Category: Politics

Nudge and the state

Last week I took part in an enjoyable discussion on nudge policy as part of Thinking Futures, the annual festival of social sciences. Through a slightly mysterious process I ended up speaking in favour of nudge-type policies, while Fiona Spotswood from UWE made the case against relying on […]

#SaveEd

There are many roles in life I wouldn’t like to occupy. Quite high on that list is Labour party strategist. What on earth is the next move? Is the party genuinely in a tailspin? Or are current reports of internal strife the confection of a largely right wing […]

Notes from a small gathering

Last night I attended a fringe meeting entitled Ten years since the Orange Book – What should authentic liberalism look like? organised by the Institute for Economic Affairs and chaired by Isabel Hardman of the Spectator. I can’t quite remember the last time I went to an IEA […]

Why vote Liberal Democrat?

You can tell we’re heading towards a General Election. The mud-slinging has become more vigorous. The uncosted promises of jam tomorrow are appearing more regularly. The differentiation is happening with greater urgency. And publications are starting to appear laying out the case for the various parties. Biteback publishing […]

A quick post on human rights

Today the Conservatives published their long-promised proposals for the replacement of the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, although their thunder was stolen somewhat by early publication of the announcement yesterday at Jack of Kent. There has been plenty of speculation about what such a […]

The Mansion Tax as a symptom

Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour Party conference earlier this week proposed an increase in spending on the NHS to be funded in part by a Mansion Tax.  This has sparked the debate about the whys and wherefores of property taxes back into life. Taxing property a topic guaranteed […]

Together in election dreams

You can find one or two brave souls who are willing to put a positive spin on Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference yesterday. But the dominant view among the commentariat seemed to be that it all felt rather flat and unfocused. Given this was the […]

Independence, devolution and power

Independent on Sunday front page – “Who to believe” #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers #indyref pic.twitter.com/I5DyzXeMPl — Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) September 13, 2014 When I first saw this tweet, late last Saturday night, my immediate and admittedly facile response was “Neither of them”. Alex Salmond was propounding a vision for an […]

Present and future conditional

One of the most striking developments in policy design in the UK is the rise of conditionality. It most prominently affects those who are out of work and seeking assistance from the welfare system, but it features across a range of other policy areas including housing and health. […]