Ensuring a reliable, economically viable and environment-friendly energy supply is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. In 2011 Germany embarked on an ambitious programme to transform its energy system. In future, Germany’s energy supply will be generated primarily from renewables.
First, for the last 30 years, poverty in the UK has hovered close to the one-in-five mark, mostly a little below, but sometimes a little above, but a rate almost double the level of the 1970s and much higher than the average amongst other rich nations.
This has been driven by a sustained widening in the gap between top and bottom along with the erosion of life chances.
While cuts are inevitable, there are ways to rebalance cuts towards those with the broadest shoulders. Public sector jobs are not the problem.
Yesterday on the pages of this blog, Stewart Lansley claimed that I had “hurled a hand grenade” into the poverty debate by urging Labour to rethink its approach to child poverty. Leaving aside the hyperbole of that statement, Lansley’s case seems to be that my intervention “chimes with the line being taken by the coalition” in its attempts to redefine child poverty and its causes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Setting aside the ethics of this approach – which is unlikely to be altered anytime soon – the US can still afford to get tough with Burma without losing purchase over the Burmese government.
Dropping the child poverty target would mean accepting a level of poverty much higher than almost all countries of comparable wealth.
If I feel a sense of déjà vu as I watch UKIP’s rise today, just imagine the view from Crosby’s chair at Conservative Party HQ. David Cameron’s election strategist hasn’t just seen this film before – he’s already written the script.
In the mirror that The Great Gatsby holds up to 1920s America, we can see a reflection of our own illusions. We need to acknowledge them before we can deal with some of our most deep-rooted social problems.