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.


I’m interested in your passion for freedoms (genuinely). I also know where your coming from when you say not being a member of a party would be like resigning from society.

I, as you may have noticed, have not shared the same level of concern for the justice and security bill, or for what I see as light regulation of the press. However I get very concerned about the level of taxation and business regulation in the country. Do these measures bother you too? I get worried that the country will turn into a populist tyranny, but ultimately I have faith in democracy that this won’t happen.

by Eddie Sammon on March 18, 2013 at 11:02 pm. Reply #

I don’t necessarily agree with you on the issue of regulation of the press – but this is a crazy crazy way for the party to be supporting making legislation.

by Hywel on March 18, 2013 at 11:21 pm. Reply #

Reining in the press is not an attack on free speech. Paxman, Humphreys, Neil et al are not gagged – why do you tolerate TV & Radio regulation but not press regulation? The TV does not have the unrestrained right to behave as the press do, destroying lives, smearing, lying, (and as they have done since far into the 19th century), holding progress of any kind back. They are an unelected, bought and paid for, power for evil that believes it has a divine right to rule the county, and more or less has since 79. The deal is far too mild. Unless you believe the right to inflict pain must be upheld in the liberal cause.

by David on March 19, 2013 at 1:55 am. Reply #

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