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Samizdata quote of the day

Yesterday I said the British police had hit rock bottom and started to drill. Last night they shipped in some dynamite:

Tim Newman

19 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Watchman

    It’s reassuring to see the police are doing their best to ensure there is a growing distance between the state and the population. We can only encourage them to continue on their chosen mission (this has to be a deliberate attempt to show the stupidity of the state yes?).

  • Mr Ecks

    The Tweet storm against them is truly glorious. Their fuckwit Home Office bosses must have cottoned on by now. Black eyes all around.


  • Watchman

    Mr Ecks,

    Why would their bosses cotton on? You think this will be reported by the people responsible (who are probably discounting it as a bunch of nutters, since the views expressed are different from their own? And do you think anyone in the Home Office will read and admit to reading sites such as this or Tim’s? You think most journalists in the UK would care about this?

    The Internet is only the start – if you want to have proper fun, it needs to be tipped over into someone’s consciouness, who might feel the heat on this (or be worried they will). If we want to make the tweet storm a proper storm, then we need to do it ourselves. I’ve kindly flagged this to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, just in case he’s not a total makeweight and does not have some social justice wannabe manning his email account. Maybe a few more well placed notifications of a problem (I did this in a spirit of ensuring civil service professionalism and trust in the police – it’s a professional skill) might make things more amusing for people. Call it the polite version of the left-wing twitter storm ostracisations perhaps.

  • Laird

    “the above reads like it was written by someone whose entire literary consumption consists of warning signs.” Love it!

    “Cotton on”? That sounds racist!

  • John K

    I see that Wiltshire Police’s badge contains a large cross, the very symbol of the Crusades. How very dare they? Who will punish them for their blatant islamphobia?

  • Watchman


    Had to think about that one for a minute – it might be beyond the wit of your average socially aware twitter moron, as most of them probably consider slavery something done to people out of white people’s innate sadism rather than understanding the economic system that powered it (and realising therefore the important role of (admittedly not quite the same) said sadistic white people in ending slavery).

  • Sam Duncan

    “The police have become so used to making up the law as they go along, often deliberately misinforming citizens as to what the law is in order to get their way (particularly with regard to photographing things, and especially when the police are called in support of some jobsworth in a hi-viz vest), that they probably no longer know what the law is.”

    Does anyone? How can they possibly teach Police recruits what law they’re supposed to be enforcing when there’s so bloody much of it?

    I may have mentioned before that one of the epiphanies I had when I was younger that stopped me from going into the legal profession (and probably informed my libertarianism too) was when my father showed me his firm’s bookcase of statutes. It started back in the early 18th Century with some slim annual volumes (slightly thicker than a DVD case, I’d say, from memory). They gradually increased in width over the years, and the final one – 1989, I think this was – was the thicker than most dictionaries, almost too large to be comfortably read. When I asked whether it was that year’s or the previous one, the reply was, “This year… so far. There’ll be at least another two”.

    How can anyone keep up with that? I shudder to think what it’s like now.

  • Laird

    Sam, in answer to your question no one can keep up with it. But no one has to. Most lawyers specialize in one area of the law or another, and it generally isn’t all that difficult to keep up with changes to that area. (Keeping up with regulatory changes, especially in areas where regulators are particularly active, is another matter, but again is generally doable although it might ultimately require even more narrow specialization). And the police are no different: they specialize in criminal law, and while that does change more than many of us would like, it’s still within the capacity of most humans of average intelligence to keep up. So I think Tim Newman’s explanation is likely valid.

  • Sam Duncan

    Oh, true enough, Laird. I’m not arguing with Tim. But, as you say, specialization is becoming ever narrower as a result of all this. I can’t remember who it was who said, “I’m a mammal, not an invertebrate; I don’t specialize,” but I sympathise with the sentiment. 🙂

  • @Sam Duncan: That’s a Heinlein quote, isn’t it?

  • Paul Marks

    Good post.

    Although it must be remembered that when British officials push Frankfurt School of Marxism (“Political Correctness” or “Critical Theory”) ideas, they do NOT actually know they are from the Frankfurt School of Marxism.

    British officials have gone to university and so on – but that does not mean they know the sources of the ideas they push. Conservative Party ministers push the same Frankfurt School of Marxism ideas – and they do not have a clue what they are pushing.

  • Sam Duncan

    Possibly, Julia. I first read it as a quote, and I’m pretty sure it was attributed to an actual historical (or maybe living) scientist. But that may have been wrong. Or I am.

    I should read more Heinlein.

  • Laird

    It certainly sounds Heinleinesque, but I don’t think it is. This one is: “Specialization is for insects.” (That’s the end of a longer quote.)

  • Slartibartfarst

    It’s such a silly tweet stream, one wonders whether mischievous hackers may have hacked the Wiltshire police’s tweet ID, just for a lark, like. 🙄

  • Mr Ed

    Wiltshire Police have previous for sinister, Stasi-like actions.

    Police apologise after asking newsagents for names of customers who bought satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the wake of Paris massacre
    Wiltshire Police requested details of all people who bought Charlie Hebdo

    I wonder if they are looking at Wiltshire ham now.

  • @Slartibartfast: “It’s such a silly tweet stream, one wonders whether mischievous hackers may have hacked the Wiltshire police’s tweet ID, just for a lark, like.”

    If so, it would appear they’ve targeted Bedfordshire Police too.

  • Alisa

    God(ess) help us all, Mr. Ed…