Month: February 2011

The ethics of the case for public sector reform

[Originally posted on Liberal Democrat Voice, 24/02/11] David Cameron’s article on public service reform in the Telegraph was the opening shot in what could be a significant battle both within the Coalition and across the House. The case presented raises at least three important ethical issues. First, the […]

Economic liberalism and public service reform

[Originally posted on Liberal Democrat Voice, 22/02/11, and ranked most read post of the week] Are the Liberal Democrats a party of untrammelled ideology – sorry,“principles” – or do ethics and evidence also play a role in thinking? This question struck me forcefully when reading David Cameron’s article […]

Economists, implicated

John Maynard Keynes famously wrote that “[i]f economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid”. Many economists, somewhat uncharacteristically, might well be craving that type of anonymity at the moment. Because they’ve been getting a […]

Welfare reform in the dark

Today saw the introduction of the Welfare Reform bill to the House of Commons. Initial Impact Assessments were also published. This piece of legislation has been trailed for many months, but it will nonetheless take quite a while to fathom the detail of what is being proposed across […]

Zen and the art of treadmill running

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 13/02/11] I don’t know many runners who like the treadmill. Most people who have experienced the joys of running outside, either on- or off-road, tend to find the treadmill a little bit tedious. And if you’re training involves long runs it can […]

Political patronage and a scaled down Parliament

Yesterday’s Guardian carried an article by Sarah Wollaston that raised an issue of profound significance for British democracy. The issue is the Government “payroll vote”. Some 150 of the coalition’s MPs are on the payroll. That means that they are bound by collective responsibility to vote with the […]