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 funny thing happened in my local bank…

Earlier today I was standing in line waiting for a teller in my local bank, when some chap who was clearly a few cards short of a full deck started complaining at the top of his voice:

“This is how a run on a bank starts! People see an unusual number of customers waiting line and become alarmed, and the next thing you know, it becomes a national crisis with banks collapsing!”

The rather well dressed fellow standing behind me immediately quipped:

“With a grasp of finance and human nature like that, this gentleman is clearly a contender for the Corbyn Shadow Cabinet.”

A great many people laughed. Made my day.

Samizdata quote of the day

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

Why Nigel Farage wants Corbyn4Leader

The Nigel has said he would welcome a win by Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership contest, because it would mean anti-EU forces within Labour would come to the front.

This may be true, but frankly I think it is not the main reason Farage truly wants to see Corbyn win: a far-left Labour Party makes it vastly more likely that within a few short years, the primary party of opposition facing the Tories will be… UKIP.

An unsolicited response – Barrister blows off Solicitor after ‘compliment’

A previously private exchange of messages on LinkedIn between a barrister*, Charlotte Proudman, and a solicitor*, Alexander Carter-Silk, disparate in age, has erupted into a ‘scandal’ after the barrister took umbrage at the solicitor’s comment on her photo, which he described as ‘stunning’. Not as stunning as her response, it seems, which we are told, set off a ‘Twitter storm’.

Miss Proudman said she found the message “offensive” as she was LinkedIn for “business purposes” and not “to be objectified by sexist men”.

She said: “The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women.
“Unacceptable and misogynic behaviour. Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message.”

It appears that she ‘connected’ with him on LinkedIn, he viewed her profile and made the offending comment, and she appears to be reporting Mr Carter-Silk for professional misconduct.

The Telegraph has piled in with some allegations about Ms Proudman having what one might call an ‘agenda’, being a member of the Fabian Society, and a feminist opposed to equality with men.

Earlier this year she used the left-wing website Left Foot Forward to explain that she was a campaigner for feminism, not equality, because: “Men live and work in a brutal society, which is maintained through stratified social order based on ritual humiliation, gentleman’s clubs, fights, rites of passage, sexism, and banter.
“When women enter the male realm whether law, politics, or a construction site, they find themselves in a repugnant world in which their only means of survival is by undergoing a fundamental transformation leaving them with little opportunity to make any change.”
If men and women were truly equal, she said, “men’s genitals would be sliced up” in the same way that some women are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).
She added: “Equality is harmful to women and most men, as they are required to replicate behaviours that are degrading and dehumanising.”

Some have suggested that the barrister may have ruined her career, after all, barristers work in the main comes from solicitors, and the message one might take from this is that if you offend Ms Proudperson, she would have no hesitation in seeking to a) disregard any convention as to privacy and confidence in communications and b) seek to publicise your wrong-doing as widely as possible, as part of her ‘jihad’ against misogyny. However, it should be pointed out that she was merely seeking to campaign against the ‘objectification’ of women by men, and no one should conflate private and public, indeed her Twitter feed appears to recognise the risk she runs, and frankly I suspect that she will be the ‘poor man’s Mrs Clooney go-to right-on lawyer of choice’ for a while, or perhaps in a while when she actually starts practising.

Will endure misogynistic backlash that accompanies calling out sexism in hope it encourages at least 1 woman2feel she doesn’t need 2 take it

Ms Proudman’s rationale for connecting with the solicitor appears to have been to make professional contacts, even though she is not actually practicing at the Bar as she is doing a Ph.D at Cambridge on law, er, female genital mutilation.

And there I was thinking that LinkedIn was for recruitment consultants to fish around for prospective clients.

Now what if the solicitor accuses the barrister of sexism, after all, would she have reacted in the same way and taken the same steps had a woman of a similar age and standing to the man provided such a comment on her photo? Not to have done so would smack of ‘disparate treatment’, a cardinal sin to the true SJW.

Is this not an indication that Twitter is, as someone called Stewart Lee said: “The Stasi for the Angry Birds Generation“?

And Lenin was reputed to have said ‘We must teach the children to hate.‘. A lesson that appears to have been well-taught and well-learned.

* For those unfamiliar, the English legal profession is divided into barristers, who do in the main courtroom advocacy and specialist advice, and solicitors (who, unlike Mr Carter-Silk) in the main solicit barristers for their clients and pay them to argue a case in court, and do the preparation work for cases etc.

“Yay” or “nay”?

British jihadis are killed by drone strike ordered by the PM

The revelation that Khan, 21, from Cardiff, had been assassinated in the first RAF drone strike against a Briton triggered claims of extra-judicial killing. But Mr Cameron insisted the attacks were an act of self-defence

How say you?

Samizdata quote of the day

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

Cameron folds on demanding opt out from EU labour regulations

Seriously was anyone so credulous that they did not see this coming? To expect Cameron to stand his ground demanding the return of the opt out abandoned by Tony Blair, is like expecting a jellyfish to lift weights.

But at least the tech sector must be happy with Cameron, as he has promised to increase incentives for UK businesses to invest in more labour saving technologies, thereby increasing productivity and reducing total hours of employment needed, or to just automating certain jobs away entirely.

There is a tide in the affairs of men. There is also freak flash flooding.

The BBC, commendably, has taken to occasionally giving over a spare channel to its election coverage from days gone by, without modern commentary. The programme about the general election of 1955 can be seen here or here.

At 2 hours 25 minutes there is an interview with former Liberal Chief Whip Frank Byers. At 2:29 he says,

I should say that the major issue which has arisen as a result of the election, now that we know it, is the future of the Labour Party. Because quite frankly I think that if that party is gong to remain as the official opposition – and I don’t see it doing so, but if it is – it’s got to do a great deal of fresh thinking. It’s got to have, I think, a policy that does not include all this nationalisation and control, and I think they’ve got to bring a good deal of business experience into their academic economics; and until they do that I don’t see them getting back into power. In fact I hope they don’t, until they’ve got a proper policy. It may well be that this is the beginning of the Liberal Party transplanting the socialist party as the official opposition.

Byers was wrong. Nothing remotely like that came to pass in the years following 1955. But I predict that his prediction might be dusted off and sold as “mint condition vintage” in 2020.

This whole Jeremy Corbyn thing is a cosmic rebuke to the idea that chance plays no role in history. For those who do not follow British politics, what happened is this. The declining Labour party, desperate to attract more recruits, made it easy and cheap to register as a supporter. After Ed Miliband’s resignation at first all the candidates for the next leader were fairly centrist. There was a consensus among Labour MPs that they should take on board what the British electorate had told them in unexpectedly giving the Conservatives a majority in the 2015 election. Then a few MPs decided to give the perennial left wing rebel Jeremy Corbyn a chance to play too, basically out of pity. Thanks to their intervention he reached the threshold number of nominations from MPs needed in order to go on the ballot two minutes before the deadline. Big mistake. First some mischievous Tories decided to register as Labour in order to screw the Labour party around by voting for Corbyn the electoral no-hoper. Then the far-left entryists awoke from their thirty-year slumber and saw that this was a chance for them, too. Social media spread the idea among left wing students and beaten-down old socialists suddenly aflame with new hope. The role of social media, perhaps, could have been predicted – but nobody did predict it. Thousands then hundreds of thousands paid their £3 and registered to vote. It now looks almost certain that Corbachov will be the next Labour leader. Next prime minister, not so likely.

Though now it is established that in the ever-branching tree of alternate worlds we live in a stunted little twig poking out at an odd angle, I dare not predict anything with confidence any more. Johnny English did become head of MI7, after all.

Samizdata quote of the day

Those who regard themselves as the custodians of Labour’s electability know whom to blame: Jeremy Corbyn. They regard him as Labour’s id, a morass of self-indulgence who has escaped the control of the superego; the pleasure principle of socialist fantasy, revolting against the reality principle of government. Although one can understand why they feel this way, they are guilty of intellectual dishonesty.

Bruce Anderson

Samizdata idiotic quote of the day

Even so, with eight months of the fiscal year still to go and often large revisions to early borrowing estimates, it is too soon to conclude that the Chancellor is meeting his fiscal plans with room to spare and could therefore reduce the scale of the austerity measures set to hit the economy.

– Samuel Tombs, economist at Capital Economics, quote here.

Listen up you ‘tard, it would be a very good thing indeed if even more ‘austerity’ measures were “set to hit the economy”. ‘Austerity’, as you Keynesian fuckwits like to call the state spending slightly less of other people’s confiscated money, means the money in question gets used in the economy under private economic direction, rather than malinvested by the damn state.



In the olden days, anyone got a letter from the Labour Party telling them their support was rejected and their vote wouldn’t count because “we have reason to believe you do not support the aims and values” would moan about it to a few friends and that would be that.

But it is not the olden days any more, so get your popcorn out!

If the NHS is the ‘envy of the world’, no need to fix it then, right?

The dramatically named NHS Survival – an “umbrella group bringing together patients, public and professionals” – echoes previous dire warnings that we had “24 hours to save the NHS”, or “14 days to save the NHS”, and so on. At best it seems a bit “boy who cried wolf” and at worst actually contradictory.

Backed by many of the same people who cherry-pick the Commonwealth Fund report to claim the NHS is just super, its website says that “our NHS is a wonder of the world”. In another part, it warns “the NHS will continue to fail”. If it’s failing, then why are they trying to save it? If it’s so good, why are they trying to fix it?

Contradictions like this make it difficult to take the group seriously at all. We are told that it wants an “independent body” (presumably stuffed with NHS staff) to set funding requirements for the NHS. Yet the campaign’s whole website is predicated on the idea that it already knows what funding needs to be – higher, much higher.

Ryan Bourne