Wirral first – but where second?

A friend showed me this fantastic group last night: Wirral First, an organization (with at least one member) dedicated to the Wirral seceding from the rest of the UK:

Firstly, local citizens will stand for election to Wirral Borough Council as independent candidates, but on a Wirral First platform. That platform is a proposal to massively reduce the size of the present Council and outsource almost all of its current functions.

By following this policy, unnecessary spending would be greatly reduced, as would Council Tax. This is in line with other recent local government proposals around the country.

In the future, if we can achieve a majority of councillors in Wirral, we would then propose to petition central government to hold a referendum on whether Wirral should have autonomy from the UK. The principle has already been conceded that, if the majority of Scots want to run their own affairs, they can do so and we would expect the UK government to allow the same rights of self- determination to the citizens of Wirral.

Their economic policy is based around abolishing income and corporation taxes. They would hold to English Common Law and abolish at least some of Westminster's statutory laws. If you ask me, the common law is the only law we should have, but I suppose this is a good start. Best of all, drugs and prostitution would both be completely legal.

Alright, I'm not sure that the Wirral will ever manage to achieve any of this. But why shouldn't it? Douglas Carswell MP was profiled in yesterday's Evening Standard as "the politician who wants to bring down the SW1 set". Well, good. More importantly, though, Carswell wants to reform local government so that most decisions take place on a local basis. The advantage of this is that the costs of statism are more immediately felt the closer power is to them, and leaving a lousy government is easier when it means moving to the next-door county than the next-door country.

Milton Friedman used to make the point that there were four ways of spending money, and spending someone else's money on other people was the worst way possible. The more local this sort of decision is and the fewer other voters there are, the greater the incentive to vote for sensible, free market policies. And even if it's still unlikely that voters would elect a liberal administration, the more local administrations there are, the greater the chances of getting at least one.

I'm all for charter cities, seasteads and free zones. Honduras's experiment with a charter city shows a lot of promise. I'm convinced that new technology is rendering the nation-state obsolete, and this will be the century of the city-state. But we should be thinking globally while acting locally: let's not forget the Wirral.