Gordon Brown put reinforcing parliamentary accountability at the heart of his premiership. One major change was to involve parliament in the appointment of senior public officials. Continue reading
So – MPs expenses are back, but this time with a slightly more complex plot.
Former civil servant Sir Thomas Legg has been accused of retrospective re-writing of the rules in calling on MPs to repay anything above certain set limits for things like cleaning their second homes. Continue reading
I sat next to Gordon Brown at the Chequers seminar (Sat 10/10/09) as he he took copious notes – he was clearly having no problem writing, so I don’t know what all the fuss is over his eyesight?
I almost didn’t get to Chequers (the Prime Ministers country residence) on Saturday for a seminar on “Equality, Fairness and Responsibility in the Post-Crisis Society” convened by the PM and chaired by Ed Miliband. Continue reading
A news story today apparently sent some in Whitehall into a bit of a tail spin – according to the BBC:
Professor David MacKay told the BBC that reductions in carbon dioxide emissions since 1990 are “an illusion”. “Our energy footprint has decreased over the last few decades and that’s largely because we’ve exported our industry,” he said. Continue reading
The central message from Labour’s conference in Brighton is that “ideology is back” in British politics.
Emphasising differences on the economy, the financial crisis and public spending, Labour has sought to depict an ideological gulf between themselves and their Tory opponents. Labour is the party of public service – the Tories of markets. Continue reading
How can we be talking at the same time about shrinking public spending on core services while propping up the banks? FOR FULL TEXT SEE MY LATEST COLUMN FOR PUBLIC FINANCE.
Professor Joseph S. Nye (Harvard) spoke this morning at the Maxwell School (Syracuse), where I am currently a guest. Nye is famous for coining the phrases ‘soft power’ and ‘smart power’ – both of which have slipped into the political lexicon. Continue reading