Probably the most important role of Whitehall departments is giving policy advice to Ministers. It is therefore curious that policy-making did not figure directly in the Capability Reviews that central government departments have been going through in the past few years.
The debate on the future of the public finances and especially spending on public services has finally come to the fore after all the diversions of the past few months. What are the crucial questions that we should demand of our politicians? Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to try to outline what […]
I think I was the first person to suggest Anne Widdecombe for Speaker (see on this blog) so I’m glad to see she’s taken the hint. (Although I doubt I really had anything to do with it). Her idea of an interim Speaker pending the election of a “post-expenses row” House of Commons also makes […]
After attending the Prime Ministers breakfast seminar in No. 10 on the future of public services my overwhelming feeling was that the government is still in thrall to the tyranny of the new. An underlying theme was that they needed something ‘new’ to offer.
The two-year-old Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) has been merged with the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) to create a new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS or is it just BIS?).
In a great article in today’s Oberserver, Will Hutton reviews the origins of the current political crisis in the UK in the constitutional set-up which confers monarchical powers on Prime Ministers, something I have written about frequently here and in the pages of Public Finance – see for example this one…
David Cameron’s rhetoric on reforming Westminster sounds great, but a dissection of his policies reveals a lack of substance. Instead of being an enemy of democracy, bureaucracy remains an essential friend. See Public Finance for the rest…
Next Thursday morning (11th June) I am supposed to be attending a breakfast seminar in 10 Downing St. “hosted” by the Prime Minister on the future of public services – and I’m left wondering after the last 24 hours – which PM will it be? This is supposed to be a blog-site about Whitehall (public […]
Hazel Blears, Communities and Local Government Secretary in the Labour Government has announced her decision to leave the government on the eve of local government elections in England, in what is being widely seen as direct attack on PM Gordon Brown. “In this next phase of my political life I am redoubling my efforts to […]
Despite my doubts that the Conservatives would ditch the whole “Spending Reviews” (medium-term budgets plus performance targets) system, it appears they may not, at least not entirely. Philip Johnson of the Daily Telegraph reported in an excellent article in Public Finance that the Tories plan to retain the Spending Reviews – although I have since learnt that […]