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The end of the university dream?

The narrative is simple: work hard at school, pass your exams, go to university, get a degree and get on the career ladder.  For the baby boomer generation this was without doubt the road to (relative) riches.  The expanding and modernising economy of the 1960s had more graduate vacancies than …

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The USA has no good choices in November

2016 Election

British attention on the US Primaries has focused on the remorseless rise of Donald Trump.  For the most part, the British verdict has been negative.  Even Prime Minister Cameron referred to Trump’s ideas as “stupid and divisive”.  The more Trump’s campaign has appeared to defy political gravity, the more alarmed …

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It’s NOT the economy, stupid!


The rise of Donald Trump and – to a lesser degree – Bernie Sanders is inexplicable to most professional pundits.  Trump was supposed to be a joke candidate who was widely expected to fall at the first hurdle.  The Republican Party was bound to opt for a Washington insider like …

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Universal basic income enters the mainstream

Universal Basic Income

The Financial Times recently started a discussion of the impact of robots and AI on the future of the economy, reflecting concerns about hyper-unemployment in the near future as AI threatens to take over the jobs currently performed by humans. On the one side of the discussion are those who …

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Climate denial is about privilege

Millionaire Yacht

There is a big social division opening up over climate change according to Dana Nuccitelli at The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It is common knowledge that people with conservative political beliefs are more likely to reject evidence for man-made climate change.  But this is far from the only division.  Encouragingly, …

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Corporate energy ratings cannot be trusted

Energy Rating label

Price is not the only consideration when we purchase electrical appliances.  Energy use is also a factor.  This is because an appliance with a poor energy rating will end up costing several hundred pounds more to run over its lifetime.  So paying £50 or £100 more for an energy efficient …

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The inevitable cost of running government like a business

Flint Richard Snyder

What happens when the public are fooled into believing that a businessman would make a better political leader than, say, someone who understands public service? Well, in the shape of Donald Trump, the entire world may find out come November.  But we don’t have to wait to see if Trump …

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The emotional cost of climate change


Fear about the impact of climate change may be adding to anxiety levels in the current age of uncertainties.  But that is nothing to what we are likely to experience as the consequences become ever more obvious according to Canadian experts. “Signs of mental distress related to climate change have …

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Understanding “soft corruption”… and why we should care

Roll of cash

The ubiquitous brown envelope stuffed with cash exchanged for favours comes to mind when we think about corruption.  We might think of companies bribing government officials in order to win lucrative contracts.  We might think of bankers being generously rewarded for market rigging.  We might remember occasions where politicians were …

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Britain still thinks it’s a great power – but it isn’t

Britain Great Power meme

Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds In the days of empire, Britain was a force to be reckoned with. Coalitions of the willing were an unnecessary nicety. Britain’s opinion mattered, both in Europe and further afield. The current situation in Syria shows how far Britain has moved from that position. David …

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