Articles by Puffles
This mythical creature used to spend a lot of time in Whitehall, and now spends a lot of time watching from outside. Likes jellybellies, pistachio nuts & rioja.
The poisonous politics of reducing unemployment
“The easier political answer to the unemployment issues is to pull the fiscal and legislative levers. …And job done. Only it isn’t.” Writing in advance of George Osborne’s speech to the Conservative Party conference, Puffles laments that politicians are avoiding answering the difficult questions about unemployment.
Puffles goes to school – and learns something from the children
“One of the reasons I volunteered as a school governor was to get a feel for the impact of Whitehall policy in my community. I spent years in Whitehall policy teams but never had to live the results of that work in my community.” Puffles suggests that the political class needs to get involved in their local communities.
Are organisations hotwired to look towards central government?
“Does the existing policy-making process mean that the public shout from afar at politicians, while wealthy and/or connected interests butter them up out of sight?” Puffles argues for opening-up policymaking to much greater public scrutiny.
“How can parliament embrace digital democracy?” – A response
Summary Some thoughts on John Bercow’s speech covered in a Guardian article The article is here, and The Speaker’s speech (interestingly hosted on the Gov.UK rather than Parliament.uk site) is here. Definitions and concepts In the article’s short introduction, it goes straight into the concept of voting online without having even looked at the concepts […]
So we’ve raised awareness about mental health, what’s next?
Summary I’m hearing a lot of noise, but not seeing much action on healthcare delivery As I mentioned earlier this year, recovery from my mental health crisis seems a long way away. Little seems to have changed health-wise. Being trapped by inertia is one thing, but having next-to-no support from the NHS in this field is […]
Monsters in Whitehall?
I had a look at the article by journalist, columnist and former Cameron speech-writer Ian Birrell in The Guardian. It’s titled The Civil Service: a monster in Whitehall. The sub-text seeks to prepare the ground for the politicisation of the civil service. The problem is that the article doesn’t make the case how politicising the civil […]
Summary Why “we have to take difficult decisions” doesn’t go anywhere near tackling the hardest questions of all I’ve reached that point where I now want to unpick this “difficult decisions” line to take. Politics and policy-making is full of decisions. Some of them are relatively straight forward, others are not – and for various […]
Summary The devils will be in the delivery, which is why the policy detail must be spot on. Earlier today, Labour’s shadow housing minister Jack Dromey announced that a future Labour Government would implement the decent homes standard to the private rented sector. Which sounds great but is far easier said than done. Housing policy by its very […]
Summary My thoughts on the IPPR’s report It feels like I’ve got blogposts coming out of my ears at the moment. It’s that time of year where lots of organisations get their publications out before they head off for the summer. The IPPR’s report is here. Irrespective of its recommendations, this is an interesting report […]
Summary Why it’s not the end of the road for Lisa Nandy, Stella Creasy, Sarah Wollaston and friends There will be understandable disappointment from lots of people – myself included that Lisa Nandy MP was unsuccessful in persuading Parliament to add “New Clause 20″ to the Children and Families Bill at Report Stage in the […]
Summary Further thoughts following the Sunday Times’ sting on Tim Yeo MP – looking at which lobbyists might not be covered by such a register Another weekend, another lobbying sting about what a politician might or might not do. This post follows on from my previous post about lobbying on how social media can be used to […]
Summary With lobbying back in the spotlight following recent headlines, can Whitehall and Westminster use social media to bring much-needed transparency into policy making? One of the things that continues to disturb me is how the structures and processes within our political and state institutions are struggling to deal with the pressures that people’s use of […]
Summary Do I really have to spell it out? Prospects of the outsourcing of justice functions seem to say so. It seems like my last blogpost Are there some moral lines that outsourcing of public services should not cross? may not have gotten through. So I’ll make it clear: Privatising the courts is a bad […]
Summary Should all public services and state functions be open for outsourcing or are there some lines that should not be crossed? The difference with this blogpost compared to others I’ve covered in public policy is that it looks at an issue through the prism of principle and disposition, rather than through a pure technocratic […]
Summary A write-up of John Bird’s recent visit to Cambridge A few of you may know that I am a member of JCI Cambridge, the Cambridge branch of Junior Chambers International, an organisation that seeks to develop the professional skills of young professionals through series of self-organised events and community projects. Last month, our branch adopted the […]
Summary Trying to work out what the proposed royal charter means for this blog – and for my tweeting dragon fairy I’m still trying to work out how the Exocet missile that was supposed to be heading towards the corporate print press guilty of a huge number of hacking-related crimes has ended up targeting social media world. […]