Tories for AV (yes, there are some)

The poor nature of the debate about AV – and especially the focus on personalities rather than the issues – has obscured the fact there are serious discussions to be had about our voting system, rather than just slap-stick jousting.

So I was immensely pleased to get this reaction from the Leader of the Tory group on Swansea Council: Continue reading “Tories for AV (yes, there are some)”

AV is FPTP – so what’s all the fuss about?

I have never understood how on earth our current electoral system became known as “first past the post” (FPTP)? The metaphor implied is clearly that of some sort of race to a winning post, and the first one past it wins. The problem is, there is no winning post in our system. Or at least, not one that makes any sense. Continue reading “AV is FPTP – so what’s all the fuss about?”

Redefining local government (PMPA Report)

The Public Management and Policy Association (UK) has just published a new report on Redefining Local Government, and is available for free download here.

It includes a chapter by Carole Talbot and myself on “Local government strategies in an age of austerity” in which we analyse some of the possible responses and look at the scale of the challenge affecting English local government.

Power to the people? No thanks – Coalition government announces end of “duty to involve”

by Davy Jones 15 April 2011

The Introduction to the Government’s new Best Value: new draft statutory guidance announces the repeal of two statutory duties on local authorities: the duty to involve, and the duty to prepare a sustainable community strategy. This is explained as reducing “red tape” for local authorities. Continue reading “Power to the people? No thanks – Coalition government announces end of “duty to involve””

Launch of “The Public Management Research Sessions”

Whitehall Watch has been more successful, both quantitatively and qualitatively, than I ever imagined when I started it up just over two years ago now. But it has been almost entirely a “one man band” and I’ve been trying to think of ways of changing that…. Continue reading “Launch of “The Public Management Research Sessions””

Malawi – academic freedom under attack

[This post is being updated as more information arrives, so please check back].

A friend and colleague at the University of Malawi (Chancellor College) has just sent this somewhat hair-raising account of a developing attack on academic freedom there: Continue reading “Malawi – academic freedom under attack”