Blog Profile / Analysing British Politics

Filed Under:Politics / UK Politics
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Archived Since:May 7, 2010

Blog Post Archive

What to watch out for in the Autumn Statement

Five key points from the Institute of Government: What to look for

The plight of the CBI

An academic friend asked me recently why I had not returned to my early work on the CBI. (Grant and Marsh, 1977). My answer was that the organisation was a shadow of its former self. Its heyday was in the days of tripartite economic policy in the late 1960s and 1970s. Show More Summary

Stop demonising debt

The head of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, John Longworth, has said that politicians should stop demonising debt. He has called for infrastructure spending to be excluded from national debt targets. He argued that infrastructure spending was an investment rather than a cost. Show More Summary

And now its Geoffrey Howe

Former Conservative Chancellor Geoffrey Howe has died at his Warwickshire home at the age of 88: Geoffrey Howe Denis Healey likened being criticised by him to being attacked by a dead sheep, but Mrs Thatcher's downfall began with his resignation speech. Introduced to him at a dinner, he said 'Ah, one of those.' Make of that what you will.

Denis Healey

BBC2 ran an excellent Michael Cockerill programme on Denis Healey last night. Most people were probably watching the Great British Bake Off but it can be viewed on BBC I-player. Healey was referred to 'as the best prime minister Labour never had', but a central message was that he was too volatile and temperamental for the top job. Show More Summary

Cameron's conference speech

My thoughts can be found here: Cameron at Manchester

How voters see the economy

An interesting essay which suggests that voters are more influenced by media reporting of the state of the economy than their own direct experience of it: Voter perceptions

England's first pop up university

With financial pressures on universities increasing, and a constant search for more market oriented solutions to provide higher education at a lower cost, England is to get its first ‘pop up’ university. Capital costs will be avoided by using the infrastructure of the Bakerloo Line. Show More Summary

Ask the Chancellors

I can't imagine this attracted a large audience live on a Monday afternoon, but, of course, what matters is how it is 'spun' in late news programmes. I thought each slot was going to last an hour, but in fact it was half an hour and George Osborne was cut off in mid flow by a commercial. Show More Summary

Coalition and minority government options

The last calculation of each possible coalition/minority government scenarios after the general election by Populus/Hanover gives seven options as likely (the others such as 'Labour majority' are ranked at 1.4 per cent or less): Labour/SNP...Show More Summary

How much do you know about purdah?

The Cabinet Office guidance isn't out yet, but here are its implications for academics and politicians: Purdah

Who would benefit from lost Lib Dem seats?

My back of the envelope calculations suggest that of the seats that the Lib Dems have very little chance of retaining, 11 would go to the Conservatives, 10 to Labour and four to the SNP. There are two seats I am genuinely uncertain about: Fife North East (where Ming Campbell is retiring) and Argyll & Bute which is a genuine four way marginal. Show More Summary

Looking at Lib Dem seats

Given that they are currently tanking in national polls, the Liberal Democrats will depend on incumbency and local factors to retain seats in the House of Commons. 'Go back to your constituencies and prepare for holding more seats than the polls say, as one wag put it. Show More Summary

Labour and the general election

I will be writing a weekly commentary on Labour and the general election for this blog: Election prospects I did ask why I had been given Labour, but didn't get a clear explanation, other than that they thought I could do it.

The general election in the Heart of England

I discuss the prospects for the general election in Warwickshire here: Heart of England

Another hung Parliament?

Some reflections on the next election and the likelihood of another hung Parliament: Coalition politics

What happened to British decline?

This post on the Speri blog looks at what happened to British relative economic decline and the country's continuing economic problems, following the recent retirement conference for Andrew Gamble at Cambridge University: The decline debate

Scotland and Quebec

A long time ago I wrote a comparison between Scotland and Quebec with a Canadian colleague which was published as an article in Canada. There is an interesting parallel between the current referendum in Scotland and that in Quebec in 1995. An interesting blog post on the subject can be found here: Quebec and Scotland

Comparing UKIP and the SDP

Two insurgent parties: how do they compare? UKIP and the SDP

Custard powder shortage causes concern in August 1914

Leamington residents were urged to keep calm in August 1914 but worries about a shortage of custard powder surfaced. A local vicar complained that governments only cared about voters. 'Keep calm – and don’t panic!’ was the advice the Courier gave to Leamington residents in an editorial following the outbreak of war in August 1914. Show More Summary

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