We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The long arm of the law

The Metropolitan Police have today dug up the remains of Richard III, a week after he was re-interred in Leicester after resting under what became a car park after 500 years, in an exercise reportedly designed to show their commitment to tackling historic child abuse. Executing a warrant under Schedule 5 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 permitting them to exhume the bones, they claim to be looking for any DNA evidence linking Richard III to the deaths of the Princes in the Tower.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: ‘The Princes were held in the Tower of London, which is now within the Metropolitan Police District. As a service, we are committed to tackling all historic allegations of child abuse, even this instance of child abduction and a possible double murder. Whilst there is obviously no possibility of charges arising from this investigation, it will serve as a signal to those who may feel reluctant about coming forward to report abuse that there is no one who is above the law and the highest in the land will be investigated’. The spokeswoman also said that the timing of the exhumation was not an accident, they did not wish to prejudice any investigation by incurring publicity before Richard III’s burial, and to maintain operational secrecy they waited until after burial, as to have examined the bones beforehand would have meant applying to the Ministry of Justice for a variation on the licence granted to allow the bones to be tested, which might have led to political interference. The spokeswoman further justified the investigation by saying that it would provide a valuable exercise in testing the boundaries of forensic techniques, and may enable more recent ‘cold cases’ to be re-opened by stretching the boundaries of forensic science.

The investigation follows a number of raids on the homes of VIPs by police investigating allegations of historic child abuse, and the news that late Sir Cyril Smith, a former Liberal Democrat heavyweight MP, was arrested at a children’s home and then promptly released following intervention from senior officers despite being found with two boys. Cynics might wonder if the raid had been timed to occur after the Dissolution of Parliament on Monday and as the General Election starts, to avoid the matter being raised in Parliament by sceptical MPs concerned about police wasting resources by stunts.

Samizdata quote of the day

Rather than engaging Russia in a futile pre-modern discourse about race and ethnicity, Ukrainians should integrate into multicultural, multiracial, tolerant Europe.

As for Russia, it would have done a lot better if after the collapse of the Soviet Union it had declared itself a new nation, born on the day it rose up to defeat the hardline communist coup in August 1991. Had it started from a blank page, the way the United States did in 1776, it might have freed itself of its damaging 19th century imperial hangups.

Alexei Bayer

The force is strong in this one!

Why? Because this is just too damn good…

Volkswagen / The Bark Side from Caviar London on Vimeo.

You are welcome.

So here comes the next ‘moral panic’

I assume this risible claim by NSPCC (the quango responsible for the discredited family destroying ‘satanic‘ moral panic of the 1980’s/90’s), is priming the pump for the next assault on civil liberties to justify its existence, yes?

A tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds fear they are “addicted” to pornography, an NSPCC ChildLine survey has concluded.
One in five of nearly 700 youngsters surveyed said they had seen pornographic images that had shocked or upset them, researchers found

…”researchers found” is a phase that is pure gold, it is not? Perhaps children have fundamentally changed since I was one, but when I was in my early teens, if I saw a ‘helpline’ being advertised that could assist me regarding porn, I would have called it on the assumption they were going to help me find the ‘good stuff’ rather than those hairy porkers in Mayfair or Men Only ;-)

An Armstrong Whitworth Argosy?

I have not had time to process the photos I need for a good photo blog of the LA County Airshow from about ten days ago, but I am going to push this photo ahead of the bunch. The aircraft in question was not a part of the show; it was parked way back where you need your maximum lens extension to get a fair look. It sits behind a C-97 and not far from a C-119, so I was of course looking for something USAF or USAAF from that era even though I knew of no aircraft of this format in American service. It looked somewhat Russian or British so I tried that approach. The match to the Argosy seems conclusive to me, but I have no idea what one of those is doing at Fox Field outside Lancaster, California.

A C-97 and an Armstrong Whitworth Argosy at Fox Field In Lancaster, California

A C-97 and an Armstrong Whitworth Argosy at Fox Field In Lancaster, California. Copyright Dale Amon, All Rights Reserved.

Samizdata quote of the day

When you look at 19th century America or 18th and 16th century Europe, all of a sudden it’ll become clearer that the thing that broke the back of poverty and privilege in developed countries in the past was when property rights came around and destroyed feudal title.

Hernando de Soto

This could add a whole new meaning to having a car crash

I was watching this video about electric cars…


…and was struck by this remark by Mark Tinker, discussing driving a Tesla:

“I liken it to driving an iPad”


Then I had a flash forward a few years into the future…

Me: Hello, sorry I am a bit late, but I had a car crash.

Friend: oh no, is everyone alright?

Me: Not that kind, I just had to pull over and wait for the car to reboot.

Samizdata quote of the day

The part I find hilarious is the divestment movement that’s popping up around this law. They’re basically saying that Indianans have done something they find deeply and personally offensive, so the boycotters are going to refuse to do business with them as a result. It sounds like a prima facie argument for the exact bill that they’re opposed to.

– Samizdata commenter Alsadius

Yet another superb argument for home schooling

When I read this:

Head teachers in Cheshire have warned parents they will report them to the authorities if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

“We are trying to help parents to keep their children as safe as possible in this digital era.”

… I concluded the best way to keep your children safe is to home school them so that they stay as far away as possible, not from GTA, but from power obsessed busybodies like these people.

US state Indiana to allow freedom of association?

… and you cannot have freedom of association without freedom of disassociation.

Therefore I am perfectly willing to see a non-state owned company decline to do business with me because of my politics, or because of my hippopotamus fetish, or because I tend to wear red trousers. Of course by ‘perfectly willing to see’ I mean ‘that a company is legally permitted to discriminate against me’… I am not suggesting I would be thrilled by it.

So is there any reason anyone who cares about liberty should oppose this? Indeed would it not be better if the law just stated it was none of the state’s business who a company chooses not to do business with for any reason, absent any prior or overarching contractual obligation?

This is not going to end well (Part 38,239)

This was tweeted by Dominic Frisby earlier today:


As he says: “1st-time-buyer earnings-to-house-price ratio in London. Gulp. And London 1st-time-buyers are old too … ”

The moment interest rates go up, even slightly, there is going to be an almighty collapse.

Samizdata quote of the day

The fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.

– An excerpt from Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s latest book, quoted here.

Thank you Mick Hartley.