These crazy bastards must be stopped

Sod Al Qaeda. The current government’s opposition to anything resembling freedom or the rule of law is far, far more dangerous.

And there isn’t even any prospect of getting rid of the bastards, since far too many people appear to think ‘hooray, they’re doing something about crime and immigration – it’s about time’. Both issues are fundamentally unserious and not-worth-worrying-about, but sadly the public don’t see it that way.

Perhaps it’s time for liberals to seize the agenda – stop with the meme "crime is terrible and out of control, but prison doesn’t work and we should rehabilitate criminals", and instead go with the more accurate "crime is highly unlikely to have a significant impact on your life; your chances of being murdered without seriously provoking it are effectively zero; and the only reason you’re scared of it is because authoritarian arseholes lie about its impact to get you to support their evil plans".

Then again, according to ‘policy expert’ Elizabeth Deakin, "while some people are concerned about civil liberties, most people are not" (via Kevin Drum). Or to put it another way, "I’ve got nothing to hide; I’m not a Jew or a Communist or a trade unionist".

This post is rather depressing. This advert might cheer you up a little.

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8 thoughts on “These crazy bastards must be stopped

  1. Do you mean liberals as in Lib Dems, or liberals as in people with liberal beliefs?

    Realistically, there are two choices of government at the next election:

    i) The current, civil liberty destroying lot.
    ii) The Tories, disappointingly silent on the civil liberty destroying tendencies of the current lot.

    Take your pick.

  2. I meant small-l liberals, although I’m planning to vote for the big L Lib Dems next time round (while they’re irritatingly health-nannying, they have criticised many of the government’s other civil-liberty-destroying plans).

  3. Sure, but they won’t get into power, so it’s a pointless vote. Even if they get more MPs in, it’s still pointless, as they’ll have no power to make changes, especially on this kind of legislation, where Labour will vote as a herd.

    There isn’t a significant enough move in the polls to the Lib Dems to justify voting for them, perverse as that may sound. If they were polling above the Tories, I’d switch sides.

  4. Your point would be a strong one if the election were actually decided on the popular vote, but in the constituency where I’m going to vote the choice will be Lib Dem/Labour (well, actually the choice will be Labour, since they have a 13,000 majority, but the LDs will be the runners-up). There aren’t many seats in three-way contention, so if you want Labour out, it generally makes most sense to vote for whichever of the other two is strongest locally.

    I also can’t see me bringing myself ever to vote for the Tories (at least as long as the hanging and flogging brigade remain significant; I’d happily vote for a Ken Clarke/Chris Patten-ite party), but that’s another story.

  5. True, but I guess it depends on several factors:

    i) How close the race is between 2nd and 3rd place,
    ii) How much of a national swing there is to any party,
    iii) How much of a local swing there is to any party,
    iv) How much tactical voting goes on.

    I personally think the best possible result in the next election would be a Lib/Con coalition, which would necessarily moderate the Tories in a socially liberal direction, without throwing all economic sense to the wind in introducing massive tax rises to buy off various sections of the electorate.

    Of course, pigs will fly before that happens…

  6. I have the same dilemma as John, only inverted – rock-solid Tory constituency with the Lib Dems a poor second and Labour nowhere.

    I don’t actually have any major objections to Peter Bottomley, who has a pretty honourable record of voting against the party line when it conflicts with his conscience, but since he’s going to win anyway I don’t think he needs my support, and I’d like to keep an unblemished record of never voting Tory.

    So for the first time in my life, I’m seriously considering not bothering to vote at all – I really can’t muster any enthusiasm for any of the parties on offer, and I doubt I’ll even have the option to vote for a frivolous candidate, as they normally only stand in higher-profile seats.

  7. I didn’t vote in 2001, because the bastard Liberals didn’t even stand a candidate in my (then) constituency – so it was a choice between the evil Beverly Hughes, assorted loons, or a Tory.

  8. Ah, but if you don’t vote, the terrorists will have won!

    This incentive brought to you by the Ministry for Truth (formerly, HM Gov’s Home Office).

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