“Wait for Us to Fail, Then Vote BNP!”
The Conservative Hidden Agenda?
By Sean Gabb
(28th April 2010)
Additional Comment, 13th August 2017: I have just found this while tidying up some of the older posts on my website. Except I assure you the conversation took place, and took place more or less as I describe it, the account is as bizarre and unlikely as anything I have written. I was unable to explain its meaning in my first comment, made a week before the 2010 General Election. More than a decade later, I am still scratching my head. Continue reading
Brexit: What Could It Mean?
Andy Duncan (Honorary Vice-President of Mises UK)
A Speech Delivered in May 2017 at the 5th Austrian School Conference of Mises Brasil
Today, I wish to discuss three related topics, how they fit together, and how we can use them to help create a freer world. These topics consist of historicism, the notion that historic destiny dominates free will; the original formation of ancient states, and what this tells us about modern states; and secession, and how this relates to Brexit and to other freedom movements around the world.
In Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’, in Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’, and most recently in Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, there exists a constant idea from the left that ‘history’ exists as a living entity outside the lives of men, women, and children. This concept, in a nutshell, forms historicism. Continue reading
It has been a fun time for proponents of independence and decentralization throughout the world. Most liberty conservatives that I’ve seen are struggling not to overdose on liberal tears in the wake of the historic Brexit vote. The great Nigel Farage, the iconoclastic Ron Paul-inspired leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), has quite the feather in his cap after being one of the primary orchestrators of this huge political blow against the European Union.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like we have anything to be nearly as excited over in jolly old America. Liberty conservatives have had their hopes dashed, for the most part, during the 2016 Presidential race. Of course, there are a good handful of liberty-minded folks who support Trump for President, supported Cruz for President, or went a different way this year. But I think it is fair to say that the lion’s share of liberty conservatives were firmly behind Rand Paul. His underwhelming campaign was like to a punch in the gut for those of us who had put our hopes into him. Continue reading
Note: This article, from Breitbart London, seems to support the view that the upcoming EU referendum will serve no useful purpose beyond exposing who is on our side and who is not. We will not leave the “European Union”, however fictitious an entity it may be, and all that it entails whether we vote to leave or to remain in. I wrote something on the issue in a similar vein on 24th February and Sean Gabb did so on 25th February. I do encourage our readers not to take the words of men like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Michael Howard, at face value. KM.
Writing in his column in the Mail on Sunday today, Peter Hitchens is perhaps the first non-Breitbart journalist to pick up on the fact that ‘Vote Leave‘ – run by Conservative Party figures Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliott – don’t really want to leave the European Union.
Breitbart London has covered this at length previously, with the reporting culminating in a Twitter spat between UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and Vote Leave spokesman Daniel Hannan whereby the former challenged the latter on the idea of a double referendum.
Note: I republish this for obvious reasons. Though I probably will vote to leave, now the referendum has been called, the questions I ask in the speech remain pertinent. SIG
National Sovereignty or EU Membership:
Which is the Least Bad Option?
Speech given in Bratislava on the 12th August 2014
to the Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS)
by Sean Gabb
It is a point of orthodoxy among British advocates of the free market that Britain should leave the European Union. This is an orthodoxy that, between 1999 and 2001, I did much to impose on the Conservative Party. It is, however, an orthodoxy that I no longer fully accept. I do accept that the freedom and prosperity I want for my country are incompatible with membership of the European Union. What I do not necessarily accept is that we should walk away at the earliest opportunity. There may, in the next few years, be a referendum on British membership of the European Union. If it happens, I am not sure how I shall vote in this. But, if it were to happen tomorrow, I know that I would vote against leaving. Continue reading
I am starting to agree with Sean Gabb that the EU issue has become a distraction. If I summarize Dr Gabb’s views rightly, he has eloquently explained how the EU institutions, including the European court, amount to a check on the UK government. In the absence of effective politics in the UK, this check is often the only way of limiting power grabs.
Plans to introduce minimum alcohol prices have been put on the back burner as they would conflict with EU law. Hardcore pornography is only available in the UK owing to the liberalizing effect of EU law. Although membership of the EU is inferior as a check on government to a full restoration of the Common Law, it is often better than nothing. Continue reading
I notice that much of our recent activity has concerned the UK Independence Party. I feel obliged, for the avoidance of doubt, to say the following:
1. People may post and comment on UKIP as much as they please. So far as this Blog is a congenial place to discuss UKIP, for or against, they are welcome to be here.
2. Several Officers of the LA are UKIP voters, and one of us is a paid-up member of UKIP. We have long been in the habit of regarding UKIP as the main libertarian voice in British politics, and I personally hope this will remain a reasonably well-justified habit.
3. Even so, the Libertarian Alliance is resolutely unaffiliated to any political party. This was so in the early days of Margaret Thatcher, when it seemed that the Conservative Party was in the position now taken by UKIP. It has remained so ever since. Nothing written on this Blog that may tend to endorse or to repudiate UKIP as a suitable party to support in any current or future election should be regarded as the official view of the Libertarian Alliance.
4. Indeed, if UKIP might perhaps be the party of choice for several Officers of the LA, one of us is a member of the Liberal Democrat Party: and I doubt whether I will vote UKIP next year.
Oh, and I will add that, for several years in the 1990s, our former Director, Chris R. Tame, was a member of the Labour Party. This may not have been for the same reasons as most other people join that rather strange party, but it is a matter of record. We are, and always have been, genuinely unaffiliated.
This statement being made, please feel at perfect liberty to continue your discussion.
Director of the Libertarian Alliance.