Pete wrote:The whole stigma of Libertarians being gun toting maniacs has arisen from the States and understandably, but the UK Libertarian movement is something altogether different. Unfortunately at the moment we're all flagged as internet geeks sat chatting to each other on blogs, but hopefully in time if we get enough geeks we'll be able to disseminate the message beyond the blogosphere and through to rank and file people who will understand it's essentially an aim to get back to small localised governments, to neighbourhoods and communities having spirit and identity and working together for themselves rather than relying on the state to do it for them.
With regards the NHS, this is the one point where I will freely admit I don't know the answer. I sincerely believe the NHS is not the right way to do things but I even more strongly oppose the current US model. That's not to say there is no other way around it, I just don't know what that way is. I do believe anyone who is ill should be entitled to treatment and healthcare. God knows had the government not been freely wasting £3bn a year on things it now says it can easily cut back, maybe those with cancers deemed not commercially viable to treat would have actually got their treatment. We spend an incredible amount of money through our government, numbers I cannot get my head around, I do not believe the benefit is anywhere close to the cost.
Unfortunately, I think the whole Libertarianism's bad image coming from the States is true. We have a surprising number of "Libertarians" who really are more anarchal, but believe the Libertarian party can give them a platform, which just ends up making those of us who know what we are talking about (ish), look really bad. I once had to explain to my history teacher that Libertarianism and Anarchy are not the same thing at all. That did not go over well (Silly liberal education).
Furthermore, I am all for a public healthcare option of the government can tell me who is paying for it? Oh, that's right, the people who can already afford it (upper/middle class) are supporting those who cannot, which sounds very ethical on the surface. But I do not believe health care is a right. I mean, I think people have more of a right to food, water, and shelter, but believe me, that would cost so much money that no one ever discusses making viable public options for that. And the government housing that does exist in America is shit, most people would rather live on the streets.
My main issue with large government is that it spends money it does not have on things people don't really understand or if they do understand, don't care about. It further plunges countries into enormous debt along with interfering with our daily lives (I believe in gun control, but not regulation... as in, we have a right to bear arms, but not bazookas). This whole health care plan for a "public option" sounds good. Believe me, I would love for people to be able to be cured even if they don't have the money. The sad fact is, it's just not possible. Other countries have done it, and when the rich people of those countries get sick, they come to America because doctors in America have an incentive to be great; they want to make more money.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”