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.
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.
Following the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan last week, Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World Project publish a report by unit head John Bew and David Martin Jones, Visiting Fellow at Policy Exchange. They advise that Asia is of growing strategic importance to the UK’s long-term prosperity but this is likely to mean more involvement in the region’s security problems. The first principle of UK involvement in Asia must be to bolster existing alliances and to preserve the existing international order, but it must be understood that this is likely to cause tension when it comes to relations with China.
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’s latest recruit, Jos Henson-Gric, who previously worked in FinTech in the UK and Europe, looks at the Chancellor’s speech on FinTech and the Government’s new strategy and asks if it’s missing a trick when it comes to banking for those on low incomes.
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.
The Times publishes letter on combat immunity by authors of Policy Exchange’s ‘Clearing the Fog of Law’ paper
In a letter published in The Times, the authors of Policy Exchange’s Clearing the Fog of Law paper address the President of the Law Society’s misplaced criticism of government proposals to revive combat immunity. The point of the proposals is to restore the law as it stood before the landmark decision of Smith & Others v Ministry of Defence and thus to beat back the judicialisation of war. The Law Society is wrong to say that this is an attack on compensation or accountability.
- Tuesday, 14 November, 2017
12:30 - 14:00
Policy Exchange invites you to a discussion of the role of business energy productivity in delivering clean growth. Despite policymakers actively considering what to do next, there is still a need for significant thinking to progress from the generic barriers identified to the concrete policy recommendations set out in this report.
Venue: Policy Exchange
- Tuesday, 3 October, 2017
14:00 - 15:00
Is there a Zeitgeist shift to the Left? Or is the rise of Corbynism simply a passing reaction to the hubristic Conservative campaign of 2017? Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, George Freeman MP, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Sir Roger Scruton, and David Goodhart debated these issues on a panel chaired by Dean Godson for Policy Exchange’s best attended event at the Conservative Party Conference. New Statesman Editor Jason Cowley called it “The most stimulating event I attended” at the conference. Click here to watch.
- Monday, 2 October, 2017
18:45 - 20:30
Addressing Policy Exchange’s party at the Conservative conference, Business Secretary Rt Hon Greg Clark MP paid tribute to our work, saying “Policy Exchange was in the vanguard of urging Government to think about industrial strategy”. A packed audience of supporters, MPs and members heard him call on people to make the case for free market ideas and say that “All across different subject areas Policy Exchange is thinking positively and creatively about the future”.