Governing made harder by the election campaign

, 6 May 2015

This is partly because of what has been said, and not said, about the main policy challenges facing the UK in what has, at times, appeared to be a competition in gimmicky vacuity. But, at root, the system is now dysfunctional with a mismatch between what many politicians say, the expectations produced and the...

Permalink | Comments Off on Governing made harder by the election campaign

Decentralisation and devolution must be dealt with more coherently

, 30 April 2015

Whoever forms the next government will have to address the UK question. This is more than just than the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Ireland and English questions. It is about how the various parts of the UK relate to each other, and to the Union as a whole.

Permalink | Comments Off on Decentralisation and devolution must be dealt with more coherently

Learning to share: the balance of ministers, 2010-2015

, 30 April 2015

At the end of this Parliament, the Lib Dems in government were overrepresented by seat share, but underrepresented by vote share. At the end of this parliament, 23% of full Cabinet ministers (5 out of 22) – and 18% of all ministers attending cabinet (6 out of 33) – were Liberal Democrats. Looking across...

Permalink | Comments Off on Learning to share: the balance of ministers, 2010-2015

Delivering English devolution: exploring the parties’ manifestos

, 29 April 2015

Given the impact of Scottish Independence referendum last year, it is hardly surprising that devolution features heavily in the manifestos. But while most of the parties agree that the next steps for devolving power to Scotland (and to a lesser extent, Wales) start with the package of measures agreed through the cross-party Smith Commission...

Permalink | Comments Off on Delivering English devolution: exploring the parties’ manifestos

No burning platforms: do this election’s manifestos suggest parties are learning to love quangos?

, 29 April 2015

In the run-up to the 2010 election there was a clear consensus on the need to rein in the quango state. David Cameron had called it inefficient and unaccountable. Gordon Brown, as prime minister, published a white paper promising reform. And even the Lib Dems were sceptics. This year’s manifestos strike a different tone....

Permalink | Comments Off on No burning platforms: do this election’s manifestos suggest parties are learning to love quangos?

The next government must take care over the constitution

, 29 April 2015

You will not find the constitution close to the top of any list of the most important issues of the 2015 election campaign. Yet all the main parties are committed to proposals that could reshape the UK’s system of government in significant ways. With little attention being paid to this area, there is a...

Permalink | Comments Off on The next government must take care over the constitution