Yesterday evening, in my local Wetherspoon, I heard the words: “I’m a libertarian.”
I had never heard these three words, together and in this order, in any sentence uttered before inside the UK but outside the National Liberal Club.
The stranger who uttered these words (loudly), perhaps half my age, was with two other people. One, clearly older, was fulminating against everything he said. He wasn’t making too much impression on the third party, either.
At the time, I was consuming a roast turkey dinner. Probably a mistake; for I have suffered the trots all day today since about 4am. But as soon as the gentleman went outside for a smoke break, I engaged him in conversation and told him who (well, what) I was. I asked a background question, and got an answer which included the words “Hayek” and “Rothbard.” He was genuine!
His name is Jake, and he’s a partner – it would appear from their website, the juniormost – in an “advisory stockbroker,” whose offices are in the very same High Street as the Wetherspoon. He also, some time ago, studied philosophy at King’s College London. He was enjoying (?) an early evening out with his father and sister. We didn’t talk in any detail, but we exchanged business cards.
Now, who’ll say again that we libertarians haven’t had any effect?