Once the sole domain of providers like the Co-Op, over the past decade, the concept of socially responsible investing (SRI) has come to the fore as investors of all sizes consider the ethical credentials of their portfolios. It then begs the question, what level of SRI do we want in our own pension funds, which for many are their only contact with the equities market? Can we afford the ‘luxury’ of meeting minimum ethical standards when we face an upcoming pensions crisis, or should the primary concern be yield at any cost to prevent the next generation living in poverty? Moreover, as stewards of what is effectively large sums of public money (although not in the literal sense) do the largest pension schemes have an implicit duty to bring about positive change?
The fierce debate around Ed Balls’ pledge to reintroduce the 50p tax rate is set to rage all the way up to the 2015 general election. Few policy announcements could match it for symbolic resonance among the party faithful, or- as recent polling indicates- the wider public. The tax rise sends out a clear message about Labour’s priority in government: ensuring those with the deepest pockets contribute most to restoring the public finances.
Deputy Leaders of the Labour Party have included some of the most important and interesting figures in our movement's history. Throughout the year we will profile each of the 16 Deputy Leaders in separate blogposts. The first Deputy Leader was J.R. Clynes (1922-1932), a Fabian and Trade Unionist, who began working in a cotton mill when he was ten years old, helped form the Piercers' Union at seventeen years old, leading the Labour party in the 1922 elections before becoming Deputy Leader. In his final years as Deputy, Clynes shared the position with Scottish MP William Graham (1931-1932).
In this winter edition of Anticipations, Editor Louie Woodall interviews Shadow Minister for Housing. Emma Reynolds. See the magazine for the full version of the interview.
The shortage of safe, affordable homes is one of the most shameful failures of successive governments, both Labour and Conservative. The coalition’s single-minded commitment to austerity has only exacerbated the situation, and entering 2014 it is no exaggeration to say that Britain faces a housing crisis.
It is only right, therefore, that housing is a red-hot issue for Labour. The people’s party needs to demonstrate its commitment to providing appropriate shelter for all who live here, regardless of circumstances. It’s a tough ask. It needs someone just as tough to tackle it. Enter Emma Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Housing and MP for Wolverhampton North East.
A policy of extensive, affordable childcare would have far-reaching benefits for working mothers and the economy.
The debate over welfare reform in the last few years in Britain has primarily focused on the cost and fairness of unemployment benefits. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government have primarily focused on punitive policies, punishing those out of work who they believe to be ‘scrounging’ off the benefits system. Instead, what the Government should be focusing on is welfare policies which actively support people into work. One of these policies would be the provision of childcare for all children aged between 1 and 4 years old. This would enable mothers, who are otherwise be constrained by the cost of childcare, to find work or increase their hours.
The next issue of Anticipations looks at the challenges facing young people and the wider population as we head into another winter of austerity under the Coalition Government. Young Fabian members will be treated to articles by Caroline Flint MP, Seema Malhotra MP, Sam Tarry of the TSSA, and Richard Angell of Progress, not to mention a special interview with Emma Reynolds MP.
Here, editor Louie Woodall sets out the theme for this issue.
Over the coming hours and days there will be countless tributes to Nelson Mandela from people better placed to honour him than I ever could. It would seem remiss though, for the Executive of the Young Fabians, to not mark the passing of a political giant who represented hope to so many people.