Co-operation v competition

Northern England’s great cities are used to competing. So, asks Iain Deas, is it realistic to expect them to work together for the collective good? George Osborne’s continuing endorsement of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ raises important questions about future local economic development strategy. The idea underpinning the powerhouse proposal is that some of England’s principal Northern […]


Engaging with the electorate

Politicians seeking election this May need to communicate effectively with potential voters. Rosalynd Southern and Kingsley Purdam explain that – judging by the last General Election – many of them could do better. Good communication skills and an ability to connect with the electorate are key attributes for MPs. But in the UK MPs undertake […]


Why devolution is good for the economy

The case for the devolution of power away from London has centred on the political arguments. Professor Diane Coyle looks at the economic reasons. The context for the devolutionary tide in politics – to the nations and within England to the north and especially Greater Manchester – is that the United Kingdom has long been […]


A Mayor for All Seasons?

From June, Greater Manchester will get an interim mayor as part of a deal with the Government on regional devolution. But its imposition without a referendum is a fundamental error by the political elite that may well backfire, argues Professor Colin Talbot. ‘Mayors’ seem to have become the default answer of many in the political […]


Can the Northern Powerhouse ignore the digital economy?

The Government’s proposed Northern Powerhouse is all well and good, but, asks Anita Greenhill, where does the digital economy fit in this? The concept of a Northern Powerhouse and establishing an alternative to the dominant ‘London Powerhouse’ has strong Government support. It also has cross-party backing, with both the Conservative and Labour parties proposing their […]


The making of the Greater Manchester mayor – what next?

Opposition to a mayoral model for Manchester overlooks a decade of innovation and collaboration that has delivered economic and social benefits for the region, says Prof Francesca Gains. Much has been made of backroom deals between the Chancellor George Osborne and Manchester City Council’s chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein to deliver the most significant devolutionary […]


Racial prejudice: how bad measures can lead us astray

Last year, the Guardian triggered a major debate over prejudice after a front page splash painted a dark picture of rising racial intolerance in Britain, writes Dr Robert Ford. But he argues that this debate was focussed on a poorly constructed measure – and that more robust measures paint a very different picture. There is […]


Charlie Hebdo, the caricatures and the great fear of European Jews

Attacks on Jewish targets in Copenhagen and Paris are feeding emigration to Israel, explains Jean-Marc Dreyfus. The terror attacks in Copenhagen targeted both a cultural centre – where a debate on freedom of speech and the caricatures of Muhammad was taking place – and the city’s central synagogue. Five weeks after the Paris attacks, security […]


Who will lead the Manchester Powerhouse?

How significant will the elected mayoral role be for Greater Manchester – asks Iain Deas – and who will be that mayor? Simon Jenkins recently treated readers of the Guardian to an account of the rebuilding of city-regional governance in Greater Manchester. The story was of heroic struggle by Manchester’s civic leaders, guided by the […]

container ship

Honest debate needed on TTIP – not simplistic slogans

European Commissioners calling the adoption of the TTIP trade agreement a ‘no-brainer’ is not conducive to the honest debate on the EU-US free trade agreement that is needed, argue Ferdi De Ville and Gabriel Siles-Brügge. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and European Financial Services Commissioner Jonathan Hill have written that concluding the Transatlantic Trade and […]