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I am now a member of the Institute of Public Affairs

February 20th, 2012 at 06:26am

Announcement number one for the day.

On Friday I took a decision which I have been considering for some time. I became a member of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Institute of Public Affairs

I have followed the activities of the IPA for quite some time now and have been impressed by their work. At the most basic level, the organisation’s aim is to promote free markets, free speech and a free society. A long time ago it became very clear to me that everyone has something slightly different in mind when those notions are mentioned, so when the IPA made those claims, I decided that I should carefully vet their activities to decide if they really do reflect my values, and I am happy to say that on the vast majority of things, they do.

We both support capitalism. We both acknowledge the need for government, while supporting the need for it to be limited in its role, so as to not unnecessarily quash the freedom of the people to conduct business and have a voice. At the same time, we both support the rule of law, and acknowledge the need for governments to provide services (eg. the police and the courts) which uphold this. I suspect that we would both agree with the words of Charles Murray Ph.D. in a recent edition of Hillsdale College’s excellent publication Imprimis

[L]ocal government should do only those things that individuals cannot do for themselves, state government should do only those things that local governments cannot do, and the federal government should do only those things that the individual states cannot do.

(Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.)

The IPA has proven itself, in my mind, to be a force for good, by consistently making a positive contribution to the public debate about the future of this country, and to a lesser extent, the world. I was so impressed by their work that I decided to not take out a general membership, but to instead take out a premier membership at about double the cost of the general membership. I value the work of the IPA enough, and support the mission of the IPA enough, to do what I can to help keep it going, both in a monetary sense, and a symbolic supportive sense.

It’s just a shame that, due to other commitments, I am not able to go and seek Mark Steyn or Dan Hannan, one of whom is currently, and one of whom will shortly be, in the country as guests of the IPA.

Samuel

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