The UK Libertarian Party have a test
on their website where you can find out how liberal you are.
I took it and discovered that I was 40% liberal and 60% illiberal. It said: "Thank you for taking our test. But we think you may be more interested in an illiberal, statist party like the Labour Party
or Conservative Party
. If you wish to advertise your illiberal values, please find your blog badge below."
It's a brave political strategy for a fledgling party - "thank you for expressing an interest in our party, however you might be more interested in these other political parties."
But I was not deterred and decided that I was going to build on the 40% that I had in common with the Libertarian Party. So I thought I'd pick an issue where I knew we would agree, and find out what leading Libertarians had written about it.
I'd just seen the article in the Guardian about the police carrying out surveillance and building a database of protesters
. A good example of how George Orwell Was Right, ZaNu Labour, Police/Surveillance State etc. Being a police surveillance and database officer might even be an example of a Public Sector Non-Job.
So first I went to Samizdata.net
And Samizdata had nothing about the police database of dissidents. But it did have an article called 'Swearing at Vernon Bogdanor'
:"Progress occurs when free people do things. It just happens Boggy. It is retarded when retards like you try and gerrymander it. In 1900 the fastest growing economy on the planet was Russia's. Look at the plight of the place now? There is nothing "progressive" about being progressive."
Quite. I bet Tsar Nicholas II would have got more than 40% on the Libertarian Party's test.
Then I went to 'Devil's Kitchen'
. And 'Devil's Kitchen' had nothing about the police database of dissidents. But he did have an article called 'Harridan Harperson is a lying whore'
, which is very witty because 'Harriet' sounds like 'Harridan', 'Harman' sounds like 'Harperson', and she doesn't want women to lose their jobs, which is like being a 'lying whore'. He is also very angry about the idea that Sir Fred Goodwin might not get his full pension.
Then I went to 'Old Holborn'
. And 'Old Holborn' had nothing about the police database of dissidents. But he was very angry
that Glasgow Council were going to pay their workers at least £7/hour because "the thought that any Jockanese Labour Council worker is WORTH £7 an hour is simply stunning. Zimbabwe here we cunting well come." That's another good point because the problem with Robert Mugabe is that he pays the Harare rubbish collectors a living wage.
Devil's Kitchen also covered this story, and he thought that the council was increasing wages for low paid workers so that people in Glasgow who are unemployed and on benefits will vote Labour, because unlike the wealth creators they won't have to pay more council tax. This sort of analysis is why Devil's Kitchen is one of the top political strategists for the UK Libertarian Party.
Then I went to 'Bishop Hill'
. And 'Bishop Hill' had nothing about the police database of dissidents. But he did have an article
about how we should privatise all the schools so that some schools could bring back section 28 and not teach children about homosexuality. This would create a market in different methods of teaching sex education, which is an 'impeccably liberal' idea.
Finally I went to the 'Libertarian Alliance'
. And even the Libertarian Alliance had nothing about the police database of dissidents. But they did have a whole series
by a man called 'David Davis' (not that one) about how GCSE exams were really easy and not as hard as when he did O-Levels. And a post called 'Excellent Piece by Tom Harris MP'
(As an aside, one thing which is quite difficult about reading these Libertarian blogs is that they assume that everyone is already familiar with really quite obscure details of their arguments. For example, 'David Davis' writes several times that "The State has not only taken Nazi ownership of our children, but has also intellectually cast them adrift at the same time, and it’s all probably deliberate", and it is assumed that the reader will already know that the State has taken Nazi ownership of our children and how it has done so. Any guesses?)
So I didn't manage to bond with the Libertarians over the police database of dissident protesters. But I did learn about the merits of Tsarist Russia; that the government shouldn't help women who are losing their jobs; that it's wrong to pay people £7/hour or more if they live in Glasgow and work for the council; about how privatisation can create a market in whether our children get indoctrinated by the gays and about the Nazi ownership of our children by the state.
Not to mention that next time someone asks me for my opinion on a really, really stupid idea, I now know that a polite way to reply is to say that it sounds 'impeccably liberal'.
But something still puzzled me. Why would a group of people who want another way forward for the country, who are extremely ANGRY and who fantasise about stringing up our elected leaders from lamp posts not be worried about the existence of a database which the state can use to monitor dissenters?
And then I thought about it from another perspective, and all became clear. Pity the poor Police Surveillance Officer, monitoring this drivel and having to decide what kind of security risk they might be. I suspect they would conclude two things:
1. Their policy aims seem to revolve exclusively around giving more to those who already have a lot of money and power, so probably not one to worry about too much.
2. And anyway, as credible and organised threats to the existing order go, they make the Socialist Workers Party look like the Bolsheviks.