Recently, I attended the 2015 annual general meeting of Liberty, the biggest organization promoting human rights in the UK. I’ve been a member of Liberty for about 12 years, and I’ve been to their last three annual general meetings.
Now, I’m a radical. That is, I like to delve into the roots of things, and the principles behind them. But politically, I am neither on the left nor the right. For some years, I have identified myself as a minarchist. That is, someone who wants only the minimal government necessary for civilized living. And I’ve consorted for more than 25 years with libertarians – that is, people who want to allow each individual the freedom to do the best he or she is capable of, and to enjoy his or her just rewards. Most of those people, I’ve learned over the years, seem to favour the political right over the left. But Liberty people tend to go the other way.
Normally, Liberty hold their AGM in London. But this year, it was in Manchester. So why did I go all that way from Surrey, where I live?
Well, there were several reasons. First, I wanted to touch bases with my left leaning liberty friends, particularly with an election coming up, and the prospect of repeal of the Human Rights Act if the tories get in. (Would they also repeal Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights, if they could?) Second, I love to explore. I’ve “collected” all the major British city centres except Belfast; and my last visit to Manchester was in 1977, since when it has changed a lot. And third, I find any excuse for a plane ride to be a good excuse. And every flight I take is one in the eye for the greenies.