Changing to survive

Houses

Build, baby, build

Mark Rusling  |  16 July 2014

Sarah Palin is not my usual source of inspiration for political slogans, but ‘drill, baby, drill’ was pretty catchy. We should adopt our own – build, baby, build. In elections, housing is often the dog that does not bark, despite being one of those issues that affects everyone – buyers and sellers, owners and renters, …

0 Comments Read more
Bicycle with Green party posters

Ukip and the Greens – snog, marry, avoid?

Mark Rusling  |  4 June 2014

Reading the media coverage of the 2014 elections, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that there were two sets of votes – local and European. The United Kingdom Independence party won the European elections hands down, but the locals presented a slightly more hopeful picture. Labour gained 338 seats and now has more councillors than the …

1 Comment Read more
Manchester town hall

An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pension

Mark Rusling  |  13 March 2014

Among the news this week, you might have missed one seemingly unimportant piece. Eric Pickles’ department has decided that English councillors, GLA members and the mayor of London will be forced to leave the local government pension scheme from May. Unlike members of parliament and, bizarrely, police and crime commissioners, councillors are deemed by Pickles …

1 Comment Read more
East Coast rail train

What matters is what does not work

Mark Rusling  |  10 March 2014

Consider these facts about the East Coast railway franchise. Between 2003 and 2009, when the franchise was privately owned, two operators failed and the average cost of a peak fare between York and London ballooned from £69 to £111.50 – a 62 per cent increase. Since the government stepped in and took it over in …

0 Comments Read more
Wedge

When you’re in the bunker, use the wedge

Mark Rusling  |  7 February 2014

Wedge issues are part and parcel of politics. You can’t use them too often, but it is difficult not to use them at all. They are more often controversial than they are effective but, when successful, they create new coalitions of interest, split opponents and supporters and tell people whose side we’re on. Unfortunately for …

0 Comments Read more
Snakes and ladders

Too many snakes and not enough ladders

Mark Rusling  |  9 December 2013

Last month, the Swiss voted overwhelmingly against a proposal that was billed as a pay cap for the rich. Executive pay would have been limited to 12 times the amount given to the lowest paid in a firm – a proposal rejected by over 65 per cent of voters. Whatever the merits – or otherwise …

6 Comments Read more
People. Crowd. UNderground.

Keep it simple

Mark Rusling  |  1 November 2013

Those of us who knock on doors or watch lower league football often hear the same complaint: don’t complicate things; keep it simple! Whether it is the delights of watching York City or the difficulties of explaining policy on a Walthamstow doorstep, things are better when they are simple. That is certainly the case when …

0 Comments Read more
Ed Miliband 7 June

Tell it again, Ed

Mark Rusling  |  19 September 2013

This time last year, David Cameron was mocking Ed Miliband for advocating ‘predistribution’. Ed argued for a move away from an approach to low pay based purely on top-ups through the tax and welfare systems towards one in which welfare becomes less necessary as employees are paid a decent wage in the first place. At …

0 Comments Read more
Street of houses

Love will tear us apart?

Mark Rusling  |  14 August 2013

Last year, the philosopher Stephen Asma wrote a book with a title designed to ruffle leftwing feathers: Against Fairness. He argues that in ‘our zealous pursuit of fairness, we have banished our urges to like one person more than another, one thing over another, hiding them away as dirty secrets of our humanity’, going on …

1 Comment Read more
Clock Time

The ticking timebomb under Tory seats

Mark Rusling  |  12 July 2013

On 27 June, music fans were heading to Glastonbury and sports fans were glued to their TV sets as Roger Federer crashed out of Wimbledon. But political nerds were glued to a fascinating set of council by-elections. You weren’t? Well that’s OK because, like Flash bathroom cleaner, I’ve done the hard work, so you don’t …

2 Comments Read more