government

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    The East Coast franchise debacle: only the latest problem arising from rail privatisation

The East Coast franchise debacle: only the latest problem arising from rail privatisation

Robert Jupe provides a history of the East Coast Main Line franchise and examines its latest problems. He concludes that the current debacle illustrates how privatisation, far from improving efficiency, has fragmented an integrated industry into many constituent parts, and an alternative approach is now necessary.

The Conservative Government announced on 16 May that the East Coast franchise will be temporarily renationalised, […]

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    How majoritarianism endures in the structures of the UK’s devolved institutions

How majoritarianism endures in the structures of the UK’s devolved institutions

The devolved political institutions were intended to produce a more consensual political culture. However, writes Felicity Matthews, although their electoral rules have increased the proportionality of representation, the structures of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales have meant that a more consensual approach to policy-making has been more limited than might have been expected.

This year, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales […]

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    Is government fit for purpose? Not with the current structure of departmental boards.

Is government fit for purpose? Not with the current structure of departmental boards.

Failures in government policy creation and delivery are often blamed on civil servants. However, the real culprit is self-inflicted governance inadequacy, writes Andrew Kakabadse. He draws on his recent report to explain how the value of departmental boards is downrated because of the poor chairmanship of the Secretary of State.

 The Kakabadse report ‘Is Government Fit for Purpose’ surfaced the […]

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    Secretively open: identifying patterns in Theresa May’s approach to secrecy

Secretively open: identifying patterns in Theresa May’s approach to secrecy

Theresa May presides over one of the leakiest governments in British history, with claims from ministers often undermined by a leak saying the exact opposite. Ben Worthy reads the runes of May’s approach to secrecy and attempts to find a common pattern from her Home Office years and into her premiership.

Most prime ministers have an awkward relationship with the […]

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    Kwasi Kwarteng: Does the UK need its own infrastructure bank?

Kwasi Kwarteng: Does the UK need its own infrastructure bank?

How can the UK translate its infrastructure ambition into reality in light of Brexit? Could part of the solution be the creation of a domestic equivalent to the European Investment Bank? Kwasi Kwarteng MP writes that, whilst offering several advantages, there are practical and fiscal reasons why a domestic infrastructure bank is currently an unrealistic prospect.

Economists and policymakers […]

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    Don’t call me a customer, treat me like a human: rethinking relationships in public services

Don’t call me a customer, treat me like a human: rethinking relationships in public services

The pressures of competition, together with the growth in the use of performance data, keep service providers on their toes: if they want to keep customers and their money, they need to keep them happy. But this is not good news in a public services context, writes Catherine Needham and outlines four key problems created by the customer language.

Once […]

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    The changing British policy style: from governance to government

The changing British policy style: from governance to government

Jeremy Richardson explains how the British policy-making style has been steadily shifting away from governance and towards government. Here he examines some of the main features that characterise this long process, and concludes that Brexit should usher in a return to governance.

There are two broad schools describing the British style of policy-making. First, what for decades was seen as […]

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    Majoritarianism reinterpreted: why Parliament is more influential than often thought

Majoritarianism reinterpreted: why Parliament is more influential than often thought

Despite Westminster often being seen as lacking the teeth to affect government policy, Felicity Matthews writes that this is not the case. She argues that reforms to shift the balance between government and parliament have served to offset the declining vote basis of government, and have ensured that Westminster remains responsive to a majority of the electorate through the […]