Category Archives: Political Economy

BT: To Infinity and Beyond, or not

We, as a country, are failing dismally to provide a proper broadband infrastructure.  While debate rages around whether or not we’ll have HS2 sometime in the dim and distant future, right here right now we are lagging behind in our … Continue reading

Posted in Political Economy, Whitehall | 7 Comments

UKIP: Building a Party when the “Party” is Over?

UKIPs undoubtedly successful showing in the (mostly) English local elections has left many analysts speculating over whether this is a sustainable political shift to “four party” politics or not?

Posted in Political Economy, Politics | 6 Comments

Top Twenty Whitehall Watch blog posts

Here’s the top twenty Whitehall Watch blog posts (so far) and the number of views. This doesn’t include numbers for posts that have been republished by Public Finance, Public Servant, LSE Policy and Politics and the Huffington Post.

Posted in Accountability, Communities, Development, Education, International, Local government, NHS, Parliament, Performance, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Riots, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

Dave says we’re headed in the right direction, what do you think?

PM David Cameron claims we are ‘headed in the right direction’. Below are the latest headline figures from the Office of National Statistics website on the state of our national finances (so all their words, not mine, I’ve just added a … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Political Economy, Politics, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

The UK in 2013: A Failing Economy or a Failing State?

Maybe I’m being a bit overdramatic (and simplistic) with that headline, but I wanted to pose a question rather sharply – are we busily focussing on a failing economy in the UK when what we should really be worried about … Continue reading

Posted in Parliament, Political Economy, Politics, Whitehall | 7 Comments

’You Can’t Borrow Your Way Out of a Debt Crisis’. Er, actually you can Mr Osborne. It depends….

One of George Osborne’s favourite mantra’s is the above one. Unfortunately it’s based on a rather school-boy understanding of economics. Of course everyone is familiar with the personal debt spiral. Adam and Eve enjoy the good life. They spend a … Continue reading

Posted in Political Economy, Politics, Spending, Whitehall | 3 Comments

Romney tells Secret Service detail to “go and get a real job” – well, not really but that’s what he implied…

[President Obama] “took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have, and one that was essential to the task at hand.  He had almost no experience working in a business.  Jobs to him are about government.” Mitt Romney in … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration | 3 Comments

Co-Evolution of the Development of Public Administration, Democracy and Capitalism

Philipp Krause has raised some very interesting issues about the development of public finance institutions in emerging economies (which are equally applicable to wider public administration capacity development in emerging countries).

Posted in Accountability, Development, International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management | 1 Comment

G4S and rethinking public services: going beyond ‘one size fits all’

guest post by John Alford and Janine O’Flynn  The G4S fiasco surrounding security for the London Olympics has sparked debate about the problems of contracting out. In a new book, John Alford and Janine O’Flynn argue for a broader approach … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management | 2 Comments

policy@manchester launches

Public policy community comes together 12 Jul 2012 The University of Manchester has established Policy@Manchester as a network bringing together a range of academics working in a variety of public policy areas.

Posted in Accountability, International, NHS, Parliament, Performance, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

Surpluses, Budgets, Parliament, and Accountability Down Under (Australia): some random thoughts

I am in Australia as “Accenture-Crawford School Distinguished Visiting Professor” at Australian National University in Canberra. Many thanks to both Accenture and the excellent Crawford School of Public Policy. I’ve been doing a fascinating series of meetings, seminars and lectures … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | 1 Comment

The Class Ceiling – Posh Boys (and Girls) Still Rule OK

When Tory MP Nadine Dorries described her Prime Minister and Chancellor as ”two arrogant posh boys” it prompted me to start thinking about my own experiences of class in British society over the past half century. My conclusion – there … Continue reading

Posted in Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Whitehall | 5 Comments

BT Infinity – Infinitely Unavailable?

Yesterday I got an email from BT, once again extolling the virtues of BT Infinity* and inviting me to sign up. As I am a BT customer – which is why they had my email – it wouldn’t have been … Continue reading

Posted in Political Economy, Politics, Public Management, Whitehall | 7 Comments

My Top Ten (most read) WhitehallWatch posts of 2011 (so far)

Posted in International, Performance, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Public Management, Spending, Whitehall | Leave a comment

Greek Deficit and Tax Evasion

One issue that keeps coming up around the Greek crisis is the degree of tax evasion. In the slide below I report the average Greek budget deficit per year on a decade by decade basis since the 1960s (figures on … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Spending | 4 Comments

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, or a Free Market

My recent post suggesting three simple reforms to financial markets provoked a bit of a squall on Twitter. The Free Market Fundamentalist Tendency especially seemed incensed that any restrictions on markets was a good idea. Most of the criticisms were … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy | 4 Comments

Three ‘Simples’ Principles for Controlling Run-Away Finance?

I have been thinking about what sort of moral principles ought to apply to finance, including banking. The sort of thing I’ve been thinking about are some fairly simple things that would appear obvious to most of us, but apparently … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

The ‘Managerial Revolution’ is Over: They Won?

“Income Data Services, which totted up pay, bonuses and various share awards, says the average FTSE 100 executive director pocketed a 49 per cent rise in the last financial year to bring their remuneration to £2.7m a year. Chief executives … Continue reading

Posted in International, Political Economy, Public Administration, Public Management | 3 Comments

The Riots: It may be the Under-Class that did it, but it’s the Uber-Class that lost it

So, the riots have come. They had an almost inevitable quality to them – indeed last December I outlined one scenario for when they would happen (see The Great Train Wreck of 2013).

Posted in Communities, Parliament, Political Economy, Politics, Public Administration, Riots, Whitehall | 14 Comments