During the last 24 hours reports emerged from the US indicating that the Libertarian Party of the UK was being deregistered and that the United Kingdom Independence Party was inviting their members to join them.
This seems to have been caused by the following notice on the UKIP website:
UKIP Welcomes Libertarian Party Members.
Following news of the proposed deregistration of the Libertarian Party of the UK, UKIP Executive Chairman Steve Crowther has said that the party will extend a warm welcome to former LPUK members who wish to join or rejoin UKIP.
"The values and beliefs of UKIP and the Libertarian Party are very closely aligned," he said.
"While we may not agree on everything, our shared commitment to freedom, personal responsibility and minimal government interference in our lives is absolutely clear. UKIP is a party making real progress, under a new management team, and is now firmly established as the ‘fourth force’ in British politics. "Now is the time for all libertarians to put our shoulders to the same wheel. Former LPUK members will be able to make a valuable contribution to our mission to wrest power from the political elites in this country, and hand it back to the people."
A check of the LPUK website reveals that there has been something of an upheaval, with three members of the National Coordinating Committee resigning in the wake of an internal inquiry which revealed no wrongdoing but criticized some of the practices as sloppy. While these people have expressed a wish to deregister the party, it is not happening. A posting from the Nominations and Membership Secretary, Simon Fawthrop, states:
There has been a lot of speculation that LPUK has been deregistered. This cannot happen without my signature and I haven’t signed anything.
Andrew Withers, Nic Coome and John Watson have resigned and lodged their resignations with the EC. It is also the case that they have made it clear to the EC that they wish to deregister the Party. It is also true that I have made it clear that I wish to resign and that my resignation will take effect from the end of June.
However I have assured Max Andronichuk, who is trying to organize a leadership team, and this goes for anyone else who wishes to become an official, that I will support them until an SGM is convened- as long as it is before the end of July.
I am in the process of organizing an NCC meeting for Monday evening when it is intended that a new Treasurer, Chairman and Leader will be appointed. …Not being a regular reader of the site, I am unaware as to whether this an isolated issue, or something ongoing. With the issue of deregistration coming up, it sounds like the latter. Perhaps some of our British or expat readers can enlighten us.
UKIP is best known to most of us over here from the efforts of Nigel Farage who seems to be the face of the party. There is some reasonable element in the statement that there are some mutual values shared between the parties, but maybe not enough to attract LP members to join up.
Were the LP to fold, some members may be attracted to their policies of devolving power downward, lower flat rate taxes with a simplified tax code, less regulation and more personal freedom. The main issue is of course to get Britain out of the European Union. A glance through their Manifesto indicates a range of reasonable policies, as well as some that leave a fair bit to be desired.
On the whole though they are far better than the three major parties. I feel they have more to gain by a libertarian infusion than such an infusion would gain from them.