In the cold light of day…

The constitutional shenanigans of the last few days, stemming from Boris Johnson’s determination to avoid parliamentary scrutiny of his Brexit strategy, have overshadowed scrutiny of last week’s Spending Review (SR) announcement. The SR is meant to set firm expenditure limits for government departments and to state clearly what we should get for that spending. IntroducedContinue reading “In the cold light of day…”

Bin there, done that, get real!

Who could argue with the twin objectives of minimising waste and maximising re-cycling of what remains? But the government’s proposals to require one national prescriptive approach – not just a strategy, but also the detailed arrangements – to recycling and waste management are simply unwise. It’s a completely unnecessary, and counter-productive, burden on councils andContinue reading “Bin there, done that, get real!”

When the lights go out

Thirty years ago, the supply and distribution of UK electricity was privatised, three years’ after the same had happened to gas services. Since then, with considerable restructuring and consolidation, the dominant energy companies – the ‘big six’: Centrica plc (British Gas), EDF Energy, E.ON, SSE, Scottish Power and Npower – now all supply gas asContinue reading “When the lights go out”

High Court says “No”

Whereas most people, across the political spectrum, have little problem with the principles behind, and the overall objectives for, Universal Credit, there is also almost universal contempt for the way in which the successive Conservative governments have sought to implement it. There are two basic problems. The first is that, for a range of historicalContinue reading “High Court says “No””

Too little, too late, never safe

Too little, too late, never safe Today’s newspapers report that, for the first time ever, the average waiting-time to see a GP has exceeded 15 days. It is nine years since David Cameron asserted “The NHS is safe under the Conservatives” – probably the sickest (sic) political joke this century. That ‘Conservative safety’ has resultedContinue reading “Too little, too late, never safe”