On Guns And The Minimum Wage

by Quinn

Why looky here, well whaddya know. According to this simply spiffing quiz organised by those kind chaps at the UK Libertarian Party…

That puts me in the same group as Hitler, Stalin and Gordon Brown (ha,ha). No, not really. Well, yes really, insofar as the LPUK quiz really does lump Gordon Brown in with Hitler and Stalin in the ranks of the wholly illiberal; but my answers didn’t mark me out as a Fascist Stalinist, in fact I gained a respectable “80% liberal” ranking. This high mark prompted the Libertarian Party’s website to suggest that I may be interested in joining their number, but as I am about as likely to do that as I am to join the BNP or Socialist Workers Party, I feel I may as well display the above badge as the pretty green “I am 80% Liberal” version my answers merit.

Because while I’m perfectly happy enough to call myself a liberal by my definition, I think the 80% mark as issued by the LPUK flatters me by theirs, thank to the rather feeble questions they have asked on the test. Hence, while I don’t think that we should simply “raise taxes on the rich so we can redistribute wealth to the poor”, it doesn’t follow that I agree that “it is illiberal for people to be taxed at a different rate based on their income”; although I don’t currently think “the state should make people change their behaviour to tackle climate change”, I do support some methods to encourage people to make environmentally friendly decisions; whilst I agree that “it is wrong for democratic nations to overthrow foreign dictators” as long as we are talking about it being “gross arrogance, for one state to impose their will on another”, I feel it is simplistic to say that these “issues are for the people of said state to resolve themselves with their leader(s)” because I wholly support the idea of a multilateral framework of international law to allow intervention in the case of a genocide.

In all, then, I don’t think I deserve that 80% grade, perhaps 50% or 60% is nearer the mark, a score that elicits a suggestion that I may like to find out more about liberalism by checking out the Libertarian Party’s manifesto. Perhaps. But I already know enough about my own brand of liberalism, which is founded on a belief in liberty, equality, tolerance and understanding, and with which I feel very comfortable; and I also know it is a million miles away from the “liberalism” as espoused by this repulsive [former] Libertarian Party member for example, apparently a co-author of the aforementioned LPUK manifesto no less* and a certified bigoted tosser to boot, of whom the best you can say is that there are even more sick and twisted views by assorted pondlife to be found in the comments on his blog. This is a kind of liberalism to which I can never aspire and a club I do not wish to be a part of.

*This sentence has been amended following comments from Martin, DK and OH.