The beginning of this year was frought with all manner of trouble for LPUK, and the institution continues to limp along in a kind of zombie state. This is a great shame for all of us who were members and wanted to see something done about the upside down state of the country, find an outlet for their political passions, their creativity, or just enjoy some social time with like minded people.
Fortunately, the social aspect of the cursed Party has proved the most resilient. The Southwark Drinks were the Party’s most active institution. Even if all that was achieved most evenings was a bad hangover, it was the basis of a large proportion of the political activism as well. They never required (and I doubt it would accept) the support of the Party leadership, and so they are still being held and attended by the people that mattered, the activist base. We are now libertarian activists, not Party activists, but there are enough of us in permanent touch with one another that we will always man the fort.
Then regional co-ordinator Rob Waller (now of Status People) came up with a simple formula: if at least one of the core group turns up at the same time every month, anyone else who is interested will always have someone to talk to. In theory, if people aren’t getting along, you can just leave early, but usually it is a late night!
The attendees are international, on the young-side but diverse in terms of age-group, class, background, and ideological stance. There is no agenda whatsoever, but we invariable kick off by discussing the weeks political news and other affairs. As the need arises we take a diversion into organising activism, hacking WordPress or whatever, but it is always a fun balanced evening. By closing were are generally several beers down and deep into philosophical details or debating theoretical edge-cases.
After the crisis I’m afraid that people believe that the drinks have died with LPUK. They have not, though attendance is on the decline. The last couple of meetings, we were down to five, then four, most of whom were regulars and well-aware that these drinks had a life of their own. The message I want to leave today is that this event still has a life of it’s own.
The next get together is on Thursday 1st September. As always they are held at the Rose and Crown, Colombo Street in London’s borough of Southwark. LibertarianHome will carry any last minute announcements, and if you can’t find us, ask at the bar. I started to put an LPUK logo on the table, but will make a new sign this time around.
Simon Gibbs, Libertarian Home