uk politics

Book Review: Doing Politics

Throughout the expenses scandal, the lobbying scandal and other storms which have buffeted Parliament, many regard Tony Wright as one MP who provided a measured, sane and sensible reaction to events. His recent book considers the wider implications of the various political ructions and the public reaction to them. Dave O’Brien is impressed with the publication, but is also hopeful that Wright might be tempted […]

Civil servants advising opposition parties: can we afford not to do this?

James Lloyd explains why it should be a no-brainer for civil servants to advise political parties in opposition if it helps to avoid potential policy disasters and the future waste of public money.  A recent story in The Times reported that senior civil servants want closer links with Labour before the next general election, including helping with the party’s manifesto. Although different […]

What drives change in the UK policy agenda? Systemic data collection has the answer

In the first of a two-part series, Peter John explains how a systemic approach to data collection has enabled an exploration of the UK’s policy agenda and how it has changed over time. With the help of many others, I have spent the last seven years collecting data on what policies key decision-makers in Britain have been concentrating on for […]

Career politicians are elected young, promoted quickly and dominate the highest offices of state

Peter Allen argues that the activities of political parties is now focused heavily on the national political scene as opposed to being rooted in local communities. This may help explain why politicians are increasingly perceived as out of touch. Writing about Jeremy Hunt for The Guardian the other week, John Harris lamented that Hunt, like many of colleagues in our political elite ‘style themselves as expert players of […]

Renting is the only game in town with an extra 1.5 million private renters under 30 by 2020

Fierce competition and a lack of adequate supply is squeezing people out of the housing market. Kathleen Kelly argues for a more nuanced policy approach that balances the competing interests of landlords, tenants and lenders. A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation warns of fierce competition for private rented tenancies in 2020 creating an ever more dysfunctional housing market. Many more young people will […]

Brown at Leveson: the politicisation of the press

Charlie Beckett discusses former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s appearance at the Leveson inquiry and points out that politicians are no more objective that the journalists that report on them.  This article first appeared on LSE’s Polis blog Reaction to Gordon Brown’s appearance at the Leveson inquiry has mainly consisted of political journalists expressing shock at his high moral tone and […]

Labour has a problem that is rooted in the blatant weaknesses of Britain’s democratic system

Olaf Cramme explains how the UK’s democratic system is cracking up. The deeper the rot goes, the emptier Labour’s noble promises will become. The party must urgently start giving more serious thought to how Britain’s representative democracy can be strengthened and confidence in government action be restored. Labour has a problem: it wants to be the party of radical political, social and economic change, […]

The more unpopular the government, the more time the British press will devote to exposing political scandals

Oliver Latham investigates whether a government’s popularity has an effect on the level of scrutiny it will face in the media – finding that a scandal hitting a government eight points behind in the polls will receive sixty per cent more coverage than an identical scandal hitting a government that is eight points ahead.  British celebrities and sportspeople have long complained that […]