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Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, has today published the latest edition of its magazine, Centre Write, “Capitalism in crisis?”, with contributions from The Rt Hon Lord Maude, Jesse Norman MP, the Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, the Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, Martin Lewis, Antoinette Sandbach MP, John Penrose MP and many more.

The magazine includes ideas to better defend and reform capitalism, focusing on key areas such as: increasing consumer power; the role of government in markets; devolution as a solution to regional inequalities; and ideas for the modern industrial strategy.


Ryan Shorthouse, Director of Bright Blue argues:

“If conservatives are unable to argue that capitalism benefits most people, then they might as well pack their bags now and go home. Of course it has and does. Conservatives should reject, not indulge, the attacks on liberal and democratic capitalism. The Party’s leadership needs to be confident and compelling champions of liberal values and economics, especially if they are to inspire younger people, who just voted decisively against the Tories.

“This is a call for a sense of perspective, not complacency. There are still too many people, as the Prime Minister has passionately articulated, who are struggling in our capitalist society. And all of us, to differing degrees, face day-to-day challenges where a little more help from government would be welcome.”

The Rt Hon Lord Maude, former Minister of State for Trade and Investment and a member of Bright Blue’s advisory council, wrote:

“A Conservative Party that doesn’t appear to be passionately in favour of free enterprise and wealth creation lacks credibility and authenticity. With a Labour leadership overtly hostile to capitalism and globalisation, in the recent election no one was making the case for open markets and private enterprise.

“The Chancellor, who is an articulate advocate for the market economy, was seemingly locked in a cupboard for the duration of the campaign.

“Unprecedented numbers of younger people – even if they don’t think of themselves that in this way – entrepreneurs. A Conservative Party seeking to re-engage successfully with younger people needs to be able to connect the way many of them live their lives and make their livings with what Conservatives believe and Labour hate.

“Free enterprise, based on a capitalist system, is at the core of conservatism and without it as our backbone we slump.”

In an interview with Bright Blue, Transport Minister, Jesse Norman MP, spoke how the conservatives can defend and reform free markets to stop the far-left under Jeremy Corbyn:

“The challenge for us is to understand that we’re in a world of markets and make those markets work better for us, and be really intelligent about interrogating them; what they are, how they work, and what they are for. Rather than, as it were, throwing our hands up and running for a certain kind of crypto-Marxism.”

Speaking on how the Conservative Party can reconnect with voters under 40, Jesse Norman MP said:

“The Party also has to be willing to look hard at how to tackle injustice. And it needs to be willing to talk about areas that people don’t regard as traditionally conservative, such as healthcare, the environment and the arts.”

The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, wrote about the Campaign:

“We [the Conservative Party] looked like the hard-nosed businessmen from those old Virgin Train adverts, which made everyone who could not afford a train – stuck in a car on the motorway – look weak and insensible.”