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Food for thought

Following the first election debate, Ally Paget proposes a way forward on food poverty.

It’s little surprise that it was a question about food banks that kicked off last night’s leaders’ debate. The ‘food bank question’ has become a litmus test for a number of issues which occupy the top spots in the pre-election agenda: the impact of welfare reform (particularly benefit sanctions), the cost of living, widening inequality, and – in its more personal form (expressed in terms of the price of a loaf of bread, a pint of milk, the ideal number of k...

Posted by Ally Paget
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Method in the madness

Duncan O’Leary sees an ulterior motive in David Cameron’s apparent gaffe.

David Cameron is a more skilful politician than most people seem to think. His statement this week that he would not seek a third term in office has been framed as a 'gaffe', but this assumes he hadn't planned to say what he did.  As James Forsyth points out, the analogy Cameron used looked a little too carefully chosen to be spontaneous. Watch the interview back and you also see that he answered the question instantly and emphatically – not the behaviour of a pol...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 25 Mar 2015
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A tactical retreat?

Labour's attack line may already have done its work, argues Charlie Cadywould in response to the 2015 Budget.

‘The Tories will take Britain back to 1930s levels of spending’ might be Labour’s most important and effective slogan in this election.Even though they can no longer use it, it’s already had an important effect, forcing Osborne into a tactical retreat. Former Treasury Adviser Damian McBride made a point on Newsnight last night in his analysis of the budget that’s worth expanding on: yesterday’s budget was actually rather unexciting, and this was largely do...

Posted by Charlie Cadywould on 19 Mar 2015
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What's going on

Politics needs to be more, not less, concerned with people's everyday lives, argues Duncan O'Leary.

I know what Ed Miliband meant when he tweeted last week that: 'I think Nigel Farage's comments today are wrong, divisive and dangerous. The laws we have on equality represent our values as a country' I also know what Polly Toynbee meant when she wrote: 'Would like to follow politicians I like - but too bored by pics of them at local events. Why don't they tweet political thoughts, ideas, hopes?' But the two statements have something important in common: an instinct...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 16 Mar 2015
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Debating the debates

Charlie Cadywould on the latest twist in the tale on the Leaders’ Debates.

The Prime Minister’s refusal to agree to the broadcasters’ ‘final’ offer on TV debates in the run up to May’s election has been a great political boost for his opponents. Few issues unite Nigel Farage, Nicola Sturgeon, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, but this has. However, the Labour leader’s latest announcement on the subject, which ensured the issue rolled on in the news cycle over the weekend, has been unanimously panned. He’s proposed enshrining the ...

Posted by Charlie Cadywould on 09 Mar 2015
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Making apprenticeships a first class option

Ian Wybron lays out the findings and recommendations of the Commission on Apprenticeships.

For the past twelve months Demos served as Secretariat to the Commission on Apprenticeships, which today publishes its final report ahead of National Apprenticeships Week. The Commission, co-chaired by Robert Halfon MP and Lord Maurice Glasman, makes recommendations for increasing the quantity and quality of apprenticeships in England. There is deserved political consensus about the value of apprenticeships. The benefits of apprenticeships to individuals, to businesses and the economy, are w...

Posted by Ian Wybron on 05 Mar 2015
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Where to draw the line?

Jamie Bartlett responds to David Anderson QC's questions on the framework for counter-terror surveillance.

David Anderson QC, the current Independent Reviewer of counter-terrorism powers is conducting a review of internet surveillance. Anyone who thinks there aren’t independent minded people watching the watchers really should check out his website and excellent Twitter feed. He reads a lot, Mr Anderson. And he recently found the time to take a look at my e-short ‘Orwell versus the Terrorists’, published last week with Random House. But not much gets past him, and he emaile...

Posted by Jamie Bartlett on 20 Feb 2015
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News values

Oborne's resignation raises questions about markets, institutions and conservatism, writes Duncan O'Leary.

As I read through Peter Oborne's extraordinary article last night, on his resignation from the Daily Telegraph, one sentence lept out at me: 'I added that our readers were loyal, that the paper was still very profitable and that the owners had no right to destroy it' [my emphasis] This, I think, is the most important and interesting idea in the piece. I am sure that Oborne would agree that anyone who bought a physical copy of a newspaper would have the right to do whatever they...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 18 Feb 2015
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The Twitter election

Carl Miller introduces CASM's partnership with the Sunday Times, tracking the election on Twitter.

As the election campaigns get underway, there is a new battleground: Twitter. Tweets are the newest weapons in the political arsenal, and Demos is partnering with the Sunday Times to cover this new digital side of politics and campaigning.   Politicians know Twitter will matter in the months ahead. It will influence what some of the electorate sees, drive mainstream news stories, shape which issues become prominent and be a new way for parties to raise money and volunteers. It will brea...

Posted by Carl Miller on 17 Feb 2015
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Behind the numbers

Richard Norrie investigates official crime survey data to see if there are any gender trends.

Stories of online abuse abound in the media. Often the focus is on the abuse of women and it is widely assumed that they bear the brunt of it. Little has been done to test this theory – although some work by Demos conducted last year found that male public figures attract more abuse on Twitter than female ones. There is one data set which allows for a slightly more rigorous look. The Crime Survey for England and Wales of 2012-13 contains a question asking whether or not the responden...

Posted by Richard Norrie on 16 Feb 2015
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