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

In brief, the SNP’s dislike of the UK is more that the UK might be a brake on their statism than anything else. Hatred of the English is actually hatred of the (vestigial) freedom that England represents.

– Commenter Mr. Ed

Samizdata quote of the day

Due to come into force in August 2016, the Named Person initiative is truly dystopian. Once, it was only abandoned or orphaned children who became charges of the state; now, all Scottish children will effectively be wards of the state under a new, vast system of, in essence, shadow parenting. In an expression of alarming distrust in parents, and utter contempt for the idea of familial sovereignty and privacy, the state in Scotland wants to attach an official to every kid and to keep tabs on said kid’s physical and moral wellbeing.

There’ll be a state spy in every family. In Scotland, Big Brother is not only watching you (it was recently revealed that Scotland has 4,114 public-space CCTV cameras and “camera vans,” which drive through towns filming the allegedly suspect populace); he’s also watching your kids.

Brendan O’Neill

I foresee business opportunities in proxy servers/geolocation spoofing

The dismal forces are indeed massing as I predicted. That well documented fountain of fraudulent claims the NSPCC and all the usual dismal censors, from assorted statists of the nominal right like Sajid Javid, to the usual leftists are indeed starting to metastasise into another effort to control the internet. For the children of course.

We need products than make proxy servers and geolocation spoofing default-easy for the 95 IQ user, something people just use because it is cheap and largely invisible… with end to end encryption and all those other things that states hate integrated in at the lowest level possible.

Defying the New Endarkenment

Back in the 1986, we actually had that bastion of idiotarianism, Channel Four, run a program called “The New Enlightenment: the rebirth of liberalism”, about Frederick Hayek, Milton Friedman et al. But I would have never guessed that in 2015 we would be experiencing a New Endarkenment.

Fuck you. No seriously, fuck every last one of you who turned off those lights and made parts of glorious London look like North Korea.

Well my house was a gleaming beacon I can assure you, with every single light turned on. Maybe I will purchased some searchlights for next year’s endarkenment.

Yeah, this is my ‘hang over’ from ‘Earth Hour’ rather than this incident per se.

The long arm of the law

The Metropolitan Police have today dug up the remains of Richard III, a week after he was re-interred in Leicester after resting under what became a car park after 500 years, in an exercise reportedly designed to show their commitment to tackling historic child abuse. Executing a warrant under Schedule 5 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 permitting them to exhume the bones, they claim to be looking for any DNA evidence linking Richard III to the deaths of the Princes in the Tower.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: ‘The Princes were held in the Tower of London, which is now within the Metropolitan Police District. As a service, we are committed to tackling all historic allegations of child abuse, even this instance of child abduction and a possible double murder. Whilst there is obviously no possibility of charges arising from this investigation, it will serve as a signal to those who may feel reluctant about coming forward to report abuse that there is no one who is above the law and the highest in the land will be investigated’. The spokeswoman also said that the timing of the exhumation was not an accident, they did not wish to prejudice any investigation by incurring publicity before Richard III’s burial, and to maintain operational secrecy they waited until after burial, as to have examined the bones beforehand would have meant applying to the Ministry of Justice for a variation on the licence granted to allow the bones to be tested, which might have led to political interference. The spokeswoman further justified the investigation by saying that it would provide a valuable exercise in testing the boundaries of forensic techniques, and may enable more recent ‘cold cases’ to be re-opened by stretching the boundaries of forensic science.

The investigation follows a number of raids on the homes of VIPs by police investigating allegations of historic child abuse, and the news that late Sir Cyril Smith, a former Liberal Democrat heavyweight MP, was arrested at a children’s home and then promptly released following intervention from senior officers despite being found with two boys. Cynics might wonder if the raid had been timed to occur after the Dissolution of Parliament on Monday and as the General Election starts, to avoid the matter being raised in Parliament by sceptical MPs concerned about police wasting resources by stunts.

So here comes the next ‘moral panic’

I assume this risible claim by NSPCC (the quango responsible for the discredited family destroying ‘satanic‘ moral panic of the 1980’s/90’s), is priming the pump for the next assault on civil liberties to justify its existence, yes?

A tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds fear they are “addicted” to pornography, an NSPCC ChildLine survey has concluded.
One in five of nearly 700 youngsters surveyed said they had seen pornographic images that had shocked or upset them, researchers found

…”researchers found” is a phase that is pure gold, it is not? Perhaps children have fundamentally changed since I was one, but when I was in my early teens, if I saw a ‘helpline’ being advertised that could assist me regarding porn, I would have called it on the assumption they were going to help me find the ‘good stuff’ rather than those hairy porkers in Mayfair or Men Only 😉

Yet another superb argument for home schooling

When I read this:

Head teachers in Cheshire have warned parents they will report them to the authorities if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

“We are trying to help parents to keep their children as safe as possible in this digital era.”

… I concluded the best way to keep your children safe is to home school them so that they stay as far away as possible, not from GTA, but from power obsessed busybodies like these people.

This is not going to end well (Part 38,239)

This was tweeted by Dominic Frisby earlier today:

CBLF6YDWUAACbaJ

As he says: “1st-time-buyer earnings-to-house-price ratio in London. Gulp. And London 1st-time-buyers are old too … ”

The moment interest rates go up, even slightly, there is going to be an almighty collapse.

Kicking the state out of the bedrooms of Ireland, North and South

Sex worker to launch legal challenge against NI prostitution ban

A sex worker is using European human rights legislation to try to overturn a new law in Northern Ireland that makes it illegal to pay for prostitutes.

Dublin-born law graduate Laura Lee is launching an unprecedented legal challenge that could go all the way to Strasbourg, against a human trafficking bill which includes banning the payment for sex among consenting adults.

The region is the only part of the UK where people can be convicted of paying for sex. The law, which was championed by Democratic Unionist peer and Stormont assembly member Lord Morrow, comes into effect on 1 June.

[…]

Lee said she will fund the case partly via crowdfunding on social media networks and from sex worker campaign groups across the world.

Lee, an Irish psychology graduate whose range of services include S&M and bondage, said she was also taking the legal challenge to thwart an attempt to introduce a similar law criminalising the consumers of sex in the Irish Republic.

An alliance of radical feminist groups and a number of nuns from Catholic religious orders are lobbying southern Irish political parties to pass a Nordic-style law outlawing the purchase of sex.

I have no stupid puns to make. This legal case is an important challenge to intolerable state intrusion. I wish Ms Lee the best of luck.

What do the Maori and Welsh languages have in common?

Intrigued by the possibility of some hitherto unknown Polynesian/Celtic linguistic cross-fertilisation, I clicked on this YouTube video clip.

Watching it saddened me. Intrepid sailors though they were, the ancestors of the Maori people never made it to Wales. The Welsh did reach New Zealand, but in steamships rather than coracles. Bidding farewell to a pair of outré alt-hist scenarios was not the reason for my sadness, however. What depressed me about this video was that, like almost every other discussion of preserving minority languages that I have ever seen, it was fixated on compulsion.

According to the video, an excerpt from a New Zealand TV programme, what Maori and Welsh have in common is that they are only kept going by forcing people to speak them and ain’t that wonderful. One minute into the clip, the commentary says,

“Four New Zealand teachers on a British Council “Linking Minds” scholarship were given a chance to see how compulsion is helping to save the Welsh language, Cymraeg, from extinction.”

Just after that one of the teachers, Nichola McCall, says to camera,

“The Welsh people have used law to support the use of the language, used it to build its status, used it to change public opinion. I think the law has really encouraged or helped education to do what it’s doing with the language, to help with its revival, to help bring it equal status with the English language here.”

Later on Ann Keane, Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales says at 3:24,

“If you live in Wales then you are entitled to learn something about its culture, its history and to learn something of its language.”

Who could object to that? I could, because she is using the word “entitled” in an Orwellian sense that I first noticed being used among educational opinion-formers when I was a teacher a quarter of a century ago. In Educratese “you are entitled to do this” means “you are not entitled not to do this”. Ms Keane continues:

“The time was right in Wales to bring Welsh in as a compulsory, as a mandatory, part of the National Curriculum in 1990.”

The use of locutions such as “the time was right” or “the situation demanded” to describe how a law came to be passed is another trick of speech I have long hated. It makes it sound as if, rather than one more-powerful bunch of humans forcing another less-powerful bunch to do their bidding, it all happened by the irresistible pressure of some force of nature.

Just to reinforce that “entitled” is being used in this particular and deceptive sense, the commentator purrs approvingly:

“Ann believes all peoples living in Wales and New Zealand are entitled as citizens to learn the language of the land”.

This is immediately followed at 3:59 by Professor Mac Giolla Chriost of Cardiff University, who says that he thinks:

“the arguments for compulsion are much more powerful and convincing than the arguments against compulsion.”

We never get to learn what the arguments against compulsion are, so this claim is difficult to judge. The professor continues:

“There are very good arguments for making sure that all young people in New Zealand are allowed access to Maori as a part of their national identity . . . the only way of doing that, then, is compulsion.”

“Allowed access to Maori,” is another variant of “entitled to learn Maori” or “have the right to learn Maori”. All of them mean “will be forced to learn Maori”. It just sounds prettier if a pose is maintained that someone – probably an Englishman in imperialist headgear – is trying to stop eager pupils from learning Maori or Welsh, and the “right” or “entitlement” or “demand for access” is being asserted against such oppression. I do not know about New Zealand but that picture of Anglophone oppression was certainly true of Wales at one time, although most accounts of cruel practices such as the Welsh Not skirt around the fact that its use was supported by Welsh-speaking parents who saw English as the route to prosperity for their children. My late mother-in-law, for whom Welsh was the much-loved “language of the hearth”, confirmed to me that it was common in her childhood for Welsh-speaking parents to discourage the Welsh speech of their children. Few would have wished to punish Welsh in the home by means of the hairbrush or the belt, but plenty were happy to have the teacher do it in school, where they did not have to see their child cry. No doubt many African parents nowadays make the same calculation.

→ Continue reading: What do the Maori and Welsh languages have in common?

Pro-tax pro-poverty ‘charity’ Oxfam up to its usual tricks

The left wing ‘charity’ Oxfam has staged a stunt in Westminster demanding the government collect more in taxes.

Please remember the next time you get the urge to go into one of their shops, or donate goods or money to Oxfam, that they are nothing less than a left wing advocacy group favouring poverty-inducing statist policies worldwide. These people work tirelessly to cause the misery (I believe they like to call it ‘fairness’) that they ostensibly exist to alleviate.

Do not assist the insatiable beast who wishes to devour the riches of others.

Britain’s hollowed out legal system

Anyone else find this deeply creepy?

Senior bankers could face up to seven years in prison under new rules revealed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today. Following a series of scandals such as Libor and Forex, the financial watchdog has changed the legal requirement for punishment from “innocent until proven guilty” to “presumption of responsibility”.

So you are guilty until proven innocent?