February 25, 2012
As we have all learned from the graveyard of failed forecasts, economics is an unerringly inaccurate as well as a dismal science, inextricably bound to the whims of irrational human behaviour. All too frequently it follows that economies develop haphazardly and tend to reflect a nation’s collective ability (or otherwise) to innovate and provide conditions in which the experience and aspiration of its people can flourish. One of capitalism’s enormous strengths is its accommodation of human nature by the creation of broadly stable environments that liberate and incentivise people to pursue new ideas whilst casting aside defunct thinking....
February 24, 2012
Forget the breathless pronouncements from Davos. Forget the domestic political posturing of Party Leaders desperately trying to convince voters there is much of substance to choose between their economic outlooks. Forget even the furore over the pay, bonus and rank handed out to RBS chief executives past and present. Free enterprise and the market remain the only games in town. As the financial crash of 2008 plays itself out (and it has barely begun to do so) the systemic, existential crisis will not be of capitalism. Out of sheer financial...
February 7, 2012
The growth of the internet is the defining technological change of this generation. Not only has it transformed the way we communicate, socialise, transact, consume, but it has linked the world in ways seemingly unimaginable even a decade ago. The inevitable impact on the political sphere was clear for all to see last year. The Arab Spring, the rapid coordination of global protest movements, the London riots, the continued dramatic, debilitating drip of Wikileaks – these events were not necessarily foreseen, but they were in part facilitated, and certainly enormously
January 30, 2012
Following the announcement on the amount awarded to RBS's Chief Executive, Stephen Hester, as a bonus, Mark has been commenting on the matter on a range of media outlets including Radio Five Live, Sky News, Radio 4 and Jeremy Vine's Radio 2 show. He wrote today the following article for prominent political website, ConservativeHome.As MP for the City, I have never slavishly defended the level of rewards in financial services which are often disproportionate and, in the current climate of austerity, seen to many as ludicrously out of balance (click here). Nevertheless....
January 24, 2012
Like most Conservative MPs, only a few years ago I cannot imagine that I would have been open minded to the notion of government interference in the remuneration of privately owned companies. However, Vince Cable announced to parliament yesterday afternoon that the coalition government will rapidly move towards legislating to give shareholders control over the ‘excesses of capitalism’ and clamp down on the ‘rewards for failure’. Perhaps more than any other, my own constituency, the Cities of London and Westminster, benefited from the...
January 23, 2012
The following article by Mark appeared in today's Telegraph: Does it really matter if Sir Fred becomes plain Mr Goodwin again? Watching senior political leaders this week falling over themselves in casting to the winds the fate of the disgraced former Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive you could be excused for thinking that no issue in public life was more critical. Don’t be fooled by the grandstanding. Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband know in their hearts that the dispute over the award of a knighthood to an erstwhile Master of the Financial Services Universe...
January 18, 2012
Back in 2007, Mark tabled a Westminster Hall debate calling upon the last government to give serious consideration to the idea of a new airport for London in the Thames Estuary. Today, it has been revealed that the coalition government is likely soon to launch a formal consultation on such an option. Mark's 2007 speech is therefore copied below as a reminder of the arguments in favour of this airport being built: Since the beginning of the millennium the government has been dithering over the pressing need for expanding airport capacity in Britain. We have seen White Papers, judicial reviews, announcements, retractions, consultations…And the conclusion?...
December 13, 2011
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, which gained Royal Assent earlier this year, will prohibit people from camping in gardens and pavement in the middle of Parliament Square. While I fully support the important right to protest, removing this long standing camp will make it possible for other people to use the Square for recreation and protest. Westminster City Council is proposing additional action to deal with encampments in the area around parliament. The Act covers the central island in the Square but to...
December 7, 2011
So here we go again! Yet another ‘last chance saloon’ Eurozone crisis conference. Maybe, just maybe, this Friday’s summit will be the game changer that financial markets so earnestly desire. In truth, I am still not convinced, in spite of coverage to the contrary, that Angela Merkel has the domestic political capital to drive forward fiscal union. Her electors may warm to the imposition of Germanic economic discipline on southern Europe, but the inflationary consequences of ECB money-printing provide...
December 2, 2011
Recently at lunch in my constituency, I found myself seated next to a native partner from one of the two Chinese law firms now operating in London. During our conversation I made some passing reference to the ‘global economic downturn’. This was greeted with a wry smile. ‘Back home’, he said, ‘we call it the North Atlantic recession’. What we so easily forget amidst the West’s doom and gloom – where the Euro teeters...