Western policy in Middle East fudges dangers of Islamism, says former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
In the struggle against Islamist extremism, history matters. It is often under-appreciated how far the groups across the Islamist spectrum, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Daesh, are powered by a simplistic, yet powerful, historical narrative. In the inaugural Elie and Sylvia Kedourie Lecture, “The Importance of History: The Chatham House Version Revisited”, Sir John Jenkins – former UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, co-author of the UK Government’s review of British policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood and a Policy Exchange Senior Fellow – critiques the tendency towards shallow, one-dimensional thinking about the Middle East that infects much Western commentary and analysis on the region.
Beware excessive “declinism” – we’re putting more money into UK defence but American warnings must also be heeded
Policy Exchanges Gabriel Elefteriu warns ahead of the Budget that we should beware the declinist narrative that too often pervades discussion of UK defence capability. He cautions this can too often verge on a self-fulfilling prophesy and we should acknowledge that the Government is now increasing defence spending. Equally, it is important that American warnings are headed, particularly on the retention of specific capabilities.
‘Without sound finance, you cannot have a strong economy with which to fund public services’ – the moral the Chancellor should choose for his Budget
Policy Exchange’s Research Fellow in Economics, Mike Taylor, sets out the guiding principles with which to judge the Autumn Budget. Highlighting the importance of fiscal sustainability, Mike cautions those seeking to use the Japanese experience to justify higher borrowing, pointing out the limits of any comparison with the UK.
A sensible deal on the Northern Ireland border is very achievable – Brussels and Dublin should stop playing games.
Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Graham Gudgin, sets out how a workable deal on the Northern Ireland border could be delivered – without the return of a ‘hard border’. He says that the Irish Government and European Commission are using the issue for short-term political gain.
Policy Exchange welcomes Hon James Mattis
Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon James Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, to our offices. Secretary Mattis discussed the current global situation, a situation which includes the threats posed by North Korea and a Russia seeking to challenge the territorial integrity of its neighbours. He also spoke of the enduring importance of the UK–US Alliance and of Britain’s continued moral voice on the world stage, as Policy Exchange argued for in The Cost of Doing Nothing. He also praised Policy Exchange’s record of thought leadership in making the case for a Global Britain’s continued commitment to NATO.
The Government should establish a new Energy Efficiency Delivery Unit and Energy Performance Certificates should be linked to business rates to incentivise landlords to invest more in energy efficiency, according to Clean Growth, the new report from Policy Exchange’s influential and expert Energy and Environment team. The report calls for a new approach by Government to encourage investment in business energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions and improve business productivity. Existing tools like the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme can be much better used – and must be extended to public sector institutions like the NHS and MoD.read more
In November 2016, days before the Supreme Court hearing in the Miller case, Professor Timothy Endicott (University of Oxford) delivered a lecture for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project on the royal prerogative. Reflecting its weight and importance, the lecture was relied on by the Government’s lawyers. Today, the Judicial Power Project publishes a revised and updated version of Professor Endicott’s lecture, with a foreword by Professor Sir Ross Cranston, recently retired from the High Court bench and former Solicitor General.read more
In a new paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, Professor Carol Harlow QC (Hon) looks at the problem of the judicialisation of administrative justice. After a homeless refugee turned down a flat on the grounds that the shape of its windows remind her of the prison in Iran where she was tortured, a housing officer concluded that this ended the local authority’s obligation to house her. That decision was then reviewed by one county court judge, three Court of Appeal judges, and five Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court’s involvement was necessary to rebuff attempts by the European Court of Human Rights to judicialise administrative law and practice. Professor Harlow’s paper commends the Supreme Court’s approach, arguing that it shows how domestic judges and lawmakers can form a “Parliament Square Axis” to limit European judicial overreach.read more
Ahead of the Budget, Policy Exchange’s Head of Housing and Urban Regeneration Susan Emmett wrote for Huffington Post about how “Money alone will not fix the housing market”. She says “Local backing for developments is more likely if they have regard to the aesthetics and impact on local infrastructure” and calls for “consistent direction, not only from Whitehall but also from all levels of government up and down the country”.read more
The Chancellor should not give in to the temptation to “give what amounts to protection money to the union lobby” and increase school funding in next week’s Budget, argues Policy Exchange’s Head of Education and Social Reform John Blake in the Times. “We can have world-leading schools without breaking the bank, but not if our school system believes there will always be more money whatever happens.”read more
Last week, Chuka Umunna spoke to Chatham House in a much-needed intervention on the state of British foreign policy.
In recent years, the British foreign policy debate has not kept up with the pace of global political and economic change. For that reason alone, there was much to commend in Umunna’s sense of urgency. To adapt to the challenges of the twenty-first century, as he put it, “we need to look ahead and develop a proper national strategy on the basis of a clear understanding of what our interests are”.read more
Policy Exchange Energy and Environment Research Fellow Joshua Burke writes for Business Green with some recommendations for how the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, should focus his attention for a low-carbon transition.read more
John Blake, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education and Social Reform, joined BBC Humberside for a breakfast time discussion about academies, in which he argues that giving control of schools to the people best placed to improve them is helping thousands of children.read more
Writing for the Evening Standard, Policy Exchange’s Co-Head of Security and Extremism Hannah Stuart challenges suggestions by new terrorism watchdog Max Hill QC that IS fighters returning from Syria are “naive” and should be “reintegrated”. Are they really “disillusioned”, she asks — or, as the caliphate crumbles, are these IS fighters merely running out of options?” Stuart argues that we have the legal armoury we need to deal these fighters, but that we need to use it more effectively. She also warns Max Hill QC against meeting Islamist groups who crave the legitimacy such meetings bestow.read more
- Monday, 25 September, 2017
17:30 - 18:30
Speakers: Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee, Prof Marcus Newborough, Development Director, ITM Power, Marcus Stewart, Head of Energy Insights, UK Energy Strategy, National Grid, Mike Copson, Hydrogen Business Development Manager, Shell New Energies, Matt Rooney, Energy and Environment Research Fellow, Policy Exchange
- Monday, 25 September, 2017
12:30 - 13:30
Speakers: Clive Efford MP, Anthony Beilin, Head of Innovation and Startup Engagement, Aviva, Birgitte Andersen, CEO, Big Innovation Centre, Alistair Cohen, CEO, OnCare, Warwick Lightfoot, Research Director, Policy Exchange
- Monday, 25 September, 2017
8:30 - 9:30
Speakers: Lucy Powell MP, Former Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Dr Christopher McCormick, Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs, EF Education First, Sarah Cooper, Chief Executive, English UK, Iain Dale, broadcaster, publisher and commentator, John Blake, Head of Education and Social Reform, Policy Exchange