Category: “Economy

Market meltdown ensures no silly season for Cameron and Osborne

Posted on 5 August 2011 | 9:08am

There used to be a silly season. However it looks like global economic woes will ensure this year’s silly season has a rather more serious backdrop than usual, what with front pages around the world showing traders looking like they’ve just been told a loved one has died. David Cameron and George Osborne are having […]

Perhaps Osborne is all tactics no strategy after all? He will have to do better than blame abroad, Kate and Wills

Posted on 26 July 2011 | 8:07am

It will be interesting to see whether George Osborne appears anywhere near a TV camera today. And it will be interesting to see whether he allows himself to be questioned. With the economy the most important issue on the government’s agenda, and with Osborne being the Chancellor of the Exchequer, you’d have thought he might. […]

The press furore won’t swing an election, but it will change the nature of the debate to Labour’s benefit

Posted on 12 July 2011 | 6:07am

Time for the blog to take a little breather from phonehacking, with three little scenes from yesterday which combined to lift my mood from the general media putrescence in which we have been swimming. First, I spent the morning at Eastbury comprehensive school in Barking, speaking to the sixth form induction group. Forty per cent […]

On China, consumer spending, and crime, three big bad straws in the wind for Osborne

Posted on 29 June 2011 | 8:06am

First, a postscript from my last blogpost, on China … yesterday Premier Wen Jiabao presided over the signing of deals with Germany worth almost £10billion (compared with the £1.4bn trade agreements signed with the UK.) There will be many reasons for this, but one may well be the Germans’ lighter touch on the issue of […]

Whacking public services now a clear political strategy to match economic strategy of cuts

Posted on 24 June 2011 | 8:06am

I was surprised there were no ministers at the Local Government Awards organised by the Municipal Journal last night. It was one of those events at which, if memory serves me right, Labour always tried to ensure a ministerial presence. But I didn’t have to be there for long to pick up the feeling from […]

I hope someone asks Cameron about Guardian splash on mental health at his press conference

Posted on 21 June 2011 | 8:06am

Like many mental health campaigners, I gave Nick Clegg the benefit of the doubt when he outlined the government’s strategy for mental health in February. To save you reading the whole thing, here is the last sentence of the piece I posted then … ‘This has never been the sexiest or easiest issue in the […]

A new version of an old Cliff Richard song could be biggest feelgood dampener yet

Posted on 20 June 2011 | 8:06am

It is always wise to be a little suspicious of stories which emerge from private sector surveys, particularly if designed as what journalists in the pre no-deadline online age used to call a ‘Sunday for Monday’. These were stories which a reporter could tuck away late on Friday afternoon, leaving him safe in the knowledge […]

Union and public anger fuelled by the feeling that we’re not really all in this together at all

Posted on 18 June 2011 | 10:06am

Simon Kuper, best known for his writings on sport, has an excellent column in the FT magazine today. It is never easy to reduce a rich column to a sentence or two, but his main point is that in our celebrity-obsessed media (new and old), the poor are largely forgotten. ‘The 2.5 billion people with […]

On Osborne’s speech, Peston’s tie, and Labour’s need to unpick Tory argument on the past

Posted on 16 June 2011 | 7:06am

The noise surrounding it would suggest George Osborne made an important speech last night. Northern Rock sell-off and banking reform seemed to take most of the coverage, big ticket items both. So for once I was keen to see the news and hoped to hear a little of what the Chancellor said. To be fair […]

Cameron’s new NHS position leaves health professionals more confused than ever

Posted on 8 June 2011 | 12:06pm

There was a fascinating discussion on Newsnight of the latest twist in the tale of David Cameron and the NHS last night. On one side of Jeremy Paxman sat Nick Clegg’s chief of staff, Norman Lamb, and a Tory MP I had never seen before but who was clearly on the right of his Party. […]