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Making sense of the right to protest, with Dave Taylor

The government is trying again to pass new laws to stop disruptive and noisy protest from environmental groups like Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion. Is the right to live without disruption more important than the right to protest? Join Tortoise editor David Taylor and special guests to work out where you stand. editor and invited experts David TaylorEditor Emmanuelle AndrewsPolicy and Campaigns, Liberty Rev. Gregory Seal LivingstonFounder & President of EquanomicsGlobal Sophie CorcoranConservative Activist and Commentator


What do we owe each other now? A ThinkIn with Minouche Shafik

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available.Anger manifested in polarised politics, culture wars and intergenerational tensions over climate change have revealed great disaffection in recent years. Minouche Shafik argues that this widespread discontent stems from the failure of existing social contracts to deliver on people’s expectations for both security and opportunity. How should society pool risks, share resources and balance the individual with collective responsibility?Join us for a ThinkIn with the director of the London School of Economics and author of What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract, where she will draw on evidence from across the globe to identify the key principles every society must adopt if it is to meet the challenges of the coming century. We will be asking her and our members the age old question: what do we owe each other? editor and invited experts James HardingCo-Founder and Editor Minouche ShafikDirector of London School of Economics and Political Science and Author of ‘What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract’


Would privatisation be good for Channel 4?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn. Channel 4 is used to the spectre of privatisation. The Thatcher, Major, Blair and now the Johnson governments have all investigated the potential sale of the channel, and it looks like 2022 could be a year of decision for the broadcaster. But what would the real impact of a privatised Channel 4 be for viewers and the industry? Although publicly owned, Channel 4 receives all its funding from advertising revenue – a detail which appeared to catch the current Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries off guard in a recent Select Committee hearing. If the de facto owner of Channel 4 doesn’t know how it operates, how can the broadcaster be confident of its own future? Who are the likely buyers, and how does the Channel 4 situation contribute to the mood music about privatising the BBC? editor and invited experts James Harding Co-founder and Editor John Whittingdale OBE MP Former Minister of State for Media and Data Lord Michael Grade CBE Television executive Maggie Brown Media journalist and Channel 4 historian Paul Fleming General Secretary, Equity


After Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, Peter Connelly and Victoria Climbié: what should social workers do?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn. Every time we learn of the horrendous abuse of a child a spotlight is shone on the child protection system. Reviews are launched and the same lessons learned – but it keeps on happening. At the same time, the care system is struggling with more children than have been removed from their families since records began in the early 1990s. It falls on social workers to support families, identify abuse, and marshall the care system. It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world. Is there a different way social workers could do it? editor and invited experts Liz Moseley Editor Beverley-Barnett Jones Associate Director for System and Impact, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory Cathy Ashley Chief Executive, Family Rights Group Dame Rachel de Souza Children’s Commissioner for England Polly Curtis Journalist and author of Behind Closed Doors: Why We Break Up Families – and How to Mend Them


Is the NHS overrated?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn. There’s a strong case to be made that the NHS is one of the most inefficient and overrated healthcare systems in the world. Its heart is in the right place, and its core principles are laudable and beyond criticism, but its management and delivery are another story. Governments don’t have a great track record at running organisations, and certainly not complicated healthcare systems. The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world, with a workforce of 1.3 million, but it’s also a political football. In 73 years of the NHS, it’s been overseen by 31 Health Secretaries since Aneurin Bevan, many of whom instigated their own reforms, overhauls and transformation projects with varying degrees of failure. Is our obsession with the NHS as a national institution blinding us to how it needs to change? Are privatised elements of the health service really such a bad idea? And when it comes to modernising the NHS, where do you even start? editor and invited experts Matthew d’Ancona Editor Andy Cowper Editor, Health Policy Insight Dr Agnes Arnold-Forster Writer, researcher and healthcare historian. Sally Warren Director of Policy, The King’s Fund


Is £81k a year enough to be an MP?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.With the UK average salary at £31k, surely MPs are living very comfortably on £81k a year? If that’s the case, why do so many have a second job? Singaporean MPs are the highest paid in the world, taking home more than £330k plus bonuses. Ministerial pay is benchmarked against the top 1,000 Singaporean income earners, and they’re eligible for bonuses. The  idea is that good salaries will attract the highest quality candidates. Australian backbenchers take home more than £120k, and Canadians get just over £100k. Compared to those sums, the UK MP salary seems a bit stingy. Living on £81k is far from the breadline, but other countries seem to value political service more than we do. Should we be surprised that many MPs feel they need a second income? How much does it really cost to be an MP, how much of this is about social class – and if we really want the best people for the job, how much are we prepared to pay? editor and invited experts Matt d’AnconaEditor and Partner Dr Nicholas DickinsonBingham Early Career Fellow in Constitutional Studies Hannah WhiteDeputy Director, Institute of Government Richard BurgonMP Leeds East Tom BrakeDirector, Unlock Democracy and former MP (1997-2019, LibDem)


High taxes, high wages, high prices: what does the Budget mean?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.The day after Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, announces what some people have called his “nightmare budget”, Tortoise members, editors and expert analysts will get together to figure out what it means for households, for business and the wider economy – and what clues it holds about strategic divisions between No 10 and No 11, and for government strategy overall. Please bring your questions and observations as we spend an hour making sense of it all together. editor and invited experts Ceri ThomasEditor and Partner Anne LongfieldChair, Commission on Young Lives Dr Gemma TetlowChief Economist at the Institute for Government James SmithResearch Director, Resolution Foundation Molly Scott CatoGreen politician, economist and activist. Previously a Professor of Economics at Roehampton University


Future of Cities Summit

When Liz Truss resigned she began another scramble for the Conservative leadership and said the next prime minister would be decided just a week later. “This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security.” Liz Truss As it happened, it was even sooner than that, but the few days that followed her speech in Downing Street still allowed plenty of time for the drama and chaos of internal Conservative Party politics to play out. People who had run to be prime minister in the last leadership election just a few weeks ago returned for another try – and so did the man who did the job before Liz Truss. *** Within hours of Liz Truss resigning it emerged that Boris Johnson was entertaining the idea of a comeback.  At the same time, Rishi Sunak, whose resignation as chancellor hastened Boris Johnson’s downfall, emerged as the favourite amongst MPs. The battle lines were drawn. “The majority of Conservative Party members say the former prime minister would be a good replacement for Liz Truss. In fact 32 percent of Tory members put Boris Johnson at the top of their list followed by former finance minister Rishi Sunak.”CNBC On Friday morning Boris Johnson’s supporters were busy trying to whip up support.  Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg led the charge, tweeting the hashtag #BorisOrBust. And soon after, many of the Conservative MPs who think they owe their 2019 victories to Boris Johnson, joined the chorus. But in a sign of just how divided the party is, other Tory MPs threatened to quit if he returned as leader. *** By Friday night Rishi Sunak’s campaign was buoyant, saying he had the backing he needed to make it onto the leadership ballot.  “Yes breaking news Jonathan, in the last few minutes the Rishi Sunak team has claimed to Sky News that they have indeed reached a hundred.”Sky News At that point Boris Johnson was still on his way back to the UK from his holiday in the Dominican Republic and arrived at Gatwick airport on Saturday morning. “There we go. A smooth landing. So he’s back.”Sky News Neither Boris Johnson nor Rishi Sunak had said they would stand for the leadership, but loyalists were out in force anyway, and Boris Johnson’s camp later claimed he also had the support of more than 100 MPs, despite having far fewer declared supporters than Rishi Sunak. So on Saturday night the former prime minister and his former chancellor met to try to find a way to work together, but the idea that these two men could be reconciled was always wishful thinking. *** Throughout Sunday morning, more and more prominent Conservative politicians publicly backed Rishi Sunak: David Davis, Grant Shapps, Suella Braverman, Kemi Badenoch and self-styled Brexit hardman Steve Baker. “Boris would be a guaranteed disaster.” ”Steve Baker By the evening, it became clear that the game was up for Boris Johnson and at 9pm he said he wouldn’t stand after all. “He’s come to the conclusion, and this is a quote from Boris Johnson, ‘This would simply not be the right thing to do as you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.’”Sky News Rishi Sunak praised Boris Johnson, saying: “I truly hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad” and turned his attention to his only remaining leadership rival – Penny Mordaunt. She was way off reaching the 100 MPs needed to have a chance, but hung on until the very last minute before also withdrawing from the contest. *** “So Rishi Sunak is going to be our next prime minister. The third prime minister in a matter of seven weeks.”Chris Mason, BBC Political Editor “There is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge. We now need stability and unity and I will make it my utmost priority to bring our party and our country together.”Rishi Sunak Despite those profound economic challenges the second Conservative leadership campaign of the year was conducted with almost no discussion of actual policy, so what big decisions might Rishi Sunak take? When he spent the summer battling Liz Truss to become prime minister he criticised her plans as fairytale economics.  “I am saying some things that are maybe not the easiest thing in the world to hear. I’m not sitting here or standing here promising you tens and tens of billions of pounds of goodies straight away, because I don’t think that’s the right thing to do for our economy. I think it’s risky.”Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak’s first test will be deciding how to fix the public finances. He’s talked about the need to bring down government debt, and was very critical of Liz Truss’s plans to pay for tax cuts with extra government borrowing. Most of the disastrous mini budget has since been reversed but the cut to national insurance – a tax Rishi Sunak increased when he was chancellor – remains intact. Now he’ll have to decide whether he wants to increase it again and whether other taxes will have to rise too. If they don’t he’ll have to make cuts to spending. Sophie Raworth: “What three things should people change in their lives to help tackle climate change faster? Rishi Sunak. Rishi Sunak: “Right, ok, well I take advice from my two young daughters who are the experts on this in our household…” Rishi Sunak says he’s committed to decarbonising the UK economy to make it net zero by 2050 and also wants to make the UK energy independent by 2045. In the last leadership election he said he was committed to the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda and also said the overall number of asylum claims should be capped. Rishi Sunak was crowned as Britain’s new prime minister without having to utter a word in public, but he will soon have to confront the overwhelming set of challenges facing the country and explain what he’s going to do about them. This episode was written by Rebecca Moore and Lewis Vickers and mixed by Ella Hill. Further listening


How do we prepare today for the labour market of tomorrow?

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.Thanks to new technology, an estimated 100 million workers will need to switch occupations by 2030. What can we know of the careers that will be available to children born in 2021 who are job seeking in 2041? Robots may replace human beings in increasingly complex and creative roles, but this shift will be matched by an increase in so-called pink and green collar jobs – in the care economy, clean energy and technology industry. What does this mean for the way we think about what is and isn’t considered ‘high value work’? How do we start preparing now for the labour market of tomorrow? ReadoutHow do we prepare for a world in which 65 per cent of school children today will grow up to have jobs that don’t currently exist? The future labour market will bring both benefits and costs – but most importantly – it will be characterised by change. By 2030, around 100 million workers will have to switch occupations. Addressing these seismic shifts – resulting from forces including the climate crisis, the switch to hybrid and online work, and the increased automation of many key labour processes – will take a considerable amount of effort on the part of both business and government. What is the best approach? To discuss this topic, and much more, Tortoise was joined by Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School, and Felix Tran, Thematic Strategist at Bank of America.Felix Tran, began by explaining the key findings of the “The Future of Work and How It Will Change Our Lives” report, which he co-wrote. It aims to dispel some of the scarier statistics that orbit the topic of labour transformation. Some of them paint a bleak picture of the threat facing workers in some sectors; the threat of redundancy and replacement. Felix mentioned findings by Oxford University in 2013 that suggested 35 per cent of jobs in the UK and 47 per cent of jobs in the US could be automated away in the next decade. This fact has generated a big sense of risk, but also of opportunity, with the recognition that people can be upskilled through training and education to expand their professional horizons and take on new opportunities in a fast-moving economy. This rapid change is part of a creative destruction cycle, Felix believes, in which technology is not just here to displace, but to enhance the condition of labourers and ultimately be a force for good. In their findings, Felix and his co-authors found that 12m net new jobs could be created through technology by 2025.When the ATM was introduced in 1970, many people thought that they would replace bank tellers, though in the period that followed the number of bank tellers in the US actually rose. The ATM replaced a particular part of the banking process that was being done by humans, allowing those workers to move on to different jobs within the wider banking system; like relationship management and financial advice. The key to this replacement process was the retraining and upskilling of workers so that they could take on new challenges.Lynda Gratton, a recognised expert in analysing future work trends, explained that, as the labour market starts really changing, we will see an even greater divide between jobs that are typically low-skilled and have a low threshold of training or education. Supporting the ambitions of workers who want to advance to higher-paid positions and acquire new skills is key to dampening the negative effects of labour automation. Opportunities to retrain should be equitably distributed and supported by government. Whilst 85m jobs will be eliminated by automation and robots by 2030, this will not happen evenly across all markets; jobs most at risk are retail sales personnel, fast food production workers. Those workers can be given the training and support they need to move up the skills and salary ladder, rather than down, or off the ladder completely. editor and invited experts Alexi MostrousInvestigations Editor Felix TranThematic Strategist at Bank of America Lynda GrattonProfessor of Management Practice at London Business School