(UN)REPRESENTATIVE BUREAUCRACY? Are public service leaders unlike the country they serve?

By Colin Talbot

Is the staffing of our government institutions – the civil service and public services – somehow “unrepresentative” of the people they serve?

That they are is a central theme of current UK government thinking. But what precisely do they mean? And is there any evidence they are right?

Continue reading “(UN)REPRESENTATIVE BUREAUCRACY? Are public service leaders unlike the country they serve?”

SPENDING REVIEWS: what are they good for?

By Colin Talbot

What is a “Spending Review”? Simply it is a statement, by HM Government, of what it intends to spend over the next (usually) 3 years. And what it will spend it on.

Sounds deceptively simple? “Deceptive” is the operative word, because it turns out to be anything but simple or straightforward.

Continue reading “SPENDING REVIEWS: what are they good for?”

Government: Centralism and Localism in the Covid Crisis

By Colin Talbot

In a crisis the default response of the British state is: command and control, centralise power, organize everything on a big scale, impose ‘one size fits all’ rules.

It happened on a massive scale in the two world wars, and it is happening again, on a lesser scale in the current crisis. Continue reading “Government: Centralism and Localism in the Covid Crisis”

Governments vs The Virus – interviews with government experts from around the globe.

A series of interviews with experts from around the globe on aspects of the response to Covid-19.

We are focussing on governments and how well, or badly, they have responded but we’ll also look at some related issues such as the role of businesses and civil society.

You view them all, as they appear, here on YouTube.

REASONABLE SOCIETY – creating an independent, virtual, ‘think tank’?

Screenshot 2019-03-16 at 13.07.09British politics is a mess. It’s increasingly polarised between hard right and hard left.

Trying to make reasonable public policy, based in evidence and expertise rather than just ideology, has become ever harder.

Various political groupings are trying to fill the vacuum and the sensible centre, but they are mostly under-resourced.

We are creating something to try help this process. A sort of virtual Independent Think Tank.

The initial idea is simple.

  • A moderated panel of academics and experts who are willing to give at least some time and help on particular policy issues.
  • A set of moderate politicians who need help and advice (initially involving the new Independent Group and the Liberal Democrats).
  • Bring them together on a secure platform so that the politicians can pose questions or ask for help from the experts, and they can give it if they can.

We’ve called it REASONABLE SOCIETY because you can read it in several ways – all of which resonate with what we’re trying to do. Its about applying reason, rather than ideology, to solving societies problems.

It may or may not work, but we think it’s worth giving a try?

If you want to join us, or just know more, email colintalbot@mac.com