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Uber petition breaks 600,000

The #SaveYourUber petition has, as of 10:45 pm in London, attracted 600,000+ names, and one of them is mine.

Of course the best way to save Uber is to get rid of Sadiq Khan and make the issue politically radioactive.

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52 comments to Uber petition breaks 600,000

  • Ferox

    Is there an actual mechanism for citizen initiatives in London, forcing a vote on the proposal with a minimum number of signatures?

  • Mr Ed

    Ferox,

    No. The most that there is is a requirement for a local referendum when a Council raises its taxes over a certain % figure in any year. Often increases are 0.01% below the threshold.

    There is also a government-run petition site which after 100,000 voters support it, may be debated by the House of Commons, but to no actual effect. Even then, many petitions are rejected as, well, bonkers or inappropriate.

  • Vinegar Joe

    I guess Sadiq Khan doesn’t realize that Uber is “part and parcel of living in a big city”……

  • Fred Z

    Uber drivers and customers should visit Khan’s home and “protest”.

  • morsjon

    I walked past the mayor on the streets once well before he became so much trouble. The infant Hitler question comes to mind.

  • Mr Ecks

    Well then Uber simply needs to say “Fuck off we are still going to operate”.

    There may be enough support for defying the law and –if needs be–putting fists in the faces of any Plod sent against you. Make sure that Uber’s Command and Control are beyond reach and just keep going.

    As seen with our breaded friends if you are violent and volatile then the “Authorities” lose a huge amount of interest in messing with you. Even as you spit on the coffins of dead soldiers.

    Feeble protests are ultimately no good. Someone somewhere is going to have to say “NO” AND make it stick.

    Sadsack Khan does indeed need to be destroyed. The best way would be to remove the voting rights of all those committed to 7th century beliefs.

    That and a Black Cab boycott should have some effect.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Does one have to be a resident of London or the UK to sign?

  • RAB

    Corbyn is perfectly happy to support illegal strikes in support of public sector pay increases, surely he can’t be hypocritical about supporting an illegal taxi firm? 😉

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    I’m sure Mayor Khan now realises the ban is politically toxic and I’m confident it will therefore be rescinded. As pete commented in a prior post on this site, it has upset a lot of liberal-left trendy types – and they have a lot of political clout.

    And a question: why can’t we on the libertarian right get the same level of support and publicity for what matters to us? For example, how about doing it for some man who has been jailed for nothing more than something he wrote somewhere.

  • tomsmith

    a question: why can’t we on the libertarian right get the same level of support and publicity for what matters to us?

    Libertarianism isn’t popular?

  • why can’t we on the libertarian right get the same level of support and publicity for what matters to us? For example, … for some man who has been jailed for nothing more than something he wrote somewhere. (Schrodinger’s Dog, September 24, 2017 at 1:44 pm)

    Libertarianism isn’t popular? (tomsmith, September 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm)

    Being repeatedly updated on what you must no longer say and what you must now say by PC types who endlessly move the goalposts is not popular. While some aspects of libertarianism can be hard to sell, asking “Has political correctness gone mad?” does not get a ‘what on earth do you mean?’ response from ordinary people. The refusal of Theresa May to campaign on having less aggressive, rather than more aggressive, ‘hate speech’ laws, like her refusal to advocate paying the EU nothing instead of billions, wholly reflects her (compromised and compromising) understanding, not what would be a politically possible way to get a better majority than May currently subsists on.

    The obstacles to advocating all our ideas are serious, but you could certainly win an election on a judicious selection of them. From the beginning, hate speech prosecutions have savoured of management, and conversely even the leader of the BNP was acquitted when it was a jury trial.

    Finding a way to reduce the underreporting of them would be a start.

  • Laird

    I was going to ask basically what Mr Ecks proposed.* What would happen if Uber simply ignored the ukase? (Like that alliteration?) As far as I know, all Uber that provides is a communications and billing service, none of which is necessarily sited in London (or even anywhere in the UK). It is the independent-contractor drivers who are violating the law; if they all continued business as usual are the police going to arrest all 40,000 of them? (Actually, that sounds like a good idea: it would reduce the amount of resources the police have to devote to persecuting people for “hate speech” and the like.) Does Uber (the corporation) have any assets in the UK which could be seized by the government? If not, why not just give Kahn a corporate middle finger and keep on truckin’?

    * Sidebar: I was amused by his reference to your “breaded” friends. Breading, of course, is usually followed by deep-frying. This suggests a novel and intriguing approach to the problem. Sort of a modern British version of the old custom of “tar and feathering”?

  • Alisa

    Mr. Ecks and Laird: based on various reports I’ve seen regarding Uber’s positions on various issues, I doubt the company will take that route. To me they seem like another success story made possible by “capitalism” (i.e. free markets), but brought about by people who instead put their faith in cronyism. I do hope to be proven wrong on this, though.

  • Libertarianism isn’t popular

    Only when it is sold as libertarianism. Unpack it and it is really very popular: free association, low taxes and free speech etc. once you get away from the governmental/media class.

  • Alisa

    Only when it is sold as libertarianism

    Yep. That’s why I always felt that packaging-and–labeling is not a good strategy for ‘changing hearts and minds’, other than for purely partisan purposes.

  • Indeed, Alisa, which is why I rarely even use the word ‘libertarian’ any more.

  • Alisa

    And as if to further confirm my suspicions about Uber’s upper echelon, Mr. Ed provides a useful link on another thread here.

  • Jamesg

    As Bill Bonner said the real role of government is to look into the future and prevent it from happening.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird, I also noticed the mention of the breaded ones. I think you’ve suggested a very good approach to dealing with them. With or without the oil dip, depending on the thickness of the coating. :>)

  • “I’m sure Mayor Khan now realises the ban is politically toxic and I’m confident it will therefore be rescinded.”

    Yep. I’m pretty sure he’s spent the weekend telling TfL that they should make it go away very quickly. My business is transport and TfL are utterly incompetent in almost everything they do.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Perry de Havilland (London)
    > Only when it is sold as libertarianism. Unpack it and it is really very popular:

    Unpack it a little and it is popular, unpack it much more and it becomes unpopular again quickly. “Do you believe in free speech?” “Well of course, it is an Englishman’s fundamental right!” “What do you think of Salman Rushidie’s latest novel?” “I think he should be strung up by the scrotum.”

    “Do you believe that people should be able to make whatever arrangements they like between themselves?” “Of course! Magna Carta and all that!” “So that baker who wouldn’t bake a cake for the gay couple because he is homophobic, you’re ok with that?” “Nah, we the court to issue a fine against him so large that he can’t ever bake another cake again!”

    “Do you believe ‘your body, your choice’?” “Of course, I won’t have those damn conservatives forcing their moral views on me!” “So you are ok cancer patients smoking a little weed to ease their suffering, or the local chemist selling mondafinil to help students study for exams” “Hell no, freaking junkies are destroying our culture.”

    And so forth.

  • “What do you think of Salman Rushidie’s latest novel?” “I think he should be strung up by the scrotum.”

    Firstly, is Rushidie still a thing? I really doubt any actual non-Muslim person in the UK gives a damn.

    “Nah, we the court to issue a fine against him so large that he can’t ever bake another cake again!”

    Incredibly, even most nominal lefties I know are at worst ambivalent on that and many actually think it is monstrous. I have only met a few who take the PC line.

    “Hell no, freaking junkies are destroying our culture.”

    As above. The Daily Mail crowd might take that view but I know Guardian and Telegraph tokers aplenty.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Perry thanks, I’m afraid I have been watching a lot of Hitchens lately, so perhaps a bit behind the times on Rushdie…. So let’s try again shall we?

    “Do you think people should be responsible for themselves?” “I guess but Scottish hospitals should definitely give a bunch of bling to new mums when they give birth.”

    “Do you think we should help out those less fortunate than ourselves?” “Sure, I think the government should raise taxes to help people with entitelments.”

    “Do you think parents should be responsible for the education of their children?” “Sure as long as the taxpayer pays for it, and as long as they are not taught to “hate”, and taught global warming, and taught about how awesome the queen is.”

    And on, and on. Many people like the principles of libertarianism until you actually apply them and they realize that they undermine some of their fundamental beliefs about what society should be like and should do.

  • Ferox

    Certainly free speech isn’t a popular view among the left anymore, at least not in the United States. Close to half (40%, IIRC) of all self-identified progressives now believe that “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment, according to some poll I saw a few days ago.

    I imagine things are in a similar way on your side of the water.

  • bobby b

    Fraser Orr
    September 25, 2017 at 12:15 am

    “Many people like the principles of libertarianism until you actually apply them and they realize that they undermine some of their fundamental beliefs about what society should be like and should do.”

    Where are you finding these people? I can show you huge swaths of the USA where the people would be giving answers far different from the ones you’re positing. Most of them would be hard-pressed to define “libertarian”, but actively live its precepts.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Only when it is sold as libertarianism. Unpack it and it is really very popular: free association, low taxes and free speech etc. once you get away from the governmental/media class.

    Very, very few people support genuine free association. For instance, extremely few people think restaurants should be able to discriminate against ethnic or religious minorities. Try arguing against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and see how far that gets you. CNN certainly won’t give such a libertarian message a sympathetic hearing.

    Obviously many people support low taxes because why not – its more money in your pocket – and because taxes are so insanely high these days in the first place and because we have a printing press that creates money out of thin air for any spending we want, so the idea that many people want lower taxes proves nothing except that people are greedy, taxes are high, and we have a printing press in the Federal Reserve. If we want to be objective about it, the USA taxes it’s own citizens at far more oppressive levels today than the Kings of England taxed the colonists of the American colonies pre-1776.

    Free speech de jure isn’t the same as free speech de facto. Western culture strictly regulates speech with such rigor that it really obviates the need for any de jure regulation to achieve the ongoing goal of shifting to the Left overton’s window of public policies acceptable to publicly support. Citizens of modern Western nations are fundamentally emotionally unfit to have open, civil dialogue with those who disagree with them because there has been such a strict narrowing of overton’s window due to such overtly stringent cultural regulation of free speech for so long that people have become increasingly unaware that there exist opinions outside of the narrow bounds of what today passes for mainstream opinion these days. Thus the extraordinary spectacle of trigger warnings, safe spaces, and hate speech. Besides, having de jure freedom of speech counts for very, very little when de facto freedom of speech is so exceptionally limited.

    If libertarian policies were popular it would be EASY to cut public spending. It’s almost impossible to cut public spending.

    If libertarianism were popular, it would be EASY for a GOP-controlled White House, GOP-controlled Senate and GOP-controlled House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare, which is destroying competition in the healthcare insurance market, burdening small businesses, eliminating full-time jobs, and ruining the American economy, especially after the GOP PROMISED TO REPEAL IT FOR YEARS.

  • Ferox

    Everybody is mostly libertarian these days, except for still wanting to keep their bastard neighbors from doing or saying things they don’t like. Oh, and other people need to help pay for their stuff.

    Other than that, though – mostly libertarian.

  • […] Saturday night, Perry de Havilland reported on the petition to rescind the TfL […]

  • tomsmith

    Many people like the principles of libertarianism until you actually apply them and they realize that they undermine some of their fundamental beliefs about what society should be like and should do.

    Exactly. Most people have no coherent conception of what they believe as a whole, it often being based upon many different and sometimes contradictory principles. It is true that you can get them to agree to some basic libertarian-ish ideas, but once you get into specifics they start to disagree again, often very strongly.

    The government and opinion formers of course navigate this quagmire expertly, using specifics to motivate the response they want. Libertarians sometimes blunder into this unaware and are easily portrayed as Nazis, homophobes, haters of the poor, exploiters, old fashioned, not respecting tradition…basically whatever they need to be portrayed as according to the issue of the day.

    I think the real reason that libertarians cannot get support for their ideas is threefold: 1. people are quite statist/collectivist in general and like free stuff and specific laws that benefit them/hurt those they perceive as not like them. 2. political culture in the West is self policing and heavily based upon the signalling of virtue. People feel good when they are doing this. 3. Libertarians are politically inflexible and unprepared to lie, therefore they are generally awful at playing the game of politics, continually score own goals, and are a kind of sport for their politically much more skilled opponents.

    While many people might like the sound of some libertarian ideas in general, once they are shown how it will impact specifically upon themselves or others as in 1. above, or how it will transgress PC boundaries as 2. or how libertarianism appears or is represented as 3., they realise that they do not in fact support those libertarian ideas.

  • “Sure as long as the taxpayer pays for it, and as long as they are not taught to “hate”, and taught global warming, and taught about how awesome the queen is.”

    Except you have to find a crazed activist or someone from Islington to hear anyone actually say that.

  • While many people might like the sound of some libertarian ideas in general, once they are shown how it will impact specifically upon themselves or others as in 1. above, or how it will transgress PC boundaries as 2. or how libertarianism appears or is represented as 3., they realise that they do not in fact support those libertarian ideas.

    Yet strangely, however imperfectly, such assumptions about liberty are all around us, and have been for a long time.

  • Paul Marks

    I have singed.

    An interesting case – normally when government sets up a “licensing” scheme it is individuals and small business enterprises that stuff this time the officials have picked on a large enterprise that can fight back.

    Of course most ordinary people can not fight back against a government “licensing” power – and that is a good reason why such a power must-not-exist. As for those people who think that “licensing” is about “protecting the consumer” – you are wrong, wildly wrong.

  • Paul Marks

    SM

    There is a massive difference between public disapproval of speech and being sent to prison for one’s peaceful opinions.

    To think otherwise is to fall into the J.S. Mill trap (in “On Liberty”) of saying people should not be allowed to “parade their disapproval” – which is absurd. What Johnny Mill got up to with Mrs Harriet Taylor is none of my business – but if other people want to turn their backs on Johnny and Harriet that is also none of my business, and J.S. Mill saying they should not be “allowed” to “parade their disapproval” of him rather shows that the late Maurice Cowling had (to some extent – NOT totally) a point when he claimed that J.S. Mill just wanted to replace one ruling elite (the landowners and priests) with another (him – and his fellow “liberal professionals”) – rather than really being in favour of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. However, this in only true to a point – normally J.S. Mill really was in favour of freedom (how some people treated him and treated Harriet rather clouded his judgement on this occasion).

    How many people support freedom of association – for example “no Irish need apply” signs (largely mythical by the way – as the Irish actually controlled the city of Boston where legend claims these “no Irish need apply” signs existed – no one has ever been able to show my a photograph of one of these signs in relation to Boston or other American cities and so I am uncertain about their existence). A TWISTED question – because supporting freedom of expression does NOT mean supporting hot it is used.

    The confusion (as always) is between crimes and sins – of course someone who puts up a sign saying “no Irish need apply” (or “no blacks need to apply”) is a bad man – and if you say in an opinion poll “is he a bad man for doing that?” the answer is, of course, “yes”. But that is NOT the same thing as a committing a crime one should to prison for – crimes and sins are not the same thing.

    It is perfectly consistent to say “you are total scumbag for putting up that sign and I will not shop here again – but of course you should not be sent to prison for putting that sign up”.

    As for the power of “social disapproval”.

    Who was denounced almost every day last year (and this year) in every American media outlet for what they have said?

    DONALD TRUMP.

    Every day Mr Trump said some terrible thing that was supposed to “destroy him for ever”.

    And then he won the election. So much for the power of “social disapproval”.

    Had Donald Trump being in his grandfather’s native Germany (or his mother’s native Scotland) he might well have been in a prison cell – not the Whitehouse, for his words.

    As I keep telling people – the “Frankfurt School of Marxism” means Frankfurt Germany, not Frankfurt Kentucky.

    People who think that P.C. originated in the United States are wrong. And people who think that P.C. is more powerful in the United States have to face the fact that in the United States Donald Trump was elected to be President – whereas in most of the modern West he would be prison for peacefully expressing his opinions.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The connected world is moving towards the expression of individual enterprise and the ctrl-left are eagerly wanting to stomp it at birth, the likes of Khan and Corbyn, as good little Marx fanboys, absolutely hate small and individually run business, or anyone doing their own thing, they simply must have a route in to control them.

    The problem that Khan et al cannot see is they are giving monopoly control to Uber on a plate, without the need for licensing, once Uber make it a success then other companies will want a piece of the action, but now Uber will get round whatever license hurdles Khan and the GMB puts in its way and lawyers its way round others, in the end they’ll have a neat market that their enemies have prevented competition in.

    If you want a plan for a libertarian takeover, you shouldn’t start with the tribalist political system we have now, instead build on what companies like Uber have done, nothing can stop progress, not even the “progressives” like Khan.

  • Paul Marks

    Is democracy the cause of Obamacare? No it is not – there was no great public demand for it, it was created by an academic and “intellectual” elite and then jammed through. As far as I know this is true of every Welfare State scheme everywhere – the intellectual elite (the heirs to Plato – no democrat) come up with this stuff and force into effect. And if they are defeated (as Presidents from “Teddy” Roosevelt to Bill-and-Hillary Clinton were defeated over government health care for all) they, the elite, keep coming back till they win.

    Is occupational or business licensing the fault of democracy? Or course not – the people do not go around demanding such things, such things are imposed by the “intellectual” elite (to “protect the consumer” – from themselves).

    Where things fall down is in REPEAL – or rather lack of repeal.

    Even when the people get a chance to vote and clearly vote for repeal – for example producing a Republican President, Senate and House all of whom have sworn (multiple times) to repeal Obamacare, or directly voting themselves as with the British people voting to regain their independence by getting out of the European Union. NOTHING HAPPENS.

    The people clearly say “we want the repeal of X” (for example to get out of the European Union) and it DOES NOT HAPPEN.

    But that is not the fault of democracy – the problem is clearly that we are NOT a democracy, that our “democratic institutions” are a SHAM. I would be happy to be proved wrong on this (say by Britain regaining its independence or by Obamacare being repealed), but it appears that “however you vote – the establishment elite rule”.

    Or as the old saying has it “if voting changed anything – voting would be illegal”. Again I WANT to be proved wrong on this, I would WELCOME being proved wrong on this. But till the people get their way on basic things (such as Britain regaining its independence, or Obamacare being repealed in the United States) I am forced to conclude that we are NOT under democratic government, that our “democracy” is a sham, a lie.

  • Paul Marks

    Licensing – without going back to the Roman Empire (Diocletian and co).

    Louis XIV (the Sun King) and his chief minister Colbert imposed licensing on just about everything – with merchants being forced to sit examinations before the government decided to let them trade, and artisans being treated in much the same way. The various Germanic rulers (such as Frederick the Great) later copied such thing, and in all cases it was a matter of a ruler being influenced by “expert” “intellectual” advice. People such as Colbert really believed in what they were doing – it was not bribes or “pressure from below”. The opinions of the people were not relevant to any of this.

    So it is not the “form of government” it is the POWERS of government that is the problem.

  • Darryl Watson

    And if they are defeated (as Presidents from “Teddy” Roosevelt to Bill-and-Hillary Clinton were defeated over government health care for all) they, the elite, keep coming back till they win.

    Then cannot the populous keep coming back until it wins?

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Shlomo Maistre
    September 25, 2017 at 4:02 am

    If libertarianism were popular, it would be EASY for a GOP-controlled White House, GOP-controlled Senate and GOP-controlled House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare, which is destroying competition in the healthcare insurance market, burdening small businesses, eliminating full-time jobs, and ruining the American economy, especially after the GOP PROMISED TO REPEAL IT FOR YEARS.

    Libertarianism certainly isn’t popular with the people who do government for a living. But if it wasn’t popular with a plurality of the people who merely suffer government, Trump (limited libertarian that he is) wouldn’t be President.

  • tomsmith

    Person from Porlock:

    Libertarianism certainly isn’t popular with the people who do government for a living. But if it wasn’t popular with a plurality of the people who merely suffer government, Trump (limited libertarian that he is) wouldn’t be President.

    Trump isn’t a libertarian?

    I think his appeal was as a nationalist, which he appears to have reneged upon. What a surprise.

    Paul Marks:

    Is democracy the cause of Obamacare? No it is not – there was no great public demand for it, it was created by an academic and “intellectual” elite and then jammed through. As far as I know this is true of every Welfare State scheme everywhere – the intellectual elite (the heirs to Plato – no democrat) come up with this stuff and force into effect

    Shlomo Maistre had a good post recently about the problems of democracy. I can’t remember which thread it was on but would be worth posting here if anyone knows.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Re Paul’s remark today at 12:18 pm: See the article by Richard J. Jensen, Prof. of History at U. of Ill. at Chicago:

    ‘ “No Irish Need Apply”: A Myth of Victimization.’

  • Julie near Chicago

    There was “no great public demand for Obamacare”: For sure!

    There was also no great public demand for Medicare, when it too was jammed through by Johnson and his Dem proponents of “The Great Society.” –No, let me rephrase that. “There was also no public demand for Medicare….”

    .

    People can lay whatever they want on “Democracy,” but in those two cases at least it won’t stick.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Perry de Havilland (London)
    > Except you have to find a crazed activist or someone from Islington to hear anyone actually say that.

    I’m afraid it is libertarians who are considered crazy when we say things like “The NHS should be privatized”, or “The roads would run better in private hands”, or “Helping the poor should be a matter of private charity not government taxes”, or “forcing childless couples to pay for the education of the children of others is wrong”, or “when seconds count the police are only minutes away, but Smith and Wesson is always there for you”, or, “I think that the drug problem would be less dangerous if people could simply buy their cocaine at Boots or Walmart” or, as I read recently, “giving every new mom in Scotland a box full of tchotchkes for their baby is a gross misuse of the taxing power of government” and on an on endlessly.

    Like I say ungrounded, high sounding principles of libertarianism many people like, but translate them into actual policy and practical ideas and you become perceived as a cruel monster or a naive fool. Frankly, I am shocked that saying that is even a controversial statement. If you can say that sort of stuff where you live and not get the “you must be batshit crazy” look then let me know your address, because I want to move there.

    A few years ago Harry Browne ran a campaign whose byline was “Would you give up your favorite government program if you never had to pay taxes again?” In the 1990s when he did it it was still almost a viable question. Now the answer is generally a resounding no, certainly in part because huge swaths of the population get to pay no taxes and still get their favorite program anyway and also in part because a scary number of people like the idea of a putatively benign big brother watching over them to protect them from themselves a great deal more than they love liberty.

  • If you can say that sort of stuff where you live and not get the “you must be batshit crazy” look then let me know your address, because I want to move there.

    Sure, if I was saying those things to man-on-the-street, I would indeed be regarded as batshit crazy, because people might think I was a libertarian 😉 But what you seem to be missing is you can go a whole shitload less pure than that and still deliver ‘payload’, which is why I think overt political libertarianism is a terrible idea. Incrementalism is fine. I guess you never lived through the 1970s and so cannot see the progress and only see the slippage 😆

  • Julie near Chicago, September 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm: the issue is also mentioned in Thomas Sowell’s Race and Economics. The essay you link to notes that “physical NINA signs could have flourished only in intensely anti-Catholic or anti-Irish eras, especially the 1830—1870 period.” and Sowell broadly agrees. There were various causes for this – for example, when the Irish arrived in Boston in the 1830s, cholera also arrived there, and while the medicine of the day was ignorant, people suspected (correctly, as we now know) that different sanitary customs – sharing the house with livestock, for example – were involved, and feared infection.

    The Catholic church led efforts to assimilate immigrant Irish mores to US norms, causing the “shanty Irish” to evolve into the “lace-curtain Irish” over a few decades. Where the signs existed (Sowell is clearly inclined to grant that some did), this evolution caused them to disappear as the social realities on which they were based disappeared. Sowell states you might have been able to find a NINA sign in 1890 but could not have in 1910.

    A related issue is that US victorian employers, themselves usually neither Irish nor Italian, soon found that mixing Irish and Italian labourers in a work crew meant increased risk of fights, sometimes murders, and general disruption of work. It was therefore the norm to make a given crew all Irish or all Italian. They employers had no prejudice and would use many crews of both types – but never a mixed crew on the same job. Thus there was in effect a ‘no Irish need apply here while no Italians need apply there” rule though this was not done by signs but by hiring a labour contractor to assemble the crew for a given job. The contractor would be Irish or Italian and everyone knew his crew would all have the same ethnicity.

    Thus Sowell is more inclined to grant the signs existence in mid-19th century than Jensen. Sowell’s chief interest is that the signs, and the attitude they indicated, disappeared, not by restricting free speech but by the Irish, in response, changing their culture to remove the social realities the signs indicated.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well … I dunno, gang. After all,

    ‘Libertarians believe they are real rebels, because they’ve politicized the protest of children who scream through tears, “You’re not the boss of me.” ‘

    Thus quoth Salon back in 2015. In fairness, they say they lifted the piece from alternet.org. I must say, my inner Imp of the Perverse tempts me to quote a few paragraphs; but out of my (non-existent) concern for the health and well-being of others, I’ll skip it. If you care, you can read the whole thing at

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/01/libertarianism_is_for_petulant_children_ayn_rand_rand_paul_and_the_movements_sad_rebellion_partner/?source=newsletter

    Not that I think that either Alternet or Salon provides the opinions of a genuine cross-section of Americans (if there is such a thing), but the quote and the article in general provide support for Fraser’s observation above.

    Of course, the whole thing is an argument selling Social Justice and (at the least) communitarianism, while p***ing all over Evil America for indulging in evil capitalism.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall, thanks for the summary of Dr. Sowell’s observations. Noted. :>)

  • Perry de Havilland (London), September 25, 2017 at 6:35 pm, is right. Just because we’re far from being able to say “I’m a libertarian” and have everyone respond “hooray” doesn’t mean we don’t have some winnable fights on our hands. The free speech fight is vital, but also very winnable, and while the NHS has not lost all its “sacred cow” aspects, you can easily persuade people (not least many who work in it) that it has become far more regulated and bureaucratic over the last 20 years, and that this is a bad thing. You can also tell people that exterminating all the small-scale nursing homes which used to handle NHS out-patient overflow was a bad thing and not get shouted down – despite these homes (mostly run by retired nurses) having been private enterprises.

  • Alisa

    Interesting comment by Niall re Irish etc., which takes me a bit OT:

    A related issue is that US victorian employers, themselves usually neither Irish nor Italian, soon found that mixing Irish and Italian labourers in a work crew meant increased risk of fights, sometimes murders, and general disruption of work. It was therefore the norm to make a given crew all Irish or all Italian. They employers had no prejudice and would use many crews of both types – but never a mixed crew on the same job. Thus there was in effect a ‘no Irish need apply here while no Italians need apply there” rule though this was not done by signs but by hiring a labour contractor to assemble the crew for a given job. The contractor would be Irish or Italian and everyone knew his crew would all have the same ethnicity.

    Curiously enough, nowadays it seems to me that everyone from Long Island who is not partially or fully Jewish, is half Irish and half Italian 🙂

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Libertarianism certainly isn’t popular with the people who do government for a living. But if it wasn’t popular with a plurality of the people who merely suffer government, Trump (limited libertarian that he is) wouldn’t be President.

    Assumption: Trump = limited libertarian

    Good joke. lel

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Paul Marks,

    There is a massive difference between public disapproval of speech and being sent to prison for one’s peaceful opinions.

    To think otherwise is to fall into the J.S. Mill trap (in “On Liberty”) of saying people should not be allowed to “parade their disapproval” – which is absurd.

    Not only have you failed to refute my point but you have failed to comprehend it.

    I said that “Free speech de jure isn’t the same as free speech de facto.” and I said that “having de jure freedom of speech counts for very, very little when de facto freedom of speech is so exceptionally limited.”

    How many people support freedom of association – for example “no Irish need apply” signs (largely mythical by the way – as the Irish actually controlled the city of Boston where legend claims these “no Irish need apply” signs existed – no one has ever been able to show my a photograph of one of these signs in relation to Boston or other American cities and so I am uncertain about their existence). A TWISTED question – because supporting freedom of expression does NOT mean supporting hot it is used.

    You should reread my comment. My point was NOT that it is not popular to discriminate against others based on their religion or ethnicity. My point was that it is not popular to support the right of others to discriminate against other people based on their religion or ethnicity. Hence, why I said that “For instance, extremely few people think restaurants should be able to discriminate against ethnic or religious minorities. Try arguing against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and see how far that gets you.” Having the right to associate freely is not popular and is becoming less popular all the time.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    There was “no great public demand for Obamacare”: For sure!

    There was also no great public demand for Medicare, when it too was jammed through by Johnson and his Dem proponents of “The Great Society.” –No, let me rephrase that. “There was also no public demand for Medicare….”

    .

    People can lay whatever they want on “Democracy,” but in those two cases at least it won’t stick.

    Many people think that if the people do not ask for a certain government program but that program is enacted anyway then democracy can’t be considered one of the causes of said government program being established since the people did not ask for it.

    This is an inherently flawed analysis because it equates democracy with the concept that the people decide what government program is enacted, and while that may in theory be how democracy is supposed to work it is not how democracy or constitutional republics work in reality. In democracy government policies are formulated by special interests, written by lobbyists, passed by Congressmen at the behest of donors, and interpreted & selectively enforced by bureaucrats. This is what distinguishes democracies (or constitutional republics) from other forms of government in terms of how policies are enacted.

    Unlike in monarchies or businesses where the King or CEO can simply fire a whole department that is not performing, the President can’t just eliminate whole departments. Which is why the EPA, Dept of Education, Agriculture Dept, Transportation Dept, etc etc etc will not ever die no matter how many votes the Tea Partiers get.

    Yes, the people have the right to vote in a democracy or a constitutional republic. To vote is not to rule.

    In democracy people exercise their right to vote to decide who is in office but not to decide what policies are enacted. Thus we see, as one of millions of examples I could cite, the American people voting for the GOP to control the Senate, House, and White House to repeal Obamacare, but Obamacare is not repealed because the bureaucrats, lobbyists, and special interests – the people who really run the government in a democracy or constitutional republic – do not want to repeal Obamacare.

  • bobby b

    Here’s the very best article explaining the Uber-In-London saga that I’ve found. It’s good to know what the fight is really about.