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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.
So manifestos are out and for those working on charities’ general election campaigns, the anxious wait is over. Of course we know that, even in a typical election, manifestos are only really of interest to policy wonks and the likelihood of a further coalition in May makes them less significant still.
The Prosperity programme at ResPublica is currently planning a series of events looking at culture change within financial services. Building on the success of ResPublica’s recent publication, Virtuous Banking: Placing ethos and purpose at the heart of finance, which reviewed the way in which the banking industry governs itself and explored how the financial sector could be made more responsible.
Over the last few decades safe and effective new medical technologies have been widely welcomed by patients and health care professionals alike, and helped to transform life expectancy. Asthma inhalers are one of these major medical technology success stories – launching in the 1970’s they enabled the delivery of new active compounds to the lungs to fight asthma attacks in a highly portable unit.
The Coalition Government should be commended for its efforts to drive the life sciences agenda. After setting down an early statement of intent with the Strategy for UK life sciences, last year’s re-launch of the Office for Life Sciences, operating across the departments of business and health, signalled a clear intention to harness the potential of modern technology to create a health service fit for the 21st century.
As other journalists and commentators have noted, despite the impressive achievements of the Conservatives in coalition – jobs up, incomes increased and bureaucracy streamlined – the party still has a reputation for cut-throat ‘nastiness’ and serving entrenched privilege.
Our health and social care systems are at a crossroads and of the wide-ranging health challenges currently facing the UK, one of the most unsettling issues is the persistent health inequalities experienced by populations across the North of England.
As we approach polling day, I believe the choice we are facing on the future of the NHS is becoming ever more clear. The choice is simple: between the focus of Jeremy Hunt and the Conservative Health team on supporting NHS leaders to improve the culture of care and transparency, promote patient empowerment and accelerate access to new treatments by unlocking the power of the NHS as a pioneer of medical innovation, and the depressing sight of Andy Burnham determined to ‘weaponise’ the NHS for partisan advantage.
When we step back and review how our lives work one thing that becomes abundantly clear is that they are entwined with the financial system. On a daily basis, we depend on financial services to enable us to eat, work and sleep.
The years since the turn of the century have been ones of growth and modernisation in the credit union sector. In 2000, there were 687 credit unions with 325,000 members, lending £175 million and with total assets of £214 million.
There are two valid criticisms of Labour’s manifesto. One mentioned by a Labour loyalist friend of mine who tweeted ‘Labour should have produced a shiny looking short-form manifesto alongside the real thing’.
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