• Economy,  Freedom & Liberty

    Goods, Services, and Ideology

    As a classical liberal, I have always thought it both wrong and dangerous to force private businesses to provide goods and services they’re ideologically opposed to or to people they’re ideologically opposed to. My reasoning is based on the primacy of Freedom of Association if we are to be regarded as free people, but also on the basis that I personally would not want my business to be forced to provide services to people I don’t approve of, like organisations with bigoted ideas about race, religion, gender and sexuality. I might wish to refuse to work for, for example, a conservative evangelical religious organisation. But unfortunately this means I have…

  • Freedom & Liberty,  Freedom of Expression,  Turkey

    Erdogan’s European lobby group UETD-UK holds political conference in a British school!

    This is a cross-post from As Turkey Sleeps. It is abundantly clear to anybody following political events in Turkey over the past few years that Erdogan’s government continues to silence free speech, restrict freedom of expression and abuse the rule of law.  This has resulted in journalists being arrested, media channels being closed down and judges jailed.   The dictatorial tendencies of Erdogan and his AK Party grow more and more every day.  It is somewhat worrying then to learn that Erdogan’s lobby group in the UK, Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD-UK), held a political conference at a British school in 2014. British schools are not supposed to allow the promotion of partisan political views on…

  • Freedom & Liberty

    The Last Trump

    This is a cross-post by Twll Dun Last summer, I read a free e-book of Sinclair Lewis’ 1930’s novel “it can’t happen here”. An interesting dystopian counter-history, it told the story of America under the grip of a Fascist demagogue. It has been playing on my mind of late, as have other fictional variants of the same idea – Roth’s The Plot Against America; All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren – because there’s something uniquely disconcerting about America being under the grip of such. Whether you are cynical and jaded or naive and idealistic, the idea of the shining city on the hill still has some draw, and…

  • Freedom & Liberty

    Stop Meddling!

    This is a guest post by Stephen Hoffman The last time I checked the body is my own property, so the state shouldn’t dictate to me how I live in their pursuit of the perfect lifestyle to produce the perfect body. I don’t believe that it is the job of the Government to regulate as many facets of our life as possible, as I don’t think those running it know best how to run the minutiae of every single part of all our lives. Nor, as I believe in freedom, do I believe they should have the power to do make choices on what I eat, drink, smoke or vape…

  • antisemitism,  Corruption,  Democracy,  Freedom & Liberty,  Freedom of Expression

    Turkish democracy erodes further after last week’s twin bomb blasts

    By Abi Adnan Oktar Turkey was shaken last weekend as two bombs exploded during a peace rally in Ankara, killing 128 people and injuring another 500. The rally was organised by several groups, including the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), to call for an end to the escalating violence between the Turkish government and the PKK. Footage of police descending on the scene immediately after the explosions shows them blocking ambulances and beating bewildered protesters who were frantically calling for help for the injured. Turkish security sources have since suggested that ISIS may have been behind the attacks but opposition figures have blamed the government itself (the bomb blasts were suspiciously…

  • Freedom & Liberty,  Saudi Arabia

    Raif Badawi and blasphemy – the only victims are the guilty

    This is a cross-post by John Sargeant at homo economicus Raif Badawi has had his ten year sentence and 1,000 lashes upheld by the Saudi Arabian Supreme Court. For the last few weeks and months we have waited every single Friday to see if the remaining 950 lashes will be administered. His physical health after the first 50 has stayed the punishment. He needs to live to receive the remainder of his sentence. This is what mercy means in Saudi Arabia. His wife stated after the ruling: “The flogging will start again and no one cares,” she added. Asked what could be done now to fight for her husband’s cause,…

  • France,  Freedom & Liberty

    How the French Intelligence new law could be a very dangerous reform

    This is a guest post by Cyril Rolling The bill was drafted shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks that happened in Paris five months ago. AQMI, the North African branch of Al Quaida, claimed responsibility for these assaults. That is why French authorities felt threatened as far as national security issues were concerned. Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, the Minister of the Interior, both called for a new legal framework to fight terrorism. The reality is that there was not any legal framework for French Intelligence agencies to work within. It was a very special situation since in the wake of 9/11 most countries in the world adopted…

  • Economy,  Freedom & Liberty

    The Empirics of Free Speech and Realistic Idealism: Part I

    This is a cross-post from anonymous mugwump King’s College London recently hosted a lecture given by their Professor of Public Policy and Political Economy, Mark Pennington. In that lecture, he expressed a methodology which is both empirically and normatively sound for constructing and limiting political institutions. The talk was about the ‘project of political economy’ and more specifically, ‘realistic idealism’ which … rejects a narrow focus on questions of efficiency because it recognises that policy prescriptions that take no account of moral constraints are not worthy of serious consideration. Equally however, it recognises that those forms of ethical or moral theorising that ignore real world practicalities of economics and politics are not worthy of consideration either… It draws on…

  • Freedom & Liberty

    Haitham al-Haddad defames himself

    If you Google Haddad + fgm, a video should be prominent in the results. If you click on it from the UK, this is what you get. Evidently the Haddad camp has realised that more and more people have seen his shocking statements and found them disgusting. They can’t have their preacher defaming himself with his very own words, can they. It’s a typical display of hate preacher thuggery and denial of reality. Never mind, here’s another copy. Anyone keen to support bloggers’ freedom of speech and to make sure this part of the hate preacher’s record is not airbrushed away can download a copy of the video here and…

  • Freedom & Liberty

    Abdullah al-Andalusi Melts Down

    Abdullah al-Andalusi is one of the silliest of extremists. When he is faced with good questions rather than yet another crowd of admiring fellows, a petulant meltdown is the outcome. Victorian translations (no really), an Inquisition court, post-colonial secular states, generous helpings of whataboutery, all the flailing is there. See it happen in today’s “The Big Questions”. Haitham al-Haddad comes up too. Al-Andalusi can’t bring himself to condemn one of the very worst hate preachers. He is not al-Haddad’s lawyer, don’t you know (seriously). Mohammed Shafiq doesn’t come off all that well either in the broadcast, though at least he apologised to Maajid Nawaz for the Jesus and Mo madness.…