government

General Election 2019 and the Current State of British Politics

It’s that time again! It’s polling day tomorrow, so we couldn’t record anything but a General Election special.

We discuss the latest YouGov MRP (whatever that stands for…), trends amongst other polls and the state of the current crop of political parties.

Just how close do we think the result will be? Will we be heading for a strong Tory majority? Or will we face another hung parliament? Are we really in a time of unprecedented political turmoil?

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This edition can be found here: https://youtu.be/S_H4ACRYLQA
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Democracy, Libertarianism and the Trouble with Voting

Recorded straight after the last edition, we follow on with a discussion on the problems of our democratic system and whether we only have a choice of the “least worst” from here on in.

We talk about whether voting matters in a “safe seat”, and whether we have been unwittingly encouraging others to vote on twitter by pointing out how dangerous the Labour Party policies are.

Should Nic hold his nose and vote Tory to stop the Communists? Where do you draw the line with Socialism? Should you always vote for the least Socialist party?

We discuss all of this, and a hypothetical Libertarian Party that would have the power to dismantle all of it…if only they were voted in.

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
This edition can be found here: https://youtu.be/TUBof8fsMBY
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Thought Experiment: Privatising the Public Sector

What if everything the government does was privatised? Not the law making, but all of the other functions and agencies and quangos.

Could it be done quickly? What would be the consequences, and should we start with something small first… like the NHS.

As we discuss going the whole hog, we realise we never started the podcast wanting to talk about any of this, but ended up having what we think is an interesting discussion.

But were we always on the same page? We also analyse our thought processes around the conversation, and how we constructed our arguments in order to communicate with each other effectively. We are always interested in improving how we think critically, so this was a revealing retrospective on the conversation, that wouldn’t normally be aired.

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Proroguing Parliament: What does it really mean for Brexit?

As predicted, Boris Johnson has decided to end the current parliamentary session (the longest in modern times), and trigger a new Queen’s Speech. Remainists are naturally going crazy, and talking of constitutional outrage.

But what does it actually mean for Brexit on 31 October? Is there time for fast-tracked, Bercow-enabled law that would either revoke Article 50, extend the deadline, or somehow prevent a “no deal”? What about passing a law that would stop prorogation itself? Is there even time left now in the parliamentary session?

We discuss all this and the finer details of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, and whether Boris has pulled a blinder.

Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/enacted

House of Commons Library Briefing Paper on Prorogation – https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8589

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Bit of a chat: driving whisky, ruining Monopoly and the Chuka Umunna Award

In this edition, we have a longer chat than usual, but try to get in all the smaller topics that we feel were too short to be podcasts in their own right, or that we just want to rant about.

We discuss gaming culture, and whether the terminology is creeping into political life, how Andrew feels like we’ve been brainwashed into thinking the game Monopoly is really capitalism, and Nic names the first recipient of the Chuka Umunna Award.

And over a whisky or two, we talk about how Brexity the new Boris Johnson cabinet can be, and whether the Tories are missing a trick with making everything about Corbyn.

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Should May, Not Boris, Prorogue Parliament?

How could the Remainer establishment blunt Boris Johnson’s threat of proroguing parliament to force through Brexit?

Maybe, just maybe, there is a way of playing politics that blunts Boris’s endgame ambitions for no-deal.
In short, what if Theresa May prorogued parliament now, before Boris gets a chance to?

——
Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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The Uniqueness of Human Thought and Win-Win Transactions

Why is it that only humans trade?  In this edition, we discuss how the human capacity to think has lead us to invent the concepts of specialisation and exchange, and that there is a common fallacy that trade transactions aren’t in fact Win-Win.

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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What’s Up With Communism?

This week another book on communism was published. We know what you’re thinking. This time, it’s going to be different… So we question various obvious, and not so obvious, aspects to communism. What happens to privacy when others decide what I am allowed? How much slavery is acceptable? How is value determined? How can communism cope with scarcity? After all, resources aside, there are only a certain amount of man (or robot) hours in a day, limiting what we can build.

——
Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
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Could The Current Constitutional Crisis Have Any Benefits?

This week we discuss whether Britain’s current constitutional crisis is actually a good thing. As Classical Liberals & Libertarians, should we delight in people realising that the current system of government isn’t working and cannot cope with incompetent or even sinister Members of Parliament?

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

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Please visit our website to download or stream all our previous episodes and to read our articles.
Remember, you can now subscribe on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWzAT–UxzErq_UU5SCUtFg
Please reach out to us on Twitter:
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Facebook wants regulation because it wants to strangle new ideas

There are many motivations for starting a company, but most of them involve having an idea.

It might not be an original one, but that idea is what fuels the company.

That idea is a way of providing a service or a product that will be successful and have demand.

You might have an idea that you know will only make a quick buck. You might have a game changing product that ultimately will influence an entire sector or culture.

You might just think you can do something everyone else is doing, just cheaper, or better.

But while you’re doing it, while your setting up the company and as you start to trade and continue to grow, you aren’t looking for the hardest and most expensive way of doing it.

You maintain your idea, but in the most efficient and value intensive way.

If it costs more than you can sell it for, then you might as well shut up shop, unless you can see a way to reduce those costs through scale, investment and technology.

What you don’t do, is embrace or encourage burdens on your business.

Yet that’s what regulation is.

Regulations are what a start up business has to find a way to fund. They are a direct cost to the business.

You might have raw materials, labour cost and the cost of manufacturing, shipping, marketing etc.

But you also have the regulatory cost. The cost of compliance.

And this is where regulation favours the large business, with its economies of scale and deeper pockets than the plucky start up.

It’s why you’ll never see a small business ask the government to regulate them.

It’s why the founder of Facebook just asked for the government to regulate it.

Look at us, we’re on your side, we are actually asking for rules to play by. We can’t possibly be evil.

Yet if Facebook wanted to protect its users, it could. If it wanted to invest in technology to filter content, it could pump billions of dollars into it.

The plucky little start up social media company can’t afford to do that.

And that’s why Facebook wants it.

They get to “work with governments” and governments get to say they “worked with industry” to set regulation and “protect” us. From whom, who knows.

But the sad irony, the counter intuitive fact of the matter, is that if government regulates Facebook (or rather the entire social media industry) then it has unwittingly done Facebook’s job for it.

It’s put a massive extra cost on being a social media platform, and thus instantly made it billions of dollars more difficult to become one.

Who do we want to challenge the Facebooks of this world? Only other global business leviathans with the means to navigate and pay the costs generated by regulation?

Or do we want real competition.  From new businesses of any size. From those that want to change and pivot quickly.

Facebook just asked to be regulated. Governments will now clamour to do so, when all they are doing is helping sustain and augment a monopoly.

Yet we should want those with new ideas to be able to disrupt.

To challenge.

To innovate.

The best way of coming up with something better than Facebook is to unleash the potential of those new ideas.

Free from constraints.  Free from burdensome regulation that only the large incumbents will push for in order to create barriers for those to challenge them.

Of course Mark Zuckerberg wants new regulation.

The problem is that no one else asks why.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash