The Dissenter's Voice

The ocassional comments, opinions, rambling and rants of a liberal dissenter in New Labour's Britain

Friday, June 23, 2006

This is a Liberal Blog

This is a Liberal Blog.

I've finally joined cyberspace so that I can add my voice to the growing number of liberals who not only surf the net but also have their own little island out there in the ether.

The internet is amazing, the natural home for a liberal: free-thinking, open, linking like minded people, challenging assumptions and preconceptions. It's just the place I want to be.

I'm a political anorak of course, a sometime amateur politico, LibDem aparatchik and general hack - this place is made for me. The internet feeds my insatiable appetite for information, analysis and gossip. But the internet is much more than that. Look at how it is changing the face of politics in the US.

Bloggers are changing the way parties campaign - the quixotic Howard Dean US Presidential run in 2004, changed things permanaently - the web went from being considered as a sort of citizens' band radio for anoraks into a powerful tool for raising money and mobilising support. Now the viral marketing techniques of the web bloggers are spreading word of new policy ideas and new sorts of political candidates.

That's what we need here in Britain. People are tired of what we've got, I know I am, we really deserve something better. I'm tired of this authoritarian, tabloid, lying, brutish Labour government. I'm equally bored of the smiling, opportunistic, shallow 'Rainbow' Tories.

And even though I'm a LibDem I'm pretty tired of a tepid centrist fudge masquerading as liberalism.

I'm a Liberal and I want a different kind of politics.

A politics that doesn't confuse simply taking power from the private sector and handing it to the state, even the local state with liberalism. There isn't anything particularly liberal about promising to spend other peoples' money on big one size fits all government schemes. Liberalism is about devolving power, wealth and choice to individuals and their communities.

Surely there is room in British politics for a party that believes in social justice and the freedom of the individual. I want a politics that recognises that if you are poor in the UK and have no day-to-day control over a state that provides your healthcare, education, income and transport then you are not truly free. The point of having money, is that you can afford to walk away and do your own thing. When you're poor you don't have the choice.

I can't be the only liberal who totally rejects the so-called 'leftwing' idea that 'the poor' are too stupid to make informed choices themselves and need enlighted middle-class lefties with bad 2:2s in Sociology to make those decisions for them. I want a politics that gives ordinary people as much or more choice and control when using public services as they do in the private sector.

Britain's politics mustn't be allowed to degenerate into a tedious managerialist squabble. The internet provides an alternative, it gives us a glimpse of something different, better, not controlled and regimented from above. I'm convinced that it's here that the ideas that will change politics will be born and spread. The internet is free, open and devolved.

That's just like the sort of politics I want, and that's why I'm here - where else would a liberal want to be?

18 Comments:

Blogger John Locke's Ghost said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Benedict White said...

Hi Bullseye, good to see you have got a blog. I had to get my own just to post here!

You can see the problem us Conservatives have with you "liberals" because most of what you have written could have come from a conservative as well. After all it was us Conservatives who stopped children being sent down the mines etc. So we do have a social conscience as well as a large libertarian streak. But then given that the conservative party consumed many parts of the old liberal party that can hardly be a surprise.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Chris Black said...

Welcome Charles.

You've made a pretty good pugnacious start! I look forward to reading more...

10:15 AM  
Blogger Cicero said...

Welcome to the interwebthingy- look forward to hearing more.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Cllr David Morton said...

Do develop the "lefties with bad 2:2's" theme. I often wonder if the colonial impulse we once used to rule an empire has now been subliminated into a proffesional class governing our estates.

4:13 AM  
Blogger Andy Mayer said...

Charles, I'm glad to see you have discovered a wholesome use for the Internet. :-)

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward for more posting. BTW, have you considered joining the Liberal Views forum?

4:55 AM  
Blogger Cllr Andy Jennings said...

Good to see you here Charles - I will have to do something with mine now!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Bullseye said...

Thanks all for your comments, glad to be hear!

Benedict - I've responed to your comments with a rather lengthy new post of my own.

C

5:04 PM  
Blogger David said...

The Internet is highly accessible which of course means a lot of its content is ‘authoritarian, tabloid, lying, brutish’. I am delighted that you have joined us all in cyberspace. Both politcally and personally, yours is a voice I rate and you have been the only politican – amateur or professional – I have ever felt the need to thank as an inspiration in one of my books ranting against all that is authoritarian, tabloid, lying and brutish. As an English libertarian (though one you seem to deem as a ‘bloody libertarian trotskyite’) I am very glad you now exist online.

9:01 PM  
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