The heart of the matter is fiscal autonomy. It cannot be total. By definition, a nation cannot permit fiscal secession, independent statelets that amount to real-life versions of <em>Passport to Pimlico</em>. But, at present, the funding system is badly imbalanced, tilted in Whitehall's favour. A correction is needed, to give local government much greater authority to set taxes. In Australia, 87% of local government spending is self-financed. In Canada, the figure is 83%, while in France it is 72%.
The present system of the BBC Trust is out of date. It is wrong to consider that an organisation be run by a trust as well as by a company that it is supposed to manage the business. It would seem perfectly normal to understand that the licence holders are no different than shareholders.
In 2008 the world suffered its most severe financial crisis since the calamities of the 1930s. Since then debate has raged over just what went wrong. Some blame greedy bankers, anxious to profit at any cost. Others blame banks' foolhardy approach, tolerating senselessly high levels of borrowing and marketing financial products too complex to understand...
I owe my life to the remarkable generosity of America's political system, which under legislation from Franklin D. Roosevelt welcomed thousands of children from England during World War II. It is out of this respect, and out of a fear for how money is corroding America's political system, that I call for a rethink of how we approach campaign finance.
Proper financial regulation is a delicate balancing act. The long-term health and stability of our economy requires great care to safeguard both the independence of the Bank and the interests of the public.
12/11/2011 22:42 GMT
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