uk government

David Cameron should not bow to Eurosceptic pressures from his own party to replace David Lidington as Minister for Europe

In the UK there is growing support within the Conservative Party for David Cameron to appoint a new Minister for Europe. Tim Bale assesses why the incumbent minister, David Lidington, is so unpalatable to Conservative MPs, noting that his moderation and pragmatism work against him with Tory Eurosceptics, who not only misunderstand the nature of the EU’s impact on member states’ governments […]

Conservatism in crisis, sickies in the public sector and a Miliband masterstroke: Top 5 blogs you might have missed this week

The Spectator’s Coffee House blog reveals evidence to show that the public doesn’t want the government to drop Lords reform or gay marriage.

Ballots and Bullets note the continuation of the Tory collapse in the polls, as Stumbling and Mumbling muses on the coming crisis of Conservatism. 

David Skelton at The Staggers argues that Jon Cruddas’ appointment as Head of Labour’s policy review […]

Elected mayors: dead in the water?

Wyn Grant chaired the Warwick Commission on Elected Mayors. Here he reflects on why nearly all cities voted ‘No’ in the referenda, examines some of the arguments for and against elected mayors, and ponders what the future may have in store.  When I was asked on Radio 4 the day after voters in all but one city (Bristol) voted against elected mayors in […]

Libel cases should be settled on their merits, and not according to the size of litigants’ bank accounts

Libel laws are not perfect but they do give people rights. Helen Anthony argues that the current High Court process for libel cases has an alarming effect on free speech. Alternative methods of dispute recommendations and the introduction of a cost-cap could offer greater access to justice in defamation cases. Two organisations committed to freedom of expression, English PEN and […]

Party financing scandals have created the perception that influence can be bought. Reforming the system is unlikely as both parties benefit from the status quo

In the wake of the cash-for-access scandal, it is certainly relevant to discuss how political parties are financed in the UK. Bart Cammaerts argues that this latest scandal will unlikely lead to reform as both major parties benefit from the status quo, leading to gridlock on the issue.  Democracy does not come cheap. Parties require ample funding to pay their staff, […]

Westminster can learn a lot about gender equality by looking at Welsh and Scottish levels of political representation

Discrimination and under-representation of women is still overt and visible in politics. Diana Silvia Stirbu argues that progress on the gender equality agenda doesn’t come easily, but it is possible through a combination of structural, political and cultural factors. Westminster can learn a lot from the successes in the Welsh National Assembly and Scottish Parliament. The assumption that today’s British society provides a […]

Osborne neglects the scorecards, speaking economic sense and a modern enclosure movement: Top 5 blogs you may have missed this week

Tim Harford assumes the role of the Chancellor and tries to speak some economic sense, arguing for ‘short-term stimulus, long-term fiscal consolidation, and reform aiming at a sane system of taxation’.

Damian McBride explains how the budget ‘scorecard’ process works and suggests that Osborne has taken his eye off the ball in relenting on the ‘ruthless discipline’ of his first […]

The growing proportion of non-native English speakers in the classroom is not damaging for the educational outcomes of native English speakers

The number of primary school pupils in England who do not speak English as a first language has been growing in recent years. Sandra McNally examines whether this is damaging the educational outcomes of native English speakers, concluding that this should not in fact be a cause for concern. The number of non-native speakers of English in primary schools in England has […]