The dictionary definition of a liberal is "one who advocates greater freedom in political institutions", of a progressive "one who holds a belief that social or other evolution is towards higher and better things" and of a democrat "one who adheres to or promotes democracy as a principle".
Of course in the past true adherents to these principles were responsible for righting many social ills and advancing the cause of democracy. Ending the slave trade, extending the franchise, placing democratic rights above property, advancing the cause of workers, providing a decent education for all and creating the welfare state were among the results of their efforts. How ironic that these honourable descriptions should have become so debased that those who most vociferously lay claim to them should actually be among the most illiberal, reactionary and undemocratic in our society. Perhaps, in the spirit of the age, we should refer to these people as the "NewLibs", although they encompass far more than supporters of the Liberal Democrats.
In the social field we are all aware of the NewLibs who, if presented with a child torturer and murderer who was to pay the ultimate penalty for his crimes, would be outside the prison crying for his reprieve, but seemingly unaware of the contradiction when advocating unlimited abortion. They claim to care about the rights of ordinary working people but ensure that weak penal policies are in place that make it unsafe for the latter to walk in their own streets, while they themselves are safe in their upmarket enclaves. In the field of education bright children are to be denied, in the name of progressive policies, the right to the best education by achieving grammar school places on their own merits although they send their own children to expensive private schools. The list is endless.
In the political field they are the most vocal in support of the European Union, a backward looking, reactionary and undemocratic organisation, which a true liberal would reject out of hand, but which the NewLibs have elevated to the status of a secular religion. They have the effrontery to describe those who oppose this monster as xenophobes, bigots and reactionaries when, in reality, the latter are seeking to defend democracy and freedom against a rapacious political and bureaucratic class. It is the NewLibs who are the only beneficiaries of EU membership as so many of them are themselves involved with the political class and reap the rewards of betraying our democracy as they sit smugly on the Brussels gravy train.
Rarely can a party have such a misleading name as the Liberal Democrats as their support for the Brussels bureaucrats and their arrogant dismissal of the calls for referenda on EU matters shows that they are neither liberal nor democratic. They are not alone in this however and how Conservatives, who cannot even support the conservation of Britain as a nation state, or so called Labour supporters, who seem happy to advance the cause of the blatantly capitalist club of the EU, can claim to believe in their party's founding principles, is a matter for amazement.
Those of us who are truly liberal in the sense that we seek democracy and a decent life for decent people should not allow the NewLibs to claim the moral high ground as freedom loving progressives, which they most certainly are not, while accepting categorisation for ourselves as being right wing and backward looking. They are the arrogant elitists, who refuse to recognize that their policies on almost everything have no relation to the real world and have undermined our society and democracy, while we are the true democrats, who seek to return to the peoples of Britain and Europe the democratic rights which the NewLibs have surrendered to an unaccountable, pseudo fascist superstate run for their benefit alone. Orwell, a true advocate of democracy and the rights of ordinary people, knew the NewLibs only too well and exposed their arrogant mindset in so much of his work. The European Union is their ultimate creation, an immovable monster which will undo our centuries old evolution to democratic government by the people and replace it by a bureaucratic dictatorship. We must fight it in the name of democracy and freedom.