Dogs, Oscars, petitions & passports


A brief casting of my libertarian eye on news stories this week that caught my attention and, as mine is up for renewal, some on the government racket that is passports.

A British man was given a prison sentence this week for killing his own dog in anger when it tried to bite his son. When a judge thinks it’s a crime for a man to destroy his own property in defence of his own son and irrational animal rights supersede rational human rights you know society has gone barking-mad.

But obviously it will be worth traumatising a child by taking his father away and also the tens of thousands of pounds it will cost for the State to keep this man in jail so dogs everywhere can sleep soundly knowing that a ‘murderer’ is off the parks.

The president of the Academy Awards plans to tackle what actors and film fans believe to be the problem of a lack of diversity amongst Oscar nominees by nominating black actors because they’re black. Genius.

Next year I’m sure every black actor will be thrilled to know that they were nominated for an Oscar because of the blackness (or non-whiteness) of their skin rather than the greatness of their acting. Way to not judge people by their colour of their skin, guys!

If Martin Luther King was still alive he’d be face-palming. And I imagine he would also point out that the idea of solving racism is to have no victims, not merely different ones.

Someone has created a petition to “Stop Kanye West recording covers of David Bowie’s music”, which so far has collected over 9,000 signatures. It’s not clear which authority the author is petitioning, government or God. But in this case it would have to be the latter for only a deity could stop Kanye West making an idiot of himself or indeed could tarnish David Bowie’s legacy.

The (latest) Kanye West petition is yet another entry in a very (very) long list of anonymous appeals to authority of the format: Dear Government, please stamp on [insert name’s] face. Yours sincerely, control-freak.

Such requests used to be thrown in a government waste paper basket. Now they make the news and do the rounds on social media. Which makes the ears of politicians prick up.

And finally. On a personal note, it’s time for me to get a new passport. Or should I say a permission slip from the queen/government to other rulers in other lands to confirm that I am allowed to even attempt to move around the planet. Yes, I should.

A passport may only serve the benefit of increasingly authoritarian governments the world over, but at least it’s going to cost me a lot of money (£72.50 to be precise). It’s expensive so it must be good, right?

I plan to start my own petition which will read: Dear government, stop thinking up ways to force me to hand over money to you. Yours sincerely, go fuck yourself.

However, I have a feeling that, even if every British citizen on the planet signed my petition, the government wouldn’t be keen to action either one of the two requests contained therein.

After all, acquiescing to the first would be to well and truly do the latter to itself by giving up on a racket that stuffs over £400 million a year into government coffers. That’s why we ‘need’ passports, folks.

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