Month: October 2010

The Coalition and private renting

The intersection of housing policy and benefits policy has become a focal point for political debate, and for tension within the Coalition government. Now that Tory MPs in marginal seats are starting to realise the electoral implications of a mass migration of poorer households into their constituencies perhaps […]

easyCouncil? Not so easy cuts

Barnet council is in the vanguard in the pursuit of significant changes and savings in service delivery, under the headline grabbing tagline ‘easyCouncil’. Reports today that its programme of change will cost more this year than it will save should fill no one with great surprise. For several […]

Totally startled … but in a good way

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 25/10/10] Where did that come from? I’m guessing we’ve all had runs when, for no apparent reason, everything clicks. You pull out a performance that surprises you, let alone other people. The clearest example I have was my 10k PB, recorded in […]

On debating the CSR: a simple plea

Since Wednesday’s CSR announcement much has been said and written about whether the proposed changes in public spending are “fair” or otherwise. Nick Clegg in particular has gone on the offensive and attacked the IFS for drawing the conclusion that the CSR measures are regressive, below the top […]

Dealing with the deficit, broadening the mind

In 1927 the American Jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes stated that “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society”. That is sometimes rendered slightly more catchily as “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization”. This observation seems entirely apposite in the context of current debates over how to […]

Self-denying … and self-defeating?

[Originally posted on Liberal Democrat Voice, 21/10/10] It may have been a “miserable little compromise” back in April but AV would now appear to be the big prize. The coalition has to hold together, whatever the cost, at least long enough to allow a vote on electoral reform. […]