[Please circulate and respond to them – altho feel free to comment here too].
I am in Australia as “Accenture-Crawford School Distinguished Visiting Professor” at Australian National University in Canberra. Many thanks to both Accenture and the excellent Crawford School of Public Policy.
I’ve been doing a fascinating series of meetings, seminars and lectures with academics and senior public servants from across the Australian federal (commonwealth) government. I have had generous access to the ‘corridors of power’ including with a wide range of Prime Ministers and Cabinet (PM&C) officials, Department of Finance and Deregulation (DOFR) officials, and the Clerk to the Senate. And many academic colleagues have been helping me get my head around Australian Federal Government procedures.
Here’s a few, fairly random, thoughts about it: Continue reading “Surpluses, Budgets, Parliament, and Accountability Down Under (Australia): some random thoughts”
William Hague (a well known after dinner raconteur and sometime Foreign Secretary) and other Ministers have launched an assault on business people for not working hard enough. Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Hague said: “There’s only one growth strategy: work hard.”
This reminded me of a poem I vaguely remembered (and I’m grateful to Richard Kerley for reminding me which one it was). It was Bertold Brecht who wrote about the 1953 uprising in East Germany against the Socialist Unity (communist) government:
After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
My colleague at MBS, Michael Pryce, sends this:
On 10 May 2012 Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond announces that the UK will revert to plans to buy the jump jet version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to save billions of pounds in potential costs. Continue reading “Government U-turn on jump-jets – MBS research shows it could have been avoided.”
Let’s start by saying I have been through the ‘Developed Vetting’ (DV) process. I can’t tell you why, because then I’d have to kill you (a joke, of course). Continue reading “Andy Coulson and and his non ‘Developed Vetting’ – why on earth did the Civil Service let this happen?”
The BBC’s Nick Robinson has it almost right when he says there are two ways of judging these elections – through the prism of the last three decades of British politics with its long-lived single party governments (Tories 1979-97; Labour 97-2010) or through the prism of 1970s one-term Governments. In the 1979-2010 period incumbent governments suffered mid-term slumps only to recover and win. In the 70s they suffered mid-term slumps and went on to lose at the next election. Continue reading “Is the Era of Single Party Rule Over?”
I heard yet again today someone using the Queen’s Jubilee Gambit to explain that next quarter (Q2 2012) may see even more sluggish growth in the economy or even that wonder “negative growth”. This is based on comments made by the Governor of the Bank of England a few weeks ago: Continue reading “Can Mervyn King do the math? Apparently not……might explain a lot?”