However, we wanted to try to get it right: we wanted to grow support steadily and then look at the best way of distributing—and giving autonomy to—regional groups. Rather to our suprise—after all, none of us had really been active in politics before—we did not need to assign said groups: they have sprung up of their own accord.
And now, as Ian writes on the LPUK blog, we are gradually launching them officially.
On the 1st of January 2009, the Libertarian Party celebrated its first Birthday. From its inception at the beginning of 2008 support for the Libertarian ideals laid out in our manifesto has been steadily growing, and today we have taken the first major steps from that single national structure into regional Branch formations.
We have formally launched the South East Branch this morning, to add to the one we have in the North West, and new Branches throughout the country will soon follow, as will the names and details of our first PPC's and Local Election Candidates, which will continually be updated as new candidates are taken through our selection process.
As this country slips further into Authoritarian rule the support for Libertarian ideals has never been stronger, or more vocal.
However, as people who are coming to LPUK are telling us in no uncertain terms, the Conservative Party has no room for Libertarian thought, Cameron has made clear that he will be continuing on the present path to a Federal Europe and will not be walking with Libertarians , Osborne is providing more Keynesian economics, and William Hague has refused to commit to a referendum if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified. In other words, more of the same under a disguised 'nudge'.
Those who have come to us from the LibDems tell of horrific infighting, with the SDP controlled leadership squeezing the Liberal element out of the party, marginalising them at branch level and suggesting that there is no room in the modern LibDem party for them. The LibDems have lost their Liberal roots and become the Social Democratic party, set to continue where Brown leaves off. More of the same.
Both LibDems and Conservatives are on a collision course with the British people, 57% of whom have now indicated that they no longer wish to remain in the EU. They are looking for a genuinely free society, services that work, lower taxes, much smaller government, less nannying and laws that are Made in Britain.
The voters of Britain are not stupid people, they are not happy about being led on the road to Authoritarian rule, and they are more than aware that the Libertarian Party is the only party that offers a direct rebut to the path we are currently on.
As your humble Devil has wandered around the country—doing the odd talk here and there (especially to the young)—he has found considerable support for the libertarian ideal. These people may not call themselves "libertarian" or they may feel that a Libertarian Party is not the most effective way to bring a smaller government to this country. Nonetheless, they are all intelligent people who have realised that the current state of affairs cannot continue. After all, if you are a fan of The Kitchen, then you are probably a Libertarian.
One of the most common questions that I have been asked is something along the lines of "yes, this is all very worthy: but have you actually stood in any elections?" The answer is, of course, that we have not.
Now, we are gathering our meagre resources to do just that. And, as usual, we are asking for your money to help us do it.
If you want to make a donation to LPUK so we can continue to stand for your rights, and I will be very honest here, yes, we need your money, click here.
If you want to stand at Local Elections or as a Member of Parliament yourself to make that difference, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No, we don't have all the answers, anyone who tells you that they do is lying, but we believe that we are putting forward far more credible options than the Conservatives or the LibDems.
We don't want to spend billions on slick advertising campaigns. But we would like to be able to fund deposits; we would like to be able to print leaflets to get the message out there; we would like to be able to pay expenses (not the MPs' kind) to our speakers who troll around the country (your humble Devil would like to point out, at this juncture, that he has claimed not a single penny from the LPUK).
And one day, yes, we would like to have power: the power to leave everyone the fuck alone to get on with their lives, and to live those lives as they see fit.
Call me "a loony libertarian" if you like—it's how I often self-deprecatingly refer to myself, after all—but I think that what we want to achieve is a noble aim: to let every person live how they wish according to the priorities that they, themselves, set.
In short: we wish to set people free.
UPDATE: the Libertarian Alliance would like you to take part in a poll to decide whether or not that august organisation should actively support LPUK. Please do go and vote (whichever way you wish)...