Gin Lane ’22

You clicked on the link. Go figure. Thanks for stopping by. Years ago, I used this blog as a repository for my work. If you’re interested in reading some of it, please go for it, although I’d probably warn against doing so. I’ve left a few of the less tedious posts up as an archive. […]

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Greater Birmingham needs a Super PAC

Published as a opinion piece on The Chamberlain Files. My colleague Paul Dale wrote at length yesterday about the ideas being discussed in recent contributions to the localism debate from Labour Party heavyweights in a series of lectures and pamphlets. He ended on a weary note, that devolution was always a day away, because he’s heard […]

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London Vs. Everywhere

Published as a opinion piece on The Chamberlain Files. In his third voyage, Gulliver encounters the floating island of ‘Laputa’. The island hovers above the lower island of ‘Balnibarbi’, where it uses its considerable technological advances to dominate the people below. It’s a striking image of a nation divided, where rulers above are literally detached from […]

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Millennials need HS2

A post for the Chamberlain Files HS2 Week Special where I argue while speed, time and capacity are important, the greatest argument for HS2 is through its generational legacy. There’s something the silverbacks complaining about HS2 need to realise: HS2 isn’t actually for you. For the first time in the post-war period, the Baby Boomers (that’s ‘46-’64 […]

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London’s Calling

Published as part of the #WM2015 series for The  Chamberlain Files. According to Janan Ganesh, the jig is up: it’s time to accept that the UK is London-centred. For Ganesh this is the product of organic processes within the economy, and it in spite of politicians’ best efforts to promote regional rebalancing, they should be “humble” […]

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Cleansing the Temple

In an interview with Total Politics, Archbishop Justin Welby stated that the Church of England is to try and compete pay day loan company Wonga ‘out of existence’ by establishing credit unions: “A plan for the church to develop credit unions [non-profit lenders] has been floated, with Welby proud that the church is “putting our money where our mouth is” in developing […]

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Vivé le Local Association

‘Party’ has become a dirty word. Their only hope is the return of strong local party branches. In a recent article on Labour Uncut, Ben Cobley describes how he spoiled his Labour-Euro election ballot in protest of what he terms institutionalised fixing. He argues through a process of electoral ‘zipping’ that favours sitting MEPs, cronyism […]

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Grating Expectations

How expectations – employers, institutions, parents and our own – are a graduate’s worst enemy yet best hope. In discussions about graduates I have heard a new maxim beginning to reiterate itself on the lips of older generations; ‘graduates aren’t ready for work’. The often critical tone in which it is voiced suggests the problem […]

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