Centre Write
Centre Write
New figures released on Thursday show that the higher education participation rate rose to 48% in 2014-15. The participation rate is now higher than it was prior to the Coalition Government announcing the trebling of tuition fees. Indeed the participation rate has only been beaten in one year, 2011-12. Most researchers agree the rate was artificially high in that year due to students choosing not to defer their entry to university in order to avoid the new tuition fee regime.…
My first encounter with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) took place at 17. I had been to Manchester the previous weekend. I noticed that I needed to urinate more frequently. When I urinated there was a burning sensation. And it was gonorrhoea. Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) at the school I attended was sporadic, hastily organised and far from comprehensive in its coverage. I was at secondary school in the late ‘90s and in the years shortly after the Millennium.…
Incentivising home energy improvements should be an urgent priority for government. They give individual households more control over their energy bills, improve public health, and increase the value of the property. They also reduce carbon emissions, help to improve energy security, and boost economic productivity. As part of our Green conservatism project, Bright Blue has today published a new report, “Better homes: incentivising home energy improvements”, which recommends some new policies to cost-effectively stimulate the home energy improvement market. Since…
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 22:20

The Tamworth Prize

The Tamworth Prize The Tamworth Prize is our annual essay competition for young people run by Bright Blue. It is a chance for young people to explain what sort of centre-right Britain needs today. The Prize is named after the Tamworth Manifesto which Sir Robert Peel published in 1834. The Tamworth Manifesto set out what the Conservative Party would stand for in a changing Britain following the passing of the Great Reform Act two years earlier. Peel promised that as…
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 11:04

Constantine Fraser: Going all in

Let's imagine that, come June 24th, Cameron's luck has held and brought him squeaking home again. The UK has voted to stay in the European Union, and the Remain campaign's margin of victory (while you certainly couldn't call it generous) is enough to settle the matter of membership until the current political generation is put out to pasture. Let's also suppose- this might require a greater leap of the imagination- that the government doesn't immediately descend into civil war. Instead,…
Conventional wisdom suggests that the wounds of the past are tormenting the Conservative Party in the present. Pundits have been quick to claim that tensions on Europe dating from the 1990’s have been brought to the surface by the EU referendum, and could in due course split the party apart. It is an entertaining narrative, and one that allows journalists to dust off juicy ‘Tory Civil War’ headlines. However it overlooks an intriguing aspect of the (admittedly robust) blue-on-blue referendum…
During PMQs last week, Jeremy Corbyn briefly returned to an old, if lately somewhat neglected Labour theme: food banks. It was the first time for some months that the subject has been prominently raised in the House of Commons. The relative absence of the issue from recent debates is striking, and the reasons for this change worth exploring. A year ago, the issue of food banks possessed considerable political prominence. In the run-up to the 2015 general election Labour frequently…
The environmental movement has a diversity problem. And it's not just that there are too many white, middle-class men, true though that is. One of the biggest political challenges for climate change activism is a shortage of conservatives among its ranks. This was the central hypothesis of George Marshall’s talk to Bright Blue’s most recent Energy and Climate Think Forum. He argued strongly that to build a political consensus around tackling climate change, the centre-right must be engaged. To do…
The 2015 Conservative manifesto includes a section on localism and the ‘Big Society’. It describes “a vision of a more engaged nation, one in which we take more responsibility for ourselves and our neighbours; communities working together, not depending on remote and impersonal bureaucracies”. The Education White Paper – “Educational Excellence Everywhere” – which was published on March 17th is at odds with this manifesto commitment. It advocates the transfer of the remaining 16-17,000 schools which are not yet academies…
The Big Society has had a difficult few years. Liberal Democrat led mockery through the lifetime of the Coalition Government saw the concept indelibly marked as a figment of fun - a popular perception that may have played a part in the phrase’s low profile in the 2015 Conservative Party manifesto. It was rather different back in the heady days of 2010. Speaking in Liverpool in June 2010 David Cameron spoke of how: ‘‘The Big Society is about a huge…

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