Centre Write
Centre Write
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 17:25

Bright Blue’s predictions for 2016

2015 was full of surprises, from a Conservative majority that confounded the pollsters to a rank outsider in Jeremy Corbyn going on to win the Labour Leadership with a massive mandate. Bright Blue’s Executive team have come forward with their predictions of what 2016 has in store politically. Our director Ryan Shorthouse, decided to focus on the area he thought would dominate the Conservative government’s policy agenda over the next year. “The PM wants the EU referendum out of the…
The Government has made it clear that welfare reform is a ball which will keep on rolling throughout this parliament. Building on the changes implemented in the last parliament, more are on their way. One of the most significant is underlined in an article this past Friday from Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled people: the extension of jobcentre support and conditionality to in-work claimants of Universal Credit. “Importantly and uniquely, UC stays with people when they enter work until…
Thursday, 07 January 2016 10:27

Matt Browne: Our wildlife needs the EU

Amidst all the bustle of Christmas, one of last month’s news stories was easy to miss. As red robins graced cards, and turtle doves flitted through carol recitals, wildlife charities published a new assessment indicating severe declines amongst Britain’s native bird species. According to the report 27% of UK bird species have declined to such an extent that they are now of conservation concern, up from 21% in 2009. It isn’t just birds – a separate study published last month…
With Jeremy Corbyn elected as the new Labour Party leader, there are countless individuals within the Conservative camp who are under the impression that the 2020 general election will be something of a formality. Such sentiments are founded with good reason, but one ought not to get carried away – there are still challenges ahead for the Conservative Party, and it must not become complacent. When David Cameron was installed as the leader of the Conservatives in 2005, he was…
What is happening in local government at the moment is quietly revolutionary, for several reasons. Firstly, the way devolution is happening turns on its head the historic approach to local government reorganisation. The reorganisations of 1974 and 1997 were done in the usual way. Parliament passed an Act. A commission of the Great and the Good was formed. Rutland was abolished, then created again. People in Metropolitan Borough X and County Y fulminated that what was being done to them…
The Teresa Carreño Theatre in Caracas is over 4,500 miles from Hawthorn Primary School. They are brought together by a cacophony of children learning how to make and love organised sound. Following an autumn statement that was unexpectedly encouraging towards the arts, this relationship may have acquired a new relevance. Most classical music fans will have heard of the Venezuelan Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. Its social action education programme, El Sistema, was set up in 1975, and famously fostered ‘The…
Research published recently by the Resolution Foundation shows that in 1997, when Tony Blair and New Labour came to power, spending on the oldest in society was a third of the total spent by government. By the end of the Coalition’s time in government, this had risen to 43.4%. With pensions triple locked and as we prepare to tighten our belts further in the aim of removing the deficit, it is not inconceivable that government spending at the end of…
The motivations underpinning the Autumn Statement yesterday have roots deep in 19th century Conservatism; roots that should encourage all those who want to see the incomes of the poorest rise. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement drew predictable cries of horror from the left. One theme stood out amidst the subsequent 140-character-condemnations – that George Osborne’s reduction in the proportion of state spending is unparalleled in modern political history and marks a return to an older, more uncaring political tradition. Gordon Brown…
British politics has a serious problem with voter apathy, especially amongst the young. We need to act soon to correct this. Electoral turnout, historically between seventy and eighty percent, was 59.4% in 2001 and in the mid-to-low sixties at the past three elections. The numbers make for depressing reading and betray a society with sharp divides between the politically disengaged and regular voters; the turnout was 56% amongst BME voters, 43% amongst 18-24 year olds and 78% amongst 65+ voters.…
Increasing the number of graduates is vital for the UK economy. As the recent higher education (HE) green paper demonstrated, the Government believes that, in the years to come, increasing productivity will be the principal driver of economic growth. Improving the skills of workers is an essential part of this. And over 50% of the 14.4 million jobs expected to become vacant between 2012 and 2022 are in occupations which are more likely to employ graduates. Trends in the HE…

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