Not only is the capitalist system not responsible for the latest economic crisis, but all attempts to severely hamstring or regulate the market economy out of existence only succeeds in undermining the greatest engine of economic progress and prosperity known to mankind.
– Richard Ebeling
Zac Goldsmith is the far-left of the Tory Party, purest château bottled shit
– Perry de Havilland
On the other hand, robots, when they are not seducing us, are supposed to be taking our jobs. It doesn’t matter that UK productivity has slipped even further towards the bottom of the developing world, as the use of immigrants, women and older people by far outweighs the deployment of new machines. It doesn’t matter that, at 5.1 per cent, unemployment in the US is at a seven-year low. It doesn’t matter that investment (automation included) is weak throughout the West, that the cash hoarded by IT companies speaks volumes about their unwillingness to take robots much further, that the 225,000 robots sold worldwide in 2014 merely match the number of new jobs typically created in the US in just one month. People still insist that robots and IT generally are about to change the workplace forever, create mass unemployment and heighten inequality.
– James Woudhuysen
While the risk-averse policies of universities have long been open to abuse, it is students’ unions that have done the most to popularise the illiberal logic the government is now adopting. Over the past few years, censorious student activism has hit new and ridiculous heights. Take one look at the NUS-led clampdown on lad culture – which recently received government approval – and you can see where Dave has been getting his ideas from. SU bans on rugby teams, lads’ mags and pop songs, all in the name of protecting women from offence and dunderheaded men from coming under the influence of a mythical ‘rape culture’, chime perfectly with Cameron’s insistence that we should clamp down, not only on terrorist views, but on those ‘intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish’. He may as well have called it terror culture.
So don’t be fooled by these hypocrites and opportunists. If we want to fight for free speech on campus, we need to take on the illiberal views of blue-haired campus nutjobs as well as doublespeak Dave. And if you want to join the real fightback, check out our Down With Campus Censorship! campaign today.
– Tom Slater for Spiked.
Yes, Samizdata had some technical issue earlier today but the hamsters have been fed and all is now well again.
The Scottish and the Welsh NHS are the closest thing to a counterfactual, because they are still more or less run like the old (and, if the Corbynistas get their way, the future) English NHS. Even though they are, in per capita terms, better funded and generally better staffed than their English counterpart, their performance lags on most measures. Rates of mortality amenable to healthcare are higher than in England, waiting times are longer, and hospital infections are more prevalent.
– Kristian Niemietz
Jeremy Corbyn is happy to talk to Irish Republican Army men, avowed anti-Semites and Hezbollah militants; but he refuses “out of principle” to talk to the Sun newspaper, a right-wing tabloid.
He campaigns for the national rights of Venezuelans and Palestinians; but he opposes self-determination in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands.
He’d like to admit as many Syrian refugees as possible, but is curiously ambivalent about why they became refugees in the first place, telling RT that Assad’s chemical attacks may have been a Western hoax.
He is relaxed about Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, but he can’t stand the idea of Britain having one.
He says taxpayers should be able to opt out of funding the military, but not out of funding trade unions.
He wants to re-open coal mines that have been uneconomical since the 1960s; yet, oddly, he wants to wean us off fossil fuels.
– Daniel Hannan
If you engage with the work of art, you are entitled to an opinion about it.
If, instead, you refuse to read or view or listen to it — or taste the green eggs and ham — you don’t get to have an opinion. Knowing what you’re talking about is the bare minimum requirement for expecting other people to care about your opinion of a cultural product.
What is distressing to me — and to all lovers of art and of free expression — is that of late we appear to be taking seriously the opinions of those who have not ponied up even that very minimal buy-in. We wouldn’t pay attention to restaurant reviews written by someone who has never been to the restaurant in question. Why are we reading — and accepting — evaluations of literature by people who have never read the books they’re condemning?
It’s not a high standard. I’m not calling for a “critic’s license” or saying that one must have an advanced degree, or 25 years of experience, or a sheaf of academic articles and a stack of books to one’s name in order to have an opinion about art.
I’m just saying that if you want me to take you seriously when you tell me that something is great, or awful, or trash, or immoral, or pornography, you should probably have actually made contact with the thing you’re talking about.
– Sarah Skwire
This is bonkers. Firstly, the BBC’s reporting of the numbers was full of bald assertions. Jon Brown, head of sexual-abuse programmes at the NSPCC, was quoted in the BBC report, saying that ‘accessing hardcore pornography is warping [children’s] view of what is acceptable behaviour’. This claim was made in spite of the fact that decades of research has failed to demonstrate any link whatsoever between exposure to pornography and sexual-assault prevalence.
Children have not transformed in recent years into a marauding gang of sexual offenders; nor are they any more sexually aggressive today than in the past. In fact, these stats say less about our children’s newfound tendencies towards sexual perversion and more about our own warped idea of what constitutes sexual criminality.
– Luke Gittos
Today’s Sisyphus is China. More particularly, the Chinese authorities. They are determined to roll that boulder uphill. The path of least resistance for the boulder, however, is downward. Gravity, after all, is a bitch. The Chinese stock market is still comparatively young, and as stable as any toddler overwhelmed by parental expectations. With their boulder beset by the giant suck of gravity, China’s Sisyphus first cut rates, and trimmed banks’ reserve ratios.
The boulder continued to roll downhill.
– Tim Price
In fact, the only real value of Fischer’s pretentious bloviation was that it was a reminder that the financial system of the world is in thrall to a tiny, insuperably arrogant posse of Keynesian academics who have invented from whole cloth a monetary theory of plenary control. They have effectively ended free market capitalism in the financial system and beyond and made democratic fiscal governance essentially irrelevant.
– David Stockman
Nor is gay marriage the only issue around which strict orthodoxies are calcifying. Climate change, multiculturalism and feminism are all issues on which there is only one correct view. To be sceptical of the impact of climate change, or to challenge the censoriousness of feminism, is to incur the wrath of the right-thinking. Not that critics of the new orthodoxies are challenged on their views. Rather, they are branded – as deniers, as misogynists, indeed, as bigots. By their labels, they shall be known – and shamed.
– Tim Black