I thought the whole idea of a blog was to get feedback - I would think calling his website (because that is effectively all it is) norm'blog', is breaking some sort of trades description act.
But apart from all that, what sort of libertarian democrat would deny people a voice?
He has written many posts attacking the current smoking ban and this for me is something that sums up his type of libertarianism.
It is a 'market is supreme and sod the rest' libertarianism, which of course ignores the fact that markets are usually unfairly distorted and that people with money have more liberty than those who don't.
To bring the smoking ban down to civil liberties, to me seems absurd. There are surely liberties on both sides and the inconvenience to non-smokers for many years has been far worse than the present minor inconvenience to smokers. Smokers have done well - non-smokers have put up with the intolerable for far too long.
People say non-smokers had a choice - but tell me where I could find a non-smoking pub before the ban - there were none. There was clearly something inherent in the market preventing this choice for non-smokers (and the 91% support for the smoking ban demonstrates there must have been a demand there). What of course was happening was that owners of pubs (whatever their true feelings on the subject) were effectively forced to allow smoking to remain in business - this is not a proper choice. Most people go to pubs in groups that include at least one smoker and it would have meant effectively ostracising their smoking addicted friends - socially this was very very difficult. There were all sorts of pressures like this and a 10% drop in takings was more than any pub owner could take unilaterally. Across the board there should have been some non-smoking pubs but in practise there were effectively none. When the market breaks down like this - in a democracy the government should step in.
For those like Norman who cling to their mythical principle of 'market liberty', a liberty that doesn't exist in practise, they find this anathema. But they are wrong.
I always instinctively recoil at people like Norman who call themselves Marxists (it probably is my Tory childhood coming through). I have usually found them quite intolerant and bullying sort of people - of course there are exceptions (as an aside Chris Dillow is one of my favourite blogs and I understand the point he was trying to make about liberty and justice even if Norman didn't.
Norman and other market libertarians have this 'holier than thou' approach that really grates my sensibilities. The sooner they get over themselves and realise the market needs regulating to truly protect liberties (and in Norm's case also allow comments on their site) the better for all of us.
Although Norm opposes the ban - he is right on one thing - once we accept the ban is correct, as 91% of us do, then it is also intolerable not to protect children in the home from smoke. Oh! I can see the libertarian smoke coming out of their ears right now (or is that their mouth).