Manifesto 2017

The full Libertarian Party UK 2017 Manifesto content can be read below, or download the PDF version (975kb) by clicking the front cover.


LPUK Manifesto 2017

 

THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY MANIFESTO 2017

Your Life, Your Country, Your Liberty

 

INTRODUCTION

This General Election is allegedly being fought on the interests of giving a clear majority to carry through Brexit. We believe that it is in fact a panic measure with the Conservatives facing a damaging rerun of up to 21 seats following Police Investigations into alleged electoral fraud in the 2015 General Election leading to a loss of the Conservative majority in Westminster.

From 1945 to 2006 there have been only been six petitions to overturn elections, in 2017 alone there could be five times that amount. This is not in the interests of the people of the United Kingdom. It shows a broken system that does not deliver ‘Representative Parliamentary Democracy’.

Labour is fighting on the basis of public sector privilege in the NHS and Trade Union power over our lives. It has very little else it can credibly fight a campaign on, especially having Jeremy Corbyn as its Leader.

The Liberal Democrats have cynically painted themselves as the only pro EU, Anti-Brexit Party. Thus showing they are neither Liberal nor Democratic in relation to the result of the Brexit referendum.

The Libertarian Party believes that the main issue that is not being addressed is that of the Constitution, we still need to have a Constitutional Convention and accept that the United Kingdom is rapidly heading for a de facto Federal Kingdom. People are grown up, they want more of a say, and referenda Swiss style should be the norm on both national and local issues, not the exception.

This included membership of the European Union, the final vote showing the political classes were completely out of touch with public sentiment. The Libertarian Party supported and campaigned for Brexit. As a Party we are confident that a new European settlement will be reached for Free Trade without the need for ever closer union.

It is time we moved from a Representative Democracy to a Direct Democracy where every vote matters. First past the post (FPTP) is no longer just or sane. All schools of political thought should be heard in Parliament.

Finally the ‘D’ word has to be addressed – our national debt of ‘1.4 Trillion has to be paid down, either through a specific Tax – the ‘Gordon Brown’ Tax or by a much reduced State.

Switzerland and other countries have in their Constitutions a prohibition on the State borrowing above a certain limit. We need to enshrine this into our Constitution and have it codified.

Adam Brown
LPUK Party Leader

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BALANCING THE STATE

The Libertarian Party is aware that for many people the State is an unfeeling, unresponsive animal. When things go wrong, its first instinct is to cover up. The NHS, HMRC and others are state institutions where state employees enjoy a virtually entrenched immunity from prosecution other than by the very rich. This has led to declining standards of civic behaviour.

The Libertarian Party is committed to:

– Making Misconduct in Public Office a statutory criminal offence.

– Compensation for those injured by the State.

– Ensuring the State makes compensation to the individual by implementing the Law Commission Report 322 on Administrative Redress: Public Bodies and the Citizen.

– Restoring the impeachment process for public servants that abuse their position including Ministers of State.

– A ‘recall’ system for MPs whose standard of behaviour brings Parliament into disrepute, by local referendum.

The Libertarian Party will establish local tribunals or Ombudsmen made up of lay citizens elected to the position, with a legal advisor to assist to ensure that complaints about public servants and public bodies are heard quickly. Each complaint is to be heard within six weeks before referring to a Judge to decide whether the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will be directed to prosecute on the citizen’s behalf.

– The Libertarian Party is committed to a written Constitution that protects the individual against the State and to have the Magna Carta and other documents codified into a single Constitution. The rights sought from Magna Carta down to the 1951 European Declaration of Human Rights have been continually usurped.

– The party takes as its model the Swiss Constitution of 1999.

– A Constitutional Court would be established.

– The Monarch under law would be the head of State, but subject to the Constitution.

Switzerland is a stable country with a devolution of power to its diverse cantons with different languages, religions and Cantonal Tax rates as our preferred model. England, alone out of the United Kingdom is disenfranchised amongst the home Nations, not having a Parliament of its own. The Libertarian Party is committed to an English Parliament not based in London.

There would be a Federal Parliament for the United Kingdom in that we would adopt either the traditional counties with multi seat constituencies with proportional voting as being the only rational way for the country to have representative government. Alternatively, the return of the 1,000 year old seven English Saxon kingdoms as the basis of public administration together with Ulster, Wales, Scotland and Kernow, emulating the German Lander or Swiss Cantons. Each would determine and have its own tax raising powers that will be devolved from Whitehall.

The House of Commons would be by popular election. The Libertarian Party would terminate the House of Lords as an anachronism that allows hereditary and unelected members along with the Clergy to influence public policy.

The Libertarian Party would immediately abolish the requirement for paying any deposit to the State to stand for any elected office. Democracy should be on the basis of ideas not cash.

Westminster would only deal with Defence and Foreign affairs. The House of Commons would be reduced to two hundred members and shall only sit from September to December each year, on the basis that the less time Parliament is sitting, the less interference in the life of the individual citizen. Exceptions would be made in a time of national emergency.

The Military and Police would swear allegiance to the Constitution.

No clergyman from whatever faith shall have the right to a seat unless elected. There will be a complete separation of Church and State.

All public honours and decorations other than proven military service shall be set aside. No public servant shall receive an honour as a matter of course for doing a job that they are already paid to do. The honours system has become a degraded and corrosive form of patronage.

The Libertarian Party would establish Commercial Tribunals with experienced business people sitting alongside specialist Commercial Judges to hear commercial disputes in the interest of speed of resolution and competence.

Disbarment from holding commercial Directorships will be removed from the Civil Service to such Tribunals.

DEFENCE – THE ONLY LEGITIMATE ROLE OF THE STATE

The Libertarian Party follows the Jeffersonian line of ‘Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.’

Following the Crimean War disaster in 1856, the British Army was overhauled by Edward Cardwell Secretary of State for War in 1868, determined on a programme of reform to overcome the incompetence and maladministration of our armed forces.

At a time when we have more admirals than ships and aircraft carriers with no supply of aircraft to land on them, together with there being more civil servants working in the MOD than full time soldiers there is a requirement for a ‘Cardwell 2’.

Our aim is to ensure a strong, independent, sovereign nation. This requires a well funded, trained and equipped professional Armed Forces (both full time and Reservist), geared for the defence of our nation and shipping, a policy to be called Armed Neutrality.

National Defence is one of the few legitimate reasons for the State to exist. This is different to mounting wars in support of other nations and invading other sovereign nations on the command of the Prime Minster exercising the Royal Prerogative.

– Our Armed Forces need to be able to make an enemy think twice, so must have the ability to project force rapidly, globally and flexibly in focused ways, e.g. submarines, amphibious assault, Marines and Special Forces.

– To protect supply lines and commercial shipping and fisheries from piracy and other interference will require a suitably sized fleet of corvettes, frigates and associated support craft.

– Reformation of Volunteer Yeomanry on a county basis for 18 to 25 year olds wishing to enlist as part time soldiers with no requirement to serve overseas and to be paid. This based on the Swiss Militia system.

– Maintain membership of NATO while in the National Interest.

– Maintain strong ties with non-aggressive Commonwealth countries.

– Any nuclear deterrent to be made truly independent, retained, maintained and eventually replaced in the foreseeable future.

– The establishment of a separate military pension over and above the State pension for those that have served in the armed forces.

– The establishment of separate military hospitals for those servicemen and ex-servicemen and their families.

– The establishment of a living wage for the armed forces.

– A programme of demolition of old housing and building of modern accommodation using the disposal of MOD assets.

This is to establish real substance to the ‘Military Covenant’ which should be on the
Statute Book.

Military Pensions by the State should be seen not as entitlements but as rewards for actual service, and to benefit dependants of those killed on active service.

IMMIGRATION

Our immigration policy will be points based whilst the State provided Welfare System exists. The core tenet is that there should be free movement of peoples. Anybody arriving in the country should have no expectation of being supported by the State, subsidised housing or any benefits of any kind.

The state will not issue any National Insurance (NI) numbers to anybody not born in this country, or has made not less than five years contribution in payments to an NI approved scheme.

Anybody granted a residency permit will be obliged to demonstrate that they have adequate medical insurance.

In parallel, we will establish bilateral agreements with countries to enable free flows of people.

Longer term, and in conjunction with the shrinking of our unsustainable current Welfare System, we are committed to pursuing an open borders policy towards those who would wish to come to the United Kingdom in order to contribute to our economy and share our values.

Totally free movement of people into the UK is not practical whilst we have a large welfare state and other countries are themselves not broadly Libertarian in nature.

A free flow notwithstanding, any Libertarian government will reserve the right to eject or refuse entry to foreign nationals convicted in a court of law as part of the Government’s prime role in protecting the population and maintaining Rule of Law.

The UK shall have full control over its immigration policy, with any right of final appeal remaining within the UK jurisdiction.

Asylum Seekers must present at a UK border or at the British Embassy of a neighbouring country to their own, otherwise their claim shall not be accepted.

Those refusing to declare originating country and accept that the failure of their application will result in their return shall be denied entry, and any right to seek asylum will be refused outright without appeal.

Asylum seekers to be held ‘air side’ while their case is heard as swiftly as possible, meaning weeks, not months or years. This shall not apply to children under the age of 15.

End automatic access to education and resources for any child who presents itself to the authorities, i.e. vouchers will not be available.

We believe any concept of a mass ‘amnesty’, actual or de facto forgiveness for illegal immigration undermines the Rule of Law and as such will not be entertained.

The policies above are strict but are drawn up in regard to those who approach the process lawfully and follow the rules, not those who try and bend the rules or bootstrap their way in.

Acceptance into the armed forces will be dealt with by the Ministry of Defence.

The Libertarian Party fully supports the CANZUK proposal, for a free trade zone including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom having shared legal and cultural heritage.

THE RULE OF LAW

Freedoms won for us by the blood of our ancestors have been seriously eroded over the decades, and this erosion is gaining speed and must be halted and reversed. It is a core responsibility of the State to enable the citizens to go safely about their lawful business without let or hindrance.

A central tenet of Libertarianism is that we are all equal before the Law from the mightiest to the poorest. This is the Rule of Law. The failure to hold former Prime Minister Tony Blair to account before a Court of Law undermines Law and accountability.

We have car insurance, we have life assurance, yet so few of us carry Legal insurance. Going to Law to protect an interest or to defend yourself is frustrating and seriously injurious to your wealth.

The Libertarian Party will advocate an insurance scheme to balance out the individual against the State or the wealthy abusing the legal system.

County prosecutors elected at the same time as MPs will defend the individual or prosecute the powerful and the State on behalf of the individual, paid for by this insurance scheme.

Unenforceable Law is bad Law, the Libertarian Party will advocate that after thirty years each Law on the statute book is reviewed and has a sunset on its provisions.

Law that is clearly not understood by the Layman is bad law. It should not need a thousand pages of Civil Procedure Rules to enable any citizen to obtain both Justice and redress.

The Libertarian Party wants less Law and regulation, replacing it with enforceable Laws. This is on the basis that which is not proscribed is free to do, rather than the State giving freedom or licence to carry out an activity.

The Libertarian Party will reaffirm the Nine Peelian Principles:

1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

3. Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observation of the Law.

4. The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force.

5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Police Chief Constables to be locally elected, and given a greater amount of autonomy.

Drastically simplify and reform Police/CPS targets, now the remit of the Chief Constable, and to remove the desire to prosecute innocent parties.

A reduction in paperwork to enable more beat officers to remain on patrol for as long as possible.

We will undertake a review of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) concept, with the potential to recruit those capable in to the main police force, and to disband the remainder.

Limit retention of DNA only in the event of a conviction, and to discard after that conviction is spent.

Futhermore:

– Disorder to be handled via the courts, not on-the-spot fines, which we believe are unconstitutional as laid out in the 1689 Bill of Rights.

– Repeal inhibitions to ‘right to lawful assembly’.

– Wiretap evidence to be permitted as evidence in court cases if obtained with a warrant.

– Undertake a review to consider returning juries to all criminal trials.

– Immediate repeal of Control Orders.

– Implement a maximum period for detention without charge of 48 hours; arrests should be evidenced based, not fishing expeditions.

– Decriminalisation of all sexual activity related to consenting adults.

Roll back the right of government agents to enter property without a warrant issued by a judge.

Prisons

We will ensure that sufficient prison places are available to make capacity not a factor in detention, bail or sentencing decisions.

Make prison harsher for uncooperative inmates as necessary, while rewarding cooperation. End the practice of using regular prisons for the incarceration of the mentally ill.

Life to mean life. An end to early release of the violent or abusive.

No consideration for age or gender should influence sentencing, especially with access orders for children.

We will undertake a review to examine the options available for the provision of training and educational facilities within prisons, and also investigate the possibility of prisoners being able to perform paid work whilst incarcerated should they wish.

Ensure first time remand prisoners are kept separate from other inmates.

Capital Punishment

The Libertarian Party is unequivocally opposed to the death penalty by the State.

Torture

The Libertarian Party believes that the use of torture is against the Rule of Law.

Family Courts

The Libertarian Party would end the ‘secret Court system’ that is open to much abuse. The party fully supports joint parenting orders.

The Court System

The Libertarian Party would abolish the Crown Prosecution Service. Elected Magistrates would be the basis of a decision to prosecute. The Party would hold that the Justices of the Peace system was always far more responsive to local crime.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)

The Libertarian Party would abolish this intrusive Act.

THE WELFARE STATE

The welfare state was promoted on the false premise that the State could look after the individual from ‘Cradle to Grave’, a phrase that is no longer heard. This undertaking was in return for oppressive levels of taxation.

This so called ‘social contract’ has been breached repeatedly by the State and the Welfare State has become a by word for social conditioning and has unleashed an army of bureaucrats on the population.

All these changes will be phased in over a twenty year period. All accident and emergency services will remain free at the point of delivery.

THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE

As an organisation, the NHS has obscured its failings through a political ‘sacred cow’ status. This cannot continue as it will eventually lead to financial collapse.

It is our proposal as an interim measure that National Insurance becomes a true insurance entity for health provision, not a Ponzi scheme. National Insurance contributions will be paid to ‘not for profit’ organisations whose board members are elected and are disconnected from politicians much as the Bank of England is at present.

The holding of a NI membership means the patient will receive appropriate treatment from whatever source including overseas treatment and this will be paid for by the National Insurance Board.

Should you elect to take out your own medical insurance you will be entitled to opt out of the National Insurance Scheme. Employers can offer medical insurance as part of an employee’s contract. This will not be a taxable benefit.

The National Insurance Board will not own or operate any hospital, but will purchase services from clean safe hospitals from whatever quarter on the basis of ‘patients before public privilege’.

The National Health Boards shall consist of an English Board, Scottish Board, Ulster Board and Welsh Board. They shall be fully independent of regional government interference. Should each board wish to increase the rates they wish to take, this shall be put to the opted in members of the scheme to be agreed by a referendum.

Elective cosmetic procedures will not be funded by National Insurance boards.

Non Residents arriving at their port of entry show that they have adequate Health Insurance for the length of their stay. This will be reflected in the cost of a visa.

The central premise should be that National Insurance should reflect the true cost of the service provided on an annual basis.

GP services will also be paid for by the National Insurance Board, each GP practice having to demonstrate that it can provide 24 hour coverage on a local basis to alleviate A&E services. Medical incompetence should be referred to a no fault compensation scheme so those deaths and injuries can be compensated within months not decades.

Emergency Services

The RNLI has existed since 1824, was granted charitable status in 1860 and is a registered Charity. The Air Ambulance charities are continuing this honourable tradition of voluntarism. We propose that any individual or business that contributes to such charities should be able to set these contributions against taxation. Thus promoting localism and the reduction of bureaucracy.

We also propose this concept be extended to volunteer fire services and ambulance services, together with a volunteer civil defence charity. Much of the 2014 response to the flooding in Somerset was made by local volunteers not the state or the military. 18 to 24 year olds who volunteer for these services for three years will be granted a sponsored University or further education course.

Medical Training

We propose that anybody undertaking any professional medical qualification or nursing qualification in United Kingdom should not be required to pay tuition fees on the basis that they contract to work within the United Kingdom for a period of five years or volunteer to work in a developing country for two years.

It is iniquitous that the current NHS relies on doctors from developing countries to make up for the training gap. Any company, charity, corporation or individual who sponsors medical trainees shall be exempt from taxation to the level of the sponsorship.

Drugs Policy

The Libertarian Party advocates decriminalisation of drugs following the Portuguese model, and treated users as addicts and a public health issue not a criminal one. The ‘War on Drugs’ has been lost. We should accept that this is the case.

THE ECONOMY

The Libertarian Party is committed to:

– Abolishing Personal Income Tax

– Abolishing Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax

– Lowering Corporation Tax to 10%

– Ending the budget deficit and reducing the National Debt

– People and organisations trading freely, honestly and voluntarily

Our short-term goal will be to reduce and simplify taxation and shift it towards consumption rather than income, to increase transparency and accountability.

Begin repayment of the National Debt and to reduce the payment of unsustainable monthly interest payments. Our long term goal is to have a vibrant, transparent, open, honest, low-tax, sustainable and true market economy, in which the Pound Sterling value is preserved and little or no National Debt exists.

We understand that there is a risk to everybody’s wealth should the State decide to emulate Cyprus and seize a percentage of all wealth. Therefore the choices are further reduction in spending or a tax for a period of five years to reduce the debt. If the latter course is adopted it will be applied on the same basis as the German Reunification Tax, and we would propose to call this after a former Prime Minister; ‘The Gordon Brown Tax’.

This would be written into a Swiss style constitution that forbids the State on our behalf to overspend.

The State has a responsibility to not destabilise the economy nor create government debt, which is both a tax on the existing population and a mortgage on our children’s future.

Free Markets

Libertarians believe passionately in free markets. And when we say ‘free markets’ we mean exactly that – people and organisations trading freely, honestly and voluntarily, for the benefit of all.

Some lobby groups use the term ‘free markets’ to mean the economic rule over us by faceless corporations. Such corporatism (sometimes called political capitalism) is opposed by Libertarians, and many of our policy proposals are squarely aimed at tackling this abuse by monopolies, cartels and regulation.

Attempts to reform our economic system would flounder if we ignore one of the major underlying structural issues; the question of how our money supply is created.

Income and Corporation Taxes

The Libertarian Party will introduce a simplified tax system, easy for everybody to understand. Personal Income Tax to be abolished. Initially the poorest will be taken out of income tax with a ‘21,000 personal allowance, and a flat rate above that.

Corporation Tax lowered to 10% to encourage business and commerce to be based in the UK. The Party is committed to investigate the viability of a 5 year exemption from Corporation Tax for start-ups.

Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax abolished in first Libertarian parliamentary term.

Local Taxation Areas

As the Libertarian Party advocates a Swiss style devolution, the Party would not have a standard tax rate across the country. Each Region or Canton to set its own rate.

Low or differential Tax in different areas would create competition for business to move, locate or set up in a low tax area.

Local Banking Groups

The Libertarian Party advocates removing the current support to The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and ensure that private institutions are not bailed out in future. Then the free market will ensure that too big to fail is too big to exist.

‘The Spending Plan’

The Libertarian Party endorses ‘The Spending Plan’ produced by the Tax Payers Alliance as attempting to bring some honesty back into Elections where the moon is promised and could never be delivered.

EDUCATION

The Libertarian Party advocates the denationalisation and secularisation of education to end this 150 year battle over indoctrination and put power back where it belongs, with the parents.

As an interim measure each child would receive an educational voucher which the parents can use at a school of their choice, and top up should they so wish. This would ensure that only worthy schools with high standards would prosper.

The Libertarian Party would ensure that educational trusts that gave scholarships, their donors could set that off against corporation and personal tax.

The Labour project of fifty per cent of young people going to University was fanciful nonsense. We need technical educational establishments to train young people in transportable skills. Again donors to such high standard establishments would set off their donations against tax. Tertiary education has to be paid for; many universities now rely on foreign fees to pay their way. Others are just finishing schools. The key to education is in the arts to have superlative standards to gain entry. In technical and language universities proven ability is the key to access.

Teachers should not be banded, but paid on talent. Poor quality teachers and lecturers will be removed from their posts, equally there will be no barrier to entry into the profession from business and the armed services.

Post Military service of five years or more service personnel will receive an education voucher for any three year course at tertiary level.

The Libertarian Party holds that the Education of Children is the responsibility of the parents not the State, therefore the power to fine parents for taking children on holiday will be immediately withdrawn. Both Parents and Grandparents are equally influential in the education and values of their children.

 

VANITY PROJECTS AND PUBLIC WORKS

The Libertarian Party would immediately terminate the following:

High Speed Two (HS2)

There is no economic case for this project.

Restoration of the Palace of Westminster

This project will take decades, it will overrun by millions of pounds due to so many unknown factors. The building is unfit for purpose. A new Federal Parliament should be built using the best designs submitted in competition for a much smaller Parliament.

Hinckley Point

This part Chinese financed, French run project will be cancelled in favour of smaller British built nuclear plants, and funding directed into proven technology such as tidal barrage schemes. As a rule, if the private sector will not fund a project without subsidy there is always a question mark over its viability.

FOREIGN AID

The Libertarian Party would end this abusive and corrupt system of patronage in favour of more trade with developing countries.

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The Libertarian Party UK, BM LPUK, London, WC1N 3XX Tel: 0208 088 8121
Registered with the Electoral Commission RP 2517848 (GB)

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