Cummings’ Westminster Wonk Brain Drain

The clear out of advisers in government as Dominic Cummings banishes the non-believers, dead wood and less than effective, has seen him turn to the Westminster think tanks for talent. The wonk brain drain as Cummings hoovers dysons up some of the best and the brightest is noticeable. This has had a knock-on effect, with vacancies at many of the think tanks. It is a good time to be a recent graduate with free market leanings if you want a job in Westminster…

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has three vacancies, the Institute of Economic Affairs has two, the Centre for Policy Studies has a vacancy, and Policy Exchange does too. Across SW1 the picture is the same…

On the campaigns front the key skill in demand is the ability to edit video for social media, the party HQs are really switching – finally – heavily towards digital campaigning. So invest some time in mastering video editing software and you could be hired in a gif-y…

mdi-timer 28th August 2019 @ 2:25 pm 28th Aug 2019 @ 2:25 pm mdi-comment Comments
IPPR’s Transport Report Comes Off the Rails

Left-wing think tank IPPR has released a report claiming “New analysis of the government’s planned transport spending shows that, unless investment in the Northern Powerhouse goes ahead, London is set to receive almost 3 times more per person than the North.” You would hope the IPPR would be keeping track of the details…

To reach these skewed numbers, the think tank has had to include private sector investment.  Yet they claim incorrectly in their press release that the “new analysis” is of “the government’s planned transport spending”. It quite simply is not. The train-wreck of a report implies that Government investment is highest in the South and lowest in the North. In reality, official figures show that the opposite is true…

Looks like their report has already come off the rails…

mdi-timer 19th August 2019 @ 10:40 am 19th Aug 2019 @ 10:40 am mdi-comment Comments
Call for British Government to Offer Hong Kongers Freedom Lifeline

As the Hong Kong crisis enters its eleventh week, the Adam Smith Institute has published a new paper entitled ‘Doing Our Duty’, calling on the British Government to grant automatic citizenship rights to the 169,000 British Nationals living in Hong Kong, and open up the application process to Hong Kong nationals. This would allow a host of highly skilled, English speaking people instilled with British values who want to flee an encroaching communist regime. Self-filtering freedom lovers is exactly the kind of immigration Britain should prioritise… 

The paper notes that the UK took similar action when Idi Amin announced the expulsion of South Asians from Uganda. Ugandan Asians, like Hong Kongers were highly educated and with strong English language skills, and integrated quickly. Famous Ugandan Asians include Brexiteer Shailesh Vara MP (the first Minister to resign over May’s Withdrawal Agreement) and Tory Peer Lord Popat. Priti Patel is the daughter of Ugandan Asian migrants too…

The Sino-British Joint Declaration requires the British government to maintain the rights of Hong Kong citizens until at least 2047, and the ASI argues that as the UK cannot act within the territory of Hong Kong, the way to guarantee these rights are maintained for Hong Kongers is as within the United Kingdom.

The ASI’s Matthew Kilcoyne, who authored the report, told Guido:

“Britain has a duty to uphold the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong in the face of excessive force being used toward protestors and laws that infringe on the autonomy of the city. While the UK is far away, the country has a special link to these islands, and it has a responsibility and the ability to offer a home away from Hong Kong should the need arise.”

This echoes the Foreign Affairs Select Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat’s call for citizenship to be offered to Hong Kong residents. Quite.

mdi-timer 16th August 2019 @ 10:03 am 16th Aug 2019 @ 10:03 am mdi-comment Comments
Warsi Cites Conspiracy Theorist Suspended from Labour Party

Sayeeda Warsi is unhappy about The Times splash this morning, claiming “this article makes disturbing & disingenuous claims about British Muslims APPG report Islamophobia Defined. This is the latest in a line of attacks from the same sources which until now I have ignored as usual silly boy games but this is dangerous and needs challenging”.

She then goes on to have a go at the Policy Exchange think-tank:

The report Baroness Warsi cites here is The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion written by David Miller – then of Bath University (now Bristol). The report was written “with the aid of a grant of £5,000 from The Cordoba Foundation”. The Cordoba Foundation was identified by former PM David Cameron as a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. The Government’s 2014-5 Review of the Muslim Brotherhood similarly described the Cordoba Foundation as being “associated with the Brotherhood”. Miller’s report is quite simply not a credible academic source.

Miller is a conspiracy theorist who is on record as having promoted the idea that chemical attacks in Syria were a false flag – perhaps involving British intelligence in some capacity – designed to force Western intervention in the country’s civil war. Miller has also defended the comments which led to Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish homeland) – he was suspended from the Labour Party over these comments before being subsequently reinstated. He has called the concept of Israel a “racist endeavour”. He even accused the Government of “state propaganda” over its reaction to the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.

Miller’s suspiciously worried about the influence of “ultra-zionists” and the Israeli government:This should come as no surprise. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Islamophobia, which produced the highly problematic definition that Baroness Warsi is so desperate to promote, itself took evidence from and cited the work of Professor David Miller. No wonder the government is looking to formulate a better working definition of ‘Islamophobia’…

mdi-timer 15th May 2019 @ 12:59 pm 15th May 2019 @ 12:59 pm mdi-comment Comments
Letwin’s Rousing Eurosceptic Pamphlet

Guido has got his hands on a Eurosceptic pamphlet written by Brexiteers Liam Fox, Nigel Evans, Elanor Laing, Desmond Swayne, and… anti-Brexit Prime-Minister-in-all-but-name Oliver Letwin. The pamphlet entitled ‘Battle For Britain’, dates from 1999 and warns of the creeping federalisation of the European Union, taking more and more power from the United Kingdom. The pamphlet explicitly states “We believe that Britain should govern itself”…

It tears into the EU for undoing Thatcher’s legacy…

“All the competitive advantages that we built up in the 1980s – trades union reform, labour market flexibility and deregulation – are now being eroded by back door European socialism that we have no power to prevent.”

It couldn’t be clearer on immigration…

“It has always been a cornerstone of Conservative policy that a sovereign nation should have control over who crosses its borders… We believe that – in order to maintain law and order, protect the taxpayer, but above all to preserve Britain’s excellent race relations – it is we, and we alone who should have the right to determine who enters the United Kingdom”

And is rounded off with this rousing defence of sovereignty…

“In the end, it becomes a matter of purely academic interest how we organise our own affairs if real power – the power to make decision that affect our everyday lives, that govern the prosperity of our economy and that determine our relationships with the rest of the world – rests elsewhere. If the Conservative Party stands for anything, it stands for resisting that destruction of our nationhood”

Guido much prefers his earlier work…

mdi-timer 5th April 2019 @ 2:54 pm 5th Apr 2019 @ 2:54 pm mdi-comment Comments
12-Point Plan to Turbocharge Economy After No Deal

The Centre for Policy Studies have launched a new report setting out a 12-point plan for how to turbocharge the economy after a no deal Brexit. The plan includes numerous business-boosting measures including significant tax cuts for small businesses and ordinary workers, while lowering corporation tax to increase the incentives for larger businesses to invest. Tariffs are cut dramatically and free ports given the go-ahead.  A council tax freeze will also go down very well with voters…

The only question is how it’s all going to be paid for. The CPS say it can all be financed with a small short-term increase in deficit spending, keeping public sector net borrowing under the level of 4.5% of GDP it was at in 2014/15. As a leading German financial institute predicted just this week, if the UK handles no deal sensibly and slashes tariffs it can actually do better out of it relative to the EU…

mdi-timer 8th March 2019 @ 10:20 am 8th Mar 2019 @ 10:20 am mdi-comment Comments
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