03 January 2010

A New (Old) Development Idea for the Conservatives in 2010

When the Conservatives take over the British government this year, how about solving the issue of domestic opposition to immigration and creating exciting new development opportunities in one stroke?

Paul Romer's Charter Cities (hailed as a top ten breakthrough idea for 2010 by Harvard Business Review) - creating new city-states on uninhabited land, governed by advanced democracies, have a little history in the Conservative Party.

According to recently released papers, first Margaret Thatcher, then Oliver Letwin both wanted to create "Asylum Islands."
Mrs Thatcher even bizarrely proposed to the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, that they jointly buy an Indonesian island to resettle all the boat people. This forerunner of Oliver Letwin's 2003 idea for an "asylum island" to take all of Britain's asylum seekers was only blocked when Singapore complained that it would set up a rival entrepreneurial city
Lee Kuan Yu was no idiot, and saw the potential of a British-Australian-run Charter City in his neighbourhood.

How about it Cameron do you have the balls?

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