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Borismania

I can sort of see the appeal. But, then again, I really can’t. Is Boris the saviour of the Conservative party? Back at the beginning of last year I saw him give an after dinner speech. At one point he was stood within two metres of me, but […]

Academic economics, institutions and incentives

An interesting discussion about academic economics and its role in public life has sparked into life while I’ve been away (eg Simon here and here; Chris here and here). This discussion touches on many of the things that are closest to my academic interests – in particular, thinking about economics as a set […]

Serial bloggage

One of the most intriguing characteristics of blogging is its flexibility. You can find plenty of people willing to offer their views on how you should go about blogging if you want to maximize your audience and the like. But, while some of these hints and tips may […]

Attitudes towards new development soften

There is a broad consensus among politicians, analysts and commentators that Britain needs to build more housing. You can encounter dissent from that view, but it tends to be on the fringes – in deep UKIP anti-migrant territory or the paramilitary wing of the rural lobby. The debate […]

Why? Five-oh-oh

This is the five hundredth post on this blog. It is, of course, an entirely arbitrary milestone, but it nonetheless causes you to reflect on why you do it. Five hundred posts translates into well over half a million words, at a rate of ten or so posts […]

Liberal Democrat travails over the bedroom tax

Well, well, well. It turns out that the bedroom tax isn’t such a good idea after all. Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander have U-turned on the policy, ostensibly in the light of the (delayed) publication of interim report of the DWP evaluation. The report indicates that the policy […]

Are Mandarins the problem?

The relationship between politicians and civil servants is back in the spotlight. Janan Ganesh in the FT, for example, has argued that civil servants need to be brought to heel more effectively by their political masters. Cries of ‘politicisation’, whenever the prized independence of the civil service is […]