Magazine article Public Finance

Joining the Dots

Magazine article Public Finance

Joining the Dots

Article excerpt

Like a lot of political junkies, I spent the Christmas break reading All Out War, journalist Tim Shipman's chronicle of last year's EU referendum campaign and its bloody aftermath. It provides fascinating - and often gossipy - insights into both the remain and leave camps. As well as top-level strategy in Brussels and Westminster, it delves deep into the psychodramas at play in the Conservative and Labour parties, all of which conspired to deliver a narrow but clear leave victory. Even though we know how the story ends, the book is as gripping as the best airport thriller.

Further light was recently shed on the campaign dynamics, and why leave won, with the publication of a long blog post by Dominic Cummings, the strategist who masterminded Vote Leave and coined the winning slogan "Take back control". Had the phrase "Go global" been adopted, as many prominent leavers advocated, remain would have won the day, he suggests. An appeal to globalism is, in Cummings' view, "a total loser with the public".

Pundits and policy wonks are suggesting that a new faultline in politics has appeared, transcending the traditional right-left divide. It is often characterised as open v closed or connect v protect, with those on the closed/protect side appearing to have the upper hand.

But flicking through this issue of PF, one thing jumps out: the theme of coming together. This goes from the integrated reporting project, which new IIRC chief Richard Howitt discusses on page 28, to the collaboration between CIPFA and CIMA highlighted on the facing page. …

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