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What’s Onward This Week

This weekend, we will remember those who fell in the wars, fighting for our nation’s independence, freedom and democracy. But on Saturday, protesters – some peaceful, others hate-filled – will use those hard-won British liberties to march for Palestine, enjoying the same freedoms Hamas denies its people in Gaza. 

We shouldn’t allow our outrage at demonstrations on Armistice Day to weaken the freedoms men and women died to defend. They must be policed without fear or favour, but we can’t slip down the slope of curtailing fundamental rights unless protesters threaten violence and disorder. All eyes are on Sir Mark Rowley to keep the peace.

✍️ Research

On Tuesday, King Charles III delivered the first King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament in over seven decades, laying the Government’s final legislative programme before the next election.

On the agenda are many priorities identified by Onward’s work, from tackling low-quality degrees (A Question of Degree) and supporting left-behind towns (Levelling Up Locally) to reforming grassroots football (Open Goal) and longer sentences for the worst offenders (Super-prolific Criminals).

While Rishi Sunak‘s recent net-zero resets and decision to axe HS2’s Manchester connection have dominated the news, the speech also contained two important non-legislative commitments: reforming the grid and building Network North. 

They’re crucial to powering a net zero economy, connecting towns and cities, and driving regional growth, which the Government must quickly progress. Our Power to the People and Network Effects papers show how this can be done and why the transformation is needed. 

📰 Media Mentions

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote for the i about why tone and language matter in politics. He also spoke to BBC News following the King’s Speech, and PoliticsHome quoted him.

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee wrote for City AM about two speeches which stole the show at the global conservative ‘Alliance for Responsible Citizenship’ conference.

Adam also told Times Radio that the Automated Vehicles Bill is an example of pro-business regulation.

The Times reported on Onward’s previous report, The Kids Aren’t Alright, on young people’s support for strong leaders. 

🌐 Onward Online

What was in the King’s Speech? Onward Director Sebastian Payne shares his highlights.

Will the Conservative Parliamentary Party lurch right if it loses the next election? Onward’s Head of Politics and Polling, James Blageden, looks at new evidence.

🗓️ Upcoming Events

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We are delighted to invite you to our latest panel event to launch Onward’s upcoming paper: Pension Power: Unlocking the UK’s pensions for science and tech growth.  

If the UK is to become a science superpower, it must address its capital problem. Pensions are a vital source of funding to scale up, allowing innovative tech firms to grow into multi-billion pound companies. 

But in comparison to other countries, the UK pension system – currently worth almost £3 trillion – systematically under-invests in these assets. Jeremy Hunt has rightly identified this as a challenge and set out a number of interventions the Government intends to make. But more action is needed to deliver higher returns for pensions and therefore more money for today’s workers in retirement.

This event will explore why the UK pension system under-invests in the tech sector and what can be done to address this. It will introduce new research produced by Onward, and bring together a panel led by Tom Tugendhat MP, Minister for Security to chart a course for unleashing pensions to achieve the UK’s science ambitions.

Drinks will be available from 17:30 before this event begins at 18:00. The discussion will be followed by a short Q&A.

Date: Monday 20th November

Time: 18:00 – 19:00

Location: Central Westminster

To sign up for this event, please click here

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