Daily Archives: May 6, 2009

Who can stop him? Vince Cable’s book on the economy has climbed to number two on the non fiction bestseller list. He is second only to Jade Goody’s diary.

I’m presuming this list does not take account of Paddy Ashdown’s new autobiography, which is full of tales of jungle warfare and espionage. Who will prevail? The popular former leader, or the leader who never was? Read more

Jim Pickard

Local government aficionados (yes they do exist) have been closely watching events in Essex where the county council is planning to outsource many of its functions to the private sector.

The local authority is meant to be picking a private partner from a shortlist of two names, IBM and TI Systems. Up to £5.4bn of services could be outsourced. Read more

For better or worse, Jacqui Smith’s days seem numbered at the Home Office. But there is no queue forming to replace her. Several of the ministers being touted for the job are far from keen to take over.

Being home secretary is  difficult at the best of times; few have left the department with their political prospects enhanced. Plus the brief is about to become much harder. If Smith is moved, her successor will be bracing for the first significant upswing in crime since Labour came to power. As a recent Mori poll showed, home affairs is second only to the economy in importance for voters. It could still prove to be one of the dominant themes of the election campaign. Read more