Cllr. Peter White, Town Councillor, Shropshire
I had the privilege of campaigning with the Tax Payers Alliance in the Town of Shrewsbury on the 23rd of March. It’s always daunting to try and engage the British public because we are all so very busy and we aren’t afraid to say exactly what we are thinking. Drawing from my few experiences of engaging with the public I can tell you of one thing that is a constant in my conversations and the reactions that I have received from people: Apathy.
“What’s the point?” they all seem to say, with shrugs of the shoulders, big sighs and finishing their rants or comments with “Oh well it will never change” or “Never mind!”
We seem to be resigned to a fate of increasing taxes, shocking services and incompetent rulers and there seems to be nobody left to stick up for us. We feel nothing but a deep loathing in the pit of our stomachs for the elite that have a boot placed firmly on the small of our backs, preventing us from getting onto our own two feet.
This apathy still shows in the polls. Yes, turnout for the election was 68.7 per cent, up 2.6 per cent from 2015 but in spite of that it’s down 3.5 per cent on the Brexit referendum which does not indicate to me a society confident in it’s leaders. Brexit was a simple decision, stay or go, but the idea of choosing between May and Corbyn is one that many voters decided was simply too much to make again. With only 68.7 per cent of people who are able to vote choosing to vote is a big indicator of how disillusioned people are with the choices they have in Parliamentary and regional council elections.
If you’re standing for council elections as an LP candidate then go out and offer people a real choice, we have so much to offer. Be an agony aunt, listen to your potential voters and offer them an alternative to the misery that they are suffering at the hands of big government. Every last one of them knows the problem but they don’t really know of a viable solution because it’s never been offered to them.
People see government as god and only the state has the answers to the problems that it has clearly already caused.
Libertarianism offers a realistic and sensible solution to many social and economic problems and the only thing holding that back is dependency and uncertainty. These two things are huge and deeply ingrained in the public conscience but a simple conversation has the potential to change a person’s mind and you all have the answers to provide them, whether you are standing for election this time or not.
I sincerely hope our candidates can win something in these council elections because the grass roots should be what we are aiming for. This is something a small party such as ours can build upon if we are successful and we serve our constituents well.
Go and get them!