Gavin Webb, who was selected as the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Burton in 2008 and elected as a Lib Dem councillor on Stoke-on-Trent City Council in 2007, has today announced that he has resigned from the Liberal Democrats.
"I have made a good many friends in my fourteen years of activism in the Liberal Democrats and I hope that those friendships will continue, but regretfully I have decided to resign from the Liberal Democrats.
"The party, like the Conservative and Labour parties, has become a party of the establishment. It has unfortunately firmly wedded itself to the belief that there are primarily government solutions to the problems facing our country, and in the process, they are adopting policies that undermine our rights and freedoms as individuals.
"As far as I can see, most political parties in the UK appear to trust individuals when it comes to voting for councillors, MPs and MEPs, but once comfortably in power they are reluctant to trust individuals when it comes to them making choices about their own lives.
"There is however one political party—the Libertarian Party—that believes in giving responsibility back to individuals over their own lives and their own finances; and it is this party that I have now decided to join.
"We are on the road of authoritarianism, where government is our ruler rather than us being the ruler of our government. It is time for each and every single one of us to make a stand against government and those who feed off it, and demand the reduction of its size and scope.
"From what I've seen from many Lib Dem parliamentarians and councillors I don't believe the Liberal Democrat Party has the inclination to argue for smaller government in defence of our individual rights.
"Though there are some good classical liberal and libertarian types in the party, with whom I hope to continue to have a good relationship, their voices are crowded out by people who believe it perfectly okay to dictate to people how they should live their lives. I don't wish any longer to be a part of that.
"As an active member of the Libertarian Party, I will campaign to inform people that there are more voluntary, rather than coercive ways in which to influence positive outcomes for themselves, their families and the wider community. I hope to impress upon people that though there may be a need for government of some sort, it doesn't have to be government of the size and expense we see today.
Libertarian Party Leader Ian Parker-Joseph said:
"It has been a pleasure over the past months to speak with Gavin on numerous occasions, and following a meeting with him last month can attest to his personal commitment to the libertarian values on which he was elected, a man of honour, integrity and a passion for doing the right thing for his constituents.
"I am therefore very pleased on behalf of The Libertarian Party to welcome Gavin Webb into the only party that wholly and uniquely stands for libertarian ideals in the UK.
"I know that there is a great sadness from Gavin that the Liberal Democrat leadership were unable to rise to the challenge of veering away from the belief that the State has the answers to all our ills. It is a sadness shared by many.
"In that light I hope that there are many more who now see the time as right to make the same changes that Gavin Webb has undertaken, not just from the Lib Dems but also those in the Conservative Libertarian wing who are unsuccessfully looking for reforms that will never come, and instead to look to a party that believes in libertarianism as a way of life, rather than one which merely gives lip service to it.
"The Libertarian Party is here to stay, and new members such as Gavin Webb can only enhance the message that his constituents so clearly wanted to hear, and that Gavin Webb is living on their behalf."
Libertarian Party Chairman Andrew Withers said:
"Whilst we have a number of Parish and Town Councillors, Gavin is the first City Councillor that has crossed the floor to a truly Radical Party, one that wants to change the relationship between State and the Individual to the point where the State is subordinate to the will of the people, not the people subordinate to the will of the State.
"Furthermore, the Libertarian Party argues that State should be small and accountable.
"We welcome Gavin, and hope that his decision will galvanise other Libertarians in other parties to join with us on the long march back to individual Liberty."
Gavin has been a stoutly libertarian—and often controversial—figure. It is good to see that Gavin does have the courage to declare, publically, that his convictions lie other than with the LibDems.
There are many LibDems who are fundamentally libertarian and they have not been well-served by their leadership—in a number of ways (I'm looking at you in paticular, Lord Rennard. Amongst others).
I do hope that Gavin's example may galvanise other libertarians into realising that the Establishment parties have no interest in doing anything other than tinkering at the edges of the status quo—the Big Three will never serve the interests of libertarians.
As the parties collude with their fake charities and corporatist interests—picking the pockets of hard-working people so that they might use that same money to conspire against the interests of those same individuals whose power they have usurped—it is time for libertarians to take a stand—I, personally, am glad that Gavin Webb has had the courage to do so.
The Libertarian Party UK now has over a thousand members—why not join us?