Friday, 10 July 2009

Currently Reading

The means of defence against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
James Madison

Our societies, says Anthony Grayling, are under attack not only from the threat of terrorism, but also from our governments' attempts to fight that threat by reducing freedom in our own societies - think the 42-day detention controversy, CCTV surveillance, increasing invasion of privacy, ID Cards, not to mention Abu Ghraib, rendition, Guantanamo As Grayling says: 'There should be a special place for political irony in the catalogues of human folly. Starting a war 'to promote freedom and democracy' could in certain though rare circumstances be a justified act; but in the case of the Second Gulf War that began in 2003, which involved reacting to criminals hiding in one country (Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Pakistan) by invading another country (Iraq), one of the main fronts has, dismayingly, been the home front, where the War on Terror takes the form of a War on Civil Liberties in the spurious name of security. To defend 'freedom and democracy', Western governments attack and diminish freedom and democracy in their own country. By this logic, someone will eventually have to invade the US and UK to restore freedom and democracy to them.' In this lucid and timely book Grayling sets out what's at risk, engages with the arguments for and against examining the cases made by Isaiah Berlin and Ronald Dworkin on the one hand, and Roger Scruton and John Gray on the other, and finally proposes a different way to respond that makes defending the civil liberties on which western society is founded the cornerstone for defeating terrorism.

Borders Review

Read this and quake, by Professor A C Grayling, who I saw being shouted down by some BBC puppet on BBC 24 'Hard Talk '

(PS He is not a great fan of Bloggers)

Grayling is certain to be on Mandelson's list of subversives to be 'dealt' with at some stage. He has a naive belief that the State can be persuaded it has gone too far and cites Jack Straw and others rowing back by suppressing Civil Liberties. This is only because I believe that Straw and nu labour are aware that Labour has strengthened the State against the individual, and with the looming election he is about to become an individual again, and that power can be used against people like him.

With Mandelson there should be an inquiry into his methods that has so damaged this country.

Blair should be arraigned for the lies and deceit in leading us into a war.

Then they will know the power of the overweening State they have created, where political necessity outweighs Justice.

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force".

Ayn Rand


Anonymous said...

I can do anything I want any time I want. McTwat is under armed guard 24hrs a day. Who is free and who isn't?

Anonymous said...

No you can't.

Travel to France without permission. Not possible. You need a passport (permission from the State).

Anonymous said...

I'd find it very hard to read a book such as this without punching something regularly.

Anonymous said...

Yes, preferably a NuLiebour Minister's face.
My dearest wish is to see Blair & Brown arraigned in the dock at the Hague. Don't think I'll hold my breath on that one!

VotR said...

I presume that Mandy will only be prosecuted once Labour are out of power.

A long wait until they give the people that vote.

Anonymous said...

Remember Wedgie Benn's five questions of politicians?

No. 5 was: "How do we get rid of you?"

NuFascism has sorted that, nearly. Apparently, the public DON'T WANT to get rid of this Government. Too many of us are too comfortable being sprayed with the taxpayers cash. Why bother complaining? That's so British - 'can't be bothered', but sums up nicely the present situation.

That's the revelation of NuFascism - no need for the gulag, the violent revolution, wholesale murder, glorified military and militarisation of the public - just bribe the populace with taxpayer's money, and hang on tight. The trains don't have to run on time either.

It seems that the only way to get rid of this lot is to invert the situation and use the methods of traditional old-time Fascism to get these misfits out. Just politely stop the country, raise your hat, and get off.

Anonymous said...

In case you are interested, these are Wedgies five questions:

What power have you got?

Where did you get it from?

In whose interests do you use it?

To whom are you accountable?

How do we get rid of you?

They are preserved on a blackboard in a museum in Oxford along with writings of other famous lecturers (for example, Kissinger, Einstein, if I remember correctly).

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of Mandelson, by fair means or foul, would be doing the country a great service.

As he got back into power through foul means, I'm quite happy to see him go by the same method.

Ivor Bigot said...

@Anon 10:20
So true about the British thing. I keep hearing how "we're British and we should never stand for it", but the reality is we're one of the most bovine populations on Earth.

OH likes to say "60,000,000 of us", but of that, how many truly care about the creeping horror in this nation?

woman on a raft said...

Thanks, Anon DZ - good list.

You know you are in trouble when Wedgie "get orf my lawn" Benn counts as a freedom fighter.

Anonymous said...

Woman on raft 11.39

Also a good observation on Wedgie! Thank you! The man is/was as daft as a brush, but his core values were right on the mark.

Ivor 11.06

It's an age thing, probably. My children do not have the same concerns as me and would not really understand their grandfather's pride in the institution he worked for - the Admiralty. They accept the world that they are in, within limits, but it is not exactly the world we describe here. So there is the usual generation gap, exaggerated by the ideals of NuFascism. For example, the Global Warming scam is aimed squarely at them and it carries with it all the usual fellow travellers who would not get past an oldie with 'O' level Physics. But this is a negative thing, fear of consequences, so what is the uplifting message for my children's generation - it's hard to find. Hence the apathy, I think.

Anyway, back to west Africa on Sunday - maybe I will send some musings about real democracy in action from the place I visit. It is different, that's for sure.

caesars wife said...

We are indeed living in the soft physcology of the nu labour stasi state , fear in a good cause , but not in a democratic one or respect for what many people think or want.

It also appeaers to ruin basic rights and freedoms , and make out that the state controls them , its totaltalitarian labour tosh

banned said...

" Wedgies five questions:

What power have you got?

Where did you get it from?

In whose interests do you use it?

To whom are you accountable?

How do we get rid of you? "

Good questions to demand of the EU.

Anonymous said...

Guthrum - you've just persuaded me to buy that book! Hope I enjoy it as much as the Borders Review.

Anonymous said...

Grayling is fairly sound but a bit of a twat.

He is exceptionally sneering about libertarians and bloggers (he seems to think they are the same thing), and is awfully enthusiastic about the UN Human Rights stuff, in fact anything from the UN really.

I think he's secretly a Tranzi, but the real tranzis are not doing things quite the way he would, so he disapproves.

Not bad book, but can't really recommend it.

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