Saturday, December 24, 2005
It is, of course, difficult to say exactly what "illiberal" letters of mine caused me to be, provisionally, kicked out because they refuse to say. However the prime subjects on which I have written have been nuclear power & the need for the Scottish Executive to adopt a low tax, low regulation regime, which while tending to put the blame on the Labour part of the Executive, could not disguise that the Lib Dems shared blame for our abysmal 1% growth rate. In Ireland the regime I suggested has lead to a 7% annual rate of growth. For 3 years now I have proposed an Enterprise Motion to the party conference (the search facility here will reach it) & seen it passed over despite the fact that the former leader & a currently serving minister both promised that they wished to see it done. I have no doubt that if this worked in Ireland it would work at least equally well here.
The point is that what Ireland did is to cut business taxes & cut regulations. These are virtually the essence of classic liberalism yet it is now impossible to get the party to even discuss such things. At the last autumn conference I spoke alone & voted almost alone against 2 motions - 1 which said that free trade was innately a bad thing & another that the party should commit to having government political correctness inspectors through industry with power to ensure that businesses are run according to the "expectations" of every passing "special interest group" (& they do pass). The previous autumn I spoke alone against a smoking ban on the grounds that, the evidence being what it isn't, such a ban would an intrusion on freedom. I suspect that these are the prime reasons for the present action. Free trade, it should be remembered is the single strongest thread that held liberalism together yet, despite the fact that it has repeatedly proven to bring societies to prosperity, it is now politically incorrect in the party to support it.
The tragedy is that, with the SNP having adopted a very similar policy & the Tories unlikely to be outflanked, there could be, if the Lib Dems were to be truly liberal, a majority in favour of economic success.
Note that a 7% growth rate means that we double everybody's income in 10 years. I would be immensly proud to be able to have even a small role in such an entirely achievable project. I have never chased office - I am more ambitious than that. To play even a small role in bringing about such an increase in the standard of living of everybody would be an achievement which all but the greatest Prime Ministers could not match.
Such a policy would also work south of the border, indeed if it worked here it is difficult to see a party supporting it not being given at least a hung Parliament. However instead of allowing such the party leadership have decided that there will be, as with every year since devolution, no primarily economic motion (there was one once titled "Sustainable Economy" but it was an environmental motion). Time has been found for motions calling for more subsidies for bicyclists, a lower speed limit in towns & a requirement for all new built homes to include windmills (truly I am not joking - this is what liberalism is now supposed to be about).
I had nonetheless best deal with the Ashdown matter. I could weasel by saying that the blog entry calling Ashdown a Nazi was posted on the 15th & Dr Barrie's letter on the 12th so it cannot be relevant but I will not. I stand by what I said. Mr Ashdown had been a member of the SBS & in Indonesia when they were carrying out a guerilla campaign against Indonesia. He was subsequently a member of the diplomatic corps with an unspecified function. He is not a lawyer fast tracked to leadership to stupid & lazy to know who he was killing, Mr Ashdown has seen the elephant. He must have known that the people he was supporting, Alia "there can be neither peace nor co-existence with non-Moslems" Izetbegovic & Franjo "genocide is commanded by the word of God""Hitler's new european order can be justified by the need to be rid of the Jews" Tudjman were unrepentant ex-Nazis openly committed to genocide & that the KLA were drug dealers, sex slavers & secret police torturers openly engaged in genocide. Mr Ashdown is not the worst western war criminal here - that honour goes to Kohl & Genscher of Germany & very very few western politicians & journalists involved come out of this as members in good standing of the human race, though unstereotipically most soldiers did..
If anyone thinks I have been illiberal about Yugoslavia may I point out that in 1880 Gladstone won, against the odds & by pure moral force, an election fought purely on the fact that the Conservative government had been indifferent to Turkish massacres of Bulgars. To win such an election on a policy so unrelated to any self interest of the electorate is, I believe, unique among nations & is the sort of liberal Victorian value we should aspire to.
Our policy towards Nazi genocide of Serbs would be unjustly ennobled by the term "indifferent". If William Ewart Gladstone is not acceptable as a being sufficiently politically correct for our party today then it has sold its sole to buy windmills.
I think the biggest problem the Scottish Lib Dems have with you is the fact that you are 'out there' in the Cyberworld (not to be confused with 'Discworld') trying to influence public opinion -- they have no control over what you have to say. (Must have control... Must have control... Must have control...)
Your loonie pro-nuke opinions are very strong and quite noticible. You're an embodiment of Freedon of Speech.
I will offer my assistance in anyway possible in defending your right to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Self-Expression -- even though it's obvious your braincells have been radiated with contaminated free-roaming nuclear isotopes.
BTW, where do you prefer to take your holidays, Neil? Pick one:
PS: I've clipped and saved all your Scotsman and Herald Letters to the Editors in the scotpol archives. I'm an avid reader (blush). I'm facinated with your skill for making ficticious 'facts' look authentic. I've filed your clippings under the hearder "Lib Dem Pro-Nuke Comic Book Guy".
You are right that my brain is subject to radioactivity - about 1.5mSv a year. By comparison I would get 1.5 at hunterson, 2 at Chernobyl, 2.5 in Aberdeen, up to 5 in Cornwall, 15 in Kerala India & if you want to know what happens to people who live under 75 a year put "hormesis" into the search facility above.
(Niniane runs Scotpol to which I at one time contributed)