swimming-with-sharks

Filling The Empty Cockpit

I spent much of Boxing Day reading, perhaps a little belatedly, Joris Luyendijk’s Swimming with Sharks: My journey into the world of the bankers. It’s a book that has featured on one or two lists of books of the year. The book is based on around 200 interviews conducting between 2011-2013 […]

Mayday

Centre-left policy as a Labour-saving device?

In the wake of the most recent exit by Labour’s serial resignationista Dan Hodges, the question of where next for those on the moderate centre-left has again been given an airing. Toby Young helpfully responded to Hodges’ departure by suggesting he join the Tories. Nick Tyrone provides a clear statement […]

Good Governance

Executive unchecked

Liberals aren’t desperately keen on concentrations of power. It’s pretty integral to the whole ‘liberal’ thing. Whether it be power accreting to the state or to private interests or to the church, stark structural inequalities can threaten mechanisms by which different voices can be heard and society can […]

Housing and the Autumn Statement

The full ramifications of George Osborne’s pronouncements on housing during the Autumn Statement will no doubt take a while to emerge. Some of the rumours of nasty surprises proved to be unfounded. There were some surprises that were broadly positive – such as the increase in stamp duty […]

Housing: What Crisis?

Last Friday evening I took a trip out to Coalpit Heath to talk housing at a meeting of the newly constituted South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats. The title I was working to was Housing: What Crisis?. The talk was followed by a Q&A session in which members of the […]

Legislation Definition

Constitutional ‘crisis’

The Chancellor’s defeat in the House of Lords on Monday over cuts to tax credits has, rightly, generated acres of commentary. I don’t propose to review the debate in detail here, other than to observe, as a number of commentators and bloggers have already noted, that on this […]

Wise words

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

“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)

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