Jonathan Isaby is Chief Executive of The TaxPayers’ Alliance.
The fight for lower taxes, a smaller state, more personal responsibility and greater government accountability can sometimes be deeply frustrating. We regularly find ourselves pitted against vested interests which will resist change at any cost. And our opponents have well-oiled machines which are all too often subsidised with huge dollops of taxpayers’ money – our money, which politicians and bureaucrats have seen fit to hand over to those demanding ever higher public spending, increased taxes and more regulations to interfere in our lives.
However, what unites those of us on the side of freedom is an energy and enthusiasm for the cause, a resilience to the argument that bigger government is the answer to every problem and, of course, a sense of humour and the ability to enjoy ourselves – often over a drink or two!
And that just about captures the spirit of The Freedom Festival, which is taking place in Bournemouth over the weekend of 14th to 16th March and I really hope that you will join me and other freedom-lovers there. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to get together in a relaxed environment with others who believe in a small and responsible state that gives us more control over our own lives and money.
Over the weekend, you’ll interact with and hear from some of the most inspirational free-market champions from the UK and overseas – including TaxPayers’ Alliance Founder, Matthew Elliott; Lord Tebbit; Dan Hannan MEP; Roger Helmer MEP; Mark Wallace; Mark Littlewood; Ruth Lea; Toby Young and many, many more. There will be politicians, writers, academics, journalists, economists and philosophers.
Make no mistake, this will be a celebration of freedom – not least the freedom to think for yourself and speak your mind, so there’ll be refreshingly open debates, the likes of which are sadly absent from party conferences across the political spectrum these days. Attendees will be able to play an active part in discussions about the big political and economic issues of our times. So if you care about something, come and make sure your voice is heard!
Matthew Elliott will be setting the tone of the Festival with his State of the Movement Address on the Saturday morning, while later on that afternoon the TaxPayers’ Alliance will be hosting “The Cost of Living Dragons’ Den: Which Tax Should We Axe?”. A series of “pitchers” will be invited to present their case to abolish a tax of their choice to a panel, including me, Matthew and John O’Connell, the TPA’s Director.
This, and lots more, will all be taking place in the relaxed seaside atmosphere of Bournemouth. With everything happening under one roof at the Days Hotel, on the seafront, you’ll have lots of time for socialising and networking with fellow freedom-lovers, with receptions and fringe meetings going on throughout the weekend. Alongside the serious discussion, there will be some fun distractions such as the North v. South debate taking place between ConHome’s very own Mark Wallace and the Institute of Economic Affairs’ Mark Littlewood.
It’s all organised by The Freedom Association with help from us, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, and a range of other like-minded groups such as Big Brother Watch, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Policy Studies.
There’s lots more information on The Freedom Festival website and a limited number of tickets are still available, which you can purchase here using the promotional code ‘TPA.′ It promises to be a weekend to remember, and it certainly won’t break your bank, so I really hope that you will join us there.