Policy

The Right to Housing

How exactly do we conceive of housing? This is a fundamental question, and one that never quite seems to be satisfactorily answered. So often, getting housing is treated as kind of status symbol, a way of indicating success under capitalism. This issue goes to the heart of the ways in which politicians are trying to deal with the housing crisis, and the…

Worker Ownership: Taking Back Control

One of the most depressing constants in industrial life in the UK is the life cycle of the average British business. They are frequently born from the minds of one of the country’s exceptionally well-educated workforce in the high-value manufacturing or software sector, before being built up through the efforts of skilled employees. Sadly, their contribution to the economy is often then hijacked by large, usually overseas, investment firms and conglomerates buying the business. At best, the decisions that affect hundreds of workers and the economies of whole towns are now taken in boardrooms in New York or Shanghai. At worst, the company is asset-stripped for its patents, techniques and talent before being wound up. In between this runs the spectrum of profit relocation (or tax evasion as normal people call it), layoffs, the imposition of hostile working practices and decline of quality. Even the largest and most successful of British businesses aren’t immune to this. When Cadbury’s was taken over by Kraft, the entire board resigned and their replacements subsequently shuttered dozens of factories across the world in a cost-cutting exercise. ARM Holdings, who make the microprocessors found in almost every mobile phone, were taken over by Japan’s SoftBank and then saw their Chinese arm sold to fuel Xi Jinping’s government’s strategy of acquiring foreign technology firms to jump-start China’s indigenous high-tech industry.

An Education Revolution

Year after year, the admissions figures for Oxford and Cambridge universities tell a grim story about the persistence of inequality in Britain. The privately-educated—seven percent of the population—make up roughly forty percent of admissions. The most privileged demographic groups make up eighty percent. These elite graduates go on to dominate the upper echelons of society, being disproportionately represented at Westminster, in the…

Playground Democracy

“He should be REMOVED from any type of educational system and locked up,” wrote ‘Bossman’ on Twitter, in response to David Runciman, Professor of Politics at Cambridge University, calling for the voting age to be lowered to six years old. Bossman’s tweet was indicative of the response of many, seeing it as frivolous, frothy intellectualism befitting of such an antiquated institution that,…

Beyond the Roundabout

Milton Keynes, built as an overspill town, has many achievements to claim – the roundabout, concrete cows, pretending to be New York in that scene from Superman 4. However, it also faces many urban design challenges, including an abundance of cars and a lack of access to public transport. Milton Keynes is a monument to Harold Wilson’s public planning of the Open…

Abolish Landlords

I spend a lot of time talking with my mum. Sometimes when I’m at the tills, our conversations spin around in my head, oftentimes out of sheer bewilderment, but there’s a modest kind of genius that can only come from parental discourse in your mid twenties. About two months ago, during one such conversation, she made a bold statement – so bold,…

Left Monarchism?

As parliament returns from recess and the regular news cycle finally trickles back towards to normality, we have been given a welcome reprieve from one element of the discourse which gripped the political classes over Christmas. Namely, the seemingly perennial and exhausting argument over whether the Left should make the abolition of the monarchy a priority as an incoming government. I’m no…

Stopping the Traffic

Traffic. It’s something we’ve all experienced and something we all hate. While we bemoan the difficulties of transportation and the fact that motorway traffic seems to be increasing there isn’t a day that goes by without some sort of congestion. How do we deal with it? The answer is simple: through an investigation into the cause of the problem, and the presentation…