There are plenty of roundups up the year and previews of next year floating around at the moment. Any brand which desires your long-term engagement (and they all do) is making sure to tell you what they did for you in 2015 and to make promises for 2016. I am not big on promises, but we have spent much of 2015 thinking about and sharing ideas about the kind of thing we would like to do – the kind of strategy we think would work. Now is a good time to reflect on that material and if we feel we can achieve some small part of this vision in 2016 then let it serve as a reminder to reach out and find the help you need to achieve it.
I am delighted to include two brand new videos of our events from earlier in the year. This year’s recording are a treasure trove and I am really looking forward to sharing more of that in 2016.
Poverty Solutions without Politics
Syed Kamall started his talk by saying that he knew quite a few of the people in the audience. This was not to ingratiate himself with us. His point was that although he is familiar with and agrees with our ideas and has mingled quite a bit with us in the past, he is not now inclined to spend much of his time merely reading and talking about these ideas. His concern is to do something about them.
Martin Keegan on the Evolution of Private Cooperation
It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of a subject like this one, merely because the guy doing the talking is keeping the emotional temperature strictly at lukewarm. The Trust is the means by which Civil Society, the society of what Edmund Burke called the “little platoons”, becomes a reality. All manner of cooperative enterprises are able to get started and to thrive, for decades and even for centuries.
Making Change Within Your Lifetime
Brian Micklethwait, Charlotte Bowyer and Guy Herbert joined myself for a wide-ranging chat about how they do and have done libertarian activism. All the participants looked at their efforts as incremental, not revolutionary, and that they all agreed it was difficult. Things will get worse before they get better. This rather noisy recording is from the Fine Line – the dinner and drinks venue for the Liberty League Freedom Forum 2015.
WE will build the roads! Implementing a stateless society
We all accept that we want to reduce or remove the state, so how do we get to that libertarian nirvana; or at least closer to it? There is no simple answer but instead of travelling along that road to serfdom we should start building the road to liberty. Our liberty.
Who will build that road?
Opportunities in purity
Some dismiss natural rights libertarianism because they believe it requires revolutionary change. It does not – it requires a more creative and more incremental approach. Libertarians need to find the changes that are beneficial and that lie within a complex set of constraints. This is a very different, and much superior, approach to simply ignoring natural rights.
I thought it might be helpful to summarise my tactical ideas on welfare provision. Note that the focus of these ideas is on long-term joblessness, although various other problems could be solved the same way. Enabled by Nudge we achieve a transition back to voluntary Friendly Societies as the main service provider, and a “big bang” that opens up the market to all sorts of innovate players.
Who is we?
The biggest news of 2015 is that “we” now means something, and is a word we can use more. Rob, Leon, Devika, Brian, Miss P, and others have begun to make significant and regular contributions; we have been plugged in to a team workspace (Slack), installed apps on our phones, and now when something happens here there is more than one person whose phone beeps, more than one person thinking about how Libertarian Home relates to today’s news agenda, and taking to social media on behalf of the brand. This is a huge step forward and I am really grateful for those of you who have taken the plunge and committed to Libertarian Home as a vehicle for regular activism.
There is space for more of you to get plugged in. We have made progress somewhat at random. If you are a regular contributor, or would like to be again, then come and talk to me about taking up your place in the team. There is no need to commit to doing anything more than you already do. If you just want to blog, that is fine, but blogging as part of a team connected in real-time is a different and more valuable experience for all.
The Inevitable 2015 Top 10
This content, selected from the top 20 most well-read articles of 2015, is the content that deserves to be read again in 2016. Enjoy.
Our Long Term Economic Madness, by Ben Kelly
In May the Conservative Party portrayed the election as a choice between Tory competence and Labour chaos. Labour’s spending and borrowing compared to the Conservative “long term economic plan”. The electorate made their choice and the current government received a mandate to cut the budget deficit and fix the economy.
Britain is now purportedly on the path to economic sanity, but you can be forgiven for having some moments of doubt
Ending Fake Charities, an interview with Sara Scarlett
A well known libertarian and a former Lib Dem started a petition calling on the Government to cease all funding of the charitable sector. “A “charity” which receives taxpayer funding is simply not a charity.”
Dear Mehdi Hasan, I Am A Free Speech Fundamentalist, by Rob Waller
I read your recent article on ‘Free Speech Hypocrites’ and the Charlie Hebdo attack with great interest. However I found it to be poorly thought out and flawed
12 libertarian policy statements
I find myself thinking, once again, in terms of leaflets…. here are 12 policy statements. Are they in the right order? What would you include?
How I will be voting, by Simon
Let’s be clear about what a UKIP vote was at the EU election: it was a vote against the existence of a political institution that we do not need and do not want, so I voted UKIP.
The test for this Westminster election is very different.
The virtuosity of individualism, by Ben Kelly
Conventional wisdom dictates that individualism is a destructive force which has enraptured and degraded our society. According to leftist orthodoxy it manifested itself in our culture with Thatcherism and rampant consumerism and has infected the “selfish” millennial generation, the only explanation for their worrying right-wing tendencies.
Conventional wisdom is, as is so often the case, quite wrong.
Things you can’t say about culture that are true, Ben Kelly
For them “multiculturalism” is an attempt to create tolerance and harmony amongst multi-ethnic groups and do away with the supposedly chauvinistic concept of a dominant culture
Let’s sea if we can bung some politicians and make a fortune
It is not that a bribe was offered to politicians on national TV, but that changing laws to make your product compulsory was discussed as an attractive business strategy with no discussion at all of whether a such a move was ethically appropriate.
Ignorant Andy Burnham just insulted 700 NHS staff, by ExxCee
I was part of the team which led the shut-down of the service. I personally stuffed envelopes with redundancy notices for our staff. I tried to answer the questions of confused nurses and call handlers who were unsure about the TUPE transfer process. I was even able to help them with information about their future roles
Soviet Migration Chaos, by Nico Metten
Europe seems to be in crises at the moment. Economic problems of some EU states, most importantly Greece have been constantly in the news over the past few years and no end is in side. The people in charge to manage the crises are our completely clueless politicians. They have identified all kinds of causes, except the real one, which is of course themselves.
At the very start of 2015 we faced up to a tragedy in our community. She was not a regular attendee of our Meetup but was well-known and well liked by everyone there. The mood at our February event was raw. I am sure Christina Annesley will be warmly remembered in 2016.