Propeller-Head Wonk Watch: Guido this morning received an email from Chris Tame reporting the sad news that Arthur Seldon has died. Chris Tame writes that “Arthur was the Founder and Director – the real intellectual fountainhead, creator and inspiration – of the Institute of Economic Affairs, which laid the intellectual and political foundations of the Thatcherite revolution in the UK. Whilst he received a CBE rather than a Lordship in recognition for his work with the Institute the true stature of his contribution was known to those close to him and to the Institute.”
Seldon was the forerunner of the wonks we see today, he popularised policies in a readable way. Policies that now seem mainstream, but where at the time incredible, came into being through his efforts. Obituaries will no doubt be published soon, but a bio is available here.
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”