Why the Left should embrace the sharing economy 

The sharing economy is changing the fabric of the global economy - and it is the worst-off who are benefiting the most. From the streets of Stafford to the favelas of Rio, the sharing model is granting the young, the elderly and the "just about managing" a level of independence and choice that was previously impossible. And the Left's absurd resistance to this change is holding back the very people they purport to champion.

Don't worry, Italy won't bring down the banking system

In the first of two pieces responding to Italy's resounding rejection of Matteo Renzi's constitutional reforms - and of his government - Richard Walker argues that predictions of a new financial crisis are overblown. Italy's public finances may be shot, but its banks are in good enough health to weather the political storm.

What can Britain learn from the world’s best schools?

The PISA rankings are out and once again, Britain is lagging behind: one in five 15-year-olds in England are not meeting the very basic standards in numeracy and literacy. The Government’s proposal to bring back grammar schools is unlikely to solve the problem, either. Instead, we should be looking to Finland, Canada, Japan at the top of the PISA rankings, and re-assessing our fundamental ideas about what is possible with education.

The far Right is far from finished in Austria 

Austria's presidential election may have seen a narrow defeat for Norbert Hofer and the far Right - but this is no time to get complacement. Hofer's narrow defeat should serve as a wake-up call to the Austrian establishment, argues Dalibor Rohac, which has overseen a system of patronage and influence based on loyalty rather than merit and left voters with no real choice.

Private healthcare in rural India is cheaper and better

In India, primary health care is ostensibly available for free from public health clinics and hospitals. And according to official statistics, these public providers deliver roughly the same quality of treatment as private providers. Yet even in Madhya Pradesh, one of the poorer states in India (with a GDP per capita of $1,500), 70 per cent of primary care visits are to private, fee-charging providers. What's going on?


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