Think Pieces

A short history of the social rights myth

Written by | Wednesday 25 March 2009

The development of 'rights'

Tories must face the taxing realities

Written by | Wednesday 25 March 2009

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.

Nanny state’ Britain is killing common sense

Written by | Monday 16 March 2009

Regulators may have our best interests at heart but whatever happened to looking out for yourself?

Thank goodness. At last we live in a world committed to saving workers from industrial injuries. Like deafness resulting from working in noisy factories. The 2005 Control of Noise at Work regulations promised just that.

Trouble is, the crowd noise at Old Trafford quite often exceeds the regulations' 90-decibel limit. So Sir Alex's boys ought to be wearing earmuffs. And when the London Philharmonic strikes up the 1812 Overture, they should do the same.

Believers in free markets are fighting back

Written by | Monday 9 March 2009

“If you bound the arms and legs of gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps, weighed him down with chains, threw him in a pool and he sank, you wouldn't call it a ‘failure of swimming'. So, when markets have been weighted down by inept and excessive regulation, why call this a ‘failure of capitalism'?"

A Labour-made crisis

Written by | Thursday 5 March 2009

Yes, Sir Fred Goodwin's pension is a scandal. How can someone who brought his company to near collapse walk away, aged just 50, with £703,000 a year? But would I tear up the contract? No, I wouldn't. A deal is a deal. If the minister, Lord Myners, was foolish enough to sign it - without even giving himself a cooling-off period, which of course the banks have to give their customers - then I'm afraid that he and taxpayers are stuck with it.

We've all been made criminals

Written by | Sunday 1 March 2009

What’s frustrating about our slide into a police state is that most people haven’t even noticed it, while the rest have actually welcomed it. Sure, 9/11 and the London bombings leave no doubt that terrorism is a real threat. But then the sweeping powers we’ve given our police and politicians to deal with it are an even bigger one.

Ordinary, upright citizens are now spied on, stopped and searched, arrested at gunpoint, DNA-swabbed and criminalised, for no good reason other than that some officer of the state has the power to do it, and is incentivised to do it.

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