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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

War on Evil

Whig interventionist is a term one could use to describe a partisan of limited government who supports war against tyranny. The problem is deciding on the right target.

UK versus USA

The unilateral decision to impose tariffs on steel by the US president in 2002 was an action which in the nineteenth century might have triggered a war. In this case the UK would unquestionably be the forces of enlightenment and the US the agent of darkness. As far as I have been able to establish, Iraq has no import tariffs.

France versus UK

I recently called for a British War on Chirac. Yet I would have to support a French war of liberation if the causus belli was alcohol prohibition. When taking a ferry to France, the bars and cheap alcohol shops are closed for the first 20 minutes, as long as the ferry is notionally in British territorial waters. Yet they stay open for the rest of the trip until the ship docks in a French port.

Coming back, the scenario is reversed. The shops open at once leaving France and close 20 minutes before landing in the UK. Considering that both countries supposedly operate identical European Union regulations on tax-free trade, this looks like the sort of provocation that China caused to trigger the Opium Wars.

Better still the French authorities do not care how much discounted alcohol and tobacco people carry, the British Gestapo consider 2,000 cigarettes to be organised crime.

In the UK it is illegal to sell alcohol after 11pm without a meal. In France it is illegal to sell a meal after 9pm unless alcohol is available.

French visitors to London now play spot the police camera.

I rest my case.

5 comments to War on Evil

  • Andrew Duffin


    In SOME PARTS OF the UK it might be illegal to sell alcohol after 11pm without a meal. Up here in more enlightened Scotland it’s no problem.

  • John Thacker

    Sheesh. Yes, the steel tariffs were and are a massively bad idea. Still, from that sentence one might think that there were no steel tariffs at all until last year. (Not to mention other insane tariffs, like the bizarre banana dispute and EU tariffs, the US’s already existing stupid sugar tariffs to boost corn syrup, etc.)

  • Perhaps Whig interventionism begins at home.

    We should clean out the Augean stables before presuming to launch an offensive elsewhere.

    Perhaps we should choose the country on the grounds of democracy and the highest tax rate: Sweden, Denmark, Finland…

  • Paul Marks

    The United States did indeed impose import tariffs on British iron and steel – and this harmed both nations.

    However, there was no tyrant in the United States to be overturned.

    Paul Marks.

  • This is an excellent time to get rid of those tariffs. (Blogged about it earlier today.) The 2004 Senate race looks good for the Republicans. The few exceptions include Illinois, which is unsalvageable, and Pennsylvania, currently represented by a RINO who voted against Bush over ANWR drilling.

    If we abolish them soon, we don’t lose anything we wouldn’t already lose, except possibly Specter’s place on the ballot (boo hoo).