God there has been some drivel appear from people on the “Blue Libs” which was launched last Thursday. Jordan has already claimed it to be some kind of “liberal queer group” which should be “the Labour Party branch of the National Party”.
[Insert profanity of your choice here]
The “Blue Libs” are the sucessor group to the “Classical Libs” section which I co-founded a couple of years ago. That group never did much, mainly because I was too busy, Megs had babies, and we had few resources. The new “Blue Libs” are being fully supported by the party and caucus, with many MPs actively involved – especially Chris Finlayson and Katherine Rich.
Some guy called Steve Gray (I think I met him for five seconds as I was leaving) went on Radio NZ complaining that the “gay” word wasn’t mentioned all evening. Huh. Why the hell would it be. The Blue Libs is not a gay section as Jordan and others seem to think. It is basically the group for people who are both market and social liberals, like myself.
I’m personally really excited by the launch. It’s not about turning National into a “liberal party” but recognising National’s heritage is both liberal (Seddon) and conservative, and making sure the liberals in National have influence. I am looking forward to policy debates, policy papers, international speakers etc etc. I want the Blue Libs to be one of the major sources of new policy for the next National Government.
The other great things about the launch was how many of the new National MPs were there (such as Coleman, Foss, Blumsky, Tremain, Groser), plus of course Don Brash himself. Chris Finlayson gave an excellent speech on what liberal means in different countries, in the history of liberalism in NZ and in National and some great liberal Ministers over the years such as Hannan, Marshall, Graham etc.
I understand there will be a website in time for the Blue Libs. I’ll link to it once it is launched.