Author Archives: Daniel Wright

The Independent View: Osborne’s small beer budget

There are, at most, 777 days until the next UK General Election. Today’s Budget was the last real chance to introduce measures that will have time to create a real impact before then. This, however, was not a Budget designed to alter the path of the economy in any dramatic way:  the Coalition has never veered far from the course set at the Spending Review almost three years ago. Instead, this was a narrow Budget, full of small measures.

That is not to say that this Budget is not important in terms of the next election. Small as its measures were, …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Independent View: Cameron’s European vision and the Liberal Democrat opportunity

Not sallying forth to Amsterdam, but in the more functional surroundings of Bloomberg Europe in London, David Cameron has finally given forth his vision for the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU. Despite the context of the speech as a necessary manoeuvre to shore up support for Cameron from his hardline eurosceptic backbenchers and head off a UKIP challenge, the prime minister clearly made a great effort to ensure he sounded reasonable and moderate. Who could disagree with a vision of a more efficient, effective and accountable EU?

In this, Cameron made an astute address, in terms of his …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged and | 13 Comments

Opinion: The autumn statement was constrained by a lack of both ambition and funds

Today we witnessed a government and a chancellor with a lack of wiggle room writhing around to the best of their ability. George Osborne was on surprisingly good form compared to the blundered budget, and Ed Balls was insipid in a response that seemed to ignore the forecasts and measures just outlined before him. Nevertheless, even with the chancellor on song and his opposite number off-key, it will be difficult for the coalition to use the statement as much of a turning point in the narrative of this government.

Whilst both parties would like the press and the public to be …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 13 Comments

The Independent View: Cameron changes his choir, but the song remains the same

Reshuffles are necessary, even if they largely amount to political theatre. Few outside the Westminster bubble pay much attention, and they rarely herald wholesale policy shifts, but they are a key weapon in a Prime Minister’s arsenal in terms of placating backbenchers and stamping some authority on an administration. The most effective political operators of modern times used reshuffles masterfully; Margaret Thatcher cleared her Cabinet of ‘wets’ in 1981, instigating the most radical period of her administration.

So, how did Cameron’s first major reshuffle go? The key outcome is the failed attempt to shift Iain Duncan Smith to the Justice Department …

Posted in Op-eds | 4 Comments
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  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Jan - 7:35pm
    The point about us replacing Labour in this Parliament is that all we have to do is go on improving at the rate we have...
  • User AvatarLeekliberal 20th Jan - 7:07pm
    Tim Farron suggested that 'the political shakeup set in train by Brexit could lead to his party displacing Labour as the main opposition' Having just...
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 20th Jan - 7:02pm
    Logically there has to be a hard border in Ireland and I wrote about this back in 2015.. However logic does not always apply. We...
  • User AvatarGordon 20th Jan - 6:52pm
    Clearly the “academic attainment gap” is a serious issue but does this report get to the core of the problem? I think not. It worries...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 20th Jan - 6:35pm
    Tim, and then Peter A reaction from you, to something I said, you took with a different meaning, I mean only geography and actuality ,when...
  • User AvatarThomas 20th Jan - 5:56pm
    Hi Gordon. But the movement to free trade was a significant factor that contributed to British industrial decline (all other countries at that time had...