A voyage of rediscovery

Today’s papers bring us further news of the sickness that afflicts our housing market. On the front page of the Telegraph is a piece focusing on St Vince of Cable’s warning that the housing market is exhibiting all the signs of overheating and that Mark Carney is considering […]

Peace and trust can win the day

How do you feel about the immigration debate? There seems to be a lot of anger out there. The right wing press/UKIP axis has brought its perma-rage about all things European Union into sharper focus around the lifting of the transitional controls on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants. We’ve had […]

The Q#4 quintet

Here are the five posts on this blog that recorded the most hits between October and December 2013: On signs you’re reading bad criticism of economics (4th Nov) Uncertain terrain: Issues and challenges facing housing associations (11th May) Would post-crash economics be a step backward? (21st Nov) The Bedroom […]

My top ten posts of 2013

This has been a good year for this blog. Although the audience remains relatively modest, traffic has nearly doubled compared with 2012. Thanks for reading. The blog spent all year in the ebuzzing monthly politics top 100. Such rankings are not to be taken too seriously, but being […]

My top ten blogs 2013

Welcome to my third annual list of my top ten blogs. I have continued to read all the blogs in my previous lists, although a couple of bloggers took a bit of a break this year. So I am discovering that the process of compiling a top ten […]

Bittersweet sympathy

Much of the media reporting of today’s IPPR briefing note on the economic recovery focused on the alarm it sounds about the rapid increase in household debt – in particular the risk that Help to Buy II will further increase house prices. The economy may give the appearance […]

This land is your land

We are used to thinking of NIMBYism as a parameter of the housing policy debate. The survey evidence suggests that anti-development sentiment is deep rooted and hard to shift. It is a constraint that we must work within – something to work around – rather than something to […]

Does Twitter’s future lie in broadcasting?

Given a relatively trouble-free IPO only a month ago and Twitter’s plans to broaden its services in future, it might perhaps seem a bit perverse to reflect on whether its time as the social media channel we know and love is passing. But I wonder. No technology is […]

Rehabilitating social housing

A substantial essay by James Meek on the housing crisis, entitled Where will we live?, has appeared online today at the London Review of Books. It will appear in the print edition in the New Year. The essay roams widely across the terrain of housing policy. It focuses […]

Mixed messages

Yesterday I had a meeting with someone about a thing. Before we got started my interlocutor looked at me rather accusingly and, apropos of nothing at all, said “Someone tells me you’re a member of the Liberal Democrats”. This was a decidedly unexpected turn of events. I felt […]

Wise words

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“Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult”
(Samuel Johnson, 1709-94)

“No section of the people has ever been excluded from political power without suffering legislative injustice”
(Millicent Garrett Fawcett, 1847-1929)

“a person is not likely to be a good political economist who is nothing else”
(JS Mill, 1806-1873)