Tag Archives for Conservatives

Liberalisation of the Water Industry: What next for consumer and environmental protection?

Jon Morris

From April 1st companies in the UK can choose to switch their water provider; a domestic roll-out for households seems inevitable On April 1st the liberalisation of the English water industry for commercial consumers came into force.  This is the result of the 2014 Water Act which gives businesses, charities, and public sector customers in England the freedom to switch … Continue reading

13 April 2017 by
Categories: SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The real ‘new politics’ of post-crisis Britain: Part I

Craig Berry

The Conservatives understand – and exploit – the electorate’s concerns about ‘place’ As I argue in my forthcoming book Austerity Politics and UK Economic Policy, if austerity were simply an argument about the merits of deficit reduction, its critics on the left would have won hands down.  Indeed, the regularity with which George Osborne now delays the deficit reduction end-date … Continue reading

18 February 2016 by
Categories: Craig Berry, Devolution, Economics, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Corbyn and the Labour Party – taking the longer view?

Glen O'Hara

Historic polling comparisons highlight the party’s challenges ahead of 2020 The last few months have seen the Labour Party seemingly stumble from crisis to crisis. A rolling and engrossing bad news story but one that has been hard to place in context.  We can consider the impact of this first period of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership upon Labour’s support by considering … Continue reading

17 February 2016 by
Categories: Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Organising metaphors and austerity: what the left can learn

Progressives need to think differently about political narrative to shape the political agenda to their advantage Arguably one of the most memorable moments of last year in the UK featured a tearful, Conservative-voting mother on BBC1’s weekly debating programme Question Time explaining how cuts in tax credits would affect her ability to provide the basic requirements of food and shelter … Continue reading

9 February 2016 by
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‘The Resurrected Right and Disoriented Left’ – new SPERI paper by Craig Berry

More than seven years on from the financial crisis, a new sustainable British growth model has yet to emerge, whilst the Conservative Party have been successful in rebuilding the pre-crisis growth model which failed so spectacularly in 2008. In his significant new SPERI paper – The Resurrected Right and Disoriented Left – Craig Berry, the Deputy Director of SPERI, explores … Continue reading

2 February 2016 by
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The government is right on pensioner protection – but for the wrong reasons

Craig Berry

Critics of the protection of pensioner benefit entitlements are playing into George Osborne’s hands The politics of austerity appears to have induced an unfortunate amnesia among the British political class. For a long time the state pensions ‘earnings link’ was a totemic issue on the left – almost mythically so.  For her critics, Margaret Thatcher’s 1980 decision to index the … Continue reading

14 January 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berry’s ‘disoriented left’ and the possibilities of an alternative

Dan Silver

Connecting abstract ideas about political economy with people’s everyday lives is what politics in the UK should now be about Craig Berry’s paper, ‘The disoriented left? Growth model failure and the nascent politics of a transformative narrative’ is a most welcome contribution to a debate around the political economy of the UK.  This debate has largely been limited by a … Continue reading

10 December 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

‘Osbornomics’ and the death of benign government

Matthew Watson

Osborne’s plan to bind all future Chancellors to produce annual budget surpluses is not driven by economic logic, but is intended to reshape the meaning of government There is something really rather smug about the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, intending to legislate formally for constant year-on-year budget surpluses.  ‘I have been so right all along in my … Continue reading

7 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Economics, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A tale of two elections

Andrew Gamble

Labour is now confronted with a serious strategic dilemma, but the Conservatives also face huge economic and political challenges The election result surprised everybody, except perhaps Lynton Crosby.  The eleven pre-election polls accurately predicted the vote share of the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, but seriously underestimated the Conservatives and overestimated Labour.  Cameron needed a 7% lead over Labour to secure … Continue reading

11 May 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | 1 comment

Britain’s future referendum on EU membership: lessons from Scotland

Jim Buller

Economic arguments in favour of Europe may not resonate with a sceptical public ‘If anyone thinks after this that an EU referendum is a good idea, they must be off their heads’ (Better Together campaigner, quoted here). Last month, after a vibrant and passionate referendum campaign, the Scots voted to stay in the UK by a majority of 55 to … Continue reading

4 December 2014 by
Categories: Economics, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Is neoliberalism at last unravelling in Britain?

Tony Payne

The crisis of the British political economy has now become an urgent crisis also for British politics I just don’t understand why mainstream political commentators in Britain are not shouting about it in every column and appearance on radio and television.  But it can be said in no uncertain terms on the SPERI blog: the unfolding crisis of the British … Continue reading

5 November 2014 by
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 comments

Local government cuts and the unequal social, geographical and political impact of austerity

Craig Berry

Cuts to local government have disproportionately affected the North, deprived areas and Labour councils All of the mainstream political parties in the UK are currently engaging in a slightly farcical competition over how many billions of pounds in public expenditure they intend to devolve from Whitehall to the local level. Such devolution may be welcome, but the very big numbers … Continue reading

10 July 2014 by
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Global Races

Tony Payne

It’s right to focus attention on Britain’s position in the global political economy, but we need a more sophisticated way of thinking about this issue than the notion of a race Global races have become a new focus of economic and political debate in Britain this autumn.  David Cameron was first into the field, launching his notion of the ‘global … Continue reading

1 November 2013 by
Categories: Global crisis, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment