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Book review: A Brief History of Liberty, Schmidtz and Brennan


A Brief History of Liberty by David Schmidtz and Jason Brennan “provides a comprehensive, philosophically–informed portrait of the elusive nature of one of our most cherished ideals”. Each chapter begins with a thesis, comprises a lively, engaging and well-referenced discussion and concludes with questions to consider and comprehensive notes. The theses are as follows: Introduction, Conceptions of Freedom. “Thesis: There are several forms of liberty. Whether they are conflicting or complementary is a matter of historical circumstance.” Chapter 1, A […]

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What is the single best thing we can do for our health?


My wife Beth and I enjoyed a walk around West Wycombe and Downley with the Ramblers this morning. In the course of it, Beth (a GP) mentioned the video 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? It’s an astonishing fact that we have become so sedentary that it is thought proper we should be taxed in order to fund public health measures as simple as this: Walking is a fantastic way to […]

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Speech at Runnymede on the 799th anniversary of Magna Carta


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Two years ago, I attended a two-day Liberty Fund conference on Magna Carta. Today, I was glad to join The Freedom Association to commemorate the 799th anniversary of Magna Carta at the memorial. Here’s an extended version of my speech: Seven hundred and ninety nine years ago today this place witnessed a definitive moment in our history. A document was signed which asserted the rule of law. It was not unprecedented – Henry I’s charter of liberties asserted much the same […]

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A “UKIP earthquake”? No – a landslide for disengagement


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Politicians don’t care much about turnout. That’s why most politicians and commentators don’t talk about it. What politicians care about is winning. There’s plenty of news right now about a “UKIP earthquake“. The BBC reports UKIP gaining 30% in an area where they had not run before. They explain excitedly the prospect of UKIP as a disruptive force. So it seems. However, I’ve just learned that the turnout in Wycombe District — somewhat larger than the constituency — was 41,381, […]

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Want change in our relationship with the EU? Vote Conservative


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There are a great many things in politics and society I care about deeply — the capture of state power by vested interests, the condition of the poor and the sick despite the many billions of pounds spent by the welfare state well beyond our capacity to pay, the injustice manufactured by the institutions of the financial system… — but the reason I came into politics was to restore democratic control over political power with a referendum on our membership […]

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