Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine: Your views – Part 3

Picture: Every Night for Ukraine 022 Russian Embassy Finland.  Author: rajatonvimma /// VJ Group Random Doctors

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding before us following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.  The risk of a major military conflict is remote but real, and the situation on the ground continues to change.  We asked our contributors how they think Putin’s aggression will impact politics and policies in the UK and what if any changes are needed?

Back to Part 2 | On to Part 4

“We ought to all agree that Putin is “to blame” but errors were made by the West and Ukraine. To mention this however is to invite the accusation of being a Putin shill”

Councillor Sandy Wallace, Scottish Libertarian Party.

The first casualty of war is the truth, so we are now long past looking at the causes. We ought to all agree that Putin is “to blame” but errors were made by the West and Ukraine. To mention this however is to invite the accusation of being a Putin shill, so we might as well gloss over them.

When seeking directions, as the Oirish say, I would not start from here. Putin cannot lose and escape with his life, so the options are

  1. Putin wins. I think this is the least likely. I can see no scenario where he “wins”. His economy will sink like a stone.
  2. Palace coup, 15 minute show trial on a mobile phone and execution. My preferred option.
  3. WW3, because Putin looks like losing, but retains control in Russia. My least preferred option.
  4. Long drawn out conflict, Afghanistan on steroids, really sorry, but I think this is the most likely outcome.

To be brutally horribly cynical, option 4 is quite good for the UK.  Self-indulgent drivel like Indyref2, lockdown fetishism, personal pronouns, critical race theory and most of all Net-Zero will be forgotten in the face of far bigger things. But Freedom of Speech will be a hard sell for those of us who believe in it.

It’s even fairly good for the EU. The EU was facing a genuine existential crisis in the face of Brexit, Net Zero and the Culture war. Six months ago the EU was threatening to cut off funds to Hungary and Poland for being naughty. Now, there is no danger of them cutting off funds, and in any case, Hungary and Poland have rapidly lost the will to be naughty. 

Its also the option the West should be playing for, because it leaves Option 2 in play and keeps option 3 out of play.

But it’s going to be hell for Ukraine.

“The Principle is perfectly clear that the sovereignty of any territory is no longer determined by war, history, geography or religious scriptures of any kind but solely by the wishes of the people who live there today. Putin by contrast regards Ukrainians as Russians regardless of their own wishes”

John Poynton, UKIP NEC member.

Given that we cannot directly confront Russia militarily in Ukraine as they are not a member of NATO we must play the long economic game. In particular Germany and Italy must wean themselves off Russian oil and gas. It may take some time, but eventually Putin will fall and his successors will sue for economic peace and the occupation will be ended as part of that deal.

Yesterday Putin came clean. He does not after all believe in the Principle of Self-determination of Sovereignty, which is enshrined in international law, contrary to what as he has previously indicated. He accepts now that he is acting illegally and doesn’t care, reverting instead to the base and uncivilised human instinct for territorial domination and imperialism. The Principle is perfectly clear that the sovereignty of any territory is no longer determined by war, history, geography or religious scriptures of any kind but solely by the wishes of the people who live there today. Putin by contrast regards Ukrainians as Russians regardless of their own wishes.

This crisis just emphasises yet further the inadequacy of the UK’s immigration and refugee policy, and that incudes UKIP’s own policy. As a member of UKIP’s NEC I am currently arguing for manifesto changes as follows:

  1. We need an auctioned quota system for long-term immigration, not a points-based system. I would set the quota at 50,000 a year fewer than the number who emigrate each previous year, so we have a background of depopulation going on. This country is dangerously overpopulated and, as any competent social psychologist will tell you, overpopulation leads to competition for scarce resources, which in turn leads to a fracturing of society along the nearest visible fault line. Today that is racism. It used to be classism. Either way Labour subversively ramps it up for their own selfish identity purposes, thereby making racism worse. A policy of depopulation will reduce that risk not increase it, as well reducing shortages of housing, access to essential public services, wild habitat, overloaded sewage works overflowing into our rivers and may other forms of environmental contamination as well as the fact that we can now only grow 55% of the food we eat.
  2. You cannot humanely turn refugees away, and it also impossible to distinguish objectively between refugees and other illegals (ok, I know there are plenty of cynics out there who say it is quite easy, but that is not legally sufficient). Also it is all very well saying they should return to the first safe country they come to, but those countries are not co-operating and anyway have severe immigration crises of their own. With a quota system we can instead bring them in and allocate them free of charge to the quota and correspondingly reduce the number available to normal auction sponsors so the total quota is not breached. If the number is greater than the quota in any year it can be spread over several years. Either way refugees and illegals should be given special refugee passports, saying for example British Ukrainian Refugee Passport, which would only be valid until the occupation has ended. When they return home their quota places can be returned to the quota.
  3. In the meantime we should be looking to purchase a large tract of habitable land somewhere outside Europe where, with the agreement of the host country, we can set up a refugee colony as British Sovereign territory, so we can then transfer all new arrivals there immediately. This would be outside the quota but still British sovereign territory so that even a successful appeal for asylum would not require moving them back to the UK. They would already have the refuge they need there. I am not proposing this as a cheap or punitive option (unlike Australia). It must be done properly with open borders, law and order, security, benefits, housing, and public and personal support services enabling them to engage in economic activity which should lead to self-sufficiency and achieve a reasonable standard of living in the longer term. It would use the host country’s currency but under our economic management, thereby enabling trade with the host country and giving that country a substantial regional and national economic and export boost as part of the deal. In the short term we can use some of the massive overseas aid budget which is currently doing little useful other than assuage some people’s guilt complexes.

I welcome any comments or additional observations so we can construct as practical and acceptable a policy as possible.

John can be contacted via Twitter, Facebook, and his website.

“I am not at all surprised that most of the western governments have acted to cut Russia off (and our future gas supplies, of course) with their gesture politics…..Our same government said that PM Johnson didn’t go to parties when thousands of non-Etonian people were prevented from seeing their loved ones!”

Laurence Williams, London and South East Coordinator for the UK Libertarian Party.

It’s a loaded question, ‘Putin’s aggression’, ‘Putin’s actions’ would have been better, but, though I detest war and its repercussions, I am not in the least surprised as to it happening. Yet another US proxy war, this time starting in 2014 with a President Obama organised coup, followed by 8 years and 15K casualties in the Russian speaking east at the hands of Ukrainian forces, is the perfect storm. Given that the Ukraine has national guard units modelled on Nazi Germany’s SS, and that these units committed unspeakable crimes against their own in WW2, they have now ‘modernised’ into having some 15 US bio – chemical facilities, just like Saddam Hussein was supposed to have in Iraq! 

I am not at all surprised that most of the western governments have acted to cut Russia off (and our future gas supplies, of course) with their gesture politics. Two years ago, these same governments said that we must all be vaxxed with an un-tested toxin, against a Common Cold! Our same government said that PM Johnson didn’t go to parties when thousands of non-Etonian people were prevented from seeing their loved ones! 

Cutting off Russia in the sports, and now our football clubs brandishing Ukrainian flags is just gesture politics like ‘taking the knee’, it just winds people up. The Olympics is dead for sure now, and so, hopefully, it the Eurovision song contest!

Back to Part 2 | On to Part 4

Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine: Your views – Part 1

Picture: Every Night for Ukraine 022 Russian Embassy Finland.  Author: rajatonvimma /// VJ Group Random Doctors

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding before us following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.  The risk of a major military conflict is remote but real, and the situation on the ground continues to change.  We asked our contributors how they think Putin’s aggression will impact politics and policies in the UK and what if any changes are needed?

On to Part 2

“We failed to punish Putin after his illegal annexation of Crimea and Donetz etc. and so he carried on planning (we now know) for the return of the Soviet Union in his name”

John Broadfoot, Brexiteer and charity founder.  

Even with hindsight NO ONE could have foreseen Putin’s true, Hitler like, total insanity, cruelty and inhumanity to his fellow man. We failed to punish Putin after his illegal annexation of Crimea and Donetz etc. and so he carried on planning (we now know) for the return of the Soviet Union in his name. The huge numbers of troops/armaments for a country with an economy smaller than Italy’s , on the Ukraine border, should have warned us.

Indeed Merkel and the EU rewarded Putin with massive gas/oil supply contracts and a new pipeline bypassing and weakening Ukraine, straight after the Crimea annexation. Unbelievably the EU buys a third of it’s gas from Putin (and Germany 40%!!). Would you buy from Hitler!? Merkel’s legacy for Germany/Europe is truly appalling and Putin predictably is now cutting supplies of gas to Germany, substantially causing Germany real problems! They and the EU have both enriched Putin and funded his army/missiles.

The sanctions will be very bad for Russia but with unbelievable countries like Pakistan, India and China probably stepping in to fill the gap on energy supplies/revenues – Putin will probably now be able to tough it out.

The UK has not done much wrong because a USA President, severely weakened by his appalling Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco is not going to put troops on the ground and Putin knows that and is counting on it. The UK has led the way even with NATO, but we cannot act by ourselves. Boris has been great! The EU have proved once again, like the Balkan war, to be totally useless – thank God for Brexit so we could take fast, leading, action ourselves!! Though Germany’s huge, about turn on arms expenditure/supply is truly amazing.

With no troops on the ground and no, no fly zone, Putin will just carry on. The problem is – China will be watching the reaction to Putin and may decide soon to annexe Taiwan and the South China Sea islands in similar fashion and with Russian reciprocal support.

The UK cannot do much more as it has already shown real leadership, fast action and back bone, but like many western countries is now going to have to consider spending 3%+  GDP on armaments as Russia/China/Nth Korea can never ever be trusted again. All civilised western countries will have to do the same. Efforts should be made too to get Russia thrown out of the UN Security Council.

The one hope is either the return of James Bond to carry out one last operation on Mr Putin or one of the Russian oligarchs funding a contract on dear Vladimir. Like Hitler, I think Putinism could collapse like a pack of cards if he has gone. Unfortunately crucial action on COP 26 and the world climate change emergency will take a back seat whilst the very future off the free world is at stake.

“If any private individual or group wishes to get involved in the conflict either in person or financially they are more than welcome to do so. The UK is in no position financially or militarily to get involved”

Tam Laird, leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.

I’m not 100% sure Putin IS the aggressor. He may well be. Regardless, this conflict has nothing to do with the UK. Under no circumstances should the UK government embroil itself, it’s armed forces or people in this situation. If any private individual or group wishes to get involved in the conflict either in person or financially they are more than welcome to do so. The UK is in no position financially or militarily to get involved and would do well to concentrate on the affairs of it’s own household.

War is a racket.

“We need each other, the UK has expertise in the world financial markets, intelligence gathering, the size of our economy, hopefully the EU will start a post Brexit period of Glasnost with us”

Nick Mane, local Brexiteer.

As everyone knows, the war in Ukraine is having seismic repercussion for nation states as well as continents. Some have already been experienced but much will depend on the war’s outcome .

So far, we’ve experienced levels of both national as well as international unity, replacing prevalent and destructive polarities. We need each other, the UK has expertise in the world financial markets, intelligence gathering, the size of our economy, hopefully the EU will start a post Brexit period of Glasnost with us.

Through the EU’s lack of accountability and transparency the EU has been left exposed by placing their energy egg in one unstable basket. The EU’s also under pressure from their need to appease the green movement, no matter what the cost.

Now the EU is stuck in the middle of the twin evils of sourcing energy from a political adversary as well as having a nuclear power plant attacked by an invading army, who could have predicted that?

In a world of growing demands and fewer resources there are only increasing pressures for future conflicts and the existential dangers of excessive nuclear power stations and nuclear warheads. History repeats but gets more extreme and our leaders fail to understand this basic reality.

Hopefully, this catastrophe will point the way to deterring future conflicts through the power of prevention from massive economic and military co-operation, a risk reduction in the pointless numbers of nuclear warheads, produce a more reasoned debate on shared future energy resources and decision making, help persuade both the EU as well as other rogue and unaccountable states for the need to reform and move towards democracy.

The best outcome is for peace to immediately be reinstated in the Ukraine and as a result bring greater peace to everyone, opening up the need for co-operation with neighbours, not ownership of them. If Ukraine falls, nations working together could be more powerful than any war and restore freedom and livelihoods for our friends in the Ukraine.

Either way, everyone benefits from less hostilities from the likes of Macron, Putin and XiPing and more handshakes.

The potential implications for the UK could be less spending on nuclear warheads (more in health, education, law and order), greater international co-operation, more accountable neighbours, a balanced and safer approach to energy and future demands on energy and greater levels of peace.

If not, don’t worry about switching the light bulb off on your way out, we’ll all be toast.

On to Part 2

2022 Predictions and Wishes – Part 4

Image from Ragnar1904

With the New Year upon us, we asked our contributors for their predictions on, and wishes for 2022.

Thanks to Sofia, Sandy and Tim for their contributions.

< Back to Part 3 | On to Part 5 >

“The main positive we have been sold, as a country with nationalised healthcare, is the idea that no one gets left behind. The pandemic has proved that this is not the case”

Libertarian Sofia Svihurova.  Sofia can often be found at London Agora meet-ups.

Prediction:  I think we will be getting away from Covid more as we progress throughout the year, but I do think that people will end up self-policing to an extent, by still wearing masks in crowded spaces, especially in and around London.

Prediction:  I think Brexit will also make a comeback as the (old) new boogie man after Covid dies down. I am sure a lot of issues caused by the pandemic will be made out to have actually been caused by Brexit, especially in Left-wing circles and media.

Wish:  I hope to see some restructuring of the NHS. The pandemic has really highlighted the need for some radical changes to our healthcare system. Of course, Covid19 was devastating for healthcare systems across the world but that’s not to say we couldn’t do better.

So many people have suffered due to their life saving treatment being postponed or cancelled due to the system being overwhelmed. Mental health has also been getting worse due to vulnerable people being isolated even more than they usually would have been.

The main positive we have been sold, as a country with nationalised healthcare, is the idea that no one gets left behind. The pandemic has proved that this is not the case and that “saving the NHS” as an institution is more important than saving real people, and I hope this is something the authorities will reflect on and work towards changing.

“he will keep his shadow cabinet out of the news as much as possible but will be regularly embarrassed by his lunatic wing of Student Grant’s and Grantina’s”

Aberdeen Councillor Sandy Wallace, is a member of the Scottish Libertarian Party and can be found on Twitter.

Predictions: Johnson and Sturgeon will both survive the year in office but will both be seen as lame ducks, both awaiting job offers that never come and sustained by the absence of any alternative within their party that is not equally discredited.

Labour will lead the UK polls all year due to Starmer’s skilful strategy of offering the same platform as the Tories but run by someone – anyone – else. To this end he will keep his shadow cabinet out of the news as much as possible but will be regularly embarrassed by his lunatic wing of Student Grant’s and Grantina’s such as Nadia Whittome. Looking electable in the UK will begin to raise Labour’s polling in Scotland by the end of the year and this in 2023 is what will torpedo the SNP

The genuine opposition, such as it is, to the governments will come from the Twitter accounts of a new raft of anti-establishment celebrities, utterly out of tune with the establishment celebrities. The likes of Matt le Tissier, Geoff Norcott, David Bellamy, Neil Oliver, and one for your Croydon readers to become aware of, Josh Taylor, who will retain his world Light-welterweight belts before moving up to Welterweight and becoming Welterweight champion. In between giving the government feedback like this: https://www.joe.co.uk/sport/boxer-josh-taylor-targets-sturgeon-with-snp-fascist-state-tweet-309429

“Perhaps by 2023, we will see a sensible and informed candidate rise from the back benches with a shocking new idea… ‘prescribe ivermectin, save a fortune and get the country back to work.'”

Brexiteer and musician Tim Duce wrote the music to our Podcast.  For more on Tim visit https://timduce.bandcamp.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/timduceofficial/.

Predictions:  Having noted that the government is in confusion:

1) Passing laws which cannot be enforced – mask wearing.

2) Passing laws which are counterproductive – Flow tested unvaccinated people (including those with natural immunity) will not be able to work for the NHS but untested people who may have been vaccinated months prior and so have little or no immunity will.

3) Reeling from a massive revolt.

A leadership challenge is inevitable. Unfortunately, the main contenders are Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Since both of whom are blindly repeating the same ‘get a jab’ rhetoric,

they will inevitably meet the same fate as Boris.  Perhaps by 2023, we will see a sensible and informed candidate rise from the back benches with a shocking new idea… ‘prescribe ivermectin, save a fortune and get the country back to work.’

We can always rely on the government to do the right thing when they have exhausted all other options. 😉

< Back to Part 3 | On to Part 5 >

2022 Predictions and Wishes – Part 2

Image from Ragnar1904

With the New Year upon us, we asked our contributors for their predictions on, and wishes for 2022.

Thanks to Tam, Nigel, and Peter for their contributions.

< Back to Part 1 | On to Part 3 >

“In Scotland I predict we will see the SNP try to centralise more power. An attempt at least to introduce more draconian legislation with possibly another attempt to bring in Named Person Legislation or something similar”

Tam Laird is the leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.  They can be found online, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

I think the most worrying development we may see this year is the introduction of CBDC (central bank digital currency) It may be the beginning of a cashless society which has massive implications for individual privacy and liberty. Especially if it goes hand in hand with a concerted effort by government to erase competing crypto currencies such as bitcoin. No easy task but government may decide that if you use crypto you are automatically involved in criminal behaviour and if caught face stiff penalties. They did it with gold before and there’s nothing to suggest they wouldn’t try it with crypto currencies.

Prediction: In Scotland I predict we will see the SNP try to centralise more power. An attempt at least to introduce more draconian legislation with possibly another attempt to bring in Named Person Legislation or something similar. They may also attempt to ban home schooling.

Wish: What do I want to happen? That’s simple enough. For the Scottish Libertarian Party to increase its support and membership and perhaps even win a few seats in the upcoming council elections in May.

“I would also like the government to abandon its plan to sack NHS staff who are not fully vaccinated and respect their right to informed consent.  Most nurses know more about health than the ministers responsible for this decision”

Nigel Jacklin is a statistician and market researcher.  He also runs www.TheDemocraticNetwork.org which helps new and independent candidates stand in local elections.

Prediction: Many of us who would like to break the hold of the Westminster parties on local Councils will fail to prepare for and take advantage of the May 2022 local elections.  Whilst there are not too many places with elections this year, rules and guidance which are created centrally tend to get implemented locally.  I predict there will be more candidates who feel the measures taken by the UK government in response to Covid-19 have done more harm than good.  These candidates will be best placed to counter over-reach by Council jobsworths.

Prediction: One month will be the warmest/coldest/wettest/driest month for the past 20 years.  This is a statistical joke.  Another would be predictions that something very bad may happen, to justify some imposition.

Wishes: My wish for 2022 is that the NHS resets the Covid case definition such that it is in line with other diseases.  This will put an end to the narrow focus on Covid and mean further restrictions will be unjustified.  I would also like the government to abandon its plan to sack NHS staff who are not fully vaccinated and respect their right to informed consent.  Most nurses know more about health than the ministers responsible for this decision.

“Many of us are politically homeless and will be seeking a values-based, principled alternative to the increasingly illogical, irrational and irrelevant legacy establishment and established parties”

Peter Sonnex, former Brexit Party candidate and political campaigner. Peter can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Gettr.

Through our conversations together in 2022, even protests, in the public square – engaging, explaining, encouraging and exposing wherever necessary, essential freedoms of expression, speech, association and peaceful assembly – I make two predictions and have one wish.

Prediction: The mainstream emergence of hopeful alternative, beneficial and compelling Covid and Climate narratives. As with Brexit, many commentators in 2022 will be manoeuvring themselves to the right side of history as the increasingly illogical, irrational and irrelevant legacy narratives crumble.

Prediction: The mainstream emergence of a hopeful alternative, beneficial and compelling political opposition. Many of us are politically homeless and will be seeking a values-based, principled alternative to the increasingly illogical, irrational and irrelevant legacy establishment and established parties.

Wish: “Modelling” is brought back into the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study – building on our knowledge – of the structure and behaviour of the physical, social and natural worlds through predictions (hypotheses), objective observations and experimentation. We used to call this “science.”

Two notable enablers in all this, for me, are the Reclaim Party and The Together Declaration – both founded on common denominator values and principles that may transcend self-interested party politics and politicking to paint an irresistible picture of a shared future.

Image from Jan Bowman

< Back to Part 1 | On to Part 3 >

Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 2

As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.

Part 2 in our series of your views. More responses can be found in Part 1 and Part 3.

Thanks to Josh L. Ascough, Tam Laird, Georgina Guillem, and Sandy Wallace for their responses.

“We could throw billions at the environmental cause, but if we don’t address the tragedy of the commons we will never improve anything. In order to address the environment, we need the market process”

Libertarian, economics writer Josh L. Ascough has contributed many times to our site. He can be followed on Twitter and be heard on our Podcast from earlier this year.

Is Global Warming a threat?
Yes I would argue it is a threat, but doomsday predictions by people desperate to be proven right about humanities demise are useless actors. While we should acknowledge what negative effects pollution has, we must also acknowledge what we have done well.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
Net Zero no matter the target is an impossible venture, as all choices have trade-offs. It’s in human nature to adapt our environment around us in order to survive, rather than the rest of the animal kingdom which must adapt to its surroundings in order to survive. Because of this nature there will always be negative feedback. So yes, we should have a referendum but we must instead of targeting figure out how to internalise the costs to those who made the trade-offs.

What action should we be taking on the environment?
We could throw billions at the environmental cause, but if we don’t address the tragedy of the commons we will never improve anything. In order to address the environment, we need the market process. We should campaign for mass privatisation of all land, allow for the private ownership of seabed’s, do away with subsidies, abolition eminent domain laws, completely privatise rubbish collection & rubbish dumps. As long as we persist in the idea of “common ownership”, & “the public good” through eminent domain laws, we will never incentivise innovation; we will simply spread out the time it takes for costs to be socialised.

“Global warming is and never has been an existential threat. It’s one of the many hobgoblins used by government to justify it’s own incompetence, interference and increasing authoritarianism”

Tam Laird is the leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.  You can read our interview with Tam, and browse other articles on the party.

Is global warming a threat?

No. Global warming is and never has been an existential threat. It’s one of the many hobgoblins used by government to justify it’s own incompetence, interference and increasing authoritarianism.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

The danger of a referendum is that the government might win. Simply strengthening its position. Scientific fact should not be decided by consensus but by reason and empirical evidence.  By all means vote out the perpetrators at the next General election.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Government should concentrate on fostering an environment that encourages human flourishing and wellbeing. The best way it can do that is by leaving us alone.  Polluters should be made pay for damages through the courts. Instead of big business and pharma being afforded government protection.

“I do not think Global warming is a threat… The Climate as we call it has been changing and indeed is constantly changing since the beginning of time”

Brexit campaigner Georgina Guillem, is a former UKIP candidate in Purley and has run many street stalls and station leafleting sessions across the borough.

Is global warming a threat?

I do not think Global warming is a threat. I think the climate is so complex a system that we should not meddle with it. The Climate as we call it has been changing and indeed is constantly changing since the beginning of time.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

Yes, I do think there should be a referendum on whether we want to spend trillions of pounds on Green Energy to end up with Lukewarm houses in winter.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

I do think though that we as human being owe the planet care and management as to not pollute in the way that we are doing. We must Behave better starting with plastic and throw away packaging, that is sometimes unnecessary.

“There is a close to absolute establishment consensus that the way forward is the imposition of costs and restrictions on liberty upon ordinary people, with predictable exceptions for those who are important enough.”

Aberdeen Councillor Sandy Wallace brings our second contribution from the Scottish Libertarian Party. Sandy can be found on Twitter and you can read our interview with him.

Is global warming a threat?

Life is not that simple, climate change is both a threat and an opportunity, depending on who and where you are, the actions of mankind clearly have an impact, how much is hard to gauge, what effect different actions would have is harder to gauge and certainly not proven and the cost of those actions versus the hoped-for benefit of them is at best marginal if every wish comes true and at worst far worse than the effect of climate change

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

There is a close to absolute establishment consensus that the way forward is the imposition of costs and restrictions on liberty upon ordinary people, with predictable exceptions for those who are important enough. The only possibility that the establishment row back is if normal politics is disrupted and governments see the possibility of losing power. Calls for a referendum seem to me to be part of that, but there needs to be some sort of political movement emerge to cause Tory MPs, in particular, to fear for their future

What action should we be taking on the environment?

We should be planning for environmental change, not planning how to avoid it. The latter is wholly unproven technology, the latter even with official state opposition across the developed world is wholly proven. Can we terraform Mars? Probably. Can we terraform Earth? Of course we can. Desalinate water, irrigate deserts, plant trees, capture carbon. Deliver nuclear power. Reclaim land. Permit and enable economic migrancy.
Mankind needs to believe in itself.

This is the second set of your responses, further responses can be found in Part 1 and Part 3

Interview with Councillor Sandy Wallace of the Scottish Libertarian Party

The Scottish Libertarian Party a pro-Brexit and pro-Independence for Scotland, has recently reached an important political milestone.  Back in April we interviewed Tam Laird the party leader.  Now we are delighted to interview Aberdeenshire Councillor Sandy Wallace a first elected politician for the Scottish Libertarian Party.

Sandy thank-you for your time.

You represent Stonehaven and Lower Deeside on Aberdeenshire Council.  Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be a councillor and about your ward?

I was the Councillor for Lower Deeside, where I live, from 1999-2007 under old one member FPTP rules. I was not re-elected when it went to multi-member STV wards at a time when the Conservatives went through a Hague/IDS/Howard period of being unelectable. I was talked into standing again by a close friend, Alex Johnstone MSP, who sadly has since died. The Conservatives won a mini landslide in 2017, which English readers will recall from Alex Salmond losing his seat in the GE a month after the Council elections. The ward is 20% Lower Deeside, rural farmland but in reality an upmarket dormitory for Aberdeen, then 80% Stonehaven, a gorgeous seaside harbour town. In England it would be rock solid Tory but we have tartan Tories to fight it out with 

“I sit on the Communities Committee, which is Policing, council housing and social work. That is my opportunity to ask the police how their pointless war on drugs is going”

You sit on the Aberdeen Community Planning Board, The Regulation of Private Renting Sub – Committee and the Sustainability Committee, among others.  What are you able to achieve in these roles, and what are the main challenges facing Aberdeenshire Council?

I have achieved the square root of bugger all which is why I flounced out of the Conservative Party. They have no interest in smaller government. Sustainability is enjoyable, mostly I draw attention to BS, and point out that the fluffy policies the council has merrily adopted actually have consequences. Planning has been fairly heart-breaking and was the camel back-breaking straw for me the council is run by anti-business NIMBYs. Gypsy Traveller Committee is good fun, the Chair likes having me there because I can give a pro-business and liberty perspective on the idea that perhaps we should stop trying to give gypsies services they don’t want but maybe just leave them alone to live on land they themselves own. I sit on the Communities Committee, which is Policing, council housing and social work. That is my opportunity to ask the police how their pointless war on drugs is going. Have they managed to bully anyone into choosing to give up drugs by threatening to take their kids into care or have them evicted? Yes, sadly, I have been reduced to that level of behaviour. The main challenges are that we have no money left and can’t get our head around doing less. 

You had been a Conservative Councillor prior to moving to the Scottish Libertarian Party.  What made you leave the Conservatives and what first attracted you to the Scottish Libertarians?

I did not join the Conservatives because I agreed with them, I joined because they seemed to be the party with the most chance of coming my way., They had dropped their stupid support for Clause 2a ( Clause 28 in England), dropped the poll tax and opposition to devolution. I had hoped they could continue the journey. They didn’t, but nobody else did either, so I have not been proved wrong. I am a very wet libertarian, I would say a Whig, a fanboy for Dan Hannan and Doug Carswell. Joining the Libertarians is my public expression of anger at the lockdown.

We speak at the time of Covid.  How have you personally found the lockdown and what do you think of the Scottish Governments handling of the crisis?

Personally? I am one of the many people living the dream. Detached home, garden, financially secure, 80% salary on furlough, granted a pass for university work based on earlier marks. Who cares about the kids in the gig economy whose future is being squandered. Of course in reality, I am livid. Johnson looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights, but while Sturgeon is following identical policies, her motivation is totally different. This is what she dreamed of, an authoritarian regime that destroys people’s lives then calls them selfish for grumbling about it.

“The idea of letting somebody have a birthday party for a ten-year-old now seems like anarchy. We need to have birthday parties for ten year olds. With a magician. And a whole buffet of finger food that all the parents just sort of graze at”

As we move into 2021 what would you like to see done to help the economy and society recover?

It is a huge task because even if you lifted all restrictions tomorrow, 25% of people would still choose to follow some of them and every time you don’t buy a coffee, that is somebodies job at risk, and with it, perhaps her ability to stay in college. It honestly needs changes that are tantamount to revolution. The idea of letting somebody have a birthday party for a ten-year-old now seems like anarchy. We need to have birthday parties for ten year olds. With a magician. And a whole buffet of finger food that all the parents just sort of graze at. And car sharing. We have put society back 25 years, the only solution is to put government back 25 years.

The Scottish Government is introducing a new Hate Crime and Public Order bill.  Can you give us your thoughts on this legislation?

My thoughts are barely printable. This is Humza Yousaf’s pitch for leadership when Sturgeon goes, his vision is a soft-focus form of fascism like Singapore or Malaysia.

If you we’re able to get more Libertarians on to Aberdeenshire Council what would you like to see done differently, how would you change the council?

Well if you mean Councillors of a libertarian frame of mind, most of what we do is defined by the Scottish government, so a tax and services cutting budget is not actually feasible. I would like us to run the planning system with a presumption in favour of development, whether it meets policy or not, unless there are actually constraints such as sewage.  A neighbour with a bad attitude is not a constraint. a planner thinking the building is ugly is not a constraint. I would like us to seek to delist half our listed buildings so that people could afford to maintain them, including all the bridges the council actually owns. I would like us to regard the equalities agenda with the contempt it deserves, given that it is the bastard child of people who belong to parties that are actually institutionally racist

“I would like to see Scotland governed very lightly, more of it by local authorities than the Scottish government, with local authorities raising nearly all of their own revenue so answerable to the voter for value for money”

The party is both a pro-Brexit and pro-Independence for Scotland.  What would be your vision for the future of Scotland.  How would you like to see it governed in say 5-10 years?

I voted for the winning side in both referendums. I hope to see that the democratic mandate honoured. I would like to see Scotland governed very lightly, more of it by local authorities than the Scottish government, with local authorities raising nearly all of their own revenue so answerable to the voter for value for money. The UK government can carry on worrying about defence and foreign affairs, ideally not being involved in any foreign wars. More important than that, however, I would like to see us being a tolerant nation, one that welcomes economic migrants and treats asylum seekers with compassion but a bit of suspicion.  I would like anyone who claims to be offended to be asked ” so what?”

Are there any thoughts you would like to leave our readers with?

I think George Foreman was a better fighter than Muhammed Ali, new Taylor Swift is as good as old Taylor Swift and John Stuart Mill should be core reading in states schools especially the bit where denounces the very concept of state schools 

Sandy can be found on twitter at https://twitter.com/Boogieeck and on https://vote-2012.proboards.com/.

The Scottish Libertarian party can be found online at http://scottishlibertarians.com/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ScoLibertarian, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ScottishLibertarians/.

Podcast Episode 40 – Scotland Special with guest Alasdair Stewart

We are joined by Alasdair Stewart, the former Chairman of the Croydon Conservative Federation, for a discussion of Scottish politics. We discuss the SNP Government’s response to Covid, the Highers Results scandal, minimum drinks pricing and the new Scottish Hate Crime Bill. We then consider the new Scottish Tory leader, the demise of the Labour Party and the prospects for the 2021 Holyrood Elections and a potential IndyRef2.

Also see our article on the Scottish Libertarian Party http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/interview-with-tam-laird-leader-of-the-scottish-libertarian-party/

Spreaker
iTunes
Google Podcasts
Podchaser
Podcast Addict
JioSaavn
Deezer
Spotify
Stitcher
Castbox
iHeartRadio

Interview with Tam Laird, Leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party

Formed in 2012 the Scottish Libertarian Party is separate from the Libertarian Party UK and with good reason.  Being both pro-Brexit and pro-Independence for Scotland, gives the party a key different priority.  Tam Laird the party leader is a former infantry soldier and lives in Edinburgh.  We speak to Tam about the campaign for liberty in Scotland.

Tam thanks for giving us your time…

Can you tell us about your journey to becoming the leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party?

I think probably my journey from Authoritarian to Libertarian is a more interesting story, but let’s not answer a question I wasn’t asked. At the beginning of my association with the Scottish Libertarians I had no interest in joining let alone hold office. That’s not a reflection on the movement it’s an indication of my attitude towards politics in general. Completely disillusioned, agnostic and cynical. It seemed no matter who I voted for, I ended up with the government and government is a cancer. So I hadn’t even voted for about 16 years. I was convinced by John Watson, who was Secretary at the time, to stand in a local by election. It seemed to me it was not so much about gaining votes as it was a good way of getting the libertarian free market message out. I was elected Deputy Leader soon after and was Deputy when I stood in the Edinburgh Central constituency against Ruth Davidson in the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2016. After that election, due to his extensive overseas business commitments our previous Leader was persuaded to step aside and I was voted in.

Could you in a couple of sentences tell our readers about the party?

We are a party of principle committed to free markets, free speech and individual rights and liberties. Accordingly we believe that self-determination is a fundamental individual right. For more information on policy and our full constitution check out our website.

“it’s not just a matter of Scottish Independence. What drives it is our belief in the right to self-determination all the way down to the individual. We support English independence. If Yorkshire, Cornwall or even Milton Keynes wanted to be independent we’d support it”

The party is pro Scottish independence.  What drives this and what sort of Scotland would you like to see once independent?

Echoing my previous answer, it’s not just a matter of Scottish Independence. What drives it is our belief in the right to self-determination all the way down to the individual. We support English independence. If Yorkshire, Cornwall or even Milton Keynes wanted to be independent we’d support it. Whether it’s a good idea or not is a matter for those constituents. What we’d like to see is a Scotland that absolutely protects the individual rights and liberties of each person. In fairness that’s a long way from what the Scottish National Party (or as I call them Sturgeon’s Notionalist Party) is even capable of delivering if they had the will. Which they don’t. It’s worth mentioning that there are many party members who fear Scottish Independence as a precursor to an authoritarian socialist state under the SNP. I respect that, and those individuals are free to vote accordingly.

“A good start would be to NOT have a Central bank. Have competing currencies on a national level exactly the same as we have it on an international level. Anyone who wishes should be able to start a bank and issue their own currency. It’s called a free market”

The Scottish government’s budget deficit and what currency an independent Scotland would use were major questions from the independence referendum.  How would your party address these?

I think the first step is to reduce the tax burden on individuals and business. In tandem public spending has to be cut back massively. Starting from the top. It’s pretty pointless cutting back on subsidies to the vulnerable in society if you are going to give out generous corporate welfare to the likes of Amazon. Unfortunately the SNP have convinced many Scots, especially the young, that free education, healthcare, housing are all God given rights. That’s tough to roll back.

I think the currency issue is a bit of a red herring. We can use any currency we like. We can use Rupees if we like provided someone else will take them. The issue, I suppose, is the currency of ‘last resort’ but it’s not an issue that can’t be solved with a will do so. A good start would be to NOT have a Central bank. Have competing currencies on a national level exactly the same as we have it on an international level. Anyone who wishes should be able to start a bank and issue their own currency. It’s called a free market.

We have now left the EU and are in the transition period.  How do you think Brexit is going and what position would you like to see us in with the EU come 1st January 2021?

I think the way Theresa May handled it was a shambles. Which is to be expected as she was not a believer in it. It should have been No Deal = Good Deal from square one. The way the opposition parties handled it was nothing short of disgraceful and even treasonous. I hope by January 21 the EU is a distant memory. May it implode from within and die a horrible wasting death.

You ran in the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections in Edinburgh Central.  How did you find the experience, and do you have any interesting stories from the campaign trail?

It was an interesting, and slightly surreal experience. It couldn’t have been that bad as I’m determined to do it again in 2021. I’d advise anyone running to go to the count and keep an eye on the adjudication of “spoiled ballots”. I spotted about 6 that were absolutely fine and couldn’t get to the bottom of how they ended up in the spoiled ballot pile. Before heading onto the platform for the return results, I jokingly quipped to Ruth Davidson that it wasn’t too late to join the SLP. She replied that “there’s a libertarian streak in us all”. I hope she makes it a wee bit wider next time. It would be nice to be able to see it manifest. I won’t hold my breath.

What’s your party’s plan for fighting elections and getting the message of liberty out to the electorate?

We plan to fight as many council and parliamentary by elections as we can. The former cost very little or nothing, and get the party name on the ballot papers. We also plan to field as many candidates as possible in the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2021.(Provided it goes ahead in view of Covid) Ideally I’d like to fill all the regional lists and additionally have a candidate in at least four key high profile constituencies.

In a hustings for the 2019 general election you said “Well okay, I can only speak within my own family. I know some people in my family who use food banks and they’re at it. And that’s just a fact”.  “But I do think the answer to poverty is more jobs.”   How did that go down in the hall, and with your family?

Could have worded that one better. But I stick by it. In fairness I was referring to extended family. Haven’t had anything back, but then getting upset would be tantamount to admitting you were the guilty party. I think there was a some incredulity in the hall, but I articulated what a lot of people know and think but won’t say. The Daily Record appeared to try and do a hit piece, but if so it backfired as most of the feedback I got was positive.

“laws prohibiting government from interfering in private life and business. Provided there is no harm, injury or loss. If so it’s a matter for the police, not the government”

Other than Independence and Brexit, if you could introduce, repeal or change 3 laws what would they be?

I’m not keen on introducing laws, but I guess a law prohibiting government from using force or coercion to collect taxes would be a start. Also laws prohibiting government from interfering in private life and business. Provided there is no harm, injury or loss. If so it’s a matter for the police, not the government. I’d repeal any laws that infringed on the right to freedom of association. It’s difficult, because what you really are asking is what I would do if I was an absolute monarch. The reality in a democratic system is it’s almost impossible to get things done without a huge majority Even then it’s tenuous. As we have seen with the Brexit farce that played out over two years.

Lastly how do you think the governments of both the UK and Scotland are handling the Covid-19 crisis, and what would you like to be done to help the eventual economic recovery?

I think the governments are handling the crisis as only government can. Disastrously. I think Boris had the right idea at the start, then he did a Thatcher and blinked. Look, I’m not an expert epidemiologist, but many who are have questioned the wisdom and efficacy of the lockdown. I agree with them. I think in the end the economic fallout will be far more devastating than the virus itself. What would I do? I think I’d have started by not promising mass bailouts to everyone. Also I wouldn’t have allowed an economy to become so bankrupt that it couldn’t survive this crisis. I’m not optimistic about the outcome. There’s nothing the government is even planning to do that can put this right.

Perhaps we could start by telling Richard Branson to sod off?

The Scottish Libertarian party can be found online at http://scottishlibertarians.com/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PartyScottish, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ScottishLibertarians/.