Meet the Lords – lessons for campaigners

For the last few weeks, political geeks like me will have been watching BBC2’s Meet The Lords. It’s the follow-up to the Inside the Commons series from a couple of years ago, but this time focusing on the second chamber. For campaigners, wherever you stand on reform of the House of Lords, the programme shows …

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What it’s really like as a Junior Minister

I’ve been enjoying Hinterland, the memoir of former MP and Minister, Chris Mullin in the last few weeks, so it’s reminded me of this post I wrote in 2009 after reading the first volume of his diaries. I’ve always highly recommended Mullin’s diaries for anyone understanding how Parliament really works (I’d also recommend Power Trip by …

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The Parliament Petition Site – a missed opportunity

At the time of writing the petition to Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom has reached 1,500,000 signatures – and I’m sure by the time you read this it’ll have grown further.( This site is a nice for tracking how quickly they’re growing). And while it’s great that people are …

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Now What? 9 post-election thoughts

Caught up on your sleep and back in the office after the election. Not sure what the result on Thursday means? I’ll leave others to dissect why Labour lost, what the left in England can learn from the SNP, if now is the time to campaign for electoral reform and more. While personally I’m gutted …

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Happy Birthday to the Government e-petition site

The Government e-Petition site celebrated its first birthday last month, and the team at the Government Digital Services released figures about usage in its first year. In short; 15,600 petition were opened, but a massive 47% of petitions submitted were rejected. 6.4 million signatures were collected from the 13 million unique visitors to the site. Only …

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What makes a policy success? Lessons from inside government.

Most campaigns are looking to get government policies changed, but what can we learn from those working in government about what makes a policy success?  The Institute for Government has recently published a fantastic paper, which looks at what makes a ‘policy success’, drawing on insights from number of ‘policy reunions’ that were held with senior …

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The National Trust – the UKs most influential campaigning charity?

The Guardian had an interview with Dame Fiona Reynolds, the Director General of the National Trust on Saturday, where it asks if she is the most powerful woman in Britain at the moment based on the way that the organisation is currently campaigning against reforms to planning laws that threaten the countryside. While, we don’t have a way of systematically ranking …

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Thoughts on the first week of epetitions.direct.gov.uk

It’s a week since the Government launched its e-petition website, so what have we learnt from the first 7 days? Update 12/8 – 1,806 petitions have been added in the sites first week, of those 152 have gained only 1 signature and only 28 have gained more the 1,000.  1 – The site can’t cope …

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Should we get excited about the e-petition site?

Thursday will see the first petitions go live on the Governments new e-petition website (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/index.html) which is designed to replace the No10 Petition site that was closed after the last election. On the new site any petition that gets over 100,000 names on it ‘could’ be debated in Parliament. I’ve written a separate post here about how …

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