Trying to understand why nothing bloody works


Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper in 2005. Photo: BBC
Ten years later, the new Doctor Who is still here
By Jonn Elledge - 26 March 10:42

Ten years ago today, Doctor Who returned to our screens – and in spite of big changes, it continues to amaze its most loyal fans.

The Tories want to give away houses to make sure we have enough houses
By Jonn Elledge - 23 March 15:52

Black is white. War is peace. Madness is sanity.

If you're a first time buyer, don't let Osborne fool you: he hates your guts
By Jonn Elledge - 19 March 12:19

The first time buyer ISA won't even get you close.

One of these wives is not like the others. Images: public domain.
The six wives of Henry VIII, in pie chart form
By Jonn Elledge - 03 March 10:48

Not all wives are created equal.

Even if you own a house, you should still want cheaper housing
By Jonn Elledge - 25 February 11:33

As a nation, we assume that anyone who owns their own home stands to benefit from higher property prices. That's not only nonsense, it's damaging nonsense.

So Iain Duncan Smith is setting housing policy now? God help us all
By Jonn Elledge - 12 February 13:20

Five reasons why Iain Duncan Smith's plan to give free houses to those who come off benefits is a terrible policy. 

"There is no shortage of land. None, zero, anywhere": the National Housing Federation's David Orr
By Jonn Elledge - 09 February 12:18

The National Housing Federation chief executive on politicians missing the urgency to build more homes, his solutions to the housing crisis, and why it's "rubbish" that there's not enough space.

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer as MacKenzie McHale in “The Newsroom”. Image: HBO
Why I (still) love Aaron Sorkin
By Jonn Elledge - 12 December 15:52

It’s become fashionable to disparage Sorkin’s later work, especially The Newsroom, and with good reason – the gender politics are terrible, for a start. But what if these problems were there all along, and we were just enjoying The West Wing too much to see them?

Garden cities are a distraction – but the government's plan to build homes isn't
By Jonn Elledge - 02 December 16:57

The government has named Bicester in Oxfordshire as its second garden city, but to solve the housing crisis, we’d need to build six or seven of them every year.

"Sod it, let's add another two grand to the fees, they'll suck it up." Image: Getty.
Even rich parents don’t benefit from charitable status for schools
By Jonn Elledge - 26 November 15:49

Running schools as charities has simply insulated them from the consequences of their own financial incontinence. 

Not for the likes of you. Image: Getty.
What use is a housing minister who doesn’t want to build housing?
By Jonn Elledge - 05 September 15:36

Brandon Lewis's job is to ensure this country has enough houses. Isn't it?

A shameless, self-interested plea to Scottish voters
By Jonn Elledge - 21 August 11:17

Don't let go of the balloon.

Gayness, gak and Gallifrey: Russell T Davies’ 1996 Doctor Who novel is being dramatised, and it's amazing
By Jonn Elledge - 24 July 16:16

It has a scene in which the Doctor’s companion Chris, a muscular blond policeman from the 30th century, experimentally tries gay sex in the back of a car. Because he’s from the future, this cures Aids.

Michael Gove searches the heavens for more enemies of promise. Image: Getty.
Michael Gove: my part in his downfall
By Jonn Elledge - 16 July 14:16

Seven habits of highly unpopular people.

It's time to work out which green belt land we should build on
By Jonn Elledge - 17 June 12:23

It's not all the North Downs, you know.

The pros and cons of water cannon policing
By Jonn Elledge - 11 June 11:03

For sale: three water cannon. One previous owner. 90 per cent off.

It’s time for a European presidential election
By Jonn Elledge - 03 June 10:59

A Luxembourger you’ve never heard of thinks you elected him president. It’s just possible that the system isn’t working.

London has more branches of Starbucks than any EU country
By Jonn Elledge - 28 May 18:39

And not one of them is in Hackney.

Welcome to the bubble. Photo: Getty
Let’s just say it: London’s in a house price bubble
By Jonn Elledge - 19 May 16:39

The city’s house prices have risen 18 per cent in a year. Can we stop pretending this is normal now please?

Why the right should worry about soaring house prices
By Jonn Elledge - 14 May 15:14

If home-owners are more likely to vote Tory, shouldn’t the party be trying to create more of them?

Rogue Mail: a demo by the Communication Workers Union against Royal Mail privatisation, October 2013
The Royal Mail underselling shows this was privatisation through ideology not pragmatism
By Jonn Elledge - 01 April 18:19

If ministers had held out for a better price, they could have raised an extra £750m.

Julie Bailey, of campaign group Cure the NHS. Photo: Getty
If the NHS is to improve, we have to realise sometimes things have to close
By Jonn Elledge - 12 March 10:39

Closing important services for financial reasons is stupid. But closing expensive things we don’t need so that we can spend the money on new things that we do isn’t.

Michael Gove. Photo: Getty
Why was the government’s academies programme so rushed?
By Jonn Elledge - 01 March 11:13

It’s unfair to equate the failure of providers such as E-Act with the failure of the whole academies programme. But if academies had been introduced more slowly, could this have been avoided?

Why don't we care that the further education budget has just been cut by 20 per cent?
By Jonn Elledge - 14 February 11:52

The Adult Skills Budget, which funds all non-academic education for those 19 or over, is being cut by a fifth between now and 2015-16. The least we can do is pay attention.

Does Michael Gove think he can extend school hours through sheer force of personality?
By Jonn Elledge - 04 February 15:17

There are a lot of different factors to consider before the school day can be extended – the type of activities on offer, how you're staffing them, whether more affluent parents should pay – but the education secretary hasn't been clear on any of the deta

Where are Britain's selfless billionaires?
By Jonn Elledge - 28 January 14:50

Rich people in other countries demand they be required to pay higher taxes more often than you might think. So why doesn't Britain have a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates, willing to pay a little bit more tax for everybody's benefit?

The beginner's guide to how to influence government policy
By Jonn Elledge - 17 January 12:29

Contrary to popular belief, relatively few people in government are actually stupid. But if you work for an industry body that wants something changed, there are still things you can do.