Public Service: Mutually Assured Destruction?

When I was a Trostkyist, back before the last Ice Age, one of our favorite slogans was “workers control”. It is therefore somewhat weird to hear Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers extolling the virtues of ‘liberating the workers’ to run public services, and how they will improve as a result. The new White Paper on ‘Open Public Services’ confirms them in this approach. Continue reading

PS: and what’s all that got to do with Whitehall?

Dear PM,

I am writing to you with some concern because of the workload fall-out from last week’s “events”. As you know, we in Whitehall are taking our fair share of the burden in reducing the deficit and there is to be a significant reduction in the number of senior staff in Whitehall departments. Continue reading

News of the World: So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish and Chips

A trip to the Chippie on my Council estate in Barrow in Furness in the late 1960s had  several advantages for teenage boys. We got some chips. We usually got to hang out with our mates, and even sometimes chat to some girls.

But, whisper it, you also had the chance that your chips would come wrapped in some sheets from the News of the World. And if you were really lucky, they’d be the right pages. Continue reading

Murdoch and Cameron should act now (and Murdoch has, but not enough)

UPDATE: I wrote this and posted it, only to find that Murdoch has already made a move – closing down the News of the World! As usual tho, this seems like a manoeuvre – the Sun is to go to seven days instead. The question now is will Government block BSkyB deal and force change the rules on media ‘plurality’ so that no one company can own more than, say, 20% of UK media?


The News of the World has been a cess-pit of corrupt practices – Murdoch and Cameron ought clean it up, now, or face the consequences for their respective futures.

Continue reading

Huff Post UK: Schools for Government

Some of you may be aware that the highly successful, and influential, Huffington Post news website is launching a UK version next week.

I am delighted to have been asked to join their list of regular contributors. My first contribution – about the difference between the UK and USA when it comes to researching and government and public administration – is now live already on their website and you can find it here.