Our scientists were given responsibility in the pandemic but no public accountability

Last week, Rishi Sunak rehashed old wounds and stirred up more controversy over lockdowns during the height of the pandemic. The former Chancellor now says scientists were given too much power, where policy choices should have rested with those elected policy makers known as our leaders.  Unlike most other government policies, there was little cost-benefit […]

As we look back on pandemic mistakes, we need to count livelihoods in our losses

Ministers don’t need to face the inquiry into the Covid-19 pandemic until next spring, the chair of the probe, Heather Hallet, announced this week.  As part of its mandate, the inquiry will “listen to and consider carefully” the experiences of those who lost family members or “have suffered hardship or loss” as a result of […]

Hurrah for a vaccine — but was lockdown actually worth it?

The development of the vaccines has changed many things. It has even influenced the opinion of the Prince of Lockdown himself, health secretary Matt Hancock. Life, he pronounced at the weekend, would be back to normal by the spring and the “blasted regulations” abolished. But one thing has remained constant: the government’s continued refusal to […]

The costs of lockdown could far outweigh the benefits

Playground

Radical leaders such as Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand and Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland have gained plaudits through their relentless focus on eliminating Covid-19. But this comes at an obvious economic cost. Tourism is some 15 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP, and major destinations such as Queenstown in the Southern Alps have been devastated. […]

Supply side success is a cure for the drug of deficit finance

George Osborne’s plan to run financial surpluses and use them to pay off government debt has been met with the usual set of whinges and whines, mainly from academic economists funded by the taxpayer. Of course, their arguments are based purely on what they believe to be the intellectual merits of their case.  One of […]