Conservative 2015 manifesto – bringing in the ’22?

It is fair to say relations between the Conservative leadership and backbench MPs, throughout Cameron’s stewardship of the Party, have not always been perfectly harmonious. Whilst it is overly-simplistic to caricature division within the Conservative Party as one of modernisers versus traditionalists, it has often been the case that divergence of opinion between the CameroniteRead more

Broadband: a fundamental disconnect

According to Ofcom’s latest figures, there are 21.7m broadband connections in the UK, meaning that 75% of adults have broadband. Many of the remaining 25% will be covered by the government’s rural broadband rollout programme, which aims to get 99% of UK households connected by 2018. Most of those will run over hardware installed byRead more

Infrastructure and politics: an uncomfortable relationship

As far as an idea goes, High Speed 2 is noble. Its key purpose is to ‘rebalance’ the UK economy away from London and the south east (although I suspect the UK economy has never really been ‘balanced’). By increasing the speed with which businesspeople can travel between London and, say, Manchester, proponents of HS2Read more

The new NHS chief executive – more reform to come?

So Simon Stevens is to be the NHS England’s new chief executive when Sir David Nicholson steps down in April next year. Stevens’ background suggests he’ll adopt a pragmatic, non-partisan approach with an ability to draw from considerable international experience.  He has worked inside the NHS; as a government adviser in the Blair years and,Read more

Chinese investment: the dragon is coming

The Chinese embassy in London is unremarkable. A single red flag of the communist state flies outside a rather austere neo-classical building on Portland Place. When compared to its sister buildings in Washington DC and Canberra, the building is even less notable. Its American sibling is an angular construction – a sort of testament toRead more

The Tories are in a mess on energy

Our Autumn energy policy briefing, published on Friday, reflects on how Ed Miliband’s price freeze commitment has blown the energy debate wide open. It has led to recommendations, from various quarters, that the UK should: nationalise foreign energy suppliers; dramatically increase private competition in the energy market; abandon subsidy for renewables investors; increase long termRead more