John Lilburne is a 17th century agitator, amateur photographer, apathetic agnostic, left-libertarian, lapsed Labour voter, cynic, freetard and Chelsea-supporting old fart.

Some rights reserved. These images are licensed under a Creative Commons ANSA License . Other than that, steal my photos, please. Use them as desktop wallpaper, for your Web site, anything except commercial usage. All images are at least 1024 pixels (and now 1280 pixels) wide or tall so just click on the thumbnail images for the full-sized version. Want a bigger version? No problem, just ask. The quotations are obviously copyright of the people that uttered them.

As George Bernard Shaw said: “If each of us have one object, and we exchange them, then each of us still has one object. If each of us have one idea, and we exchange them, then each of us now has two ideas.”

How cool is that?

No images were harmed by Photoshop in the making of this photoblog.

  1. Peter Risdon
    2009-09-4 at 7:31 pm

    “With hindsight a better choice of name may have been a good idea.”

    True. I think I might stop using the name anyway, and use my own domain. Obviously you can link to an anonymously registered and authored attack site, set up by a criminal, if you wish. I think it does you significantly less credit than me.

    Nice photos.

    • freebornjohn
      2009-09-4 at 8:36 pm

      The reason I linked to those sites was to make it clear that there is more than one “John Lilburne” on the Internet. The links and my comment about “a better choice of name” weren’t posted within any particular intent other than as I have just mentioned.

      As a bit of background, the real John Lilburne has been an inspiration to me for many years and that’s why I chose it as a posting nym. He didn’t like bad government and neither do I. It was only after I created this account that I did a bit of searching and found the other sites. If you have taken offence then I can only offer my apologies and remove the links.

  2. Peter Risdon
    2009-09-4 at 9:10 pm

    There’s also a speke yor brainz type commenter at the Telegraph and elsewhere who uses the name Freeborn John. I chose it for the same reason as you, though I think it’s odd that socialists have seized on Lilburne and his associates when they were at pains to insist they were not “levellers” – this is also why the Diggers called themselves “the true levellers”.

    I see Lilburne’s continual conflict with authority, among other things, as an indication he realised that any power corrupts. To me, he’s more in the Liberal tradition that led to the Enlightenment and the US Declaration of Independence (the concept of “freeborn” rights is very evident there) and the Constitution that limited government.

    If you haven’t seen it, there’s an interesting piece here about his influence on the Abolitionist movement:


    • freebornjohn
      2009-09-5 at 2:46 pm

      I tend to comment at only a couple of sites and the Telegraph isn’t one of them. I indulge in some baiting of Tories and Daily Mail readers, and yes, I realise they are easy targets but all’s fair in love and debate.

      As I said before, the thing about Lilburne that appeals to me is that he was against bad government. I see so much debate about big and small government but that’s missing the point. It’s bad government that is the problem. I’ve been asked how I can be a left-libertarian as that must be a contradiction in terms and my answer is always the same: I believe that a nation’s government should provide a decent level of healthcare and other social benefits. I believe that critical infrastructure such as rail and road should also be owned by the citizenry via the government. If this requires a higher level of taxation then I’m happy with that. However, I also believe the government should otherwise keep it’s nose out of a citizen’s affairs and interfere as little as possible.

      Thanks for the link to the Lilburne info. I shall delve in later today.

  3. Peter Risdon
    2009-09-4 at 9:14 pm

    Incidentally, I wouldn’t dream of trying to tell you what you should put on your blog, but rather was suggesting that one of the links was discreditable. I’ve no intention of making the ISP take that site down, even though it would be simple to do so. I believe strongly in freedom of expression. Freedom for the political activist in Iran or Burma is also freedom for the malevolent criminal. That’s how it has to be.

    • freebornjohn
      2009-09-5 at 2:31 pm

      To be honest, I’d only glanced at the other site and hadn’t noticed that it was defamatory.

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