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Well done Nigel Farage!

Nigel Farage has just stuck up two fingers and waved them in the direction of the mainstream.

The Ukip leader has said it is party policy for hand guns to be legalised and licensed in the UK despite being banned in the UK for the last 18 years. Mr Farage said the current ban on the guns, which were made illegal following the school shooting at Dunblane in 1996, was “ludicrous.”

Speaking on LBC Radio Mr Farage said that it was Ukip policy to create a “proper licensing policy” and that people who kept hand guns responsibility locked up and had were willing to get an official license should “absolutely” be allowed them.

And of course he has unleashed a wave of outrage from ‘sensible’ statists of both left and right.

Well done Farage! To annoy so many of them at the same time just drives home that the Tories, Labour and LibDems really are largely interchangeable. It also means you are indeed doing something right.

40 comments to Well done Nigel Farage!

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Yet he has played the old card about finding a sensible “British” approach to gun licensing, while criticising the relative freedom the Americans enjoy. Now it may just be that he is keeping his cards close to his chest, or he may actually believe what he is saying.

    In which case it is more a case of him being less wrong than the others, rather than him actually being right.

  • marvo

    I am enjoying the results immensely! And yes JV he is actually fairly awful, but he is clear of the rotten consensus of the others by a nose at least.
    I fear though that he believes in the magical money tree like most politicians.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Jaded,

    Then I am grateful to him for being less wrong.

    Posing as the voice of realism, I have repeatedly that it is politically impossible for the pistol ban in Britain to be repealed unless there are circumstances no sane person could hope for, such as multiple handgun massacres even under the present laws, or a complete breakdown of law and order. I said that no politician would dare have his name or party associated with a repeal, for fear that there would be a gun massacre the week after handguns were legalised.

    While I doubt that anything will come of this proposal, Farage has proved me wrong.

  • He is a politician, so everything he says needs to be decoded. But licensing is vastly preferable to banning, not just a little bit preferable… more importantly he is doing the one thing you are not supposed to do in polite society, he is actually discussing the subject. Next thing you know people will be discussing the NHS and the phrase “envy of the world” will not be heard anywhere.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Lets not set our sights too high, how about just legalising Tasers or Tear Gas Spray for home and/or personal defence, and move up from there.

  • CaptDMO

    ” ‘sensible’ statists”
    Sorry, I speak US.
    Is that the same as the folks HERE who often cite “common sense solutions” of minimal impact, ALWAYS with a hyphen-D after their name (because a P, for Progressive(Socialist/Marxist/Facist/Communist/Woman’s/”gay”/children’s/”academics”/worker’s/”green”), isn’t recognized as an “official” party…YET)?

  • …Is that the same as the folks HERE who often cite “common sense solutions” of minimal impact, ALWAYS with a hyphen-D after their name

    Actually they all too often have a -R after their name unfortunately because just as the Tories and Labour and LibDims are also by and large interchangeable, so too are the Dems and Reps in the USA on oh-so-many issues.

  • Heh! He is pissing off all the right people. By your enemies shall ye be known…

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    To be fair, UKIPs policy on firearms has been freely available on their website for years. It was certainly there when I joined back in 2008 (I think), and it was still there when I quit the following year.

  • jerry

    ‘ people who kept hand guns responsibility locked up and had were willing to get an official license should “absolutely” be allowed them.’
    If you could get this far, then start working on eliminating that silly ‘locked up’ idea. From a defense standpoint, if a gun is locked up, what’s the point in even having it ??
    Google ‘Deaths in Merced’ for one of the saddest tragedies ever resulting from ‘safe storage laws’. Because as we all know, you can be trusted with a gun as long as uyou keep it locked up !!
    And I also caught the swipe at the United States where people are shot over shopping carts and parking spaces and streets run red with blood as all the hand wringers told us would happen if people were actually ALLOWED to carry guns to defend themselves !

  • Paul Marks

    A very sensible move by Mr Nigel Farage.

    Whilst not going a far as libertarians would like, this is a solid move in the direction of freedom and traditional rights and it should be welcomed.

  • Bruce

    So where does the “Bill of Rights” 1688 as signed into law as a condition of accession by William and Mary of Orange fit into all this?

    Has that document been “repealed” or simply and conveniently declared “obsolete”?

    “Situational Ethics”?

    I see lots of “situations” but scant “ethics”.

  • Simon Jester

    Bruce, I think if you read that august document you will find that the right of gun ownership is subject to the qualification: “as allowed by law”.

  • William O. B'Livion

    I’m all for “common sense” gun control:

    Have you ever committed a violent felony, or have you been adjudicated mentally incompetent?

    No?

    Then have at it. Anything you afford you can own.

    And carry.

    But don’t scare the horses.

    (Personally I’m of the opinion that if you’ve reached the age of majority without getting a felony or a violent misdemeanor then the government ought to GIVE you a gun. You’ll pay for it out of your taxes eventually. That, however might be considered an extreme position and some libertarians might argue that that isn’t the government’s job.)

  • Richard Thomas

    William, good gawd, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what kind of gun the government would deem to give the private citizen. Even what they try and mandate for private sales is bad enough. Trigger locks (never used, resources wasted) and Smith and Wesson has announced it plans to stop selling handguns in California due to micro-stamping laws. Magpul is moving its base of operations from Colorado due to legislation there (largely magazine size restrictions). And this is in the relatively gun-friendly USA.

  • That, however might be considered an extreme position and some libertarians might argue that that isn’t the government’s job.

    It isn’t and it assumes everyone wants one. I don’t. I prefer the longbow.

  • Mr Ed

    It strikes me that what matters to the political class is not what the public think or want, but how within their own little world, matters sound to those ‘on the inside’, with their parameters of debate and their conventions. Prime Minister’s Questions is the most tedious drivel for the vast majority of the populace, as is Newsnight, but a bad performance seems to take on a relevance to the political class that it simply does not have to the vast bulk of the population. One can see this in the absurd prominence given to ‘Twitter spats’ where politicians might have exchanges about certain issues and say or do things that matter as much in the real world as a piece of coal in Vesuvius, yet the media may focus on these discussions as if they are relevant and actually matter, or have an impact on people’s lives, any more than does status within a gaggle of teenagers. Meanwhile, the State grinds on, turning hospitals into slaughterhouses and ruining all that it touches.

    In this context, the thought that the media might air the sort of issues that Mr Farage is raising is probably rather horrific to the political class, as it might lead to them confronting the fact that what they regard as ‘acceptable’ opinion might start to break down and they might actually have to confront and discuss real issues.

  • […] a bit late picking up on this – although I have commented over at Samizdata and Kath’s. Two blogs that take opposing views on the matter. My own view coincides with […]

  • Dave Walker

    Wow; a sensible policy from UKIP. Though I suspect I’d better not try holding my breath waiting for it to happen…

  • John K

    So where does the “Bill of Rights” 1688 as signed into law as a condition of accession by William and Mary of Orange fit into all this?

    Has that document been “repealed” or simply and conveniently declared “obsolete”?

    Bruce:

    The Bill of Rights has not been repealed, either explicitly, or impliedly, by the Firearms Acts of 1920 et al. Those Acts state that the applicant must show a “good reason” for wanting a firearm, but never explain what that might be. In the early years of the Act, up to 1939, “self defence” was accepted as a “good reason” quite frequently, but less so after 1945, and in 1968 secret Home Office guidance instructed Chief Constables not to accept “self defence” as a “good reason”. Of course, that does not mean that “self defence” is a “bad reason”, it was mere administrative fiat. However, no government would wish to be explicit about this on the face of an Act, as it would clearly put it at odds with the Bill of Rights.

    In Northern Ireland, which is still a part of the UK, handguns are not banned, either for target shooting or for self defence. I believe some 9,000 handguns are legally owned for self defence by citizens under threat in NI. Many of them are politicians, so they have a vested and pressing interest in not banning handguns. These permit holders are allowed to carry a concealed handgun, but for some odd pooterish reason are only allowed to have 25 rounds of ammunition. The fact that a statistically significant proportion of the population of a constituent part of the UK owns and carries handguns for self defence is something the British government does not want to talk about, and you will never see mention of it in the MSM, for the obvious reason that it demonstrates the iniquity of forced and unconstitutional civilian disarmament in the rest of the UK.

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly the British Bill of Rights is considered just an Act of Parliament trumped by later Acts of Parliament by the courts.

    This is a pity as there are some bits of the British Bill of Rights that are better than the American one (which was based upon it) – for example the explicit denial of the right of the Executive (in the British case the monarchy) to either make laws or refuse to enforce laws.

    No Executive Orders.

  • Mr Ed

    Is not the Executive Order simply an Order-in-Council (link to a random recent sample) under the Royal Prerogative by another name and without the need for the co-operation of a quorum of three Counsellors? i.e. it is worse from the point of view of the rule of law and liberty?

  • John K

    Paul:

    I disagree. The Metric Martyrs case found that a Constitutional Act cannot be impliedly repealed by a later ordinary Act. Sadly for the Metric Martyrs, this meant the European Communities Act 1972 was not modified by the Weights and Measures Act 1985, but in this case it also means the Bill of Rights 1689 was not modified by the Firearms Act 1920. Indeed, the 1920 and subsequent Firearms Acts are careful to keep within the Bill of Rights. Thus, nowhere on the face of the Act is self defence barred as a good reason to own arms, that only arrived through unconstitutional secret Home Office guidance. Likewise, the Act always states that a Firearm Certificate “shall”, not “may” be granted, providing the applicant meets the requirements of the Act. Even the fact that the document is a “certificate”, not, as commonly misquoted, a “licence” is of significance, as a certificate is something which records a fact (in this case, legal ownership of firearms), whereas a “licence” is a permission to do something, which can be given or taken away as the granting authority sees fit. So the Bill of Rights stands, and the Firearms Acts do not, on the face of it, challenge it. What has happened is that over the decades the Home Office bureaucracy has chiselled away at this right in secret, and have been so successful that not one person in a thousand knows what has been done. The Secret State rules.

  • Paul Marks

    John K.

    The court invented the idea of a “Constitutional Act” so they could say that the European Communities Act trumped the later Act of Parliament (rather than the other way round).

    If we said “well the Bill of Rights is a Constitutional Act” – they would laugh at us.

    Remember the judges are not elected – they do not even emerge from the guild any more.

    Judges are mostly university educated Guardian readers now.

    One can not expect justice in a court – as the “Metric Martyrs”.

  • Paul Marks

    And such “Orders in Council” (and so on) violate the British Bill of Rights Mr Ed.

    However, as the Bill of Rights is not a “Constitutional Act” (as far as far as the “liberal” courts are concerned) it does not matter.

  • John K

    Paul:

    Now that the doctrine of a Constitutional Act is established, they cannot go back on it. The Bill of Rights is undoubtedly a Constitutional Act, arguably the Constitutional Act, and furthermore the Firearms Acts were written in such a way as, on their face, to comply with it. The fact that in practice armed self defence has been prohibited by administrative fiat from 1968 is another matter. However, I grant you that trying to convince an English judge of this would not be easy, to say the least. It would be different in Northern Ireland, where there is every chance the judge himself would be carrying a pistol for self defence.

  • Paul Marks

    John – if only what you say was true.

    Sadly modern judges have no honour – none.

    If we bring a case on the basis of the Bill of Rights as a Constitutional Act – they will dismiss us.

    If we then say “but if the Bill of Rights is not a Constitutional Act, how can the European Communities Act be a Constitutional Act” they will simply dismiss us again.

    Sadly modern judges (both in Britain and the United States) will do anything (literally anything) to advance the “liberal” agenda.

    As for Ulster.

    There is a difference – but not with the judges.

    There is a different spirit among the people.

    A clear distinction is made (by many of the people) between what is right (what is the basic “law”) and the vile commands (the “legislation”) of the state.

    Remember the Penal Laws applied to dissenting Protestants (not just to Roman Catholics).

    The Ulster Protestant has long had to stand against not just Rome – but also against London.

    They even stand against Scottish culture (even though the Scots are an Irish tribe).

    This has been true since 1707 (when Scotland submitted to the same taxes as England and Wales) and 1712 (when the Church of Scotland was de facto taken over by the state – with most ministers being appointed by the state, rather than chosen by the congregation).

    The political and religious split between Ulster Scots and Scots-Scots was profound – and was reflected (for example) in American history (after 1776).

    In practice…….

    If you tell an Ulsterman that owning a firearm is “illegal” he (or she) will not confuse “illegal” with being “against the law”.

    Legislation and “the law” being different things.

    We Englishmen have been taught to conflate the two.

    If Parliament (read the Executive using Parliament as its tool) says that everyone with brown eyes should be imprisoned we tend to assume that this is “the law”.

    The idea that the fundamental law is NOT the ravings of the government no longer occurs to us.

  • John K

    Paul:

    What you say may well be true. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the Bill of Rights is a Constitutional Act, and the Firearms Acts have been written so as not to contradict it. I don’t think any government would actually have the nerve to announce that owning arms for self defence was illegal, instead they allow a faceless bureaucracy to achieve the same aim by stealth and malice. The difference in Northern Ireland is that the judges and much of the political establishment own and carry a pistol for self defence. They have skin in the game, literally. This is why the private ownership of pistols was not prohibited in NI, and won’t be in future.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul — Really O/T, but is Brian Tierney’s book on The Clash of the Church and the state 1050 – 1300 sound?

    Next time you go to Ulster we all want to go too.

  • Paul Marks

    I have not read the book Julie – so I can not say.

    But I did not like his “The Idea of Natural Rights” (which most reviewers raved about).

    Although it is possible that Brian Tierney was being an honest historian.

    Then (if B.T. was being honest) it would mean that not only was there a real divide between Natural Rights and Natural Law – but also that Natural Rights ALWAYS included “positive rights”

    Not only does Tierney argue that all major thinkers (even Hugo Grotius) come down on the side that the world was given to humanity IN COMMON (not the alternative reading of the Book of Genesis that the world is made available by God by is UNONWED till bits are occupied and claimed) and private property is just a “convention”, but he also quotes (with seeming approval – page 70 of his “The Idea of Natural Rights”) stuff such as the following….

    “A man who keeps more for himself than he needs is guilty of theft”.

    “The bread that you hold back belongs to the needy, the clothes that you store away belong to the naked.”

    And on and on.

    Tierney then hedges a bit on the following page (page 71), but it clear that he holds that the Church held the “compulsory charity” (a basic logical contradiction) view – i.e. that their was a legal (not just a moral) duty to do X, Y, Z. That people had a “right” to the goods of others.

    By the way the quotes that Tierney provides are from the “Decretum” – and whilst it was complied in the Middle Ages a lot of is just stuff from all sorts of Dark Ages text shoved together. Indeed a lot of it reads like the rules for a MONASTIC COMMUNITY “No one may call his own what is common, of which if he takes more than he needs it is obtained by violence” (also from page 70 of Tierney’s book “The Idea of Natural Rights”).

    What if there is no common store? What if it is the person who is trying to take “what he needs” who is using the violence against a private store?

    The idea that the stuff that Tierney quotes could be (or was) used as a basis for Canon LAW (i.e. to be applied to the general population) is demented.

    Indeed Tierney shows strong dislike for certain Popes – such as John XXII, I suspect because such Popes would have pointed out (in strong language) that it was demented to pretend that rules for some egalitarian Dark Age monastic community, should be the basis for general LAW.

    Basically Tierney’s view that “positive rights” (rights to the goods of OTHER PEOPLE) have always been a central part of the tradition of Natural Rights tradition makes John Rawls the dominant force in Western thought a thousand years before he (Rawls) was born.

    Indeed if Tierney is correct then the history (the existence) of Western Civilisation is impossible – at least since the rise of Christianity. As, if Tierney is correct that in the 12th century canonists held that “strict justice” (still page 70) NOT moral duty required the transfer of stuff from those who had it, to those who did not, then civilisation is impossible (it would collapse into chaos and mass starvation – with no clear OWNERSHIP of any “surplus” thing).

    The confusion of justice and mercy – the confusion of justice (i.e. the use of FORCE) with the Christian virtue of Charity (as in Faith, Hope and Charity) is terrible – utterly terrible.

    It gives rise to notions of “compulsory charity” (dry liquid) and so on.

    Pope Francis may agree with this insanity – but I doubt many Popes in the period Brian Tierney claims to be studying agreed with it.

  • Paul Marks

    I should have typed that Tierney implies that there was no real divide between Natural Law and Natural Rights (which may be true), but also defines Natural Rights in such a way as to include the goods of other people.

    In which case what he is really saying is that justice, in the sense of “hands off”, does not exist – and that “justice” means some sort of “fairness” in the “distribution” of goods and services.

    Pure (or rather rancid) John Rawls.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks very much, Paul. Clarifies some things and provides a foothold for further understanding. That’s a whole U. lecture up there, slightly abbreviated.

    I suppose you hate people who say stuff like this, but oh well. Have you ever thought of running a paying online seminar? (On the present topic would be nice, but whatever you choose would be fine.) Even if it were just lectures with no interaction it would be great, though of course interaction (people submit questions, and when you get enough of them you devote the hour to them) or, even more involvement, online “chat” would be even better.

    I’ve heard your podcasts with Brian and Patrick and found them very interesting. I think you would be quite good. :>)

  • Paul Marks

    I am too rusty (too out of practice) Julie.

    Hard to believe that I once ran a university course with a dozen students – these days even clearing the house seems to be beyond me.

    A friend recently complained (well commented) that I kept him up all night (on a trip to Gibraltar) with my gasping for breath – I was only a few feet away as we were sharing a room.

    “You were not like this back in …..” (when we were visiting the NATO H.Q. and hunting Cong and so on).

    People get old at different rates.

    I am a lot older than my birth certificate says I am (as my friend found out).

    Still I am going to London on Thursday for a little conversation on Germanic influence in British (and American) political thought.

    I hope people are not expecting a formal lecture (because they will not be getting one) – but I will do my best to say stuff that is of interest.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, blast. I wish I could be there. I know it will be fascinating. Is there anyone at whom I could point my blunderbuss threateningly, so as to encourage him or her to videotape the presentation (WITH Q&A) and upload to the UT? Or, even an audio would be terrific. I would REALLY like to hear that talk!

    In any case, good luck. I know it’ll be great.

    I do sympathize about your asthma. I know how horrible it can be–my husband had bad attacks of it, though not full-time like yours. :(

  • Paul Marks

    I will guess that the young libertarians will be disgusted by my style undisciplined musings – not guessing that the style is quite deliberate(as it was with the late Antony Flew – not, I hasten to add, that I am comparing myself to him).

    Still we shall see.

    I am more interested in what they will say (in their questions and comments) than it what I am going to say – I already know what I am going to say, I do not know what the young people will say.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, that’s the difference in perspective for you…. If you’re interested in what the younger people think, it’s probably a good thing I won’t be there! LOL :>)

    By the way–about clearing the house–that’s one thing that’s beyond everybody. If god had wanted us to clear the house, he wouldn’t have given us messy tastes like for more books than we have room for, and so forth.

  • Mr Ed

    The young blade Marks managed to go to Birminghman one Saturday in the 1980s and generate a front page splash in the Sunday Telegraph by the simple expedient of asking Enoch Powell a question, to which the Brgadier Professor replied to the effect that ‘the high contracting powers’ had got Mr Airey Neave killed by the INLA.

  • Julie near Chicago

    From imdb.com:

    ‘Did You Know?
    Trivia
    Co-star Clint Eastwood referred to this movie as “Where Doubles Dared.”‘

    :>)))!!!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh. Well, isn’t it obvious? lol

  • Paul Marks

    My question was simply whether it would have been a better government had Airey Neave (who was close to Mrs T) had lived.

    I still wonder about that.