Long reads etc

To build a more agile Britain, our leaders need to help us buy back better

The leadership contest we have just witnessed was like the political equivalent of Squid Game but without the bathos. The battle lines were relatively clear and on a 2 by 2 chess board with the degree to which you are fiscally conservative mapped out on the one hand (from being a high spend/high borrowing candidate on one end, to a low tax/low borrowing candidate in the other with high tax/low borrowing and low tax/high borrowing in the middle), and cultural conservatism in the other (from mildly woke and globalist leaning, to full on anti-woke anti-immigration, whether legal or illegal, Brexiteer ...

Setting the record straight on my work on East-West relations

The following statement is in response to allegations relating to my past work on UK-China relations. In short, it accuses me of having met with Chinese people and organisations, which being from a Chinese background, I am likely to do and have done, some of which may have had links with the United Front and the Chinese government - which is quite likely to happen if you meet people with an official status from mainland China. My interest has always been to foster peace and build bridges between East and West, and in no way to endorse the CCP through ...

Let’s figure out together how to stop lockdowns from happening again in future

As the nation starts to look ahead to the future cautiously, it is time to take stock and reflect on what just happened and to ensure it doesn't happen again, or if it does, to minimise the impact on our freedoms, economy, and health from having to lockdown in future.  If we are really honest, we've just had our Dunkirk, and our battle of Britain, and the D-day represented by the beginning of our massive vaccination programme, which has gotten off to a great start. But many lives have been lost, the population is weary, our front line staff and ...

We need a post-covid Marshall Plan (continued, part 2)

So here we are again, and it seems not much has really changed since my first post in June 2020. Two strategies are being pursued or championed for how we deal with Covid-19 and its impact on us as a country. The first is to keep locking down partially or fully periodically until we find a vaccine and roll it out. The second is the opposite, to shield the vulnerable and try to go ahead as normal without restrictions with or without herd immunity as an explicit goal, so to safeguard the economy as well as non-covid patient (and general ...

We need a new Marshall plan for the post-covid age

I grew up in Milton Keynes in a tough estate where the slums were relocated from East London in the last century. Whilst I cannot with honesty say the town has developed the kind of urban cultural gritty feel of my beloved Shoreditch, it is certainly a place where the kind of innovation we associate with Tech City is thriving. One ingenious and little known fact about MK, as those of us from there fondly call it, is its network of man-made reservoirs - designed to flood during periods of heavy rain, but which double at other times as places ...

A Place Called Home

Recently Radio 4 broadcast a programme in their series “A Place Called Home” featuring Lord Wei visiting the town where he was brought up - Milton Keynes. It reflects upon his childhood and the impact of that on his life in politics. Here is a link to the programme.]]>

Envisage: Changing the way that Britain transitions into later life

Lord Wei recently hosted an event which brought together over 40 HR Directors from some of the UK’s leading organisations whom collectively represented over one million employees in the UK. They were there to join in the conversation of how Britain’s employers can help change the way people transition into later life. Starting with the research report ‘Next Steps: Life transitions and retirement the 21st century’, Lord Wei highlighted the impending challenges facing the ageing population; living longer, seeking to live out fulfilled, active and meaningful lives, possible pressure on state provision, decline of skills in the workplace, real personal struggles facing individuals ...

Implications of Brexit for the UK’s trade in non-financial services with the EU

The EU Internal Market Sub-Committee, of which Lord Wei is a member, today published a report on 'Brexit: trade in nonfinancial services'. The report considers the potential impact of Brexit on trade in five services sectors: professional business services, digital services, creative services, air services, and, tourism, education and health-related travel services. The UK is the second largest exporter of services in the world. The majority of these services are non-financial, encompassing a broad range of sectors such as ICT (information and communications technology), telecoms, broadcasting, fashion design, aviation, tourism, education, and professional services such as accountancy and law. These ...

Lord Wei speaks on National Citizen Service Bill

Lord Wei today spoke on the 2nd reading of the National Citizen Service Bill. Lord Wei was delighted to see this Bill presented and with the reception it had received so far. He was involved in establishing the Challenge Network charity in 2009 to create one of the original pilots of the National Citizen Service programme. Prior to this, he was involved with colleagues from Shaftesbury Partnership in designing a working prototype to accompany, refine, and road-test the original policy idea which had been proposed by David Cameron (and before him many others from across the political spectrum over the ...

Better protection for users of online platforms urged by Lords Select Committee

Lord Wei is a member of the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee which recently published a report on online platforms and the digital single market. Lord Wei launched the report at a Tech UK startup event in Brussels on April 19th 2016. The EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has been investigating whether large online platforms, such as Google, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb, which act as gateways to some markets, operate above the law. Its report, Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market, sets out its findings which cover regulation, e-commerce, consumer protection, and competition. The report recognises that online platforms have accelerated e-commerce ...