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Disraeli Room

Children and social capital: the end of the state as co-parent

"... The state can no longer deliver its role as co-parent alongside the primary carer at this time of economic decline. And worse, with economic decline comes an increased birth rate and increased deprivation among children. Either mothers are going to be subjected to even more unbearable pressures, or we are going to have to find another way forward ..."

Wasted energy

"... The 8.5m tonnes of food wasted in the UK annually is one feature of what Julie Hill, in her book The Secret Life of Stuff, defines as a “linear economy” - an economy in which resources are extracted, used to produce, consumed and turned into waste. Arthur’s response is amazingly simple – to cook and sell the produce that would have been thrown away ..."

The new economics: “It’s the mechanism, stupid”

"... The Haldane-May ecological analogy does not actually tell us much about the mechanism by which instability spreads across the system. We believe that a more useful conceptual framework for the sudden collapse of the financial system is one that draws on the physical sciences to look at the correlated nature of networks ..."

What the Coalition can learn from the inter-war Conservative Party

"... The experience of the National Government also highlights what can be achieved through coalition politics. Far from being weak and being forced to act based on the lowest common denominator, the national government was highly successful ..."

'Delivering' the Big Society

"... There is something both deeply revealing and depressingly wrong about the language here. It may sound insignificant, but it’s the lingo of Whitehall and Westminster, the discourse of top-down government that assumes policy initiatives will be initiated within the usual circles of power and influence and systematically ‘delivered’ to the likes of you and me ..."

Slow down, U-turn ahead

"... Forest privitisation. Price competition in the NHS. NHS Direct. Free milk. Housing benefits. The 1922 Committee. Anonymity for men accused of rape. School sports. Debt advice funding. A google search of UK news for the past month alone turns up 2500 articles that use the word “U-turn” ..."

Is it time for a Slow Sex movement in Britain?

"... 5 people living together use, on average, less electricity and gas than 2 people do living alone, whilst their water use and waste production are the same as three single person households. Naturally people also take up less land when they live together ..."

Beyond AV, Part 2: Proportional votes in the Commons

"... The differences between MPs’/parties’ weighted votes would always have the virtue of exactly reflecting the preferences of all voters ..."

Beyond AV: A proposal for Associative Proportional Representation

"... APR is an advanced form of the single transferable vote system (STV) currently favoured by most reformers (such as the Electoral Reform Society). However, contrary to the common but mistaken received wisdom about PR systems, APR shows how a completely proportional system can contain single member constituencies at the same time as not wasting any votes ..."

The Big Society's biggest problem

"... Seven Sisters Market - or the umbrella group trying to save it, the Wards Corner Community Coalition - doesn’t need a community organiser. They already hold regular meetings. They’ve already submitted a plan for a community-led regeneration of the site, and they’ve already fought off one proposal to destroy their market. What they need is a council that listens to them ..."


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