On the ground in India: The largest democracy in the World

“Political Science?!” replied my grandfather, bemused, when I tried to explain to him what I would be studying at university. Notwithstanding my own quiet satisfaction at having secured a place to read what, in the UK, is a competitive academic discipline, my grandfather’s cynicism is borne out of years of witnessing governance in India. A […]

The living wage is not the answer

Something struck me whilst watching the US election. Despite Obama – as a Democrat – being generally collectivist and conscious of the hard-pressed in society (you can’t call them poor), the American ideal of standing up on your own feet and making it for yourself is still the underlying axiom of the electorate. When Obama […]

Reflections on the Conservative Party Conference

The juxtaposition of Birmingham’s inebriated ‘Freshers’ and drab Tory politicos was the setting for this year’s Conservative Party Conference. In fact, this served as quite a good reflection of the Tories’ mood as they reached the halfway point: still a little heady after the surprisingly stunning show that Britain put on this summer, but also […]

Gove faces his biggest test

I’m sure you’ve all heard it: that typical, old-school teacher moan. “Back in my day”, is the usual opener, “exams used to be much harder”. The concept of grade inflation has been troubling the nation for some time. With results improving every year it seemed as if the time had come for, yes, results to […]

Is the Meritocratic Ideal still alive?

It was in 600 BC that the Chinese philosopher Confucius invented the notion that “those who govern should do so because of merit, not of inherited status.” Thousands of years later, we live in a society where for many people this idea – that if you are good enough, you can make it – is […]

The key to real economic growth is in the supply-side

Politics – and there must be a clichéd quotation to accompany this – moves very quickly. Rewind ten months, to a time not mired by double dip recession, and we see an impressive David Cameron at the helm: clear and firm in deficit reduction, internationally outstanding in Libya and managing a cohesive Lib-Con coalition against […]