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Sean Gabb

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Sean Gabb
BornSean Ivor Gabb
(1960-08-04) 4 August 1960 (age 58)
Chatham, England, United Kingdom
Pen nameRichard Blake
OccupationWriter
NationalityBritish
Alma materUniversity of York
GenreHistorical fiction

Sean Ivor Gabb[1] (born 4 August 1960, Chatham, Kent) is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster who lives in England (Deal, Kent). He was the Director of the Libertarian Alliance, a British free market and civil liberties think tank from 2006 to 2017, and is now a Vice-Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Centre.[2]

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

Gabb attended a comprehensive school in South East London,[3] and later studied at the University of York, from where he graduated in History in 1982.[4]

Career[edit | edit source]

Academia[edit | edit source]

Between 1990 and 1992, he worked in Czechoslovakia as Economic and Political Adviser to Ján Čarnogurský, the Christian Democratic Prime Minister of Slovakia.[5] He wrote for the English-language Prague Post and widely for the Czech and Slovak media on economic reform.[6] He co-wrote the 1992 election programme for the Slovak Christian Democratic Movement (Slovak: Kresťanskodemokratické hnutie, KDH).[7]

He has lectured at London Metropolitan University.[8] 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.,[9] and a study of truancy in the United States.[10] More recently, he wrote a book about the law of homeschooling in the United Kingdom.[11] 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.[12]

He is currently a Professorial Fellow and Professor of Classical Studies, and Tutor in Law and Politics at the Western Orthodox University, a private unaccredited[13] tertiary education provider based in Dominica.[14][15]

The Libertarian Alliance[edit | edit source]

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.[16][17]

During that time Gabb spoke on behalf of a number of unpopular "civil liberties" causes such as that of John O'Neill who had limitations on his personal life after being acquited of a rape allegation,[18] against police "moral corruption"[19] and bans on knives[20] smoking in cars.[21] He also spoke out against apologising for the British Empire.[22]

Gabb retired from this role in June 2017.[23]

Candidlist[edit | edit source]

In 2001 Gabb published a "candidlist," described by The Times as a "a list on the Internet of parliamentary candidates graded according to their views on monetary union" (of the European Union).[24][25][26][27][28] The Sunday Telegraph described Gabb an an "anti-euro campaigner."[26]

The website was criticised by both the Labour Party[29] and the pro-European Tory Reform Group who argued it should be banned.[30]

The list worked through classifying a Conservative Parliamentary candidate as "Sceptic", "Don't Know" or "Europhile" on whether they would oppose UK's entry into the Euro currency even if the party leadership supported it and if forced to choose between leaving the European Union and accepting the supremacy of EU law, they would choose to leave the EU.[31]

Among the candidates corresponding with Sean Gabb to be listed as a Eurosceptic was David Cameron.[32][33][34][35]

Novelist[edit | edit source]

Gabb is a writer of historical novels,[36] for which he mostly uses the pseudonym "Richard Blake." In 2006, he wrote The Column of Phocas, a thriller set in the 7th century Byzantine Empire. After trying, without success, to find an agent to represent him, he brought this out under his own name and through his own publishing company, The Hampden Press. The book was subsequently rewritten and published in 2008 by Hodder & Stoughton as Conspiracies of Rome, under the name "Richard Blake".[37] 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.[citation needed]

The first six of these novels are told in the first person by an Anglo-Saxon called Aelric. The general convention is that he is writing his memoirs in extreme old age, and all the novels describe the adventures he had in early manhood. These take him to all the cities mentioned in the titles, and give a highly personal view of the interlocking crises that beset the Byzantine Empire between the usurpation of the tyrant Phocas in 602AD and the first siege of Constantinople by the Arabs in the 660s.

The last two are the opening instalments of a new series, set in the same period. These are told in the third person, and feature Roderic of Aquileia, a Gothic boy who is recruited into the Byzantine secret service.

Political writings[edit | edit source]

Although he is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance, Gabb’s political opinions are varied. He is most easily described as a free market libertarian.[citation needed] In social matters, Gabb is for the legalisation of drugs,[38] the right to keep and bear firearms for defence,[39] and both gay marriage[40] and gay adoption.[41] However, he is opposed to any kind of anti-discrimination laws, and defends the right to speak in open criticism of homosexuality.[42] 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.[43] He is opposed to drink-driving laws per se, though believes that anyone who causes harm by dangerous driving should be severely punished.[44]

He has written extensively in defence of freedom of speech. These defences cover the right to free expression of pornographers and The Sun newspaper[45] and the British National Party[46] and holocaust deniers[47] and Anjem Choudary.[48] At the same time, he has written critically of anti-semitism [49] and anti-semites.[50]

He is opposed to mass-immigration,[51] although he has 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.[52] He also spoke in a BBC Radio debate, broadcast in December 2015, in favour of the right of Michael Adebolajo, the murderer of Lee Rigby, to sue his jailers for assault.[53]

From 1999 to 2001, Gabb kept a website called the "Candidlist," which named UK Members of Parliament who held Europhile views.[54]

Other writings[edit | edit source]

Gabb's first acknowledged work is a play, in English and Latin verse, The Trial of Jeremy Thorpe (1979).[55] In 2009, he wrote a critique of what he called the "non-poetry" of Carol Anne Duffy.[56] He has written extensively on the Ancient World. Examples include his work on the pronunciation of Greek by the Romans (2002),[57] his biography of Epicurus,[58] and his critique of Karl Polanyi, who claimed that market behaviour was unknown in the Ancient World.[59]

Partial bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Death in Ravenna, Endeavour Press, London, 2015
  • Game of Empires, Endeavour Press, London, 2015
  • Death of Rome Saga, 4-6, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2015
  • Death of Rome Saga, 1-3, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2015
  • 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.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Unmanly and UnEnglish". Libertarian Alliance. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  2. "Council". The Ludwig von Mises Centre. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  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. "Czecho-Slovakia Rejoins the West". The Freeman. 1992-07-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  6. "Don't Confuse Germany's Wealth with its Present Policy". The Prague Post. 1992-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  7. "A Programme for the Slovak Christian Democratic Party (1992) Sean Gabb and Nina Jurewicz". KDH. 1992-05-23. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  8. "Article about Home Schooling". BBC. 1989-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  9. "Truancy: Its Measurement and Causation". HMSO. 1994-05-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  10. "Truancy in the United States: A Brief Overview". Longmans. 1996. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  11. "Home Schooling: A British Perspective". Information Age Publishing. 2006. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  12. "Free Life, Issue 30, May 1999". Libertarian Alliance. 1999-05-03. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  13. "Legal The Western Orthodox Academy". Retrieved 8 March 2018. The University is not accredited by any government or para-statal authority
  14. https://thedegree.org/fellows/sean-gabb/
  15. https://thedegree.org/fellows/
  16. "Chris R. Tame, Founder of the Libertarian Alliance". The Independent. 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  17. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/mar/28/christamerip
  18. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/14/it-consultant-says-his-life-is-ruined-after-police-forced-him-to/
  19. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3951326/A-policewoman-tried-destroy-life-ve-let-scot-free-Torment-horse-rider-jealous-PC-friend-fabricated-allegations-seen-little-boy-taken-away.html
  20. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2006/jun/06/1
  21. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2062498/Nanny-state-anger-ban-smoking-cars.html
  22. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/8430899/David-Cameron-Britain-caused-many-of-the-worlds-problems.html
  23. Gabb, Sean. "Sean Gabb: Notice of Abdication". The Ludwig von Mises Centre. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  24. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/509952.stm
  25. Waller, Martin (5 April 2001). "Gabb's gift". The Times. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Bentham, Martin (13 May 2001). "Conservatives rebel over policy on euro". Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  27. https://www.seangabb.co.uk/candidlist/media/ind0510.htm
  28. https://www.seangabb.co.uk/candidlist/media/brunews1.htm
  29. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/1999/dec/24/thatcher.uk
  30. https://www.theguardian.com/business/1999/oct/24/emu.theeuro
  31. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=u7l64ZlPZbkC&pg=PA155&lpg=PA155&dq=Candidlist+gabb&source=bl&ots=U4DT7NLba5&sig=VltJMbfphbQnX51ym86sHi8P5N4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJoPGN7O7ZAhUmB8AKHQGfCkkQ6AEIbTAO#v=onepage&q=Candidlist%20gabb&f=false
  32. https://www.seangabb.co.uk/europe-the-gabb-cameron-correspondence/
  33. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fbffDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT10&dq=Candidlist+gabb&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY6_2r7e7ZAhXDD8AKHSVVBEEQ6AEIMzAC#v=onepage&q=Candidlist%20gabb&f=false
  34. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dhqVCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT456&dq=Candidlist+gabb&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY6_2r7e7ZAhXDD8AKHSVVBEEQ6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=Candidlist%20gabb&f=false
  35. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/david-cameron-downfall-european-tragedy
  36. http://www.kentonline.co.uk/deal/news/crime-fiction-is-a-big-deal-33527/
  37. "Hodder & Stoughton Richard Blake Page". Hodder & Stoughton. 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  38. "Against Drug Prohibition". The Gay Times. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  39. "The War Against Armed Crime: We Need Guns to Make Us Safer". The Birmingham Post. 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  40. "Let Us Have Gay Marriage". Libertarian Alliance. 2013. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  41. "What is Wrong with Gay Adoption?". Libertarian Alliance. 2002-11-07. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  42. "UKIP and the Gay Pride March (2015)". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  43. "Max Clifford". Libertarian Alliance. 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  44. "Radio 4 Discussion". BBC. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  45. Gabb, Sean (2014-09-30). "This House Believes that Page 3 should be Banned: Speech to the University of London Union". Sean Gabb Website. Sean Gabb. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  46. "John Stuart Mill, The BNP, And The U.K.'s Dying Democracy". VDare. 2011. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  47. "Defending the Right to Deny the Holocaust". Libertarian Alliance. 2007-04-24. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  48. "Anjem Choudary and the Glorification of Terror". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  49. "Statement on Anti-Semitism". Libertarian Alliance. 2013. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  50. "Libertarianism: A "Jewish False Flag"?". Libertarian Alliance. 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  51. "Must Libertarians Believe in Open Borders?". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-08-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  52. "The Future of Islam and the West". Libertarian Alliance. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  53. Gabb, Sean (2015-12-10). "Should Michael Adebolajo have the Right to Sue His Jailers for Assault?". Sean Gabb Website. Sean Gabb. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  54. "The Candidlist". Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  55. "Jeremy Thorpe- Rinka's Revenge!". Libertarian Alliance. 1979. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  56. "Democratic Art: The Non-Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy". Libertarian Alliance. 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  57. "Thoughts on the Accentuation of Classical Greek". London Metropolitan University. 2002. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  58. "Epicurus: Father of the Enlightenment". Libertarian Alliance. 2007. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  59. "Market Behaviour in the Ancient World: An Overview of the Debate". Libertarian Alliance. 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-11.

External links[edit | edit source]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Chris Tame
Director of the Libertarian Alliance
2006 – 2017

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