Friday, August 15, 2008

Policy Exchange attack keeps on rolling?

I know the last post was about Policy Exchange, but it seems that the plan of Sunny Hundal over at Pickled Politics to do a "number" on it's director Anthony Browne and presumably the think tank as a whole is gaining some traction in the press.

The other day, as already mentioned, we had a report written by Liberal Democrats about northern cities which was then condemned by Labour MPs and comment writers in the centre-left press as evidence of nasty Thatcherism at the heart of Cameron's agenda.

Today we have news again that the "Tories favourite think tank" (interchange "Tories" with "David Cameron's" as and when) is being sued by the Al-Manaar Centre over the allegation (and it remains an allegation unless one has an ideological bent about Policy Exchange and evil Tories) that receipts for extremist literature were faked.

What's worth noting on that point is the very carefully guarded language the Independent uses in relation to the allegation. However, the wider point seems to be that a narrative about Policy Exchange being a vanguard of borderline fascism is emerging.

Never let the evidence and history of its current members get in the way of course. Or the political leanings and experience of some of its author. It's all a big giant Tory front even if the Charity Commission says that there is no evidence to support the accusation. Unlike the Smith Institute of course which did engage in overt party political material.

At the same time I guess we should ignore the fact that Demos, once a "Labour think-tank" are now courting the Tories and having Osborne speak at their events, and the Institute for Public Policy Research is hitting the fringe of Tory conference in a way unseen before.

I believe Bob Dylan used the phrase that the "times they are a changin'" and in wonk world that certainly seems to be the case, so it's hardly surpising that one of the more centre-right think tanks should come under attack by the side of the political spectrum that is slowly losing its authority of the social, political and cultural consciousness of the public.

12 comments:

Letters From A Tory said...

It is amazing how few Lefties mentioned that it was Tim Leunig, a Lib Dem, who wrote most of the city regeneration report.

Selective reporting or ignorance, I wonder....

Letters From A Tory said...

It is amazing how few Lefties mentioned that it was Tim Leunig, a Lib Dem, who wrote most of the city regeneration report.

Selective reporting or ignorance, I wonder....

Anonymous said...

"a narrative about Policy Exchange being a vanguard of borderline fascism is emerging"

I hadn't realised that PE had shifted so far to the left that that it could be accused of fascism.

Cassilis said...

As an adjunct to my roundup I'm looking at the conference fringe events and yes, the Tory conference is drawing far more attention than it used to and not just from the IPPR.

While the attention i elsewhere it's worth remebering Labour's think-tank connections and the tensions there too - Compass feel emboldened by Brown's current problems (and believe the solution is a jumpt to the left of course) whereas Progress are uring a more centrist line.

Not sure where favourite Labour think-tank of old the IPPR are but... oh... yes.. I see..

Richard Holloway said...

When their backs are to the wall the left can be very vicious. I'm expecting more of it to come.

LG Test Blog said...

Nice of you to claim Sunny is 'doing a number' on the PX without actually linking to anything of his to back up the claim...

dizzy said...

hmm a quick search will do although I was on a train when I wrote that. The other week there as a call on Pickled Politics for dirt of PX members.

dizzy said...

Incidentally, I have no obligation to link to what I say, that is the realm of the Nublogger, I;m just a guy with a soapbox who is writing comment, the papers don;t link, so I don;t see why I should when you can stop being lazy and do a search.

BrianSJ said...

The attack on PX is also a convenient distraction from the problems at the Sith "Gordon's favourite think tank".

The tories talking at Demos is not a good sign. Demos' thinking tanked a long time ago and should be allowed to die quietly and soon.

Mitch said...

Putin thought "tank" and look what happened.

Rumbold said...

Dizzy:

The piece was on Liberal Conspiracy, not Pickled Politics:

http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2008/07/31/we-need-your-help-for-a-briefing-on-anthony-browne/

However, I don't think that anyone on Pickled Politics likes Anthony Browne either.

ianvisits said...

An alert from gorkana - the media jobs monitor has noted that Katy Taylor-Richards, previously Political Correspondent for the Daily Express, has now joined Policy Exchange as Head of Press.

The Daily Express though?