The socialist assumption is that they should be institutionalised from an early age. Has political cross-dressing really moved the Conservatives this far Left?
A new report by Theos finds support for reciprocity and mutual support rather than means testing.
Jill Kirby is a writer and policy analyst, and was Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, 2007-2011. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” So Margaret Thatcher advised the Townswomen's Guild in a speech she gave in 1965. Ten years later, she became the first […]
Was it the curse of Clegg, the EU, Whitehall intransigence or the advice of the Education Select Committee, or all of these, that forced Michael Gove's climbdown on E-bacc certificates? Whatever the reason, I believe the Education Secretary is right to accept that these certificates would be a “reform too far.” Indeed, I said as […]
This has been a fractious year for the coalition, during which Nick Clegg's evident discomfort with his Conservative colleagues has gradually developed into full-blown resistance. His extraordinary face-pulling and muttering during the Autumn Statement, at the point when George Osborne dismissed the case for a mansion tax, showed that the Deputy Prime Minister no longer […]
Leicester MP Keith Vaz has called for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Mr Vaz is not the family's MP and it's not entirely clear why he is acting as their spokesman at this difficult time. I hope they did not want to grieve in peace, because Mr Vaz's intervention, […]
“Anybody who is against this bill is putting politics before people’s lives.” So Theresa May informed readers of the Sun on Monday, as she defended the extension of surveillance powers contained in the Communications Data Bill. Her comments appeared alongside photos of murdered policewomen Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, the tabloid portraying the Home Secretary […]
Yesterday we learnt that the coalition's back-to-work programme has missed its own, rather modest, target. Fewer than 1 in 20 of the unemployed individuals put on the Work Programme in 2011 have taken up jobs lasting more than 6 months. The programme may be cheaper to administer than its predecessor, Labour's Future Jobs fund, but […]
In his speech to the CBI on Monday, David Cameron made an important admission: the coalition has been ineffective in cutting the red tape that is limiting economic growth. And what has been preventing the government from getting rid of costly, bureaucratic regulation? Er…government bureaucracy. “You know the story” he said. “The Minister stands on a […]
Remember the “database state”? Before the last election, freedom lovers in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties were highly critical of Labour's propensity to collect personal information about every citizen. The Labour government believed that building vast databases would enable the state not just to fight crime but also to monitor our use of public […]
Politicians are always telling us how much we love the NHS, and how we should value the nurses and doctors who work in it. But the institution we are all supposed to revere has come in for some bad press lately. This week a Commission on nurse training, chaired by the former Liberal Democrat MP […]
“Excruciatingly difficult” is how Nick Clegg describes the new tax charge intended to recoup child benefit payments from households in which someone earns more than £50,000 a year. This week HMRC is sending out one million letters as the first step in its quest to find those households and recover all or part of their […]
Isn't it time we started trusting our MPs a little more? Last week the Telegraph reopened its expenses war on politicians by revealing that some of them use their second home allowances to rent flats from other MPs. Its columnist Matthew Norman described this as a taxpayer-funded wealth creation scheme and suggested MPs should live […]
Childcare Minister Liz Truss is right to point out that the last Labour government spent far too much money on childcare subsidies. As she explains, the distribution of these subsidies, combined with a huge increase in bureaucracy and regulation, skewed the childcare market and reduced parental choice. But the solutions Miss Truss proposes, drawing on […]
When the Tory faithful last met in Birmingham, two years ago, an audacious announcement by George Osborne on breakfast TV dominated the headlines. In a bid to show that the middle classes would share the pain of a fiscal squeeze, the Chancellor declared that any family with a 40% taxpayer would cease to receive child […]