Didn’t think it could get any worse?

The Met have confirmed that former News International chief executive received a retired horse from them in 2008. Comments, puns, bad jokes all welcome below! More info at

Posted: 28/02/12 | Comments | Read full post »

Joe Cox - Reporting from our Citizens’ Assembly

When complex events occur the framing of the issue often determines which lessons we learn. When the News of the World phone hacking scandal erupted we wanted to help ensure that the UK learnt the right lessons in the right way.

Posted: 06/02/12 | Comments | Read full post »

Companies paid £1,800 to meet ministers at networking events

News emerged this morning that Companies had paid up to £1,800 to meet ministers at networking events. The arrangements raise concerns similar to those raised in previous “cash-for-access” controversies – that those with the financial means could secure privileged access to government decision makers. More here

Posted: 25/01/12 | Comments | Read full post »

Join our Citizens’ Assembly

We are hosting a citizens’ assembly next Tuesday at The Southbank Centre (London) that will explore and debate ideas to put the public interest back into the heart of public life. Will you be part of it?

Posted: 23/01/12 | Comments | Read full post »

Fred the Shred to lose Knighthood?

The Government has asked the honours committee to strip Fred Goodwin of his knighthood. Is this an important victory for the public interest or is the real problem his large pension package? More details at

Posted: 20/01/12 | Comments | Read full post »

Is a Royal Yacht in the Public Interest?

Education Secretary Michael Gove has argued that the Queen should be given a new royal yacht for her diamond jubilee. Perhaps unsurprisingly the idea hasn’t gone down too well with the rest of government, how could the money be better spent in the public interest? The Guardian has some ideas

Posted: 16/01/12 | Comments | Read full post »

The cost of tax avoidance

A report produced by the Public Accounts Committee towards the end of last year found that some £25.5bn of tax remains uncollected from disputes with 2,700 companies. Professor Prem Sikka explores HMRC’s cosy relationship with the tax avoidance industry.

Posted: 04/01/12 | Comments | Read full post »

Help us Expose the Feral Elite

The Murdoch scandal lifted the lid on a cosy elite lacking in scruples, morals and decency. We’ve now launched this blog which we hope will become the number one place on the web that brings together tales of elite immorality, but this blog cannot be successful without your help.

Posted: 17/12/11 | Comments | Read full post »

Jenny Jones AM - Police reforms fail public interest test

As a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, I believe the reforms currently facing police authorities represent a great challenge to the delivery of public interest in government

Posted: 16/12/11 | Comments | Read full post »

Judith Marquand - Why we lost sight of the ‘public interest’

In the 1960s and 70s, when I was a young economist in the British Government Economic Service, the concept of ‘the public interest’ used to enter explicitly into our policy discussions. We were often unsure what it was in any particular case and certainly much less aware than we would be today of ways in which we might try to ascertain it, but we were in no doubt at all that the business of government at every level was to arrange matters - institutions, laws, taxes and expenditures - in such a way that the public interest was pursued.

Posted: 16/12/11 | Comments | Read full post »

Andrew Simms and Neal Lawson - A People’s Jury of a thousand angry citizens

A new routine is emerging. First, a crisis occurs in a vital part of our lives: banks crash, MPs fiddle expenses, a media empire hacks phones. Public anger and outrage rises. Everyone says that something must be done. But frustration and apathy set in as it becomes obvious that nothing is done. A moment for change slips through our fingers. Meanwhile the next – possibly bigger – crisis lurks round the corner, perhaps banking again, or the energy companies. Why is this happening and what can we do about it?

Posted: 08/11/11 | Comments | Read full post »