The year is 2020 and the Prime Minster rocks back on his heels during question time in the House of Commons the whole of the cabinet seems to hold his breath, he has no answer to the questions that have been fired at him from the back benches from the first ever Libertarian Party MP: “Why are we still at war in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Iran?”, “Why are we still continually borrowing money that doesn’t exist to plug the holes in the sinking ship that is the European Union?” and finally, “Why in a progressive society are we still treating drug addicts as criminals?”
It’s going to be a long and hard fight to get a member of the Libertarian Party of the UK elected as an MP but a fight that is worth every scrape, bruise and battered ego. For too long Libertarian thinkers have simply prided themselves as keyboard warriors setting up blogs and arguing in chat rooms parading themselves as the answer to the collective prayers of a nation suffering in debt, unemployment and war. However, sitting watching a flickering screen in the dead of night waiting for the next comment from ‘reformisnotneeded69’ so that you can continue your epic discussion on the Big Brother state is anything but productive for the cause of Liberty in the British Isles. In all honesty he, or she, is mostly likely either never going to be won over to the idea that people should live in a society where they are not mothered from cradle to grave, or a troll seeking to get a rise from you because it’s how they get their kicks.
The party has had its differences recently and regrettably has divided, something that any Libertarian state would hope to happen eventually but at the moment it has made us weak at a time when we could be at our strongest.
The Liberal Democrats (It pains me to give them the authority of a proper noun) have lied to us and discarded their principals, the Conservatives have betrayed us unable to fulfil their promises on Europe and we can’t seemingly trust Labour with even a Tesco’s reward card without them bankrupting us. It is time from Libertarians around the country to come together and set the agenda that will push the party into the mainstream and show people that the policies protecting individual Liberty are needed now more than ever.
I am not advocating that bloggers shouldn’t blog or intellectual thinkers shouldn’t think but it’s time for the door knockers to start knocking and the leafleters to start leafleting. There is no point arguing amongst ourselves when there are council seats that could be contested around the country, the looming MEP elections that we could be a-part of and eventually in 2015 we can dream that the party will shake the hand of the first ever Libertarian Party MP.
Many of you dislike the idea of government and I understand your distrust of a system that eventually we would seek to eradicate. However, it is the only way that people will take notice of us. Your blog, although engaging and exciting for Libertarians to hear that they are not alone on this island will never be visited by the general voting public unless they are already interested in the cause. We need to take up arms, in this case a rosette if standing, a handful of leaflets if door knocking and a megaphone if campaigning and get our message out to the people.
If we want a Prime Minster to have to answer to the Libertarian voice and for us to influence the way that this country is run we need to work with the system, not just sit in dark rooms badmouthing it. There are people out there on the estates, in student unions and walking the high street that believe in a Libertarian message, they just haven’t heard it yet. It is up to us just to get them to listen for a few minutes. There are already groups out there who want to hear our message to and we need to make links with them: drug reform groups, anti-war movements and other Libertarian groups around the country. All it takes is for someone to approach them and we can begin the discussion of our mutual interests and how our causes can work better together.
Ron Paul started a revolution across the pond that gathered more support than anyone could have ever imagined and got ‘the man’ scared of a group of people who were passionate about making change. Unfortunately it looks ever more likely that the USA will outright reject the only man running for nomination who will change the world for the better; however, we can’t let his efforts be in vain, he’s sowed the seeds of Liberty and now it’s up to us to look after them and ensure that they grow into something that no one can ignore.
A few things that you can do today to help the Libertarian Party of the UK grow:
- Become a member, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the form or find it on the website here: http://libertarianpartyuk.com/store/#ecwid:category=1437173&mode=category&offset=0&sort=priceAsc – it’s only £15 (£10 for students or OAPs)
- Tell your friends, family, neighbours, dog that you’ve joined a political party and the reasons you joined.
- Read Libertarian texts and websites, but don’t just comment at the bottom, tell people about what you’ve learnt and how you think it affects them.
- If you’re part of a group that has Libertarian values but doesn’t know it yet tell them about the party and how our causes are mutually beneficial.
- If there are no Libertarian groups around you, set one up! Email the party and let us know that you’re doing it at email@example.com and we can help you get it off the ground.
If you’re from a Students’ Union email firstname.lastname@example.org as it’s my area of expertise.
- If you’re feeling really political email email@example.com and tell us that you’re willing to stand in local/national elections and we’ll get the help to you that you need to get started.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about the skills that you have and the time that you’re willing to volunteer to highlight the cause of Liberty.
- Make or find banners/signs/posters highlighting the cause of Liberty and hang them in your house/place of work/street.
As I write this I realize the irony of me blogging about how we need to stop blogging, I expect ‘reformisnotneeded69’ will have something to say about it, but I wanted to get this out there and hope that it will start people thinking about what they can do to influence our own grass roots support that we can build and build until there are enough of us to start making enough noise to be heard in local Libertarian groups, then local council chambers and then finally Westminster itself.
(Ted Wilkes is a sports development officer by day and wanabee political filmmaker and activist by late afternoon and night. He is currently the Communications Officer for the Libertarian Party of the UK and is responsible for all the stuff that is on the Facebook page.)