Blog - Davy Jones Consultancy

Is there a moral crisis gripping the nation? David Cameron claims that the recent riots show there is. Many on the Left have responded that there is not. I rarely agree with David Cameron. But on whether or not there is a moral crisis – I agree with him. BUT, for me this is not about the lack of morals of the rioters. It is about the immorality of the socio-economic and political systems, and of the rich and powerful...

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As the fever pitch rose last week against the NOTW, I was reminded of the anti-banker feeling at the height of the economic crisis three years ago. At that point, it wasn’t safe to admit to being a banker. Southwold Pier had a game – Whack a Banker – where you crashed a mallet down on a bankers head as it popped up. Nice. How things change….. Yet recent opinion polls now show more British people think the last Labour...

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29 Jun 2011
We’re all in it together

As teachers, civil servants and other public sector workers prepare to strike over pensions, it’s good to look at some facts. The average pension pot for FTSE Company Directors is now £2.8m. The average annual pension for local government workers is under £6000. Notice how it is the CBI and the private sector bosses who are baying for the most blood when it comes to cutting public sector pensions. The reason they give is that private sector pensions are much...

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According to the authoritative Global Commission on Drug Policy, the “war on drugs” has failed. Just as the war on alcohol failed in the 20th century. Two things struck me about this: 1) This is absolutely obvious to anyone with half a brain cell; and 2) Nothing (in the short term at least) will change as a result. Hypocrisy There are few things more nauseatingly hypocritical than mainstream politicians pontificating to young people about the dangers of drugs – usually...

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David Cameron relaunched the Big Society again on Monday 23 May, saying: “ We must build a bigger stronger society”. No one would disagree that people should play more of a role in their local communities. The question is how do we achieve it and what prevents people from doing so. Time All the research shows that there are two main reasons why people don’t get involved. First, they don’t have enough time. People in the UK have some of...

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The Introduction to the Government’s new Best Value: new draft statutory guidance announces the repeal of two statutory duties on local authorities: the duty to involve, and the duty to prepare a sustainable community strategy. This is explained as reducing “red tape” for local authorities. Previously, Government hinted at getting rid of the Duty To Involve, but this is the first time the mechanism to achieve it has been revealed. According to the Consultation Institute, many local practitioners are aghast,...

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As we fast approach a Royal Wedding and a referendum on whether to retain our “First Past the Post” (FPTP) system for General elections, I have been struck by just how old fashioned the country remains. Whatever you think of the individuals in the Royal Family, surely in the early 21st century no one seriously believes we should be ruled by a hereditary monarch ? Or that key elements of our democratic system should remain subject to royal prerogative or...

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11 Mar 2011
Democracy and the market

Wisconsin is suddenly famous. Its ultra-Replublican senators voting to strip workers of their right to collective bargaining. Why ? ” To help get the deficit under control”. In other words – to stop any organised opposition to the massive public sector cuts. Sounds familiar ? It should. How long before this Government’s cuts to services, wages and pensions extends to clamping down on any fightback ? Cuts and pensions Let us remind ourselves. The economic crisis was caused by the...

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4 Feb 2011
Liverpool and big society

So farewell then, Liverpool Big Society Vanguard – you tried your best but the contradictions of the Big Society finally dragged you down…..Will your stance prefigure that of more local areas in the future ? Contradictions Most of us who are passionate about citizen involvement were always in two minds over the Big Society. At one level, it was not that much different from what we had been advocating for years – encouraging the virtues of citizen action, celebrating the...

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14 Dec 2010
Localism or passing the blame?

This Government, like many before it, is good at blaming everyone else for the nation’s troubles. But it has also developed a cynical new technique: invent a reactionary policy, then under the guise of localism, make local councils responsible for implementing it. I have spent a lot of time in the last few months working with councils who are struggling to implement grim cuts in council tax benefits caused quite deliberately as a matter of policy by the Government. Up...

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