In this special edition of the Weekly Economics Podcast from its Archive, the issue of climate change is back on the global news agenda. We explore some of the possible solutions, debate what real action looks like and how those most affected can be the most powerful agents for change. It’s easy to feel defeated when the environmental crises we face are so immediate and huge. But action is urgently needed.
David Powell, Environment Lead at the New Economics Foundation, takes over hosting duties and is joined by Alice Bell, Director of Communications at 10:10, and Asad Rehman, Executive Director at War on Want.
You’re listening to Live from Lord North Street, a podcast from the Institute of Economic Affairs. Back in June, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, because the owner didn’t like her association with President Donald Trump’s administration. Is this an act of discrimination, perfectly within one’s right, or both?
Today we’re joined by Dr Steve Davies, Head of Education at the IEA, to discuss the concept of civility in public life. Interviewed by IEA News Editor Kate Andrews, Steve argues that any private establishment has the right to refuse service, but that doing so does not come without consequence. The pair discuss famous instances of discrimination, perpetuated by both the private sector and the state, and try to identify what the lines are between civil dissent and dangerously overstepping the mark.
Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump; Erdogan in Turkey and the Five Star Movement in Italy; Podemos in Spain and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. All of them have been described as populists. But what does ‘populism’ actually mean? How can it include people with wildly different ideologies under the same umbrella? Is it possible to be a progressive populist – and even if it is, should progressives use that label? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by academic and writer Eliane Glaser, and Michael Walker from Novara Media.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Eliane Glaser, Michael Walker
In this episode of Policy Matters, host Matt Dickson talks to Laura van der Erve from the Institute for Fiscal Studies about the merits of doing a university degree, and what recent evidence suggests are the relative labour market returns to degrees in different subjects at different institutions. With almost 50% of young people in England going on to Higher Education, and with tuition fees of £9,250 for most courses, it has never been more important to understand the impact on earnings of studying different subjects and at different HE institutions. Laura describes recent research from the IFS looking at graduate outcomes and explains some of the difficulties in pinning down the impact of a particular course on later earnings and employment. They then discuss social gradients in attending university and the extent to which inequalities have been impacted by changes in tuition fees. Finally, talk turns to thinking about the sorts of things students need to know in advance in order to make an informed decision about where to apply and what to study, how the government can help with this, and the limits of information provision as a policy.
In the last of her four discussions with writer and consultant on responsible business Tom Levitt, Linda Lewis probes further into what it means to be a responsible and sustainable business in the 21st century. The two discuss what it is that engages employees within a business setting, the growing phenomenon of “social enterprise”, and how such businesses differ from the mainstream. The role of “purpose” in business is explored; as is the changing nature of investment, which is increasingly being used to support businesses in creating positive social and environmental outcomes. The discussion is further explored from a historical perspective – what can we learn from hindsight that could improve business today?
Linda Lewis and former Labour MP Tom Levitt are back for their third discussion in a series inspired by Tom’s latest book, ‘The Company Citizen: Good for Business, Planet, Nation and Community’. In this episode, they discuss how business can be a force for good both in combating hunger and in the better management of resources through the “circular economy”. Tom shares how he came to write the book, why engaging with smaller businesses is crucial to the cause and how Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, has emerged as a leader of the responsible and sustainable business movement.
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.
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.