The British Libertarian Party

The newly formed British Libertarian Party now has a manifesto. Their policies are broadly similar to Australia’s own libertarian party, the LDP, with a few differences.  Interesting to note the much more robust defence policies of British libertarianism as compared with the more passive variety that exists in Australia and the US.  Also note that aim to abolish income tax rather than introduce a flat 30% tax favoured by the LDP.

The British electoral system does not favour small parties. Hence there has been much reluctance from British libertarians in the past to set up a new party, believing that they would rather have their prominent supporters in parties that are capable of gaining power.  There is no chance of the BLP ever gaining a single seat.  The other key difference is that there is arguably a much greater need for a classical liberal party in Britain as the state is so much more prevalent in people’s lives than here in Australia (hard to believe, i know) and the Opposition Tories have become much more statist than their Thatcherite predecessors.   Government spending as a proportion of GDP is around 43% in the UK versus 23% in Australia (not counting the UK’s massive off-balance sheet liabilities such as pensions and PFI) and the economy is sagging under eleven years of regulation and state interference.

Their main policies are;

i) The abolition of personal income tax

ii) Corporation Tax to be lowered to 10%

iii) Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax to be abolished

iv) Aim to reduce government borrowing to zero 

v) Abolish the minimum wage

vi) Introduction of Swedish-style vouchers allowing parents to choose their children’s schools

vii) Strengthen the Armed Forces

viii) Adoption of bilateral agreements with individual countries to manage immigration. Impose restrictions on immigration until the welfare state is reduced in size.

ix) Speed up the planning process to allow more houses to be built.

x) Introduce election of local Police chiefs

xi) All new legislation to have a sunset clause

xii) Legalisation of drugs and prostitution

xiii) Repeal the 28 day detention orders

xiv) Build more prisons and toughen prison sentences for violent offenders

xv) Repeal the Firearms Act to allow the use of hand-guns

xvi) Repeal the Human Rights Act

Good luck to them. Expect to be torched by the social democrat media. 

44 thoughts on “The British Libertarian Party

  1. It is still worthwhile to have a pure Libertarian Party, even if they stay very small. At least people will know that an alternative does exist, and they might win at the local council level, and do some good there.
    And they might be able to use their strong defence platform to promote gun-ownership and self-defence!

  2. Commies. I think we should simply a have a consumption tax.

    More seriously though I thought they would have got stuck right into planning regs etc that make housing less affordable. I like the fact they are not afraid to punish real criminals for real crimes either, or they don’t equate a strong defence force with military Keynesianism or imperialism.

  3. Was there a minimum wage in the UK before Tony Blair? I seem to recall that it was one of his early “innovations”.

  4. that’s right, TerjeP. TB introduced it in 1999 as a ‘symbol of decency and fairness’.

    implying (presumably) that people like you who disagree with the min wage are not decent and unfair.

  5. Yea, I too I like how they demonstrate that libertarianism doesn’t equal peacenik softcockery.

    I tend to also agree with mark that a consumption tax is better and would remove corporation tax completely.

    One small point Pom, i think total Aussie government – if you include the states- is about 33% of GDP- not 23%.

  6. I would just like to point out that we are the Libertarian Party, UK, as in LPUK, not BLP or the UKLP. We have in the UK a BNP (statist, nationalist) and a UKIP (anti-EU), so we need to avoid confusion! Thanks.

  7. I’m struggling to see how their defence policy is any different from the American libertarian party.

    Its a standard libertarian policy of non-intervention combined with a strong national defence (i.e. defend British borders, don’t send British troops to die defending the borders between Iraq and Iran). They even quote Thomas Jefferson: “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations—entangling alliances with none”

  8. Sukrit – the uk libertarian bloggers (that founded the Lib Party) tend to be in favour of troops in Afghanistan, though there is a mix of views on Iraq.

  9. Looks like a fantastic pro-rich, pro-business and pro-war agenda, the testosterone is rich in the air tonight. I’ve got a woody. Why wait for elections, break out the Uzis I say.

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  11. Allowing people to make their own ethical and financial choices and fighting a justifiable war and rejecting one based on Blair’s dodgy dossier scares Our Lady.

    Dame Maggie is obviously senile.

    No wonder she let that Pinochet bastard go free.

  12. Pretty good policies. I especially like, abolish income tax.
    I hope they get some good publicity and can simply get some public attention.

  13. “The British electoral system does not favour small parties” – that is true now (apart from parties with a regional base, strong in their own regions). It’s largely a consequence of successive electoral “reforms” pushed through by the Labour Party, kicking away the same ladders that let them get established when they were a small party, notably the old multi-member constituencies that some areas had. Those constituencies worked more like “cumulative voting” than “first past the post”. And before the Liberals started that sort of reform, some constituencies didn’t have a property qualification but a grandfathered one – the Reform Acts disfranchised certain groups. Whatever the apparent inequities of the old system, with different rules applying rather than a standard set, the very variation allowed a wider range of opinion to have effective outlets. Reform suppressed the likes of A.P.Herbert.

  14. We’re thinking of having a policy of abolishing income tax altogether. 30/30 used to so radical it was revolutionary. Fortunately the electorate is ready for a more libertarian policy.

  15. Good. I voted LDP last election, because of its policy of personal liberty and privacy which is being invaded from all sides and people don’t see through the cloud(always with the excuse to protect families, children and from terrorists), whatever happened to innocent untill proven guilty.

    Ideally no tax is most welcome though as a real libertarian party should do as its anti-liberty to forcefully tax anyones income.

  16. Fortunately the electorate is ready for a more libertarian policy.

    and the evidence for this is?

  17. For long time, tax cuts were portrayed in a negative light in the media. The last election was a real turning point.

    Conversely, where is the evidence I am wrong?

  18. Mark

    I wish like anything that you were right but i don’t really see any pressure anywhere for income tax cuts. The luxury car tax was pure spite and envy and barely merited a mention in the press. Brendan Nelson’s proposed 5c cut in fuel excise is not even being supported by his own party let alone the electorate.

    For most people, the idea that the rich should pay the same tax rate as the poor (30%) will seem sufficiently radical.

  19. Barely mentioned in the press?

    1. The Sunday Terror had it as front page news. The Terror is fairly populist.

    2. Rudd kicked the crap out of the Libs only because Howard was such wet rag on taxes.

    3. Part of the reliable “mortgage belt” story on sub par current events journalism television is that excise tax contributes to the grief. These people are often in marginals.

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