Set-up in 2016 the UK Liberty Party has the “SteppingStones” concept of moving continually closer towards protecting individual rights, enabling laissez-faire capitalism and achieving a constitutionally limited government. The party allows members to directly propose party policy and somewhat unusually, amongst other things, has its own coffee brand.
We speak with party leader Kevin Bruns. Kevin thank-you for your time.
What are your feelings about how we make the country more free and how would your “SteppingStones” work?
To have a free country you first have to have free individuals. Freedom is a fundamental requirement of Man’s nature; a being of the mind. It is Man’s mind that is his tool for survival, for thinking, creating, discovering, producing; for living.
The enemy of that freedom to think, to act, is force from another. If a man lived on a dessert island he would not need the concept of freedom; of Rights. There is no-one to use force on him. He would however, need a guide to action, a moral code; “What should I do to survive?”.
It is that code that leads to the question “What should I do if I meet someone else?”. The answer, in recognition of the potential of force from another, is the moral concept of Rights; the sanction of action within a societal context.
That is the base we work from. Everything in the context of the individual and his Rights. It is the base we think a proper government should work from. The first “SteppingStone”, although not part of our intro video, which deals with potential policy ideas, is to spread the idea of this view of Rights and what constitutes a proper government leading to a wider acceptance and understanding of what freedom means, how Rights protect that freedom and how a proper government protects those Rights.
”SteppingStones” as an idea comes from a family holiday when I was younger at a place called Tarr Steps. A series of large stepping stones across, what seemed to be at the time, a raging river. I was hesitant to cross and received this piece of advice from my Dad “Look, to get to the other side seems really hard because you’re looking at the river and how far away the other side is. Just a take it one step at a time and you’ll get there.”
That’s the basic premise, to steadily work towards our goals, as you set out in your introduction.
We now have a quite a few parties in the UK that are broadly liberation. What makes your party different and how does your system of letting members propose policy work?
The philosophy of freedom, Rights and proper government formed following that philosophy is our difference and I think is unique to us.
Party members helping to create policy seemed logical to me. The more people that I can involve in the process of thinking about the party’s goals and suggesting ways to bring them into reality the greater the chances of change.
It’s all done electronically and offers Members the opportunity to influence the policies that could ultimately affect their lives.
The party has an online shop with it’s own tea and coffee brands. What led to that coming about?
Capitalists gonna Capitalist! Joking aside, it was simply an idea to ensure that the party isn’t reliant on Members or donors to have the funds to grow. Gaining new members is hard work.
Our Liberty Store not only offers a great range of tea and coffee but also clothing and accessories with more products in the pipeline.
Being advocates of laissez-faire capitalism there is also a range of business focussed services that help them to reduce their running costs. These include, electric, gas, mobile and broadband.
Individuals can also sign up to be ‘Liberty Ambassadors’, we provide them with personalised urls’, they share them on social media and then we pay them a commission or bonus on any sales that happen as a result. Not only do they earn an extra income but we have funding to grow. Win-win.
To give our readers an idea about the party, could you briefly set-out your platforms on Brexit, Global Warming, and Taxation?
Pro Brexit. This government hasn’t handled it to my liking. However, with no influence in the direction they took, it was odds on that most voters would be left not fully satisfied. There seem to a be a million different ideal outcomes that government hasn’t achieved!
”Global Warming” is too much of an abstract term. Too all encompassing. It’s a tool for an agenda of global governance.
However, assuming that it is the biggest issue we are facing, the solution is not to give more and more power to governments to tackle it. The solution is to allow entrepreneurs the freedom to identify specific problems and come up with market solutions.
Taxation is extortion. It does however serve as a great lens on the creeping nature of government power that we have allowed to become commonplace. A small, temporary, ‘War Fund’ tax, started over 200 years ago has become one of the most Rights abusing activities of government… and is roundly applauded by most. It just shows how difficult it is going to be to move towards freedom.
We’re in the period of Covid and the ever moving lockdown. What do you think of the governments handling of the crisis, and what would you like to see done next?
Government, and I mean government as I envisage it, must always be restrained from initiating force. It is an agent of self-defence. It is a Rights protection agency. Today’s government is a contradiction of almost everything I advocate for.
Using government force (tests, lockdowns, businesses closed) on those not proven to be infectious is wrong, it is a Rights violation. In respect of Rights the question should always be “What do we do about X without violating Rights?”.
Government should have set out very simple guidelines at the start and should have locked borders to all those not able to prove their infectious status.
Should have been:
- If you are over 60 with any health issues stay home whenever possible (Data from as early as late Jan was showing these most affected). Everyone else carry on until you show any of these symptoms X,Y,Z. At that time you *must* get a test. (Yes, at the point of an individual with symptoms showing it becomes a Rights issue so government mandates are permissible) Then, if positive, self-isolate, track and trace, rinse repeat (again by mandate if necessary).
- It must be clear though, without proof a government cannot use any force. By force, I mean Laws, Regulations etc. not just physical.
As to what they should be doing today, the above.
It’s worth noting that the government response has been influenced by the inability of the NHS to respond to this type of emergency. A free market would have quickly learnt lessons over each virus outbreak and would be far better equipped to deal with outbreaks. The NHS seems to start out as ‘Baby Bird’ each time, simply falling out of the nest and waiting to see if it can fly!
We have a bumper set of local elections coming up in May next year. What are your plans for these and generally for elections going forward?
It’s far too early to stand in elections with any hope of being elected. Look at the momentum The Brexit Party created and the growth of members and yet it didn’t manage anything of note at the elections.
Our plans are to work on spreading ideas. Ultimately unless people adopt new (better) ideas anything political will always end up as a tyranny of the majority.
What can people do if they want to get involved?
Most importantly discover more about the ideas that we advocate. Become a Member or Supporter. Buy our products. Use or services. Send us money. Need Help!