THIS ELECTION was and will be remembered as the most important in a generation. It will be up there with 1945 and 1979. So many problems that were boiling under the surface are now coming to light: the future of a union that is on the edge, a joylessly recovering economy which still is unproductive and structurally uncertain, a bloated state which refuses to slim down despite the best efforts of innovative ministers. Britain’s somewhat eroded standing in the world, a political class which talks big but does small, and a lack of coherence in everything from devolution to foreign policy to welfare reforms.
All these issues are now center stage. The new British government will have to use its imagination, moxie, and elbow grease to fix these problems and create a nation everybody will be proud to live in.
In America, we don’t have these types of elections, so it has been an honor to cover one. I’d like to thank some people:
Brian Monteith – for giving me a chance to write bad articles for his website and improve my writing ability. One day, I will have to buy him a drink for everything he has done for me. That also means 500 dollars in cash for a redesigned website. A Scottish libertarian grandmaster in a sea of statists.
Murdo Fraser MSP – for promoting my chicken scratch, and helping me understand what federalism was all about. His writing on federalism, economics and energy issues, and politics in general also inspired many of my first articles, and a long read which would hopefully be released after the election. Reading Murdo’s articles is always worthwhile because he manages to make big ideas (like federalism) into something universally understandable.
Kristian Niemeitz – He is simply the best expert German, explainer, and talented economist. Instead of being a wishy washy Keynesian, he decides to nail his colors on his mast and advocate free market solutions to Britain’s big problems. He was also one of the first people who wrote about the cost of living crisis. One day, he’s going to win a head to head debate with Tim Montgomerie. The Libertarian’s libertarian.
Nick Tyrone – an intelligent one-man think tank that was willing to give me an education in British Liberalism and the Liberal Democrats. A politics junkie whose blog posts are great reads if you want endless pondering. A man that shows how bright the liberal democrat’s future could be. He also proves how free markets and fairness mix very well. Nick is also an associate Director of Centre Forum, whose work is going to be much more influential in the days to come.
Peter Cuthberson – a friend of a friend who was willing to give me a real life introduction into how UK campaigning works. He’s also a swell guy, and an incisive thinker. Overall, a week in Darlington was a revelation how hard a lot of people’s lives have become. Car chats were also very enlightening as we drove from ward to ward. For a moment, I actually knew what “North-South Divide” meant. Peter’s capacity to do the right thing for anybody and put 110% into that thing is pretty much why I KNOW he’s going to be an MP one day.
And last but not least:
Gavin Hamilton – The man who taught me everything I knew. He’s a loving father, husband, marketer, history buff, campaigner, liberal, and intellect. If I never met Gavin Hamilton, I would not be writing any of this.