Some notes towards (another) manifesto
In part prompted by G asking me, "What do you really believe?" when we had a final dinner at The Abbeville a few weeks ago; but also in ruminating on the Big Blogger contest this week - what would I actually say if asked to write? Or, more accurately, what fundamental principles would underpin what I would write. A draft looks like this:
- I believe that the market is the best way to match scarce resources to infinite wants; but that man can be made to use those resources more efficiently.
- I believe that markets work best within a framework of rules.
- I believe in meritocracy; but that an adequate safety net needs to be provided for those left behind. I also believe that for it to be a true meritocracy then everyone has to have the chance to become head of state.
- I believe that liberty trumps equality; and that precedent and tradition are not as good a guarantee of our rights as a written constitution.
- I believe that businesses are as important agents of social progress as charities and NGOs.
- I believe that the triumphs of the commons more than outweigh its tragedies, and that we should value our public realm more.
- I believe that not everything of value is counted in numbers.
- I believe that technological change is mostly positive, and in the main improves lives.
- I believe that words matter; and that you need to say what you mean, and mean what you say.
- I believe in glasses half-full, and that things in the UK are not as bad as all that.
- I believe in progress not perfection: hence the state of permanent beta.
- I believe in the uplifting glamour of old Hollywood films and the revelatory insight of cheap pop music.
- I believe that happiness is obtained obliquely.