Douglas Carswell

How to defend free markets in the 21st century

It wasn’t Liz Truss’s failure to make big changes we should worry about. It was her inability to deliver even the most modest pro-market reforms after a decade in high office that ought to alarm us. As Prime Minister for six weeks, Truss tried and failed reduce Britain’s tax burden to about the level it

Stuart Wheeler: 1935 – 2020

If he had lived in a less meretricious age, Stuart Wheeler would be a household name. An extraordinarily successfully entrepreneur, Stuart made his fortune founding the spread betting firm, IG Index. He then proceeded to spend a great deal of it restoring Chilham Castle in Kent and supporting the Conservative party during its nadir at

Brexiteers shouldn’t vote for the Brexit party

The only person ever elected for the Brexit party’s predecessor, Ukip, at a General Election, I really can’t see the point in voting for them now. Why? If you want Brexit done, Boris needs to be returned as Prime Minister on 12 December with a working majority. Backing him is the only way to beat the

Why David Cameron should take his time with the EU referendum

Exhilarating, isn’t it? A referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union is at hand. For the first time in a generation, there’s a real possibility that Britain might leave. With that prospect so tantalisingly close, it’s tempting to want to rush ahead. ‘Bring it on!’ many regular readers will say. Hold on. Let’s

A credit boom before each bust

Here is a graph that shows the four economic downturns Britain has been through (red lines) over the past forty years. What I find strking is that each downturn was preceded by the same thing: a surge in the growth of money (blue line). In other words, the bust followed an unsustainable credit-induced boom. The motives

Toryism’s trip back to the 70s

Remember Ted Heath’s greatest hits of the 70s? Riding high in the charts was his ‘prices and incomes policy’. Followed by ‘state subsidies’ and ‘picking the winners’. And who can forget the smash hit ‘Barber boom’ – with the bust on the B side. Far from being a distant memory, too many Tories today are

iDemocracy and a new model party

The Conservative party is a bit like HMV, the bankrupt music business. For years, just like HMV, we were market leaders. We won 44 per cent of the vote in 1979, 42 per cent in 1983 and 44 per cent again in 1987. But like the old music retailer, we have been losing touch with

Why I love Beppe Grillo

‘Crazy Italians!’ you might think.  Offered the choice between Bunga Bunga Berlusconi, an ex-Communist and a Brussels stooge, one in four of them went and voted for a stand up comedian. Ever since Beppe Grillo’s shock success in the Italian elections, serious pundits in the mainstream media have been inviting us to disapprove. We are

Time to lift the House of Commons off its knees

What if we win office, but nothing changes? What if, instead of running a new government, triumphant Tory ministers discover that the machinery of government runs them? Making sure that does not happen requires a strategy. Opposition may be a time for tactics, but how we fare in office will hinge on having a robust,