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Stealing Votes or Re-Engaging Voters? UKIP and the Fragmentation of the Far Right

A guest blog from Elizabeth Morrow, who has recently completed a PhD on extremism and counter-terrorism at King's College London, explaining the decline of the BNP and the EDL - and why UKIP isn't to blame.

Pundits frequently discuss the rise of radical politics in the UK but one underexplored question is what accounts for the recent demise of two such parties – the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL). Why has this happended? A recent report from Hope not Hate suggests that the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is responsible for the demise of the British National Party (BNP), stating that UKIP ‘has steamrollered through their heartlands and stol...

Posted by Elizabeth Morrow
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Why the Green Deal Failed

Demos Researcher, Charlie Cadywould, explains why the Government's decision to scrap Green Deal funding should not come as a surprise.

The Government’s decision to end funding for the Green Deal early should not come as a surprise. Primarily offering loans to customers making energy efficiency improvements to their home, the scheme was lauded as “the biggest home improvement programme since the war”, but never took off on the scale Chris Huhne and Greg Barker had intended. Barker said back in March 2013 that he ‘wouldn’t be sleeping’ if 10,000 weren’t signed up to the Green Deal by t...

Posted by Charlie Cadywould on 27 Jul 2015
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A Bold Step onto Rocky Ground

Demos Researcher Louis Reynolds takes stock of the Prime Minister's speech on countering extremism.

David Cameron’s speech yesterday was his boldest on the subject of extremism yet, and will undoubtedly move the debate on the causes and potential solutions to the growing threat of radicalisation to the United Kingdom more visibly into the public sphere. However, it also brought the Government into difficult territory. Presenting Cameron’s arguments on integration and radicalisation with careful consideration, and safeguarding the pre-eminence of free speech, will be critical to ...

Posted by Louis Reynolds on 21 Jul 2015
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A Glass Half Full?

Ian Wybron introduces a new Demos report on alcohol consumption and young people.

We are used to media panics about alcohol and the social problems it causes. And indeed, very real problems remain for the UK’s relationship with drink. But it is important to take stock of progress where it’s been made. The decline in young people drinking to excess could be an emerging success story for the UK. Original polling published by Demos today adds to the evidence that this generation of young people is more moderate in its drinking habits than the generation before it...

Posted by Ian Wybron on 15 Jul 2015
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Government Shifts Gear on Planning Reform

As the Government takes an increasingly national approach to its planning reforms, Charlie Cadywould explores the implications for its localism agenda.

Before coming to power, and in the early years of the last Parliament, the Government made much of its commitment to localism. Critics called the Localism Bill a ‘NIMBY’s charter’ that would allow small groups to block developments, and exacerbate England’s housing shortage. However, the Conservatives rejected the assumption that communities were automatically predisposed to oppose developments in their area, and refused to see localism and development as a zero-sum g...

Posted by Charlie Cadywould on 10 Jul 2015
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Designing an Apprenticeships Levy that Works

Demos Researcher Ian Wybron considers how the Government can ensure the apprenticeships levy - announced in the 2015 Summer Budget - delivers on its promises.

One surprise announcement of the Summer Budget is the new apprenticeships levy. This is intended to help meet the government’s target of 3 million more apprenticeships by 2020. In first proposing the levy, Alison Wolf argued that the state of the government’s finances made the levy a policy imperative if the government is to meet its ambitious targets on apprenticeships. But the levy doesn’t just raise money – it creates an incentive for employers to offer apprentices...

Posted by Ian Wybron on 10 Jul 2015
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Demos Responds to the Summer Budget

Demos responds to the Chancellor's Budget, delivered on 8 July 2015.

The Chancellor's Summer Budget was billed as bold and delivered on the promise. It marks a clear break with the Coalition and New Labour before it.  The Living Wage will dominate the headlines. It is designed as a companion to tax cuts for business and as an alternative approach to tax credits. However, the devil be in the detail. For example, the living wage currently assumes that people receive tax credits, which the Budget also signalled would be cut.  It will also be ...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 08 Jul 2015
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Equality of Opportunity and the Productivity Puzzle

Demos Researcher, Louis Reynolds, shows how improving economic opportunity can help Britain to solve its ongoing productivity crisis.

While the Budget announced today will be the first Conservative Budget since 1996, it will focus on the same old problems that have plagued the British economy since the crisis years of 2007 and 2008. Of course, the most politically important issue is the deficit, to which the Chancellor will prescribe a continued programme of spending reductions. As always before a budget, the press have been kept in a state of speculative feeding frenzy through the slow leaking of details, and it seems that...

Posted by Louis Reynolds on 08 Jul 2015
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The Terms of Trade

Demos' Research Director, Duncan O'Leary, unpicks the paternalism and protectionism dominating debate about Sunday trading hours.

Sunday trading – set to feature in today’s Budget – is one of those political issues that can leave you between a rock and a hard place.  There are bad, paternalistic reasons to want to restrict it. One of these is that 'people do not need to shop on Sundays'. To which the answer is: it is not up to the Government to tell me when it is in my best interests to go shopping.  There are also bad, protectionist reasons to restrict it. 'Small businesses wil...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 08 Jul 2015
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Mind the Gap

Lucy James makes the case for why youth mental health services must survive the axe on Budget Day.

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Summer Budget, the majority of media attention has focused on where the Government’s foreshadowed £12bn in spending cuts will be found. The scale of the savings means many community groups and welfare providers are bracing themselves for unexpected surprises. This includes workers in the children’s and adolescent mental health sector, many of whom hold high suspicions that past assurances will  not hold in the coming squeeze. The transit...

Posted by Lucy James on 06 Jul 2015
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