Crossing the Rubicon

Chris Tryhorn on the consequences of the Royal Charter on press regulation.

So it’s finally happened: the royal charter that will bring a new system of press regulation into place has been granted by the privy council, after the press failed in a last-ditch attempt to derail the process. This is not the end of the story, as the press has vowed to continue with its plans to set up its own regulator as well as persist with challenges to the new arrangements. If the entire newspaper and magazine industry somehow got together and decided unanimously to boycott the...

Posted by Chris Tryhorn on 31 Oct 2013
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What can we learn from Islamic finance?

The UK should use the Islamic Finance Forum to think beyond trade, urges Jodie Ginsberg.

This week, London will become the first city outside the Muslim world to host the World Islamic Economic Forum – an annual meeting of business executives, policymakers and financiers. It is an opportunity for Britain to sell itself as a premier destination for Islamic finance and tap into the estimated $1.5 trillion (£928 billion) of ­Islamic investment funds worldwide. Deals worth around £5.8 billion were struck at last year’s Forum, and the possibility of...

Posted by Jodie Ginsberg on 29 Oct 2013
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Are we the baddies?

Max Wind-Cowie: the Conservative party should support the hardworking people of Grangemouth.

‘Hans... are we the baddies?’ So asks David Mitchell of Robert Webb in a sketch in which it begins to dawn on two Nazis that they may, in fact, be on the wrong side. It’s the little clues that perturb Mitchell, and the skull and crossbones emblem on his uniform that eventually proves to him that yes they are, in fact, ‘the baddies’. And that’s the thing. If the side you’re on looks and sounds like they might be ‘the baddies’ it’s ...

Posted by Max Wind-Cowie on 24 Oct 2013
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Coming clean on care costs

Claudia Wood: the Government needs to be honest with the public on funding long-term social care.

The newspapers yesterday were full of bile regarding the ‘betrayal of the middle classes’, on hearing that the government's Universal Deferred Payment scheme would only be available to those pensioners with less than £23,500 in savings in the bank. The UDP is a scheme which has been around for many years in a locally variable form, but it is being revamped alongside the government's new care funding plan based originally on the Dilnot review – this will see pe...

Posted by Claudia Wood on 17 Oct 2013
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Yesterday's extremist

We should give Tommy Robinson a chance to repair the damage caused by the EDL, says Jamie Bartlett.

We must always leave the door open for groups or people to reform. After all, if we don't accept that people can change, what is the point of arguing, of debating, of reasoning - the bedrock of liberal, democratic politics? Yesterday's extremist is sometimes today's elected representative. (Or tomorrow's: Quilliam Foundation chairman Maajid Nawaz was once an Islamist radical, and will be a parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dems in 2015). When people recant - even if not qui...

Posted by Jamie Bartlett on 11 Oct 2013
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Let’s talk money – the Demos Finance inaugural lecture

Jodie Ginsberg reflects on last's night inaugural Demos Finance lecture.

Since 2008, we have all become more familiar with business news as front-page news. Gone are the days when financial and monetary policy sat exclusively in the back of the newspaper or languished at the end of the evening news. Despite this, our understanding of the financial services sector remains poor. A wave of (understandable and in many cases justified) bank bashing has obscured an important debate about what role banks should play in the economy, and what we should expect governments ...

Posted by Jodie Ginsberg on 10 Oct 2013
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How to help small businesses

Ana Botín, chief executive of Santander UK, introduces her Demos Finance inaugural lecture.

Santander's Ana Botín writes in the FT ahead of our Demos Finance inaugural lecture: Who will create the millions of jobs needed to make the UK economic recovery sustainable? The answer: Britain’s small and medium-sized companies. But to do that, banks in the UK need to innovate in the way they support small businesses, particularly those with the potential to grow. Small and medium-sized enterprises employ almost two-thirds of people in the private sector and generate...

Posted by Ana Botin on 09 Oct 2013
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Where next for the EDL?

Jamie Bartlett on the news that Tommy Robinson is leaving the EDL.

Tommy Robinson and the rarely seen but equally important Kevin Carroll are going to leave the English Defence League. It's not much of a surprise: but the resulting fallout might be. The reason, according to Tommy, is that he can't contain extreme right wing elements with the movement. Of course, Tommy is hardly angelic. He often says plenty of offensive and inflammatory things, not to mention being arrested more than once. Nevertheless, readers might be surprised to know that he is ...

Posted by Jamie Bartlett on 08 Oct 2013
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Jonathan Birdwell introduces his report on democratic backsliding in the EU.

In a new report launched last week, I argued that the EU should embrace a new role as ‘democracy watchdog’, pushing and prodding all member states to stronger democracies and preventing backsliding on commitments.  The EU has already embraced this role to some extent with expansion into Central and Eastern European. New entrants are required to demonstrate their adherence to the so-called ‘Copenhagen Criteria’: including respect for core rights and freedoms, free...

Posted by Jonathan Birdwell on 30 Sep 2013
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John Denham's mobile phone

David Goodhart reflects on Ed Miliband's speech to Labour Conference, and the gap between ordinary voters and politicians.

The consensus on the Ed Miliband speech - and therefore on the whole Labour conference - was good(ish) in form, but disappointingly 'core vote' in content. That is nearly right. Delivery was even better than last year, partly thanks to being a bit rougher around the edges. He really did come across as someone comfortable in his own skin (or at least a politician acting someone comfortable in his own skin), and the stuff about his personal qualities seemed less mawkish than usual. Nex...

Posted by David Goodhart on 26 Sep 2013
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