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Progressive Protectionism Eh?

Well those are two words guaranteed to bring a Libertarian like me out in hives almost instantly.

But see what you think. There appears to be a bit of a media slanging match going on between Colin Hines of Compass , who is more than a little bit Green, being an advisor to Caroline Ludicrous, our one and only Green MP, and Tim Worstall,  of the Adam Smith Institute.

I’ll let you pick the bones out of the two arguments yourselves, I only have a humble A Level in Economics myself, but I certainly know the misery and poverty that the madness of Merchantilism wrought.

Do click on the link in Worstall’s article if you want the full Hines rant.


  1. Lynne says:

    I have a lot of time for Tim Worstall and the Adam Smith Institute but it grieves me to see he has bought into the common myth that the BNP is an extreme right wing organisation. Their manifesto is based upon collectivism and is therefore leftist. It comes as no surprise to me that the watermelons share policies with the BNP. If Worstall can’t tell his left from his right then how can I take the guy seriously any more when he discusses matters political?

  2. Umbongo says:

    I also have a lot of time for Worstall. However, apart from his inability to recognise the BNP as a left-wing outfit he has also bought into the CAGW scam. OTOH, to be fair, although apparently believing that CO2 is the 21st century equivalent of Zyklon B, Worstall is sensible enough to scorn the “return to the stone age” nutters forming the greenie praetorian guard.

  3. MrPotarto says:

    Lynne and Umbongo,

    I’ve read Worstall’s piece and nowhere can I see him describe the BNP as right-wing. He calls them fascist. The only mention of the ‘right’ is in a quote from Hines.

    As for CAGW, he usually takes the view that we should assume that it’s a problem and we’re causing it, then moves onto the economics, which he consequently attacks. Personally, I think it’s a rhetorical device that allows him to concentrate on his preferred area. I’ve never read him say that CAGW is real, or that he believes it’s real.

  4. Lynne says:

    Mr. P – on reading the piece again I believe you are correct about the BNP thing. He was quoting Hines. That’ll teach me not to speed read before commenting. :0)

  5. Umbongo says:

    Mr P

    Point taken about the BNP and Worstall. However – and this might be unfair – he has never denied, even when asked directly, that he believes that CAGW (and its alleged cause – over-generation of CO2) is real. Of course “his blog, his rules” and for that reason alone he has no need to answer any question posed by a casual commenter (eg TW failing to respond to my question on this thread.

  6. CountingCats says:

    I don’t really care that much whether Tim accepts it or not. He has made clear that the proposed solutions are over the top twaddle whether it exists or not, and that’s good enough for me. Bit like Bjorn Lomborg in that respect.

  7. Umbongo says:


    Despite my observations in this thread, IMHO (FWIW) Worstall is one of the good guys. For instance, he completely shreds the Royal Society’s latest load of unscientific bollocks on population and consumption.

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