Dear fellow libertarian,
I resigned from UKIP on Tuesday and joined the UK Libertarian Party four days later. As far as I am concerned, I switched labels but remained true to my beliefs – for UKIP has left me, not the other way around.
In its constitution in 2010, UKIP declares itself a libertarian party. That constitution is still in force. However, you would not know it from a UKIP leader advocating state ownership and control – which has to be paid for with higher taxes – and attacking an entire religion as if everyone who believes in it is the same. How can hundreds of millions of people all be regarded as identical in their beliefs – subscribing to what he calls a ‘death cult’? That is absurd.
Therefore, I decided I had to switch to a real libertarian party, which fits principles held my entire adult life. Where to go?
In my office are photos of Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. If the Conservative Party was remotely the party of these political giants, I might still be in it. But we, the electorate, face a choice between Corbynite Marxism and pastel pink Maybot social democracy also advocating more regulation and taxation – but just not as much as Corbyn.
Yes, the Maybot pays lip-service to the power of free markets but of actual policies to support this or which might reduce the tax burden, nyet, zilch, nada, nothing.
As for the liberals: please explain to me how a party of protection, big-business corporatism and the big-regulation ‘super-state’ that is the EU can possibly deserve the moniker ‘liberal’? John Stuart Mill would be turning in his grave.
the Libertarian party is currently small, though they did get about 150 people to their annual conference in Milton Keynes on a cold, wet Saturday. There I heard clear thinking. They actually want to increase individual freedom, widen personal choice, allow you to keep more of your own money and stop the state saying ‘you can’t do that’ and ‘you must do this’.
Their goals are mine:
we must treat people as individuals, not bury them in a label which they themselves may reject;
we must extend individual choice and freedom;
we must try to allow people to keep more of their own money.
It is remarkable that all the fastest growing states have about 20% of their expenditure taken by the state. In the most sclerotic, the basket-cases, it rises to 70 or 80%. Social democracy splits the differences at about 40-50% and has a growth rate mid-way between the two.
But there is something else: liberal largesse tries to give to everyone on the grounds of non-discrimination. As a result, it creates massive unintended consequences and perverse incentives. These draw people from the Marxist concentration camp ‘shit-holes’ of the world, thus creating a burden which can never be met.
And it puts our western democratic values of decency, tolerance, freedom, individualism, and equality before the law at risk too.
So, I have made my decision.
I have joined a party which may be small but stands for what I have always stood for – and which I believe Thatcher and Churchill stood for too.
Small, yes, but part of a growing movement which in this century will, I believe, come of age.
There is a spectre haunting the political classes, the spoilt elites, the self-serving ranks of big business, big labour and big government. It is the spectre of libertarianism. We are determined to be to the 21st century what socialism was to the 19th.
Please do join us in our mission to make the world a better place – to work out practical policies to deliver freedom, prosperity and peace – and thus to add to the sum of human happiness as much as government can – which is a lot less than Marxists and Social Democrats would have you believe.
Come on in, the water’s lovely.
Bill Etheridge MEP Deputy Chair Libertarian Party