We are in a world that is tilting over the edge of the very deep hole of global recession. Once we have fallen in, our only way out is through encouraging capital growth through real savings and promoting a more resilient understanding of property rights and free markets; or our continued descent will be through bringing in an unprecedented epoch of handouts from the state, more intervention and unpredictable behaviour-altering regulation. Nowhere is this ideological division more cleanly delineated than in development policy.
I look forward to sharing my observations and commentary with you – and the success of any blog lies in the quality of the feedback. So I offer the assurance now that all contributions will be read by me – and who knows? – perhaps the best ones even circulated more widely here in the Parliament.
My basic principles are that government’s only legitimate function is to protect three things: Life, Liberty and Property. Anything else it does is a usurpation of that liberty – and obviously all taxation is robbery backed by coercion, masquerading as social responsibility. Furthermore, we must abolish the Bank of England and return to the gold standard. I reduce the essence of Conservatism to: “Trust the People”. Winston Churchill, quoting his father, said that. Why don’t we give it a try sometime?
Benjamin Harnwell is Secretary General of the European Parliament’s Working Group on Human Dignity; and Chief of Staff to Nirj Deva MEP, Conservative International Development Spokesman in the European Parliament. He is writing in a personal capacity. This blog appears on Fridays.