Sunday 8 July 2012

This Week in Liberty

So, after a long absence from the blogosphere, I'm back. Degree over and plenty of time to blog between job applications (although I hope that this free time dries up in the form of paid employment soon). To get into the swing of things, I'll just give a quick comment on some stories for the week (maybe I'll do this every Sunday, who knows?).

Libya - So, elections is it? I notice the BBC and the like are very happy with this. Democracy, woo! Whilst I'm glad that the socialist Gadaffi is gone, I'm going to hold my breath at least until this new lot write up the new constitution. If the constitution is not set up to limit government, then I think Libya will just be another illiberal country with a pretence of democracy. I hope that whoever takes over is at least better than Gadaffi.

Barclays and Libor - So, Barclays and several other high street banks, seemingly with the knowledge of the ever dodgy Bank of England, fixed Libor rates. This is fraud, hammer anyone guilty. Sack anyone at the BoE who knew about it and was either compliant or did nothing. I have no faith however, in any inquiry, judge-led or otherwise. More regulation, they will surely say, failing to recognise that part of the problem here is clearly regulatory capture by the large banks. Free Banking I say!

House of Lords Reform - I don't think much of the HoL reform proposals, but the Other Place does need to be reformed away from the ever growing list of Labour party donors and that sort of ilk. Ideally, something like a democratic chamber with more power than the current Lords, with longer term lengths (maybe 8 years, with Commons term reduced to 4?) and staggered voting, to ensure that it doesn't just become a Commons Mk. 2 but bringing in some legitimacy. Honestly, this would be about the last thing I'd rebel over if I was a Conservative MP. Would be more angry over the lack of real spending cuts and tax rises in the budget (the Darling plan would have had deeper cuts!).

Glaxo - They made antidepressants that didn't work and were unsafe, corrupted the regulators and doctors. Now the regulators get to look good by fining Glaxo for something they initially said was safe. Yay for regulatory capture again. Calls for more regulation, anyone? OK, so officially the drugs in question were never meant for children and teenagers, just adults. But if something makes children and teens suicidal (this is an antidepressent?), why would it not do the same for adults? The only reason I can think of is that an adults liver would be able to absorb more of the dangerous stuff. But even then, why would it help? The regulators have a lot to answer for here, as usual.

All in all, an interesting week for the regulators of the world, and I do hope that the Libyans come up with a half-decent constitution, they could become a model nation for that part of the world. Anyway, its good to be back to blogging.

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