THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
What is hate crime and does it matter?
The dangers of virtue signalling on the internet

Housing the politically homeless in our brave new political world

Fascinating though world politics is at present as the insurrection against PC sweeps the free-ish world, Britain is for once the most interesting place. Once upon a time in our country every little boy and girl who was born into the world alive was either a little (classical) Liberal or else a little Conservative. Then came Mankind's greatest catastrophe, Karl Marx. The Labour Party was sired as his bastard child on religious non-conformism. The mighty Liberals – in many ways the natural party of government in a trading nation that despised busybodies – degenerated into the apology for itself now comprehensively mis-named the Liberal Democrats.

I am a socially and economically liberal free market man who believes in minimum government and maximum individual freedom. I aspire (subject to removing the perverse incentives of corporate and individual welfarism) to global free movement of both goods and people so that every economic object and player can find its, his or her highest and best use. I believe that's the best hope not just for Britain, but for the entire human race if we aspire (as we should) to raise us all from material, cultural and spiritual poverty. 

The post-Brexit, post-Trump political battle lines seem to have been drawn up between "globalism" (a dysphemism for "free trade") and protectionism (the second most stupid idea in history, but still dangerously powerful among the economically illiterate). So it looks like we are heading back toward the old Conservative/TruLib™ or Tory/Whig divide. The realignment will take some time to work its way through though. Firstly, for example, the Labour Party (which still commands some tribal loyalty) needs to finish committing suicide. The new players, UKIP and the Greens, need to submit to the discipline of the electoral market and form consistent political and economic stances.

In many ways I am as politically homeless in this new alignment as I was in the old. UKIP is a strong candidate to replace the Labour Party, but I don't fit in its mercantilist ranks. The only thing I have in common with the Trumps, Farages and LePens of this world is that I believe when someone does move to another culture they should assimilate. I see NO obligation on a host country to modify any legal, ethical, religious, social or political norms to make new arrivals feel at home. 

I don't feel comfortable in the Conservative Party either. It's more inclined towards free markets than the other contenders but it's socially illiberal and inclined to build a scarily powerful state. Yes, it's a successful fighting force with a lot of internal cohesion and has been much strengthened as an electoral machine now that Brexit has removed the only threat to its unity. There is no doubt it will be one of the potential parties of government in the new order and in the likes of Dan Hannan it has some sound thinkers but I hunger for a home that is more authentically TruLib™.

The only element of my beliefs the Labour Party sometimes seems to  favour is free movement of, if not goods, then people. However that's certainly not from rational conviction. Labour fears/hates its traditional voters, now too sophisticated for its outdated Marxist schtick, and wants to ship in naifs by the million to replace them. Welfare recipients, rent-seeking intellectual idlers and other government dependents are its main voter base so it also wants to farm those unproductives. It therefore represents a perfect storm of cultural and economic impoverishment. Even if – as now seems unlikely – it survives, Labour is clearly not my party. 

I can't even muster the strength to explain why the Greens are not for me. Life is too short. Let's just say loincloths and camp fires are not my style. 

Which leaves the LibDems. Historically they have the right credentials. There are still some Gladstonians there, though they are not exactly in the driving seat. Once they stop grieving about Brexit and move from their present denial through anger to acceptance they have a real opportunity to be the party of free trade and an open, tolerant society. I see no signs at present that they even begin to aspire to the mantle of alternative government, but who knows? It lies in the street where Labour discarded it. Someone must surely pick it up?