Policy

Law & Order, Liberty

Porn filters are pointless, authoritarian and doomed to failure

Porn filters are pointless, authoritarian
and doomed to failure

By Stephen Hoffman Yesterday I received an email from the Prime Minister, as I’m sure thousands of other Conservative party members did, extolling the virtues of his latest policy. Were I to believe the hyperbole, I would have thought Cameron had declared peace in our time. The truth was a […]

by × July 24, 2013 ×

Law & Order, Liberty

Porn filters already exist – it’s a parent’s responsibility to use them

Porn filters already exist – it’s a parent’s
responsibility to use them

For some people, there are some things in life that seem just plain wrong. David Cameron has made it clear that for him (and the readership of the Daily Mail), it is pornography. He sees porn, it would seem, in the same way that many see smoking. Not only as […]

by × July 22, 2013 ×

Taxation

Let people have a drink!

Let people have a drink!

By Stephen Hoffman Ronald Reagan wisely once said the nine most terrifying words in the English Language are “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help”. The basic premise of this is that government intervention often makes things worse. This is because it leads to bureaucracy and nonsensical regulation […]

by × July 8, 2013 ×

Health & Environment

We need to talk about the NHS

We need to talk about the NHS

By Dominic Trynka-Watson The NHS is often held up as the greatest achievement of post-war Britain and frequently termed ‘the envy of the world’. Indeed, the NHS as a system enjoys an unusual status whereby it is insulated from criticism by proponents across the political spectrum, who seem to imagine […]

by × June 26, 2013 ×

Taxation

Governments should stop trying to blame everyone else for their terrible tax codes

Governments should stop trying to blame
everyone else for their terrible tax codes

If there is one belief that persists among the mandarins and politicians that man the machinery of government, it is that they and they alone are infallible, incapable of error. Error is something which plagues us lesser mortals, not the benign and omniscient bureaucrats which populate the various neoclassical buildings […]

by × June 24, 2013 ×

Transport

The best way to reform motorways is to abolish the speed limit

The best way to reform motorways is to
abolish the speed limit

The use of chauffer-driven ministerial cars and its cost to the taxpayer is an issue which raises its head every now and then on slow news days and those occasions when people simply want to have a dig at ministers as being ‘out of touch’ and ‘thinking they’re better than […]

by × June 7, 2013 ×

Taxation

We have to simplify our tax system

We have to simplify our tax system

By Stephen Hoffman Tax avoidance and the schemes big companies like Google use to reduce the tax they have to pay within the law have featured largely in the news lately. Much handwringing has occurred and a lot of shouting has been going on about how terrible capitalism and big […]

by × May 21, 2013 ×

Local Government, News

You wouldn’t think we were running out of money, would you?

You wouldn’t think we were running out
of money, would you?

What’s going on? Where did that £15,000 come from? Why was a 17-year-old holding public office? What on earth is a youth police commissioner? Such was my mental process upon picking up on the Paris Brown story. Needless to say I found it all very confusing and I’ve still got […]

by × April 9, 2013 ×

Constitution

A Conservative case for proportional representation

A Conservative case for proportional
representation

This has been something of a referendum-heavy Parliament by British standards. Like standing armies and civil codes of law, referenda are some of those things we on this blessed isle have generally left to Europeans – despots from Napoleon to Hitler used them to cement their legitimacy but we had […]

by × April 8, 2013 ×

Capitalism, Health & Environment

Plain packaging is plain madness

Plain packaging is plain madness

By Stephen Hoffman Plain packaging is a policy that would force shopkeepers across the UK to hide cigarettes in metal boxes and with all the packaging plain. No cigarettes would be branded and there would be no trademarks. In short all cigarettes would look drearily the same. As part of […]

by × April 7, 2013 ×

Leftwatch, Welfare

Why are benefits better than food banks?

Why are benefits better than food banks?

Some things never change and, given the Labour front bench is run by the very same people it was under Gordon Brown, it’s hardly surprising the spin machine is as busy as ever. The coining of fallacies such as ‘bedroom tax’ have been as successful as they are deceptive in […]

by × March 8, 2013 ×

Health & Environment

How many more Staffords before we seriously consider NHS breakup?

How many more Staffords before we
seriously consider NHS breakup?

Probably one of the most underplayed points of agreement between many Liberals and Conservatives is support for breaking up the NHS. It’s a little-known fact but, in 2005, then-MEP Nick Clegg declared “We do want to break up the NHS” because “frankly the faults of the British health service compared […]

by × February 13, 2013 ×