Mayite Think Tank’s Startling Statist U-Turn

While Theresa May’s gloom-ridden premiership may have come to an end last month, the statist ideas that lost her the 2017 General Election are still permeating around the corridors of Whitehall. Today the Mayite think tank Onward published a report on social attitudes in Britain, which concluded that Boris must “move on from freedom“. Because May’s unprovoked attack on the ‘Libertarian right’ ended so well…

The new report – entitled ‘The Politics of Belonging’ – found a number of worrying results; when it asked leading questions it got results suggesting 26% of young people believe democracy is a bad way to run the country (compared to just 3% of over-75s) and an alarming 36% of young people comfortable with a military dictatorship. Onward Director and former May adviser Will Tanner used the push-polling to call on Boris to abandon “individualism, a small state and lower taxes” to ensure a general election victory. Last time a Tory PM followed that advice they ended up squandering a 20% lead in the polls, Tanner himself didn’t bother to stick around to clear up the mess…

It’s a remarkable change in Onward’s outlook, only five months ago the think tank published another high-profile report that found that every generation in fact favours right-wing economics. They even published a “Ten-Point Plan to rejuvenate the centre-right” which included keeping taxes low, balancing the public finances and defending freedom of expression – the polar opposite of abandoning freedom which they seem so keen on today. U-turn if you want to, Onward is for turning…

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