Climate and energy policy may not be the most talked about issue from candidates in the run up to the election; in the current economic climate the focus has been shifted elsewhere in the scramble for crosses on paper, but what might the future hold for environmental issues under a new government? This week we have seen the odds on a Tory government cut considerably, so what would a Tory government offer to those worried about climate policy?

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The recent allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church has turned into a public relations disaster for the Vatican who, under the leadership of a mild mannered Pope, has failed to take the necessary steps in response to these damning accusations. This failure in crisis management has also unearthed internal power struggles still raging after the Vatican elected Cardinal Ratzinger to the Papacy in 2005. The scandal has also brought to the surface some veiled, but albeit dangerous, sectarian attacks against the Catholic Church.

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Last Tuesday Tony Blair returned to the Labour Party front-line when he gave a speech to his former sedgefield constituents. In his speech he praised Gordon Brown as the man who made the brave and correct decisions at the right time regarding the economy, “It required leadership. Gordon Brown supplied it”, and criticised the Conservatives for offering nothing more than change for change sake, describing the “time for change” mantra as “vacuous”.

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A large number of protestors on that day behaved badly, the smashing up of a branch of RBS is one notable reminder. What we have to remember is that the police on the front line that day are individuals who will react to aggression in the same way as the protestors did on that day, and in the same way that most people would – namely to meet aggression with aggression. The bigger picture at stake here,…… (more…)

As horrible as the murder of James Bulger was in 1993.The need to uphold the anonymity of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson must be the priority of our Criminal Justice System if we are to avoid a descent into a MediEvil witch hunt ending in one, or both, of the murderers death. What this case does show is that a far more effective form of justice and punishment is rehabilitation, not retribution.

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Our theme of the month for February – China – has come to an end. Two key points of note should be highlighted following discussions amongst our contributors. Firstly, Ossie Froggatt-Smith pointed out how in 2009, China rose to the top of the IPO market. Chinese companies sold shares in its companies totalling some $50.4 billion in comparison to the $24 billion of shares sold by U.S companies. Ossie also argued that the potential opening up of the Shanghai….. (more…)

2010, the Chinese year of the tiger, may be a difficult year for both the literal and metaphorical big cat. While wild tiger numbers have fallen to 3,200, China faces a year of possible difficulties. The fear of rampant inflation, continued conflict over Tibet and other areas of China’s relations with the wider world, and an increase in protectionism could all combine to trip up the Chinese behemoth. (more…)

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