Blog & Articles

The robots are coming. Will they bring wealth or a divided society?

Date: 6. January 2014
Gavin Kelly

Whether it's our humdrum reliance on supermarket self-service tills, Siri on our iPhones, the emergence of the drone as a weapon of choice or the impending arrival of the driverless car, intelligent machines are woven into our lives as never before. 

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Are zero hours contracts here to stay?

Date: 5. August 2013
Vidhya Alakeson

It is not surprising that at the end of the longest economic downturn the UK has ever faced to see an increase in the number of people on zero hours contracts. In uncertain times, employers have turned to these contracts to weather a difficult economic climate. By not guaranteeing employees a set number of hours of work, zero hours contracts allow employers to respond flexibly to demand. Local Authorities have found them similarly useful in the face of budget cuts and an uncertain future for many council services. The question for the coming years is whether, as the economy starts to recover, zero hours contracts are here to stay.

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Ed Miliband has many challenges – but the spending review isn't one of them

Date: 7. May 2013
Gavin Kelly

George Osborne's immediate priorities shouldn't distract Labour, which instead must focus on how it plans to cut the deficit

Whether Labour matches the spending totals set out by George Osborne in the spending review is deemed to be one of the most significant questions in British politics and the sternest test yet of Ed Miliband's leadership. But like many self-evident truths that emerge from Westminster, it's a bit wide of the mark.

To be sure, Miliband faces some major judgment calls before the election – above all on the public finances. But whether to match the coalition's spending review proposals isn't one of them. What's more, the main reason for this is that the coalition has inadvertently let him off the hook.

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Labour's recovery position

Date: 29. April 2013
Gavin Kelly

To assert that the next general election will be about living standards is now a commonplace in Westminster, even a cliche. Say it and people nod along. But precisely what this means – the progress the public thinks is possible, the purchase they believe political parties have on the main policy issues – remains rather hazy.

Some in Labour will confidently tell you that the Ronald Reagan challenge – are you better off than at the last election? – will be the killer question to swing the 2015 outcome. If it were that simple, Labour would be home and dry: real wages are likely to have fallen by up to 10% by the end of the parliament; "better off with Labour" would be the inevitable campaign slogan.

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Blair and Brown

Learning the right lessons from Labour's economic record

Date: 15. November 2011
Gavin Kelly and

This blog originally appeared on Gavin's New Statesman blog.

You might think the one thing the world doesn't need right now is yet another instant history about the Labour years. But here one comes -- this time, though, with a difference. The authors certainly won't be dining out on the royalties and there's no insider gossip or "he said, she said" revelations about rows in Downing St. Which is perhaps one reason why it's worth reading; it says something serious about what did and didn't happen to economic performance during the Labour years.


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