The Coalition

A ticking time bomb ready to explode

14th June 2012

Lord Adonis, Progress AGM, London, England

First published at the Labour Lords blog   In the last two months, Peers have spent 25 hours debating House of Lords reform. Today they will spend two and half hours debating youth unemployment, and only one backbench Conservative is taking part. That doesn’t say much about the Government’s priorities, particularly in tackling what Nick [...]

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HS2 ‘dither and delay’

7th June 2012


From the BBC website: The HS2 rail scheme might not be ready before 2030 because of “dither and delay” by ministers, former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has said. The Labour peer said he feared the legislation needed for the project may not be passed within this parliament. Phase one of the £33bn high-speed rail link, [...]

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One term-ism and a plan for growth

14th May 2012


This is taken from my opening speech to the Progress annual conference on 12th May   Approaching mid-term, a significant political shift is taking place in Labour’s direction.  Partly this is mid-term coalition blues. But something more fundamental is happening.  The Tories promised their economic plan would deliver growth and jobs.  Two years on it [...]

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Featured Speeches

Reform the House of Lords and it can survive

23rd April 2012

House of Lords

From the Guardian This morning the committee of MPs and peers who have been studying the government’s draft bill for reform of the House of Lords publishes its report. After an unprecedented 30 meetings, hours of evidence-taking and comprehensive deliberation, the speculation and misrepresentation will be over. On some points of detail, the committee was [...]

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Nick Clegg: the Biography, by Chris Bowers

5th September 2011

Nick Clegg

For the New Statesman He knew he was right The striking thing about this defensive biography of Nick Clegg is how much of it is spent debating whether he is a Conservative. The author, a Liberal Democrat activist, likes his leader a great deal. “Idealism in politics is at stake through the person of Nick [...]

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Book Reviews

Profile for Civil Service World

23rd May 2011


“Andrew Adonis has a unique record of combining radical ideas on public services with a very pragmatic focus on achieving results. Suzannah Brecknell meets the Institute for Government chief to discuss a year of the coalition… Andrew Adonis likes clarity. He speaks deliberately, ensuring his phrases are clear and well-constructed, as befits a former journalist [...]

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The Coalition and the Constitution, by Vernon Bogdanor

27th April 2011

Nick Clegg and David Cameron

For the New Statesman Democratic dilemmas Vernon Bogdanor questions Nick Clegg’s claim that the coalition’s constitutional reform programme will bring about “the biggest shake-up of our democracy since 1832″. His argument is that while the fact of the coalition’s existence marks a bold change in modern constitutional practice, the programme of political reform set out [...]

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Book Reviews

22 Days in May: The Birth of the Lib Dem-Conservative Coalition, by David Laws

2nd December 2010

Downing Street

For the New Statesman A marriage of true minds David Laws has written a highly informative – as well as highly partisan – account of the days preceding and following the formation of the coalition government this May. The key question is why the Liberal Democrats went with the Conservatives rather than with Labour. To [...]

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Book Reviews

The coalition: cracks are already showing

26th May 2010


The Lib-Con pact is riven with deep ideological faultlines The coalition agreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats is not so much a programme for government as a catalogue of concessions achieved by the smaller party at the expense of the larger one. Many of them spelt out in precise detail. We learn the [...]

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Tory-Lib coalition: Pact of the unprincipled

13th May 2010

David Cameron and Nick Clegg

Originally published in The Guardian Lib Dem brokers misled and tried to run a dutch auction. This Thatcherite-liberal love-in can’t last Unprincipled governments are inevitably unstable, unsuccessful and short-lived. This will doubtless be true of the Cameron-Clegg coalition, the most unprincipled governing combination in Britain since the Fox-North coalition of 1783, which united a similarly implausible duo [...]

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