Two of Policy Exchange’s experts are among the most read authors in Parliament, a new Freedom of Information request has revealed. Road to Somewhere, by Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration David Goodhart (longlisted for this year’s Orwell Prize) was the second most borrowed book in the House of Commons, behind only ‘How Parliament Works’. The Head of our Britain in the World Project Professor John Bew’s Orwell Prize-winning Citizen Clemwas also one of the most borrowed books in the House of Commons in 2017. Both books were named last year by the Observer among their 100 best political books.
There is a growing sense in the West that, after a string of victories, Putin overstepped the mark in the Skripal affair — according to the Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World project Professor John Bew and Policy Exchange alumnus Shiraz Maher in a lead essay for the New Statesman. Having been met with an unexpectedly robust response from Britain, the US and a number of allied states, there is reason to think that he has been put on the back foot. The Trump administration – encouraged by France and the UK – may now see a moment to drive this advantage home. Momentarily, at least, the proliferation and increased use of chemical weapons, from Salisbury to Syria, has provided the Western alliance with a much-needed sense of common purpose.
As part of its commentary on the Syrian crisis, Policy Exchange’s Senior Research Fellow, Defence and Border Security Gabriel Elefteriu, wrote for the The Sun outlining the risks of a Western conflict with Russia if action is taken against Assad. Gabriel was also quoted in another Sun piece arguing that the media was the first line of defence in combating the continuing assault of fake news from Russia.
As the Government deals with the Russian threat, former Prime Minister David Cameron reminds us of another: Islamism
Speaking at a Policy Exchange conference in Washington DC, former Prime Minister David Cameron warned of the continuing threat to the West posed by Islamism. Paul Goodman observed on ConservativeHome that no other UK think tank has ‘the reach to bring together 50 or so experts, wonks, and diplomats in America’s capital for an event like this’,
High-quality textbooks and teaching methods are needed to ensure children from all backgrounds receive the rigorous education they deserve. According this new Policy Exchange report, inadequate materials for teaching the National Curriculum are holding back pupils in England and increasing teacher workload. Working in collaboration with respected institutions like the British Museum, the Government should support the creation and take-up of world-leading curriculum materials. The report’s author John Blake – Policy Exchange’s Head of Education & Social Reform and a former teacher – discussed its recommendations on Radio 4’s Today programme and wrote on the same topic for the TES.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, set out his vision for a liberal Brexit in a speech given at Policy Exchange. Mr Johnson urged Remainers and Leavers to unite behind the opportunities that leaving the EU affords. He said that there is a case for future regulatory divergence from the EU: “We would be mad to go through this process of extrication from the EU, and not to take advantage of the economic freedoms it will bring.” In many areas, however, such as security co-operation and cultural exchange, there would continue to be high levels of engagement.
With 9 million people reporting that they are always or often lonely, as a society have we structured loneliness into our lives? Loneliness can be triggered by moments of transition that can happen to us all: the birth of a child, retirement, relationship breakdown, being a newcomer to this country, returning from serving in our armed forces, starting university, moving home, bereavement. The places where we came together – like churches, pubs and the workplace – have changed out of all recognition. Many of our connections have been turned into transactions. Rachel Reeves MP, Co-Chair of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, set out what the Commission has learned and gave her thoughts on how we can create a less lonely world. Neil O’Brien OBE MP responded, with the discussion chaired by Daily Mirror Columnist Ros Wynne-Jones.
In a major new study, Policy Exchange argues that as the UK leaves the EU, it should unilaterally abolish all tariffs. This would reduce UK consumers’ shopping bills, increase productivity and promote global prosperity. We can also disarm the threat of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. In the Foreword, Australian High Commissioner to London Alexander Downer said: “Trade is not a zero-sum equation. In the decades ahead all major economies should remove their tariffs and open their markets to competition. As the UK once again takes its place at the WTO it should take the opportunity lead by example and remove its tariffs.”
Policy Exchange is delighted to announce that Professor John Bew, Head of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project, has been appointed as a specialist adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry into ‘Global Britain’. To mark that appointment, we publish a new reading list, Beyond Brexit: Essential reading on international affairs and security in a changing world, compiled by Professor Bew, Gabriel Elefteriu, Jamie Gaskarth and Patrick Porter.
We must do more to protect the indispensable yet insecure internet infrastructure provided by undersea cables, urges Rishi Sunak MP in a new report published by Policy Exchange, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure. 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted not by satellites in the skies, but by cables lying deep beneath the ocean. Undersea cables are the indispensable infrastructure of our time, essential to our modern life and digital economy, yet they are inadequately protected and highly vulnerable to attack at sea and on land, from both hostile states and terrorists.
20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Lord Bew – Emeritus Professor of Irish Politics, Queen’s University Belfast – finds the accord in relatively good health. Despite concerns generated by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, cross-party support for the Agreement has increased and there are signs that the DUP & Sinn Fein are gearing up to try to restore power sharing.
Policy Exchange’s John Blake – himself a former teacher – appeared on the Today programme to argue that new tests for young children will help teachers identify which children need extra support. In this blog, he says that, done properly, children will not know they are being tested and so union-led scaremongering should be ignored.
More Police and Crime Commissioners take over fire and rescue services – good news for frontline services
Policy Exchange’s Director of Research & Strategy Rupert Oldham-Reid welcomes the announcement that 3 more PCCs are taking over local fire & rescue services. He argues that this policy – which came from Policy Exchange – is good for taxpayers, local people and strengthens democracy.
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.
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.
The former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson Q.C. endorsed Policy Exchange’s recent report on online extremism, ‘The New Netwar’, whilst speaking alongside the Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP. During a Spectator and Sky fringe event on freedom and security in the age of the internet at Conservative Party Conference, Anderson cited our findings on Islamic States’s online strategy and suggested that the Home Secretary consider our recommendation that Ofcom take an independent regulatory role towards tech companies and extremist content online.
- Tuesday, 5 December, 2017
12:30 - 14:00
Policy Exchange welcomed Nick Boles and Tim Montgomerie to discuss how the housing crisis should be addressed. As part of his series on how the Conservatives can recapture the initiative, Nick Boles MP – founding Director of Policy Exchange – has written on how the Government can build the number of homes needed. This timely event explored the themes identified by Nick Boles and considered whether the latest policies announced in the Budget will achieve the stated aims.
- Thursday, 30 November, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
A discussion of the role and importance of working teachers in the era of knowledge-based education. We will be joined by our Guest of Honour, Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Standards—who will deliver a Keynote Address on the value and importance of textbooks in ensuring all young people receive the high-quality education they deserve.
Venue: Policy Exchange
- Thursday, 16 November, 2017
18:00 - 19:30
2017 is the 30th anniversary of Martin Bernal’s incendiary book Black Athena, which sent shockwaves through the worlds of classical and Afrocentric scholarship on its publication in 1987. In it, Bernal argued that classical Greek wisdom and culture (and thus the very basis of Western civilisation) in fact came from Africa, specifically ancient Egypt and Phoenicia, challenging many assumptions about the provenance of knowledge, and with it, historic intellectual justifications for white superiority. Policy Exchange will be seizing the opportunity afforded by this anniversary to re-examine the importance of Black Athena and investigate its intellectual, social and racial legacy.
Venue: Policy Exchange