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Conservatives doomed without new ideas

Without new ideas, the Conservatives are doomed, says John Kampfner in the Daily Telegraph today. At the heart of the problem, he says, is that the centre-Left is running out of ideas. The policy wonks’ cupboard is bare. The underlying problem is that economic theory stopped developing in the 1880s, when it had reached the point where the privileges of powerful vested interests would have come under increasing scrutiny. Economists such as Thorold Rogers, Professor of Economics at Oxford University and a Member of Parliament, and of course Henry George, had to be sidelined. This was done by throwing up a smokescreen of bogus theory which still holds sway. The result is that economic theory degenerated to the point that medicine was before scientists understood things like bacteria, viruses, vitamins, etc. In the absence of adequate explanatory theory, think tanks are unable to provide the politicians with the conceptual tools to enable them to understand what is happening and deal with the problems. The result is that the some troubles recur every couple of decades. And the powerful vested interests in the status quo remain. Read the article here