Douglas Carswell MP to lead the debate on change at Politeia on 4th June
As people, across the UK, seem increasingly disenchanted with big party politics, is it sensible to look to Westminster for change? Many MPs are themselves concerned at the trend in parliamentary government.
In the coming months, Politeia’s new series, Breaking the Mould, will feature a group of leading backbench politicians. They will focus on some of the questions central to Britain’s future success and at the heart of how we are governed.
The first event will be on Tuesday 4th June when Douglas Carswell MP will speak on The Failure of “Osbrown Economics".
Douglas Carswell has been Member of Parliament for Harwich and then for Clacton since 2005. He is an advocate of political reform and has been outspoken on a wide range of issues including localism, criminal justice, and the European Union.
David Abulafia, Jonathan Clark, Robert Tombs
The government's new history curriculum has yet to be finalised. But so far the draft has prompted a lively debate amongst historians, teachers and the public.
The plan for pupils to concentrate on the history of this country, from the Romans to Mrs Thatcher, strikes some critics as being too Anglocentric. Others cavil at themes or even phrases which jar on today's politically correct sensibilities.
However, as Politeia's History in the Making: The New Curriculum, Right or Wrong? suggests, such criticisms are wide of the mark.
The authors, Professors David Abulafia, Jonathan Clark and Robert Tombs,* explain that pupils should study especially the history of their own country for practical as well as cultural reasons. Robert Tombs explains that the study of one country 'is the only way for students to attain sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding' and the history of the home country is a good place to start. Indeed it is standard practice in similar western countries such as France, Germany and Switzerland.
Margaret Thatcher changed UK economic history, curbing the growth of public spending and the state. But, as David B. Smith suggests, while there were setbacks and mistakes, some of that legacy has endured.
Lady Thatcher was a great and transformational Prime Minister who pursued her objectives with an intellectual rigour and a determination that is rare among modern politicians. The comments that follow will concentrate on dispelling some of the myths that have been propagated about the economics of the Thatcher period. However, this narrow focus should be seen in a wider context:that of the courage of a lady who spent much of her life under the threat of political assassination; of one whose unique moral force, derived from the Methodism of her youth, gave her the strength robustly to defend her views; and of her important role in winning the cold war. Lady Thatcher’s contribution, in close co-operation with President Ronald Reagan, to the freeing of millions of Eastern Europeans from Soviet domination may eventually come to be regarded as her greatest achievement. However, it is now time to challenge some of the myths about the economic policies of the Thatcher years.
Thatcher's principles brought Britain and the world prosperity
Politeia Director Dr Sheila Lawlor considers the legacy of Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013).
Mrs Thatcher came to power in 1979. Britain was then seen as “the sick man of Europe”, its economic future written off. Strikes rent the country and the economy was held back by big and expensive government. Public spending had crept up in the ‘60s and ‘70s to 47 per cent of GDP; the top rate tax was 83 per cent (90 per cent for unearned income); and trade union power brought production to a halt when a union so ruled.
Mrs Thatcher swept to power with a belief that freedom under the law should guide change. She aimed to set the economy free, promote the rule of law and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship. This meant challenging the power of the state and collective central state planning or ownership. Bit by bit, in the decades after World War Two, state powers had grown. And as Sir Keith Joseph, Mrs Thatcher’s mentor, used to say '"statism" is socialism’s twin'.