Monthly Archives: September 2011

Dissecting the unions: the differences between unions and Labour’s ‘third way’ agenda are not as great as they might seem.

With aggressive cuts currently being imposed on public services in most European countries, trade unions are again under the media spotlight, often criticised for strike actions and bullying behaviour. But what do we really know about British union members? Tim Vlandas offers a detailed insight into union members’ views and preferences, questioning the dominant narrative that unions were mostly reluctant […]

Council Tax Benefit reforms will pitch young against old, as well as poor against poor

One of the proposed reforms of the welfare system is moving the responsibility for Council Tax Benefit to local authorities. However, central government has included a number of stipulations that local authorities must obey that will affect their abilities to run benefits. Craig Berry and David Sinclair discuss how one such stipulation will affect working age recipients most acutely.

The Dale Farm case shows that legal authority must be made clear before potentially life-wrecking actions are taken.

Conor Gearty investigates the background of the recent Dale Farm legal action, and finds that, even though the Human Rights Act has not being invoked in this instance, the residents of Dale Farm have been able to use legal loopholes to undermine the Council’s desire to evict them.

BAE job losses highlight the weaknesses of the Coalition’s growth strategy

British manufacturing suffered another blow yesterday with the announcement that 3000 jobs are set to be lost across the UK,  the biggest cuts coming at sites in Lancashire and East Yorkshire. Ed Cox argues that such developments lay bare the problems inherent in the coalition’s economic strategy as it fails to appreciate the impact of public sector cuts on the […]

Ed Miliband’s plans to reward ‘good firms’ sounds good in theory but will be very difficult to implement in practice.

On Tuesday, Ed Miliband used his keynote speech to the Labour Conference in Liverpool to push for ‘good’ firms to be rewarded by government. While this policy may seem attractive, Henry Overman, using the example of innovative clusters, argues that this approach overestimates government’s ability to actually improve business competitiveness.

Labour’s proposed tuition fees cap does not change the fact that most graduates will never earn enough to repay their loans.

Seizing on the unpopularity of the government’s increase in tuition fees to £9,000 a year, Ed Miliband announced at the start of the Labour Party conference that they would cap fees at £6,000. While this may seem attractive to some, Tim Leunig argues that this reduced cap will, in reality, benefit few in the long term, and may actually harm […]

Despite initial mistakes, the success of the Sure Start programme has been to prove that government does have a role to play in the development of young children.

Mistakes made in estimations of time-frames and complexities meant that Sure Start did not deliver all the scheme promised. Yet Naomi Eisenstadt argues that the scheme’s one great success has to been to rule beyond doubt that government must fulfill its responsibilities in regulating and part-funding a child’s development.

Rising job insecurity, victimisation, and bullying mean we are getting angrier at work. And so we should be – anger often leads to change.

With job insecurity and unemployment on the rise, many of us have reasons to get angry, and yet, anger is often seen as a character failing rather than a reaction to fear and uncertainty.  In the second article in her series on public policy, work, and mental health Elizabeth Cotton looks at the virtues of getting angry.