Centre Write
Centre Write
Election day polling by Michael Ashcroft showed a Britain divided not so much by class or region as age. The 45-54 age group split almost evenly between the two main parties. Older voters went for the Conservatives; younger ones for Labour. Among 18-24 year olds, only 18% voted Tory, while 67% supported Labour. Among 24-35 year olds, that first figure rose to only 22% and the second dropped to only 58%. It is inevitable in the aftermath of these findings…
Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:06

Ryan Shorthouse: Centre Write Director’s note

So, what went wrong? This summer, there has been much soul-searching from Conservatives on why they recently failed to win the decisive parliamentary majority almost everyone predicted. Two clear points stand out. First, the substantial polling lead the Conservatives initially had over Labour narrowed during the election campaign. Second, there was a considerable shift in voting intention to the Labour Party after the launch of the manifestos. Some Tories now claim that it is because the public are tiring of…
Britain faces many challenges; falling real wages, a lack of secure employment and an ageing population among others. On the steps of Downing Street in July 2016 Theresa May outlined those ‘burning injustices’ which systemically hold people back: “If you’re black you’re treated more harshly in the criminal justice system than if you’re white, if you’re poor you will die on average 9 years earlier than others, if you’re a white working class boy you’re less likely than anybody else…
Last month Bright Blue hosted its Social Reform Conference. The Conference included a number or break-out sessions. I had the pleasure of hosting a highly informative discussion of social integration session. Social integration has become a significant Government priority over the past seven years. Under David Cameron's Premiership, the Government was particularly concerned with a lack of integration among certain minority groups, such as Muslim women. This led to the Casey Review - authored by the civil servant Dame Louise…
In 2016, we witnessed the global rise of populism. I believe strongly that this is a reflection on the inability of governments to adequately address the big challenges arising from globalisation. For example, the low-waged in relatively rich, developed nations have seen a squeeze on their incomes as it has become harder to compete in a global marketplace. A recent poll found that 49% of participants felt that globalisation has pushed wages down for British workers, while 51% thought that…
A decades-long struggle to allow Northern Irish women access to abortions which will be funded by the NHS won on Thursday 29th June. The UK government vowed to reverse its original policy, which refused to pay for these terminations, during the amendments raised during the Queen’s Speech debates. Many Conservative MPs expressed to Tory whips their clear cut support for such an amendment made by the Labour MP of Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, to grant Northern Irish women secure access to…
Monday, 07 August 2017 12:44

Sam Hall: Housing SRC reflections

At the housing break-out session at last month’s Bright Blue social reform conference, there was a strong consensus about the need to build more homes. It was agreed that the UK property market, particularly in London, is almost uniquely unaffordable compared to other major economies. Strikingly, in England, the ratio of house prices to gross annual earnings has increased from 3.5 in 1997 to 7.5 in 2015. This is even starker in London, where, in the borough of Westminster, the…
In a BBC Question Time election special just days before the polls were to open, the leaders of Britain’s two main political parties faced, one after the other, 45 minutes of questions from a sharp, unforgiving audience. Of particular and predictable interest were Theresa May’s position on Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Trident – the UK’s nuclear weapons system. Both candidates faced challenges regarding their lack of clarity on these issues. May was asked to specify how large the…
The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, of which I am a member, commented last July that “the UK is a laggard by international standards in providing fibre connectivity. This could result in a widening, not a narrowing, of the digital divide”. Indeed, the isolation of rural and semi-rural communities from our increasingly high speed digital economy is something that must be urgently addressed if we are serious about creating a more equitable and less London-centric economy. BT and its…
A core task of any forward thinking Government worth its salt is constantly to ask: what must we do to secure the prosperity of the nation over the generation ahead? The task is not to defend industries and economies in their present form, frozen in aspic, but to seek out the new markets, new methods, and new technologies that will provide the jobs and incomes our children and grandchildren will rely on. The basis of our future prosperity is always…

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