Saturday, 10 December 2011

North West Libertarians December Meetup

For those who haven't seen the notice on Facebook, there will be an informal meetup of libertarians in the Kro2 Bar, Oxford Road, Manchester on Sunday 11th December, starting about 1.00pm. This will be the last North West libertarian meetup of 2011, but hopefully not the last one ever.

This has been a bad year for the Libertarian Party. For those who aren't aware of what's been going on, a few months ago the Party's assets – mainly the bank account and membership records – fell into the hands of a small unelected group who have refused to hand these records over to the legitimate National Coordinating Committee. This group is headed by the former Treasurer, who failed to hand over the financial records to the incoming Treasurer. The former Treasurer had been elected Leader at last year's AGM, but later resigned following allegations of misconduct. Unfortunately he failed to register this fact with the Electoral Commission, for reasons which I can only speculate about, and gathered a group of his chronies about him to take control of the Party. In flagrant breach of the Party constitution, they have also failed to hold an AGM this year – I can only assume that this is because they don't want to face any awkward questions from the membership. At one point, they even tried to de-register the Party, but failed because they needed the cooperation of one member of the legitimate NCC, who naturally refused to do this. The situation at the moment is that, although the Libertarian Party still exists as a legal entity, there is no organisation and no internal communication.

Some people have said that this proves that a Libertarian Party is not a practical proposition. I disagree. Other countries have thriving Libertarian Parties, I see no reason for Britain to be different. The way I see it, the real problem is that we didn't give enough thought to how we should be organised when we were first setting up. There was never any real support for local activism. There was also not enough oversight of the leadership's activities. These are lessons we can learn from in the future. Because I believe that there is a place for an effective Libertarian Party in this country. It could be that the current party will end up being de-registered, in which case the way will be open for a group of ex-members with honest intentions to set up a successor organisation. Or maybe the cabal who have siezed control of our party will see sense and step aside.

Either way, a Libertarian Party of some kind will rise from the ashes.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Some useful Blogs

As it's gone quiet on here recently. I thought it would be useful to point our readers in the direction of some blogs by current and former LPUK members

Libertarian Party -

Thoughts on Morality - Rational Anarchist -

Anna Raccoon -

Stuart Heal's Sell a Man a Fishing Rod -

Take care,


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Let's expose another statist lie...

So Cigarettes and alcohol go up again in the budget - in tobacco's case a whopping 7% rise means paying £7 for a deck of 20 is a not unusual occurrence in the shops. Of course, our paternal big brother who always knows best has been telling us for years that this is to offset the costs to the precious 'sacred cow' of the NHS in terms of liver failure, lung cancer and what have you. However, I distinctly remember a buget 10 years ago where the price of cigarettes went up to around £4 for 20 when we were told the increased duty would pay for these expenses. Makes you wonder why the state never got off the escalator. The suspicion that the real intent was of course to change people's behaviour is clear, and there was just the faintest hint of his before the budget when Dave boasted about the reduction in the number of smokers nationally. It is of course no business of the state to use taxation to change a person's lawful behaviour patterns, and part of me wishes a government would actually have the balls to follow through its statist instincts and propose banning tobacco and alcoholic drink of all kinds. Then we could finally have an honest discussion about the kind of country we want to live in. Meanwhile, here's one for all those with private medical insurance - as your filthy drinking and smoking habits cost the NHS the square root of nothing, keep all your receipts for cigarettes, whiskey whatever and at the end of the financial year, write to your local HMRC asking for some kind of rebate. After all, it's your medical insurance, paid for out of your own pocket that is picking up the tab. £20 says their reply will be an admission that the it was never about money it was about behaviour control. Wouldn't it be nice to see the bullies and control freaks being honest with us about their agenda for once?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Debating AV

Here's a recent televised debate between the Establishment politician Margaret Beckett and Jonathan Bartley, who heads the campaign group "Yes to Fairer Votes". Personally I think Mr Bartley got the upper hand in this debate, but you make your own mind up:

On 5th May, we're all going to get the chance to vote for or against the introduction of the Alternative Vote system (AV), a seemingly small but significant change to the existing First Past The Post (FPTP) system. The difference with AV is that you number the candidates in order of preference, so you put 1 next to the guy you want to elect, 2 next to your second choice and so on. If your first choice doesn't get enough votes to be elected, then he's eliminated and your vote gets transferred to your second choice. This should eliminate the problem of tactical voting - instead of voting for whoever you think has the best chance of beating the guy you really don't want to get in, regardless of whether you like them or not, you can give your first preference to your favoured candidate without fear of your vote being wasted.

Although it's not a proportional system, it's an improvement on the current one. Not only will it eliminate wasted votes, it should also give a clearer picture of what kind of government the electorate actually want. The Libertarian Party supports this proposed reform, as do a broad range of other minority parties. Funnily enough, it's less popular with Establishment politicians, who seem to be generally happy with the system that got them elected (very often on small minorities).

5th May is going to be an opportunity to introduce a beneficial constitutional reform and give us, the general public, a bit more say in how this country is run. Don't miss the chance to vote Yes to fairer votes.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year from the Libertarian Party

The North West branch of the Libertarian Party would like to wish everyone a peaceful and prosperous new year.

It's true that the country is still in a bad economic situation, and will be for some time (at least in my opinion), but things can change for the better - it's just taking longer for us to recover from the recession than it should do, but even the most misguided economic policies can't completely stifle the entrepreneurial spirit.

2010 wasn't a bad year for the Libertarian Party. For the first time since our formation in late 2007, we fielded four candidates for election at the same time - two in the General Election and two in the local elections. No big breakthroughs yet, but you don't just set up a new party and get swept to power overnight. Every election we fight, we'll get better at it and we'll get better known, so watch out for us in this year's local elections.