Live with Littlewood Spring Statement Special

On tonight’s Live with Littlewood, we’ll be asking whether the Chancellor’s Spring Statement will provide the security he promises. Will the Tories ever slash taxes? Is state largesse here to stay? And how can the government go for growth?

IEA Director General Mark Littlewood will be joined by MP Greg Smith, Economist Vicky Pryce, Duncan Simpson of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the IEA’s own Christopher Snowdon.

Tune in from 6pm here.

mdi-timer 23 March 2022 @ 17:40 23 Mar 2022 @ 17:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Live with Littlewood is Back at 6pm!

After a summer break, Live with Littlewood returns tonight at 6pm – with the guests joining us live in the studio!


  • Fuel-proof: are we heading for a winter of discontent?
  • Things can only get better: Did Keir deliver at Labour Party Conference?
  • Fat chance: Will this government be the first in the world to “reverse the trend on obesity”?


  • Christian Calgie – Senior Reporter, Guido Fawkes
  • Tom Harwood – Political Correspondent, GB News
  • Emma Revell – Head of Public Affairs, IEA
  • Christopher Snowdon – Head of Lifestyle Economics, IEA


mdi-timer 29 September 2021 @ 17:31 29 Sep 2021 @ 17:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris’s Undercooked Junk Food Ad Ban

The government has announced it is pressing ahead with plans to ban ‘unhealthy food ads online, and on TV before 9 pm, albeit with some exemptions for small and medium-sized businesses. Under the new proposals, companies with fewer than 250 employees will still be able to market their fatty foods as before, and even giants like McDonald’s can continue advertising brand-only material. So presumably they’ll refocus their ads on the quality of their coffee and carrot sticks… 

The problem now, as the IEA’s Christopher Snowden argues, is that the policy is completely ham-fisted:

“Under the new plans, an apple pie can be advertised by a café but not by the McDonalds next door. The local takeaway can advertise kebabs and pizzas but Asda cannot advertise cheese.”

The ASI’s Matthew Lesh spells out the costs involved in this nannying endeavour:

  • £1.5 billion from broadcasters
  • £3.5bn from online platforms
  • £550m from ad agencies
  • £659m from product makers

Not only do the exemptions undermine the spirit of the policy, there isn’t even a clear definition for “junk food” in the first place. Initially, it was any food deemed “high in fat, salt and sugar”, though once the government realised that would even ban products like honey, jam, and avocados, they very quickly added a load of arbitrary exemptions. As far as Guido’s concerned, the policy should be pro-cake, pro-advertising it… 

mdi-timer 24 June 2021 @ 13:08 24 Jun 2021 @ 13:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nanny State Index Shows Europe Becoming More Illiberal

The Nanny State Index (NSI) has been updated for 2021, and it makes for grim reading for any libertarian – with author Christopher Snowdon claiming “everything is steadily getting worse” and that “all the momentum is with the paternalists of ‘public health’” in the wake of the pandemic. Lifestyle restrictions on eating, drinking, smoking, and vaping have all steadily increased across Europe for the past four years…

Although the UK has fared better than the continent this year, dropping from fourth in its paternalism ranking down to twelfth, this is more a reflection of the downward trend in other European countries than of any liberalising agenda within the UK:

“It is a sign of how much nanny state activity there has been in Europe since 2019 that the United Kingdom has slipped from fourth place to eleventh in the table without liberalising anything. This can be partly explained by the government freezing beer and spirits duty since 2018 and freezing wine duty in 2020. Adjusted for income, its alcohol taxes are now only the ninth highest of the 30 countries in the index. It also helps that the UK takes a common sense approach to e-cigarettes… It remains to be seen whether the government uses Brexit as an opportunity for further liberalisation, but it remains highly paternalistic on food, soft drinks and tobacco.”

The nannying countries at the top of the table – Norway, Lithuania, and Finland – don’t boast higher life expectancies or lower hospitalisations connected to smoking or drinking, though that hasn’t stopped governments pushing illiberal policies further and further – especially under the cover of the pandemic. It’s gesture politics at its most dangerous.

mdi-timer 17 May 2021 @ 15:39 17 May 2021 @ 15:39 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments

LIVE with LITTLEWOOD – the show that brings you free-rolling discussion and debate on the issues that matter – is back.

In tonight’s programme:

  • Can Joe Biden fix the disunited States?
  • When should ‘unlockdown’ begin?
  • With Brexit done, will Boris Johnson reshape the UK as ”the Singapore of Europe”?

Host MARK LITTLEWOOD will be joined by guests from Washington DC to Westminster and beyond, including:  The Times’ Science Editor TOM WHIPPLE; the Institute of Directors’ ALLIE RENISON; the Adam Smith Institute’s MATT KILCOYNEJOHN O’CONNELL of the TaxPayers’ Alliance; Guido Fawkes’ CHRISTIAN CALGIE; political adviser and commentator CALVIN ROBINSON; Free the People CEO TERRY KIBBE; and the scourge of the nanny state, the IEA’s CHRISTOPHER SNOWDON.

Join in the debate, LIVE – TONIGHT at 6PM – here or on YouTube.

mdi-timer 20 January 2021 @ 17:30 20 Jan 2021 @ 17:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Covid Temperance Assault on Pubs is Based on Little Evidence

Pubs are a source of confusion, Labour’s leader in London Sadiq Khan wants them to have a more flexible, later closing time to avoid the herds of drinkers exiting simultaneously, whereas his opposite number, Mark Drakeford the Labour leader in Wales is bringing closing time forward to 6pm. The Institute of Economic Affairs has published an update to its critical analysis of the reasoning behind the increasingly puritanical Covid measures, which seek to limit the functioning of pubs in general and alcohol in particular. It turns out that the research behind this hugely damaging course of anti-pub action is based upon is flimsy at best. The Government has based its pub assumptions on evidence of increased risk of “close, prolonged, indoors, face-to-face, in poorly ventilated and/or crowded spaces, or involve ‘loud’ activities”. It then claims that these risk factors are “all prevalent in the hospitality sector”. Yet, as the IEA’s Chris Snowdon points out, pubs have not been like this since before the pandemic…

It appears that the Government has predicated its assault on pubs and bars based upon what they were like before any social distancing measures were put in place. The papers it cites analyse the spread of the virus in bars and pubs in the early days of the pandemic – with no mandatory ‘covid secure’ measures and little or no social distancing. Yet the evidence from Test and Trace today is that where open, fewer than 5% of infections are coming from Covid-secure bars and pubs. As Guido revealed in October, one local authority listed just 2.4% of transmission came from hospitality venues. If the Government wants to justify its assault on hospitality it will have to find more evidence than the fact that pubs spread the virus before any Covid measures were out in place…

Read the IEA’s paper in full here…

mdi-timer 30 November 2020 @ 16:51 30 Nov 2020 @ 16:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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