Southwark Drinks are open as usual

The Rose and Crown, Photographed by Ewan Munro

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

Simon Gibbs

Simon is a London based IT contractor and the proprietor of Libertarian Home. Working with logic and cause-and-effect each day he was naturally attracted to nerdy libertarianism and later to the benevolent logic of Objectivism. Find him on Google+ 


  14 comments for “Southwark Drinks are open as usual

  1. Aug 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Glad to hear it – as it happens the annual summer get together of Libertarians is taking place in France this week-end, in near boiling temperatures and amidst much hilarity.
    We shall be discussing future Libertarian tactics, the price of wine, and whether this weather will ever break, over long tables tonight, groaning with local produce, and goodwill.
    Libertarians don’t need an organisation to hold their views, nor to pay subscriptions to be Libertarian – and I’m delighted to see that the tradition continues in Southwark.
    If I ever get to England again, I shall turn up one night in Southwark – my old stamping ground as it happens, and look forward to meeting you all.

    • Aug 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      Welcome, virtually, to my humble abode, though your own real one sounds much nicer. The tradition does indeed continue in Southwark, such a nice way of putting it!

    • James Rigby
      Aug 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      I think it needs to be recognised that it’s been the summer – and people have been away. In some calendars, 1st September marks the beginning of Autumn and so I expect attendance to return to it’s previous healthy levels. I shall be back after 2 months off on the 1st creating havoc and hilarity in equal measure.

    • John Watson
      Aug 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      “Libertarians don’t need an organisation to hold their views, nor to pay subscriptions to be Libertarian”

      In the socialist paradise called Scotland, with a government who has a virtual monopoly, nothing can be done on the individual level. Try lobbying as an individual you end up wasting your time with screams ignored. Talk to some of these liberty group who are now completely frustrated, some have considered disbanding. .

      Government only interest is pleasing these big government loving lobbyists, special interest groups and jumping into bed with these big business executives.

      The only way of us individuals moving liberty forward is as a collective and I mean as a big collective, specially in this socialist paradise.

      Sorry to say, nothing can be achieved(at the moment) on the individual level specially in this political climate.

      This is only my personal view.

  2. Ken Ferguson
    Aug 22, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Worth noting that the North West group had a record attendance last Friday evening at the William Gladstone in Liverpool. An excellent if rather chaotic night and not a zombie in sight.

    • Aug 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      That is interesting. Maybe there is some other factor at work down here. Are you still operating as a party event, or have you survived by severing the umbilical?

  3. James Rigby
    Aug 23, 2011 at 8:03 am

    p.s. At the risk of appearing to be a spelling fascist, it’s SouthWark.

  4. Michael
    Aug 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    See you there.

    Also there’s a Rally Against Debt social on Saturday.

  5. Michael
    Aug 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    It’s Southwalk!

  6. IanPJ
    Aug 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Its a bastardisation of the word Bulwark, the South Bulwark being the fortified southern entrance to London as established by Edward Longshanks about the same time as the building of the Tower of London.

    Much later, but still within the lines of the SouthWark was built the Royal Palace of Edward, the Black Prince and a whole raft of episcopal houses, monasteries (one of which Southwark cathedral was a part) and Bishops palaces, probably the most famous of which was Winchester House, the residence of the Bishops of Winchester. Black Prince Road and The Elephant and Castle are ready reminders of this past activity.

    If you get the opportunity, ask Anna the landlady to point out Robin Spencer in the Rose & Crown, he is a local historian and can tell you much of Southwark’s past.

  7. Sep 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I won’t be able to make it this evening as I’m feeling under the weather. Hopefully next month!

    • Tim Carpenter
      Sep 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

      You were missed!

      It was a good evening and good to see new and old faces alike.

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