Written by Christopher Hope
Eamonn Butler, the director of think tank the Adam Smith Institute, said: “It is obvious that the boom in CCTV cameras is not making us the slightest bit safer.
“There is no evidence that it saves us from gun or knife crime, or for that matter that it stops terrorists – many terrorists are only too glad to advertise their evil deeds."
“Nor are cameras much good in getting convictions. Evidence from them is only allowed in court if the images are securely stored and handled, so that there is no possibility that they have been tampered with."
Published on Telegraph.co.uk here.Read more...
There is a near total blindness to the fact that nationalized health systems in other countries are deeply troubled, even deadly. Horror stories about these systems are plentiful in the mainstream media. What about the common good? A 2002 report by the Adam Smith Institute noted the following about Britain’s state-run healthcare monopoly:
The NHS has a severe shortage of capacity, directly costing the lives of tens of thousands of patients a year. We have fewer doctors per head of population than any European country apart from Albania. We import nurses and doctors from the world's poorest countries, and export sick people to some of the richest. More than one million people—one in sixty of the population—are waiting for treatment.
Published in The American here.Read more...
Written by David Stevenson
Although the defenders of the NHS claim it's free, of course it isn't – the 2007/2008 NHS budget added up to £1,500 for every man, woman and child in Britain. As David Rawcliffe on Adamsmith.org points out, although we know that the NHS is paid for by taxation, with a mix of national insurance contributions, stealth taxes, PAYE and government borrowing, it's all too easy for us to forget how much we actually pay. What's more, much of the money goes on administration. Despite a total payroll of over 1.5 million – worldwide, only the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the Wal-Mart supermarket chain and Indian Railways directly employ more people – less than 50% are clinically qualified. That makes the NHS "a bureaucratic monstrosity", says Tim Worstall, also on Adamsmith.org.
Published on Moneyweek here.Read more...
"There is a decline in social mobility in education, but it's wrong to tinker with higher education funding and admissions; that's meddling far too late in the process," said Tom Clougherty, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, a British think tank.
Published in Forbes here.Read more...
Keith Boyfield, chairman of the Adam Smith Institute’s Regulatory Evaluation Group, said there was a case for a return to old-style structures for investment banks.
“One advantage of partnership arrangements was that it was their own money they were risking and they had a stake in the long-term profitability of the business," he said.
Published in The Times here.Read more...
The European Union's plan for a new machinery of financial regulation is an "opportunistic" attempt to extend EU power and is largely based on unsubstantiated claims, according to a hard-hitting report by the Adam Smith Institute and the London Business School.
The study said the British Government has responded with incoherent or irrelevant objections as Europe's elite seize on events to rush through laws that greatly increase EU control over the City of London.
"The proposals seem opportunistic, using the financial crisis to provide an opening for long-held political objectives," it said, accusing Brussels of trying to transform the financial system "while it is too weak to object".
"Since financial crises of this scale come along only every 60 years, there is no economic reason for this haste," it said.
The European Commission has made no attempt to validate its claim that lack of EU cross-border rules was a key cause of the credit crisis, ignoring evidence that the real damage stemmed from the failure of countries to enforce their existing rules properly. "Instead of dealing with the fundamental problem, the Commission is instead proposing to add new bureaucratic structures."
The key bone of contention is the creation of three new "Authorities" with a permanent staff and binding powers: a European Banking Authority in London; a European Insurance and Pensions Authority in Frankfurt; and a European Securities Authority in Paris.
While they look like the current advisory committees made up of chief regulators from the 27 member states, they are in reality executive agencies able to impose their agenda, with powers to "settle the matter" in the case of disputes. They effectively strip Britain of ultimate control over much of the City, leaving "day-to-day" matters to the Financial Services Authority.
Keith Boyfield, co-author of the report and chair of the Regulatory Evaluation Group, said the raft of proposals coming from Brussels together amount to an extremely serious assault on the City.
"When you look at this you wonder whether Alistair Darling's White Paper is a pointless exercise," he said.
The Government appears confused by the rush of events. Rather than fight the core issue of transferring control to Brussels, it has been arguing over whether the bodies should be run by the Commission or the Council. Either way, London loses ultimate control.
Gordon Brown agreed to the plans at last month's Brussels summit, provided that they do not impinge on "fiscal sovereignty". Lord Mandelson has since said Britain should forge an alliance with those EU states in our camp to limit it saying "we have more skin in this game than the rest of Europe put together".
An EU insider said the credit crisis had thrown up an unholy alliance between nationalist politicians from France, Italy and Spain hoping to chip away at the City, and Left-wing forces opposed to market capitalism.
The two together are a formidable bloc.
Moreover, Socialist Euro-MPs have forced Commission President Jose Barroso- an Iberian Thatcherite -to back their demands as the price for clearing the way for his reappointment.Read more...