In which Andy Duncan and Godfrey Bloom talk about Brexit and, towards the end of the interview, let slip that Mises UK will be happening. Watch this space.
It is always a pleasure to come and speak to the Swinton Circle, although not the easiest of tasks, like the Cambridge University Conservative Association or Mises Institute the audiences are some of the most informed in the world, the same problem when writing for Breibart or Libertarian Alliance. An expert audience makes it difficult to add value; you risk people going home thinking ‘I knew all that’. So it is often a case of emphasis or revision or simply a new angle. It is inevitable that many of our views are subjective. I remember in Cambridge giving an opinion on same-sex marriage. A post graduate suggested that Nozick would not have agreed with me, well as Bogart said in The Big Sleep when criticised over his manners, ‘I sit up at night grieving over them’. Who knows whether he would agree with me or not? Continue reading
A few weeks ago there was one of those ‘storm in teacup rows which somehow capture the imagination. An eminent violinist, Kwa Wha Chung, a lady of great ability and old world Asian courtesy was driven to exasperation by a child in the front row coughing fit to bust. Performing, I gather a sensitive violin concerto the mood and enjoyment was ruined by this unfortunate child. The virtuoso performer laid down the bow and suggested from the podium the parent brought the child back when she was older.
To me, as a music lover, and erstwhile associate of The English Sinfonia, where I first met the violinist in the 70’s, I am at a loss to understand how any sensible parent could have let the situation get so out of hand. Moreover Classic FM who ran the story took a straw poll of listeners claimed opinion was equally divided in the support of the performer.
Leaving aside the minutiae of this incident, I was not there, it begs the question ‘is the child always given the benefit of the doubt’? It appears to me, over the years there is a growing definitive order of merit in assessing behaviour of the citizen by ‘society’ or society as defined by those who make such assessments, usually self-appointed, certainly self-important, the great and the good completely divorced it would seem from the proverbial man on the Clapham Omnibus ( or Joe Sixpack if you prefer ).
The top of the pecking order would seem to be children, or ‘yoof’ if you prefer. Strongly followed by cyclists whose arrogance for many knows no bounds, certainly not the Highway Code. You can add your own Continue reading
When I speak at universities or seminars I am always conscious of the problem of people’s personal experiences of life. Naturally they are all different and we therefore come to a problem from a different angle. Let me run a few things past you.
How can sixth formers grasp libertarianism? Children have been brought up with the complete sponsorship of their parents, they foot the bills. At school the teachers are in charge, usually their only experience comes from books. If they are at a state school the impression will be only the state could conceivably provide this service, a state bus often transports the pupils back and forth. Continue reading
Economy students are taught at universities around the world that somehow countries are exempt from the basic rules that our families or small businesses have to abide. This is why as a manager and director of various companies over the years I have not nor would I ever employ an economics graduate from a state university.
This administration is in a mess because it cannot reduce public spending; they think if they talk about it long enough it will magically happen. A bit like my wife and the diet plan. I suspect we have a new generation of politician who hail from many generations never called upon to save money, they are too young, too wealthy. Moreover they have no regard for the sanctity of public money, the serious responsibility that spending it should carry. Every day we see examples of criminal waste which go, apart from the occasional tabloid headline, unremarked by the chattering classes. Bear with me if you will for some pretty trivial domestic accounting but the principal follows right up the chain, or it should. Continue reading
I have been a student of the Great War since my school History Society days. I read Churchill’s “World Crisis” at fourteen, and no I did not treat it as gospel,indeed there is no gospel on this crime against humanity, nor was I a school swot. I was chucked out of classics to make wooden fruit bowls the same year. Mind you the woodwork shop was a great place for the thickos to get a smoke.
However after 50 years of study and the accumulation of over 1000 antiquarian books on the subject I feel qualified to proffer some observations, perhaps more so than the host of celebrities jumping on the centenary anniversary band wagon, many of whom appear embarrassingly ignorant of their subject. Until 20 years ago I restricted most of my interest to the prosecution of the war militarily, sometimes leading battlefield tours and sometimes following, particularly enjoying field lectures by friend and erstwhile military colleague the irreplaceable Richard Holmes. Continue reading