Think Pieces

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.

Has Keynes trumped Adam Smith?

Written by | Friday 27 February 2009

The problem today is Keynesian-style policy, the darling of the establishment politicos and media giants:  big government solutions, deficit spending, easy money, bailouts.  Keynes has suddenly trumped Adam Smith.  And that's dangerous.  

The rise of Mugabenomics

Written by | Friday 30 January 2009

Gordon Brown has reportedly said that the government must use simpler language about the credit crunch, because banking and financial-policy jargon just confuses everyone. Well, I can sum it up quite easily: we're bust, and we're going to print money to make ourselves feel richer.

Madsen Pirie on Platform sets out his manifesto for Britain

Written by | Thursday 15 January 2009


To transform Britain permanently, the next Government should start by taking the lowest paid out of income tax and replacing council tax with a local sales tax

How to promote the free market in 2009

Written by | Monday 12 January 2009

2008 was not an easy year for defenders of the free market. The credit crunch, the banking crisis, and the beginnings of a recession all fuelled the belief that markets are inherently unfair, unstable and destructive. It also gave those on the left the opportunity to resurrect big-state interventionism and, particularly, the economic doctrines of John Maynard Keynes. The idea that government should do less and spend less is, sadly, viewed with suspicion at the best of times, but in an economic downturn it is seen almost as heresy.

What Alistair Darling should have done

Written by | Wednesday 26 November 2008

Alistair Darling was widely expected to announce a package of tax cuts in his pre-budget report this week, in an effort to stimulate the economy. And a few people actually seem to think he did. In reality though, the Chancellor's so-called tax cuts were little more than a political smokescreen, a ploy designed to wrong-foot his Conservative opponents and obscure his real agenda – more spending, more borrowing and more tax.

Don't knock the system: politics caused this crisis of capitalism

Written by | Monday 6 October 2008

With turmoil in the world's markets, politicians and commentators have been demanding for more regulation and control of the financial sector. Their reaction is entirely predictable — but entirely wrong.

This crisis was not caused by capitalism being fatally flawed. It was caused by politicians forcing banks to give out bad loans, monetary authorities flooding the West with cheap credit and regulators being asleep at the wheel.


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