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Onward newsletter – 19/10/21

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The latest research, events and news straight to your inbox every Tuesday.

If you enjoyed reading this newsletter, please do share it on twitter. 

New research: On Wednesday we published Green Shoots, which analyses the current trajectory of vital green technologies and calls for an explosion of innovation in order to meet our net zero targets.

Team News: This week we were delighted to be joined by three new team members.

  • Luke Stanley, who will be leading our Social Fabric research, joins us from his previous role as policy advisor to Lord Hague.
  • Bel Guillaume and Shivani Menon, who have joined our internship programme.

Onward is hiring!

We are looking for an outstanding individual to be our Head of Communications. Please get in touch with any questions or if you would like to apply for this role. The full job description can be found here.

Director’s note

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The murder of Sir David Amess MP on Friday has rightly sent a wave of shock and mourning through British politics. Yesterday colleagues from across the House united to pay their respects to an MP who worked assiduously for his constituents; to a man who was kind to all. Sir David’s death, like that of Jo Cox five years ago, is rightly seen as a wake-up call for the risks that politicians take to represent our interests every day. His life is a reminder of the importance of civility in politics. 

There is no doubt that Sir David held strong views: he campaigned for Brexit, opposed televising Parliament, lamented the media coverage of the MPs’ expenses scandal, and was famously unrelenting in his backbench campaigns. But, as the innumerable tributes that flooded newspapers and broadcasters over the weekend revealed over and over again, his manner was unfailingly polite and his energy bottomless irrespective of who needed his help. At a time when politics is becoming decidedly less pluralistic, and in some respects aggressively conformist, his career embodies the virtues of Parliamentary diversity and collaboration. 

Those values matter deeply for our political discourse. As Matthew Syed wrote in The Sunday Times: “Courtesy isn’t an optional extra; it is the mortar of civilisation. It was courtesy and good faith in relationships that permitted the establishment of guilds and voluntary associations and the intricate patchwork of social networks — not least among the educated bourgeoisie — from which sprang the Industrial Revolution. Courtesy isn’t weak, or ephemeral, or insubstantial. It is the most powerful (and beautiful) social technology our species has yet discovered. And it is central to the deliberative functioning of democracy.” 

We should, by all means, honour him by fulfilling his campaigns to give Southend city status and erecting a statue to Vera Lynn. But the best lasting legacy to Sir David Amess (and to Jo Cox) would be for all in public life – including we, the voters – to remember that a healthy democracy depends at least as much on how politicians and campaigners behave – the manner of our political debate – as to what kind of outcome they work towards.

Will Tanner
Policy Bites
  • As part of the government’s drive to plug the skills gap, thousands of adults will be offered courses to rapidly upskill in STEM sectors including engineering, digital, and construction. Link.
  • Since the launch of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, it has been confirmed that the UK has attracted nearly £6 billion of green investment, as well as creating and securing 56,000 high-quality green jobs across the UK. Link.
  • The Department for Education has published a series of best practice case studies to guide policy in alternative provision educational settings, in its aims to reduce post-16 transitions into the NEET category. Link.
Quick links
%2Fmethode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fdc3263be 34fc 11ec 8ef4 8e6db1a4b82a - Onward newsletter - 19/10/21
If Britain wants fresh ideas, look to Finland
Edward Lucas: Long-term planning by the Finns is paying off in energy and defence. We have a lot tolearn
%2Fmethode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fdc3263be 34fc 11ec 8ef4 8e6db1a4b82a - Onward newsletter - 19/10/21
If Britain wants fresh ideas, look to Finland
Edward Lucas: Long-term planning by the Finns is paying off in energy and defence. We have a lot tolearn
iStock 834764218 - Onward newsletter - 19/10/21
The dark side of ‘insulating Britain’ | The Spectator
Let me start with some statements of fact. The planet is heating up dangerously fast with devastating consequences for everyone that lives on it and if we don’t stop pumping…
iStock 834764218 - Onward newsletter - 19/10/21
The dark side of ‘insulating Britain’ | The Spectator
Let me start with some statements of fact. The planet is heating up dangerously fast with devastating consequences for everyone that lives on it and if we don’t stop pumping…
20211023 brp503 - Onward newsletter - 19/10/21
The government wants pension funds to help with levelling up
That will take more than a tweak to fee rule
20211023 brp503 - Onward newsletter - 19/10/21
The government wants pension funds to help with levelling up
That will take more than a tweak to fee rule

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