Latest posts

Liberalism

Brexit’s history lessons

A British withdrawal from the emerging EU superstate would be a strong move toward a more competitive Europe. It would be a Europe returning to the strengths of its diversity. Even if Niall Ferguson does not agree. [...]

The moral case for diversity

If your company has a diversity policy and culture, if you are trying to do what is right and if you believe in diversity because it matches your company’s values, congratulations. That it might not automatically strengthen the bottom line does not make it any less morally worthy. [...]

The strange death of liberal Germany

In its better days, the FDP was the only party prepared to challenge this cosy consensus of German feel-good politics and talk about those issues that were not universally popular. The voters obviously did not appreciate such tough talk and have delivered the maximum punishment to the party by voting it out of existence. You can do that with a party but the problems will not go away just because the voters do not like to be reminded of them. [...]

Freedom, the fundamental human right

You may be all in favour of free speech, but some people believe allowing tobacco companies to freely advertise their products requires an exception, as might donations to political campaigns, or statements that might impinge upon another person’s reputation. The devil is in the detail. [...]

Tough but fair debates

Not every proposal is automatically dubious just because it originates from your political opponents. A more civilised discourse that is tough but fair is what New Zealand lacks. [...]

Cash no longer king?

Recent news about government agencies’ regular surveillance activities makes you appreciate the areas in which our lives cannot be monitored. Cash may no longer be king, but it is a little piece of freedom we carry in our wallets. [...]

Humility rediscovered

To restrain yourself and not take yourself too seriously; to accept that one may be wrong and others right; to be tolerant of different opinions; and to meet in a spirit of equality and politeness – these are not religious demands but in fact the foundations of a free, civil society. [...]

Valuing debate

Pluralism of opinion is the defining characteristic of a liberal democracy. The ability to form one’s views independently and to express them freely is at the heart of our political processes. [...]

Should we have an absolute freedom of speech?

When everyone agrees with a proposition, you have to fear that it is meaningless. Freedom of speech is a case in point. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, signed by almost every country, guarantees freedom of expression. The problems are in the fine print because even the covenant limits the scope of this right. [...]