UK Policy

Bureaucratic Consequences: Chris Grayling's Book Ban and the Failings of Policy

Rosie Olliver | Posted 13.04.2014 | UK Politics
Rosie Olliver

Chris Grayling doesn't know what's going on. Some might argue that this is true generally, but I'm talking about the "book ban". He didn't mean for it to happen, he didn't intend to deprive prisoners, and he doesn't have a good answer to the criticism that's being levelled at him. And the fuss is part of a wider and even more concerning issue.

Len McCluskey Is Right to Threaten Miliband With Disaffiliation From Labour

Salman Shaheen | Posted 02.04.2014 | UK Politics
Salman Shaheen

Time after time, the once and never "Red Ed" goes out of his way to prove just how right-wing he is. He's signed up to Conservative spending plans, he's backed the welfare cap, he's supported workfare and he's backed the mantra of austerity. It's little wonder the unions are getting anxious about Labour's rightward drift.

No Shortage of Words on 'Tax-Free Childcare', Nor Sensationalism... Just One Question - What's Happened to the Mission to Explain?

Anand Shukla | Posted 31.03.2014 | UK Politics
Anand Shukla

A few years ago, just after becoming Chief Executive of what was then the Daycare Trust, I took part in an ITV news website discussion with parents on childcare. At the time, uppermost in my mind were threats to children's centres and cuts to support for parents with childcare costs.

Major Gaps in Childcare Are a Symptom of a System on the Wrong Track

Ellen Broomé | Posted 07.03.2014 | UK Politics
Ellen Broomé

If paying a sum similar to a monthly mortgage payment in childcare costs wasn't enough of a challenge for working parents with young children, finding childcare is itself a major hurdle.

Landmark Result for Disabled Ticketing Policy

Suzanne Bull MBE | Posted 07.03.2014 | UK
Suzanne Bull MBE

Last month a hugely significant legal precedent was set for Deaf and disabled music lovers when a man from Wetherby won a landmark case with the York Barbican over 'discriminatory' ticketing policies.

Why China's One Child Policy Is Actually a Brilliant Solution to Reduce Overpopulation

William Tong | Posted 03.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
William Tong

It is a brilliant solution to reduce overpopulation and its results shows its effectiveness, but no more. Simply put, the costs of this solution, outweigh the benefits that it would bring. It worked in the past, but even the Chinese government has acknowledged the problems it's created and thus, step-by-step the one-child policy is being loosened.

Six Ways to Turn the Country Around

William Davie | Posted 05.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
William Davie

A credible government needs a credible opposition. Only by having someone who can say "No. You are wrong, this is how we can do that better" can a government claim some legitimacy. It means that someone is keeping an eye on them. It's why dictatorships, usually remove all opposition. If there's no one to tell you you are wrong, you can do what you like.

The Government Must Do the Right Thing - Unfreeze Pensions and Give Foreign-Based British Nationals the Income They So Rightly Deserve

John Markham | Posted 19.02.2014 | UK Politics
John Markham

After a lifetime of working in Britain, paying taxes and mandatory National Insurance contributions, many pensioners wish to spend their retirement overseas, often joining family, or returning to their country of origin. On the face of it this is a fair wish for those who have contributed to the economy for so long.

Using The Word 'Gay' Doesn't Make You Homophobic Anymore Than Using 'Black' Makes You Racist

Steven Stewart | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK
Steven Stewart

What groups that call for tackling the use of such words constantly fail to realise is that, over the course of time, language changes. Just as gay used to mean someone filled with joy or happiness, it has changed to refer to homosexuals and to describe something in a negative way. Language evolves with society.

CCTV: A Critical Tool in Securing Public Safety

David Walsh | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
David Walsh

CCTV technology has an integral role to pay in securing general welfare. The question for policy makers is how can we better integrate CCTV into national security policies without losing the individual's rights to privacy, determining who should have access to the footage and how long it can be kept on file for. This is a discussion which is only beginning and which merits serious discussion at all levels of society.

UN Climate Change Summit Framed By Landmark IPCC Study

Julian Hunt | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK
Julian Hunt

The annual UN Annual Climate Change Summit began in Poland on November 11th and continues until the 22nd. This major international conference is a key stepping stone towards the goal of securing by end-2015 a comprehensive global climate change treaty to take effect from 2020 onward.

David Nutt: 'I Was Sacked, I Was Angry, I Was Right'

The Conversation UK | Posted 06.11.2013 | UK Politics
The Conversation UK

Britain has gone backwards in the last 10 years in its desperate attempt to prove that some drugs are really harmful: reclassifying cannabis [from C to B] and failing to reclassify MDMA down. Social sciences tells us that what we do makes little difference. We ban mephedrone and use doesn't go down. We've got to have acceptance that there's a value in at least trying to be rational.

Setting Up Camp in the Policy Battlefield

Peter Rolton | Posted 21.12.2013 | UK Politics
Peter Rolton

This week, George Osborne announced his intentions to drop certain green levies, distancing the government from involvement in some areas of the sector. This may appear to be letting the cards fall where they may, and there have been several vocal opponents to the move...

Government Must Prioritise Portion Size Problem

Simon Gillespie | Posted 20.12.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Simon Gillespie

Nearly two-thirds of UK adults are overweight or obese. So are a third of our children. It's a problem that isn't going away and it has severe consequences for the health of millions across the UK. So we need new approaches to tackling the causes of obesity.

Responding to Rachel Reeves

Stef Benstead | Posted 12.12.2013 | UK Politics
Stef Benstead

I am sick of hearing about what politicians think, or about what they think the public thinks, or about what the public thinks. I'm not interested in what people think. I'm interested in what they know and what evidence that knowledge is based on...

Global AgeWatch Index - Set to Be the Watchdog to Guard Against Global Complacency

Silvia Stefanoni | Posted 30.11.2013 | UK
Silvia Stefanoni

One of the effects of the world's rapidly ageing population is that we are entering the era of the 'age bulge', when the older population increases in size relative to younger people. The 'youth bulge' of today is fast becoming the 'age bulge' of tomorrow.

A Plan to Tackle Youth Unemployment

Alvin Carpio | Posted 18.11.2013 | UK Politics
Alvin Carpio

In Newham, the borough I was born and raised in, over 3,000 young people are unemployed. Across Britain, one million young people are unemployed. We have been called the lost generation, the scarred generation, the hopeless generation. We are not 'generation y', we are generation 'y is it so hard to get a job?'

Is 'Realism' the New Name for the Green Agenda?

Peter Rolton | Posted 28.09.2013 | UK
Peter Rolton

In a recent article for The Times, Tim Montgomerie declared that the green movement is finished, citing unaffordable subsidies, ineffective policies and cost as the reason that 'all over the world green politicians are presiding over... climbdowns' and turning away from a sustainable future. Such weighty statements were surely intended to catch the attention of his critics, and they have not failed to do so.

The Home Office Needs to Treat International Students Better

Daniel Stevens | Posted 03.09.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Daniel Stevens

Students deserve better. That's why NUS is calling on the Home Office to developed clear service standards for their treatment of international students. They need to make it far clearer to applicants what costs and documentation will be required of them and to provide greater flexibility in the case of genuine mistakes.

Is Our Immigration Policy Ensuring that Britain's Got Talent?

Heather Rolfe | Posted 01.09.2013 | UK Politics
Heather Rolfe

Earlier this year, in a landmark speech on migration, David Cameron stated: 'We want the brightest and best innovators and entrepreneurs to choose Britain as the best place to start their next businesses'... How well is this route working?

Rating Game: Local Authority Borrowing Powers

Phil Shanks | Posted 12.05.2013 | UK Politics
Phil Shanks

The use of local authority borrowing powers should be carefully controlled and leveraged with private sector cash to reduce their exposure to debt risk. Local authorities should, in effect, deploy borrowings on the same basis as grants - by making contributions to projects that are serviced at a lower rate of interest.

Don't Look Back in Anger: How to Sell a Policy U-Turn

Justin Cash | Posted 11.05.2013 | UK Politics
Justin Cash

The flip-flop, the backtrack, the reversal, the U-turn; all terms that have entered public discourse to describe an intriguing catch-22: Reneging on policy commitments too often is seen as a surefire sign of a weak political will, yet slavery to principle whatever the weather is the defining characteristic of a political bigot in the eyes of the electorate.

Screw Fair - Let's Treat Small Businesses Unfairly

Vivi Friedgut | Posted 23.04.2013 | UK
Vivi Friedgut

Chuka Umunna recently set a new year's resolution to not use the phrase 'SMEs' and accurately made the point that not all small businesses are the same so lumping them into a homogenous pile is wrong.

Britain Needs More Houses, But It Doesn't Need Them Everywhere

Paul Swinney | Posted 25.03.2013 | UK Politics
Paul Swinney

High house prices are bad for future economic growth of cities such as Oxford because they price people out of the job opportunities that are available within them. This is bad for the individual, bad for businesses in such cities and, as a result, is bad for the economy.

Keep Delhi Trending: Why We Must Keep Talking About the India Rape Case

Coco Khan | Posted 28.02.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Coco Khan

At the time of writing this, Delhi is trending worldwide. This morning, the young student who suffered the brutal gang rape that sparked the riots in Delhi, died. To many, she was murdered.