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]

A moment of profound self-discovery! I am an LGBT activist!

Liberty, Guns, Beer & Totty.

totty-with-guns

The desired end-state

Finally it all makes perfect sense.

What is that sound I hear off in the distance?

Hurrah! The struggle for the leadership of the Nationalsozialistische Britisch Arbeiterpartei has been won by Jeremy Corbyn, and the re-branding as the Party of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists is now complete! I look forward to reading of this momentous moment in the Great Leader’s memoirs, which I assume will be titled “My Struggle”. Our friends from Hamas and Hezbollah are thought to be very happy with this outcome, as well they should.

But what is that sound I hear off in the distance? Gunfire? Has the revolution started already? Ah, no, it is the pop of champagne corks coming from 4 Matthew Parker Street in London!

this-is-socialism

Update: strangely not everyone is happy ;-)

Regret is not a policy

I just heard, on the telly, the leader of the Lib Dems repeat his support for a return by Britain to the EU. Other Lib Dems on the same show are echoing him. The Empire Loyalists of our time. They’ll attract a small lump of enthusiasts, who will spend the rest of their lives insisting that they were right to oppose Brexit. And everyone else will watch and say: so what? Even most of those who voted Remain themselves. Regret is not a policy.

Brian Micklethwait

This was too perfect not to warrant a little post of its own.

Samizdata quote of the day

Let’s be clear: No deal is better than a bad deal.

Richard Tice, discussing Brexit.

As a Londoner myself, this resonates rather strongly

battle-of-britain-over-london

Trade does not require trade agreements

Douglas Carswell makes some excellent points about the perils of any post-Brexit trade agreements with the EU:

So let’s spell it out. Access to the single market means being able to trade with single-market countries. Membership means being bound by single-market rules.

Why is this difference so important?

Because access is consistent with the vote to leave the EU. Membership isn’t.

Access clearly doesn’t require membership. Countries around the world trade with the single market. Many do so freely, with no tariff barriers, via bilateral free-trade agreements. Britain can do the same. We don’t need to be part of the single market to trade freely with it.

In fact, we will have freer trade once we leave the single market. Because the single market doesn’t enable commerce, but rather restricts it.

The single market is a permission-based system. It stops suppliers from selling things people want to buy unless they conform to standards set by bureaucrats in Brussels. Rather than remove trade barriers, the single market creates them. Not between countries, but between producers and consumers.

The effect is to limit competition. Big corporations with expensive lobbyists rig the rules to shut out disruptive innovation from upstart rivals. Economic progress is impeded.

Indeed, and as Peter Lilly wrote not all that long ago:

How important are trade deals? As a former trade minister it pains me to admit – their importance is grossly exaggerated. Countries succeed, with or without trade deals, if they produce goods and services other countries want. Thanks to the Uruguay Round, tariffs between developed countries now average low single figures – small beer compared with recent movements in exchange rates. So the most worthwhile trade agreements are with fast growing developing countries which still have high tariffs.

Quite so. The sooner we are out of the EU the better.

This will be Obama’s enduring legacy

The effort to wire the world — or to achieve “extreme reach,” in the NRO’s parlance — has cost American taxpayers more than $100 billion. Obama has justified the gargantuan expense by arguing that “there are some trade-offs involved” in keeping the country safe. “I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” he said in June 2013, shortly after Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed widespread government spying on Americans’ phone calls.

Since Snowden’s leaks, pundits and experts (myself included) have debated the legality and ethics of the U.S. surveillance apparatus. Yet has the president’s blueprint for spying succeeded on its own terms? An examination of the unprecedented architecture reveals that the Obama administration may only have drowned itself in data. What’s more, in trying to right the ship, America’s intelligence culture has grown frenzied. Agencies are ever seeking to get bigger, move faster, and pry deeper to keep pace with the enormous quantity of information being generated the world over and with the new tactics and technologies intended to shield it from spies.

This race is a defining feature of Obama’s legacy — and one that threatens to become never-ending, even after he’s left the White House.

James Bamford (£)

Samizdata quote of the day

There is nothing new about this; it mostly started fifteen years ago, in 2001, and again the Irish were the main target. Ireland in the early 1990s had a high general corporation tax rate of 40%, but it introduced a special low 10% rate for finance companies in its Dublin-based International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). The Commission ruled that this was effectively an improper subsidy to the finance industry under the State Aid rules, and ordered its abolition.

That was really the root cause of the EU’s current row with Ireland, because the Irish response to the IFSC being declared illegal was to reduce all its corporation tax to 12.5%. Because that wasn’t targeted at a particular company or industry sector, it wasn’t illegal State Aid and so the EU Commission could do nothing to stop them, much as it wanted to.

So the EU Commission’s current action against Ireland over Apple is largely “Round Two”, a repeat of what it did fifteen years ago.

Richard Teather

Samizdata quote of the day

Nobody is going to be banning meat in the near future, but that is for political reasons. There are simply too many meat eaters and not enough fanatical vegetarians. It is a question of power, not ethics, and the author of this article – vile authoritarian though he may be – inadvertently makes the libertarian argument very well. If it is the government’s business to prevent people taking voluntary, informed risks about one lifestyle choice, there is no reason to stop at smoking.

He asks whether it’s “OK to allow free choice” or “OK to prevent ‘unhealthy behaviour'”. In my view, the only moral answer is that it’s OK to allow free choice. It is not the government’s business. The author obviously disagrees, but I bet it wouldn’t take long to find something he likes doing that has been linked to cancer. At least his argument makes more sense than the scatter-gun bigotry of people who argue for state force to be used against activities they don’t like while demanding protection for those they do.

Christopher Snowdon, from an article titled “The NHS as a tool of social control”.

Apple replies to the EU, and it is magnificent

In an astonishing EU ruling, Apple is being told the pay the Irish state €13 billion(!!!) in retrospective taxation that the Irish state never asked for. And the reply from Apple is very well crafted. It is clear they are not going to take this shakedown by the European Commission lying down.

When even ‘Communist’ China gets it…

I found this quite interesting:

On the face of it, China’s central bank has room to cut interest rates to try to lift the economy, but sources say evidence companies and banks are hoarding cash has reinforced policymakers’ view there is no major benefit in easing policy further.

The reluctance has also been shaped by the experience of Japan and the European Union. Despite much more aggressive easing policies than China, including negative interest rates, they have struggled to lift their economies out of the doldrums, these sources said.

And my reaction was to marvel… can it be true ‘Communist’ China is the only state to finally figure out the absurdity of modern mainstream thinking regarding interest rates? Every time Bank of England Governor Mark Carney opens his mouth, I am reminded of Albert Einstein’s purported definition of insanity. Is China really the only place the penny fen has finally dropped?

Bloody Poles

This was on twitter and it is just too good not to repost:

bloody-poles

Twitter caption: Still our allies in NATO. We could have lost the Battle of Britain without them. I voted out I didn’t vote for hate

Sums up my views perfectly.