Sunday, 1 March 2009

The London Carnival of Nu Liberty

Notes on the day

I arrived a little late for the Convention, two hours from Somerset, one and a half hours Paddington to Russell Sq, thanks to the closure of the circle and Jubilee lines. I will admit my heart sank as I registered. This was radical chic luvviedom at its worst; the Guardianistas were out in force. God knows how many tonnes of muesli had been consumed that morning. The standard pseudo ethnic dress and expensive hairstyles were much in evidence, the women too. I then saw something I had not seen since University in the seventies a tosser wearing a Che beret. I was too late to get into the main plenary, but watched it on one of the big screens.

Shami did her bit cheerleading about Liberty, insisting that it was a Human Right for all people all the time (omitted that this did not apply to visiting Dutch MP’s with whose views were ‘unacceptable’) Big plugs for ‘Liberty’ being 75 Years old, Happy Birthday Liberty trilled the throng, my thoughts were that after Seventy Five years here we were debating the Guardianistas ‘progressive’ party of choice destruction of personal Liberty over the last twelve years, as one speaker put it, it has been so bad’ that we are wishing for the halcyon days of Freedom and Liberty under Thatcher and Major.

The Guardian was sponsoring this event (??) and by all accounts this was supposed to be a cross party convention, Labour,Conservatives,Social Democrats and rather belatedly I managed to get the LPUK a speaking slot. However the Labour Luvvies could not help themselves dragging party politics into the issue, Grieve did his bit for the Tories, ‘our conscience is whether our Grandfather’s would have approved’ that triggered the Guardian representative on the panel to go off on one about the inconsistency of Tory policy (pathetic point scoring forgetting that a goodly proportion of the audience were not card carrying Guardianistas, but truly concerned citizens of other parties or none.

Helena Kennedy QC made a good stab at being non party political criticizing both the Labour party and the Conservative Parties record over the last thirty years, saying what we all know to be true, ‘whichever party you vote for the Government always gets in’ . Is there something in the water of the Home Office that causes the mildest of men to turn into Nero?

The discredited Chris Huhne of the Social Democrats also sought to subvert the non party political nature of the convention by pushing their ‘Freedom Bill’ issued to every delegate in their goody bag , and Peter ‘Lord’ Goldsmith also tried to push the party line in the subsequent debate.

Dear Reader, by 10.30am I was thinking ‘what the hell am I doing here; I then got talking to a trade unionist from the Construction Workers Union, who thought my LPUK lapel badge was a Union badge. The guy was solid Scottish Working Class, and had studied to get a Law degree in his own time. I told him about the basic tenets of Libertarianism, he told me about the Stasi antics of the Trades Union he belong to where he was seeking election for office. He was considered too up his own arse having a degree, and they were using every tactic in the corrupt authoritarian hand book to get their stooge into office. He was firmly convinced that Trade Union contributions were screwing his members and lining the pockets of the Union Leaders. He asked me about what I thought about the near riot at the BMW plant, where the members went after the TU officials. He thought they were lucky not to be lynched.

My heart lifted, when I heard some of the questions from the floor, visibly shaking with suppressed rage. ‘Please stop addressing me as a citizen; I am clearly a subject in this country. If I hear the word citizen one more time I will spontaneously combust. We need a new Constitutional Settlement Now! Huge round of applause. Then some student got up and started whiffling about global warning or something Whaaaaaat ! He obviously got pissed the night before or smoked something a little too exotic and ended up in the wrong Convention.I allowed the throng to get their decaffeinated fair trade coffee and Brita filtered spring water, and grabbed a seat for the Judges and Politicians who should decide session.

My spirits began to rise at last. John Jackson from Mischon De Reya, made the first believable impassioned speech for Liberty and a new constitutional settlement.

Juliet Gardner gave a pretty good expose of the myth of the Magna Carta and the 1688 Settlement, and the written Constitutions are a good idea but are subject to amendments and legal challenges as has been the US Bill of Rights, The French Bill of Rights has been expanded, restricted even abolished under Napoleon.
(I would rather have a written Constitution to curb the power of the State, than rely on the likes of Harriet Harman, who change to Law to pursue vendettas)

Peter ‘Lord’ Goldsmith was an utter disgrace, shifty, unrepentant and believing in only his rectitude. He managed to get a crack in about Fred Goodwin’s pension (following the party line like an automaton). Do these people not realise that this was supposed to be a cross party event. Accountability of the Executive being a central tenet of Liberty, he flatly refused to answer Chris Coverdale’s (Make Wars History) question as to why he and his Law officers did not take legal action against Blair and the rest of the Cabinet for breaking the Law over Iraq. He just refused saying I simply do not accept your argument. This was my first close up view of a Blair insider, and I did not like what I saw.

If we have a Written Constitution, we have to have Constitutional Court, and impeach the likes of Blair and Goldsmith, rather than just ignore the palpable fury of people like Chris Coverdale.

Lord Bingham was an utter star, he read out the 1947 Declaration, and declared that we have to re establish these fundamental Liberties. He only marred the spiel by saying the Obama tagline ‘ Yes we can’. The Guardianistas lapped this up, as the old showman knew they would. Others on the panel said Parliament should reaffirm its account of the executive, a badly flawed argument as the vast bulk of the 646 have been bought and sold, to do this function.

The bizarre thing was these lawyers and judges said the people had to demand that Liberty be put at the top of the agenda. How pray ? the MP’s are of such poor quality, are so desperate to screw the system for expenses, second homes, freebies,that they have been neutered as a political entity. Are they seriously advocating that the people of Britain, use there normal route when Governments no longer care or listen ? Negotiation by riot ?

At 1pm I sidled off to the Alternative Convention to meet up with the lads and lasses of LPUK SE, I was pleased to finally have the company of Tom Paine, and the later appearance of DK. For two hours I bathed in the waters of sensible people who mostly ate meat, drank and smoked, and were not totally brainwashed by the need for a large State.

The Labour Luvvies on the panel tried to muddy the waters with the Corporates are just as bad as the State in collecting Data and they should be curbed (No, you idiots, the Corporates we can pick and choose whether we engage with them, the State its all compulsory)

Philip Pullman made for me the best speech, stating what the virtues of the British are (a change from the vices) courage, modesty and honour.
His final line-

We are a better people than our government believes we are. We are a better nation.

The Social Democrat Chris Huhne waxed lyrical on Liberty, shame he rushed on to TV to applaud Geert Wilders banning from these shores.

Two LPUK highlights here, a LPUK member stood up and said, To secure our Liberty, we are going to have to undertake civil disobedience, and some of us are going to lose our jobs over this- when are you in the Westminster village, sitting there wringing your hands going to risk your jobs- Huge applause

Second was when DK went up to the Social Democrat Chris Huhne in the Green Room and said- Thanks for nicking our tagline ‘ 1984 was a warning not a blueprint’ for your press releases and your Freedom Bill. Huhne just laughed nervously.

Will Hutton whiffled endlessly as is his wont, about engagement, and talking about Liberty to everybody we met ?? He then suggested there should be Convention on drawing up a written Constitution, at which point Anthony Barnett the organiser could be heard saying Oh Sooper Will, why don’t you write the Constitution ( The last people that should be entrusted with writing a Constitution are Guardianistas who do not understand the difference between ‘Rights’ and ‘ Liberty’)

Some Labour bod PPC called Chuka Umunna was given a platform (Why ?????) He whiffled on about race , social justice blah blah and some Statist organisation called Compass (promoted by Toynbee P and Tony Robinson).

Brian Eno was cheerfully vague about everything, the most entertaining thing was that he was prevented getting on the stage by security.

David Davis MP super star gave the final round up speech with a cleverly crafted speech on- At what stage do we become a Police State Jack Straw ? because by the time we are a Police State it is too late to do anything.

DD had the air of somebody who had such little confidence in Cameron and friends, when they take power would do very much to roll back the State, he has been cast into the outer darkness by the Cameron front bench, I see little prospect of him having any influence on the drift of the next Tory Government.

What now and what do I as a Libertarian think

The Sunday Press apart from the Grauniad stable have ignored this Convention totally. Heavy weight political figures were speaking from the two larger opposition parties, the Government sent nobody of any consequence to the Convention such is their contempt for Liberty. You cannot tell me that nobody from Channel 4 or the BBC (both receive State funding) and Sky did not know this event was on. Together with the whole of the UK MSM this was a non event. We will never ever survive as a Liberal Democracy, whilst the Media is so effectively controlled and manipulated by the State.

Whilst the Convention was on, outside a number of 9/11 protesters were stopped by the Police, questioned and issued with sec 44 notices. Also a civilian 'civil enforcement officer' was gaily dishing out tickets in the street. Basically Nu Labour and its acolytes in 'Law enforcement' were laughing their socks off at the usual suspects inside.

The Guardianistas thought it was such a fab day out being subversives, that they want to have another shin dig next year at the same time to check on 'progress' !!!!!!

Unless they make this a genuine cross party event, not just giving platforms to unknown up and coming London Ethnic Left leaning Lawyers, the game is already lost.

If the Guardianistas cannot accept that this Stalinist Government is a Frankenstein of their own creation the game is already lost.

A large State that intervenes in every facet of life as they wish to see, has to be a coercive State by definition, depriving industry and individuals of their capital to finance themselves and their 'social programmes'

Unless they campaign for Liberty and freedom of thought and speech for EVERYONE irrespective of whether they agree with their point of view the game is already lost.
They cannot pick and choose who has Liberty and who does not. This includes rabid Islamic fundamentalists and overt racist National Socialists.

There is no point lawyers and Judges advocating that 'the people' demand Liberty, then enforce repressive legislation against campaigners for Liberty. The Law Society is chock full of lawyers like Peter 'Lord' Goldsmith who are prepared to take Thatcher/Major/Blair/Brown/Cameron's shilling to say anything is legal for political expediency. 'The People' have no 'legal route' to enforce change, and the State has made it quite clear that is anybody takes to the streets this year, they will have their heads broken.

If we get to a General Election next year, and at present I am dubious as to whether that will happen, and would not put it past Brown to copy not only Mugabe's monetary policies, but his electoral policies as well. Labour are going to be swept from power, and what are we going to presented with. A Conservative Party that in its deepest heart is Authoritarian, seeking to prove to the hangers and floggers that are currently being attracted to the BNP, that it is tougher than the alternative. This is a Government that will welcome the repressive legislation as bright shiny tools to play with.

Unless there is a realignment of the Libertarian Left, Libertarian Right and Libertarian anti EU, that truly believes in a minarchist State, that truly believes above all else in personal Liberty, freedom from excessive taxation,freedom from a database state and freedom from supporting a massive bloated state that breeds dependency, I believe the game is already over. Labour, Conservative and the Social Democrats are certainly not going to vote for Christmas,and the rising National Socialists will be overjoyed to have access to all of the mechanisms of State, the Labour Party have put in place.

The Convention was a good idea that floundered on the grounds that only the left can be relied on to support Liberty, when in reality it is the soft left that has let the Stalinists in, to take over virtually every public organisation to ensure its continuity.

Verdict - Could do better

We are now in the melting pot, Labour has bankrupted the country, the uber Authoritarians are waiting in the wings.

A New Game with New Rules has started, except nobody has written the rule book yet, and without a written constitution, it is going to be the winners that write that rule book.


Oldrightie said...

I was also surprised to see The Guardian of Labour's back passage sponsoring this. I suspect, as your post aslo suggests, it was a typical hijacking so beloved of Labour these days. "H'm this convention looks as if it might have a few "swingers" there, perhaps worth a look" sort of thing. Bastards.

K. McEgan. said...

Or the elderly Indian/British guy throwing a wobbly.Noticed how when Phil the cockney Weston spoke about "direct action" it was time for bed Zebedee?

The Beast Of Clerkenwell said...

I bought another Rolex on saturday and am buying more,
Fuck cash and shares.
Sadly its like new, has sharp lugs and will be be difficult to insert into my rectum should I need to do a rapid exit from this country.

Old Holborn said...

My conference was sponsored by No2id, so the bent was on the database, not liberties.
Chatting afterwards, it became clear to me that as a Libertarian, I am on my own here. I will just have to do whatever it takes for the State to leave ME alone.

A good attempt at herding cats, but doomed to fail. Instead fo trying to unite us all under one vague banner, I prefer to go away and sharpen my claws for the inevitable.

K. McEgan. said...

Yes we had a No2ID spot in Belfast. The Ras Clart govt want to herd people into Airstrip One then lock us in!I'm getting frit.Like I said to elderly German Jews "Why didnt you get out before '39?Before it was too late?"

Hooray Henry said...

Glad I didn't go! I am going to the Ron Paul Liberty meeting in London on the 10th March.

subrosa said...

Thanks for the post OH, a good insight into the attempt curtail the brainwashing of the indigenous population.

I do hope it continues to grow - and quickly.

ps I admire your tenacity during your traversal of London. I hate the place.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Interesting report Guthrum. Looking forward to more instalments.

Tom Paine said...

It was good to meet you too, Guthrum. Truth to tell, there were at least two conventions going on in one space. One was of people who genuinely want the State off everyone's backs. The other was of people who want it off the backs of their favoured groups. I took heart from the fact that every word uttered by a Labourite fell to the ground with a thud. They are truly lost and it's time to start working out how to influence the not-very-much-if-at-all better Conservatives. David Davis was a star, but he sounded doubtful about his own party's commitment. He's not wrong to worry. If within one month they don't repeal more than half of the laws listed in the research paper prepared for the Convention (and available for download from its website) then we will know they are fair weather friends of liberty.

Phoebe said...

.. and a couple of miles down the road from you, this little event was taking place:

Delphius1 said...

It wouldn't suprise me if this was another Labour smoke screen: give people a platform to bitch and moan, but no power or authority to actually DO anything definitive about the loss of liberty.

Too many people in the room either part of the establishment, or who want to be part of it. None of which really want to radically alter the status quo.

Old Holborn said...

I read your review as well Tom.

I'm sorry. Maybe it's gone too far now for me to trust any "body" to get us back our rights.

So i'll do it myself. For myself. Because my ONLY agenda is ME. I can't think of anyone better qualified frankly

Old Holborn said...


We ALL have a voice. I will happily defend Islam4UK's right to protest

I doubt they will defend mine, but that is not important,

Principles are principles. End of.

FrankFisher said...

oookay, here's what I think is happening. Firstly, this all kicked off with DD's resignation last year and the media misjudging the public mood - and those of us who went mental online that weekend can claim credit for the line of dominos that started tumbling from that point, I reckon. So we have this meme of traditional civil libs being at threat, and also of an uncaring/unknowing media. At the same time we've got Labour facing obliteration. You have a lot of luvvies facing exile from the corridors of power, from the corridors of public attention - t'media - when labour shills are no longer welcome. Soooo they need a new home, a new cause, a new *in* to the media AND a new oppositional home, outside westminster. Not entryism, but outryism...

For many - perhaps most - of the camp followers, this is about civil liberties, pure and simple. They are committed. They understand the contradictions, the internal problems and external clashes. Good people. But I think you have others who are using it as a vehicle - people like the Class A Fucknuckle Will Hutton who should no more be allowed near a constitutional drafing committee than he should a TV studio or keyboard...

However, this is a game that's rolling now - and you know folks that the media likes a game they can understand; they can get a handle on this, it makes sense, of a shallow kind, to those dumb malignant pricks who decide what our news agenda is. So, I think we need to stay involved. No other group with any kind of authority or credibility is leading any constitutional debate, certainly not one that will be recognised as such by the treasonous BBC, so we have to play nice, stay involved, shape the thing, as best we can.

it's possible - there wasn't a single free speech session til I started ranting on a them - despite index on censorship being a partner. The Lefties dislike free speech intensely. They hate it, they have having to pretend to support it - it gnaws at them. So... I figure that's going to be my line there. If this game keeps rolling, I'll keep the free speech argument up, keep it included. LPUK and others can do likewise. If free speech stays in, a rock solid committal, then liberty stays in. If free speech is ousted, then liberty goes with it. Stick to that, and we can prevent some poxy oft left constitution becoming the default option.

Can you imagine a Will Hutton constitution? Yuch.

Old Holborn said...


Free Speech is long gone. I'm fighting for free thought.

The thrust of the Labour argument yesterday was "if you think we live in a Police state, you are mad, you grotesque exaggerations".

The next step will be "re-education" and "rehabilitation".

Prince Harry has just completed his I believe after daring to say the word Paki.

Nobody said "don't say that". They took him away and sent him on a "course". He'll never say Paki again. Nor will he even think it.

Forget free speech. They want to make all of us thought criminals.

FrankFisher said...

Free Speech is long gone. I'm fighting for free thought.

Well, yeah, but it can be won back - yet if we find ourselves faced with a proposed constitution, acclaimed by the great and good and BBC as just what is needed, and that includes some wretched commitment to free speech, so long as it doesn't offend anyone, then we're fucked. Very hard for this talking shop to argue against free speech if they're actually arguing against people who *want* it.

I don't claim this is a solution to anything, but it in't something that can be ignored.

And yeah, I know labour want our minds - that's why schools are so screwed up. That's why the BBC is what it is.

Anyway, we'll see - it may be that the country is in flame before much more jaw jawing has gone off

Old Holborn said...

I'm banking on it Frank

Tear the whole fucking lot down and start again.

Woman on a Raft said...

The Cambridge event was staged in the Cambridge Union, one of the three great parliament simulators, the others being Eton and Oxford. Oh, alright, Harrow too, but only because Churchill went there. The door to the debating chamber was 50 feet from the street and every person walking by was invited in by two prominent signs. There was no ID, no name check, no conditions, no entry fee, free coffee and, of course, biscuits. It was the heart of the Unseen University open to the shoppers, bloggers, thieves, whores, bombers, professors, politicians - and me.

Even if Frank had not set up his excellent standard and called people to it, that such a thing as freedom of speech and thought could exist without the world collapsing was demonstrated the moment OH walked in to the chamber dressed as a notorious critic of parliamentary procedure and sat down next to an MP and a professor of politics - neither turned a hair.

That is what freedom tastes of. A measure of the loss of freedom is that we had to huddle in a Hogwartian place to get enough magical protection to say 'golliwog' in the physical presence of other living people without inviting a thunderbolt to set our hair on fire.

Frank needed that shielding as he stepped up to his earlier subject, internet censorship and regulation. Faced with the spokesliar for the Internet Watch Foundation, Frank nevertheless managed to remain calm and charming, despite the accusation hanging in the air that “if you disagree with me you must be supporting child abuse”. The good news is that while Frank didn’t wholly win his point, the IWF certainly didn’t carry their side. It is becoming more sayable every day: freedom matters, it can’t be abridged for trivial matters, and that includes some level of offence. Cambridge is the right place to say it.

What is Cambridge about, if not freedom of thought, freedom of speech? The Union bought itself a Gothic Revival romantic chapterhouse to mimic the one Pugin had supplied to Westminster. A few yards away on the other side of the market square are the real Gothic churches and the Senate house which were the cradle of the English Reformation. Books sometimes got burnt and people more often in that market square, but they didn’t stop saying things just because of the risk. Half the time they were having each other arrested over petty squabbles, including - ironically - having said the wrong thing, but the other half of the time they were building a fortress for freedom, not a prison for it. In those dusty book stacks and study nooks where bent-back professors still roost, long after everyone else thought they were extinct, ideas still appear like shoots on yew.

Cambridge is celebrating 800 years of academic endeavour which built the modern world. In that time there has grown up a tradition of iconoclastic objects in inaccessible places. Look carefully at the banners which have been strung up above the streets. Somebody has got up there with stickers and now some of them say “800 years of bollocks”.

Harrithebastard said...

Talking of carnivals .


"JADE Goody was rushed sobbing to hospital under a police escort last night to undergo emergency surgery for severe abdominal pains."

Police escort no less?

defender said...

I am sorry you didnt have a good conference.
freedom will have to be fought for all over again it seems.
Our side may be more common and not as educated as yours, non the less we defend freedom just as passionately as you.
In spite of the miseducation of the past 30 years or so, the roots of liberty are instintivlly there.
We have not really understood what our leaders have been doing to us til now, but we have realised now and enough is enough.

Guthrum said...

Our side may be more common and not as educated as yours

Your words not mine, I have never intimated this ever

No- your side is obsessed by race as the problem, my side is not.It is obsessed by Liberty.

defender said...

Guthrum, I would not normally bring up my ethnic origins, but just for you, I have the same make up as Obama, Coloured father, English mother. I need no lessons from a pure white liberal like you about race. From my own personal experience, having access to both sides, I can tell you that whites are no where as racist as others.
Today is my 58th birthday, so I have been dealing with this for over half a century.
I have also stood for council elections for the BNP in 07, there was never a question as to my suitability to stand, I was on the list and took shit over that expose, I am still active, my membership is up to date and I comment regularly.
You sir have bought into the propangda of the elites and your reputation demands you stick to your position to the death.
My dear sir, you claim to be a libertain when you are nothing of the sort. You are are closed minded snob of the first order.

Guthrum said...

How do you know I am white ? The BNP are utterly obssesed with race and xenophobia

On what grounds am I a snob ?

You said your supporters were uneducated not me.

Both of my parents worked in factories, and I am very proud of them both.

So fuck off with your assumptions.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that these so called conferences are no more than feel good "get togethers" of the do gooders.
They are not interested in liberty, they just need a few more pet projects to put on their CV's.

Their idea of liberty is a world away from that of yours OH.


John Ozimek said...

On the lighter side....

Those who attended the Cambridge event may have noticed, part of the time, a small blonde boy leaping around and doing unspeakable things to toy cars and knights.

About half way thru the afternoon, he noticed a certain blogger (?) all done up in V outfit, complete with Guy Fawkes mask and shiny boots. Mmmmm!

After eyeing said Fawkes up for a while, the boy (yes: he's called Rafael and I had a hand (sic!) in his conception) asked his mum if she would inquire as to the man in black's status:

"Is he a super-hero?", he whispered insistently.

On being informed that he was, I believe he spent a good few minutes pestering the super-hero...before heading upstairs to the gallery where he expressed his desire to leap across the chamber by way of the excellent chandeliers.

At that point, I suggested that this might not be a good idea and we returned to the fray below.

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