How to make a tweet/Facebook post go viral – 7 lessons from ‘You don’t need your polling card’

Last Wednesday, the day before the general election, I casually popped a little note on social media. That message exploded. I’ve had posts go viral before, but this was by far the biggest. So I thought it would be interesting to bash out the stats of the tweet, and try to explore why this message triggered the instinct...

What Brexit means for your finances in 2017

In June 2016, the day after the European Union referendum vote, I wrote an instant first impressions news analysis guide on what Brexit is likely to mean for your finances. Now for the start of 2017, I’m braving revisiting that guide – in the form of this blog, to see how well it stacks up and what has changed.

What Brexit means for your finances in 2017

In June 2016, the day after the European Union referendum vote, I wrote an instant first impressions news analysis guide on what Brexit is likely to mean for your finances. Now for the start of 2017, I’m braving revisiting that guide – in the form of this blog, to see how well it stacks up and what...

Autumn Statement Submission 2: End ridiculous affordability rules for those remortgaging

On 23 November the new Chancellor Phillip Hammond, will present his first Autumn Statement – it’s likely to contain a range of major policy announcements. As always the Treasury has invited submissions, and this year MSE and felt it was time to take them up on the offer – we’ve submitted two. The first was unfreeze the student loan...

Quote, misquotes and the truth about my appearance in the ‘Stronger In Europe’ leaflet

Arriving home a few days ago, I picked up the Stronger In Europe leaflet that had dropped through my letterbox, and almost dropped my wallet (and you can imagine how tightly I cling to that) to see my picture at the top of it. After all I’d not been asked, nor had I given my permission, nor...

Can you pass the election numbers test?

How good is your knowledge of the election?  I popped into Radio 2 yesterday to chat to Jeremy Vine about the sheer joy of election maths. I feel a certain frisson at the massive complications and bizarre nature of a first past the post general election. It’s a bit like Eurovision, some watch for the songs and...

Mrs Thatcher’s funeral should set a precedent

Politics is a tribal game. Like football fans, supporters of each team often position themselves at odds with each other, even when differences can be intangible. Therefore, when one of our country’s former Prime Ministers dies, that polarisation makes its difficult for our ruling elite to decide the appropriate treatment. The problem here, what makes a "great...

Student Finance 2012 changes – it’s time to tackle the ignorance

Update Note 13 June 2011: Now see the new Student Finance 2012 the facts guide (direct link www.studentfinance2012.com I had a good meeting yesterday with David Willetts (Minister for Universities and Skills) and Simon Hughes MP (Advocate for Access to Education). While I’m not the greatest fan of the 2012 changes, I do believe a chunk of...

Council tax, 20 years since it was valued: a flawed system no one’s brave enough to sort out

Take a look at the back of your council tax letter, you’ll see that what band you’re in depends on the property’s value on 1 April 1991, twenty years ago today.   This valuation was done in ‘second gear’ by estate agents and others driving past. It was a stop-gap measure, but in England and Scotland it’s...

When did a shrinking economy count as a recovery?

I’ve just watched the BBC One o’clock news. In it the headline (give or take a word) said… “The UK economy didn’t shrink as much as expected during the last quarter, falling only 0.7%. The real question though is how long this recovery will be sustained.” Hold on, the economy SHRANK -0.7% in three months. That’s not...