Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Sunday, February 29, 2004
You dancin? No, I’m discussing the possibilities of a properly free-market economy in Europe, a Europe that stretches from the Urals to the Atlantic and beyond.
Or the CNE Capitalist Ball 2004
Well that was fun. A gathering of the great and the good of Euro-capitalist and free market thinkers in a suitable venue, with large quantities of booze and pretty decent music. Oh yes, and the blogosphere was there, represented by Mr Pollard, David Carr and Antoine Clarke of Samizdata fame.
Drinks before hand at Pollard’s place, well I didn’t make it, so I cannot report on that gathering. But back to the Ball.
After boneless quails (almost a tautology I would have thought, and an apt phrase to describe many of the attendees) and rosemary sorbet(?) we sat through the prize giving. I had been exiled to near Ghent for the dinner for historical reasons, thus the prize giving ceremony became a dim blur in the distance. However the table broke up into much shushed laughter when the prize for something-or-other was handed to some chap for a paper he had written. Hold your breath, and get downloading fast. You too can read “Parallel Trade in Pharmaceuticals” by Jacob Arfwedson by clicking the link. This was followed by a bow to the sponsor. Catherine Windels, of Pfizer who had paid for us all to get delightfully mashed.
The main speech came in a long paean of praise from Antonio Martino the Italian Defence Minister to Margaret Thatcher. Pretty good speech it was too, well the bits I could hear through the cackling at the table. Mainly based around the way in which La Thatch stood as a beacon of hope to continental thinkers and politicians during the dark ages of the social democratic statism of the 70’s and 80’s. Particularly he welcomed the way in which she supported the work of people like Arthur Seldon, the CPS and the IEA when prevailing fashion was merely for more state as the answer to the failure of the state.