Some speculation is already generating about who might get the top job at the Institute of Economic Affairs, the think tank in the UK that is, in some ways, the grand-daddy of free market think tanks in the UK. John Blundell is going, having been in the post for some time. Guido has some rather barbed comments about Blundell. Guido mentions an old journalist friend of mine, Allister Heath, as a candidate. Allister would be great – but he is anyway going great guns at the financial paper, City AM, and may also have his eye on other journalistic positions in the future. But he would be a very strong choice for the role, although selfishly, I’d prefer it if those few of us who are libertarian journalists stayed in the profession.
In some ways – these things are not easy to measure – I get the impression that more focused groups such as the Taxpayers’ Alliance have been making far more of the running in recent years than the IEA, while the Adam Smith Institute has been doing a lot of outreach work with universities and colleges, which is vital. But the IEA has a tremendous pedigree and it ought to be a coveted position to go for. The only reservation is whether it can command enough of a budget to get in someone at the right level.