David Walker

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Full name: David Walker

Area of interest: Public management issues (esp. health and housing)

Journals/Organisation: The Guardian

Email: david.walker@guardian.co.uk

Personal website:

Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/davidwalker



Networks: https://twitter.com/#!/Exauditor77 | http://www.linkedin.com/pub/david-walker/26/245/633



Education: Universities of Cambridge; University of Sussex; Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris; and held a Harkness Fellowship in the United States

Career: The Economist; The Times; The Independent: chief leader writer; editor of The Guardian's PUBLIC magazine (journal aimed at very senior public managers); Director of public reporting at the Audit Commission;

Current position/role: Contributing editor to Guardian Public Leaders Network

  • also writes/has written for:

Other roles/Main role: Director, gestats at Royal Statistical Society; Non executive director at Central & North West London Foundation Trust

Other activities: Member of the British section of the Franco-British Council; Trustee of the National Centre for Social Research; Visiting professor at City Univeristy, London


Viewpoints/Insight: David Walker and Polly Toynbee's favourite books about politics The Guardian

Broadcast media:

Video: Regular presenter of BBC Radio Four's Analysis programme


Awards/Honours: Honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy


Other: Partner of Polly Toynbee

Books & Debate:

Polly Toynbee Unjust Rewards.jpg
  • Media made in California : Hollywood, politics, and the news (with Jeremy Tunstall) (1981) OCLC 6942823
  • Municipal empire: the town halls and their beneficiaries (1983) OCLC 10411705
  • Sources close to the prime minister: inside the hidden world of the news manipulators (with Michael Cockerell, Peter Hennessy) (1984) OCLC 10840747
  • Public relations in local government: strategic approaches to better communication (1997) OCLC 38127994
  • Did things get better? with Polly Toynbee (2001) OCLC 46333180

Latest work: Unjust rewards: exposing greed and inequality in Britain today OCLC22944412 , with Polly Toynbee, 2008 review by Ruth Sunderland

Speaking/Appearances: Lectures extensively on housing, health, and public management issues

Current debate:Meet the rich - The gap between rich and poor is wider than ever. But that doesn't seem to bother Britain's wealthiest earners. In an extract from their new book, Polly Toynbee and David Walker describe the jaw-dropping arrogance they encountered when they asked some of the fat cats to justify their lives of luxury.The Guardian, 4th August 2008

The Guardian:

Column name:

Column name:

Remit/Info: housing, health, and public management issues




Email: david.walker@guardian.co.uk

Personal website:

Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/davidwalker

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Wednesday


Column format:

Average length:


  • Strength in numbers - Many of the UK's big cities have overcome the decline of their traditional industries, but how can second-tier cities follow suit? - 1st October 2008
  • No real passion for a local revolution - In practice, the Tories are going to be a lot less enthusiastically localist than they sounded this week. That's partly because the Daily Mail and its version of Middle England, scourge of the primary care trusts, will veto more local variation in healthcare - 1st October 2008
  • Caught in the tank trap - Thinktanks are busiest at party conference time and claim success at suggesting policies like the congestion charge and child trust fund - 17th September 2008
  • All about public trust - The public are willing to share data if the reasons are made clear - 12th September 2008
  • Quangos face the firing squad - but will rise again - One of the first things a Conservative government would do is order a bureaucratic cull - 3rd September 2008
  • Breathless with amazement - 'Here on display was the great fissure in class, race, style, attitude, background, life-experience and confidence.' Polly Toynbee and David Walker accompany Brent school students on a visit to Oxford - 5th August 2008
  • Being positive about personal data - What to some Tories is pragmatic municipal action is seen by others as state intrusion and a chance to bash the Labour government - 23rd July 2008
  • Misplaced faith in social enterprise - A gap separates what the voluntary sector thinks about its performance and what's attested or evidence based. Well, a chasm, actually - 16th July 2008
  • For fresh thinking, don't forget history - The NHS review is stronger on rhetoric than on proof that contracting out improves services - 2nd July 2008
  • Time is running out for this half-baked intiative - Weren't public services agreements meant to ensure that providers were singing from the same hymn sheet? - 4th June 2008
  • David Walker doubts whether community empowerment bill will make a difference - Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, gets likened to Walt Disney's Jiminy Cricket because of her incessant bounciness - 21st May 2008
  • The silent majority - The bigger picture shows public sector trades unionism to be in remarkable health - but also quietly impotent - 7th May 2008
  • On the inside track - ...The health swop shop exudes an unpleasant odour - but the problem isn't ethics, it is to do with the case for contracting out - 23rd April 2008
  • Giving it 98% - ...Public managers have two choices, if they are to stay sane. One is cynicism. The second is the old 98% doctrine - 9th April 2008
  • Rocky market rhetoric - Without growth in public spending and employment, paid for by higher taxes, the UK economy would not be in the state it is in. It would feel a lot less buoyant - 26th March 2008
  • Collective responsibilities - The NHS, so Gordon Brown hints, should have its own constitution. That means a formal document laying down powers and responsibilities and, perhaps, patient entitlements] - 12th March 2008
  • No more going unnoticed - ...on the growing importance of impact assessment - 27th February 2008
  • Prepare for a cascade of committees - what happens to the National Audit Office following John Bourn's retirement - 6th February 2008
  • David Walker on Devolution in public services - 23rd January 2008
  • Same Tories, same targets - 9th January 2008
  • Competitive edge with a conscience - Do Sheffield's residents know that when they leave their recycling sacks outside the door, it is a Frenchman called Henri Proglio who trundles around town collecting them? - 12th December 2007
  • A limited public appetite for risk - Stop us drinking, stop migrants, stop councils spending... David Walker asks if the Blarites' grand plans for scaling back inspection and supervision have been ditched - 6th December 2007

News & updates: