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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Monday April 08 2013

The speakers at the Liberty League Freedom Forum were an impressive lot.  I intend, Real Soon Now, to be writing at greater length (at Samizdata) about what some of the speakers said.  In this posting here, I will concentrate on shoving up photos.

Here are some snaps of just a few of the speakers in action:

image image imageimage image image

Top left: Douglas Carswell; top middle: Terence Kealey; top right: Mark Littlewood.

Bottom left: Sam Bowman; bottom middle: J. P. Floru; bottom right: Randy Barnett.

I did not attend anything like all the sessions, not least because many of them were simultaneous.  But we all crowded into the big hall to have lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and there were a couple of speeches there also, from Mark Littlewood on the Saturday, and from J. P. Floru on the Sunday, both of whom are shown above, doing their lunchtime talks.

Impressive though the line-up of speakers was, and hard as it often was to choose which speaker to listen to, the real star of the occasion, for me, was the audience that the Liberty League people had managed to assemble for this event.  It would have been quite something for me to have listened to a succession of very good talks.  It was something else again to be part of a 200-strong audience listening attentively to those same talks, most of them of less than half my age.

So, here are some crowd shots:

image image imageimage image image

The more I study the world and its ways, the more importance I attach to the influence of gatherings like this one. Getting a couple of hundred of Britain’s most committed libertarians and free marketeers together over a weekend, and permanently connecting them with each other, will have network effects beyond calculation, especially when you consider how much easier it now is to do networking electronically.

So who put this event together?  Well, I did some asking around, and three people kept getting mentioned:

image image image

Left: Anton Howes; centre: Christiana Hambro; right: Stephen Davies.

The latter two are both briefly biographised at the IEA website, and Anton Howes is likewise described on this list of Liberty Leaguers.  Hannah Besford, Will Hamilton and James Lawson, also on that Liberty Leaguers list, also got several mentions, not least in the conference progamme (i.e. on page 2 of this), as having contributed importantly.  Notoriously, when credit is to be shared among humans for their cooperative achievements, there are frequent mismatches between who gets given the credit and who did the actual work, so my best guess could be seriously off.  Nevertheless, my best guess is that the three people pictured above were the prime movers (certainly among the prime movers), all three of them having decided independently that what the British free market/libertarian movement needs is a succession of gatherings like this one, wherever in the UK it makes sense to stage them.  So, that is what they have been doing, this latest London event being merely the biggest of such events so far.  There have been several others during the last few years, and it looks like there will be many more.  I certainly hope so.

I overheard Randy Barnett talking to an American colleague in the gap between his two talks on Sunday. Essentially, he was saying that the audience of his first talk had been fantastic, and it was great to have a question and answer session full of such smart comments and questions.

Given that the three three people you mention were very visibly working their socks off all weekend, it is fair to say that they had a lot to do with the organisation of the event. There are probably other people who were slightly less obvious who were also contributing slightly less obviously. I think we should thank the IEA in general, too, simply because almost all their top people came and gave great talks.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 09 April 2013

Some nice shots, shame about the person in the foreground in the Stephen Davies photo.

Posted by Paul on 04 May 2013
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