Archive for November, 2010

How ‘inevitable’ was the Con-Lib Dem Coalition?

, 30 November 2010

The electoral arithmetic of the election result – with the Tories as big gainers and Labour as big losers – always tipped the odds against a Labour / Lib Dem coalition. This is not least since it would have depended on the support of smaller groups on a day-to-day basis to win Commons votes.

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Taking happiness seriously

, 26 November 2010

No speech about the importance of wellbeing can be made without citing Robert Kennedy’s famous denunciation of the folly of purely concentrating on economic growth . David Cameron’s announcement yesterday was no exception.

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Posted in Better policy making | 1 Comment »

The Thatcher files

, 23 November 2010

Writer L.P. Hartley’s famous opening line, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”, is too often a very real feeling for those analysing government, where the pace of events and media can frequently contribute to a year zero mentality.

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Can the private sector reform whitehall?

, 19 November 2010

One of the Coalition’s early actions was to put in place radical reforms to Whitehall boards. More non-executive directors are to be appointed, particularly with commercial experience, to galvanise departmental boards, utilising political and business leadership to drive up performance.

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The curse of the decentralising minister

, 18 November 2010

There is no shortage of straight talking about the ambition to turn government on its head and the need for a radical shift in accountability.

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Posted in A more effective Whitehall | 1 Comment »

The feeling’s mutual

, 17 November 2010

How do the words ‘mutual’ and ‘co-operative’ make you feel? For many, they conjure up positive feelings of togetherness and community. Everyone loves John Lewis and we can all understand how giving people a direct stake in an organisation they work for, or are served by, is a good idea.

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Posted in New models of governance and public services | 5 Comments »

Strategy Unit RIP

, 16 November 2010

The Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (PMSU) was created out of the merger of Performance and Innovation Unit, designed to challenge conventional policy-making form the centre, and the No.10 Forward Strategy Unit.

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Will ‘new style’ departmental boards kill or cure?

, 10 November 2010

Just over a month ago, non-executive directors (NEDs) from across government – from the smallest arm’s length bodies to Whitehall’s biggest departments – met at the Better Governance, Fewer Resources conference.

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Business plans shift responsibilities for outcomes away from ministers

, 8 November 2010

David Cameron launched today what he called a “power shift” from Whitehall to individuals and local communities. Behind the 30 to 40 page Business Plans announced by each department lies an attempt to answer a perennial question: how to push through, and sustain, a programme of reform?

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Henry VIII or Henry II? Ministers need to rethink powers in the Public Bodies Bill

, 8 November 2010

There is often Parliamentary controversy when the government seeks to give itself ‘Henry VIII powers’ – extensive powers through secondary legislation.

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