Always keen to support people prepared to support Brexit. The Croydon Constitutionalists spoke to Malachy McDermott, London Group Leader of the Libertarian Party.
He has also a published author who has written for Mises.org, with a Degree in Economics and English Literature from University College Dublin he currently works in Finance.
The Libertarian Party believe in limited government, personal freedom, support Brexit and pertinently a written constitution.
The Croydon Constitutionalists have previously interviewed the Libertarian Party’s Sean Finch and Mike made the personal sacrifice of travelling to their sister party in the US to interview the Libertarians of Orange County California.
Malachy thanks for your time.
Not everyone is fully familiar with your party. Can you tell us a bit about them?
The Libertarian Party is unique in British politics as it is the only party to truly speak for the rights of the individual. In an increasingly state controlled society, whether that be through crony capitalism or direct control of the economy, the individual is left by the wayside. From the Nanny State to the Victimisation of peaceful people are scope to exit without being licensed, taxed or otherwise infringed upon dwindles almost daily. The Libertarian party understands that free people able to make free decisions for which they accept the consequences is the best way for a society to function.
How does the Libertarian Party differ from the Conservatives / The Brexit Party / UKIP?
Both socially and politically the Libertarian Party is trying to be an actual Libertarian voice in the UK. While the other 3 parties have attempted to be this, they, in my opinion, have cast their nets too far. In doing so they have tried to take on centrist or soft left positions. Especially from an economic and government spending point of view. Libertarianism involves a constant desire to reduce the size and scope of government and put power back in people’s hands. Although these parties attempt this, I think they lose their way a lot of the time. An out of control central bank and increased social control by the state are issues that are not addressed by any party but the Libertarian Party.
What was your personal journey to libertarianism and what made you get involved in the party?
I have come right from the other end of the political compass to get here! I started out in my teens as a full on Communist, going to university I mellowed somewhat into vaguely centrist or modern liberal perspective. Then about 3 or 4 years ago I began writing a blog. When analysing and fact checking, I came to more and more Libertarian conclusions, although I really didn’t know that there was a name for it. When I came across the term, I became a very active keyboard warrior! About a year ago I met Sean Finch from our Kent branch, he introduced me to the party and I haven’t looked back.
You’re the leader of the London Group of the party what does that involve?
At the moment it’s about getting established and getting the right team in place. To do this we have the Facebook page and the monthly meet ups. Both are free to all to have a look at. I have met so many great people and made a lot of connections which has made running this a lot easier. But we are always looking for new people and any help is hugely appreciated!
What are you ambitions for London? What tactics and policies do you see making a breakthrough for the party?
My ambitions are always high, there’s not much point in doing something if they are not! For the moment though I want to get some councillors elected. Getting names on ballot papers and getting the word out there is a must. A lot of my focus is letting people know that they do not have to be socially liberal and economically left wing or socially conservative and economically right wing. There is a space, a philosophy and a party that allows you to believe in economic AND individual freedom. If we can get people elected and show people what that will mean in their day to day lives, I don’t see why this movement could not spread throughout the capital.
What do you think might give the Libertarian Party UK the breakthrough the US party has?
Exposure. The more media coverage you get, the more people will check your social media, the more people will get involved. It’s cyclical and self-perpetuating, but a vital part of any political campaign.
What are your current views on politics in London and the big issues that need addressing?
Politics in London is a vastly overcomplicated with so many different organisations under state control and so many councils taking on projects that private industry could handle. Our Mayor has failed in so many areas and continues down a socialist problem solving (not that it ever solves any problems) route that will lead to chaos in a post Brexit Britain. Londoners need to be free from rent control (which has never worked), they need the right to defend themselves and they need to be able to trade freely; unburdened from ridiculous rates and fees. A freer, more responsible London, that allows communities to focus on themselves, with a sustainable package of free market solutions where once there were only monopolistic state interventions on offer is what I would like to see.
If you could introduce or repeal 3 laws (other than for Brexit) what would they be?
Self Defence items – Individuals are defenceless against criminals. Stabbings and sexual assaults seem to dominate the media, especially here in the capital. Allowing people to carry pepper spray for example would act as a huge deterrent to crime and give power and agency back to peaceful, law-abiding people.
Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (The Snooper’s Charter) – This and laws like it rarely lead to the catching of criminals, however they do the central government a massive database of personal data. Often the old adage of “If you’re doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide” is brought up here. To that I would reply that what is okay today may be criminal tomorrow. You do not know who will be elected or what direction politics will take, so take care with your data.
Compulsory purchase orders – If you own your property, then you own it. There is an ill feeling that hits the pit of my stomach when people are forced to give up their property to the state. There is an underlying idea in the UK of a great Liberal tradition in the original meaning of the word (John Locke etc.), an essential part of that is private property and not even the state is above that philosophy.
Any other thoughts you want to leave us with?
I would like everyone who is reading this to do two things. Think of where you are now, what you are free to do, what money you pay and what you get for it. Then try and think of a year or two years ago and think of what’s changed. I will bet that most of these changes are the result of government action and not for the better. Even better is if you write down where you are now and take a look at it in 6 months, again you will see that the negative changes are from government interference. Something must change, socialism and conservatism have tried and failed, let’s give Libertarianism a shot, the great thing about that is that is it’s not handing someone the reigns and waiting for them to fix it, but genuinely having the reigns given back to you, so the freedom to choose what to do and responsibility of how to act lies with you.
Malachy thank-you for the interview.
Malachy can be contact on Facebook.
The Libertarian Party can be found at https://libertarianparty.co.uk/