he wishes to try and control what is said outside it and in the wider world.

    Look at this excerpt again:
    “It’s precisely because I believe freedom of speech so important that those who discredit and abuse it have to be constrained”

    If he is referring to his own space, then he shouldn’t be arguing about freedom of speech: it’s property rights he wants to invoke (“my gaff, my rules”).

    If he’s not, then he’s very very dangerous indeed.

  11. The Pedant-General

    “Tim adds: Just look through his Twitter feed.”

    Actually, I’d rather not. Thank you as the same…

  12. Well yes, Arnald, free speech is not an absolute; there’s no right to celebrate the black mass in a Christian church. The comments area of a blog is a forum made available to commenters by the blog’s owner, and s/he has indeed the right to exclude anyone at all for any reason. The pertinent question is whether the excluder or the person excluded is the weapons grade cock end. In Ritchie’s case, all the evidence suggests that it’s usually the former. Tim’s policy of allowing weapons grade cock ends like you (and, at least once, Ritchie) to comment is his own, rather different approach, but he would be entitled to exclude you if he so chose, and it wouldn’t be a human rights issue. (Tim, please don’t block him: we need as many reasons to laugh as we can get these days.)

  13. [email protected] If that’s what you truly believe, then live by the sword, die by the sword.

    You have been abusive, so you should accept the natural consequence of being “constrained”.

    Dem’s da rules you chose.

  14. Yes of course, Gary. I wouldn’t make a fuss about it. Abuse is in the eye of the moderator.

    It makes all you lot that whine about it look like children.

  15. Arnald, so what form of constraint are you volunteering for then? House arrest? Disconnecting from the internet?
    Since you have already conceded to the deeply anti-liberal world view of RM, you are also at the whim of his definition of “constraint”. You may not like the answer. The history of authoritarianism tells us the answer is never a moderate, sensible pretty one.

  16. It’s a blog, Gary.
    A. Blog.

    You seem to think of Murphy as some sort of force to change the world into a high-tax, no fun tyranny.

    This is based on slices of blog and tweets.

    Come on, it’s playground at best.

    Also, what’s the point of defending the indefensible, as many do on his site? Where’s the ‘adding to the debate’ there?

    Most views that get eventually blocked come from the same mind-numbing bollocks that has got us in the state we’re now in. Promoting failure isn’t constructive.

    Murphy as world domination? Are you sure?

    You must have too much time on your hands not to notice the real world.

    Oh, and as an aside, people on here are FAR more abusive than I am.

    And, to boot, detached from sanity.

  17. I said ‘world view’, not ‘world domination’. Sometimes these ‘pedantic’ differences matter.

    And yes, I do see his position as deeply anti-liberty and essentially authoritarian. The scope of his power is v. small (i.e. control of his own blog) I agree, but that’s no defence.

  18. Guernsey’s budget deficit is £ 27 Million per year, which in proportionate terms Ritchie thinks is much bigger than the UK’s.

    So £27 Mln vs GDP of £ 1.9Bln (1.4%) is worse than the UK’s 10.4%

    Oh, and if you disagree, you get the following retort from our protector of free speech:

    ‘Please stop making things up

    As you are this correspondence is closed


  19. Gary, you mentioned, hysterically, house arrest/internet disconnection….this means that you have fears that Murphy’s views would lead to such means.

    It’s utter bollocks. Just because someone blocks some known-to-the-author wankers off of their blog, doesn’t mean that any world view includes storm troopers and big brother.

    It reallly is more of case that espousing laisser faire libertarian views would lead to the jack boot of the land owning and rich on the majority poor.

    But don’t let history pass you by.

  20. Oh I while you have surfaced again, I’m calling you out on this little trick of yours (“Where’s the ‘adding to the debate’ there?”).

    You regularly come here and suggest we have no constructive arguements to make, but when you are presented with examples to debate with [1], you go silent.

    So are you prepared to actually debate something? Why wont you (as Arnald and the british left) argue for the policies that are proven in the real world to get you what you say you want?


  21. 29
    Mainly because I can’t be bothered to trawl back through older posts to see what’s been said. usually it’s sweary flak, yourself not included.

    As for the Nordics being similar to the Washington Concensus…..

    Notice that high consumption taxes can only work equitably in jurisdictions with high redistribution. Note also the tax take from a fairly low corp tax rate is high.

    Washington concensus, indeed Austrian or Chicago are nothing like this. There’s nothing social about them. There’s nothing human about them.

    Why portray it as such?

    Look to Latvia for your ideal.

    Tim adds: “Notice that high consumption taxes can only work equitably in jurisdictions with high redistribution.”

    Yes Arnald. That’s because that’s how you fund high redistribution, by having high consumption taxes.


  22. No, Tim, not Jeez at all.

    Your being ideologically blind. First you need to maximise the revenue from income and wealth. Rates don’t need to be especially high, though that is for the democratic process to decide, but those that are due to pay, must pay. Then when a system of redistribution is democratically mandated, then things like consumption tax are seen as a viable and easy source for maintaining high public sector employment and high social investments.

    You cannot expect people with next to nothing to pay more for their rations when that tax means nothing to the people a few notches higher up the ladder.

    There shouldn’t be a ladder, and no dogs should be eating other dogs.


    Tim adds: No, wrong way around.

    Look, all taxes have deadweight costs. The amount of economic activity that doesn’t happen because you’ve levied the tax. We can also rank the taxes by their deadweight costs. Property taxes lowest (LVT perhaps being the best), then consumption taxes, then income taxes, then finally with hte highest deadweight costs, capital and corporate taxes.

    So far, this is absolutely standard economics of taxation. Nothing weird or neo-liberal about it.

    Now, if you want to have a small government, that minarchist “night watcheman” state, then you can in fact fund it out of just the income taxes and the corporate and capital taxes. But if you want to have a big State, one with lots of services and redistribution, you can’t. Because raising those three taxes to the rates which would provide enough money to pay for all of that would being economic growth to a shuddering halt. Which is what we mean by those deadweight costs.

    So, in order to be able to have that large State, you’ve got to go and use those lower deadweight taxes. Only then can you raise all of the money you want to spend without entirely killing growth.

    Which is, as that file you posted here in comments says, as the standard economics of taxation says, why the large welfrare states of the Nordics have high VATS and low capital and corporation taxes. Because that’s the only way you can finance a large state and still have economic growth.

    BTW, when discussing tax yields in the Nordics, do remember not to include Norway. That includes the tax paid by Statoil, the state owned company drilling all that oil and gas out of the North Sea. Not comparable, sorry.

  23. @ Arnald (and, to a small extent, Tim)
    Look at Bermuda, which has become extremely prosperous since deciding to finance itself by consumption taxes (plus payroll taxes) and *voting by a substantial majority* to remain a British Colony.
    Of course, you may claim that is inequitable for the population to have an average income per head (not per worker) of $97,000, not quite ten times that of egalitarian Cuba.
    The way to finance high redistribution (and maintain poverty) is to have high taxes on earnings rather than consumption.

  24. Arnald, but still the question remains unaddressed. Tim, Mirlees, OECD, IFS and others have long argued for a tax structure along Nordic lines. The british left argue against Nordic tax structures.

    How in the name of christ above have the british left manged to argue against the tax structures of the Social Democratic state they admire?

  25. @Gary, because the Nordics want to make Social Democracy work (for a certain value of work), and the British Left want to bash the rich.

  26. Have you seen the cover of Murphy’s eagerly anticipated new book? Apparently he’s the #1 Economics Blogger in the UK. I am very impressed, I must say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *