BUSINESS people gave Paul Goodman, the prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for Wycombe, a relatively sympathetic hearing when he came to the April meeting of Wycombe Business Forum.

However, for the most part the Daily Telegraph leader writer was probably preaching to the converted, when he spoke about the relationship between small businesses and the economy.

He was against the increasing number of regulations imposed on business, against Britain joining the Euro, and for lower taxes.

He said the Conservatives would abolish any government rule which would give councils the power to charge businesses for their car parking spaces..

He almost backed Margaret Thatcher's hated poll tax, which he said could have led to lower local tax rises by giving everyone a stake in what local politicians were up to.

He also almost came down in favour of the government's system of vouchers for asylum seekers, though he said they hadn't deterred people.

He was against ID cards: "I am slightly uneasy that the state can simply issue ID cards and hold the citizen to account without any reason."

But he was in favour eventually of the decriminalisation of cannabis.