There is a growing consensus that GDP does not work as a measure of national prosperity. Yet, some of the proposed alternatives, such as the Social Progress Index published last week, still have a long way to go before they can be taken seriously
At least Jo Johnson, newly appointed ministerial head of the No.10 Policy Unit, won’t be moving to California or leaving to set up his own high tech startup before the election. But this move signals a change at No.10 and for coalition dynamics – and potential evolution in the role of ministers and advisers.
The Capabilities Plan launched last week may look like many of its predecessors, but behind familiar actions you can glimpse a more radical vision of the Civil Service of the future. Is Sir Bob Kerslake ready to challenge the dominance of departments?
For a new secretary of state, the prospect of walking into a large, complex department for the first time can be daunting. No training is offered. There is no job description or transition period. And often, a minister will have had no notice of which portfolio they will be given. A minister typically has just 10 minutes to prepare for their new job – the duration of the chauffeur-driven car journey from Downing Street to the new place of work.
The Institute for Government, in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, has just launched ‘Connecting Policy with Practice’ a programme to help civil servants and voluntary sector practitioners to learn from each other’s experience. In this guest blog, Dr Jo Maybin explains why this could be an important source of learning for civil servants.
Much has been made of Mrs Thatcher’s status as the first woman Prime Minister – and the fact that since her time, many more women have been elected to the House of Commons. But she was also the only scientist to be Prime Minister. And on that she remains very much the exception not the rule.
Margaret Thatcher was, above all, an effective Prime Minister. In all the flood of tributes, both admirers and critics agree that she got things done. She did not just want to hold office, but to use it. She did not just hoard political capital, she risked it, generally to advantage. She changed the political landscape and the terms of debate not only during the eleven and a half years of her premiership but for nearly two decades afterwards.
Twelve months ago the Prime Minister launched Big Society Capital, providing it with an initial endowment of £600 million, a conspicuous politically charged name and, arguably, unachievable expectations.