How the US presidential campaign was won and lost – four insights from the people closest to the action

Tony Halmos, Director of the King’s Commission on London and a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, recently attended Harvard University’s Campaign Managers’ Conference, where operatives from both the Trump and Clinton presidential campaigns shared insights from their time working on the election. In this blog, Tony discusses some of the things he learnt at the conference. 

0n 30 November and 1 December, the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government hosted its regular post-US election ‘Campaign Managers’ Conference’ – a two-day review of the presidential campaign by those most closely involved in it. The event itself has been running every four years since 1972, just after each presidential election, but this year’s gained more media coverage than usual, after audio of a short, angry and robust exchange between the Trump and Clinton campaigns was published. But the conference generated light as well as heat, revealing some interesting insights about how the campaign was won and lost. Continue reading

Five reflections on the Casey Review

By Dr Benedict Wilkinson and Professor Jennifer Rubin.1

To say that the recent publication of the Casey Review into integration and opportunity in our most isolated and deprived communities has divided opinion would be to put it mildly. The Review has been widely picked up for its hard-hitting findings – amongst them, that there are ‘worrying levels of segregation and socioeconomic exclusion in different communities across the country and a number of inequalities between groups’, that ‘too many public institutions… have gone so far to accommodate diversity and freedom of expression that they have ignored or even condoned regressive, divisive and harmful cultural and religious practices’, and that previous ‘cohesion or integration plans have not been implemented with enough force or consistency, they have been allowed to be diluted and muddled, [and] they have not been sufficiently linked to socio-economic inclusion’. Continue reading

Progressive children’s legislation in reverse gear?

By Jane Tunstill, Emeritus Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London. 

It is no coincidence that the longest-running play on the London stage, The Mousetrap, which is still being shown after 64 years, is based on a key tragic event in the history of childcare policy in this country. Agatha Christie recognised that the death of Denis O’Neill in 1945, at the hands of his foster parents, was a topic to engage the attention of her readers, and audiences have certainly proved her right. The tragedy, and subsequent enquiry, directly triggered the 1948 Children Act, which introduced a national framework of children’s departments responsible for the systematic oversight of the welfare of children. Continue reading

Facebook’s censorship of the iconic Vietnam war photograph — and the unhealthiness of relying on a single news publisher

Dr Martin Moore is Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, and Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London. His views in this blog were first published on Medium.

2016 may be the year we recognise how unhealthy it is to be so reliant on a single publisher for so much of our news and information, especially when that publisher — Facebook — doesn’t even acknowledge it is one. Continue reading

Achieving a post-landmine world: The decades-old threat that just won’t go away

Hand-holding-landmine

Photo credit: Rodney Evans/AusAID, via Wikimedia Commons

What is currently being reused and deployed by so-called Islamic State and also threatens anyone playing the game Pokémon Go on their smartphones in Bosnia, Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam? The answer: landmines.

Antipersonnel landmines were first used in the Second World War, and continued to be deployed in conflicts ranging from the Vietnam War to the Gulf War. They are now used in only a handful of conflicts, meaning that the vast majority of mines contaminating land today were laid before the turn of the current century. Continue reading