Is the Ship of Fools setting sail from Europe?

The Ship of Fools – in Foucault’s book Madness and Civilisation – set sail from Basel in the 14th Century. Today the European Central Bank is launching its own Ship of Fools with quantitative easing, argues Ian Crowther. Basel is home to a museum of alchemy and micro prudential banking regulation. It was also where […]

food banks sign

Why food insecurity and food banks have become commonplace

A recently published All Party Parliamentary report warns that food insecurity in the UK is here to stay until effective action is taken. Dr Kingsley Purdam, Elisabeth Garratt and Professor Aneez Esmail explain why. More than half a million people in the UK are reliant on food aid, according to Church Action on Poverty. This is […]


Global Debt Soars in the Post Crisis Economy

The McKinsey Global Institute last week released a report highlighting the fact that global debt has increased in the years since the credit crunch. Here Ian Crowther of the Business School at The University of Manchester analyses the findings and what the impact may be. A rather disturbing report was released by McKinsey Global Institute […]


The coalition’s record on schools

Last week’s topic in the pre-election debate was schools. The Conservative party announced that it would protect spending on schools in cash terms, but not keep pace with inflation.  It would also convert more schools to Academies, including those adjudged ‘requiring improvement’ by Ofsted.  Labour retaliated by accusing the Coalition of failing to tackle educational […]


Changing the ties that bind

Clinical Commissioning Groups were introduced by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The role of GPs within the NHS and their relationships with NHS managers are changing as a result, explains Julia Segar.  The NHS is dealing with severe challenges at present, with A&E in crisis and bed blocking preventing the release of some […]


Ethnic inequalities in health – policy paralysis and the need to be ambitious

How and why does policy continue to fail to address inequalities in health? asks Professor James Nazroo. A recent report on inequalities in health, commissioned by the British Academy, brought together responses to the question, “What one policy could make a difference if implemented at a local level?” The context was, of course, local government, […]


Nigeria’s Elections – 2015

With Nigeria due to go to the polls later this month Bala Yusuf Yunusa, of the Brooks World Poverty Institute at The University of Manchester, explores the impact the result may have on Nigeria’s international relations and particularly relations with the UK. Trade between the two nations is worth £8b a year. Bala has previously […]


Should We Welcome “Three-Parent Babies”?

The House of Commons voted for a small but significant change in the law when it expressed its approval for the legalisation of mitochondrial transfer. Iain Brassington, Senior Lecturer, in the School of Law at The University of Manchester explores the issues the debate hinged on and whether the right decision was made. Mitochondrial illnesses arise […]

smoking and drinking

New approach needed to tackle ‘lifestyle diseases’

The Change4Life campaign just launched by NHS England is the latest attempt to persuade people to adopt healthier lifestyles.  But, says Dr Stanley Blue, this type of public health campaign is not enough to tackle fast rising rates of ‘lifestyle diseases’. Current public health policy is focussed on getting people to change their eating, drinking […]


Socio-economic inequalities widening again in English schools: The story behind the 2014 GCSE results.

Publication of the 2014 GCSE results has highlighted  a worrying decline in academic performance by poorer children, say Ruth Lupton and Stephanie Thomson from The University of Manchester. Yesterday’s release of the 2014 GCSE results, showing a fall in overall achievement and a doubling of the number of schools not meeting the government’s floor target, […]