Sean Gabb: Should We Vote Conservative with Pinched Noses?

Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 190
23rd February 2010
Linking url:

The 2010 General Election:
Advice on How to Vote
By Sean Gabb

There must, within the next few months, be a general election in England. I will not presume to advise my readers on how to vote. I will, instead, explain how I am at present inclined to vote, and will invite any comments that may arise.

My present inclination is to vote for the Conservative Party. I do not need to be told that these people are, for the most part, trash. I have been mixing in Conservative circles for thirty years now, and I have grown used to the idea of running home after most meetings for a bath. For the avoidance of doubt, let me admit what I think would be the nature of any Government led by David Cameron. It would not withdraw from the European Union. It would not roll back the multicultural elements of our police state. It would not require the police and other public bodies to behave with more humanity or common sense than they now do after thirteen years of Labour tyranny. It would not restore freedom of speech and association as they were understood in 1960. The identity card scheme might be cancelled – but not the national identity database that makes the scheme possible. Any cuts in government spending will fall on the services that are the excuse for such spending. None of the – often very well-paid – administrative and support jobs that are the real purpose will be cut. There will be no tax cuts. There will be no change to our external policy of slavish subservience to the United States. The “climate change” charate might even be become more scandalous.

This being so, why do I propose to vote Conservative? The answer is that a Conservative Government would probably continue with most of the suicidal or simply demented policies of the Blair and Brown Governments. But, at the end of five years, it would then allow a free election as these things have been commonly understood in England. A re-elected labour Government would not. When these beasts in human form lied their way to office back in 1997, they came in with the same assumptions as Hitler had in 1933. They did not regard themselves as having acquired a limited and renewable leasehold interest, but as having inherited the freehold. They and their clients would never again have to sell their services in any open market. They would reorder the State wholly to their own interest. No private sphere, no ancient and immemorial rights would stand in their way. 1997 was Year Zero of their Thousand Year Reich.

So long as it was reasonably plain that they could win the next few elections – if with a dwindling fraction of the total possible vote – they were willing to keep most of the old rules. Even so, they took steps to cartellise politics with party registration and “human rights” laws that now allow them, given courage, to shut down dissident organisations like the British National Party. For the past few years, however, they have lived in constant fear of losing the next election. And, if Labour does lose, that might cause the implosion of their Party. Therefore, if they do somehow win after all, we can be reasonably sure that they will never allow another free election. I doubt if they would go so far as abolishing elections, or openly rigging them. But they are already talking about schemes of “electoral reform” that would keep them permanently in office – even if office must be shared with the Liberal Democrats. They would also tighten the party registration laws, so that only those parties willing to guarantee the existing order would be allowed to run in elections. They might also extend their control over local politicians to Members of Parliament – setting up some system whereby Members who were too outspoken could be removed for “misconduct”.

For all their faults, the Conservatives would not do any of these things. Therefore, a vote for the Conservatives would be a vote for keeping the system open for a real party of national restoration – whatever that might be.

There is one other consideration. This is that, while a Cameron Government with a majority of less than fifty would be little different from Labour, a majority of more than a hundred would bring in new Members who had not been hand-picked for their willingness to obey. A big Conservative majority might force a Cameron Government to take a more liberal and patriotic line on the main issues.

Many of my friends assure me they will vote for the UK Independence Party or for the BNP – or, in one case, for an Islamic Party. I understand their frustration with the existing political arrangements. However, the main purpose of a general election is to send a majority into Parliament from which a Government will be drawn. Whatever individual chance Nigel Farage or Nick Griffin might have in their constituencies, the majority party after the next election must be either Labour or the Conservatives. I wish it were otherwise. But that is the choice we have to face. Do we want a pack of smirking hypocrites, who will leave office after another election? Or do we want what I have already called beasts in human form, who will never leave office thereafter, short of revolution?

Some of my friends insist that voting for minor parties will bring on a hung Parliament. This might be true. However, a hung Parliament would not give decisive weight to any of these minority parties. It would simply result in an auction between the two big parties for the Liberal Democrats. That would be about as bad as a Labour Majority. The choice remains Labour or Conservative.

Am I wrong? Is there some other viable option that I am overlooking? I look forward to hearing if there is. After all, if I do vote Conservative, it will be with forefinger and thumb clamped hard over my nose.

NB—Sean Gabb’s book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from

50 responses to “Sean Gabb: Should We Vote Conservative with Pinched Noses?

  1. I think the problem that the British voter suffers now is that he has been beaten down and all his dreams that were once upon a time easy to determine, fresh and essentially joyful, have been turned into a sort of leathery sludge. All the various means you mention here and all the legislations, prohibitions, and “essential-required-acceptable-attitudes” you describe in your Culture war book have been used to sap his will so he can no longer truly rally for that which he believes, because for one thing, he can’t really remember what he believes.
    The 1979 election was quite a surprise to many people. The Great British Public had been similarly beaten down through the late ’60s and 1970s and I think many collectivists thought they had it sown up.
    Somehow Margaret Thatcher had escaped through the ranks of the Conservatives and was able to become leader of the party.
    So at a point when many were almost reaching out even to the National Front which had risen quite successfully out of the voter despair and helped at that time to provide an alternative “narrative” that although none would dare admit, many felt a silent empathy with, they were able to stay respectable, but also make a call for sanity and reason, and they voted Conservative.
    Perhaps if only Dan Hannan could be leader of the Conservatives there might be some hope for sanity?
    Perhaps if the UKIP element of the Conservatives had not been so alienated that it broke away? Might they join forces?
    Perhaps if the influence of the pro European miscreants could be reduced?
    Sometimes I think it might be better for the truth in the long run if Labour continue because their policies will steer things on to the rocks as certainly as water flows downhill. They nearly did it in 1975 – 8 but the British voter rescued them in 1979 by getting rid of them.
    If they stay where they are the whole thing will fall apart. But to see that as a solution would be extremely irresponsible.

  2. The Conservative party is currently controlled by a small “progressive” clique and their clients. With a different leader ship the party could be considerably better whether looked at from a conservative or libertarian perspective.

    To give examples of Conservative politicians who could do a great deal better than Cameron in one way or another: the MP, David Davis, the MEP, Daniel Hannan and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

    In fact, David Cameron’s poll figures say it all. In the present, economic and civil liberties crises, the Conservatives should be 15 to 20 plus points ahead of Labour consistently on every single poll. In fact after the three terms of “New Labour”, any competent opposition should be very comfortably ahead of them.

    The only conclusion one can come to is that David Cameron and his clique are driving away potential Conservative voters and not replacing them with “progressives”. They have negative real value to the party (and the country).

    In the circumstances, perhaps, the best result one could hope for would be a minority, or very small majority, Conservative government and a successful leadership challenge from anyone who is neither a member of the “Notting Hill set” nor an old Etonian.

    I hope that the Conservatives will say to themselves after the election, “We could have done so much better, if only UKIP hadn’t taken a votes in so many constitutencies”, and then draw the right conclusion which is that they can get those voters back by giving the British people a referendum on leaving the EU.

    For this reason, I will be supporting UKIP.

    Incidentally, if a hung parliament led to a coalition government, I think the Liberal “Democrats” would opt for Conservatives, because the Notting Hill set are basically progressives, and because New Labour would be entirely incoherent. (Labour would have to dispose of Brown, and pick a new leader before they could come to any sort of deal with the Lib Dems.)

  3. Steven Northwood

    I agree Sean, that a vote for the Conservative Party may not change much in the short-to-medium term, but that is how I will be voting I think. Although I maintain that all things aside the government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown hasn’t been altogether that bad, and the main elements which have caused the problems are those which come from other areas of the government, usually those people motivated by special interests or quangos.

    What I really desire is a Conservative Government which will bring an end to the bad parts of the state structure, the needless bureaucracies and modernise the rest to make the state succinct and genuinely politically correct, but also not implement policies which may well have their pedigree in traditional Tory thought but which will cause unintended blowback amongst certian parts of the working class and possibly other groups. Let’s not forget that most of the steam which powered the Labour Party was generated by unintended consequences of Tory policies, or so I believe.

    If the Conservative Party, led by the young and capable duo of David Cameron and George Osbourne, can get into power, they then only need a stable learning curve and intelligent policies in order to stay there. If the right strategy is taken at this stage, they may never leave government for well over a decade.

    They could, as previously suggested, alleviate the state from half of all of the bureaucracies, modernise the welfare system by closing the offices and scrapping the means-test, instead, implementing a negative income tax and so forth. I think I may well write to them myself. But I can’t help feeling sorry for the Old Scotsman, throwing a secretary from her chair and taking over at her work station. God bless him. I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Unfortunately it’s a lot of the others which followed him and Tony into government who caused the problems.

  4. Click on link for how to vote depending on how you feel about the LibLabCon.

  5. Pingback: Senate jobs bill vote expected Wednesday – CNN | World Online Review

  6. Atlas shrugged


    I agree with everything you say, as I almost always do. Which as a TRUE libertarian is something I feel uncomfortable with at the best of times, and makes me feel like a love stuck schoolgirl at worst.

    I will again vote Conservative. Only this time holding my nose and mouth. I may even have to take a large sick bad with me, or refrain from eating for a few days before.

    Where you and myself disagree is that you still possess a degree of hope for the future. I on the other hand lost any such childish emotions many years ago.

    Surly now you can see it is over, we are done fore surly. We lost and they have won. It is not 3-0 at half time, it is 10-0 with only seconds to go till the final whistle.

    All conservatives and libertarians could ever have hoped for was to be proved right, and slow the inevitable down somewhat.

    There is not going to be some kind future liberty saving political party going to magically arrive to save the day at the penultimate hour . They would .shoot us in the streets before such a thing even got off the ground. they certainly are not going to help us finance such a venture, and right their is the rub. This country is corrupted from its rotten head, all of the way down to its utterly pathetic tail.

    Nothing works, nothing will work, as nothing is intended to work. Hope is gone, dead, demised, gone to meet the choir invisible, this is an EX-NATION.

    I truly believe it is time to accept defeat, and just stick to making annoying noises, and talking past glories among ourselves. No one is listening anyway. No one of any importance ever has. The powers against us were always far to strong and long since ingrained deep within the core of the entire establishment. The big money talked, and has now done the walk, right into our very living rooms.

    Libertarianism was subverted almost as soon as it was created, by people such as Ayn Rand, and her ex lover.

    Capitalism is Communism, or at least they have both always been ultimately controlled by the exact same people. Just get used to the idea, it will be much better for your blood pressure.

    Perhaps we can meet up for a pint of something worthwhile, and talk about better times?

  7. However you vote, you become an accessory to the crimes and omissions of the party you vote for, assuming they win. At least if you don’t, you aren’t responsible for the crimes and omissions of the winners getting ascribed correctly to the perpetrators.

    The least-worst harm principle seems apt: if you must vote, vote for the crowd who are likely to do the least harm. As Henry Mackay wrote, men go mad in crowds, but recover their sanity one by one.


  8. Atlas Shrugged – We have not lost yet. The Russians had lost by 1928, and the Germans a decade later. Our own killing machine state is still only potential. The fact that we haven’t had our doors yet kicked in surely means that there is some hope.

    Tony – You do not become an accessory to evil when you have no choice but between evils and you choose the lesser.

  9. Atlas Shrugged, pull yourself together man!

    To despair is to be excessively emotional.

    The progressives will continue to drive Britain, Europe and the Anglosphere onward to Hell until the state of crisis or crises is such that they are simply unable to do so. Whether the crisis or crises that finally stop them are monetary, more widely economic, ethnic, military or whatever is only a detail.

    The longer it goes on the greater the correction or reaction thereafter. If this generation does not oust the progressives by force of argument and democratic means then a latter generation will do so by naked force.

    What we can and should always do is to be ideological Johnny Appleseeds, sowing ideas, even though they may not bear fruit until after we are gone.

    As William the Silent said “It is not necessary to hope in order to act; It is not necessary to succeed in order to persevere.”

  10. I am still undecided, but I have a suggestion to those who still cannot bring themselves to vote for anyone on the day.

    Go to the polling station. Take your voting form. Add another box. Label it “None of the Above”. Put in your cross and then place the form as normal in the ballot box.

    This way your dissent is recorded, even if it is a spoilt ballot.

    Those who refuse to go out and vote give excuses to those who want to do various daft or malicious things like “engage”, make voting “fun” or entrench indoctrination even deeper into our society. It also emboldens them with the notion that we are “apathetic” and do not care what they get up to.

    That needs to be reversed. Until we are provided with a “none of the above” box, I suggest, in true Libertarian style, we provide one for ourselves.

  11. And suppose voting for None of the Above lets Labour back in?

  12. I wish I could believe in the dream of a clean revolution from the top. But from my analyses it is an illusion. Political systems cannot produce every result. They have an inner dynamic that lead to specific results. If it was true that a modern mass democracy can produce every result than why are we not seeing a single such democracy of a certain size that does not lead to more and more statism and welfare over time? Hoppe is right. Democracy is a god that has failed and libertarians should really stop believing in it. The uk system is at a point where it is so corrupt and where so many people have a strong interest that nothing will change that it cannot be changed anymore from the inside. People are egoists, they will never vote against their very own interests. And that is why this system will go down. It is already completely bankrupt and it is only a matter of a relatively short time until it will economically collapse. And of course it will go down with all the ugly consequences that occur when political systems go down. Socialism, of which welfare is just mild form will always lead to destruction of wealth and society. I cannot see what makes this Island so special that it could be an exception to this economic truth. So do not make your hands dirty by voting for the people responsible for this. Put your pressures energy in educating people that they can draw the right conclusions when this system falls. That is my opinion. But I cannot vote in this country anyway.

  13. Sean,

    My point was for people who, after listening to your argument and that of your commenters, still could not vote for anyone. I do not suggest that anyone should not vote against Labour if that is what they were originally intending to do, just don’t stay away, present yourself willing to vote but feeling like someone entering a Soviet-era Butchers.

    If we had more “spoiled” ballots than actual votes for the “winner”, that would severely question legitimacy and mandate.

  14. Sean, Do you think proposed schemes of ‘electoral reforms’ you speak of have any link with the supposed Labour/EU ‘Common Purpose’ agenda- a “post democratic society”
    Or is this conspiracy hogwash? I would be interested to hear your thoughts….thanks.

  15. Unfortunately, my revulsion towards Britain’s membership of the EU trumps my wish to be rid of this appalling government. Ironically, my local MP, Sir Peter Tapsell, claims to be “Eurosceptic”, but that didn’t stop over 3000 votes going to the UKIP candidate at the last election. (This, in a VERY safe conservative seat)

    I am under no illusion that my vote for UKIP will make the slightest difference to the result, but I just cannot bring myself to vote Conservative while they are hell-bent (along with Labour and the Lib-Dem’s) on Britain remaining in this ghastly “United States of Europe”. The last time I voted tory, (and I would claim the ONLY time – before that I voted for a certain M Thatcher) was 1992, and within weeks “Europe” displayed its true colours by overturning the Danish “no” to Maastricht. As I recall, Major was a prime mover in the circumvention of the treaty which required ratification to be unanimous. Legally, the Danish vote killed the treaty, but that didn’t stop the Eurocrats from changing the rules. I’ve voted UKIP at every opportunity since.

    Sean, you’re probably right when you say that the Conservatives are the least bad option, and were it not for this wretched “EU”, I’d vote for them like a shot (to be rid of the current lot). They’ll not get my vote until they pledge Britains withdrawal from the “Common Market” (remember that one?), and even then, I’m not sure they could be trusted to act on such a pledge.

  16. Incidentally, I can’t see “Dave” or any of his cronies implementing ANY of the excellent suggestions you make in your “Culture War” book!

  17. Sean,

    Are you wrong? I think so I’m afraid. I see why you would say that a large Conservative majority would bring in accidents, people the leadership didn’t really mean to be elected, but I fail to see that that would improve them as a party, quite the opposite, it will just give them free reign to behave just as Labour have.

    Also, I wonder whether the Lib Dems would benefit from PR in the way that everybody seems to think. Initially, yes, I presume they would, but under PR, and in the long run, people would be freer to vote with their conscience, or to vote for the candidate they really want; it would advantage smaller parties, such as the Libertarian Party. And wouldn’t the Tories also do better under PR? In the long run? They are certainly suffering under this system.

    I wonder why your friends would vote BNP/UKIP? There’s nothing even slightly libertarian about either (not UKIP under Pearson anyway).

    I was inclined not to vote this time, but have had a last minute conversion, there really does seem to be a chance of a hung parliament, for that reason I will, and I suggest others should, vote tactically, to reduce the chance of a Conservative majority and contribute to a possible post-election crisis.

    I’ve done the optimism about the Conservatives bit, started reading between the lines and thinking about past governments, and frankly I think this lot are at least as statist as any I can think of, but subtle, and presenting a thoroughly false spin on their true intentions; I think they actually relish in the powers of the state.

  18. Atlas shrugged

    The fact that we haven’t had our doors yet kicked in surely means that there is some hope.

    Yes, well, not quite yet anyway. However some are indeed getting their proverbial and actual doors kicked in, this simply has not made it to the controlled media, and most likely never will.

    I fully expect my door to be kicked in at some time in the next few years. My internet connection is being constantly tampered with, and I have already been banned from half of the more influential political bogging sites.

    My company has been targeted, and intimidated by every tax, immigration, and H&S jobsworth you care to mention. If I had not kept myself, and my company so squeaky clean I would have already been fined out of existence. I know more then one that did not, and now have.

    All sounds rather paranoid I grant you, however we live in paranoid times.

    Having said all that, you are right, it serves no useful purpose giving up. I know 3 ex concentration camp victims who are still alive, who self-apparently never gave up.They all also know what happened to those that did.

    If you are saying “Don’t let the buggers get you down” then please understand I agree. Atlas is made of stronger stuff. It comes from holding this damned planet up for so very long.

    Therefore please forgive me the odd shrug or two.Periodically getting this tremendously pointless weight off of my tied old chest, does sometimes help .

    I spent much time during my young childhood hearing countless first hand accounts from people who really do know what Fascism is really all about. Know what it is like to understand that ones entire material existence is worth no more then half a rotten potato, and could end at any time of the day or night. Know what it is like for an intelligent human being to feel infinitely more worthless then the contents of the commandants chamber pot. Know what it is like to strongly suspect, but not know for sure, that most if not all of your entire extended family has already gone up in smoke, or buried in a lime pit somewhere between the German and Russian border..

    Please keep up the fight, however hopeless it is, or seems to be, and above all, may I wish you, the best of good fortune?

  19. Atlas, I grant you this much. It is, that it is our own bad fortune, for us not having stood up to and blasted to death, these “beasts in human form” to which Sean refers, while we could have done, and also at no cost to us and ours and our grandchildren, when these beasts were just motes in their wicked-god’s eye.

    For an example of what happens:-
    The poor wretched German people – who in the 19th and early 20th-century were arguably among the most cultured and educated people on the planet, allowed themselves (like us today) to be gulled by psychotic maniacs and an autistically-challenged “Emperor” (you have to guess which are which and in which war) into failing to not vote for Lefto-Fascism in 1933. The cost they paid was 4++ million dead and three-billion tonnes of rubble (which we cleared up as it was made chiefly by us and our machinery, and we needed to get the “gass-and-lekky” and the “waiter” reconnnected, and get the roofs on again so people could actually survive a winter, like 1945.) The rest of the cost was a tarnished reputation, which is largely unjustified and is being happily repaired.

    Sometimes I feel as disillusioned and depressive as I think you did, when you put up your first comment on this piece. I often jest, only half-in-jest really, about having to kill and barbecue and eat the children of today’s bureaucrats and GramsciFabiCouncillors, while making their parents watch before the parents themselves are eaten – as of course there will, in the Endarkenment which they have brought about, be nothing else proteinaceous to eat. Animal-meat and the required winter-fodder will of course have been off-the-menu for some months (or years if we have been fortunate to survive that long) owing to re-collectivisation and extermination of anybody who might have known about animal-husbandry.

    But I do tend to agree that there does not seem a lot of light at the end of the tunnel right now.

    David Cameron’s “Conservatives” do not in my mind represent a viable “door-out-of-hell” for proper liberals. but what would you suggest we do?

  20. (From my blog)

    I see that my good friend Sean Gabb is thinking of voting for the Tories.This is quite a change for Sean and here’s the key quote:

    This being so, why do I propose to vote Conservative? The answer is that a Conservative Government would probably continue with most of the suicidal or simply demented policies of the Blair and Brown Governments. But, at the end of five years, it would then allow a free election as these things have been commonly understood in England. A re-elected labour Government would not.

    I’m sure that Sean includes Scotland as well.My own position on the forthcoming election is still in doubt.Let’s go back to when I first became interested in politics – back in the late ‘sixties. After a brief leftist phase I discovered the IEA and learned quite a bit about economics. I was excited when Ted Heath won the 1970 election, but he rapidly abandoned his free market Selsdon principles and adopted interventionism. In 1972 I discovered libertarianism, joined the Libertarian Alliance (now directed by Sean), and read all the classic stuff by Mises, Hayek, Rand, Friedman and Rothbard.Things got worse and worse during the rest of the ‘seventies. Inflation was rampant and total economic collapse seemed possible. But as far as I can recall we libertarians didn’t concern ourselves nearly so much with civil liberties as we do now. Not because civil liberties weren’t important but rather because the Wilson/Callaghan Labour governments clearly wanted to nationalise the economy but didn’t show anything like as much interest in nationalising our minds and bodies. Unlike their successors today.This meant that British libertarians were quite supportive of the Thatcher regime as it gradually reduced the growth of the socialised part of the economy and brought inflation back under some sort of control. Sadly there was no serious attempt to tackle the welfare state but lots of us continued to vote for a Conservative party that was clearly better than the alternative.Along came John Major – infinitely preferable to his Labour successors who enthusiastically supported the ill-fated ERM debacle. And then we got Blair. I for one wasn’t fooled for a moment. Blair and Brown have almost destroyed our country. Not only have they ruined the economy, they have almost completely wiped out our civil liberties that have been won over such a long period. I think that fixing the economy will be an easier task than rebuilding civil society.In 2005 I voted for the Tories but without too much enthusiasm. In 2007 I voted Tory for the Edinburgh City Council but SNP for Holyrood. This was partly a tactical anti-Labour vote and, thank God, Labour got the chop. But my support for the Nationalists wasn’t entirely tactical. I do have a great deal of sympathy for the independence cause. My own background is both English and Scottish and I’m proud to say that I’ve visited every county in the United Kingdom. I also think that the UK has generally been a good thing.But times change.We are no longer a world power and it was the Empire that bound us together. Also, Britain is just about the most centralised country of its size – despite devolution. The dominance of London – largely the result of government policies, not of the free market – harms the rest of the country tremendously, especially those of us far from the capital. Scotland has an alternative identity that’s not on offer to, say, Yorkshire. Everyone here, including unionists, has an alternate nationalism to the British one. I think that Scottish independence is likely at some time and I’d quite like to be around when it happens. I see no reason for an independent Scotland to be an economic failure – subject to adopting suitable economic policies. I’ve got the textbooks! And although some other libertarians may disagree, I think that Scotland’s relative homogeneity may well be a most useful asset in the future.But the SNP hasn’t quite sealed the deal for me yet. Every time I decide that I’ll abandon the Tories for the Westminster vote the SNP indulges in another bout of nanny-statism. Then I start thinking like Sean and lean back towards the Tories only for them to drop another clanger. I know several of the Scottish Conservative candidates and would probably vote for them out of a sense of loyalty were I to live in a relevant constituency. But fortunately perhaps I’ve never met the local candidate and so my own vote can’t be influenced by friendship. Nor do I know the local SNP person. I have seen the Labour candidate on a couple of occasions. He seems to be slightly more knowledgeable about economics than does his boss. If only this Labour chappie would defect to the Libertarian Party my quest would be over. Oh yes, his name is Alistair Darling.

  21. The electoral system I favour is Direct. I can vote for anyone I like to represent me in Parliament, In turn, they must be willing to represent me, casting the number of votes corresponding to the number of people they represent. Everyone is free to choose as nearly as may possible their ideal candidate. The main obstacle to a more fully free society is OLIGARCHY,and he who says “Party” at once says “OLIGARCHY.” The game changes from Winners and Losers to “Market Share.” — eminently libertarian ,and you can write in the candidate of your choice.

    I’ve never had any real objections to this idea,

    And I want the best, not the least worst representative to entrust my vote to,

    Every day will be election day, unlike the rigged rent-seeking deal we are asked to endorse and elect.

    Meanwhile, I love the moving strength of music. I’m listening to Judy Collins singing “Amazing Grace.” We shall overcome…


  22. By the way, whoever you vote for (or vote against) it’s worth keeping in mind that most of your fellow-citizens are voting against what they do not want.


  23. “Tony – You do not become an accessory to evil when you have no choice but between evils and you choose the lesser”.


    This depends entirely upon how ‘no choice’ is to be defined.

    ‘Kill that man or be shot yourself’ and I tend to agree. Vote within an entirely corrupt and parasitic system while it remains possible to abstain and I wholly disagree.

    The rules of the election game are very, very simple: –

    If you take part (by voting) you agree to accept the outcome. This, as Tony Hollick points out, does indeed makes you an accessory to whatever follows – even if you voted for the losing side – not least because it hands to the politicians the legitimacy they so desperately crave.

    Only were it illegal not to vote (which I think is soon will be) is the ‘no choice’ argument valid.


  24. I fail to see how voting commits me in itself to accepting the outcome. I propose to vote Conservative not because I like the Conservatives, or because I accept the legitimacy of the current system – but simply because continued Labour rule is such an awful thought.

  25. Yes. One can only do what seems to be the best possible course of action to achieve the least worst outcome. Anything elese is really posturing.
    If only someone like Dan Hannan could be kicked to the top of the Tory heap?
    How did Margaret Thatcher get there? The corporatist trough swillers must have hated her with a deep hatred yet she somehow got there.
    To vote UKIP or LPUK is to divide the conservative vote?
    As you point out, to have a close to hung parliament would be to give the LibDems inordinate power.
    It’s not they are bad people worse than any other. It is just the British paradigm/meta-context/mindset is now so far on the defensive from being accused of truth, or realism, or anything vaguely robust enough to survive in this world, that something with a bit of iron in its soul and fire in its belly is perhaps called for?
    Judy Collins may sing well but we shall probably not overcome ‘anytime soon’. Amazing grace works miracles but mainly in the spiritual. Such miracles can and do have repercussions in the temporal. The author of the song was a slaver until he was saved.
    Can anyone tell Mr Cameron that if he would be a bit more resolute and Thatcherish he might find the Great British Public clamouring for him to be Prime Minister?
    She did not sweep to power by being pathetic.

  26. Sean is right. We can and ought to be allowed to accept a pre-cesspit-slide that is slower than the one on offer from Gordon Brown. We muhgt just be able to hang onto something on the way down, for long enough to haul ourselves out again.

    Or not. But it’s worth a try.

  27. After all, we do have a seminal object-lesson staring us in the face – about 70 years ago – the lesson is about what happens to an educated and civilised nation which allows itself to be dragged down into the pit of socialist-psychosis (and ruin) by political thugs.

    We are probably too far down the road to unremediable British-Police-State-Fascism, to be able to do anything about it in a short time. But a few million votes for the Tories might, just might, buy us a couple of years to try and sort something out for a fallback position.

    And no, I do not know what that ought to be.

  28. “I fail to see how voting commits me in itself to accepting the outcome”.

    How can it not? Voting is the very essence, the heart, of the political illusion – it is participation. Even though it is minimal participation, it is sufficient to commit you (and all voters) to being governed, regardless of who wins. To vote is to take part in the renewal of the covenant between the governing and the governed – it’s why politicians everywhere are so desperate that all those eligible should vote.

    Simply to say ‘Well, I don’t think so’ is simply obtuse – you didn’t establish the rules. To take to the field of play is to implicitly accept the rules of the game – how can it possibly be otherwise?

    Additionally, that you choose to vote for those whom you consider to be the lesser of the available evils does not alter the fact that you are nonetheless voting for evil. You are thus at least partly responsible when the lesser evils duly proceed to carry out the manifesto advertised ‘lesser evils’.

    It seems to me therefore, that the only peaceful means of expressing my disapproval at election time is not to vote – I will under no circumstance play a game I consider to be a sham. This doesn’t exempt me from the predation of the election winners of course (if only!) it simply exposes the nature of the ‘relationship’ for what it really is – one based on force and the threat of violence if I refuse to comply with the myriad dictats pointed in my direction.

    And what difference will our respective positions make to the final outcome? Not a single jot truth be told. But at least when the ‘lesser evils’ are doing whatever it is they do, I remain in a position to rant and complain. You on the other hand must grin and bear it. After all, you voted for them.


  29. I’m sorry, but I cannot possibly see how voting in an election commits me to support its outcome. You might as well accuse me of accepting the legitimacy of the State because I drive on state roads with a state driving licence, and because I pay taxes on the petrol I buy.

    I propose to vote for the lesser of two evils. I fail to see how that makes me responsible for those evils.

    I might just as easily accuse someone who doesn’t vote of sharing responsibility for the greater of two evils if that is thereby made more likely.

    The claim is spurious.

  30. Atlas shrugged

    The claim is spurious.

    Certainly, but you can see why it is a tempting one. Many of us over 45s have already been somewhere similar to this. Back in the 80’s admitting to being a conservative voter was worse then admitting you had a liking for eating the flesh of new born babies.

    So having given this great fought I have decided simply to not tell anyone this time, under any circumstances, other then close friends and family.

    This time I will not talk party politics at all. This time the government gets it with both barrels, and the BBC even more so.

    BTW Sean, may I suggest that we become a little less docile and go for the soft belly of the establishment, which is also where it hurts most. Which is the BBC and the broadcast media in general?

    Last time we were here Murdoch’s Sky was new, therefore we gave it far to much benefit of the doubt. Now we can plainly see that it has become identical to the establishments very own BBC.

    One can flip between the two, without often being able to tell any difference whatsoever. The same establishment authorised news, covered in much the same way, by very similar types of people.

    However the BBC is still where it is at.

    Without the BBC the power of the establishment to brain wash or mind control enough of the public would be seriously damaged.

    Also we much strive to rid ourselves of this right/left nonsense. These always were worse then worthless terms of reference, but now they are positively dangerous. Just a method by which the establishment successfully divideds the forces of libertarianism. I am sure you are aware that many who would describe themselves as left wing socialists, are indeed neither, but are indeed simply confused and mislead libertarians. Who for a variety of reasons, including blind ignorance, seem genuinely shocked by the last 13 years. Many if not the majority seem to have no real idea what socialism always has been, and always will be in practice. Still less do they understand that we are more of a socialist country now then at any time in our past including the 1960’s. Corporatism is the enemy not the likes and dislikes of a few so called lefties.

    These otherwise quite nice well meaning citizens are not the problem. The problem is the establishments corporatist MSM, and especially the British Broadcasting CORPORATION, that has spent several lifetimes and several hundreds of billions of tax payers hard earned cash, brainwashing these witless mind control victims into their self-apparent state of utter confusion and profound ignorance.

    Surly it is not beyond the wits of man to work out a workable and legal method of exposing the BBC for what it has always been. Which is something Goebals and his lot of corporatist butchers, psychopaths and bankster puppets would have had wet dreams about.

    How did the BBC manage to persuade so many that it was anything to do with liberalism, freedom, morality, or anything else for that matter other then an organ of state repression, vindictiveness, mendacity, and very often damned right evil?

    I suggest the libertarian alliance does its best to organise a peaceful long term protest out side the BBC. Not for conservatism or any other particular political dogma or ideology but simply for THE TRUTH. For the BBC has told so many lies, and hidden so much truth, that they must have seriously upset just about everyone by now.

    It seems to me that whether they know it or not, the majority are libertarians, they just have to be reminded that they are, and that many others think just like they do.

    Anti establishment forces must unite in common cause, and they must start doing so ASAP.

    We know that the Trades Unions, along with all political parties, are part of the establishment as well as being of the establishment. We must also surely understand that their respective members or voters are not, or do not wish to be dictated to by same.

    We must start to love and respect each other as individual human beings, with just different experiences and priorities. Not “greedy flesh eating Tories,” or ” underwashed, congenitally lazy, dole addicted socialists.”

  31. I broadly agree. Left and right have no ideological meaning. The Beeb is evil. We must unite against big government and the big business that is the economic wing of big government.

  32. A demo outside the BBC sounds like a good idea but hard to sustain. Perhaps a picket of one or three people with a poster or two explaining, and loads of leaflets to hand out, kept up on a permanent basis. The sheer persistence will ensure coverage after a while, with the resultant opportunity to explain what the problem is.
    Mr Atlas, if I may sir, sounds moderate and well presented and would win the hearts and minds. Which is the core policy of the SAS as presented by David Stirling to fight insurgency, so it can’t be too far wrong. We have an insurgency of thieves, crooks and con men who have taken over normality and managed to make it their own. They did it by convincing a majority that they hold the centre ground of truth and sensibility. One just has to expose the lies. Indeed.
    I second Mr Atlas’ proposal.

  33. JohnB,

    I would not describe what we are up against as an insurgency.

    We are fighting a dug-in* Quisling government and extensive Fabian Fifth Column infestation. A resistance movement is probably more the nature of what we would do and one must consider that WE will be considered, portrayed and countered as if WE are the insurgency.

    * like an Alabama Tick

  34. They are the insurgency against truth that has taken over and, yes, they are now well dug-in and in control.
    Sure. The enemies of the truth/reality always like to portray those who expose them as being deceived, liars and deceivers. It is the standard con man trick . . . “and what do you think you know, you stupid, half educated little man?”
    They inform you with sublime confidence that if you are not stupid and deceived then you must be malicious and the enemy of stable and well run society. Or the enemy of the starving, down trodden and oppressed. Whatever.
    And of course they try to portray one as the insurgency, the enemy of decent men and women everywhere.
    But they are lying. That’s all.
    They are the insurgency against the truth and need to be exposed as such. It is only the simple truth.
    And once the truth really starts getting out there and into the minds of those they have deceived, that the insurgency have brainwashed through the media they have taken over, once the truth begins to penetrate into the minds of the ordinary man (which is not hard if truth is simply presented) then one will see the true return to truth and reality.
    Which I believe is the proper meaning of revolution?

  35. The truth is rarely simple. “All propaganda is lies, even when it is telling the truth.” (George Orwell).


  36. Tony. The truth is always simple even if it can be complex to present because of previous obfuscation.
    Which leads to Mr Orwell’s excellent statement. How true indeed!

  37. Yet the human social realm is expanding with knowledge: This would seem to show that we know more than we did, and that we do not have a fine future in our past. Smiles


  38. Sean Gabb: “After all, if I do vote Conservative, it will be with forefinger and thumb clamped hard over my nose.”

    Is this the same Sean Gabb that only a few years ago was advocating the destruction of the Tory party in order to rebuild a truly conservative party?

    Has the Tory party changed that much?

  39. @Fishmonger: “Has the Tory party changed that much?”

    I think the point Sean is making is that the fate of us under Labour is so bad and the Tories margin so small that he recommends we do anything to prevent a fourth Labour term, likely to be the last in anything resembling a Nation State this side of a long time and a bloody/messy/tough reclamation of sovereignty.

    Under the Tories we will still have a tough job to reclaim our Sovereignty, but I suspect it will still be possible without bloodshed.

    “So, please. Don’t talk to me about revolutions…”

  40. Liberty is closing down and while such gradual things often pass unnoticed we do tend adapt to the requirements of achieving what is possible within the circumstances?
    As it is I think Mr Cameron is to be congratulated for demonstrating how it is perfectly possible to more or less lose an election even if you start out with a massive lead in the polls.
    Surely no-one is so stupid or incompetent if they don’t want to be – What is their game?

  41. @Tim Carpenter No government is going to have the power to do anything, but especially a weak Labour government led by Gordon Brown. There’s a bigger econ crisis brewing and it would only be fair for his face to be on the TV when the riots start and for everyone to know whose fault it is. If we can get PR out of it then anti-EU people will only have more of a direct say methinks. Weak government please, why would anybody want a strong Cameron government?

  42. “Surely no-one is so stupid or incompetent if they don’t want to be – What is their game?”

    John B., Cameron and his old Etonian chums don’t want to lose the election; They actually really want to win. Their problem is that they believe, wrongly in my view, that they can only win be being Blue Labour. Also, for the most part they don’t seem to have any political beliefs, and what few beliefs they have are “progressive”.

    Another way of looking at it is this – Cameron and Co mentally inhabit Labour land. They don’t have an alternative paradigm. They don’t see the problems or the solutions any differently than the Blairite wing of the Labour party.

    It will be interesting to see whether desperation for power will induce them to adopt any popular Conservative policies during the formal election campaign. A referendum on Europe would be one that would actually make a difference – bringing back the disaffected core Conservative voters.

  43. “Is this the same Sean Gabb that only a few years ago was advocating the destruction of the Tory party in order to rebuild a truly conservative party?

    Has the Tory party changed that much?”

    The Tory party has changed for the worse, AFAICS.

    It would be interesting to see Sean’s addressing this issue. It does matter. If you want to vote to prevent a greater evil, it pays to look very closely at the evils in question. Meanwhile, vote for whoever is likely to do the least harm. That isn’t the Tory Party in fancy dress.


  44. Peter Marshall’s “Demanding the Impossible” devotes a chapter to British libertarianism. It describes the LA members as salonfahig, anarchists of the salon. This is not a compliment…


    PS: I remember Tim Evans telling me that it is much easier to convince a leftist of the virtues of a free market than it is to convince an authoritarian of the blessings of liberty. It is as well to keep this in mind when courting Tory carnivores — “It’s the fleas, stupid…”


  45. Tim Carpenter: “Under the Tories we will still have a tough job to reclaim our Sovereignty, but I suspect it will still be possible without bloodshed.”

    Then was it foolish to suggest that the only monolithic opposition to the Labour fascists be dismantled and rebuilt in the middle of a ‘war’?

    It was always going to take an election for the mechanism of Tory destruction and rebirth, Sean Gabb had factored that into his earlier proposals. Even at the time of that free life commentary, it was clear how bad Labour was, I just happened to agree the Tories were worse.

    Labour gives it voters what they want.
    The Tories by and large lie and do the opposite of what their voters want.

    Now, I am supposed to hold my nose and vote for the Tories in the full knowledge that I won’t get what I want for another twenty years? By that time for me, it won’t make any difference to me.

    I will have lived my whole life under Socialist regimes of one flavour or another with a brief interegnum under Thatcher.

    And all because the Tories won’t oppose the Socialists.

  46. Labour are big on economic control, Tories prefer social control; Labour have done both, that was the “moving to the centre” bit. Now the Tories will do both with slightly more emphasis on social control.

    Example: Gove’s New Station Wagon

    A change is as good as a rest?

    It’s liberals (like Thatcher, sort of) who oppose socialists, conservatives don’t care just as long as things don’t change too fast or in a way that works against their personal interests.

    So we need a viable liberal/libertarian party, and we can’t have one unless we first get full PR. Until then new parties which emerge are only going to be reabsorbed by one side or the other; like the Lib Dems: PETER OBORNE The plot to stop the Tories EVER regaining power a plot which can’t work for more than one term, because politics/democracy just doesn’t work like that.

  47. @fishmonger: “Then was it foolish to suggest that the only monolithic opposition to the Labour fascists be dismantled and rebuilt in the middle of a ‘war’?”

    Where did I suggest that? I think the flaw in your argument is already clear: the use of “only”.

    The monolith is not a monolith anymore. It is crazy-paving.

    I would not wish to recommend what anyone does. Even if one wanted to recommend, it would have to be on a constituency-by-constituency basis.

    To me Cameron must know that if he “wins” he has NO mandate, but he is just the least worst, the slightly less objectionable, the incrementally less threatening, kleptocratic, quisling option.

    @ghandi: “full PR”

    Define “full”. That is a serious question sincerely put. I want to know what you think and why.

  48. Tim: I changed my mind about this recently. Won’t write an essay here, but it was from the mouth of Carswell at a Vote for a Change thingy. STV in three-member constituencies. The arguments made about not wasting votes (accurate representation) and reduced potential for gerrymandering were the clinchers. It’s the principle that’s important; it’s no use hoping that a rigged system might throw up a libertarian government by dumb luck. I don’t believe the left are going to get their “permanent progressive majority”, anymore than the US Republicans got theirs. The point really is that representation should be as accurate as possible; smaller/newer parties will benefit, so the two-party system will break down; Sean’s Tory split can happen under those circumstances (it has already started with UKIP of course, but won’t last IMO). I partly blame 80s Tories for New Labour; the swinging pendulum is a large part of the problem; there was a huge public desire for spending created by broken NHS etc which Gordon has been riding ever since. Basically we have to allow public opinion to be represented before we can get anywhere. As it stands we’ve allowed liberalism to shrink into a strange sect within the conservatives+, where it does not belong and can never be fully expressed. There are three major positions in politics: conservative, progressive, liberal; so it seems that there’s a certain natural reason to choose three-member constituencies.

  49. “Where did I suggest that? I think the flaw in your argument is already clear: the use of “only”.”

    You didn’t. Sean Gabb it seems to me, did.

  50. Pingback: No use voting Tory, Sean, not really « The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG