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  • The rise and fall of Bo Xilai

    The rise and fall of Bo Xilai

    Hugo De Burgh | | Foreign Policy
    Hugo de Burgh, Director of the China Media Centre at University of Westminster, blogs on the outsting of Chongqing Chinese Communist Party Committe Secretary Bo Xilal after the Wang Lijuan incident. The fall of Bo Xilai has brought out information about his rule in Chongqing that seems to explain the warnings ...
  • A letter from Tanzania

    A letter from Tanzania

    In Tanzania education is a privilege. Children walk miles through the bush to attend school and discipline is automatic.  No cheeking of teachers and no knives.  I saw class loads of school children in ordered lines at a giraffe farm. The girls were in pink uniform with beautifully plaited hair ...
  • Killing Ron Paul: More state funding for political parties will institutionalise big politics and exterminate the outsiders

    Killing Ron Paul: More state funding for political parties will institutionalise big politics and exterminate the outsiders

    With the latest party funding scandals having been predicted by Sir Christopher Kelly just a few months ago, many are calling for Kelly’s report with the Committee for Public Standards to be implemented in full, including a £10k cap on individual donations and state funding to the tune of £3 ...
  • A minimum alcohol price is a slippery slope

    A minimum alcohol price is a slippery slope

    Philip Davies | | Social Policy
    Earlier this month, Conservative MPs Philip Davies and Dr. Sarah Wollaston took part in the latest CPS online debate 'Is it right to introduce a minimum alcohol price to tackle alcohol-related problems?'. Here we reproduce Philip Davies' argument against the proposals. The very principle of minimum pricing goes against all my ...
  • Minimum alcohol pricing: illogical, illiberal, unfair

    Minimum alcohol pricing: illogical, illiberal, unfair

    Ryan Bourne | | Social Policy
    Last month, we published the most recent in our series of debate questions: “Is it right to introduce a minimum alcohol price to tackle alcohol-related problems?” An overwhelming number of readers came down on the side of Philip Davies MP, who had concluded that the policy was flawed, illiberal and ...
  • Details required on small business tax plans

    Details required on small business tax plans

    David Martin | | Economy
    It was announced in the Budget that the Government will consult on the details of a new scheme to allow small unincorporated businesses to calculate their tax on a cash basis.Up to 3 million businesses would be given the chance, if they wished, to pay tax on this basis rather ...
  • Increasing stamp duty on homes over £2m

    Increasing stamp duty on homes over £2m

    Lucian Cook | | Economy
    Lucian Cook, Director of Residential Research at Savills and author of ‘Taxing Mansions’ for the CPS, blogs on the reports that the Chancellor will raise stamp duty on high-value properties in the budget. If today’s reports are correct, Chancellor George Osborne will increase the stamp duty rate on homes over £2m ...
  • 9 areas to look out for in the Budget

    9 areas to look out for in the Budget

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    Gone are the days of the ‘purdah’ when leaking details of Budgets could end the career of a Chancellor. The chase for headlines and the novelty of Coalition has meant Budget negotiations are played out in the national media. With all the briefings and counter-briefings, it’s difficult to keep up ...
  • Making pay more responsive to local labour markets makes sense

    Making pay more responsive to local labour markets makes sense

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    As Government Budget leaks intensify, the weekend saw the rebirth of Government’s proposals for public sector pay to be set more in line with local market conditions. The aim is for public sector workers, e.g. the DVLA, Jobcentre staff and civil servants, to have their pay set taking account the ...
  • Lessons on long-term bonds: Keynes on 1932 debt conversion

    Lessons on long-term bonds: Keynes on 1932 debt conversion

    Ryan Bourne | | History
    Jeremy Warner wrote an excellent critique of George Osborne’s proposed 100-year bond on Wednesday, claiming that investors would be mad to take them on.He cites the example of the War Loan conversion in 1932, when in a time of national crisis, the Chancellor Neville Chamberlain managed to persuade investors to ...
  • A response to Lord Lawson

    A response to Lord Lawson

    Tim Yeo | | Environment
    Following on from last month's online debate "Is there a valid economic case for 'going green' in an 'age of austerity'?", Tim Yeo MP hits back at Lord Lawson on the environment. Fossil fuels may be superficially cheap, but they actually come at a heavy price. It is extraordinary that you ...
  • The economics of budgets since the war

    The economics of budgets since the war

    Nigel Knight | | Economy
    Clement Attlee's three Chancellors: Hugh Dalton, Stafford Cripps and Hugh Gaitskell, all had to deal with the fact that Britain had been bankrupted by six years of war and the fact that Attlee had committed them to financing an ambitious programme of nationalisation and the creation of the NHS along ...
  • China: Literature and political reform

    China: Literature and political reform

    Hugo De Burgh | | Foreign Policy
    Hugo de Burgh, Director of the China Media Centre at University of Westminster, considers how it is Chinese literature that is examining the country's bureaucracy – both good and bad – where Western analysts may struggle to find understanding. Today it was reported that Wen Jiabao, once again, has called for ...
  • The Chancellor must address the Child Benefit cliff-edge effect to 'make work pay'

    The Chancellor must address the Child Benefit cliff-edge effect to 'make work pay'

    Ryan Bourne | | Social Policy
    The Chancellor George Osborne has, so far, been reluctant to adapt his planned change to Child Benefit for higher rate taxpayers. Households with one earner whose gross income just exceeds the £42,375 threshold will lose the benefit (£1056 for one child per year and then an additional £697 per child ...
  • Happy Commonwealth Day! And many more!

    Happy Commonwealth Day! And many more!

    Lewis Brown | | Foreign Policy
    Web 2.0 Manager Lewis Brown looks at the increasing irrelevance of post-Second World War supranational bodies and wonders whether both old alliances and new organisations could supersede them. Happy Commonwealth Day everybody! Okay so it’s not one of those widely celebrated joyous occasions like, say, Europe Day where public servants across ...