James Forsyth

Cameron and the power of the bully pulpit

Cameron and the power of the bully pulpit
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I must be one of the very few people who would genuinely like to see David Cameron give another speech on chocolate oranges. There was much mockery of it but it contained a very important point: there are some things that a business can do that have negative externalities to which the appropriate response is not taxation or regulation but social disapprobation. So, it was good to see Cameron promising both to use the power of his office to call out companies that sell age inappropriate products and to make it easier for people to protest against such behaviour.

There are other areas where I expect social pressure could be effective. It would be fantastic if Cameron would say that only people who are domiciled and resident in this country for tax purposes are eligible for honours. But I sadly suspect this is a step Cameron is not yet prepared to take given the clout of those who would oppose such a move.