A note on Priti

Yesterday saw the resignation of Priti Patel, the now former Secretary of State for International Development. We still have confidence in her ability to put forward the positive case for freedom - and the government should still listen. Continue reading

Marx & Engels: Those Famous Capitalists

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.  The BBC is in festive mode as it celebrates the centenary of Bolshevik Revolution. Laurie Taylor was at it again yesterday on Thinking Aloud. How can all the pundits fly in the face of all the evidence and suggest that the Communist Revolution was anything but a catastrophe? The reign of terror began immediately under Lenin and, by the time of Stalin’s death in 1953, anything between 40-60 million of their countrymen had been slaughtered in the purges and genocides. Apologists for Communism claim that it was a beautiful idea corrupted by the lust for power of the dictators. Eric Hobsbawn, an historian garlanded with the Order of Merit, said that all the millions of deaths under Stalin would have been a price worth paying if the great Communist experiment had delivered the goods. How could it? The only results of Soviet Communism – or Chinese Communism for that matter – were famine, terror and death. But let us go further back and look at the founders of Communism, Marx and Engels, and see if we can find anything in these two to admire. Continue reading

New report says it will take 23 years for the UK to become smokefree

A new report out today commissioned by Philip Morris Ltd has said that at current trends it will take another 23 years for the UK to become smokefree. (The definition of smokefree is smoking rates below five per cent). If smoking then continued to decline at the same rate after 2040, it would reach 0% in around 2051. The report observes that "smoking is in long-run decline, but since 2012 it has declined at more than twice the rate seen between 1993 and 2011. Smokers switching to e-cigarettes appear to have made a material contribution to that recent trend." The last point reiterates what many other reports have said: the free market has been responsible for a sharp decline in smoking rates rather than endless Government interference.  Continue reading

Peter Mullen: Anything to have a go at the Queen

The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association.  Her Majesty is accused of being among those who invest some of their money in countries and institutions where tax rates are lower. The word used all over the press is precisely that one “accused.” But accusations are only in respect of actions deemed to be wrong. The Queen and others who seek to avoid tax have done nothing wrong: they are merely acting prudently. Tax evasion is a crime but tax avoidance is not. Continue reading

Parliament is once again being dragged through the mud. It's time to lance a few boils

Sex scandals have since time immemorial been meat and drink to the media. When the unredacted list of Conservative MPs who are allegedly guilty of sexual impropriety was published on social media, I made sure I looked at it. Much of it was nonsense - just unfounded gossip, some of which is potentially libellous. Some of the MPs listed were certainly guilty of being crass, whilst others really do have a case to answer. In short, it was what I expected. What concerns me most, though, is the damage all of this is doing to Parliament's reputation.  Continue reading