Monday, January 16, 2006

Liberalism and Liberty

As the Liberal Democrat leadership race gathers pace, much is being written on the subject of what Liberalism is. It was encouraging to hear J.S. Mill being quoted by at least one of the candidates. Even more encouraging to hear the beginning of a sensible argument. The key for Liberal Democrats will be to articulate the point that there is a strict limit as to where the boundaries of government should lie. All Liberal Democrats deprecate the intrusion on our civil liberties that the so-called "war on terror" is creating. The constant slew of regulation and legislation being passed at an ever increasing rate is an example of the "something must be done" mentality. Liberal Democrats should not give in to this regulatory temptation.

I will be casting my vote for the candidate that articulates this Liberal vision with the greatest clarity:

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant" John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

2 comments:

Paul said...

John Stuart Mill has been dead for over a hundred years. I get irritated with the view that his was the last word on liberty. What's more, if Mill was alive today, I bet he'd agree with me.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Alwasy liked Mill; that wuote is well timed, how do you think you interpret the smoking ban from it? Protect the health of others, yes, but they choose to be there and the risk with modern ventilation is negligible.

Not sold on it, yet. Not sold on rejoining to get a vote yet. Maybe.