Sean Gabb

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Sean Gabb by the Baltic, 2003

Sean Ivor Gabb[1] born 4 August 1960, Chatham, Kent) is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster who lives in England. He is also the director of the Libertarian Alliance, a British free market and civil liberties charity.[2]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Gabb attended a comprehensive school in South East London, where he claims to have avoided bullies and inept teachers by playing truant for months at a time.[3] He then studied at the University of York, from where he graduated in History in 1982.[4] In 1998 he gained a PhD in History from Middlesex University. He appears to be fluent in Slovak,[5] as well as in Latin and Greek.[6]


In or about 1985, Gabb left a job after writing an abusive poem about one of his colleagues.[7] Between 1990 and 1992, he worked in Czechoslovakia as Economic and Political Adviser to Ján Čarnogurský, the Christian Democratic Prime Minister of Slovakia.[8] He wrote for the English-language Prague Post and widely for the Czech and Slovak media on economic reform.[9] He co-wrote the 1992 election programme for the Slovak Christian Democratic Movement (Slovak: Kresťanskodemokratické hnutie, KDH).[10] About this time, he was attacked for using Slovakia as a laboratory for free market economic policies now rejected in his own country.[11]

Back in England, he taught at a number of universities, including the London Metropolitan University.[12] During the 1990s, he wrote several books and journal articles about truancy. These included a British Government report published by Her Majesty's Stationary Office.,[13] and a study of truancy in the United States.[14] More recently, he wrote a book about the law of homeschooling in the United Kingdom.[15] He was also a director of the Sudan Foundation which existed “to promote better relations between the British and Sudanese peoples.” He resigned from this post in January 1999.[16]

The Libertarian Alliance[edit]

Gabb joined the Libertarian Alliance in December 1979. He became its Director in February 2006, shortly before the death of its founder Chris Tame, whose obituary he wrote for The Independent in April 2006.[17]

Political Positions[edit]

Gabb is a free market libertarian. He has said that the Government “should cut benefits, taxes and regulation, and leave people alone. The people will do the rest.”[18] On the other hand, he is a strong opponent of joint stock limited liability corporations. In a debate hosted by Oxfam in 2005, he said that limited liability was “one of the greatest legislative mistakes of the 19th century.”[19] He added in an essay written to honour his friend the German economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe: “Though there can be no doubt they have enriched the world, companies like Microsoft and General Motors and ICI are not natural institutions. They are creatures of the State. They came into being and are sustained by incorporation laws. These laws permit individuals and groups of individuals to act not as themselves, but as servants of a fictitious entity. The directors and shareholders are not legally responsible for the debts of the entity. Nor need they feel morally responsible for their actions or inaction on its behalf.”[20]

In social matters, Gabb is for the legalisation of drugs,[21] and the right to keep and bear firearms for defence.[22] He supports gay marriage[23] and gay adoption,[24] though he is opposed to any kind of anti-discrimination laws, and defends the right to speak in open criticism of homosexuality.[25] He advocates a statute of limitations to block prosecutions after a certain time where the only evidence is oral testimony: this would, among much else, prevent most "historic child abuse" cases from going to trial.[26] He is opposed to drink-driving laws per se, though believes that anyone who causes harm by dangerous driving should be severely punished.[27]

He has written extensively in defence of freedom of speech. These defences cover the right to free expression of the British National Party[28] and holocaust deniers[29] and Anjem Choudary.[30] He elaborates: "Everyone should have the right to express his opinion on public affairs. His opinion may be unpopular. It may be perverse. It may be plainly false and perhaps evil. But to express it, and to the best of his ability, should be his right. The right should only be limited if its expression is liable to cause a breach of the peace as recognised by the Common Law."[30]

At the same time, he has written critically of anti-semitism [31] and anti-semites.[32] He has also spoken in at least one debate organised by an Islamic group, in which he called on the audience to embrace freedom of speech and English classical liberalism.[33]

At the same time again, he is opposed to mass-immigration.[34] He sees multicultural politics and their emphasis on values such as diversity, positive discrimination and political correctness as a method of ensuring an increasingly powerful state controlled by cultural leftists. He says: “Every so often, someone stands up and tells us what benefits we have had from diversity. Such may be, but we must also consider that part of the price has been a police state. In this country, we have severe restrictions on freedom of speech, on freedom of association and on freedom of contract - all in the name of good race relations.”[35]

He opposed the war with Iraq. He said it was against British national interests, and involved atrocities against Iraqi civilians.[36] Like Jeremy Corbyn, he believes that Tony Blair should be put on trial for war crimes. In a BBC radio debate with Keith Vaz in February 2014, he said: "Mr Blair may have apologised for the failure of the Irish potato crop. I wonder, however, when he and Gordon Brown and all the others will apologise for lying us into the war with Iraq, and when they will apologise for all the Iraqi people who were killed in that war, or who had their arms and legs blown off. I note that Mr Vaz was among the enthusiastic projectors of this war. When will he and his friends stand up and admit that they are liars and scoundrels?" Mr Vaz responded with the words “people should not use radio in this way.”[35]

He is critical of the United States, and welcomed the re-election of Barack Obama in 2012 as a step towards the destruction of American world hegemony. He looks forward to "a world of renewed diversity, in which hundreds – or perhaps thousands – of nation states and other groupings can work out their destiny in ways consistent with their moral capacity and historic circumstances. This is not possible when American-backed death squads and remote control weapons of murder can be sent anywhere at the press of a button." [37]

From 1999 to 2001, he kept a website called the “Candidlist,” which named UK Members of Parliament who held Europhile views. According to London's Evening Standard, after MP Ian Bruce was named on the site, Bruce emailed Gabb: "I hope you are very rich. Would you please let me both have a note of your postal address and where you would like me to serve court papers on you." After Bruce demanded, "Action this day... I will campaign tirelessly to retain the pound," Gabb wrote back, "I will make this reclassification before I go to bed tonight."[38]

More recently, Gabb has softened his views on the European Union, suggesting that the main problem in England is not so much interference from Brussels as a native ruling class that has become totalitarian.[39]

Though admiring her in his youth, he has become increasingly critical of Margaret Thatcher. He compared her government to a police state as far back as 1989, when he wrote, "The Thatcher Government has brought into being the full coercive apparatus of a police state."[40] A quarter of a century later, in an article on her death, published in The Independent, he wrote: “She started the transformation of this country into a politically correct police state. Her government behaved with an almost gloating disregard for constitutional norms.”[41] In 2015, he added: “It’s about thirty years since the end of the Miners’ Strike – the final humbling of our working classes. Thinking back, I am filled with hatred for Margaret Thatcher, and despise myself for having believed in her.”[42]

On the other hand, he never seems to have changed his mind about Enoch Powell, whom he admires for his text of Herodotus and as at least a semi-libertarian. Speaking at a conference arranged in Bodrum by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, he said: "I can say, with not the smallest doubt, that he was the greatest Englishman of my lifetime. I am proud to say that the Libertarian Alliance frequently invited him to speak at its meetings in the 1980s and 1990s, and that we published several articles by him. Of particular importance among these articles is the attack that he made in 1984 on the Drug Trafficking Offences Bill and the principle that it brought into English law of asset forfeiture without conviction."[43]

In 2008, Gabb wrote of the reasons he would never stand for election on behalf of a political party, citing his holding of views that “most would regard as not on but considerably beyond the lunatic fringe”.[44] Such views included his belief that employers and landlords should be able to discriminate against black people and gay people, and should be allowed to use racist and homophobic language in publicising such a policy if they wish, and that the possession of child pornography should not be a criminal offence.[44]

These opinions are consistent with his belief in freedom of speech and his general libertarian dislike of state activity. Where child pornography is concerned, he believes in laws to protect children from sexual exploitation, but fears that laws against possession will enable the police to plant evidence. He writes: "I argued that, while it was legitimate to use such images as evidence of actual offences, and it should be illegal to produce and distribute them, it was wrong to make possession in itself an offence. When nothing else but possession had to be proved, the law made it easy for the police to plant evidence. It also set a precedent for criminalising possession of other images or even writings.".[45] In 2014, he added: "I do believe in the principle of an age of consent, and see no great injustice in setting it at sixteen. It should be illegal for adults to have sex with persons under the age of consent. It should, by extension, be illegal to use persons under the age of consent for making clearly sexual video and photographic images. I believe that such laws should be proportionate to the offence committed, and do not like the hysterical manner in which the laws we have are enforced. But these are details. I have no objection to the principle of an age of consent."[46]

Writer and Novelist[edit]

Gabb’s political writings are voluminous, comprising dozens of books and hundreds of essays and newspaper articles. He has published much else. His first acknowledged work is a play, in English and Latin verse, The Trial of Jeremy Thorpe (1979).[47] In 2009, he wrote an attack on what he called the "non-poetry" of Carol Anne Duffy.[48] He has written extensively on the Ancient World. See, for example, his work on the pronunciation of Greek by the Romans (2002);[49] his biography of Epicurus;[50] and his critique of Karl Polanyi, who claimed that market behaviour was unknown in the Ancient World.[51] Many of his political writings are published by The Hampden Press, which is owned by Gabb.

He is also a novelist. In 2006, he published an historical novel, The Column of Phocas. This was republished in 2008 by Hodder & Stoughton under the name "Richard Blake",[52] and retitled Conspiracies of Rome.[53] Five more novels in the same series have been published by Hodder & Stoughton under the name Richard Blake: The Terror of Constantinople (2009), The Blood of Alexandria (2010), The Sword of Damascus (2011), The Ghosts of Athens (2012), and The Curse of Babylon (2013). In 2015, these were republished in two omnibus editions – Death of Rome Saga, 1-3 and Death of Rome Saga, 4-6. In 2015, Endeavour Press published two further historical novels, Game of Empires and Death in Ravenna. All of these are set in the Byzantine Empire of the 7th century. The novels have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Italian, Slovak and Greek.

Under his own name, Gabb has published two alternate history novels: The Churchill Memorandum (2011) and The Break (2014).

Partial Bibliography[edit]

  • The Break, The Hampden Press, London, 2014.
  • Freedom of Speech in England: Its Present State and Likely Prospects, The Hampden Press, London, 2013.
  • The Churchill Memorandum, The Hampden Press, London, 2011.
  • Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England and how to Get It Back, The Hampden Press, London, 2007.
  • The Column of Phocas (historical novel), The Hampden Press, London, 2006.
  • Trusting Brands in Society: The Quality and Value of Modern Medicine, Centre for the New Europe, Brussels, 2005.
  • Smoking, Class, and the Legitimation of Power, The Hampden Press, London, 2005.
  • From Antitrust to Disaster: An Overview of European Union Competition Policy, Centre for the New Europe, Brussels, 2004.
  • The Cost of European Environmental Regulations in the Accession Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Centre for the New Europe, Brussels, 2004.
  • Why Greater Freedom of Patient Information in European Healthcare Could Save Lives and Money, Centre for the New Europe, Brussels, 2004.
  • War and the National Interest: Arguments for a British Foreign Policy, The Hampden Press, London, 2004.
  • (With Dennis O'Keeffe) Markets, the Internet, and Morality, The Institute of Economic Affairs, London, 2003.
  • Why Trade Barriers between the European Union and the Developing World Should be Lowered, Centre for the New Europe, Brussels, 2003.
  • Dispatches from a Dying Country: Reflections on Modern England, The Hampden Press, London, 2001.
  • (With Dennis O'Keeffe and Pat Stoll (eds)) Issues in School Attendance and Truancy, Pitman Press, London, 1995.
  • (With Dennis O'Keeffe) The Report of the North London Truancy Unit, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1994.


  1. ^ "Unmanly and UnEnglish". Libertarian Alliance. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  2. ^ "Officers of the Libertarian Alliance". Libertarian Alliance. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  3. ^ "Truancy: A Personal Perspective". Sean Gabb. 2004-08-24. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  4. ^ "York University Alumni" (PDF). University of York. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  5. ^ "Mojou ríšou je písané slovo". Sean Gabb. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  6. ^ "Acts of the Apostles: A Greek Latin and English Parallel Text: Being an Aid for Adults to the Easier Learning of the Classical Languages, by Sean Gabb, 2014". Hampden Press. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  7. ^ "The Joys of Poetry (2015), by Sean Gabb.". Libertarian Alliance. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  8. ^ "Czecho-Slovakia Rejoins the West". The Freeman. 1992-07-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  9. ^ "Don't Confuse Germany's Wealth with its Present Policy". The Prague Post. 1992-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  10. ^ "A Programme for the Slovak Christian Democratic Party (1992) Sean Gabb and Nina Jurewicz". KDH. 1992-05-23. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  11. ^ "Reply to an Attack by Zuzana Szatmary". Kulturny Zivot. 1991-12-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  12. ^ "Article about Home Schooling". BBC. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  13. ^ "Truancy: Its Measurement and Causation". HMSO. 1994-05-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  14. ^ "Truancy in the United States: A Brief Overview". Longmans. 1996. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  15. ^ "Home Schooling: A British Perspective". Information Age Publishing. 2006. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  16. ^ "Free Life, Issue 30, May 1999". Libertarian Alliance. 1999-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  17. ^ "Chris R. Tame, Founder of the Libertarian Alliance". The Independent. 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  18. ^ "Be fair to all parents". Libertarian Alliance. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  19. ^ "Free Trade v Fair Trade: A Debate Organised by Christian Aid, Sean Gabb, 16th April 2005". Libertarian Alliance. 2005-04-16. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  20. ^ "Property, Freedom, Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe". Ludwig von Mises Institute. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  21. ^ "Against Drug Prohibition". The Gay Times. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  22. ^ "The War Against Armed Crime: We Need Guns to Make Us Safer". The Birmingham Post. 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  23. ^ "Let Us Have Gay Marriage". Libertarian Alliance. 2013. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  24. ^ "What is Wrong with Gay Adoption?". Libertarian Alliance. 2002-11-07. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  25. ^ "UKIP and the Gay Pride March (2015)". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  26. ^ "Max Clifford". Libertarian Alliance. 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  27. ^ "Radio 4 Discussion". BBC. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  28. ^ "John Stuart Mill, The BNP, And The U.K.’s Dying Democracy". VDare. 2011. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  29. ^ "Defending the Right to Deny the Holocaust". Libertarian Alliance. 2007-04-24. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  30. ^ a b "Anjem Choudary and the Glorification of Terror". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  31. ^ "Statement on Anti-Semitism". Libertarian Alliance. 2013. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  32. ^ "Libertarianism: A "Jewish False Flag"?". Libertarian Alliance. 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  33. ^ "The Future of Islam and the West". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  34. ^ "Must Libertarians Believe in Open Borders?". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-08-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  35. ^ a b "Should David Cameron Apologise for Amritsar?". Libertarian Alliance. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  36. ^ "Daniel P. Mulroney on Sean Gabb". iGreens. 2004. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  37. ^ "Viva Obama! A View from the English Right". Takimag. 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  38. ^ "Correspondence between Sean Gabb and Ian Bruce MP". Evening Standard. 1999-10-28. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  39. ^ "National Sovereignty or EU Membership: Which is the Least Bad Option?". INESS. 2014-08-15. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  40. ^ "The Full Coercive Apparatus of a Police State: Thoughts on the Dark Side of the Thatcher Decade". Libertarian Alliance. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  41. ^ "The Legacy of Margaret Thatcher". The Independent. 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  42. ^ "Margaret Thatcher, the Miners’ Strike, and the Triumph of Middle Class Leftism". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-04-23. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  43. ^ "Enoch Powell: The Man and His Politics". Property and Freedom Society. 2014-09-13. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  44. ^ a b "Free Life Commentary, Issue 169". 2008-04-10. 
  45. ^ "Free Life Commentary, Issue 217". 2012-01-12. 
  46. ^ "Protecting Children, Enslaving Adults: Latest Case Study". 2014. 
  47. ^ "Jeremy Thorpe- Rinka’s Revenge!". Libertarian Alliance. 1979. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  48. ^ "Democratic Art: The Non-Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy". Libertarian Alliance. 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  49. ^ "Thoughts on the Accentuation of Classical Greek". London Metropolitan University. 2002. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  50. ^ "Epicurus: Father of the Enlightenment". Libertarian Alliance. 2007. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  51. ^ "Market Behaviour in the Ancient World: An Overview of the Debate". Libertarian Alliance. 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  52. ^ "Richard Blake". HHGG. 2015-04-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  53. ^ "Hodder & Stoughton Richard Blake Page". Hodder & Stoughton. 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 

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