I honestly think all hope is lost for this country, for a few reasons. The main one is probably that, unlike in the US, there is very little "limited government" culture over here, in part, I suppose, due to us not having a liberty-inducing revolution as the bedrock of our society. Even though in America the words may be hot air and not actually implemented, they are still there, unlike here. Watching Prime Minister's Questions, the House will cheer everytime Gordon Brown announces that he will spend more on this, or that, or something else. It is a fundamental problem, however, Americans may wonder if there are any mavericks (à la Ron Paul) in the top parties, but sadly there are not and will not be any. The Whips (those responsible for keeping party members "in line") in this country are much more powerful than those in the US, and voting against the party line more than a few times could get you ejected from the party. The final problem is that of delegated legislation: a concept that allows Parliament to pass over 3000 pieces of legislation each year, and keeps going the unending march towards big government. That's not the mention the power our central government has and the lack of federalism.
It seems like the US is really the only hope for libertarians, no?
I'm another Brit; English to be precise. At present I am pessimistic as I look everywhere; the state just keeps growing. As always we need to get the message out to educate people so they don't cheer when Gordon spends more stolen money; further the delegitimisation of democracy is also necessary so we don't get the stupid argument you don't vote so you can't have any say. On political action we should support secessionist movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland since smaller states normally equal less oppressive governments; we also must leave the EU which is a dangeorus stepping stone to the elites idol of a one world state.
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.
Physiocrat:we also must leave the EU which is a dangeorus stepping stone to the elites idol of a one world state.
Indeed, and I actually consider this the most urgent measure that needs to be taken at this time. The proponents of the EU try to legitimise it as a vehicle for free trade, but we all know very well that free trade can exist without this extra layer of government. As an example of the socialist nature of the EU, look at the "Sixth VAT Directive" (77/388/EC), which states that "the standard rate of VAT must be at least 15% in each Member State". We must get permission to exempt goods or certain territories from VAT too.
I'm quite sure we could take advantage of the euro-scepticism of the Conservative party, although in other policy aspects they have become very big government.
britainland:Indeed, and I actually consider this the most urgent measure that needs to be taken at this time. The proponents of the EU try to legitimise it as a vehicle for free trade, but we all know very well that free trade can exist without this extra layer of government. As an example of the socialist nature of the EU, look at the "Sixth VAT Directive" (77/388/EC), which states that "the standard rate of VAT must be at least 15% in each Member State". We must get permission to exempt goods or certain territories from VAT too.I'm quite sure we could take advantage of the euro-scepticism of the Conservative party, although in other policy aspects they have become very big government.
Do not trust the Tories about Europe. They make anti-EU noises when in opposition but when they are in power there are the most Europhile Party. Just think which party signed the most important treaties with respects to the EU? The only time an incumbent Tory PM realised the danger of the EU she was booted out.
Btw Quiz where are you from?
But is there seriously a "limited government" culture in the USA? In practically all Western liberal democracies there is a culture of big government. If the contemporary USA values small government then why have all presidents in recent history actively increased the size and scope of the US federal government? The only difference then between the UK and USA is that their politics holds a different foundation than ours. Our politics is based upon tradition and gradual evolution, while the Founding Fathers devised the Constitution to chain down the inherent force linked with government. Naturally such a plan hasn't worked though.
On political action we should support secessionist movements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland since smaller states normally equal less oppressive governments;
LOL! Why? Look at the political cultures of Scotland and Wales. Do you seriously believe that a sovereign Scotland and Wales would possess governments limited in size and scope? It's unlikely.
And smaller EU states like Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc. all have governments large in scope. So I don't see how a country with a small geographical area inevitably leads to smaller government.
February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church. Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."
I'm not but I'm living here, in Birmingham, for about 1.5 years now. (I'm from Hungary.) Yes I think this country is doomed and I'm pretty sad about it. You know the very reason I moved over, aside that I had deeply enough of the typical post-commie Crony Capitalism in Hungary, is that I'm sort of an Anglophile. I took great delight in the writings of Burke, Oakeshott etc. basically the spirit of moderation, consideration, and a sense of humour which was so typical of the English character. I wanted to see and experience it. My experiences were mixed, to say the least. The business class, the professionals are amazing, it's really lovely to work here as an Enterprise Resource Planning consultant. I'm amazed by the patience of my clients - when they want something done, they perfectly accept if it will be only done next week. They are really great people, as long as it comes to work. Well when it comes to other things my feelings are more mixed. Compared to what I'm used to, this country works very well and the reason it works is that people are practical, they concentrate on the solutions, not the problems, they want to get things done. But this practicality makes even educated, intelligent people a bit superficial, like "Does it work? OK. Then stop thinking about it." They are not in the least interested in the theoretical, philosophical aspects of the work we do, even though on the practical level they are simply great in it. In fact it's more or less accepted for a 35 years old intelligent, educated business professional to be interested in nothing else but boozing, watching football and playing on the XBox which is a bit of a shock to me. Probably I won't make many close friends here because after 10 minutes of talking I have to switch the topic to some intelligent topic or I'll die of boredom on the spot. But despite these faults I really like the businessmen and the professionals, they work hard, smartly, efficiently and honestly, they are really great people. But the average people... I'm simply shocked. The average man of the street is horribly rude, alcoholic, rowdy, wears a tracksuit with trainers, litters the streets freely and so on. And uses a very small vocabulary. (Perhaps it's just a Black Country habit but using "a'right" for greeting people, for expressing surprise, for expressing agreement, and for multiple other purposes makes me think those who use this term in every other sentence, which pretty much describes much of the people here, don't really have much of a vocabulary. One things there isn't much point in attending school for twelve years if all they can say is a'right, mate. I wonder what they've learned there.)Anyway. I think this is still a great country, it takes a long time to ruin such a magnificient history, it's just the real spirit of Britain is sleeping in some corner. It will wake up, of that I'm sure.On economics and politics: there isn't much to say about it as it's too obvious. Hayek, Robbins and the others on LSE went light years below the radar of the current intellectual elite. And sadly, Enoch Powell too - that's another kind of problem but I think a steadily growing one. The Salisbury Review and the Social Affairs Unit is OK from a cultural-political point of view but sadly they don't give a hoot about economics. The Libertarian-Conservatives like Thomas Sowell and Charles Murray who are force to be reckoned with amongst the American Conservative intellecuals are sadly missing here. On the plus side, Ferdinand Mount and his book, Mind the Gap is going towards a good direction and his growing popularity in young Tory circles makes me a bit hopeful.But right now what I'm most worried about is the fall of the £ - EUR exchange rate: http://mises.com/forums/t/1709.aspx - my savings are going down the toilet.
Another Englander here. Miklos' summary of the modern British is very accurate I think - seeing the political apathy of the 'average' person is rather depressing too.Maybe there is some future hope though in the UK Libertarian party (lpuk.org) and the Libertarian Alliance (libertarian.co.uk)
Base model cars of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but quarter-mile races.
No, but I go there quite often. My girlfriend and I are going to go house shopping in Milton Keynes (yah, yah..I know but she got a job there) next month.
Last time I was there I bought a set of decent knives for her kitchen after I managed to make a whole meal using only a grapefruit knife to cut with. I still have the warning label from the knives that informed me that they were not to be sold to any aspiring cooks under the age of 18.
I am guessing your house-buying is as restrictive as your knife-buying?
Travel, Adventure Travel, Arguments, Recipes.
I am English and live in the south of England and I agree with you that there is very little libertarian voice in the UK. There is the Libertarian Alliance which has some good publications but do not have many events. Dr Sean Gabb is their main spokesman. It seems that the centre of libertarian thought is in the US. It is very disappointing that there is almost no one to speak sensibly to.
darcgun:Our politics is based upon tradition and gradual evolution, while the Founding Fathers devised the Constitution to chain down the inherent force linked with government.
What makes you so sure that that is the reason why they made the Constitution, and not to benefit industrialists, creditors, public debt holders and land speculator using various tools of coercion?
Why don't you just rent a house for a year and wait for the housing bubble to come down?
Miklos Hollender:Why don't you just rent a house for a year and wait for the housing bubble to come down?
I'll suggest that to her (she is paying for it as I still live in New York) but she owns some property already and I am sure she has considered that. But it cannot hurt to bring it up again and thanks for the reminder.