Thursday, 30 March 2006

Elderly "must be given a minimum standard of healthcare"

A report by Sir Derek Wanless has called for a minimum standard of healthcare for the elderly.

This report stopped short of advocating free healthcare, but called for personal contributions to be matched by state funding.

So, MORE theft (in the form of taxation) would be used to subsidise other peoples' healthcare. There really is no "right" to healthcare at all. Like all positive rights, healthcare relies on the time, effort and liberty of another. People are essentially out to live their own lives; they aren't "owed" to offer anyone any healthcare.

The only solution here is the seperation of healthcare and state. The NHS should be abolished.

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Death of Chris Tame

Chris Tame, the President of the Libertarian Alliance, died on Monday. He had been suffering from bone cancer since the middle of last year.

I never knew Chris Tame, but he had a profound influence on the British libertarian movement. British libertarianism probably wouldn't be the same without him.

RIP Chris Tame.

Friday, 17 March 2006

Labour and the funding of political parties

According to BBC News, the Labour party received a donation of almost fourteen million pounds prior to the 2005 general election. There is some talk of funders being offered peerages, but this is being denied by Labour ministers.

Personally, I believe the twenty million pound limit on election funding should be scrapped. Would this lead to extra "sleaze", or kowtowing to large lobby groups? Possibly. But it's really secondary if this happens.

Voters wouldn't have to vote for candidates who were reluctant to make all of their funding public. Naturally voters are turned off by sleaze, so they wouldn't be attracted to candidates who were sleazy. One simply has to refrain from voting for a candidate who doesn't openly declare the sources of their funding.

"Gay-friendly" Royal Navy?

The Royal Navy may introduce drama training to improve attitudes towards homosexuality within the service. Supposedly the ban on homosexuals serving within the British armed forces was lifted in 2000.

IMO, this initiative seems overly PC in nature. Nevertheless, governments should only discriminate in terms of merit. In that sense, gays should be perfectly welcome to serve within the armed forces.

Stonewall, the group mentioned in the linked article, have praised the Navy for instituting this scheme. But they should realise that discrimination should be permitted within the private sector. Freedom of association, after all, is a basic human right.

Friday, 10 March 2006

Supermarkets trading "probe"

British supermarket chains are facing investigation from the Competition Commission, due to their dominance of the grocery market. Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's and Morrisons are being accused of forcing local stores out of business.

There really is no need for this probe. This is simply an instance of the free market in action.

Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's and Morrisons are simply responding to consumer demand. There must be some kind of demand for high-scale and cheap groceries, or else time, effort and money wouldn't be spent in constructing more supermarkets. In this instance, the consumer is still king though. People can refrain from shopping at the big supermarkets, if they choose. If Tesco or ASDA's sales were declining, then they both would have no choice but to change to secure custom.

As always, the market should sort an occurence like this out. Organisations like the Office of Fair Trading should be abolished.

Friday, 3 March 2006

Harry Browne is dead

I was browsing through some libertarian-oriented websites today and I was shocked to read that Harry Browne had died on 1st March.

I was a keen fan of Harry Browne's radio show, which lasted prior to his confinement to a wheelchair. He had greatly inspired me as a libertarian and really was the old daddy of the global (and not just American) libertarian movement. He was also a fine writer and speaker. I've purchased a copy of "The Great Libertarian Offer" and I've been meaning to buy "How I Found Freedom In an Unfree World".

I'm sure he'll be missed greatly. RIP Harry Browne.