blogged before  on Phillip Blond - I am not just jumping on the bandwagon after the launch of
. But it is interesting that his philosophy seems to have the approval of David Cameron. I hope that DC thinks about it a little more deeply.
Blond's roots go back to the distributist movement that has some adherents amongst Catholics in the UK. It emphasises widespread ownership, the inevitability of a free market degenerating, the importance of guilds and so on. Indeed, Blond claims the support of Pope Benedict's encyclical Caritas in veritate for many of his views.
I have written about that encyclical in
four articles  at least, but I am afraid it offers no comfort for Phillip Blond's overall strategy (though neither could I claim it for the free market case). The Pope repeats what has been said many times in the last forty years in official Catholic Church documents that the Catholic Church has no economic models to offer - only a critique of certain issues in the context of our times and in the context of the theology and morality of the Catholic faith. If Cameron really does embrace Blond then the headline "Cameron embraces Catholic economics that the Pope himself rejects" would not be inappropriate.
Blonds ideas take a lot of unpicking. I only have a few hundred words. As such let me make four points that, I believe, hole "Blondism" beneath the waterline - not necessarily as a political philosophy but as a political philosophy that should be embraced by a broadly free market party:
1. His idea that free markets inevitably lead to big corporations and monopoly is empirically and objectively wrong. It is true that, in the banking sector, the state has supported big banks and that big banks have dominated the market - but one cannot describe the banking sector as a free market. In fact, in the wider economy, small firms have boomed in the last 30 years.
2. The idea that the free market has pushed out mutuality and widespread ownership is empirically and objectively wrong (and there is a lot of academic work on this). Mutuality and community organisations in finance have been pushed out by state regulation. Such organisations used to exist as part of the rich tapestry of the market economy in ord