As we hurtle once more into
the financial abyss, and most financial calamities take place in October, spare
a few moments for those people exactly 80 years ago charged with rolling out
the beginning of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The idea of a ‘feral elite’,
the phrase coined by Compass chair Neal Lawson has powerful resonance.
Certainly the letter
organised by Compass and nef and
signed by more than 50 prominent names in the Guardian has caused a stir, suggesting that a citizens jury is
needed to investigate and claw back power from the inter-connected elite who
dominate British life – largely for their own benefit.
The looming debate on the future of the NHS in Parliament is producing a frustrating gap in the debate outside Parliament, as if the only two positions anyone could possibly take are to defend existing services exactly as they are or to let the market rip.
Anyone who follows the
emerging education debate in the UK, especially with the new free schools
opening their doors this week, can only be grateful that it has not developed
with the same vitriol that the schools debate has done in the USA.
Two new books on the other
side of the Atlantic, both by education reformers, have brought the bitter
debate into sharp relief.
Last week President Obama announced a new policy agenda to
combat America’s stubbornly high unemployment rate. While most of the proposed
measures in the American
Jobs Act represent a conventional Keynesian response to faltering
demand (such as increased spending on infrastructure) and many may not be enacted,
one of his proposals stands out for its radical potential. More