I saw this today and thought it was quite sweet.
Of course, I would say that the minimum wage is bunk and should be repealed. People should be paid the market rate for their labour, and an employer should be free to pay any wages he wants to his employees. Bad employers wouldn't prosper in the marketplace.
Tony Blair stepping down
Well over the past week, Blair has announced he shall step down within twelve months.
I won't be sorry to see him go, in all honesty. I've disliked Blair ever since he lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Granted, politicians always lie. Nonetheless, the PM dragged Britain into a foreign war, even though there was no direct threat against us.
Of course, Tony Blair is a man of big government. No libertarian can really endorse his politics or those of New Labour. The last truly "libertarian" PM was probably in office prior to World War II.
How will political historians view Blair? Well I don't believe he will be viewed as one of the "great" PM's. I'd think he'd be remembered for his government's constitutional reforms, such as partial reform of the House of Lords, devolution in Scotland and Wales, the Human Rights Act, reform of the role of Lord Chancellor, etc. There is also the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, which hopefully can lead to a lasting peace in Ulster.
His time as PM has been blighted by sleaze, but then so what really? Politicians and sleaze go together like ham and eggs, so it's only to be expected. It is disappointing in the sense that Blair stated his government would be "whiter than white" (in comparison with the Major Conservative government), but then all politicians lie, don't they?
I suppose the economy has remained strong under New Labour. But in 1997, the economy was quite healthy. In essence, the Major government laid a solid economic foundation after the early 90's recession which lasted until the New Labour landslide in the 1997 general election. In 1997, GDP growth was above trend, inflation was low, unemployment was falling and the balance of payments was manageable (whilst being negative).
The Blair government should also be rebuked for their authoritarianism. We shouldn't reduce liberty for extra security. Blair may feel that the Islamists hate our way of life, still that does not justify dismantling the historical basis of English common law.
Personally I feel Blair will be remembered most for creating the New Labour ethos. Even though a move towards a centrist position for Labour occured first under Kinnock, Blair finished the modernisation of the Labour party by appealing to "middle England". Revising "Clause IV" of the party's constitution enabled this plus continuing the adoption of Thatcerite economics which first happened under Kinnock. Who will be the next PM/Labour leader? I reckon that Brown is the favourite, though I feel that Reid and David Milliband would also be contenders.
9/11 AnniversaryWell today is the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City and the Pentagon. As a paleo-libertarian, my views on the "War on Terror" remain unchanged. I don't believe that the Islamists "hate our freedom" or "hate our way of life" as Tony Blair puts it. In life, you reap what you sow and that's exactly what the USA and UK (and Spain to an extent) have done by intervening in the Middle East. Britain had no business in attacking Iraq, since there was no evident threat to us, nor was our sovereignty in danger of being undermined.As a market anarchist, I would bring ALL British military personnel back to the UK and then disband the armed forces. DRO's/private protection agencies can then compete in providing national defence. There IS no real reason why (for example) we need troops in Germany (a country more than capable of defending itself) in the post Cold War era. Foreign interventionism is always a fool's errand.
Big government Conservatives
This is one example of why the Conservative Party is a party of big government. Cameron wants the government to pass a new "green" law.
As always, the marketplace can solve environmental issues and dilemmas. The enforcement of private propertys rights would deter people from polluting land. People could refrain from obtaining products that polluted the environment.
As for the Tories, well I shouldn't really expect any different, to be honest. If this tax comes into being, either under a Labour or future Conservative government, then extra bureaucracy is needed to implement this law. In essence, government would be enlarged to an even greater degree. The Conservatives and big government appear to go together like strawberries and cream.