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]

Then they can call the tune

Bob ‘give-us-yer-fokken-money’ Geldof must be losing his touch:

Berlin’s planned Live8 concert next week threatens to turn into a fiasco because it has failed to attract the support of politicians or business sponsors, the event’s German organiser has admitted.

Marek Lieberberg, a friend of Bob Geldof contracted to run the Live8 concert in Berlin, said the lack of support meant the rock bands appearing at the event risked having to pay for the €1m (£663,000) show themselves.

A risk? Surely not a ‘risk’ but a heaven-sent opportunity for the socially-conscious cream of the rockeratti to put their own money where their big ‘fokken’ mouths are.

Good work, citizen

Attention all petty, vindictive snitches everywhere, your country needs you:

New powers effectively criminalising smoking in public were announced by the Government yesterday, with the minister in charge promising an “intelligence-led approach to enforcing the law”.

Informers will be encouraged to report breaches of sweeping bans on the habit, in which company smoking rooms will be outlawed and places such as bus shelters and the outsides of office blocks made no-smoking areas.

Very little encouragement will be required as there will be no shortage of willing and zealous ‘informers’.

What a horrible place this country is becoming.

“Nurse, the bombproof screens, please”

Hospital patients here in the UK are occasionally known to get rather tetchy about the waiting times and the bureaucracy. But, thus far at least, none of them has seen fit to take their complaints this far:

Israel says a Palestinian woman arrested carrying explosives at a Gaza checkpoint planned to blow herself up in an Israeli hospital.

Wafa al-Bis, 21, was stopped on her way to receive treatment for burns at the Beersheba hospital which Israel says was her intended target…

In an interview shown on Israeli television, Ms Bis said her “dream was to be a martyr”.

Call me old-fashioned but I reckon that even in this crazy, mixed-up world most people making a trip to the hospital dream about leaving it alive.

Still, I am sure things will return to normal the very moment the Palestinians get their own state.

Chump charity

What did you do to help the victims and survivors of the Asian Tsunami? Did you help to raise money. Did you don your jogging bottoms and wheeze your way through a sponsored run? Did you sit in bathtub full of maggots for twenty-fours hours? Did you gladly humiliate yourself by joining in with a charity sing-a-thon? Did you run around like headless chicken collecting cuddly toys, blankets and unwanted packs of paracetamol?

Or maybe you just plunged your hand generously into your own pocket, scooped out a chunk of change and handed it over with the (understandably) sincere intentions of doing just a little to help ease the plight of the unfortunate victims of that catastrophe.

If you did any of those things, well, you have certainly provided relief to some quarters:

Oxfam has had to pay £550,000 in customs duty to the Sri Lankan government for importing 25 four-wheel-drive vehicles to help victims of the tsunami, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

The sum was levied by customs in Colombo which have refused to grant tax exemptions to non-governmental organisations working to repair damage caused by the giant Boxing Day wave.

The Indian-made Mahindra vehicles, essential to negotiate damaged roads and rough tracks, remained stuck in port at Colombo for almost a month as officials completed the small mountain of paperwork required to release them. Customs charged £2,750 “demurrage” for every day they stood idle.

So there we have it, good people. Kindly Westerners care more about the sodden, bedraggled, impoverished masses of Sri Lanka than their own government which has made a priority of cutting off its own pound (or several hundred thousands of pounds) of flesh first. And this is only the stuff that is being reported. Try to imagine, if you can, the graft and pilfering that is going on underneath the radar.

As for Oxfam, I can spare no words of comfort. Their incessant mewling about ‘fair trade’ means putting even more power and looted wealth into the hands of the kind of third-world government spivs who have just royally shafted them. I doubt very much if they will learn anything useful from this object lesson. These people seldom do.

If I had suggested, in the days following the disaster, that all those munificent donations were going to be stolen then the comments section of this blog would have experienced a mini-tsunami of its own as a wave of furious readers flooded in to inform me that I had “reached new lows”. Too cynical? There is no such thing as ‘too cynical’. Allow me to put the record straight: every penny of that relief fund is eventually going to worm its way into the pockets of state officials and professional Western poverty-mongers.

The Emperor was always naked but now he’s running around flashing his genitals as well.

First we crawl, then we walk

As a general rule, whenever you hear or read that teaching unions are ‘angry’ then you can pretty much bet all your wordly worth that something good and positive is happening in the education sector.

I have yet to encounter an exception to this rule:

Teachers’ unions reacted angrily today after the Government vowed to press ahead with plans for 200 privately-sponsored city academies.

This hardly means that the (long overdue) commodification of education is upon us but then these public sector mafiosi possess bloodhound levels of sensitivty that enable them to pick up on even the faintest whiff of threat to their vested interests.

I wholly expect that even if these academies do start sprouting up around the country, the curriculum will still be politically-mandated and the sponsors will (in common with everyone else in the productive, non-looting sector) have to navigate their way through a miasmic swamp of diktats, edicts and regulations on their way to getting something resembling decent results.

But, for all that, they do seem to me to represent the first few, tottering, tentative, baby steps towards the long-term goal of levering the state out of the education business. Good.

One big push…

The competition to host the 2012 Olympic Games is now approaching its climax and two front runners are clearly emerging:

London and Paris have earned praise for their “very high-quality” bids to stage the 2012 Olympic Games in a crucial inspection report published on Monday.

There is clearly everything to play for in a contest which is far from over and, despite all the predictions to the contrary, London is still in with an excellent chance of winning the right to stage the Games. It is for this reason that I feel compelled to impose upon my fellow contributors and our readers and ask them to join with me in grand effort to get behind the Olympic bid. The Paris Olympic bid, that is.

You can start right away by sending messages of support for the Paris bid direct to the IOC by means of this feedback form. You can also send letters to the IOC at Chateau de Vidy 1007 Lausanne Switzerland. Or you can send your support by fax to: 41.21 621 62 16.

You can also contact your local political representatives and tell them how much you would love to see Paris get the 2012 Games and send similar messages to you own national Olympic Committee. Also, don’t underestimate the drip-drip propoganda effect of letters to your local and national newspapers, calls to appropriate radio phone-in shows and messages on internet fora and, of course, blog comment sections.

Lastly, I want you all to join me in mass harnessing of psychic suggestive power by concentrating your mind on a mental image of the leafy, sun-dappled boulevards of Paris lined end-to-end with a throng of excited spectators waving and cheering on a procession of spandex-clad Olympians and then chant along with me:

“The Games must go to Paris.
The Games must go to Paris.
The Games must go to Paris.
The Games must go to Paris.”

Repeat this mantra over and over again until your positive energy has been imprinted on the ether.

Any other ideas and suggestions for bolstering the Paris bid are warmly welcomed. Remember, that every bit of effort helps and that you can make a difference. You can help spare my home town from having to endure the burden of this costly 20th century anachronism.

In anticipation of your kind assistance, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A Mark, a Yen, a Buck or a Pound

As soon as the ‘unthinkable’ becomes thinkable it also, and immediately, becomes sayable as well:

Italy’s labor minister called for a referendum to see if Italians want to temporarily bring back the lira after widespread popular discontent over high prices that many blame on the introduction of the euro.


Meanwhile, rumours that the German government is looking to distance itself from the Euro are being ‘officially denied’.

Of course, none of this means that the Euro is going anywhere anytime soon or possibly at all but it would be fun to start a sweepstake on which Eurozone country will be the first to cut and run. For what it’s worth, my guess is France.


European Constitution. 2000 – 2005. R.I.P

The European Constitution died earlier this evening following a short but torrid illness.

The sad passing of the Constitution is unlikely to be a surprise to many people who doubted whether she would be able to recover from the savage beating she took in France last weekend. Indeed, it may prove to have been a merciful providence that she found herself in a terminal condition in the euthanasia-friendly Netherlands where she was emphatically put out of her misery.

For those who witnessed the last few undignified days of her life being dragged ignominiously around the squalid back-streets of Amsterdam, it will be easy to forget that the Constitution began her life as a daughter of the Europe’s elites; a cherished brainchild of the new aristocracy and the bearer of all their hopes and wishes for a secure and golden future. → Continue reading: Obituary

Wrong reasons, right result

To all French crypto-communists, syndicalists, marxists, trotskyites, leninists, stalinists, national socialists, socialist nationalists, primitivists, Trade Union dinosaurs, student activists, greenie nutters, neo-fascists, old fashioned fascists, quasi-crypto-troglodyte-Pol-Pottist-year zero-flat-earthers, looney tunes and enviro-goons… Merci Beaucoup!!!!

I could kiss every single one of you (but I don’t know how to say that in French).

What about beard-trimmers?

This kind of thing used to enrage me. Then it got to the stage where it embarrassed me. Then it began to perplex me. But now, I am almost entirely resigned.

Go on, do your very worst. Bring it on:

A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing.

A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

Next: Doctors call for ban on opposable thumbs.

Voting is just for show

Having been subjected to some robust criticism for my occasional cyncism about the whole modern democratic process, I am actually a little peeved to discover that I am but a mere dilettante:

If the French and the Dutch reject the EU Constitution on Sunday and Wednesday, they should re-run the referendums, the current president of the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said.

“If at the end of the ratification process, we do not manage to solve the problems, the countries that would have said No, would have to ask themselves the question again”, Mr Juncker said in an interview with Belgian daily Le Soir.

‘No’ is not the right answer, you see.

The whole bloody continent is heading for another war. Britain out now.

Sidenote: This Mr. Juncker chappie is the president of the EU? Hands up anyone, anywhere who has ever heard of him!

Make stupidity history

And since we are on the subject of ‘Star Wars’ this evening, it appears that Our Glorious Leader has finally been seduced by the ‘Dork Side’:

They are the must-have fashion accessory for the socially aware – and now Tony Blair has got in on the craze.

Whether worn to highlight racism, cancer research or poverty, coloured bands are a familiar sight on the wrists of footballers and pop stars.

Now the prime minister has been photographed wearing a white Make Poverty History wristband during a trip to a hospital in Edgware, north London.

Perhaps he wants to be in a filmy-wilmy with Gwynnie and Braddie?

[Furthermore, for a polished and forensic debunking of this cloth-headed, celebrity-driven codswallop, I recommend Stephen Pollard]