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Just saying no

While we're on the subject of hyperactive government and that kind of thing, it's worth remembering that sometimes you just have to say "no" to the powers that be.


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Reader Comments (21)

Your Grace,

on the same general theme, thought you might enjoy an illustrated version of Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom"


Jan 9, 2010 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

I'm doing that with tax returns at the moment. I was puzzled when the simplified lot were sent out without employment pages. Then started wondering why, if they already know who my employer is, how much I'm paid via PAYE, they can't send forms out with that information on them already. Given the interest rates are low, I can't be fined more than I owe (which is zero) I decided to have some sport with HMRC. Currently waiting for them to send me their assesment of what they think I might owe so I can query that and follow it up with a DPA request for the information they have so I can copy it onto their form and return it to them.

Jan 9, 2010 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

'Twas all the girls ever said :(

Jan 10, 2010 at 6:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

Perhaps you Brits ought to say no to this:
It's one thing to subsidise an industry, and it's a slap in the face to have someone else build it for you.
Brit jobs for Germans!
Now you know why Angela Merkel is such a staunch suppoter of green energy.

Jan 10, 2010 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterP Gosselin

I'll be saying NO loud and clearly this year.

Here's something i came across in the Sunday Times today:

"In fact, the Met still asserts we are in the midst of an unusually warm winter — as one of its staffers sniffily protested in an internet posting to a newspaper last week: “This will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.”."

No name given, nor where this quote appeared - but it rings horribly true, taking the highest readings and averaging them.
I wonder if this is the 'value' they have been adding to all the MetOffice/Hadley/CRU data ...

Jan 10, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

What sort of tit thinks that November and March are winter months in Britain? Surely not even the Met Office.......

Jan 10, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

That woman sounds like a drama queen. The problem wasnt her 2 year old but her.

On the second point all she had to do was take the forms home and never return them. Instead she created confrontation...needlessly if I may add that in too.

One of the problems with todays society is that there are too many people around like this woman, who act without thinking about how their actions impact on others around them. Thoughtless, arrogant and a know it all....not to mention baby angst now their little muffin is out of their sight!


Jan 10, 2010 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Viv Evans ...
I came here with the intention of posting that exact same quote. If anyone has a link or some hard evidence it would be nice because if there is any sort of proof that this is the preferred method at the Met Office for recording temperatures then heads should surely roll.

Jan 10, 2010 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

AFAIK this was a comment left on a blog site. I would be very cautious before jumping to any conclusions on it.

Jan 10, 2010 at 8:38 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The quote is obviously a spoof; it's bizarre how many such people seem to be taking it seriously. Though I guess that shows quite how low the Met Office's reputation has fallen, that people are willing to believe they would do things like this.

Jan 10, 2010 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

For what it's worth, we have both sets of satellite data for all of 2009 now; so here is a chart of how things look since 1998.

Jan 10, 2010 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTilo Reber

Your Grace,

You posted about extremists, see what Firehand (not an extremist in our sense of the word) has posted about:

looks like extremism to me, from the AGW crowd.

Jan 10, 2010 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith


I agree that it is probably a spoof, but the scary thing is that it isn't obviously so. I guess if the Met office told me that it was raining outside, I would still look through a window.

My guess is they rank slightly above politicians and used car salesmen when it comes to believability. But not much.

@Tilo Reber

I expect that you will need to extend chart down a bit for the 2010 data, if my heating bill is any indication. Nice job.

Jan 11, 2010 at 12:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

"I guess if the Met office told me that it was raining outside, I would still look through a window."

Reminds me of a morning met briefing at an RAF station in Germany back in 1965. The weather was shitty and the forecaster finished by saying, "We can expect anything and everything today, except snow". Someone piped up, "have you looked out of the window?" - guess what, it was snowing.

Jan 11, 2010 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterasiaseen

"One of the problems with todays society is that there are too many people around like this woman, who act without thinking about how their actions impact on others around them."
Cobblers Mailman!

The problem with today's society is so many people either go along with or ignore all the bollocks that the state spews out. It has to scare the hell out of people which of course makes them easier to control because if people aren't scared they will see the state for what it really is.
As your comment proves it is very effective at what it sets out to do!
Saying no is very, very powerful as the state has no answer to it.

Jan 11, 2010 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered Commentersickofit

Mailman - in common with my very own mailman, you appear to lack the ability to read. Perhaps the illustrated version of Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (first commenter) might help you out a little.

However, if you are simply being deliberately obtuse and/or spiteful, I suggest that you mull over sickofit's comment here or browse the 40 or so comments left on my original blog post. This information should explain to you precisely why it was a good thing that I said no publicly for the play and stay (no baby angst sorry) session leader and other parents to hear.

If you would like a proper debate, or an explanation of why I don't think it is appropriate for two year old children to be touched by strangers and forcibly removed from their parents against their will, then you can email me at lisa at renegade parent dot net.


Jan 11, 2010 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRenegade Parent

Hi Sickofit,
You are right that "No" sends a very powerful message, however, the state does have answers to it, so long as only a small minoriity are willing to say no.

Remember that the state does have a monopoly on the use of force,
also remember that the individuals who are most likely to question state provision are going to be mid level professionals and upwards, working in the private sector, or with their own businesses.

My friends in the Farming community are well aware of the ammount of bureaucratic time wasting with:

audits, inspections, petty prosecutions, forms to fill and records to be kept and submitted...
that can be landed on their businesses if they start to make a fuss, or refuse to join the latest "scheme".

That is the stable state up until now, remember that the Stasi and Securitate kept the East Germans and Romanians down for many years by simillar harrasment. Obviously worse methods were used from time to time in the east, but take a look at Phil Luty and his to see what happens to particularly thorny British dissidents in 2009-2010. Britain too can do "political disappearences".

It is only when sufficeint people decide that they have more to gain than they have to to loose, that change comes. I'm not sure what number it needs to be to have an effect and for the mechanisms of coersion to be swamped and to give up.

I suspect tahat our "public services" are so inefficeint that it would not take many people. It didn't take very many in East Germany for the whole communist system to collapse.

Who knows where the tipping point is for the current system of ever increasing state over regulation and interference to be reversed. It has been growing here since 1914, and in Germany since the time of Bismark. I'd love to see a return to classical Liberalism and Lockean individualism, who knows, maybe in my lifetime? I certainly don't want to see the present system go the way the German one did 1933 to 45.

Sabra has an excellent essay on the phobosophers behind progressivism:
H/T to Borepatch for that

A really interesting old paper on private property anarchism on the American frontier (the not so wild wild west)
H/T John R Lott

Jan 11, 2010 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Somebody once defined Liberty as "the ability to say NO! and make it stick."

Jan 11, 2010 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

I think Renegadeparent is overreacting a bit here. A full list of questions would let me know for sure, but questions like:

How long have you been employeed?
You heritage?
How many children do you have?
What are their genders?

At most, this data is likely to be used by the government or agencies to put together stats on the demographics of those who receive this type of childrens' care. There's little that is nefarious they can really do with that type of data. It might even make those trying to create new child care policies.

That said, Renegadeparent is smart in that they actually read the fine print. And it's their full right to refuse to sign the forms to authorize giving out that information. Places like this shouldn't require that this information be given to provide their services either, but they do have that right as well. If it was me, I think I would have completed the form and just left certain information, like my e-mail address, that I didn't want to give out off the form. It's extremely unlikely that they would deny service just because the form was incomplete.

Jan 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterScott B

The hyperactive nanny state now has its tentacles into Sky News, There is now a Weekly Carbon Report fronted by Francis Wilson aired at 22.15 Fridays, repeated over the weekend.

This farce attempts to show viewers the rate at which the UK is polluting the planet with millions of tonnes of carbon emissions and also offers a "tip of the week" as to how the viewer can reduce their own emissions, thereby saving the planet.

The current tip is for the viewer is "turn down your thermostat, but stay warm".

Last week some newspaper was writing about the 40,000 excess deaths expected this winter as a result of the very low temeratures, and here is Sky News telling us to turn down the heating.

Mature readers will remember Francis Wilson as the weatherman who, years ago, used to get fancy hand knitted sweaters from adoring viwers. This guy is a national treasure and there must be thousands of potential viewers from that era long ago, now ancient, who probably believe every word he says!

WTF is Sky News thinking using an icon like Francis to spew this dangerous nonsense? We can only hope that this insane tip was ignored.

Jan 11, 2010 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Hi Scott B - my post answers every single one of your questions. And regardless of the personal information they harvest from the form, which undoubtedly feeds into service planning, delivery and evaluation THE BIG PROBLEM IS THE PERMISSION YOU GIVE THEM WITH A SINGLE SIGNATURE, whether or not you leave your email address off. We are not talking about avoiding junk mail here.

It clearly says what they want your information for: to put children's details onto ContactPoint (follow the link I provided if you can't understand why a national database of *all* children and a shedload of personal information about them is a dangerous idea). It also says that your information will be passed to other County Council employees (I have worked with people in that council that you would want *nowhere* near your children) and that it will be used to give you "support" if it is deemed that you require it (of the non-negotiable kind, no doubt); finally the information is to be passed onto "other government agencies" as they see fit.

Refusing to sign (not just leave a few boxes empty) is a massive deal because most people would never dare to do it, and the professionals who run such sessions (bear in mind this was *not* childcare, it was an hour of me and my child sticking feathers to foil and such like) use their assumed authority to get what they want from vulnerable people.

If you want details of the systematic abuse of children by state officials and their lackeys, the systematic failure of the government to keep confidential data confidential, and the thousands of families whose lives are ruined by unnecessary state interference and state sponsored kidnapping, then please let me know.


Jan 11, 2010 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRenegade Parent

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