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How to Save Sovereignty!

How to Save Sovereignty! 
Friday 5th February: The Prime Minister has now received the EU's offer of a 'deal' on this country's future relations with the EU, and is prepared to negotiate on that basis.   However, so far no answer has been given to the biggest question of all, 'Who Governs Britain?' 

Bring on the Consultation

Bring on the Consultation!
Friday 29th January: This week the Court of Appeal ruled the ‘bedroom tax’ discriminatory, reigniting the debate on 'courts v government'. That question also goes to the heart of plans for a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act. But as Jocky McLean explains, its time to make a move.
This week Chris Chope MP urged the government to publish its proposals for the British Bill of Rights. He recalled that the mandate to repeal the Human Rights Act in May’s general election is now eight months old. 
Not only was the British Bill of Rights promised to great fanfare at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in 2014, following the public discussion which followed the Coalition’s Commission on such a measure. But it was pledged in the 2015 manifesto. Nonetheless all are still waiting. Two able ministers are at the helm. Michael Gove the Secretary of State and Dominic Raab, an experienced human rights lawyer. Anticipated as part of the first 100 days blitz, the government held back, scheduling consultation first for Autumn 2015, then for Christmas and then it seemed for the new year. Yet February is now upon us. Unless things start moving the Westminster timetable may prove too tight to get the bill through this Parliament.

Remembering Cecil Parkinson

Opportunity Knocks!
Remembering Lord Parkinson...
Friday 29th January: This week news broke of Cecil Parkinson’s death. What was the able minister, icon of Thatcherite Britain and Chairman of the Conservative Party like? Here Politeia’s Director, Sheila Lawlor, recalls a friend and one of Politeia’s founding fathers.
Cecil Parkinson was one of Politeia’s founders and its first treasurer. He was introduced to me by another Thatcherite as someone who would help get things done. He was certainly up for a fight. The smaller state was for Cecil, the twin of entrepreneurship. Both were in his DNA. Britain should be the land of opportunity for a country of entrepreneurs, and one of Cecil Parkinson’s ambitions was to get the state out of their way.
He flourished under Mrs Thatcher’s leadership and became Minister of State for Trade in 1979, in her first government. It was then that British Telecom was privatised, and he used to recall journeys in the car on Fridays, and becoming perplexed by the number of telephone vans parked in the lay-bys across Britain. Pulling up in the lay-by he would ask the drivers if there was a problem, only to be told that ‘everything was alright’ - they were ‘just sitting out the afternoon’ until the time they could clock off for the weekend. That was not the prescription he envisaged for getting Britain back on her feet so ‘we went ahead and privatised BT’. Of course it was not the only reason, but his description struck a chord with everybody who had waited and waited for a line to be repaired or installed.

Rhodes Today. Who Tomorrow?

 Rhodes Today. Who Tomorrow?
By Professor Jonathan Clark 

Friday 22nd January:This week students at the Oxford Union voted to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes, though not by a large majority (245-212).  

At a Price? Oil and the Economic Future


At a Price?

Oil and the Economic Future

Friday 15th January: This week’s oil price tumble to $30 a barrel may confirm the gloomy picture of the global economy. But it should also serve as a warning that geo political stability may also take a hit, explains Professor Harold James.

The oil price is often regarded as a sort of thermometer to measure the health of the world economy.  It surged in the financial crisis, and the dramatic fall to under USD 30 a barrel (from almost USD 150 in June 2008) is now being interpreted as a sign of a new impending meltdown.

It is worth thinking about how the lines of causation work.  Expensive oil produces increased costs for most rich industrial economies, and so a surge of oil prices will slow economic growth.  Spikes in the oil price were associated with global recessions in the1973-74 and 1979-80 (the oil price shocks), but also in 2000 and 2008.  A slowing of economic growth might be expected – other things being equal – to lead to a price decline.  That is roughly the story of today’s situation.  Oil prices plummeted in the immediate aftermath of the September 2008 Lehman shock, but then recovered substantially, as the vigour of emerging market growth stopped a repetition of the interwar Great Depression.  Today, the weakness in all major emerging markets – with the possible exception of India – is depressing the demand for oil.  It is not surprising that petroleum problems are now regarded as proof of global economic fragility.

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