We are living through extraordinary times. Our fundamental liberties have been put on hold while a virus that many would have struggled to identify a month ago dominates practically every inch of our lives.
In Hungary, we’re already seeing the virus used as a cover for authoritarian strongmen to seize new powers, with no promise of relinquishing them. Even in western European hubs of social liberalism, such as Denmark, emergency measures have a suspiciously late “use-by” date.
In the not too distant future, after the coronavirus crisis has passed, free-market liberals will have a fight on our hands to claw back every single aspect of control ceded to the government. Simply put, our economic freedoms and civil liberties will need championing more than ever.
And with neoliberal, free market policies being increasingly sidelined over the past few years, 1828’s new board of advisers and group of parliamentary supporters reflect nonetheless a willingness to shift towards the principles which could hold the key to the generation Z vote – a crucial step in preventing socialist parties from dominating the future.
Crispin Blunt MP, Andrew Boff AM, Ryan Bourne, Sam Bowman, Eamonn Butler, Douglas Carswell, Simon Gentry, Nusrat Ghani MP, Ben Habib, Dan Hannan, Julian Knight MP, Daniel Moylan, John Penrose MP, Bruno Prior, Lee Rowley MP, Ian Silvera, Matt Taylor, Radomir Tylecote
Crispin Blunt MP, Ben Bradley MP, Nusrat Ghani MP, Rachel Maclean MP, Julian Knight MP, John Penrose MP, Lee Rowley MP, Liz Truss MP
1828 was founded to champion freedom. Why are we needed today? Because practically anything that’s perceived as remotely negative is blamed on capitalism, economic freedom or neoliberalism. There is also an urgent need to challenge socialism’s grip on the young and to make the case for free market-conservatism. Because, let’s not forget, the evidence is on our side, and those who hand us the blame for all the ills of the world are usually the very people who created said problems in the first place – those who see an ever-more active state as the solution, despite that being the fundamental issue.
When you strip everything back, neoliberals are simply champions of freedom. We believe that the role of government is to protect and facilitate the individual’s liberty to live their life as they choose, as long as they do not interfere with others doing the same. We believe that society is built from the individual up, not from the state down. We are consequentialists. We ask: does this policy increase an individual’s ability to flourish without imposing an unacceptable infringement on their liberty? If so, it is an idea we can support.
That’s why neoliberals support free markets, which have proven the most effective method to deliver prosperity and safeguard individual liberty. Replacing socialist dogma with free markets and free enterprise has allowed the world to make rapid progress with lifting millions out of a life of misery. The World Bank estimates that the number of people in extreme poverty has fallen from nearly 1.9 billion in 1990 to about 650 million in 2018. And data collected by the World Health Organization indicates that mortality rates for children under the age of five declined by 49 per cent from 1990 to 2013.
Neoliberals are rational optimists and unapologetic globalists. We accept the overwhelming evidence that the world is getting better. There’s never been a better time to be alive, and we expect things to get better in the future.
1828 and the ASI expanded on these values and translated them into policy proposals in our recently released publication, The Neoliberal Manifesto.
Our approach means being the standard-bearers of free trade and making the tax system fairer and more efficient. It means a progressive, evidence-based approach to drugs and harm reduction; ending and reversing the infringement of lifestyle freedom in recent years; embracing choice in education; championing the noble principle of universal healthcare but at the same time promoting innovative ways to improve outcomes; facilitating the exciting technology and transport systems of the future; making the case for free-market environmentalism and liberalising the planning system to deliver the houses we need.
These are all examples of neoliberal values and policies that could be put into practice today, so our purpose at 1828 is to make the case for them. And since our inception, more than half a million people have read over 350 influential articles from cabinet ministers, MEPs and policy experts on a diverse range of issues including healthcare, free trade, housing, immigration, drug reform, and LGBT+ rights.
We believe that now is the time to usher in a new generation of freedom fighters and renew the case for liberty – because our side of the argument is nowhere near out of the woods yet.
With our advisory board and group of parliamentary supporters, you can rest assured that 1828 will be on the frontline of the battle of ideas in the months and years ahead ensuring that capitalism, freedom and progress prevail.
Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss MP added: “1828 is a huge part of what’s happening on the right of politics, where a lot of new ideas are coming to fruition. There will always be a need to fight for the forces of freedom – and that’s exactly what 1828 exists to do.”
Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Julian Knight MP commented: “It’s really crucial that we bang the drum in this country for free-market capitalism, because the truth of the matter is that so often in our society now we seem to be on the backfoot when it comes to the argument with the left. That’s why it’s really important that we have organisations like 1828 – they will champion freedom and free-market capitalism. And I’m very proud to be joining their advisory board.”
Former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Crispin Blunt MP said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been invited to join the advisory board of 1828, an organisation dedicated to advancing the cause of economic and social liberalism on the centre right. These ideas are absolutely vital if the Conservative party is to be seen as of continuing relevance, particularly to the younger generation. I’m really looking forward to working with 1828.”
John Penrose MP added: “I’m delighted to have been asked to join the 1828 advisory board, not least because of the work which 1828 and the Adam Smith Institute have been doing to reclaim the phrase “neoliberal”. It turns out that, rather like the man who discovered he’d been speaking prose all his life, I have been a neoliberal for a very, very long time without realising it.”
Nus Ghani MP commented: “I’m proud to join 1828’s advisory board as they champion individual freedom and free markets – the most successful engines of prosperity, with a proven record of lifting billions out of poverty around the globe. It’s really important that we engage in the current battle of ideas and win over the next generation with these values.”
Lee Rowley MP said: “I’m very pleased to be able to support 1828 and the really valuable work that it does not just in parliament but across the country as a whole, making the case for liberal, free market, capitalist thinking. 1828 performs a really important job in ensuring that the debate that we have in this country and here in parliament is anchored in what actually works and what actually sets people free and makes their lives better in the long term.”
Andrew Boff AM added: “The battles of the past are too easily forgotten, so every generation needs to be reminded of why liberty is precious and why the siren songs of big state interventionists need resisting. 1828 will be a vanguard for freedom, and I’m excited to be part of it.”
Eamonn Butler commented: “I’m very pleased to be joining the advisory board of this dynamic body of freedom fighters.”
Douglas Carswell said: “There has never been a more important time to make the case for liberty. We need 1828 not despite what is happening in the world around us – but because of it.”
Radomir Tylecote added: “I’m delighted to lend my support to 1828 and to Jack Powell and the whole team. There has never been a more important time to defend genuine liberal values. As we leave the EU, there is a huge opportunity before this country to restore our democracy, our institutions and the central place of human freedom in our national life.”
Sam Bowman commented: “It’s a privilege to be able to support 1828. The open-minded, humane neoliberalism that it promotes is incredibly important, and rather than patronising younger people it acts as a platform to allow them to make their voices and views heard. It’s that respect for disagreement and pragmatic approach to policymaking that is key to improving the standard of debate in British politics.”
Ryan Bourne said: “1828 does great work promoting our freedoms, and I’m very happy to join their advisory board at such an important juncture for our liberties.”
Simon Gentry added: “Congratulations Jack Powell and Matt Gillow. I’m delighted to support the work that they and the whole 1828 team do to promote freedom. Their work has never been more important than it is now.”
Ian Silvera commented: “I’m delighted to join the board of advisers for 1828. Jack Powell and Matt Gillow have been doing some great things with the platform and the evergreen issue of protecting our liberties is more important than ever.”