Save the wheat fields: housing and planning under the new Government

Theresa May was much mocked during the election campaign for her claim that the ‘naughtiest thing she had ever done’ was to run through a field of wheat as a child. Ironically, her appointments to the DCLG suggest that fields of wheat – along with any other green fields – are going to perfectly safe under the new Government. In the main, Theresa May’s appointments … Continue reading Save the wheat fields: housing and planning under the new Government

The canary in the mine

Local elections are often the canary in the mine for British politics. Trends which play out nationally become visible earlier on in the smaller scale contests which take place in districts and counties. We’ll be considering the results of yesterday’s metro mayor contests in more detail elsewhere, but there are some broader trends already visible from the county council elections which took place at the … Continue reading The canary in the mine

Conservative Party Conference 2015: Seizing the Common Ground

As delegates gathered for Conservative Party Conference earlier this week, they were greeted to quite a welcome on the streets of Manchester. Angry protesters were out in force and whipping up a noise, wearing masks, waving anarchist flags and shouting “Tory Scum” and other (unprintable) obscenities at attendees making their way to the Conference security entrance. As the attendees walked through the police barriers and … Continue reading Conservative Party Conference 2015: Seizing the Common Ground

Osborne all powerful in the new Conservative Government

Yesterday, David Cameron announced his Cabinet and ministerial appointments for the first Conservative majority government in 18 years. Much has already been made of the composition of this new government and what it means for the country – for example, to provide a sense of continuity and stability with many familiar faces remaining in key offices of state; and a more ‘female friendly’ government, with … Continue reading Osborne all powerful in the new Conservative Government

Budget 2015: Osborne pins hope on economic competence trumping pre-election giveaways

Today, George Osborne delivered his sixth Budget statement, the last before the General Election, in which he announced optimistically that “Britain is walking tall again” As expected for a pre-election Budget, it was an intensely political statement, with significant amounts of rhetoric devoted to the progress the Government has made on economic growth, jobs, living standards and on tackling the deficit since it came to … Continue reading Budget 2015: Osborne pins hope on economic competence trumping pre-election giveaways

Cameron favourite in “too close to call” election

David Cameron is likely to stay in Downing Street, according to the attendees at last night’s ‘The View from The Bridge’ debate on the General Election, held at Newgate Communications. After a lively and informed discussion led by the three speakers – Anne McElvoy (Public Policy Editor at The Economist), Peter Riddell (Director of the Institute for Government) and Melanie Baker (Senior UK Economist, Morgan … Continue reading Cameron favourite in “too close to call” election

We need to talk about Nigel…

In little more than four months from now, the UK’s major political parties risk being engulfed in a monumental political  firestorm that will stress-test their readiness for next year’s general election. Over the period covering 22 to 25 May, EU voters go to the polls to elect 766 members of the European Parliament. 73 of them will hail from the United Kingdom. Strangely, though, most … Continue reading We need to talk about Nigel…

The voters say: ‘show me the money’

The relationship between the political and economic cycles has long been the stuff of political folklore. There have been many examples throughout history of nervy incumbents, mid-way through a parliament, reading the economic tea leaves for any signs of green shoots. Accordingly, the most recent announcement by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last Friday that third quarter growth in the British economy was, at … Continue reading The voters say: ‘show me the money’