Monthly Archives: December 2010

The draft Cabinet Manual

The Cabinet Office has just published a draft Cabinet Manual, essentially an attempt to draw together the basic features of our constitutional arrangements.  Much of it is pretty basic – a Janet and John introduction to British Government – and it … Continue reading

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The joys of blogging

One of the country’s leading bloggers, Iain Dale, has recently announced that he is giving up blogging.  He is not exceptional.  Many people start blogs but after a time give them up.    They either lose interest and/or find it too time … Continue reading

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In danger of becoming a Guardian reader?

I occasionally get cited in the press, more often than not in The Times or The Daily Telegraph.  On odd occasions, I get a mention (not necessarily helpful, as the recent example of Quentin Letts shows) in other newspapers.  However, references to … Continue reading

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‘Tis the season for marking

Travelling back to Hull late on Thursday evening, I bumped into a senior Conservative MP who was taking the same train.  He asked me what I was doing for Christmas.  ‘Christmas’, I said, ‘is the season for marking’.  He seemed slightly … Continue reading

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When is an answer not an answer?

I have just had an answer to a question I tabled a couple of weeks ago.  I asked the Government “further to the answer by Lord McNally on 1 December (HL Deb. col. 1474), what is the empirical basis for … Continue reading

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Marking the centenary of the 1911 Parliament Act

Next year marks the centenary of the passage of the Parliament Act 1911.  Various events are being held to commemorate the event.  I seem to be a beneficiary in that it has resulted in various speaking invitations- well, two anyway. … Continue reading

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Sensible young people

I recently mentored a debating team from the Robert Clack School in Dagenham.  They were one of four teams taking part in a debate in the chamber of the Lords last Friday on the issue of Lords reform.  Each team … Continue reading

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Talking of the politics of coalition

The Guardian article mentioning my chapter on the ‘Politics of Coalition’ appeared on Friday morning.  The same day we held a Politics Department sixth-form conference for schools from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.  It is an annual event – this is the … Continue reading

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The Politics of Coalition

One of the publications I listed in an earlier post has now been published.  My chapter on ‘The Politics of Coalition’ has appeared in Nicholas Allen and John Bartle (eds), Britain at the Polls 2010, published by Sage.  I see … Continue reading

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Hull University – as recommended by the House of Lords

I was in the House yesterday for the continuing committee stage of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.  I contributed to discussion on some amendments, though at one point my mere presence appeared sufficient to engender tributes to the … Continue reading

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