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Could we get a few more spotlights in here? Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Little sign of life, but look closely and the Lib Dems can cling on

There is a party fighting for its political life, desperate to be noticed again and it is meeting this week in Glasgow. The Liberal Democrat conference so far has a very “after-the-lord-mayor’s-show” feel…
He’s coming for you, Dave. Gerry Penny

The six questions to ask about UKIP this conference season

UKIP is assembling at Doncaster Racecourse for its annual conference, riding high on some major victories over the past few months and preparing for a by-election that could well secure the party its first…
Gove: Shutting the door on education. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Gove’s revolution leaves behind a fast-food education system

In what must surely be seen as a significant demotion, secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, has been moved to become chief whip in David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle. Given he is such a big fan…
Thoughts in my mind look like a black rainbow. itstom

Words used to diagnose depression don’t reflect reality

The words we use help shape how we think. Poets choose their words carefully and deliberately for their emotional impact. The way we conceptualise psychological problems in therapy has echoes of the choice…
Question 1: Where is the leaning tower of Pisa? Niall Carson/PA Archive

PISA education rankings are a problem that can’t be solved

With a heavy feeling of déjà vu, here we are again with another round of introspection on the OECD’s international Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings and the mediocre education…
The benefits of forced treatment at home are not clear cut. PhotographPhil

Jury out over forced home treatment for mental illness

The principle that people with mental health problems can be given treatment against their will while detained in hospital is well established. In the UK the Mental Health Act 2007 extended this principle…
Nick Clegg has more Facebook “likes” than David Cameron. David Cheskin/PA Wire

Five reasons to be miserable for the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are in trouble. The party appears to be engaged in a very public form of hari-kiri, accelerating its own political meltdown. The heady days of 23% polling and Cleggmania in 2010 seem…
Once you done that there’s plenty more to be getting on with. stuartpilbrow

Shock or yawn, PISA just preps children for a global work race

The triennial jamboree that is the publication of the OECD PISA tests kicked off with the usual round of blaming and name calling among politicians. Both sides of the political debate naturally found ammunition…
Yes we can (command a fat fee): Jim Messina, right. Obama for America via Creative Commons

Dog whistlers and numbers men – importing election talent

As the political parties start gearing up for the 2015 general election it looks as if the Conservatives have got in early with the big-name signings to drive their campaign. The news last week that Barack…

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