Better the Devil: A Response to Gus O’Donnell’s ‘Better Government’

Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell wrote an article shortly after his retirement from the Civil Service, criticising the ‘politicisation’ of policy-making. Craig Berry and I wrote a response for the academic journal Political Quarterly (7 April 2014), stressing that O’Donnell’s ideal depoliticised polity is in many ways a neo-liberal ideological construction that seeks to undermine voters’ ability to influence policy via the ballot box.

The rise of the local party

My article for Our Kingdom on Open Democracy (8 May 2008) on the rise of highly localised political parties, such as the Community Action Party in Wigan, Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern and Blaenau Gwent People’s Voice.

Beyond party politics

My article for Total Politics magazine (24 November 2008), discussing the growing popularity of independent politicians such as former Tatton MP Martin Bell and the first elected Mayor of Hartlepool, Stuart Drummond. This is based on findings of my book, Independent: The Rise of the Non-Aligned Politician.