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The Disraeli Room is a hub for new ideas, commentary and analysis. ResPublica's blog is named after the great reforming Prime Minister of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Disraeli, and welcomes contributions from across the political, academic and professional spectrum.
Advocates of GM lean heavily on the claim that GM is ‘science’. But this is itself a highly dubious assumption. GM is essentially a technology. It is more like engineering than science.
We tend to argue at length about issues we encounter every day, whilst we make quick decisions about far-reaching issues of which we have limited understanding, such as climate change, or food security.
Food products criss-cross around the world every day, carrying with them embedded water, carbon, energy and sweat (figuratively if not literally, in the effort put in by farmers, growers and manufacturers to bring the product to market).
The issues surrounding energy are now well understood. We have growing needs yet realise that our historical energy sources are not as cheap – or abundant – as first appeared. This has lead to a re-pricing of energy and the development of new technologies, including for energy preservation and storage.
A poor diet fostered by a rapid increase in the supply of affordable, processed food has been widely blamed as one of the major contributors to obesity. Associated to increases in affordability are the promotions used by retailers with such foods.
Sugar is the new tobacco, and the battle lines are sharpening around Jamie Oliver’s campaign for a sugar tax to be the centrepiece of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy, due out in the New Year.
Food is a vital part of human well-being and flourishing. Over the course of the next week ResPublica will be running a blog week on establishing good food practices for all in society.
With the Direct Planning (Pilot) Bill set for its Second Reading in the House of Lords tomorrow, ResPublica are keen to nail our organisational colours to the mast. We strongly support this Bill: its provisions, its aims, and its underlying philosophy.
The Direct Planning (Pilot) Bill has its second reading in the House of Lords today (20th November). It has been introduced by Lord Lexden though is strictly non-partisan in nature. Create Streets has been heavily involved in its drafting and it builds on the logic of our community work and research as well as on the 2011 Localism Act, Neighbourhood Planning and ResPublica’s publication, A Community Right to Beauty.
Common in much discussion on the housing crisis is the focus on the need for a range of solutions. From building on the green belt, to stopping foreign investors and ‘buy to leave’; from unlocking brownfield land for development and leaving the green belt out of it, to bringing all empty homes back into occupancy.
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