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How departmental spending has changed this Parliament


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ConservativeHome has charted the change in departmental expenditure limits since 2009-10 in a “To The Point” article, How the departments have fared in this Austerity Parliament: Health spending is up. Communities and Local Government has been cut in half. I recommend this good summary article.

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The enduring curse of easy answers


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Political radicals are in the news, especially in Greece and now Spain. In the midst of tragic suffering, people are being seduced by the curse of easy answers. State socialism has always aimed at a spectacular improvement in the average person’s standard of living. It is a noble intention which I share. The problem is that the methods chosen by state socialists to achieve their aim cannot succeed. And, tragically, in the course of trying, state socialists have all but […]

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Labour’s spending chaos


Via Share The Facts: Labour’s spending plans are in chaos – with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls spending the money from their proposed homes tax over and over again. Last week Balls said the tax will fund the NHS and nothing else: ‘All the money we raised from the mansion tax will go the National health Service’ (LBC, 21 Jan 2015). But now Miliband says the tax will pay for reducing the deficit: ‘A plan to pay down the deficit […]

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The ECB’s bond-buying programme – “a grave menace to our civilisation”?


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The European Central Bank has announced a programme of bond-buying of €60 billion a month, to be carried out at least until end-Sept 2016. Monetary policy around the world remains in the midst of a remarkable experiment: money creation is expected sustainably to solve real economic problems. It is possible that there is something dangerously wrong with mainstream economic thought. Hayek’s conclusion to The Pure Theory of Capital is a spectacular rant against those economists who consider only the short-run, surface […]

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Book review – The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism


I frequently enjoy Hayek’s writing less than anticipated. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism was no exception. The book is mercifully brief and its substance is insightful and yet it was a dull read. It begins by explaining that tradition arises between instinct and reason. Hayek destroys the case for a rational reconstruction of civilisation. It is a fatal conceit to imagine society can be designed, one grounded in fear and a revolt against reason. Markets, money and trade emerged […]

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Speech on Money Creation and Society


A lady in Wycombe recently asked me the following questions: Why is my house valued higher than its worth? Why do crashes keep happening every 8 years? Who owns the money supply and how does it relate to gold? Why haven’t I had cost of living pay rise for 7 years yet the CEO has just bought a pacific island? Why do quarterly targets keep going up at work and what is the end game of this model? Why has […]

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Owen Paterson’s remarkable speech: “An Optimistic Vision of a Post-EU United Kingdom”


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On Monday, Owen Paterson made a remarkable speech, An Optimistic Vision of a Post-EU United Kingdom: I would like to see our Government brought back within the control of our own Parliament. Ministers should be properly accountable to Parliament for all aspects of Government. This would give the British people the ability to remove their real rulers by voting. Our politics would be reinvigorated. I find it extraordinary that many in our establishment mock this prospect. As a nation we […]

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Understanding the Money Creation and Society Debate


Together with colleagues spanning four parties – Michael Meacher (Lab), Caroline Lucas (Green), Douglas Carswell (UKIP) and David Davis (Con) – I have secured a debate on Money Creation and Society for Thursday 20 November. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the debate. First, we have a system of paper or “fiat” money: it exists due to legal mandate as opposed to being a physical commodity like gold. Reserves, notes and coins are created by the state but claims on money […]

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It’s time to improve the health and social care complaints system – Healthwatch shows how


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Healthwatch England is the national consumer champion in health and care. They have significant statutory powers to ensure the voice of the consumer is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services. These powers include the right to enter and view health providers, for which I have had the training through Healthwatch Bucks. Nationally, Healthwatch has prioritised health and social care complaints: The health and social care complaints system doesn’t work because it was never […]

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UK up three places in this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index


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The Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index 2014 was launched yesterday: the UK rises three places this year and we are the most prosperous of all the major EU nations. Even the quickest glance at our rankings and the map which puts them in stark context must make anyone glad indeed to be British. Ours is a very fine country indeed. From the website: The 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index™ offers a unique insight into how prosperity is forming and changing across the world. […]

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