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In this week’s newsletter:

This week we pay tribute to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and recall some of the most moving messages from around the world.

May she rest in peace. The death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last week has plunged Britain into a period of deep mourning and reflection. There have been many beautiful tributes: Emmanuel Macron’s refrain that she “represented a sense of eternity”; Matthew Syed’s suggestion that she embodied what the Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun called “asabiyyah”, the capacity of strangers to feel a spirit of connection; Theresa May saying she offered us all an example “of faith, of service, of duty, of dignity and of decency”. They are testament to a monarch who gave their nation not just a lifetime’s commitment but a sense of itself.

Her Majesty’s extraordinary record. Her Late Majesty reigned for 70 years and 214 days – the longest of any British monarch and second longest in world history. In this time she met 15 UK Prime Ministers, 13 US Presidents and 7 Popes. She was the patron of more than 600 charities, sent more than 175,000 birthday telegrams and made 82 state visits – the first to Norway in 1953 and the last to Germany in 2015. In total, she visited more than 120 countries. Over her lifetime, she owned 30 corgis.

The value of institutions. The death of a monarch serves as a reminder of the power of national institutions to bring a nation together, even in a secular and individual age. On UnHerd, Andrew O’Sullivan reflected on the importance of shared emotional national symbols like the monarchy in our current age of ideological polarisation. As he says, such institutions are not a nice to have but critical to orderly society: as recent Onward research has shown political polarisation and support for authoritarianism is on the rise among young people.

Low energy politics. The Prime Minister’s energy price freeze last week may have been a bigger fiscal intervention than the bailout of the banks in 2008, but it did not garner a single newspaper front page. The Government’s £2,500 energy price cap is similar to that of other countries, such as Norway, France and Spain. But other countries are responding differently: some countries have opted to increase their minimum wage, while Chile, Germany and France are using handouts to support the vulnerable. Others have opted for more broad-brush approaches, like tax cuts and caps on energy prices.

Universities challenged: The number of 18-year-olds going to university has fallen for the first time. Meanwhile, apprenticeship numbers are rocketing: Lloyds had 78 applicants for every place on their scheme this year, compared to 7 applicants for every place at Oxbridge. A note of caution is advised, however: the number of firms offering apprenticeships, especially among SMEs and technical subjects, remains too low. Onward set out how to change this last year.

News and media

Downhill for democracy? Findings from our report The Kids Aren’t Alright on young people’s disenchantment with democracy was mentioned in the New Statesman, UnHerd and The i.

Energy crisis life-line. Our five-point plan to tackle the energy crisis was cited by Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero, in the House of Commons. The report was covered in the New Statesman and Ed Birkett was quoted in Bloomberg.

Local council collaboration. Adam Hawksbee spoke about the cost of living challenge and levelling up on BBC Newsnight and the BBC World Service.

Upcoming events

From panel events to drinks receptions and policy roundtables, Onward is running a busy events programme with leading politicians at the Labour party conference this autumn. If you would like to find out more about what we are planning please email our Head of Events David Comerford.

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