The Obesity Panic: The rise of the food police

It is hard to miss the explicit scaremongering of the latest Safefood adverts aimed at parents who – God forbid! – allow their child the occasional treat. According to the European Union (the masterminds behind Safefood), this needs to be policed and, ultimately, prevented. The ad – featuring children who become heavier and heavier every […]

Bedroom tax critics in need of a better argument

While I am not in the business of defending poorly thought out, miserly policies, neither am I one to jump on slow-moving bandwagons all too eager for everybody to jump aboard. You see, if there’s one thing worse than the bedroom tax it’s the obvious, narrow, cynically emoting critique of it. According to the National […]

Police Academy, South Africa-style

Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa officially opened the new South African Police Service (SAPS) Academy on 30 January 2014 in Paarl in the Western Cape.  The first intake of 120 students will study for a Bachelor of Policing degree in an attempt to re-skill and professionalise the SAPS.  It is hoped that the academy will […]

Why we really can’t afford welfare dependency

The nasty, cutting coalition of the left-liberal imagination is showing itself to be anything but. Why else would George Osborne’s announcement that he is to cut £12 billion from the welfare budget after the next election cause such cabinet unease? Nick Clegg isn’t best pleased; and the welfare and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, is […]

Cigarettes and hospitals: smoking out patients?

Why the proposed smoking ban on hospital grounds is an unwise policy move from the NHS You might argue, from a policy perspective, that there is a delicate balance to be made between protecting people from harm and allowing them to exercise their own freedom of choice. Certainly, it’s a balance that the NHS hasn’t […]

Solve the Housing Crisis: Build your own?

There is a schizophrenic quality to government these days. It is as if those in power want to present themselves as in opposition to their own policies in order to show the public that deep down they are on our side. Hence David Cameron’s alleged outburst about ‘getting rid of this green crap’ over concerns […]

Why immigration is a good thing

With so many – on all sides – criticising it, is there a case to be made for immigration in the UK? To say that immigration in Britain is a thorny topic would be something of an understatement. Undoubtedly recent government initiatives– think ‘racist vans’ or text messages telling people to ‘go home’ – send […]

There is more to welfare than a broken IT system

The implementation of the government’s Universal Credit, already proceeding ‘carefully’ according to welfare minister Lord Freud, is now slowing to a crawl with just one new area joining the scheme this month. By now it was supposed to be well on the way to a national roll-out. Instead, it continues to be dogged by the […]

After Halappanavar: abortion in the UK and Ireland

Have we gone too far when it comes to abortion; or not far enough? It was less than a year ago that the world was shocked by the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in the Republic of Ireland. The dentist – originally from India – contracted septicaemia whilst pregnant and was denied a termination; reportedly […]

Whatever happened to a good liberal education?

Whatever happened to the aspiration to provide a subject-based liberal education for everyone? This was a key part of the post-war liberal, democratic project . It was expressed explicitly in the 1962 Newsom Report Half Our Future. It aimed to address the problem of inequality of access to a broad subject-based education created by the […]