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Samizdata quote of the day

But Mark wants freedom for unhealthy things!

– one of the Liberal Democrat leadership candidates on today’s BBC Politics Show.

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13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nick M

    Which Mark? Littlewood? Pennington?

    Which Lib Dem candidate? Clegg? That other bloke? Are there any more? Do I care? Do they care? Does anyone care?

    Screw waterboarding! If the CIA had VHS of any Lib Dem conference then making a suspected Jihadi watch that would certainly be both cruel and unusual.

  • countingcats

    “But Mark wants freedom for unhealthy things!”

    What? Like drinking wine? Snow skiing? Eating taramasalata (eggs, cholesterol dontchaknow)?

    No Lib Dem ever been known to do these things.

    Liberals used to be, well, kinda like, liberal. What facist wanking c***s these guys are.

  • Paul Marks

    “Freedom” for “healthy” things only.

    Food and general “life style” to be dictated by the government in every detail. Even “unhealthy” thoughts to be “educated” away.

  • WalterBoswell

    It never ends. This shameless “we know best, we will decide, we own you” mentality. Just last Friday, on a popular Irish chat show, one of the current Irish government’s ministers stated that if they had to do it all over again perhaps they would make tobacco & alcohol illegal, that perhaps it would be for the best. He sat their and said that, with a smug little smirk on his face like he was deliberating over today’s choice of lunch.

    This was in response to a another guest, a journalist and ex-cocaine user, who had come on to defend the right of people to put pretty much whatever they wanted into their own bodies and to argue the point that the state by making drugs illegal were as responsible for the drug dealers as the users who purchased drugs.

    I was doubly sickened by this minister’s arrogance. Not only was he proudly displaying his contempt for peoples liberty but because he was a member of the political party with the greatest percentage of years in power they, his party, were in his mind the only ruling power in the country, even at a hypothetical hindsight level.

    I sincerely doubt if I’ll be voting in any upcoming elections.

  • WalterBoswell

    … he sat there, not their, I have no chair, it’s difficult to type without a chair.

  • Bill M

    Chris Huhne appears to have been arguing on the Politics Show that smoking in public places does harm to others and that on that basis it was reasonable to ban it using John Stuart Mill’s liberal principle that my right to swing my fists ends where your nose begins. He did not base his argument on the effects on a smoker’s own health.

    CHRIS HUHNE: “On the smoking ban I don’t [think Mark Littlewood has a point] because I think the liberal principle is that people should be free to do whatever they like so long as they’re not inflicting harm on other and there was very good evidence that public smoking for example, does inflict harm on others, not least on the employees in the bars and clubs that are there.”

  • Bill M

    Chris Huhne appears to have been arguing on today’s Politics Show that smoking in public places does harm to others and that on that basis it was reasonable to ban it using John Stuart Mill’s liberal principle that my right to swing my fists ends where your nose begins. He did not base his argument on the effects on a smoker’s own health.

    CHRIS HUHNE:

    On the smoking ban I don’t [think Mark Littlewood has a point] because I think the liberal principle is that people should be free to do whatever they like so long as they’re not inflicting harm on other and there was very good evidence that public smoking for example, does inflict harm on others, not least on the employees in the bars and clubs that are there.

  • fjfjfj

    These would be the people randomly conscripted to work as bar staff, I take it?

  • RAB

    Sheesh!
    Let’s take the example of our armed forces.
    Nobody “Forced” them to join. The bottom line, as I’m sure they are quickly led to understand is that-

    A large part of the job is that there will be lots of people trying to kill you if you take up this vocation.
    The money’s not great, but what do you say?

    Well put that way, it’s amazing we have any troops at all!
    Whenever I see an “It has been proved” I itch for my gun.
    I have never seen a barman/aid who didn’t personally smoke, and I’ve been in more boozers than Dylan Thomas (probably cos I’ve outlived him the poor weak livered bastard!)

  • Nick M

    Well, RAB,
    If I ruled the world, or at least the UK, then our squadies would get a hefty pay rise. This would be easily funded by the sacking of five-a-day co-ordinators, social workers and assorted other parasites.

    I recently saw on the telly stuff filmed on one of our Vanguard class SSBNs (Trident nuclear missile sub to folks who don’t read Tom Clancy) and they have the smoking ban too. This is insane. They have the capacity to level Europe but they can’t have a ruminative fag first? Health and safety says NO! They’re travelling in a vessel surrounded by icy-cold crushing water and is powered by turning matter into energy. They have missiles that can fuck over a continent yet they’re not allowed to have a fag because it’s dangerous!

    And there will be no fighting in the war room!

  • Isaac

    You are free to do as we tell you!

  • Paul Marks

    The above interpretion of J.S. Mill is not quite what he really held (if he is read closely) – although most libertarians (and non libertarians) think it was the position of J.S. Mill.

    For example, even in “On Liberty” (let alone “Principles of Political Economy”) there is a lot of dodgy stuff – for example it is not a violation of liberty to regulate or ban what people sell (whether it “harms” anyone or not) as freedom to sell is not part of the principle of liberty – it is just political economy (according to J.S.). Oddly enough J.S.M. even draws a distiction between freedom to buy and freedom to sell (the absurdity of such a position does not strike him).

    Of course the “harm” principle is itself vague.

    A freedom to move my fist stopping at the end of your nose would be a nonaggression principle (as in the Common Law), but that is not quite the same thing as teh “harm” principle.

  • MarkE

    I think Blair actually believed that freedom to do or say only what he approved of was genuine freedom, because he knew what was best for us, which is worrying. I don’t think Brown has ever thought about the matter because it has no effect on the proles’ ability to work and pay taxes to fund his new Jerusalem, which is scary.