Shortlists and Swagger: What’s behind the glacial progress of women in parliament?

By Laura Jones

It’s possible to detect a certain paucity of ambition in celebrating Britain taking its place as 38th in the global rankings of anything, but something like this was evidenced in the string of headlines last week touting the record breaking achievement of a 32 per cent female parliament. Although this was an improvement on the UK’s previous position at number 47 in the world, leapfrogging past Sudan and landing just south of El Salvador, it leaves us far behind much of Europe.  Continue reading

The end of roaming charges: the policy and politics in Brexit Britain

By Armida van Rij

With summer now firmly underway, and many people taking their holidays, our continental neighbours have a very timely present for the UK: as of yesterday, all EU citizens – including UK residents – will no longer pay roaming charges for using their mobile phones abroad in other EU countries, as well as being far less likely to face ‘bill shocks’ when returning from foreign trips. Unfortunately, however, there’s a big, obvious stumbling block for those of us who live in the UK: Brexit. So how will the UK’s departure from the EU impact British residents with regards to this policy? Continue reading

Lifting the lid on a live project: Bringing behavioural insights into NHS procurement

By Harriet Boulding, Saba Hinrichs, Hannah Burd, Mark Egan and Michael Hallsworth

In his February 2016 independent report, Lord Carter announced the creation of a ‘model hospital’. The purpose of this imaginary hospital is to show ‘what good looks like’ by providing a set of metrics, best practice checklists and benchmarks for other hospitals to build into their procurement processes.

This is a much needed endeavour. Lord Carter noted that ‘after analysing the variation in non-clinical resource costs we believe there is at least a £2 billion opportunity across the areas of procurement, estates and facilities and administration (back-office) costs.’ Continue reading

Lies tend to corrupt

By Professor Jonathan Grant

‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ as Lord Acton famously said in 1887. Perhaps today we can paraphrase this to ‘lies corrupt and absolute lies corrupt absolutely’.

In the EU referendum, the US presidential elections and now the early skirmishes of the UK general election, it seems that the winner is the side that can mislead the most effectively. Continue reading

The EU referendum campaign revealed the need for a fairer debate on immigration

By Bethany Peters

‘Record strain on the NHS leads to £2.45bn black hole’: This was the headline of the Daily Express on 20 May 2016 as the country was preparing to take to the polls to vote in the EU referendum. One could easily presume this to be a current headline in reference to the lack of government funding for the NHS, but the ‘strain’ was actually pertaining to the pressure that immigration was putting on the health service. A new report from the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, based at the Policy Institute at King’s, has analysed UK media coverage of last year’s Brexit campaign and found that migrant-blaming was rife in the run-up to the vote. After the result, hate crimes in London were said to have increased by 20%, and sadly, Home Office statistics have shown that a spike in hate crimes occurred across the rest of England and Wales too. As we head to the polls less than 12 months later, perhaps this time around the public should be questioning the way in which immigration is portrayed by the media. Continue reading