UKIP: No Longer a Libertarian Party?

UKIP proudly proclaim themselves to be a ‘Libertarian’ party on the website as well as in their official constitution. However, it seems not all in the party agree. David Coburn, who is chairman of the London Region, member of UKIP’s National Executive Committee and lead candidate on the Scotland MEP list has struck out against this, confirming what many people have long thought. Coburn stamped on the idea that UKIP was a libertarian party, taking to twitter to claim that the party is indeed a ‘Socially Conservative party’ that just has ‘lots of Libertarians as members.’



As one of UKIP’s most senior officials Coburn’s voice carries a lot of weight in the party. Could UKIP’s decision to embrace Social Conservatism during the rise of Generation Y be a case of short term vote chasing or a clever election tactic?


  1. David Coburn himself says that he is a libertarian. Being socially conservative is a form of Libertarianism. It’s the progressives that progress into 1984 authoritarianism.

  2. UKIP are a confused bunch, it’s that simple.

    David Coburn needs to read his own party’s constitution, which at last glance explicitly said the party was libertarian.

    How libertarian, though, in practice? Well, let’s see:
    – appears to have ditched the flat tax (Bloom, its biggest proponent within the party, is of course out now so the policy’s chances of a comeback seem remote)
    – opposes same-sex marriage
    – opposes drug decriminalisation
    – advocates tariffs for foreign lorries using British roads, practically inviting retaliatory measures by foreign countries on British lorries


    The party is not socially conservative by its own constitution; a combination of weak leadership, ill-advised populist lurches and poor party management have seen it drift off toward social conservatism in search of quick and easy points.

    Farage may be charismatic, he may be the best speaker on the EU that this country has produced in recent years, and he may be humourous, but he is not a particularly strong leader, and frankly he cannot be relied upon to contain his party’s hardline social-conservative wing. Once the party suffers its inevitable nervous breakdown in 2015 (either when it gets absolutely nowhere, or, if it gains sufficient seats, when it has to choose between Labour, Tory or sitting out of government altogether), then maybe a libertarian overhaul can begin to take place – and it’ll probably start with a leadership election.

    The libertarians in the party need to start networking and getting together NOW, and preparing for the moment when the party leadership comes up for grabs. They cannot avoid to let a Farage clone or worse, a committed social conservative / reactionary, from taking the reins and destroying their chances in 2020.

    • Gay marriage is not libertarian, but UKIP is also massively anti war. Nigel farage even came out against syria. However, i am concerned for the flat tax as it needs to come back. and they need to legalize all drugs.

  3. I don’t think anyone will ever want to buy into the”Conservative” brand again after they permitted the Tory Reform Group to get its hooks into it. The pot has been well-pissed in.
    As for a “Social Conservative”? We have a “full house” of repulsive creatures that can only be described as “Social Liberals”, a term which appears to identify a Wanabe Socialist who’s too rich and languid to find anything effective to do for a living and who hasn’t thought through that the World has been globalised and that Public odium and contempt travel really easily. Ask Gordon Brown. The only place he can find to get his feet under a table is Africa and it’s difficult to decide who has the least respect for the other. I suppose a man with Clegg’s Left Luggage and the inevitability of total rejection by his Constituency could wash up in Zimbabwe and find something to do in Mugabe’s Administration, a punkah-wallah?
    Perhaps it’s time to burn the old terms as none of them reflect that the present Westminster Parties are a simple conspiracy to deny the Electorate any meaningful choice.

  4. Right but where does that leave them economically? Does that mean that they would favour some nationalisation and economic protectionism?

    • They already favour economic protectionism because of their knee-jerk opposition to almost all immigration. They don’t believe in people coming to the UK, who don’t sponge from the welfare system, but do offer better results and lower wages than British natives. It’s only a matter of time before Farage is overrun by Front National types who think we should increase the state sector. UKIP’s bulwark against socialism and national socialism is perilously thin, and this article just exposes that further. A great shame.

      • Opposition to immigration is opposition to immigration; trade and moveable goods are not people.

        Open-door immigration means that strangers have the right to settle on another individual’s property, which negates that individual’s property rights, which stands contrary to the libertarian viewpoint.

        In the most anarcho-capitalistic of nations where everything is privately owned, free immigration would and could not exist for this very reason. Only outsiders invited to settle on private land by its owner would get in.

      • They already advocate tariffs on foreign lorries using British roads. Makes you wonder just how protectionist they’re prepared to get.

        Throw in abundant social-conservative types and reactionary rhetoric aplenty, and libertarianism in the Party will surely be killed off stone dead within the Party for 2015.

        Once again, those who believe in free markets, the small state, lower taxes, greater personal liberty (has UKIP uttered a word about Cameron’s desired porn filers, for instance?) and tolerant social policy have been left in the lurch AGAIN. I’m no anarcho-capitalist type, but even I think UKIP’s gone AWOL on libertarianism.

        Dear UKIP libertarians, please start preparing for the aftermath of 2015. Your Party is inevitably going to have a nervous breakdown, a leadership election is likely, and you need to make a decent stand.


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