I’ve just returned from an intensive week in Hong Kong, with no fewer than sixteen briefing sessions with government departments, members of the Legislative Council (including dissidents and trouble-makers!) and others. I’ll write more about the visit later. At least two government departments in their formal power-point presentations made a point of presenting the Heritage Foundation’s annual “Index of Economic Freedom” study — which Hong Kong has topped for many years.
I thought this would interest my old political comrade-in-arms and former staffer, Sally McNamara, now a Senior Policy Analyst on European Affairs at the Margaret Thatcher Centre, at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. So I texted her:
“In Hong Kong. Government very proud of their Heritage Index of Economic Freedom placing”. (It was only after I’d sent the text that I realised that it was about 3:00 a.m. in Washington!).
She replied: “They are! They and Singapore have ferocious competition every year, I believe, for the two top spots. Remember when Britain used to like to compete?”.
As always, Sally hits the nail on the head. Her comment about the UK would be funny — if it weren’t tragic. I’m hoping a Conservative-led Coalition will pay attention to the issue. But I’m not holding my breath.