Policy@Manchester week: great line up of speakers and events. All Welcome.

Out first ‘Policy@Manchester’ Week – 29 Oct to 2 Nov – is now finalised with a great set of speakers and events.

For more details got to http://www.manchester.ac.uk/policy and follow the link to the Week.

To reserve a place at an event email policy@manchester.ac.uk Continue reading “Policy@Manchester week: great line up of speakers and events. All Welcome.”

The Changing (?) Sociology of the Senior Civil Service – what do you know?

I am currently (re)exploring some issues around the nature of the British “administrative elite” – which, for reasons I’ll explain in a later publication, I am restricting to mainly the Senior Civil Service (SCS) for the moment. Continue reading “The Changing (?) Sociology of the Senior Civil Service – what do you know?”

Reforming the Senior Civil Service – what do you think?

The #GreatWestCoastRailShambles has raised again the issue of the competence, or otherwise, of the Senior Civil Service.

Ministers are blaming the mess purely on civil servants, whilst others are pointing to a flawed policy. Without a lot more information, it’s hard to know how much of each was involved. But it certainly gives even more ‘edge’ to current project to re-examine the relationship between Ministers and Mandarins commissioned by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. The contract was awarded to IPPR, with me participating in the project (see here). Continue reading “Reforming the Senior Civil Service – what do you think?”

Spending Review 2013?

So, it appears fairly certain now that the Coalition Government is going to announce – sometime next year – Spending Review 2013.

But, and this is critical, Danny Alexander (Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury) seems to have said this will only be a 2 year Spending Review covering the years 2014-15 and 15-16 (interview in the Guardian).

——————– to read the full text go to Whitehall Watch

You can also search Whitehall Watch for the phrase “Spending Review” and get lots more ……

Hillsborough and Transparency: why I know something of how the relatives feel about not getting the truth (until now)

I understand something of the frustration and anger of the relatives of the Hillsborough victims because I had a similar experience – albeit on a much smaller scale. British officialdom has a cult of secrecy and cover-up that is still with us, even if is has gotten slightly better.

In 1982 my younger brother Gary, 21, was killed. He was beaten up and died of a heart attack. Officialdom made this horrible situation worse by acts of secrecy. Continue reading “Hillsborough and Transparency: why I know something of how the relatives feel about not getting the truth (until now)”

Romney tells Secret Service detail to “go and get a real job” – well, not really but that’s what he implied…

[President Obama] “took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have, and one that was essential to the task at hand.  He had almost no experience working in a business.  Jobs to him are about government.” Mitt Romney in his acceptance speech.

I was struck by this largely ignored passage in Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech in Tampa for two reasons. Continue reading “Romney tells Secret Service detail to “go and get a real job” – well, not really but that’s what he implied…”