Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Blair has gone. In comes Brown and more large government...

Blair resigned today and Brown is now the PM. In a sense, I shouldn't really care. Brown would simply maintain large government just as his immediate predecessors as PM have. My life, and those of other libertarians in the UK, wouldn't drastically improve as a consequence.

Still, I'm not sorry to see Blair go. His decision to invade Iraq has tainted my perception of him. He truly has blood on his hands, as far as I am concerned. Granted all politicians lie, but the ramifications of these lies (no weapons of mass destruction were discovered, remember..) are great. I sincerely hope that they affect his conscience. On top of that, Iraq wasn't even a threat to the UK. If Saddam wanted to bomb us, then it would be retaliation of the sanctions and constant air strikes which harmed his people. Innocent Iraqis did not deserve to suffer in such a fashion.

When analysing Blair's ten years as PM, little strikes me as pleasing, from a voluntaryist perspective. OK to be fair, devolution in Scotland and Wales has worked well. The Human Rights Act at least enabled the government to respect the rights of the individual. But these are the few positive things he did, IMO. He bloated the size of government by increasing funding to the NHS. He imposed tuition fees on students, even though the government should get out of education completely. He didn't have the balls to complete House of Lords reform. He stated that New Labour would be "whiter than white", but his government succumbed to sleaze.

My major beef with him, apart from the Iraq war, was his insistence to partake in US President Bush's "war on terror". I'm not convinced that Islamists "hate our freedom" or "hate our way of life". Think about it. Why have Al Qaeda only attacked few liberal democracies thus far? Why haven't France or Germany been attacked? Also, no one just clicks and starts to believe that they hate Western freedom. Human psychology doesn't work like that. There must be some pressures in Islamic societies which cause such feelings. And the UK was more free in the 19th century than it is now. For example, you could walk into a store and buy heroin even. So why wasn't the UK subject to terrorism then? I feel that an alteration in our foreign policy would lessen the likelihood of Islamist attacks.

As stated previously, I won't miss him. And I don't expect much better from Brown either. Still, education is the key to a free society. Despite the continuance of big, intrusive government under Brown, if we as voluntaryists can educate others into personal and political liberty, then we have a chance of one day achieving the free society.