Andrew Willshire

Andrew Willshire is founder of the strategic analytics consultancy Diametrical Ltd

How the Tories can avoid a leadership election stitch-up

Boris Johnson’s resignation has fired the starting gun on yet another Conservative leadership election. The race to succeed Boris is the fifth to have been fought under the rules introduced by William Hague in 1998. But there’s a problem with the way the contest is run: it forces MPs to second-guess the Tory membership –

The question Boris’s Rwanda plan critics must answer

There are many reasons to oppose Boris Johnson’s government’s policy of removing migrants to Rwanda. There’s certainly a moral case against this asylum policy, one which the Church of England’s bishops have presented with some force; and there could be a legal case which the Supreme Court will consider in July. But given the lack of achievements

Partygate isn’t a constitutional crisis

As you may have gathered despite the understated media coverage, Boris Johnson became the first serving Prime Minister to be found to have broken the law when he was issued a fixed penalty notice (FPN) by the Metropolitan Police for breaching Covid-related laws on gathering for non-work purposes. There has been much written about this

Greta Thunberg doesn’t like you

Dorian Lynskey recently wrote a piece celebrating Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday entitled ‘Bob Dylan doesn’t like you‘. The article highlighted the disdain Dylan has for fans, critics, journalists, and even the Nobel Prize Committee. Feted as the voice of a generation, and often acting like it, he still has nothing but scorn for those who acclaim him

The tragedy of Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings’s main concern as he appears in front of MPs is to identify the failures of government and ensure everyone knows they weren’t his failures, but those of the fools who refused to listen to him. It’s rather a tragic final act, for the truth is that Cummings did fail (and, to be fair, he

Why are the Greens so opposed to the hydrogen economy?

As the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow approaches, it is only to be expected that charities, lobbyists, special interest groups and an alphabet soup of international bodies will attempt to steer the conversation in their direction. The IEA (International Energy Agency, not to be confused with the Institute for Economic Affairs think tank) has published

How Boris can beat the SNP at their own game

The re-election of a pro-independence majority to the Scottish Parliament shows that the next five years will be dominated by the quest for a second independence referendum. Conventional wisdom is that the Scottish Parliament will pass a Bill legislating for that referendum, daring Westminster to strike it down, making the separatist position more powerful, like

Joe Biden’s skewed climate change priorities

It’s not hard to see why politicians like Joe Biden and Boris Johnson want to talk about climate change.  First of all, it looks good to the electorate. Caring about the planet (or at least being seen to care about the planet) is one of the things that marks you out as ‘a good person’.

Starmer’s Labour fails the ‘broad church’ test

Political parties like to think of themselves as being a ‘broad church’ when tackled about conflicting views among members. It makes it all the more ironic then that it was a visit to a church which exposed a challenging split in the Labour party. Keir Starmer’s trip to Jesus House last week resulted in him apologising

Brexit could help Boris’s green revolution come to life

Boris Johnson announced his new ten-point plan for Britain’s transition to a net-zero carbon emissions economy this week. It is expected that other countries will follow. The EU has a stated aim of achieving a net-zero economy by 2050, with a 60 per cent reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. This presents an

The EU’s bizarre new climate change targets

In recent years, governments have increasingly opted to legislate to ensure they do the things they say they are going to do. In the UK, for example, the commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of GDP to the international aid budget is legally binding, and in 2019 the UK became the first major economy to

Why has Hope not Hate shifted its focus to climate change?

Hope Not Hate is an organisation with a fine campaigning record which has done a lot of good in tackling extremism. But this week, they tweeted that ‘the far-right and the climate crisis are linked. They spread disinformation, fear-monger about climate-driven immigration and engage in denialism to spark culture wars.’ I’m not entirely convinced by

How Number 10 should illustrate its Covid alert formula

Following the Prime Minister’s address last night, Twitter was ablaze with mockery of the equation the government will use to determine our route out of lockdown. In particular, people were keen to show their mastery of primary school-level maths, by observing that ‘if the number of infections is 183,000 and R is 0.7, our threat

How the west can really help tackle the ‘climate crisis’

Researchers at the university of Leeds have published a study claiming that rich people use more energy than poor people; or as the BBC have it, “Climate change: The rich are to blame”. That article contains the rather obvious point that: ‘The researchers found that the richer people became, the more energy they typically use.

Brexit won’t stop a coronavirus vaccine reaching the UK

The Brexit culture wars are back. On Saturday, the Guardian published an article entitled: ‘Brexit means coronavirus vaccine will be slower to reach the UK.’ As usual with such pieces, the words ‘if’ and ‘could’ do more heavy lifting than Atlas. The gist of the article’s argument is that leaving the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Why someone on £80k might not feel rich

As in every election in recent memory, a debate has broken out over the point at which a person becomes ‘rich’ and is, therefore, able to cough up a bit more to fund public services. The magic number this time is £80k – the salary around which a person enters the top five per cent