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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Wednesday October 11 2006

Last night 18 Doughty Street, website and internet TV, went active for the first time.  I watched a bit of it.  Unashamedly biased TV.  About damn time too.

And tonight, guess who is going to be on it.  Yes, assuming all goes well and that nothing changes between now and tonight: me.  As always with me, they were trying to get someone else, but got to me in a hurry and I said a simple yes.  I’ll be on from 9pm to 10pm, rambling about this and that, alongside various other people including Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.  (And yes, she is on tonight, apparently, rather than as originally billed here, on Thursday.)

Further to what I was saying the other day about the Age of Google, what a blessing the Internet is, when you get involved in things like this.  Until now, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was hardly more than a name to me, and not even a name that I knew how to spell.  After some failures, I finally worked out miss A-B’s spelling, and was quickly then able to learn more about her.  She is a Muslim, for instance, but of a rather unusual sort, the sort that follows the Agha Khan (and there goes another personage whom I would not previously have known how to spell), although how much notice she herself takes of the Agha Khan I don’t know.  Rather little, I suspect.  My point is, there’s a mine I could have trodden on this evening, big time.  I still will tread on various mines, I’m sure, but I have already stepped around one.  And the whole Muslim thing is going to come up because they want to talk about Jack Straw and the
Great Veil Debate.

This is just the kind of media stuff I have long wanted to do.  It was years ago that I stopped being the Libertarian Alliance pamphleteer and switched to blogging.  Ever since then, but with diminishing frequency, I have been rung up and asked to do media spots, mostly radio, which on the face of it are not that different from this one I’m doing tonight.  Except that they would want to introduce me as being from the Libertarian Alliance, often wrongly as still being the LA Editorial Director, rather than as any kind of mere blogger.  But I’ve done my bit as Mr Libertarian.  Legalising heroin, selling the roads, slashing the taxes.  It’s not that I disagree with any of what I said when wearing that hat.  I don’t.  Heroin should be legalised, the roads should be sold, and taxes should be slashed.  But, I don’t want that to be me, any more, as this blog surely illustrates.  I don’t want to have to be type-cast in order to get a part.  Tonight, I’m pretty sure, I won’t be, and my blogging will surely get some kind of mention.

With blogging, it immediately became possible for people like me to say exactly what we wanted, and not just to supply provocative little soundbites to add spice (i.e. interesting irrelevance) to the One Great Debate that the big TV and radio channels presided over, about just how much more The Government Should Be Doing.  At which point I stopped wanting to be on late night radio, waiting twenty minutes to have my two minutes worth, saying what they wanted me to say, every few weeks.  Well, now, the media are loosening up, and people like me can get nearly an hour of what I hope will be something resembling a real conversation.

While I was in the midst of shoving this posting up, I had a call from Gareth Furby (had to check his spelling as well) of the BBC.  “I’m trying to contact people who are campaigning against the Nanny State.” And I rather think it may not have been “contacted” but instead “round up”.  He certainly spoke in a brisk, rounding up kind of voice.  I am against the Nanny State.  But I gave him Sean Gabb‘s phone numbers, and left it at that.