Friday, May 28, 2004

Taking on the food fascists

Now read this! This is the way to defend freedom. No messing about. I'm going to quote the last paragraph for my pleasure and then you can read the press release. OK?

"The Libertarian Alliance opposes all and any moves to limit the right of food companies to market their products in any way they please. We oppose any assumption of control over the bodies of children by the authorities. We oppose advertising controls. We oppose compulsory warnings on food packaging. We oppose taxes on supposedly unhealthy foods. We oppose public health information campaigns. We deny the truth of the often fabricated statistics about the human and financial costs of overeating. We denounce these politicians and doctors and 'scientists' as self-righteous bigots. If they want to do something useful, they should look to taking their own bodies in hand, and leave the rest of us alone."


The Report on Obesity of the House of Commons Health Committee is a classic case study in health fascism, and a further ominous step toward a police state says the Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties think tank and pressure group.

Libertarian Alliance Director of Communications, Dr Sean Gabb commented:
"This is a brilliantly-choreographed mix of junk statistics,unsubstantiated claims, generalisations from single instances,tear-jerking pleas to 'save the kiddies', raids on our pockets and personal freedoms, and demands for jobs and status for the usual class
of politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, educators, and politically correct clients in corporate big business. Nothing like this has been seen since the anti-gun hysteria that followed the shootings at Dunblane in 1996.

"Fat is a personal issue. It is up to people themselves to take action. If they do not and thereby make themselves il, that is their choice and their problem. As for children, they are the responsibility of their parents. Obesity should not be an excuse for a further power grab by a bunch of politically correct nannies. That is what this House of Commons
Report is about. Like a cat playing with a dead mouse, the health fascists are turning their main efforts away from smoking towards fat. Advertising controls - aka limitations on free speech - compulsory exercise and weigh-ins at school: these are hall marks of tyranny.

"The Spartan state used to measure the body mass of its people by pinching their stomachs with iron callipers. The German national socialists used to denounce the 'heresy' that health was a personal issue. Now the British state is joining in. These are all sins of the
principle that the state owns individual bodies and has the right to shape those bodies like a farmer shapes the bodies of his cattle.

"The Libertarian Alliance opposes all and any moves to limit the right of food companies to market their products in any way they please. We oppose any assumption of control over the bodies of children by the authorities. We oppose advertising controls. We oppose compulsory warnings on food packaging. We oppose taxes on supposedly unhealthy foods. We oppose public health information campaigns. We deny the truth of the often fabricated statistics about the human and financial costs of overeating. We denounce these politicians and doctors and 'scientists' as self-righteous bigots. If they want to do something useful, they should look to taking their own bodies in hand, and leave
the rest of us alone."


Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance and edits its journal 'Free Life'. His latest CD, War and the National Interest: Arguments for a British Foreign Policy, Read by Sean Gabb is available at His books are available from Hampden Press at

His main published writing on diet and health is 'Out of the Closet - Confessions of a Dieter', available at

He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 700 articles,pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at

Their postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
25 Chapter Chambers
Esterbrooke Street
London SW1W 4NN
Tel: 020 7 821 5502
Fax: 020 7 834 2031

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International - - is a sister
organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate
various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the

Sean Gabb's personal website - - contains
about a milion words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians
and conservatives

Liberalia - - maintained by by LA Executive
member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French
and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source
of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.

Libertarian Samizdata - - works in association
with the Libertarian Alliance and has an ever larger following. Check it

Contact Details: Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199,
And Chris R. Tame, 07957 644 519,
For other contact and link details,

Monday, May 17, 2004

Let’s celebrate a day that changed history

“May 17, 1954 was a momentous day in the history of the United States, and perhaps of the world. Something happened that afternoon that was all too rare in human history. A great nation voluntarily repudiated its own oppression of part of its own people. The Supreme court decision that day was announced in an atmosphere of high drama and some observers said that one of black-robed justices sat on the great bench with tears in his eyes.” Thomas Sowell was describing here, in Civil Rights Rhetoric or Reality, the case of Brown v Board of Education, an action in which a group of black Americans won the legal right to an equal and non-segregated education.

He continued: “In how many places and in how many eras could an ordinary person from a despised race challenge the duly constituted authorities, force them to publicly defend their decisions, retreat and finally capitulate.”

Politicians would try with considerable success to make the judgment meaningless but it set in train the heroic struggle to end the outrageous Jim Crow laws passed by state legislatures to keep in thrall and to humiliate their black citizens.

May 17 is a fiftieth anniversary that’s really worth remembering and thinking about the brave people who used it as a spring board to create a better world.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Equal Opportunities Commission leads the way in fair pay- over 12 times better than national average

Figures released by the Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC] exclusively to Liberty and Law Journal show the average salaries for men and women at the commission to be £26,076 and £25,532 respectively. This gap of £544 a year or £45 a month is an astonishing twelve times better than the national average of £599 a month revealed by the EOC in its tough talking ‘It’s time to get even’ campaign launched in January.

Nationally, the EOC reveals, women working full time earn almost £6,708 a year less than men, £20,592 and £27,300 respectively. The EOC’s success demonstrates what can be achieved by the determined efforts of a motivated Human Resources team.

What accounts for the EOC’s success within its own organisation and how can other much less successful employers learn from it? The EOC has not yet explained how it has reached its present pre-eminence but clues can be discovered in its annual report.

A breakdown of its staff by grade and gender shows how in general men do not dominate its higher grades either numerically or in proportion to their numbers in the workforce. There is one male in a grade above director and five females. There are four men out of 22 director/principal legal officer grade and four out of 17 senior executive officer and equivalent. Only at the level of Personal Assistant are men not represented more or less proportionately to their numbers. There are none out of a pool of 12.

This success is good news to the EOC whose critics have argued for 20 years that it is an ‘institutionally sexist’ body having contrived over this period to ‘marginalize’ men, effectively keeping their ‘quota’ to less than 20% of its workforce. They will point out that according to its latest annual report men make up an outrageously low 18% of its workforce accounting for its ‘anti male’ bias most notoriously illustrated by its advice and encouragement to the Labour Party before the 1997 election that all women shortlists were legal, subsequently but pointlessly proved unlawful at an industrial tribunal before the law was changed.

The EOC has successfully shrugged off these criticisms and receives the full support of Britain’s major parties, responsible media and NGOs and looks set to be able to sustain its position of being probably Britain’s best equal pay employer until its incorporation in the Commission for Equality and Human Rights in 2006 where its values may be expected to inform the work of the new body.

Further information: Gerald Hartup Tel: 020 7928 7325 Fax: 020 7207 3425
Director: Gerald Hartup

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Appointments of Commission for Racial Equality commissioners will not be racially based says Home Office

The Guardian [Police ‘should favour black recruits’, 17 March 2004]] reports Commission for Racial Equality chair Trevor Phillips declaring that ‘in the interests of fairness’ he was planning to increase the number of white CRE commissioners from 2 out of 15 to 5 later in March. He told The Guardian: "If I can put it crudely - we are not just the commission advocating for black and brown people.”

The Home Office confirmed that such appointments are not made by him but are carried out under Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) guidelines. Posts for Commissioners are advertised widely in both the national and ethnic minority press and all are filled through a fair, open and transparent process and in accordance with the Nolan rules. Independent assessors are fully involved in both the sifting of application forms and the interview panel to ensure impartiality. An applicant’s ethnic background does not form any part of the assessment process

The CRE chair, the Home Office explained , is not involved in either the sifting process or the interview panel.

An announcement of the latest batch of commissioners is expected soon. There is a requirement for a minimum of eight and a maximum of 15 commissioners at all times.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Race watchdog strategy discriminates against New Travellers and occupational Travellers

The Commission for Racial Equality’s new strategy for Gypsies and Travellers announced last month leaves out in the cold all Travellers who are not Romany Gypsies, Irish Travellers, Scottish Travellers or others defined by their ethnic or national origins. All the strategy can offer the several thousand Travellers excluded from their protection is the assurance 'that our work does not, intentionally or otherwise, harm Traveller groups that are not formally defined as racial groups'.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: “The CRE now seems to have adopted the 'trickle down' theory of race relations . Its press release headline claims that ‘Discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers is the last 'respectable' form of racism.’ whereas it is their own failure to champion the wrong sort of Travellers that appears to fit that description. It would be interesting to see how the CRE would respond to a deputation of New Age children. Would they really tell them that their strategy could not include them? Perhaps they will advise these 'untouchables' to organise along racial lines so that they could then protect them.”

The CRE justifies their strategy because their remit under the Race Relations Act only extends to racial groups and that New Travellers and occupational Travellers are 'social groups'. The CRE nevertheless claim that these people will be helped by their work on behalf of the racial groups actually qualifying for their help.

European Patent Office translator ad challenged

An advertisement for a translator by the European Patent Office in The Guardian of 5 April stating as part of the person specification “English is your mother tongue…” is being challenged by Liberty and Law who have forwarded it to the Commission for Racial Equality seeking action by them.

The advertisement discriminates against native Britons whose mother tongue may not be English because of their parents’ national origins but who speak it absolutely fluently.

L&L director Gerald Hartup said: “It is notorious that some of our best translators in the UK do not have English as their native language although they speak it much better than the rest of us.”

The Commission for Racial Equality’s guidelines state as an example of how language skills should be dealt with: An advertisement invites applicants who speak English as their mother tongue. This requirement, too, discriminates indirectly against people who speak English fluently, but not as their mother tongue. This kind of requirement will rarely be justifiable. If an especially high standard of English is needed for a particular job, it would be better to ask for just that: ‘a very high standard of written and spoken English’, or, alternatively, ‘fluent English’.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Press Release
6 May 2004

CRE Emperor has no clothes

The Commission for Racial Equality’s [CRE] new extended 99 page draft Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Employment lays them open to tribunal action for not complying with one of the key principles contained within it – the setting of racial targets, claims civil liberties group Liberty and Law. [L&L]

An analysis of CRE annual reports by L&L shows that it has always had a racially skewed staff profile in which white employees have been substantially underrepresented that must be explained by chronic ‘institutional racism’.

The CRE’s latest annual report shows that white staff make up 43% of its workforce, [up from 39% in 1986 and 36% in 2000] a figure that its human resources staff and lawyers do not attempt to defend as racially representative of its travel to work catchment area. The recently increased white representation is not the result of planned targeting but of an increase in the proportion of white groups applying to the Commission for work over the last three years. The CRE continues to fail to set targets or to publicly define its desired racial staffing profile. Its indifference to equal opportunities recruitment was illustrated in its 2001 annual report. The table recording the race and sex of its staff showed, without explanation or apology, that it did not know the race or sex of 18% [39 out of 213] of its own staff. These individuals were recorded in the category ‘not known’. Its own Race Equality Scheme 2002-2005 was developed using this inadequate record.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup said: “ “Do as we say not as we do,” has been the motto of the CRE since its inception. Their attitude is that targets are for little people. Since the Home Office and parliament have let them get away with this for so long without criticism or penalty they appear to be right. Ten years ago I persuaded their former chairman Herman [now Lord] Ouseley to publish targets for their workforce and for one year, 1993, they did so. They were, however, dropped the next year without comment and no report was ever made on their effectiveness or on the difficulty of achieving them. Since then they have made no return.
As a result the CRE is vulnerable to challenge for its failure to adopt the targets it claims are vital for other public bodies whose actions it oversees and sometimes criticises.”
Mr Hartup, however, praised the technical quality of the draft code. He said: “Criticism of the draft Code for its alleged jargon and length is unfair. CRE staff have done a professional job. The document is an easy to read horror story written with clarity and style revealing the costly bureaucratic and totalitarian nightmare that our race relations legislation has produced. The document can and must be used as the basis for root and branch reform of the whole rotten system.”


Notes for editors

The CRE 1992 Annual Report stated: “The Commission is working towards a target of 50% representation of women at each level, and 50% representation of ethnic minorities. These targets have been broadly met at most grades. It had not been possible to achieve 50% representation of women or ethnic minority staff at principal Officer and Senior Executive officer levels by 31 December 1992.”

Note that the target is not for white representation but for ethnic minority representation. Indeed these targets had been broadly met. In 1993 white representation was just 32.2%. The CRE was clearly indifferent to white under representation.

Further information: Gerald Hartup tel: 020 7928 7325 tel/fax: 020 7207 3425