Sunday 23 June 2013

Mark Littlewood too extreme even for Mail readers

My thanks to Liberator colleague Jonathan Calder, who has spotted an article in the Mail on Sunday by Mark Littlewood, which calls for the government to publish the names of all benefits claimants and the amounts they are paid.

It is the sort of shock tactic we have come to expect from Littlewood. But as the comments beneath the article show, this time it has proved to be too much even for readers of the Mail. One of them responds:
For the love of God, what next? Are people on welfare going to be made to wear a large yellow “W” on their coats? Before we send them to the camps? I understand the concern, but this really isn’t the way. Not the way of a freedom-loving, democratic, gentle, tolerant country. And those of you who think it is, be very sure what kind of country you want to live in. Be very sure.
Littlewood, you may recall, used to belong to the Liberal Democrats. He joined the party in 2001 with other former members of the short-lived Pro-Euro Conservative Party after it disbanded. He was employed by the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party as Head of Media from 2004 until departing under a cloud in 2007, after embarrassing the leadership by saying that the introduction of proportional representation should not be a deal-breaker in any coalition negotiations.

He then proceeded to become the leading figure in the small group of right-wing libertarians in the party, as Director of Liberal Vision (which claimed to be a ‘think tank’ but was really just a blog with an accommodation address in a dingy back street near Victoria Station). It was during this time, at the September 2008 Liberal Democrat Conference, that he published a controversial booklet claiming that two-thirds of the party’s MPs would lose their seats unless the party pledged to make tax cuts. This led to a ‘scuffle’ with Torbay MP Adrian Sanders. Littlewood left the party in December 2009 to become Director General of the market-fundamentalist think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

It will be interesting to see what Littlewood’s few remaining libertarian chums at Liberal Vision have to say about this lunacy.

Postscript (1): Even the Adam Smith Institute thinks Littlewood has gone too far.

Postscript (2): Further interesting comment on Littlewood’s proposals from Mike Sivier and James Bloodworth.


  1. Don't you support transparency?

    1. Why stop there, Guido? Let’s insist that all right-wing libertarian bloggers publish their penis length.

      Don’t you support transparency?

    2. The irony of a man operating under a pseudonym demanding 'transparency' is too much to bear.

      But then again, why are we surprised by all this? The 'night-watchman state' beloved of libertarians has always sniffed to me of oppression of the lower orders on behalf of the Galtian supermen who must rule our world.

  2. When I claim Penis Support from the taxpayer, I will make the declaration required.

    1. So all the people getting Viagra on the NHS must now declare, then?


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