On 15th July, I wrote an open letter to our Prime Minister, who took office on 11th. Theresa May has now been PM for 99 days. It is customary to hold leaders to account after 100 days on the basis that they have had enough time to at least set out their agenda, assemble their… Continue reading Mrs May’s first 100 days
More than 2 million people watch the popular BBC show Escape to the Country. In 2012 there was a net migration of 40,000 people from urban to rural areas in the UK. Yet, the population of our towns and cities continues to grow more quickly and one estimate predicts that the UK population could be… Continue reading Rural development in an age of urbanisation
Recent political events in the UK have highlighted fundamental questions about the nature of democracy. Our Prime Minister assumed that role without anyone voting for her to be PM. Is that democratic? We are in the process of withdrawing from the European Union – perhaps the biggest political decision in decades – based on a… Continue reading Reflections on Democracy
I have been maddened by the debate over grammar schools in the last few days. So far we are hearing a lot of words and few clear details. There is talk of “inclusive selection” (a logical absurdity) and quotas for the poor (however they may be defined). There are attempts to reassure people that there… Continue reading The grammar school debate
The human brain seems to like to make sense of things through simple categorisation. In politics, the categories are usually on a spectrum from right to left. But what do these terms really mean and is there another way to look at it? One way is to ask whether an ideology is authoritarian or libertarian… Continue reading A new third way in politics?
Like most people, I have been engrossed in the unfolding spectacle of the Olympic Games. The Great Britain team is breaking all records and, as I write, second only to the USA in the medal table. But those numbers, great as they are, conceal rather than reveal the incredible stories of the young people who… Continue reading The Olympics: 6 lessons for leaders
Early in my career in international development, I noticed that very many of the people suffering the greatest poverty, exclusion and deprivation were living in one of three environments: on the margins of the deserts, especially in the Sahel region of Africa, home to some of the world’s poorest countries (three of the top four… Continue reading The Three Margins