Olly Neville fired for policy fudge

So off-message Olly got himself sacked for being off-message. I would normally applaud such a thing, but the self proclaimed Anarchist has missed an opportunity to further the cause of Anarchism.

I am not an Anarchist and I haven’t delved into the literature about anarchic marriage, but I am planning to get married. It seems to me that in an Anarchy – meaning “no rulers” – there would be multiple competing private, religious or mutual services that would register and facilitate marriage; the role of centralised democracy in the bedroom being one of the first things to be thrown out on the way to an anarchic order. The advantage of competition in marriage is that people are varied, and relationships incredibly complex. Competing institutions would allow greater choice and personalisation in the arrangements at every stage. That would allow diversity in participation, ceremony design, wedding venues, in divorces, and in a much broader range of services too, such as welfare benefits that recognise your particular kind of marriage. Hell, its even possible that religion – currently banned from non-church weddings – would take part in the process more often.

If it was me staring down the barrel of a party chairman I would not call his bluff to defend Cameron’s take. Cameron wants the state to licence gay marriage – as if anyone needed permission to commit to each other. He also wants the state to register their existence, conduct ceremonies, decide what benefits accrue (and confiscate funding for them), what happens at divorce etc. Most importantly, the continued existence of one official way of being married would continue to cause the most personal of matters to be squeezed into a one size fits all arrangement. It’s a liberal fudge, increasing freedom without letting go of the means of control.

In the meantime Olly, I know that the real situation behind your sacking is really rather murky. In particular, the way the election was suspended after the counting of votes, and the fact you won with 62% of them. I disagree with your stand, but admire your guts, and if you want to use this platform to shine some light on issues at UKIP then you are more than welcome.

Update: a friend of Olly’s writes “Olly most definitely does believe in taking the state out of marriage altogether”. Awesome. It is a shame though that the media have been talking about his support of “equal” marriage, not “privatised” marriage. Missed opportunity 🙁

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 “Olly Neville fired for policy fudge

  1. Jan 9, 2013 at 10:01 am

    To be fair I’d like to hear exactly what he said first. Cos there is a massive difference between saying I agree with Cameron that gay marriage should be legal and saying I agree with his policy.

    • Jan 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

      The UKIP chairman definitely fired him for saying that Cameron was right. Of course, Olly may have more nuance to add.


      • Jan 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

        Seen that. I just want to find out how ridiculous the sacking was. Did UKIP not grasp any relevant nuance or did Olly clearly say I whole heartedly agree with David Cameron and his policy.

  2. James Rigby
    Jan 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

    My take on this is that UKIP are an opportunist party rather than a principled one; seeking to say whatever they think will gain them them most members and voters. With all the other parties supporting gay marriage, UKIP has taken the opposite view purely on the basis that this policy could attract a lot of social conservatives from the Tory party. This is probably more than would be lost from the pink vote and others who are sympathetic, Of course, it’s all moot as UKIP doesn’t have a single MP and so is in no position to influence the vote at Westminster.

    But back to the sacking: UKIP has said it welcomes free thinkers, mavericks, eccentrics, and permits its people to say things against the party line. Indeed, Nigel Farage himself is on record as disagreeing with UKIP’s policy on drugs. (UKIP’s policy is tough laws – Nigel want’s a Royal Commission to look at the benefits of decriminalisation and “selling drugs in Boots”.).

    Olly’s mistake was taking UKIP at its word and believing that UKIP meant it when they said that differences to the party line were tolerated. Basically, he seems to have believed that politicians mean what they say. Many of us have learned that this is rarely the case. Olly has learned this lesson the hard way.

    I have tweeted Olly and told him there’s a place for him and his supporters in Pro Liberty if required.

  3. Jan 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Stuart Parr writes “Gay marriage was the policy he went publicly off message on but it was for going too far off message that he has been removed from his position, not his views on the subject which are broadly in line with party policy.”

    That is an important distinction but gift to opposition.

  4. James Rigby
    Jan 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm
    • Jan 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      I think Olly will need a new vehicle for his politics after that. A mid-crisis public outburst is a self-inflicted death sentence IMHO. Olly’s was très bien, but will be seen as proof that he cannot be worked with.

      I hope we see him down the pub for a calming round of beers.

      • James Rigby
        Jan 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm

        Publishing some of the email correspondence (earlier now-deleted versions of which contained UKIP’s Chairman’s mobile number) was naive. But the guy’s only 20 and could have been a huge asset to UKIP, helping them to win the youth vote. I think both UKIP and Olly have shot themselves in the foot over this. Whether in UKIP or the Tories, Libertarians will struggle. There is an overwhelming majority of social conservatives in both parties and the party leaders feel that these people must not be upset. UKIP was, for a brief time, the best hope for a major established party to adopt Libertarianism, but it seems to me that Farage’s statements on this were mere political opportunism to try to get supporters.

        • Jan 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm

          Well, to prove you wrong they could sack the other chairman.

  5. Jan 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Just for clarification – Olly’s 21, the HuffPost got that wrong (not a very important point but just thought I’d mention it)

    Olly most definitely does believe in taking the state out of marriage altogether and has said so publicly many times, his clip on radio was only about five seconds long unfortunately.

    I’m sure we’ll both see you guys at the Rose & Crown soon 🙂

    • Jan 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Well that it is good news, but it’s a shame the press are not now talking about non-state marriage.

  6. Jan 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I would say that Ukip have made a mistake, but I suspect they are thinking that they are breaking through and therefore won’t need to bother duping enthusiastic, young (and slightly confused) libertarians anymore.

  7. Anthony Harrison
    Jan 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    “Olly” (never heard of him ’til now) is 21? Gee whiz: people that age know nothing and are inherently fascistic. Give him at least a decade before paying any attention to his views.

    • Jan 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      You appear not to have taken heed of Christina’s second paragraph. Please read the whole comment before reacting harshly.

Comments are closed.