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mrlj11 karma

Hello Lord Ridley. Thank you for taking the time to do this - it's most appreciated.

I have quite alot of questions which I'm eager to get your thoughts on. There are quite a few, but one doesn't get opportunities such as this that often so I want to make the most of it.

Q1: To what extent to you think that the introduction of Innovative Finance ISAs has been beneficial for small businesses in securing start-up financing, and for making such investments more accessible than the traditional VC model? Related, do you think that the Innovative Finance ISAs should also include equity-based forms of crowdfunding?

Q2: What approaches do you think should be taken to boost democratic political participation across the board? There's a very noticeable decline in party membership numbers across the last century and continuing into the present, which seems to be part of what fuels the perception that Politicians do not understand the lives of the populace very well.

Q3: Do you believe that CANZUK would be worth pursuing? Having similar political and legal institutions, a common head of state, a shared language, and relatively good economies suggests that it might be workable. Does it however risk acquiring similar issues to those under EU membership?

Q4: How would you appraise the overall response of the Government to the pandemic? Merits and criticism.

Q5: What foreign policy approach should we be taking towards China? There seems to be a minor conflation between reducing reliance on imports from China to reducing trade with them; surely relative trade dependency matters more. For the development of 5G, would you rather use Huawei with risk limitation or instead pursue alternatives with our long-standing international allies?

Q6: How would you evaluate the ongoing trade negotiations with the EU? In particular, with reference to the pandemic. Perhaps also considering the constitutional battle between Germany's high court and the ECJ.

Q7: What are your initial thoughts on the new opposition leader?

Q8: Should policymakers be thinking more about the risks identified in the National Risk Register? The chance of influenza pandemic has been rated as quite high in recent years, and I've not yet seen any reason to think it has dropped.

Q9: Am I right in understanding that you had a bit of a falling out with Nassim Taleb over the matter of GMOs? As I understand it, his core point is that genetic modifications of a particular plant do not affect only that plant; rather it affects the entire ecosystem that that plant is in. Hence be more cautious. What do you say in response?

Q10: What do you make of the reliance on predictive modelling in making policy decisions?

Q11: Top 5 Books?

mrlj11 karma

Fair enough. Probably the one I'm most interested in, if you get the time, is your thoughts on Q3 relating to CANZUK.