So, here’s how I’m making my small protest against the Lib Dems’ recent illiberalism

by Stephen Tall on March 18, 2013

So, as I may have mentioned, I’m not a fan of liberals acting casual when it comes to freedoms. These might be the freedoms of those the state has illegally tortured to be able to get justice in fair legal proceedings. Or they might be the freedoms of the press to be as illiberal and moronic as most of it is much of the time as long as it sticks within the laws of the land that govern us all.

So, it’s fair to say, I’m not especially impressed with a government which includes Liberal Democrats deciding to vote first for ‘secret courts’ and then for state-backed regulation of the press.

So, I got to thinking… I’m not a quitter. I couldn’t not be a member of a political party. To me, it would be the equivalent of resigning from society. Just not an option. And the Lib Dems are the only party of which I could ever imagine being a member. But my dander is well-and-truly up at my party’s lack of concern for free speech and natural justice.

So, here’s my compromise: I’m halving my annual membership donation. For some quirky direct-debit related reason, I’ve ended up paying £94.44 in annual dues to the national party (more to my local party and one-off appeals), more than the £62 recommended rate. From today, I’ll pay £47.22. The other £47.22 I’m going to donate to Index on Censorship, the only campaign group to have taken seriously how politicians tinkering with free speech actually matters.

So, it’s a gesture. No more than that and I don’t pretend otherwise. The Lib Dems will bear the loss of my reduced contribution. Index will barely notice my first donation to their cause. But I want the money I put towards political causes to promote liberalism. Come to that, I want the Lib Dems to promote liberalism, too.