Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Libertarian wedge

The Thatcherite wing of the Liberal Democrats is sponsoring two fringe events at next week's federal conference in Bournemouth. The first is on a reasonable enough subject, "Mortgages and mayhem". There does appear to be reasonable political balance, Lord Teverson & Tessa Munt counterbalancing Paul Staines (the arch-Tory "Guido Fawkes") and Greg Dyke, though, in view of the participation of the last two, the language is likely to be blue.

I have more doubts about the second. It's not so much the title ("How should we fight the nanny state?") as the indication of the direction the event is to be steered. Co-sponsors are FOREST, the pressure group which wants to rescind the ban on smoking in public places.

Since Sara Scarlett, a leading light in "Liberal Vision" has in the past praised Anne Widdecombe, and attacked Jo Swinson for her campaign for "Real Women", I think we can see where this is going. Scarlett has also attacked federal president Ros Scott and valued campaigner Duncan Borrowman. It is no surprise that she was the object of a move to withdraw her party membership.

Politics is not a matter of black-and-white, no matter what the Glenda Slaggs of the red-tops may say. I agree with Scarlett on some things, especially the thrust of her piece on the isolation and professionalisation of MPs. It would have been nice, though, if she had divulged what she does for a living.

Update: notifies me of a recent post on Liberal Vision. by Barry Stocker on the subject of Adam Smith. However, this post is not accessible. Was it removed because Adam Smith is seen as not libertarian enough?


Unknown said...

Wow! This post has had me all about in giggles.

Ok, first thing's first: I agree with practically nothing Anne Widdecombe says politically. And I would imagine she would find some of my political views particularly "eccentric".

She is, however, someone I admire as a women. What she said about the next parliament being "second-rate" due to being filled with the professional political class was what I was particularly trying to emphasise and that's something that in this very post you say you agree with.

I never "attacked Jo Swinson" - I attacked the "Real Woman"policy (as did Tom Papworth but you didn't mention that) because I think it's deeply, deeply misguided.

I never "attacked Ros Scott" - I have some serious misgivings about the decisions she has taken as Party President during the Expenses scandal.

And in regards to Duncan - don't you think it's a little disheartening that this gentlemen openly declares that he won't fight internal sleaze. If not him then whom? Because no one seems to be doing it right now.

I have never - to my knowledge - been the object of a move to withdraw my party membership.

I am a undergraduate student at Royal Holloway, University of London. Until recently I was a campaigns intern at Susan Kramer MP's constituency office.

The post by Barry Stocker wrote on the subject of Adam Smith is alive as well. After it was published I switched it's time stamp to have it published again after I'd put up the little post about conference.

Removed tin-hat from head then blog!

Guido Fawkes said...

I'm not a Tory, "arch" or otherwise.

The last party I was a member of was the Irish Progressive Democrats, who sit with the LibDems in the European Parliament. Before that I was in the British SDP, before that, like Nick Clegg, I was in the Federation of Conservative Students...

Frank Little said...

You don't have to be a member of the party to be a Tory (which term pre-dates party organisation anyway).

Duncan Borrowman said...

Sara is an expert at totally distorting what is said to suit her own view of the world.
She says I won't fight internal sleaze. I say I won't do dirty washing in public. When she learns to actually listen to both sides in a debate I may further indulge her. But while she continues to distort what she reads, then republish her distortion as fact, there is little point in indulging her.