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 Brexit breakfast at Lambeth Palace

What’s on the menu when bishops gather for a Brexit breakfast at Lambeth Palace following Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union? Egg on face. Mitres in sanctimonious sermon sauce. Burnt reputations on French toast. Honeyed Brussels rhetorical waffle. Side dish for guest invitee Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church—haggis with a dash of hogwash. Breakfast includes two archbishops’ specials: a Sentamu special—sausages stuffed with pious platitudes and a Welby special: Eton mess.

Rev. Jules Gomes, pastor of St Augustine’s Church, Douglas, on the Isle of Man.

I strongly recommend this article to our readers, for not only is it intermittently hilarious, it is totally on the money.

Samizdata quote of the day

Who would be the best candidate to be the next leader of the Conservative Party? Ideally, I would have preferred either of [Lords] Nigel Lawson or the Chingford skinhead Norman Tebbit. Both played distinguished roles under Margaret Thatcher, the first as her chancellor, the second as her “bovver boy.” At ages 84 and 85, however, Lords Lawson and Tebbit are now too frail to bear the burdens of the premiership. Fortunately, there are two outstanding candidates who are fighting fit and at the peak of their powers: David Davis MP and former Defense Secretary Dr. Liam Fox MP. Both are consistent long-term, hard-core Brexiteers.

You will note that this list does not include the most-talked about candidate, Boris Johnson. Despite his jovial populist image and the entertaining clown act, Mr. Johnson did a poor job as London mayor, is often not on top of his brief and is unpopular among Conservative MPs. His Brexiteer credentials are also doubtful, notwithstanding the major role he played in the campaign. He sat on the fence for a long time before announcing which side he would support. In fact, it has just been revealed that before deciding which side to take, he wrote two letters to be published, one supporting Remain and one supporting Leave. He himself then admitted that he found the Remain letter more convincing, but opted to join the Leave campaign instead. There is a lingering suspicion that he had calculated that he had nothing to gain if Remain won, but if Leave won, Cameron would be out and he could swan in as the man who had saved the Brexit cause to become Cameron’s obvious replacement. Mr. Johnson is, thus, an opportunist.

Kevin Dowd

Read the whole thing, as it contains some excellent analysis.

Why I think Article 50 to leave the EU will be invoked (eventually)

There has been much speculation the government will simply ignore the LEAVE result of the Brexit vote and not invoke Article 50 to start the clock running to leave the EU.

So why do I not think that will happen?

The one word answer:


The slightly longer answer:

Look how many Tory (and indeed Labour) MPs supported REMAIN, but their constituencies voted for LEAVE: i.e. most of England.


Now imagine come the next election, and we are still in the EU because the political establishment basically said “fuck you, we are just going to ignore the vote to LEAVE”.

Does anyone seriously think UKIP will end that election with the one MP it currently has? In my opinion they could quite literally wipe out the Tories as a meaningful political party a la what happened to the Liberal Party by 1935 (and UKIP would probably take a nice big bite out of Labour in Northern England). I would rather that not happen, but if that is what it takes…

That is why I think Brexit will indeed happen. Political self preservation. But I hope Farage has bodyguards.

Samizdata quote of the day

And yet just because the establishment failed, that doesn’t mean the demos have won. Not fully, anyway. We must stay vigilant. For there will now be a concerted effort to thwart our democratic statement, to weaken it by calling into question its legitimacy. This is already happening. Apparently the demos behaved rashly. We ‘voted emotionally rather than considering the facts’, says Labour MP Keith Vaz. We were in the grip of fear, say others. Or we were making a xenophobic statement, they claim, overlooking the irony of their pontificating about prejudice while suggesting that the 17.5million people who said No to the EU, this vast swathe of people, is a tabloid-poisoned blob given to disliking foreign people. Demagogues ‘injected poison into the nation’s bloodstream’, commentators are already saying, the implication being that we were brainwashed, made mad by evil men. We know not what we do. We’re children.

The efforts to rebrand this vote as a kneejerk thing, an emotional thing, a racist thing, are already underway. And others will no doubt argue that because the vote was very close, perhaps we shouldn’t take drastic measures; perhaps we should reform our ties with the EU rather than sever them. We must stand against all this, and insist that the people have spoken, and the people are sovereign, or ought to be. Indeed, that is fundamentally what the referendum was about: do you think Brussels or the parliament in London should be sovereign? The people voted for themselves.

Brendan O’Neill

The Brexit vote has been an event of massive political importance, but…

The Brexit vote has been an event of massive political importance, but what really fascinates me is that this has clearly not been a party political event.

The day before the vote I was chatting with a group of congenial LEAVE campaigners in Dover, and they were evenly split between Labour and Tory supporters. And as we nattered, the nastiest things I heard said about Corbyn were from the self-described Labourites… and the cattiest remarks about Cameron came from the self-described Tories… and both groups laughed as they listened to the others trashing the leaders of their own parties, as if it was a competition who could heap more expletives on their own nominal leaders. I must confess I have never seen the like in all my years.

The long term fallout from this will be very interesting indeed.

I should have believed what I saw in the streets with my own eyes

I have been in Dover for the last week and a bit, and it is like a different world compared to my usual haunts in London (and by the way, I heartily recommend the Allotment restaurant).

And as I walked down the street wearing my LEAVE badge, I was constantly getting nods of approval or thumbs up gestures from complete strangers. As I headed back to London yesterday, the chap sitting behind me patted me on the shoulder and launched into a friendly diatribe about “accountable government!”, and the driver of the bus (rail replacement service actually) grinned broadly and gave me a thumbs up as I entered the vehicle! And I found myself doing the same to others when I saw them wearing a similar badge.

And yet the media was constantly telling me we had already lost, and we might as well not bother, and thus I went to bed last night with a heavy heart.

I should have believed what I saw in the streets with my own eyes, and not what I read in the media.

Now is the winter of our discontent, or perhaps just two very English words

Senlac Hill, the figurative venue for the re-match.

And as before, the huscarls and fyrd shouted the battle cry: “Out! Out! Out!”

The enemy were not my Norman ancestors this time, but rather David Cameron in the role of William the Bastard, with his knights arranged around him with names like Jean-Claude Juncker, J.P. Morgan, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, and oh so many other members of the global establishment who disdainfully ordained that the order of things must not be upset, and snouts must be left undisturbed in the troughs to which they have become accustomed.

But this time… oh this time… it was not the embodiment of England who took an arrow in the eye but rather Dave the Bastard. This time just enough of the fyrd refused to take the bait, declining to rush forward off the hill leaving the huscarls exposed. This time they stood fast behind a forest of spears and a wall of shields, against which the forces of Dave the Bastard charged and died. We shall not be moved!

And in this glorious re-match, who has been cast in the role of King Harold Godwinson? It is hard to say, for he is wearing a helmet, but I have a sneaking suspicion when he takes it off, he will have very blonde tousled hair.

Britain has just angrily shrieked two words and they are: FUCK YOU!

I am a very happy man today.

One in the eye mate

Dave Rex Interfectus Est?

UPDATE: YES!!!! Dave Rex Interfectus Est!

That moon-faced toad David Cameron did indeed take the arrow in the eye he so richly deserved and has resigned! W00t! Dancing Banana

Media giant Ziff Davis says “we hate money”…

Ziff-Davis has announced to investors “we hate money” and has decided to flush $100 million down the toilet by purchasing the poison brand “Gawker“.

What I love about capitalism is that it eventually punishes stupidity, unless said ‘capitalists’ have some sweetheart deal with a government, that is :D

Decentralised Web Summit: Is this the future? I hope so…

Is a decentralised web the way ahead? Is it even feasible? I certainly hope so, but I cannot imagine governments will make it easy. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the summit today.

To worshippers of state power, politeness matters more than truth

John Lloyd is by-lined as “co-founded the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where he is Senior Research Fellow”. And he has written a very revealing article on Reuters. In this, he criticises Trump, Boris Johnson, Marine Le Pen and Beppe Grillo for using intemperate language in political debate. Now these are widely divergent figures coming from different ideological directions (but they do have one thing in common: I will leave the readers here to speculate what that is), and I am a fan of none of them. Even the odious Cameron comes in for a bit of criticism but he is a bit of an outlier compared to the above list.

Hillary “Clinton has admitted that it was a mistake that she used her private server to conduct State Department business when she was secretary of state”, so given that, John Lloyd feels Trump calling her “crooked” is simply beyond the pale. Likewise him calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” when she made an extremely dubious claim to be part Cherokee, is just ghastly.

Lying, well that is just politics (which is why Cameron may not be quite such an outlier after all, and he did share a platform with the person he “insulted”). But being disrespectful to a lying politico? Well clearly one of the pillars holding up western civilisation, not to mention all that is good and decent (but one could argue the typo “descent” is more appropriate), is being kicked away by these barbarians! Essentially John Lloyd, who is if you recall the co-founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, is writing about the frightfulness of lèse-majesté.

Oh I feel so much better about the state of journalism today having seen this.


A long standing and quite appropriate traditional form of British political discourse.

Samizdata quote of the day

A long list of foreign leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, have said they wanted Britain to stay in the bloc, but Gove dismissed those interventions, saying those leaders would never cede sovereignty in the way required of EU members.

“Don’t pay attention to what they say, pay attention to what they do,” he told the audience.

Gove also attacked U.S. banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, which have donated funds to the “Remain” campaign, saying they were doing very well out of the European Union and portraying them as part of an elite that cared little for ordinary people.

“Banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs said that Greece could enter the euro and they knew that that was wrong. Banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs spend millions lobbying the European Union in order to rig a market in their favour.”

Michael Gove

When the worst movie direction since Ed Wood becomes the Voice of Reason…

You know the world is in a strange place when the authoritarian Islamist thug and all around violator-of-goats who runs Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sues Uwe Boll for making unkind remarks about him.

Uwe Boll: the voice of reason. What a time to be alive :D