Will Britain Breakthrough (Again)?
On 29 November last year The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) took an unusual approach to launching a piece of research by hosting a large event. “Breakthrough Britain 2” (a sort of sequel to the first report) is a major piece of research with the lofty ambition of shaping the social policy agenda of the next parliament.
The influence of Breakthrough Britain 1 can be seen in the coalition’s policies on welfare and education reforms. Launched by the independent think tank, CSJ, in 2007 following Ian Duncan Smith’s visit to Easterhouse in Glasgow, allegedly moved to tears by what he witnessed. The document set out to tackle Britain’s acute social problems.
Breakthrough Britain 2 is divided into 6 strands: welfare dependency, family breakdown, educational failure, drug and alcohol addiction, serious personal debt and the role of the voluntary sector. The organisers made several references to the cross party nature of Breakthrough Britain 2 (Labour MP Chris Pond will be chairing the strand on debt). During the Q&A session some concerns were raised over the lack of a strand looking specifically at inequality. However the inclusion of the voluntary sector as one of the strands was widely welcomed.
So why the Big Event? The main reason for the lavish push to launch this research was to plea for people to contribute and a desire to engage as widely as possible. It is worth noting the influence that think tanks can have and the importance of engaging with them effectively to shape the social policy agenda. Whatever your views on CSJ, they are positioning themselves to have the ear to whoever forms the next government and it would be a missed opportunity not to have a say. If you are interested in contributing to any of the strands you can contact Breakthrough Britain here:
It is, potentially, an opportunity to start to shape social policy for the next parliament and at least be a part of the conversation.
If you are interested in learning more about how to influence public policy you might be interested in the NCVO's Public Affairs Consultancy service. We are running a series of Seminars during the year, the first of which, “Working With the Coalition – Mid-Term and Beyond” is being held on 25 March. Please contact me for more information - Danny.email@example.com
A blog about all things campaigning. Posts by Amelia Gudgion, Bethan Brookes and guests. If you want to write a guest post email campaigning(at)ncvo-vol.org.uk.