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  1. What do we value more: an economic system which privileges profit above all other considerations, or the continued existence of human civilisation as we recognise it? A reckoning is coming.
  2. If sharp-elbowed parents are no longer able to buy themselves out of state education, they are incentivised to improve their local schools.
  3. In a society rigged in favour of landlords over tenants, to rent privately is to be deprived of security.
  4. Genuine democracy is frequently messy, not stage-managed.
  5. Labour’s mission is to democratise Britain: but first, it must surely democratise itself.
  6. The passenger pigeon, the golden toad, the Caspian tiger: they are all gone, and other species hang by a thread. Our actions are not merely driving other species to extinction: we threaten our own survival, too, by destabilising ecosystems and destroying biodiversity.
  7. For the well-heeled elites, the 90s and 00s were a non-stop party with no hangover: even after the financial crash, the fortunes of Britain’s 1,000 richest families more than doubled.
  8. The ‘free market’ is a creed that stirs up near religious devotion among its believers. It is in fact a con, a myth, a great deception.
  9. Neoliberalism has left Britain’s boss classes drunk on triumphalism, paying themselves record salaries and bonuses while their workers are imprisoned by poverty and insecurity. It was never going to last.
  10. As inspirationally tireless as hospice fundraisers are, these are services that desperately need sustainable central funding. This means addressing the social care crisis too, which has inevitable knock-on effects on palliative and end-of-life services.
  11. Yes, there is some evidence that migration can slightly depress wages at the bottom end of the labour market, but that’s an argument for a genuine living wage, for ensuring all workers are employed on the same terms and conditions, and for extending unionisation.
  12. Grief is like wandering through a minefield, as my mother puts it: however carefully you tread, a sudden detonation can happen out of nowhere. A song played in a supermarket; an overheard phrase; someone in the distance who your mind cruelly suggests is your loved one for a fleeting moment.
  13. A society should be judged by how it treats its children. A country that fails to invest in its children is imperilling its future.
  14. It is easier to diagnose a crisis than to cure it, of course.
  15. Britain’s unions were broken and battered by Thatcherism and never recovered.
  16. In the 1980s, the trade unions suffered a series of calamitous setbacks. Mass unemployment terrified workers into not risking the wrath of bosses. Repressive anti-union laws stunted the ability of workers to organise and defend their rights.
  17. Private schools do confer other advantages, of course: whether it be networks, or a sense of confidence that can shade into a poisonous sense of social superiority.
  18. But a rejection of freedom of movement within Europe’s own boundaries does not strengthen the case for accepting more migrants and refugees from outside: the reverse, in fact.
  19. Yet we have learned from the Scottish independence vote and with Brexit what referendums do to our politics. They foster bitter divisions in ways that parliamentary elections tend not to do.
  20. Our social model means economic growth all too often involves concentrating wealth produced by the many into the bank accounts of the few, without improving the lives of the majority.

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