Sectoral boasts, or a few dumb ways of sizing up the economy

This morning’s perusal of the Guardian’s brought forth a small sigh, as there just below the A level story sat the headline “UK green economy four times larger than manufacturing sector, says report”.   Now, I have been marinating myself in sectoral data for months to write this monster, and pretty much know every sectorContinue reading “Sectoral boasts, or a few dumb ways of sizing up the economy”

The defeat of the Treasury must not be final

For most advisers toiling within government, the standard daily routine is simple: “wake up/go to work/try to do things/get told you can’t by the Treasury/grumble a lot/go home”. OK, I exaggerate: there is the whole maddening business of government by collective agreement to wade through. This means that any other department, from the mighty HomeContinue reading “The defeat of the Treasury must not be final”

What is your problem, it is only two quid!

There are plenty of rubbish jobs, but surely none as daunting as the Treasury official tasked with telling a desperate new government what is bad value for money. Bless these people with their negative ways, for they are the bulwark between us and a land festooned with Spad-designed roads, science parks without scientists, 5G testbedsContinue reading “What is your problem, it is only two quid!”

Bad in theory, fine in practice: an insider account of the Energy Price Cap

Around midnight one October I found myself in a Manchester hotel room, facing a furious Chancellor (in black tie) and his aides (more slovenly), waving a draft PM conference speech containing an unexpected retail energy cap. Perhaps he should not have been surprised – it was a manifesto commitment, after all. But “it’s in theContinue reading “Bad in theory, fine in practice: an insider account of the Energy Price Cap”