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The Initiative for a Free and Prospering Europe


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The Prime Minister today made a spirited defence of the Government’s position following the European Council meeting, in the face of ridiculous pantomime behaviour by Labour. I was glad to be called to ask a question, in which I brought to the Prime Minister’s attention the Initiative for a Free and Prospering Europe, launched yesterday: The Initiative for a Free and Prospering Europe (IFPE) is an informal and non-political group of European think tanks and other non-governmental organizations, personalities from […]

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Localism Bill becomes law


Last week, the Localism Bill was passed into law. I was glad to support its passage.  Through 13 years of New Labour, we witnessed continual moves towards centralised planning and micro-managing of our everyday lives. This new law will see central government interference cut and give power back to citizens, community groups and local councils. To accompany the Act, the Government have helpfully updated the ‘plain English guide’ that was produced to accompany the Bill. You can read it here. […]

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Via ZeroHedge: BBC Speechless As Trader Tells Truth: “The Collapse Is Coming…And Goldman Rules The World”


Via ZeroHedge, an interview which astonishes me only in as much as this has appeared on the BBC: As I have indicated again and again and again and again, our present economic system is in profound trouble and it will not be fixed by bailouts. We need money which holds its value: money which has meaning, not money which can be systematically debased to secretly cover politicians’ promises. As I said on the Vine Show recently, generations of politicians have failed us. […]

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Bad ideas that never die: a Parliament of special interests


The Times is running two letters under the heading, Should the Upper House be a Senate? (£). The first letter calls for a federal senate with equal representation for each nation of the UK. (Quite why the smaller nations should be disproportionately powerful, I do not know.)  The second calls for a chamber of representatives from “leading professional and other expert bodies such as the Law Society, the British Medical Association, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Royal Institution of Chartered […]

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Bailouts are a dead end but bilateral debt cancellation could transform the European crisis


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Over on ConservativeHome, I introduce an interesting piece of work by Anthony J Evans and Terence Tse of ESCP Europe: Many will argue that Eurozone financial stability is in Britain’s interests and they are right. That’s why the Government should look carefully at a new report by two Associate Professors at ESCP Europe Business School: Anthony J. Evans (Economics) and Terence Tse (Finance). On their website, The great EU debt write off, Anthony and Terence explain a simulation conducted by their masters students: The […]

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We should take the politics out of health


This morning, I had one of my regular informal meetings with local senior NHS management. As you would expect, the present top-level political manoeuvring leaves senior NHS staff in a difficult position: how can they plan when policy is again up in the air? Right now, the NHS is scarcely under democratic control. Whether it should be is another subject but the fact is that health is primarily state provided in the UK. You would expect the state to have […]

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Are Carswell and Baker Really So Wrong? » The Cobden Centre


Over at the Cobden Centre, one of our friends in a central bank reflects on the Banking Commission’s interim report and asks, Are Carswell and Baker Really So Wrong? As reported by Gordon Kerr, the Independent Commission on Banking issued its Interim Reportlast Monday. The Commission’s mission is to propose structural and other reforms of the UK banking sector. The objective being that big bank failures (rescued with taxpayers’ money) and the near collapse of the UK financial system we saw in late […]

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An intern’s perspective


N.B. This post comes from my first intern, Yana, whom I asked to reflect on her Parliamentary internship. Having spent the past few months as an intern in the House of Commons, I would say I have experienced a fair share. Of course there were some good bits, some not so good, but I can definitely say that it has provided me with a great grasp of the ins and outs of Parliament and taught me a few lessons along the […]

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Wycombe Youth Action awarded £93,000


I am delighted that Wycombe Youth Action was successful in its application to the Transition Fund, which acts as a Big Society funding mechanism. The project received £93,000 to help young people from the ages of 13 to 25 in more positive activities that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do. The Transition Fund was announced last year as part of the Spending Review. So far it has committed £17 million for 201 charities; however there is £90million still […]

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A day’s work


I spent two three-hour sessions in the Protection of Freedoms Bill committee today, preventing me from attending Transport Committee, where Cadence Driver Development gave evidence at my suggestion. Between Bill Committee meetings, I agreed amendments to be tabled and then took back-to-back meetings on Kashmir, banking and economic reform until returning to the committee, where I spoke on the retention of DNA from those arrested, but neither charged nor convicted. Next, I chaired a dinner with a major bank to discuss […]

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