Ministers put British bill of rights plan on hold until after Brexit

Bright Blue's Director, Ryan Shorthouse was quoted in the Guardian. He urged the Prime Minister, Theresa May, not to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Here's an excerpt: 

“The European court of human rights has strengthened human rights in more oppressive countries than Britain, such as the rights of illegitimate children, the right of fair trial and the rights of gay and lesbian people."

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Ryan was also quoted in the Daily Mirror

"The Prime Minister is wrong to want to make European Court of Human Rights withdrawal a 2020 manifesto commitment. The ECHR is vital and based on English common law. We should be proud of it"

Read the full article here.

Boris Johnson urged to promote human rights after Saudi Arabia gaffe

Bright Blue's Conservatism and human rights project was covered on the front page of the Guardian. Ahead of the Foreign Secretary's visit to Saudi Arabia, Bright Blue defended his comments regarding human rights abuses by the Middle-Eastern state. 

Here's an excerpt: 

"However, one influential voice for moderate Conservatives has urged the Foreign Office not to back away on important human rights issues for fear of offending allies, such as Saudi Arabia.

The Bright Blue thinktank, which counts about 130 Tory MPs and peers among its supporters, has set up a commission to examine how human rights can better influence government policy." 

Read the full article here

 

Elite schools offer 10,000 free places to poor pupils

Director of Bright Blue Ryan Shorthouse is quoted in The Times on the proposal from the The Independent Schools Council said that thousands of extra free places could be created if the government gave them the cost of educating each child in a state school, which is approximately £5,500 a pupil. 

Here is an excerpt:

"As with grammar schools, it would certainly help some individuals but might make things worse for most others because a lot of bright children will exit the state system and no longer be able to have a positive effect on their struggling peers."

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After Brexit, the Government's record on human rights needs closer scrutiny

James Dobson has launched our campaign to establish a new Human Rights Advisory Committee to hold the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to account in the Independent.

Here's an excerpt: 

"The FCO is one of the least transparent departments in Whitehall. There are many good reasons for this lack of transparency; diplomacy often requires secrecy. Yet, the secretive nature of its work means it can be difficult to hold to account. It is tricky to establish whether the FCO has been effective in improving human rights abroad." 

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Migrants ordered to adopt liberal values and culture

Bright Blue Director Ryan Shorthouse is quoted in The Times on how for people to be truly integrated, people needed to be able to understand and speak English and is calling on the government to ensure that everyone can read, write and speak English.

Here is an excerpt:

"“The government should make it a requirement for all immigrants — if they want to receive any benefits — to prove that they can speak English by having an approved qualification, or at least be working towards one.”

The £6bn-a-year cost of cutting immigration

Bright Blue Researcher James Dobson blogs for The New Statesman on the cost of cutting immigration and Theresa May's immigration problem.

Here is an excerpt:

"The referendum result can be considered, in large part, a vote against current migration policies. Yet a crude focus on reducing the numbers of migrants will do little to allay public concerns on the issue. It is the type of migration that matters more to the public. Currently, formal study is one of the main reasons why migrants move to the UK. In order to reduce net migration to 185,000, the number of international students will likely need to be reduced. Yet, Bright Blue’s own research has found that an overwhelming majority of the public does not want a reduction in the number of international students. More recently, a ComRes poll found that just 25 per cent of Leave and 23 per cent of Remain voters said that they even consider international students to be immigrants."

Foreign students are one of Britain’s greatest exports

Bright Blue Researcher James Dobson writes for CapX on how foreign students are one of Britain's greatest exports.

Here is an excerpt:

"Analysis last year showed that 55 world leaders were educated at British universities. Countless individuals in influential positions abroad were educated here. These alumni bring significant “soft power” to the UK. This soft power will become increasingly important as the UK begins to negotiate new trade deals across the globe in the coming decades."

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Bright Blues essay collection mentioned in the Financial Times

Bright Blue's Conservatism and human rights essay collection was mentioned in the Financial Times

"One Conservative pressure group, the Impressive Bright Blue, has recently published a pamphlet with a number of sensible and practical essays on human rights. There seems a growing sense among the Tories that, absent some frightful new judgment from the European Court of Human Rights, there are other battles to fight."

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Bright Blue Director Ryan Shorthouse writes to The Times

Bright Blue Director Ryan Shorthouse argues in a letter to The Times that the UK must not withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 

Here's an excerpt:

The European Court of Human Rights has strengthened human rights in more oppressive countries than Britain, such as the rights of illegitimate children, the right of fair trial, and the rights of gay and lesbian people. Conservatives should not be in the business of dismantling institutions that our forefathers built to protect us. Rather, Conservatives should be patient, piecemeal reformers of the ECHR — and of the EU.

Read the full letter

Bright Blue Associate Fellow Rupert Myers writes for RightsInfo

Bright Blue Associate Fellow Rupert Myers argues in a piece for RightsInfo that Conservatives must stand up for Human Rights.

Here's an excerpt:

Conservatives believe passionately in the importance of human rights, and the protection of individual liberties, but it’s fair to admit that the common perception of Conservative interest in human rights has been coloured by negative media coverage.

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Timothy Stanley's Conservatism and human rights essay published in The Spectator

Timothy Stanley's essay on religious freedom from Bright Blue's publication Conservatism and human rights: An essay collection was published in The Spectator today.

Here's an excerpt:

Rights compete for privileged status in a liberal society. The right to redefine one’s gender, for instance, conflicts with a woman’s right to undress in a room reserved strictly for women. The right to speak one’s mind on campus comes up against the right of students to live free from unwelcome opinions. And the right to articulate a deeply held religious belief crashes headlong into the right of a whole smorgasbord of groups who don’t want to hear it.

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Damian Green MP's Conservatism and human rights essay published on ConservativeHome

Damian Green MP's essay on what should be in the British Bill of Rights from Bright Blue's publication Conservatism and human rights: An essay collection was published on ConservativeHome today.

Here's an excerpt:

It is both bizarre and depressing that ‘Human Rights’ has become a boo phrase for many Conservatives. The protection of the rights of the individual against an over-mighty state has been one of the main principles of conservatism for as long as it has been an -ism, and the post-war attempts to make this British tradition a universal principle ought to make conservatives proud. Instead, we are perturbed by what courts can do with the unexceptionable ideals of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and so we are searching for a new way of cleansing the bathwater without – I hope – losing the baby.

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Trevor Phillips' Conservatism and human rights essay published in The New Statesman

Trevor Phillips OBE's essay from Bright Blue's latest publication Conservatism and human rights: an essay collection has been published in The New Statesman today.

Here's an excerpt:

The brutal truth is that it has always been smart politics for mainstream Conservatives to avoid thinking about race, and to ignore the votes of people of colour. To start with they have been dogged for almost half a century by the disastrous legacy of Enoch Powell. Silence always seemed the better part of valour. And, anyway, until recently there haven’t been that many non-white votes to be had. People of colour were less likely to register to vote. Of those who did register, many didn’t turn up on the day. Of those who did, the vast majority invariably sided with the Labour Party. And the most compelling argument for remaining tight-lipped about race - for both left and the right - was that conspicuous efforts to appeal to minority voters were thought likely to lose more white votes than they gained from people of colour.

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