David Boyle

Newsletter winter 2012


Broadening the idea of choice

As you may know, since June, I have been battling away to give some shape to the Independent Review on Barriers to Choice in public services.  This has been a fascinating, if sometimes exhausting task, travelling round the country, talking to everybody and shaping recommendations.  I am now in the final period, and the review should be published in the third week of January.  The main message is simply to explain some of the barriers to choosing, and broader flexibility, that are faced by disadvantaged people in public services.  I hope I have also been able to recommend some measure of a solution....

Who bust the middle classes?

The other thing I have been doing for most of 2012 is writing my book about the plight of the middle classes, which is now called Broke.  The cover is turning out to be the most difficult task of all, so there is no cover on the link below.  It will be coming published by Fourth Estate towards the end of April, and I hope it will get people talking...

On being booted

Because of the government review, I have had to be virtually silent in print, and anywhere else for that matter.  One side effect of this is that I was voted off the Lib Dems’ federal policy committee in November, after 14 years in harness.  This was a bit of a blow to the pride, but is probably a good thing.  It means that, if I decide to struggle back on – and do so successfully in two years time – I am going to be Much More Focussed.  It is high time the party had a genuinely distinctive economic policy...

Bristol’s own currency

I sat next to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury at a small meeting on local economics the day they launched the Bristol Pound.  One of my colleagues told him about it and, within 48 hours, he was down in Bristol being photographed waving a Bristol note.  Now the new mayor, George Ferguson (himself a former Lib Dem), has announced that not only will stall holders be able to pay their rent in Bristol pounds but that he will take his salary in it.  Interesting times...

... and a happy new year too!


Back to top


title: books by David Boyle
Broke Voyages of Discovery Money Matters Blondel's Song Leaves World to Darkness The Little Money Book Funny Money The Tyranny of Numbers