Category: Politics

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 […]

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 […]

Clegg and Co – whose side are they on?

These are troubling times, for many reasons. If you’re interested in the politics of the Liberal Democrats then you’re driven to ask precisely what’s going on. For those who considered they were joining a tolerant and federal party of the centre–left, the omens seem to get worse by […]

Clegg’s curate’s egg of a speech

We all know about the cuts. And the claims that getting the public finances in order will act as a spur to a revival of private sector economic activity. We’re all – quite possibly including the Government – less clear on exactly how that revival is supposed to […]

Mr Ed’s fishing expedition

Ed Miliband’s speech to the Fabian Society conference today was intriguing. That isn’t to say that I agreed with it all. But it was a fascinating step in the political game and a piece of political rhetoric worth examining. Mr Ed has come in for a bit of […]

Should we be concerned about the Government’s attempted quangocide?

[Originally posted on Liberal Democrat Voice, 13/01/11] Quangos – Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations – occupy a strange place in the British political landscape. They tend to proliferate because governments can’t resist seeing new commissions for this or advisory panels for that as essential, while rarely deciding that existing bodies […]