Sounds like a blinder to me

Well, yes, free trade through free ports. That does sound like an excellent idea.

28 thoughts on “Sounds like a blinder to me”

  1. A stopped clock strikes the hour.

    Yes stuff “Free Ports” and “Enterprise zones” –lets have ALL UK being both.

    With vast private gain for all.

    The reason we don’t is that–used to be anyway–polipigs needed a certain level of prosperity–but not so much that it was obvious to all that polipigs are what is holding us back. So a few crumbs but not enough to reveal the potential feast that could exist without the meddlers.

  2. Spud is a Twitter Touretter. It is amusing that this stream of drivel and ignorance must surely render him unemployable

  3. Presumably not everywhere can be a port. I realise that’s discriminatory against those who identify as ports.

    If you don’t like that, you can always opt for geographical realignment surgery and build a new canal (like Manchester did).

  4. I tried to educate Ritchie once on the various analyses reports which show Free Ports and EZs succeed not because of the tax breaks, but because planning is liberalised. ( sissons/brown being one example )
    He called this a ‘claim’, and was not evidence in any way. He is one of the most evil men alive.

  5. Yes, it should apply everywhere. But as usual politics gets in the way, it’s thought to be too controversial to do it everywhere, so let’s start with a few freeports. Hopefully then they can quietly expand the programme (especially once other ports start lobbying for the status) so it effectively applies everywhere, but without getting the flack of saying so.

  6. @ Mr Ecks
    No, just Northern Ireland – which gets rid of the UK requiring to have tariffs on the entry of goods and makes smuggling of goods across the border with Eire pointless.

  7. Is Richard really arguing for less regulation and less Government? Yes, I know it’s Sunday and by tomorrow, it’ll all be different, but that’s surely got to be a first?

  8. “…this stream of drivel and ignorance must surely render him unemployable”

    Those in the trade unions, politics, education etc who share his delusions will throw him the occasional crust.

    “He is one of the most evil men alive.”

    Steady on. He’s vile, obnoxious, arrogant, petty, stupid, etc, etc; but he’s hardly one of the most evil men alive.

  9. The Chinese have limited Free Port/Enterprise Zone areas to insulate a rotten and corrupt political system from being brought down by freedom. I can only presume the same applies to us. Why do we only get a Shenzen On Sea? Why not just free trade and deregulation throughout our Sceptred Isles?

    Oh, and Puritans. Off you go Ecks 😀

  10. Spud’s use of Twitter is hilarious. Designed to be used for short pithy statements, spud just conjures up one of his dreary monologues then divides it up into tweet sized chunks and splats it out.

    Brevity and spud are complete strangers.

  11. @Theo
    I’m grateful that you are here to temper the extremism. But in the case of Spud , he really is one of the most evil men alive.
    It depends on your definition – is it based on intent or outcome. If Spud was in charge and had say 40% of the population believing every pronouncement of his spudliness then the outcomes for the public would be more appalling than a monthly visit from Enola Gay. But people who know him get sick of him quickly. But do not doubt his intent, and his belief that evidence against his claims are mere claims, and that the reasons certain government programmes aren’t working is because of insufficient spending, and the reasons certain government prohibitions don’t work is because of insufficient enforcement, yet simultaneously claiming to be a liberal by instinct.

  12. I’m with Bongo on this. Murphy is a truly awful, dangerous and utterly vindictive, nasty human being. He’s a fraud and a bully. He’s also a liar. A liar to himself and those sad cunts he inculcates. Van Patten is right too. He’s an evil man.

  13. There is a difference between being evil and being one of the most evil. There is also the problem of defining evil, which is subjective anyway. The best one can say is that a particular person is evil from one’s own point of view. So “in my opinion he is one of the most evil men alive” works. If we make the not unreasonable assumption that all stated opinions can be silently prefaced with “in my opinion” then we have that anyway in the statement “he is one of the most evil men alive”. But it’s not something you can prove or disprove, it’s just a stated opinion.

    Hume, facts and values and all that.

  14. One of my favourite clips from old 70s kung fu movies has a good Buddhist Priest confronted by an bad Taoist master.

    “You hurt my student” says the Taoist.

    “He is an evil man” gravels the Buddhist

    The Taoist guy looks taken aback, almost shocked. He thinks about it a second and then says: “Yes–yes he IS an evil man”.

    Spud is certainly an evil man. “The most evil” is however far above his ill-gotten gains grade.

    John 77–Agree with you about tariffs. But I want massive smuggling going on between North and South Ireland so as to help undermine the EU.

  15. Lizardking

    I don’t disagree with a word of that; but, as Ecksy rightly says, “The most evil” is however far above his ill-gotten gains grade.

    If Murphy is the most evil man alive, you’ve have no moral or rhetorical firepower left to turn on tyrants and mass murderers.

  16. “There is also the problem of defining evil, which is subjective anyway.”

    Evil is not wholly or even largely subjective or merely a matter of opinion. Mass extermination of people or depriving people of basic liberties by tyrannical regimes are objectively wrong, because such things are wholly incompatible with human thriving which is the objective content of morality.

    Anyone who said that death camps are only ‘evil in my/your opinion’ would be rightly considered either autistic/psychopathic or ignorant/stupid (or, in Ecksy’s terms, as subjectivist cockrot.)

    Moreover, the fact-value distinction is not sharp. Concepts like ‘harm’ and ‘injury’ are imbued with value. From ‘x is a sea captain’, it logically follows, ‘x ought to do what a sea captain ought to do’. From ‘This watch is very irregular in time-keeping’, the evaluative conclusion validly follows, ‘This is a bad watch’. Likewise, it follows from ‘x is human’ that it is wrong and right to treat x in certain ways.

  17. Evil is not wholly or even largely subjective or merely a matter of opinion. Mass extermination of people or depriving people of basic liberties by tyrannical regimes are objectively wrong, because such things are wholly incompatible with human thriving which is the objective content of morality.

    “Human thriving” is a value, not a fact, and a nebulous, highly subjective one at that. Hitler thought he was serving human thriving by exterminating the Jews, whose mere existence causes less thriving for everyone else. Some people would hold the highest moral value to be serving God, whether or not humans “thrive” as a consequence. Some think human thriving is incompatible with a higher moral value of preserving nature. The most basic human impulse and basis of moral codes historically seems to be to promote one’s own kin-group at the expense of all others, in complete opposition to your own preferred human universalism. The upshot being that we cannot declare “human thriving” to be in any way an objective human goal.

    From ‘x is a sea captain’, it logically follows, ‘x ought to do what a sea captain ought to do’.

    From “x is a death camp commandant” it logically follows…

    From ‘This watch is very irregular in time-keeping’, the evaluative conclusion validly follows, ‘This is a bad watch’.

    Only after you’ve assigned a value of “regular time-keeping” to the watch. The watch has no intrinsic preferred value. Which is the point of Hume’s Guillotine.

  18. IanB

    “Human thriving” is largely defined empirically. Human beings have a genetic nature and what fulfills that nature is largely an empirical matter – just as it is with livestock and pets. What prevents an organism from fulfilling its nature is cruel and ought not to be done – which shows, once again, that the fact-value or is/ought distinction is not as sharp as you like to think.

    Many people – Hitler, the religious, eco-doomsters, Milton’s Satan etc – have strange notions about the summum bonum; but that is irrelevant to this discussion – not least because the content of morality is not the same thing as the summum bonum.

    You claim that evil is subjective – which implies that moral statements have form but no objective content. I am arguing that a core of moral statements are not merely formal but actually have content, derived from what enables the thriving of human nature. People’s views on moral issues like slavery or tyranny or justifiable killing are ultimately reducible to their views on what promotes human thriving.

    Kinship is the basis of moral feeling, but, as societies grow and become more complex, people’s moral awareness expands beyond kin to others, even if they continue to think that charity begins at home (unlike Mrs Jellyby).

    PS Leaving aside whether death camp commandant is a clearly defined role, any fully specified role implies that the holder of the role should (contractually or morally) perform the role’s responsibilities.

    PPS A watch is an instrument for measuring time accurately (fact). That is its function (fact). So a watch that doesn’t measure time accurately is a bad watch (evaluation).

  19. @john77
    Making Northern Ireland a free port sounds good. Belfast port handles more traffic than all RoI ports already and has space to grow.

    NI a free port would also annoy EU & RoI which is a great bonus

  20. “Human thriving” is largely defined empirically. Human beings have a genetic nature and what fulfills that nature is largely an empirical matter – just as it is with livestock and pets. What prevents an organism from fulfilling its nature is cruel and ought not to be done

    And that’s where Hume’s Guillotine cuts your head off. You’re starting with an “is” (humans have a nature) and then leaping the gap to an “ought” (preventing them fulfilling their nature is cruel and ought not to be done). It’s how you get from the “is” to the “ought” that is the insurmountable problem. Your argument seems very similar to Ayn Rand’s attempt at bridging the gap which declares that a living thing by its nature needs to exist, so preserving one’s own existence is the paramount- which means any act of self sacrifice is irrational, including for instance dying to save a busload of schoolchildren, or fighting a war to stop the genocide of others.

    One can also further observe that the majority of moral codes are a matter of stifling human nature. Rules discouraging violence, rules of sexual conduct, etc. You can’t get from morals to nature.

    You can only construct a moral system when you’ve defined at least one goal, and that is going to be a matter of sentiment. Maybe you want to minimise human suffering. Maybe you want to maximise human survival. Which one of those you choose puts you on one side or the other of Thanos’s Infinity Snap. And perhaps human life and happiness don’t matter at all, because all that matters is following the rules of a God. And I’ll also reiterate that the idea of a universal moral code is a very unusual innovation. The most natural (in terms of both commonplace and “from nature”) is to further the interests of your ingroup at the expense of your outgroup. Better 1000 Scotsmen die than on Englishman. But neither invoking nature nor normality would justify that to most people, including I think yourself.

    I am not promoting moral nihilism. The error most people make is a further assumption that morals can only have meaning if they can somehow be proven to be objective. Instead, I would argue, we should recognise morals as a pragmatic toolkit for achieving particular preferred goals. Which is what they have in fact always been throughout history.

  21. IanB

    You are merely asserting dogmatically that Hume’s is/ought or fact/value distinction is sharp and true. You have advanced no arguments to support your position. Many philosophers have argued that there are exceptions to Hume’s claim, and I have provided examples.

    Moreover, Hume’s belief that there are value-free facts is mistaken.
    Our senses are imbued with prior conceptualizations, making it impossible to have any observation that is totally value-free.

    As for your moral pragmatism, it falls to your own Humean dogma. Philosophical pragmatists believe that true propositions are those that are useful or effective in predicting future (empirical) states of affairs. Far from being value-free, the pragmatists’ conception of truth or facts directly relates to an end (namely, empirical predictability) that human beings regard as normatively desirable.

    The human world is imbued with value and it keeps on emerging…

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