Archive for the Blog Category

‘Good Enough’ evidence?

'Good Enough' evidence?

We all want evidence based policy and decisions.  However, deciding what constitutes evidence and what standard of proof is required is another matter.  And of course this is especially challenging when we need to explore what will happen, rather than what has happened.  Will this policy work? 

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Don’t give in to Twitter mob: Social media is just an echo chamber

Don't give in to Twitter mob: Social media is just an echo chamber

Greater Manchester Police staged a simulated terror attack in the massive Trafford Park retail complex last week.  As with many real life atrocities, the carnage began with the cry “Allahu Akbar!”   Following a storm of protest on Twitter, the police felt forced to apologise.  Almost at the

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Is Britain on the edge of recession? History is an unreliable guide

Concerns are growing about a marked slowdown in the UK economy. The Lloyds Bank purchasing managers’ index, for example, fell to 52.1 in April, its lowest point since 2013. The initial estimate for GDP, total output, in the first quarter of this year shows an increase of just 0.4

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There’s little logic to 2016’s shareholder revolts against executive pay

There's little logic to 2016's shareholder revolts against executive pay

The crisis at BHS has focused as much on the ethics of Phillip Green’s behaviour as it has on the plight of the company itself.  Sir John Collins, who put his name forward for a knighthood, has said Green should be stripped of it if his handling

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Surviving the pensions crisis means encouraging work

Surviving the pensions crisis means encouraging work

The Queen’s 90th birthday has quite rightly dominated the media over the past week.  Her Majesty continues to break all sorts of records, spending longer on the throne than Queen Victoria and being our oldest ever reigning monarch.  But longevity should no longer give cause for surprise. 

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High Speed North – building blocks for the Northern Powerhouse

High Speed North – building blocks for the Northern Powerhouse

An article by leading economist and member of the National Infrastructure Commission Bridget Rosewell. The National Infrastructure Commission launched its third report on 15th March looking the connectivity needs of the Northern Powerhouse.  Recommendations include improving the key rail link between Manchester and Leeds which is at

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from golf to GDP, why unlikely events confound forecasters

from golf to GDP, why unlikely events confound forecasters

Life imitates art, as the sporting world has shown this week. The Grand National was won by a horse which had never previously won a steeplechase. The US golf Masters was won by Danny Willett, who nearly did not take part at all because of the birth

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Bank bail outs are no model to follow for British steel

Bank bail outs are no model to follow for British steel

The potential closure of the Tata steel plants, and the plight of Port Talbot is a tragedy for those directly affected. A key question is: if the banks could be saved, why not steel?  From a purely political perspective, the topic has legs.  The loyal, hard working

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Scotland’s fiscal fantasy and the impact of an OUT vote

Scotland's fiscal fantasy and the impact of an OUT vote

A short visit to the Highlands last week was refreshing. The scenery is just as spectacular as ever, and the people just as welcoming.  But elsewhere, the tectonic plates are shifting.  Last week, a televised debate took place amongst the political leaders contesting the elections to the

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How technology is driving inequality

How technology is driving inequality

Inequality is one of the major political topics of our times. Rather like a Shakespearean tragedy, the current splits in the high command of the Conservative Party have many themes. But an important one, and the ostensible reason for Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation, is the treatment of

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