Martin Whitlock - political writings 2001-2004

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Going (bust) for growth

23 February 2004

The capacity to be shocked by a naked breast on television is not the only issue separating America and Europe as the U.S. splashes out on an expensive economic recovery in an election year. Eurozone growth may be slower, but its longer term prospects look a better bet. Britain, as usual, is torn both ways.

Paying the piper

19 January 2004

The debate about the funding of local government will fail to make progress until politicians face up to the reality of who's calling the tune.

Taxing times

15 December 2003

A simple, fair, transparent tax system that undertakes to provide everybody with specified services of a specified quality. Is that really too much to ask?

Atlantic drift

17 November 2003

British government ideas for a single U.S.-E.U. market reflect a vision of shared interests and values that is supported neither by history not by contemporary reality.

Sauce for the goose...

7 July 2003

Government proposals for gay marriage are good policy, and good politics, too. But encouraging mutual support and dependence could be much more widely extended, to the advantage of society as a whole.

Letting the regulator take the strain

30 June 2003

The government is letting commercial public service providers budget for a profit while its own regulator is doing all the sums that matter. So why shouldn't a state-owned contractor pitch for the work?

Questionable practices

2 June 2003

Good decision-making is a process of questioning, and that involves listening carefully to the answers that you least expect.

An Englishman’s home is his pension

21 April 2003

Budget day offers a reminder of how governments try to influence the way that people behave. But the effect is not always predictable and certainly not always what the government intends. The trick is to harness the existing momentum, or "go with the flow".

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