What future is there for the British Labour Party?

One of the more interesting and promising features of the Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party leadership years was the way in which a parliamentary opposition with a set of alternative policies was able to moderate and modify government policy without itself being able to enact legislation. It was able to promote greater public exposure of these … Continue reading What future is there for the British Labour Party?

The role of evidence in public policy making

This article is  published Feb 2020 in 'Significance' - the Royal Statistical Society journal     In public discourse it has become common to claim that a programme or policy is “evidence informed”. Indeed, it is often felt sufficient merely to state that a particular decision is “evidence informed”, rather than describing the nature and … Continue reading The role of evidence in public policy making

Evidence, its abuses and antisemitism…an addendum.

As if a further example of the futility of appeasement were needed, another has surfaced over the issue of MP Chris Williamson’s suspension from the Labour Party over, as it turns out, his rather pertinent remark that the Party had been ‘too apologetic about antisemitism’. As I have argued in previous posts, the Party’s approach … Continue reading Evidence, its abuses and antisemitism…an addendum.

The abuse of evidence in public debates

Evidence and its abuses in public life: the case of antisemitism   Current concerns about the use of evidence in public debates are very much focussed around so called fake news (i.e. lies that ignore evidence) and there is considerable debate among the ‘providers’ of evidence, broadly speaking the scientific community, about how to deal … Continue reading The abuse of evidence in public debates

The extent of antisemitism in Britain

In the continuing debate about the extent of antisemitism in Britain, arguably the most obvious feature is the lack of good evidence to support the views of most commentators. I have already commented on that in a previous blog that was largely concerned with allegations against the Labour party. Leaving that aside, there has also … Continue reading The extent of antisemitism in Britain

The role of OFSTED – a critique of OFSTED’s consultation

The publication of a new consultation document on the future of OFSTED school inspections raises concerns about its approach to inspection that have in fact been around for some time (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/education-inspection-framework-2019-inspecting-the-substance-of-education ). This commentary reiterates them in the light of this new consultation. A reading of the foreword by the chief inspector Amanda Spielman appears … Continue reading The role of OFSTED – a critique of OFSTED’s consultation