The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for September 5th, 2006

Chris Woodhead remembers Noah

Posted by rantingkraut on September 5, 2006

“It is the year 2001 and Noah lives somewhere in New Labour England, the Lord
speaks to Noah and tells him within a year he is going to flood the world but
Noah is to save the righteous people and two of every living thing on earth. He
is to build an ark ‘remember’ said the Lord to Noah ‘you must complete the ark
and bring everything aboard in one year.’ So exactly one year later, as you are
all very well aware fierce storm clouds circled the earth and the seas went into a
tumult. The Lord saw Noah sitting in his front yard weeping. ‘Noah’ he shouted
‘where is the ark?’ ‘Lord please forgive me’ cried Noah ‘I did my best but there
were big problems, first I had to get a permit for construction, and your plans
did not comply with the codes, I had to hire an engineering firm to redraw the
plans and then I got into a fight with the health and safety authorities over
whether or not the ark needed a fire sprinkler system and floatation devices and
then my neighbour objected claiming I was violating planning regulations by
building the ark in my front yard, so I had to get special permission from the
city planning department. I had problems getting enough wood for the ark,
because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the spotted owl I finally
convinced the forestry commission that I needed the wood to save the owls but
the conservation people wouldn’t let me catch any owls – so no owls. The
carpenters formed a union and went on strike, I had to negotiate a settlement
with the TUC I know have 16 carpenters on the ark but no owls. And when I
started rounding up the other animals I got sued by an animal rights group –
they objected to me only taking two of every kind aboard, and just when I got
the suit dismissed the deputy prime minister popped up and notified me that I
couldn’t complete the ark without filing an environmental impact statement on
your proposed flood – he didn’t take very kindly to the idea that he had no
jurisdiction over the conduct of the creator of the universe. And then the army
called in engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood plain – I sent
them a globe! Right now I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal
Opportunities Commission, that I am practising discrimination by not taking
godless, unbelieving people aboard. The Inland Revenue has seized my assets
claiming that I am building the ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid
paying taxes and I have just got a notice from the state saying that I owe them
some sort of user tax and have failed to register the ark as a recreational water
craft. Now at this point the skies began to clear, the sun began to shine and the
seas became calm. A rainbow arched across the sky, Noah looked up hopefully,
‘you mean you are not going to destroy the earth, Lord?’. ‘No’ said the Lord
sadly, ‘ the government already has!’”


Posted in Meaning of Life | Comments Off on Chris Woodhead remembers Noah

Ante-natal ASBOs shouldn’t surprise anyone

Posted by rantingkraut on September 5, 2006

Faced with more than justified calls for his resignation, Blair has responded with his latest initiative of intrusion into peoples’ private lives. Never mind ASBOs. Never mind reversing the burden of proof. By now you don’t even have to be born to be presumed guilty:

The prime minister last week said the government needed to intervene before children were even born to stop them turning into troublemakers later.

Bizarre as this may be, it is not really surprising. As has been pointed out here before, once a government embarks on the mission of planning particular aspects of peoples’ lives it must ultimately become totalitarian.
Those who believe that interventions will remain limited in scope should consider the following: so far, new labour has regularly failed to achieve its targets when it tried to regulate peoples’ and families’ private lives. People still smoke and drink, they don’t eat what Tony tells them to eat and their kids still misbehave. Government has failed to achieve its planning objectives the way it usually does: central planning doesn’t work. It didn’t work in the economy and it won’t work in society at large. A government plan that requires people to act contrary to their interests and inclinations can only work to the extent that it relies on compulsion. Even where a forced implementation is successful in one particular area it usually leads to unintended and undesired consequences.
What we are witnessing now is what usually happens in such cases: one ill conceived intervention leads to another. Once the authorities have embarked on mission impossible and are confronted with failure, they will claim that they have failed because they had insufficient power and resources to meet their target. Those inclined to believe this should remember that the Soviet leadership had both absolute power and complete control over their country’s resources. It still failed.
This point has been made more prominently before: the government of a free country should confine itself to national defence and enforcing general rules of just conduct equally applicable to all. Those rules should mainly be prohibitions designed to protect individual rights. Our government doesn’t do this: it openly aspires to micro-managing citizens’ private affairs, i.e. it is totalitarian by definition and by admission.

Posted in Civil Liberties | 1 Comment »