How the right’s radical thinktanks reshaped the Conservative party

Photo of How the right’s radical thinktanks reshaped the Conservative party
Facebook
VKontakte
share_fav

In the wake of the Brexit vote, ultra free market thinktanks have gained exceptional access to the heart of Boris Johnson’s government. By Felicity Lawrence, Rob Evans, David Pegg, Caelainn Barr and Pamela Duncan

When Boris Johnson assumed office as prime minister in July 2019 and proceeded, without the mandate of a general election, to appoint a cabinet that was arguably one of the most rightwing in post-second world war British history, many commentators called it a coup. The free market thinktank the Institute of Economic Affairs felt self-congratulation was more in order, however. “This week, liberty-lovers witnessed some exciting developments,” the IEA said in enthused about the organisation’s effect on his younger self. A few years back, he told the audience, he had been on a beach in Brazil. He’d had a couple of drinks, and had gone in to the sea to mull over an idea: that New Labour had “eroded liberty” in Britain and created a “rights culture” that had fostered a nation of idlers. Lost in thought, the tide had dragged him far from his starting point, and back on the beach, he had trouble locating his family among all the “scantily clad Brazilians”. On stage, he thanked the IEA for helping him develop this idea, which became the starting point for the book Britannia Unchained, an anti-statist tract, co-written with other MPs who would go on to join Johnson’s new cabinet – Patel; Elizabeth Truss, now trade secretary; Kwasi Kwarteng, business minister; and Chris Skidmore, then health minister.

Related: Wealthy US donors gave millions to rightwing UK groups

Related: The US donors who gave generously to rightwing UK groups

Related: Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world

Continue reading...
view The Guardian: Economics
#thinktanks
#liz truss
#sajid javid
#european union
#boris johnson
#conservatives
#foreign policy
#politics
#business
#economics
#uk news
#brexit