Thursday, 30 July 2009

One Last Question...

... Regarding the meetup.

I have it down to two cities now, people from the Counties of West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and East Yorkshire (*) have expressed interest so far, I've heard nothing from anyone in South Yorkshire, so it looks like the meetup will be held in either Leeds, or York as a general central point of those Counties, with easy access by public or private transport.

So, the question is, which City would be best for you?

Please, drop me a line, or leave a comment on this post to 'cast your vote' as it were.

I will post the result here on Sunday 2nd August.

I am looking at Saturday 15th August for this, I hope that will be okay with everyone.

Cast your votes if you're coming!

=At least, I think East Yorkshire is still a County, please politely correct me if I am wrong, I mean no offense!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

So where are you?

Just an update for you all regarding meeting up.

I have had a few responses from people interested in meeting up, but what I need now is the location of the people who are interested, so I can figure out a mutually convienient place to get us together.

I have asked a couple of members of the NCC if they will be available to join us, so I am just waiting for their replies, I know that one of them gets up to Yorkshire fairly regularly, and it would be nice to see them again.

There has also been some unofficial interest in a meeting from the Taxpayers Alliance too, with whom we seem to share a lot of common ground. All will be welcome!

Remember, you don’t have to be a member of the LPUK to come and have a natter with us, so even if you just want to hear more about us, you’re welcome to join us when the arrangements are finalised.

Now, for those of you that were enquiring about the minutes of last year’s LPUK AGM, I’m afraid I have had no word of their whereabouts thus far.

I think with the run up towards this week’s Norwich North by-election, that the people who would know, have been very busy. I have asked again today though, and await their response. Sorry about that, I’d quite like to see them myself actually, because, although I was at the AGM myself, I don’t remember that much about it now.

Perhaps Shades can remember some more, as he played a somewhat comical, but very important role there as I recall, pointing out the little mistakes that were being made here and there!

So, for now, if you could just let me know where you are in Yorkshire, just your area, I’m not interested in any details, then we can look at getting this show running!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Yorkshire is Libertarian - people at last have a decent choice

As a Londoner (or an ex-Londoner as I call myself now) I thought that it would be hard settling into a new life in Yorkshire when I moved up here several years ago.

I am happy to say I was wrong. Not only because so much of my county is beautiful and quintessentially English. Not only because of my love of the dark, dank industrial architecture of the 19th century.

What makes Yorkshire so warming to me is the people - Yorkshire people are probably the finest individuals I have ever met on these shores.

Unlike so many people I have encountered from the South, people from Yorkshire almost always possess certain traits that I find compatible with my own attitude to life.

They are direct and no nonsense. They are generally friendly, respectful and decent. And more so than people I have encountered elsewhere, they are self-reliant, full of self-respect and understand the dividing line between valuing their community and dependence on government for the answers.

Yorkshire is probably one of the most naturally Libertarian areas in Britain today. I have found it interesting that, historically speaking, Yorkshire is one of the few regions in the North of England where the Conservative party have done well at elections.

Yet from what I can see, this isn't because the place is packed out with blue rinse mob Tories - it appears that people have traditionally leaned to the Tories over the years because the party is linked with less interference, less tax, more emphasis on the importance of the individual and family and more emphasis on enterprise and personal endeavour.

I say 'traditionally' for a reason. If the Conservatives ever did really stand for these things to any meaningful degree, they certainly do not now.

The authoritarian element within the Tory party is now joined by a new ally - the wet, Blairite, social democratic David Cameron, who wishes to keep public spending high, keep the role of the state ever present and who will do nothing to withdraw the disgraceful impositions upon the British people that have been placed there by the Labour government.

The people of Yorkshire want none of this, and it is only because everyone is so sick of Labour and Gordon Brown that people may consider the Tories as the last, least worst hope.

It is therefore an opportunity and a blessing that the naturally Libertarian minded people of Yorkshire and the LPUK presence in this region are able to see a way through the malaise. The more people get to hear about us and the more we grow as a party, the better.

For Yorkshire men and women will at last have a party that stands for their beliefs and their ideals. A party that isn't ideological, isn't dogmatic, isn't right or left in the old fashioned sense, isn't pathetic and uselessly 'New Labour'-esque, isn't about special interests and agendas and isn't about state dominance.

People will in the future see our party and see an outfit that offers freedom and liberty. Freedom from the shackles of excessive state interference. Freedom from being told what to do by a bossy, over-dominant Westminster establishment and elite. A party that says - 'you know what is best for you and your family; go build your lives we'll leave you alone'.

The only thing stopping the LPUK from becoming popular in Yorkshire is a lack of awareness and exposure. This, undoubtedly, will come in time with effort and perseverance.

John Demetriou.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Let's Talk...

Let’s talk.

I need your help.

After a conversation with Andrew Withers, chairman of the LPUK, last week, I have taken on the role of regional coordinator for the Yorkshire region of the LPUK.

How many of us are there? How many LPUK members are in the Yorkshire region, and, indeed, how many people are reading this from Yorkshire, who are perhaps considering joining us, or want to know more about us, and the philosophy of liberty?

I’d like to try and arrange a meeting of some kind. Informally, so we can get to know each other a little. We can discuss Libertarianism in a nice pub somewhere.

I was at the LPUK AGM in York last year, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations we were all having together. Just speaking, and listening to like-minded people made the LPUK all the more real to me.

I think that is the problem we have at the moment, within the LPUK. So many names, but no faces. No genuine contact.

It feels to me sometimes, reading the LPUK member’s forums and to a lesser degree the main blog, that there are a lot of pissing competitions going on. Schoolyard ‘I’m more Libertarian than you’ nonsense, which can sometimes make me feel like we will never get anywhere.

I believe face to face contact, and a good old natter over a few bevvies is the best way to try and get things rolling. The LPUK internet presence has it’s place, it’s time and purpose, but now we need to be looking at taking real physical action.

We need to be getting the LPUK word out, in preparation not necessarily for the next general election, but for the one after. We need to be arranging meetings, getting our name out there, and getting people’s attention. I believe we need to be looking at getting a few LPUK bottoms into some local council seats if we have the people willing to stand.

I believe there is something for everyone within the LPUK. I honestly believe we can offer the change, a new direction, and next level of ‘democracy’ to this once great Country.

Great Britain has been viewed as the Mother of democracy throughout the free world, but now that democracy has become tainted, and spoiled. It no longer serves the people of Great Britain the way it was intended. It has been exploited, and abused, and manipulated to serve only the few, and not the majority.

It’s time for the next stage of democracy. It’s time for a change, and time for a new kind of freedom to all who would embrace it. A freedom that has been erroded, and withdrawn from us over the last twelve years.

This is where I need your help.

I am no politician, I’m barely any kind of organiser, or coordinator. I’ve stepped up to take this position because, quite simply, nobody else did. If someone more able were to come along tomorrow, and ask to take my place here, I would gladly step aside and watch them do a better job than I.

I am doing this because I believe it is the only way we are going to get ourselves known outside the internet.

The current by-election campaign in Norwich North has shown us that the mainstream media has no interest in us. Even as a legitimate, campaigning political party, with the youngest ever parliamentary candidate, we have struggled to get much coverage. Not that this was unexpected, we knew from the start that it would be difficult to get noticed, but what we do seem to have found however, is that the people that our campaigners in Norwich have been able to speak to, face to face, have been reacting positively to our policies, and direction.

I believe we will get the votes that we need to get our deposit back, and you have it here in writing!

But, back to Yorkshire, and the help I need from you.

Where are you all?

Yorkshire is a big region as we are all aware. I myself am in York, in the North riding. I’m fairly certain we have members in Bradford, in the West riding, but other than that, I have no idea where you are.

Who are you?

Are you a leader? Do you have experience in politics that you could share with the LPUK, to try and move ourselves forward? Would you be interested in becoming a parliamentary, or local candidate for the LPUK further down the line?

What can you do?

Do you have contacts, or skills that would be useful in getting the LPUK’s message out there? Can you stuff envelopes, or pound the streets, or deliver leaflets? Can you make a donation to the LPUK, to help us with future election fees?

What do you want from me, your regional coordinator?

Tell me.

I believe that the LPUK is the only alternative now. All the other parties are merely differently coloured rosettes, but with almost the same ultimate ambitions and final outcomes.

They all want to rule you, and tell you how to live your life, while serving only themselves.

They are supposed to be working for YOU, you do not serve THEM.

Only the LPUK would give control of your life back to YOU. Only the LPUK will work to make YOU better off in every aspect of your life.

Let me know how I can serve you best, as your regional coordinator.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Kirkstall Festival

Was persuaded by my very rotund and frustrated wife to break our normal Saturday malaise with a trip to the Kirkstall Festival this afternoon - weather was nice and I was not much in the mood for housework, so we went, along with our pet labrador, Bonnie.

Amidst the many tents selling their wares for various causes I noticed the following:

  • The Labour Party.
  • Solidarity With Cuba (replete with Che Geuvera merchandise).
  • A group calling itself "Green Labour".
  • The UK Communist Party.

Walking along the rest of the Abbey I noticed there was not a single advocate of conservatism, liberalism or libertarianism, and I ask myself why political dialogue was confined to rabid, left-wing ideology.

What was most striking about the event was that these stalls were in the order above as I passed them; reading up on the similarities and differences between the 2 before coming to write this I found the following article; this in particular is telling:

"Socialism is the first step in the process of developing the productive forces to achieve abundance and changing the mental and spiritual outlook of the people. It is the necessary transition stage from capitalism to communism."

Compare and contrast:

"Socialism may be established by force, as in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—or by vote, as in Nazi (National Socialist) Germany. The degree of socialisation may be total, as in Russia—or partial, as in England. Theoretically, the differences are superficial; practically, they are only a matter of time. The basic principle, in all cases, is the same."

I will be in contact with other members of LPUK next year to see if we can organise something to appear at this and other local fairs; if you like me are few up of a closed-off narrative that merely offs varying levels of theft from your pocket for varying reasons. Then try something different; try LPUK.

cross posted here.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

One Death Is Too Many

Driving home from work last night I often turn on to Radio 4 to listen to Eddie Mair- he tends not to give politicians an easy ride, which is why they must be lining up to take on his standin Carolin Quinn in his absence.

Yesterday evening Rita Donaghy talked about her enquiry findings into fatalities in the construction industry and how they amounted to an equivalent of 1 per day in the UK. She recommended greater protections for workers and the responsibility for good health and safety planning given to the director of any building project, making him prosecutable if the worst happened. Good, I thought. You can read the report here; 365 deaths stopped a year is a noble goal but in the running of things this is quite a good record considering the nature of the work.

It got me thinking about something I read last year here. According to a TPA report based on WHO data were the NHS to have the same “mortality amenable to healthcare” as the average of the other European countries studied (Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain), there would have been 17,157 fewer deaths in 2004, the most recent year for which data is available.

1 death per day in the construction industry attributed (but not proven) to bad health and safety management.


47 deaths per day (at the last count) caused by poor management of disease and by a system that champions scarcity & rationing as a virtue over good healthcare outcomes - you need only look at Jade Goody's case to understand how this comes about.

Do not get me wrong; I have several friends in the health service who do many difference jobs; doctors, nurses, admin (in my younger days I temped in admin roles in many hospital departments - at one point for over a year in one) and in many of these cases deaths are not always down to poor treatment; the reason for these death I believe are 3 fold:

1. Risk is supplanted by regulation; regulation leads to more i's dotted and t's crossed but dont account for the rules not covering every possibility that good common sense would; frontline staff merely wish to avoid incurring the wrath of the clipboard wielders and, as our MP's expenses scam proves, it so much easier to state you were playing "within the rules".

2. As far as users of the NHS are concerned it is a free service; you dont have to pull out your wallet to pay for treatment ergo it must be free. This assumption is not just an oddity within the NHS but widespread socialist consensus-think has taught us - that nothing important in this country can function without the government sticking its oar in. Thus we do not value our own health or the services which help us when we are sick.

3. The governments attempts to use the private sector as a means of palming off responsibility which rightfully belongs to it (it deeming to control our healthcare system after all) in areas like cleaning, or the more insidious use of PFI or "management consultants" to reduce levels of nursing and support staff leading to faster turnaround for beds and greater risks of infection.

In all 3 cases it is the system that is at fault; you are compelled to buy into 1 system at the barrel of a gun and treated as a right-wing nut when you question the percieved wisdom that 47 deaths per day is a worthy sacrifice to keep this "wonder of the world".


Join LPUK link

The Libertarian Party manifesto for health is deceptively simple; government doesn't hold the key to the best healthcare system; you do - if you care about your life then you need to take responsibility over it. Understanding your own mortality, accepting it and the cost it takes to keep you healthy in terms of what you do to yourself and how you mitigate the risks when the worst happens is part of that.

For me I believe the best outcome would come from combinatorial medical savings accounts and insurance; considering fully comprehensive insurance for me, my wife and the little one due to arrive any day now would be approximately £80 for all of us (compared to roughly £200 each from my wife and me for NI contributions, considering our employers double these) the cost to offset our insurance against a tax free medical savings nest egg we could take to any provider would ensure the best outcome; the one we want. For those of us unfortunate to have long term ailments this could be covered by a fairer national insurance tax which also covers emergency and maternity services (accidents and healthcare for people who have had little say in needing it should not be forced to pay for it); the costs of these relative to other sections of the NHS are relatively small and manageable.

For a better idea of how this would work; look here.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Press Release 7th July 2009


Libertarian Party fields
youngest ever parliamentary candidate
at Norwich North

Thomas Burridge, aged 18, is the Libertarian Party candidate for the upcoming Norwich North by-election, and is set to make history as the youngest person ever to contest a Westminster seat. Thomas was accepted offically by the Returning Officer today.

Thomas is aware that his age may raise a few eyebrows. “People may ask what can I possibly know about anything at my age? Well, one thing I do know is that Labour excesses have left my generation with a massive debt that will take generations to pay off.” “It’s all the more painful because we were not given any say in the decisions that have forced us to spend the rest of our lives in debt.”

“Currently, the Tories and Labour are squabbling about cutting state spending by a pathetic 5 per cent. Whereas, the Libertarian Party want to scrap the whole rotten system. A system that has given us high personal taxes, squalid services and a corrupt parliament.” “I may not win this time, but I will be back in five years, and in another five years, if necessary. By which time, the guilty ones will be wallowing in their generous pensions – while my generation – The Debt Generation – will still be paying back the money that was squandered.”

The Libertarian Party believes in individual liberty, personal responsibility and freedom from government. Its most prominent policy is to scrap income tax, and transfer taxes to non-essential goods, leaving items such as food, heating and rent tax-free.


For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact the Libertarian Party Norwich North Campaign Office on 01603 850573 or the media enquiries mobile on 07505 228618.

Further details are available on our campaign website:
Alternatively, visit the Libertarian Party website:

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Fair Use Expiry Notificiation #2

WORD #2: Regulation: the wiktionary describes the term "regulate" in the following way:

To dictate policy; To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law; To adjust to a particular specification or requirement: regulate temperature; To adjust (a mechanism) for accurate and proper functioning; To put or maintain in order: regulate one's eating habits

Regulation should be an extend from our negative liberties, i.e. be the consequence to infringement on the rights of another, i.e. prison for a thief or murderer agreed upon by all as a means to resolve issues.

EXAMPLE OF COMMON MISUSE: Many believers in the sovereignty of government over our lives rather than over our laws believe that regulation to be a means of correcting "inequality"; this comes from the mistaken belief that laws should be formed to enable positive liberty and/or "equality" - that is "equality of outcome" rather than "equality of opportunity". They develop "regulations" which deprives wealth creators of the fruits of their labours in order to distribute these to others less able.

More so they erect "regulations" which impede the ability of the better able to create wealth so that the less able are led to believe they can compete, ignoring the obvious caveat that it is not through their own ability but by their recognition with those in authority as being less able, or worse, being a group with pull in political circles.

ALTERNATIVE WORD/TERM FOR IMMEADIATE REPLACEMENT: Regulation should form the bedrock of our liberty and should give us all an equal footing to pursue justice; if a manufacturer knowingly hides a fact about their product which lead to a persons injury or death, or a company pollutes land that does not belong to there should be a means of pursuing justice within the court; it is not a perch for others to gain a foothold over others, such as is happening with the CFP, CAP, the BPD or REACh; all of which enable certain groups to gain advantages over others without having to rely on their own natural abilities, but government pull. Regulation at the point of a gun is no longer regulation - it is:


i.e. "You will behave have in a certain way in order to constrain your natural ability, so that others less able and/or with better political pull will be able to compete with your reduced ability rather than their equal one; your ability to create wealth is less important than our pursuit of "equality"."

From now on, any use of the word "regulation" when describing a means of constraining human activity where it does not necessarily infringe upon anothers liberty or "equality of opportunity" shall henceforth be corrected with the above term.

Next time: democracy

cross-posted here

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Fair Use Expiry Notificiation #1


WORD #1:  Privatisation: Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector (government) to the private sector (business). In a broader sense, privatization refers to transfer of any government function to the private sector including governmental functions like revenue collection and law enforcement (wiki article here).

EXAMPLE OF COMMON MISUSE: Most common misuse today is to describe the actions of our government with regard to the rail network, e.g. here. The problem being that this is by no means a service that is run privately, i.e.  with complete autonomy over the running of there business, their routes and their fees, all of which are set by political diktat with little wiggle room. This concept is best exemplified by a fruit seller who is told he may only sell one particular type of fruit, at one particular price, irrespective of the cost or desire of the customer. This program is largely administered by corporate groups who know full well that without full control over the running of their business they are destined to fail - to this end they can continually rely on government support to keep them ashore - the benefit to the politico is they can blame "capitalist greed" for the failure of such a service; the "capitalist" themselves just keep taking the millions - the taxpayer just gets screwed.

Other examples of its misuse has been identified when describing (either fearfully or fervently depending on the group you are talking to) what is happening to the NHS or any of our social or welfare services under a Bory government. 

ALTERNATIVE WORD/TERM FOR IMMEADIATE REPLACEMENT: As this is, effectively, a means of politicos keeping control of something but diverting the vitriol of the public onto "private" business this will require a term rather than outright work - the recommendation for immeadiate correction of the misuse of the term PRIVATISATION is:


Users of the term "PRIVATISATION" are reminded that, with regards to the fair use of the English language, they will now be expected to use the new term to describe, accurately, what they mean when they describe what is happening to the railway network and, more extensively, what is happening to public transport in general in this country.An example of a private system used to great effect in many countries (and which has raised living standards in the developing world especially) is the "share-taxi" system. Any concept related to this, where the emphasis is on results and require minimal state intervention, may be described under the rules of fair use as privatisation.

tomorrow: Regulation.

Cross-posted here.

Thomas Burridge, LPUK.

Following the resignation of the thieving fraudst.. er, I mean, Labour MP Ian Gibson, I just wanted to offer my best wishes to the LPUK's parliamentary candidate for the upcoming Norwich North election, Thomas Burridge.

Good luck Thomas, we're all behind you.