Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Niggles, odds and sods

After a long hiatus, I'm back. Blogging takes up a surprising amount of time and energy, but now I'm no longer spending that energy elsewhere I can come back to this. And what a surprise, I'm going to start by ranting!

Use of language and the economy. Gordon Brown, cursed be he, started this during his failed election campaign by using words to the effect of "reducing tax take is taking money out of the economy". This is a very telling attitude from the hard-left statists; they appear to believe that the "economy" is purely whatever money the government controls. The private sector, which creates wealth, gets nary a mention. Predictably enough, the "less tax take = less money in the economy" mantra has been taken up by the left as their new stick to attack Conservative economic proposals.

The coalition government. It's an interesting development and one that neutralises the ability of Labour to attack it thanks to the Lib Dem involvement. There are still many at grassroots level who struggle with the idea that their "natural partners" are now in direct opposition. Cameron and Co are also dealing with the deficit practically and sensibly, including by asking the public for their suggestions. The BBC's carefully moderated Have Your Say forum is, in its usual anti-Tory stance, against the ridiculous notion that a government should actually listen to its people.

However, all is not well with the coalition: Cameron's attempts to limit the government to a five year fixed term and requiring a 55% vote of MPs in the Commons to pass a motion of no confidence is very worrying. Not only does it smack of power consolidation for its own sake, but it's also a dangerous attempt at tinkering with the very constitution of Britain. Even Lady Thatcher is disquieted by this.

The Cumbria massacre and the media response. Again the BBC come under fire, this time for raising the notion that Britain's ridiculously illiberal gun control laws (second only to China and North Korea in severity) should be tightened even further. Firearms and shooting are an integral part of British society - a century ago there were no prohibitions on private ownership of firearms whatsoever. Since the end of WW1, the Establishment has progressively banned more and more types of firearm as well as granting the police powers to ban any firearm they deem "especially dangerous".

The licensing system itself, when properly administered, is one of the safest of its kind in the world; but it does not eliminate risk altogether. Nothing can. In Cumbria, a man with no previous history of instability just snapped overnight. Neither the police nor the licensing system can be blamed for his decision to go on the rampage. The response once he had started shooting can be examined, yes, but the law has already been tightened way beyond that of any other Western country. Leave it alone.

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