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Manifesto of The Freedom Party

1. Introduction

The objects of The Freedom Party are to defend and restore the freedoms, traditions, unity, identity and independence of the British people.

The Freedom Party believes that the freedoms of the people whose ancient roots lie in the United Kingdom are being steadily encroached upon by a regime which falsely describes itself as liberal. The basis of the nation in respect of its traditions and identity and other vital aspects of its existence become less defensible as a result.

These freedoms are of two kinds. There are individual freedoms to hold beliefs and express opinions, and there is the freedom of peoples as a whole to preserve their identity, culture and, in the extreme, their existence.

Individual freedoms are under constant and increasing attack not, in general, by the mechanisms employed by what are normally regarded as repressive states, but from the more subtle methods which are now known as 'political correctness'.

Citizens generally do not fear arrest or imprisonment if they dissent from the liberal hegemony, although one can find examples of such treatment, but fear social ostracism in its widest sense which may include disadvantage to career and employment. The liberal media constantly reinforces these fears by seeking to foment a belief that views held by a majority are, in fact, execrated by nearly everyone. The dissenter is made to feel marginalised in the face of inevitable triumph for a spectrum of opinion which is self-evidently correct in every particular. An essentially extremist regime, in its intolerance of contrary opinion, is able to present itself as its opposite.

The right of the society, community and people as a whole to maintain a continued existence and homeland is denounced and traduced as morally wrong and socially backward - yet similar rules are not to be applied to almost every other society and people in the world. Merely to seek to debate such issues is something distasteful and to be, in as far as possible, suppressed. Thus our society is being dismantled without even a substantial debate being allowed let alone the democratic consent of its members.

Characteristic of the 'liberal' establishment is a near refusal to admit to any fault in the structure of its ideas. Deficiencies in the results of its policies are generally attributed to a technical failure in sufficiently vigorous implementation Thus error compounds error as bad policies are further enforced.

The Freedom Party wishes to reverse the trends identified above and to encourage both individuals and groups no longer to bear the diffuse sense of fear about the expression of views and opinions which has been fomented by both government and media for several decades.

In short, we wish to see a massive expansion of democracy; the basis of which is freedom of debate. We wish to see an expansion of an organic democracy in the form of direct participation both in the process of voting and generally in the political process in its broadest sense. Only an increase in freedoms can bring this about.

The Freedom Party does not necessarily disagree with much of the viewpoint put over by the present regime.

It is often the case that liberals express views and intentions with which most people would agree, and sometimes pass laws in accordance. Either the expressed intentions are not carried forward in the form of law, or laws introduced are not enforced thus bringing about the opposite result from that which the public is led to believe is the intention. The position regarding illegal immigration into the United Kingdom is a prime example.

2. The Concept of the Nation

The Freedom Party believes that the nation state is the best bulwark against oppression.

Internationalisation, whatever its possible economic benefits, creates a democratic deficit. Who shall represent the interests of the citizen as the nation state is eroded? The nation state is increasingly needed at the very time when its legitimacy is being challenged. This strikes at the heart of the social contract between citizen and state under which the state provides protections for the citizen in exchange for his assent to general rules concerning his conduct.

Liberals evade the above contradiction both by defining the principal purpose of a society to be almost entirely economic, by promising that a political representation increasingly remote from them can perform the same function as a vigorous democracy, and by providing local forums which maintain the trappings of office without the powers. The European project is a prime example of these manoeuvres, as is the erosion of parliament and the near contempt with which it is held by government.

The Freedom Party maintains that the British people is an entity with a real existence and deep historical roots. Attempts to rewrite history in that Britain is a 'a nation of immigrants' are fraudulent. Because of their island position the British were, until recently, a remarkably coherent group.

We do not maintain the inherent superiority of any particular racial or cultural grouping, merely that members of those groupings recognise the value to themselves of their inheritance.

All nations and peoples undergo change over time. What is happening in Britain goes far beyond those processes. The make-up of the nation is being deliberately and very rapidly altered without its members agreement. That is an affront to every principal of democracy.

3. Freedom

The Freedom Party wishes to see a British and legally enforcible convention guaranteeing the rights of individuals and groups to replace the European Convention on Human Rights with its European origins and enforcement procedure, and the current public order and race relations legislation.

The present fudged Human Rights Act is unsatisfactory in that it merely requires that account be taken of the provisions of the European Convention and is limited in its effect to public organisations. The result has been that the practices of depriving people of fundamental rights like freedom of expression and of censorship still continue.

Another example is that protection of employment is often unavailable to individuals if they hold opinions contrary to orthodoxy outside the workplace. A careful balance needs to be struck which allows employers to run their businesses effectively while recognising fundamental democratic rights. At present, the framework of law encourages spurious claims to tribunals while failing to protect fundamental rights.

4. Government

The entire governmental system encourages the dominance of the particular strand of opinion now in power by two distinct mechanisms.

Firstly, those who wish to enter the elected political arena are increasingly also those dependent on politics for their livings. This has debased political life in that all too many representatives are merely ciphers for the small groups controlling the main parties.

Secondly, voting for the main parties does not offer any genuine alternative as regards the greatest issues. Those main parties have increasingly moved towards the common ground of a media approved liberal concensus. A broadening out of debate requires that a wider range of opinion be heard. It is difficult to see how this can be achieved without the introduction of proportional representation to allow new voices into elected bodies. At present, local government often amounts to a permanent dominance by a particular party with an inevitable deterioration in the quality of governance.

The result of the two above developments is what has been called an 'elective dictatorship'.

We wish to see parliament restored to full vigour and primacy.

Reform of the House of Lords by removing most hereditary peers has not strengthened democracy but weakened it. Replacing unelected representatives with appointees owing their positions to political patronage is a retrograde step. A logical solution would be a second chamber composed partly of appointees by an independent non-political body, and partly of directly elected representatives. It is vital that a second chamber should exist and be empowered to offer independent review of the essentially party political legislative proposals examined by the House of Commons.

We also favour a greater use of referenda where issues are essentially choices between two alternatives.

5. The Economy

There are two core elements to a successful economy - the availability of employment and full advantage being taken of technology to increase productivity. In both areas Britain's performance since the 1970s has been poor and, in the case of employment, lamentable.

Of the two core objectives the Freedom Party believes that employment is the most important. Mass unemployment is not only a miserable experience for the unemployed but also inexorably leads to the growth of an underclass which is difficult to reintroduce into the workforce and an enormous burden upon society in many different ways.

We believe that, for the last twenty years, there has been a misunderstanding concerning unemployment.

The received view has been that the unemployed are the result of too high wages. In reality, most unemployment results from a lack of demand. Firms do not generally refrain from investment in productive capacity because of wage levels - although one can find examples of this - but because they perceive that the risks are too great. If investment is followed by a collapse in demand - a common experience since the 1970s - even the most potentially profitable enterprise will disappoint. Government must create confidence that any upturn will not be short-lived if private enterprise is to provided the capacity needed to bring down unemployment to satisfactory levels.

The quality of a society is adversely affected by excessive levels of inequality. Low levels of unemployment reduce inequality since the high levels of demand concomitant upon it are particularly beneficial to the less-skilled in employment terms.

We draw attention to low levels of productivity in Britain when compared to many other advanced economies. We believe that the major factor in this striking deficiency in our economy is as much a lack of investment as worker inadequacy.

The Freedom Party also recognises the importance of manufacturing both as the principal means of paying for imports and as an area of the economy which offers particular opportunities to increase productivity by technical means. Yet manufacturing, despite its importance, has been hollowed-out for thirty years by successive recessions and an attitude of its being a poor relation in comparison with more fashionable activities.

What proportion of the national product should government spend? There are many conflicting economic and other advantages and disadvantages which prevent there being an unequivocal answer.

We believe that moving the taxation system towards a system of hypothecation would be desirable in that the question of public spending would become more transparently democratic in the light of there being no answer of absolute merit.

One of the lessons of the last several decades has been that the public, while in principle supporting provision of public services, are reluctant in fact to support higher taxation since their payments have all the appearance of donations to a bottomless pit of unknown practical effectiveness in actual service provision. Hypothecated taxation would assist in obtaining informed democratic assent to the levels of taxation imposed by government.

The use of referenda on key items of government expenditure would then be desirable. One example is that some European countries spend a higher proportion of GDP on health care. Should Britain do the same when taxpayers are assured that their expenditures will be employed for this purpose?

6. Europe

The Freedom Party deplores the deception practised upon the British people with regard to the European Union.

In the early 1970s, the British people were told that the "Common Market" was simply a trading arrangement. Today, we face an EU constitution, the threat of a single currency, plus the creation of an European police force and legal system very different from our common law. Stall holders are prosecuted for selling produce in pounds and ounces, whilst fisheries, farming and small businesses are ruined by EU regulations. The expansion of the EU has heralded further immigration, and Brussels keenly promotes political correctness and multiculturalism.

It is now an open secret that the intention of the European Union is to establish a European superstate, yet British politicians continue to pretend that Britain's membership of Europe is little more than the arrangement for free trade promised at the time of our original entry.

A part of the strategy, pursued internally within Britain, is to gradually divide it into a number of provinces owing little to the nation state of which they were a part. Alarmist and untrue propaganda is employed to frighten voters who wish to see reform of the process of creeping integration. The Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations showed that the British people are not, and do not wish to be, the Euro-citizens that the Blair Labour government and most of the political establishment wants them to become.

The Freedom Party is entirely opposed to the single European currency. The main purpose behind monetary union is political in that a single currency would cement a European state, but a fixed exchange rate is also an economic minefield as Britain discovered when it entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism ten years ago. The present upturn in the economy dates directly from our country's departure from the ERM in 1992.

A Freedom Party Government would hold a national referendum on Britain's continuing membership of the EU. We seek to restore Britain as a sovereign nation, yet linked to other free European states by informal trading and cultural alliances.

7. Law and Order

Without excess caricature, the philosophy of the state concerning law and order is that criminality is an issue to be dealt with by a small number of people within the police, while citizens in general mind their own business for fear of accusations of intolerance or prejudice. A climate of this kind tells the criminally inclined that there is little appetite to resist their activities.

Law and order is a process which is organic to a society. The population at large cannot distance itself from the issue of crime, leaving matters to a tiny number of professionals, and expect there to be a peaceful and safe environment to live in.

The Freedom Party therefore wishes to encourage a climate within which citizens are not discouraged from expressing their disapproval of crime, and are permitted to take reasonable measures to protect themselves. Numerous cases have sent a message to the public that even to resist the burglary of one's home when culprits are caught in the act carries a graver risk to themselves from the law than to the criminal.

Our society should signal its repudiation of lawlessness by creating a greater perception that the punishment will fit the crime. We favour making capital punishment available to judges for the very worst offences of murder, for example the murder of children by paedophiles, the murder of police officers, and terrorist murder. A more visible police presence is also an essential part of the process of signalling intolerance of crime.

We support the use of 'zero tolerance' policing in areas where crime is of particular concern. This has been shown to be effective from experience in the United States.

A high proportion of crime is linked to the use of illegal drugs. Tackling this problem should enjoy a high priority, both in order to reduce crime and also to mitigate the serious health problems engendered by substance abuse.

8. Education

There is now general agreement even within liberal circles that the system of public education established during the 1960s has been a disaster. A substantial minority of the workforce are at least partly illiterate and innumerate despite the expansion of education.

Education, however, has remained in the hands of a powerful lobby committed to the failed approach, and which successive governments of both persuasions have been too timid to effectively tackle. Neither the exceptionally capable nor the majority have been served well, as both universities and employers know very well. Reforming education has become a vital and overdue national imperative comparable with tackling the worst abuses of trade unionism during the 1980s.

Defective education creates an inevitable vicious circle, in which the status of teachers is lowered compounding recruitment difficulties and thus the quality of service provision.

Tertiary education has been massively expanded in recent years. A part of the motivation for the expansion has been political, in that increases in the number of students in higher education have the effect of massaging the unemployment figures. The quality and relevance of some courses now available are to say the least dubious, and financial pressure on students and educational institutions have increased.

A thorough review of post-school education is needed, which takes into account inadequate supply of skilled workers in fields requiring craft training rather than university level education.

9. Health

It is easy to propose that all health care should be free in unlimited quantities.

The difficulty is that health care systems promising such a service are fraudulent. Instead of direct rationing - in plain terms a simple refusal to provide treatment - there takes its place a hidden system of rationing in the form of queues for treatment, a cut-price service and reluctance to prescribe certain treatments. As medical science makes more and more treatments available the potential cost of free treatment increases. Open recognition of this dilemma is the key to moving forward our health services. This issue has been fudged for a very long period by governments reluctant to admit the unavoidable realities.

There are two ways out. One is simply to increase the health budget and consequent taxation to meet the bill. Another is to charge or part-charge for services more frequently - an existing example is prescription charges.

We believe that the realities concerning the cost of health care should be placed openly on view for informed public debate by responsible government. Sooner or later this must take place against a growing chorus of justifiable complaint concerning standards of health care.

The best solution to a problem which very naturally arouses strong feelings may be a compromise with hypothecated taxation bearing a portion of the burden, and some capped charging for services. Elderly people who require nursing care should not be deprived of their life savings without any cap to the charge as is the case at present.

10. Defence

Britain's defence forces should be for the purpose of defending the nation, yet they are increasingly being converted into a facility for international social work in accordance with the prevailing belief that Britain should attempt to interfere in other countries' internal disputes.

Another dangerous development with many parallels in the past is a false tendency to believe that no major threat to Britain lies even on the horizon following the collapse of communism. Thus the armed forces can be run down or converted into organisations serving a different purpose than meeting the threat from hostile military forces. History suggests that sooner or later the latter will be required even if it is impossible to see from which direction the threat will come.

Who would have expected Britain to go to war over Poland in 1939 or The Falklands in 1982?

11. Agriculture

Agriculture enjoys a unique position in our national life in two respects.

Food production is clearly of strategic importance. A country dependent on imported food is at the mercy of unexpected events, yet the logic of the present treatment of the countryside appears to be to regard it as akin to the position of manufacturing in the hierachy of importance. If cheaper food can be obtained from abroad then, over a period, it does not matter if the farming industry disappears or becomes a tiny enterprise feeding a niche market for specialist foodstuffs like unusual cheeses. The Freedom Party is entirely opposed to these trends and wishes to make it a national commitment that farming remain a key national industry.

The importance of agriculture is not only in food production. Farming is also husbandry of that great national resource the countryside and its traditions - which are likely on present trends only to be appreciated when they have disappeared. On this second ground our party is fully committed to the countryside and its welfare.

12. The Demographics of the Nation

Britain in one of the most densely populated countries in the world, yet we increasingly hear that European countries require an influx of tens of millions of new citizens from abroad.

This is to be achieved despite the dubious morality of encouraging skilled workers - who figure highly in the programme put forward - to come to Britain from developing countries. Those countries are now increasingly complaining that their development is being threatened by the erosion of their skills base by foreign recruiters. At the same time, older British workers suffer extraordinary levels of exclusion from the labour market despite the improving health of the population.

Where genuine surpluses exist in other countries in particular skills, and shortages in Britain, there may be a case for temporary work permits to be issued but this should not lead to permanent residence. Local shortages in particular industries in our or any country will occur from time to time with a changing economy, but the market can, in principle, soon deal with these labour shortfalls. Shortages of information technology workers are a current preoccupation of the media. There are also a very large number of people taking courses in this area who will soon join the workforce.

It is a fact that the support ratio - the ratio between workers and dependents will fall in the coming decades. What is less often mentioned is that the same process has been occurring for the last century. It is predicted that without a massive new influx of foreign workers alarming consequences are inevitable, with frightening pictures currently being painted of people forced to work into their eighties in order to avoid national starvation.

The problem in Britain is not one of workers being forced into employment at ages when they would prefer to retire but of precisely the opposite - the multitudes who are deprived of employment long before the current standard retirement age. The present government (2001) has itself identified about five million people from among the existing workforce as being 'parked' on benefits.

The fact of the matter is that the decline in the support ratio will be far outstripped by the increases in output from the economy as a result of new and more efficient methods of production. That is precisely what has occurred for the last century, and the alarmist predictions are a fraud on the public intended to conceal an entirely different agenda which wishes to see a greater mingling of populations as an end in itself. A similar fraud is employed to demonstrate the impracticality of linking pensions to national income.

There are considerable reserves of labour capacity available to the economy which should be tapped into before seeking foreign labour. Tapping those resources is a matter of removing artificial restrictions on their employment - age limits on jobs are an example - and providing incentives where necessary to encourage older workers in particular to prolong their participation.

There is no core 'demographic bomb' requiring heroic measures like further mass immigration!

Concerning those seeking asylum in this country, we believe that the few with a genuine case for asylum should be accepted subject to their returning to their countries of origin if the situation which created their plight should change.

It is vital that illegal immigrants should be expelled from Britain, since their presence without challenge encourages more illegals to enter the country. It is also vital that penalties should be vigorously enforced against employers who hire illegal immigrants as cheap labour - something now common in many parts of the country.

13. The Family

The Freedom Party is convinced that the family, with all its imperfections and difficulties, is the best social unit within which children may be raised and mutual assistance provided between individuals.

Yet it is now the practice of government to pay lip service to this principle, while withdrawing fiscal support from the family which is to be downgraded merely to be an arrangement among many others of no particular merit in itself. The fact that men and women bring different and complementary skills to the family is also being ignored as a part of a general trend towards denying sexual difference.

We wish to see increasing support for the family not only as a desirable social phenomenon in general, but also in order to ensure that the ratio between those of working age and those requiring support - children and older people - does not become a serious difficulty. Increasing the birth rate is not by any means impractical, and government can do much to bring this about.

14. The Media

A free media is an essential protection for any free society.

The basic condition for an effective democracy is not solely the ability to vote but also a public which can make well-informed choices at the ballot box. The more centralised any nation's media becomes the less it is likely to fulfill such a role in informing us - in a similar manner to which a monopoly of any productive industry is likely to damage the service it provides to the public.

The media in Britain is all too often a provider of propaganda masquerading as journalism. Our media serves mainly as an agency supporting hegemony of the main parties, while changes to the relative favour in which they are held serve to give a misleading impression of independent review. The media serves as a part of the apparatus of elective dictatorship.

Voices from outside the main parties are systematically either ignored or abused as a threat to the establishment. Power without a full sense of responsibility is characteristic of the present media. The media in Britain is also increasingly both foreign-owned and centralised in the hands of international media conglomerates.

What is required is a wider range of independent outlets to break the cultural hegemony of the conglomerates, and the restoration of media ownership to British hands. This may be achieved in two ways - by preventing concentration of ownership of many titles in few hands, and by ensuring that entirely independent sources can obtain access to outlets.

Local radio licences, for example, should be made available as a priority to those who wish to express more traditional value systems. There may well be a case for support in the form of grants or loans to be made available for this purpose and for the establishment of new printed publications. Sweden has such a system. Adoption of a system akin to that in France in which distributors of printed material are regarded as 'common carriers' with responsibility to ensure distribution of material offered by any publisher would be desirable.

The media - particularly television - commonly applies far more stringent standards of their own device to what is considered suitable to be heard by the public than does the law. It is essential that such arbitrary control of the flow of ideas by politically packed organisations be eroded or that alternative and competing avenues should be available to ensure adequate diversity of expression.

15. Culture and Environment

Britain possesses an astonishing cultural heritage - from Elizabethan buildings and the legacy of the Industrial Revolution to its wealth of centuries of literary genius, music and art.

The popularity of our heritage is well-expressed in the vast membership of the National Trust and the numeracy of our museums and groups which campaign for protection of the heritage, but government has not placed the same importance upon such matters as the public do.

In the architectural field, the worst vandalism of the 1960s is thankfully behind us during which endless towns had their character destroyed in the name of development, but that has had its place taken by a lack of care for the countryside. Erosion of the Green Belt, and road schemes which are undertaken in the teeth of the destruction of areas of natural beauty, are the principal current concerns.

In the fields of fine art, theatre and literature a 'cultural cringe' has appeared. Art is increasingly expected to fit into a processed model which owes more to embarrassment about Britishness and a fear of offence than to any search for quality. Television drama often appears written by computer to ensure its politically correct qualities, with stock characters and events thought necessary to make it inoffensive to anyone. We doubt whether any of the great literature of the past could have been written if its creators had had such requirements as the price of publication.

The Freedom Party wishes to see our native cultural expression supported by government and freed from the formulas of the political correctness tyranny.

16. Transport

All parties would probably agree that greater use of public transport rather than the private car is desirable.

At present, the above principle is commonly being employed to justify covert taxation of the private motorist while the public transport alternative remains inadequate. Where public transport is overloaded or absent the private car assists the functioning of the economy and this should be recognised. If approved by the electorate, taxation should be raised in an open and accountable manner rather than by employment of pious sounding devices intended to avoid a raising of general taxation by normal means.

Public transport should be enhanced as a matter of urgency, and we recognise the limitations of schemes of transport privatisation involving division of responsibility between private companies.

5 April 2005

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