The week resumes after a highly enjoyable and stimulating annual Libertarian Alliance conference, which I attended along with one or two other members of the Samizdata crew, such as Brian Micklethwait. I may put together some more considered thoughts about some of the ideas and issues that arose over the past two days, but for now, let me join in congratulating Antoine Clarke – another occasional Samizdata writer – for picking up a deserved literary prize, and also Tim and Helen Evans and Sean Gabb, for putting this event together. What was encouraging was how we had delegates from all over the globe, with plenty of new, young faces.
One of the best sessions was the final one, in which we were treated to a survey of how the UK public actually thinks about banking and the credit crisis. The results, as Antoine himself suggested, might show that people are far less naive in believing fashionable nonsense about financial affairs than politicians assume. It would be nice to think that whenever some warmed-up Keynesian goes on about “quantitative easing”, the response from Joe Public is to roll the eyes.
The conference also featured a highly entertaining post-dinner speech by Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes. As Paul noted, it is galling that the word “freedom” is conspicuously absent from the rhetoric of any of the main party leaders in the UK. The same, for that matter, can be said of those in countries such as the US.