So we’re having a moment about John Boyd: The really interesting thing about the Dom Cummings appointment is that we now have someone in charge of No10 who is a devotee of Col. John Boyd, whose central thesis was to confuse your enemy and do the opposite of what they expect (1/4). — Damian McBride…Read More Round and Round the OODA Loop: Folk Boyd and the Brexiters
I originally drafted this post as the second on Tim Shipman’s book last autumn. Having found and re-read it I have revised it, among other things to go with Jonathan Portes’ appreciation for Sir Jeremy Heywood, the signing of a Brexit agreement, and the outing of the American Friends of the IEA An interesting thought…Read More #AllOutWar On the Institutions
A quick thought on the famous Tory letters. If you want to spill the Tory leader, you need a set percentage of the Tory MPs to write to the 1922 Committee chairman. The current trigger level is 48, and the current chairman is Graham Brady MP. There is a lot of mystery about the process,…Read More How many letters?
Stephen Bush in the New Statesman makes an argument I’ve heard from a few people. The young’uns are furious and therefore Corbyn, but they’re also “Thatcher’s children”. So the Tories can solve all their problems by offering something about “getting on the housing ladder”. It looks like they’re going to implement this. I am not…Read More Weak sauce
That Tory after-action report (one, two, three) is quite the thing. Something that sticks out for me is that the 2017 election might have been the moment when the shrinking Tory membership finally caught up with them. This is something that has been promised for getting on for decades, but if it can’t go on…Read More 2017: The ultimate development of the modern British campaign
So I read Tim “Not the Doctor” Shipman’s All Out War instabook on the referendum campaign and after. Shipman argues strongly for the continued importance of the old 90s Tory Eurosceptics in the whole thing – this is partly a consequence of his method, writing down stuff MPs tell him, but I think also a…Read More #AllOutWar: One, We’re Agin It
Reading the Institute for Government’s report on Universal Credit, I was struck by two related things. First of all, the project was powered forward by people who didn’t bear any responsibility for its implementation. Whenever it ran into people who needed to care about how it would work, it hit opposition. Lord Freud’s original skunkworks…Read More Universal Credit: the history of an IT project failure
I wrote this for Politico Europe, but they weren’t interested after much editing about. Apparently there were too many charts. A clear statement about migration, says Theresa May of the vote for Brexit. The last thing you’ll find in the data is clarity. Or migration. There has been a wealth of efforts to understand Brexit…Read More A clear statement about migration
Everyone is talking about the Tory election spending thing. Apparently, there are MPs who fear they might go to jail. The latest break involves letters sent out over David Cameron’s signature, which may count against the local spending limit because they addressed the reader as living in the constituency in question. But that wasn’t the…Read More Tory election spending and the #codgerbonds. Can you help?
Back in 2011 the government had been proposing to spend £190 million on a flood defence scheme for Leeds. Instead, they cancelled the scheme and only did £50m worth of the work. The scheme was based on a hypothetical worst-case flooding scenario. In 2011, the economic losses from such a flood were estimated at £500…Read More Sound finance