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Tag Archives: Speeches

Speech on the Spring Budget Statement 2023

My Lords, I join other noble Lords in paying tribute to the remarkable maiden speech of the noble Baroness, Lady Moyo. It was very thoughtful and thought provoking, and I very much appreciated her reference to me—she will have a great future here. The Budget was crafted in the shadow of disruptive world events over which the Chancellor has little or no control, but it is by its effectiveness in tackling or responding to those events that I think this Budget will be judged. The three...

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Speech on “Ukraine: Tactical Nuclear Weapons”

My Lords, I am grateful, as we all are, to the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries, for initiating this debate and for drawing attention to the real danger of nuclear escalation. I am in profound disagreement with the Government’s policy on Ukraine—I have said it before in this House and I shall say it again. This disagreement can be stated in one sentence: the Government’s policy is a war policy; I support a peace policy. I shall try to justify that. The then Foreign...

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Speech on the Autumn Statement 29 November 2022

My Lords, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is designed to reassure the markets of the sustainability of the public finances. That is, the Chancellor accepts as binding the views of the City of London, whether they are right or wrong. It is what the markets think that matters, not how matters really are—a nice intrusion of post-modernist thinking in what is supposed to be the hard science of economic policy-making. It is pretty obvious why the Government should pay such attention to...

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House of Lords Speech on the Public Order Bill

My Lords, it is very cold in this House; I wonder what has happened to the heating. It certainly has a chilling effect on debate. I am not a lawyer like the noble Lord, Lord Sandhurst, nor a policeman like the noble Lord, Lord Paddick. I am driven to take part in the debate because I have become increasingly concerned at the wide powers of surveillance and control being claimed by Governments in the name of public order and national security—powers that, in their structure though not...

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Economy: The Growth Plan 2022

House of Lords Speech: 10 October 2022 My Lords, the twin problems to which the mini-Budget was addressed were near-zero growth and a relentless rise in prices. I doubt whether it will do very much for the first—certainly not in time to offset the second. In the short run, what we face is not a growth crisis but an inflationary crisis and that, of course, also means a currency crisis. What was the growth strategy? I think it was based on Reaganomics—the idea that unfunded tax cuts,...

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The End of Western Civilization

Why it lacks resilience, and What will take its place Paper presented on July 11, 2022 to The Ninth South-South Forum on Sustainability. THE COLLAPSE OF MODERN CIVILIZATION AND THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY. The greatest challenge facing societies has always been how to conduct trade and credit without letting merchants and creditors make money by exploiting their customers and debtors. All antiquity recognized that the drive to acquire money is addictive and indeed tends to be...

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From Junk Economics to a False View of History: Where Western Civilization Took a Wrong Turn

A presentation to the Building bridges around David Graeber’s legacy conference, Paris, Friday July 7, 2022 It may seem strange to invite an economist to give a keynote speech to a conference of the social sciences. Economists have been characterized as autistic and anti-social in the popular press for good reason. They are trained to think abstractly and use a priori deduction – based on how they think societies should develop. Today’s mainstream economists look at...

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Queen’s Speech on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

My Lords, I find myself in profound disagreement with the Government’s war strategy in Ukraine and, in fact, with almost everything that has been said about Ukraine in this debate. I will try to explain why. British policy aims for a Russian military defeat, which it will help to bring about by economic sanctions and supplying Ukraine with the necessary means of war. Liz Truss said on 27 April: “We will keep going further and faster to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine”....

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The Future of Work: Is Artificial Intelligence a New Road to Serfdom?

Lecture and Discussion with Lord Robert Skidelsky Lord Robert Skidelsky has given a lecture at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) on Tuesday, 15 March 2022, 18:00 CET in Vienna. In contemporary discussions about the future of artificial intelligence we often lose our heads. While economists offer bleak predictions of mass job losses and a deepening of already widespread precarity, Silicon Valley utopians insist that new technologies are bringing us ever closer...

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