Voluntary exile from party politics proved to have a positive impact on me; majority of the departure was spent expanding and subtracting elements of my philosophy, understand contemporary liberalism and the current state of British politics. In all honesty, it was rather beneficial to me. The past two months have seemed more or less equivalent to a year and the brief absence allowed me to rediscover why I become a Liberal Democrat in the first place.
I’m a contrarian; my positions are opposed to the majority and based on radicalism and dissent. As a passionate liberal, I strongly believe opinions should always be based on principles and not popularity. Democracy becomes dangerous if a political vanguard embeds itself within populism and the tyranny of the majority; a liberal party should never be afraid of speaking its minds – regardless of public opinion. And it is that reason why I originally joined Liberal Democrats. It was better, as a liberal, to be associated with a political party who took principled stands on civil liberties and personal freedom. We are the only party in Britain that cares about the greatest minority on Earth: the individual. There is no exclusive admiration for either markets or the state, liberals philosophically do not endorse collectivism.
And that is why I reapplied for membership; how can a liberal exist in parties that either favour using the state to dictate civil society or the economy? Liberals desire no control or influence on anyone or anything. Sure we acknowledge a role in ensuring freedoms, but never seek to use the power of the state to influence outcomes for our own political goals. The existence of liberalism is based primarily of the principle of expanding, and protecting, the freedoms and liberty of the individual; as Hayek once wrote, “What a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free. “ Conservatives and socialists do not recognise the individual and seek to define humans in collective terms; humans, by nature, will form communities themselves, but a liberal party has no reason for the state to enforce it. It is a organic and a conscious decision, free from outside influence.
Britain is a liberal country and it requires a strong liberal party. During this period of government we should stand by what is right, not what will get us elected. As I stated before, populism is a hideous platform and dishonest to the electorate. This liberal returned because I thought the state is too powerful, the corporate sector is too corrupt, Parliament is weak and no one dared to challenge the status quo. It was better to challenge the establishment as a member of a liberal party than outside of it; to those liberals in exile, like I was, it is time to come home. It is time to rejoin the Liberal Democrats and promote a true liberal Britain.