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Welfare spending and the EU: is austerity now a permanent economic adjustment?

The debate over the European Union suffers from one perennial pitfall – views quickly become contentious when the question is posed of whether collaborative efforts to reform individual countries’ relationship with the EU are advisable, or whether a more hard-line stance needs to be taken. Unfortunately, any suggestions for reform themselves can often be ignored […]

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The possibility of Scottish independence: is the ‘One Nation’ notion in peril?

Alex Salmond’s white paper, entitled ‘Scotland’s Future’, seems to have attracted a lot of media coverage – but it whiffs of both (self-)importance and an sense of underwhelming implausibility. There are two issues that Salmon has tackled in this white paper. Firstly he tackles the elephant in the room, Scottish independence from the UK. He […]

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The Economy Will Be the Deciding Factor Again

A year is a long time in economics. As 2013 dawned, many were expecting the worst since the financial crisis of 2008 the UK had suffered two recessions and a third was apparently just around the corner, ready to take the country into unchartered territory – the triple dip. Yet the picture began to brighten […]

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U.S. Energy Revolution: What Does It Mean for the UK and Europe?

Communications consultancy APCO’s London office recently held a roundtable discussion with former U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and Professor Alan Riley of City University regarding the implications of the U.S. energy revolution for the UK and Europe. The discussion could not have been timelier, with the energy debate in the UK heating up around the […]

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The Syrian Conflict – Who Will You Go To Battle With?

Barack Obama took office in 2008 as a moderate, an accomplished lawyer with enough grammatical tricks and a robust lexicon to weave his way through Congress and the rest of the political establishment. For many, if not all of us, Barack Obama became synonymous with fresh air. A much needed break from his conservative, trigger […]

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Public Service Reform: Is the Coalition failing to learn from Labour’s mistakes?

In 2003, Tony Blair gave a speech to the Fabian Society on the subject of public sector reform.  He argued that after years of Tory underfunding and privatisation, Labour had – and would continue – to reform public services to make them work for a modern society.  The speech was largely spin and guile (he […]

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The Looming Energy Crisis of the Private Rental Sector

As rental prices hit an all time high, on average costing £800 per month and with ever inflating energy bills, has there ever been a worse time to be a tenant as we head towards autumn and winter? Landlords have particular legal responsibilities for duration of a tenancy agreement – they are legally required to […]

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UK Parliament’s rejection of military intervention in Syria is a major turning point

Following the unverified claims that chemical weapons were used in Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron was ready to take military action against the Syrian state within days of the incident. The media and the public were certain that Britain was about to embark on another military campaign, to add to the recent tallies of […]

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Fracking: What’s all the fuss about?

Over the past week, there has been major fracas over the issue of fracking in the UK. The little village of Balcombe in West Sussex became the stage of the latest showdown between environmentalists and the Caudrilla drilling company, with the police acting as umpire. Watching reels of footage from the protest, I was particularly […]

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Pressure Groups – Undermining or Enhancing Democracy?

The very term pressure group conjures up images of a group of hardened activists, sat in a small room all wearing the same t-shirt with the group slogan emblazoned across it, they sit in the dim light discussing plans of protest and direct action. We think of a highly active, small group, who, in the […]

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Should the Conservative party be gloating right now?

The opening years of the Conservative and Liberal Democrats coalition government provided few opportunities for the self-congratulation that comes so naturally to the present generation of Conservative politicians. The economy barely grew, the NHS was left in chaos by Andrew Lansley’s reforms and the coalition government’s promise of a new politics was tainted by repeated […]

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Britain is run by a ruling class

It is an irony of modern politics that the more the political class proclaims its commitment to social mobility, the more exclusive it seems to become. As is widely known and repeated, the Prime Minister, the Mayor of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury were all educated at the same school, Eton (where the basic […]

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Woolwich attack- the need to tackle the source of extremism

The last few days have undoubtedly been dominated by the gruelling story of a political attack by a hardened radical on a British soldier. Now that some time has passed for everyone to think about what happened, it is time to start a debate about what the consequences of this event may be. Here I […]

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What the local election results say about the state of British politics

On Friday 3rd of May, the results of the local elections in Britain were announced. Political commentators were predicting that the Conservatives would lose a substantial number of councillors, Labour would gain some and UKIP would also do fairly well. The first two predictions came out correct; however the third one was wrong. UKIP did […]

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Should non-violent offenders be put in prison?

Going back to basics, the purpose of the prison is supposed to be locking up individuals who committed a crime in a confined space in order to prevent them from committing the crime again in an open society. This purpose is very useful for keeping dangerous criminals like murderers and rapists in one place behind […]

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