August 24, 2012
Anyone who’s been following politics abroad might have noticed that American politicians seem to view British policies as worth copying by the Congress – the Romneycare-Obamacare thing isn’t an isolated incident.
“Progressives” have been yammering away since Lyndon Johnson for victim disarmament (“common sense gun laws”) and nationalized / socialized “single payer” health care, while “conservatives” apparently see the British Empire as worthy of emulation.
For example, the recently-required graphic labels on cigarette packs have a precedent in British “law” in that their Health Secretary claimed the “authority” to micromanage cigarette packaging and advertising back in 2009.
The British political scene mirrors the American scene in another way in that there are a few libertarian bloggers who are sick of this bad-cop-worse-cop routine from ” ‘both sides’ of the aisle.” For example, “The Devil” sounded off on this very issue of tobacco regulations –
The power to “dictate the colour of cigarette packs, their shape, the trademarks displayed on them and any labelling” was handed to the Health Secretary solely back in 2009.
And you poor fucks think that we live in a democracy.
The consultation on this matter – just like the “consultation” on the display ban – is simply a democratic fig-leaf: the government simply wants to pretend that it is, in any way, answerable to the people.
Anyone who believes that our democracy is in any way “representative” is an idiot.
Successive governments have passed what your humble Devil called “mini-Enabling Acts” for years: the NuLabour government may have been the greatest transgressors, but that hasn’t stopped the Freedom Coalition making full use of those functions.
When you are a disgusting authoritarian bastard, why would you not?
No, “The Devil” isn’t Jesus’ nemesis from the Christian mythology – he’s just a pissed-off Brit of the libertarian mindset, who also enjoys a smoke on occasion. He updated the post I linked to above:
The intention was to highlight the fact that successive governments have quite deliberately attempted to neuter Parliament, and remove themselves from democratic oversight.
But, surely, we have the right to throw these bastards out – that’s the point of democracy, is it not?
Well, yes and no. As you might have noticed – if you have taken an interest in politics over the last few decades – the ratchet only seems to go one way, i.e. in the removal of our freedoms. And I don’t give two shits about the colour of the rosette worn by the scum who do so.
So, if Lansley has the power to impose plain packaging on tobacco, then he will do so. And the next government will not remove that power.
If you doubt what I say about the freedom ratchet, simply compare the Coalition’s liberties-championing rhetoric immediately after the election with their actual record in government.
So what about it, Americans? How can we say that we’re freer than the Brits when politicians on this side of the Atlantic behave in just the same sort of cretinous, dishonest chicanery?
Didn’t Obama promise in the 2008 election to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and to have the DEA back off from medical-marijuana clinics in states that passed those sort of referenda?
What sort of “limited-government,” “fiscally-restrained” Republican signs off on anything resembling Medicare Part D? Heather Wilson used it as the centerpiece of her 2002 re-election campaign to the U.S. House, and George Bush signed it into “law” with enthusiasm.