David Miliband’s Goodbye to all that

“It was my bitter leave-taking of England where I had recently broken a good many conventions” writes Robert Graves in the prologue to his magisterial autobiography, Good-Bye to All That. Today we bid farewell to another giant, although of politics not literature, who has decided the grass is indeed greener on the other side… ofRead more

The winds of change in the City?

Elections to England’s County Councils will take place in May. However, last week, unnoticed to all but a few particularly diligent election watchers, the City of London Corporation held elections to its Court of Common Council – its council chamber, in layman’s terms. The City of London is a strange democratic beast. Its councillors traditionallyRead more

Playing the Generation Game

In the wake of the Budget, and with a Spending Review underway, it’s worth reflecting a bit more on the House of Lords report on Public Service and Demographic Change, published last week, particularly if you’re in health and social care. Somewhat crowded out by Budget speculation and pre-briefing, the report delineates how the relationshipRead more

The budget: did we get it right?

Yesterday we published a blog post making two predictions about today’s budget. How did we do? Prediction 1: the Budget will be a rather straightforward affair where instead of making radical changes Osborne will balance all main interests off against each other. We think we called this one right. The Chancellor halved the UK’s anticipatedRead more

Tarzan and the Omnishambles

Lord Heseltine is eighty years old on Thursday, and this week marks a year since the ‘omnishambles’ budget. Yesterday, the government set out its response to his ‘No Stone Unturned’ report, on the search for growth and what the government can do to encourage it. Tomorrow, George Osborne will try to present a more coherentRead more

Tomorrow’s Budget: our predictions

Fierce lobbying on the Budget to date has been from three groups: those who want George Osborne to reach for some sort of fiscal stimulus (a Plan B); those who want a fiscal hatchet (drastic spending cuts); and those who want the Chancellor to opt for monetary levers (new Carney-style rate setting criteria for theRead more

The Mini Spending Review

When the Chancellor delivers his Budget speech next Wednesday he will already have one eye on his next set-piece appearance in the Commons. This week the Treasury announced it will publish a Spending Review on 26th June, establishing the parameters for departmental spending in 2015-16. That’s when the coalition’s current spending plans, drawn up shortlyRead more