Staines sells out Snowdon?

The successful Westminster news blog founded by libertarian old-hand and pamphleteer Paul Staines has carried a paid-post portraying reliable lifestyle-libertarian Chris Snowdon as a blood sucking vampire. The no-holds-barred attack comes across laughably as it attempts to trick us into a misprounciation and paint Snowdon as paid shill for gambling interests:

Christopher “Silly Count” Snowdon writes for the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) which purports to be a libertarian think-tank. However, it usually “thinks” the same as the business sectors which fund it

Guy Herbert, No2ID remarked that the article shows a conspiracy mindset in which “No-one disagrees with the righteous honestly, only as paid servants of evil.”

The article goes onto to provide a definition of the nanny state (“an empowered regulator”) while attempting to label it as the opposite:

It is not “nanny-state” to require sensible enforcement by an empowered regulator of sensible gambling regulations. Gambling should never be regarded as a “free-market” issue.

Reactions were mixed. Some agreed and disagreed with the thrust of the article – supporting regulation of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. Other’s were dismissive:

Sponsored content accusing someone of… sponsored content. Couldn’t make it up. – Prez

A minority of frothy-mouthed left wing nutjobs really has it in for [Chris Snowdon] – Gaz Corfield

Paul Nižinskyj of Conservatives for Liberty expressed concern:

It’s a shame Guido don’t realise how much damage this does to their credibility. My respect for them has gone through the floor.

To which Guido replied:

On the other hand I have replenished my cellar…

Snowdon, however, takes it well:

If they can only get their warped message out by paying for space on a libertarian blog then good luck to them!

Overall, it seems this post is unlikely to persuade anyone, and Guido is a good person to waste nanny’s money on. What is important is that everyone is still getting along fine.


  1. We’re a for-profit publication. An advertisement is not an endorsement. If I only took adverts from campaigns I agreed with the business would not be viable.

    Chris knows we’re on the same side. The argument made in the paid content was patently illogical.



  2. Gambling is (not is not) a free market issue.

    That does not mean I like seeing all the gambling establishments in my home town of Kettering – I hate it, but I have no right to destroy these places of business (and neither should the state).

    As for government licensing – there already is government licensing and it does not seem to achieve anything (other than forming a cartel).



  3. When I first saw this link, I thought that there was a Putin angle…. I now know who Chris Snowdon is, and realised I had forgotten the spelling of the other chap’s surname. Ah me, clickbait…

    However, if people wish to pay libertarians to carry nonsense, and they wish to do it, let us rejoice that fools and their money are soon parted.

    And it may say something good about him that someone thinks it worthwhile attacking Mr Snowdon in what any normal person would surely regard in an absurd and laughable manner.



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