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Policy-based evidence

2 min read

This is important:

Guidance that has been distributed to every government department will rule out any new or renewed grants awarded from May being used to “support activity intended to influence or attempt to influence parliament, government or political parties, or attempting to influence the awarding or renewal of contracts and grants, or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action."

A few years ago I was at an event where a senior figure from the Environment Agency was speaking, and they prefaced their talk with a statement to the effect that he had been informed -- directly, by actual ministers -- that his job, and that of the EA more widely, was "not to express opinions in public, but to provide the government with evidence which supports its policies". 

It would appear that a similar edict is soon to be applied to the academy, and the involvement of the noxious IEA is as reliable an indicator of ideological zeal as a well-worn Hayek citation. One presumes that, under these guidelines, privately-funded revolving-door think-tanks like the IEA will retain the full extent of their capacity to lobby anyone they please on the basis of the spurious magical thinking that passes for their own "research"; as has been repeatedly demonstrated, Caesar hears only what is pleasing to Caesar.