Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Quote for the day - Goldfish and Liberalism

Today's quote really strikes a chord with my own political philosophy.
"If freedom means anything it must surely include the freedom to engage in activities which others may consider unwise. This includes smoking, overeating, not exercising, driving "off road" cars in cities, even winning goldfish. A Liberal society is one where people should be free to "make their own mistakes". The Liberal Democrats must surely be consistently rigorous in applying the principles of personal liberalism in the future."

David Laws "Reclaiming Liberalism" (2004) - The Orange Book

1 comment:

  1. The examples used are striking. I have no problem in a society where one is free to make their own mistakes.

    But mistakes like smoking, overeating (guilty as charged, m'lud) and not exercising (snap!!) have implications on everyone in increased health costs or, alternatively, diversion of resources to deal with the consequences thereof instead of other matters.

    Haven't a clue what an "off road" car is - I suspect it's a vehicle along the lines of the one that Rowan Atkinson has achieved headlines with in the past few days. In which case, you can chip in environmental damage as well. I suspect this type of car will be more damaging than a more conventional vehicle.

    As for goldfish, I haven't a clue what he means but one might surmise he has animal rights in his sights.

    In my view, what's described isn't liberalism, it's libertarianism.