I am trying to make this a regular Friday thing…
The good news:
- The billions we currently spend on unemployment benefits could be used more effectively help deprived communities weather the recession. So says nef‘s latest report Benefits that work.
- Breaking up the banks is no longer a marginal idea: it seems that everyone from Andy Haldane at the Bank of England to Alistair Darling now thinks that breaking up the mega-banks would be sensible. nef called for this earlier in the year in our report I.O.U.K.
- Age of Stupid director Franny Armstrong was ‘saved’ from a mugging by Boris Johnson . The Mayor of London just so happened to be cycling past as Franny was being intimidated by a group of teenagers wielding an iron bar. Saving a green activist while riding a bike has got to be the act of eco-friendly Good Samaritanism par excellence. Let’s hope Franny managed to get Boris to sign London up to 10:10.
The bad news:
- Climate change could lead to a new era of global insecurity, so say the top military figures who make up the Military Advisory Council at the Institute for Environmental Security in the Netherlands (via New Scientist).
- Ed Miliband has admitted that the chances of a global deal at COP15 in Copenhagen is increasingly unlikely. The Minister for Climate Change and Energy said that a full treaty could be up to a year away.
- Lord Griffiths perpetuates the myth that inequality is somehow ‘good’ for us. The Conservative peer – who is also the vice-chair of investment bank Goldman Sachs – tried to justify the bonus culture of the City by telling an audience that “inequality is a way of achieving greater opportunity and prosperity for all“. Richard Wilkinson, of the Equality Trust, provided a rebuttal, while nef‘s own research in The Great Transition shows that inequality could cost the UK alone up to £4.5 trillion over the next forty years, because of the social problems it causes.