Henry Hill, CapX

Henry Hill


United Kingdom

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Recent articles by Henry:

Consumers are paying the price to protect UK farmers – but there is a better way

One of the themes of this Conservative leadership contest has been the disconnect between what the candidates say they want and the policies they propose. This is most obvious with growth. Yes, there is an important debate to be had about tax cuts, or the remit of the Bank of England, and all the rest […] → Read More

Is Nicola Sturgeon an 'attention seeker' who should be ignored?

In the quarter-century since New Labour’s grand constitutional experiment began, politicians in the devolved legislatures have refined several vexatious, but undoubtedly effective, rhetorical tactics for deflecting criticism and undermining the UK. For domestic audiences, they blame any shortcomings in their governance on Westminster, and insist that the solution is even more power for… → Read More

Critics of Liz Truss's claims about her schooling should educate themselves

So far, the policy side of the Conservative leadership contest has been underwhelming. Both candidates have stuck to a narrow range of topics – plus a lot of mudslinging – rather than setting out a broad, ambitious programme for the 2020s. Once again, education is one of the issues which has largely fallen by the […] → Read More

Visions for the future are all well and good – but what the Tory hopefuls really need is a two-year plan

As it stands, the next election is shaping up to be another 1992. At stake is not the genesis of some transformational programme, but whether or not the gains of an existing revolution can be bedded in and made part of the new normal of British political life. New Labour unleashed an abysmal revolution when […] → Read More

Boris is now the Ozymandias of British politics

The Conservative Party once had a reputation for ruthlessness. The defenestration of Margaret Thatcher, the last Tory leader to win a proper majority (three times) loomed large in the Tory imagination. It offered a flattering contrast with Labour, who had a tendency to cling to leaders long after it was quite obvious they weren’t going […] → Read More

50-year mortgages would only make our housing market more dysfunctional

Who would have thought that only two and a half years after securing an historic majority, the Conservatives would have shifted their housing policy from Robert Jenrick’s bold planning reforms to apparently serious discussion about inter-generational mortgages? Our constitution gives a Prime Minister who commands a majority in the House of Commons enormous power. Yet […] → Read More

What's the endgame for Northern Ireland?

Well, it has already got further than I and many other unionists probably feared it might. Last night, the bill to unilaterally amend the Northern Ireland Protocol passed its second reading in the House of Commons. It was by no means certain to get this far. At one point, Liz Truss seemed to be suggesting […] → Read More

Who governs Britain? The Tories need to show they are in charge, not blame problems on Labour

You’ve got to credit the effort. As a journalist reports that pupils are sleeping on mates’ floors in order to beat the rail strike and get to their exams, Conservative MP Mark Jenkinson tweeted: ‘A vision of @UKLabour’s Britain…’ Briefly, in my pre-caffeine morning haze, I had the Life on Mars thought – ‘Am I […] → Read More

The Government should spend less time looking for enemies, and more looking for solutions

It was so close. Right up until the last minute, it looked as if the Home Office might actually have pulled off a political win. The Rwanda policy had survived contact with every British court that looked at it – only to get shot down by Strasbourg. Cynics have suggested that this was always the […] → Read More

A feeble push for another independence referendum is Sturgeon's last roll of the dice

Here we go again! Nicola Sturgeon has, once again, kicked off the Scottish Government’s drive for independence. Well, sort of. As Scottish journalists have been quick to point out, this latest push seems short on concrete action. The First Minister doesn’t seem minded to table legislation for a referendum, nor to ask Westminster for the […] → Read More

Don't listen to the Jubilee grumblers – if anything, Britain needs more pomp and pageantry

The United Kingdom doesn’t have nearly enough pageantry. This might be hard to believe on the eve of a Royal Jubilee which will likely see an awful lot of pageantry indeed, but it is true nonetheless. Yes, we can still put on a splendid show when we have the mind. The state opening of Parliament […] → Read More

The idea of moving the Lords to Stoke is pointless 'Levelling Up signalling'

God, but this latest spat between Michael Gove and the Lord Speaker over whether or not the Upper House should decamp to the Red Wall is depressing, isn’t it? The whole thing is absurd. No Secretary of State gets to issue decrees to Parliament about where it does or does not sit. Gove surely knows […] → Read More

TfL's venture into the property market is hugely welcome – if only it could go further

History may never quite repeat itself, but there is a definite rhyme in this week’s news that Transport for London has launched a new commercial property company in order to generate revenue for the network. According to MyLondon, TfL aims to build some 20,000 homes over the next ten years, on top of the 1,700 […] → Read More

A hyper-active Queen's Speech can't distract from a lack of meaningful reform

One of the remarkable things about this Government is the way it has managed to combine a hyper-active approach to legislation with an utterly lethargic approach to meaningful reform. Today’s Queen’s Speech illustrates this. It contained no fewer than 38 new bills – but not one to get excited about, or that seems to rise […] → Read More

An early election? MP deselection? Both are terrible answers to the big questions facing this Government

As things stand, it doesn’t look as if the local election results are going to give Conservative MPs the sort of very powerful kick they apparently need to go over the top and try and replace Boris Johnson. That isn’t to say they’re good results, by any means. The national leadership has clearly been a […] → Read More

This housing fiasco shows how badly we need to rein in the Quango State

Every so often, when the Conservatives are running low on ideas, there is talk of a “bonfire of the quangos”. It is one of those things which has been said so often, and followed through on so little, that it is well on the way to becoming meaningless ritual language, a sort of Tory equivalent […] → Read More

There's nothing 'Dickensian' about getting staff to work in an office

Farewell then, ‘Dickensian’. It has finally joined its much-abused counterpart, ‘Orwellian’, in the list of words which have been used so broadly as to deprive them of all their original power. In this case, the fingerprint on the knife belongs to Nadine Dorries, and her baffling attack on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s bid to get civil servants […] → Read More

After 12 years in power, this Tory government is starting to show its age

It’s strange to recall that as recently as November, this Government looked as though it would comfortably win the next general election. Victory in 2023 or 2024 would (if we include the Coalition) see this period of ‘Tory rule’ match or exceed the 18 years achieved under Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Now, there is […] → Read More

Kwasi Kwarteng is wrong: 'Imposing infrastructure on people' is what government is there for

It’s rare that a politician gives a quote which perfectly encapsulates the deep problems with how Britain is governed. But in a recent interview with Radio 4, Kwasi Kwarteng managed it. The Business Secretary was being pressed, rightly, on how realistic the Government’s current plans for renewing Britain’s energy infrastructure actually are. It’s all very […] → Read More

The Government's latest U-turn shows the ideological purity of the NHS matters more than patients

Every time. Every time one thinks that surely the Government’s will couldn’t get any weaker, the gulf between its notional majority and its will to act any wider, it finds a way to surprise you. Last week we saw the Government not only retreat from onshore wind and its plans to overhaul judicial review, although […] → Read More