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How can experts help governments think?

Glen O’Hara / May 29, 2018 at 4:34 PM 119 views

Note: this is the written text forming the conclusion of the author's Inaugural Lecture, held at Oxford Brookes University on Wednesday 9 May. It does not match the lecture as delivered, the whole of which is available here. At least experts…

Labour could be staring at a historic defeat

Glen O’Hara / November 22, 2016 at 1:44 PM 929 views

History matters in elections. In this year’s US Presidential contest, political science models based on past relationships – involving, for instance, incumbent popularity or economic growth – did better than short-term modelling based on opinion polls. Most such models predicted…

British lessons for the American election?

Glen O’Hara / October 31, 2016 at 2:40 PM 638 views

Many British observers looking on at the US Presidential election have started to feel hairs standing up on their necks. A front-runner most people think is now the inevitable winner? An establishment choice that it seems inconceivable won't make it…

Is western-style democracy in trouble?

Glen O’Hara / October 24, 2016 at 3:53 PM 507 views

Democracy doesn't always look all that much fun at the moment, does it? You put up a few mild opinions, you get back some alt-left or alt-right links from The Canary or Breitbart full of plot twists and ways of…

Where are the Conservatives actually going?

Glen O’Hara / October 3, 2016 at 1:10 PM 681 views

What is Conservatism actually for? The question is a pressing one, because as Conservative Party activists meet in Birmingham for their first Conference since Britain’s Brexit vote, it seems less than clear. No doubt the near-unprecedented political and strategic upheaval…

The end… for now

Glen O’Hara / July 3, 2016 at 11:18 PM 217 views

So it's been an enormously dispiriting and exhausting year, in which the idea that you should conduct public policy calmly, wisely and with some evidence has taken blow after blow after blow. It's been a year, indeed, in which rationality…

The end… for now

Glen O’Hara / July 3, 2016 at 11:18 PM 305 views

So it's been an enormously dispiriting and exhausting year, in which the idea that you should conduct public policy calmly, wisely and with some evidence has taken blow after blow after blow. It's been a year, indeed, in which rationality…

How did Leave win?

Glen O’Hara / June 29, 2016 at 11:41 PM 373 views

Leave shouldn’t have won the UK’s referendum on the European Union. They were a very uneasy coalition. There were huge ructions at the top of their campaign. With just weeks to go before the vote, their whole effort basically amounted…

Boris Johnson’s alternative histories

Glen O’Hara / February 22, 2016 at 6:13 PM 561 views

Counterfactual history is controversial. To recap, it's the idea that you can play with some of the variables in the past and try to see where events would have washed you with a critical bit of the story taken out,…

The UK economy: don’t think the pain is all over

Glen O’Hara / November 30, 2015 at 1:23 AM 349 views

'With one bound, he was free': doubtless this is the way that George Osborne would like his recent Autumn Statement to be remembered. Taking advantage of some interest rate changes, some inflation rate rejigging and quite a lot of tax…

English higher education: another turn of the screw

Glen O’Hara / November 7, 2015 at 11:56 PM 281 views

We're returning this week to the long-vexed subject of English Higher Education, for which we make no apologies, because we've just witnessed the publication of the Government's long-awaited (or feared) Green Paper on the subject. It's got to be tackled…

Britain’s housing crisis: we need new ideas

Glen O’Hara / October 19, 2015 at 2:39 PM 376 views

If you're a regular reader of Public Policy and the Past, you'll know that we think Britain faces a housing emergency. It doesn't build nearly enough dwellings to meet demand: it's that simple, and that clear. Everything else - high…