Robert Skidelsky
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On the Autumn Statement
Robert Skidelsky
Hansard | Thursday, December 10, 2015

 

Autumn Statement

Motion to Take Note

11.49 am

Moved by Lord Carrington of Fulham

That this House takes note of the economy in the light of the Autumn Statement.


12.28 pm

Lord Skidelsky (CB): My Lords, four minutes is hardly long enough to have a properly developed argument or debate, so I will confine myself to a number of propositions that I hope might at least excite the interest of the noble Lord, Lord O’Neill.

The first proposition is that the Chancellor has failed to meet his deficit reduction targets. In 2010, he said that the deficit would be down to zero by now; this year he is set to borrow £70 billion, and the balancing is postponed for five years. To me the explanation is clear enough: the Chancellor’s policies


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Freedom of Speech in Universities
Robert Skidelsky
Hansard | Thursday, November 26, 2015

 

Universities: Freedom of Speech

Motion to Take Note

1.07 pm

Moved by Baroness Deech

That this House takes note of the protection of freedom of speech in universities.


2.22 pm

Lord Skidelsky (CB): My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, for making possible this debate. I shall draw your Lordships’ attention to two threats to free speech on the campus. In four minutes I have time for only two threats, but I think that they cover most of the ground.

The first threat comes from the Government. The state has a duty to protect its citizens from terrorism. The Government have conceived of that duty in part as preventing university students from being what they call “radicalised”. The Counter-Terrorism and Security


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The Decline of the West Revisited
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Monday, November 16, 2015

 
LONDON – The terrorist slaughter in Paris has once again brought into sharp relief the storm clouds gathering over the twenty-first century, dimming the bright promise for Europe and the West that the fall of communism opened up. Given dangers that seemingly grow by the day, it is worth pondering what we may be in for.

Though prophecy is delusive, an agreed point of departure should be falling expectations. As Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute reports: “The assumption of an automatically better future for the next generation is gone in much of the West.”

In 1918, Oswald Spengler published The Decline of the West. Today the word “decline” is taboo. Our politicians shun it in favor of “challenges,” while our economists talk


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From Memory to Denial in Russia
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Tuesday, October 20, 2015

 
LONDON – My most painful experience in Russia was a visit to Perm-36, the only one of Stalin’s forced-labor camps to have been preserved, in 1998. I was in Perm, a city in the Urals, to take part in a seminar of the Moscow School of Political Studies. Founded by the remarkable Lena Nemirovskaya, the school’s purpose was to introduce young post-communist Russians to democracy, self-government, and capitalism.

One bitterly cold March day, I joined a few friends on a trip to the former camp. Built in the early 1940s as a “regular” labor camp, Perm-36 was converted into a concentration camp for political prisoners in 1972.

The last prisoners were released in 1987, three years into Mikhail Gorbachev’s rule. Now it was being restored


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The Agony and the Exodus
Robert Skidelsky
Project Syndicate | Wednesday, September 23, 2015

 
The tragic exodus of people from war-torn Syria and surrounding countries challenges the world’s reason and sympathy. Since 2011, some four million people have fled Syria, with millions more internally displaced. Syria’s neighbors – Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey – currently house the vast majority of the externally displaced. But, as the crisis has progressed, hundreds of thousands of refugees have headed toward Europe, with most taking the extremely dangerous marine route.
 
The nature and scale of this exodus have rendered all previous legal and political assumptions about migration obsolete. In the past, the chief motive for migration was economic. The debate to which economic migration gave rise was between liberals, who upheld the

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