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Power Lunch with Roger Alton - Editor, The Independent

Date: Wednesday 3 March 2010

Time: 12:45pm - 02:15pm

Title: tba

The Editors is a series of Power Lunches with the editors of the countries top newspapers. Inspired by a lunch with Lionel Barber towards the end of last year, we already have most of the top newspaper editors booked to discuss the newspaper industry and current events.

All power lunches take place from 12.45-2.15pm in our offices at 23 Great Smith Street, Westminster. These events are by invitation only, but if you are interested in attending please contact Philip at philip@adamsmith.org or on 020 7222 4995.

The Next Generation with Jamie Whyte

Date: Tuesday 2 March 2010

Time: 06:00pm - 08:00pm

Location: The Old Star, 66 Broadway, Westminster, London, SW1H 1DB

Jamie Whyte is a popular philosopher, living and working in the United Kingdom but originally from New Zealand. He was formerly a lecturer in Philosophy at Cambridge University. He has written extensively for The Times newspaper and has authored several books, including Crimes Against Logic, Bad Thought, and A Load of Blair. His style attempts to dissect confused logic, nonsensical arguments and (not coincidentally) the public pronouncements of modern politicians.

Power Lunch with William D. Eggers

Date: Thursday 25 February 2010

Time: 12:45pm - 02:15pm

Title: If we can put a man on the moon

Tony Blair's 1997 election slogan was Education, Education, Education. Cameron's should be Re-Evaluate, Re-Evaluate, Re-Evaluate. There are just too many government programmes that have expanded, and lobbied for their own further expansion, and are now costing us a fortune while producing very little that we really need. The statue book is cluttered with regulations that either haven't worked, can't be understood, or contradict each other. It really is time to re-evaluate every single thing that government does, and whittle out the parts we really don't need all that much.

One expert at that is William D Eggers, Director of Deloitte's Public Leadership Institute. His new book, If we can put a man on the moon, examines 75 major government initiatives across several countries, trying to discover what makes them succeed or fail. Most governments, he concludes, do a really bad job of evaluating and re-evaluating their initiatives. Too often, politicians design things that seem fine to them politically, but which become a bureaucratic nightmare at the implementation stage. A bit of forward planning would save a lot of tears. And there is a tendency for governments to try to do everything themselves, on a grand scale – the NHS IT fiasco is an example – instead of simply buying the skills or IT from the cloud of non-government providers that are out there.

Eggars feels that sunset laws are a good way to force everyone into a re-evaluation of programmes and agencies, provided that those who are doing the sunset re-evaluation are genuinely independent, not involved in the implementation process themselves, and insulated from the blandishments of lobbyists. Making public data genuinely public – posting government cheques online, for example, so that everyone can see what is being spent in their name – is another important step. That, indeed, could bring forward a multitude of people who could show that they were able to provide the same or better service in another way and at lower cost. It's amazing that nobody thought of it before.

National Free Enterprise Award

Date: Tuesday 23 February 2010

Time: 06:00pm - 07:30pm

Speakers: Andrew Neil (BBC) and Terence Kealey (Vice Chancellor, Buckingham University)
Location: Queenborough Room, St Stephen’s Club, 34 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AB (Drinks & Canapés will be served)

Reception to celebrate the presentation of the National Free Enterprise Award to Dr Madsen Pirie and Dr Eamonn Butler (Directors of the Adam Smith Institute). The National Free Enterprise Award is presented annually by a panel of 14 independent expert judges under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs. Previous winners include Lord Lawson, Richard Branson, Lord King, Baroness Thatcher, Lord Forte and Sir Freddie Laker. Winners receive a handsome custom-made silver presentation trophy.

Evening Seminar with the President of Georgia

Date: Wednesday 17 February 2010

Time: 06:30pm - 08:30pm

Title: The Liberty Act
Location: Queenborough Room, St Stephen’s Club, 34 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9AB

Admission to this event is by invitation only and you will need to be on the guest list to enter. If you would like to be considered, please contact philip@adamsmith.org

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