The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Tuesday 7th June 2011

Trident – time for a real debate?

Description
The Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, has recently announced the approval of the Initial Gate Business Case for the replacement for the Vanguard Class nuclear submarines. The contracts for this phase are likely to be in the region of £3bn. However, the Defence Secretary admitted that the total cost was likely to reach £25bn by the time the boats are built. Given that the initial estimates prepared in 2006 were in the region of £15–20bn, the sceptics around Whitehall, who are well used to Ministry of Defense (MoD) 'guesstimations', anticipate the final bill being closer to £38bn.
Date:
Tuesday 7th June 2011
Categories:
Arts and Law, Research
Thursday 26th May 2011

Should the UK take a leaf out of Canada's book?

Should the UK take a leaf out of Canada's book?
Description
As America's favourite cartoon character, Homer Simpson, recognised when he visited London in 2003, there is a shared family tree between the UK, the United States and Canada. Centuries of history along with geography and a common language have created an interaction between the three nations that stretches beyond mere symbolism.
Date:
Thursday 26th May 2011
Categories:
Arts and Law
Thursday 17th February 2011

The 'Spring of the Arab peoples'?

The 'Spring of the Arab peoples'?
Description
1848 witnessed the 'Spring of the peoples' with almost all of Europe contending with revolutionary movements. Are we set to see 2011 remembered as the 'Spring of the Arab peoples'? After Tunisia's 'Jasmine Revolution', Egypt is on course to achieve radical regime change.
Date:
Thursday 17th February 2011
Categories:
Arts and Law
Thursday 20th January 2011

Tunisia's 'Jasmine Revolution' and its aftermath: defining new expectations for the Arab world?

Tunisia's 'Jasmine Revolution' and its aftermath: defining new expectations for the Arab world?
Description
Tunisia is well known for its dream-like Mediterranean beaches, but it has never hit the British headlines for its vibrant political activity – since independence in 1956, it has been traditionally easy to anticipate election results, as the country has only had two presidents in 54 years. That was until an unemployed grocer, Mohamed Bouazizi, immolated himself in the small town of Sidi-Bouzid on 17 December.
Date:
Thursday 20th January 2011
Categories:
Arts and Law
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