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  • Drug decriminalisation - the new orthodoxy

    Drug decriminalisation - the new orthodoxy

    Professor Neil McKeganey and Kathy GyngellDrugs decriminalisation has become the new orthodoxy. It is an idea that captured the broadsheets and has won support from the ranks of the great and the good. It is the outcome of a considered campaign of libertarians who can now boast an ...
  • Will constitutional reform issues lead to 'electionitis' and stymie Scotland's growth?

    Will constitutional reform issues lead to 'electionitis' and stymie Scotland's growth?

    Although the initial focus on the back of the SNP’s anticipated majority tomorrow may well be around an alleged moral sanction for an independence referendum, attention may turn to the rise of English nationalism.  Frankly, who can blame the English?  Amidst a climate of unrest around ...
  • Will constitutional reform issues lead to ‘electionitis’ and stymie Scotland’s growth?

    Will constitutional reform issues lead to ‘electionitis’ and stymie Scotland’s growth?

    Although the initial focus on the back of the SNP’s anticipated majority tomorrow may well be around an alleged moral sanction for an independence referendum, attention may turn to the rise of English nationalism.  Frankly, who can blame the English?  Amidst a climate of unrest around ...
  • Now and Then: 30 killer statistics showing how the UK has changed since the last major Royal wedding

    Now and Then: 30 killer statistics showing how the UK has changed since the last major Royal wedding

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    The impending Royal Wedding will happen almost 30 years after Charles and Diana tied the knot in July 1981. There is no doubt that life in Britain has changed substantially since then, both economically and socially. Below I have presented 30 statistics (one per year) that ...
  • A healthy cross border balance

    A healthy cross border balance

    Lucy Gilchrist | | General
    As the Prime Minister joined the election campaign trail in Scotland yesterday, I was reminded of the schism between devolved policy areas in Holyrood and Westminster.  The mutual respect agenda, advocated by David Cameron himself, includes not just recognition for policies differing north and south ...
  • EU budget demands are a test for Cameron

    EU budget demands are a test for Cameron

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    From 1st April, the government’s fiscal consolidation was starting to bite. It will be making £16 billion worth of spending cuts this year, whilst increases to VAT and employees’ National Insurance Contributions will squeeze family incomes. Nevertheless, support for the restraint has by-and-large been resolute. Most ...
  • Why more preferences are not more representative

    Why more preferences are not more representative

    The main selling point of the AV system has been that it is possible to name multiple preferences. The idea that AV offers 'fairer votes' is born out of the intuition that under first-past-the-post, results in marginal constituencies under-represent the preferences of the candidate placed second, ...
  • Bank competition and Vickers

    Bank competition and Vickers

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    On Monday, the Vickers Commission  made its preliminary recommendations on potential banking reform. There is much to welcome, in particular an increased focus on the need for more competition in the retail banking sector, as proposed by Andrea Leadsom . Likewise Howard Flight was making Vickers’ case for ...
  • The Rally Against Debt

    The Rally Against Debt

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    When the 'Rally Against Debt' idea was first established, I was sceptical about attending. It would have felt odd marching as public sector workers lost their jobs, I thought, even though I knew full well (and have long argued) that the cuts are entirely necessary in reducing the budget ...
  • Change for the better: The end of EMA

    Change for the better: The end of EMA

    uest blog from our current intern, Thomas BusbyFor those not up-to-date with your further education-related news, the current system of grants to students aged 16-19, the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), is to be cut by the Coalition government.  Education Secretary Michael Gove announced last week that ...
  • AV? No, no, no.

    AV? No, no, no.

    This week, the No2AV campaign shifted its attention to a new theme – ‘One person, one vote’ .This comes after 25 leading historians, including David Starkey and CPS board member Niall Ferguson, wrote to The Times claiming that a move to the AV system would mean that ...
  • Abolish NICs....properly

    Abolish NICs....properly

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    A simple tax system is a pillar of any long-term strategy for growth. This is why I was delighted by the pre-Budget rumours of the possible merging of NICs with income tax.As David Martin outlined in Abolish NICs : NICs are complicated, create perverse incentives and are by ...
  • Why care for Budget day curiousity?

    Why care for Budget day curiousity?

    Administrator CPS | | Economy
    Post by David Gibson Budget Day is a curious old thing. Like much of parliamentary business, it is essentially just another tradition accompanied by some peculiar formalities. Take for example, the obligatory cheesy photo-op as the proud Chancellor thrusts high his red box of joy to the ...
  • Library closures and politics today

    Library closures and politics today

    The outrage in reaction to planned library closures has highlighted a great problem with politics today: the tendency to polarise debate into two opposed camps with no middle ground in between.When many councils responded to cuts by proposing to close some libraries, critics adopted wildly exaggerated ...
  • Enterprise Zones

    Enterprise Zones

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    The Chancellor George Osborne recently announced that he would look to create at least 10 ‘Enterprise Zones’ in the forthcoming budget. These were no doubt at least partly inspired by the Enterprise Zone policy of Margaret Thatcher, which used localised supply-side policies to eliminate dereliction and entice businesses to ...