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]

Samizdata quote of the day

Just three months into Ukip’s shock victory as the party of government and already Nigel Farage’s mob are starting to show their true colours: morris dancing has been made compulsory for every able-bodied male between the age of 30 and 85; in ruthlessly enforced union flag street parties, brown-skinned people are made to show their loyalty by eating red-, white- and blue-coloured Battenberg cakes until they explode. And what is that acrid smell of burnt fur now polluting Britain’s hitherto gloriously carbon-free air? Why it is all the kittens that Nigel Farage and his evil henchmen are tossing on to beacons from John O’Groats to Land’s End in order to demonstrate that Ukip are the masters now.

James Delingpole. You don’t have to be a UKIP fan (I am not) to be unimpressed by the tendentious nature of the Channel Four spoof documentary that Delingpole writes about here. Meanwhile, JD imagines what a spoof on the Greens would be like. In reality, the chances of Channel Four, a fairly leftist news channel, doing some sort of job on the Green Party is remote, but it should, given the fluorescent idiocy, authoritarianism and often just sheer ugliness of what that outfit wants to do in practice. See its latest manifesto.

Samizdata quote of the day

This obsession with tax avoidance is not the mark of a morally enlightened society. It is the mark of a society that is refusing to face up to the real problems in its midst. There is no moral clarity to be gained from gawping at individuals’ tax returns, only moral scapegoating.

Tim Black

Samizdata quote of the day

HMRC seems to be a law unto itself. Another inept quango making arbitrary decisions as it goes along

DouglasCarswell MP

Samizdata quote of the day

You couldn’t have asked for a better insight into the po-mo, relativistic, judgement-dodging mush of modern Western liberalism than the recent commentary on IS. No less a figure than President Obama got the ball rolling last week when he said at the National Prayer Breakfast that we largely Christian Westerners should come down from the moral highground on the issue of Islamist violence. ‘Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ… [And] slavery and Jim Crow all too often [were] justified in the name of Christ’, he said. If you heard a smartarse sixth-former who’d just discovered Richard Dawkins’ Twitterfeed and is prepping for a BA in post-colonialist codswallop say ‘We burned people 500 years ago, you know’, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid. But the leader of the free world? The face of ostensibly Christian America? The man who, for better or worse, is the embodiment of the West? For Obama to respond to Islamist violence by saying ‘we did it, too’ is surreal — like if in 1985 Ronald Reagan had said, ‘I had to queue for eight minutes the other day to pay for my loaf of bread, so let’s lay off the Soviets, yeah?’

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day

The number of “techie” people who are in favour of government regulation of the internet is especially depressing. It reminds me of George Orwell (himself a socialist) who complained that when other socialists said “under socialism” they really meant “everyone else under socialism – and me on top if it”.

The techie types think government regulation will put them in charge – so they can do lots of good, and not have to worry about grubby businessmen obsessed with money…

They are fools – they are fools with wonderful technical skills, but they are still fools.

– Paul Marks

Samizdata quote of the day

The Prince of Wales has demanded a “Magna Carta for the Earth” in order to save the planet from global warming – thus calling into severe question the abilities of those hapless dons who were charged with teaching him history when he scraped into Cambridge back in the early Seventies.

Had those history professors done their job, Prince Charles would surely be aware that Magna Carta was – at least insofar as it matters to us most today – a charter which protected the rights of the many against the tyranny of unaccountable power. But the kind of sweeping, pan-global, UN-enforced climate treaty the Prince is proposing represents the precise opposite.

James Delingpole

Samizdata quote of the day

‘Our state became bankrupt…’

No doubt due to undetected bankrupting radiation, beamed at Greece from an unknown planet hiding behind Pluto. It’s amazing, how that happens. One minute, you’re eating ouzo and drinking olives, and the next – you’re bankrupt! It must happen in some stealthy manner, like male pattern baldness, or the growth of my first wife’s hatred for me.

‘…placing the largest loan…’

They forced us! We didn’t want the money, but they made us take it! We had to! If we didn’t, they said they’d do – well, we can’t quite remember what they said they’d do if we didn’t take their money at once, but it was bad! Terribly bad! We had no choice! We’re victims of Providing Money with Menaces!

– Commenter llamas

Samizdata quote of the day

And so it has proved — self-appointed Muslim leaders have reacted with the usual mixture of petulance and confected outrage. The letter, they insist, is ‘patronising’. One spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain asked: why no similar letter to Christian church leaders demanding they disassociate themselves from the English Defence League? It is difficult to imagine a more lame or ridiculous riposte.

The EDL is habitually reviled by British politicians and church leaders alike — and reviled for nothing more than its thuggish opinions and rare, sparsely attended marches. The EDL has not murdered anyone, nor sent its thick-as-mince legions to fight for the Islamic State, nor blown people up in London, nor tried to decapitate British soldiers on the streets of Woolwich. Reprehensible (and, frankly, laughable) though the EDL may be, there is simply no comparison. And to make the comparison suggests strongly to me that the Muslim Council of Britain does not remotely get the point. But then we should remember the former leader of the Muslim Council of Britain, Iqbal Sacranie, once suggested that mere death was ‘perhaps too easy’ for Salman Rushdie. A little after he said that, we knighted him. And for a long while the MCB refused to attend the British holocaust memorial service.

We have indulged parts of our Muslim community in epic paranoia, victimhood, clamorous obsessions and pre-medieval cultural appurtenances for way too long. And so perhaps it is too late to venture, tentatively, that we got our approach all wrong

Rod Liddle

Samizdata quote of the day

Crash OverRide Network is not an anti-harassment campaign. It cannot be an anti-harassment campaign as it is run by someone who profits and gains notoriety by openly harassing people online. An anti harassment campaign is one that works to prevent the harassment of everyone, whether you personally like them, whether you disagree with things they have done, or whether they share your political ideals. If Quinn really wished to prevent harassment online, she would stop perpetrating it. I will surely not be the last woman she tries to remove from our industry.

Georgina Young

Of course the BBC, pretty much the worst tech reporters to be found anywhere, fail their due diligence as usual and just report it all at face value.

Samizdata quote of the day

Plain packaging is an appalling intrusion into consumer choice and the operation of the free market.

Nigel Farage

Samizdata quote of the day

Of all the legion of bad outcomes that result from political ambition, the most striking of our times is surely the euro, an unashamedly political project bolted on to sovereign European nations of long and proud competing traditions in the hope of making them more like the United States, at least in terms of economic prowess.

Jeremy Warner.

Samizdata quote of the day

Detractors will try to argue that the poorest quintiles have a smaller percentage of the overall pie. And that might be true, but the pie is much, much bigger. Would you rather have 50 percent of a million or 20 percent of a billion? Another way of putting this is: Would you rather be better off, even if that meant certain people were super well off? Or would you rather everyone were worse off, as long as everyone were relatively equal?

That the poorest among us are still, on balance, doing better today than they were 50 years ago is a remarkable testimony to what relatively free people and markets can do, even as governments put up roadblocks. So if the poor aren’t getting poorer, why do people say they are?

Max Borders