In his excellent new book, The Rotten State of Britain, Eamonn Butler points out that throughout history every generation has complained about the next. What is new is a welfare state that has absolved parents, especially fathers, of responsibility for their offspring, a system that encourages unsuitable people to have children and then discard them (people who the RSPCA would not allow to keep pets), and one in which the law does not back up adults who discipline children.
Published on Telegraph.co.uk hereRead more...
No one escapes suspicion, least of all respectable academics such as Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute. In an embarrassing indictment of the surveillance culture he has just written a book about, Butler was last week detained by police for, er, walking along the street. Ironically the incident occurred while he was being interviewed about his book, The Rotten State of Britain. "We'd finished the inside shots, so we went outside to do some set-ups of me walking down the street," he tells me. "After about two minutes up screeched a red police car, and two armoured officers got out to ask our business. Pretty obvious, I'd have thought, since the cameraman had a huge camera on a tripod and the interviewer was carrying one of those microphones like a shaggy dog." Officers explained the offenders had been captured on at least four different security cameras, and they were merely following procedure.
Published in The Independent on Sunday hereRead more...
Intriguing blog from the free market Adam Smith institute, which compares the world economy to the natural environment and argues for an economic version of the Gaia theory. We'll see how that goes down with the French unions.
Published on the BBC hereRead more...
Debt and the G20
SIR – I was disturbed, albeit not surprised, to read that the average Briton now has to work 83 days a year just to pay off the interest accumulating on their debts (Telegraph.co.uk, March 25).
Once you combine this with the time we spend working to pay our taxes – which the Adam Smith Institute estimates will be around 160 days in 2009 – it could be September before we get to spend any money on ourselves!
Executive Director, Adam Smith Institute
Published in The Telegraph hereRead more...
The director of the the Adam Smith Institute, Dr Eamonn Butler, said governments have caused the economic crisis. "The world market economy is actually a very moral system that raised a billion people out of poverty in the last 10 years," he said
Published on the BBC hereRead more...
Tom Clougherty discuss the forthcoming G20 summit – and its implications for Gordon Brown – on CNBC's Europe This Week. Published on CNBC here.Read more...
The Yorkshire Post (March 25, 2009)
Dr Eamonn Butler
ANOTHER week, another Tory tax pickle.
Last week, David Cameron said that the top rate of income tax might have to go up to 45 per cent. His core supporters were not best pleased – add national insurance, and top earners would be seeing two-thirds of their incomes disappear in tax.
This week, Ken Clarke put his Hush Puppies in it, saying that the Conservatives might abandon their pledge to scrap inheritance tax for most people. That didn't go well with the core voters either. Nor with the millions of middle-class folk who see Gordon Brown grabbing 40 per cent of the family home when mum finally shuffles off.
Tax has troubled the Tories ever since David Cameron became leader. The focus groups told them firmly that the Great British Public simply doesn't believe that you can cut taxes and improve public services at the same time.
[CLICK 'READ MORE' TO CONINUE READING]Read more...
Click here to listen to Eamonn Butler on Radio 4's World at One discussing inflation (from 5 minutes, 25 seconds to 12 minutes, 58 seconds).
ASI executive director Tom Clougherty discusses the forthcoming G20 summit – and its implications for Gordon Brown – on CNBC's Strictly Money. Published on CNBC here.Read more...
But Dr Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute does not believe xenophobia is the prerogative of the right.
"People on the left might welcome world socialism, but when it comes to people coming from other countries and taking their jobs they are not so keen," he says.
He believes that stopping the movement of workers would be counterproductive and that we actually need people to move between nations.
"A lot of countries send labour abroad and it is good for people in poorer countries to go abroad and send money back home," he says.
"The best sort of world is one in which people are free to migrate over the long term," he maintains.
"What we have at the moment is governments deciding who will be admitted into the country.
"They tend to resist inward migration and eventually, at some point when skills are in short supply, they give in so you get a massive surge."
Massive movements are most difficult to deal with and it is hard to convince people that the lower paid worker is a benefit to the country.
"We have to be very careful about a rise in anti-immigrant animus," he warns.
Published on The BBC hereRead more...