The politics of empathy

Emotion has always played a central role in PR and advertising. However, its importance in shaping public policy is often overlooked. In the 1990s, two pieces of legislation were enacted to address the emotionally-charged subjects of gun control and dog attacks. In 1991, the Dangerous Dogs Act sought to end a series of violent dogRead more

‘Repeal the 8th’ comes to Westminster

In the wake of Ireland’s landslide 66% to 34% decision to repeal the 8th amendment of the Bunreacht na h’Éireann, which had barred any move to liberalise abortion law, there has been increasing pressure for similar changes in Northern Ireland. This is a totemic red line for the DUP. Any move to make abortion legalRead more

What to expect from stage 2 of the Childhood Obesity Strategy

“The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots,” George Orwell. In Autumn 2015 I attended a meeting with then Public Health Minister Jane Ellison and a coalition of charity representatives. There, the Minister told attendees that if the upcoming Childhood Obesity Strategy delivered ‘everything but’ a sugar tax,Read more

WA long read: What’s on the horizon for 2018

2017 was a political rollercoaster – a (surprise) snap general election, an even more surprising result, the formation of a Tory-DUP confidence and supply arrangement, the rise of Corbyn-mania, and sexual harassment scandals that shook all political parties in Westminster and across the devolved assemblies. To say that 2018 will be a less tumultuous yearRead more