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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Adam Smith on spendthrift kings and ministers


This quotation from the second book of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations hits the nail firmly on the head.

“It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.”

If Adam Smith were alive today, he would undoubtedly be unstinting in his criticism of another famous man from Kirkcaldy, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The times they are a-changin'


This caught my eye a few weeks ago.  Obviously, the wholesaler's concern is promoting their own brand, Best-in Essentials, at the expense of their competitor's Euroshopper range, and it is highly unlikely that the company has a eurosceptic political agenda.  However, it was only a few years ago when everybody and his dog were re-branding themselves as euro-everybody and his euro-dog.  Indeed, until very recently no marketing man or woman would have dreamed of appropriating the slogan "Ditch the Euro" to their campaign.  The times are definitely changing.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Enoch Powell

Today is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the late great Enoch Powell - classical scholar, soldier, poet and politician; Such a date should not pass unnoted.

Powell was a full professor of (ancient) Greek at 25, joined the British army as a private shortly after the start of the Second World War rising to the rank of brigadier by the end of the war and subsequently had the political career for which he is mainly remembered.  At the time of his death he was learning his twelfth language - Hebrew.  Even a quick look at his entry in wikipedia confirms what a remarkable man he was. 

Indeed, such is the significance of Enoch Powell that the mere mention of his name can still destroy the career of a Conservative politician.  Why one might ask is that?  The answer is two words - immigration and Europe.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Silence from the party which never shuts up.

It just occurred to me today that we have heard nothing from the SNP about Greece's debt problems, the downward spiral of its economy and the resultant suffering of the Greek people.  This is curious, as the SNP usually has an opinion about everything, and the party's activists and trolls will publish it everywhere and ad nauseam.

You would think that nationalists in one small European nation would have every sympathy with the oppressed people of another small European country.  Of course, part of the explanation is that the SNP aren't really nationalists at all, unless, of course, you view Europe as one nation. Ah, but there are rather bigger reasons for the SNP's silence. 

The SNP don't want to publicise what happens in the euro-zone to small countries that step out of line.  Their democratic governments are replaced by technocrats acceptable to the German Chancellor, the French President and the European Commission.  Also, they are prevented from taking the actions necessary to ensure national economic survival (ie defaulting, decoupling and devaluation).  Clearly, the SNP are hoping that we don't notice what a disaster the euro has turned out to be, especially for small peripheral countries, after all the party's desire to be in the European Union and adopt the euro is well known.

If the SNP's activists have lost their voices for once, then clearly all those of us who love Scotland should make every effort to ensure that the cautionary tale that is the suffering of the Greek people is not kept secret from the Scottish people.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sense from Sillars on the global-warming scam.

 It is encouraging to see sense being written about the whole global-warming scam in the Edinburgh Evening News of all places. Jim Sillars' article covers all the main bases – the dodgy science, the thick political leaders, the public bodies & NGOs promoting this nonsense and the corporations & landowners profiting from it.  The only thing he misses out is the propaganda being fed to our children in schools.

For those with a less than encyclopaedic knowledge of Scottish politics, Jim Sillars is a former Labour & subsequently SNP MP, a former deputy leader of the SNP and the husband of the only independent MSP, Margo MacDonald, who was herself formerly in the SNP.  Thus Mr Sillars’ left wing credentials are impeccable, which will hopefully mean that his views will carry some weight in SNP and Labour Party circles.  Unfortunately, hell will freeze over, before Alex Salmond admits he was wrong to cover Scotland in wind turbines.

Of course, this same pattern of pathology of radical ideology, dodgy research, promotion by public bodies & NGOs and then public sector & corporate interests profiting from it has been repeated endlessly in Britain and all the other welfare states.  Usually, of course, the dodgy research is by social scientists rather than hard ones.  I will come back to this point in future postings.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

What the wedding cake photo reveals about Scottish democracy

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the one the Scotsman published the other day of four Scottish “opposition” party leaders standing behind a mock up of a wedding cake to declare their support for the SNP’s same-sex marriage legislation certainly is.  Quite unintentionally the picture highlights the gap in attitudes and the gulf in priorities between the political class and the general public.   

On the one hand, these leaders view the issue of gay marriage as of such importance that they are putting aside their party differences and  treating it as being above party politics.  On the other hand, for most Scots the economy is the pressing issue, whilst equal-marriage is entirely marginal.  Nor is this state of affairs unusual.  On every social and moral issue our political and media class is united in its adherence to political correctness and Frankfurt-school Marxism.  At the same time, their useful thoughts on economics could be written on a postage stamp in large capital letters with generous spacing.

Ordinary people, however, display a very wide range of opinions drawn from their experience of life and varying personal beliefs;  A diversity that the politicians in Holyrood are unwilling to represent.

For example, which party will put forward traditional Christian views on marriage, assisted suicide or anything else for that matter?  Indeed, who is there for a Christian, a Muslim or a small “c” conservative to vote for?

Similarly, is there a single Scottish politician putting forward libertarian views on individual liberty and the state being the root of the problem rather than the solution?  (I wouldn't be so naive as to ask for a whole party.)

Given that all the Holyrood parties are politically correct and that non-PC views are effectively excluded, Scottish democracy can only be fairly described as little better than a sham.