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 […]

Alleged rights violations

The Herald carried a post yesterday that justifies a broader audience. Not for the first time this summer the paper has drawn attention to the fact that Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) have submitted a dossier to the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) alleging […]

The economisation of policy and the problem of price

Last week I found myself discussing – indeed partially defending – economics in the face of somewhat indiscriminate accusations of “neoliberalism”. I have no doubt that some economists – while rarely self-defining as “neoliberal” – find themselves in sympathy with the political project that is usually signified by […]

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)

“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)