Monthly Archives: June 2012

As good civil servants observing the appropriate rules, the Downing Street press office issued a copy of the prime minister’s welfare reform speech with sections marked ‘political content excised’. In truth, if they’d applied that editing principle consistently, the whole … Continue reading

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Today has seen two important announcements on childcare and early years learning: the final report of the Nutbrown Review of early learning and childcare qualifications and the establishment by Number 10 of an Affordable Childcare Commission. These are both welcome … Continue reading

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I am accountable to my own ideal of a civil servant. Sir William Armstrong, former head of the civil service (speaking in the 1970s) It is both ironic and encouraging that the Coalition government is setting out plans for reforming … Continue reading

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Last week I attended a party to celebrate David Blunkett’s 65th birthday and 25 years as an MP. I worked for David for a number of years when he was education and employment secretary and then home secretary. Almost everyone … Continue reading

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Thursday morning sees the annual publication of the child poverty statistics. This year’s set of statistics is especially important because it covers the year 2010/11, so it enables us to come to a final judgment on the Labour government’s record … Continue reading

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Over the bank holiday break I finished reading DR Thorpe’s magnificent biography of Harold Macmillan, Supermac. It is a classic of political biography. Although too charitable to Macmillan in parts, and wrongheaded on some key historical moments, like the Suez … Continue reading

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