The dialogue of the blind

In his response to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday, the Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson made a very sobering observation.  “If countries around the world hadn’t run up debts to sustain their economies,” he said, “people would not have lost their credit cards, they’d have lost their houses, their savings and their jobs.“

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Government has ignored the value of prevention

The tremors from Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review are still being felt in local authorities across the UK, nurses, teachers, regeneration officers, anyone who receives benefits, and people – like myself, who are wondering if it was naïve to expect the CSR to at least hint at a vision for what our future might look like.

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George is in need of a history lesson

George Osborne was asked by Evan Davis on Radio 4 this morning why he has scheduled a fifth year of deep public sector cuts in the Spending Review when the deficit should, according to his forecasts, have been completey removed after four years.  If, as the coalition keep telling us, the cuts are non-ideological and motivated purely by the need to remove the deficit, why keep cutting when the deficit has been removed?  George mumbled something about 'being cautious'. 

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Don’t be fooled by the Spending Review, as always the devil is in the detail

Despite the cleverly phrased Comprehensive Spending Review, there should be no doubt that this is the beginning of a new and dismal era for Britain. Underpinning the talk of necessity, benefit "scroungers" and new transport infrastructure is a whole litany of changes which will begin the demise of our public services, the growth of unemployment and poverty, further polarisation between the rich and the poor, and the end of the welfare state as we know it.

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The Capital Institute joins the movement for a new economics in the USA

We at nef have been joined in the international think-tank world by an innovative new arrival dedicated to tackling the financial markets from a new economics point of view.

So we welcome the arrival of the New York-based Capital Institute, an organisation that has grown out of the financial crisis, created by the former JPMorgan managing director John Fullerton, and has been launched in the heart of Wall Street.

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Making participation work

Over at the BBC, Home Affairs editor Mark Easton is taking a look at the way the Conservatives in government are talking differently about who will hold public servants to account:

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The Ecology of Growth

One of the few good things about the current financial crisis is the extent of serious soul-searching about the right way to deliver economic success. Britain has been among the worst-affected countries, losing perhaps five years of economic growth following the pricking of the credit bubble – predicted with precision by Ann Pettifor in her 2006 classic, The Coming First World Debt Crisis. Unemployment has soared, public-sector deficits have ballooned and a new age of austerity beckons. More

The truth about Tesco’s ‘anchor’ claims

A friend has passed me yet another cutting, this time from a magazine called Retail Therapy, which includes much the same quotation from the ubiquitous Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco’s corporate affairs director.

As usual, it pedals the same line that we have seen from Tesco for the past few months, quoting some research from the University of Southampton that says how much people welcome new supermarkets once they set up in the high street, or out of town (70% in fact).

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Green Grin-o-meter launched

Whilst the Great Transition calls for immediate and rapid structural transformation, it has always been my belief that such transformation will not be sustainable unless there is an effort to rethink education. More

What if… Britain was more like Ecuador?

When was the last time you went out onto the streets and (slightly) risked life and limb to support your national government?  If you are from the UK then you, like me, probably haven’t done that all too often. More

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