Reforming the House of Lords (again) and the number of Peers

David Morris MP (Conservative) recently moved a motion in Westminster Hall on ‘Reforming the House of Lords and the number of peers’. Morris spoke of a need to reduce the current number of peers and proposed a ‘better way’ to slim down whole of the Lords to 250 members. He emphasised that “this debate is […]

In an era of Open Policy, political parties need to embrace guerilla tactics to survive.

The open policymaking project is looking at methods of public engagement and participation in policy and what role digital technologies can play in the future. Historically, one of the major forms of public engagement in informing policy has been through the mainstream political parties. However, the main political parties are being eclipsed, especially from a […]

Republican kings

This piece first appeared on Opendemocracy.net.  Guess whose manifesto begins: “There is nothing more beautiful in a democracy than the love of one’s country, to which every vote that slides into the ballot box on election day bears witness.” I’m sure you guessed it’s not Boris Johnson, or Ken Livingstone, or your local district councillor. […]

Speech at Conservative Councillors’ Association Conference 2012 (#cca12)

I gave a speech at the Conservative Councillors’ Association conference earlier today, on a panel with Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, the leader of Hammersmith & Fulham, and Cllr Chris Hayward from Three Rivers district near where I grew up in west Hertfordshire. Unusually for me, I wrote a relatively full draft of what I wanted to […]

No confidence in 55 percent

Image via Wikipedia The Government’s self-interested plan to gut the traditional motion of no confidence might gain the status of memorable first flap of the new administration – with a constitutional principle in the role of Bernie Ecclestone. The proposal, linked to that for fixed-term parliaments, is that votes of no confidence should no longer […]

Keeping on talking

Thanks to everyone who read and commented here and on Facebook during the election campaign. We tried to do our bit to talk about policy issues rather than the leaders’ personalities, or their wives’ toes. Now, under the new coalition Government, discussion and compromise on issues will, we hope, come right to the fore. People […]

Election first reaction

So after a few hours’s sleep, time to reflect on the irony that this most presidential of general elections has resulted in a slew of unpredictable local results, many based on individual candidates’ records, and will now be followed by at least 48 hours, and possibly much longer, of Parliamentary manoeuvring. When all the talk […]

Still can’t decide?

Polling Day is tomorrow and if – like a third of voters – you still haven’t definitively made up your mind how to vote, here are some resources for you to take a look at: Carrie’s roundup of websites that match users’ views to parties’ policies. Find out which party’s opinions are close to yours […]

Progressive punch-up in Pavilion

Brighton Pavilion is one of the few constituencies where there is a serious Green/Labour battle underway, giving the Conservatives a good chance of splitting the left vote. As you might imagine, one of the results of this is that Labour and the Greens have been going at each other hammer and tongs, as left-aligned Brighton […]

Bright road ahead for transport?

Despite the vast majority of us using transport of one form or another everyday it has not really been on the radar in the build-up to the election. All three main parties have committed to maintaining some kind of transport infrastructure fund. Labour say they will fund £1bn of this with asset sales, the Tories […]