Monday, 1 September 2014

Douglas Carswell's earthquake

Last week Douglas Carswell resigned from the Conservative party and joined Ukip. He also resigned as a member of parliament in order to fight a by-election. If he wins, and it is very likely he will, Carswell will become the first Ukip MP.

Since Carswell's announcement there has been a lot of speculation about other Tory MPs defecting and what impact this will have on the general election.

Carswell has always been on the 'libertarian' side of the Conservative party. With Daniel Hannan he wrote The Plan, a book that argued for constitutional reforms that would put checks on parliamentary power. Interestingly, Hannan recently wrote a piece in the Telegraph explaining why he would remain in the Conservative party.

For a short time, Ukip was seen as a libertarian party. Whether it was or not is open to question. In the last year it positioned itself as a conservative nationalist party. Who knows how comfortable Carswell will be in such an entity.

Carswell's influence on Ukip's vote at the next election is unlikely to be that great. What will be more interesting is if his membership begins to shift Ukip towards a real libertarian party. One way to judge that is the party's policy on immigration. A party committed to a free market should also support the free movement of people.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

How the millennial generation will vote

Reason magazine has been looking at the millennium generation: their values and their politics. You have to be careful with broad generalisations but it is sell worth taking a look at what the libertarian magazine has to say. After all, it could be an indication of the government we will get in the coming years.

The Coalition: the verdict

A lot will be written about the governing coalition as we approach the next general election. The Government will be judged on its economic record and its reform of public services. Some will take a view on what has happened with the EU, migration and crime.

When the coalition was formed it felt rather like the Whigs were back in power. There was a lot of talk about changing the relationship between the citizen and State. It appeared that the Liberal Democrats and libertarianism such as Douglas Carswell were in agreement on constitutional changes such as the recall of MPs.

Four years later the recall proposal has been watered down and Carswell has switched parties. While the coalition has introduced changes it doesn't feel as though the relationship between citizen and the State has been transformed. Perhaps it is just not possible to achieve such ambitious goals in the complex world we live in.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday quote: Albert Einstein

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

How the State can get it wrong

It appears the 'State' got it wrong in the case of Aysha King. If that proves to be the case it means the parents have gone through a terrible ordeal and taxpayers' money has been wasted.

In light of that story, Reason magazine has another example of where the 'State' can get it wrong. Aaron Malin has a story about a man who sold marijuana and is now in prison for life.

You can read it here.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Friday quote: Lucille Ball

"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regrets the things I haven't done."

Monday, 18 August 2014

A levels:impact on your life

Last week, British students received their 'A' level results.

The grades the students get will determine where they go to university and could set the course for their career.

For some who are clear about what they want to do with their lives and get the results they need, they are set.

For others who are unsure what they want or don't get the results they need a rethink may be required.

The days when you could study a range of subjects at 'A' level, do a general degree and then decide on your career seems to have gone.

As technology changes the nature of work and the work we do, having to make long-term decisions at such a young age seems counter to the prevailing trend.

Another educational overhaul might not work but I suspect over time more flexibility will be built into how we educate young people.