What the betting markets are saying …. It’s complicated

I am pathologically fascinated by political probabilities, and have been for easily 20 years: my first big speculative win in life was to “buy” Labour seats in the 1997 General Election at around 350, and I have been hooked every since. Here are some of the current odds. A meaningful vote to pass in 2019 Continue reading “What the betting markets are saying …. It’s complicated”

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”

The way Lib Dems vote could take an extra 40 seats off the Tories

Of the many ways First Past the Post fails as a voting system, the way it punishes a split opposition is the most enduring. To recap: recent Tory polling leads, on a uniform swing, would see the Conservatives returned with a governing majority – quite a hefty one, if the Brexit Party disarms.  But suchContinue reading “The way Lib Dems vote could take an extra 40 seats off the Tories”

Could the voting system be “cruel” to the Tories?

The rumours are of a general election, and the polls bad for the anti-No Deal side. Since the new administration took power, there has been a somewhat-predictable bump in Conservative support, with some polls showing CON ~32 LAB ~ 25, the BXP and LD jostling together in the low- and high-teens. You hardly need myContinue reading “Could the voting system be “cruel” to the Tories?”

Time for macro economics to get political once more

A former No10 colleague asked me recently: is there a definitive guide out there to how monetary and fiscal policy work together? What determines incomes?    What made his questions remarkable were both how fundamental they were, and yet how distant from the day job when we had worked together in Downing Street. Politicians doContinue reading “Time for macro economics to get political once more”

Who the hell put you in charge? On Spads and management.

How to manage the abrupt disconnection of a 45 year commercial relationship? Why not “stick randomly appointed political hacks atop various departments, and shout at them to write lists”?   Spads did not really exist fifty years ago, and those that did had little power. They sound rather more important now, if insider gossip about NoContinue reading “Who the hell put you in charge? On Spads and management.”