Freedom & Whisky is probably the largest and best-established political blog in Scotland. It began in April 2002 and I notice that one of its first posts was regarding the SNP's proposed cut in corporation tax, a story that F&W and many other blogs have been covering again last week.Stuart and I have had our disagreements over the past year or so but have maintained a cordial relationship both on our blogs and by e-mail. At the risk of Stuart "boring your pants off" I feel obliged to respond to his use of the term "right wing". It's not just Stuart of course. The legacy media seems incapable of using the word libertarian without the prefix "right wing" - it really is most peculiar. I suggest that you have a look at this quiz. You won't be surprised to learn that I turn out to be a libertarian, like these people. But aren't libertarians right wing?
I discovered F&W just under a year ago via a link in the Adam Smith Institute Blog, and was quite pleased to find some well-written, up-to-date, genuinely Scottish content on the web. Most Scottish stuff on the internet was cringe-inducing tat. However, it is way too right-wing for my tastes. David Farrer and his chums call themselves "libertarians", but don't get me started on that topic or I'll bore the pants off you.
You have a better choice than just left or right. The libertarian way gives you more choices, in politics, in business, your personal life, in every way. Libertarians advocate a high degree of both personal and economic liberty. Today's liberals like personal liberty but want government to control your economic affairs. Conservatives reverse that, advocating more economic freedom but wanting to clamp down on your private life.("Liberal" is being used in the American sense; in Europe we use the more robust term "socialist".)
Libertarian positions on the issues are not "left" or "right" or a combination of the two. Libertarians believe that, on every issue, you have the right to decide for yourself what's best for you and to act on that belief so long as you respect the right of other people to do the same and deal with them peacefully and honestly.
"Actually, true conservatives tend to be libertarian on economic issues, and true liberals tend to be libertarian on social issues," says Sharon Harris, president of the Advocates for Self-Government.
Legacy journalists focus entirely on the economic beliefs of libertarians but evade or are ignorant of our social beliefs, which would often be described as "left wing". How come almost every UK libertarian blog is linked to the anti - ID card campaign? I don't deny that some who comment on this blog are right wing (in the conventional sense) and others are left wing. Some confuse me totally like this gentleman whose website tells us that he:
believe(s) in small government, low taxes,but at the same time supports:
redistribution of wealth.In addition, he claims to be a
"free-market socialist".And some find libertarianism difficult to grasp!