Linky Love: 19th January 2010

  • Nosemonkey – Why Libertarians should support EU integration: If we agree, as most libertarians do, that some laws and regulations are necessary for the smooth functioning of society – agreed systems of weights and measures (to prevent fraud), some level of health and safety guarantees, product standards, environmental/pollution restrictions (all taking Mill’s dictum that as individuals we shouldn’t harm others and applying it to corporations and government bodies), etc. etc. – why have 27 different variants of these laws and regulations, when what’s good for one of us is surely good for all? This is the fundamental reason why libertarians should be in favour of European integration (note: not necessarily the current nature of European integration or current European bodies, both EU and non-EU, but the general principle) – for an individual in country X to have to abide by different laws than an individual in country Y implies a strong likelihood that the two are experiencing different levels of individual freedom. Plus, most importantly, if individual X goes to country Y, then he/she will have to abide by country Y’s laws – a potential restriction on that individual’s liberty of movement. (Case study: In Germany and Austria, it is illegal to deny the Holocaust; it is not in the UK. When British citizen David Irving went to Austria, having denied the Holocaust,he was arrested and imprisoned .) Of course, restricting this to a mere continent (and not even all of that) is not ideal. The true libertarian would agree that liberty is universal – for true liberty to exist, what applies to one individual should apply to us all – and therefore we should be pushing for world government, where everyone on the planet has the same rights as everyone else.
  • Bracknell Blog – Paying when you’re dead: ‘Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that almost £15million was earned nationally in 2009 by doctors signing a form to release a body for cremation’. Our local hospitals have charged a total of £39,973 for Heatherwood and Wexham Park and £62,338 for Frimley Park. Now just think about this for a moment, this means that if someone dies the doctors get paid and that grieving families have to pay it.
  • Paul Sagar – The Environment is not the Economy: But worse were those who kept speaking about a “green new deal” and “green jobs for the future”. There was lots of inspirational rhetoric about saving the earth and the economy – but details were few and far between. There’s always vague fluff about “insulating people’s houses” on this topic, as though that’s going to prevent global climate catastrophe (although I’ll admit promising to do it for free might win votes). But actual policy proposals that stimulate growth and prevent us consuming all the earth’s resources and burning our atmosphere in the process? No, none of those.
  • Lenin’s Tomb – Security Issues in Haiti: The striking fact, patiently reported by observers on the ground, is that Haiti is not gripped by anarchy, ‘mob rule’, mass slaughter, or anything of the kind. There was probably no more violent crime in Haiti this weekend than there would be in any normal weekend, and probably less than in some American cities. Instead, while aid is obstructed, Haitians have cooperated to undertake rescue efforts and administer aid without the assistance of relief workers:
  • Left Foot Forward – UK Prison ratio is second amongst the G7 countries: The eighth edition of the World Prison Population List, produced by King’s College London’s International Centre for Prison Studies, which details the number of prisoners per 100,000 of the population, shows the UK (153) entrenched in second place amongst G7 countries, behind only the USA (756). The UK is also ahead of Turkey (142), Burma (126) and Pakistan (55).
  • The Staggers – The Tories haven’t gone green: David Cameron may have used the slogan “Vote blue, go green” in the past but, judging by the views of his party’s candidates, it’s one he’d be wise not to repeat at the election. A new survey of 141 Tory candidates in the party’s most winnable seats by ConservativeHome and ConservativeIntelligence has found that reducing Britain’s carbon footprint is their lowest political priority (see chart). Just eight of the party’s candidates said it would be a top priority for them in the next parliament. If Cameron can’t persuade his own party that the environment should be a priority, he’s unlikely to persuade the electorate that it should be.
  • Liberal Conspiracy – Did Liddle post these racist messages?: When the Mail on Sunday first approached Rod Liddle yesterday about comments posted on the MillwallFC site under the pseudonym ‘monkeymfc’, he denied posting some of the inflammatory comments. I often get opposition fans logging in under my name to try to embarrass me. I wouldn’t go near the racist ones. It’s worth pointing out that registered members of that messageboard can only post under specific usernames with a login. No one else can pretend to be a specific user unless they know the password. We’ve done some digging and found very vile comments posted there ‘monkeymfc’, and have some questions for Rod Liddle. He said the comments had been made by a hacker. Later he admitted making some comments, though not all.
  • Irish Times – Haitian Survivors offered slice of Africa by Senegal (H/T Tyler Cowen): Presidential spokesman Mamadou Bemba Ndiaye told reporters that Mr Wade had shared his plans with senior aides, and they involved offering voluntary repatriation and plots of land to any Haitian who wanted “to return to their origin. Senegal is ready to offer them parcels of land – even an entire region. It all depends on how many Haitians come. If it’s just a few individuals, then we will likely offer them housing or small pieces of land. If they come en masse we are ready to give them a region,” he said.
  • Brit Blog round up here.