Monday, 24 August 2009

North West Monthly Meetups

I had a bit of a longish drive from Manchester to Carnforth (near Lancaster) yesterday, for the latest meetup of Libertarian Party members in the North West of England. Although it wasn't a very big group that met there yesterday, it's always good to meet fellow Libertarians.

While sampling the beer in the bar of the Royal Station Hotel, we had some constructive discussions on the subject of organisation, and especially how we're going to support Gregg Beaman's campaign as our candidate for the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency in the General Election.

We've also agreed to make Carnforth the venue of our regular monthly regional meetups on the last Sunday of each month, starting on the 27th September. These will be in the bar of the Royal Station Hotel (right across the road from the famous train station), starting about 12.30pm and finishing whenever people get bored or run out of beer money. The Royal Station Hotel is a nice boozer with friendly staff, and they serve really good food.

The meetups will be pretty informal. The North West branch of the Libertarian Party (which covers Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria) currently functions as a loose association of members in the region, but holding regular meetups is an important step towards becoming a properly constituted Branch with a constitution and elected officers. We also expect to start some campaigning activities in the near future.

As I said, these meetups are pretty informal at the moment, and they are not just open to Libertarian Party members. Anyone who is interested in living in a more liberal Britain and wants to see what we're about is welcome to come. So if you're within travelling distance of Carnforth on the last Sunday of every month (starting 27th September 2009), why not come and say hello? Free thinking people will always be welcome, and you may even decide you like us so much you want to join us!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Government CCTV cameras in UK homes.

American Libertarians like Jason Bermas are well and truly freaked out by the Daily Express story that the UK government is planning to put 20,000 CCTV cameras into the homes of families who have been sucked into the orbit of the all powerful Social Workers.

Weirdly though, Brits don't seem to care. Are we all too drunk to notice? Too much flouride in the drinking water perhaps? How did we get so passive and compliant in this country?

Total non-cooperation and non-compliance is the only sane and rational way to deal with Social Services.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

How did you know?

I was surprised to be invited to contribute to the North West Libertarians blog. Here am I, an established Muscovite. I haven't lived in the North West since I was a boy. Nonetheless, it's home. My wife and I have owned a house there for a few years now, which is our pied a terre in Britain. Family connections, deep behind Labour lines, are the reason the "New Labour" con has never fooled me. Visiting our families is what keeps me in touch with the relentless loss of liberties in recent years.

Every time I visit, the border police at Manchester Airport are just a tad more surly and insolent, as are all the "public servants" who now see themselves as our true masters. If I had never met a "tip Nazi", I would not have believed how arrogant the humblest public servants have become.

For my first post, all I want to say is this. I am delighted there are libertarians there at all. When I was growing up, most political dissidents from Labour were to that party's left. The local Tories were a dispirited (not to mention, statist and paternalistic) bunch. Growing up there in the 60s and 70s I never met a North Westerner who didn't believe in the benevolence of the state. I am sure there must have been some, but they were probably keeping their heads down. Well they might. On the night of Margaret Thatcher's first general election victory, my dad and I stood at the bar of our "local", as one neighbour said to another,
"How can she have won? I've never even met a ****ing Tory!"
I remember the Labour councillor who ran the local newsagents smugly smirking as he said to his wife about me; "look how big and strong these lads grow up under the Welfare State". I pointed out, to his annoyance, that my grandad was as tall, though born before Labour was founded, still less the Welfare State. I am sure his faith was entirely unshaken. His main reaction was shock that anyone should say such a scandalous thing.

You truly live behind enemy lines. I salute you!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Peter Schiff's "Crash Proof" is now on scribd.

Of all the basic free-to-download economics books that I would recommend to the lay reader, this one is at the top of my list.

It is important to remember that this book was written in 2006 and published in 2007. Explaining anything with the benefit of hindsight is easy. Laying out the future is more difficult.

The author is long on clarity/common sense and short on jargon and verbiage. Although the title suggests an investment guide, only the last few chapters give specific advice on stocks, bonds, commodities, etc. The bulk of the book outlines why our post-industrial "service economy" is a giant fraud.