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Peter Taylor-Gooby OBE is a leading social policy academic. He has published widely and made many TV and radio appearances. He previously worked as a teacher, an antique dealer, in a social security office and on adventure playgrounds. He is passionately interested in the subject matter of this novel.
Blood Ties is a nuanced story that addresses issues of power, corruption and modern slavery. Ritchie Morlan is an experienced advertising executive. His children work as activists against people-trafficking and modern slavery. Ritchie’s aim to use his knowledge to support his children’s cause massively backfire, leading him to make modern slavery not only more widespread but acceptable to the general public. This book manages to intertwine a lot of different themes. There’s family drama as you watch Ritchie work to become closer to his children and find out more about their relationship and past. The storyline also covers corruption and money in politics, protest, anti-immigration policies and advertising and the media. I think that this was an interesting and well-written story that seemed to take a lot of inspiration from modern current affairs and twisted them into a convincing political, almost dystopian thriller. This book manages to deal with the microcosm of Ritchie’s well-meaning efforts to help amplify his children’s work, while also dealing with the bigger picture view of a dark outcome to anti-immigration feeling and political messages that is visible online and in the news today. Blood Ties had me intrigued from the early pages and my interest was held throughout. A worryingly believable plot that I would recommend it for readers who enjoy political thrillers.
This edited collection uses democratic forums to study what people want from the welfare state in five European countries. The forum method yields new insights into how people frame social issues, their priorities and acceptable solutions. This is the first time democratic forums have been used as a research tool in this field. The contributors' research show that most people recognize growing inequality, population ageing, paying for health care and pensions, social care and immigration as areas where the welfare state faces real challenges. The most striking findings are the high level of support across all countries for social investment, and the way justifications for this vary between welfare state regimes. The authors also explore key areas such as immigration and intergenerational differences. Attitudes, Aspirations and Welfare will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines including politics, social policy and sociology, as well as policy-makers.
Could you hate someone enough to kill them? And what if they deserve it? Ade is a tax-inspector. She hates the City of London. She hates the endless corruption, the bland assumption that tax is for the little people. She hates the casual sexism, the smug self-assurance, the inviolability of the men she deals with, and the cold certainty that nothing you can do will ever touch them. Then Webster tries to rape her, and she hates him enough to try to kill him. She finds herself in the world of the rootless, marginal street homeless who live meagre lives in the shadow of the office blocks that house the rich. She meets Paul, an Occupy activist who works with homeless people. Ade and Paul become modern-day Robin Hoods, getting involved in various attempts to expose the scale of fraud in the City and help the poor and dispossessed, but the power of money to influence government and control the media defeats them. As their love for each other grows, they find real fulfilment in fighting for the rights of ordinary people, such as Gemma, a homeless single parent. Then Webster comes back into Ade's life and it's payback time. Ardent Justice is a gripping feminist thriller, endorsed by Polly Toynbee, the leading Guardian columnist. It tells the story of Ade's struggle against the City and for her own integrity, and of her love for Paul, and of how hard it is to live a morally good life in a corrupted world. It has been inspired by Zoe Fairbairns and Lionel Shriver and will appeal to fans of character-led thrillers. Profits will be donated to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.
Auctioning babies makes sense, at least that's what Market World thinks. After all the baby goes to someone who can give them a good start in life, and the parents get a return for their pain and trouble.For Ed and Matt, the Baby Auction sums up everything that's wrong with a society based on profit. Then one day Matt rescues a drowning child and they face the question: can love and compassion overcome the harsh laws of Market World?
Exerpt from the Financial Times Comment & Analysis: Europe takes on reform of the welfare state: A new study indicates that while the UK has transformed its social policies, the rest of Europe has been far from idle - `[A] stimulating new book on European welfare states [Welfare States under Pressure] suggests that the view of Britain as the only great welfare state reformer is overstated. And it adds that the game across Europe is about to change.... This new study argues that, particularly in the late 1990s, there has been more reform in the rest of Europe than is appreciated in the UK. And that Europe as a whole is on the cusp of much greater changes.... Certainly in France and possibly in Germany, the study judges, the traditional power balance between government, employers, unions and welfare providers has shifted such that government may be able to impose much more drastic measures... In the UK, by contrast, the impact of EU institutions may in some areas mean a degree of levelling up - as in healthcare. The most intriguing question is how far reformed welfare states will retain the social cohesion they are designed to produce. So far, even in the UK, they have proved remarkably resilient - adapting to changing needs rather than being rolled back . This study's verdict on the issue is don't know . But so much change is on the way, it says, that the past is unlikely to be a good guide to the future ' - Nicholas Timmins, The Financial Times Welfare States under Pressure provides a timely and comprehensive review of welfare policy-making in Europe. The text compares the different ways in which welfare states have responded to similar pressures over recent years, and considers how welfare is likely to develop in the future. This work: * provides up to date accounts of welfare development in Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the United Kingdom. * explores how similar pressures can lead to different responses due to different policy-making mechanisms in each of the seven different countries * contains chapters written by leading national experts * written accessibly, and tightly edited, with each chapter following the same conceptual structure. This volume takes a fresh approach in its analysis of the future of the welfare state in Europe. It suggests that opportunities for radical change in welfare systems are now opening up, and that there will be little continuity between the future and the past/present of the welfare system in Europe. Welfare States under Pressure is invaluable to undergraduate students in social policy, European studies and politics, and will also be of great use to other social science students interested in Europe and its future development.