There ain’t half been some evil bastards. Nazi leaders, bottom feeders.
… and let me first say a word about Socialism. There are a great many Socialists whose opinions and whose views I have the greatest respect for – [hear, hear] – men some of whom I know well, and whose friendship I have the honour to enjoy. A good many of those gentlemen who have these delightful, rosy views of a great and brilliant future to the world are so remote from hard facts of daily life and of ordinary politics that I am not very sure that they will bring any useful or effective influence to bear upon the immediate course of events. I am dealing rather with those of violent and extreme views who call themselves Socialists in the next few observations I shall venture with your indulgence to address to you.
To the revolutionary Socialist I do not appeal as the Liberal candidate for Dundee. I recognise that they are perfectly right in voting against me and voting against the Liberals, because Liberalism is not Socialism, and never will be. [Cheers.] There is a great gulf fixed. It is not only a gulf of method, it is a gulf of principle. There are many steps we have to take which our Socialist opponents or friends, whichever they like to call themselves, will have to take with us; but there are immense differences of principle and of political philosophy between the views we put forward and the views they put forward.
Liberalism has its own history and its own tradition. Socialism has its own formulas and its own aims. Socialism seeks to pull down wealth; Liberalism seeks to raise up poverty. [Loud cheers.] Socialism would destroy private interests; Liberalism would preserve private interests in the only way in which they can be safely and justly preserved, namely, by reconciling them with public right. [Cheers.] Socialism would kill enterprise; Liberalism would rescue enterprise from the trammels of privilege and preference. [Cheers.] Socialism assails the pre-eminence of the individual; Liberalism seeks, and shall seek more in the future, to build up a minimum standard for the mass. [Cheers.] Socialism exalts the rule; Liberalism exalts the man. Socialism attacks capital; Liberalism attacks monopoly. [Cheers.] These are the great distinctions which I draw, and which, I think, you will think I am right in drawing at this election between our philosophies and our ideals. Don’t think that Liberalism is a faith that is played out; that it is a philosophy to which there is no expanding future. As long as the world rolls round Liberalism will have its part to play – a grand, beneficent, and ameliorating part to play – in relation to men and States. [Cheers.]
Ah, gentlemen, I don’t want to embark on bitter or harsh controversy, but I think the exalted ideal of the Socialists – a universal brotherhood, owning all things in common – is not always supported by the evidence of their practice. [Laughter.] They put before us a creed of universal self-sacrifice. They preach it in the language of spite and envy, of hatred, and all uncharitableness. [Cheers.] They tell us that we should dwell together in unity and comradeship. They are themselves split into twenty obscure factions, who hate and abuse each other more than they hate and abuse us. [Hear, hear, and laughter.] They wish to reconstruct the world. They begin by leaving out human nature. [Laughter.] Consider how barren a philosophy is the creed of absolute Collectivism. Equality of reward, irrespective of service rendered! It is expressed in other ways. You know the phrase – “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” [Laughter.] How nice that sounds. Let me put it another way – “You shall work according to your fancy; you shall be paid according to your appetite.” [Cheers.]
There is a famous anecdote about a conversation Winston Churchill once had with a woman at a party.
Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill … Well, I suppose … we would have to discuss terms, of course …
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.
The moral of the story is obvious. If you sleep with someone for money—any amount of money—then you are a prostitute. Even if that someone is Winston Churchill.
Even though it was Winston Churchill, it was rather a cruel trick he played. But not as cruel as testing recreational drugs on animals. And that brings me to the point of this post.
The government has played a cruel trick on those in the drug law reform movement who give the thumbs up to the Psychoactive Substances Bill.
Government minister: Activist, would you accept significant drug law reform if it meant some limited amount of animal testing?
DLR activist: My goodness, Mr. Dunne … Well, I suppose … we would have to make submissions to the Select Committee, of course …
Government minister: Would you accept significant drug law reform if it meant that thousands of the nation’s beloved family pets are made to suffer slow, agonising deaths?
DLR activist: Mr. Dunne, what kind of drug law reform activist do you think I am?!
Government minister: Activist, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the depth of your depravity.
Five pounds or five million pounds? If you accept animal testing—any amount of animal testing—as the price of drug law reform, then you are a sadist. Even if the drugs are really, really good.
Now, I’m not suggesting that any of my friends in the drug law reform movement are sadists. But I am suggesting that they’ve been cruelly tricked. And I am suggesting that they think carefully about how far down this particular slippery slope they’re prepared to slide. And I’m suggesting that after they’ve thought about it they claw their way back up to the moral high ground.
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Winston Churchill, Speech in the House of Commons, 1947