Civil Liberty

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.

OK.

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……

They’re not planning to relax the controls, are they?

Covid passports designed to return life to normal in Britain might not be ready until the autumn, The Telegraph can reveal.

If they’re developing systems that won’t even be ready until the dangers have passed then they’re not going to take that boot of the face of human society, are they?

Remember, ID cards after WWII, someone had to sue the government to get them to stop insisting upon them…..

While the sentiment is right this isn’t disproof

Already, the Conservatives have announced plans to introduce a bill to make photo ID mandatory from 2023 for all UK-wide and English elections. There’s no obvious need for it: there was only one conviction for “personation” fraud in the UK in 2019.

ID cards are, of course a vile idea. But that we convict few of personation is not an argument against them. For the absence of the convictions is not evidence of the absence of the crime. It’s evidence – possibly – of the absence of the ability to convict for it.

Well, you know, sorta

We shouldn’t have to repeat this: Americans have the right to insult those in charge, from President Biden to a local councilman, and, yes, even an armed policeman. Yet this bedrock right to vent our spleens against officials is now being challenged.

Unless you want to deny white privilege, institutional racism, claim that gender and sex are different things, one variable the other not……and so on…….

And one of those minor incidents which will end up defining the society

The Education Secretary on Thursday night condemned the “threats and intimidation” that a teacher has faced after he was suspended for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in class.

Gavin Williamson said that the protests outside a West Yorkshire school on Thursday were “completely unacceptable”, adding that teachers are allowed to expose pupils to “challenging or controversial” issues.

His statement came after dozens of protesters gathered at the gates of Batley Grammar School on Thursday morning, forcing the school to advise students to stay at home while police officers stood guard.

The 29-year-old Religious Studies teacher is said to have shown the image to pupils during a lesson on Monday. On Thursday night, he was understood to be in hiding after police raised concerns for his safety when he was named online.

Yep, the parents are indeed allowed to protest. Just as others would be if there was a remake of Pisschrist in art lessons.

It’s the reaction that comes next that matters. Will be defining…..

That’s an interesting meaning of diversity

The CAB has previously criticised Pride in London for not being inclusive enough, with Stonewall pulling out of the parade in 2018 because of the event’s perceived lack of diversity.

The mass resignation follows Pride in London’s decision to allow the Metropolitan police to apply to take part in the procession at the annual parade, following calls to ban them at the height of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests. During deliberations, the CAB recommended in a report that the police not be allowed to march as a group in the parade.

We must be diverse by insisting that folks who are different cannot take part?