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Disraeli Room

Conservatism, the Big Society, and Patriotism

The concept of patriotism and its role in fostering shared identity and values, has permeated the British political scene of late. From the rise of Nationalism in Scotland, to euro scepticism in England, to even the Labour Party’

ResPonses to the ICB

On the 19th December, George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the government will adopt the main proposals of the Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers. The ResPublica team have highlighted a few of what we believe to be the most interesting responses to the Chancellors Announcement so far

Mutualising the Post Office

...The key issues under discussion are whether a Post Office Mutual should operate with a mixed membership, reflecting its need to operate in the public interest, or purely on a model of the producer interests, of sub-postmasters, franchises and staff. And whether the Government should retain a long-term stake in the new organisation

Is the urban-rural divide about to get worse?

There are, however, genuine concerns that this blend of new thinking, and re-badged initiatives may impact unevenly and even unfairly across the country. Much has been made, and will continue to be made, about the north-south divide. But this may not be the only divide which is affected by this new suite of policies

ResPonses to the Chancellor

Last week the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivered his Autumn Statement on the economy in front of a packed House of Commons, announcing a raft of measures, such as a 1 per cent cap on public sector pay-rises, and downgrading his growth forecasts. With borrowing and unemployment all set to rise, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was quick to denounce the Coalition’s economic and fiscal plans as being “in tatters”. But what have others had to say about the Chancellor’s announcements?

Changing the storyline

As the Welfare Reform Bill passes through the House of Lords, the current storyline concerning disabled people is almost wholly negative. Daily headlines speak of the work shy and benefit scroungers. But the reality is quite different and the time has come to ask whether the negativity is actually harmful to the Government's aspirations for more disabled people returning to work or the overall contribution of disabled people to the economic performance of UK Plc

What makes a good teacher?

...any business that delivers a product which customers return at the disturbing rate teachers are returned, wouldn't last that long in the fiercely competitive world of hard sales. In the UK (and the US) around 50% of all qualified teachers leave the profession within five years. This figure has been stubbornly resistant to change for much longer than a decade and between 2000 and 2007, more than 25,000 people in the UK qualified as teachers but never taught in a school. There is, of course, a substantial cost attached to this kind of waste and if I was one of those leading providers of teacher training, I would be thinking hard about what it was

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......


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