Monthly Archives: February 2011

Council cuts – what will stay and what will go?

Bit busy today but just time to link to Patrick Butler’s reports on council cuts in Merseyside. It’s interesting, when you get into arguments and discussions about public spending, to ask people what they would cut – not just in general … Continue reading

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Why I don’t believe in conspiracy theories

When I was a kid, I assumed that the adult world was a well-ordered place. Occasionally, I would hear my dad mutter that some important-looking person on the telly was a bloody fool but, for the most part, I thought … Continue reading

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The government – scheming or winging it?

The Guardian’s Zoe Williams wonders whether the Tories are evil or clueless. Are the government’s plans for the public sector part of an ideologically inspired master-plan or are they simply a series of back-of-a-fag packet measures launched on a wing and a prayer?  Even in … Continue reading

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Why do public sector workers take more sickies?

Everybody knows that public sector workers are always taking sickies. The latest figures from the ONS prove it don’t they? Just look at this graph. Told you so! Public sector sickness at 3.1 percent, private sector at 2.3 percent. What’s … Continue reading

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Confident leadership in an uncertain world

A thought-provoking post from Kevin Ball yesterday discussed a perennial dilemma for leaders – how do they appear confident when they really don’t have a clue? Traditionally, as Kevin says, we have fallen back on knowledge – the quest for one solution or, at … Continue reading

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Reflections on the Arab Spring

I’ve been watching the events in the Arab world with interest. My knowledge of the region is, at best, that of an informed amateur. I studied some medieval Arab history at university and I read quite a lot when I worked in the Arab … Continue reading

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The ‘explosion’ in council employment – another baseless attack

The numbers quoted by government ministers are becoming increasingly reliable –  you can pretty much rely on them to be spurious. The bureau of meaningless statistics pumped out another set of dubious figures on Friday. Local authorities have taken on an extra … Continue reading

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Is public sector executive pay a red herring?

More bluster from Eric Pickles yesterday as he claimed that council chief executives’ pay had risen by 78 percent between 2002 and 2007. He was soon called out on this by, among others, the Guardian and the Local Government Chronicle. … Continue reading

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The great public sector fire-sale

Writing in Guardian Public, Eifion Rees casts doubt on the public sector’s ability to meet its budget targets. His piece contains a couple of interesting quotes from public sector finance expert Malcolm Prowle. A budget on paper is one thing, but delivering … Continue reading

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After the Squeeze – the Economy 2011 and beyond

CIPD chief economist John Philpott has become one of the talking heads of the recession. His predictions and comments on the UK economy and the labour market are now quoted regularly in the national press.   John will be speaking at a West London CIPD branch … Continue reading

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