Incoming from Simon Gibbs of Libertarian Home, flagging up a video he has recently put up at YouTube. It is a report of a UK Uncut demo, which includes interviews with UK Uncut people, and some arguments against their arguments.
To me, the most important thing about this is that a libertarian has taken a video camera out there and actually done some reporting. And some editing. And he has put the resulting video out there for us all to look at and listen to. (It lasts just six minutes.)
I strongly agree with Gibbs that listening carefully to the arguments of people like those who speak for UK Uncut is worthwhile. The idea that, because the minds of people saying things we don’t agree with are mostly made up and unalterable, arguing with them is pointless, is just plain wrong. Others listen to these arguments. If counter-arguments are put, this will have consequences. Insofar as we libertarians disagree with these UK Uncut arguments, our own arguments will get sharper, as arguments always do when you actually listen to what you are arguing against.
Here, for instance, is what Gibbs said later, in his LH retro-report (where the video can also be viewed):
The main problem I have, and what the video focuses on, is that the numbers don’t stack up. Their avoidance loopholes would save 15% of the deficit if they were closed, but it would take 115% cuts, relative to the deficit, to pay off the accumulated debt in 37 years. Thirty seven years of services being trimmed will not work, I appreciate why they fear that, but what we really need is radical pro-growth policies and alternative sources of funding wherever it can be done. Democracy has failed to run its bank account properly. We need to bail it out, pay off the debt, and cut the responsibilities which we entrust to its institutions.
The video itself might have been (even) better, in that Gibbs might have put that point rather more eloquently to the people he was talking to than he actually did. But such nitpicking misses what is crucial here, which is that there are times when the important thing is just to start doing it. How many libertarian videos did you stick up on YouTube last week? More than zero? That’s infinity percent more than most of us have managed. Sometimes load/fire/take aim is the way to go. Simon Gibbs has now loaded and fired. His aim, pretty good to start with, will go from good to even better. As a piece of reportage, about what UK Uncut demos are like, this video is already excellent.
In all the ways that truly matter this is a terrific piece of work, and I really hope Gibbs keeps at it.