Tag Archives: UK

Congressman Says Assange Has “Physical Proof” Russia Did Not Hack DNC

Washington, D.C. — In a recent interview with Breitbart Radio, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who reportedly visited the Ecuadorian embassy in London in August 2017 and met with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, said that Assange has physical evidence to prove that Russia did not provide WikiLeaks with Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

“By now, everybody knows that this idea that Trump was colluding with the Russians in order to get them to do things like steal the DNC emails and then release them through WikiLeaks, the public knows that’s just total baloney,” Rohrabacher said. “I knew the one man who could prove that it was all baloney was Assange. So I went to see him in London, and he confirmed for me that the Russians did not give him the DNC emails. He had physical proof of that, and he was going to let me see that and have that, but only once, I found an agreement so he wouldn’t get arrested when he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

Rohrabacher added:

Unfortunately, this was in the middle of having a special prosecutor, [and] any discussion with Trump and myself that mentions Russia will be used as an excuse by that special prosecutor to just quadruple all the areas of investigation into me and into Trump. So it is standing there. I’ve been waiting because I know that we’re not going to give this special prosecutor any more ammunition than he needs to try to destroy this president.

Rohrabacher claimed that Assange had evidence and was willing to provide it in exchange for US/UK authorities agreeing not to arrest him upon leaving the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks co-founder has been “arbitrarily detained” under threat of arrest since 2012.

[Read more: UK Judge Refuses to Revoke Assange Arrest Warrant]

Assange first sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy after the UK sought to arrest him on a Swedish warrant that has since been lifted. British authorities, thought to operating covertly at the behest of the US— due to a purported secret federal grand jury indictment in the US for Assange— insist they will arrest him if he attempts to leave the embassy for violating the terms of his bail. It is believed that once arrested for the bail violation in the UK, Assange would likely be extradited to the US under the sealed indictment.

Following his meeting with Assange, Rohrabacher was denied access to President Trump by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly due to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 US presidential election. In February, Rohrabacher “said he was told by Kelly that meeting with Trump could put the president in unnecessary legal jeopardy,” according to a report from The Intercept. Rohrabacher also claimed that Assange “did not want to release the evidence publicly” because he wanted to avoid exposing “his sources and methods.”

The DNC and Hillary Clinton have continually accused WikiLeaks as acting as a “Russian cutout” during the 2016 election, after the transparency organization published private emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta as well as internal DNC emails. Assange says WikiLeaks never releases sources, but has emphatically denied that the organization was supplied the emails by Russia.

Craig Murray— former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and “close associate” of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange— publicly stated in a December 2016 interview with The Daily Mail that the Democratic National Committee’s emails were obtained by WikiLeaks from a “disgusted” DNC operative who had legal access to them, not Russia.

“Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,” Murray said. “The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.”

Murray said the leakers were motivated by “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.”

The Daily Mail reported that Murray said he “retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C. He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information, but an intermediary.”

An investigation into the alleged hack performed last year by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) claimed that the “data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers.” VIPS findings were presented to CIA Director Mike Pompeo last November, reportedly at the direction of President Trump.

Assange has been unable to publicly comment on Rohrabacher’s statements, as the Ecuadorian government has barred him from receiving visitor and suspended his internet access for the past month.

WATCH: Ex-British Army Officer’s Mic Cut When Questioning Syria Gas Attack

London, UK — An interview between Sky News anchor Samantha Washington and former  British Armed Forces assistant chief Jonathan Shaw lasted less than 60 seconds after Shaw was asked whether the British parliament should move forward in intervention in Syria, and replied by questioning the logic of Assad launching chemical attacks in Douma.

Shaw, who served as the commander of the British Armed Forces in Iraq, questioned “what possible motive could have triggered Syria to launch this chemical attack at this time in this place.”

“You know, quite apart from all that, the part that seems to be missing from this—and this was actually mentioned by the ambassador—is what possible motive might have triggered Syria to launch a chemical attack at this time in this place?” Shaw said.

“You know, the Syrians are winning. And don’t take my word for it – take the American military’s word for it. General Votel – the head of CENTCOM – said to Congress the other day that ‘Assad has won this war and we need to face that.’ And then you got last week the statement by Trump that America had finished with ISIL and that we were going to pull out soon,” Shaw said.

He went on by saying “and then suddenly you get-” only to be quickly interrupted by presenter Samantha Washington who apologized for having “to leave it there.”

Speaking exclusively later on to The Daily Mail, Shaw added:

The jihadists and the various opposition groups who’ve been fighting against Assad have much greater motivation to launch a chemical weapons attack and make it look like Assad was responsible…

Their motivation being that they want to keep the Americans involved in the war – following Trump saying the US was going to leave Syria for other people to sort out.

Russia has officially claimed the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma was a planned provocation organized by the British security services and certain Syrian opposition NGOs, including the White Helmets. The UN’s Organization for Prohibited Chemical Weapons has inspectors in Syria until Wednesday inspecting the area with a preliminary report due before leaving.

Watch the full interview below:

Russia Accuses UK of Masterminding Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

Hours before the United States, the UK, and France carried out “limited” strikes last Saturday morning, the Russian military presented what it claimed to be proof that the chemical weapons attack used as the pretext for those strikes was staged at the behest of the UK government.

During a Friday briefing, the Russian Defense Ministry showed interviews with medical professionals reported to work in the only functional hospital in Douma – the suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus where the attacks are said to have taken place. In their testimony, the two men asserted that the footage of the alleged chemical attack was taken after a Syrian air strike occurred and that the affected people shown in the video were suffering from smoke poisoning. They stated that a false claim of chemical weapons use was then circulated, leading concerned family members to douse those affected with water.

The Russian military then asserted that the White Helmets, the foreign-funded “humanitarian” group active in Syria, were pressured by the UK government to “speed up” a provocation that they had been preparing in order to push for Western intervention.

British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce called the allegations “grotesque,” “a blatant lie” and “the worst piece of fake news we’ve yet seen from the Russian propaganda machine.”

The main group that has provided footage and evidence purporting to show the chemical weapons attack in Douma are the White Helmets. Syria’s White Helmets, while they have largely been portrayed in Western media as a humanitarian first responder group, were actually founded in Turkey in 2013 by a British mercenary named James Le Mesurier. Le Mesurier is a former officer in the British military and also formerly worked for British intelligence. He eventually left his work with the British government to join with the Olive Group before it merged with Blackwater-Academi to become Constellis Holdings. He then worked in Abu Dhabi before moving to Turkey and founding the White Helmets.

To found the group, Le Mesurier raised $300,000 in seed funding provided by the UK, the U.S. and Japan, according to journalist Vanessa Beeley. Since its founding, the White Helmets have received over $123 million from 2013 to 2016 from the U.S. and UK governments, as well as Western NGOs and Gulf state monarchies. In addition, during the past five years, the White Helmets have been instrumental in blaming the Syrian government for any and all chemical weapons attacks in Syria, acting as both witnesses and responders to events that were later reported to be the work of the armed opposition in Syria or staged.

In Mid-March, the Syrian Arab Army intercepted a truck containing weapons and ammunition destined for the militant rebel groups in the area where the chemical weapons attack is said to have occurred. Among the items found were canisters apparently containing smoke grenades made in Salisbury, England – where the UK government has a chemical weapons laboratory.

Regardless of what information emerges from Douma regarding the alleged chemical weapons attack, the UK and its allies have already unilaterally attacked Syria even though they have admitted that they have no evidence that the attack even took place, beyond social media posts and YouTube videos created by controversial groups with ties to U.K. intelligence.

Ex-British Ambassador: Novichok Claims Are UK Attempt to ‘Step Up the Cold War’

London, UK— Former British ambassador Craig Murray, in an interview with RT, took direct aim at what he labeled a “desire by NATO members… to step up the cold war and enhance confrontation with Russia,” in relation to the claims that Russia used novichok nerve agent on Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil.

While Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has consistently laid the blame on Russia, scientists from the secretive defense laboratory Porton Down dealt this accusation a blow when it was revealed they could not confirm a Russian origin of the novichok nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack.

Scientists at Porton Down announced earlier in the week that they were unable to substantiate the government’s assertions that the nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter had been produced in Russia:

The Guardian reports that Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the government’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), said that while the substance had been identified as a military-grade novichok nerve agent, which could likely only be deployed by a nation-state (a disputed contention), there was no confirmation of Russian origins.

The Porton Down statement was “extremely important” according to Murray, who claimed that “a fortnight ago sources inside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told me they were ‘under pressure’ to say it was made in Russia” but they knew they were unable to do so and ‘refused.’”

“What we have seen today is news management because the Government had to get over the hurdle the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will shortly be telling people there is no evidence this came from Russia,” Murray said. “The Government decided for damage limitation it was best Porton Down came out and said that first. We will see careful news management over the next day or two.”

While Porton Down scientists said “a state” was likely to be behind the attack, due to the complexity of the agent, Murray said this assertion is inaccurate and that there is evidence to the contrary.

“The ‘probably’ in the statement is very important, there are many people including David Colum, professor of organic chemistry at Cornell University, who says it’s just not true it has to be a state and any of his senior students could make it,” Murray stated.

Murray went on to say that he suspected government handlers had made a hasty addition to the end of the Porton Down statement in an attempt to allow for increased suspicion to be focused on Russia after failing to legitimately tie the novichok to Russia.

“If you watch the interview, the sentence where he says it would probably need a state to make it is tacked on to the end. If you look closely, not only has the shot changed, the camera and tripod have actually moved. I strongly suspect government handlers who would have been in that room watching him were unhappy with his interview and wanted something which implicated Russia more, so added a bit onto the end.”

Furthermore, Murray claimed at least a couple of dozen states could make it— including the U.S. and U.K.— and went on to note that there “ought to be an investigation into a serious crime.”

“We are told probably this and likely that, well that is not the way criminal verdicts are found,” Murray said.

“This quite simply feeds into a desire by NATO members in particular to step up the cold war and enhance confrontation with Russia. This has to be seen in a wider geopolitical context. Within that context the last thing the politicians care about is the truth about what happened in Salisbury.”

UK Experts Admit They Cannot Prove Russian Origins of Novichok Agent

Salisbury, UK – Top scientists at British defense laboratory Porton Down announced on Tuesday that they were unable to confirm the government’s assertions that novichok, the nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter, was made in Russia.

The Guardian reports that Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the government’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), said that while the substance had been identified as a military-grade novichok nerve agent, which could likely only be deployed by a nation-state, there was no confirmation of Russian origins.

Aitkenhead, in an interview with Sky News, said it was not possible for scientists alone to say precisely where the novichok had been created.

“It’s a military-grade nerve agent, which requires extremely sophisticated methods in order to create – something that’s probably only within the capabilities of a state actor,” Aitkenhead said.

When asked if the nerve agent could have come from Porton Down, which is only 8 miles from Salisbury, Aitkenhead said “there’s no way that anything like that would ever have come from us or leave the four walls of our facilities.”

“We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify it was a military-grade nerve agent. We have not verified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific information to the government, who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions that they have come to,” Aitkenhead said.

After the announcement, the UK government attempted to assert that prime minister Theresa May had always been aware that the assessment from Porton Down was “only one part of the intelligence picture.”

A British government spokesman sought to downplay the significance of Aitkenhead’s remarks, stating: “We have been clear from the very beginning that our world-leading experts at Porton Down identified the substance used in Salisbury as a novichok.”

“It is our assessment that Russia was responsible for this brazen and reckless act and, as the international community agrees, there is no other plausible explanation,” the spokesman said.

Just two weeks ago, when UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was asked how the UK was able to swiftly determine the novichok originated from Russia, he replied:

“When I look at the evidence, the people from Porton Down, the laboratory, they were absolutely categorical. I asked the guy myself, I said: ‘Are you sure?’ And he said: ‘There’s no doubt.’ So we have very little alternative but to take the action that we have taken.”

The comments from Porton Down came hours before a meeting of the executive council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), called by Russia.

The Russian embassy in London has called the accusations by the UK a “bluff” and added: “This has been confirmed by the head of the secret lab. This only proves that all political declarations on the Russian origin of the crime are nothing but assumptions not stemming from objective facts or the course of the investigation.”

[RELATED: Russia Warns of Chemical Weapons Guise in Syria to Justify US Escalation]

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray pointed out that in each of the declarations made by the UK attempting to connect novichok to Russia, the British government uses the wording “of a type developed by” rather than specifying they had determined it was actually produced or manufactured in Russia— a significant distinction.

Murray wrote on March 16:

I have now received confirmation from a well placed FCO source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve agent as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation. The Russians were allegedly researching, in the “Novichok” programme a generation of nerve agents which could be produced from commercially available precursors such as insecticides and fertilisers. This substance is a “novichok” in that sense. It is of that type. Just as I am typing on a laptop of a type developed by the United States, though this one was made in China.

To anybody with a Whitehall background this has been obvious for several days. The government has never said the nerve agent was made in Russia, or that it can only be made in Russia. The exact formulation “of a type developed by Russia” was used by Theresa May in parliament, used by the UK at the UN Security Council, used by Boris Johnson on the BBC yesterday and, most tellingly of all, “of a type developed by Russia” is the precise phrase used in the joint communique issued by the UK, USA, France and Germany yesterday: ‘This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.’

Murray told RT that “what we have seen today is news management because the Government had to get over the hurdle the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will shortly be telling people there is no evidence this came from Russia.”

“The Government decided for damage limitation it was best Porton Down came out and said that first. We will see careful news management over the next day or two,” he said.

The Guardian reports that Russian ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov, said Moscow wanted Britain to “provide every possible element of evidence” it had, adding: “We certainly reject any notion or claim of Russian involvement in the Salisbury incident. We will not tolerate this kind of irresponsible and basically indecent behavior on the part of the British government. They will have to answer for that.”

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Alexander Grushko, said the attack was a “provocation arranged by Britain” to justify high military spending because “they need a major enemy.”

UK Court Rules To End Toddler’s Life Despite Parents’ Wishes

(DCNF) A U.K. court upheld an earlier ruling Tuesday ordering a toddler to be taken off life support despite his parents’ desire to continue treating him.

London’s Court of Appeal denied the parents’ request to transfer their son, 21-month-old Alfie Evans, to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital and upheld a lower court’s ruling that sided with doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool who say that continued treatment is “futile,” according to Crux Now. Evans suffers from an unknown neurological degenerative condition that has reduced him to what the hospital has called a “semi-vegetable state,” but his parents argue that he is still responsive and say they will continue to fight for him to be treated.

“At this moment, Alfie’s not ready so we’re not ready to let go,” Tom Evans, the boy’s father, told BBC.

Tom said that he would challenge the ruling before the U.K.’s Supreme Court.

The case bears similarities to the 2017 legal battle over treatment for Charlie Gard, who died at 11 months old after U.K. courts continually deliberated and denied him the option to receive treatment. Then as now, the hospital officials overseeing the treatment of the child have argued that attempting to treat him would be against the child’s best interest — a conclusion that Alfie’s parents contest.

“Our aim is always to try and reach an agreement with parents about the most appropriate care plan for their child. Unfortunately there are sometimes rare situations such as this where agreement cannot be reached and the treating team believe that continued active treatment is not in a child’s best interests,” Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said in a statement, according to Crux.

Justice Anthony Hayden of the U.K.’s High Court agreed in his Feb. 20 ruling with the hospital’s assessment that continuing to treat the Alfie was “unkind, unfair, and inhumane.” Hayden praised the efforts of Alfie’s parents but ultimately denied them the chance to medically fight for their son’s life. He said that Tom’s urging to “fight on with Alfie’s army” was commendable but that the parents’ had no clear plan for their son’s betterment. Tom, incensed by the ruling, denounced it and vowed that he would continue the fight.

“My son has been sentenced to the death penalty. The system has worked against us. I’m not crying because I know how wrong they are, I know how strong my boy is doing. He is strong, he is comfortable. This isn’t the end. This is just the start. I’m going to take this NHS down. I’m not giving up, my son isn’t giving up. No-one, I repeat, no-one in this country, is taking my boy away from me. They are not violating his rights and they are violating my rights,” Tom said after Hayden’s ruling, according to Daily Mail.

The three judges of the appeals court, however, echoed Hayden’s reasoning Tuesday and said that the hospital had given due consideration to the parents’ wishes. They ruled hospital staff’s decision to remove Alfie from life support and deny his transfer to another hospital was justified since Alfie is, according to their assessment, comatose and unaware of his surroundings.

The parents argue that Alfie is still aware and can still respond to them, but hospital staff say that what the parents interpret as responses are actually seizures, according to Daily Mail. Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, who represents Alfie’s parents against the state, argued that, regardless of the hospital’s assessment, the courts’ rulings overstep their boundaries and interfere with “parental choice,” according to Crux.

Written by Joshua Gill Follow Joshua on Twitter
This article was republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

New device detects nearby cops, officers not happy with product

A new car device called “Target Blu Eye,” developed and sold by the Dutch company Target Automotive, advertises the ability to warn drivers of nearby police officers, and cops are upset about this.

The device is marketed as a way to warn drivers of nearby emergency vehicles which have not turned on their emergency lights or sirens, signalling their proximity to the driver.

Blu Eye works by monitoring frequencies used by various emergency vehicles, including ambulances, firetrucks, and police cars, and then alerts the driver to the presence of such vehicles.  According to the Free Thought Project, the monitor also works when radars and other equipment used by police even when the equipment is turned off.  Even a turned off police radio on a foot-patrol is reportedly detected by the device.

Naturally, Blu Eye has already been called a crook’s best friend by many people who are opposed to the system.

The Sunday Times spoke to the Association of Police Officers in the UK, who said, “It is an offence to impede or obstruct the work of the police, and this includes warning drivers about police activities to combat offences on the roads.”

Dan Bizley, chief engineer for Blu Eye, said, though it warns people of nearby emergency vehicles, it cannot distinguish between the type of emergency vehicle.  “As it does not distinguish between a police car, ambulance or fire engine responding to an emergency,” said Bizley, “this particular device is sadly just as likely to be bought by a minority of motorists who wish to evade being caught behaving illegally.”

Because Blu Eye does not distinguish or  interfere with the signals and frequencies used by emergency vehicles, there is no legal precedent to make the device illegal, at least in parts of Europe where the device is sold.

Jan Rijks, the Dutch inventor of Blu Eye, also said, yes the system can be used to potentially evade police, but if you are driving in an urban setting, the device would constantly be lighting up with warnings as emergency vehicles and personnel are everywhere in cities.  Rijks did say the device makes people “more aware of their speed and driving behaviour” since they are getting warnings, and this results in safer drivers. 

Currently, the device is only available in Europe for the hefty sum of about $1,600, but according to a FOX News report, Rijks said a US model is currently in the works and could be available in the next year.

What UKIP Must Learn from the American Liberty Movement

Of all of their political parties that most Brits have heard of, only UKIP – the United Kingdom Independence Party – calls itself “libertarian”.

Being only two decades old, UKIP – now polling 38% for the European elections this year and about 15% for the general election next year – has achieved a success on paper that the American Libertarian Party can only dream of.

Indeed, in my work of helping the US liberty movement achieve more success in changing the minds of the people and the politicians and policies that they support, I often point out that American activists can learn much from what UKIP has been doing right.

Both UKIP and the US libertarians form insurgent, anti-establishment movements in an early stage of development: they are both influencing and drawing strength from public dissatisfaction with the current political settlement, but have not yet made significant changes to national electoral outcomes. For example, UKIP has not a single seat in the British parliament, and only a handful of representatives in the American House or Senate self-identify as aligned with the liberty movement’s goals.

So it was with some curiosity that I attended my first UKIP meeting on a visit back to England last month.

It was a public “town-hall-style” meeting in the picture-postcard county of Devon. An audience of around 60 heard three candidates and party executives speak for about 90 minutes.

At similar meetings in the US, I am never the youngest in the room. In UKIP’s meeting in Devon, I was. So when questions were invited from the floor, I pointed out as much, and asked if UKIP, therefore, had a problem. (It does.)

Fortunately, one of the speakers was the Chairman of the party, Stephen Crowther, who responded to my question with a fair one of his own: how did someone of my age manage to get out of work on a Friday morning? (I didn’t. I was on holiday.) Later, (during the obligatory tea and biscuits at the end of any public meeting in rural England), another member of the audience offered a different explanation: older people, he suggested, were the only ones who could remember how things were before we joined the EU.

That was sincerely meant but, to me, unconvincing. After all, the younger members of the American liberty movement do not have much experience of their country when it was much freer (before the Patriot Act, NDAA, extensive state-sponsored cronyism corporatism etc.) but they don’t need it: they discover their birthright of liberty by reading their own history, the Constitution, and the work of the brilliant thinkers who developed the classical liberal tradition that excites them so much.

In fact, most of the energy that drives the liberty movement in the US is that of young adults. These men and women are becoming sufficiently numerous and their passion is sufficiently strong that the change toward liberty that we shall see in American politics over the next two generations will likely one day be seen to have had its root in this decade in much the same way that the last two generations of progressivism and Statism were rooted in the ‘60s.

In the US, speeches made at anti-establishment, pro-liberty meetings are filled with statements of the inspiring principles of individual liberty – of free enterprise, the progressive magic of real capitalism, freedom from state interference in (and surveillance of) one’s personal life, personal responsibility and the Rule of Law etc.

In contrast, the speeches in Devon consisted entirely of factual assertions and policy solutions. If it weren’t for Crowther’s utterance of three expressions at the very end of the 90 minutes – “libertarian”, “self-government” and “small government” – it would not have been clear what political principles or vision united all of the policies that had been offered. Moreover, given the lack of any exposition of those ideas as guiding principles, the only people in the room who would have known what those three terms meant were the ones who, like me, had studied them long before they found themselves at a UKIP meeting. Since neither mainstream British politicians nor the British media ever use such terms, the people in the room who knew what they meant could definitely be counted on one hand.

Of course, a political party should focus on facts and policy. But if that is all a new party is doing – especially if the policies are, albeit out of necessity, largely negative, such as pulling out of the EU, reducing immigration, and offering a political home for those who are less than comfortable with gay marriage, then those with the political idealism and energy required to turn an insurgent movement into a mainstream movement with longevity – also called young people – will be left entirely uninspired and, potentially worse, alienated.

During the following week, I spoke to quite a few Brits about UKIP. I found many quiet supporters. Their motivations were typically down-to-earth and British: skepticism of the country’s prevailing political settlement and class, a preference for people who call things as they see them, and a pragmatic desire to try new solutions to problems when the old ones have consistently failed. And there was not a bigot or racist among them.

That’s all well and good – but not enough to prevent UKIP from winning its next battle (the European elections next week) but losing the war (to save the nation’s sovereignty, and with it, a small chance of keeping the astonishing long Anglo tradition of personal liberty and common law).

In contrast, at a meeting in the US of the liberty-curious, at least one of those expressions that the party’s Chairman used at the end of his speech – “libertarian”, “self-government” and “small government” – would be not used once in closing remarks, but repeated many, many times in the exposition of an exciting, positive, restorative vision for the nation. The approach would be to clarify and emphasize the fundamental principles of liberty, and only then discuss specific policies, taking care to show why they coherently pull toward the positive, liberal vision.

Throughout history, political movements that have captured the young – and thereby secured their longevity – have inspired and impassioned, leaving no doubt about the intention to build something bigger and better than exists today.

Positive vision inspires; policies alone do not. To win in the long-run takes both.

Young activists of the American liberty movement gain passion and energy by educating themselves on their own history and their own identity as a nation that is established on liberty and established to protect liberty. In other words, the future of American freedom is not just in the imagination of a few disaffected agitators, but a continuation of a rich, deep, tradition of liberty that has elevated mankind for centuries.

The wheel of freedom does not have to be reinvented, and excited libertarian Americans draw inspiration from the fact that they are heirs to one of its most sublime political realizations. They are not only fighting for liberty: they are fighting for the best of their identity as Americans. When you know you have something wonderful, passed down over generations at great cost, you don’t give it up lightly. Not to the US federal government, and not to the European Union.


If UKIP truly is a libertarian party concerned with British identity, then it is clearly missing its biggest marketing opportunity: the American tradition of freedom IS the British tradition of freedom. To understand it is to be excited by it – to become a patriot in the best (and proper) sense. The ideas of liberty alone change lives and nations. But when they are part of one’s national identity, as they are for English-speakers everywhere, they have the power to move one to tears.

UKIP’s job must be, then, to put young British adults in touch with their classically liberal birthright of the common law, limited government, live-and-let-live, free enterprise, and resistance against the kind of lack of political accountability and authoritarianism that the EU represents, and to teach clearly how the prosperity and freedom we enjoy depend on all of them.

And of most immediate importance for UKIP’s long-term electoral chances, a party of excited, positive, liberal visionaries (which is what true libertarians are) would attract many fewer questionable reactionaries whose views can be too easily labeled racist or sexist etc. by hungry media, than UKIP does today.

Like the USA, the UK is in a potentially radical, teachable political moment. This time of uncommon dissatisfaction with the status quo is equivalently one of heightened interest in alternatives and openness to new perspectives. But it is not yet clear which way Britain will turn, if it will turn at all.

UKIP is currently the biggest party political beneficiary of this zeitgeist in the Britain. If the party doesn’t explain what those words like “libertarian” in its platform mean, how can anyone be blamed for looking at its concentration on immigration or gay marriage and, absent context, doubting that UKIP is libertarian at all? There is a classically liberal case to be made for UKIP’s stance on immigration in the current context of EU rules and the British welfare state, but it’s not an obvious one, and it’s certainly not one that can be worked out from just listening to UKIP’s policy positions. In the absence of the careful exposition of liberal principles and that case, the media will keep painting Ukippers as having questionable motivations because it’s too easy and shifts copy.

Nigel Farage talks about creating an earthquake in British politics. I hope he does. The country’s complacent social democratic establishment needs a reminder of who works for whom, and whatever the ultimate flavor of UKIP’s politics, exit from the EU will do more for British liberty per se than any other single policy currently supported by any party. But an earthquake is a rather short-lived event. What really matters is whether that political earthquake remakes Britain’s political landscape for good – in both senses of that word. And that will depend on whether UKIP really is Britain’s first classical liberal alternative since Thatcher.

If UKIP really is a “libertarian” party (and the jury is very much still out), and wishes to benefit from the inherent popularity of liberty, then it must prove it. It shouldn’t talk about pulling out of Europe without explaining the threat of all big government to liberty; it shouldn’t focus on immigrants without explaining that excessive immigration offends the British sense of fairness chiefly because of a dehumanizing welfare state and the feeling of insecurity that comes from having one’s ability to influence the politics of one’s own society removed by politicians who are foreign to it; it shouldn’t talk about wind farms without explaining the threat to efficiency and prosperity posed by subsidizing any industry at the expense of others, and it should not talk about gay marriage without being very clear that a legal commitment between loving people is not a problem – but an EU court that will use related legislation to force institutions and individuals to act against their consciences and property rights, absolutely is.

Most of all, it shouldn’t talk about any of the above without returning, again and again, to a celebration of a unique legacy of freedom, won over 1,000 years by a people that will continue to build a prosperous and liberal future, when left free to do so by a limited, accountable government that serves at the pleasure of the people – and never, ever, the other way around.