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Inside Politics

Farewell to Britain

I wish Britain well for the future although times ahead do not look rosy. But most of all I hope that Britain will soon rediscover her liberal roots. Europe does not need another Germany but a Britain promoting the ancient British values of liberty, free markets and free trade. [...]

Looking for the Invisible Hand

The real challenge in the face of widespread financial instability is to keep perspective and not give in to a populist, anti-market sentiment. For that would be the real, long-term damage from our times of economic difficulty. [...]

The Price Is Not Right

Inside Politics – The Policy Exchange newsletter (London), 4 July 2008 There are a few phrases that I was not familiar with when I arrived on these shores four years [...]

You’re fired!

If TV programmes reveal anything about a nation’s state of mind, then we should be worried about Britain. There are TV chefs who need to consume two bottles of red wine while preparing a simple pasta dish; property experts who can explain that no budget is ever high enough to fulfil your dreams of a decent home; and then, of course, there are the candidates on The Apprentice. [...]

Speaking liberally is not enough

The great German comedian Loriot once summed it up nicely. “Liberally speaking,” he said, “liberal does not only mean liberal.” Quite. He must have had the Liberal Democrats in mind when expressing this great political insight. [...]

Falling off the catwalk

Let there be no doubt: a much stronger housing supply is needed to deal with the huge backlog in demand. If you are serious about this you have to accept that house prices could stabilise and even drop. No wonder the Government’s housing policy is falling off the catwalk. [...]

Achieving the Achievable

Nobody can expect Boris to solve the banking crisis. But where he has the powers to improve London’s quality of life – especially in transport and housing – he must do so: for the sake of the city’s inhabitants, but ultimately also to maintain its position as an attractive place to do business. [...]

The Need to Scrap Needs Tests

For reasons unknown there is a persistent prejudice about Britain on the Continent. In Europe they appear to believe that some kind of Anglo-Saxon capitalism is practised on this island. There must be a terrible fog in the Channel which prevents the rest of the world from seeing clearly what is actually going on, but in some respects the UK economy has more in common with Soviet Russia than with free-market capitalism. [...]

The wrong kind of house price falls

The Prime Minister’s reaction to the news from the housing front was as hapless as it was helpless. But given his record dealing with the housing market when he was Chancellor you wouldn’t have expected anything else. [...]

Structural imbalances

To be sure, the creation of a world class service sector is something that Britain can be proud of. But, blinded by its success, it was a mistake to let the country deindustrialise to a point where it does not have much else to offer to the world. [...]