Political Innovation no 4: See Change – opening policy research to the public

This is a guest cross-post by Ivo Gormley – originally posted on the Political Innovation site here. Although Government claims to want our participation and wants us to appreciate its policies, it hides the evidence on which it bases its policies in fat documents and reports that are hard to read and only available free at special events at think-tanks around Whitehall. If we want participation in politics in a way that goes beyond choice we need to share policy … Read more

Political Innovation no 3: Assertion-flagging: for less partisan, prejudiced blogging

This is a guest cross-post by Andrew Regan – originally posted on the Political Innovation site here. Most political bloggers are motivated to fight what they see as bigotry, prejudice, and ill-informed, unjustifiable assertion. This is a fine and noble cause, because the spreading of false beliefs – without the evidence to support them – is bad for all of us, as is the displacement of informed argument by mere rhetoric. All the more so when the perpetrator is powerful … Read more

Political Innovation 2: The politics of buying things

This is a guest cross-post by Dominic Campbell – originally posted on the Political Innovation site here: Well, you wouldn’t still be reading had I called it the politics of procurement now would you? (no, stop – don’t go!). No-one who engages with government procurement comes away impressed with it. It’s a process that wastes £billions and rewards process over outcomes. Yet we all know that, deep down, it’s a symptom of a political problem. It is a system set … Read more

Political Innovation no1: Towards Interactive Government

This is a guest cross-post by Tim Davies – originally posted on the Political Innovation site here: The communication revolution that we’ve undergone in recent years has two big impacts: It changes what’s possible. It makes creating networks between people across organisations easier; it opens new ways for communication between citizens and state; it gives everyone who wants it a platform for global communication; and it makes it possible to discover local online dialogue. It changes citizen expectations of government. … Read more

Launching the ‘Political Innovation’ project

When bloggers meet, I often find that old allegiances (be they left right, or Unionist/Republican) often dissolve into a different political spilt. Those of us who imagine that we ‘get’ the read-write web against the political colleagues that we have who, we believe, fail to foresee the possibilities or the threats. I’ve occasionally witnessed left-right-and-centrist bloggers in (non) violent agreement with each other – not about political direction, but about what is possible in harnessing the power of the web. … Read more

NI – soon to be the towing and clamping capital of the UK

Car being lifted and towed away in front of Belfat Hilton Hotel in 2008

Belfast is the libel capital of the world – Britney Spears took action through Belfast courts a few years ago – and now Northern Ireland is to remain the towing and clamping capital of the UK. Car clamping on private land was banned in Scotland back in 1991. Now as part of the Freedom Bill, legislation will be introduced in Parliament in November to outlaw “cowboy” clamping and towing on private land in England and Wales. (Landowners will be encouraged … Read more

Haf hirfelyn tesog* – well, perhaps not in Ebbw Vale..

It’s a climatic phenomenon as profound as El Nino – the National Eisteddfod in the first week of August draws rain clouds from around the globe. To be honest it hasn’t been that bad in Ebbw Vale this week and a cultural success with worthy winners in the three main literature competitions.

Read moreHaf hirfelyn tesog* – well, perhaps not in Ebbw Vale..

Welsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

Lost opportunities the common theme of Labour, past and present

Blair looking back and David Miliband .looking in both directions- it’s been a week of contemplation for Labour in unfamiliar opposition, as the coalition absorbs the pressures of government. Ironically the common theme of the former and the most likely future leader was lost opportunities, under Blair and under Brown. From Blair a confession; from Miliband a bold attack on Brown. At the Institute of Government the former Prime Minister laid out his mistakes with some frankness and gave advice to … Read more

Slugger’s comment thread rebuild – redux

You may recall that – a few weeks ago – I posted an idea on how we can add value to Slugger’s comments thread. It met with a mixed reaction, and while some of you liked the idea and saw possibilities in it, there were also some extremely perceptive objections. As a result, we have ruled the idea out of bounds. We are keen, however, to try and give Slugger more of a community dimension for a number of reasons, … Read more

The power of incumbency

OK – post election depression done with – here’s some analysis.
Prior to the expenses scandal it was conventional to think that the combination of new technology and the £10k p.a. MP’s communication allowance would increase the power of incumbency. So let’s see if the incumbency effect exists. Here’s the percentage drop in Labour votes for every (pre election) Labour held seat in Wales in 2010 along with incumbency status:

Read moreThe power of incumbency

Welsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

What’s occuring down under?

So a Barry girl is the new Australian Prime Minister: Julia Gillard Which begs two interesting quiz questions: 1) What’s the Ian Paisley Snr connection? 2) Name 2 20th century Welsh speaking Prime Ministers DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

Friday thread: Improving Slugger’s comments

One of Slugger’s virtues is its comments thread. Unlike a lot of blogs, Mick applies a certain standard and trolls, threats, sockpuppetry and flamebaiting are generally discouraged. This isn’t done perfectly or consistently because it’s a big job to do and involves hours of unfunded work. We do the best we can under the circumstances – and at least half the job is done when people find themselves occasionally clipped. For the most part, commenters are better-behaved on Slugger than … Read more

Sunday polls: Conservatives nose ahead in a volatile race

Still not brilliant news in Sunday’s polls for the Tories, but I would rather be in their shoes than Labour’s today: no momentum and the campaign (substance vs, erm, ‘the damned Tories’) is slowly disintegrating. Things are still holding up pretty well for the Lib Dems. And after last week’s wobble (as Clegg came into the frame) Cameron’s ratings seem to be heading north again. If I were a Labour hack, one thing (amongst many) to worry about is not the polls … Read more

Are Tory bloggers an asset to their party?

Hindsight is a great thing isn’t it? Surely we all saw that the Tories weren’t on a winner going into an election with the promise of nasty medicine? I mean, I wondered if it would hurt them, but at the time, it was a consideration that got crowded out by others. But it hasn’t worked, has it? The bookies should be paying out already to Tory punters, given the state of the economy and Brown’s lack of charisma. So why … Read more