Monday, February 22, 2010

Alex Ellis Roswell-Libertarian Party

There are countless reasons for people becoming politically active, the overwhelming majority are well intentioned and honourable. How far the well intentioned and honourable can go under our current system is another issue.

Recently the Libertarian Party were extremely pleased to welcome to our ranks Alex Ellis Roswell, Alex's blog is Alex Ellis Roswell LPUK. Alex is standing in the local elections in Canterbury and will be the country's youngest candidate. I invited Alex to do a guest post on my blog about joining the Libertarian Party.

Following is his very personal account of what led him into politics, and the Libertarian Party.

I got actively involved with Politics at the age of 16 because I had a passion. My passion was to see positive change happen in my lifetime. Something totally different. To understand how I ended up with this passion and involved with The Libertarian Party, you must first understand where I come from.

I was born in Margate, Kent to a divorced Mother. My Mum. A legend and an inspirational person in my life. She worked and struggled every hour of the day to give me the best upbringing possible in what was a pretty harsh environment to live in. When I was 9 years old she met and married someone equally as special to me. My Step Dad. We moved out to live with him just before they got married. He lived in a beautiful village 30 miles away, just outside of the as beautiful city of Canterbury. He was healthy, middle aged and working for the ambulance service. That was until a year or so later, when his health took an irreversible turn for the worse. He suffered a major heart attack which was to be one of 3 in the coming years, and a mere drop in the ocean compared to his strokes some years later. Needless to say he was forced out of work. My Mum had left work and became his full time carer. Through all of my teenage life I lived in a household totally dependent on the Government and the Welfare System.

I saw the struggle of my Mum and Dad to be financially independent. I saw them fail and forced to accept Government “help”. I saw them struggling to pay for food and bills with what the Government dictated they have. I have spent my whole life witnessing a struggle for independence. An independence from Government, the Welfare System and the hold over people’s lives that these institutions currently have.

This constant struggle led me to hold very Liberal beliefs. What if my Mum and Dad hadn’t been forced to pay taxes all their lives? What if they had been able to save enough money up during their working lives, to be independent when life turned sour? What if things could change? How can I personally make things change? These were all questions that were (and still are) racing around my head like a greyhound on a dusty race track.

This is what created my passion for positive change and a totally renewed direction. My first experience of Politics was in The UK Independence Party. I spent nearly a year with them helping at different elections and meeting some truly great people. That was until it finally hit me that UKIP were in fact far from the Libertarian party they purported to be and were steaming towards a head on collision with the Authoritarian Right of Politics.

This brought me to The Libertarian Party. A party I had heard much about, but never given any serious consideration to. It wasn’t until I fully read their manifesto, their beliefs and their vision and then compared them to the other parties that I decided to make the plunge and put my support and faith with them. The Libertarian Party represents a breath of fresh air in the current dull and stale political landscape of the UK. They represent not a half hearted “change” but a true change in direction. I believe LPUK will become a strong voice for all true liberals and people who believe in freedom, democracy and liberty.

Alex Ellis Roswell


Anonymous said...

Which political thinker has had the greatest influence on your development, Alex?

AlexEllisRoswell said...

Blimey- that is a really interesting question, and a question that no one has ever asked me before. I find this a really tough question to answer to be honest. I wouldn't say I have been influenced by any one politician during my life, but life itself, the experiences I have had and the real people around me have influenced and sculpted my beliefs.
I hope that sort of answers your question.

Anne Booth said...

It is great to see a teenager thinking seriously about politics, and writing so lovingly and sensitively about his parents's experiences.My problem re Alex's thoughts about taxes is that, for me, the paying of taxes, in particular to support a N.H.S., is fundamental to a Just society. When catastropic things happen to a family, like the health problems Alex has witnessed first hand, most people would not have the savings to pay for the care needed.Look at America and the tragic case recently where a young boy died needlessly because his hard working single mother could not afford regular dental check ups and, without the care we take for granted, simple problems with his teeth led to infection and then later, death. In this country nobody checks whether an ill person is insured before they take them in an ambulance. For me,the recent documentary by Andrew Marr about the making of Britain showed that the work of Stafford Cripps and the post war establishment of an NHS funded by our taxes is something to be proud of.

Alex's piece has made me want to know more about the Libertarian party. I want to know how they propose to protect the vulnerable, because I just don't believe that, without the use of taxes and laws, the weak will be protected. I don't want to go back to a society where the welfare of the many will depend on the charitable whims of the few.

Thanks, Alex, for a thought provoking piece, and politically speaking apart, it is inspiring to see your love for your parents.

Gregg Beaman's Blog said...

Here is a link to te Libertarian Party health policy Anne.

I would say that we look at health in a dispassionate way, leaving behind the emotive rhetoric of the NHS and suggest what we think would be the best value, therefore most effective way, of providing healthcare.


Anne Booth said...

Thanks Greg, for the link. I will certainly follow it up. I suppose I don't share your optimism that a society will automatically organise itself to look after the weakest. I am not impressed by the Victorian system of philanthropy, where the conditions of life of the many depended on the liberty of the few to help them. We ended up with a society where there were amazingly rich people, unhampered by restrictive laws and amazingly poor people. It is great to have the liberty to live in a society where there are people like Lord Shaftesbury, or Doctor Barnado, but not too great if you are a child worker in a mill run by an owner un-trammelled by legislation. I find it hard to believe that the most vulnerable will be safe without a state organised system because it seems to me that in countries where there are not protective laws the rich get richer and the poor are left to rot. I do agree with you that people should be able to hold health providers to account, and Alex has described the problems with being unwillingly dependent on government funding. I wish I had double checked before I cited Stafford Cripps, who does not come over very well via wikipedia.He seems a bit like the very face of goverment control which Alex has reacted against. What impressed me on the TV documentary was the fact that thanks to the use of taxes hardworking people were assured by the State that they would have protection against the down turns of life.What I agree with Alex about is that the system can humiliate people and make them jump through hoops in order to get that funding, and that is wrong.

I will read on though - I do know there are faults with the system as it is, and, after Alex's piece, I am interested in your ideas but not, as yet, convinced.

Gregg Beaman's Blog said...

The Victorians were actually the ones who saw the huge problems and set about making a difference, and they did it because they wanted to from a sense of justice. They were social reformers in a radical way that we are unlikely to ever see again, a very basic study of Victorain history will illustate that.

But nobody is talking about turning back the clock and it's sad that whenever there is real or perceived criticismm of the sacred cow that is nationalised healthcare, commonsense and logic are relagated by irrational sentimentality and undiluted emotion.

Gregg Beaman's Blog said...

Please forgive the typos above!!