Don’t stop developing countries from developing.

August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

An action that may appear to assist in achieving a desired end is, upon further consideration, often revealed to have unintended consequences. At times, these unintended consequences can in fact be the diametric opposite of the original goal of an action.


Though motivated by virtuous ends, the gravitation within developed countries towards ‘ethical consumerism’ is in fact a dangerous distraction that, perversely, results in dooming the people it is intended to help: benevolently driving them into a poverty trap. Consider the case of a supplier of a typical scapegoat for ‘unfair’ employment practices – Primark. Much like the factories of the Industrial Revolution, the sweatshops synonymous with the budget clothing retailer are subjected to a Marxist barrage [1] of condemnation for their low wages, long hours and unsafe working conditions. I do not deny that workers are, in many cases, paid low wages in unsafe conditions. The erroneous leap is made when exclaiming ‘Gosh! We ought to bring down those nasty sweatshops!’ through mass boycotting of the retailers in question. The overwhelming majority of workers in the sweatshops have chosen to work there voluntarily; they have not been press-ganged from their subsistence farms, nor chained to a sewing machine. [2] Thus, their demonstrated preference is that they each believe their sweatshop work will result in some improvement in their personal situation. Returning to the earlier parallel of the Industrial Revolution, whilst Dickensian tales of smog, squalor and worker solidarity may pull at the heartstrings, overwhelming evidence demonstrates that Britain experienced an enormous increase in the standard of living following mass industrialisation. [3] What Marx and others failed to realise is that while we may witness a situation in which workers are indeed low-paid, the hidden alternative is far worse.

Through boycotting ‘unethical’ firms, we are inadvertently doing far more harm than good, with workers likely to lose what little income they have as Evil Capitalists Inc. react rationally by downsizing and cutting supply chains: consequently destroying jobs. The truth of the matter is that individuals in developing countries have to escape poverty in the same way as we did; through the creation of wealth by producing goods and services for voluntary exchange, with particular emphasis on utilising their competitive advantage in the primary and secondary sectors. In the words of Dr Madsen Pirie, ‘Poverty…is the rest state…the unusual condition is wealth. We should be seeking to implement the conditions in which as many people as possible can join in the wealth-creating process for themselves.’ [4]

[1] “…the directing motive, the end and aim of capitalist production, is to extract the greatest possible amount of surplus value, and consequently to exploit labour-power to the greatest possible extent.” (Das Kapital, Book 1, Volume 1, Chapter 13).
[2] Of course, there are exceptions, and the issue of those forced to work in sweatshops need to be dealt with separately.
[3] According to estimates by economist N. F. R. Crafts, British income per person (in 1970 U.S. dollars) rose from about $400 in 1760 to $430 in 1800, to $500 in 1830, and then jumped to $800 in 1860.
[4] Taken from Freedom 101 by Dr Madsen Pirie, published by the Adam Smith Research Trust.

Written by Daniel Pryor.

He’s destined, in his own words, to be Britain’s first truly libertarian Prime Minister, and an incredibly modest one at that.

You can find Dan on Twitter at @DanielPryorr.


Shifting Sands: Saudi Arabia & Iran.

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ask your average punter to name geopolitical rivals and you’ll probably get the usual suspects; China and the US, India and Pakistan, North and South Korea. However there is another battle raging on a near daily basis.

Saudi Arabia is home to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest sites in Islam. Although smaller than Egypt in terms of population, Saudi Arabia has positioned itself as the guardian of the Sunni world. In a similar vein Iran touts itself as the bastion of Shia Islam. Its proud Persian history, culture and language set it apart from the Arab world.

The Cold War found Saudi Arabia and the Shar’s Persia in the same camp. Both had the US and to a lesser extent Britain as their principle backers. Both had reason to fear and distrust Soviet machinations in the region. Both received military aid from the West, and both supplied the West with a stable supply of oil and natural gas.
However even before the Cold War eneded the rivalry was evident. Saudi money and arms found their way to the Mujahadeen groups in Afghanistan, on Iran’s eastern border. With the guns and gold came Saudi strains of Wahabisim, a harsh offshoot of Sunni Islam. For an Iran that had always taken Afghanistan as its sphere of influence, this was an unwelcome intrusion.

But the traffic went both ways. The US led invasion of Iraq in 2003 gave Iran a golden opportunity to increase its influence in politics of its immediate neighbour. Money, weapons, intelligence and even Iranian advisors found their way into the post-Saddam chaos that was sectarian Iraq. Shia Muslims, having spent years chaffing under Saddam’s rule, welcomed Iranian aid. Pro Iranian militia groups and political parties gained ground, particularly in the Shia dominated South and East.

After many false starts, Iraq started to seem like a normal country. Iran and Saudi Arabia continued to arm themselves with Russian and American kit, but seemed content to limit themselves to eyeing each other warily over the Straits of Hormuz. Then market stall holder in Tunisia sparked off what has become known as the Arab Spring, and fresh fuel was poured on the fire.

Bahrain isn’t an obvious battleground for a war by proxy. The oil rich state is a playground for the rich, and markets itself as a haven of stability in a volatile region. But behind the glimmering skyscrapers and super yachts lay deep divisions. The royal family is Sunni, whereas seventy percent of the population are Shia. Although Bahrain’s citizens are well off by Arab standards, they see little of fabulous wealth that passes through. Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of stoking violent unrest for political advantage. Iran in turn access Saudi Arabia of helping to crush pro democracy movements through the mechanism of the GCC alliance. Both happen to be true, and as an added complicating factor, the US Fifth Fleet is based there. The situation is so bad that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have even talked about a merger of the two states, which would be Saudi annexation in all but name.
For Saudi Arabia, the danger is clear. If the Princes of Bahrain were to fall and a pro Iranian government come to power, not only would they lose a solid ally, but the oil producing Eastern Province would be under threat, especially as it is home to a sizable Shia population.

Perhaps the most overt example of Saudi-Iranian rivalry is in the unremitting tragedy of Syria. The brutal rule of President Assad is being contested as never before by a myriad of armed groups, most of which are identify themselves as part of a Free Syrian Army. In a reversal of roles, Saudi Arabia gets to play the good guy as it backs the rebels with arms, money, intelligence and good will. Along with Qatar, is has agreed to pay the salary of any defecting Syrian army officers. Iran by contrast has the unenviable task of propping up the Ba’athist regime in Damascus. For Iran, the incentive is two fold. The Alawyite interpretation of Islam followed by the ruling elite is an offshoot of Shia Islam. Iran is the protective big brother of the faith and needs to be seen to act accordingly. Secondly, Syria is a vital part of Iran’s long term aims in the region. It is used as a base from which to back various terrorist groups in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. It is also platform from which to strike at Israel if the Jewish state ever attacked Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran has Russia and to a lesser extend China to help keep the Mafia-esque Assad regime in power, but events on the ground are moving quickly, and not in a good way if you happen to be in Tehran.

If Bahrain and Syria are proxies, then the Strait of Hormuz is a good old fashioned toe-to-toe stand off. It is the windpipe of Saudi Arabia and subsequently the ace up Iran’s sleeve. Approximately a quarter of the world’s oil passes through this narrow channel. With minimal effort, Iran could cause chaos to world trade and cripple Saudi Arabia by blocking this vital waterway. It has a number of options at its disposal; mines, shore-to-ship missiles, blockades, suicide bombers on speedboats and land based aircraft. It could even pick the unglamorous but not ineffective option of sinking a handful of its own ships at key points, making the area impassable to the biggest tankers.
To do would be to incur the wrath of the heavily armed Gulf States, as well as the leviathan of the United States Navy. Yet even the threat of this is enough to keep Riyadh twitchy.

In the background to all of this remains the lingering possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. For Iran, it would provide the ultimate guarantee of security in a dangerous part of the world, and validate the regime in the eyes of its citizens. For Saudi Arabia, a Persian Bomb could only be countenanced with an Arab Bomb. In all likelihood, it would pour resources into a crash course nuclear program, assuming it couldn’t just buy much of what it needs on the black market. This is the nightmare scenario for Israel, for whom a nuclear monopoly has been the fulcrum of its defence strategy for thirty years.

Religion, culture, Great Power rivalry, the Arab Spring and good old fashioned national interest have combined to make competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran one of the most dynamic geopolitical clashes of our age. Mercifully, both sides seem to be aware of the catastrophe that would surely follow if this Cold War ever turned hot. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Written by Lee Jenkins.

Lee is an unabashed snarling libertarian, and an anarcho-Dandyist. He is UKIP’s most attractive asset and blogs mostly on foreign policy. He’s the self-proclaimed Devil’s Advocate-In-Chief, and, in his own words, unceasingly bloody marvellous.

Lee also uses Twitter! You can find him here: @Lee_T_Jenkins!

Can classical liberalism and progressive conservatism co-exist in the coalition?

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Within the current UK coalition government, the ideologies of classical liberalism and progressive conservatism play a complex, interlinked role in how policy decisions are taken. In order to fully assess this relationship, we must first look at both ideologies individually. Classical liberalism is an ideology that is committed to limited government and individual liberty with regard to such things as religion, speech and the markets. It first came to prominence in the nineteenth century and ran parallel with the industrial revolution and was adopted by the Liberal Party, most notably under Gladstone’s tenures as Chancellor and Prime Minister where he put forward budgets of low expenditure and low taxes. It was at this point that classical liberalism first ran into conflict with progressive conservatism. Benjamin Disraeli developed the concept as a compromise between laissez-faire policies and British Radicalism. Progressive conservatism also stresses lower taxation and free enterprise but certainly not to the extent of classical liberalism, this ideology argues that the state should provide assistance to its people with a social security net, regulation in the interest of the consumer and producer and limited wealth redistribution to aid the poor.

To cut a long story short, classical liberalism waned out by 1914 after the death of Henry Campbell-Bannerman and the ascension of Asquith as PM. Liberal thinkers such as Herbert Spencer concluded that the concept was now not as accepted as it once was which left the Liberal Party moving into the grounds of progressive, socially democratic policies which put it more in the vein of our current Liberal Democrats. Progressive conservatism flourished in the Tories however under leaders such as Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill and Macmillan throughout the twentieth century until it too experienced a downfall when Margaret Thatcher became leader. Over the last decade however, both ideologies have returned to the fore of British politics with the publication of the Orange Book in 2004 which presented ideas on reclaiming the idea of classical liberalism from David Laws, Paul Marshall and even Vince Cable while progressive conservatism has returned since the election of David Cameron to lead the Conservative Party in 2005.
These ideologies were suddenly thrown together in government after the 2010 general election and while it seems that they can feasibly co-exist, this perhaps isn’t the case. On matters of the economy, for example, both parties have committed to spending cuts but the progressive Conservatives or “Cameroons” and the centre-left Lib Dems of the government want to safeguard areas relevant to social progression such as family care, benefits for the elderly and tax credits for the disadvantaged. On the other hand, classical liberals who make up the right wing of the Lib Dems and the Thatcherite wing of the Conservatives would argue that the government should not be encouraging dependency upon social programs and would encourage limited benefits in order to incentivize people to help themselves. Hence why, every time there is a Budget review, you get both sides hitting the airwaves and newspapers to argue for a different approach to spending on social programs. This means that government leadership are forced to find a compromise between the two although there often is an emphasis on progressive conservatism as the Prime Minister himself is one.

Aside from the debate over social programs being protected, another key area of economic management, the extent of spending cuts is another cause for friction between the two wings. Classical liberals would encourage low public expenditure and low taxation, subscribing to the idea that cutting faster will bring the debt under control and reduce Britain’s economic woes in the long run while progressive conservatives feel that spending cuts should be controlled and scheduled so that the brunt is not felt all at once. Essentially, classical liberals feel that a harsher method will solve the crisis quicker in the country’s best interest while progressive conservatives feel that a more moderate method will help achieve the same result but in the long run. The current state of spending cuts goes more to the progressive conservative side again with the deficit’s elimination date being moved back. Personally, I subscribe to the classical liberal view on this issue.

These two major issues of social programs and spending cuts are the most useful at highlighting the conflict between classical liberalism and progressive conservatism. However, they do provide a consensus over several key areas of policy with no splits between the two visible on foreign policy, education, health and local government. Indeed, proposals for reform of public services including limited privatization have proven popular among both wings which makes for the coalition’s domestic and foreign agenda having united support from classical liberals and progressive conservatives while economic and social policy have splits.

I identify myself as mix between classical liberal economically and a progressive conservative socially. While I advocate low taxes, individual freedom and sensible fiscal spending, I also believe in a safety net at the bottom for those who need it and a government who can intervene if someone’s freedom is threatened by another individual. This is what makes the mix of the two wings in the coalition so complex for me and it’s a mixture that while dysfunctional, has worked since 2010.

Written by Max Rodgers.

Max is a Conservative Party member.

You can find Max on Twitter at @maxethanrodgers

Plutonium Peacekeepers: The Case for Nuclear Weapons.

July 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

For the majority of people, military affairs are a dry, almost abstract subject. Wars, although unpleasant, are reassuringly distant. We do not field a conscript army, our streets are seldom the scenes of military parades, and unless you have a friend or loved one in the forces you could almost be forgiven for ignoring the whole subject.
However there is one sphere of defence which occupies the deepest recesses of the minds of policy makers, strategists and civilians alike; the nightmare prospect of a nuclear exchange.

Ronald Reagan once said that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. For some, the solution to that problem was simple; destroy the world’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons. However I argue that not only is the complete removal of nuclear arsenals all but impossible, it is also undesirable, especially for Britain.

The cuts to the British Army announced this summer are but a continuation of a policy shared by successive administrations. Since the 1960’s British governments have seen defence as politically cheap way to make economies. It’s easy to cut defence spending. Soldiers don’t go on strike, the public don’t go on protests, and few people see a difference in their day to day lives. Parallel to this reduction of the conventional forces has been a reliance on the British nuclear deterrence to maintain British standing in the world. Compared to conventional forces (armoured divisions, capital ships and the like) nuclear weapons are comparatively cheap. They require fewer people to maintain, and automatically put the country at the diplomatic top table. In the words of Eisenhower, you get more bang for your buck.

Intercontinental ballistic missiles and the nuclear weapons they carry remain the ultimate weapon and are preserve of a handful of Powers. Any jumped up despot with riding boots and too much gold braid on his uniform can field legions of goose stepping toy soldiers. Real power, real might, comes in the ability to devastate entire regions from a command bunker on the other side of the planet. Never before has the potential for so much destruction been held by so few people.

You don’t even need a ballistic missile to be taken seriously. What’s to stop a device being placed in the back of a van, driven over the border and parked in an enemy city? The end result is that same, and it’s not obvious who the culprit was. Its little wonder the weapons are desirable.

As well as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea have also acquired nuclear weapons. Iraq, Libya, Syria, Brazil, Argentina and even apartheid South Africa have all toyed with the idea too. Every country that has or seeks nuclear weapons does so for their own unique set of reason, but security is chief among them. And this has had knock on consequences for proliferation. For expel the Soviets sought nuclear weapons because the US had them. China sought them because the Soviets got them. India then wanted them because China had them…and so of course Pakistan ‘needed’ them because India had them.

And this is where the disarmament argument hits the brick wall of reality. If a country has decided, rightly or wrongly, that it needs an independent deterrent, how do you stop them? Bribery, reassurance, security guarantees, even outright coercion? All of those things have been tried with Iran, with little effect. Can anybody think of any scenario or combination of sweeteners and threats that would part Pakistan from its nuclear weapons if India retained them? No, me neither.

There is also very little in the way of punishment for states who ‘go nuclear’ in defiance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel is no more isolated and reviled than she would be without nuclear weapons. Countries are falling over themselves to invest in nuclear India. North Korea has even seen benefits to misbehaving. Would the world have kept buying off North Korea with food and fuel if it wasn’t sitting on those plutonium bombs? Clearly not.

Even if we played Devil’s Advocate and imagined that, say India and Pakistan, said they were serious about disarming. How would that be verified? The obvious answer is an international team of observers who would have free reign to roam and confirm that every silo, ship and aircraft was clear of weapons.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality would be very different. The observers would not have free reign. Any number of permit delays, administrative snags and ‘impassable roads’ would crop up. Satellite images are fine in open spaces. Not so good in bunkers, mines or even railway tunnels

Secondly, it’s worryingly easy to hide and move a nuclear warhead in a shipping container and there is nothing in the NPT about what size missiles you can have. It doesn’t take much to wait for the inspectors to leave; wheel out your concealed nuclear weapon, put it back on your rocket. Hey presto, you’re back in the game!

For these two reasons, it is doubtful either side would trust that the other had ‘played fair’. Would Indian defence chiefs ever seriously believe that Pakistan didn’t have a few stashed away? Of course not. Therefore India couldn’t leave itself defenceless either. Back to square one.

Now you might think all this is horrifying. It’s far from an ideal scenario, but it is the cold hard reality that we have. However nuclear weapons provide a very real and tangible service. It is precisely because they are so unpredictable and horrifying that leaders and generals have to be extra cautious when a nuclear power is in the equation. The fifty year stand-off between NATO and the Warsaw Pact is the obvious example of nuclear weapons preserving the peace, but there are others too. Hostile Arab states will always stop short of trying to annihilate Israel, not through altruism but because of the Jericho I and Jericho II missiles that would surely follow. A conventional war between India and Pakistan would be a cataclysm for the region, but both sides have been forced to step back from the brink on numerous occasions through fear of what a nuclear escalation could bring. North and South Korea have both been reigned in by their own fears than the fears of US and China over a fresh outbreak of violence on the peninsular.

British nuclear disarmament will not make the world any safer. It will make us less influential, diminishing our ability to shape events that affect us. If I knew the money saved would be spent on conventional forces then I might support disarmament, but I know full well it won’t. It’ll disappear in foreign aid budgets and bank bail outs. Better then to have them and retain what influence we have.

Like it or not, nuclear weapons are here to stay. Countries want them and its getting easier to get them. Few will want to get rid of theirs once they have them, and nobody will believe claims that their neighbours have got rid of theirs either. However nuclear weapons have kept the peace among the Great Powers for over fifty years. They compel leaders to act with caution.

Written by Lee Jenkins.

Lee is an unabashed snarling libertarian, and an anarcho-Dandyist. He is UKIP’s most attractive asset and blogs mostly on foreign policy. He’s the self-proclaimed Devil’s Advocate-In-Chief, and, in his own words, unceasingly bloody marvellous.

Lee also uses Twitter! You can find him here: @Lee_T_Jenkins!

In praise of restraint.

July 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

One of the great virtues of a non-interventionist view of foreign policy is that, by being appropriately wary of the unforeseen consequences of foreign intervention, and sceptical of the longevity of social orders that are not formed organically and spontaneously, it is far more suited to the real world in all its uncontainable, insurmountable complexity than the high-minded schemes of liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. As such, it is especially disheartening when opposition to war is justified using the cheapest and most insultingly fantastical of conspiracy theories.

In a recent “Comment is Free” piece, Charlie Skelton – a journalist and 10 O’Clock Live scriptwriter – criticised the mainstream media’s alleged reluctance to investigate the background and funding of those advocating a Syrian intervention: ‘There is another story to be told,’ he wrote, ‘A tale less bloody, but nevertheless important. This is a story about the storytellers: the spokespeople, the “experts on Syria”, the “democracy activists”. The statement makers. The people who “urge” and “warn” and “call for action”.’

The ‘story’ Skelton tells is as dismally implausible as his florid and adolescent style would suggest. Apparently not content simply to argue that intervention is a bad idea, Skelton creates a universe of shady connections – stretching from the Bilderberg Group to the Henry Jackson Society (‘ultra-ultra-hawks’) to the Syrian Business Forum – to cast aspersions on the decency of the pro-interventionist side. A little digging by Harry’s Place found Skelton has form in this regard, his writing career having thus far largely been used to indulge his obsession with the Bilderberg Group and the ‘taboo’ of 9/11.

Skelton’s piece prompted a deservedly scathing refutation from Michael Weiss, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and one of those singled out for Skelton’s ‘scrutiny’, who wrote: ‘I cannot help but notice that whenever the subject of intervention in Syria seems to be gaining traction in international fora, Comment is Free always manages to put out a crankish piece that blackens the reputation of the Syrians calling for it… I’d hate to think that there is now an inverse ideological relationship between humanitarian imperative and reason in The Guardian’s comment pages.’

The argument that humanitarian concerns do not automatically merit military intervention is one that must be made tactfully and compassionately; it is a measured call for restraint and realism, not a revolt against some nefarious ‘world order’. There is no merit in eschewing the rigid worldview and reckless zeal of interventionism only to replace it with another equally squalid and destructive dogma.

Written by Megan Moore.

You can find Megan on Twitter at @meganmoore93.

Bank of Dave.

July 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

So, this guy called Dave wants to start his own bank, as shown on Channel 4. A self made man (a minibus dealer), a proper capitalist.  Should be exactly the sort of guy to start a new bank? He has some money behind him, should be easy right? Nope. Contrary to the opinions of many, the banks do not suffer from a lack of regulation; Thatcher’s deregulation is mostly a red herring. Not only does the UK have tonnes of regulations of its own, with the FSA and to some extent the Bank of England acting as policemen, but we have the Basel Accords on a more international level. You need to have a government license, for which you need to take a bunch of (costly) exams. This means you either need to be pretty well off, or already working in finance. This means that it is hard for new banks to start, as Bank of Dave showed. Dave could go to prison for using the word “bank” without the proper licences.

Dave starts his business by paying the local business taxes, before he even opens the doors. The government giving a helping hand to new start-ups, in its own special way. But he has to wait for the FSA to make up their mind before he can hold deposits or make loans. The deposit part of which is still undecided at the end of episode 1.

Capitalism rests on the idea that businesses can enter and leave markets, in the banking sector, this is clearly not the case. The normal risks of a business are not permitted, the regulations are so complex that only companies with a huge amount already invested in the sector stand a chance of getting through them. Is economist lingo this is called a Barrier to Entry.

Dave is doing exactly what I’d want a good bank to do, instead of going to some credit history, he goes and looks at the businesses he lends to. Whilst it might take some time to do, it will reduce risk as you know what you are investing in. Someone with no blips in their record might have a terrible business idea, and someone who has been unlucky might have a great idea, but not be able to get the credit he needs. It seems the current banks, and their focus on computer models for risk instead of people, means that they are less good at analysing where to lend (and unable to see a huge crash coming, as explained in the great book A Colossal Failure of Common Sense. If only new banks could start up and compete with them, we might end up with a better banking sector. Lending based on contact with local businesses to help them expand is how banking took off in this country, with most loans in the 19th century being to small businesses, often rolling over as they expanded. This model is also the kind that, in my opinion, would most suit developing nations. Letting small, one man businesses, often unregistered with the authorities, get money to expand and deliver the goods that people want and need.

Dave is a capitalist, a proper one, and the thing standing in his way is the regulator. We need to unleash Dave and others like him. Scrap the FSA and bring in Free Banking I say. Let Dave call his bank a bank, let him take deposits and make loans, and if he fails, then he fails, but on his own merit. Before anyone suggests it, no, free banking is not unstable. Indeed, free banking is a tried and tested model, working historically in Scotland, Canada, Australia, Sweden and a host of other nations.

Help out Dave, support real capitalism, free the banks!

Written by Allrik Birch.

Allrik is a libertarian History with Economics graduate.

You can find Allrik on Twitter at @ATBirch.

Is this the beginning of a REAL change?

July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

It is a well known fact in current affairs that a majority of UK citizens want a democratic vote on the European Union, whether we stay in, or get out. This uprising has been lead by none other than the Tory backbenchers, who are demanding an “in or out” referendum from the Prime Minister.

As the pressure mounted on David Cameron last week, he was forced to revisit his true Conservative values and offer hope to his backbenchers and eurosceptics within the party.  He said that he is prepared to consider EU referendum, which is music to the ears of Jacob Rees-Mogg and other backbenchers across the entire House of Commons. This could merely be Mr Cameron trying to please both the Liberals and his backbenchers, or it could be a true commitment to democratic Conservatism.

However, this is a foot in the door for not only his backbenchers. They will see this as not only a big win over their traditionally Europhile leader, but also the renewed possibility of an overdue referendum. It will be very difficult now for the Prime Minister to go back on his word, forcing only more eurosceptic actions to be taken.

But a referendum WILL have to come, as it is the democratic right of the British citizens to have a say in how their lives are governed and controlled by the state. This is why, even without this revolt in the Conservative Party, Mr Cameron would have been forced to hold a referendum by the people – everyone can see it now: it’s only fair.

If the Prime Minister denies the civil liberty to vote on something so intricate to this nation’s future, what else will he have the audacity to deny?

Then today we have seen yet more heavy Euroscepticism, with the Foreign Secretary announcing that the Government are to launch a full audit of the EUs Laws. These are the same EU Laws that will happily cripple the free market set up so radically by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. The rampant regulations are disguised as necessary laws, and they threaten our proud nation’s markets, from agriculture to fishing to finance – we are all damaged by these laws, and we must all be vocal in our opposition.

I feel, however, that this is just the tip of the Eurosceptic iceberg. Backbenchers, frontbenchers and the public want to see more. They don’t want to see the laws audited, but repealed. They don’t want to see the European Union negotiated with, they want it to be out of our lives once and for all. If the Eurozone meltdown continues, which, looking at the figures, appears will be the case, there will be no monetarily united European Union anyway, so why waste our democratic time and taxpayers’ money on an EU Law audit?

William Hague should have used this as an opportunity to show that the United Kingdom is its own trading haven and does not need to follow the laws that the EUSSR dream-up. France is a clear example of an EU nation which defies these laws, and yet its specific markets are strong, fishing, for example, which is free to do as it pleases.

Real change is what we – the people – want and I am unsure whether this is the beginning of more EU change, leading to an in/out referendum, or merely the Conservative front benchers trying to please the demand of the party’s voters. Whatever it is, it is a bold statement and one which will, if continued, boost the Conservative Party at the right time, for the next general election.

Written by Oliver James Demaine.

Olly is a straight talking Eurosceptic capitalist that focuses on business growth, and would quite happily see the European Union fall to pieces. He is a pro-grammar school, anti-welfare classical liberal who is a firm believer in a small-state but a big society.

You can find Olly on Twitter here: @oliverjdemaine