Liberal Democrat commentators in the media

Yesterday’s Week in Westminster on Radio 4 has generated a little bit of a spat in the Liberal Democrat blogosphere. Not so much because of what was said, but because of who said it. The BBC was looking to hear some grassroots Liberal Democrat opinion. The two contributors […]

Retoxifying the rentier

The resurgence of private renting is perhaps the biggest transformation in the UK housing system over the last decade. Indeed, if you put it into a longer historical perspective it is quite remarkable. In the 1970s, in the face of seemingly inexorable growth of owner occupation and local […]

What went wrong? The rethinking of council housing

Here’s a curiosity. Today I came across a piece on council housing that I’d originally drafted back in 2006 as a chapter for a book. Unfortunately, the book never came into being, for a variety of reasons. The piece has been sitting, neglected, on a memory stick ever since. […]

The problem of housing supply

Housing supply and the pressing need for additional investment in new housing are making significant progress up the political agenda. Today’s Times carries an opinion piece by Tim Montgomerie that makes the case for more investment forcefully. It is an argument directed at Conservatives. Montgomerie calls for political […]

Is use it or lose it the answer?

The components of a Labour housing policy are gradually being revealed. First we had some pronouncements on the need for longer tenancies and more stability in private renting. Then we had the idea that what we need is less money spent on benefit and more spent on building […]

Dr Smith and the “neoclassicals”

Debates over the demarcation of different schools of economic thought are by no means new. Taxonomic disputes break out sporadically. Whether “mainstream”, “orthodox” and “neoclassical” economics ever have been, are, or could be synonymous is a question that has exercised several authors of a philosophical turn of mind. […]

Blond’s take on social science

Guess what, I think I’m parked in the red zone!                                                              Reservoir Dogs Phillip Blond has posted a provocative piece offering his perspective on the deficiencies of the social sciences and his prescription for rectifying them. Yesterday ConservativeHome described the piece as “an important article” which touches on […]

Not so vapid response

What to say about Ed Miliband’s big speech last week? I’ve been thinking for a few days now and I’ve not come up with anything of great insight that hasn’t already been said elsewhere. He’s clearly trying to steer a course through some treacherous waters. He’s seeking to […]

Unfollowing

The received wisdom is that unfollowing someone on Twitter is of no great significance. It can be done with breezy indifference. And it will be treated in the same way by the person being unfollowed. They probably won’t even notice. It’s not like unfriending someone on Facebook. That’s […]

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)

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

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable”
(JK Galbraith, 1908-2006)