International evidence on housing booms

This post is the first of its kind for me. The post is jointly authored by myself and my friend and colleague Ken Gibb. It is being published simultaneously on both our blogs. You can find Ken’s post here. A recent NIESR paper by Armstrong and Davis (November […]

Election pledges: The few would disagree edition

While I was sat in the auditorium at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference listening to Danny Alexander’s speech on the economy – which, by the way, was not too shabby an example of the genre – Twitter reported the unveiling of the Labour party’s five election pledges. Here […]

Stress testing society

In today’s Observer Sir Hugh Orde argues that the cuts to police funding being proposed by the Conservatives for after the election, layered on top of the cuts that have already happened, put the ability of the police to fulfil their basic functions at risk. He argues that […]

On Social Policy

A couple of days ago I was asked, at short notice, to write a brief introduction to Social Policy, suitable for young people interested in finding out more about the discipline.  Even though I only had a few minutes to write it somewhat inevitably I wrote more than […]

Has The Good Right got it right?

I’ve only just found the headspace to catch up with Tim Montgomerie and Stephan Shakespeare’s The Good Right, an agenda for the modernisation of conservatism. I was reminded of it yesterday while reading Stephen Tall’s final – and excellent as ever – post for ConservativeHome. The overarching aim […]

Three aspects of coalition government

[This post is the original version of a text that first appeared in issue 370 of Liberator magazine (February 2015), under the title “Sustained by useful idiots”] As we approach the last few weeks of this Parliament it is almost inevitable that our thoughts turn to evaluating the […]

Articulating problems, finding solutions

I’m not sure whether anyone is tracking the frequency with which stories about the UK’s problems appear in the media, but intuitively you get the sense that it is increasing. Barely a day seems to pass now without something appearing prominently somewhere. Housing is not just on the […]

The Coalition’s social policy record

Last week researchers associated with the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics published a substantial suite of papers reviewing the Coalition government’s policies across a broad range of social policy areas. They summarize the key strands of policy and try to provide an […]

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)

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

“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)