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« Stick your advice | Main | Quiet, please »

The bully state: how has this happened?

Another full house attended the Voices of Freedom debate in Westminster last night. I counted 70 people but there may have been more. They were competing for 40 seats so it was a bit like musical chairs but no-one seemed to mind.

In fact there was a great atmosphere and lots of laughs, which is my barometer for a successful event.

Thanks to our speakers - Isabella Sankey (Liberty), Mark Wallace (Taxpayers Alliance), Josie Appleton (Manifesto Club) and Philip Johnston (Daily Telegraph) - and to our excellent chairman James Panton who maintained a lively pace, "nudging" panellists to stick to their allotted time.

I wish I could remember more of what was said but I had too many things on my mind, including my own speech. During the Q&A one question stood out. Referring to the development of the bully state, someone asked, "How has this happened?" Unfortunately we ran out of out time before we could answer it properly.

So, one more debate to go. "Who holds the liberal torch in 2010?" is on Tuesday June 29. Hope you can join us.

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