I wandered up to a pub in the shadow of the motherfucker of all parliaments last night.
While state-paid policy wonks, and glammed-up secretaries from Chelmsford and Croydon happily indulged in much of what the government would prefer we didn't do, inside and outside the ground floor, upstairs a small reactionary enclave of heretics were discussing something now deemed rather abhorrent by the leaders of a free country.
Freedom of individual choice.
The event was the London launch of a book, authored by ex-MSP Brian Monteith, on the replacement of the Nanny State with the more sinister 'Bully State'.
To anyone who actually possesses a brain, rather than merely being fodder for the neuro-linguistic shenanigans of the righteous, the revelations within shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but Monteith does conclude in an upbeat manner, as the synopsis hints at.
Everyone has heard of the nanny state. Many object to its pervasive influence in our daily lives, some reluctantly conclude that nanny really has our best interests at heart, while others work feverishly to extend nanny's influence.
That was then, this is now. Nanny has been dismissed, sent packing. Nanny has been replaced by the bully.
Unlike nanny, the bully state is not content to allow people to enjoy their hard-fought liberties while pointing out the choices it would prefer us to make. Today, the state goes to increasing lengths to enter into our private domain. Our homes are no longer our castles as the state seeks to dictate our behaviour with intimidation and threats, backed up by severe penalties, the threat of a criminal record, or the loss of one's livelihood.
Brian Monteith, a former member of the Scottish parliament, reveals how the nanny state came to be and why, dissatisfied with our stubborn resistance to her pleas to change our behaviour, the bully state has been brought in to enforce a stricter code of conduct.
Despite this, Monteith remains optimistic, explaining how we can beat the bullies and remain free to enjoy our liberties.
And a good read it is too. It will anger you, of that there is no doubt, but don't let that put you off. I'm sure if you've found this blog you're probably rather hacked off already.
When I finally sidled my way past the civil service 'suits', still blithely ignoring the soon-to-be statutory alcohol limits which their dim employers continue to parrot, at 10pm, book safely tucked under my arm, I felt happier that there is still a faint beating of a libertarian heart underneath all the execrable crap we are forced to stomach on a daily basis.
I started reading it on the journey back, while simultaneously testing the theory that tube seat occupancy faithfully replicates that of urinal choice protocol in gents' public 'conveniences'. The conclusion was that there is a direct correlation.
I finished the book today and all I can say is - buy it here, read it, and lend it to as many friends as you can (just don't tell the author I said that last bit).