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Disraeli Room

The Co-operatives Fortnight

"...470 people across the co-operative movement gathered in Plymouth over the last few days. With the lighthouse in view, they were treated to a Phillip Blond ResPublica masterclass in civic society..."

Exit wounds

"...the UK’s pervasive culture – reflected and magnified by the press – of personalising blame and apportioning it to the highest possible target. In the public sector, this culture has resulted in a highly centralised and risk-averse public sector, where decision-making and responsibility is hoarded by those higher up the organisation because those at the top are rightfully concerned that they will be the ones who will be held accountable when things go wrong..."

14
Emergency Budget – the macro view

"... the presumed negative impact on interest rates becomes the key argument against the rise in public expenditure for non-Keynesian theorists. The oft quoted argument that excessive government borrowing – borrowing not expenditure – “crowds out” private borrowers from the credit market, is unsustainable when seen in historical context ..."

3
Out for justice: can the Big Society fix Broken Britain?

"... Offering have-a-go heroes greater legal protections to apprehend criminals and defend themselves is only a token gesture in the grand scheme of things - unless the Conservatives are genuinely paving the way for state retrenchment to be replaced by voluntary groups along the lines of the Arizona Minutemen who ‘operat[e] within the law to support enforcement of the law’. If the Broken Britain thesis is accurate then it requires a serious solution, and this in turn requires significant funding..."

36
Better Save than Sorry? Family Finances After the Emergency Budget

"...The Saving Gateway scheme generated both new savers as well as new savings. As did the (Child Trust Fund . However, both schemes are scrapped, leaving savers in limbo. I really don’t know why anybody would save these days, with interest rates being so low. But – given the huge savings and asset crisis we have in the UK – scrapping those two schemes against the background of low interest rates and little trust in banks can only be called a move in the wrong direction..."

5
The Emergency Budget Needs to Make Work Pay

"...We can move towards locally set living wage levels by empowering councils to set and enforce their own living wage. This would marginalise the national minimum wage but not dismiss it, as it should be retained as a reference and would continue to ensure a basic standard of living. A locally set living wage would be sensitive to the affluence, demographic composition and the electorate’s concerns in each locality..."

6
Will ‘Booze, Babes and Bets’ help England to win the World Cup?

"...Amidst the grim predictions ahead of tomorrow’s budget, some equally grim news for England football fans: yet again the team’s woeful performances are being explained by a simple problem that can be fixed with a half-baked knee-jerk solution. The provision of an inadequately simple answer to a complex problem, it’s a situation familiar to politicians and policymakers..."

15
Why Britain’s Islamic Finance Industry Flopped

"...After more than a decade, Islamic finance has attracted a tiny proportion of a potential 1.5 million Muslim adults in the UK. You’d think that, by now, the Islamic finance providers would have realised that boring technical explanations and emotional blackmail may not be the most effective way to win customers..."

186
Are We Getting Rid of the Germans at Last?

"...The German team had a fantastic start in this World Cup with four wonderful goals against Australia. The German daily BILD proclaimed “Ihr habt uns vierzaubert”, the country was happy and forgot their floundering coalition government for a while..."

4
Supermarkets in the Coalition Economy

"...Progressives need to think very carefully about this line of reasoning. How important are grocery prices compared with long-term market competitiveness, small business ownership and the livelihood of agricultural producers?..."

152

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