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THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 25, April 1, 1997

From A Disgusted Ex-Tory Voter

By Sean Gabb
main@sufo.demon.co.uk

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Saturday 1st March 1997


Dr Brian Mawhinney
Party Chairman
Conservative Central Office
Smith Square
London SW1

(Sent by Fax via Internet)
Copies to: John Major and various other interested Parties


Dear Dr Mawhinney,

         I joined the Young Conservatives in March 1979 and worked like a maniac in Lewisham East to help return a Conservative Government. At the University of York, I worked equally hard to spread the message of Thatcherite economic liberalism among a sceptical and often hostile undergraduate body. I canvassed every night in the Bermondsey by-election of 1983, and in the General Election of that year. I stood as a candidate in Ladywell Ward in Lewisham in the local authority elections of 1986, and doubled the Conservative vote over its 1982 level. I worked incredibly hard in Lewisham Deptford in the 1987 General Election, and subsequently joined the Highgate and Hampstead Conservative Association. In 1991 and 1992, I worked in Czechoslovakia as Political and Economic Adviser to the Slovak Prime Minister, spreading British Conservative ideas in private lectures and memoranda to the local politicians and in a long series of newspaper articles to the people at large.
         I am now writing to say that I will not be voting Conservative in the 1997 General Election.
         For many years now, I have been increasingly disturbed by the Government's abandonment of traditional Conservative values - that is, belief in our ancient English rights to due process of law, Trial by Jury, freedom from arbitrary searches and seizures, and limited government in general.
         My purpose in writing to you now is to protest at the ramming through Parliament of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997. This is a scandalous betrayal of Conservative values. Your Party fought the 1951 General Election on the slogam "Trust the People". A half century earlier, Lord Salisbury when Conservative Prime Minister had looked forward to the day when every cottage in the land would house a rifle. Today, you have shown in the most signal manner that you do not trust the people. You plainly regard us as a pack of wild beasts who must be restrained at all costs to prevent us from all running amok. you have taken away from us the one right that distinguishes a free people from slaves - namely the right to keep weapons for our self-defence.
         Do not have your secretary reply to me with a spray of your fake concern for the public safety. As an Ulsterman, you of all people must know that gun control laws do nothing to stop men of violence from getting hold of all the guns they could ever want. You must also know how an armed Ulster public repeatedly before 1922 prevented our Government from handing your people over to an Irish nationalist rule that you utterly abhorred. You must also know that for every killing with a legitimately-held firearm, there are dozens of other killings that could have been avoided had the victims been able to defend themselves with firearms.
         You and this "Conservative" Government passed the Act in the full knowledge of these truths. You have cynically adopted the lying arguments of half-witted cranks like Anne Pearston of the Snowdrop Campaign and of convicted fraudsters like William Bernson, aka "Dr Tobias Ezra Berstein" of Society Against Guns in Europe. You have gone far to completing our enslavement because you think us no better than slaves.
         And so I will not vote for your Party in this General Election, or in any other election, until people like you and your colleagues have been driven from the leadership in the same disgrace as attended the ejection of Sir Edward Heath in 1974. Instead, I will vote for the Referendum Party. While this is unlikely to gain any seats in the next Parliament, I hope and pray that it will take enough disgusted Conservative votes to deprive you of more seats than you would otherwise have lost.
         I regret that this will mean a Labour Government. On the other hand, it will be better to have an honest despotism. You people have spent years now portaying yourselves as the heirs and upholders of a tradition that you have been frantically betraying. It will be almost a pleasant change to have a government that does what it actually claims to believe in doing.
         Do not suppose that I am a lone voice. As you may have gathered from many other similar letters you have received this year, there are thousands and tens of thousands of people like me up and down the country. Remember us on the Friday morning after the coming General Election, when you all sit round a table in Central Office to discuss what went wrong.

         Yours sincerely,

Sean Gabb.


"Over himself, over his own mind and body, the individual is sovereign"
-- J.S. Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Sean Gabb
Editor
Free Life
25 Chapter Chambers
London SW1P 4NN



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