Freedom in the UK?

It will be interesting to keep an eye on developments from this initiative courtesy of the UK’s new coalition government:  “Your ideas, your freedom“.   


“The Coalition Government is committed to restoring and defending your freedom – and we’re asking you to participate”

According to the site:

“We’re working to create a more open and less intrusive society. We want to restore Britain’s traditions of freedom and fairness, and free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations – both for individuals and businesses.

This site gives you the chance to suggest how we can do this. Your ideas will inform government policy and some of your proposals could end up making it into bills we bring before Parliament to change the law.

So if there are any laws or regulations you’d like us to do away with, then first, check if there are any similar ideas here already and then add your comments to it and rate it to move it up the list. If it’s not here, then add it!  And remember – we want you to suggest ideas for removing laws and regulations, rather than ideas for creating them.”

Hopefully something positive will come out of the submissions.

21 thoughts on “Freedom in the UK?

  1. With 40% across the board budget cuts, this bodes well for economic growth and being freed from petty tyranny.

  2. I love the sounds coming out of the UK’s new government. I know it is theoretically a different flavour, but my fear is that they might be like the sounds originally made by KRudd. I liked some of them too, but they were never more than just sounds.

  3. I hate to admit it but I’m thinking more highly of David Cameron almost every time I hear of a new govt initiative from Britain.

    Admittedly my initial estimation of him was that of a totally empty suit.

  4. I’m quite skeptical myself.
    But I think this is a positive idea.

    It’s interesting to read some of the proposals and the comments too.

  5. It’s a small, tentative step in the right direction. Is this perhaps the influence of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats?

    I can’t work them out – they sound sort of libertarian, and quote JS Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ as their party handbook, but they also seem keen on surrendering some of UK’s authority to the EU, and maintaining/increasing the welfare state.

  6. “The Coalition Government is committed to restoring and defending your freedom – and we’re asking you to participate”

    “The government is collecting a register of known political miscreants for use in future purges”

    Sorry, but Im utterly cynical about anything at Airstrip One these days. I suppose the best that could be hoped for in the near term is a stagnation of the expansion of government. Most people completely lack to imagination to even concieve a society where a grand paternal government dicates and interferes in practically every aspect of their lives.

  7. Papa- apparently liberals in the UK stayed united more than they have in other countries. So within the LibDems you have the “market liberal” faction that is more libertarian and the “social liberal” faction that is more similar to the Greens. The LibDems are like Chipp-era Democrats in Australia and are interested in progressive thought generally.

    Thankfully Cameron is on the more “liberal” side of the Tories, as well. I was excited by the prospect of a LibDem/ Tory Coalition in the UK during the election but this makes me even more excited.

    It may be mostly hot air like the 2020 summit- but it’s hot air blowing in the right direction.

  8. Papa — some of your confusion might be explained by the fact that the British Lib Dems is a merger of two previous parties, the social democrats (like our old Democrat party) and the whigs (who used to be libertarian, and still have a left-over of libertarian instincts).

    But my guess would be that the “less regulation” push is just as much from the Tories as from the Lib Dems.

  9. Do they have a ministery of freedom to carry forward the recommendations generated by the website?

  10. Alan, does your last sentence need correcting? I’m guessing that you felt that most Yukkies COULD’NT imagination a land WITHOUT a paternal government which dictates their actions.
    Or am I wrong?

  11. Thanks for clarifying Shem & John. I knew there were two schools of though within the LDP. I didn’t realise the libertarian strain came from the Whigs.

    I wouldn’t compare this to the 2020 summit – about the best thing that could be said about that ridiculous PR stunt is that Rudd ingnored 95% of its ideas. Almost all of them involved either more regulation or more handouts to some special interest group.

  12. Terjep, I think they’re using the bankrupt Ministry of Wealth, also known as the treasury, for the Ministry of Freedom.
    If I lived in Britain, I might think that Councils couldn’t enter and harass places of business simply because of political correctness (no pig cutouts in windows so you don’t offend Muslims- when will they ban Porky Pig?)- if they had a warrant with an actual crime, then they could.

  13. I think non-UK citizens can make proposals on this site.

    You may already have a little post already written or a well thought out comment that you can quickly turn into a proposal. So it might be worth putting this up and see if it generates any discussion.

    This may be a way to spread “outside the box” pro-freedom ideas that many people are simply unaware of.

  14. Non-UK citizens can make proposals, and indeed I have already undertaken steps to propose an idea.

    It might help for anyone else here to propose one of their own. Starting with a country we are closely tied to become a more freedom orientated place may help to encourage us to do something similar in the future, and that idea is worth doing it for.

  15. I’m a libertarian in the UK and found it interesting to read your comments on our new govt.

    Shem is basically right about the disposition of the LibDem and Tory parties. Some libertarians hope that the Coalition will effect change and curb the excesses of the previous New Labour administration, but most of us fall into the sceptical camp, not so much on the issue of cuts (which are perceived as a move in the right direction and are also unavoidable, given our massive deficit) but on the repeal of bad laws. Many of us regard it as a PR exercise, a pretence at consultation to soften the blow of the cuts. We also feel that most people don’t give a stuff about liberty and only a few will hold the govt to account if nothing gets done. If asked, the kneejerk reaction of most people is to demand more bans and laws. There is also a sense of real outrage at the proposed extent of the cuts, which is being stoked by the BBC (you can’t close this or that ngo/govt program – they’re doing such valuable work, etc, etc). The NHS is, of course, sacred and has been ‘ringfenced’ as have other ‘front-line services’.

    There is a good chance that the Coalition will destroy the LibDems as a political force – particularly in the south, where they are the main (leftist) opposition to the Tories. The social democrat wing are extremely uncomfortable about the cuts and regard Clegg as a traitor who has sacrificed principles for a taste of power. Many are unhappy that they’ve had to moderate their demand for PR (nobody has much enthusiasm for the proposed Alternative Vote). Sad though it is, I don’t think Cleggy will be able to carry the party with him – there simply aren’t enough true liberals in it. As for Cameron, he has very little enthusiasm for his own program. He won’t make a principled case for cutting back the State because he’s afraid of being called ‘ideological’ or Thatcherite. He is very much a statist on the ‘wet’ side of the party.

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