Episode Archives

Rigged Elections and Whether the Right is a Threat

On this our 50th edition, Andrew puts to Nic a thought experiment where a general election is rigged in order to get freedom lovers in power.
Would that be a good thing?  What are the moral implications?  Should outcomes matter more than methods?
This leads us onto whether the political right are a threat any more and whether we should only be afraid of the left taking control of the levers of government.
Finally, what of the terms “far left” and “far right”?  Are they used appropriately in the legacy media and corporate press?
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If we’re going to argue about the tyranny of the majority, I will win

So, we’ve finally left the EU. But this hasn’t stopped a few ardent remainers from trotting out some of the arguments they’ve been making for the past three and a half years.

The one that fascinates me most is the one that goes something like “x voted to remain”. You’ve seen the claims. “Scotland voted remain” or “London voted Remain”. Sometimes they’re grouped together, for impact, like this tweet from a disgraced member of the corporate press:

This always seems to me to be a strange argument, but one I’m actually happy to back (although they won’t like the support I’m giving it). It’s one of those points that you know they just haven’t thought about enough. They cannot have thought it through, or taken it to the next stage (never mind its logical conclusion).

Let’s do that for them.

They’re point must, for they wouldn’t have said it otherwise, be that this is somehow important. That x (let’s use Scotland) voted to remain. That the people of Scotland (a subsection of the broader referendum area) are being overruled. It’s worth pointing out at this stage that this was a UK referendum. There were no constituencies, no cities, just one big vote, winner takes all. This wasn’t a first past the post vote for a number of seats, like in a General Election. Any area that remainers are speaking of is arbitrary (unless it’s the whole of the UK). So why are they doing it?

Is it that it’s bad for a larger population to govern a smaller one? To somehow dictate terms to people who don’t want decisions imposed on them? Because I say let’s take this further. You talk about Scotland. Not everyone in Scotland voted to remain. Many voted to leave. What about them? If it’s not ok for the larger part of the UK to dominate a smaller part, why is it ok for the larger part of Scotland to do the very same thing?

I love the idea that a larger group should not impose its will on a smaller group, which is exactly what they don’t realise they’re saying.

If Scotland shouldn’t have to listen to therest of the UK, why should Glasgow have to listen to the rest of Scotland? Why should a village with a Glasgow postcode listen to the rest of Glasgow? Why should households in that postcode listen to the rest of them? In fact, why should any individual listen to any majority? Why should anyone have power over another, simply because they’re larger in number?

This is the logical conclusion of their argument.

It also helps us to point out that the larger the democratic area, the greater the number of people who will be disappointed. So why do they use it to argue for membership of an organisation that has the ability to impose its will on multiple countries every time a new law or regulation is passed? Indeed, if your argument is against the tyranny of the majority, you should logically be calling for the smallest possible majority to prevent any unnecessary tyranny whatsoever. Which leads you to the democracy of one: The individual.

This is why I’m all for their argument. Why should people tell you how to live your life because they outnumber you? Why should any group impose their morals on a group of lesser members? Why should a number of people have power, authority and control over any smaller number?

Let’s not play the democracy game. It’s easy to talk like Brendan O’Neill and say that we should always rely on the wisdom of crowds, that we should trust in the democratic will of the people and that we should put our faith in the collective decision making of the entire population. Collective decision making gave us Theresa May and over any reasonable length of time you, personally, will be overruled by the majority for no good reason.

Instead, let’s play them at their own game and play to win. Yes. You’re quite right. The rest of Britain shouldn’t impose its will on Scotland and nobody else should impose their will on me.

 

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Labels, Tribalism and Rejecting Definitions

Do you hate being labelled?  Nic certainly does, and in this edition he explains why he rejects being put into categories, and his squeamishness over membership of tribes.

Whether its atheist, liberal or even libertarian – we discuss whether there is any label that fits our outlook on the world, and lament that all the definitions we could associate with have been hijacked, mis-defined or were even invented by the other side.

Does a term get watered down if its over used, as has racism and fascism in recent years?

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.

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The Differences Between The Left and The Right

There are some fairly fundamental characteristics of being left wing and right wing.  But do people actually know the differences, or would they mis-categorise a lot of the traits of both?
We discuss whether Andrew’s succinct definitions of the left and the right hold water and then go on to attempt to describe the traits of both left wingers and right wingers and whether they overlap.
Regulation and nationalisation quickly become topics of conversation, along with the use of evidence and intention.   But are we missing how class and power are just as important in these definitions?
Find out in the latest edition of Sounding Board.
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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Web: https://soundingboard.com
Podcast RSS: https://soundingboard.com/feed/podcast
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT--UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
This edition can be found here: https://youtu.be/Vr4ZsX2wzlc
Please reach out to us on Twitter:
Sounding Board: https://twitter.com/soundboardpod
Andrew: https://twitter.com/no_coercion
Nic: https://twitter.com/MrNicElliott
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iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/sounding-board/id1413474037
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Please subscribe and leave a review.  We don't want your money - just share, listen, subscribe and watch!
 
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Socialism: What If The Labour Party Had Won?

Even though the Conservative Party won a comfortable majority in the December 2019 UK General Election, it’s still worth talking about what life would have been like under Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist Labour Party.

What would happen when the economic policies of nationalisation, massive spending and capital controls started yielding truly negative results? Would the Labour Party move towards the centre ground of politics again, or double down on more state ownership?

——
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The Witcher, Wokeness and Bad TV

“Evil is Evil. Lesser, greater, middling… Makes no difference. The degree is arbitary. The definition’s blurred. If I’m to choose between one evil and another… I’d rather not choose at all.”
~ Geralt of Rivia
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
In this first edition of 2020, Nic talks about his Christmas break of watching a load of TV, and how it’s made him want to rant about wokeness.
From the film Mary Queen of Scots, and it’s jarring historical inaccuracies to BBC’s His Dark Materials, which is just plain bad, we talk about what you should and shouldn’t do with a character, and whether changing history makes something science fiction.
But it’s not all bad as Netflix’s The Witcher proves to have a lead character with a great moral compass, along with great acting and story, and production values that leaves His Dark Materials, well… in the dark.
After Ricky Gervais’s savaging of Hollywood wokeness in the Golden Globes, is it time for more libertarian characters in film and TV?
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Cherán, Mexico – How One Town Expelled The State

In 2011 the residents of a small municipality in Mexico rose up against politicians, the police and illegal loggers associated with the drug cartel La Familia Michoacana. Expelling the corruption and driving those responsible from the town, the crime rate in Cherán has dropped off a cliff.

What can we learn from their unique example? Do you really need the state?

Is centralised control really the best way of achieving any kind of good outcomes?

Or is decentralisation and self control the way forward?

The Libertarian Manifesto by Murray Rothbard can be downloaded for free, here: https://mises.org/library/new-liberty-libertarian-manifesto

The Machinery Of Freedom by David D. Friedman can be downloaded for free, here: http://www.daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf

——
Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
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Election Results 2019 – Who and what were the real winners?

It’s results day 2019!

In this episode, we discuss the UK General Election results. We look at statistics, trends, vote share and debate who, & what, were the real winners and losers this time around.

We may be relieved, but is the result actually bittersweet?

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
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General Election 2019 and the Current State of British Politics

It’s that time again! It’s polling day tomorrow, so we couldn’t record anything but a General Election special.

We discuss the latest YouGov MRP (whatever that stands for…), trends amongst other polls and the state of the current crop of political parties.

Just how close do we think the result will be? Will we be heading for a strong Tory majority? Or will we face another hung parliament? Are we really in a time of unprecedented political turmoil?

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Democracy, Libertarianism and the Trouble with Voting

Recorded straight after the last edition, we follow on with a discussion on the problems of our democratic system and whether we only have a choice of the “least worst” from here on in.

We talk about whether voting matters in a “safe seat”, and whether we have been unwittingly encouraging others to vote on twitter by pointing out how dangerous the Labour Party policies are.

Should Nic hold his nose and vote Tory to stop the Communists? Where do you draw the line with Socialism? Should you always vote for the least Socialist party?

We discuss all of this, and a hypothetical Libertarian Party that would have the power to dismantle all of it…if only they were voted in.

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