Civil Liberty

So, ideas please

Someone I know – no, not me – is looking to have a go at StopFundingHate. But needs a name for his new organisation.



I dunno – all and any ideas welcomed.

Well, actually, you know Owen?

Watt’s treatment provoked justified outrage among his peers. “These sorts of encounters are becoming commonplace for reporters in #ageofrage,” was how Sky News’ presenter Adam Boulton put it. While he is right to be concerned, to contextualise the event as part of a generalised “age of rage” is misplaced. There is a difference between irritating online debate on all sides of the political spectrum, and physical harassment of journalists carried out by the far right.

Physical harassment of journalists – by anyone, whether of the right or the left – isn’t actually the point. It’s that physical harassment is the wrong thing.

Sure, journalists – I guess I can include myself among that number now – like to think of themselves as pure and wondrous and defenders of this and that and different. But the offences are violence against the person, ABH, GBH, things like that. They’re offences whether carried out against a journalist, a janitor or a Juventudi. The offence is the violence, the harassment, not the person it is being carried out against.

This even being true if you are Andy Ngo.

We even have phrases which encompass this idea, civil liberty, human rights perhaps. The important part of that second being the human bit – they’re things that apply to everyone, not just those self-proclaimed to be doing socially useful activities.

Have a look at this

She was also shocked and confused by issues surrounding gender and language, with every class asking students to announce their preferred pronouns.

“English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say ‘he’ or ‘she’ by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them ‘they’? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?”

“It was chaos,” said Yeonmi. “It felt like the regression in civilization.”

“Even North Korea is not this nuts,” she admitted. “North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”

Really, go read the rest of it:

With the help of Christian missionaries, the pair managed to flee to Mongolia, walking across the Gobi Desert to eventually find refuge in South Korea.

In 2015 she published her memoir “In Order to Live,” where she described what it took to survive in one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships and the harrowing journey to freedom.

“The people here are just dying to give their rights and power to the government. That is what scares me the most,” the human right activist said.

She accused American higher education institutions of stripping people’s ability to think critically.

Well, of course, yes….

Face masks and social distancing measures should continue “forever”, a senior scientist on the Sage committee that advises the Government has said.

Professor Susan Michie on Thursday suggested the measures introduced to tackle the coronavirus pandemic should be retained to help suppress other viruses and boost public health.

And no foreign hollies and keep the pubs closed and what do you mean you want to eat out? Because once we’ve been able to control you then gosh, isn’t this fun, controlling you?

Truly dangerous logic

The argument Rusbridger is putting forward is simplistic and, in my opinion, wrong: the only way to defeat vile speech – misinformation, propaganda, hate speech and so on – is with more speech. That may be true in the debating halls of a university but it absolutely isn’t true in the wider world, where misinformation, propaganda and hate speech thrive and have demonstrable real-world effects.

I’m currently reading How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley, which goes into some detail about the dehumanisation of minorities.

The alternative on offer is that some group – no, leave alone that this is a loud voice on the subject of trans etc, stick with just any view, any voice, any controller – gets to decide what is true, what may be said, and impose that on everyone.

Which is just what the fascists – all totalitarians – did. Decide that there was only the one set of beliefs that may be uttered aloud.

Fighting fascism by being fascist lacks a certain logic to it.

They’re not getting it, are they?

The author Naomi Wolf has been suspended from Twitter after using it to spread myths about the pandemic, vaccines and lockdown.

Wolf, who wrote the influential feminist work The Beauty Myth, holds staunch anti-vaccine views. Last month she told a US congressional committee that vaccine passports would “re-create a situation that is very familiar to me as a student of history. This has been the start of many, many genocides.”

As the pandemic continued, the author variously claimed that vaccines were a “software platform that can receive uploads” and that “the best way to show respect for healthcare workers if you are healthy and under 65 is to socialise sensibly and expose yourself to a low viral load”.

The significantly deluded also have that free speech stuff. If this were not so then no Marxist would be allowed online, would they?

Rather tortured at The Guardian

Gender-critical feminists disagree with the view of some LGBT activists that gender identity should be prioritised over biological sex in terms of law-making and policy. They fear sex is being argued into non-existence and that this will erode rights hard-won by women in the face of historical biological discrimination.

Some LGBT activists regard the focus on biological sex as transphobic. They argue that while they do not deny the reality of biological sex there must be a recognition of complexities beyond binary definition, and that people should have the right to privacy around their sex characteristics at birth (as was agreed in the European convention on human rights in 2002, which led to the current Gender Recognition Act).

Can you imagine the staff confabs that had to be carried out to get all to sign on to that?

So here’s the thing to worry about

Five reasons why June 21 won’t be the return to normal we thought
The Prime Minister insists “the end really is in sight”, but it increasingly seems that may only apply to those who own a telescope

There are at least some – not necessarily Boris, at least not consciously – who will insist that the 21 st will be the end of the temporary restrictions. Those other ones that we see, well, they’re different. They’re going to be there forever, like that boot in the human face. They never could have been imposed without covid but now they have been, well, we the rules would like to keep them.

That’s all very paranoid of course. But we do know that there are bastards out there who would do this if they could…..

Jail ’em

At least 500 people were accused of theft as a result, some jailed, many ruined. We are only now, two decades later, now seeing the courts announcing that convictions were unsafe. Compensation was paid to some a few years back but at the usual voracious cost of no-win-no-fee lawyers. The reparations and reversals of convictions have yet to reach everyone effected by the scandal, and instead of blame being properly assigned to those responsible there’s a general miasma of ‘oops, mistakes were made and lessons will be learned’.

This isn’t good enough. The guilty are out there, we need to find them and bring them to justice – if not for that original, hopelessly stupid, programming mistake then at least for the backfilling and smoke blowing in the decades that followed. The rule of law is a vital underpinning of an economy that works.

Analysing America’s New Right

There is no New Right catechism. Each man of the New Right has his unique obsessions. Yet there is a broad set of shared attitudes and policy prescriptions that draw New Righters in. The New Right likes to think of itself as a band of class warriors. Of tariffs and industrial policy, they are unequivocally in favor. Government economic intervention is to be lauded, if such intervention revitalizes the heartland and secures the dignity of the working-class man.


The libertarian dogmas of Milton Friedman and Frederick Hayek have handicapped conservativism. Libertarian ideals—which champion the sovereign individual unfettered by community, tradition, or obligation—are sugar coated poison pills.

This isn’t intellectual – intellectual in the sense of believing one way or the other. Just a new group of power desiring grifters. And there’s little point in trying to gain power if the intellectual insistence is that power should’t be exercised even if gained.

Oren Cass wants to run your life just as much as AOC does. Quite how they do or what it means for your life isn’t much of an issue for either of them, it’s the running, by them, that matters. Grifters gonna grift…..

Err, yes?

Priti Patel accuses Facebook of putting profit before children’s safety

It’s a business, and?

The Home Secretary will take the unusual step of singling out Facebook for its “unacceptable” plans to encrypt all messages, which she says will hamper law enforcement agencies’ ability to prevent “abhorrent” online child abuse.

Facebook produces something that – it thinks – its billions of consenting adult users would like, end to end encryption. The person in charge of the domestic spy agency, the spy agency which would much prefer end to end encryption not be used, cannot say that a business should not provide what people desire. But they can make some excuse.

Won’t someone think of the children?

But why do the police need to control crowds?

Police struggle to control crowds after Covid hospitality rules relaxed
Huge turnout at pubs over the weekend was impossible for officers to manage, as venues also criticise ban on indoor dining

Folks are going about their lawful business.

It’s not that control or management are not needed, it’s that control or management shouldn’t even be tried. Was there a riot? Some outbreak of actually unlawful behaviour like rape, or muggings? No? So what need for the police to control?

OK, and?

Private schools have been accused of “virtue signalling” over bursaries as a new analysis has found that the majority go to middle class families.

Bursaries do “remarkably little” to make fee-paying institutions more socially inclusive, according to a report presented to the British Sociological Association (BSA).

An organisation spends its own money its own way. Why should that be done in a manner that the British Sociological Association approves of? Why must that be done in a manner which promotes social inclusion?

Rather the point of private property is the “spends its own money its own way”…….

Such lovely power

Locking down entire streets could be an important way of keeping outbreaks of new Covid variants under control, an expert has suggested.

Oh aye?

Step outta line and I’ll lock down your street sonny.

Who doesn’t think that such a power, if extant, will be misused?

Getting rid of these restrictions is going to be the difficult but, isn’t it?

British holidaymakers will have to pay hundreds of pounds for Covid tests if they want to take a trip abroad this summer under plans announced by the Government on Friday.

Travellers who want to visit countries on the safe “green list” will still be expected to pay for gold standard PCR tests on their return to the UK at around £120 each – an extra cost of almost £500 for a family of four.

People who have been fully vaccinated will still be required to take the PCR tests on or before the second day of their arrival back in the UK because of Government concerns that “green list” countries could still harbour new Covid variants.

Every pecksniff in the land is going to be arguing for keeping – as “useful” no doubt – every restriction possible. Here, £500 for leaving the country is going to discourage quite a lot of travel, isn’t it? Someone will start justifying it for the climate……