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Je Suis Germaine

By Sara Scarlett
October 25th, 2015 at 6:19 am | 7 Comments | Posted in Equality, freedom

I don’t quite know what happened last week but, one morning, Germaine Greer was the philosophical mother of all Women and Equality Officers in every Student Union across the country and by the evening she was the Abu Hamza of the progressive intelligentsia for not holding the ‘right views.’

The way we live now.

For those of you who don’t know, a petition against Germaine Greer giving a lecture at the University of Cardiff has been started on the basis that she has previously expressed views on transgender women that some people find offensive. It is also worthwhile to note that the lecture she was due to give is on a completely different subject.

I disagree with Germaine Greer on so much I couldn’t write a single blog post on it. I am, however, glad she’s held her ground.

This follows a distrubing trend of only those deemed ‘politically correct’ being allowed to speak at University events. The rate it’s going Laurie Penny and Owen Jones will be the only social commentators deemed fit to address the ‘safe zones’ – perish the thought! What annoys me most, however, is that Germaine Greer is an academic, not a politician nor a hate-preacher, but an actual academic.  If academics with challenging views aren’t allowed to speak at Universities why bother having Universities at all?

Perhaps we should be delighted that Universities are making themselves obsolete. They’ve become Victorian parlour rooms where one must not speak of indelicate things lest the Womens’ Officer gets the Vapours…


Scepticism: an underrated liberal value

By Alex Chatham
October 8th, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Comments Off on Scepticism: an underrated liberal value | Posted in Environment, Liberal Philosophy

Scepticism has always been one of liberalism’s most important values. These days it seems rather forgotten or underrated. It is important because questioning accepting wisdom helps get at the truth. Liberals are also sceptical about power. That means they don’t naturally trust governments or those who want to exercise authority over others. Questioning accepted wisdom means rejecting a view simply because many people hold it.

These days it seems that many of the political class go with accepted wisdom and tend to think the State can sort most problems out. A healthy bit of scepticism in the current climate is what is needed more than ever.


George Osborne reveals his Whiggish side

By Alex Chatham
October 7th, 2015 at 10:00 am | Comments Off on George Osborne reveals his Whiggish side | Posted in Conservatives

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.


A liberal opportunity that will be wasted

By Alex Chatham
October 2nd, 2015 at 3:30 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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…

Uber under attack?

By Alex Chatham
October 1st, 2015 at 10:00 am | Comments Off on Uber under attack? | Posted in Uncategorized

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.