The Selfishness of Socialism

Last week, the opposition seized on selective Treasury figures suggesting the government’s emergency budget would lead to 1.3 million job losses – ignoring the 2.5 million expected to be created. It is a sign of the shrill, partisan and selective politics we can expect in the months ahead. What surprises me most is the sheer […]

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The Coalition’s First Budget

I have just walked out of the House of Commons, having listened to – and spoken in – the budget debate. This budget was never going to leave a smile on anyone’s face. But that is not how it should be judged. In the wake of the worst recession – and burdened with largest budget […]

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Welfare Reform

She laughed, assuming it was a joke. Then, reality dawned. A normal employer looking for someone ‘reliable and hard working’, Nicole Mamo was barred from advertising in the local job center in Norfolk last January. Staff said it would discriminate, against those who are unreliable. Nothing more neatly captures the something for nothing culture built […]

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Coalition Cup – Half Full?

As the policy wonks, commentators and public digest the coalition programme for government, there will be a lot of carping. I was not enthusiastic about a full 5 year coalition. But having joined it, we must make it deliver. The programme is not perfect. It reflects compromise. But let’s not lose sight of the positives, […]

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Election 2010: City AM Backs the Conservatives

This morning sees a fresh batch of endorsements for David Cameron and the Conservatives – from familiar sources, like the Daily Mail, and unexpected ones, like Simon Cowell. Perhaps the most interesting is City AM, which joins the growing consensus that only David Cameron can provide the economic leadership Britain sorely needs. The Editor dismisses […]

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Election 2010: Surrey Taxpayers – The ‘Great Ignored’

David Cameron launched the Conservative election campaign promising to fight for the ‘great ignored’ across Britain – hard-working, law-abiding families who do the right thing, but feel taken for granted by this government. I have been out across the constituency, at commuter stations, on the high street and discussing local issues with residents in town […]

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Election 2010: Local Impact of Labour’s Tax Hike

Yesterday, the British Chamber of Commerce’s latest economic survey of 5,500 businesses showed first quarter economic growth down at 0.2% (after 0.4% in the final quarter of 2009). The recovery has gone from limping to stumbling. That is why the debate on Labour’s National Insurance tax hike – on both employers and employees – is […]

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Elmbridge Business Network – AGM

Today, I attended Elmbridge Business Network’s AGM, held over breakfast at the Civic Centre in Esher. It was valuable opportunity to meet local entrepreneurs – like Sally Findlay, who runs a promotions business in East Molesey, and Ajeet Singh Ahuja, who manages a communications store in Cobham (see below). I was briefed on a range […]

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Out of the woods?

This week we learnt that the British economy crept – limping – out of recession, posting 0.1% economic growth for the last quarter of 2009. So, after the worst slump since 1931, are we out of the woods? On the downside, Pimco an investment firm gave international investors the jitters, advising them to avoid British […]

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Brown’s ‘Pre-Budget’ Bluster

This week Gordon Brown released the government’s pre-budget report. Despite all the bluff and bluster about bashing bankers, this proved yet another missed opportunity. Brown failed to tackle the debt crisis facing Britain, and failed to support small business in Elmbridge and beyond. Amidst the detail, there are three key points:– First, the government is […]

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