Thought Police, Chequing Yourself, and More Posturing On Syria

UK News Roundup 14/09/18


War Drums a’Beating Again.


Thanks to Peter Hitchens again for bringing such an important matter to attention: as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalate, the UK establishment seems unconcerned about potentially diving into another banal and destructive war in the Middle East, this time through Syria. The ‘Minister for the Middle East’ Alistair Burt gave no reassurances that parliament would be consulted in any consideration of large-scale military action against Assad.

Moreover, the guilt of the regime in Syria in relation to the use of chemical weapons has never been decisively proven. There seems to be intent on both sides of the Atlantic, including both the deep state and “intransigent” Donald Trump, for regime change in Syria. Evidence seems of little importance. Hitchens is urging Brits to contact their MPs to ask for careful consideration on this matter.

Worst Deal Ever in the History of Deals


EU Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says that a Brexit deal is on the cards within the next few weeks. This is a recent change in tune from someone who’s been wagging his finger at Britain ever since he was appointed.
Meanwhile, the soft Tory revolt against Prime Minister Theresa May continues. The so-called Chequers deal is a non-starter – drawn up by May and the cabinet, this is the first time a comprehensive idea of what Brexit will actually mean has been proposed, and everybody hates it. It in effect keeps all the horrible tariffs and trade regulations we have as part of the EU, yet not have a place in European Parliament.
So all those remainers fuming at the idea of not being part of decision-making in Brussels have suddenly been vindicated by a deal that utterly shackles us. We don’t want to leave the EU because we don’t like having MEPs – we don’t like the tariffs and regulations. Get rid.
A “no deal” has been threatened. This all sounds very scary unless you are a libertarian to whom it sounds kind of all right. Having a semi-anarchistic (in the sense that nothing has been done) state between the UK and the EU is actually on balance not so bad, especially compared to the Chequers deal.
Everyone else is just shocked that things won’t be the same as they were before – Brits’ driving licenses may not be valid in Europe, and we might not get free mobile roaming. Everyone pro-Brexit understands that these are inevitable inconveniences when you get your national independence back. Different nations have different laws. This is a perk, not a downside.
There has been so much backlash to the Chequers deal from inside the Conservative Party that we’re now sure the final result will be anything but that. The real deal will be something in between a Canada situation and a Norway situation.
As Full Fact helpfully explains:
“The Norway and Canada options have been broadly framed as a choice between having a high level of access to EU markets and a high degree of EU regulation (Norway), or a lower level of access and regulation (Canada).”

Having in fact little access and high regulation is by all accounts the silliest idea ever, and can only have been decided by people who have no vested interest in leaving the EU at all, so the hardcore Brexiteer Tories have argued.

Call The Police To Stop The Meanipoos

Get a load of this picture that South Yorkshire Police Tweeted the other day:
Non-crimes should be reported, according to West Yorkshire police, provided they are sufficiently hurtful. This is vague enough to justify reporting just about anything, from genuine racist abuse to someone calling you an idiot on social media. I’m thankful there was such a strong backlash to this – I have called enough people idiots in my time to have the coppers taking out shifts on me.
The police attempted to backtrack on this by claiming it’s not to crack down on non-criminals, but, “ … directs our preventative, proactive police work to try and stop crimes from happening in the first place.” Well, that’s still not the police’s remit. That is what we call pre-crime and should be the reserve of Philip K. Dick novellas, not a real-life public policy in supposedly liberal nations.
I differ though on the most common response to this nonsense: that the police should concentrate more on getting more bobbies on the beat to combat rising violent crime levels rather than policing speech. Actually, we shouldn’t be liberating the police against the citizenry in any sense. We should be liberating the people. If at all possible, I’d be happy never to see a police officer. Instead, offer legal protection for those who use proportional defensive force against violent criminals.
You can read more by James Smith on Think Liberty here


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