News comment and analysis

14 November
2017

A tale of two countries: How Scotland acts while England measures climate change impact – Catherine Cameron

By |News comment and analysis|

In the week of the Bonn climate talks, where the US has effectively ceded leadership to China, it is interesting to look at the divergence in approach emerging closer to home. At a meeting of the Westminster Energy, Environment and transport Forum on 10th October, a series of speakers discussed climate change and the priorities for [...]

13 September
2017

What impact investing could learn from the development aid world – Tom Berliner

By |News comment and analysis|

Impact investing is all the rage. The Gates and Zuckerberg clans are enthusiasts. Even the Pope is into it. The idea behind impact investment, that you can ‘do well by doing good’, is taking hold of the philanthropic and financial worlds. It offers the attractive suggestion that the best way to support social impact causes [...]

5 January
2017

Mrs Thatcher was right – Nigel Thornton

By |News comment and analysis|

"The sheer professionalism of the British Civil Service, which allows governments to come and go with a minimum of dislocation and a maximum of efficiency, is something other countries with different systems have every cause to envy." Margaret Thatcher, 1993, "The Downing Street Years", Whatever your view of the honours system, there is a certain [...]

11 November
2016

Its not nothing to worry about – Nigel Thornton

By |News comment and analysis|

In May Donald Trump promised to cancel US funding to UN programmes that fight climate change. He also said he wanted the US to opt out of the Paris Agreement. The President Elect reportedly tweeted in November 2012 “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing [...]

3 November
2016

Our seat at the Top Table trumps all – Nigel Thornton

By |News comment and analysis|

In a recent visit to New York I was struck by how much the UK’s diplomatic effort post the Brexit referendum focuses on keeping our seat at the world’s top table, the UN Security Council. Since June I’ve been told several times the UK’s position on the UNSC is now at grave risk. So what’s [...]

17 July
2016

Will DFID be humbler after Brexit? – Nigel Thornton

By |News comment and analysis|

Whenever over the last decade and a half I’ve asked staff in multilateral or other countries’ aid agencies  what they think of working with the UK, the answer has generally been consistent. They value our intellect and knowledge. But we come over as arrogant. It’s a view repeated in Washington, New York, and Brussels.  Staff [...]

10 July
2016

Has Brexit killed Scottish independence? – Dr Marcus Cox

By |News comment and analysis|

Brexit is every bit as disastrous for Scotland as it is for England. If you play through the options ahead for Scotland, none of them end well. On the one hand, Brexit gives far greater legitimacy to the independence movement. If the goal is independence at all cost, then that is now a far more [...]

5 July
2016

Brexit’s legacy: A Written Constitution for the UK – Nigel Thornton

By |News comment and analysis|

‘[The British Constitution] presumes more boldly than any other the good sense and good faith of those who work it’.   W.E. Gladstone Gladstone knew that to make our constitution work, we need sensible heads working with the best intentions.  The attributes are essential, he understood, because our constitution is a work of evolving practice and precedent, not of [...]

28 June
2016

British Constitutional Miasma – Dr Marcus Cox

By |News comment and analysis|

The Brexit mess reveals something that I have long suspected: that the UK government has no appreciation of constitutional principle. British public lawyers have always been rather proud of the fact that, instead of a written constitution, they have a set of conventions stretching back into hallowed antiquity. Written constitutions are for new-fangled states, like [...]

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