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Disraeli Room

Localism Down Under

Genuine reform is both dependent and impactful on how citizens understand and engage in governance (or not, as is usual) at whatever level, local, regional and national. Judging by the Australian experience, there are battles between local communities, developers, agencies and levels of government over what is or should be “local”. The logic for “place setting” was given at length in terms of democracy, economic invigoration and getting the right services delivered to communities

Conditions to Win: New solutions to save the High Street

Tideswell is a large village and feels much like a small town- it is actually comparatively well served for shops, but the trends are clear- in the ‘40s there were about 35 shops in the village, and before we launched our “Taste Tideswell” initiative, we were down to our last butcher, baker, and greengrocer, plus a post office and convenience store. The village wanted to reverse that decline and avoid the “tipping point” of losing a specialist retailer for good, with all the knock-on consequences for the rest

Compassionate capitalism: A contradiction in terms?

These people - normal people - are disappointed by tired systems and impersonal structures. But what if a 'compassionate capitalism' is the solution, what does this entail? This would be a capitalism for communities, the benefits of which are not just restricted to numerical and monetary terms, but focus on the everyday experiences of individuals in their localities, and the power of the markets to contribute to and enrich these......

The Euro zone has 6 months to change course or collapse

As the Euro crisis approaches its second year, it is becoming clear that the European liquidity crisis is reaching some kind of conclusion- one way or the other. What seems apparent is that unless the ECB finally accepts its role as lender of last resort (LOLR) by Christmas, the contagion will result in widespread default by sovereign states. With the political economy of European monetary policy as it is, the German government and the Bundesbank will, de facto, decide outcome of this debacle. Subsequently, since the European Monetary Union’s (EMU) conception, it has set a monetary policy which maintained low inflation

Liberal economics and European politics

...It is easy to find a similar dynamic, with the due distinctions of a financial market that is very different from that of the times of Polanyi, in what has happened during the last few days in Europe. The appointment of Mario Monti was dictated by financial markets through the blackmail of the increase of the difference between the yield spread of the Italian BTP and the German BUND; in fact, this difference started to decrease only after Italian President Giorgio Napolitano’s decision to nominate professor Monti as life member of the Senate

A New Vision for Financial Services

In my Respublica blog from March this year “Banking on a New Vision”, I asked whether Generation Y was up to the challenge of “charting a new course” for the sector. Having worked with a passionate, talented and ambitious group of colleagues over the last 12 months, I am confident that our Vision will do just that. We were especially delighted that our Vision has been endorsed by TheCityUK’s Board, Advisory Council and a raft of policymakers and industry bodies, as well as being well-received by local and financial media

ResPonses to Occupy LSX

The LSX protest, now into its fourth week, has transitioned full circle from bearing the sympathy of the Church to splitting the hierarchy of St Paul’s, culminating in two resignations and palpable tension in the Church of England itself and for City workers of all stripes. The ResPublica team has highlighted a few of what we believe to be the most interesting responses to the LSX protest so far

The Church and the Camp

...What went wrong, and why? It is not that the church always loses its head in a crisis. When tested by the recent riots – an event at least as sudden and unexpected as the encampment – the response of the parish churches was remarkable. The Church of England’s presence and engagement at the local level, very often in the neighbourhoods which suffer most from economic injustice, is deeply inspiring. Nor is the C of E is some kind of intellectual desert. It is the home of some highly impressive and engaging theologians. Many of them, including Archbishop Rowan, have been working for some time on the issues raised by the financial crisis

What is the role of the Church in all of this?

...Such transformative action is also not only something that the Church can simply talk about, but crucially something that the Church can do. Becoming partners with community ventures, such as micro-finance initiatives, social enterprises and asset transfers are just a few examples of how this might be achieved. Delivering public services, being a hub for social innovation and a platform for local participation touch upon a few others

The Solar Debate: Diversifying the energy markets

...Solar is a truly 'disruptive' technology with the potential to turn the energy sector on its head. REA supports all renewable technologies including offshore wind, wave and tidal. However, we recognise that many potential new actors in energy like homeowners, and communities, only rarely have the opportunity to invest in these technologies. Solar however, can work pretty much everywhere for everyone


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