Covid-19 … continued

First – let me be clear: I’m no expert. But simple logic suggests that the current government’s idea of engendering herd immunity is both logical and cruel – people will die now, who might otherwise die later – even much, much later. But if we keep well apart until further notice which is broadly the… Read more

Budget – or just trickery

According to The History of Parliament the phrase ‘to open one’s budget’ “was being used in the sixteenth century to mean that someone was revealing something which was secret, perhaps even dubious. It meant something like bringing out a box of tricks. “ Yesterday’s budget certainly seems to justify that description. The new Chancellor seems… Read more

Covid-19: A test of leadership

It is difficult to write about Covid-19 because, above all, this is a human tragedy – behind every statistic are a manifold of individual human stories. Still the statistics are very important, because they may help us to learn how to save lives in the future. At the level of government, Covid-19 is a test… Read more

Fiscal Rules

I suspect that the Conservatives’ fiscal rules will be thoroughly breached by the upcoming budget. But meanwhile, Simon Wren Lewis, architect of Labour’s fiscal rules, has (at last?) outlined what they are for. I trust he’ll forgive me for quoting at length: Fiscal rules are there to restrain governments from not being benevolent. For many… Read more

Countering executive over-reach

There is an interesting article in Prospect Magazine by David Allen Green in which he suggests that the judicial activism of the recent past is just not true and where he concludes: So there is an artificially inflated narrative of judicial activism. The context for this is telling: there are concurrent attacks on impartial civil… Read more

Treasury rules – or does it?

This is from Ed Conway of Sky concerning the ‘Times’ extract that follows: The Treasury is debating a radical change in its accounting rules, reclassifying billions spent on education and health as “investment”. One upshot: Rishi Sunak could meet his fiscal rules without any tax rises or spending cuts.. So this suggests that Labour’s paroxysms… Read more