“Fed Up with Politicians?”
By Duncan Whitmore
Such was the title of a political leaflet received through my door last week.
Readers familiar with my work on this blog will know that I place little faith in the mainstream, political process as the primary means of achieving a freer society in the UK. There is no point in trying to grab control of the system when it is the system itself that is rotten.
Nevertheless, this leaflet – from an organisation called “NotLibLabCon” – caught my eye for three reasons.
First, the leaflet is clearly written from a right-leaning, pro-freedom perspective, listing political priorities such as:
- Sensibly sized government
- Strong borders
- Individual choice
- Stopping mass surveillance
- Freedom of speech
- Balanced budget
- Low inflation
Even political outsiders in this country tend to taint otherwise agreeable ideas by making obeisance to the NHS or to enforced “fairness” in this, that and the other. No mention of either was a good reason to save this leaflet from my rubbish bin.
Second, as its name suggests, NotLibLabCon aims at rejecting the three main political parties, all of whom it accuses of “no longer [caring] about serving the people”.
Indeed, amusingly, the leaflet presents a long list of problems which the three parties need to address – with the only tick being earned by “gender neutral toilets”.
However, unlike the tiny, alternative parties vying for your vote, NotLibLabCon will be standing not a single candidate for election in its name. Instead, their primary focus is on promoting independent politicians, devoid of any party loyalty.
Thus, NotLibLabCon stands not only against the three, dominant parties, but against the party system as a whole. Such a system has largely been responsible for the “divide and conquer” strategy of embroiling the electorate in faux outrage over trivial matters while the fundamental problems are buried by unuttered consensus.
If candidates must stand on their own two feet, stripped of the support of big party branding, they are much more likely to have to address real issues in order to gain any traction with voters.
Indeed, while NotLibLabCon is happy to encourage people to vote for minor parties, they do so on the condition that the candidate possesses “honesty”, “integrity”, “passion” and “conviction”. Such a shifting of emphasis away from political parties can only be a good thing.
Third, instead of trying to elect MPs to the Westminster bubble, NotLibLabCon focusses its efforts on local elections (indeed, the campaign is timed to coincide with the elections next month). In their own words:
Local Councils have a major impact in our daily lives. Policies which are agreed in Westminster need to be implemented at a local level. Local Councillors oversee services such as schools, roads and social care.
Many people feel the Westminster political parties no longer represent them, especially at a local level. Local Lib Lab Con Councillors toe their party line, not always acting in the best interests of local residents and businesses. This has to stop!
In the same way that our national politicians seem beholden to globalised interests, local governments also tend to have “higher” priorities to which the day to day concerns of the voters must take a back seat.
For instance, controversial initiatives such as “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods” are, according to the RAC, implemented by local governments, yet their funding comes from the Department for Transport. One suspects that fewer of these schemes would be appearing if councils had to ask their residents to cough up directly.
Thinking locally is certainly a step in the right direction. At the end of the day, greater, individual freedom and a shrinking of the size of the state will only be achieved from the bottom up. That starts with wresting power away from its absurd level of concentration in Westminster.
In fact, as I have argued recently, this is the next logical step following our attempt at repatriating decision making authority from Brussels. Indeed, it was the UK which largely led the populist revolt against the greening, globalising blob when we voted to leave the EU in June 2016 – more than four months before the Americans followed suit by electing Donald Trump as their president.
That revolt remained uncompromising until the 2019 election of Boris Johnson’s government upon the promise to “get Brexit done.” But while Brexit may have been done in name, the insular, remote political class which fought tooth and nail to reverse it retains a tight stranglehold over the governing institutions of this country.
Unfortunately, whereas popular American resistance has remained visibly proactive during the “Joe Biden” administration, the momentum for continued rebellion on our side of the Atlantic seemingly fizzled away during the COVID lockdowns.
NotLibLabCon clearly senses widespread discontent with both the system and the personnel of our government bubbling away underneath the surface. I have no idea whether they represent the green shoots of an effective resurgence against this system. But they are sowing the right seeds.