Some thoughts on the Libertarian Party manifesto 2017


To be found at https://libertarianpartyuk.com/manifesto-2017/

General

  1. The focus is medium term; on things like “the constitution,” an English parliament, procedures for complaints against government officials, and Swiss style referendums. Not bad ideas in themselves, but I don’t feel they are addressing today’s issues.
  2. The word “state” is given a capital S throughout. It doesn’t deserve one.
  3. I feel there is too much emphasis on matters military, and too much kindness towards military people.

Broadly agreed, at least in principle…

Free trade without the EU (page 2). Comprehensive list of rights (page 4). Getting rid of the house of lords (page 4). Armed neutrality (page 5) – my name for it is “friendly but watchful.” Short term points based immigration and long term open borders (page 7). Simplification of laws and regular review/sunset clauses (page 9). Restoring of Peelian principles for police (page 10). Most of the “furthermores” on the rule of law (pages 11-12). De-politicization of “national insurance” (page 13). Huge reduction and simplification of taxation (page 15) – though I’m not sure the specific measures here will fly. De-politicization and secularization of education (page 17).

Specific comments

  1. I would have liked to see the word “Re-claim” on the cover, against each of the three headings “your life,” “your country,” “your liberty.”
  2. Page 2 – “our” national debt. Disagree. It isn’t my national debt. It’s the state’s debt. And if the state can’t pay it, the state has to go.
  3. Page 3 – the state as an “unfeeling, unresponsive animal.” I think this grossly understates the case. “Predatory, criminal gang” would have been better.
  4. I don’t understand the last point on page 4.
  5. Page 5 – there is a seeming contradiction between defence as “the only legitimate role of the state” and “one of the few legitimate reasons for the state to exist.”
  6. Page 12 – the idea of elected magistrates, I think, is not a good one. Magistrates must always be impartial, never politicized.

Some things I would have liked to have seen, but didn’t…

  1. The idea of Justice – as contrasted with “social justice,” “environmental justice” and other such.
  2. Individual responsibility and accountability – particularly for effects of policies promoted or supported.
  3. Small, unintrusive, decentralized government, acting with honesty and transparency.
  4. Eliminating the re-distributive, confiscatory and social engineering elements from taxation.
  5. “Climate change” policies, the green agenda, the anti-car agenda – all things to be fought against.
  6. Ending the surveillance state.

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