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When planning goes wrong – business change of use


I feel sure I can claim the support of everyone if I write that the planning system should promote prosperity. I am certain those operating the system work diligently within the rules with that noble intent in mind. However, over the past few years, I have seen a number of instances where business owners have had what I considered their legitimate and beneficial commercial interests impeded or completely stymied by planning decisions. Reasons have always been given but in every case, […]

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The last gasp of an outdated ideology – speech on the EU


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I’ve been asked to publish my speech at the launch of Politeia’s The UK and the EU: what must change? by Bernard Jenkin, Sir William Cash and John Redwood. I did not have a script: this is a close parallel of the main substance of my remarks. In 2007, a British MP visited the Czech Republic to make a speech on the European Union. He said, It is the last gasp of an outdated ideology, a philosophy that has no place in our new […]

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New measures to support entrepreneurs and job creation


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As the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index repeatedly shows, entrepreneurship and opportunity are the primary keys to overall prosperity. It is because life in society is a creative dynamic process of discovering how best to serve the needs of other people and to adjust to them. If we are to become the most prosperous nation within a generation, we will need to liberate that spirit of innovation, service and commerce which has always served our country so well. I was therefore delighted […]

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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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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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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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Work Programme update


The latest figures from the Government’s Work Programme are now available. The positive data show that the Programme continues to support the long term unemployed into meaningful employment: More than 208,000 of our hardest to help jobseekers have escaped long term unemployment and found lasting work – normally at least six months – an increase of 40,000 in the three months since the last publication in June. That’s 208,000 more people in work – meaning money in their pockets and a more secure future […]

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PovertyCure — From Aid to Enterprise


A fascinating video from PovertyCure on aid and enterprise: I particularly identified with: Having a heart for the poor isn’t hard. We have a mind for the poor. We will never reconcile all opinion about how to help the poor but there is far more unity than is generally believed over the goal: creating stronger societies through prosperity. As the video concludes, “Good intentions don’t end poverty. Enterprise and freedom end poverty.”

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PM’s statement on Sri Lanka calls for Independent Inquiry


Yesterday, the Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons on his recent attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka. He took the opportunity to reiterate why he felt it was right to attend the Commonwealth meeting and to better understand the situation of the Sri Lankan people. He formally repeated his calls for the Government of Sri Lanka to set up an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes during the final stages of […]

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What makes us prosperous? The 2013 Prosperity Index supplies a survey


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This morning, after spotting Allister Heath’s boldly optimistic article for the Telegraph, I chaired the Parliamentary launch of the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index. It’s not enough to consider quality of life by material things alone: Gross Domestic Product neglects great swathes of factors which make life worth living. As the Legatum Institute explains: Traditionally, a nation’s prosperity has been based solely on macroeconomic indicators such as a country’s income, represented either by GDP or by average income per person (GDP […]

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