With power struggles within Parliament dominating the headlines, it’s all too easy to forget the bigger picture of our departure from the EU. Yet, with public consultations opening up about our first bilateral trade agreements, this debate is continuing – though perhaps not getting the attention it deserves. Today we’re joined by Shanker Singham, Director of the IEA’s International Trade and Competition Unit, and Senior Policy Analyst Dr Radomir Tylecote. They examine these consultations, what it could mean for business – and what the government should be doing to give firms more certainty and help them prepare for the future. Finally, they examine public opinion towards free trade. If recent polling is anything to go by, the public mood is decidedly anti-protectionist – just as it was in the 19th century, when free exchange triumphed over mercantilism in the battle of ideas.
You’re listening to Live from Lord North Street, a podcast from the Institute of Economic Affairs. Back in June, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, because the owner didn’t like her association with President Donald Trump’s administration. Is this an act of discrimination, perfectly within one’s right, or both?
Today we’re joined by Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the IEA, to discuss the concept of civility in public life. Interviewed by IEA News Editor Kate Andrews, Steve argues that any private establishment has the right to refuse service, but that doing so does not come without consequence. The pair discuss famous instances of discrimination, perpetuated by both the private sector and the state, and try to identify what the lines are between civil dissent and dangerously overstepping the mark.
Almost everyone is in favor of advancements in green energy. But we’re still a long way off from cleaner sources being able to take over from more traditional forms of energy, like fossil fuels. If we were to make the switch now, it would inevitably mean moving from a high-energy society to a low-energy society. But what would this mean in practice?
Today we’re speaking with the IEA’s Head of Education, Dr Steve Davies. Steve paints a picture of radical changes that would have to be made in order to adapt to a low-energy society. Two major changes include a return to agriculture focus in local areas, with over 30 per cent of the population needing to return to the farms to make sure communities could be fed. Furthermore, it would almost certainly mean the return of traditional gender roles, as it was the many advancements in energy in particular, that enabled women to liberate themselves out of the home and into the workforce. And while many people who advocate for a low-energy society seem to think that the things they like will continue, while the things they loathe will be scrapped, Steve argues that many conveniences, and indeed miracles, of modern society – like international plane travel and use of the internet – would be wiped out almost completely, with only the world’s elite having access to such luxuries.
Today we're joined by one of the world's most decorated economists, Professor Vernon Smith - Nobel Prize winner in economics, and a long-time friend of the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Professor Smith gives his analysis of current economic trends in the US and throughout Europe, including his take on Donald Trump's tariffs and obstacles to free trade. If you like what you hear, be sure to watch Professor Smith's lecture at this year's THINK conference.
Today we’re by John Myers, co-founder of London YIMBY, which stands for Yes In My Back Yard. The group campaigns for more homes in London and the rest of the UK. Interviewed by IEA News Editor Kate Andrews, John talks through the main obstacles that stand in the way of building more homes, and how the current system makes it near impossible for quantity and quality in the housing sector to go hand-in-hand.
John explains how the severe imbalance between supply and demand for housing in the UK, means that desperation to become a homeowner takes precedent, and often the aesthetics of property go out the window. John talks us through some solutions to the housing crisis, including allowing homeowners to have more control over planning permissions on their own street.
Finally, the pair discuss the perverse incentives in politics around the housing crisis, and what decisions could be made in Westminster to help more young people secure cheaper mortgages and cheaper rent.
Today we’re joined by the IEA’s Director General Mark Littlewood and Research Director Jamie Whyte on the 70th birthday of the National Health Service. Interviewed by News Editor Kate Andrews, they discuss how – despite all the praise around the NHS the past few weeks – the system is an international laggard on many key measures including health outcomes, survival rates and waiting times. Whilst cash injections may help in the short term, they will prove to be a waste of taxpayers’ money if structural changes are not made alongside investment. Far from celebrating the NHS this week, policymakers should be considering wholesale reform of the centralised system to improve patient care and save lives.
Today we’re joined by the Advisory Board of our International Trade and Competition Unit, made up of world-renowned experts in trade policy – including Sir Lockwood Smith, John Weekes and Alan Oxley, who join us today, along with ITCU’s Director Shanker Singham. Interviewed by the IEA’s Madeline Grant, they give us a global view of Britain’s place in the world – and their prognosis of how our negotiations have progressed so far.
They examine best practice in a range of different areas, including negotiating tactics, and discuss what an optimal free trade arrangement with the EU would look like. They also lay out some of the potential dangers and obstacles Britain may face in reaching this outcome. Finally, they consider how an independent Britain could advance the cause of free trade on the world stage.
Sir Lockwood Smith, John Weekes, Alan Oxley, Shanker Singham, Madeline Grant
Migration matters. It has risen to near the top of concerns expressed in opinion polls in the UK and across Europe. For many politicians, the EU referendum result was a clear instruction from the British people that they wanted to reduce immigration levels.
But is it all as clear cut as that? Joining us today are Daniel Pryor, Head of Programmes at the Adam Smith Institute, and Kristian Niemietz, Head of Health and Welfare at the Institute of Economic Affairs. Interviewed by Digital Officer Madeline Grant, Daniel and Kristian examine how people in Britain really feel about migration and where the nuances lie. They discuss the economic benefits of immigration – as well as its impact on culture and social cohesion.
“Fake news” has been sweeping the nation – or has it? Today we’re joined by Kate Andrews, News Editor at the IEA and Head of Education Dr Steve Davies. Steve argues that, unlike what many in the mainstream media would have you believe, “fake news” is nothing new.
In fact, trawling through history, we see that “Fake news” has been around in innumerable ways, shapes and forms, for centuries – even millennia.
There is no one kind of fake news, and Kate and Steve examine some of the major distinctions between them, particularly in regards to intention and trust in mainstream.
Finally, they examine how to spot fake news – and what we can all do to halt its dissemination and create a higher standard of debate.
Here in the UK, we hear a great deal about the Donald Trump administration – but how do we get past the hyperbole and hysteria to figure out what’s really going on across the pond. Today we’re joined by Dr Tom Palmer, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Network. Interviewed by the IEA’s News Editor Kate Andrews, Tom discusses the President’s modus operandi, his top priorities – and the internal workings of the White House. They also evaluate the success of Donald Trump’s tax reforms – and whether his reluctance to find common cause with Democrats may make it more likely that these reforms could ultimately be overturned.