Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Heffer: The Cromwellian Libertarian

Every now and again Simon Heffer writes something so utterly ridiculous that I feel compelled to pass comment on it.

In today's Telegraph his commentary is all about gambling and casinos in which he says he has an "instinctively Cromwellian attitude to life" and is, at the same time a "committed libertarian" who believes "libertarianism can only go so far".

He then goes on to bemoan the legalisation of gambling and asks why, if we're going to be so morally vacuous, why we don't just legalise drug dealing and prostitution too! Perhaps Heffer plans to set up a new organisation? The Cromwellian Libertarian Alliance does have a certain ring to it doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

It's a shame one can't patent a philosophy. The abuse of "libertarian" by people who want to be free from a particular set of rules they don't like (while imposing rules they do like on others) is an annoyance. One has to keep asking them "From what are you a libertarian?"

I have a horrible feeling the word will be so poisoned by misuse as to become an insult, rather like "liberal" in American English, which we now have to qualify with "classical" to avoid confusing our transatlantic cousins, rather as we must now qualify "muffin" with "English"

Mind you, I quite look forward to being called "You libertarian s.o.b.!"

Guthrum said...

I am old fashioned enough to believe that gambling is not a wise course of action, my general view is that if people want to blow their money in that way it is up to them. However I draw the line at Gambling being promoted as a social good by government to ensure regeneration. Where you draw the line at being a libertarian is very much a personal moral decision. To pursue your economic activities without interferance from the Law, can be applied to an armed robber being a true libertarian. Some where along the line there has to be a moral judgement.

Guthrum said...

PS- you do a diservice to the man Cromwell, but I take the point that his government was served by a motley collection of sects,fanatics and turncoats- not unlike today in fact