Prospect Think Tank of the Year: The Winners

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Prospect Think Tank of the Year: The Winners


Last night Prospect held our 9th annual think tank of the year awards, Britain’s most pointy-headed award ceremony, at the RSA in London. The awards are decided by a bi-party panel of six judges over a series of meetings in the months prior to the awards, a process greatly helped by the willingness of nearly 40 think tanks to fill in our various nomination forms.

David Willetts MP, shadow secretary for innovation, universities and skills gave the evening’s key note address, making two striking statements. First, having joked that progressive think tanks like the IPPR faced a choice of whether to become part of the “official opposition” he called on traditional tanks of the left to work with an incoming Conservative government, rather than against it. Then, in a neat turn of phrase, he argued that British think tanks (as opposed to their more staid American counterparts) were the policy

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  1. October 24, 2009

    Angel Bacon

    The usually commendably cool and twinkly eyed David Dimbleby looked visibly frustrated throughout last Thursday’s edition of Question Time

    Presumably this was not just because of the obviously clumsy, top-down BBC editorial interference ( 4/5Th’s into the gig, Dimbers finally declares : ” We can’t devote the entire programme ” ) but also the self-serving panellists spectacular lack of intelligence by grandstanding ( save Chris Hulme, whose 1 in 2 under 16′s mixed-race stat was impressive ) instead of debating with the untouchable leader ; the supporters of whom will now have their rallying cry claim to being ignored by aspirational middle class hacks and politicians alike legitimised, rubber stamped and sealed by the BBC

    What the BBC really do need to wake up and smell the chamomile tea about is the irrefutable fact that the worldwide ( think about it ) web means ” the oxygen of publicity ” is no longer in their domain

    That Channel 4 News subsequently described the panellists as “Britain’s political elite” ( Lord, hear our prayer ) is an alarm
    call to everyone to think a lot harder ; and Prospect to treat it’s readers to more Zac Goldsmiths. Not to devalue the brand with populist rubbish such as the piece in the current issue flagging up “.. the casual cruelty of the upper classes ” . Compared to what , exactly ? The sixty or so visits by social workers to ensure Baby P was abused correctly ? Come on Prospect , can think better

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James Crabtree

James Crabtree
James Crabtree is comment editor of the FT 

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