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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
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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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The flaw in 'vote X, get Y' politics

Blackmailing voters does neither party any favours and only turns people off politics, says Duncan O'Leary.

This may be a radical proposition but I think that, mostly, people are not stupid, do not like being blackmailed, and tend to vote for people that they identify with. I wonder if this is radical, because the spate of ‘vote X, get Y’ messaging, deployed by both Labour (‘vote Green, get Tory’) and the Tories (‘vote Ukip, get Labour’) with increasing regularity, suggests that they disagree. The first point is that I think most people understand what they are ...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 04 Feb 2015
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The generation game

The Tories must ensure their policies for young people get equal attention, argues Charlie Cadywould.

Rachel Sylvester’s piece in the Times yesterday portrayed the coming election as a ‘generation game’ where Conservatives court the grey vote, while Labour targets younger people. She’s right that there is a growing generational divide on certain issues. Younger voters are, for example, overwhelmingly pro-immigration and in favour of staying in the EU, while most older voters want to leave, and are sceptical about the benefits immigration has brought. However, she&rsq...

Posted by Charlie Cadywould on 04 Feb 2015
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Mind the gap: 2015

Ian Wybron reveals how last week's GCSE results show the gap between wealthier and poorer kids is widening.

Deeper analysis of last week’s 2013/14 GCSE results show the attainment gap between pupils on free school meals and their peers has widened for a successive year. If the current trend continues we would see a return to a wider attainment gap than before the coalition introduced the Pupil Premium within just two years. The latest figures show: - The national attainment gap widened by a further 0.3% in 2013/14, standing now at 27.0%. - London continues to prop up national figures: when...

Posted by Ian Wybron on 03 Feb 2015
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Will other parties follow the (Labour) leader?

If the Tories and Lib Dems ignore the youth vote they will pay for it in May, writes Jonathan Birdwell.

Today in Sheffield, Ed Miliband will draw attention to the ‘missing one million voters’ from the electoral role as a result of the shift from household to individual registration. It’s estimated that young people in particular make up a huge proportion of these missing voters, as they are no longer automatically bloc registered via colleges and universities.  Labour’s right to focus on the youth vote; the other parties ignore young people at their own peril. In D...

Posted by Jonathan Birdwell on 16 Jan 2015
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What's in a label?

If liberals support devolution of power, asks Duncan O'Leary, then why the support for the EU?

One thing that has always puzzled me is why liberals are not more critical of the EU. Liberals tend to support the devolution of power, yet the EU represents the centralisation of it. So why, in general, the support? Yesterday a comment made by the Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, clarified things for me. Speaking at Demos on public health, he acknowledged that, in order to introduce a traffic light system in food labelling, agreement would need to be reached at EU level. The need to ...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 16 Jan 2015
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What is a ‘major’ party?

Charlie Cadywold on the real issue behind the TV debates farrago.

Televised debates for general elections are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. The first such spectacles were held in advance of the 2010 election. Critics of the process, including David Cameron, claim it took attention away from the rest of the campaign, such as grassroots efforts and visits and set-piece speeches by frontbenchers and party dignitaries. However, there is no doubt it created a buzz: 9.4m viewers watched the first debate, beating both EastEnders and Coronation Street. Joh...

Posted by Charlie Cadywould on 15 Jan 2015
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