Clueless on conditionality

On Thursday I blogged about the weak foundations underpinning some of the Coalition government’s policies. On lobbying, on Universal Credit, and on Legal Aid the policy has run into serious trouble. I might return to the lobbying issue again soon, because you could read it in different ways. […]

The dangers of weak policy foundations

Today we witnessed a number of important developments, if you happen to be a policy geek. These developments have a substantially different character, and provide students of the policy process with much to chew on. This morning we received news that Chris Grayling has decided to drop his […]

The Coalition’s pernicious lobbying bill

When the Coalition’s Lobbying Bill appeared in public for the first time, just before the summer recess, much attention was focused on Part I. Most critics agree that it represents an utterly feeble attempt to address the problem of corporate lobbying. Indeed, if the Bill is passed in […]

On Syrian atrocities

Syria has been preoccupying the mainstream media and the political blogosphere for several days now. I’ve not blogged about it because I try to stick to things I know something about. I know very little about Syria. Other than it is an awful situation. And awfully complicated. Clearly, […]

The fierce urgency of now

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, which is deemed by many to be the greatest speech of twentieth century American political history. The BBC has produced a number of special programmes examining its content, context and consequences. Many people are […]

All sentences great and not so great

I have shovelled something like half a million words into cyberspace since I started blogging three years ago. Some of those words were arranged in ways that were pleasing, to me at least. Some of them were arranged in ways that might best be described as decidedly clunky. […]

Britain’s property problem

[Originally posted at LSE British Politics and Policy blog, 14/08/13] This week has brought a slew of news about the UK housing market. Industry commentators are telling us the sector has “turned a corner”: levels of market activity increased significantly in July alongside a sharp upturn in prices. […]

Top blogging on housing policy

A bunch of statistics about the housing market have been published over the last few days. Housing issues have been hitting the headlines in the mainstream media harder than is usually the case.  A number of the key pressure groups have made the point forceful that current developments […]

Forward guidance and managing the housing market

Mark Carney’s importation of the forward guidance approach has been all over the mainstream and social media. But how significant is the announcement that the Bank of England is planning on keeping nominal interest rates as they are until after the next General Election? The comment it has […]

Wise words

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

“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)

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