politics

The What’s Worse Game

After a brief hiatus while Nic recovered from surgery, we’re back with a new game of Andrew’s devising.

The What’s Worse Game.

In this new game, Andrew gives Nic two deliberately awful options and asks him to say which one is worse.

Sometimes personal, often extreme, Nic reacts to each and tries to justify why he’s right.

But does it reveal an aspect where libertarians and voluntaryists find they end up defending a least worst position without always advocating for the end of the state?

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash


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Changing One Thing About the State & The Dominance of the Left

What would it be? Not abolish the state entirely, but make one change to it and the way it works.

Would it be simple and maybe cliché and just privatise the NHS, or would you want to abolish state education?

How about the way we pay tax? Or how we deal with private property?

These are just some of the examples we talk about this week, as we get into some “what if” scenarios about our pet project of trying to shrink the size of government.

The discussion then turns to whether or not the political left have dominance over the right. Why do right wingers cede ground to the left all the time, and is it just a one way street?

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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/BY1gZU3hBlA

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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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
You can find us at the following podcast aggregators, and more:
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/sounding-board/id1413474037
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0BfeT7diEqD4S1dIkvWDEH
Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sounding-board
Player FM: https://player.fm/series/2398529
Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9zb3VuZGluZ2JvYXJkLmNvbS9mZWVkL3BvZGNhc3Q
Please subscribe and leave a review.  We don't want your money - just share, listen, subscribe and watch!
 
Photo by Adri Tormo on Unsplash

A La Cartism, Boris and the next UK General Election

Has Boris found the magic centrist formula for winning the election with his championing of both the free market and the public sector? Or will the Conservatives desire to spend, spend, spend, cause them to look like Labour Lite?

After writing this blog post before there was a general election set, has anything changed?

We review Boris’s first campaign video and discuss whether this is all very smart politics, or if by shifting the Overton window ever statewards without making practical and moral cases for shrinking the state and getting out of our lives, it’s only a matter of time before a Communist gets into power.

Blog Post in the intro – https://soundingboard.com/boriss-a-la-cartism-is-exactly-what-the-public-will-vote-for/

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
This edition can be found here:  https://youtu.be/mw4CfXDwM7A
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Thought Experiment: Privatising the Public Sector

What if everything the government does was privatised? Not the law making, but all of the other functions and agencies and quangos.

Could it be done quickly? What would be the consequences, and should we start with something small first… like the NHS.

As we discuss going the whole hog, we realise we never started the podcast wanting to talk about any of this, but ended up having what we think is an interesting discussion.

But were we always on the same page? We also analyse our thought processes around the conversation, and how we constructed our arguments in order to communicate with each other effectively. We are always interested in improving how we think critically, so this was a revealing retrospective on the conversation, that wouldn’t normally be aired.

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Proroguing Parliament: What does it really mean for Brexit?

As predicted, Boris Johnson has decided to end the current parliamentary session (the longest in modern times), and trigger a new Queen’s Speech. Remainists are naturally going crazy, and talking of constitutional outrage.

But what does it actually mean for Brexit on 31 October? Is there time for fast-tracked, Bercow-enabled law that would either revoke Article 50, extend the deadline, or somehow prevent a “no deal”? What about passing a law that would stop prorogation itself? Is there even time left now in the parliamentary session?

We discuss all this and the finer details of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, and whether Boris has pulled a blinder.

Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/enacted

House of Commons Library Briefing Paper on Prorogation – https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8589

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Change UK: The Splitters Have Split

This time, we revisit Change UK: The Independent Group. Actually, hang on: Change UK and The Independent Group. The splitters have split again. Warning: contains mild gloating.

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Could The Current Constitutional Crisis Have Any Benefits?

This week we discuss whether Britain’s current constitutional crisis is actually a good thing. As Classical Liberals & Libertarians, should we delight in people realising that the current system of government isn’t working and cannot cope with incompetent or even sinister Members of Parliament?

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

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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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Every day hypocrisy: You cannot have it both ways

In this edition, we recap on what actually happened during & after our last podcast recording, and how it informed the way we discuss & debate issues.

By understanding & agreeing each others points of view, a whole vocabulary & context is created that makes examining issues far easier.

And then we explore a list of popular political, social & cultural contradictions.

Can you really have it both ways? We debate the hypocrisy and stupidity of our favourites.

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Remain won, so why are we leaving?

To say this period of politics in the UK is interesting is an understatement.

Remain supporting politicians want us to stay in the EU. That much is clear.

They are also using every parliamentary trick in the book (including relying on their mate Mr Speaker) to effect their cause.

But I often think about what life would have been like in an alternative version of history. One where Leave didn’t win.

The day the result is announced, Prime Minister David Cameron resigns stating that even though he said he would stay on as leader if Remain won and enact the will of the people, he had changed his mind.

Sajid Javid becomes the leader of the Conservative Party and new UK Prime Minister, after Michael Gove declares his support for Theresa May early in the contest, only to stab her in the back later by splitting the vote in the next round.

Javid is a remain voting leaver, so remainers like him, but leavers do too for only supporting remain reluctantly.

In forming a cabinet he decides to unite the country by splitting his cabinet down the middle with 50/50 remain and leave supporters.

Leading remain supporter George Osborne is put in charge of a newly created department called “The Department For Reforming the European Union”.

Other prominent remainers are put in charge of Foreign Affairs and another new department for Global Trade.

Leading leave supporters are put in the treasury, home office, transport, health and education. (Michael Gove comes back as Chief Secretary to the Treasury after 6 months of loyal back benching).

In a surprise move, Javid delivers a letter personally to the EU Commission President triggering Article 50 and asking George Osborne to negotiate the deal that David Cameron always should have, for a new reformed relationship fit for the UK.

Javid makes a public statement on the steps of Number 10 explaining that the referendum result was so close that he couldn’t possibly ignore the 48% of leave voters and that therefore he was aiming for a specific half in/half out relationship with the EU so we could finally move on as a country.

Remain MPs are furious. Gina Miller starts legal proceedings.

The Liberal Democrats demand a second referendum even though they won the first one. They argue that a decision this big can’t be made by MPs or the government.

The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn produce 18 different policies on how the relationship with the EU should look.

While George Osborne is negotiating the softest possible deal with Michel Barnier, PM Javid announces immediate no deal preparations (with a full 20 months left to go of the article 50 process) and Dominic Raab the Chancellor of the Exchequer announces sweeping cuts to corporation and personal tax rates. In his conference speech Raab compares the UK to Hong Kong.

Steve Baker the Global Trade Secretary finds and exploits a loophole in EU law that effectively nullifies the Common External Tariff and announces an immediate unilateral reduction of all trade tariffs to zero. Countries queue up to sell us their cheap goods and envoys are sent around the world promoting the UK service industry.

The EU are furious and immediately launch a judicial review by the ECJ on the UKs actions, although this will take at least a year to resolve, during which time food and clothing prices in the UK plummet.

Along with the Raab tax cuts, the poorest in society end up proportionately being helped the most by having more cash in their pockets.

David Davis, newly appointed Minister of Deregulation, slashes red tape by eliminating 73 different quangos over a period of 6 months.

The subsequent 6 months see the largest expansion of new businesses the UK has ever seen and employment among under 45s hits 92%.

George Osborne resigns from the government along with the Foreign Secretary Theresa May a week later. In her resigning speech in the commons May sites the clear referendum result and that remain should mean remain.

The new Reforming the EU Secretary Jeremy Hunt negotiates a Free Trade Agreement with the EU and a unique Associate Membership that recognises the UKs supreme sovereignty as well as a mutual recognition of standards and regulations.

This withdrawal agreement is put to parliament but as Jeremy Corbyn can see full freedom from the EU in his sights, he announces he won’t support the agreement. In public he gives a speech stating that as a remain voter he has a duty to protect the UKs status in the EU and that the withdrawal agreement is Leave in all but name.

There isn’t a majority for the withdrawal agreement and the bill fails in the house of commons because Jacob Rees Mogg, who refused a cabinet position in order to lead the ERG leads a last minute group of Conservative MPs against it.

The UK leaves the EU, the Euro drops in value and Trump announces a trade deal with the UK that is “great, just great, huge”.

The day after, Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve join the Liberal Democrats.

Ok so that was both self indulgent and a lot of fun to write. But is it any crazier a course of events than has actually happened? I don’t think so. Yet here we are.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash