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Demos vs the Conservatives: which model of civic service is better?

By James Crabtree  

Civic service: What Would Cicero Do

Britain needs a universal programme of youth civic service, as  Prospect argued in a cover essay I wrote with Frank Field earlier this year. Recession-era Britain also needs a massively expensive new public spending programme—whose benefits are difficult to quantify—like a hole in the head. Discuss.

Solving this conundrum is tricky. No one has run the numbers on such a civic service programme for some time. Number 10 did cost a scheme, in secret, in the early 2000s—when…

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