Lighting The Fire Of Scottish Libertarian Party

Lighting The Fire Of Scottish Libertarian Party

Light fire of Libertarian party Sir Walter Scott in his fiction and poetry popularised a little known custom of the Scottish Highlands. In times of trouble or war a small burning cross was carried from to town rallying the clans to action. This was known as Crann Tara. Burning crosses would most assuredly be frowned upon today, but throughout history, and indeed fiction, fires were lit to call the people together.

In just over nine months since John Watson ignited the first signal on this great mountaintop we call Facebook, liberty minded Scots have responded with over 400 likes. This thing we call the Scottish Libertarian Party has taken shape. We have our constitution, basic tenets, regular meet-ups in Glasgow and Edinburgh, a logo, a motto, and a bank account with some funds.

The time has now come to light the second fire. In coming weeks we will be registering the party with the election commission. This will make us the first libertarian party in Scotland and with this will come our first official unveiling to the national press. The time has come to face the leviathan.

The leviathan I see is a society socially conditioned against libertarian principles. I see an expert and highly staffed political class entrenched in power with a long history of multi-generational public support. I see a media that has mastered the art of public manipulation against us, and I see a people that care more about a person’s cultural consumption than their character.

When I consider the kind of hero required to take down this monstrosity I find myself falling short of my standard. My skills seem petty against such a beast. Likewise, when I look to my army I see people who may share my beliefs, but they also share my lack of qualifications. Then there are the empty chairs and the meagre bank account. And yet here we are – we the unqualified, inexperienced, and ill-equipped few.

Ever since I got on board this train I have tried to be the leader of a political party. I worked to craft a party image and yes, even considered my own image as the party leader. I am very aware that I do not look the part. My guiding star has been that I do not want the party to look stupid and amateurish publically. I want us to be taken seriously. I confess that I felt pretty overwhelmed by this task and my doubts. Then I remembered a few important things.

In America, the soft drink 7-up ran a campaign advertising itself as the Un-cola. This inspired the idea of branding ourselves as the un-political party and turning conventional politics on its head. The fact is that we are in a special position. We are that beloved rag-tag group of revolutionary upstarts from the movies and this gives us enormous leeway. We are not professional politicians. We are just people appealing to the people on the factory floor with a very simple and yet profound message. “Your life belongs to you.”

As for myself, I remembered my patron saint who has guided me all of my life – the knight errant Don Quixote de La Mancha. He taught me at a very young age to stand firm for what you believe is right, no matter how foolish you may appear to the world. Be true to how you see the world even if others see the contrary. Most of all, dream that impossible dream no matter the outcome or the cost.

This leads me to the strategy for the party after the registration. Our plan is a simple one. Light your fire. Our phoenix logo was chosen to represent the rebirth of Classical Liberalism in Scotland, but thinking about it, it is also our Crann Tara blazing through Scotland calling those who believe in freedom to rise up and join us. This metaphorical fire is your voice. What this party asks of you is that you speak.

Speak to your friends, your co-workers, download our current flyer, make copies, and pass it on. Take it to your work or university. Set-up a stall. Get the message out there into the world, in the streets, and on the internet forums. If you believe in this dream then it is up to you to act. There are resources aplenty to draw from. Educate. Direct people to the website. Bring them to our rallying point.

What differentiates libertarians from other political hues is that when faced with a problem our first thought is not “The government should pass a law” or “What is the government going to do about this”. The purpose of our activities is not to demand government action. We demand government inaction. Your first thought should be, “What can I do?” and not “What is leadership doing?”

You must invoke the spirit of Emily Hobhouse. When this woman heard of the suffering of civilians during the Boer War she did not seek to end the war. She did not petition government. She did not lead protest rallies. But neither did she do nothing. She resolved to go to South Africa herself, this daughter of a Cornish minister, where she established a relief fund to cloth, feed, and harbour women and children (of all races and nationalities) suffering from the war. Through her actions the British government and people were made aware of the horrific conditions in the concentration camps. As a result conditions improved and the death rates plummeted because one lone woman chose to act.

As libertarians, we believe that when people are left to act and interact freely according to their own rational self-interest, a spontaneous order will emerge. This means that my job as leader is to provide support, some direction, and a degree of inspiration. Other than that, it’s up to you. I am not an Alex Salmon or David Cameron. I carry no whips and I demand only that you hold true to our principles of freedom. The Scottish Libertarian Party is not me and it is not us. The Scottish Libertarian Party is you.

You cannot make bricks without clay. We need volunteers. We need fundraisers, media consultants, graphic designers, writers, editors, film makers, actors, sign makers, printers, financial contributors, university students, web designers, letter writers, lawyers, small businessmen, and more roles that have yet to come to mind.

I believe that there are many such people out there who would see themselves as libertarians but have yet to hear the message. I believe that if we light our signal fires that they will come to us. Each and everyone one of you is a beacon for these people and all I ask is that you let your light shine. Take action and speak-out.

Daniel Logan-Scott
This post was written by
Is a writer from Los Angeles, California and has been living in Glasgow, Scotland for the past fifteen years. His written works focus on the Cultural Philosophy and History of the Romantic Era (1776-1929).

1 Comment on "Lighting The Fire Of Scottish Libertarian Party"

  • Richard Carey says

    May it burn brightly.

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