…RUSI. (That’s the Royal United Services Institute). At the awards ceremony held at King’s College London last night, David Walker heaped praise on RUSI, saying: “there are other strong performers in the field of security and international affairs but this think tank combines strong focus with global reputation, deploying expertise, research and a new rigour in an impressive set of publications and policy interventions.” They are also, as Shadow Chancellor George Osborne noted, the only think tank who genuinely “think about tanks.” Osborne, who presented the awards, emphasised that lively think tanks are invaluable to politicians, and said that they have never been more needed than now. He recalled the depressing lack of good think tanks during the final years of the last Tory government, but noted that today, by contrast, the British could give the Americans a “good run for their money.” The Institute for Fiscal Studies, led by Robert Chote, was the runner up; David Walker said the research institute had become a “byword for impartial, authoritative commentary, building bridges between academic and practical knowledge.” And winner of the think tank publication of the year was “Breakthrough Britain—ending the costs of social breakdown” published by the Centre for Social Justice. The award was accepted by Iain Duncan Smith, who established the think tank in 2004. George Osborne praised his former colleague for the CSJ’s “outstanding work in seeking effective solutions to poverty in the UK.” Osborne was also quick to assure the audience that the award was not a fix. This year’s judging panel was chaired by David Walker, former editor of Guardian Public, and included Baroness Falkner, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Communities and Local Government in the House of Lords; Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, King’s College London; David Goodhart, Editor of Prospect; David Halpern, Director of Nexus and lecturer at Cambridge and Rohan Silva, Economic Advisor to the Shadow Chancellor. Read David Walker’s speech in full here.