Just got back from the Big Tent Ideas Festival near Cambridge.
If you’ve not heard of it, it’s a gathering of all sorts of political types, journalists, think tankers with open discussions and debates on all manner of topics.
There are tents on Society, Hopes and Fears, Politics, Economy, Innovation, Technology, Global Britain.
In particular the IEA, one of my favourite think tanks, ran the last two sessions in the economy tent and I got to meet Lee Rowley MP and Kristian Niemietz.
If you haven’t read it yet, you must read his IEA paper entitled The Mirage of Democratic Socialism.
Its an alternate history where the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) became a “true” socialist state after the fall of the Berlin wall. Niemietz has such a way of making the right points in the right way. It’s a must read. And no guesses where this socialist paradise ends up even when it’s non violent.
He was also a total gent when I asked him to pose with me against the art wall when I saw a particular phrase was there…
There was a surprise at the end of the day when none other than George Osborne arrived for a final interview and initially I was encouraged by his views on why he lost the EU referendum (them not being the usual remainer nonsense about being lied to or knowing more now, or not being educated enough) but then he started losing me when he talked about explicitly trying to get to a post-liberal era in the 2015 election.
His talk of “wise intervention from government” just struck me as more of the same statism we’ve unfortunately come to expect from all major political parties.
But the highlight has to be meeting Lee Rowley MP and hearing him talk. I’d not heard of him until today but after hearing him speak clearly and passionately for classical liberal values I decided to ask him afterwards where all the other classical liberal Conservative MPs were! He assured me they do exist and that the new intake had some ones to watch.
If the Conservative Party actually espoused liberal values then that might actually give me a party to vote for! Maybe I need to move to Lee’s constituency…