What I’ve been reading and loving today:
Chris Snowdon gets another mention for his look at why the public health lobby is nuts.
It’s well worth remembering that whilst these people will claim to have your/our best interests at heart, they actually just want to tell you what to do (and make life miserable in the process).
“Instead, look at what is being said here, namely that the supposed right to perfect health takes precedence over democratically decided laws and other written or unwritten rights; that the pursuit of health is the highest priority, trumping all other concerns.
“This is obviously untrue. Obvious, because not a single person lives their life as if longevity was the only, or even main, goal. If people wanted to attain the highest standard of health at the expense for all else, they would behave as if they did. They would sacrifice earthly pleasures and there would be no need for a public health movement. The very fact that a public health movement exists is proof that people don’t want it. What is not true for the individual cannot be true for the collective.”
Sam Bowman, over at the ASI, explains pretty much exactly how I feel about feminism, in the context of David Cameron refusing to put on a t-shirt.
If feminism was simply about equal rights for men and women things would be very different. But there’s a much broader political agenda attached to feminism, and it’s not something I can sign up to.
“A motte and bailey argument starts off by defining itself in very defensible way. “Feminism means thinking that men and women should be treated equally.” That’s the safe, defensible motte.
“It then extends that reasonable-seeming claim to all sorts of controversial claims – unequal political representation demands all-women shortlists; unequal pay demands more invasive laws to equalise pay between men and women. That’s the bailey where the actual (political or cultural) advancements can be made.”
And here are two pieces from last week that you may have missed:
James Delingpole dug into why that feeling of hate I have towards Russell Brand is fully justified in his piece “Eight more good reasons to loathe and despise 9/11 truther Russell Brand”
They’re all good reasons, but I think the most important is number seven:
“Brand is an unconscionable bully
“Has he done NLP or do these techniques come naturally to him? Certainly, Brand seemed to spend most of his (mightily generous) 15 minutes of BBC airtime trying to find new ways to intimidate and dominate and belittle the unfailingly polite and almost superhumanly patient Davis.
“His techniques included:
“Stroking (gay) Davis’s leg and pawing his hand to make him uncomfortable [“You’re much more tactile than that Jeremy [Paxman] Geezer. He hated it when I touched his leg”]
“Leaning back in his chair and opening his legs to flaunt his crotch, like some alpha male baboon showing everyone who is boss.
“Snide little putdowns, like “I don’t know wevver it’s affected the people you hang out wiv, Evan, where you drink…”
“Fist shaking and finger-wagging in Davis’s face.
“Constant interruptions: “You’re a big cheese. Sharpen up!”
“Near-total refusal to respond to any of Davis’s questions straightforwardly and honestly.
“Passive-aggressive feigned victimhood: ‘Now Evan I hope you’re not gonna use this opportunity for you, an Oxford-educated economist, to come on the TV and be rude to me, an autodidact and a self-educated man, for simply trying to suggest there might be an alternative to corporate hegemony.'”
(Boris Johnson has also been writing about Russell Brand for the Telegraph: The rise of Brandy Wandy signals the end for Silly Mili)
And finally, in the most recent of her pieces on energy for Parliament Street, Aisha Vance explains why the environmental lobby has got it wrong (again).
“Six years ago environmentalists were warning of “peak oil” and the urgency to invest in renewable energy. Around the same time, the EU decided to impose carbon taxes to cut emissions from member states by 2020. In contrast, North America started to invest heavily in extracting shale gas and becoming energy independent. Fast forward several years later and a scenario that could have caused chaos has actually forced OPEC countries to decrease production and prices — something environmentalists said would only happen if the world invested in renewables.
“Instead of enjoying the fruits of a shale gas boom, taxpayers are paying wind farms £30 million to stand idle in bad weather. Meanwhile, the British Geological Survey and the Department of Energy and Climate estimate that there’s a “mammoth” amount of shale gas deposits all over the country and suggest that just 10 per cent of UK shale gas (130 TCF) would supply Britain’s gas needs for about 50 years, yet there is very little commercial drilling going on in the country.”
It’s well worth keeping an eye out for Aisha’s pieces on this issue – she is incredibly sound & well informed.