Towards postcapitalism?

Paul Mason’s new book Postcapitalism: a guide to our future is a serious book with an ambitious agenda. But you wouldn’t necessarily have picked that up from some of the early reviews. Political commentators from the centre and right were pretty quick to the pages of the Times […]

Slums as a housing solution

At the end of last week there was a bit of a furore generated by a blogpost published by the Adam Smith Institute. A young man called Theo Clifford argued that the solution to the British housing crisis lies in deregulation. That in itself is not, perhaps, an earth-shattering observation to […]

Lost souls

I find it hard not to feel a little sorry for Labour.  It is being offered plenty of advice, much of it conflicting. Move left to recapture ground lost to the SNP in Scotland. Move right to combat the threat from UKIP in white working-class areas in England. […]

Policy-induced uncertainty

[Originally posted on The Policy Press blog, 24/07/15, under a different title. Reposted here under the original title.] George Osborne’s recent “emergency” budget proposed many changes to state support to lower income households in a bid to fulfil the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge to cut £12bn from welfare spending. […]

Through a glass, darkly

The community of housing bloggers has already offered plenty of comment on the implications of the Chancellor’s “emergency” budget for housing. Comment from almost all quarters – be it Jules, Ken, Joe, Steve, Tom or Gavin – highlights, in more or less lurid terms, the challenges the budget measures […]

The Q#2 quintet (the decidedly liberal left edition)

Here are the five posts on this blog that recorded the most hits between April and June 2015: Why is Owen Jones so annoying? (4th July 2013) Selling off social housing (14th Apr) Labour, leadership and the catastrophic benefit cap (11th Jun) Social liberalism and the Liberal Democrats (26 May) Liberalism redux […]

On politics and the ‘common’

The Political Quarterly announced the winner of The Bernard Crick prize for the best piece 2014 a couple of weeks ago. It was awarded to Alan Finlayson’s article Proving, pleasing and persuading? Rhetoric in contemporary British Politics (free to read at the moment). Finlayson contrasts political rhetoric at the […]

Osborne’s surplus rule and citizen economics

There is much that is troubling about George Osborne’s proposal to oblige future governments to run a budget surplus in normal times. There is the small matter of identifying “normal” times. It implies something important about how one is thinking about the macreconomy. What does “normal” look like? […]

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)

“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)