Thinking smaller' idea preposterous

John Blundell responds to an article in The Financial Times which stated that think-tanks are 'thinking smaller'

Sir, David Goodhart ("Think tanks get big by thinking smaller", September 29) correctly notes that think-tank funding "is increasingly tied to particular pieces of close-up policy research".

However, at the Institute of Economic Affairs we refuse such money from corporations, accepting only general non-restricted funding. An energy study funded by an oil company or a pharmaceutical study by a drug company hardly has the credibility we wish.

However, the idea that we are "thinking smaller" is preposterous. Our predecessors struggled with runaway inflation, power grabs by trade unions and the bottomless pits of the nationalised industries.

Today we tackle runaway regulation, power grabs by the European Union and the bottomless pits of the public services, and in January the IEA will mark its 50th anniversary by publishing a book in which leading academics set out their vision for a liberal utopia 50 years in the future.

John Blundell, Director-General, Institute of Economic Affairs, London SW1P 3LB

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