To the question of whether Europeans owe anything to Britain the answer, I agree, is most certainly yes. As to whether Britons owe anything to Continental Europeans, the answer is surely an even more resounding yes. That is not to attenuate Britain’s enormous contributions or even to deny that she punches well above her weight but, instead, to give due credit to those other contributors of Western Civilization who are, together, far weightier. I can assure David that the Dutch do not thank Britain for capitalism, nor are Greeks likely to do so for democracy, or Germans for the automobile. To claim that Europe’s prosperity was built on a British foundation one would have to claim that the comparative successes of Renaissance Italy, the Hanseatic League, the free Imperial Cities of Germany, or seventeenth century Netherlands could somehow be traced to Britain. They cannot and yet those are the very foundations of the respective prosperities in those lands. Indeed, those countries in Europe with many of the strongest historical ties to Britain, such as Ireland, Portugal, Malta and a range of Greek islands are conspicuous for their lack of prosperity. Suffice to say that the ledger of give and take is not without dispute. Read more
By D. J. Webb
NB – This essay does not constitute an endorsement or condemnation by the Libertarian Alliance of any candidate in the present General Election. SIG
I wrote on this topic recently, but have more to say as the topic is fast-moving. Do Europeans owe anything to Britain? That’s an important question. In the Second World War, Winston Churchill made clear that the war was being fought for the freedom of all European countries, and not for imperial conquest. In his “Finest Hour” speech to the House of Commons on June 18th 1940, he said: Read more
By D. J. Webb
Europe is simultaneously the greatest centre of world culture and civilization and a troubled continent characterized by numerous rival middling powers. This is the history of Europe and explains Europe’s foolish self-neutering in the First and Second World Wars even as the continent was at its peak in terms of geopolitical power. The Libertarian Alliance has carried numerous articles from a broadly culturally/civilizationally pro-European perspective, as is appropriate for the continent whose culture and history forms the basis for political and economic notions of liberty anywhere in the globe. While agreeing with that perspective, it is difficult not to descry the gathering tensions in Europe that suggest that old rivalries are becoming a problem again. The greatest nations squabble among themselves: is this how Western civilization itself comes to an end, destroyed from within and not from without? Read more
The common feature of the coalition of voters which came together to support Brexit is that we all want democracy in some form or another. It’s a state of mind. We each have radically different ideas of what ‘democracy’ actually is. Some of us, including other Libertarian Alliance sympathisers, see the other’s definition of ‘democracy’ as ‘fascism and dictatorship’. Others as ‘corporatism or communism’. Yet others, as poimntless ineffective liberalism. Read more
We have had the four days of the Supreme Court hearing which is now over and the judges will not issue their written verdict until the New Year.
It has been four days of extreme tedium, full of highly-paid briefs over-egging the pudding with too many examples to prove a particular point, much irrelevant argument, a huge amount of referring to batch that and manuscript number this with frequent inability of all eleven judges being able to find the relevant document, and shameless toadying by the presenting lawyers with frequent references to cases that one or the other of the Supreme Court judges had presided over. Read more
By Julian Rose
One knows to be on one’s guard immediately one hears that the USA and European Union are negotiating some ‘big deal’ on transatlantic trade. Sure, big deal – in trading terms – typically means big power, big money and big mess. But when one also hears that it’s all being done in secret, then one has to add ‘big scam’ too.
The designers of the trade agreements claim that they will bring greater GDP and more jobs at both ends; a view which has been widely challenged by those likely to be on the receiving end. Read more
I’ve just returned home from a journey. It was one of the best journeys of my life. Planes, trains and automobiles carried me to the end of Europe; and back. Except for the last mile. But that’s a story in itself.