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Manchester Policy Blogs
Expert insight, analysis and comment on key public policy issues

The case for a qualified Civil Service

Without effective policy deliberation, the Civil Service will struggle to do anything well. Professor Colin Talbot makes the case for postgraduate qualifications for the Civil Service Policy Profession. Since the introduction of ‘Professional Skills for Government’, we have had a defined group within the Civil Service known as the ‘Policy Profession’. Although the ‘Professional Skills [...]
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Polling Observatory 38: Polls may bounce, but public opinion usually doesn’t

This is the thirty-eighth in a series of posts by Dr Robert Ford, Dr Will Jennings, Dr Mark Pickup and Prof Christopher Wlezien that report on the state of the parties in the UK as measured by opinion polls. By pooling together all the available polling evidence, the impact of the random variation that each individual survey inevitably produces can [...]
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Taking the Rap

The use of rap lyrics to suggest guilt or bad character is prejudicing criminal trials, warns Dr Eithne Quinn. In April 2014, Nicky Jacobs was found not guilty of the murder of PC Keith Blakelock in the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots in Tottenham, London. A key piece of evidence in the trial almost 30 years [...]
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Making shared housing work

The Government wants people on housing benefit to share accommodation to bring down costs. But, Sue Heath warns, voluntary arrangements usually work better than compulsion. The Government’s welfare reform programme is penalising under-occupation of social rented accommodation that is paid for by housing benefit. One approach favoured by the Government is more sharing of accommodation [...]
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