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One of the phrases most guaranteed to start a healthy discussion is Economic Liberalism. This is, I feel, due to differing perceptions of what the phrase means.

One that has considerable traction is one that conflates Economic Liberalism with the Economic Liberalisation of Thatcherism and Blairism, which were in turn often driven by neo-liberal ideas. Given the damage many feel neo-liberalism has done economically and socially, I can understand why there is such a visceral reaction to neo-liberalism and thus Economic Liberalism.

To me however Economic Liberalism is very far removed from neo-liberalism. Economic Liberalism means freedom, responsibility, innovation.

Freedom

Responsibility

Innovation

* Peter Scott Brooks is a Liberal green feminist, geek, and party member since 1997. A PhD chemist now studying accountancy whilst working in local government.