Britain is going through a difficult time, when its sustained ability to punch above its weight, economically and diplomatically, is ebbing. The end of irrational exuberance found the country ill at ease with itself, with rising inequalities and unhealthy nationalism, just when it needs to be fleet-footed in recognising that many of the traditional pillars of its strengths have changed. The need is to recognise other supports and partners and find a new common purpose after the pandemic. I live in hope.

the road to beijing lies through brussels

I brought together my two favourite themes of the moment, europe and china, in my most recent column, concluding that whatever europe might or might not become were britain not in it, it is clear what britain would quickly become in those circumstances: irrelevant. Also on the platform

Attached File: menb11.pdf

it's our castle, not our keep

The dynamics of home ownership are shifting in the uk, much to the chagrin of most, who will remain for a good time yet in a state of denial. I have been trying for some time to prick this bubble, as in my latest newspaper blog; for more on the photo, see 29 march 2013...

Attached File: menb10.pdf

on the right track

My debut, I think, in a green magazine (p8), writing about the move from reliance on grants from government to get things done, towards the need for recyclable investment; easy to say, hard to do. Discovered, on the back page, that their new chief economist is an old colleague from the ecb...

Attached File: Inside Track.pdf

flying higher

They annoyingly changed the title, but the rest of this piece on the airport got through. Though deeply ambivalent about air travel's carbon emissions, until and unless there's a comprehensive willingness to do something about it, sid from salford has as much right to fly as bartholemew from buckingham...

Attached File: menb9.pdf

stick or twist

Like football, this is the argument that divides economic families: are we in a cyclical or structural recession. No, really: this is the starting point to whether austerity is unavoidable cure or the medicine that kills the patient, as my latest newspaper blog sets out...

Attached File: menb8.pdf

joined up ?

Today, and most days, the manchester evening news, but yesterday I finally reached the outer margins of the guardian, with a blog, which let's face it is just an article by another name, on data sharing, one of the less glamorous areas my team works in. Read all about it...

Attached File: data sharing.pdf

the future... hard to predict, and other second hand quotes, wrapping around a news story, but is it good, or is it bad. And is it right, as the mayor of detroit supposedly said when presented with a telephone. It's wonderful, I can foresee the day when there will be one of these in every city. On the art of forecasting...

Attached File: menb7.docx

from bricks to clicks

In my latest newspaper blog, I revert to my once familiar doom and gloom role, though on this occasion I think well-justified, as "saving our town centres" is a compelling and popular moto, but the legions are lined up against the things that actually need to be done to make it so...

Attached File: menb6.pdf

much like hard work

I am enthusiastic and long-term believer in community budgeting, by whatever name it goes; although the jury is still out whether it is at all possible in the uk in any way. My latest newspaper blog explores the rationale and some of the basic realpolitik.

Attached File: menb5.docx

city central

Inspired by my holiday (see 9, 16 august 2012) and my work on devolution, very much theory not practice in the uk, I combined the two for one of my better blogs in my now-regular spot in the local rag.

Attached File: menb4.docx

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