Opinion and Editorial from the Policy Exchange team.
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Dean Godson, the Director of Policy Exchange, wrote for Conservative Home about how the Conservative Party is divided on policy towards China in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. “Nearly everyone now has an opinion on China because of Covid19,” he says. “One measurement of the salience of an issue is the proliferation of party caucuses – such as the Huawei WhatsApp Group and the China Research Group. There is also talk of an alternative to the China APPG, seen by some as insufficiently challenging to the PRC.” Read the article here.
In 2015 the Government excluded onshore wind from the Contracts for Difference support scheme based on concerns from local residents about visual impact. Since then, whilst new nuclear power and fracking have struggled to get off the ground, the cost of onshore wind has continued to fall, Parliament has declared a climate emergency, and the Government has legislated for net zero emissions by 2050.
A new Chancellor of the Exchequer and a new Governor of the Bank of England offer the opportunity of taking a fresh look at not just monetary policy, but macro-economic policy as a whole and the role of fiscal policy within it. A decade after the Great Recession, there are profound questions that policy makers should be exploring.
Since the UK formally left the EU two weeks ago, the two sides have been gearing up for negotiations on the future relationship. The EU is still finalising its mandate, with the European Parliament and member states pushing for a tougher stance than the European Commission’s draft. The Prime Minister set out the UK’s position in his Greenwich speech earlier this mont
Today is the final deadline for university applications via UCAS. If previous years are anything to go by, over half a million hopeful applicants will have gone through the process of filling in their forms, making choices, completing personal statements in the hope of going on to an educational experience that will transform their lives.
Much has been made of Dominic Cummings early year blog-post asking for ‘misfits’, ‘policy experts’ and ‘weirdos’ to join him in the new Government to solve some of the country’s most complex problems.
The call from the Prime Minister’s Senior Adviser, Dominic Cummings, for “data scientists, project managers, policy experts and assorted weirdos” has sent heads spinning in Westminster and on Twitter. But what does this mean in practice and where should he start? Well, as Policy Exchange pointed out in Whitehall Reimagined, the Government has a unique opportunity to revitalise its digital leadership. Key to the fulfilment of their digital ambitions will be the appointment of the newly-created Government Chief Digital Information Officer (CDIO).
Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, head of counter-terror policing, is a man on a mission. It is in many ways a noble mission. As he spelled out in a lecture he gave last month to the Society of Editors, he wants to “maximise well-being and minimise harm,” “promote positive values and undermine evil ideologies that attack our way of life,” and “minimise the suffering of victims and survivors of crime and terrorism.” And at the heart of his pitch to the country’s leading journalists was a seductive message. We are all defenders of our way of life, he told them; you too are a pillar of our democracy. Shouldn’t we work hand in hand to protect the values that we hold in common?
The UK should feel deservedly pleased with the results of this week’s PISA rankings. Since the last rankings three years ago, it has risen from 22nd to 14th in reading, from 15th to 14th in science and from 27th to 18th in maths. The last is a particular achievement, with the UK improving nine score points over the last three years, one of only a handful of countries to secure a statistically significant increase. The gender gap and rich-poor attainment gap in the UK is also narrower in both cases than the OECD average.
The Labour Party manifesto, published last week, promises that the first year of a Labour government would see the introduction of “a War Powers Act to ensure that no prime minister can bypass Parliament to commit to conventional military action”. Enacting legislation of this kind would be a major change in our constitutional arrangements. The risk is that it would distort decision-making about the use of force and would undermine political responsibility for its use.