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Category Archives: Politics
by Martin Smith (York University), Dave Richards and Patrick Diamond (both Manchester University) There is little doubt that the previous Labour Administration and the current Coalition Government have discernibly different governing projects. Despite a rhetorical appeal to the contrary, Labour … Continue reading
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?
It’s couched in polite terms, but today the Public Administration Select Committee issued what amounted to a bruising attack on PM David Cameron. The PASC said the PM was wrong to ask the Cabinet Secretary to investigate the Andrew Mitchell … Continue reading
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.
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
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
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
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
We were told, when the new Coalition Government came to be, that it would put an end to “New Labour targetry”. The use of targets for public sector performance had become a bête noir of both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in … Continue reading
The disproportionate representation of UK private schools (confusingly called ‘public schools’) amongst Britain’s Olympians has been causing some controversy. For some on the right this highlights the superiority of private sector schooling over state provision – especially as a … Continue reading
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.
As someone who’s been writing and working with performance measures and dashboards for longer than I care to remember, I found this post on ‘False Economy’ (link below) just so funny I had to reproduce it…. ———————- A preview of … Continue reading
The Civil Service Reform Plan announced yesterday mostly rehashes old solutions, some sensible, others of dubious worth – but mostly renames stuff and proclaims it as if it was ‘new’. The cry of ‘cultural change’, for example, towards greater managerial … Continue reading
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
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
Three decades ago two American academics published a superb analysis of the way in which British government’s made finance decisions provocatively entitled “The Private Government of Public Money” (Heclo and Wildavsky, 1981). Has the Coalition accidentally given birth to … Continue reading
The whole NHS reform is based on an assertion – that GPs are somehow better placed to decide what NHS services need to be provided because they are in some sense ”closer to patients”. The news story today that GPs … Continue reading
Is the Civil Service accountable to parliament? Margaret Hodge MP, the formidable chair of the powerful Public Accounts Committee of Parliament says “yes”. Sir (now Lord) Gus O’Donnell and other ex-Mandarins say firmly “no”. (For details see the Guardian website here). … Continue reading
Watch out for the word “implementation” in 2012. It’s the new in-word in Whitehall.