I was reading Pip Borev's blog earlier (really recommend it, fascinating stuff) and trying to work out how the Travellers had ever come to align themselves with the left in the first place. Surely an enterprising peoples who sell goods and services to market and receive little or no support from the public sector are about as natural libertarians as can be.
One would assume that the old right's sometimes less than accommodating approach to their communities may have something to do with it, but it's the 21st century and about time that we extended the olive branch to a people who live quite independently of the state, run what can only be described as small, for profit, businesses, and are, for the most part, hardworking.
Yes, you hear the horror stories about some traveller camps being a nightmare, thieves or vandals etc, but there are many which go without comment for good reason. There are good and bad people in any race, any community and any culture, and we need to be able to separate the criminal minority from the peaceful and non-aggressive majority.
Up until yesterday, I was willing to brave out the hard times because I had a belief that the core tenets of the Liberal Democrat party were still in place. Transparency and honesty are cornerstones of any liberal device, but it seems like that party, much like Labour and the Tories, only support honesty and transparency when it's in their interests to do so.
At the General Election in 2010, the Liberal Democrats ran on the mandate of an in/out referendum on the European Union. I knew they would support the 'in' campaign, but they did offer this referendum. To back up this position, they had an official campaign for the in/out referendum on their campaigns site.
The more tech-savvy of you will notice that this link directs to the Archive.org record of the page. This is because after I spread the URL on Twitter, the party decided to simply delete the campaign page with no formal explanation. This happened on the 21st or 22nd October 2011. In my mind, this is certainly a betrayal of transparency.
When I challenge majority democracy, many people leap to this idea that the issue is that the arbitrary number of people who must agree with the policy is simply too low. If we move to 50%, 80% or 99% then we will have a far better set of rules, but the 'consensus' model is fundamentally flawed from the start.
I was going to put this as a response on your newest blog post, but since you edited my last reply, I think putting it here gives it a higher chance of evading the censorship demon, and us liberals (the real kind, not the 'liberal as long as you agree with me' kind) don't like censorship very much.
I know it must have been embarassing to be called out on saying Toby Jones supported the Rally Against Debt, making insults about his movies and then realising that it was actually Toby Young who supported us, but usually the bigger and less self-conscious amongst us just accept when we make a mistake, let the reply through and make the amendments necessary (these were the results of a Twitter conversation, not a blog reply, but the same basic rules apply).
One of the tricky subjects I always seem to find myself discussing is welfare. Unfortunately, as is typical of the left, as soon as I proclaim to be opposed to the welfare state I am automatically an ideological maniac with a hard-on for the rich and hate social equality etc etc.
As a voluntarist, it is incompatible with my philosophy to demand that another person pays my way in life, especially via forced taxation. However, this is not to say that the poor should not get any services or help to afford a comfortable lifestyle.
I decided to start my blogging with a bit of a heavy question: 'What is freedom?'
Personally, I determine the freest society as one where each person has the right to do whatever he/she wishes, so long as it doesn't prevent anybody else from doing whatever he/she wishes.
However, even a statement like this can be interpreted in at least two ways: