All posts filed under: Articles

And the winner is……

Piece for Public Finance by David Lipsey   19.3.14 Who will win the 2015 general election? The pundits queue up to make confident predictions; but the truth is that no-one has a clue. This is rare. Since the shock of Harold Wilson’s win in February 1974, every election bar one has been eminently predictable a year […]


Hague’s fibs by David Lipsey Diplomats are famously allowed to lie for their country; but a foreign secretary who tells porkies for his party is a different thing. No other epithet will do for Willliam Hague’s claim that it is “antics” by Labour and Lib Dem peers in the Lords that mean that the bill […]

Possible Times Thunder

It’s bad enough having to pay bills. It’s worse having to pay for the bills you have to pay. Yet that is increasingly what Britain’s rapacious utility companies are demanding. The House of Lords last night debated a motion by Lady Oppenheim-Barnes, a former consumer affairs minister, attacking the practice of the utilities in charging […]


Originally published in The Times on 3rd November 2013. An iron law of politics states that you should never pay for benefits for new recipients by cutting those for existing recipients. The gainers will give you no credit for giving them what they transparently deserve; while the losers will howl with outrage. Paul Burstow, the […]

Title Needed!

Originally published in The Spectator on 29th November 2009. I am a climate change denier. That at any rate is what I was told by abusive emailers after I had had the temerity to criticise an article by George Monbiot, who preaches the doctrine of impending Armageddon in his Guardian column. What happened was this. […]

Roy Jenkins Review

My 92-year-old mother long maintained that she took the Daily Mail only for the crossword. Her cover was well and truly blown however when she kindly sent me the extracts that paper ran from John Campbell’s biography of Roy Jenkins. And what extracts they were! To use the kind of stretched analogy to which Jenkins […]

Inheritance Tax

Originally published in The Guardian on…? As Gordon Brown finalises his budget, the bleatings of the “middle England” lobby are reaching a crescendo. The Daily Express and the Daily Mail compete in the virulence with which they denounce inheritance tax – the “death trap” as some ingenious sub-editor has dubbed it. As a Labour peer […]

Title needed!

Originally published in The Spectator on …? In Susan Crosland’s marvellous memoir of Tony, she recalls (pp 250—252) the affair of the 10th anniversary dinner commemorating the death of Labour’s lost leader, Hugh Gaitskell, It recounts how Crosland, Gaitskell’s closest confidante, received through the post an invitation to attend this dinner from Socialist Commentary, a […]

Care Costs Time

It’s easy to poke holes in the Coaliton’s plan for help with long-term care costs., announced today. Those not eligible for means-tested support will have to fork out £75K before they get any state help. The £75K covers only personal care costs like washing and toileting. Those in care will still have to pay “hotel […]