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A chance to wake up to liberalism

January 12th, 2011 Posted in freedom, Liberal Democrats, UK Politics by

Nick Clegg is worried about ‘alarm clock Britain‘: those people who get up early, worry about their standard of living and are on low to middle incomes. He has asked David Laws to look at a range of policy options that will address the needs of this group.

As Deputy Prime Minister, Clegg faces many challenges. He has to keep the coalition going, keep his party onside, implement government policy and find the time to carve out a policy space for the party that is attractive enough to gain electoral support come 2015. Needless to say, Liberal Vision has a few ideas about what those policies might look like. But it is clear from Clegg’s speeches, and actions, that he is not pursuing a classical liberal path. He might be closer to classical liberalism than other recent leaders but the last few years have seen him weave a modern liberal narrative that combines classical, economic and social liberalism.

With Laws overseeing the policy development we are likely to see innovative and radical ideas emerge that focus on not only helping people but making sure they have more control over their lives.

One area that Clegg has flagged is renting accommodation in the private sector. We have seen a lot of attempts by government to improve the housing system. Clearly, there are many challenges in terms of affordability and availability of housing stock. If classical liberals aren’t going to get all their own way over the policy, it would be nice if Laws and Clegg pondered the suggestion by Jock Coats and applied some ‘rigorous liberalism‘. This involves stepping back and asking what government rules and regulations further complicate the problem and then removing them instead of sticking another set on top. The aim is to free people so that they can voluntarily work together and find solutions that sometimes are out of the reach of government.

Adopting this approach might mean that people find that when their alarm clock shakes them from their slumber, they wake up to liberalism.

One Response to “A chance to wake up to liberalism”

  1. Jock Says:

    Thanks for the link, Simon. By the way, I haven’t forgotten about writing some legal stuff.