Saturday 24 January 2009

What is Citizens and Neighbours definitely not?

CAN is not the mouthpiece of any particular political party or pressure group.

I'm not a member, fee-paying or otherwise, of any association or group more power-seeking than my local sports centre and the city library.
Much of the trouble with our country today is that the main political parties seem to hold similar views and policies on the great questions of the day; that is, they all pretty much seem to think that the government knows best.

Well, mostly, it doesn’t.

Government can perform a few basic tasks simply and well (usually of the sort of task that involves protecting people as they go about their own private business). Once it tries to improve peoples’ lives in detail it becomes muddled, expensive, frustrated, confused and then - very quickly - overbearing and authoritarian. The Big Three parties, with honourable exceptions, go along with the line that freedom and our country’s other traditional virtues and treasures are of little value compared with administrative efficiency and their ideas of what sort of good lives we ought to be pursuing.

There are several smaller parties which actively seek to put freedom and other traditional blessings of living in Britain at a premium. Where appropriate
* I publicize and link to them.

So, independent of all groups and affiliations, CAN recognizes that our country and its traditional values have been built by generations of men and women of all political persuasions and of none; men and women working and sometimes fighting and lobbying and trading ideas to make our homeland better.
Britain’s virtues are the product of all that and it often involved great sacrifice – sometimes the greatest sacrifice. So we should honour them and the spirit of what they achieved by recognizing that Britain is home to all of us and any and all of us may have an equal interest in keeping the best of it.

I’ll try to publicize all recognizably freedom-loving and patriotic campaigns and groups – even if I don’t personally agree with something about them.
This is because:

A) they might be right and I might be wrong, and

B) people of goodwill can legitimately love this country and its freedoms and traditions and still have differing viewpoints of how best to serve it and within the limits of being law-obeying and peaceable, I’ll link to them.

For example, freedom and public safety are both valuable things, and they are often in conflict with one another as far as legislation is concerned. A great many freedom-loving people opposed both the 90 day or 42 day detention periods for anti-terrorism legislation. A small minority – or so it seemed to me – supported 90 days, including me.
‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,’ – what to do when life is at odds with liberty, or pursuing happiness threatens life? Both viewpoints were seeking to maintain some virtue or other in public life in Britain. So both would get a chance on this blog.

I’m a keen trade unionist myself – the Tolpuddle Martyrs and all that – for all the faults which our unions still display even today. CAN is not about trade or employment disputes and campaigns; they are usually well-supported elsewhere. Good luck to them when their cause is just, but that’s not what this blog is about.

CAN is also not about exposing and criticizing the wickedness of commercial businesses. The web’s scattered with such sites and campaigns. But when companies are acting on the instructions of excessive government or using illegitimate powers that government has given to them, this blog will point it out and welcomes information of that type.

It’s all about Britain’s traditional political and civic culture and its values; the foremost being freedom but there are others: tolerance; widespread property ownership; privacy; civic pride.

So CAN points its arrows right at excessive government and its institutions;global, European, national regional and local, along with its agents and intellectual cheerleaders in the media, the academy, the ‘voluntary sector’, ‘private companies’ that are largely dependent in the public purse and the arts.


How to find stuff in Citizens and Neighbours.

*‘Appropriate’ here means: actually freedom-loving rather than pretending to love it for nefarious purposes. It means; being peaceable; law-abiding and positive about equality under the law of all of Britain’s lawful residents; native subjects, naturalized incomers and temporary visitors alike. Put bluntly, the good guys won the Battle of Britain and the bad guys lost, and that’s that as far as this blog is concerned.

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