It can be safely predicted that ideas and the terms of discussion about international development will change fundamentally in the coming five years. A major policy statement from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) marks an important milestone on this road, though it’s a long way from being the endpoint. In this very long post, I explore the white paper and a way of taking DFID’s logic forward. Continue reading
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has stepped out in front of all the contending parties to state the UK’s position five months ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit in a speech today. Committing the UK to spend on helping poor countries adapt to the consequences of climate change on top of overseas development aid, Brown proposed “a working figure” for support for adaptation and mitigation from the world’s rich countries “of around $100 billion per annum by 2020.” Continue reading
British politics is in one hell of a hole because of stupid abuse of a stupid set-up for covering the living expenses of Members of Parliament. The system was meant to augment MPs’ income because successive governments since the 1980s have been too gutless to agree to raise MPs’ pay in line with, for example, doctors. So the arrangement was always a piece of classic British hypocrisy and now it’s backfired into the fan. As the scandal and ridicule unfolds, though not all MPs are embroiled in it, the body as a whole is naturally obsessed by it and their real business suffers. Here are ten key problems Parliament should be talking about instead of staring up itself.
Posted in Climate change, Conflict & peace, Power, The economic crunch
Tagged banking reform, Copenhagen, finance sector, green economy, MPs' expenses, On the fiddle, Parliament, peace agreements, poverty, public service
This is a key year for climate change policy, leading up to the summit in Copenhagen in December, which has the task of coming up with the “post-Kyoto” climate agreement. With the obscurantism of Bush replaced by the energy and commitment of the still new Obama administration, hopes are high though obstacles are many. As part of its preparations for the year ahead, on Thursday 12th the UK Foreign Office held a workshop at London School of Economics on climate security. Continue reading
The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is preparing a White Paper. It will be its fourth one since the department was founded in 1997 in the early days of New Labour government. On Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th it held a conference in London as part of the work on the White Paper.
A billion are underfed and a billion are overweight. People, that is. Publication of an excellent report on food security by Alex Evans, The Feeding of the Nine Billion, offers an occasion for reflecting on how food sits at the fulcrum of many of the outstanding concerns of today – climate change and conflict, poverty and wealth, deprivation and privilege, power and exclusion. Continue reading