The Coalition is not cutting the deficit, while many on the right argue that spending is rising. So what's the real picture? The director of centre-left think tank IPPR gives his analysis on whether there is really austerity in Britain.
Thatcher utilised three emergent themes: globalisation, social liberalism and the reconfiguration of class structure. She used the spirits of the age to drive her own key project - unfettered markets. There is plenty the left could learn here.
The political theorist Bonnie Honig talks to IPPR's Juncture about the roots of her thinking, the radical and positive potential of political contestation and the importance of ‘public things’ in a vibrant democracy.
It's a class with few friends in Britain: dismissed by the left, and sidelined by liberals and conservatives chasing big business. But with the surge in self-employment, the state needs to recognise that the needs and demands of the petite bourgeoisie may be growing.
Despite the mutation of the 'New Right' from Thatcherism to its contemporary variants, the ideas within remain an influential force in British politics. The parliamentary reshuffle might not mark the dawn of a new political era but the movements of ‘The Free Enterprise Group’ are worth serious attention.
Proclamations as to the stability of the UK housing market overlook worrying discrepencies between household debt and income. With statistics suggesting that prices are being motivated by forces outside of those fundamental to the housing market, there is clear evidence that the UK is sitting on a bubble.
Britain's Prime Minister has just launched a headline catching speech on welfare reform driven by the need for cuts, justified in terms of fairness and the virtues of self-reliance, and aiming to cash in on prejudice. What it needs now is principled opposition.
Last week saw the publication of the UK’s
child poverty statistics – significant for indicating the performance of Labour
in meeting their target to ‘half child poverty in Britain by 2010’. Nick Pearce,
Director of the IPPR provides his analysis of the data and suggestions of
the way forward.
We are not arriving at a moment of
choice between socialism and barbarism. Nonetheless, centre ground parties will
repeatedly fail unless they can offer new solutions to the economic problems
Europe faces. And there are new political players asking if updates are
available for this system.
In a context of increasing tensions between Whitehall and Westminster, greater distinctions need to be made between the responsibilities of Ministers and officials. British democracy will suffer if we don't stop the culture of passing the buck.
In the 1990s, Argentina was an IMF poster boy, but it soon became a byword for the failures of the Washington Consensus. Tying its currency to the dollar, cutting public spending and selling its assets led to a deepening debt spiral from which it could not escape, until it defaulted.
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