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Mar 26, 2008

British Libertarian Party.

Sometimes playing around with Google and following links can lead to all sorts of unexpected destinations. Tonight I encountered the British Libertarian party. I saw reference to it in Thoughts on Freedom some time ago however it was just an announcement and I didn’t follow up on it.

Tonight I had a good look through it and some of the stuff I found makes me think we can learn from them. Here are a few of their ideas taken from their Website.


Owning something means that you have the absolute right to decide what to do with it—whether to use it up, keep it, sell it or give it away. Libertarians believe that everyone has the right to ownership of their own bodies, thoughts and beliefs, and honestly acquired property, be those goods, land, or money. Owning these aspects of yourself means that you should be free to do with them what you choose.

Libertarians believe that coercive actions by individuals, or groups of individuals—for example, the State—against others can never be justified. Such actions can rightly be seen as acts of aggression, and are simply an inappropriate way of behaving towards other people. This does not mean that Libertarians are pacifists, as everyone has the right to defend the property that they own—including themselves; rather, it is the act of initiating aggression that is morally unacceptable.

On Taxes

The Libertarian Party proposes moving, within the first term of a Libertarian government, purely to consumption based taxes, and then only on non-essential goods. This will effectively mean choice over the amount of tax that you pay—the more goods that you buy, the more funds that you will contribute to the State to undertake its functions. Not only is this far fairer, but it's also the only truly effective way of looking after our environment, as it will ensure that the more natural resources that an individual uses, the more that they have to pay. In short, whilst income taxes are unfair and arbitrary, consumption taxes are fair and green.

A Key Principle — The Rule of Law

The concept of The Rule of Law is distinct from just being ruled by laws. The Rule of Law encompasses, amongst other things, property rights, due process, equality and transparency. It also includes the notion that there should be as few laws as possible, and that those that do exist should be simple, clear and predictable in their application.

A Scholarship For Every Child

We shall move to a voucher system similar to that in Sweden, coupled with what we believe to be an essential component of any successful voucher system—the ability for people to found schools wherever they wish and for existing schools to opt out of direct State control. We do not envisage a mass sell-off of State assets, but a switch to independent not-for-profit and private entities competing openly.

Defense And Security

Our aim is to ensure a strong, independent, sovereign nation. This requires a well funded, trained and equipped professional Armed Forces (both full time and Reservist), geared for the defense of our nation and shipping.

Energy independence will remove the need and temptation for the UK to be involved in many theatres of conflict around the world.

Firearms Legislation

The Libertarian Party stands by the right of peaceful citizens to defend themselves against violent attackers and burglars within the law, and will make it a priority to bring the laws on self defense back into line with common sense.

As one of our first steps to reduce the violent crime rate, a Libertarian Government will immediately move to repeal the ban on the ownership and carrying of non-lethal defensive weaponry by law-abiding people. Muggers, rapists and racist thugs make a habit of carrying knives and other lethal weapons in order to prey on the innocent. For too long the law has prevented their intended victims from protecting themselves using the non-lethal technology which is available to the citizens of most civilized countries.

This long-overdue reform is not a charter for vigilantes, but will have the effect of shifting the balance of power on the streets back towards peaceful citizens, where it belongs.


"And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. So help me God." From the Oath of Allegiance in the English Bill of Rights, 1689

The Libertarian Party is committed to reassert the primacy of our Bill of Rights and Common Law system over the Napoleonic system that has encroached from the continent in recent years.

There is a lot more there. Anyone interested in limiting government, instead of government limiting you will find a great deal to think about.


  1. Jim -- thanks for the link, and the positive comments. If you, or anybody else (including British ex-pats), would like further information about our party, please do get in touch: contact[at]lpuk[dot]org

    Patrick Vessey
    Leader, UK Libertarian Party

  2. Our Libertarian Party in the US would roll up our carpet and pretent the rest of the world doesn't exist. :(

  3. Gayle; I think one of the problems with the American and many Australian libertarians is that they think of defense as a purely local thing and ignore the strategic aspects to it.

    Ron Paul insisted that the war was 'all about oil' and this was aped by others. The war is as far as I am concerned about terrorism.

    Oil and any number of other items are strategic commodities, nations have to fight or surrender for the lack of them if they are denied. The same applies to trade routes.

    Many are fond of quoting Thomas Jefferson, "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." however in the modern world no nation can afford to go it alone. Of all the nations the USA would be the most able, however if truly isolated from the rest of the world, I doubt she could last.

  4. That is great. As Gayle says, our Lib Party has unfortunately gone kooky - hostage to ideologues.