Has Britain (or indeed Ireland) got Government Talent?

I was struck by the new French President speaking about those to be recruited to his government: I will choose them for their experience, their competence, what they have done and not for what they represent or their political weight… Gosh. There’s a thought. Leaving aside whether you think he is a good or bad thing, what a contrast this is to Westminster/Whitehall and even Holyrood, Cardiff Bay or Stormont (when it is actually up and running). What will we get … Read more

Is British Democracy Becoming A Competition of Incompetence?

If we all stand back and take a ruthless, non-tribal, unheroic look at the standards on offer in the general election, this is a competition of incompetence. It is only because the Labour Party has so lost its way that the Conservatives appear in any way competent. In practice, the Conservative’s current majority and ‘liberation’ from the moderating power of the LibDems, has seen them binging on their ideology: cut public services in the name of austerity economics, harsh on … Read more

The Pipe Will Never Be Fat Enough: Four Reforms To Deliver Competitive Broadband

When the government recently pledged ‘gold standard full fibre’ broadband, a collective cheer went up. For a short while, until we reflected upon the fate of most such announcements, the realities of stuttering broadband, and the prospect of dealing with one of the big providers. The history of this industry says the ‘gold standard’ will not happen without four major reforms (skip to the end to see them). Just how much of the pledged £1bn will end up in fibre … Read more

Bizarre as it may seem, and whether or not we like it, this election *is* about #RHI…

I notice this morning that Alex Kane is suggesting that the election campaign so far is full of humbug. That’s partly (as I suggested in yesterday’s #SluggerReport) because most folk have been concentrating on getting some basic administration done just so they can stand. This election has nothing to do with RHI. It has nothing to do with producing an alternative that will be demonstrably better than the one elected last May. And nothing to do with any guarantee, let alone … Read more