January 7, 2011
Mark posted this article on the Daily Telegraph's website following the announcement that former MP, David Chaytor, will be imprisoned for his breaches of the system of MPs' expenses. Click here to read the Telegraph version. 'It was optimistically assumed that last year’s General Election would draw a line under the expenses scandal. The conviction and sentence meted out on Friday to former Bury North MP, David Chaytor, is clear evidence, if such was required, that this sordid affair is not going away any time soon...
January 4, 2011
Politically 2010 was the most momentous year for some decades here in the UK. To near universal surprise (save to those of us who took opinion polls at face value) May’s General Election ended as a stalemate, requiring the Conservatives to put together a coalition with the Liberal Democrats to secure office...
December 15, 2010
Solve the underlying causes of the West’s failure to save adequately and the global imbalances that lie at the heart of the current financial crisis should then correct themselves. Yet as the events of these tumultuous past two years show us, this is far easier said than done. Populist measures to chasten the banking sector are simple enough to devise, but the underlying, deep-seated structural problems facing our economy require tough strategic analysis, potentially divisive policy changes and a harsh dose of reality...
December 10, 2010
The tuition fees furore has successfully crowded out widespread media coverage of another potential coalition fault line – law and order. Earlier this week Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced his ambition to cut prison numbers through flexible sentencing and promoting rehabilitation programmes. He also aspires to scrap minimum sentences for murder and reverse a previous policy position to impose mandatory jail terms for knife crime...
December 7, 2010
The following article was posted this morning on Critical Reaction, an online blog which commissions pieces from a wide range of authors on politics, culture and books: Formulating an acceptable policy on tuition fees was never going to be an easy task. There were far too many hostages to fortune given before the General Election for that. It is also worth remembering that the opt-out in the Coalition Agreement applies implicitly only to Lib Dems outside the government and expressly to the outcome of Lord Browne’s Report. Yet these proposals have already been watered down considerably at the behest of the Liberal Democrats. ...
December 3, 2010
So the recriminations begin in earnest. Only our elimination from the footballing competition proper brings more soul-searching than the repeated failures of England to secure the right to host the World Cup since 1966. First in line the media. The Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama investigations about FIFA corruption will be regarded as pivotal. Next the process itself. For the first time FIFA insisted that the decisions about hosting the 2018 and 2022 tournaments should be made at the same time. Those wily Russians and Qataris cut their deals...
November 30, 2010
An abridged version of the following article appeared in this morning's City AM. To view it, click here. Last week a few unpalatable home truths began to become apparent to the UK political class. Nevertheless, the acute financial woes in Ireland are likely to prove a side-show to a much more serious sovereign debt crisis that threatens to engulf European financial markets in the months ahead. Outside the single currency the UK may smugly stand, but as this drama unfolds it is clear we will be directly affected. Some 55% of our external trade is with the Eurozone and our exports are likely to become considerably less competitive as the Euro depreciates ...
November 23, 2010
Last week, ConHome noted the absence of any questions at PMQs about Britain’s role in a potential bailout of Ireland. With the possibility of the UK contributing billions of pounds to help shore up our near neighbour’s economy, the Opposition leadership instead focussed all six of their questions on police numbers. It was an episode symptomatic of our increasing national immunity to big figures. The more we have read about ‘billions’ over the course of the financial crisis...
November 18, 2010
Mark was featured in this morning's Daily Telegraph discussing his concerns for the future of our financial services industry. We have posted a copy of his article in the Newspaper section of this website but you can...
November 3, 2010
Mark will be launching a defence of the City this afternoon in a Westminster Hall debate he has tabled on rebalancing the economy. Previewed on the front page of this morning's City AM, the paper's editor, Allister Heath, said 'His excellent speech is unusually brave and lucid. Others must now stand up for London’s most important industry, taxpayer and employer'. We shall be posting Mark's full speech online tomorrow but in the meantime it can be previewed on the blogs of City AM, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.