Welcome. This project explores the machinery of government. It's about the need for a revitalised Whitehall working with a vigorous Parliament. Not much political theatre here, I'm afraid. We need strong and responsive institutions to help formulate and deliver good policy. This site discusses how they may be made. More »

Latest posts

Rehabilitating George W Bush #1

Posted by Richard D North under Rehab for Bush on 5 November 2008. No comments.

President Bush is getting a terrble press, which is always a good moment to offer an alternative picture. We will periodically post reminders that he wasn’t the presidential ogre the left likes to imagine. Here, we look at just how much of a unilateralist he was. More »

Obama: the latest in Messiah Politics?

Posted by Richard D North under 'Power To The People!' / Messiah Politics / Presentation or policy? / The wisdom of crowds on 4 November 2008. No comments.

This is a wonderful moment to assess the Obama bid for the presidency, now when everything remains uncertain. Is he the latest in Messiah Politics? More »

Tory yacht-boys or conservative government?

Posted by Richard D North under Dare to be dull / Death of ideology / Post-Bureaucratic world on 28 October 2008. No comments.

In the post-ideological world, political parties have a clear choice. Robbed of the chance to pretend to want to change the world, parties need to convince the voters they are managerially sound. That, or offer to be sexy, smooth, celebrity types – in the manner of Blair. Likewise, they can offer proper government or insist on ruling informally from a sofa in The Den at Number 10.¬†Where are the Tories in this game? More »

The best of Gordon Brown

Posted by Richard D North under Death of ideology / Presentation or policy? on 16 October 2008. No comments.

After two previous posts which were rather negative about Gordon Brown and his style of government, let’s look on the bright side. More »

Gordon “The Rock” Brown is a fantasy

Posted by Richard D North under Dare to be dull / Presentation or policy? / The Initiative Blizzard on 11 October 2008. No comments.

Gordon Brown is the most remarkable case of perception management we have yet seen in politics. He casts himself as the nation’s rock in a metdown, but even now he seems incapable of the modesty and honesty which would make for good government. More »

The unfolding Brown government disaster, 2007-2008

Posted by Richard D North under Dare to be dull / Presentation or policy? on 23 September 2008. No comments.

Gordon Brown used to insist that if and when he became Prime Minister he wanted to govern in a more sensible and even old-fashioned way. The implication was that the informal Sofa Government from the “den” of Blair’s Number 10 would come to an end. That impulse did not survive. More »

The false promise of consultation

Posted by Richard D North under 'Power To The People!' on 19 September 2008. No comments.

Successive governments have insisted that they are “listening” in a new way. They seek – fairly enough – to address a modern anxiety that politicians “are out of touch”. But modern “public consultation” doesn’t make policy. It never did, and can’t now. More »

“Post-bureaucratic society”. Please, no.

Posted by Richard D North under 'Power To The People!' / Dare to be dull / Death of ideology / Presentation or policy? / The Archipelago State / The wisdom of crowds on 18 September 2008. No comments.

David Cameron has said that he would like to see a return to proper government, with a Prime Minister working with his Cabinet and Whitehall. But he has also been toying with the idea of the “post bureaucratic society”. Sounds nice, let’s hope he doesn’t mean it. More »

Tories promise Cabinet government

Posted by Richard D North under Dare to be dull / The wisdom of crowds on 18 September 2008. No comments.

D Cameron and G Brown both promised they would inaugurate a return to Cabinet government. In both cases, that was before they got the job. GB comprehensively dished his promise. DC has yet to be given a chance to come good. But here’s what Francis Maude, one of his most senior lieutenants, promised. More »