Usually, we talk about inflation in airy-fairy terms. A disincentive to save, or a sop to borrowers, or a way of inflating away debt (usually governmental). The picture above is two identical packs of 40 Iceland sausages, one I bought a few weeks ago, the other that I just discovered in the bottom of the freezer. This is really what inflation means. You get less for your money. This information is usually quite hard to discern, the general upward trend in prices hidden somewhat by retailers playing with the margin, upping prices for BOGOF deals, computing with each other and all the things they do to make their shop the most attractive. Discount retailers like Iceland operate a slightly different model, keeping to round pound price points as much as they can for the own-brand products that make up most of their offer. This affords us a look at the cost of sausages (assuming that the costs involved in changing the size of sausages (and presumably other frozen manufactured foods) is a disincentive to changing them often as other retailers do with prices, which is a simple day-to-day task. I make this assumption fairly confidently as I actually noticed the sausages were smaller as soon as I took one out of the bag, I just didn’t have an old pack to hand until tonight.).

Compared to a few months ago, GBP2 gets you 400g less sausage. Actually quite a high proportion of the pack size. And that’s what inflation is. Every time the government prints a few more pounds to pay for some dumb scheme, increase costs for businesses or raise fuel duty, they don’t just attack hauliers, or fat cats, or “the rich” they take food out of YOUR mouth.

A Small Thought

I have a much longer post in the offing (honest I do!), influenced by my rapt reading of Hoppe recently, but I just had to air this small thought.
Anybody think today’s events in Greece may be half the reason so many politicians are hell-bent on staying in the EU?
Maybe, just maybe, Cameroon and his whip know that the price for referenda is being pushed out and puppets installed in your place. That, like the mafia, there is no ‘leaving.’ The difference between Greece and the UK being one of magnitudes, let’s not forget.

Dangerous Thinking

Steve Shark and Leg Iron are seduced by the dark side. Well, sort of. The idea that the permanently workshy will be forced to work sounds good, at first. Indeed, for those of us of a certain frame of mind, it’s almost too good to be true. Remember what they always say on those confidence trickster television programmes? If something seems to good to be true, it probably is.

It sounds a lovely idea. We’re paying for the unemployed anyway, so we might as well pay them to do something useful. In fact, it might even do them some good. Yes, that’s it! We can use the government to improve people! After all, we’ve been paying for them all these years, and if we can just force them to become working, taxpaying individuals, give them a good start, something to put on their reference, after all, it’s not really their fault…

Sounding familiar?

It’s a scam. It’s slave labour mixed with “public works schemes” dressed up to appeal to the non-left. Seriously, these poor slaves will largely never still never escape the benefits trap. At least, not the ones who have never worked, or not worked for decades. Vast pools of slave labour tend to depress wages, so the likelihood of benefit slavery being a stepping-stone to an unskilled job that pays enough to replace the low-cash but housing-etc-rolled-in indentured labour scheme is low. The benefits trap is just that -a trap- and that is unlikely to change, save for the fact that those within it will now be slaves. The State won’t let those slaves go that easily.

What do you suppose the life chances of free unskilled labour are in places where slavery exists? Who is going to pay you when they can get slave labour for free? So all these dole-scroungers get forced to pick up litter. What do you suppose happens to people who currently work for Cleanaway or SITA? You can earn quite good money emptying dustbins or sweeping the streets, and provided you don’t mind being up early and out in all weather you don’t even have to be the full shilling. What do you suppose will happen to those people once the councils realise they can cancel the contracts and get the unemployed to do the work? On the dole with you! Out to sweep the streets for free, slave, and lose your house and stay in this dodgy council-approved bedsit to boot! Oh, and we’ll probably take your kids into care to be fiddled and buggered and moulded into the next generation of government lackeys too, since you AND your wife now have to go to work at 6am and can’t get them to school…

No, I can’t support this. What we have now is broken, bloated and definitely unsustainable, but this alternative has the potential, nay, likelihood of growing into something much much worse. A Trojan Horse smuggling in a massive increase in the power and scope of the government under a banner of reducing the welfare state.

Charlie-Foxtrot or Conspiracy?

Having read this account of a conversation with a “senior member of the Conservative Party” by Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance I’m now reconsidering some of what I had suspected was going on behind the scenes.

I have been coming to the conclusion for a while now (in fact I implied back at the time of the European Elections) that the BNP were getting a ‘push’ from unseen agents towards electoral success. I believed (and still suspect) that this push was coming from within the Labour Party and elements of the media, especially the BBC. Certainly, the BNP have more in common with Old Labour policies than they have differences, the racist elements of their policy are being downplayed to the level the dog-whistle and the anti-immigration stance has become more anti-cheap foreign labour than anti-darkie. In short, the BNP have been re-packaged to appeal to Labour’s traditional core vote.

A vote that Brown’s Labour seem determined to lose. This is assumed quite widely to be a mistake on Labour’s part, a product of chasing the middle class vote in the marginals and campaign by focus group. While this is possible it would take huge levels of both arrogance and stupidity on the Labour leadership’s part to simply take their core votes for granted- fine if there were no alternative for a working class still remembering how their grandfather’s were thrown to the dogs during the Thatcher years and thus with an almost genetic reluctance to vote Conservative, but there is an alternative and one that is gaining support. Arrogance I can believe in but getting yourself to the top of a major political party is not something one would expect an intellectually challenged person to be able to achieve.

Certainly, events such as the debacle in Rochdale last week suddenly look very different when looked at from a point of view that assumes an orchestrated attempt to push voters into the embrace of Mr. Griffin.
Means and opportunity we have, the only thing I cannot fathom is motive. Or rather, I can make several wild guesses (but will refrain for now) but that is all I have: speculation.

Sean Gabb’s post puts a different spin on the matter though, as it puts elements within the Conservative party in the frame. One reading of his conversation simply posits the BNP as a useful catspaw for a hidden Conservative agenda, being considered to accomplish aims that the Conservative Party could not -for whatever reason- accomplish themselves. Another, more paranoid reading could suggest that there are elements within the Conservative Party who are also interested in pushing the BNP to the fore, again for reasons I could only speculate on. Both readings would sit well with ‘XYZ’s reasons for the Conservatives moving closer both to the centre and the Politically Correct Green/Righteous. If, however, the paranoid/tin-foil cap reading is correct (and various tin-foily-type musings have been proved correct in the end, don’t forget. Just because something is espoused by loonies doesn’t mean it isn’t true) then elements within both the governing party and the opposition are working together to manipulate the public into voting for an extremist party. This isn’t that great a leap from the blogposts I read on an almost daily basis referring to the ‘Tory and Labour wings of the Social Democratic Party’ and so on. If we can accept that, well…

Or, the Labour Party are arrogant and stupid and the Conservatives are taking a risky, risky gamble with their electoral future.

Addicted To Government

Reading in The Sun today about the Government’s secret, three-year programme to deliberately re-addict prisoners who have successfully kicked their drug habits while inside gives us a cold look into the mentality of the people that run the country in our name.

First of all, the idea that prisons are run for rehabilitation is completely blown out of the water. No member of the relevant ministries and civil services can ever make this claim again. I’m digressing here though.

I’m tempted to see this as another little leash keeping a part of the state’s client classes under control. Do they really want offenders getting themselves off of drugs and making something of themselves when they get out of prison?

This is where it gets a little sticky. If this policy originates from the lower levels of government it could be argued that it is simply the armies of social workers and drug counsellors employed by labour acting out of self-interest by keeping themselves in ‘customers.’ This wouldn’t be unheard of, and is in fact well within the bounds of normal human nature. It is evident in everything from the poor advice given to those seeking work at the Jobcentre (been there, been given it. Do you know anyone who ever got a job from the Jobcentre?) to the ineffective counselling and drug treatments (and jail) given to those with mental health problems. They have a monopoly and a limitless supply of cash, so the only thing they need to do to keep themselves in work is keep em rolling through the doors.

If, however, this is an initiative directed by central government then it starts to look more sinister.
Consider this: these are ex-addicts who have managed to get themselves off of drugs by their own efforts despite very difficult circumstances. Jail isn’t the nicest of places to be, and the drug supply inside is in many cases more plentiful than outside. To get off heroin while in prison is quite an achievement and says a little about a person. Also consider that these lags are being deliberately addicted to a drug the main dealer of which is the state. The ex-prisoners who have managed (to borrow a Jeremy Kyle parlance) ‘to turn their lives around’ are far more likely to stay in a methadone program than return to using street heroin, so they are effectively now hooked on the state, like being on tag only chemically.
Combining this with other ways of getting people hooked on the state, such as the rules that keep so many in the welfare trap, sink estate dwellers as well as those receiving ‘tax credits’ included and the all-encompassing so-expensive-you-can’t-afford-to-go-private NHS and you suddenly have a very different picture indeed.

Consider also: At the moment this is just prisoners who were already hooked when they came in, and only those who managed to get off heroin and didn’t just keep using while inside. How long before it’s extended? To all prisoners? To the general population? To a (new) drug that is only available from the state?

It might sound far-fetched now, but 10 years ago it would have sounded far-fetched that the state would be allowed to open your mail without a warrant.

Would you really put it past them?

Two Horse Race

Is this what Obo calls ‘riffing off’ of a post? Perhaps.
Anyway, reading this post over at Boaty and D’s yesterday morning (or at least the title: “The pro-Cameron liberal media sums up our broken political system”) it occurs to me that in this two-and-a-bit-but-really-only-one-party-system we have there is a somewhat predictable trend in the media’s attitudes, at least in my memory.

The party in power gets in with a huge majority and whatever passes for a ‘mandate’ and begins immediately to press forward with the programmes they wish, with complete press support. This continues through at least one general election. Towards the end of their tenure , the press support starts to wane as the public begin to realise that nothing has in fact become any better in the last decade or so. Usually starting with The Sun, but followed by others either overtly or subtly (as in the case of the BBC).

Once the public is pretty much fucked off and most of the media is behind the opposition it is safe to call a general election, ensuring another landslide victory and ‘mandate’ for the next ten years or so of the new ruling party pushing through ‘their’ ‘agenda’ while the country looks on, gobsmacked as they carry on pretty much the same policies as their predecessors: namely increased control, increased taxation and increased spending.

The only thing is, this time it doesn’t seem to be working as well. According to the polls, at least. I wonder why?

Question Time

Oh. I love saturdays, especially the ones I don’t have to work. I love my telephone too; my wife and sister-in-law are here and have control of the television, so I took advantage of the time to watch thursday’s Question Time on IPlayer, on my phone.

Now. I’m no BNP supporter, I could never support a leftist party racist or no. I’ve been down the left-hand path before and I didn’t like where it was going. I determined to watch it with an open mind however, and I thought he came across quite well. In fact, I think this was a spectacular own goal for an establishment still crippled by the no-platform debate.

They started on race issues in an early attempt to derail Griffin, and he manfully managed to dissemble his way through, not a difficult task as the other panellists (and audience) talked over and interrupted him throughout the section. This had the dual effects of not only setting him up as an underdog straight away (and as we know, the British love underdogs) but also saving him the trouble of having to explain and debate his views. Classic.

Once the ‘debate’ moved onto Islam, he was remarkably restrained, clearly and simply mentioning the things from the Koran that we’re not supposed to talk about while the other contestants panellists frothed and foamed. He cleverly framed the issue in terms that nobody can disagree with (women’s rights and the stoning of rape victims etc.) and was fairly unimpeachable on this, at least among those who don’t really want shariah law, thankyou very much.

In fact, once he was past the race section of questions he was pretty straight throughout. He may have been lying (and probably was) but if he was, he was lying straight out, while the others waffled and dissembled and shouted him down and refused to answer questions in traditional Westminster style. To someone pretty pissed off with the LibLab Con (who didn’t know any better) he could really seem like a straight-talkin’ kinda guy.

Which leads me again to wonder, is this deliberate? There was a lot he said that I could agree with. He doesn’t like the EU, he doesn’t like the BBC, and I had to nod my head when he asked Jack Straw if he would dare go to a Maori or a Sioux and ask them “what do you mean by indiginous?” Not because I’m a white supremacist (I’m not) but because it was a fair and logical question, and Straw’s refusal to be drawn on it was frustrating. If I didn’t know any better, and didn’t know all about liberty and freedom and what leftists like Griffin really want (control, same as the other three leftists on the panel) I might well have started to think maybe he’s got something, and no wonder the others don’t want him to speak, because they’re all saying the same things and he’s saying the sort of things that people are really thinking. In short, I may well have thought he was a reasonable man not being given a fair shake of the stick, and he’s not really a racist anymore, and maybe we should give him a chance?

Of course, I didn’t think any of those things because I know what Griffin’s really about, but to others? Especially those white, English working class who are sick of being disallowed from acknowledging or celebrating their own culture (another point Griffin tried to raise and was shouted down on), and some of them do watch Question Time, you know.

This was either a spectacular own-goal or this was how it was intended to be. I’ll let you decide for yourself.