Sean Gabb

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Dr. Sean Gabb is Director of the Libertarian Alliance, Editor of its (now defunct) journal, Free Life, and author of the semi-regular ezine, Free Life Commentary.

Sean Gabb is the author of a 20-page pamphlet titled, "The Right to Smoke: A Christian View" distributed by the UK pro-smoking group FOREST.[1]. This was republished in 2005 as one of the chapters in his book, "Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power" [2].

More recently, he has branched out into historical fiction. His "Column of Phocas" (2006) [3] enjoyed a certain critical success and led to his being given a three volume contract with a multinational publisher. This may entail a diversion of effort in future from political writing.

In 2005, he wrote:

I grow increasingly convinced that allowing the creation of joint stock limited liability corporations was one of the greatest legislative mistakes of the 19th century. Their existence is based on a separation of ownership from control. The owners are released from all responsibility. The controllers form a separate class of corporate bureaucrats little different in outlook from civil servants. The usual psychology operates. They will commit immoral acts for their organisations they might not consider committing for themselves. The owners will assent. The legal privileges and unlimited lifespan of these corporations let them grow to enormous size and wealth. The opportunities exist for highly effective immorality. Collectively, they become part of the state apparatus, and work to destroy true, unregulated enterprise. ("Free Life Commentary, 135, 16th April 2005 [4])

For this, and for his often extreme conservative and libertarian positions, Gabb is regarded with a certain alarm by other people in the movement of which he is a member. In a sense, he is undoubtedly part of the "new right". He subscribes to the defining belief of this movement in very low taxation and an absence of administrative regulation. What distinguishes him from the mainstream of this movement, though, is a belief in personal freedom that borders on anarchism, combined with belief in the traditional institutions of England which he regards as essential for the maintenance of freedom in the long term. Perhaps his main point of difference is his extreme English nationalism. He is against the European Union - a standard item in the new right intellectual baggage. But he is also anti-American. He bitterly opposed the wars in Serbia, in Afghanistan and in Iraq as acts of murdrous state power, and as opposed to English interests. And his opposition to mass-immigration - though he is himself married to an immigrant - also sets him apart from new right opinion, which generally favours free movement of labour, and from those movements on the left that might share his dislike of military intervention.

A document with brief profiles on various UK academics in the internal files of British American Tobacco described Gabb as:

An academic genius, Gabb is a Libertarian Conservative who has accidentally ended up being born 200 hundred too years late. A character best suited for the Reform Club around 1780 he has an eccentric and endearing manner - and a rapier brain. A former member of the Lord Chancellor's Department at the Home Office and a special adviser to the Slovak Prime Minister, Gabb is totally sound on matters of personal freedom and is an outstanding candidate to ghost academic material. [1] (Note: the lack of punctuation is as is in the original document).

Biography below from the Website of the Libertarian Alliance

He has made hundreds of media appearances on behalf of the Libertarian Alliance and is the author of numerous books and monographs for both the Libertarian Alliance and Hampden Press, including Sado-Masochism and the Law: Consent versus Paternalism, What To Do About AIDS, Putting the Case Against Gun Control, Gun Control in Britain, A Libertarian Conservative Case Against Identity Cards, Liberty Versus Liberalism, The Case Against Sex Censorship: A Conservative View, The Full Coercive Apparatus of a Police State: Thoughts on the Dark Side of the Thatcher Decade, Despatches From a Dying Country: Reflections on Modern England, War and the National Interest: Arguments for a British Foreign Policy, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: The True Battle for Britain, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power and (with Chris Tame) Freedom and Broadcasting. His writings have also been published by the Social Affairs Unit, the Independent Healthcare Association, the Adam Smith Institute, FOREST, Salisbury Review, The Freeman, and The Times, and he was the author of an official government report on truancy in state schools. He was also the founder of the successful euro-sceptic campaigning website "Candidlist" which created havoc for unprincipled and evasive Conservative Party candidates and enabled constituencies to exercise informed democratic choice. For this audacity, and for embarrassing its slimy friends, he was labelled a "terrorist" by the Quisling Rightist newspaper The Daily Telegraph.


  • Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England and How to Get it Back, The Hampden Press, London, 2007.
  • The Column of Phocas, 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.
  • Cultural Revolution, Culture War: The True Battle for Britain, The Hampden Press, London, 2003.
  • (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.

Contact Details

Gabb's publications can be found at:


  1. "Academic Contact List", British American Tobacco, undated, Bates number:502563475, p. 5.

External links

<tdo>search_term=Sean Gabb</tdo> Also search the British American Tobacco Documents Archive for more information on Sean Gabb. He has written for the Society for Individual Freedom