>Wonky thinking

> The rich undergrowth of UK thinktanks, NGOs and policy wonkery yields yet another report of renewing British democracy, this time a report on political parties from the Young Foundation. Somewhat more realistic in seeing that parties are functional for democracy and need reforming (or re-forming), rather than bypassing, a quick skim read suggests, unlike the intellectually lightweight, politely populist and oh so 1980s Power Report, skillfully skewed by Tim Bale, Paul Taggart and Paul Webb in a recent article in Political Quarterly. The same territory is being currently exploted on Radio 4’s the Westminister Hour by Demos founder and ex-Blair sidekick Geoff Mulgan. Strange how the world of ‘practictioners’, thintanks etc is so far behind academic debates and generally make a pig’s ear of academic research when it does try to draw on it…

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