Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2009


The 2009 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize
£1,000 to be Won

by Sean Gabb

In honour of Dr Chris R. Tame (1949-2006), The Libertarian Alliance offers a yearly prize of £1,000 for an essay on a subject to be announced by Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance. This year, the Prize has been most generously sponsored by Teresa Gorman, long-term conservative and libertarian activist and formerly Conservative Member of Parliament for Billericay.

By the 16th October 2009, contestants are invited to submit essays to Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance.
Essay Title: “Can a Libertarian also be a Conservative?”
Essay Length: 3,000 words (+ or – 10%)  excluding notes and bibliography

Explanatory Note for briefing applicants

(1) Do libertarians believe, almost by definition, that there  could be a society so radically different from anything that has so far existed, that they have nothing in common with conservatives?

(2) Is it the case that the working relationship between libertarians and conservatives during the 20th century was never more than an alliance of necessity against state socialism?

(3) Was that relationship even a terrible mistake? Are the natural allies of libertarians the anti-state socialists rather than defenders of an old order that was happy to kill and oppress when it was able?

(4) Is libertarianism, as Roderick Long believes, the real “proletarian revolution”?

(5) Or, on the other hand, does liberty, if it is to last for any reasonable time, require conservative institutions? Is it wise to discard past experience as irrelevant to the future?

(6) Is there an argument for putting up with imperfect but broadly libertarian institutions, on the grounds that to change them involves the risk of losing all freedom?

(7) If most European types of conservatism are incompatible with libertarianism, is it the same with English conservatism?

These are some of the themes that might usefully be explored in answering my question. Please note, however, that this is not an exhaustive list. I am looking for something original and interesting – not a set of answers to each of the above sub-questions thrown into essay form.

I am also  //not//  looking for detailed analyses of Mr Cameron or the Conservative Party.

My questions is more about conservatives than Conservatives.


  • Essays must be original and previously unpublished works.
  • Essays must be submitted in English and typed and in hard copy by sending to The Libertarian Alliance, Suite 35, 2 Lansdowne Row, Mayfair, London W1J 6H, United Kingdom.
  • Essays  must also be submitted by e-mail and in MS Word format to Sean Gabb – .
  • Essays must bear the name and full address of the author, including his e-mail address. The name does not need to be genuine, but work submitted under what Sean Gabb considers an absurd pseudonym may be rejected. Certainly, the prize money will be by cheque, and so must be made out to a real person.
  • Essays must have been received in both hard and soft copy no later than Friday the 16th October 2009.
  • The winner will be announced on the evening of Saturday the 24th October 2009, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London.
  • The winner will be required to make a ten minute acceptance speech on Saturday the 24th October 2009, at the banquet of the Libertarian Alliance Conference, to be held at the National Liberal Club in London. This speech may be made in person, or by pre-recorded video, or may be read out by Sean Gabb, .
  • The prize will be £1,000, made out to the winner and payable in Sterling by cheque drawn on one of the United Kingdom’s clearing banks, even if nationalised. No other form of payment will be considered.
  • The winning essay will be published by the Libertarian Alliance. All essays submitted will be published by the Libertarian Alliance.
  • In all matters of deciding the winner of the Prize and in all associated matters, the decision of Sean Gabb shall be final.
  • The act of submitting an essay shall constitute full acceptance of these terms
  • This prize competition is not open to any Officer of the Libertarian Alliance or of the Libertarian International.

For all questions, please contact Sean Gabb, though be prepared to wait for an answer.

Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize 2009


  1. I personally would like to see essays from the following, and there may be many, many others who I have forgotten to name, so do please forgive me if I have left you out:-

    (1) Ian B (Your stuff is the Giants that people stand on the shoulders of.)
    (2) Tony Hollick
    (3) Fred Bloggs
    (4) The Landed underclass, whoever he may be,
    (5) The Devil and/or his wife
    (6) Tim Worstall
    (7) Guido (who he?)
    (8) David Farrer
    (9) Iain Dale
    (10) mummylonglegs (you could make use of the dosh, bless you old mummy)
    (11) Angry Exile
    (12) Brian M
    (13) The Englishman
    (14) Tom Paine at The Last Ditch
    (15) Barack Obama (that will sort the men from the boys for a start)
    (16) Gordon Brown

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