Month: December 2011

Nick Clegg, liberalism and leadership

The speech on the open society Nick Clegg gave at Demos yesterday started with a brilliant encapsulation of the problems facing our society: But our politics and economy are distorted by unaccountable hoards of power, wealth and influence: media moguls; dodgy lobbyists corrupting our politics; irresponsible bankers taking […]

NIMBY Nation

[Originally posted at Dale&Co, 13/12/11] The publication last week of the 2010 British Social Attitudes report made the headlines because it seemed to indicate that the British population is becoming increasingly self-reliant, self-centred or selfish – depending on your perspective – and more inclined to see poverty and […]

Letting Agents off

What on earth will it take to improve the regulation of letting and managing agents operating in the private rented sector? Last week the Resolution Foundation reported on a small scale mystery shopper exercise in three English cities. The findings were useful, but hardly surprising. The key findings […]

Laying the foundations for private renting?

[Originally posted as a Guest post at the National Landlord Association blog, 12/12/11] The long-awaited Housing Strategy for England – Laying the foundations – has now arrived. The headlines were dominated by the mortgage indemnity guarantee, restarting “shovel ready” developments, and revitalising the Right to Buy. But what […]

A Euro-Nightmare before Christmas

Clegg needs to ask himself a difficult question: did he come into politics to be part of perhaps the most diplomatically-inept and Euro-hostile government in modern British history? John Campfner, The Independent, 10/12/11 The consequences of David Cameron’s refusal to agree to participate in the Merkozy plan early […]

Has local democracy passed its Selby date?

It appears that Selby District Council has restructured its whole organisation into a small group of commissioners – a core group of 14 staff – and a multifunctional provider organisation – Access Selby. We move a step nearer to realising Nicholas Ridley’s vision of the Enabling Authority. We’re […]

On the wisdom of free capital markets

With the discussions over the future of the Eurozone at a critical phase, David Cameron yesterday started to make helpful noises about exercising a veto if British interests were not protected. And when he says British interests, it seems he primarily means protecting the status of the City […]