Reengineering the market for criminal legal aid

The Ministry of Justice consultation Transforming Legal Aid closes today. At the last minute I decided to submit something reflecting on the economics of the proposals. You can find the substance of what I wrote on my page at Scribd.com. It can be accessed below the fold.

The perversity of the politics of housing

The abject failure of housing policy is among the biggest challenges facing this country yet it barely gets a mention on the hustings or in any political debate. (Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard, 28/05/13) There was a time when the stance taken by the major political parties on housing […]

Selling justice by the pound

To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.                                                                       Magna Carta Any country or Government which wants to proceed towards tyranny starts to undermine legal rights and undermine the law.                                                                Margaret Thatcher When Chris Grayling was appointed Lord Chancellor in […]

The enemies of liberty

Last Tuesday I had a curry with friends, including a good friend who is over from Greece. The conversation touched on the rise of UKIP following recent local elections and the references to swivel-eyed lunacy among the Tory grassroots. My friend gave some flavour of the way in […]

Boris the Eurorealist?

I think it’s more than 18 months since I last blogged about politics and Europe. But today I found myself almost agreeing with something Boris writes in his Daily Telegraph column on the Tories’ referendum ructions. That doesn’t happens very often. So that got me thinking. The main […]

On inconsistencies in policy thinking

Last night I was working my way through the parts of the MoJ’s consultation paper on Transforming Legal Aid relating to competition in the market for criminal representation. This is a fascinating and contentious document. The legal profession is especially exercised by the proposals to restructure the market […]

Making the housing case to Health

Yesterday the Chartered Institute of Housing released a brief note summarizing a couple of recent roundtable discussions they arranged jointly with Tunstall. The focus of the discussions was on how housing policymakers and practitioners can make the case to the health service for diverting funds into housing and […]

Wise words

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

“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)