I asked Dominique to speak on how she is fighting for digital freedom at the detailed end of the Micklethwait scale, what’s involved in doing it, how is it paid for and how can we help? We learned how she got into the business of Westminster, how she manages to get paid for doing good work in politics; her struggle to find funding for a serious and specialised libertarian digital rights think tank; and the informal networks that keep things going in the meantime.
I want to draw out that bit about how she got into politics as a source of work. She had retired, bruised and frustrated, from left-dominated California and sought to live and work internationally. She had worked on big name projects, including the iTunes rollout and this hard work was about to pay off. Leaving for the UK and joining LSE she may have gotten out of the US but wasn’t yet out of a left-dominated environment. Her break came from helping to run the Libertarian Society while at LSE and coming under the radar of a think tank – The Taxpayers Alliance – she was asked to help out on a project. That project was canned – it’s not uncommon in any line of work – but she was “in” and continued to get offers of work and develop a reputation from there.
I think it’s important to draw that out and make that explicit and available outside of the video. Getting ahead in her career allowed her to take control and make choices and to be ready to accept opportunities that came her way. A simple story but an inspiration to patience and hard work.