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‘Libertarian’ Liberal Democrat Leaflet Being Distributed in London

By Ed Joyce
June 2nd, 2009 at 11:53 pm | 7 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

I recieved a Liberal Democrat leaflet through my door in the last few days promising

* Ending jail sentences for drug possession and legalising the growth and sale of cannabis

* Refusing to rule out cuts to the NHS

* Cutting tax credits and abolishing the Child Trust Fund

and a number of other policies all aimed at restoring a sense of personal responsibility for the individuals actions and ending the draconian punishment of victimless crimes. I was impressed with this because I thought that we might have a leaflet proposing a consistent set of policies. The professionally produced effort was one of the better looking ones I had seen from the party for some time.

It was only a close reading that revealed that this leaflet was being distributed by the Labour Party.

In addition to the obvious dislike of negative campaigning, I think Labour may have shot themselves in the foot with this leaflet. The mood of the country seems to be against the Labour policies of tax and spend and more closely aligned to the low tax agenda that was passed at conference and which is the prevailing view on this forum.

Lib Dem Leaflet

Lib Dem Leaflet


The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions. – Alfred Lord Tennyson

By Ed Joyce
May 23rd, 2009 at 9:34 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

As a strong libertarian I wanted to post a libertarian counter to Julians post on liberal revolution which was referred to in this site. I believe that we need to be very careful as libertarians how we deal with issues such as prosititution, lap dancing, and pornography, and also how we deal with the wider issues of sexuality where it appears that we as libertarians spend most of our efforts looking at the needs of individuals rather the couples.

Last Saturday I was talking to a woman in a club. She was educated and articulate and worked in a situation where she was in a position of power. This was necessary for her to pay her mortgage. She needed release from that in the form of physical punishment from her partner. She wished this to be in public and not in token. Since the Spanner case

this is now illegal. [The Spanner case was where sexual acts were given equivalence with bare knuckling fighting and long prison sentances were issued] What is the partner of this woman who loves her deeply to do in this situation. Is he to deny her and risk losing her or risk jail ? I argued with Ziggy saying that I would not go to jail for an ID card but what about fulfilling the sexual needs of someone that you love ? The importance of id cards surely pales in importance to this.

The high levels of risk that have been introduced by government legislation have led to an increased requirement for commitment between couples who need this kind of power exchange. You don’t need to be a psychologist to realised that the amount of pain recieved in a sexual act is utterly irrelevant for many couples if it leads to the happiness of the partner. The feeling of commitment which is felt by couples knowingly breaking the law for the sexual pleasure of one or both parties only warms up the heated ocean which creates this hurricane in the first place.

We need to be careful to focus on the freedom of human sexual relations which are necessary to individuals within relationships. Personally I think that its a pity that men feel the need to visit prostitutes. From the men I know who do this, which are obviously legion like all men reading this I guess, I believe that the money would be better spent on flowers for their partner (80% of them had partners) or drinks in a nightclub.

We must not allow other groups to seize the ‘high ground’ on issues of sexuality and we must target our energy on those areas which enhance relationships between couples and not on those that serve the selfish needs of the individual. We must focus our efforts on the needs of loving couples such as those jailed by Spanner and not bogged down in issues of commercialised sex while the freedom of couples to express their human need is denied. This is why I believe that Spanner related legislation is a better target for libertarians than prostitution.

Ed Joyce

W(h)ither the Libertarian Party ?

By Ed Joyce
May 21st, 2009 at 7:51 am | 17 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

We have not heard much from the Libertarian Party (LPUK) in the last few months. I had to suspend my ‘Libertarian Party Credibility Index’ on the Open Liberty Alliance at 5/100 after they were removed from Wikipedia having failed to stand even a single candidate in even a local election. I had wondered if the LPUK would simply wither on the vine however this may be premature since the announcement that Andrew Hunt will be standing as their (I understand sole) candidate in the upcoming national elections where he is standing in the ward of Wisbech South. It has to be good for the political process that there are parties to represent a variety of views and this will give an opportunity to see if there is any appetite for the LPUK.

There remains a big question mark as to whether the Libertarian Party is the right place for even a Libertarian voter. We have an opportunity to point out to libertarians in Wisbech South that the right place for their vote is in the party of John Stuart Mill, Cobden, and Bright. The party that created many of the ideas that they hold dear; not in the confused policies of the Libertarian Party. This is the party that appeared to propose eliminating income tax without calculating into their figures the fact that corporation tax revenues would fall as more corporate profits were paid out as tax free salaries. I suspect that by standing against UKIP, another libertarian orientated party with some similar policies, they may fare poorly but the result will make interesting reading.

Tariff Reform Will Tax Poor Men’s Cupboards to Save Rich Men’s Pockets

By Ed Joyce
May 15th, 2009 at 10:03 pm | 12 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

The slogan “Tariff Reform Will Tax Poor Mens Cupboards to Save Rich Mens Pockets”, was adopted by liberals of the distant past, but it remains just as true in today as it was then. 15th May is the anniversary of the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, an early victory by Liberals and others in the battle for free trade. The Campaign was mounted by the Anti Corn Law League led by the 19th Century Liberals Coben and Bright.

The global credit crunch and associated recession is encouraging some to argue for protectionism. Gordon Browns attempt in farce when the slogan ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ was apparently rejected by his own party and adopted by the BNP instead.

As Classical Liberals it is critical that we continue to expose the folly of protectionism from the past, such as the Smoot Hawley tariff act

The explanation of the effect of protectionism in the past by libertarians and others has played a central role in stopping protectionism in the current recession, and thats a good reason to celebrate today the sucesses of 1846.

Ed Joyce


John Stuart Mill – An Unmarked Anniversary

By Ed Joyce
May 14th, 2009 at 11:39 am | 13 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

This year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species which has been widely celebrated. All rational people now accept that it is fundamentally correct, and it provides a bastion against which the common man can protect himself against the irrational.

This year, however, also marks the publication of another book which, in my view, is of similar stature in our defence of the freedom of the individual. This book, John Stuart Mills’ ‘On Liberty’, provides a philosophical justification of liberty and was integrally involved in the setting up of the party to which this site owes its allegience. It is the bedrock of modern liberalism. This book was of such importance to the founding fathers of the party that they made it the book of office of the party to be handed down from president to president to remind the party leadership of its roots.

The Liberal Democrat party is often thought of a party of the ‘protest vote’ or a party of local politics rather than a party of ideology. A quick trip to any political bookshop will show that Liberalism ranks with Socialism as arguably the most developed political theory.

The key to On Liberty is the harm principle articulated below

“… the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.”

Those who come to this site may not recognise that it is the home of Classical Liberalism in the party. Since I doubt that the party will be marking this anniversary I believe it is up to us in the week of our launch to acknowlege the continuing relevance of this text.