Centre Write
Centre Write
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…
Thursday, 31 March 2016 09:05

Politics from the Pub: Education Forum

Bright Blue held another lively Education Forum at the Old Star Pub this Wednesday, with a policy discussion on apprenticeships and the Government’s white paper Educational Excellence Everywhere. Participants discussed the post-18 options and pathways available for young people with topics ranging from the rise in business apprenticeships and their attractiveness to students, to the need to increase awareness about options and ensure quality placements. Concerns were also raised about the involvement of parents in the Government’s education reforms to…
Starting this September, working parents will be able to claim up to 30 hours worth of ‘free’ childcare. This is estimated to affect 600,000 families to the tune of roughly £5,000 per year. However, despite the Government’s generous giveaway packages, childcare remains one of the biggest expenses for UK households, akin to other topical necessities, like housing.To send a child under the age of two to nursery, just part-time, costs families an average of £6,000 per year; for middle-income earners,…
“I knew I was going to have to work my way up from the bottom, but I couldn’t even get a job at the bottom. I wasn’t expecting to have a dream job land in my lap but at the same time I wasn’t expecting to be turned away from places like McDonalds.” This was the experience of Emalene, one of the young women interviewed in 2015 for the Young Women’s Trust inquiry Scarred for Life, which focused on the…
According to the latest Office for National Statistics figures, over 30% of the UK workforce is aged 50 and above, and there are over 1.1 million over 65 still in employment. As the State Pension age continues to rise, reaching 67 by 2028, more and more people are likely to decide to keep working, meaning this number is only going to increase. The need for government and employers to understand what this means has never been greater. Maximising the skills…

Latest from Twitter