It’s the energy price stupid

The scale of the Conservative defeat in the election has been amply documented. But what has been mentioned much less is the fact that they are by no means alone. Other Western governments which have faced the electorate since the world energy price rise during 2021 and 2022 have suffered serious defeats. Olaf Scholz’s SPD […]

Start-ups and spin-outs: The secret ingredients to growth

Going into the election tomorrow, the two main parties agree on a crucial issue. Economic growth is needed to achieve their respective economic and social aspirations. Despite widespread perceptions to the contrary, in the decade of the 2010s the UK’s growth record was quite reasonable. The average annual rate of GDP growth was two per cent, even […]

Keir Starmer could be more like Harold Wilson than Tony Blair

Labour’s massive lead in the opinion polls is generating many parallels with the 1997 election. Will Keir Starmer end up with a bigger majority than Tony Blair or not? But the comparison with 1997 more or less starts and finishes with the polls. Most other things are completely different. In the late 1990s, capitalism appeared […]

We can’t borrow our way back to growth

This week’s manifesto launches have made the poor state of the public finances clear – simply put, there’s very little money for any party to play with. One reason for this is that lockdown continues to exert an anaconda-like grip on our spending capacity. The policy of paying people to do nothing has proved to be […]

We’re still paying for lockdown, so why is no one talking about it?

To borrow a famous phrase from Karl Marx, a spectre is haunting the election campaign.  Despite the frantic efforts by the Conservatives to portray Keir Starmer as a puppet of the left, it is not, as it was for Marx, the spectre of communism. It is the spectre of lockdown. More specifically, the costs of […]

Economic performance under Labour and Conservative governments: a reckoning

The election campaign has kicked off and already the air is thick with promises and counter-promises. Despite all the efforts of politicians to grab the attention of voters, a notable feature of this election seems to be that many people are not enthused by either of the main parties. Common refrains are “they are all the same” […]

Does Manchester City prove you can buy success?

So Manchester City won the Premiership yet again. Four in a row has been widely trumpeted, and it is also six out of the last seven. But this is just the most obvious aspect of the increasing concentration of success in football amongst a handful of clubs. In the past seven seasons, the top two […]

Starmer’s labour market reforms will put people out of work

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is frequently criticised for the lack of detail around most of its policy pronouncements. One area where this is far less justified is the labour market, where a whole raft of proposals has been put forward. The initial set included ending the two year period before full employment rights kick in, […]

The history of rail suggests renationalisation will make little difference

Getting the railways to function properly has been a problem ever since they were first invented.   The opening ceremony of the Liverpool and Manchester railway in 1830 was a major event in world history. For the first time ever, two cities were connected by a form of transport which could go considerably faster than a […]

Have we passed peak electric car?

This week I got rid of my electric car. As a car, it was a pleasure to drive. I also enjoyed the fact that it disconcerted at least some of my liberal friends who would not naturally associate me with such a ‘progressive’ consumer choice. But the downsides, as increasing numbers of people are realising, began to […]

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