Flat and uninspiring. And that was the whole conference, not just May's speech

That was certainly the flattest Conservative Party Conference I have attended. It was dull and uninspiring, and it finished as badly as it started. Although I sympathised with Theresa May as she struggled to get her words out earlier today (who wouldn't?), the speech itself was a car crash. It was too long, disjointed, and the content was deeply worrying for those of us of a free market persuasion.  Continue reading

Rather than Socialism for the 21st Century, Corbyn wants to take us back to the 1970s

Responding to Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the Labour Party Conference this afternoon, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns at The Freedom Association, said: "Jeremy Corbyn mocked Theresa May for finding the magic money tree to pay for the confidence and supply agreement with the DUP, however, other than the usual mantra of "tax the rich", he doesn't have a clue how he is going to pay for his spending commitments which totals tens of billions of pounds. He wants to take the UK back to the bad old days of the 1970s with the return of sweeping trade union powers, rent controls, and nationalised utilities." Continue reading

Free Trade Must Win

On a day when the press is rightly reporting concern surrounding the decision by a US court to place tariffs on the aerospace and transport company Bombardier, there is no more appropriate time for Dan Hannan to be launching a new group, the Institute for Free Trade (IFT), to restate the benefits of the free market. As Dan explains in BrexitCentral this morning, leaving the European Union gives us a unique opportunity to write a new trade policy from scratch. Indeed, the UK must cast aside the twin threats of Marxist Corbynistas at home and protectionist barriers abroad to succeed after Brexit. To achieve that we need to restate the case in a more appealing fashion to win the argument and ensure the UK can become better off out economically (as well as politically).  Continue reading

Protectionism never works. It's time for the USA to realise this

The main news story this morning is the decision of the US authorities to impose a 220 per cent tariff on the imports of C-Series jets made by Bombardier in Northern Ireland. Bombardier is a major employer in Northern Ireland and 1,000 jobs are linked to the C-Series jet. This tariff has been imposed because Boeing complained that Bombardier gets unfair state subsidies from the UK and Canada. This tariff could triple the cost of the C-Series jet in the US, and you don't need a Ph.D to work out what that means: Bombardier will no longer be able to complete in the US market. This is protectionism, and protectionism always comes back to bite you when you least expect it.   Continue reading

Pennsylvania's dead hand of the state

The father of modern economics, Adam Smith, spoke of the invisible hand of the free market to describe the unintended social benefits of individual self-interested actions. With markets so heavily regulated now, the invisible hand is getting harder to spot. What we are more likely to see is the dead hand of the state intervening in markets, doing untold damage in its wake. This is what has happened in the US State of Pennsylvania.  Continue reading