Tag Archives: Freedom

St Paddy’s

Over here in the Emerald Isle it’s coming up to the one year anniversary of tiers and lockdowns. Notwithstanding; earlier today Mrs S and I were treated to a convoy of about fifty, yes fifty cars sporting the Irish tricolour and balloons honking madly as they drove up our lane, kids sitting in boats on trailers, standing on the dash as Dad’s drove, waving at everyone from out of sun roofs waving flags. Elf and safetee would have had a conniptive fit.

Despite noises in the media about increased Gardai presence to prevent anyone anywhere enjoying themselves, people found a way round. God alive, this is why I love this place.

Good grief…

A pleasant surprise dropped into my YouTube feed this morning. David Davies has introduced into the UK Parliament a bill which is meant to promote freedom of expression in the University system.

“A Bill to place a duty on universities to promote freedom of speech; to make provision for fining universities that do not comply with that duty; and for connected purposes.”

Currently awaiting it’s second reading. This is good news, providing this private members bill stays the course. It will be interesting to see who pops up to speak against it, or plays silly buggers with this bill at the Committee stage.

“And connected purposes”? Might this mean all those anti-social media platforms?

Popcorn on standby.

Casualties

Just having a scroll down the Scriblerus blog list and note that a few went offline. James Higham, arguably the Godfather of the group has retreated to Blogspot, as has Orphans of Liberty. Scribblings from Seaham is completely AWOL. Demetrius at Cynical Tendency hasn’t posted in well over a year, likewise Tim Newman. Raedwald died. Our original number shrinks. Some lost interest, others simply drifted away like ghostly ships, vanishing over the horizon.

Links have been updated to new sites where available.

Thus it is that merciless time catches up with all of us. Orphans and Nourishing Obscurity disappeared because their web admin, Chuckles, died. Which is sad, but then all human life is finite. We all die. So that should be a spur to engage with life, before it inevitably ends. To do less is to have merely existed.

That said, a lot of the old long form bloggers have been carrying on the verbal fight for freedom of expression more intermittently, or on other platforms, so I’ve left their links untouched. The diehards amongst us will hopefully keep on posting because it’s become too much a component of our lives. Perhaps driven by bloody minded habit or the thought that if no-one speaks up against the darkness, the voiceless will be led mute down into eternal dystopias, stripped of hope and berated into subservience.

The mainstream press, with few salient exceptions, won’t help. They’re too much a part of the machine. Few modern politicians will for the self same reason, and if no-one speaks to oppose the erosion of basic human freedoms, that minority who might stand up, won’t. It’s also worth noting that great ideas like human liberty, cannot be killed, but they can die of neglect. So we must not be neglectful, no matter the temptation. We must light our own candles, no matter how small, or let the night take us all.

We’re not the only ones. Listen to this Talk Radio talk with Neil Oliver. This blog does not believe that there is ‘no point’. The only time that happens is when you give up on living, and that is a perniciously dangerous idea.

Thus dear reader, you can be assured that this blogs febrile and occasionally satirical ravings will continue, even if I’m just shouting into my own little bucket. Okay, which one of you smartarses shouted “Shame”? Go to the top of the class and then do us all a big favour by jumping off.

The new normal

I was up early, pacing our empty kitchen this morning, worrying. Word is we may even be restricted to travel within 10km of home for the next four weeks. Bound by an insane web of ever changing rules that make the word ‘byzantine’ look like simplicity personified. Masks, no matter how useless they really are at this stage of the game at preventing viral spread, will be required everywhere, perhaps even in your own home. Although there are those who do that already. The insanity is, like the SARS/COV-2 virus, everywhere. It has gone from pandemic to endemic. There’s no escape.

Uncertainty has become the rule under which we live. At this point I don’t even know if our worldly goods will be allowed to be delivered next week. The situation is that unclear. We’ve put a deposit on a suitable car and it’s in the shop having a pre-sale detail and service. Unfortunately, as the car dealership we are buying from is slightly over 10km from our new home we may not even be allowed to pick it up at the end of this week. We have the money to spend, but we don’t know if we’re going to be allowed to spend it.

Insurance for independent expats like us is likewise an issue. Finding someone who will insure without a usable no-claims is a pain. We have full documented no claims in Canada for the last thirteen years and for at least six documented years UK no claims before that, but does any of it count over here? Nah. Only certain countries no-claims, such as some EU states and the UK (But not always) are allowed here in Ireland. We know we’re going to get stung. The only question that remains is ‘how much by’? When it comes to transport, there’s this constant feeling of; “Sticker, see that brick wall? That’s for your head. Off you go.”

However, our woes pale into insignificance if some of the lockdown stories surfacing are any guide. There’s a nasty rumour floating around the Interweb that people have died screaming in agony because they were prevented from getting prompt treatment by the lockdowns. Don’t know if these tales are true or not, but I’m sure that video’s will surface if they are. If this is the new (ab)normal they can keep it.

The truth is like that. It always leaks out. The harsher the censorship by the tech giants, the more things will pop up. The evidence will surface, one way or another. And we know where the blame will lie, as it has lain over the last two decades or more. On those who push the panic button to keep themselves in a job, the powers that be, and those who carry water for them.

Hear what Sargon has to say. They’re cancelling and censoring the White House’s social media accounts? Along with so many others. That’s going to come back to bite silicon valley and some of the big corporates. Especially if Trump wins his second term.

I don’t use social media anyway, having cancelled twatter and Arsebook years ago.

Fortunately our car hire guys have been absolute heroes. Sixt, when it comes down to it, may not be the cheapest, but their customer service is worth every penny. I’ve used them in four countries on three continents so far (Australia, France, UK and Canada) and unlike all the others, have always walked away without a care. There’s never been that WTF! moment when you check your credit card statement after a hire. Our currency brokers have likewise upped their game, as if it needed upping, and come through with some happy news. If you have a legitimate need to shift money from country to country, may I give the gold star of approval to Currencies Direct. Needless to say, Mr Bezo’s boys continually come up trumps. These guys have been life and sanity savers in very difficult times.

Update: Other people are not as fortunate or determined as we, and even children are cracking up under the strain. Watch the video below, read out from a report first penned in May 2020. God alone knows what that poor kid is like now, and he will be only one of thousands. Perhaps even tens of thousands. We can only guess.

These lockdowns are a crime against humanity and the cracks are showing. But I repeat myself. Again and again and a-bloody-gain.

Useful links; as far back as 15th May, 43% of UK Psychiatrists reported an uptick in cases directly attributable to the lockdowns.

At least half a million more people in UK may experience mental ill health as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, says the first forecast from Centre for Mental Health on 15th May. the figures for 1st October predict ten million.

That’s just the mental health side of the coin. The economic damage and attendant fallout promises to be far worse. Now the Welsh assembly thinks it’s lockdown will make any difference. They’re wrong. The real science says they are, but they are politicians who don’t understand what they’re doing or what they’re really dealing with and what actually works.

Not the end of the world

Moving forward into our new place and getting stuff organised. There’s a lot of detail to go through and I’m busier than a bee on amphetamines. However, each step forward brings us closer to getting sorted. It’s just time and effort. Mrs S is up to her neck in her own affairs, so it falls to me to ensure things happen in their proper order. Fortunately we agreed a division of labour for this move and we’re all good. Money is coming in and we’re actually paying less in terms of rent and utilities for a similar size property than we were in BC. All we have to do is ensure the cash goes to the right places. Such is the life of a permanent expat. Not that I mind, it’s actually fun if you have the right attitude.

As for all the COVID-19 restrictions, apart from masking up to go into shops when we’re in town they’re no big deal. The people who are suffering the most are the urbanites and students under house arrest, particularly if they’re living on campus.

Not that the people who impose these rules are following them, the hypocrites. They still get to go to dinner parties of more than six people any time it suits them. And their bars don’t have to shut at 10pm. I also bet no-one goes peering through their letterboxes.

One rule for us plebs and divine privilege for them. Don’t they understand that we’ve chopped the heads off royalty over divine rights and exclusive privilege? I bet that Charles 1st was thinking as he was being led to the block for a quick bit off the top “I wish I’d told everyone that one rule should be for all, not just the privileged few.” Foolish man. Took thirteen years to get back to somewhere near normal after three civil wars in the 1640’s. What? You thought there was only one? There possibly was one period of civil war, but there were actually three English civil wars where there was actual fighting if you take the time to read the History properly. Charlie boy lost all three. And his head because the silly bugger couldn’t take the hint. Dozy eejit.

Perhaps the current powers that be might benefit from reading their history a little more closely. Because this whole SARS/COV-2 business isn’t the end of the world. If people paid attention it might just be the beginning of a much better one. Which is why the current draconian restrictions are proving counter-productive, but who listens to me? I’m just a blogger with a lifetime of world-experience. They’re just chickens with their heads cut off wearing their face masks wrong. See inset picture and click to enlarge for a giggle.

And I’ve got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.

Anyway, it’s not the end of the world, even if all the over privileged drama queens want it to look like it is. It’s effectively a lot of fuss about what we can clearly see now is a comparatively low risk. The worst is past. Time to move on. I’m sick of writing about it, and I bet my last remaining reader, if they’re still here, is pig sick of hearing the fear-porn about COVID-19 as well.

Eleanor Rigby redux

All the frightened people, where do they all come from? All the frightened people, where do they all belong? To bowdlerise the chorus rhyme scheme of the old Beatles number ‘Eleanor Rigby’ which I have reworded for 2020 below.

Ah, look at all the frightened people!
Ah, look at all the frightened people!

Eleanor Rigby
Watches the news on the box for all the fear stats
Maybe she’s bats
Watches the Telly
Hiding her face with a mask from behind her closed door
What is it for?

All the frightened people
Where do they all come from?
All the frightened people
Where do they all belong?

Doctor McKenzie
Writing the words of a lecture that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working
Writing his blog in the night when there’s nobody there
Why does he care?

All the frightened people
Where do they all come from?
All the frightened people
Where do they all belong?

Ah, look at all the frightened people!
Ah, look at all the frightened people!

Eleanor Rigby
Died all alone and cremated along with her name
Nobody came
Doctor McKenzie
Hand sanitising out in the ward but there’s no-one to heal
Thinks it’s unreal

All the frightened people (Ah, look at all the frightened people!)
Where do they all come from?
All the frightened people (Ah, look at all the frightened people!)
Where do they all belong?

Original sequence from Yellow Submarine, the Beatles movie (I have a DVD copy) in YT video below. Tell me it’s not bang on the money.

Mrs S and I are hunkering down at our new place away from all the insanity. Heating and insurances have been organised, rent paid in advance and we’re sorting out our Interweb connection ahead of moving in our worldly goods. It’s a bit echoey at the moment and we’re subsisting off mobile data, which is okay, but sometimes the connection can get a bit hokey, which is par for the course. Then there’s just the business of our driving licences and getting our clean driving records acknowledged by the insurance brokers.

On the upside, a turn around the streets of our closest new town shows all the symbols of people getting pissed off with the lockdowns. “Free the streets” placards in business windows, people paying lip service to the restrictions, wearing masks with nose and even mouth exposed just so they can breathe properly. No-one getting really upset just yet, although I’m waiting for some kind of anti-lockdown protest to snowball from students under house arrest in their halls of residence. Maybe they could have a ‘sneeze in’ over the security who are forcing them to stay in their rooms during ‘Freshers week’? Or more appropriately all over the pro-lockdown politicians. That could be fun.

Why we must end the lockdowns

Dublin is going into lockdown, yet again. The rest of Ireland is just breathing a heavy sigh and getting on with things, looking forward to the day the pubs can re-open.

There are lockdowns all over the UK. Yet the question I do not see the powers that be asking is; how effective are these measures? Are people actually getting sick from the disease, or are the ‘cases’ just asymptomatic detections? Unfortunately all we seem hear is the constant fire hose of propaganda, making it seem that things are worse than they are, and any voices daring to question the narrative are shouted down or shut up. Yes Piers Morgan, you media whore, we’re looking at you. There’s a voice we can do without.

People being silenced Bill? What utter nonsense. No one does things like that. Not so, gentle reader (Oh come on, one of you has to be). I cite the following example; a petition to end the lockdowns was recently shut down by Change.org, citing the excuse of ‘community guidelines’. Which is a bit lame. ‘Community guidelines’ are there to prevent abuse of the system like shut down petitions for the daft and derisory, not a vital issue which is devastating not only the entire economy of the anglophone west, but people’s lives and mental health.

Fortunately, another petition requesting an end to the UK lockdowns, which has already passed the 25,000 mark and needs to garner even more genuine signatures was in place via parliament.uk, which I have already signed. However, in order to get a parliamentary debate, another 75,000 signatures need to be garnered. A million would be even better. Sign the link, pass it on via all the social media at your disposal. Real names now. No-ones going to kick down your door for wanting the simple human right of being able to go about your lawful business in peace.

Yes, yes, but why do we need to end the lockdowns Bill? They keep us safe don’t they? Don’t they? Ah. No. The lockdowns are too much, and far, far too late. Besides, what was meant to be three weeks has passed three months. The curve is flatlined, the death count is tiny. If the pandemic were a cadaver it would have been broken down for transplant spares and the rest cremated back in late May.

The current round of lockdowns are pointless because SARS/COV-2 or Covid-19 has already passed through the majority of the population without a ripple and is currently in mop up mode, giving sniffles and coughs to the few who didn’t get it in the first wave back in March and April.

The ‘case load’ that idiots carp on about is only up due to increased testing, using a test that picks up both live and dead coronavirus fragments, not just SARS/COV-2. Because the hysteria reached the point that if your cat looks a bit peaky, it was automatically SARS/COV-2, not just an iffy mouse it consumed last night. No other cause of illness counts. No other illness is important enough.

The trouble is that every coronavirus looks like SARS/COV-2 to the PBR test. The common cold is a coronavirus, as are the variants of seasonal influenza.

And of course the lockdowns have meant that people are dying from other causes which the NHS is meant to treat. Various cancers, heart disease, which are hard enough to get treatment for at the best of times, have been left untreated because of the lockdowns. There is even a body of opinion that the lockdowns have caused more deaths than SARS/COV-2, which may not be very far from the truth.

Thus I contend that the lockdowns are a mass experiment which has failed. They were applied after the first tranche of infections had already hit and put the population under house arrest with all the devastating consequences we can see all around us. Half deserted streets, shuttered businesses and worst of all, the hidden toll of decimated lives. Not just economically, but emotionally and psychologically. The damage done may take years to undo.

For Mrs S and I, our losses are small in comparison. We will recover quickly because we work mostly online anyway. The lockdowns are an inconvenience rather than a showstopper. A frustration, a problem to be worked around. Unfortunately for others, their lives have been brought to a screeching smoking halt and may never be able to get going again. They are the ones who these lockdowns have hurt the most. They are the reasons why these pointless lockdowns must end.

Is this the beginning of the end?

Please watch Viva Frei’s analysis of a court case in the USA that strikes at the very foundation of the never ending lockdown measures.

Having listened to the Judges comments in his judgement, yes, the lockdowns not only trampled over the civil liberties of all citizens while favouring some larger businesses, so they have to be deemed unconstitutional. The lockdown exemptions favoured some causes over others, therefore the lockdown orders must be deemed unconstitutional and a flagrant violation of citizen’s rights.

The numbers say that the pandemic is over and has been over since May 2020. The curve has been flattened. The death rate, even with non-SARS/COV-2 deaths being attributed through a very dodgy methodology, is as close to zero as makes no odds. So why the fuck are we still being restricted and forced to wear unsanitary masks?

The Judge in this case makes perfect sense. Not just from a US perspective, but across the entire ‘free’ world. No country can call itself ‘free’ while these restrictions exist without good cause. No country can call itself ‘free’ when some causes are favoured over others. No country can call itself ‘free’ when some big businesses are favoured over others.

Just because a few politicians are frightened of dying. Well newsflash kiddies; we’re all going to die sometime, but there’s a thing between birth and death called living, which is what too damn many of us are being deprived of by these lockdowns and mask restrictions.

I hope this judgement stands and serves as a beacon of hope for individual liberty across the world. I hope. Because that’s all we’ll ever have. A little hope.

Excuse me getting emotional here, but this is something I really care about and a hill worth dying on. Without the liberty to go about one’s lawful business there is no life, just the hollowness of mere existence. Anyone who tells you otherwise might as well be wearing a swastika armband.

A little light in the darkness

Elderly Friend is in hospital yet again, this time with a broken femur after a fall. We’ve okayed the surgery, as is our responsibility as powers of attorney. We’re fairly sure she’ll pull through but these things always cast a long shadow. At her age the risk of complications is sky high, but still has to be balanced against quality of life. The only alternative was palliative care which is a definite one way street confined to bed in intermittent pain. So, we’ve rolled the dice with crossed fingers. We’ll know more later on today.

The darker part of me wishes her a quick and painless death under anaesthetic, even though we will be very unhappy to lose her. She has of late said that she is wondering why she keeps on going, so perhaps the long night might be the best outcome for her. Does that sound heartless? It’s not meant to be. For all my faults, I believe that mercy is not the prolongation of suffering.

On a more positive note; for those Scots interested in a little good news for once. From the Free Speech Society’s Newsletter, a letter;

“signed by 20 people, including Rowan Atkinson, Peter Tatchell, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, AC Grayling and Prof Timothy Garton Ash, as well as Index on Censorship, Scottish PEN and Cartoonists Rights Network International. It looks as though the message has finally got through to Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s Justice Secretary who has been tasked with getting the Bill through. On Wednesday, he announced he was preparing to make changes following the chorus of objections. “This letter from various artists will be given serious consideration,” he said. “Their key concern seems to be that ‘stirring up’ offences should be restricted to intent only. It is an area of the Bill I will reflect further on.”

The aspect of the Bill Yousaf is referring to is the proposal to enlarge the offence of “stirring up hatred” without the need to prove intent to secure a conviction. It is already an offence under Scottish law to stir up racial hatred, but the proposed legislation will extend this so it applies to “stirring up hatred” against people on the basis of their religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, transgender identity or variations in sexual characteristics, where “stirring up hatred” is defined as behaving in “a threatening, abusive or insulting manner” to a member of one of these groups, either with the intent to stir up hatred or where that is the likely outcome. It is that last clause that Yousef has said he’ll look at again. If that’s removed, it will certainly make the law less draconian, but he would do better to scrap the Bill altogether.”

I know it’s not much, but it’s a sliver of light in the darkness of censorship and oppression.

As for ‘stirring up hatred’, this heinous bill will do nothing to abate that, even if passed unmodified. The Scottish Nazi Party think they can fix things just by passing ever more restrictive laws. Yes well, all I have to say about that is; murder is against the law, but people still do it. Besides, hate speech laws will just drive the ‘problem’ underground where like flowing water, it will eventually cut the ground from under the oppressors feet.

Toilet troubles

Aaand as the Policeman said, to paraphrase an old joke, we’ve less to go on. One of our toilets is missing. Fortunately we have two bathrooms, but what this does is put one bathroom completely out of order. Specifically Mrs S’s domain. A matter that has led to some mild domestic friction.

As we currently live in rented accommodation, maintenance is our landlords issue to deal with. While the outside world appears locked down or subject to rioting and cities burn, more practical matters colour our days. Specifically being the minor inconvenience of being restricted to one bathroom. These frame built houses are warm and well insulated enough, but if you get a leak anywhere, it can be a real detective story to find where all the trickles come from.

The issues are that this; we live in a 1980’s built apartment where the wiring and plumbing don’t match the plans. For example, the shower pipework in one bathroom was never secured properly and has a habit of flexing slightly every time it is used. Now we find that there are two long term leaks in the second bathroom and utility room. Nothing major, little more than sweating from the joints.

The original build was bodged a little, presumably to keep things within schedule and price, as these things so often are.

The bathroom leak is from the wax sealing ring between the toilet and what is tweely referred to as the ‘black water’ outlet set in the floor. Meaning every time we flushed a droplet or two escaped from between the sealing ring and pipe into the surrounding floor. Over time this has caused a wet patch to lurk unseen between pedestal and floor, resulting in a small amount of staining in the apartment below.

So, the toilet has been disconnected and the floor is currently drying out. Which gives the guest bathroom a slightly surreal, but fortunately not too noisome, air. All the bathroom bits are sitting in the shower and the throne, so to speak, is sitting in a plastic tub like a rather unusual beige footstool.

The second leak is from where our washing machine overflow is plumbed into the wall. When the last washing machine was fitted, the overflow was bodged in and at the top end of the pipe, the wall fitting became slightly disconnected from the down pipe, only by a crack, but enough when the washing machine is spin drying that when the overflow backs up, a thimbleful of water sloshes out to trickle down the exterior of the pipe. Again, this gets between the studding and eventually stains the wall downstairs.

Christ alone knows what the wiring actually looks like behind the plasterboard. No wonder only a couple of the kitchen outlets can handle a microwave.

However, that’s a minor inconvenience as we’re heading out of Canada. My non-working days are currently filled collating quotes from movers, arranging cleaners for when we move out in September and all the sundry tasks associated with such a shift. Paperwork is the biggest burden. However, we are getting all our financial and legal ducks in a row and, toilet troubles notwithstanding, will be leaving Trudeaupia for good this year and the clock is ticking.

It’s been an interesting decade or so. Now it’s time to move on as things this side of the 49th are heading downhill with no likely hope of return. It’s only a matter of time before Ottawa and the provinces work out how to implement ‘social credit’ scores on the population using Covid-19 as an excuse. So we’re getting out to somewhere within reach of civilisation whilst we still have relative freedom of movement.

This is cool

While the UK lamestream are doing hit pieces on free speech activists and someone who was once a comedian (Briefly, sometime around 14th November 1983 I believe) used their bully pulpit to make foul insult and then claimed that such crudity constituted a ‘joke’ (Not even close – jokes have to be funny), I thought I’d offer up this little bit of techno-fun as a form of mind bleach.

First saw this item on Rt.com under the headline “Humanoid robot gets tired of merciless bullying & pulls gun on meatbags” It’s actually by turns disturbing and hilarious.

How the parody was put together.

Now the current state of the art. April 2018 but still interesting and fun.

Now I’m off to check my inbox and get all my paying work related tasks out of the way. My Lemon tree plants, Carnations and Roses are doing well but I’m going to have to re-seed the Sweet William after their foul strangling by the now-executed pansies. Such is life.

As for the ‘apology’ for the “Throw battery acid over people you disagree with” meme. Not acceptable. It was bandwagon jumping of the most mean and petty kind. When a free speech activist does get battery acid thrown in their face, we’ll know who to blame, won’t we?

Back in the saddle

While the weather is nice I’ve been spending far less time at my desk and more time out on the road. Nothing much, just a gentle scootle around on the big blue mutt. No more than fifty kilometres a time, taking it easy and enjoying the wind in my face, the extra air that riding allows. Even got Mrs S on the back today for a short trundle out to get some coffee and buns for breakfast. As a pillion passenger she needs to re-learn a few things, but I’ll make sure she gets the practice.

How the old habits come back. Watching at least five cars ahead, upper middle gears through town with the revs around three thousand, ready to pull a quick stop or give it a fistful and speed my way out of trouble. Giving the odd drop V or acknowledgement to the other Sunday riders. Slipping easily into the bends and gently accelerating out. My internal soundtrack playing the Runaways “Cherry Bomb” as we gently tootled our way back to the barn.

If this is ‘toxic masculinity’ I’m all for it. Screw the angsty soyboys and lemon sucking feminista’s. They might think they’ll live longer but they won’t. In prisons of their own making their politically correct lives will be joyless greyness, punctuated by saccharine faux-laughter and massive student debt before the final hammer falls. All they will know is empty noise devoid of real emotion. My experience is that the lottery of life deals out the good and bad completely at random and the best you can do is have decent insurance for when things go wrong. As they will. As for the rest, well, I’ll leave you with this bit of Irish folk wisdom adapted from an old song called “The Moonshiner”.

I’m a rambler I’m a gambler I’m a long way from home
and if you don’t like me then leave me alone
I’ll eat when I’m hungry and I’ll drink when I’m dry
and if this one don’t kill me I’ll live till I die

That’s enough for now, our deck garden needs a little water and the essays of Montaigne await. The carnations are flowering like they’re on steroids and my two sunflowers are growing at something around two inches as day. I won’t tell you what the pansies are up to, but I’m sure you can guess.

Looking forward

Am I optimistic? Well probably yes and then possibly, definitively no. We have in laws visiting us in April, however, this means both of my wife’s sisters will be descending upon our doorstep for two weeks. For a delicate sensitive soul such as myself, this is not a favourable scenario. So I have offered to make myself scarce for a few days to allow for a little sisterly rebonding. All they’ll want to do is shop and gossip and my small talk is next best thing to non-existent. Ergo, I would be a constant brooding presence, resented by all. Better to make like a banana and split. Yes, I’m a coward. Next!

A downtown Victoria hotel room beckons for a few days while all three are together. The current plan is for me to take a couple of books and perhaps enjoy the rooftop bar at the Sticky Wicket. Mrs S has kindly offered to pay for my accommodation as recompense for my exile. I might even treat myself to tea at the Empress. They do an excellent Kenya blend there.

Current reading is Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and The Great Degeneration by Niall Ferguson. I like Dr Ferguson’s writings, he has a fluid, eminently readable style and is frequently bang on the money, as it were.

On a broader front I’m hoping that the EU rejects the UK parliaments’ request for a BREXIT ‘extension’ and the UK can simply slip it’s moorings to sail away and let the whole shoddy faux-empire collapse. Let’s face it, the Italians don’t want it. France is too busy with the Gilets Jaunes protests and the Germans don’t want to have to carry the economic can for the entire bloated bureaucracy. Could it be ‘game over’ for the EU? Maybe more sensible minds will come to the fore and propose winding back the idea of the EU to a simple free trade zone, although that is rather unlikely. Even if they do, the French farmers and fishermen won’t like that. They’re too prone to riot if they don’t get their way.

Am still rather looking forward to sending all my UK email contacts a “Happy freedom day” email on the 30th March. Depending upon the EU’s final response, BREXIT may still happen on time despite the remainer MP’s frantic treasonous backpedalling.

Good luck everyone. Nil Desperandum.

Why we need ‘free’ speech

I was watching this Jordan Peterson presentation this morning (See video below) and was struck with a small epiphany.

Having listened to him I’d say it’s not so much ‘free’ speech we need as honest speech. The right to honestly challenge all ideas, good and bad. Firstly to challenge the bad and by doing so (and I would say more importantly) improve the good.

Canada’s, indeed the whole Anglosphere’s, new ‘hate speech’ and blasphemy laws are antithetical to honest discourse, which is why these laws must go. And no, you can’t punch someone simply because you disagree with them either, because that is common assault and should bear the penalty of the law. Nor should anyone suffer penalty, be ‘de-platformed’ or have their livelihood threatened for simply speaking their mind. Even, and especially so, if their ideas are wrong or harmful. Like the obvious misandry of 3rd wave feminism. Or even the “Shut up or we’ll kill you” tactics of the Wahabi sect of Islam, or radical Communists and Socialists of whatever kidney. Or the crazy armed isolationism of extreme right wingers. Or National Socialism. History is full of some truly epoch making bad ideas like these.

Honest speech also allows any individual to examine and dismiss sources of ‘fake news’ for the charlatans they are. To tell anyone they aren’t allowed to and force your will upon them brutally strips people of their individuality, which I always thought was the best and greatest thing about humanity.

Update:  Here’s a perspective from the working man’s side of things which tends to fit with my own thinking (Okay, it’s a US source but none the less on the money).  And he’s right.  Free, or better still honest speech, is dangerous.

But honest speaking is often very, very necessary. Which is why it should not suffer Government constraint, no matter how ‘hurtful’ it is.

Liberum oratio non est oratio odio

Well, we’re back to BC in a day or so. Just for a chuckle I’m posting translations of the above Latin blog post title in all the languages of the countries we’ve been visiting in Europe this year. Just not necessarily in the right order.

French; “La liberté d’expression n’est pas un discours de haine.”

Danish; “Ytringsfrihed er ikke hadefuld tale.”

Dutch; “Vrijheid van meningsuiting is niet het aanzetten tot haat.”

… and finally in English; “Free speech is not hate speech”

To which I would add (if challenged); “Tua sententia est impertinens.” and tell them I have a terminal case of eleutheromania, an archaic term that has fallen out of use and no longer listed in the current online OED. Perhaps this long dormant Chestersonism is due for a quick trip down to the word lab to see my crew of loyal Igors throw it into the electro-dictionaries and give it a few thousand volts up the wossnames to bring it zinging back to life. Freedom within reason of course. So long as you don’t burn other people’s stuff down or get them kicked out of their job.

For my own part I just had to cough up an extra fifty four Euro’s after I got flashed by a speed camera a few days ago while traversing the Vercors. I got the notice, decided not to fight it and took the early payment discount. Can’t have been going five km/h over the fifty limit even though I missed the initial speed warning (Rappel) sign in heavy rain, but what the hell. I hate speed cameras as much as the next guy, but I’m not going to waste my time over fifty seven quid (About sixty four Euros. Forty five Euros for the fine, nineteen for the hire company processing fee). I got snapped, end of. Of course I was annoyed but at least there’s no points on my licence. The French Ministry of the interior have had their money, the car hire company have taken their processing fee, but do I care? Non. Life is too short. That too is irrelevant.

We were going over to Hyeres near Toulon tomorrow, but Mrs S found out British PM Theresa May is down in that direction having talks with Emmanuel Macron, so we’re not going. We do have some standards.