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 […]

Crushing innovation: a little story from Texas

Here’s an interesting story, from Wired, on how hard it is for social innovation ideas to embed themselves in big public services. Note how the friendly local arrangement that was slightly outside the rules was slapped down by the bureaucracy, and the innovator had to come up with a much more intensive and laborious work-around. […]

@fhollande (hearts) Gov1.0

I’m not sure whether political manifestos really describe the state of a nation’s politics, but they give strong hints. Reading François Hollande’s “60 commitments for France“, it’s a shame to see no echo of the discussions about new models for public services that you hear in the UK. François Hollande, the Socialist candidate for president […]

Petitions with purpose

“The blogosphere is not an area that is open to sensible debate; it is dominated by the obsessed and the fanatical and we will get crazy ideas coming forward.” Paul Flynn MP, quoted in a recent BBC article on the possibility of e-petitions. Is this really the best objection that Labour can raise to to the […]

Lunchtime list for June 18th

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: Govt skunkworks planned for November – Plans for internal experiments – but just on process, or more widely? A sudden lack of clarity – What's happening to the English regions? Abolition? More consultation? It's not entirely clear. Experts and plebs – Tne […]

Lunchtime list for June 17th

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: Commons needs to be more ‘box office’, says Sir George – Sir George Young has given a speech on how to make the role of Parliament better-known and increase coverage of Parliamentary debates. L’Europe attend les architectes – Jacques Delors (of Up […]

Lunchtime list for June 15th

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: Football: a dear friend to capitalism – This article is what happens when a humourless, politics-obsessed academic encounters the World Cup. It's all a gruesome capitalist distraction, apparently. Merkel’s paralysis – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing difficult pooitical times as her […]

Lunchtime list for June 14th

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: The lost art of democratic debate – A TED lecture by Michael Sandel (at Slugger) on the marginalised role of citizens' moral opinions in democratic discussion. Germany’s mindset has become solipsistic – Jürgen Habermas discusses the "perilous self-absorption" of Germany during the […]

Lunchtime list for June 10th

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: Balls’ EU immigration claims don’t stand up – Sarah Mulley at Left Foot Forward takes a look at the immigration stance of Labour leader candidate Ed Balls. Balls is conflating immigration with intra-EU migration, which has been pointed out elsewhere. She accuses […]