Thursday, December 27, 2007

On the first day of Christmas...

A few lighter posts from the Unhinged Kingdom today: Post below lifted from Adam Smith blog. See the original for links

My true love sent to me: a partridge in a pear tree. In the original song it seems that 'my true love' is God, that the partridge symbolizes Christ, and the pear tree represents the Cross. Well, maybe.

But in Britain, until this year, if you wanted to deal in game - not just partridges but pheasants, hares, grouse, moor game, woodcock, deer, or rabbits, you needed a licence from the local authority under section 18 of the 1831 Game Act (plus an excise licence from the Post Office under section 14 of the 1860 Game Licences Act). The 1831 legislation laid down strict rules on when game could be sold - an attempt to ensure that breeding cycles were not disrupted. Freezing and refrigeration of course make a nonsense out of this, but our politicians seem to have overlooked this for the last half century. That is how laws are made.

The requirement for a licence to shoot game has been scrapped, but shooting on Sundays and Christmas Day is still banned, thanks to a campaign by the League Against Cruel Sports. (I guess it's not so cruel to shoot things Monday-Saturday.)

Critics also argued that Sunday shooting would disrupt people's lie-in, and could prove dangerous as people went for a Sunday stroll. Still, they told us that nobody wanted to shop on a Sunday too, and now (even though our rulers allow the shops to open only a few hours) Sunday is a hugely popular shopping day. We really should scrap all this regulation.


Red Ken's bureaucracy defeats the Greenies!

Transport for London, run by far-Left Mayor "Red Ken" Livingstone, claims that pedicabs (a glorified bicycle) are the same as taxicabs. It has resorted to litigation against a company called Bugbugs - which operates pedicabs - in pursuit of the point. Post below lifted from The Croydonian. See the original for links and pics

"Bugbugs had sought to strike out, on the grounds of abuse of process, a claim made under CPR Part 8 by the respondent, Transport for London ("TfL"), for a declaration that a pedicab is a "hackney carriage" for the purposes of section 4 of the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 ("the 1869 Act"). The Master dismissed Bugbugs' application to strike out TfL's claim. He gave permission to appeal".

And the appeal failed. I am not going to go off on a 'the law is an ass' rant since that would be a - dull and b- not entirely justified as this and previous litigation revolve around whether a pedicab is a hackney carriage or a stage carriage. What is more noteworthy is that TfL is behaving like a classic monopolist and attempting to destroy a competitor by loading it with an unsupportable regulatory burden. Apparently the old bale of hay law has been repealed, but the added weight of insurance and so like will inevitably wreck the ability of pedicab riders (that would appear to be the technical term) to make a living. And meanwhile, how many accidents have been caused by the riders, public nuisances etc etc? Few I imagine.

The company itself appears to be achingly right on - "It is a not-for-profit organisation, limited by guarantee and run by a board of trustees. It was founded in 1998 and its aims include the provision of a sustainable emission-free integrated form of passenger transport and the creation of work and training opportunities for people from all backgrounds and nationalities". Doubtless regular users are Guardianistas to a wo/man, and occasional users tourists. I went for a ride in one in Edinburgh in the summer and it was rather fun.

So well done TfL. What a great day's work - an almighty spoke has been rammed into the wheel of both a harmless diversion for denizens of the metropolis and the ability of folk to make a living.


The super-efficient British cops will get their man!

Unless there is a serious problem, of course. Post below lifted from Adam Smith blog. See the original for links

Alain Roberts climbed Portland House the other day - a tall building (mainly full of quangos) near London's Victoria Station. He did it all with his hands and feet - he used no ropes, pitons or other kit. At the top he was promptly arrested. The charge? Wasting police time.

Now I don't know what makes the police think their time is so valuable that the antics of this harmless eccentric amount to a waste of it. Presumably they reckon that while they were taking tea on the roof and waiting for 'Spiderman' Roberts to arrive, they could have been out booking motorists for doing 36mph, or harrassing middle class citizens for trying to stop thugs breaking into their homes.

The police didn't have to be there. Their action reminds me of the supposed lawyer's bill: To crossing the road to update you on your case, 100 pounds . To crossing back after realizing it wasn't you 100 pounds. We seem to live in a society where we invent crimes for no good reason. Why punish people for smoking weed (or tobacco for that matter) when the only person caused any harm is themselves? I'd really prefer it if the police sat at home rather than having to think up new reasons to arrest folk.



Oldsters for an old lady: "When Hillary Clinton's volunteers and staffers stand at the back of their candidate's events, they sometimes play a game one observer called "count the oxygen tanks and wheelchairs." Barack Obama's Iowa troops have their own rituals in the days leading up to the crucial Jan. 3 caucus - one of them is making sure that the high school kids who swarm Obama's appearances turn 18 in time to vote. If the Clinton-Obama confrontation figured to be a clash of gender and racial pathfinders, it has turned out in large measure to be a generational battle. Obama is gunning for 80 percent of the under-21 vote, his advisers say, while Clinton is banking on a bedrock of middle-age and elderly voters who make up the majority of caucus-goers."

What Mark Steyn is up against in Soviet Canada: "Well, the Human Rights Commission up there is, you know, almost the textbook definition of a kangaroo court, in the sense that of the complaints that have been brought under this section, since it was introduced almost thirty years ago now, no defendant has ever won .... think of the most politically correct professors at Berkeley, put them on a commission. The plaintiff, the guys who make the complaints, their legal expenses are paid for by the Canadian taxpayer. The defense has to fund his or her own. Essentially, there's no rules of due process or evidence"


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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