Department of Political Science


Gus O'Donnell is as political as the politicians

29 April 2013

Article from www.guardian.co.uk. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited.

Lord O'Donnell

Lord O'Donnell could not deny that his inaugural lecture as a visiting professor at University College London was "political".

It was about how we (mis)govern ourselves, public finance, climate change. And political input is what we should expect from someone who has for so long been intimately involved with ministers, MPs, legislation and government.

O'Donnell had provocative things to say. He resurrected the idea of having an independent body (such as the Office for Budget Responsibility) appraise the tax and spend commitments of the parties; he proposed backbench MPs get training to make them fit for ministerial office; he discoursed on the failings of representativeness at Westminster. These are all views to which he brings experience and, his fans would add, wisdom. Read more »