Articles

I write leaders and comment for the Observer, where I’m chief leader writer. I’ve also written for a wide range of print and online newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the New Statesman and Prospect Magazine.

You can read a selection of my articles below.

Observer special report: Underfunded and overstretched – the crisis in care for the elderly
The Observer, 10 December 2016

Shock figures show Tory plans are ‘making social care worse’
The Observer, 10 December 2016

Will Theresa May’s ‘just about managing’ families fall for the rhetoric?
The Guardian, 21 November 2016

Austerity effect hits women twice as hard as it does men
The Observer, 19 November 2016

Build bridges not walls Khan urges city leaders after Trump win
The Guardian, 14 November 2016

Is the state sometimes wiser than parents?
The Observer, 6 November 2016

My precis of the 2016 BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures by the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah
Lecture 1: Is the essence of religion a belief in God or something more?
Lecture 2: The nation state – a mineral to be excavated or a fabric to be woven?
Lecture 3: Race – something we make not something that makes us
Lecture 4: Is there such a thing as Western culture?
November 2016

Backing every protest without question harms progressive collective action
The Observer, 18 September 2016

London’s night tube: it’s not just clubbers who are set to gain
The Observer, 21 August 2016

Labour’s women problem isn’t new. I saw it first hand
The Observer, 14 August 2016

Who will rescue the Olympic ethos?
The Observer, 7 August 2016

Give the honours system a Blue Peter reboot
The Observer, 24 July 2016

What does Muhammad Ali tell us about the nature of modern fame?
The Observer, 12 June 2016

Economists overwhelmingly reject Brexit in boost for Cameron
The Observer, 28 May 2016

I love you Facebook, but don’t be greedy
The Observer, 8 May 2016

Only successful people can afford a failure CV
The Observer, 1 May 2016

Listening to Obama makes me want to be American for a day
The Observer, 24 April 2016

Zac Goldsmith is playing with fire as he bids to lure Asian voters
The Observer, 17 April 2016

The biggest danger facing the medical profession is moral certitude, not Jeremy Hunt
23 March 2016

That’s enough junior doctors – the NHS has bigger problems
The Observer, 13 March 2016

Charities need to be alert to dodgy practices
The Observer, 6 March 2016

Leicester v Newham… which tackles community division best?
The Observer, 21 February 2016

Cameron’s resistance to sex education is harmful
The Observer, 14 February 2016

Pink premium? There are greater problems
The Observer, 24 January 2016

Everyone should be allowed to age as gracefully as Downton’s Lady Crawley
The Observer, 3 January 2015

Face it, homeowners must take a hit to sort out housing
The Observer, 28 November 2015

Hurrah for female bosses, but let’s not forget their cleaners
The Observer, 1 November 2015

Nicola Sturgeon’s great conjuring trick
The Observer, 17 October 2015

Feminists, stop lecturing women about ‘female Viagra’
The Observer, 23 August 2015

There are great alternatives to university elsewhere. Let’s try them in the UK
The Observer, 16 August 2015

Why Jeremy Corbyn seems like the real deal
The Observer, 2 August 2015

Why is EU free movement so important?
BBC News Website, 27 July 2015

Suburbia – the new melting pot
The Observer, 7 June 2015

What price workers’ rights in the Tories’ ‘one-nation’ Britain?
The Observer, 31 May 2015

Baby boomers v the rest: is age the great new divide?
The Observer, 12 April 2015

It’s time to reinvent what universities can be
The Observer, 11 January 2015

Social policies are lagging way behind our changing lives
The Observer, 28 December 2014

Another Norman Tebbit immigration test? This time it’s war
The Observer, 30 November 2014

Universities need to deliver value for money for students
The Telegraph, 12 January 2014

How would you fix London?
Prospect, 14 November 2013

The politics of public service reform
Progress, 2 October 2013

What Ed Miliband’s conference speech should focus on
Observer, 21 September 2013

Slick marketing and hi-tech politics are leaving voters feeling cold
The Observer, 17 August 2013

Why savvy students might start to opt out of university
The Observer, 28 July 2013

Ready to reform: why Labour must rediscover a zeal for public service reform
Progress magazine, 27 June 2013

Osborne’s cuts will cost Britain in the long run
The Staggers blog, New Statesman, 26 June 2013

Response to the Spending Review
LabourList, 26 June 2013

In defence of Blairite statecraft
The Staggers blog, New Statesman, 30 May 2013

The politics of fear and division won’t solve our welfare problems
The Observer, 7 April 2013

We need a Budget that tackles the living standards crisis. This won’t be it.
The Staggers blog, New Statesman, 19 March 2013

The power and promise of predistribution
Chapter in the Fabian edited collection Remaking the State, 25 February 2013

This perverse mixed message on immigration only harms the UK
The Observer, 24 February 2013

The dangers of payment-by-results in probation
The Staggers blog, New Statesman, 9 January 2013

BBC News quotes Sonia on the government’s Troubled Families Programme
BBC News, 15 December 2012

Five things Labour’s 2015 economic strategy needs to do
Shifting Grounds, 1 December 2012

Building the institutions of economic democracy
LabourList, 13 November 2012

To promote the living wage, we need to reform the tax system
The Staggers blog, New Statesman, 5 November 2012

It’s false economy to scrap the Early Intervention Grant
Children and Young People Now, 25 October 2012

Sonia on BBC News 15 December 2012

For profit schools – view from a school governor
LabourList, 22 October 2012

Getting to predistribution
Progress, 4 October 2012

Ed Miliband is right to seek the redistribution of economic power
New Statesman, 25 September 2012

Michael Gove is playing politics with young people’s futures
Progress, 20 September 2012

Labour should develop a national mentoring programme for young people
Labourlist, 25 July 2012

Government strategy on troubled families risks doing more harm than god
Children and Young People Now, 19 July 2012

School’s out forever
Prospect, 20 June 2012

Debunking the myths about charity impact measurement
Third Sector Magazine, 12 June 2012

Getting underneath the latest youth crime statistics
Children and Young People Now, 29 May 2012

Comment on Osborne’s Spending Review 
The Guardian, 20 October 2010

Comment on how the Conservative’s 2010 emergency budget hits women hardest in Glamour magazine
June 2010

Bitter medicine to come
Public Finance, 26 May 2010

Labour’s manifesto offers the most on education
New Statesman, 16 April 2010

Service should be for life, not just the summer holidays
Progress, 9 April 2010

The devil is in the detail with pupil premiums
Progress, 8 April 2010

BBC coverage of my report on school exclusions
28 February 2010

NEETs are not a post-16 matter but a pre-five one
Progress, 25 February 2010

Politicians ignore educational experts
Guardian Comment is free, 16 October 2009

Looking back in anger?
Progress, 3 July 2009

Emotional intelligence
Progress, 16 April 2009

We don’t need another teen drama
Guardian Comment is free, 2 September 2009

Bringing up baby
New Statesman, 29 January 2009

Give us a better break
Guardian Comment is free, 27 May 2008

Coverage of my report on school holidays
BBC, 25 May 2008

For richer, for poorer
Guardian Comment is free, 1 September 2007

Savings promise could help the worst off to help themselves
The Observer, 25 March 2007

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