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.