Stick to politics, Dave! After all, you're not exactly a raving success at it so you need all the practice you can get, so, if I were you I would leave the moralising to 'Archbish' Welby even if he is prone to the occasional pratfall. Of course, we all agree, well, 98.5% of us do, that child pornography is abhorrent but your attempts to ban it from the internet are doomed to failure and whilst you might earn a few half-hearted cheers today for your gallant(?) campaign, you will receive brickbats and abuse when it stutters and stammers to a halt and it becomes clear that you do not understand the complexities of the internet any more than you do day-to-day politics. Anyway, I have an instinctive suspicion and fear when politicians start consorting with censors, see: Leveson, passim.
Lear forebodings: Oh dear! Several weeks ago a good friend spotted a report in the papers that David Haig, a truly first rate actor, was attempting that Mount Everest of roles, King Lear. Instantly we booked! On Friday there was a gossip note in The Mail to the effect that the lady director concerned had decided to set the play in the contemporary East End of London in a gang warfare situation. Cue: heart sinking to boots, teeth grinding and a stream of obscene language of such richness that even old Will would have been proud. With the sort of fascinated horror with which we all slow down to get a good look as we pass the scene of a motorway crash I shall attend next Thursday's performance at the Theatre Royal Bath. You may expect a review on Friday - if I am well enough!
And, Dave, whilst we're on the subject of futile gestures: I notice, Dave, that you have added your government's support to the soppy, nonsensical motion in the Lords to 'pardon' the late Alan Turing. Before dealing with the particulars of this case, Dave, may I say that I am sick to the back teeth of our leaders grovelling and apologising to anyone and everyone, not for their manifold cock-ups, but for their predecessors' provided, of course, that they are all well back in history and thus virtually out of sight. Max Hastings had an excellent article in yesterday's Mail on the subject of the proposed 'pardon' to Turing which is well worth reading. However, this morning, thanks to a link provided by Ms. Anna Raccoon, you can read a very detailed legal analysis by Carl Gardner at his Head of Legal site of the ramifications of this nonsense process which indicates that it is mostly a complete waste of oxygen! (A late thought occurs; how long before some Prime Minister apologises to the Germans for Bomber Command?)
Good grief, not another Brit winner! The earth is beginning to shift on its axis. Today Lewis Hamilton wins the Hungarian Grand Prix with a superb and in places courageous drive. He follows Murray at Wimbledon, our 'sloggers' at cricket and our rugger buggers in Australia. Fetch the smelling salts! Much more of this and I will begin to dream of England winning the World Cup - nah, not really!
It's that Bastiat again: It's bad enough that I was forced a few weeks ago to admit my total ignorance of one of the great, free market, economic philosophers, the late Frédéric Bastiat, but ever since I keep tripping over constant reminders of his name which rubs in my embarrassment. Here is a quote provided by Cafe Hayek from David Hart in a contribution at Liberty Matters:
Of course, we will never know what might have happened, but I think it is interesting to speculate. In many respects Bastiat had a much broader experience of politics than Marx (having had real experience working in government in the Chamber of Deputies), and his understanding of economics was much deeper and had the significant advantage of being more correct than Marx’s. Thus, given his understanding of how political power and free markets really operated, he had, I think, the potential to have become “the Karl Marx of the classical-liberal movement,” which might have had profound implications for the course of history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Oh dear, one of those 'ifs, buts and maybes' that litter history.
Birmingham: where the loonies run the asylum: According to Guido last Friday, Labour-controlled Birmingham City Council has decided to spend £1,600 on psychiatrists in order to allow councillors to undergo personality tests. I am prepared to do the job for half the money and I do not need to see any of the councillors concerned because I can tell you now they are a bunch of swivel-eyed, mouth-dribblers with inflated egos and severe psychotic tendencies. They should simply be treated the same way as Hannibal Lector because there is no hope for a cure!
No more rumbles today