Friday, July 06, 2012

Quote of the day #1: The way things were

"Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission … For that matter, a foreigner could spend his life in this country without permit and without informing the police... " (A. J. P. Taylor, English History, 1914-1945; HT Derb


PBurns said...

Until "The Guns of August."

Anonymous said...

War is the health of the state. Truer words never spoken. Total War; Total State.

Jim Cornelius

Anonymous said...

A sensible and law abiding Englishman can still live in the UK countryside pretty much without hindrance .
Reasonable checks of identity seem acceptable to me for the security of wider society - part of the price we pay to be secure in our beds.
If you have nothing to hide, by and large, then you have nothing to fear , even in "Regulated UK!"


Steve Bodio said...

Sorry, but I respectfully disagree. Your government has criminalized handguns and hunting with dogs. Others seek to criminalize owning un- neutered ones. Ours once criminalized alcohol! Chicago outlaws homing pigeons, California foie gras, cockfighting paraphernalia, and large- capacity magazines. Some southern states want birth control devices banned. New York bans ferrets!

Under the Soviets, Kazakhstan once banned tazi dogs and tried to exterminate them. China bans most falconry and under Mao tried to ban PETS. You can't own a gun there.

I doubt even England limits the amount of game you can have in your freezer; most US states do ("possession limits"). The amount is less than I usually have as 2 people can't eat that fast-- shall I stop hunting or throw it away and BUY more meat?

Leave security to the state and you will end up with no freedom and no security either. Laws should err on the side of freedom, and police and military be servants, not masters, in any free Anglo- American society. As our friend John Davila always says, "Keep the gummint off my outfit!" Or in more British terms,"An Englishman's home is his castle!"

Watch out John-- your country may yet ban tobacco in the home

Anonymous said...

Of course there are badly crafted and enforced Laws, which can affect individual freedoms, but a "free for all system " is not a solution. As Lord Devlin once remarked,(to paraphrase)- I will uphold your right to do whatever you wish , within the Law, as long as you respect my right to do the same . Society has to constantly adjust its laws to allow this principle, and sometimes minorities lose out, but they still have recourse to the Law and changing it ....To my knowledge , No political system has yet been found perfect in it's application, democracy seems to be the best we have , so far.... .

JohnnyUK (Small L liberal!)

Steve Bodio said...

I will only gently add that what you call a "free for all" was the law and custom in England, the US, and much of Europe until what Patrick called (after barbara Tuchman) "The Guns of August".

Oh OK; as an American,I am also grateful for a still somewhat fixed Constitution instead of the potential tyranny of laws that are eternally "adjusted" according to the passing whims of a not- always- informed Demos.

Steve (small c conservative, small l libertarian, small g green, small c catholic, big E Evolutionist (;-))

danontherock said...

Freedom, how precious it is and like anything precious, it seems to be in short supply lately.


Anonymous said...

( Danon ) With Freedom comes responsibility -

Steve , I too subscribe to ( almost ) c, l, g!!, and maybe e ( or at least working towards a more Sustainable Society), as well..

So maybe we are in better company than you think...


Steve Bodio said...

Always good company John- no fear.

Anonymous said...

Yes - wish you and Libby could have shared the Bourgogne Grand Ordinare - cepage Sacy , with the delicate N Norfolk wild sea trout I roasted tonight , followed by some good French and English cheeses, washed down with bottle of Gold Medal Bourgeuil that I purchased last week on the way back from the French Game Fair- you would have loved it all, and although we would have maybe disagreed on some minor points, we would never seriously fall out, old friend!....


Steve Bodio said...

Wish we were there. Thank God it is dinner time!

Anonymous said...

Maggie McNeill, on her 'Honest Courtesan" blog said on July 1st
"I'm always opposed to threatening innocent people with bogus criminal charges, no matter what the supposed crime. The end does not justify the means."

I was delighted with her uncompromising rejection of moral relativism. I loved her absolutism.

I was similarly pleased with your reply to "Johnny UK"'s optimism. I was born in England in 1946. I'm horrified by the loss of liberty in Canada and England since then.

Along with the growth of regulations we have seen an inevitable decline in the abilities of the new army of civil servants.

The followers of the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" school are setting themselves up for a huge and painful bite from reality.

Marcus Redman, Halifax Nova Scotia