January 3rd, 2012

Exclusive: James O’Shaughnessy Returns to Policy Exchange

After leaving Downing Street a few months ago, in less than clear circumstances, policy-chief James O’Shaughnessy popped back onto the radar in this morning’s Times. Not only has he penned a passionate article about Gove’s education reforms, but he’s put his money where his mouth is:

“This is why I left Downing Street to start a new social business that aims to operate schools and to provide educational services based on a blend of traditional values and positive psychology: because after ten years as a policy wonk I believe that lasting change will only happen from the bottom up.”

However his blue sky days aren’t quite over yet. Having left Policy Exchange in 2007 to go to work for Cameron, Guido hears on the wonk-vine that he is on his way back to his ideological home. Policy Exchange are heading into their tenth year and are said to be lining up some big projects to celebrate. Guido understands that O’Shaughnessy will be coming back part-time to work, surprisingly enough, on the education side of things. You read it here first…


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Can these wonkers just FUCK OFF.

    They do more harm than good.

  2. 2
    P.Mandevison, the Eminence Greasy says:

    ‘From the bottom up’.

    He’s talking my language.

  3. 3

    Not if they get some hands-on real world experience. Too early to judge.

  4. 4
    Mrs Brown says:

    For fuck’s sake, fucking wankers.

  5. 5
    annette curton says:

    A social business?, now there’s novelty for you.

  6. 6
    What work do you do exactly? says:

  7. 7
    Ah! Monika says:

    The discovery of a woman’s body on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk is being treated as murder, police have said.

    At least Philip has an alibi.

  8. 8
    Murdoch backs Obama on terrorist detention! Take that you racists! says:

  9. 9
    Ah! Monika says:

    Good laugh last night. Best show on telly

  10. 10
    Ah! Monika says:


  11. 11
    Gordon Brown in court says:

    My name’s Psycho. Psycho Brown.

  12. 12
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Good for him, but I will order in the popcorn ahead of Mr O’Shaughnessy’s first clash with the,”All Must Have Prizes”, dinosaurs in education and the teaching unions. Repairing Crossland’s and the unspeakable Shirley William’s devastation of the English and Welsh education system has been impossible for the last 50 years. It would be good if Gove, O’Shaughnessy and the other reformers can get within sight of the end of the tunnel.

  13. 13
    Psycho Stapleton is a hero to all the racists here says:

  14. 14
    Archer Karcher says:


  15. 15
    If there were any justice in the world.. says:

    Oh, I bet it involves getting up at 06:00, quick shower, breakfast, dash to the car, drive to the petrol station, fill it up with about 20% of the week’s wages, sit in traffic for an hour, fork-out 1.5 hours’ wages on a carpark ticket and then knuckle-down to something exciting like cold-calling on behalf of a double-glazing company. With a 20 minute break for lunch.

    All the time thinking about how wonderful it is that Gordon Brown doubled her income tax from 10 to 20%, and that he left the UK so fiscally fucked that the tax rate won’t be cut any time in the next 10 years.

  16. 16
    annette curton says:

    Fund-raising for the Gordon Brown charity.

  17. 17
    Jimmy says:

    “he’s put his money where his mouth is:”

    Whose money?

  18. 18
    a non says:


    old article discussing the debate about more or less grammar schools.

  19. 19
    Luis Suarez says:

    In my contry is considered gesture of affection

  20. 20
    Dreaming of a parasite-free Britain says:

    Hmm. If being “just a burden on society” is going to be a capital offence, that bodes ill for Labour’s core voters.

  21. 21
    Billy Bellend says:

    Shouldn’t he be back at school now?

  22. 22
    Anon says:

    His money, in his bank account, that he’s using to start his business?

    Or he might have borrowed it from a bank.

    You could email him and find out.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    The Black Hole says:

    Make him serve his time in an Indian jail.

  25. 25
    BillyBob... says:

    Fiddling while Rome burns comes to mind…

  26. 26
    I Predict a Riot says:

    What a waste of space this woman is fully on par with her husband. In the words of Mrs Doyle ‘Can you picture him Father wanting you?’ She must have been labotomised as part of the wedding cermony to endure it is the only explanation.

  27. 27
    Dominic Grieve says:

    Emma West today, tomorrow – you.

  28. 28
    It's Star ted in America says:

    Starbucks Corp is raising prices by an average of about 1 percent in the U.S. Northeast and Sunbelt regions on Tuesday, a move affecting cities such as New York, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas and Albuquerque.

  29. 29
    The General Public says:

    None of us gives a shit what pointless think-tank bores like O’Shaughnessy are doing, Guido.

  30. 30
    Jimmy says:

    Let’s see.

  31. 31
    Archer Karcher says:

    Err, there is the small matter of a fair trial, subject to ability to stand trial first.

  32. 32
    Spartacus says:

    BBC is focused on a murderer with more than six firearms.
    much more important than the murder itself.

    i suppose bbbc is following the disarm the nation script.
    i prefer they stay focused on the murder.

    (note: even Neo in the Matrix could only use two weapons. six or sixty – who cares? – ok bbbc cares . . .).

  33. 33
    Spartacus says:

    closing of the grammar schools
    the end of social mobility

  34. 34
    Rupert my Hero says:

    Lasting changes in Mrs Rupert have been from the Bottom up too

  35. 35
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    bloody brilliant!

  36. 36
    Judge Dreadlocks says:

    Him guilty, mon. Hang he by his bollocks.

  37. 37
    Grumpy Old Man says:


  38. 38
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    But then you don’t give a shit beyond this week’s Eastenders and getting pissed on Friday night.

  39. 39
    BillyBob... says:

    what about Rose West ?

  40. 40
    Call Me Ishmael says:

    Oh dear, however will Muffie and Buffie and Trey and Skip cope?

  41. 41
    Oh You're Just Angry We Didn't Get The World Cup 2022 says:

    Don’t forget football– the British public are more apt to want a hapless manager sacked than a crooked politician, because of the effect in terms of the immediate cost, i.e. betting losses v. overall cost to taxpayers of corruption and inefficiency. Not to mention that many of those who bet on football often aren’t paying taxes like the rest of the public.

  42. 42
    To Be Fair says:

    To be fair, constant “name dropping” on twitter is hard work you know and dealing with Gordon even more so.

  43. 43
    Anonymous says:

    He sounds like another Tory “progressive” wankstain who’ll try and latch onto some profit making education provider supplying services to non profit making schools.

  44. 44
    The Law says:

    Sub judice

  45. 45
    dom says:

    pretty sure the whole world is fiscally f***ed (barring germany, brazil and china) and it wasn’t all GB’s fault. That’s not to say he’s blameless, but then he was only following Tory economic policy in not regulating the city more…

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