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 Dr 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.

3rd February, 2015 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 na...

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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Dancing in the dark

Without accurate ways to measure the wider impact of spending, politicians remain in the dark argues Jonathan Todd.

Here are three things I’ve noticed recently: 1) Barney Stringer's fascinating blog about London passing an extraordinary milestone – the population finally caught up with its 1939 peak population – from now on it will be an all-time high. London needs, Stringer notes, a wave of new schools with 133,000 additional places required in the next four years. Will these places be created? 2) John Kampfner interviewed by the Guardian about his new role in charge of the Creativ...

Posted by Jonathan Todd on 15 Jan 2015
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What makes a 'good job'?

Ralph Scott introduces a new essay collection on the quality of employment.

What makes a job ‘good’? In the midst of a jobs-rich recovery, in a relatively flexible labour market, attention inevitably shifts to the quality of the jobs being created – both in terms of the contribution to national productivity, and the qualitative experience of those undertaking the work. In these terms at least, it is not evident that the picture is entirely rosy: there are questions of pay, productivity, security and job satisfaction. All of this is in a context of ...

Posted by Ralph Scott on 11 Dec 2014
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A tale of two classrooms

Claudia Wood and Ralph Scott introduce A Tale of Two Classrooms, a new essay collection on educational inequality.

The education system in England and Wales has of late been subject to rapid and tumultuous reforms. These changes have affected every aspect of our education system, from school structures – with the introduction of academies and latterly free schools – to accountability – changes to the Ofsted framework and introduction of the EBacc – to the curriculum and qualifications – the shake-up of vocational qualifications and the introduction of the iGCSE. It is too so...

Posted by Claudia Wood on 05 Dec 2014
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