Tag Archives: Local government

Worth Reading 107: Qualifying benchmarks

Do we want fewer councillors, or should we make better use of those we have? – Andrew Coulson of the Institute for Local Government Studies asks a few questions about just what local government in the UK is for. Argonauts of the incredibly specific: anthropological field notes on the Liberal Democrat animal – Some interestingly […]

Worth Reading 105: Better ways of making paper

How Liberal Democrat MPs voted against making it far harder to misuse libel – Depressing. A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip – Gabrielle Giffords in the New York Times Dead children and monied politicians – and David Simon on how American democracy is failing under the unrestrained influence of lobbyists and money. Do you […]

Worth Reading 96: The Five Good Links

Common decency fail at the Huff Post – Jim Jepps on why posting pictures of David Miliband with his flies undone helps to drive politicians further away from the public. Eastleigh – Why There’s No Farage – Because, explains Tim Fenton, despite his talk of the importance of Westminster, he’s no desire to actually be […]

Worth Reading 93: Unnatural occurrences only from now on

A very short post about Iraq – The Yorkshire Ranter with a succinct response to the ‘I was wrong, but’ brigade. The less well-paid you are when you enter the labour market, the more your degree will now cost – From the LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog. Under the new system of student finance […]

Could you fake an MP?

It’s Monday, and so it’s time for a new week of silly proposals from obscure Tory MPs. First there’s Michael Fabricant batting his eyes enticingly at UKIP, and then there’s this as well: (via) For individuals aged under 25 who have not yet paid National Insurance contributions for a certain period, perhaps five years, unemployment […]

Do Tories understand the meaning of ‘localism’?

Two interesting stories from recent weeks that show what a couple of Secretaries of State think of it: From last month, Michael Gove wants more powers to change how schools are run, to stop people having their say over what happens to their local school. And today, Eric Pickles has started threatening councils that don’t […]

Worth Reading 80: Around the world

How the mainstream media derailed addressing child abuse – Why talk about real crimes and ruined lives when you can instead obsess over what it means to you, instead? Keeping the Lights On: a look at UKIP’s energy policy evidence base – Are you surprised to find it doesn’t have much of one, and what […]

Bad Tory electoral ideas, numbers 23 and 24

It’s a well-documented phenomenon in British politics that the Conservative Party Conference is where some of the oddest ideas in British politics go to get an airing. As Political Scrapbook points out, there are many made ideas getting out into the open this week, but I wanted to highlight a couple. First up, we have […]

Here comes Tammany Hall on your High Street

My dictionary’s had an update. It now says that ‘localism’ is defined as ‘giving people things they do not want; forcing them into changes they do not need’. Yes, ‘executive mayors’ are back, even though just about no one outside of the DCLG has shown any desire for them. As I wrote back in 2009, […]

Do the Tories want to turn Town Halls into Tammany Hall?

As I’ve said before, I think the idea of centralising power in councils into one person isn’t a very good one, regardless of whether that person has the title of Mayor, Leader or Lord Grand High Poohbah. But it seems they don’t go far enough for the Tories: Twelve cities across the country would hold […]