This England

After spending a week in the US, in Washington DC, and discovering the size of American banana splits made from frozen custard, I got up this morning, back in England, to discover a huge pile of mail staring back at me. Can I really have got this much mail in just one week? Oh yes.

And most of it was from the government. Quelle Surprise.

You'd think with just l'il ol' me, the various apparatchiks who had sent me correspondence would have had bigger fish to fry. But no. Apparently, I am worthy of their attention. So let's just go through what I got and see what the government was doing for me, while I was away earning tax revenue to pay for all these busy-bodies.

  • I received a prosecution order from the police stating that if I did not incriminate myself, with regards to a motoring offence captured on camera a month ago, then I would be summoned to court. This heart-warming document then informed me that even if I did incriminate myself, instead of just sending me a fixed penalty notice they might just go ahead and summon me to court anyway, for a much bigger fine, at the Chief Constable's discretion. Great.
  • What else was in the mail sack? Something to cheer me up? Next up was a notice from the local council saying that they would be helping themselves to my bank account every month, for the next year, for a sum totalling well over a thousand pounds, which is 16 per cent greater than the same demand last year. This percentage rise in the poll tax is typical across the UK, but fortunately this poll tax is not included within the government's Bank of England inflation figures, because it doesn't affect the cost of living, apparently. Yeah, right. I wonder why the government are loading their taxes in an area which doesn't get included in the official inflation statistics?
  • Could it get worse? Oh yes, a red letter from the Inland Revenue saying that I was late on a tax payment, and that if they didn't receive it within seven days they would apply to a court for a distraint order, where they come to your house and take away your belongings, or wind up my business. I am not kidding.
  • I was resigned by now. What was next? Oh yes, a letter from the government's financial service authorities saying that I was the director of a company I'd never heard of, and that they wanted to discuss the financial dealings of this company with me. Ever seen Terry Gilliam's film Brazil? No doubt the company in question was not about to receive a million pounds from a generous benefactor. Oh yes, and failure to help them with their inquiries could result in prosecution.
  • Any more? You bet. A letter from a government commercial regulator informing me I was late with sending in a form, and that this would probably result in a fine. Oh yes, and in the same mail sack, with the same post date mark, they had also sent me the form I was supposed to fill in and then, one supposes, transport back through time to get to the right bureaucrat, on the right day, at the right time. Unbelievable.

So what else did I receive to balance out this hate mail, to make me consider the UK government actually a worthwhile thing, rather than an incompetent bunch of useless aggressive cretins? Well, let's see.

  • A voting card for the upcoming European Union elections. Which seeing as I want Britain out of the EU as soon as possible, if not yesterday, is really an invitation for me to bless the EU with my personal stamp of legitimacy. Nein Danke.
  • An NHS appointment card, where they had chosen a date for me when I am in fact, in Sweden. I phoned up. 'I'll be in Sweden', I said. 'We'll send you another date then.' 'But I'm often out the country. Can we work out a date over the phone?' 'No, we can't do that. We'll send you another date in a couple of weeks, and if you can't make that one either, we'll send you another one a couple of weeks after that.' Bunch of useless cretins. And this is the flagship UK government tax and spend borrowing program, the National Health Service, which is still incapable, after 56 years, of working out an appointment date over the phone, because it still relies on every one of its patients dropping absolutely everything in their lives, within any notice period the NHS specifies, to satisfy their own organisational convenience. Outstanding.

The quality of life in England has been in marked decline over the last seven years, ever since the democratic socialists of the Labour Party came to power. Of course, it wasn't much better before then, when the conservative socialists were in power, but at least it was bearable. Life in Britain, for me anyway, has now become unbearable; as I'm sure it has for many others in the UK. Expect to see major changes here soon; especially an accelerating amount of individual disengagement from interaction with any form of government, whenever there is any option to disengage. From what I read of British newspapers, and to quote Tom Jones, my experience above is not unusual.

The hatreds, the desperations, and the threats, of British government officers, are becoming ever more apparent. This is because I think they are weakening and people are beginning to see through them. This may just be me rationalising a pretty bad mail sack trawl, but after suffering these incompetent fools in this way, which is as bad as I can ever remember it, I think they're starting to run scared. Government officers never really want to punish people or even to threaten people. They want everyone to think the government is their friend, instead, or at least be frightened of them and do their bidding without needing to be told. Yes, they must threaten us and then punish us, if we do step out of line, because if they didn't, we would all step out of line permanently. But they still want us to love them, deep down, or resign ourselves to them at least, because without our general support they know they're finished. However, more and more people are stepping out of line, here in the sceptred isle, often without realising it, because of the oppressive numbers of new regulations. And people aren't really that scared of the government, any more, as a result. Which is a good thing.

The libertarian revolution and general disengagement from government may be nearer in the UK than we ever dared hope. Bring it on.

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here here! however it gets

here here! however it gets done is fine with me.

what you see around the

what you see around the world, Iraq, Argentina, PAkistan, etc are desperate insane organisms called goverment that are like cornered vermin. they'll do anything to get loose.

You're probably correct that

You're probably correct that there the UK government is running scared, but the threat of decentralization is only half the story in your neck of the woods. Yes, globalization (which you represent by your need to travel on business) will continue to make the weaknesses in the government of UK more noticeable, but many will look in the other direction to fix this. You mentioned the European Union. I suspect Europeans will continue to put further faith in that Union to fix the problems in their nation States. I mean that is what happened in the American States. By a decade after the midpoint of the nineteenth century, the citizens of these states learned the hard way that their right to secede from the American Union had been thoroughly revoked. Your nation State probably possesses much greater fear of what the European Union might become than it does of a libertarian revolution. Nothing bothers state level bureaucrats more than being upstaged and demoted by the appearance of federal level bureaucrats. Unless you are going to become a Permanent Tourist (there are Tax Havens that grant citizenship), you should probably vote. In spite of what we would like to believe, the governments don't care if we vote as long as we pay taxes anyway. If there aren't any libertarian parties over there to vote for, start organizing one. It couldn't be worse than what you got now. By the way some libertarian parties (like the one in Costa Rica), are having a considerable impact winning the hearts and minds to liberty. Latin America has much more intractable socialism than the UK. So, if the Movimiento Libertario can gain 10% of the Costa Rican parliament and start winning the youth over to liberty then we shouldn't abandon this strategy in the rest of the world. We may have difficulty organizing, but eventually we can succeed. We need to convince the socialists that they are wrong if we are going to succeed and the socialists pay most attention to the electoral arena.

These are interesting

These are interesting thoughts, BilLee, and demand a response:

I suspect Europeans will continue to put further faith in that Union to fix the problems in their nation States.

If by 'Europeans', you mean European collectivists, I think you may be right. If a company doesn't get the tax breaks or employment legislation it wants, then it simply moves abroad, as many in France, for instance, have done, by moving to Kent in England, handy for the Ashford terminus, for the Channel Tunnel, to go back to France at le Weekend. The collectivists hope to subvert this process not by competitively reducing taxes and regulations, but by collectively extending EU borders to a much wider area, and strengthening centralisation, so that companies and individuals can no longer escape within the EU. In the short term, companies will simply relocate even further afield, until the EU bans them from doing so, or crumble under competition from further afield unless protected under huge tariff barriers, but I think the collectivist hope is that one day there will be a world government, from which there is no escape. If that does one day come to pass, God forbid, we will then have a 'Roman Empire' like situation, where it was impossible to escape the Emperor's laws and taxes, with imperial borders which either went up to major walls (e.g.: Hadrian's wall), major rivers (e.g.: The Danube), or deserts, or mountains. This inescapability, leading eventually to early serfdom, is, I think, the major reason the Roman Empire, particularly the western half, eventually collapsed; its legions of serfs and slaves were quite happy to be freed by the anarchistic Beowulfian barbarian hordes sweeping down from Germany, many of whom (e.g.: the Saxons, the Angles, the Danes, and the Jutes), later went on to become 'The English', and then of course, 'The Americans'.

But if by 'Europeans', you mean the general population, there are not that many, certainly in England, except for those who directly benefit from the EU, mostly connected with the government in some way, who have any faith in the EU. The British government will lose both forthcoming referenda on the EU constitution and on the adoption of the Euro, if it plays 'fair'. If it doesn't play fair, and tries to ram these two issues past the British people, by hook and by crook, they could have a major revolt on their hands. And if England, and the non-government client English people, who produce taxes rather than living off them, are dragged into the EU mire as a federal state, don't bet on a revolt, expect one. If the right side wins, expect this revolt to be called 'The British Revolution'. If we lose it, expect it to be called 'The European Civil War'. No doubt we shall learn the lessons of both the American Revolution and the American Civil War, by avoiding pitched battles against the central state, and by concentrating entirely on debilitating guerrilla warfare, until either we win, or die fighting.

I mean that is what happened in the American States. By a decade after the midpoint of the nineteenth century, the citizens of these states learned the hard way that their right to secede from the American Union had been thoroughly revoked.

I thought it rather ironic, when I walked round Washington DC recently, that Jefferson gets the out-of-the-way memorial, while Lincoln gets the big one opposite the capitol building, as the man who destroyed the right to secede. I did like the way, though, that Jefferson stares permanently at the White House, just to keep his eye on the President.

Your nation State probably possesses much greater fear of what the European Union might become than it does of a libertarian revolution. Nothing bothers state level bureaucrats more than being upstaged and demoted by the appearance of federal level bureaucrats.

I think this is off the mark. The greatest supporters of the EU, in England, are the tax consumers. Virtually every Labour MP, Liberal Democrat MP, and many leftist Conservative MPs, are 'in favour' of the EU, along with virtually all tin pot bureaucrats out in the sticks. They see the EU as their salvation, and the mechanism for introducing much more intrusive regulation, which they always 'blame' on the EU, as if it was some God-given force of nature from which it is impossible to escape. The reason they love it is for the same reasons given above, mainly to control multi-national corporations, and other bodies and individuals which seek to decrease governmental power. Socialists of all kinds (democratic, conservative, empiricist, etc) would all like to see a World Government, in order to control all of humanity, and the EU is a stepping stone on that path. What the British bureaucrat knows is that if we free Britons do manage to disentangle ourselves from the EU, and become a 'free' (well, freeish), nation again, their individual power is going to be much diminished. There will be lower taxes, cutting them off at the knees, and lower regulations, removing the need for they themselves as regulation administrators. The EU is a great source of hope for European bureaucrats, the mother lode if you will, the Leviathan, the great milk teat of tax in the sky.

Unless you are going to become a Permanent Tourist (there are Tax Havens that grant citizenship), you should probably vote. In spite of what we would like to believe, the governments don?t care if we vote as long as we pay taxes anyway.

No, I disagree. All governments are just the most successful Mafia, in evolutionary terms, in a particular area. If as a Mafia boss when I go round, unarmed, collecting my protection money, all of my 'clients' pay me willingly, and ask me for favours, which I grant to the best of my ability, and in all other ways try to suck up to me, such as taking part in my rigged votes on whether Tony, Johnny, or Vinny, is the ruling Capo in their area, then I can sleep easy in my bed. But if I have to go round collecting my taxes with under heavy guard, nobody speaks to me while I take their cash from the till, ignores me when I leave their premises, and generally has absolutely nothing to do with me, except for coercively making their payments, then I sleep with a gun under the pillow, and make sure the 10ft iron gates outside are under 24 hour permanent guard. I am still collecting taxes, but I am not happy. I am worried. I do not know where the threat is coming from, but I know it's out there. I am right to be worried. Because I no longer possess 'legitimacy', just force. And it is legitimacy which keeps these cretins in power, not force.

If there aren?t any libertarian parties over there to vote for, start organizing one. It couldn?t be worse than what you got now.

I used to agree with you, BilLee, but I can't any longer. Politics, the art of the coercion of others, is corrupt and immoral. Therefore we should avoid it, or I suppose try to reduce it at every possible turn, as Uncle Murray asked us to do. The political road is a dangerous one. Once, as candidates, even successful candidates, we start taking tax-collected expenses and salaries, we are as bad as those we are seeking to replace. If we don't take tax-collected expenses and salaries, we become weaker politically, as we are using all of our spare time trying to make enough money to live, so we can indulge in our full-time hobby of politicking, so the full-time professional politicians beat us in debate, because they are better prepared. Therefore I don't think politics is a game we can win. And where exactly has it got you in the US? You become more socialist every year, socialised medicine spreads, gun controls get tougher, the culture of suing for your government-granted 'rights' becomes more entrenched, government spending rises, inflation, particularly cleverly hidden inflation, grows more rampant, there are more smoking bans, more regulations, higher social security payments, and the export of superfluous socialists to previously freer areas (such as the Mass-hole swamping of New Hampshire), to democratically reduce this previous freedom, and the re-introduction of the Draft is just a heart-beat away. Here's a prediction. At the rate you're going, sooner or later the US, under a Democrat President, will also join the EU, or as it will be called by then, the 'Northern Atlantic Union'.

Yes, I want to do something too, but I just don't think it can be done with politics, or at least, not the normal kind. It can be done by de-legitimizing politics, and that is best done by avoiding politics, and concentrating on ideas, winning ideological support amongst the general population, and by constantly ridiculing the state and all of its agents, at every turn, and declaring that the Emperors wear no clothes, and that every organisation they run, and everything they do, is at worst dangerous, and at best, useless. We will beat them, eventually, I think, by constantly laughing at them, ignoring their commands, avoiding as much as their taxation as we can safely do, ridiculing them, and best of all by seceding from them, as best we are able, until we are able to safely declare small areas unilaterally independent of a central state. So yes, I will vote against an EU constitution, as I hope this will eventually help Britain secede from the EU, but I will not vote for an EU representative (MEP ? Member of the European Parliament), because this legitimises the EU.

As to a Libertarian Party in the UK, this is a fraught business. Some libertarians are in the Conservative Party, some are in the UK Independence Party (UKIP), some are probably even in the Liberal Democrat party, hanging on from the glorious traditions of liberalism in the 19th century, with many more libertarians outside of the political loop completely, and very few willing to join a 'Libertarian Party'. The stories of individual Libertarian Party members in the US, becoming corrupted by power, put many off (e.g.: making behind-the-scenes deals with Republicans), and the last few years of Uncle Murray's dealings with the Republicans also put many off. But the main reason is, that we're just too damned individualistic, for instance, how many British libertarians does it take to screw in a light bulb. About 500. 499 argue about whether the light bulb company has had any state subsidy, and 1 goes ahead without asking anyone else for permission. OK, not too funny, but hopefully gets the point across. I think UKIP has actually become a surrogate for a Libertarian Party over here, but that party still contains many conservative socialists, particularly of the nationalist sort, so doesn't really appeal to me.

Personally, the best I think I can do myself is help previous socialists overcome their disease and come to join us on the light side, by whatever means I can. And I'm sure you're doing what you can within the Libertarian Party. One day, we'll get there, I hope, together. I think the best chance for freedom still does lie within the US, but let's see if we Brits can give you a run for your money, by first of all seceding from the EU as bloodlessly as possible, and then who knows?

Come to Texas. We'll be

Come to Texas. We'll be glad to have you.

Hi Phelps, Thanks for the

Hi Phelps,

Thanks for the offer! ;-)

As I said, I think the best chance for true freedom, in the near future, lies within the US. The best chances for true freedom, within the US, from the admittedly skewed vantage point I have here, lie within either New Hampshire or Texas.

So if the balloon goes up here, I'm going to have to make a dash for somewhere where I'll need either advanced central heating or somewhere where I'll need advanced air conditioning.

Put me down for the advanced air conditioning option. The South will rise again! :-)

Rgds,
AndyD

We've got the whole heat

We've got the whole heat thing figured out. Most modern places have heavy-duty AC, as do most cars. (You'll get the AC fixed before you fix the radio.) We know a lot of low-tech ways, too -- downtown Dallas is riddled with tunnels so you don't have to go outside to move between buildings, and the adobe of the old buildings is remarkably cool.

All in all, we cope with the heat better than Minnesota copes with the cold. Plus, there are Texas Women.

Just remember the words of General Sheridan: "If I owned Texas and Hell, I would live in Hell and rent out Texas."

Open invite to St. Louis,

Open invite to St. Louis, MO. We've got some of the lowest taxes in the republic, the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in North America, and one of the best universities in the world (Wasington). I do, however, know better than to mess with Texas.