Another Right-Wing Think Tank Attempts To Cushion The Imploding Tories
By TruePublica: Beware of think tanks – many are opaque shady groups masquerading as a professional authority, often funded by dark money when in reality they are little more than a predatory wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Conservative politicians should take a look at this Centre for Policy Studies poll on public faith in democracy. Their report ‘Who Governs Britain?‘, by Tory MP Matt Warman, commissioned a wide-ranging survey on confidence in the various democratic institutions in Britain.
The big surprise is that only 40% of those polled said they had “no faith at all” in their MP to do the right thing if they had reason to contact them with an issue. This is understating the obvious though.
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In 2015, the Institute for Government reported that just 20 per cent of the public at large had any trust in politicians. In that same report, the most trusted public workers, such as doctors and teachers were being systematically attacked by those same politicians that no-one trusts.
If 80 per cent of the population don’t trust politicians, why would they buy into their vision of the future. A prime example of this is how politicians ran the Brexit campaign and how they’ve dealt with it since and the plummet in public confidence ever since.
The CPS report said that 74 per cent of the public had had no contact with their MP in any way in the last 12 months. This is of no surprise. If there’s no faith in politicians why would anyone bother with them? They are no longer representative of the people.
In his report, Warman suggests a series of new laws to improve accountability, including the right to know which elected official is ultimately responsible for a decision in any public-sector body. He concludes: “Our polling shows us the public do not feel elected officials truly represent them, and worse still if they do there’s no confidence that politicians would act in the best interest of their communities.”
The truth about this report is that the Centre for Policy Studies is a right-wing think tank inspired by one of the least transparent and worst of Britain’s think tanks – the Institute for Economic Affairs. The IEA was set up in 1974 by Margaret Thatcher, Keith Joseph and Alfred Sherman, which is a ‘free-market’ think tank that receives funding from big tobacco, oil giants and the gambling industry. It is no stranger to dubious and questionable ideologies and policy ideas, such as smokers being good for the economy. It has an anti-NHS agenda and serious influence on dodgy lobbying.
The report completely excludes the toxic nature of lobbying for instance, especially by the same organisation that produced this report.
One should not be duped by these opaque so-called think-tanks. The CPS (not to be confused with the Crown Prosecution Service) can take a large share of the credit for initiating policies such as privatisation, trade union reform, forced council house sales, pensions deregulation leading to a crisis of not just value but investment and contributing heavily to the ‘health service reforms’ that led to its current crisis.
And yet, the CPS quite rightly, but let’s be fair, obviously has to admit that; “Laws covering both political campaigning and the structure and transparency of government must be changed to restore public faith in democracy.” Democracy in Britain has taken a battering, more particularly because of Brexit as has been seen by the Tories involvement in the VoteLeave and Cambridge Analytica scandals.
With a foreword by the Rt Hon David Lidington, the report by Matt Warman MP argues that both the appearance and the reality of government must change to address real public concerns about a crisis of confidence in democracy.
In truth, the CPS is doing little more than attempting to cushion the reality of the Conservative’s dire position. The report ‘Who Governs Britain?’ “responds to exclusive new polling for the CPS that reveals a profound lack of trust in politicians. The report makes wide-ranging proposals on digital campaigning and local government including:
- Government working with social media companies to provide digital equivalents to Election Addresses, and legislating for transparency around political advertising, targeting and imprints
- A right to know which elected official is ultimately responsible for a decision, and why it was made, in any public-sector body.
- Introducing a transparent link between housing development and how much local NHS and other public services will have to expand to cope with the growing community
- Putting local communities, including parish councils, in control of basic developments and letting them own any new infrastructure
The report also states that it: “is the latest from the CPS’ New Generation programme, which provides a platform for members of the 2015 and 2017 intakes of MPs and other fresh voices” – without saying – all Tory MP’s and other right-wing voices.
According to YouGov, general public panic is now setting in – clearly. Very nearly 70 per cent of Brits now believes Brexit is a total disaster with the political class pointing fingers in every direction except their own. The YouGov report attempts to find who blames who – don’t bother – the Tories are solely to blame for the desperate situation Britain finds itself in.
It’s interesting that fully 58% of Leave voters who think Brexit is going badly blame the government. Labour has now overtaken the Tories in opnion polls if there was an election tomorrow – but if Brexit went badly, as is becoming more and more likely – the Conservative party will be cast into oblivion. Good, you might say – but it won’t be. The last thing Britain needs is a government without opposition.
Matt Warman MP said: “Our polling shows us the public do not feel elected officials truly represent them, and worse still if they do there’s no confidence that politicians would act in the best interest of their communities.
Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said:
“The new polling illustrated the scale of the challenge facing our politicians. We desperately need policies to bring politicians and the public closer together – to bridge the gap between those who make our laws and the ordinary people they affect.
In his Foreword, the Rt Hon David Lidington said:
“The stark polling results [this paper] sets out show that too many people simply don’t know where power sits, or have faith in the people at all tiers of government who discharge it. Whatever party you are in, that should be troubling.
These are the desperate murmurings of a party in implosion mode. All three of the above are Conservative politicians at the very heart of the growing malaise descending over Britain. It is organisations such as the Centre for Policy Studies and Institute for Economic Affairs that they represent that continue to ruin a once great country with their extreme neoliberal ‘free market’ economics. They have driven a wedge between civil society and a properly functioning government – which it no longer is – according to the electorate that is.