On Monday, George Osborne set out his vision for Britain. Much of the commentary has focused on his political cross dressing. But there was something else going on in the speech. Osborne talked about how Britain has progressed. It was a Whig view of history. If Osborne becomes Prime Minister, we may see a more Whiggish government in operation. But if that is to happen he will need to deal with Theresa May’s view of immigration.Tags: Whig
Whatever else that is said about Jeremy Corbyn, no one would claim he is a liberal. As he attempts to move the Labour party to the far-Left and the Conservative party moves further towards the centre Left, it is a perfect opportunity for a party to make the liberal case for policies that would allow people to run their lives through a free market, limited government and a safety net that catches people from falling into destitution without trapping them into poverty. A party like that would be robust in its liberalism, making it clear that markets create wealth and stops government interfering where it shouldn’t. If only a party like that existed…
Transport for London (TfL) has launched a consultation on private hire regulations. The consultation sets out proposals to regulate private cars and apps that allow customers to book a vehicle. TfL has said this is not an attack on Uber. Putting that argument to one side, it is certainly an attack on the free market as the proposals would force companies to adopt certain business models.
Anyone can respond. If you support a free market then it is worth spending the time answering the questionnaire and setting out your objections to some absurd regulatory suggestions such as having to wait for five minutes after booking a cab even if the car is nearby and can be there within a minute or so.
The consultation is here.
It’s only a matter time before one government or the next has no other option but liberalise planning regulations so that more housing can be built. The problems of the UK housing market is not a consequence of foreign buyers or immigration. Even with both of these factors there still wouldn’t have been enough housing. It is pure government failure.
For too long, housing policy has been made on a false assumption that we are running out of green space when only 2% of this country is built on. Initially these regulations were designed to protect the countryside and prevent urban sprawl. Instead the government has pushed commuters further into the countryside.
The government failure of housing regulation was designed to prevent a future *possible* market failure… Government regulation designed to stop something that may never have happened. Real government failure has occured in the name of fending off imagined market failure and a whole generation of Britons will suffer because of policy based on a misconception.
Everyone seems to have liked Tim Farron’s speech. Sorry to be contrarian but I did not…
I fear Isabel Hardman has made some legitimate points in this op-ed. Here are the quotes she picked from his speech:
“A Labourite is someone who feels profoundly misanthropic and dismisses all apparent acts of altruism as ultimately selfish. They believe some people aren’t worth very much and that it’s best to have a jolly good scrap at every opportunity.”
“If you love blaming people and shattering relationships. If you say Britain is best when Britain is splitting up. Then guess what. You’re a Tory!”
‘A liberal is someone who looks for the best in people, not the worst. We believe everyone is of equal value and that people always achieve more together than they do when they are at each other’s throats.’
‘If you reject the politics of blame and separation. If you say Britain is best when Britain is together.
‘If you say Britain is best when it is outward looking, modern and inclusive. Then guess what. You’re a liberal. Embrace that diagnosis. It is an utterly decent and British condition.’
Basically – everything *good* is Liberal and everything *bad* is Labour and/or Tory.
Unfortunately, what undermines the whole underlying assumption of this speech are that there are things Liberalism is and things that Liberalism simply is not.
But worse than that is the fact that Tim Farron (or his speechwriters) do not understand why people vote for parties other than the LibDems. Nobody goes into the into the voting booth and says: “Well, I’m a heartless cunt who loves shattering relationships so I’ll vote Tory!” It’s incredibly patronising to voters. Almost as patronising as: “You’ve been brainwashed by Rupert Murdoch, you feckless sheep.”
It’s the type of thinking that leads us to this shit…
Nobody votes for a party despite the fact that they think they are brainless and/or heartless. If you want to run a successful campaign I strongly recommend not insulting the people you’re trying to win over and consider that they have positive reasons for doing what they do.
Since May the LibDem ‘resurection’ has had a very strange tone. #LibDemFightback? Against whom? It seems to be a fightback against the electorate.
The LibDems should be humbling themselves before the people and taking some time to think about why the electorate don’t trust the LibDems or simply think them irrelevant.
But instead they have taken little responsibility for their election devastation and are still working on assumptions that have been wholly invalidated.
It may also be worth considering why so many people who consider themselves Liberal, don’t automatically think their natural home is in the LibDems. Being for everything good and against everything bad makes you a lot of things but ‘distinct’ isn’t one of them.
Recent Blog Posts
- George Osborne reveals his Whiggish side
- A liberal opportunity that will be wasted
- Uber under attack?
- Housing Crisis Is Pure Government Failure
- Farron’s Speech Prove The LibDems Haven’t Changed
- When It Comes To Political Style, “Authentic” Is A Bad Idea
- Things That Are Not Going To Happen (SDP Edition)
- The Illiberal Left
- Politics Has Destroyed Your Soul (Mine Too)
- Does Britain need a Liberal Movement?
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