Thursday, 6 March 2008

Brit Libs


  Britain's new Libertarian Party now has their Manifesto online.  [Hat tip No Minister]

I must say, I think the idea of The Political Class page is an excellent one, and in many ways better than some of the policy pages.

This, for example, is great:

Snouts In The Trough

Not all politicians are corrupt, but it often seems that way. What's going on?

... Politicians of all flavours, and our politically controlled mass media, suggest that it is the great burdens of office and duty that cause 'public servants' to behave in dishonest and self-serving ways; "he is a good man, and his heart was always in the right place, but..." is the line that they typically take.

All of this is, of course, complete and utter rubbish.

It is not true that power corrupts—rather that the prospect of power leads those already corrupt to pursue it, for their own ends.

Which is way better than this, from their Manifesto -- "We will undertake a thorough review of planning laws to facilitate a speeding up of the planning process" -- which sounds more like acquiescence than abolition.  Contrast it with this, for example.

Perhaps the British Libs have never realised that "the planning process" itself needs to be removed from the hands of the state?  Of the power of the market and of British Common Law to between set a rational and objective framework for development?  That as long as the productive have to go cap in hand to the unproductive in order to seek permission to produce, then the state remains as the ultimate arbiter of all human activity, and the culture will continue to be stuffed?

That said, their Abolition of Income Tax policy is always a welcome policy addition to any party's manifesto.  Would there were more of it here in New Zealand, instead of pathetic sops like this proposal to "cap government spending" and then "inflation-proof that figure."  "There's no need to cut government spending" says the sop. Sheesh!

UPDATE: Liberty Scott explains why New Zealand's Libertarianz actually proposed the opposite of the UK Libs' plan to abolish income tax but keep VAT -- NZ's Libz instead intend to abolish all other taxes first (including the 'stealth taxes' of GST, alcohol, tobacco and fuel taxes) before slashing and finally abolishing income tax once nanny government herself was abolished.  Scott has links to Libz Alternative Budgets which explains how and why this can (and should) be done.

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