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Samizdata quote of the day

It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

– Leonardo da Vinci

16 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Whilst this quote is true, it leaves unsaid that defeating any great evil always sounds better. For instance, if Hitler had fallen off the platform at Nurenberg, and died, wouldn’t people be saying “He wasn’t so bad. I bet he never meant it. And at least he wasn’t a communist!”
    And sometimes it takes time to recognise something as evil. The welfare state sounded benevolent when first introduced, no doubt. Now we’d all cheer the David who beats this goliath of a program!

  • This quote is particularly true of boxes of Jaffa Cakes.

  • Ian F4

    This quote is particularly true of boxes of Jaffa Cakes.

    Absolutely, if the government had pushed hard at the beginning to classify them as biscuits then we would not have missed out on the VAT generated and probably would have been nowhere near as deep in deficit, judging by the English fondness for said biscuit, sorry, “cake”.

  • Jaffa Cakes… the very nadir of British foodstuffs :-/

  • Jaffa cakes are nice, which is more than can be said for GramscoStaliNazis.

    There are bookmakers already taking bets on how many times I will mention (Jaffa Cakes) in the LA’s Christmas Message.

  • John B

    Mmm, and battles lost when thought won?

    Very nice dunked in coffee, though.

  • “…the very nadir of British foodstuffs..”

    Oh, no, no: that title surely belongs to mushy peas.

  • Richard Thomas

    Nuke, you’re not wrong but the welfare state should have triggered alarm bells as soon as it was contemplated (Particularly the whole pensions/social security thing). In fact, I’m sure it did for quite a few.

    I guess a mitigating factor is that it hadn’t really been tried before. It’s always worth bearing in mind that we’re still pretty much at the start of history, not the end. But a royal f-up all the same.

  • Richard,
    The operative word in your comment is “should”.

    I’m with Nuke on this. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Only last night I reflected (this is true) that I should have stuck a pony on Matt to win X-Factor right at the start. I had a feeling about Matt right from the start of the show proper (I did) but was it a strong enough feeling not to trot of down to the bookies. Clearly it wasn’t.

    As to the truly important question…

    Perry, mike,
    I’m really stuck between the two of you on the Jaffa Cake / mushy pea dichotomy. I suggest resolving it via a dialectic analysis. The absolute nadir of the British culinary arts is the Jaffa Cake dunked in mushy peas.

  • Off topic, but also a little on topic, since its sort of about things being easier to stop at the start than at the end-

    Purely hypothetically, does anyone know what happens if you are declared personally bankrupt, but you’re a director of a limited company that has no debt at all, and is thus making a modest profit? I know bankrupts can’t be company directors, but will the company and its assets be seized, or closed down, or what? Just out of interest, what with folks here being quite financially astute and all. I have a close friend who is in a bit of a pickle.

  • RW

    Wtf have i been smitten? I thought I gave Ian B a helpful answer…

    [em]Editor’s comment: Just read the explanatory link provided when your comment got moderated by smitebot.[/em]

  • Tedd


    Purely hypothetically, does anyone know what happens if you are declared personally bankrupt, but you’re a director of a limited company that has no debt at all, and is thus making a modest profit?

    Disclaimer: I’m speaking as a business owner and not an expert in corporate law.

    If it’s a joint-stock limited company in which the person owns shares then those shares are part of their personal estate and, to declare personal bankruptcy, I think they would have to liquidate those shares. I suspect many a family-based business has been lost by family members being forced to liquidate that way when other family members where unable to buy their shares.

    If they’re only a “director” in the sense of “manager,” without owning shares, then they’re just an employee and their status as director is of no more significance to personal bankruptcy proceedings than if they were a janitor.

    In either case, the corporation is a separate legal entity that’s not under any obligation to honour the personal debts of its owners (or employees).

  • Richard Thomas

    Nick, exactly so. But I think it may be important not to simply dismiss the mistakes of the past with a “It was in the past and they lacked hindsight”. It appears those who wish to control us did not and are quite happy to be engineering similar circumstances in order to advance their agenda.

  • Roue le Jour

    Ian B, I’m probably hopelessly out of date as its some years since I was director of a one man consultancy, but my observation then was there’s nobody actually pursuing that stuff. You hear about cases where the MD was barred, returns hadn’t been filed with Companies House etc. and it only comes to light because the company was engaged in genuine fraudulent behaviour.

    With all usual caveats, your scenario seems most unlikely. I would expect the company secretary to be told that the company must appoint a new MD or cease trading. Your friend probably has plenty of time to appoint a family member in his place or close the company down in an orderly fashion.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes it is true for both the small things (such as Ian B.s example of the cakes) or for big things (such as the rise of Hitler).

    The obvious example is entitlement schemes.

    If one prevents them (the entitlement schemes) happening then the millions of people who would “starve to death”, “die in the cold”, or “not get vital medical care” never become dependent on them in the first place.

    And, contrary to propaganda, that is not because the above terrible things happen to them – it is because civil society is not undermined.

    Once the schemes are in place they grow like cancer – one example is Medicaid and Medicare. Even together they were “only” five billion Dollars in 1965.

    Look up how many HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS they are now.

    The statist system was doomed even before Obamacare was passed on top – and it will drag many millions of people down with it when it collapses.

    The very thing that the entitlement schemes were supposed to prevent (the things that were NOT happening before they were created) may happen because they were created.

    Yes the millions of people starving, or dying in the cold, or not getting vital medical care.