Author Archives: Jon Hunt

Opinion: How contracting fiascos, such as West Coast, threaten localisation dreams

The fiasco over the West Coast Mainline contract has exposed a long-running sore at the heart of government: the problem of public/private contracting.

Rail and Information Technology are merely prime examples of the troubled and costly contractual relationships that often exist between the public and private sector.

The Liberal Democrats have a policy review of public services under way – but will it tackle the real issues? For if contracting at

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 19 Comments

Opinion: Beyond the Ebacc

Two years ago theWest Midlands Region embarked on a project which we called “Beyond the Ebacc.” We chose the title because we recognised then that the Coalition government was intent on embedding the Ebacc as the gold standard qualification at 16 and wanted our party, the Liberal Democrats, to emerge from coalition with our own radical policies in this critical area.

We were able to draw on a wide range of experience, including that of overseeing education in large municipal authorities.

Our concern was the stark evidence that our school system is failing many young people. Every government that has sought to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 13 Comments

The Gladstone Lecture: what Alan Beith said…

Alan Beith’s Gladstone Lecture – and specifically his comments that church disestablishment is “not necessary” – attracted much comment earlier this week on LDV. Here Jon Hunt reflects on this and much else…

The grand old man of Liberalism was given his due respect last month.

The phrase is generally applied to Gladstone but could almost be applied to Sir Alan Beith, the former deputy leader of the party, who was chosen to give the first annual Gladstone lecture.

Sir Alan, who is only 65, has just published his autobiography, marking 35 years as serving Liberal MP for Berwick. But if …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 39 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarexpats 20th Jan - 1:50pm
    To me Harold Wilson is the man who, despite right wing pressure at home, kept the young men of the UK out of Vietnam. As...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 1:45pm
    Innocent Bystander, there may be some truth in your assessment of academic economists, but most big investment banks and multi-nationals will have an economics department...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 1:18pm
    Jimmy Carter presidency was seen as something of a failure. However, much of his best achievements were as an International Statesman, after he was free...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 20th Jan - 1:11pm
    But David, economists only exist to argue unprovable theories with other economists while the rest of us try and make the world function.
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 12:48pm
    David Raw, I wouldn't put Harold Wilson in the category of Lenin, but his development years during the war were spent as a research assistant...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 20th Jan - 12:44pm
    Obviously a real focal point of love and devotion. To have inspired such admiration and affection over their lifetime, is worthy of praise indeed. I...