Category: Politics

British bill of all kinds of wrong

We are getting a very strong indication of the Conservatives’ preoccupations for the opening weeks of this Parliament. The tabloids are keen to tell us the Government is acting decisively by going to ‘war’ against a range of its established bugbears – extremists, the EU, the trade unions, […]

Liberalism redux

It’s conceivable that I am just about the last Liberal Democrat blogger to post something in the aftermath of the General Election horror show. Plenty has been said. There is no doubt plenty more to say. I thought I’d add something to the mix. A little of the […]

In defence of liberal democracy

Yesterday’s Independent newspaper appropriated this title for its unprecedented editorial backing something that is clearly impossible. The Independent abandoned its traditional, and commendable, stance of remaining independent. It threw its support behind a second Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. The editorial added the caveat that it would like a second […]

The smoke and mirrors of small politics

This is supposed to be the most exciting election for decades, with the outcome still unclear only four days before polling day. But I can’t say I’m feeling it. With the exception of yesterday’s quite extraordinarily bizarre #Edstone stunt, it has all felt pretty humdrum, slightly surreal, and […]

The disconnected housing debate

There is something of an oddity in the debate over the nature of the problems facing the UK housing system, and therefore by implication where the focus of policy attention is best directed. I’ve remarked on it before but it struck me forcefully this week when reading Christian […]

Further leverage in the housing policy debate?

I’m not sure quite how I missed it the first time around. Most probably because, like many policy commentators, I’m inclined to focus too closely on the relatively parochial and the marginal shifts in domestic policy position. As a consequence of this failure to look sufficiently far beyond the […]

Selling off social housing

Rumours have been circulating in the housing policy ether for several months now. Given the housing policy influence of the Policy Exchange at No 10 those rumours should have been, and were, treated seriously. And now it looks like those rumours are well-founded. They’ve only gone and done […]

On the NHS budget black hole

Today’s FT carries a front page story (£), based on research by the Health Foundation, stating that the financial ‘black hole’ facing the National Health Service is bigger than previously forecast. This is a result of a sharp decline in productivity during 2013/14. It is suggested that the […]

Liberal Democrats in a ConDemNation

Last week I took a trip up to Sheffield for the Political Studies Association Annual Conference. I presented a paper in a panel organised by the British Liberals and Liberalism Specialist Group. The paper looks at the Liberal Democrats’ strategy in coalition government and how it interacts with […]

The Tory £12bn and manifest inadequacy

The leak to the BBC hinting at the scale of the cuts to welfare budgets being modelled by the Department for Work and Pensions has caused consternation. And so it should. Given that George Osborne has refused to say what he is proposing to cut from welfare spending […]