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Protect our public services

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The EU makes many rules which have a massive impact on our public services. With plans for taking control of health policy in each of its member states, the EU’s influence over our NHS will only increase. As an undemocratic backroom manoeuvre, the EU Commission is creating and implementing policies which will greatly affect our local services without so much as asking UK citizens for consent. One such initiative is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which poverty campaign group, War on Want, called: An […]

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Who Exploits You More: Capitalists or Cronies?

Via Learn Liberty, Who Exploits You More: Capitalists or Cronies? See also this short book on how political decisions come to be made: Public Choice – a Primer by Dr Eamonn Butler. Or watch Yes, Minister.

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HS2 consultants’ services have already cost over £25 million

Last month, I put down a written Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Transport, asking for the remit and cost of the consultants involved in the High Speed Two project. You can read my question and the answer in Hansard here and the text is below. As you can see, these costs have already run to over £25 million… Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which consultants are being or have been used on the High […]

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Banker and economist to explain to Occupy St Paul’s how bankers falsify profits and misappropriate bailout funds

Tomorrow, Saturday December 10th at 1.30pm, my colleagues Gordon Kerr and Kevin Dowd will appear on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral to explain how bankers falsify profits and misappropriate bailout funds for personal benefit. Kerr will set out: How derivatives transactions are structured to game flawed accounting rules and Basel regulations and create illusory profits and capital; How Basel rules, although deeply flawed, cannot actually function given the present false accounting system; A specific example of how his team […]

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The Government’s business strategy

The Government recently announced a number of policies to help British businesses. They have launched the updated and overhauled businesslink.gov.uk website. This is now the primary gateway for businesses, of whatever scale, seeking support and information from the Government. It’s backed by a new telephone contact centre and many thousands of new business mentors. They have launched a new nationally-delivered Manufacturing Advisory Service to help small and medium-sized manufacturers to grow. It is estimated that this will help generate £1.5 […]

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Vampire squid state capitalism – a debate on the Private Finance Initiative

My colleague Jesse Norman MP has done some fantastic work towards obtaining rebates on exorbitant private finance initiative (PFI) contracts. See for example his article It is time to derail the PFI gravy train. To that end, yesterday we held a lengthy debate in Westminster Hall which you can find here. PFI really matters to Wycombe and Buckinghamshire, where long, expensive hospital contracts have become fixed points in the local health system. A sensible, negotiated rebate would help NHS staff deliver more. My […]

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On the biggest threat to our prosperity

From a superb article by Detlev Schlichter, which I recommend in full: Of course, by printing new money, expanding the central bank balance sheet and artificially lowering interest rates, – something that has been done on a vast scale for decades on end! – extra economic activity can be generated for a period. Lower interest rates fool the public into believing that more savings are available, that the consumer is okay with more resources being diverted from meeting present consumption […]

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Big winners in crises: The banks

The battle between banks and nation states is shaping up as something that lies between a phony war and a rout. The bald facts are that three years after the crisis in which banking almost brought down the global economy, the biggest banks are bigger, more global and more entrenched in their positions, courtesy of a now all but explicit government guarantee. The author, James Saft, goes on to predict that the next banking crisis will be larger than the […]

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Rampant corporatism

As I read the papers online this morning and reflected on recent remarks by bankers and big business, I was struck by how dependent big firms have become on state welfare. This is not capitalism. How can it be when people expect their losses to be forced onto others? It’s corporatism, or state capitalism, and what needs removing from it is the corrupting influence of state power.

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The Conference — Positive Money

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Today, Cobden Centre comrades and I are off to inject some Austrianism into the Positive Money conference. As you can tell from the Cobden Centre’s literature page, we are not afraid to work with other schools of thought — there are significant areas of overlap. For example, from the conference home page: Does the fundamental design of the banking system automatically lead to an unstable, unproductive, unfair and unsustainable economy and society? If the answer is yes, then should we take […]

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