Author Archives: Zachary Barker

The Incompatibility of Liberalism and Monarchy

We as a party pride ourselves on standing up for the values of liberal democracy. The mission statement on our membership cards declare us in favour of a “fair, free and open society” in which stands for “equality” and against a society in which we are enslaved by “ignorance or conformity”. However there is a glaring blind spot in these idealistic dedications, this is in our support for the continuance of the British Monarchy.

The hard truth, whether we choose to face it head on or not, is that the British Monarchy stands in complete defiance of values of …

Posted in Op-eds | 69 Comments

Getting serious about defence

 

Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader much of the Liberal Democrat’s rhetoric has been aimed at portraying him as an extremist.  Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron claimed that Labour had “left the field” in a party conference speech.  The implication of this claim is that Labour have left the centre ground to embark on a far leftist fellow-traveller path, seemingly ignoring the electoral success it gained from the dominating the centre ground in the New Labour years.  In this way the Liberal Democrat comeback seemingly relies on a message that it is the new party of the centre ground.  However doing this mean more than just gesture politics, it means not being afraid to tackle issues which are not commonly associated with liberalism, most notably defence.

Liberal Democrat manifestos in recent years have treated defence matters like an afterthought, an embarrassment almost, especially when it comes to questions of hard power.  When it comes to asking questions about our hard power capability our manifesto prefers to move toward the murky soft power where it seems we are more ideologically comfortable.  The 2016 manifesto talked about emphasising “a Single Security Budget, including not just conventional defence spending but the work of our security agencies, cyber defences and soft power interventions”.  This policy in itself provides opportunities and dangers.  While it is important to emphasise that multiple security threats require multiple solutions to tackle them, there can be no substitute for hard power.  Put simply; while it is arguable that the main security threat we face is from terrorism we can’t leave ourselves unprepared for future inter-state conflict.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 24 Comments

What comes after the Chilcot Report?

The long wait for the publishing of the Chilcot Report has many similarities to the long awaited release of Guns N’ Roses “Chinese Democracy” album. Much like the album the report is long awaited and much delayed. Also like this album the report will almost certainly deliver below expectations and disappoint many.

Our party made much of our opposition to the Iraq War, and well we should have. The war was not remotely mandated by a UN Security Council resolution, nor was a solid case for acting against Saddam’s Iraq established. It seems painfully obvious years later that Tony Blair basically loaned our forces to the USA while he was influenced by the height of emotions that struck him (and much of the West) in the turbulent aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Unlike many other western leaders though Tony Blair took his pledge of support as a total and unquestioning bond, almost akin to a blood oath.

While it is important to learn these truths it is even more important to consider carefully how or if we should militarily intervene in the future. I firmly believe that our party needs to provide a more honest and rigorous analysis of such questions than the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

Posted in News | Tagged | 4 Comments
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  • User Avatarfrankie 20th Oct - 12:32am
    Certainly Gary J it is Alexander. So your choice Depfeffle or Alexander, or do you want me to use his stage name? His full name...
  • User Avatarmatt 19th Oct - 11:55pm
    @frankie I will not stop saying you're playing a game because that is exactly what you and your party are doing. The one thing that...
  • User AvatarGary J 19th Oct - 11:53pm
    Frankie Would you mind calling Boris Johnson by his real name please.
  • User AvatarMartin 19th Oct - 11:45pm
    Mick Taylor: You appear to assume an election taking place before Brexit is set in stone. Post Brexit, assuming he votes for it, Stephen Lloyd...
  • User Avatarfrankie 19th Oct - 11:39pm
    Matt, The ERG want a hard Brexit, Depeffle has promised them that. Now I know a Depeffle promise is like a pie crust made to...
  • User AvatarDilettante Eye 19th Oct - 11:37pm
    A couple of days ago I wrote: “Boris might well write the extension request letter, and might even comply with his Scottish Court assurances by...