Unseriousness did not start with Johnson

One of the legacies of the soon-to-be-former prime minister (STBFPM) is a somewhat scrambling of the political spectrum.  As Ian Mulheirn observes, the fiscal approach he precariously allowed is far from right-wing, at least neutering the standard Labour attack on under-funded public services.  Remember, he supported higher taxes to pay for more money for the NHSContinue reading “Unseriousness did not start with Johnson”

Orange Book in hot demand

Well, it’s hardly surprising, is it?  The zig-zag story of the Conservatives’ attempt to embrace liberalism under Cameron has its images, sayings and catchphrases: the well-hugged hoodie, the huskie, the green tree, We Believe in Society, Cameron’s embrace of the NHS, and so on.   But the other movement that led to the coalition partners comingContinue reading “Orange Book in hot demand”

‘Labour’s electoral strategy’ – and a call for Empiricism

Given that the next election is possibly 5 years away, am I the only one to find arguments about Labour’s election strategy just a little premature?  I keep trying to remember what such discussions must have been like for the Lib Dems in 2005, and then find I can’t.  Because five years is such aContinue reading “‘Labour’s electoral strategy’ – and a call for Empiricism”

Quick question: did anyone see this coming?

What a really obvious question.  But the odds pre-election were firmly in favour of a hung parliament, Conservatives largest party, Lib Dems holding the balance.  So this outcome was never unlikely. Yet I, for one, cannot recall anyone predicting a full coalition between the Liberal Demcrats and the Conservatives.  The looks on the faces roundContinue reading “Quick question: did anyone see this coming?”

Coalition quotes

From the FT’s leader Cameron changes the landscape “On policy, understandably, there has been some give and take. This is on balance positive. The good bits of both parties’ programmes have largely survived the process intact, while some more suspect ones have been jettisoned. The coalition’s programme is strong on restoring civil liberties for instance.Continue reading “Coalition quotes”

Two ex-SMF directors chatting

Philip Collins and Daniel Finkelstein, discussing what might make this new coalition difficult for the Left. They were both directors of the SMF, which also had ME as an intern (at the age of 35) in the spring of 2008.  Their current director, Ian Mulheirn, is taking them forward to exciting new places – aboveContinue reading “Two ex-SMF directors chatting”

I never thought I’d say it

But well done that man. Watching David Cameron speaking before 10 Downing Street, I realised what a long way has been travelled since 2005. For a long time I didn’t think it could be done. Of course, I’m talking about myself, and my achievement of being able to look upon another Tory prime minister withoutContinue reading “I never thought I’d say it”

Answering the question of @samfr: how long can this go on before it’s a bad idea?

Some of you may have heard of Sam Freedman, an excellent chap behind interesting Conservative ideas on education, and top Twitterer .  He has asked me and another defender of interparty horsetrading “how long would this have to go for before you decided it wasn’t a good idea?” Well, let’s distinguish a few things: WhatContinue reading “Answering the question of @samfr: how long can this go on before it’s a bad idea?”

Freethinking Economist

Economic advice. No longer special.