Bright Blue

Bright Blue (BB) is a Tory party think-tank dedicated to pretending that conservatism can solve societal problems that were created and exacerbated by conservatism.

Bright Blue is an independent think tank for liberal conservatism.  We defend and improve liberal society.  Our primary role is to create and vet government policy.  We are a respected and leading think tank which delivers an extensive programme of research, publications and events.  Our thinking and ideas have had significant influence on public debate and government policy.”

BB presents itself as different to hardline free-racketeer libertarian conservatism promoted and practiced by, for example, Boris Johnson, Scott Morrison, Narenda Modi, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsanaro.

Markets are the best way of allocating resources, but they can be inefficient and inequitable, so government and social institutions can help correct market problems.”
Politicians and policymakers should focus attention and resources on supporting and empowering the most vulnerable, here and abroad.”

The alleged “liberal conservatism” of BB is partly basic electioneering by describing the Tory party as having a broader church than the insidious mob currently in cabinet, and it is partly a strategy to defend market-oriented politics in general.  Its policy ideas and proposals do seep into Tory government decisions because the government, despite its rancid gung-ho crusade for oligarchical hoarding of wealth, knows that, occasionally, elections require some pretence of circumspection, but the list of successes for BB in directing government policy is short and non-radical.

Some of BB’s rhetoric is indistinguishable from that of Tony Blair or Nick Clegg and certainly is aligned with the political positions of Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau.  It is not important how sincere or otherwise BB’s rhetoric is.  Ultimately, BB is unambiguously conservative.  Whether it is a killer wolf in a non-psychotic wolf’s clothing, or whether it is a rare non-psychotic facet of a killer wolf’s personality, makes no difference.

Its Advisory Council shows that the description “liberal” of BB’s ideology is misplaced.  Among the council’s members are destroyer of public health Matt Hancock, libertarian gimp Michael Gove, and key architect of wealth concentration policy Matthew Elliot.

BB tried to distance itself from its Advisory Council by claiming “our Advisory Council members are from different political and professional backgrounds.  They do not necessarily share our philosophy or all of our policy ideas” but those with “different political backgrounds” are all hardline libertarians, and the rest are conservative.

There is a copious collection of papers and essays that BB calls Research.  Many are merely pictorial representations of polls; others are compendiums of opinions on a particular topic with the opinions ranging from conservative to more conservative.  Volume of published words is not proportional to incisive or informative literature.  Paid contributors espouse obvious tailored remarks.  It’s a solid grift.  

BB is primarily a show pony.  Its reason to exist, beyond a simple grift, is to placate conservative waverers who are slightly uncomfortable with the arrogant authoritarianism of Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, Jacob Rees-Mogg, etc.

Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks: UK think-tanks

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Bright Blue

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