Whilst I, of course, welcome the more liberal policies of Our New Coalition Overlords—and would like to remind them that, as a very slightly respected (or at least popular) blogger, I can be useful in rounding up the population to toil in their underground tax mines—it is worth bearing in mind that these people are still very far from being libertarian.
There may well be a small leavening of the state's intrusion into the tiniest aspects of our lives but, despite the dire financial situation, Our New Coalition Overlords are still barely scratching the surface when it comes to shrinking the state.
Unlike the Labour Party however, they are at least heading in the right direction and it is thus worth pushing for more: this lot are, at least, more likely to listen to our supplications rather than dismiss them utterly as the ravings of disgusting free-market loons.
As such, your humble Devil is happy to be taking part in the a series of debates, hosted by The Free Society and gathering together people from across the libertarian spectrum, called Voices of Freedom: the press release runs as follows...
The battle against Big Government—join the debate!
The Free Society, an offshoot of the smokers’ lobby group Forest, today announced an exciting new programme of events that will take place in London in June.
In association with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith Institute, Big Brother Watch, The Manifesto Club and Liberal Vision, The Free Society is hosting a series of debates entitled Voices of Freedom: The Battle Against Big Government.
Subjects include ‘Economic Freedom in Welfare’, ‘Big Government is Watching You’, ‘Can a Big Society be a Free Society?’, ‘Hyper-Regulation and the Bully State’; and ‘Who Holds the Liberal Torch in 2010?’.
The debates will be chaired by Mark Littlewood, general-director of the IEA; Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas; James Panton, co-founder of The Manifesto Club; and political blogger Iain Dale. They will be held at the IEA on 3, 10, 5, 24 and 29 June.
Speakers currently include Philip Davies MP; Brendan O’Neill (editor, online magazine Spiked!); Michael White, assistant editor of the Guardian; Ross Clark, author of The Road To Southend: One Man's Struggle Against the Surveillance Society; Dr Eamonn
Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute; Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch and former chief of staff to David Cameron; Dr Tim Evans, president of the Libertarian Alliance; freedom of information campaigner Heather Brooke; Chris Mounsey, leader of the Libertarian party; Josie Appleton of the Manifesto Club; and journalist Philip Johnston, author of Bad Laws: An Explosive Analysis of Britain’s Petty Rules, Health and Safety Lunacies and Madcap Laws. More speakers will be confirmed shortly.
Announcing the series of events, Simon Clark, director of Forest and The Free Society, said: “The Conservatives say they are going to tackle Big Government while the deputy prime minister, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, says he wants to ‘transform our politics so the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state’.
“Voices of Freedom: The Battle Against Big Government will hold the Conservative-Lib Dem administration to account. Our goal is a society that adopts a sensible and pragmatic approach to social and economic affairs, trusting people to make their own decisions about how best to live their lives, mindful of the effect their behaviour may have on other people.”
Welcoming the series of debates, Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “The emergence of a Conservative-Liberal coalition government might now provide the opportunity for a politics based around individual freedom and responsibility, rather than government diktat. The new prime minister and deputy prime minister use the language of liberty, but will they have the guts and determination to actually put Big Government into reverse gear?
It should be an interesting series of debates; the one in which your humble Devil is taking part is the final one...
WHO HOLDS THE LIBERAL TORCH IN 2010?
Libertarians, Lib Dems or the “liberal elite”?
Tuesday June 29, 2010
IEA, 2 Lord North Street, Westminster, London SW1
Chaired by Mark Littlewood (Institute of Economic Affairs), speakers include Julian Harris (chairman, Liberal Vision), Chris Mounsey (leader, Libertarian party), Brendan O’Neill (editor, Spiked!) and Michael White (assistant editor, Guardian)
Do come along!