Thursday Speaker : Anton Howes

Anton Howes will be speaking this Thursday at the Rose and Crown. Most of us know him as director of the Liberty League, but he will be speaking on his PhD topic: the causes of the industrial revolution.

Anton HowesI was lucky enough to hear Anton speak on this topic before, and with a longer time limit, at one of Brian Micklethwait’s Friday events. I think Brian does this deliberately, but I do hope I manage to introduce Anton with fewer awkward hiccups.

Brian had heard that Anton is into fencing and had assumed that Anton was a kind of sport obsessed jock, and decided to tell everyone how pleasantly surprised he was to find Anton wasn’t a boorish idiot. Fortunately he changed his mind about him when he heard that Anton was undertaking a serious detailed and quantitative study on who the prime movers were in the industrial revolution and what they had in common.

When I heard the fencing thing, I put “Liberty League leader” together with “sabre duelling” and my mind jumped to Christopher Lambert’s Highlander – a hero in a long coat wielding an ancient Samurai sword to slay his inevitable enemies… but, damn it, wrong type of sword!

Fortunately Anton’s intellectual arsenal is well stocked. I know this because I heard his talk before, but he is bristling with deadly credentials. Anton is young enough to remember his GCSE grades though there appears to have been some grade inflation. He managed 11 A*s – 9 more than me. Reassuringly, he donned the dunces hat when he got one A. Of course he also got a “Distinction in History Advanced Award”, obviously. More surprising are his 38 points at the International Baccalaureate; a very sensible diversification.

It was while he was earning his first class honours in War Studies and History at King’s College that he started getting into libertarian politics. He joined Students for Liberty and co-founded the Liberty League. I assume his ascendency was something to do with the time he got onto the BBC and  into the Guardian, all of his own initiative. All the more remarkable becuase he went there in support of tuition fees. The story going around is that nobody approved of his doing that, or even told him how to do it. He just did it, so hats off to him.

It was about the same time he joined the European Students for Liberty as a board member, but it was a year later that he got a gig as a Consultant Researcher for the Centre for Market Reform of Education, who share office space with the Institute of Economic Affairs. He continues to work and blog there while working on his PhD.


Liberty league 2013 review

Liberty league forum 2013 has done it again. Last years was well worth the trip to Newcastle, and this years was just as good. I’m certain no-one left feeling like they hadn’t learnt something useful.

The cost of the ticket to attend not only reasonable but a good investment. All meals are paid for, and free books are given out. Some tickets got accommodation included.

Last year the highlight was Jamie Whyte, he dropped out this time, but this year Randy Barnett was a big hit. He was plugging his book “The structure of liberty” in which he tries to get to the fundamentals of liberty. This book is now top of my very vast reading list.

The guests included a very diverse set of people including Benny Wenda, who is fighting for West Papua independence, to Linda Whetstone from the Network for a Free Society. Its very informative to see what projects are going on around the world.

The event is a great chance to network with other people however it might have been improved in a couple of ways:

  • The first is that simultaneous lectures mean some very useful topics are missed.
  • The other is that some people do not know anyone there and end up wandering alone. I saw one tweet saying “Say hello if you see me, as its not much fun walking around by myself”
  • It would be good if people could say if they were attending alone and be put at a table with other alone people, or sat together in some way during lectures.
  • Opportunities, it would be good with all this attendance if it could be turned into action. It would be good if the organisations attending and supporting the event to offer positions or open days to see how their organisations work.

Thank you for organising Anton, well worth your time to do so.

Liberty League Conference 2011

Following the end of the Libertarian Alliance conferences, this year Liberty League is hosting a 1 day event on Saturday October 22nd at the National Liberal Club in London.

Speakers and events confirmed so far:

Confirmed speakers (more tbc):

Speaking on “Where next for Education?”

  • Chair: Professor Philip Booth, editorial and programme of the Institute of Economic Affairs, and professor of insurance and risk management at Cass Business School
  • Toby Young, author, journalist, and one of the driving forces behind the West London Free School
  • Professor James Tooley, author of “The Beautiful Tree”, director of the E.G. West Centre, and professor of education policy at Newcastle University
  • Dale Bassett, research director at Reform
  • Professor Len Shackleton, former dean of the UEL Royal Docks Business School, and of the University of Westminster Business School.

Speaking on “How the State Harms the Poor”

  • Chair: Sam Bowman, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute
  • Kristian Niemitz, poverty research fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs
  • Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked magazine
  • Dr Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple), columnist, author, doctor and psychiatrist
  • Dr Mark Pennington, reader in public policy at Queen Mary University, and author of “Robust Political Economy: Classical Liberalism and the Future of Public Policy”

Debating the Chicago vs. Austrian economic schools:

  • Referee: Dr Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute and author of “The Condensed Wealth of Nations”
  • On the Chicago side: Dr Andrew Lilico, director of Europe Economics, and member of the IES/Sunday Times Shadow Monetary Policy Committee
  • On the Austrian side: Dr Adam Martin, post-doctoral fellow at New York University

Speaking on whether Islam and Libertarianism” can and should be reconciled:

  • Mustafa Akyol, journalist, Turkish newspaper columnist and author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty”.

Tickets are limited to 50 student and 50 non students, and cost £30 for the former and £65 for the latter (Price includes a set dinner in the evening)

To apply for this event please go here