I hope this will be my last blog on ‘Expenses-Gate’ but I somehow doubt it – this one ‘has legs’ as the media says. (For those of you outside the UK some of this must seem positively weird – the scale of the problem is, by any rational standards, relatively small).
Confession: within 30 seconds of hearing about David Willett’s expenses claim for changing light-bulbs I’d cracked the inevitable “how many Conservative MPs does it take to change a light-bulb…” joke to my long-suffering partner.
As I have argued (see ‘The Death of Strategy in British Government’, May 5th below), the future of the Spending Review system introduced by Gordon Brown in 1998 is now in serious doubt.
John Redwood, the unreconstructed Thatcherite and leading Conservative, thinks we should be cutting about 20% off total public spending. Redwood is not in the current Shadow Cabinet, but is Chairman of their Economic Competitiveness Policy Group, and clearly still influential. And his logic is impeccable – not surprising for someone often mockingly described as a Vulcan.
First, let me say I hugely enjoyed Andrew Rawnsely’s magnificent rant in today’s Observer. It was hilarious. And it was quite right about many things.
British politics is currently consumed by a single question – how much did various Members of Parliament spend on bath-plugs and various other expenses items?
For those of you who have not seen it, the UK National School of Government’s ‘Policy Hub‘ is a useful resource.
Participated in a useful roundtable discussion on performance reporting and management, organised by Public Finance magazine – for a full report see Public Finance
A flagship policy of the New Labour government was that it would introduce greater stability – no more ‘boom and bust’ as Gordon Brown loudly and frequently boasted. A key component of this approach was more a ‘strategic’ approach to public spending – embedded in the new 3-year ‘Comprehensive Spending Review’ (CSR) process first announced […]
In the USA there are reports of so-called ‘tea-party’ protests, modelled on the famous ‘Boston Tea Party’ protests against taxation imposed by the British government on the (then) US colonies. But the US protesters (in reality the Republicans) rather the miss the point – the ‘Boston Tea Party’ was not a protest against taxation, but […]