Thursday Speaker: Richard Carey

I have known Richard Carey for, probably, about 5 years but realised as I sat down that I don’t know that much about him.  It is occasionally the case that libertarians have so much to say about history, philosophy and politics that they neglect to let people into their own selves, or perhaps we are just all to obsessed with all the same things to listen to personal anecdotes. Who knows? He’s in education, he’s smart, he’s sound as pound and he’s a nice nice guy – this is enough.

Richard Carey © Brian Micklethwait

Richard Carey © Brian Micklethwait

I do also know that the stuff that comes out of his mouth is pretty impressive – some kind of intellectual crude oil coming forth at high pressure, high in calorific content. Fortunately, Richard is supremely good at refining his words for the blogging medium and we are used to reading refined samples of his thoughts here at Libertarian Home. Although he is sometimes less refined as orator I am nevertheless expecting something pretty powerful will have been brewed by Thursday. This will be the second or third talk Richard will have given on this topic and I am hoping the finest narrative polymers have by now solidified into a strong flexible structure, grounded in facts and science.

Why so confident? Well, having known him for so long I have seen plenty of clues to his character.

Before I knew him, and for a while longer, he maintained his own very popular and well regarded blog. I remember a Samizdatista once posted to the effect of “I just found a jolly good blog, here’s a quote”. He gave up that rather stylised blog for the more professional environment of Libertarian Home.

Back in the Party days, Richard was a consistent participant at real life meetings at the Rose and Crown and he was one of the few people ready to step up and take real responsibility during the Party’s implosion, helping to spur on Simon Fawthrope (for a while at least). That crisis of trust was a crisis of fiscal trust, and yet Richard was prepared to step up as treasurer, and to do so again for his own party project with James Rigby. Neither occasion ultimately required much to be done but his willingness to grasp the nettle was unique.

He has added a new argument the oft-repeated debate on Gun ownership in the US. No longer is it possible to claim, in any internet forum at least, that the UK is a gun-free and therefore murder-free paradise. Whenever this happens Richard’s neat statistical falsification is trotted out and a little stream of traffic comes this way. I can only measure the number of times the full article has been viewed, I cannot count how many times his graph has been shared separately, or the argument repeated in the bearer’s own words, but Richard’s passionate observation on murder and gun-ownership has now been read more than 35,000 times. Not only is that a very impressive number for one article, but consider what that means: you cannot discuss the gun-ownership debate in internet forums and get away with simple comparisons with the UK. That did not stop thunder headed Piers Morgan, of course, but for thousands of people that is a significant change in the structure of a hugely important debate.

Thursday night Richard is talking on a similarly important topic, but for the UK this time. Richard wishes to claim the Levellers and other revolutionaries of the English Civil War for the side of pro-property libertarianism and finds significant evidence in their writings and deeds.

As ever doors at 7, talk at 8. See you there.


  1. Works in education – a tough trade (I used to be in it myself). I wish the talk well I am sure Richard Carey will be interesting.



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