Sunday, 11 July 2010

A Manifesto for Change

One of our members received a personal email the other day from Nick Clegg, Deputy Primeminister, asking how to run the country. It went something like this.

Dear ...........,

We've already scrapped ID cards. Now I'd like to ask you - which other laws do you want to scrap?

Well, from the comfort of my club armchair I have a few suggestions that the new regime might like to take on board.

Personal liberty
Let's start with dismantelling the new authoritarianism. It's been the Dark Ages as far as personal freedom goes. Restore our freedom to let our children play outside or cycle to school or smack them if they need it. Everyone should be free to smoke, free to drink, adopt a child or walk down a street without hitting a minefield of regulations, restrictions and surveillance measures. Smoking should not be banned in pubs. There should be no laws against hate or thinking the wrong thoughts. People should be free to say anything they like without worrying about offending anyone.

The government should cease its intervention into the private lives of people and pronouncing on what is allowed and what is not in intimate relations. Sex offenders should not be singled out and demonised by society. Childen aged 10 and 11 should not be brought to the Old Baily and accused of adult crimes for playing doctors and nurses.

Free speech
No speech should be constrained by bans, libel laws or well-meaning self-censorship. The internet should not be regulated in any way. "Hate speech" should not be a crime. Nazis, anti-semites, racists or the Womens Institute should not be censored. Everyone has the same rights as everyone else to express their views. There should be no crimes against stating your views or holding opinions. Holocaust denial should no more be a crime than God denial should be a crime. There should be no laws against blasphemy or outraging public opinion. The right to be able to offend other people should be an inalienable human right.

Risk and Fear
Society has become obsessed with risk and peril. Governements are experts at doom-mongering. Stop trying to create zero risk for everything. Stop trying to regulate all human activity. Health and safety should not be the number one priority. Common Sense should be restored to test all things. The precautionary principle which governments are signed up and paralyses innovation should be dumped.

Stop penalizing drivers and treating them as an income source. Remove all speed cameras. Remove all speed limits from motorways as in Germany - if they have better road saftely statistics than we have, let's try it the way they do. Reset police priorities to focus on criminals and not motorists. If you want to get people out of their cars then provive a first rate public transport system that is completely free for everyone and paid for by everyone out of taxes.

Poor countries
Governement humanitarian aid is largely bogus. It makes weaker nations more permeable to western domination and is a means of exerting political control. Stop governement aid and encourage individual aid. Put money where it is needed and not in the hands of corrupt government officials.

There's a start. I await with interest Nick's reply.


Charles said...

"Holocaust denial should be no more of a crime than God denial."

To the best of my knowledge, no one yet has murdered millions of people because they deny God (the former Soviet Union had no official position on religion). But, millions of innocent Jews were murdered because they believed in God, in their own way. If we allow our progeny to forget the mistakes of the past, they may be doomed to repeat them.

No genocide in history compares with the Holocaust for its sheer production-like extermination of millions of innocent people. Of course, millions of Jews were murdered during the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, as well. But, for the scope of massive annihilation, the Shoah (Holocaust) stands alone as the most egregious genocide in history.

No event in human history has been studied more thoroughly and carefully than the Holocaust. Thousands of thesis and dissertations papers have poured over mountains of data, from physical evidence and anecdotal testimony to captured German war documents. Virtually everyone with a PhD in History will stake their career on the fact that millions of Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany. One can no more "revise" this fact than one can revise the existence of gravity. Wannsee Conference records prove that Nazis planned the extermination of Jews as, "The Final Solution." German concentration camp records prove that it was carried out.

Whenever we stand up to those who deny or minimize genocide we send a critical message to the world. As we continue to live in an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, we must repel the broken ethics of our ancestors, or risk a dreadful repeat of past transgressions.

Holocaust deniers ply their mendacious poison everywhere, especially with young people on the Internet. Deniers seek to distort the truth in a way that promotes antagonism against the object of their hatred, or to deny the culpability of their ancestors and heroes. If we ignore them, they will twist the minds of countless young people, creating a new generation of those who deny the facts of the worst episode of genocide in history. Freedom of speech and the press is a symbol of a healthy society. Yet, since no crime in history is as heinous as the Holocaust, its memory must be accurately preserved, to protect our children and grandchildren.

Museums and mandatory public education are tools to dispel bigotry, especially racial and ethnic hatred. Books, plays, films and presentations can reinforce the veracity of past and present genocides. They help to tell the true story of the perpetrators of genocide; and they reveal the abject terror, humiliation and degradation resulting from blind prejudice. It is therefore essential that we disclose the factual brutality and horror of genocide, combating the deniers’ virulent, inaccurate historical revision. We must protect vulnerable future generations from making the same mistakes.

A world that continues to allow genocide requires ethical remediation. We must insist that religious, racial, ethnic, gender and orientation persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny's only hope. Only through such efforts can we reveal the true horror of genocide and promote the triumphant spirit of humankind.

Charles Weinblatt
Author, "Jacob's Courage"

Dr Phil said...

Thanks Charles. Your final comment says it all: "tolerance is our progeny's only hope". Tolerance must extend to those with whom we disagree - or it is not tolerance at all. No one should be persecuted for thier beliefs, neither Jews or Holocaust Deniers. Tolerance must extend to everyone.
Dr Phil