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Why conservatives should be Corbynistas

Chris Dillow / October 21, 2017 at 12:24 PM 29 views

Conservative values require socialist policies. That’s my reaction to this essay by Kevin Williamson. He bemoans the “degraded state of the conservative movement” for telling the poor that immigrants and elites are to blame for their hardship and neglecting the…

Why new centre parties will fail

Chris Dillow / October 20, 2017 at 12:17 PM 31 views

For most of us, having an accident means losing our phone or spilling our drink. Jeremy Cliffe is cut from different cloth: he claims to have accidentally started a new political party. Being conceived by accident, however, does not in…

On cutting house prices

Chris Dillow / October 17, 2017 at 12:35 PM 26 views

Ian Mulheirn, echoing Kate Barker, writes: It is very unlikely that the perennial wish of housing commentators to simply ‘build more houses’ will make any meaningful dent in prices. Many people think this is counter-intuitive, so I’ll try to explain…

Why I’m not a lefty

Chris Dillow / October 13, 2017 at 1:06 PM 50 views

Reading Christopher Snowdon’s attack on eco-miserabilists made me realize something – that in many ways I’m not a lefty. This thing is, I agree with Snowdon. Ending economic growth does not move people up a higher spiritual plane. Quite the…

"Good policy, badly implemented"

Chris Dillow / October 12, 2017 at 1:16 PM 34 views

A trend seems to be emerging among their advocates to describe both Brexit and Universal Credit as good policies badly implemented. For me, this raises a question: how big is the “good policy, bad implementation” set? I suspect it’s small,…

The costs of suppression

Chris Dillow / October 11, 2017 at 12:47 PM 28 views

The fall of Harvey Weinstein reminds me of an important phenomenon in the social sciences – that of preference falsification, as described by Timur Kuran. Recall another despot, Nicolae Ceausescu. For years, he faced little dissent because people were afraid…

Centrists – become Marxists

Chris Dillow / October 10, 2017 at 12:08 PM 33 views

Chris Leslie tweeted yesterday that “Marxism should have no place in a modern Labour Party.” You’d expect me to disagree, and I do. But I want to point out that a Marxist point of view might be an asset for…

Capitalism’s bad incentives

Chris Dillow / October 7, 2017 at 11:42 AM 38 views

Martin Wolf writes that successful leftism “must recognise the crucial role of incentives in shaping human behaviour.” This is correct. I’m not sure, though, that it is a big argument against Corbynism. This is because actually-existing capitalism itself contains many…

The Tories’ structural crisis

Chris Dillow / October 5, 2017 at 12:45 PM 43 views

Phillip Hammond’s speech to the Tory conference this week contained an interesting omission. He spoke of “35 years in which we have seen real living standards almost double in this country.” What he omitted to say was that all that…

Hammond’s weak defence of markets

Chris Dillow / October 3, 2017 at 12:58 PM 105 views

Philip Hammond said yesterday that the Tories must try to champion the market economy. This won’t work. For one thing, Labour is not really challenging the market economy. Aditya is right to say it is offering “moderate social democracy… capitalism,…

The lesson of the 70s

Chris Dillow / October 2, 2017 at 12:48 PM 33 views

The Tories have a new line of attack on Labour – that they would take us back to the 1970s, as Hammond alleged this morning (2’19” in). This raises the question: what was so bad then? It’s not that wages…

The impact bias against Labour

Chris Dillow / September 29, 2017 at 12:51 PM 41 views

This week’s prize for an epic lack of self-awareness goes to Philip Hammond, who told us that a Labour government would lead to “a collapse in business investment and a crash in the value of the pound, causing a shockwave…

Ducking questions about capitalism

Chris Dillow / September 28, 2017 at 12:35 PM 37 views

Theresa May’s speech this morning was trailed as a defence of free market capitalism. If that’s what it was, it failed because she failed to answer the big questions. May said: A free market economy, operating under the right rules…

McDonnell’s Marxist critics

Chris Dillow / September 27, 2017 at 12:14 PM 36 views

It’s sometimes said – usually by those who know nothing about Marxism – that John McDonnell is a Marxist. In one sense, this is the exact opposite of the truth: it is not McDonnell who is the Marxist, but his…

Brexit & austerity

Chris Dillow / September 26, 2017 at 12:47 PM 36 views

Nick Clegg spoke for many critics of Labour’s ambiguity towards Brexit when he said: You cannot end austerity if you don't end Brexit. Ending austerity and proceeding with Brexit are incompatible with each other. There’s some truth in this. Brexit…

Labour’s understandable Brexit confusion

Chris Dillow / September 25, 2017 at 12:24 PM 44 views

It’s insufficiently appreciated that political differences are due not just to different values but to differences in what people think important.  To take an obvious example, leftists are concerned about inequality whilst many free market rightists tend to be relaxed…

The intelligent state

Chris Dillow / September 23, 2017 at 12:02 PM 91 views

What’s the best way of protecting vulnerable workers? Two things I’ve seen recently poses this question. First, Daniel Pryor notes that higher minimum wages do destroy some jobs, such as those of young unskilled ones in jobs that can be…

Tories vs the 21st century

Chris Dillow / August 2, 2017 at 12:33 PM 253 views

It’s become a cliché that the Tories want to return to the 1950s, before the age of mass migration and our entanglement with the EU. These, however, are not the only examples of Tories discomfort with the modern world. Tom…

The changing class divide

Chris Dillow / June 11, 2017 at 10:34 AM 251 views

Social class has become less important as an influence upon voting behaviour. This is one under-appreciated feature of last week’s election. Lord Ashcroft’s polls show that the social class AB split 43%-34% between the Tories and Labour. That meant Corbyn’s…

The populist paradox

Chris Dillow / December 7, 2016 at 1:59 PM 393 views

Danny Finkelstein in the Times is good on the need to resist attempts to bully the Supreme Court. He says: Our institutions – parliament, government, the courts – must serve a plural society, they must balance interests and protect rights.…