Fair Accounting

Ally Paget reacts to the Liberal Democrats’ Disability Manifesto.

It’s fair to say there’s been little love lost between the Coalition Government and disabled people as a group – and justifiably so; Demos and Scope charted the impact of welfare reform on disabled people for the first two years of the current Government. Even just considering the controversial Work Capability Assessment alone, there were problems with both implementation (with Atos, the company responsible for administering the assessment, ending its contract with DWP early...

Posted by Ally Paget on 24 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading

Power Failure

The best response to the idea that some companies have too much power is not to centralise power in the hands of Government, writes Research Director Duncan O'Leary.

In a period dominated by big 'P' politics, there has been an important – and concerning – change to recent policy-making: the social partnership model of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) has begun to crack. This started with the decision made by the Coalition in March this year to ignore the LPC's advice on the apprenticeship minimum wage, by raising it higher than recommended. It continued with Labour's manifesto pledge to increase the minimum wage to £8.00 by ...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 23 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading

On the Table

Food poverty is a blight on wealthy Britain, says Research Director Duncan O'Leary, proposing an innovative new model for tackling chronic dependence on foodbanks.

Foodbanks are in the news today, not for the first time in the election campaign. Food poverty has become a litmus test for the Government’s record on the economy and welfare reform, so attention will no doubt focus on the political impact of Full Fact’s examination of the figures.  This is understandable: that Trussell Trust statistics were raised with the Prime Minister in the first televised debate and made the front page of a national newspaper on Saturday. But there are ...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 22 Apr 2015
Comments (3)
Continue reading

Mapping the Political Twittersphere

Demos' Centre for the Analysis of Social Media has developed a galaxy map of the political Twittersphere, ahead of the 2015 General Election.

Our Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM), a collaboration between Demos and the University of Sussex, is exploring the role of Twitter and other social media in the British General Election. As part of this project, CASM has mapped the political Twittersphere of the United Kingdom, capturing the different voices in the conversation - including MPs and the media - and how they are interacting between their various groups.  In doing so, the 'galaxy' map reveals an increa...

Posted by Alex Krasodomski-Jones on 20 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading

How Twitter Judged the Challengers' Debate

A wrap-up of the key findings from Demos' Twitter sentiment tracker during the televised Challengers' Election Debate.

As part of our ongoing project analysing the role that social media is playing in the 2015 General Election, Demos – alongside Qlik, the University of Sussex and Ipsos MORI – have been working to build new tools to measure real-time reactions on Twitter to the Election Debate series. Our sentiment tracking during the Challengers’ Debate captured a total of 239,000 tweets sent during the course of the Debate, which references the candidates or key hashtags. This is somewhat ...

Posted by Carl Miller on 17 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading

Behind the Demons of the Digital Underworld

On 15 April 2015, Jamie Bartlett - the Director of Demos' Centre for the Analysis of Social Media - delivered the Four Thought lecture on BBC Radio 4. Read the full lecture online here.

My heart was pounding as I waited for Paul to arrive at the train station where we’d agreed to meet. I’d been communicating with him for some time, all via the internet. Paul was a vitriolic, aggressive neo-Nazi who spent his life online producing and sharing White Pride propaganda. He was one of several people that I spent much of the last year meeting researching my book. I’d gone in search of shocking and hidden internet subcultures, immersing myself in digital worlds of...

Posted by Jamie Bartlett on 16 Apr 2015
Comments (3)
Continue reading

Are These the Manifestos Voters Deserve?

Demos Researcher Louis Reynolds assesses the 2015 Election Manifestos, and proposes how they could be reformed to better serve voters and enrich democracy.

Today’s manifesto launches from UKIP and the Liberal Democrats means all the main parties’ wares are finally on display. But as the dust begins to settle on these documents, after so much fanfare, it is worth pausing to reflect on what on earth they have actually achieved. The parties have used their manifestos for a huge range of purposes. They have been ‘weaponised’ to address enduring weaknesses, they have been employed as a desperate last-minute offering to the el...

Posted by Louis Reynolds on 15 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading

Cameron Takes Tories Back to the Future

Our Research Director, Duncan O'Leary, weighs in on the Conservative Party's 2015 Election Manifesto.

Yesterday’s big launch went well, with 1.6 million viewers excitedly tuning in to watch on television. But enough about Game of Thrones – this is manifesto week. Today saw the Conservatives take their turn, following Labour’s safety-first effort yesterday. As expected, there was a big new policy announcement at its heart, designed to offer a sense of David Cameron’s vision for Britain.  The promise to extend the Right to Buy to housing associa...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 14 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading

Not Quite New, Not Quite Blue

Our Research Director, Duncan O'Leary reflects on Labour's 2015 Election Manifesto.

Much has been made of the similarity in language between Labour’s Manifesto today and Hilary Clinton’s campaign launch last night – but there is good a dose of Bill in there too. America’s 42nd president used to talk of being ‘in the future business’; Ed Miliband made his speech today with FUTURE emblazoned in capital letters behind him. He wants to focus on the next five years rather than get stuck debating New Labour’s record in government.  So...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 13 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading

Young People, Political Participation and the 2015 General Election

James Sloam, reader in politics and co-coordinator of the Youth Politics Unit at Royal Holloway University, on how to engage young people with the General Election.

Young people in the UK are increasingly disillusioned with electoral politics. Over the past three General Elections, an average of 40 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted, while 60 percent of this age group turned out to vote in the 1992 General Election. My research finds that the youth turnout rate in the United Kingdom is the lowest of all the 15 members of the old European Union; 18 to 24-year-olds in Sweden turn out to vote at double the rate of their peers in the UK.   So, there ...

Posted by on 13 Apr 2015
Comments (0)
Continue reading