In this interview, Peter Urwin considers the ‘collective failures’ suffered by the polling industry in recent years; from their inability to predict the 2015 British general election outcome, to Brexit, to Trump. Joining him is Professor Patrick Sturgis, who discusses findings from his chairing of the British Polling Council/Market Research Society Inquiry into the 2015 General Election Polls; and in his role as Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Political Polling and Digital Media. They explore whether the same mistakes are being made by Pollsters across these different ‘failures', and whether it is getting harder to predict outcomes. Plus, they ask whether analysis of social media presents an opportunity to help capture voter sentiment – or is the media industry part of the problem?
“Fake news” has been sweeping the nation – or has it? Today we’re joined by Kate Andrews, News Editor at the IEA and Head of Education Dr Steve Davies. Steve argues that, unlike what many in the mainstream media would have you believe, “fake news” is nothing new.
In fact, trawling through history, we see that “Fake news” has been around in innumerable ways, shapes and forms, for centuries – even millennia.
There is no one kind of fake news, and Kate and Steve examine some of the major distinctions between them, particularly in regards to intention and trust in mainstream.
Finally, they examine how to spot fake news – and what we can all do to halt its dissemination and create a higher standard of debate.
Global financial markets have been flying up and down and all over the place this week, and it’s all to do with one boot-shaped country in the Mediterranean. Italy has found itself embroiled in a power struggle between Eurosceptic populists – winners of the March general election – and the pro-EU establishment. The ramifications have spread across the globe and will affect Britons from big-time investors to anyone building up a pension pot. Also in this episode, This is Money editor Simon Lambert, presenter Georgie Frost and personal finance editor Rachel Rickard Straus talk about what you can do to stop your dream house move falling through, and whether proposals to make tax on savings and dividends simpler will work – or just see savers pay more tax. And finally, in troubled times for the high street, the team look at one retailer bucking the trend.
Today we’re joined by author and academic Dr Joanna Williams, and the IEA’s Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon, to discuss freedom and feminism in the 21st century. Right now, the authoritarians seems to be winning the battle of ideas, following a raft of new nanny state legislation over the last few years – with ever more draconian schemes in the pipeline. Interviewed by the IEA’s Kate Andrews, Chris and Joanna take a look at what all of this means for ordinary consumers – and whether we can expect a backlash against the nanny state, embodied by groups like Public Health England. They also examine what is becoming an increasingly puritanical culture around feminism, and what the future holds for the movement in the wake of the ‘Me Too’ campaign.
Are there limits to free speech – and if so, where should they be set? In this week’s podcast, Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the IEA and News Editor Kate Andrews examine this question. They take a look at free speech on social media, and at universities, where issues like ‘safe spaces’ and ‘no platforming’ are increasingly controversial. Yet, the situation is rather more complex than it might seem. Though, Steve argues, speech should be as free as possible – private institutions and private individuals also have a right to determine what speech they permit on their own property. And public funding of institutions can also complicate matters.
How much should we worry about inequality? With ongoing Corbyn-mania in UK politics, and the popularity of books like Thomas Piketty’s Capital in The 21st Century, it seems like we’ve never cared more about promoting equality of outcome. But is our concern justified? Is economic disparity a characteristic of modernity – or a persistent feature of human civilisation? On our podcast this week, Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the IEA, and News Editor Kate Andrews, examine this controversial topic.
Universal basic income is now one of the most fashionable concepts in progressive politics. With automation increasing and wages stagnating, the theory is that giving everyone a set amount of money each year will liberate them to do what they want with their lives – and keep them out of poverty. But some people think universal basic income is an utopian impossibility. Others think it’s dangerous. So there’s a proposal for another solution: universal basic services. Instead of giving people money, why not guarantee all of the public services they need to live a full life? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith explores the two ideas with Barb Jacobson, Co-ordinator of Basic Income UK, and Anna Coote, New Economics Foundation Principal Fellow.
Exactly one year from today, Britain will officially quit the EU. But what do we know so far, and what happens next?
Today joined by Julian Jessop, Head of the IEA’s Brexit Unit, and Shanker Singham, Director of the IEA’s new International Trade and Competition Unit. Interviewed by Digital Officer Madeline Grant, the pair answer some of the most pressing questions about Brexit – including what, if anything, we’ve managed to negotiate so far, how our economy has fared until now, the future of the Irish border, and whether there is any chance of Brexit being overturned.
A nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury has led to a retaliation by the UK government – expelling diplomats and ramping up a war of words. With Putin winning another huge election victory last week, some people are worried that we’re entering a new Cold War. Meanwhile, UK gas supplies have run low thanks to the recent winter freeze. What if Russia were to switch off our gas? Has it done it to other countries? And how would we get by? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Dave Powell, who leads on the environment for NEF, and Dustin Benton, policy director for the environmental think tank Green Alliance.
In the latest instalment of our podcast series, Live From Lord North Street, News Editor Kate Andrews discusses trade arrangements and customs unions post-Brexit with Shanker Singham, who is joining the IEA as the director of our new International Trade and Competition unit. The pair examine Theresa May’s recent speech – one of six in a series dubbed the ‘Road to Brexit’ – in which the PM set out five key tests with which to judge an eventual deal with the EU. They also examine the future of regulation outside of the European Union, and potential alternatives to full regulatory alignment.