Andy Jones TV: David Cameron Must Make the Moral Case for Limited Government

My take here:

I was watching Conservative Party leader David Cameron squirm on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One, mostly because he was avoiding the real issue of spending cuts. It seems that to really get over the recession and general deficit, Britain needs to start by cutting government down by 30-odd percent, rather like they did successfully in Canada.

If DC and his chums want to win the next election with a large majority rather than just pip the rest at the post, Andy argues that he needs to make the strong moral case for significant cuts, a limited government that does less than it is and have us doing more and making the key decisions over our own lives. Only then can he smash the threat of a hung parliament or win on a slimmer majority.

As Ayn Rand always said, an economic and social revolution is easy once you’ve had the moral revolution for individual freedom first.

Climategate – BBC goalpost shift…

Okay, so I was watching BBC News this morning. Full of the usual statements of “fact” about climate change and today part of the spin was about how maybe carbon offsetting wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (you don’t say) and maybe instead we should just…travel less!

So it seems that the general discussion of the climategate scandal involving the Hadley CRU hasn’t phased them at all. I still haven’t seen them discuss it on the BBC News channel and they’re back on the anthropogenic global warming alarmist bus. Or that’s what I thought.

Buried (and it really is well hidden) in the “Sci-Tec” option if you press the red button for Sky/FreeSat/Freeview viewers today, there is a tiny 6-7 line “article” that mentions some crackpot scientists (no names mentioned, interestingly) think that a series of El Nino’s explain why we had the medieval warm period and the maunder minimum (or little ice age) around the late 19th century. Nonsense. The MWP lasted for hundreds of years. El Ninos last months.

But it’s an interesting thing to read. The BBC had long decided that the MWP and LIA didn’t really exist. Since the Hadley CRU emails were leaked and it seems like the MWP & LIA were just “massaged away”, the new tack of Aunty Beeb is to say “Yeah sure, okay, you got us, so they existed. But it was a random freak occurrence.”

Or to put it another way, they’ve acknowledged the validity of the hacked/leaked emails and documents, and so are shifting the goalposts so they can continue to scare us about anthropogenic CO2 being the main driver for the planets changing climate. Seems like the spin and lies will continue on this subject. How many ‘smoking guns’ are the skeptics going to need?

Andy Jones TV: The Hadley Climate Research Unit Scandal

As promised, from Andy Jones TV:

To summarize this vid: basically I want to know why weren’t the mainstream media reporting on the real story here?

In the wake of the incredible leaked/hacked emails and documents from the Hadley CRU that suggest that maybe the main advocates of anthropogenic activity being the primary cause of global warming don’t have as solid a case as they publicly state and have potentially committed crimes violating the Freedom of Information Act, the main left-of-centre media (such as the BBC) are just reporting that there has been a leak and NOTHING about the content of the leak. That’s incredible. Based on the reaction of the CRU people involved, it seems now highly likely that these emails are 100% real, with no changes at all (they’d have pounced on any changes by now).

But the way that the Beeb et al are reporting it is incredible. Making this story about “Ooh, isn’t it terrible that this private information was leaked by some nasty anonymous person from those nice scientists?” is just like making the Watergate scandal about “Ooh, isn’t it terrible that this nasty Mr. Deepthroat has illegally leaked all this private information about the lovely Mr. Nixon’s activities?”

If you think that’s the real story, then you’re a pretty shoddy journalist.

The Biggest Story of 2009?

Oh. My. Buddha.

Now, a quick caveat – we don’t know *100%* if this is real yet, but on the surface, seems far too elaborate to be a hoax. As I type, most of the main news agencies (presumably due to the fact they employ thousands of “environmental journalists” who could loose their jobs if this is is true), haven’t touched this story yet. There seems to be a ban on the story at the BBC for example.

Okay, here’s the news: A load of climate scientists at Hadley’s Climate Research Unit have had their files hacked. Someone has stolen over 1,000 emails and over 70 documents. These files seem to show the scientists twisting the facts to fit their general anthropogenic global warming alarmism. If this is true, then I think it’s the biggest story of the year. The biggest backers of the theory that man’s CO2 is the principle driver for climate might have been making most of it up, by selectively hand-picking data like a creationist.

You can find about it and see loads of the emails here, growing evidence that it’s all genuine can be seen here. Some of the “good” bits are here. More here (with links to the data itself.)

I’m sure an Andy Jones TV episode will be forthcoming…

Welfare and Friendly Societies

One of my favourite (and delightfully brash) libertarian bloggers, The Devil’s Kitchen makes a very good case for the concept of the “friendly society” here.

I can’t say I totally agree with everything he says here (you’ll never get a bunch of libertarians to totally agree on anything), but I thought he made some great points. I don’t agree with all of them, but am very glad to see them be made.

I’ve always felt it was simple: when we see a beggar on the street these days, we say “gee, the council/government/society should really do something about that.” That line reminds me of the Ghost of Christmas Present, when he sarcastically paraphrases Scroodge’s sentiment in the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol: “Are there no prisons, are there no workhouses?”

If we dislike things happening in our society, then we should do something to change it. Don’t fob off your obligations to the state. What are YOU going to do about it?

There is no doubt in my mind that our first (and only true) priority is to the rigorous pursuit of our rational self-interest. If we all did that, then the need for any charity or state-welfare would be minimal. But of course, there would always be people who really need help. My point still stands though: The state shouldn’t play any role in this.

In Britain, 40% of the money they collect from us is in income tax. The welfare state accounts for 40% of yearly government spending. If we abolished income tax, 85% of the people who used to get welfare would be either just as well off or better off. As for the remaining 15%, how many do you think would stay poorer off in a society that had NO income tax?

The answer is a very small number. And that small number would be MORE than taken care of by the voluntary actions of individuals who had more money to spend on such charity. And raising money to say, buy equipment that lets a disabled person live a better and more dignified life, is in my rational self-interest because they become a more successful and productive person and thus, as either an employee or employer, another wealth-creator. If I (and a load like me) put 50p towards that purpose, it’s not too much to bare, considering in this scenario I don’t pay income tax any more.

Similarly, if we had a total free-market of education, then we’d have better choice, higher quality and lower prices. That’s what happens in every other private sector free of corporatism and government controls. And the remaining few who couldn’t afford despite their best efforts, well, what are YOU going to do to help them? And surely you’ll benefit from these educated kids when they end up contributing to the marketplace…

The more I think about it, the more I realise just how terrifyingly spot-on the Objectivist and female comb-over pioneer Ayn Rand was. We need a moral revolution for freedom and self interest. Once we’ve had that, the political and economic revolution will be easy.

DH Defends Brown’s Condolence Writing

The Sun newspaper is at war with Gordon Brown at the moment. Well good, if you care about freedom at all and in any way in the UK right now, there’s a lot about Gordon Brown to be upset about.

But on the subject of poor Mrs. Janes and the tragic nature of her sons death, of all people it is Daniel Hannan, the South East England MEP, who hits the nail squarely on the head, in his usual articulate and reasonable way. I couldn’t agree with his sentiments more. He’s one of the most delightfully articulate critics of Gordon Brown and his incompetence, but he also has enough moral fibre to support the PM when he’s being treated unfairly.

Why aren’t there more Daniel Hannan’s in UK politics? I have a sad feeling it’s because the truth doesn’t sit well with the electorate.

And just for fun, if you’ve missed it, (or if you haven’t heard of Daniel before and are deluded enough to think he’s just a Gordon Brown sycophant), here’s the other side of Hannan’s approach to Gordon Brown – one of the most watched UK political YouTube videos ever. And just like with his above blog defending Brown, in this video where he’s criticising him in the European Parliament, he’s spot-on. Enjoy:

"The American Presidents" – the perfect gift for Christmas!

Just to let you know, that my latest book, The American Presidents Without the Boring Bits, is now available to buy directly via the online store on my Andy Jones Online website.

Any hey, Christmas is just around the corner, right? (cheap hint!)