LPUK Must Appeal to Students on Campus

If we should take one thing from the results of the last election it is this: The youth are now politically motivated and will play a big role in how the next election is decided. If the Libertarian Party is going to succeed electorally then they are going to need to capitalise on this fact and make an active attempt to appeal to the youth of this country.

The party should make a particular effort to engage with university students, as there aren’t many options for (particularly economically) liberal-minded students on campus. This is particularly true as many young Conservatives display socially liberal tendencies when it comes to issues like gay marriage, abortion and the war on drugs. This sets them apart from the more authoritarian traditionalists who have dominated large sections of the party. This means that a libertarian presence on campus who shares not only their beliefs on matters of society and economics could quite possibly dominate right-wing politics on campus. As well as this, a libertarian society would also be able to separate itself from the ‘nasty party’ image and social stigma of the Conservatives while taking up the mantle of promoters of liberty and individualism. This is all before one even considers the possibility of enticing the more libertarian, Blairite elements of the Labour party who may be dissatisfied with the direction Corbyn is taking the party.

In order to achieve this, the party must provide greater resources for libertarian students keen on developing their own branch at their institution. A quick look at many of the other parties will show that they have developed their own youth appeal offensive. However, the libertarian movement is in a unique position because of its ideology. Connections must also be made between societies new and old so that newer societies can connect and learn from older ones like the Hayek society at LSE.

Now is the time to seize this opportunity. If the libertarian movement and the party are to be taken seriously as an electoral force then it must develop its own youth base using its own unique message.

Speaker Profile: Lucy Harris – Coordinator of Leavers of London

A passionate supporter of Brexit, Lucy has lived in London for 8 years.

Originally form Suffolk she lived in Italy for two years (Turin and Rome), where she taught herself Italian. She then studied classical singing performance at Guildhall Conservatoire and City University in London. In 2015 she got a big break singing solo soprano at The Royal Albert Hall on behalf of the John Lewis Partnership.

Realising her singing was a sign of a deeper ability to communicate, she decided to explore an interest in publishing. She did a masters in publishing at UCL followed by a job in an international publishing house as a corporate communications executive.

When the referendum happened, she felt a strong sense of injustice from having won the vote and getting push back from the remain camp. This spurred her to use her communication skills to stand up for the democratic vote and create the Leavers of London. Her goal is to grow confidence in Leave voters in London.

She will be moving into (second!) a job in politics in February.

Tonight, January 16th, she speaks at the Two Chairmen in Westminster.

 

Speaker Profile: Ian Dunt

Ian Dunt is editor of the popular political commentary site “politics.co.uk” and has written and for many other publications. He is mentioned most often for his work as political editor of the Erotic Review where he has written on pornography and the pornography regulator ATVOD. He is a political analyst for Yahoo where he covers the party political race and Brexit. Ian has also worked with Pink News where he wrote on gay rights and sexual crime stories until about 2008.

Ian studied journalism at the London School of Journalism, did an MA in international relations at Warick and graduated in Philosophy at UCL with a 2:1.

Asked whether he would ever stand as an MP himself he replied:

God no. I’d sooner turn to crime. And in fact that becomes a more compelling proposition the more I look at my tax returns.

The reason most MPs are so evidently psychologically damaged is that only someone who was psychologically damaged would ever consider doing the job

I am sure his reaction to his tax return is a very common one.

Ian is author of Brexit: What The Hell Happens Now described by Guido Fawkes as “lobbying MPs to obstruct a proper Brexit”. He explained to Guido that he favours a “super-soft Brexit, with the UK joining EFTA and staying in the EEA” a position not dissimilar to many who are much more vocally eurosceptic than Ian. He continues to make TV appearances in places like the BBC, Sky and Al Jazeera taking the position of the pro-EU participant.

As the editor of a politics website he made the startling admission that “I have a tendency to get lost in the reasoning without first having established the basic parameters of the question.” Fortunately he was only talking about getting lost in the jungle in Chile, not the political analysis which I know he does very well. Indeed I was impressed with how Ian was able to reel-off well-considered analysis with no more than 4 hours notice. He stood in for James Bloodworth on our Causes of the Cost of Living Crisis panel event. His very welcome intervention has meant his face is a permanent fixture on libertarianhome.co.uk, albeit next to someone else’s name.

Ian is back to talk about the reception Tim Farron was met with as leader of the Liberal Democrats. Ian described Farron’s voting record on the issue as fairly decent. During the 2017 election it became clear Farron was not personally comfortable with the idea of homosexual sex. Ian wonders whether such strictly private views still have a place in our liberal society – and whether it would be a good idea if they did.

Ian will explore the details of the Farron story, our culture of free-speech and free-thought, and discuss the implications for other kinds of private belief at the Two Chairmen, Westminster on Thursday.

 

Help Wanted / Journalistic Internship

Working Libertarians is the organisation that runs libertarianhome.co.uk and the Libertarian Home Meetup – globally the ninth largest Meetup.com group for libertarians. We are looking for a passionate advocate of libertarianism (or one of it’s flavors, broadly defined) to manage and write up a short research project. The output will be a piece of quantitative journalism for delivery before September on a issue of national importance.

You will have the opportunity to investigate the details of a deeply serious issue, locate data, solicit technical / engineering expertise, reassure stakeholders, produce visualizations, and write compelling articles and reports.You will be determined to produce journalism of genuine value despite complexities and set backs. You will be both empathetic, unrelentingly rational, and honest in dealing with the data.

You will test the libertarian expectation that, due to incentives, cultural norms in profit seeking enterprises lead to better outcomes compared to cultural norms in state enterprises. Your work will either falsify our expectations, leading to the refinement of our thinking, or (we expect) you will provide compelling evidence of their truth, and their relevance to the most vulnerable people in society.

You will be paid modestly and will receive a fixed expenses payment, subject to negotiation.

Please email your CV to simon.gibbs@libertarianhome.co.uk

Libertarian Party Election Results

I am pleased to be the first outlet to pull together all the results for the four candidates fielded by the UK’s “Libertarian Party”. LPUK is a party with a unpleasant history, but it has kept going and achieved a new first at Thursdays election by standing 4 candidates.

It has gained the trust of a third wave of activists, the last two waves having been burnt out or culled by former leaders over financial matters. This is remarkable in itself and shows that there is a deep need for political representation of libertarians which this institution continues to benefit from.

My last posts on LPUK had the intention of forcing the old leaders to resign fully their positions, which they have now done, as such LPUK is at least as viable as any other entirely untested party. We have moved, very significantly, from a position of being unable to trust the people involved, to being able to take a gamble on complete strangers. It is regrettable that we are moving forward from such a poor position, but to see candidates standing, receiving votes and beating apparent joke candidates is great.

We must look to verify that the old guard of LPUK leaders are rendered fully powerless. Time must demonstrate also that activists are respected. It would help if they could get a bit more organised, for example, by quickly announcing their results themselves. Individual First seems to be the better organised alternative party, despite not standing candidates.

As for the results, LPUK have scored just under 0.3% in four constituencies. They were last in all meaningful respects, but they have been through the process, gained experience and (I hope) some raw data to work with.

Thursday Speaker: Rory Broomfield

Rory’s first stint in organised politics was with the United Nations Association as a director on campus at York university. He is, therefore, not automatically opposed to supranational organisations. He has, however, been a director of Brexit advocacy group Better Off Out since before the word Brexit was coined.

At York Rory got a first class BA in Politics, which does not sound at all unusual for a professional in Westminster. However, his committement to learn the role he is now in becomes quite clear when you consider his MSc (Master of Science) in Marketing and Strategy from Warick and his MA in Political Communication from City. He’s also studied briefly with LSE and Harvard on such things as “American Foreign Policy,  “Globalisation and Terrorism” and Marketing.

Rory has also worked his way into his current role through a research analyst role with JD Haspel, and in 2009 as an intern for some MP called Theresa May. He’s also worked with Sir Richard Shepherd who is “Parliamentary Co-Chairman for the Campaign for Freedom of Information and a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights”. One guesses it was Sir Richard who has been more influential than Theresa in bringing Rory to his current role as a director of both The Freedom Association and Better Off Out.

Rory teamed up with Iain Murray in 2014 to enter the IEA’s Brexit Prize, a competition which was won by a diplomat named Iain Mansfield. Rory’s roadmap for Brexit “Cutting the Gordian Knot” was illustrated with a dingy heading into or perhaps around a swirling vortex. It has recently been updated in the light of developments up to October.

We are gathering to hear his thoughts on how the process has been going since the referendum and in particular in the week since Article 50 was triggered. If you are unable to get to Westminister to attend (free) in person then you are able to buy tickets to live stream from home.

Speaker Profile: Dr Andrew Bernstein

Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He has taught Philosophy at the State University of New York at Purchase, Marist College, Hunter College, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and other New York-area universities. He was selected as “Teacher of the Year” at both SUNY Purchase—and at Marymount College. In 2016-17, he was a Visiting Professor at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), where he taught Business Ethics.

He lectures regularly on college campuses, including at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Yale University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, Columbia University, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Northwestern University, and numerous others. He speaks at many other venues, including—but not limited to—Objectivist conferences, Students For Liberty (SFL) conferences, and events sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism (CISC), and the Bastiat Society. Internationally, he has lectured in England, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Bulgaria, Canada, Israel, Guatemala, Armenia, Croatia, Montenegro, the Bahamas, and additional countries. His areas of expertise include Objectivism, Ayn Rand’s novels, the nature of heroism, the history of capitalism and its moral superiority to other systems, and application of the principle of individual rights to a broad array of topical issues, including health care, abortion, gun ownership, immigration, and the war on drugs. He also lectures at high schools, both in the New York area and nationally, regarding Ayn Rand’s novels and philosophy.

He is the author of The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic, and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire (University Press of America, 2005), Objectivism in One Lesson: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Hamilton Books, 2008), Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights (University Press of America, 2010), and Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas (Transaction Publishers, 2011). Additionally, he has published numerous essays, many in The Objective Standard, for which he is a contributing editor, and many in other publications, including op-ed essays for Forbes.com. His op-eds have appeared in—among other newspapers— the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press. In 2013-14, he was the Hayek Research Fellow at the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson University, where he taught courses in Economics and in Political Science and, principally, researched and wrote the first draft of his forthcoming book, Heroes and Hero Worship: An Examination of the Nature and Importance of Heroism.

His forthcoming novel, A Dearth of Eagles, tells the story of a Bulgarian writer/freedom fighter in 1988-89, who struggles mightily to help people escape from Communism to freedom–and even more mightily to publish serious stories about heroes in a modernist literary culture that rejects heroism for anti-heroism. It will be published in the United States by the American Research Center Sofia (ARCS) in the spring, 2017.

Dr. Bernstein is co-host of a weekly blogtalk radio program, Objectively Speaking, has been interviewed on hundreds of radio shows—including by such legends as Barry Farber, Bob Grant, Mark Scott, and others—and appeared on several prominent TV news shows, including Neil Cavuto’s.