Centre Write
Centre Write
David Laws on the need to focus on early years and non-selective education Since Theresa May became Prime Minister, she has made a welcome commitment to prioritise action to improve social mobility. However, the recent report of the Social Mobility Commission demonstrates just how much progress needs to be made, in the face of the strong headwinds which are blowing directly in the opposite direction. Any serious strategy to improve social mobility has to involve significant improvements in educational outcomes…
There is a long tradition of simplifying politics into an adversarial game between two opposing tribes, the left and the right. This model has certain attractions. It gives you political friends and opponents, and makes it pretty clear which are which. Of course this model, often deployed subconsciously, has always been highly misleading. But recently, in the Western world at least, it’s become outright dangerous. It blinds moderates, from both the left and right, to the threat from their ‘own’…
Those not paying very, very close attention, may mistakenly have thought that the Leveson Inquiry was done and dusted, the subsequent row about regulation of the press over. Not only is that far from the case, but we now have reached a critical juncture. A seemingly innocuous clause in nearly four year old legislation hangs over the press like a guillotine. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 relates to costs in libel and privacy cases against newspapers…
Thursday, 19 January 2017 15:54

Elisabeth Laird: On the Wales Bill

This week, the National Assembly for Wales voted through the Wales Bill. Another hope for a long lasting devolution settlement, another disappointment: the fourth try is still not a charm. Although former Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb significantly improved relations and communications between the Assembly and Parliament, an act which Alun Cairns has been close to follow, the Government was not persuaded to include all of the recommendations for devolved powers put forward in the Silk Commission, resulting in a bill…
Populism seems now the most dynamic political force in many liberal democracies, following Brexit, Donald Trump’s election victory and the rise of Marine Le Pen’s Front National. But what is populism? Some say that a populist is merely a politician who proves unexpectedly popular. But perhaps we can try a more precise definition. A populist is someone who believes that the traditional governing parties of moderate Left and moderate Right, which claim to oppose each other, in reality form a…
In a week that saw the breaking of an outlandish ‘fake news’ story concerning President-Elect- Trump, it is too easy to overlook the significance of his press conference on Wednesday. In a question and answer session in New York that saw Trump brand Obamacare as a “complete and total disaster”, it is time to give thought to how Trump is going to change the economy of the United States. Viewers were treated to a stage set for the entrance of…
Late last year, plans were announced to introduce identification requirements at polling stations. Namely, if you want to cast a ballot, you might need to present a passport, driver’s licence, or some other form of photographic identification. From that decision, we might be justified in thinking that the integrity of our ballot-boxes is genuinely under threat: the hidden menace of voter impersonation looms large throughout our country, there exists a non-trivial effort to undermine election results, de-legitimise the institutions themselves…
Sales of electric vehicles have been increasing rapidly over the last five years, from around 3,500 units sold in 2012 to 70,000 this year. No longer a futuristic novelty, there are now roughly 500,000 electric and hybrid cars on Europe’s roads. The UK Government is keen to support the development of the private EV sector. In most circumstances, buyers of new electric cars can take advantage of a government grant of up to £4,500 put towards the cost of their…
Media reports yesterday suggested that Number 10 will delay proposals for a British Bill of Rights until after the process to leave the European Union has been completed. The reports also revealed that the Prime Minister,Theresa May could put plans to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in her 2020 Conservative Party manifesto. According to the Telegraph, the Prime Minister might attempt to “lift and shift” the ECHR into UK law. This process would involve replicating the…
In the UK, significant self-driving vehicle trials have mostly been restricted to pedestrianised zones of Coventry, Greenwich, Bristol and Milton Keynes. The Government has made support of self-driving technology a key component of its industrial strategy and regards the fledgling market as an important sector in the country’s post-Brexit economy. From next year, autonomous driving trials on Britain’s public roads are set to become more widespread. Volvo are planning on testing autonomous cars in London from early 2017, with the…

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