Leadership of the British Civil Service: All Change?

Last week I gave evidence – alongside Professor Lord Peter Hennessy and Professor Tony Dean –  to the Public Administration Select Committee in Parliament on the changes taking place at the top of the UK Civil Service. The uncorrected minutes of the evidence session can be found here.

Other evidence sessions and the terms of reference and other information for the PASC inquiry can be found on their website here.

I also have articles examining different aspects of these changes appearing in Public Finance and Public Servant magazines over the next few weeks.

Confusion and Denationalisation at the centre of the Health and Social Care Bill

I reprint below an excellent briefing by Professor Allyson Pollock and colleagues on key clauses of the Health and Social Care Bill.

It addresses two critical issues:

  • The removal of  legal responsibility from the Secretary of State to prove health services and
  • The confusing mixture of ‘person-based’ and ‘area-based’ arrangements for patients (and consequently funding arrangements – something I’ve brought up here before).

Continue reading

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 the left – calculated from OECD figures in an excellent paper you can find here). Continue reading

Theresa May: déjà vu all over again

[I appeared briefly on Newsnight commenting on this – the item is about 20 mins in].

A British Home Secretary faces a media firestorm over a major blunder in one of the Home Office’s Executive Agencies. A senior agency official is blamed to shift attention away from Ministers. He resigns and hits back, hard and sues the Home Office and wins.

Theresa May (Home Secretary) and  Brodie Clarke (UK Borders Agency)? Well yes, but it could also be Michael Howard (Home Secretary) and Derek Lewis (Director General of the Prison Service) back in 1995. Continue reading

My Big Fat Greek Government?

The Greek crisis has given neo-liberals a a great opportunity to criticize ‘big government’ Hellenic style – they see the problem as a Big Fat Greek Government (apologies to the film of nearly that name). But as usual the truth about Greece’s problems are rather more complex – what Greece needs is not less Government, but better Government. Continue reading