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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.
The human need for regular rest is an inconvenient truth for capitalism. It would be easier if we could simplify the world into a liberal paradigm, allowing rational agents and perfect markets to efficiently distribute our natural resources, our relationships, and even our sleep.
In a soundbite ridden speech at the Conservative party conference, David Cameron promised an “assault on poverty”. But he said absolutely nothing about what could be done to back up that claim.
Much of the debate over the recently-defeated assisted suicide bill was couched in terms of one’s rights. While not necessarily intended by the authors of the bill, the media frequently referred to it as the ‘right to die’ bill.
The United Kingdom has been in the grip of a housing crisis for more than a decade due to the rate of houses constructed being unable to keep up with demand.
The defeat of the Marris Bill at its second reading last Friday in the House of Commons was of immense significance. Through the heart of this debate ran themes which are shaping wider public policy in our nation.
On September 11 MPs will have the opportunity to settle for this Parliament the question of whether the terminally ill should have assistance with suicide, provided certain conditions are met. Far from a widespread popular movement, the history of assisted suicide campaigns in the UK is one of almost total failure, extending back over eighty years since the first Bill (the Voluntary Euthanasia Legalisation Bill) was rejected by Peers in 1936.
The Government’s most recent look at reforming the House of Lords has focused on creating an elected second chamber, but such a course might well cause as many problems as it solves.
To date, reputation has not been a significant factor influencing consumer behaviour in financial services. In other words, despite the real growth of fines and stream of bad press, consumers aren’t voting with their feet, and reputation has not significantly impacted the bottom line of leading financial organisations.
Perhaps the headline figure of my postgraduate research at Richmond University in London, is 51% of Londoners do not help the homeless on the streets or through a charity. This is somewhat understandable given those who wish to live and work in the capital might feel they have their own financial hurdles.
It is brave to speak of beauty. It is doubly brave to do so in a public policy context, where there is suspicion of abstract notions, and where austerity can push aside almost all impulses other than immediate utility.
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