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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Start Again Party? Or just repackaging?

Paul Marks is very ambivalent about what a previous Samizdata.net contributor called the Start Again Party, referring to a possible ‘libertarian’ breakaway faction within the British Conservative Party

I should be interested in this idea. I have been a member of the Conservative Party since 1980, and even when I went to join the party at the offices of the Kettering Association, I stated that I was a libertarian and have stated so often since then (oddly enough it is the older members of the association, some of whom have since died, who tended to know what a ‘libertarian’ actually was).

However, nothing I have heard so far attracts me. I would be interested in a party that wanted to cut taxes, government spending and regulations (I do not expect them to understand to monetary policy, the only people I have met in the Conservative party who understood monetary policy were very old indeed and are now almost all dead). People who call themselves ‘centre left’ and declare that the “debate is not about economics” do not interest me at all.

Aping the ‘New Left’ by trying to construct a politics based on an obsession with “race, gender and sexual orientation” (the Herbert Marcuse idea of building a new alliance to make up for the poor revolutionary showing of the old working class) is not sensible – although it may be profitable (there are lots of central and local government grants available for such activity).

When I pointed some of the above out to the Conservative group Connect (in reply to unsolicited e-mails) they did not reply. Had they replied I would have asked them the following question:

If you are people interested in ‘civil liberties’ particularly in the area of “race, sex and sexuality”, do you support the repeal of the various anti-discrimination laws, the closing down of the various government race and sex agencies, and ending the restrictions on free speech?

If people are interested in liberty in this area they should (logically) support freedom of speech and of association and non association. No one must be compelled to trade with or employ someone he does not wish to trade with or employ, and no person should be punished for expressing a negative opinion of a group of people.

If the reply to the above is “no we do not support the repeal of the anti discrimination laws, the closing down of the various government race and sex agencies… [and so on]” then please spare us all the rubbish about being in favour of ‘civil liberties’.

Paul Marks

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