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Three Risks to the NHS

In the UK, the NHS is widely regarded as a national treasure. It ensures that every member of the population, regardless of their level of wealth, has access to healthcare when they need it – and it is free at the point of use. In many countries, healthcare bills can be a serious concern. In […]

What’s in a Name?

in May, 2020, the UK Prime Minister promised to create a world-beating test and trace system. Many people have criticised the results of his initiative. This article explores whether such criticism is justified, and, if so, what lessons we should draw from this episode. Our conclusion is that the UK’s test and trace system, the […]

The Best We Could!?

According to the government, there have now been 126,000 deaths from Covid in the UK. But according to the Office for National Statistics, the true total is now over 150,000. It is extraordinary that such a death toll should receive so little coverage in the media. And perhaps even more extraordinary that there is so […]

The Next 200 Years

This article was written by 99% members Norma Cohen and Mark E Thomas in response to a question posed by the FT as part of the 2021 Political Essay Competition. Their entry did not win. Norma is the FT’s former demography correspondent and author of a PhD thesis, How Britain Paid for War: Bond Holders […]

The Fragility Behind the Facade

There is one critically important area on which the Conservative government, which has been in power since 2010, is performing strongly relative to other countries – vaccine roll-out. On other measures, the government has turned in a desperately weak performance: the UK has the fifth worst COVID death toll in the world – if we […]

What Kind of Country Does Not have the Right to Peaceful Protest?

The right to peaceful protest is, at least in principle, internationally accepted. Article 21 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) governs the right of peaceful assembly, providing that: “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those […]

Not the Budget We Need

On 3 March 2021, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, unveiled his Budget. Billed as a ‘spend now, tax later’ Budget, the government claims that it represents a decisive break with the austerity of the past in favour of investing in growth and yet will take a responsible attitude to the health of the nation’s finances. The […]

The Road to Serfdom – A Wake-Up Call

This article was written by 99% member, Lynne Jones,  Member of Parliament for Birmingham Selly Oak from 1992 until the dissolution of parliament in April 2010. The article was published in Order! Order!  — the official journal of the The Association of Former Members of Parliament.   Since 1980, we have adopted a system of […]

Trickling Up and Levelling Down

We have become used to hearing the phrase ‘levelling-up’ – in particular in the context of the government’s levelling-up agenda. This agenda recognises that many in the UK have been left behind, and aims to close the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The idea of trickling down is also familiar – if we […]

Poverty in a World of Mass Impoverishment

The most widely quoted measure of poverty is relative poverty which is the defined as ‘having an income of less than 60% of the median income’ (if you imagine everyone in society lined up, poorest to richest, the income of the person in the middle of the line would have the median income). The thinking […]

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