Image: Getty

Labour is falling in love with localism – but is it ignoring the individual?

7 July 2014 13:44

Today’s New Deal for England announcement by Labour doesn’t just underline how much of the political action is in the regions at the moment, but how the party is coming… Continue reading


Video: The week ahead — Westminster abuse allegations and Miliband’s localism

7 July 2014 12:08

In our latest View from 22 video, James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman discuss the two top stories from this weekend — the allegations about a paedophile ring in Westminster and Ed Miliband’s localist agenda… Continue reading

All political parties want to devolve powers to held bridge the North-South divide.

Briefing: The three main parties’ offers on localism

1 July 2014 18:20

How much common ground do the political parties have on localism? As Isabel pointed out this morning, Labour and the Conservatives are engaged in an arms race to see who… Continue reading

The mosaic bees in Manchester's Town Hall that symbolise hard work and co-operation.

The clever councils keeping localism in vogue

4 October 2013 11:20

One of the problems with localism is that it sounds very grand and clever in opposition, and then turns out to be a nightmare to implement in reality. A minister… Continue reading

Stephen Twigg joined his Labour colleagues in trying to wrest localism from the Tories. Picture: Getty

Labour is after the Tories’ localism crown

17 June 2013 11:55

Stephen Twigg is, as he probably expected, coming in for a bit of flak on his U-turn on free schools this morning. Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary has launched his own… Continue reading

Peter Dawson

Who cares about HMV? Shopping has never been better. - Spectator Blogs

15 January 2013 13:45

How many people presently lamenting the demise of HMV (at least in its current incarnation) actually spent any money there these past, say, five years? Not too many, I suspect.… Continue reading

Star (pictured) wears a dickie bow and waddles alongside his owner Barrie Hayman raising money for sick youngsters Photo: SWNS

Life in Modern Britain: Charity Duck Edition - Spectator Blogs

27 September 2012 11:37

A typical tale of nitwittery from modern Britain. And this, of course, is one of the problems with localism: it means giving more power to local councillors. That’s still, on… Continue reading


Byrne for Birmingham?

29 March 2012 18:14

Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet could soon lack a Liam Byrne. The shadow work and pensions secretary is expected to announce his intention to run for the position of Mayor of… Continue reading


My week in Westminster

28 January 2012 10:03

I’m presenting Radio Four’s Week in Westminster this morning, on deficit wars, London wars, welfare wars, and another set of wars which no one has really discussed yet: the directly-elected police commissioners.… Continue reading


Clegg sets out his stall for 2012

19 December 2011 16:23

Under cover of discussing the Open Society and its enemies, Nick Clegg today set out his personal agenda for the next year of this government. Indeed, Clegg’s speech to Demos… Continue reading


There is a Government Car Parking Policy? Jesus Wept.

2 August 2011 10:53

Blimey David, the startling aspect of Eric Pickles’ announcement that central government will loosen the guidelines it issues to local councils concerning the proper provision of car parking spaces is… Continue reading


Pickles lands a small blow for growth

1 August 2011 18:08

Eric Pickles’ decentralisation revolution continues, with the announcement that Whitehall is relinquishing control over car parking restrictions in town centres. From now on, town halls will decide how much space… Continue reading


Miliband: We can’t go on like this

25 June 2011 10:56

It’s odd how political leaders often address their parties in the clichéd terms of soap operas’ most tortured romances. Ed Miliband pre-trailed speech to the Labour’s National Policy Forum in… Continue reading


Policing the local and the national

8 June 2011 13:34

Today’s announcement on a proposed new National Crime Agency (NCA) is a key element in the government’s ambitious police reform agenda.  Recent political attention has focused on changes to police… Continue reading


Labour councillors giving themselves pay rises

13 May 2011 14:59

As the country tightens its belts, some councils are taking the courageous decision to increase spending on certain essentials. The Labour councillors who run the London borough of Southwark have… Continue reading


A campaign in the heartlands

24 April 2011 18:02

The AV referendum: it’s enough to make you long for the life to come. As James notes, this Easter Sunday has been shaken by the Lib Dems’ righteous fury over… Continue reading


Councils can seriously damage your health

19 April 2011 17:45

There’s a fantastic post by Nicholas Timmins at the FT’s Westminster blog. Using the example of Enfield Council, which has just blocked moves to close failing wards in a local… Continue reading


Cameron quells the storm

19 April 2011 9:10

David Cameron turned in an emollient performance on the Today Programme this morning. He declined to stoke the coalition row over immigration, heaped praise on Vince Cable and stressed that… Continue reading


Pickles wins

17 April 2011 17:26

Eric Pickles has been fighting councils who publish newspapers to celebrate their exploits. The government has used a combination of political pressure and legislation to curtail these ‘Pravdas’. Most offending… Continue reading


Pickles’ many enemies

14 April 2011 17:43

Eric Pickles was on Newsnight last night, in what looked suspiciously like an attempted ambush. Pickles repelled boarders, illustrating why he is one of the government’s star performers. He was… Continue reading


Two defining coalition reforms clash

13 April 2011 13:36

The big society is crossing swords with the localism agenda in Brent, north London. You may recall the Friends of Kensal Rise Library, a voluntary group that was being frustrated… Continue reading


Cameron takes it to the councils

11 April 2011 15:46

Ignore what your council is telling you. So says no less a personage than the Prime Minister of our country, speaking at one of his freewheelin’ roadshow events this afternoon.… Continue reading


An obstacle to the Big Society

7 April 2011 18:00

Toby Young’s piece in the latest issue of the Spectator magazine captures one of the problems facing the Big Society. It’s not that people don’t want to donate their time… Continue reading


Labour fights back in Pickles’ war on propaganda sheets

7 April 2011 13:06

Most councils publish a newspaper – usually delivered to your door and instantly discarded. The government has decided that these freesheets are both a waste of public money and detrimental… Continue reading


Whither the NHS Bill?

6 April 2011 14:39

Reassurance — that’s what the happy trio of David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Andrew Lansley sought to emit during their NHS event earlier. And reassurance not just about where the… Continue reading