“Now for Change” – why it was quiet here last week

Now For Change

On Monday and Tuesday last week, I attended Conservative Party conference where I chaired three joint debates for the Centre for Social Justice and the Smith Institute:

  • The Bank Bailouts — Who have they benefitted?
  • Housing Crisis — What kind of recovery?
  • Bankrupt Britain — Do we need a new insolvency system?

All three were fascinating. During the Bailout conversation, I was able to contrast the left’s view that more — more! — intervention is required in money, bank credit and markets with the Cobden Centre’s view that intervention in money, bank credit and markets is what caused our present and developing economic predicament: as George Osborne has pointed out, we need an economy based on save and invest, not debt. Grant Shapps MP spoke energetically and engagingly on his plans to turn around housing. And of course I was able to open the last of the three with “Welcome to Bankrupt Britain”, which raised the expected laugh.

The entire conference was marked by serious resolve tempered by optimism that we can deliver the necessary changes in the United Kingdom. See conservatives.com for more.

I had to leave early for the funeral of my stepfather, Ron Crocker, who lost his life to lung cancer. The chapel was over double capacity, with people spilling into the lobby and outdoors. The wake was similarly well attended. All in all, the day was a moving tribute to a man who brought great joy to the lives of many people.

There is of course a common theme: a healthy society relies on people having more to do with one another and the government less. As I said in my tribute:

Greatness is who we are and how we relate to other people. What we freely bring to their lives. The joy we give.

The Government has little to do with that.

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